"Dad, can I borrow the car?"

I can’t sleep tonight, so I’ll tell a story. I think I was 18 when this happened, maybe 19.

I ask my dad to let me borrow his car, he says yes, and I drive to a party with a friend of mine. The party is fun until my friend gets in a fight, punches his hand through a window, and cuts a big gash in his forearm. At one point I see his forearm and there’s a chunk of it that’s completely gone, and I can see the bone in his arm; it’s pretty bad.

A girl at the party is studying to be a nurse, so she wraps up his arm, and along with the girl he was fighting about, the four of us pile into my dad’s car and I drive as fast as I can to get to the hospital.

By the time we get to the hospital it’s raining incredibly hard and I can’t see anything. But then I do see the big red/white “Emergency” sign off in the distance, so from where I am I turn and drive a straight line towards those lights. This path happens to take me right across the front lawn of the hospital, so the ride is a little bumpy, but I keep my foot on the gas and bounce over a few things until I get back on the pavement near the ER entrance.

As I park at the entrance, get out of the car, and run around to the passenger side, a nurse comes outside. She’s looking out in the direction of the front lawn and asks, “How did you get here?”

“Drove,” I reply, and then point to my friend and tell her that he’s really hurt.

The ER people take care of my friend, and after a little while he’s okay, except for being as white as a ghost. His dad comes to pick him up, and the girls’ families pick them up. I drive home, park the car, drop the keys on the kitchen counter, and go to bed.

The next morning my dad wakes up, gets ready for work, walks outside and finds blood all over the back seat of his car and a pair of girl’s shoes. I didn’t know it then, but one of the girls had an extra pair of shoes with her, and left them in the back seat of the car.

Next thing I know he’s shaking me out of a sound sleep, waving these shoes at me, and wants to know, “What the bleep happened?!”

I’m barely awake and all I know is that he’s yelling and waving these shoes at me, so all I can think to say is, “Where’d you get those shoes?”

After a little while he stops yelling at me and I realize what’s going on. I tell him most of the story -- skipping the part about the lawn job at the hospital -- and he calms down, but tells me I’m going to be cleaning the car up when he gets back from work.

By the time the evening comes around he’s much calmer, and had even cleaned out the car himself at lunch. He asked how my friend was, and I told him he was okay. Then he said, “You should have seen the look on your face when I woke you up this morning,” and I said, “You should have seen the look on your face,” and we both had a good laugh.

I never did tell him about that lawn job at the hospital. Sorry about that, dad.

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