I won a gift card for a car dealership. Yes, those exist.
I’d been driving my Hyundai for years, and by now it was too familiar. You know what I mean? You can sometimes try to remember the thrill of sliding into the door for the first time, smelling the new smell, feeling the seat mold to your body, the heat of the sun glistening on the leather. The rush of peeling off into the street, how you stiffen your wrist to grip the shift and move it down, up, right, up, down, again. The thrill building. The motor moaning.
But it becomes familiar. You know the quirks, you know the heat of the leather, which starts to age, to crack, forming wrinkles like branches. The paint fades, the shine dulls, and the moan sounds more like a hoarse howl. She’s a loyal girl, but she’s aged faster than I’d hoped.
I got the gift card through a work-sponsored golf tournament. Hole in one, baby. And the dealership? Jaguar. No shit. Got me a brand new F-type convertible, blazing red, fuckin’ sex on wheels. And I was 19 again, blinded by flashing steel, thanking the Lord for my luck.
That drive. That virginal spin. A throaty, husky, phlegmless moan. Jesus, you don’t even know.
And yet… something was wrong. It’s not that I missed my Hyundai. It was old, crumbling, a shadow of a belle of the ball. What was wrong was this. This perfect thing riding beneath my legs. This perfect smell, perfect shine, perfect purr, perfect speed. Perfect. New. Brand new. But only once. Then the cracks. The dull. The shadow. A slow process, but inevitable. The second drive couldn’t be as amazing as the first. And the third as the second.
So I might as well perfect this first time.
On the highway, the speedometer climbing. How high? How high could I take her? Oh yes. This ride would last forever. I could hear the sirens. I could hear the horns blaring as I swept past chrome blur after chrome blur. Higher and higher. Fuel gauge sinking. Only so much energy for a night with this much passion.
Higher and higher. Lower and lower. Almost empty. Sirens getting distant. The first time was nearly over.
But after a sharp left on a cliffside straightaway, I wouldn’t have to settle for an imperfect second.
Today’s three prompt categories were, “Gift card,” “Lust,” and, “A brand new car!”
If I had to name the protagonist, it would be Louise. I think you can guess the name of the car.