Let me start from the beginning… I was a 1999 Minivan, brand new and the proudest minivan in the lot. Your parents bought me for only $2000 when they found out they were having you, their first little girl. I had never seen a couple so happy and so proud on their first car purchase together. They bought me seat covers, took me out for lunch, and gave me a nice warm bath when we got home. My backseat went from full of boxes for their new home, to dog toys for their first pup, to your carseat and toys scattered about the floor. I drove you to your first soccer game, your first day of school, your first date. I watched you get taller everyday, and when the time came, helped you learn to drive. You were a bit shaky at first, nervous and inexperienced. Your parents were hesitant to let you go out by yourself, and oh they tested you so many ways. They made you take me all 5 hours to your grandmother’s house while they critiqued the whole way, and made you drive through New York City so you could “experience the stress of real traffic”. Yes there was yelling, confusion, and fear, but there were also car jam sessions, life lessons, and so many laughs. Through these experiences, you grew into a cautious, smart driver. Today was no different. You had to take me an hour to get to your cousin’s wedding. You were so excited to see her on her big day! As the excitement filled the air you put on your favorite songs to sing to before pulling out of the drive. You followed your usual routine, you checked both my mirrors twice. You made sure I had enough gas to get you there. You put me in reverse and started backing up when your mother ran out the door to give you the heels you somehow left at the door. She kissed you on the cheek and said “I love you. Drive safe”, but you were in a hurry, so only the sarcastic “I will Mom” slipped out of your lips before you left. I wish you had said more. It was nearing the end of the drive and you looked in my mirror, realizing your makeup was not good enough for this extremely special day. You HAD to look perfect and you were already running late. You only needed a few touch-ups so you thought you could do it now, while driving. I got nervous when you unbuckled. I tried to tell you to put your seatbelt back on with my obnoxious yet necessary dinging, but you were too focused. You turned around for one second to grab your makeup bag and that’s when we caught the edge of the road. It pulled us hard to right, out of control, and right into a telephone pole. Now I’m lying here, looking for you. As my metal frame creaks and groans, I spot you lying far away, out of reach. The makeup you sacrificed yourself for is smudged and messed up. I know I started your journey with you, but I never thought I’d see your ending. I can’t help but feel guilty, like this is my fault. If only I had the technology of the new cars you had been begging for. If only I had the voice to stop you, tell you to keep your eyes on the road. If only I could remind you your life was more important than getting there on time, or looking perfect. If only…
A car’s journey with a teen girl is retold on the day of her fatal accident.