I often travel between cities in Southern California. My best friend lives 70 miles away from my hometown, but thanks to freeways, it’s usually only an hour drive. Since traffic is insane in the LA area, I fell into the habit of only making the commute in the middle of the night. At 3am, the only people on the road are usually truckers, and a sparse few cars. I don’t have to concentrate too hard, and I can catch up on podcasts. My parents were always uncomfortable with me driving such a distance alone in the wee hours of the morning, but I always shrugged it off as the usual parental paranoia, until one night.
I had told my parents I was going to be home by midnight that night. I had work in the morning, so I my fun-filled weekend with my best friend had to come to an end. But, I pushed it. 11, 12, 1 in the morning all passed me by as we shoveled chips into our faces and watched funny youtube videos together. When it was about 2:15 am, I finally decided it was time to head out. My parents were probably asleep anyways and didn’t even know I was coming home so late. My friend was getting really tired, and instead of walking me out to my car like she usually did, she decided to go to sleep. We said our goodbyes and I stepped out of the door onto the porch.
My friend lives in a nice and relatively safe suburb, and I had walked around it at this hour of the night plenty of times, so I wasn’t the least bit frightened. I threw my bag into the back of my little sedan parked on the street and climbed into the drivers seat. After buckling up, turning on the engine, and picking a fitting podcast for my journey home, I looked up from my phone to find I was suddenly blocked in.