You have seen better days. Once you had only a small crack that stretched along the bottom of your windshield, never interfering with anyone’s view of the road. Now it has expanded, curving around the passenger’s side like a snake searching for its food, stopping just shy of the center so that the driver can still see.
Once you had a smooth exterior, your silver paint unmarred, your skeleton strong and resilient. Now my sister and I have beaten you, pushing a dent into your back right side, scratching the skin from your back bumper, pounding a tree that knocked off your front bumper which is now attached with plastic zip ties, and tearing your headlight off with an unfortunate scrape with the garage door, destroying both your interior lights and the garage door in the process.
When it’s dark in the morning and I must flip on the upper light in order to see how fast I’m driving or which way to adjust the thermostat, I can’t help but smile every time. You and I, we know where we’re headed, no matter how fast.
I steal glances at the odometer from time to time, and after nine and a half years with me, and two years with the person whose dust-cover over the dash has left permanent glue marks, you are just now close to 100,000 miles. I can’t tell you how proud that makes me.
You have seen better days. But in all these years, my Hyundai, my tiny compact car that with the right effort fits three little girls, car seats and all, in the back seat, you have taken me everywhere I’ve needed to go. And you have done so with no more than $700 in repair bills, no trumping of another car’s beauty, no less than thirty miles per gallon, and never a complaint from me.
Your Faithful Driver