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#LEMONKIA – One Customer’s Journey (Part IV)

PART IV: BETRAYAL

Even with the best car ever, the worst can happen, no fault of its own.

Well, here was my first worst choice: going on an 11PM McDonald’s run. Sometimes you just need chicken nuggets with that sweet and sour sauce for a childhood throwback. Don’t judge me . Second worst choice: elation over said splendid nuggets surmounting reason and catalyzed negligence – as I bounced into my apartment with my fast food and forgot to bring my purse inside.

Fast forward nine hours.

What a lovely, albeit bloated, morning in Washington! I remember my purse is on my seat, but I live in a mostly crime-free neighborhood so I wasn’t worried. Yet as I walk outside, admiring the cherry blossoms, wondering if twenty chicken nuggets is FOR just one human woman or is supposed to be shared by maybe three people, and a lump jumps into my throat as I step upon the cobblestone covered with shards of glass. I look up – my passenger seat covered with glass, my window bashed in – completely shattered – and the whole door was damaged with the adjacent brick clearly used to bash it in. Purse gone. KIA devastated.

I then trudge through the arduous process of replacing everything, although the joke was on the thieves, and police report was a gas, because my only credit card had $4.91 in credit left on it, I had no cash, and they stole a consignment shop purse I got for three bucks. Karma.

But oh my, oh no, MY POOR BROKEN OPTIMA! I knew it would need extensive repair. The policeman told me not to drive it, but I’m not going to abandon my sweet Kia at its weakest moment! I attempt to sweep off glass and drive it, I mean glass flew into my eye as I hit the breeze over the Key Bridge and forgot that I couldn’t roll up a shattered window, but that’s true love, isn’t it? I savored our final moments together before we sadly parted ways. I’ll never let go, Jack. I’ll never let go.

And like many of us, I am a person who treats my car as my extended home. I do not like to part with it, ever. Everything I need is right there – gym clothes, a few pairs of shoes, a few pairs of glasses in the glove box, a stash of Jolly Ranchers in the center console. So I brought my car to the service department and ended up with a loaner car for a month. I winced and had a tantrum within while reluctantly handing over my key fob (after squeezing it tightly and whispering to it ‘be good for your grandmother’) and dragged my feet like a toddler forced to go shopping for clothes as I walked into the parking lot meet my likely distant second choice. Like if I were the Car Bachelorette, they were about to stick me with some vehicle that would not get a rose. I took a deep breath and walked past the lineup of possible cars, like walking into a restaurant to meet a blind date saying “Brad?” to every cute guy you pass, and being ushered to the really rude and sweaty guy yelling at the waitress and saying defeatedly, oh great, you’re Brad.

Written By Meg April

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