It’s hot in the car. I roll the windows down and hope for a breeze to stir the air. The trees beside the field spread a generous expanse of shade that doesn’t touch me where I sit within the suffocating embrace of a black metal box heated by a relentless sun. I shouldn’t complain, perhaps. Preferable to roll a window down and yet melt than to huddle in coat and gloves against an equally inescapable cold. It seems only yesterday that the field was layered with snow, the drifts from the plows blocking out entire swaths of parking spots and a slushy ice-salt mix coating the asphalt where the most frequent traffic had passed.
How many hours had I spent in that parking lot, in that car?
It takes a certain power to make someone wait for you. It’s a symbol of status, having someone wait on you, wait for you, wait upon you. Whatever else it is, it’s a clear indicator of his power over me that I have spent—will spend—so long doing nothing else but waiting.
Sitting in that car, waiting in the place and after the fashion he allowed me, I don’t always have anything with which to occupy myself. It’s not that I’ve nothing I need to get done, nothing I want to do—no, not that. Instead, I am a constant aching ball of nerves as I agonize over all the many demands upon my time which are on hold as I sit and sit; wait and wait. Chores at home, errands to run, tasks set both by basic daily living needs and by even his demands upon me all await me. The stress of feeling my responsibilities adding up even as I’m kept from fulfilling them is compounded by the frustration of having so much else I’d simply like to do which is barred me, though I’ve nothing else on which I’m spending my time (save waiting, hours on end, just waiting).
Antsy in my inactivity, I suddenly thrust the car door open and step almost gingerly out into the comparable coolness of the still, open air. Feeling as though I’m tempting fate even in this small defiance, I walk around the car in careful circles—stretching my legs, pretending at exercise, feeling ridiculous, anxiously watching with every turn towards the building from which he will be exiting when it’s time for him to return to me. My mind skitters across the glossy surface of a fear I refuse to name. He can’t see me from the windows of his classroom, can he? Surely not. Even if he can, how could even he care about me just taking a turn about the car? It’s not like I’m going anywhere, speaking with anyone, doing anything objectionable…Surely not even he would object. Besides, surely he can’t see.
I make certain I’m back in the car well before he’s scheduled to get back, just to be safe.