I laid eyes on her nine years ago in the dead of the night. The following morning pulling at the seatbelt for the first time ever, I sat in the passenger seat a proud bride beside her newly wedded husband. We drove to ShopRite on what was our first every grocery shopping of our married lives. I watched eyes agog as the greenery sped past me.
Amongst the first set of pictures of our apartment was a picture of our pride. A deep shade of green set off by the slanting rays of the sun. Countless memories were made over the next few years. First road trip. First job. First home. Our trusty Civic was always there ferrying us back and forth. Taking us places and never once complaining. Even as we debated and finally took the plunge and got a second car, the Civic was always dear. A first-born of sorts.
I remember the first time my FIL got in sitting in the passenger seat inspecting the dash and looking with pride on his first-born seated in the driver’s seat. My heart melted. Some moments and memories are forever. Every Saturday morning, dad and son would set out for their weekly expedition buying fresh produce and groceries. FIL looked forward to these one on one outings with his son as did K. I would wave till the car disappeared from view knowing I had a few hours all to myself.
“I can’t believe it’s not new!’ K would exclaim every once in a while, affection for his first car peeking out of his eyes, escaping through the smile that stretched from ear to ear. He would pat her affectionately fingers lingering over the license plate. Each morning as we parked and walked to work, he would stop, touch his car with a reverence reserved for the Gods and touch his eyes. A ritual that some times amused me but most times touched me with its depth.
With each passing year, she took the place of a family elder. The thought occasionally crossed my mind. Perhaps it was time. Time to bring home a different car. Hush! K would go. Not a word! She will last a good 100K miles more he would pronounce. She would have too if not for Kay and Cee and their entry into our lives. So, today we bid adieu to our almost first-born. I could see tears well up in K’s eyes. I felt sad, forlorn too. There was so much left unsaid. Unexpressed. The transition seemed too sudden, the time too short.
I wish we had gone for one last ride. I wish.. Eyes downcast, the mood mellow, everything seemed tinged with sadness this evening. The end of an era. Almost. As we move into a different stage in life, the parting is bittersweet. She will always be loved and missed. Our very own cypress pearl green Civic. Our first car. K’s first love. Goodbye sweetie.