I'm sure my mother's worst nightmares started when we got our drivers' licenses. And I didn't give her any reason to relax. Blue Thunder and I were renown throughout town for "barrelling," as in "down the highway." My father called it ramming around. I remember driving down El Camino Real, my six year old sister sitting sans seatbelt in the passenger seat, telling me to slow down.
One evening during dinner, apropos of nothing, my sister blurted out: "Christa went 70."
My parents grounded me from driving at night for the next three months. During that period of time, I was so miserable -- a prisoner in my own home! -- I ran away. Running away consisted of my calling Patti Orozco one Friday afternoon and asking her to come pick me up. I didn't tell my parents I was leaving, I just packed my backpack with enough clothes for the weekend and went to sit at the bottom of the hill, waiting for Patti to show up in her mom's Dart.
When I saw the black and white Dart pull up the street, I was crestfallen to see Patti's mom driving it, with Patti's five siblings hopping up and down inside as well. They pulled up. Patti's mom rolled down the window and said, "Do your parents know you're coming over to our house?"
"Yes," I lied. I crawled into the back seat. The Orozco clan jumped around me like monkeys. From the front seat, Patti gave me a look that said, "I'm sorry." She could see I was pissed. I mean, I was supposed to be running away!
When we arrived at her house a couple miles from mine, her mom called my mom just to make sure she knew I was spending the night.
That was my one and only attempt at running away. I was such a failure at it, I humiliated myself.