Matchbox Brings Smiles This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The tiny cars made us happy for hours at a time, or could start screaming fights and punching wars. We would stand staring at the case that hung on the wall in awe, with the hundreds of little automobiles, all different shapes, sizes, colors. We would get up on our tippy toes and stretch our hands up high reaching for the cars of our choice and we would pull them down, running the small wheels across the palms of our hands to make sure that the car we chose was a fast one.

Andy and I would line the cars up in neat rows underneath his dresser and bed, pretending they were parking garages. For hours we would lie on our bellies on the old green rug that covered Andy's floor, pushing one of our previously selected cars in circles, over imaginary highways, and crashing them into each other with loud sound effects. We would put clothing, books, and other objects on the floor to make obstacles for the cars to get over or around. Neither of us gave up until our bellies were red and sore from sliding around.

Andy's room was the area designated for the cars because he had a green rug, but the planes and boats got transported to my room under Andy's instruction because I had a blue rug, which was to represent water. This way the boats could float which would be more realistic.

Certain cars were adopted by either Andy or me even though, by definition, they were all Andy's. My favorite was a miniature red car with a light blue and white zero on the side. There was a silver motor that was 3-D and stuck out from the hood. When you pushed the car, the little man inside (who wore a brown flight hat and glasses) would bob up and down. My brother's favorite car was an orange dragster. It had two big wheels in the back and two tiny ones in the front. It had a windshield, and a little seat, but no person. It went very fast, and always beat my race car.

For years we would play the game together. Matchbox cars. It was our joy, nothing was better, or more fun. Andy would lean into my doorway with a smile on his face, Matchbox cars in hand and say "Wanna play?" Within minutes we had selected our cars, and the game would be underway.

As we grew older, matchbox cars became less important and the game slowly came to an end. Andy wouldn't come asking if I wanted to play too often, and soon we both forgot. At times I thought about asking him, but we were older and it didn't seem appropriate anymore.

Now the cars sit in the case collecting dust, waiting for small, eager hands to reach up and pull them down again. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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