For Sale

Contributor: Katie Ashworth

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I stared out the window at the beat-up black clunker parked on my curb. Usually I could keep my emotions in check, but this time the tears spilled without much warning. Before my eyes the car transformed into the shiny, grand vehicle it had been in years long past. The street was no longer illuminated by flickering streetlights, but it was bathed in the sunlight of a summer day.
The strength of the memory overwhelmed me. I grew 20 years younger. I was no longer looking out my window at the car, but bouncing next to it excitedly. My father was taking me for a drive. There was no planned destination, but I wore my prettiest dress and had my mother tie pink ribbons around my braids. As far as I was concerned, this was a very special occasion.
My father opened the door for me, helped me up, and buckled me in. The car seemed enormous and powerful. I swung my feet in the air over the edge of the seat out of pure joy. I heard the engine crank up, and we were off. I don’t remember anywhere we went. I only remember looking at my father for almost the whole drive. The sun threw crazy shadows on his face, but it didn’t keep me from thinking he looked like a superhero. In my five-year-old eyes, he could do no wrong.
I was a princess in my finest dress, and the king was taking me out and showing me off to the kingdom. Surely our subjects adored us. Even the sun was shining his approval and appreciation over us. The clouds had another idea. I filled with anger as they began to conceal the sun. I heard a distant rumble of thunder. My anger subsided, because even a thunderstorm wouldn’t ruin this moment. I was scared, but Super Dad would certainly protect me.
The sky grew darker as the clouds continued to roll in. Huge raindrops, some of the biggest I’ve seen to this day, splattered the windshield of our mighty carriage. Lightning streaked across the sky and snapped me out of my trance. My eyes adjusted to the darkness as I stared back at the banged-up car of the present.
Tears were still falling from my eyes. I didn’t cry for my missed memories or myself. My heart broke for my father and his similarity to that old car. My super hero father, once in his shiny glory days, had been dented and dinged by life just as that car had. The roads he chose to take took a toll on him that couldn’t be salvaged, and as I glanced at the FOR SALE sign in the car’s rear window I realized that soon it would be taken away where I would never see it again, just like my father.
I stayed fixed to that spot all through the night, unable to hold back the emotions that I worked so hard to conceal. Morning would bring the buyer, but for now I was finally able to grieve.

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