Every other time, he had come back.
But that day he didn’t.
We’d arrived as usual, and he’d parked me in a shabby little brick-built garage.
I didn’t know why we were there. It wasn’t my business to ask.
I just did what I needed to do, and waited patiently for him to come back.
He’d always come back. Till that day.
As he carefully checked my windows, then locked my doors, he chatted his usual to me.
‘Be a good girl,’ he said.
‘Don’t go anywhere,’ he said.
‘Don’t do anything I wouldn’t,’ he said, chuckling as he padlocked the garage behind me.
As was usual, my engine cooled and I stilled into fumy silence. I didn’t much like being shut away in these claustrophobic garages, full of my own emissions. But it’s part of the life of being a vehicle. We’re used and left, used and left. But not normally like this.
The year was 1997.
The place was Frankfurt, Germany.
And my owner, driver and friend, was Torsten, a 56 year old man who had loved and cared for me. We’d spent the previous ten years together.
But Torsten didn’t come back. I was alone for 20 years, in the dark.
In those years I’ve changed a lot. What used to be my gleaming paintwork is no longer that way. I’m dulled, rusting and crusted.
I wasn’t even searched for, but was found by accident.
As the garage door opened for the first time in forever, I awakened with a tremor of excitement. Was it Torsten? Finally I’d be back on the road again.
Torsten was informed that I wasn’t stolen after all. Torsten was 76 years old when he got that call. He was alive and well, and had forgotten all about me.
But I hadn’t forgotten about him.
My heart ached. But it didn’t take long for my rescuers to break it properly.
After checking me out, I was told it was scrap heap time. My engine, already broken, camouflaged the slivers of my broken heart, and I went to the scrap heap willingly. I was more than ready.
This story was inspired by an article I saw in a children’s magazine about a man being reunited with his car 20 years after he reported it as stolen. It was found in the lockup garage where he left it.