I fought the law and the law won

Written by Kenna Hixenbaugh 

I didn’t always believe in signs and superstitions, but one night changed my beliefs entirely. I was always the one to value my parents’ words, and if I were to have gotten an insufficient grade, I would be punished. However, my peers were constantly out being stereotypical teenagers; breaking rules and sneaking out. During my senior year, I decided to live a little and break free of my comfort zone. 

It all started on a typical Friday night. My boyfriend and I were out for dinner at our favorite rustic restaurant with all the wings you can eat. While waiting for our food, we discussed our plans for after we ate. While cooking up ideas, we spontaneously thought of a wild plan. We decided that I would try and sleep over at my boyfriend’s house. Knowing that neither of our parents would be keen on the idea, it made it even more exciting. Thankfully, our friends were having a sleepover, and we decided to use this to our advantage. I asked my parents if I could spend the night at our friend’s house with my boyfriend. They reluctantly agreed, and the first stage of the plan was complete. With a full stomach and our hearts racing, we then left the restaurant. 

As we were driving, we were thinking of everything that could go wrong. We thought of every outcome possible, and a way around each one. We couldn’t believe that we were about to do this. I felt like a spy infiltrating an armed base. Little did I know, this would be almost as difficult. After arriving, we sat in the car contemplating whether we should go through with it. While sitting there, the song “I Fought the Law,” by The Bobby Fuller Four began to play. My boyfriend brought up the idea that maybe it was an omen to not go through with the plan. After some thought, we disregarded the notion and the next thing we knew, we were inside. 

The first initial step between obeying my parents’ words and going against what they taught was exhilarating. We snuck up the stairs and realized there was no going back, as his parents were going to be home any minute. We went up to his room, looked out the window, and saw headlights pulling into the driveway. This is when it all set in. I was afraid that we would be caught, and I couldn’t get the song that we had heard out of my head. Our nerves were getting the best of us, every creek that the house made turned us into a panic. All those same noises we have heard countless amounts of time, were unrecognizable to us now. A few hours passed and our nerves started to settle. I remember thinking that this wasn’t so bad, and that song was just a coincidence. 

A key part to the plan was to stay off my phone in order to ensure the plan’s safety. My phone has a tracking device in it that relays my location to my parents’ phones. The cover story was that I had accidentally dropped my phone while getting out of my boyfriend’s car to go into our friend’s car and we were too far to turn around and go back to get it. We knew my parents were most likely going to check to see if I got there okay and sure enough, they did. That is when I got the call. I remember watching my phone light up with my mother’s face on the screen and in big, bolded white letters spell the word, Mom. My instinct was to immediately answer her call, but I couldn’t because how could I explain what I was doing in the middle of the night at my boyfriend’s house. She called and texted my phone so many times waiting for a response and she was not going to get one. At this point I was panicking again. What if she was going to come to my boyfriend’s house and talk to his parents? What would happen? How much trouble would we get it? And then the most important and simply question raced through our minds, was this worth it?  

We decided to call her on my boyfriend’s phone to keep the plan rolling. She answered almost instantly in a stern voice. She asked, “Where is my daughter?” with such power behind her voice. We had her on speaker and explained the cover story to her. She was hesitant with believing us and she wanted proof that we were at our friend’s house. As we were talking to her, I had to keep a strong, confident tone to not be suspicious but at the same time, be quiet so his parents wouldn’t hear us. She then asked us how our friend was doing and the web of lies began to grow. The ironic part was we were the spider that was about to get caught in our own web. My mother seemed to start believing us and told us to be safe and have a good night. After the call, I started to feel sick. My boyfriend suggested we just call the whole plan off and sneak me out of his house and take me home.  

My boyfriend went downstairs to scope out the path to the door and saw that his mother fell asleep on the couch. We realized that he needed to distract her, while I snuck down the steps in order to not give my position away. The material of my sweatpants caught on to the carpet of the step which sounded like someone ripping Velcro into a loudspeaker. I could hear his mother’s tired, confused voice asking him if everything is okay. I felt even more sick to my stomach. I was on the first floor now and just had to get to the door. I crawled down to the door and waited for my boyfriend to grab his keys. He made an excuse on to why he had to go to his car. I lived six minutes away from him so how would he be “getting something” out of his car for twelve minutes in the middle of the night. Luckily, she didn’t notice it was that long because she fell back to sleep.  

We were in the car on our way back to my house. Silence. We had no words for that night. After he dropped me off at my house and I watched his car headlights quickly fade away, it was time to go inside and finally go to sleep. I reached for the spare key, but it wasn’t there! My brother is notorious for forgetting to put the key back. Sure enough, I looked through the door’s window to the inside and saw the key on our computer desk. I didn’t want to call the house phone because the whole house would wake up. I looked once more through the door’s glass and my brother was fast asleep on the couch. I began to knock on the door desperately wanting to get my brother’s attention. No answer. I tried his phone, the door again, no answer. It was fall and cold outside and I was not about to sleep outside, I had no other choice left but to call my father. He answered and came downstairs to unlock the door. He asked me if all I said was true and to tell them now if I was lying and of course I kept spinning the web of lies and said yes. He then asked, “Why did you even come home then?” I told him it was because I felt sick from the food that I had for dinner and we left it that.  

I thought once I was home my guilt would go away, but it got worse. That song wasn’t a coincidence but rather it was a sign not to go through with the plan. Every time I hear that song, I end up being around my parents. The guilt is tucked away deep down inside me. I guess one could say, in the end, we fought the law and the law won. 

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