For Megan

I’ve been meaning to write this for a while, but I kept putting it off.  Leaving memories in the past, where they can’t hurt us might seem like a good idea, but I know that I won’t be able to make peace with myself, and with you, until I apologise for the way that I treated you.

Remember that time you broke down?  I kept urging you on, forcing you to keep going, until you couldn’t take it any more.  And even then, when it was obvious to everyone except me that it was unfair to keep going down that road, I refused to listen.  And then I shouted at you, called you stupid.  I feel dreadful about that now.

Especially when I think about the time I’d broken up with that boyfriend (you remember the one, the complete rotter who treated you as badly as he did me, always running you down and laughing about you with his friends), and you comforted me all the from Canterbury to Cambridge – you soothed me by playing my favourite songs, making sure that I got home safely, understanding when I wanted to go straight there without stopping at the services, even though you must have been incredibly thirsty (you seemed to be by the time we pulled up onto the driveway, grumbling as I switched off the ignition).

Or the time all of my clothes got stolen, and you felt as violated as I did.  We commiserated all the way back home, you rumbling on quietly as I whinged and wailed about my red jumper, my pink cardie, my full length coat (that I later discovered was meant to be ¾ length, but my short stature resulted in it scraping along the floor), even though you were the one left with a gaping hole in your life.

The time we got into that fight with the girl in the Fiat Punto by the Matalan roundabout, and I was all ready to shout at her for hurting you, then I saw the look on her face and wanted to give her a big hug.  Remember that?  We were apart for nearly 3 weeks, and I missed you every single day.

Or forcing you to take my friends out everywhere, even when you grumbled and complained about the early starts, the heavy burdens, and the overexcess of cheer.  And the breaking of your parcel shelf.  Sorry about that.

And I wasn’t there for you, on that last, interminable journey that you made, when cancer of the bodywork started to take over.  I just couldn’t face it, and left the burden of seeing you off to my Mum.  She called me afterwards you know, to let me know that you’d gone.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I had a tear in my eye, and I regret not being there for you now – sending you off to the scrap-yard seemingly without a second glance. 

For all of these things, I’m sorry.

I’ve met someone else now.  She’s called Sally.  I think that you’d like her.  She’s blue.  We’re still getting to know each other, and although I don’t feel the way I did with you, I think that I could grow to love her.  I think of you every day, and will try to learn from my mistakes.

This is for Megan, or ‘The Cheermobile’ if you will – the best car that ever was.


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