Finishing First... and last

I couldn't wait to get behind the wheel of a car, pass my test and get a car before any of my friends... but that didn't pan out

I couldn't wait to learn to drive, like most teenagers.

It was all I wanted, to get myself behind the wheel and on the road. When I turned the ripe old age of 17 I was on the phone to a driving instructor quicker than you could say 'what do you mean Β£35 per lesson!

After a couple of months of being very charming towards my grandparents and getting a small job I managed to cobble together the funds to learn how to drive and boy was it worth it. I loved it, every lesson was just brilliant, except that one lesson where I almost ploughed into an ambulance, my instructor's face went quite blue or maybe that was just the reflection of the flashing lights.

I couldn't get enough and in a relatively short amount of time, I had passed my test, first time. Despite being one of the youngest in my circle of friends I still was the first to pass, a point I still make to this day.

So logically having done the legwork it was now time to get a car of my own, there was only one slight problem, I had spent all my money on learning to drive the damn thing and I only had enough money to buy the air freshener. It was astonishing, it has never occurred to me during all of my time spent learning to drive and revising ridiculous multiple choice questions that when I did pass I would not be able to afford a car.

What had been the point? I knew for a fact that I wouldn't be able to charm a car out of my grandparents. For the next three months, I entered into a state of depression of car-lessness. I tried to convince my Dad many a time to buy me a car, listing all the benefits it would bring to him but that was a dead end. I then tried to get my hands on his car, it may be an automatic grey Honda Jazz company car but at least it had four wheels and an engine.

This was and still is, met with hysteric laughter masking genuine fear at the thought of me driving his favourite child into the English channel. He would be distraught, having to fill out all of that insurance paperwork.

After a while I got used to not having a car, I couldn't miss what I had never had but I have tasted the sweet petrol life that awaited me, but it would have to wait.

Then the bad news came. One of my friends had passed his test.

This was devastating news, but at least it was just him. Right? Wrong. He opened the floodgates and one by one everyone I knew was passing their tests and getting cars of their own. Yet there I was, forced to scroll on Autotrader dreaming about buying myself a little runner.

Two years later and I still find myself in the very same situation. I have a handle on it now, I no longer burst into tears when one of my friends offers me a lift in their car, it's now just a small watering of the eyes.

One of my friend's brothers who I still regard as being in year 2 now has a car, a little red Mini that I haven't ever seen move. I'd like a little red Mini.

I am now entering my final year of university and when that is concluded I can finally get myself my very own car.

I may have been the first to pass my test but I will be the last to get a car, there is some irony in there somewhere.

Next year will be my year. Then again, I've been saying that for years.

- Andrew G

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