A couple days ago, my car reached the end of its road.  Nothing dramatic happened; it just decided that it was done. 

 So far, I miss it. 

I’m not a super sentimental person, nor am I particularly materialistic (lol, I hope), so the missing was a bit of a surprise. See, this car was a far cry from a flawless car. The automatic locks didn’t work; it wasn’t great in snow, it was too small to transport my bike, and putting people in the backseat was kind of a pain because it only had two doors. One time the key broke in half in the ignition, and I’m pretty sure it spent a couple months last year inhabited by a demon (ask me about this, I dare you). 

But for all its flaws, it had one perfect positive-it was mine. It was the car that transformed me from “person with a license” to “person who can confidently conquer multi-hour road trips”.  I crisscrossed North Carolina a countless number of times in that car, spending an even bigger countless number of hours performing car concerts and having important life discussions with my friends.  

Yesterday I realized it’s not the car itself that I miss; but the life that happened in it. That car witnessed every emotion on the spectrum, many times over. I laughed in it; I cried in it, I laughed while I cried in it. My most prevalent college memory is gathering up all the friends who love me enough to climb into the backseat and going for drives on the Blue Ridge Parkway. One time two of my pseudo-brothers hid in the backseat for hours just to hear me scream in terror when I got in. Sophomore year of college, the parking lot I used was a long downhill slope named Greenwood. I don’t know which one of my friends started the Greenwood Game, but it was my car that it worked best on. We would inch into the parking lot as slow as our cars would let us, and then let gravity do its thing (y’all, I would get up to 47 mph) before slamming to a roller-coaster stop at the end. 

The last road trip I had in my car was the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I left the North Carolina mountains at about 4:30 AM, needing to be somewhere in Charleston at 11.  I have crystal-clear memories of many of my trips, like the time I nearly froze driving from the mountains to the coast because I had a snowball in my possession that I needed to throw at my unsuspecting sister. But this last trip, I can’t remember who I talked to, what songs I listened to, or what dancing I did. It’s a blur in my brain, just like those last few delight-filled seconds before everything screeched to a halt in the Greenwood parking lot. 

I’m driving my sister’s car right now (thank you, Abbey Rogers), but eventually I’ll get a replacement. It’ll be nicer than my car was, with less dents and more conveniences. Hopefully there will be room to transport my bike, and hopefully all ghosts stay far away from it. And though I will be grateful for those things, hopefully I never forget the things I loved about the first car, the car that took me so far.