These are not the words a mother wants to hear at 2AM from a daughter, barely over 21, who has gone out for a night out on the town in her new (used) car.
Nonetheless, as I struggled to shake the sleep from my head that’s what my daughter was breathlessly telling me over the phone.
“Where are you?” I asked.
“I don’t know. We are downtown somewhere.”
“Downtown? As in downtown Dallas??”
“What the—“ I stopped myself. Why she was in Dallas in the middle of the night was a question that would have to wait for an answer. Right now, I needed to backtrack a bit to figure out what had happened to her new car.
“So, what happened?”
“Well, we parked near the club and went inside. When we came back out my car was gone!”
“Oh geez! You just got that car two days ago and someone stole it already?”
“What do you mean ‘maybe not’?”
“Well, when I first called you I thought it had been stolen but Buffy* says there was a big sign painted on the wall right where we parked that said something about ‘no parking’ and ‘violators will be towed’.”
I rubbed my brow. “And you didn’t see it??”
“Well, no…maybe….I don’t remember.”
“So where are you now?”
“I don’t know, Mom. We walked for a while and then these two Marines met us on the street and they’ve been staying with us until we could find a phone.”
(this was in the days before cell phones and thank God for the US Marines!)
“They’re waiting outside this diner I’m in and Mom….I’m the only white person in here.”
As she said the last part of that sentence I cringed and the background din all but disappeared.
“Biffy*! Look, I know the area you are in. You don’t want to stay there**. How far are you from where you parked?”
“A couple of blocks.”
“Okay, go back there with the Marines and get the phone number to the tow company. Call them and see if they have your car.”
“Call me once you get the information and update me on what’s going on.”
I hung up the phone and didn’t breathe for nearly an hour.
The phone rang and I jumped to get it.
“Okay, everything’s cool. I got the car back, but it cost me $250 and because I didn’t have the new registration yet they almost didn’t give it to me! The insurance card, though, had it on there so that worked. And, Mom, the nice Marines stayed with us until they got us to the tow yard. They even paid for the cab! Such nice guys..and cute too!”
I was too relieved to be irritated by the fact that she didn’t grasp the severity of the situation and had chosen to focus on the hottie factor of the young men to whom I remain indebted.
Two hours later, the sun rising over the horizon, my daughter pulled into the driveway.
I hadn’t slept since the first call and was having coffee when she walked in.
“I’ve never been so glad to be home.” She said as she hugged me hard.
I don’t think I ever appreciated a hug more, either.
*the names have been changed to protect the stupid
**and, no not because it’s a black neighborhood – it’s not – but, because the area is high crime