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Graduation

Jack pulled into his mother’s driveway slowly, turning the wheel with the heel of his hand. As he goes to pull the keys out of the ignition, he stops.

Jack liked to tell people he was just a ‘Pontiac kinda guy’. Kayla was a beaten down, 1997 Grand Prix that had seen her fair share of damage. “With the brand so few, i’ll keep it around, even though she’s pretty rusty, not to mention broken.” Jack would say as nonchalantly as possible.

But deep down, he loved every nuance of Kayla. Her right door smashed in; the result of a careless drive home after a few too many. Her soft, worn cotton seats contorted to the shape of his body on the driver’s side. The ashtray was absolutely filled to the brim, leaving smudges all across the center console.  Memories full of road trips with old friends, the beginning and end point of drunken stupors, the safehouse from Bill; his home away from home.

He folded his arms across his chest, the warm black thermal drawing closer against his skin. The January cold began swarming in underneath his clothes. It had been a rough year, and just now, finally, things had been coming together. Jobs, college, a new home.

And of course, a new car.

The decision had been difficult, but the more and more he looked at it, the car symbolized a thing of the past; his old friends & old girls, forgotten fears and forgiven mistakes. He was beginning a new chapter in his life, and just like the Pontiac once had, this new car would symbolize his growth and accomplishment as a man.

he stood idle in the driveway; head chock full of thought, lungs tight with smoke. Jack picked at the old steering wheel cover with his free hand, the cheap plastic peeling off smoothly in accordance to the tug of his fingers. He took the final puff of his cigarette, right down to the filter. There was something about the heat dancing too close around his lips that made his last drag most pleasant.