Jamming my keys into the door of my little red sedan, I twisted the lock and yanked the door open. I hit the little button to unlock all the doors, then tossed my keys on the front seat while I went to stash my backpack in the back. I jiggled the handle to the backseat. Then rattled it. It wouldn’t open.
Great, I thought. I had better not have a broken door.
I swung around, backpack still over one shoulder by one strap. The back door swung shut behind me. I tugged on the handle to the front door.
I had locked myself out! I stomped my foot and threw my hands up. Great! I had as good as missed the train to school. Might as well stay home. Except…
The key to my locked house door lay on the seat of my locked car. I balefully glared at them.
The keys glittered impertinently on the seat.
Good thing I had granola and applesauce in my backpack.
I called Dad.
“Soooo… I locked myself out.”
“Of the house?”
“Yeah, the house and the car.” I told him the whole fiasco.
“Wow. So now what?”
“Well, I was thinking I could go downtown and get your house key? I’ll take the bus to the station, then the trolley to downtown.”
“Sounds fine with me. Shame you got locked out though.” He paused. Then huffed. “Tell me the car isn’t running.”
“No, no,” I reassured him. “Not running. I locked myself out before I got a chance to put the keys in the ignition.”
“All right, see you soon.”
The tracks whispered to each other. “Here the train comes,” they hissed. “Here it comes hereitcomeshereitcomes!” The wheels wailed in protest as the train screeched to a stop. I boarded alongside a rotund woman with a tiny dog. It growled at me, quivering.
“No! No Chico!” She yanked its collar. I tripped over the yellow caution tape saying “Watch Your Step!” and took a seat on the right side of the train. Chico snarled at me from the arms of the large woman. I looked out the window.
There was a woman next to me, in the window seat. She was on her iPad, playing Solitaire.
“Are you going to school?” she asked me.
“Oh no,” I said. “I missed the train to school. I’m going in the opposite direction.” I jerked my thumb behind me.
“Oh.” she turned quickly back to her solitaire, not wanting to converse with a school-skipping delinquent like me.
I arrived downtown and texted my dad.
I am here, it read.
See you soon, he said.
Soon I caught sight of him on the opposite sidewalk. I waved, then waited for the red hand to change into the little white man. He crossed the street.
“Hey,” he said. “So no school today?”
“No, I missed the train.” I told him.
“Not super cut up about missing math,” I told him, pressing a hand to my heart in mock distress.
Dad smiled and handed me the key. “Now make sure this gets back to me,” he said. “I mean– you make sure you see me put in on my key ring– to be sure I don’t lose it.”
“Will do,” I said, “Thanks for bailing me out.”
“No problem. C’mon, I’ll buy you a doughnut.”
We walked down the block.
“Which one do you want, ” he asked.
“That one,” I said. “The one with all the sprinkles!”
He fished it out of the cabinet.
“That’ll be 1.18,” the cashier said. Dad pulled two dollars out of his pocket.
“Thanks,” I said.
“No problem.” he handed the bills over the counter.