As graduation continues to rapidly approach, seniors are starting to get all up in their feelings, right? They want to make those last significant memories, enjoy the final months of college life, and take all the opportunities they can. They’re already starting to get nostalgic for a past that hasn’t even ended yet, and honestly? So am I, just not for the same reasons.
“Once you graduate college, it’s gonna have to go.” That’s what my dad has been telling me since freshman year. It’s the sentence that constantly hangs over my head no matter how much I try to ignore it.
“No,” I always say, “Reilly is going to live forever.”
I have had Reilly since I was sixteen years old. My dad’s a mechanic and he buys cars to fix and sell. One day, about a month or two after I got my license, my dad bought Reilly. I immediately fell in love with him as soon as he came down my driveway.
My dad fixed Reilly and was just about ready to sell him when my dad decided to give Reilly to me. He sold the car I had been driving instead.
Of course, Reilly didn’t have his name at that point. I named him Reilly a few months later after my favorite hockey player, Reilly Smith. At the time, he was playing for the Bruins, but he got traded a while ago and is currently playing with the Golden Knights.
Anyway, my dad gave me the car and I have driven it ever since. It’s the car I drove to my first official job. It’s the car I drove to buy my first (and last) lottery ticket when I turned eighteen. The car that moved me into college every single year. The car that has been with me for almost every significant event in my young adult life. It’s apart of me.
It’s the car I had long talks in with people I’m no longer friends with. It carried me away from my house when my parents got into loud fights. It drove me around when I didn’t even have a destination in mind. He’s the one that has always gotten me safely from one destination to another. It’s the car that drove me home at two in the morning after a long day of work in the hot summer heat. The car that drove me back to work the next day. He’s the hours upon hours my dad and I have bonded together working under the hood.
Sure, it’s developed its problems over the years. The driver’s side mirror’s controls are reversed from when my dad put a new one in and wired it back together wrong. The left button makes the mirror turn right and the down button makes it go up. The compartment on the center console is broken so it bobs up and down every time I go over a bump, and the temperature gage sometimes reads way past where it should. But all these quirks just make me love Reilly even more.
I can’t imagine replacing him with another car, but I know as graduation gets closer, I have less and less time before my dad forces me to get rid of him. I know my dad is just looking out for my safety, and that he has done all he can to prolong Reilly’s life for as long as possible, but I’m just not ready to let him go. So many things in my life are about to be different, why do I have to give Reilly up too? I know it may seem silly to get so worked up over a car, but to me, he’s so much more than that; he’s a representation of me and the amazing life I’ve had so far.