It was date night again. Lester caressed cracked leather and counted hash marks on the dash—one for every romantic evening that had culminated in sweet satisfaction. It was a moonless night, and this stretch of road, though close to campus, was far enough from the influence of artificial light to still allow for stealth. He cruised over the blacktop sans headlights. Black on black on black.
She wanted it. He knew she did. Lester wanted it, too.
“Soon, my love.” he said.
She wasn’t shiny or new. She didn’t have electronic windows or automatic steering. Minerva was a dinosaur, a relic from another time, and she was the love of Lester’s life. Her heavy steel body never dented or buckled when it collided with unsuspecting flesh, and dried blood blended seamlessly with her rusty freckles.
A hundred yards ahead, paired caution lights strobed on either side of the road. Lester traced the silhouette of a backpacked youth as it stepped into the flashing crosswalk.
Riding Minerva like a sorcerer atop a rogue comet, Lester plowed into the wide-eyed, open-mouthed co-ed, howling like a jackal as her body—limbs tangled and bent at unnatural angles—bounced off Minerva’s hurtling frame and was crushed beneath two sets of metal-studded snow tires.
Lester stopped the car. But only for a moment. He didn’t dare linger. As life ebbed from the mangled heap visible in the rear view mirror, Lester carved another crooked scar into the dashboard.
The engine shuddered and Lester whispered, “I know, Minerva. I love you, too.”