A considerable amount of time had passed since the climatic events of that eventful day. It seemed that the pace of her life had resumed to its normal self. However, her lack of intervention at the scene of the collision did leave her feeling guilty. “Perhaps that was the time when I was supposed to tell her what I was thinking about when I approached the café,” she wondered. What sort of greedy narcissist was she to just watch her sister in turmoil and walk away? In an attempt to be mindful, she even gravitated to describing her past behavior towards her sibling as being cruel. However, her mindfulness could do nothing to diminish how powerful her frustrations had become. All she wanted was peace. She wanted to be content. “Where did I go wrong?” She wondered. She took a moment to think back to the way that she had lived her life, and remembered a brief moment of it where she was satisfied with what she had. It seemed that the success of her sister exposed her to a way of life that had defied her perception of reality – a fact that unsettled her. Perhaps she had been happy all along, but it was not until she saw something different that she began to think about what her life would have been if only she could change some of her actions from the past. At this time of the morning however, she had no time to allow such thoughts to ruminate any further because it was time to drive her children to school.
Meandering around the mountains that hid her home from the rest of civilization, she began to realize that thinking about the life her sister lived had distracted her from concentrating on something more important – her children. Her oldest daughter sat alongside her, staring out of the front-passenger window of the Alfa-Romeo Alfasud – looking at the landscape that they would have to traverse in order for her to arrive at school. “What was my daughter thinking?” She wondered. She forgot the last time she sat down to speak to her children. As the mountains disappeared into her rear-view mirrors, she said … “you have been staring out of that window for some time now. What are you thinking?” Her daughter replied with an abrupt, but soft “… nothing.” She had forgotten how reticent her daughters were – even her youngest child rarely said anything to her. As a matter of fact, she had been listening to music ever since the start of their drive.
The truth is, when her oldest daughter told her that she had been thinking about nothing, she lied. It seemed that she was reaching a point in her adolescence where what she wanted more than anything else was her independence. She felt that the best tool to assist her in achieving this desire of hers was a car – more specifically an Alfa-Romeo 145 Quadrifoglio Verde. She had been thinking about owning a car ever since she was fifteen, but it was something she felt she could not talk to her mother about because she had been so distracted by her own thoughts. She planned on letting her father know, but two years had now passed and she still needed to formulate a reason more justifiable than the fact that she wanted one because her boyfriend had one as well. She thought it would be adorable if the both of them owned a matching pair of cars. However, knowing her parents, she knew that they would have scoffed at the idea. As such, she focused her attention on how the Alfa-Romeo 145 succeeded the Alfa-Romeo 33 her father drove along with the Alfa-Romeo Alfasud that her mother drove in the production history of the Alfa-Romeo family hatchback. She thought that fact would be enough to emphasize the mechanical superiority of her car as opposed to the vehicles that her parents drove. She thought about how the Alfa-Romeo 145 would have been a more engaging car to drive as compared to the Alfa-Romeo 33 that belonged to her father. The one thing she needed to consider still was what she needed to do to afford it.
A chilling silence had penetrated the Alfa-Romeo Alfasud, and the morning drive to school was now coming to an end. The silence from her children reminded her of her own childhood – having to board a bus and a train to arrive at school with her sister. She remembered how strange it felt to be seated next to adults who were travelling to work to support their families while they were going to school to play sport, talk to friends and write some tests – or at least that was all school was to her. Her sister was more focused – she had known what she wanted out of life from the onset. She – on the other hand – considered herself to be something of a free spirit. She loved the idea of “going with the flow,” as she would say. The current circumstances of her life did make her realize that her younger ideas regarding life were misconstrued. As her car stopped at the school entrance, she took a moment to observe as her children exited the vehicle. She was proud of them. She was proud of the fact that she was responsible for giving birth to them. She loved them both, and she realized that concerning herself with the outcomes of the life her sister lived would not give her any peace. She needed to appreciate what she had while she still had it. She now knew that her life had to be different from the one her sister lived in order for it to be uniquely hers.
Meanwhile, there was a man in a room standing in front of me saying …
“… good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. This is a three hour examination, and it will count towards seventy-five percent of your semester grade. You may begin writing.”