The Wrong Car


It had been a hard day at school. I had moped my way through English, been shouted at in Math and doodled in Geography. The final bell could not have rung sooner, and I slid from my desk, eyes downcast. I was depressed by the homework I still had to do and by the fact that it was still only Monday.

My mother usually parked with the other parents up the road that ran next to the school and the playing fields. I emerged into the late afternoon, blinked, and spotted the car – a white Toyota Venture with a squiggle of pink and green on the side. I went along, opened the back door, flung my bag into the trunk and fell face first onto the back seat.

“What a terrible day,” I said.

There was silence. I opened one eye and looked at a small green handbag hanging from the back of the driver’s seat. I sat upright. A strange woman was looking at me. I turned red and began mumbling. The woman said nothing and I bolted from the car.

My mother’s white Toyota Venture with a squiggle of pink and green on the side was parked behind this one. She was laughing.

“Oh my god,” I said, hiding in the passenger seat.

There were tears of laughter running down my mother’s face. “The best part,” she said, “is that your bag is still in there.”

Smiles For All