One of my favorite extracurricular activities in high school was going parking. The rush of holding that special someone in your arms while you navigated the gear shift was beyond measure. My heart would always beat an extra couple of beats as we searched for that special spot away from prying eyes. We would navigate the roads of the small town I lived in. Searching……always searching…..
A favorite spot of mine was a parking spot behind my old junior high. As long as no one saw us, we could creep down next to the old school and settle in for a night of hot passionate teenage lust. Beside the school was a church that was home to a graveyard. From our vantage point, we could always make out the headstones before the windows completely fogged up and obscured our view.
One particular evening, my boyfriend and I set out on our weekend adventure.
“Wanna go to the usual spot,” he asked. With a shrug of my shoulders I answered yes and we set off. I can’t remember what we talked about on the short drive to the school, but I can remember the anticipation as the butterflies settled into my stomach. This was what it was all about. Being a teenager, to me, was about breaking rules. Being daring. Doing the things you saw in the movies and telling your girlfriends the next day. I relished the freedom being so young and in love afforded me.
We had a routine when we went parking. We’d go to our spot, and after we’d park the car we’d leave the radio running and switch the engine off. We’d listen to whatever was playing on the radio, or slide a Jodeci or Boys II Men tape in. Yes, I meant a cassette tape. Remember those?
On this particular night, as Lately was playing softly in the background, we looked over at the church and noticed a service going on. I remember commenting on this. My partner in crime said not to worry and proceeded to reach for me.
With our hearts beating and the windows fogging, we proceeded to enjoy ourselves like only sixteen year olds can. I won’t go into too many details, but I will ask you, dear reader, to do something…..try to recall what it was like when you were sixteen and out with your special someone. Do you remember the excitement of that time? Do you recall what it was like to be a teenager and so involved in that very moment that all else ceases to exist? We acted with such wild abandon back then.
My teenage lover and I were in a tight embrace in the backseat. I can’t remember the exact make or model of the car, but I do know the front seat was not very comfortable. We were worried about foot prints on the window and the steering wheel was quite unforgiving. Now, keep in mind we were in the middle of some pretty heavy stuff. Hands were roaming, feet were up in the air…..it was love making adolescent style….. So, you can imagine why we never noticed the pretty blue lights flashing behind us until it was too late. A police siren is not something you want to hear as you are half naked with your boyfriend at 3 am, in the car you swiped from your parents as they lay sleeping. Trust me. I know.
“Oh, shit,” my one and only said. “Oh shit oh shit oh shit.” I too let out some colorful commentary as we tried to gather ourselves up.
“Where’s my underwear?” I screeched as he yelled, “Hell if I know! Where’s mine?”
And then the sound came. The sound more dreaded than even the siren of a police car as it sits behind you. The sound that can make a poor teenager’s heart beat right out of their itty bitty chest. It was the sound of the flashlight knocking on the window.
“Can you step out of the car, please?” The officer demanded more than asked.
“Um, no,” croaked I. “Can you give us a minute? Please?” I will not cry. I will not cry.
“Now.” The officer said in the most authoritative voice I had ever heard.
“My momma is going to kill me,” whispered my pale faced companion. “Oh, shit.”
Calmly, I explained to the officer that we needed a moment to pull ourselves together. He allowed us 15 seconds. After that, he informed us, he was breaking the glass.
We turned on the dome light and located our undergarments in the front seat. With haste, we proceeded to get dressed and step out of the car. An eternity seemed to elapse as the police man peered into the front and back seats.
Once he was satisfied with his inspection, he turned the flashlight on us. “What are you doing out here at this time of night?”
We looked at each other dumbfounded. Was he really asking us this? Was this a trick question? And which one of our parents was most likely going to bail us out of jail? I lived with my grandma and I do believe she would’ve let us rot before she came to get us.
“Um,” my boyfriend began to stutter. “I…uh…see…we were just, um, talking.” Wow, he was so brilliant. All I could do was look away and picture myself in prison garb.
“Right,” replied the officer. “I am sure of it. Who’s car does this belong to?”
Oh, hell’s fire and balls. My beau had taken his mom’s car and snuck out to come and get me. I suddenly felt such pity for him. I sure was going to miss him while he was locked up.
We explained to the nice officer who the car belonged to. We said we were tying to “spend time together.” The policeman ran the tags to see if the car had been reported stolen. After everything came back satisfactory, he gave us a stern warning and said if we ever showed back up there again, he would arrest us. I reassured him that he would never have to worry about that. We had learned our lesson. And that would have been the end of the story except for…….
When we got settled back into the front seat, fully clothed, we looked at each and grinned. Bullet dodged. Parental notification avoided. My sweetheart went to crank up the car and nothing……That’s when I noticed that the radio wasn’t even playing.
“Oh shit oh shit oh shit,” muttered my significant other.
With a dead battery, we sat and stared. What the hell were we going to do? Who were we going to call? It wasn’t like either of us had AAA. That’s when I noticed the policeman hadn’t left yet.
“Hey,” I said. “Go ask him if he can jump us off.”
“Who? Ask who?”
“The cop,” I replied. “Go ask the cop if he can give us a jump.”
“Are you serious?” My boyfriend asked me with wide eyes. I insisted that I was and explained it was either that or call someone. Anyone….. He begrudgingly got out and did the walk of shame over to the patrol car.
With the assistance of a very amused policeman, we were able to revive our vehicle and make it home before getting caught. Looking back now on the experience, I have to laugh out loud. I often say only I could get pulled for parking and then have to get jump started by the same police officer who was threatening to arrest me. But, I also look back at that time with a bit of nostalgia. We were so carefree back then. As teenagers, we were afforded a certain innocence that time has taken away from us. I miss the days of heavy petting in the back seat of a car. I miss the cautious hands of a young man set out to find who I am and to prove who he is.