Goodbye, Frank

Contributor: Amanda Cuevas Arrubarena

- -
A week ago, Sylvia called to tell me Frank Heisenberg passed away.
“I knew you were friends,” she said, “so I thought you should know.”
I didn’t tell her that I already knew, that I waved goodbye to him that very morning. Instead, I asked, “How did it happen?”
“Heart attack. The police say he didn’t even feel it,” Sylvia said. “Surprisingly, nothing happened to the car.”
“Yeah, nothing ever happens to that car,” I said, walking toward the bedroom window.
I pushed the plastic blinds away and peeked outside, where that old Cadillac waited in front of Frank’s house. That’s where I saw him this morning, standing as proud as always beside his car. He waved goodbye before getting in the Cadillac, but the engines never roared and the car remained empty inside.
“He left it to you, you know?” Sylvia said.
I really wish he hadn’t.
The Cadillac still sat there, gathering dust and orange leaves that fell from the drying trees. The Prussian blue paint no longer shimmered under the sun.
Frank had been preparing for a long awaited trip since I moved to this neighborhood. He packed and unpacked many bags, and always kept his car in top shape.
“You know, Anne,” he would say, “one day I’ll go back to Moonshine Peak. Me an’ good ol’ Daisy here.” He would pat his Cadillac as he said this.
He took too long to get ready and passed away before he attempted the five-hour trip. Even so, he refused to depart from this world. He visited almost every morning and smiled up at me when I opened my blinds, always next to good ol’ Daisy who got left behind.
I saw him again today.
My window frosted in direct sunlight and goose bumps covered my arms. He didn’t move or attempt to speak - just smiled. Then, a difference: the smallest tilt of his head toward the old Cadillac. He decided it was time to leave again.
I could only nod in reply.
I stumbled down my driveway in my sunflower dress clutching Frank’s keys. The Cadillac sparked back to life with a sweet beep the moment I unlocked it and the frigid leather made me shiver when I sat on the driver’s seat. The woody accents of Frank’s cologne still permeated the dusty car, tickling my nose with their familiarity.
Turning the ignition, I revered in the soft purr of the engine and caressed the wheel. It wasn’t long before I shifted gears, speeding down the street.
“Daisy is as gentle as ever,” I said, throwing a quick look at the rear view mirror. Frank’s blue eyes met my gaze. They wrinkled as he laughed soundlessly.
He never spoke through the whole five-hour drive, but I didn’t expect him to. We arrived at Moonshine Peak when the sun was setting and were pleased to discover it was empty. This was where Frank proposed to his late wife almost 60 years ago and now he was finally back. We admired the waves crashing violently against the risk and witnessed the sun drowning in the ocean. Then, I got to work. I drove the Cadillac to the very edge of the Peak and stepped back to send a proud glance at my old friend and neighbor.
“See? This way Daisy won’t get left behind again. She’ll follow you wherever you go,” I said.
Frank smiled in agreement before he looked up at the waking stars. He could finally move on.
“Goodbye, Frank.”
I never got to hear the sound of the Cadillac crashing against the sea. The roaring of the waves deafened me as they created Daisy’s grave. I smiled at the sky one last time before I turned away from the ocean and trekked down to the closest bus station.

- - -
Amanda Cuevas Arrubarena studies in the Creative Writing For Entertainment BFA program at Full Sail University. She aims to become a Story Editor and currently accepts proofreading and editing requests in her free time. To contact Amanda Cuevas Arrubarena, please email
Read more »
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Help keep Linguistic Erosion alive! Visit our sponsors! :)- - -