Autobiographical Narrative Essay

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Autobiographical Narrative

When I got my driver's license at 16, I couldn't wait to get out on the road. Finally I would be able to prove that I was responsible, smart, and aware of my surroundings. Or at least, that is what I told everyone that I wanted. Honestly, I just wanted to have fun. A car meant freedom, or rebellion if I couldn't get the freedom I was supposed to have.

If my mom and I ever got into a fight about anything (homework, my current boyfriend, my choice of friends, curfew) I could turn on my heel, mid-conversation, snatch up my keys, and holler, "Whatever!" before slamming the front door behind me. It always felt more satisfying if I could get the windows to rattle in their panes when the door slammed. Loud sounds calmed me when I was angry, and violence too. I never got bloodshed-violent, but I did like to break things and make a mess. I guess you could say I threw tantrums. I couldn't make myself destroy anything that wasn't mine, though; at least I had that much respect. But it still wasn't much.

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I remember an argument my mom and I had about a curfew I had missed. I was out a little too late that night with my new boyfriend, my best friends, just hanging out, and I lost track of time. I got home two hours after curfew. I pulled into the driveway at two miles per hour with my headlights already off and closed the door by pushing it as far into the doorframe as possible before releasing the handle so that I didn't have to slam the door. My fingers fumbled with the house keys, and the wind kept passing shadows of branches over the lock in the front door. When I did eventually get the door open I thought I would be able to creep directly up the carpeted stairs to my bedroom and no one would know the difference. Passing over the threshold I encountered a stifling heat, and when a voice rose over my shoulder from the living room to my left, it was like I had walked into the deepest pit of Hell.

"Where have you been?" my mother seethed. Her voice was calm, but her tone was deadly.

"Out," I said simply, "with friends." My mother rose from her chair, clutching a tumbler of wine in her left hand.

Essay on Autobiographical Narrative Assignment

"And why is it that you are two hours late?" She glared at me, and her eyes were hollow, the bags underneath making her look old and haggard.

"I just lost track of time," I said. I took note of her every approaching step and stuffed my car keys as far down into my coat pocket as they would go. I did not remove my hand.

"You!" she barked "are supposed to know exactly what time it is, at all times. That is your responsibility -- "

"It's just a stupid curfew," my voice rose, "I don't even get the point -- it's so stupid." Mom's voice began to tremble.

"You have no respect," she said. "Do you know how I worried?"

"There's no reason for you to worry about me," I spat "worry about yourself for once."

"What does that mean?" She dared me to speak.

"What do you think? We go through this all the time. You're so busy worrying about me and where I'm headed, but what about you?" I didn't want to bring it up, I knew it was foolish and hurtful, but I wanted to throw the attention off of myself. "What about you and Dad?" I said, "Maybe if you spent more time worrying about yourself, taking care of yourself, he wouldn't have left." Mom slammed her tumbler down on the table beside the door, slopping alcohol onto the carpet. She stared at me, evidently trying to decide if she should hit me or not. Mom had never hit me in my life, and I don't think I expected her to then, but there was no denying that I was terrified.

Just in case, I headed for the door again, and when I heard her heavy footsteps on the carpet behind me, I freaked. I whipped around, snatched the tumbler from the table and threw the contents in her face. As the sting of alcohol lashed into my eyes and up my nostrils I caught a glimpse of my mother's twisted face before I flew out the door with the feeling of freedom in my right coat pocket. I scrambled across the driveway, threw open the car door and engaged all the locks when I was safely inside. Mother never came out of the house to chase me, but I was so full of adrenaline it didn't matter; I just had to get away. I revved the engine extra loudly and laid rubber as I sped out of the driveway and down the street.

I pulled onto the main road without any idea of where I thought I was headed. Maybe I would be the fun-loving person Mom never was -- I could go grab my friends and stay out all night. People would like me. I wouldn't be undesirable, unwanted. People would think I was cool and worth something. Without slowing, I took the most fun CD I had and inserted it in the drive. I timed the pumping bass with the streetlights as they went by. They were bright in my eyes, but their color was dim.

I started thinking about how long the night had been already and what had happened. I remembered school, the park, my friends, my boyfriend, a dark basement. Maybe I'd drive over to my boyfriend's house and convince him to let us do something really fun. I pictured his face with his straight white teeth and brown-sugar complexion, smiling in his sexy way. I inhaled the vision of his scent and relaxed. It began to take shape in my mind that what I wanted from him was not fun, but the ability to be comfortable around someone, to be me. As the vision of his face dissolved before me, a much different, clearer picture began to take shape through my windshield.

I knew without thinking about it that there was nothing I was going to be able to do. There would be a jolt, a loud noise, and pain. Chaos. My mind was wiped blank only a few yards between my front bumper and the back of the SUV stopped at the red light ahead of me. I reacted in the only way I knew how; I braked, and I braced.

From the outside, a traffic accident appears to happen in slow motion, and the collision of the cars makes almost a cheerful popping sound, but I found out that this is not so when you are the one inside the car. As I collided with the back end of the SUV, I took in all the sounds. The sickening crunch as metal twisted, exploded through glass and collided with fiberglass. Metal scraps from each car went skittering across the roadway in haphazard directions, points of light reflecting back at me under every street light. My car stopped just into the intersection, wobbling dangerously on the two left tires as I stomped on the brake, but the SUV continued forward into the oncoming traffic from the opposing "left turn only" lane. As the front end of that same SUV collided with an oncoming vehicle, the front windshield exploded like fireworks, and the front bumper made the happy "pop" that I had expected to hear from my own car's connection with the SUV.

The traffic around us froze while the colliding vehicles were still in motion, but as soon as the accident was assuredly over, they continued to pass through and around us. The night became silent again as the traffic once waiting drove away. I didn't get out of the car. I didn't feel anything except shock and cold. The SUV was leaning against a telephone pole on the opposite corner of the intersection. No one got out from there either. Had everyone died?

I became aware of a tickle on my forehead, and when I went to scratch it, my head throbbed from the applied pressure, and my fingers came away dripping blood. I continued to stare at the SUV under the telephone pole and the compact car it had hit; when I saw no signs of life, I decided I had to get out. I had to find out. What had I done?

For the second time that night I found myself shaking nervously, trying to wrench the door open. I stumbled across the intersection toward the cars, each breath of the frosty night air painful in my chest, feeling more like I was dragging myself than walking on my own two feet. I approached the SUV first and opened the driver's door slowly.

"I'm so sorry," I gulped,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Autobiographical Narrative" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Autobiographical Narrative.  (2011, January 26).  Retrieved February 22, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Autobiographical Narrative."  26 January 2011.  Web.  22 February 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Autobiographical Narrative."  January 26, 2011.  Accessed February 22, 2020.