I remember the day we gave her away.
She sat outside the gold-domed mosque, basking in the morning heat.
Rays of sunlight reflected off her peeling, burgundy hood.
Her antennae waved gloriously in the cool morning breeze,
swaying placidly with the wind.
I stood behind her when my father spoke to the Sheikh.
There was a ruffled exchange of papers
he pulled me to his side, and we stepped away from her,
but her smiling face,
cracked and dirt-stained, beckoned me.
I looked to the Sheikh
and he nodded,
then to my father
and his sad smile,
as he placed the rhinestone-bedazzled keychain into the center of my palm.
I carefully turned the rusted key into the lock for what would be the very last time,
and she opened her arms,
welcoming me into her embrace.
“One last road trip to Oklahoma,” she whispered.
“One last drive to Myrtle beach”
But it was too late.
So, I ran my fingers over her faded fabric seats,
the fissures between the stitches, sprinkled with bits of cheetos and cracker dust,
her loose volume dials that no longer spun,
her thin passenger seat belt that had lost its pull,
her backseat compartment, frozen shut,
due to years of cramming it with gum wrappers,
her rearview window, where I’d drawn countless images in the condensation.
My fingers traced the very last one: a single-toothed bunny.
Her stinging scent of spearmint gum filled my sinuses, and I blinked back tears.
I left her embrace,
and stepped away,
dropping the keys into a waiting hand.
She beckoned me again,
but I bit back a sob, shook my head,
and said goodbye.