She closed her eyes and bowed her head slightly, in prayer. Also, this would be the third day of her driving lessons with this new instructor.
She was old, he said, too old to be driving.
She wasn’t, she was only twenty-four.
The only reason she was learning how to drive was that she would be a soccer mom someday, with a minivan, and her husband, who worked all day, already had too much on his plate.
She was wrong, the instructor said. That her whole vibe was wrong. That the idea of her, as a whole, was an anomaly. She was an immigrant, two months pregnant, and she was brown. She was also a woman with no job and no prospects. And this made her all wrong. The instructor, a privileged white male, was both loud and boorish.
And misogynistic and totally racist. And he would fat-shame her like crazy and unconsciously touch his washboard abs as if checking to make sure they weren’t running away.
And he hated immigrants. And he said he hated his job every time he had to teach her how to control the damn steering. He loved to yell at her and call her an idiot. He loved to be a dominating psychopath and she took it only because she was about to be a momma. Someday soon.
One day, his yelling got so bad, she lost focus, crashing the car and she ended up losing the baby. And she didn’t cry and she didn’t say a word. She still went back to her lessons. And she didn’t say she wasn’t going to be a momma. Not anytime soon, anyway.
He didn’t need to know that.
The nightmare driving lessons went on for two weeks. By this time, she was already driving efficiently. Handling traffic like a pro and he still managed to find something wrong. And that she’d never pass her test.
But she did.
They never saw each other again. Years passed.
One day, he woke up to the yelping of a small animal, followed by a sudden silence. He went back to sleep, because he thought it must have been a dream. When he woke up a few hours later, his scream alarmed the neighbors.
Betty, his two-month-old, snow-white Pomeranian puppy, was nailed to the door.