My little white car
Day Twenty: The Things We Treasure
Today’s Prompt: Tell us the story of your most-prized possession.
It’s the final day of the challenge already?! Let’s make sure we end it with a bang — or, in our case, with some furious collective tapping on our keyboards. For this final assignment, lead us through the history of an object that bears a special meaning to you.
A family heirloom, a flea market find, a childhood memento — all are fair game. What matters is that, through your writing, you breathe life into that object, moving your readers enough to understand its value.
Today’s twist: We extolled the virtues of brevity back on day five, but now, let’s jump to the other side of the spectrum and turn tolongform writing. Let’s celebrate the drawn-out, slowly cooked, wide-shot narrative.
No one can understand the special love I share for her – this gorgeous forty year old beauty that has pride of place in my garage. Looking at her you’ll wonder why I love her so; what is so attractive about this piece of rusting junk. But, she wasn’t always this way. In fact, even though there were hundreds of little cars like her speeding down the city roads, my little car was different, she was distinct and everyone recognised her from a mile away. My heart would soar when I heard people say ” We saw your little 282 the other day. I think we were going to Snowman’s for an icecream when we saw you zip past.” Was it her white paint that distinguished her from the normal cars? Or was it her special horn that frightened everyone into thinking she was a fierce truck making its way down the road?
I can’t really say. But that car had character and that car could move. Of course in the city she wasn’t allowed to go her full speed but I’ll never forget the way Lena clung to me as we sped down the highway. She was too scared to open her mouth but as the needle slowly moved to 120, I could feel her nails press harder into my arm. Ah ! Those were the days when cars were few and the roads were narrow little tracks.
I had never expected to get a car especially since my father always told me I’d have to earn it. I was lucky. I went to pay my respects to my grandfather early in the morning and as I bent down to touch his feet he blessed me and asked, ” So boy, what did you get for this special day?”
“Nothing,” I replied, trying to keep the disappointment out of my voice. After all, I was a grown man now – 18 and well past the age of getting birthday presents
“Nothing?” thundered the old man.”That’s a shame. How can you start this momentous year without a momentous present? Here”, he said putting his hand into his pocket and fished out a set of car keys.
“But grandpa, those are your car keys! Are you sure you want me to have it?”
“Of course! I’m not stupid. I know what I’m doing. I want you to have my car. Now go and take her for a spin.”
My grandfather came from a time when licenses didn’t matter. ” But,” I stammered, ” I don’t even have a licence.”
“You didn’t have one two years ago did you?” he reminded me,” when you and your cousin used to bully the drivers into letting you drive on Marine Drive?”
Drat, I thought, those drivers were stupid squealers. I never realised that they would rat on us, but I suppose they had a job to do.
“And don’t worry about the licence,” he told me ” Sathe is getting your learner’s licence this morning.”
“But what about you? ”
“Do you want the car or no, you idiot!”
I quickly thanked him and ran down before he changed his mind and took back the keys. He was eccentric enough to do that.
My heart beat fast when I saw her – I couldn’t really believe she was mine. From the minute I put my foot on the clutch, I could feel the gear move in satisfaction and when I released the pedal, she moved like soft velvet, smoothly and without a hitch. She seemed to understand my very touch and was happy to be mine.
For forty years that car has been part of my life – accompanying me to college, to picnics and parties. She’s taken me to my first job interview and seen many dates go through my life. She brought home my wife after our wedding and drove the children from the hospital. She was a tough old bird who has seen me through thick and through thin. She had her share of break downs and flat tyres but always chose the right time to do it – just near a petrol pump or garage close by or even in the compound so that we could push her back in.
Today she is no longer road worthy – with a steering that is not powered and gears that are not on the floor. Her windows are not powered nor can she be auto locked but she is a relic from the past. A relic from my past and even now when I press the clutch and shift the gear on the stick, she purrs with delight as we hit the road.