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Saying Goodbye: My First Car and The Beginning of The End

Last June, I got into a car accident that involved the person behind me looking at their GPS and slamming right into my car. Eight months later, I was forced into the position of saying goodbye to the first car I ever owned. It’s been hard.

Car Keys and essentials
Photo by Rachel Nickerson on Unsplash

I Bought It Right Before Graduating College

It was the summer of 2004 and I was just about to graduate. I was living on my own with my boyfriend of 6 years, Kryptonite. The car I had at the time was a 1989 Chevy Corsica purchased for $300 from a friend. That car was just to get me from home to school, maybe a grocery run now and then. We were broke and cheap. We were happy.

My graduation came with car bills.
Photo by Jonathan Daniels on Unsplash

The Chevy was on its last leg. I remember going to a Kia dealership that day with Kryptonite, almost sadly resigned to the fact that we may have to buy a Kia because of our budget. He wasn’t a fan of Kia’s. Being that he was a car enthusiast, I trusted 200% in his judgements, so his lack of excitement was mirrored in myself.

Depressed at our lack of decent prospects, we drove home with low spirits, passing right by the strip of dealerships in our neighbourhood. Most of the dealerships were high end, which is why we didn’t even bother to stop there.

But on the way back, we happened to see a different angle of the Toyota Dealership. In the back was a shiny brand new department with a small lot of new cars which he recognized. 

It was a new cheaper brand of Toyotas called Scions, sold in models that already exist in Japan under the Toyota brand, but new to the states. He asked me if I wanted to check it out and I said sure, why not? We might as well, since it’s a cheaper price range.

In the Dealership, My Life Changed

We were approached by a person I initially thought was a mechanic, but turned out to be sales. A young guy, casually dressed in a branded polo shirt and cap, he approached us so casually and with so much ease. I left the boys to discuss with my boyfriend asking for my input now and then on things he knew I would understand and care about. 

At the time, I had a decent sized fear of driving. It gave me a lot of anxiety. My boyfriend took it for a test drive and loved it. He encouraged me to go next, but it took some convincing. I was afraid to get into a brand new car that I didn’t even own lest I crash it. I drove it 20 feet inside the lot and said yes to the car, partially because it was perfect and partially out of anxiety to get out of driving a car that wasn’t mine.

And we bought it, right then and there. My Blue Turtle.

Within minutes, my boyfriend and the salesman apparently hit it off. Along with purchasing the car, my boyfriend was offered a job that paid at least 3x more than he was currently making.

He shook my hand, but didn't quite let go.

By the time we walked out of the dealership, having finalized the deal, the salesman shook Kyrptonite’s hand, then mine. Except, he held on a split second too long prompting me to meet his eyes.

And it suddenly made so much sense why we had received such a great deal.

14 years later…

I look back on that day and the ghosts of the past swimming all over my car. 

Kryptonite is long gone, married with a family of his own.

…which leads me to a few of my own Let’s-Not-Meet dating hazards. Oh, the fun I had.

The salesman became both our enemy and our friend, for different reasons that intersect. I called him Satan; it was even his name in my contacts.
Spoiler alert: He’s dead now. It is the 2nd anniversary of his death.

Even though I had so many more years in my car without them than with, it was the beginning of the end. In between, we had a few hundred thousand miles of 4 states, 3 homes, so SO many great times, so much laughter, so many amazing memories I hope to always remember, and lessons I hope I never forget.

She Was The Only One In the End

The day I bought My Blue Turtle isn’t the day I started to unravel, but if I was to write a book about my own undoing, I would start it here because this car was the witness to it all.

It kills me more than a little inside because she was the last threads I had to a really big, influential story in my life. The idea that she’ll soon be someone else’s to dismantle with pieces put in other cars and pieces destroyed is a perfect reflection of the life she watched me lead.

Goodbye, friends.
Photo by Jan Tinneberg on Unsplash

Life is so good now. I think we ended up exactly where we all wanted to be, one way or another, including Satan. (That’s another story which is less vindictive than it sounds.)

The end of this car feels like the final punctuation to all the shit I had held on to, and stupidly, I guess I’m having a hard time completely letting go, but I’m being forced to, for my own good.

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