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That white 1999 Dodge Ram was loud as it drove by, a case of a leaky exhaust. I could hear it accelerate as Nate’s foot pressed harder on the gas. Taylor Swift’s lyrics to “Dear John” quickly came to mind. That truck was us. Nate purchased that truck in April of 2010: ’99 that had a bench seat in the back and another in the front. The console could be pushed up, which it often was so I could occupy the middle. Six people could fit in that truck including Nate, the driver: the only driver. No one else ever occupied the driver’s seat.
The interior was fuzzy, like polyester; the steering wheel smooth like leather. A ram was in the middle of it representing the Dodge Ram that the truck was. Tinted windows allowed no one to see inside; a feature that Nate and I were most thankful for when we snuck away to be alone. Those tinted windows were constantly down, allowing cold wind to blow into my face making my cheeks red. Heat would stream out of the vents as Nate and I cruised around town always going too much over the speed limit. Nate would throw the truck sideways around corners, causing me to scream in excitement. He’d turn to me smiling when he heard my outrageous laugh fill the cab.
In the 240 days that we spent together, at least 170 of those days were spent in that truck. Sometimes we’d be running around doing errands: Nate driving while I ran my hand up and down his skinny thigh. Other days Nate would lay me down on the bench seat, slide on top of me, and kiss me sweetly. Then there were the days that we’d park by Mountain Base Lake holding each other close, watching the sunset. There was always those days too when Nate would climb into the back with me while we tickled, cuddled, loved, and kissed.
Of course though, not all of the days spent in that truck were enjoyable. There were the days when Nate would get mad at me for kissing him, he’d push me over into the passenger seat, slam down the console so that I couldn’t move back next to him. I cried in the passenger seat some days until he finally pulled over, put up the console, pull me close and comfort me. I was scared sometimes: for my mother with cancer, for Nate, for his dying grandmother for myself. Then there was the day that I found out about his other girl: the girl that he had been cheating on me with for two months. That day he pushed me to the passenger seat and after telling me, didn’t talk to me the rest of the way to my house.
Those were the days that pushed us further apart; the ones that broke my heart because I didn’t know what I would do without him. That truck holds memories of the songs we would blast when things were good between us: the songs by Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, and my favorite, The Zac Brown Band. The band that sang our song.
The song that I remember the most that blasted through the speakers was a song that I never expected to hear; a song I never expected to know. The moment I heard those lyrics, I knew that there was a message in them for me and Nate to hear. I’m the only one who got it though: “If I was any kind of man/ I’d let that women go/ move it on down the road/and I wouldn’t look back/put the medal to the metal in this Pontiac/if I had any kind of strength/she wouldn’t have to be strong/thinks she needs me/she just needs me gone/only one of us don’t know/if I was any kind of man/ I’d let that women go.” I remember sitting next to Nate, staring at him while the song played. When he caught me staring he asked “what’s wrong, babe?” I said nothing in reply, thinking I was over reacting. Later realizing that that day in that truck, I wasn’t.
I remember seeing that beat up truck on the day of our six month “anniversary”. It randomly pulled up in my driveway in the late afternoon. Nate flew open the rusted door and ran up the stairs onto my deck. He flew his arms around me and forced his lips down on mine.
“Happy six months, baby,” he whispered, “I love you”.
I recall him dragging me down to the truck, pulling me into the middle seat and driving to a spot where we could be together. That night he took me to “our spot”: up on the top of the hill, where you could see Manchester miles away; all of the lights bright on the buildings. I loved our spot. Nate’s Dodge hasn’t been seen up there since we broke up.
August 31, 2010 was the last day that I can say that truck was somewhat mine. I walked into the center of Goffstown to get something from Sully’s super market when I heard the rumble of Nate’s truck as it came down Mast Road. I saw Nate’s head turn to look at me and quickly look away. I was confused- why didn’t he wave?
My phone buzzed on my bed later that night. I didn’t need to look; I knew what name would be displayed on the screen. He wanted to talk, but I needed to tell him that I was done. That white ’99 Dodge Ram pickup went by my house four times that night: the engine screaming as Nate stepped on the gas, trying to get me to answer his phone calls. He continued to drive by for the next week or so. Finally, he stopped driving by. I cried every time I saw that truck. Even a Dodge truck would remind me of him.
That truck symbolized who we once were; what we once had. Even today, over a year later, whenever I see a Dodge pickup truck, I’m reminded of Nate and the love we shared. I feel a tug on my heart when I see his truck, feel my heart stop when I hear it. Nate’s truck will always remind me of who we were, what we had, and it will always make me fall in love with Nate all over again even if the amount of love subsides a bit every time I see it.