Michael Conard | Myfanwy Kinder
Frank loved that classic Cadillac more than anything in the world. It was his baby, his prized possession. Now sitting alone in that Cadillac, all the memories came flooding back to Ivy.
The night she’d first met Frank had been very much like this one. They had known each other from campus, having several friends in common. As much as some of those friends urged her to go out with Frank, Ivy knew he had a bit of a reputation as a ladies man.
But that night she had found herself caught in the rain, and Frank and his Cadillac came to her rescue. Pulling up alongside of her that night, Ivy remembered how even in a downpour, that Cadillac shined. Its sleek black body gleamed like wet onyx. It was clear that Frank took very good care of that car. The love he had for it was obvious.
“Hey, get in!” he had said, as the rain pelted down like darts from the sky.
“No…I’m fine. I’m almost home and I’m already soaked. I don’t want to ruin your car,” she had said.
“Ivy just get in already,” he had said with that wickedly, natural charm that only he had.
That was the first time Ivy had ever been in Frank’s car. She remembered how warm it was as the mixed scents of leather and musk had teased her dripping nose. It was the purr of the engine, however, that she recalled most clearly. It was like the sound of a thousand sleeping lions ready to awaken and roar at any moment. That night wouldn’t be the last time Ivy heard the purr of that engine or felt enveloped in the scents of leather and musk. Against her better judgement Ivy let Frank and his car drive recklessly into both her life and her heart.
Over the next couple of years, they created many memories in Frank’s Cadillac. It was where they had shared their first kiss. It was where they had their first big fight. It was even where she had told him she loved him.
They had shared many emotions in that car, from loving laughter to tears of joy and pain. It had been in that car that Ivy told Frank she’d gotten pregnant. It was also where she told him she’d lost the baby. Yes, that Cadillac had played a big part in the life and love of Ivy and Frank.
As she rested her back against the plush drivers seat, those old familiar scents began prickling her senses again. She missed breathing in these smells, and the memories that were attached to them. She missed him. It was strange to be alone in his car now. She had never been alone in it before. Her hands clutched the steering wheel as her heart sank, and tears began to spill down her face. She really did miss him even after all the pain she had gone through losing him, but she knew there was no turning back.
Being back inside that car she remembered how much Frank had loved it. Now it was the only real, tangible thing she could cling to, to remember their life together. And now she had to let go of all those memories. Even though the car brought back so many good memories, they just couldn’t outweigh the bad.
Frank was gone from her life now, yet her heart was still broken. Ivy needed to end her heartbreak once and for all. The closure she desperately sought, she could find in the car. He couldn’t love her enough to remain faithful, after all the love she’d given him, so now she’d take away the one thing he had always been able to give his love to.
Ivy opened the driver’s side door and carefully slipped out. Her hand firmly clutched the red canister, as she finished sloshing it around against the seats and dashboard. The smell of gasoline burned in her nostrils. She slipped the tiny matchbook out of her shorts pocket and struck the match. The tiny flame burned in her hand, as she felt the tiny bit of warmth it projected. Her love had burned for Frank, but now his love would burn instead.
Ivy tossed the lit match into the car and slammed the door. She stood there as the flames started to grow. As the leather seats began to bubble and burn, Ivy turned and walked towards the street. Her heels pounded against the pavement with confidence. Once sufficiently far away, Ivy turned back to see the raging fire inside the Cadillac. It wouldn’t be long now.
“You should have loved me more than all those women!” she said as she blew a kiss into the night air. “And you should have loved me more than that damn car!”
Ivy wondered how much Frank would still be in love with his car, when he finally saw it that night. Those thoughts brought a smile to Ivy’s face, a wickedly devilish smile, as she walked off down the street and into the night.