When the engine burst into flames, I calmly turned the wheel and let my car slowly come to a stop by the side of the road. I got out of the car and watched the fire rage beneath the hood, long flames shooting up into to the arid desert sky, pouring black soot from their tips. I didn’t have a fire extinguisher. I didn’t know what to do.
The road stretched off to the horizon in either direction, a thin grey line disappearing into infinities.
I took my things from the backseat and stood a safe distance from the Chevy. I waited for the engine to explode, like in the movies, but it didn’t. The flames finally just died down, like in real life, and the two of us, me and the old Chevy, sat by the long line of gray pavement in silence.
What a shitbox, I thought.
I did this on purpose, you know, the car echoed back. This what you get for treating me the way you always have. For thinking you could take me on this hare-brained cross-country scheme you had planned to see that slut of yours without so much as giving me an oil change. So there. You deserve this.
You know what? Maybe you’re right, I thought.
The engine was smouldering. I grabbed the rest of my things from the back. No bars on my phone and maybe an hour of battery. A bottle of water. My suitcase. Miles and miles of desert.
What had I been thinking?
You brought this on yourself, the Chevy said with malice. You brought this on ourselves.
I know, I thought. I know.
I left the car by the side of the highway and began to walk.
In the trunk, her body was lifeless. I wondered if soon mine would be too.