Mystery, you’ll have to read to the end.

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My E-Type

I’m sitting, at the edge of a pedestrian crossing, thinking, wishing.
The bench is uncomfortable, and the vandals have ripped off the names of the people who donated the seat. I remember it was grandparents who came and waited for their loved ones. But now splinters burst from the hole where the named plaque once hung proudly.
It is sunny and chilly, but a good day to be outside unless you have nothing to do.

The junior school bounced and rocked behind me, as it did in my day. The children are making a racket; okay, it is playtime, I suppose they can. We did, didn’t we? Why do I think about days gone past? Haha, I should have been thinking about yesterday. No, not yesterday, the day before. What is up with me? Two days ago, we were together. We were planning a holiday. Where were we going to go? I can’t even remember, so what? Who cares? Bella would have. She would have booked it up by now.
There is a lesson in this tale for everybody. Not that I’ll mention it, but I’ll think and wish about what could have been. I’m drifting, and sadly, the picture becomes more evident.

‘Christ, Carl, if you hadn’t bought that stupid car, we could have gone somewhere fantastic. Like Thailand or Jamaica,’ Bella said as she flicked through the holiday site on her old laptop.
‘That stupid car will earn me a fortune. It is a vintage E-Type Jag. It cost only £2,500. It is worth at least double.’
‘Sell it then, and we can have some excitement overseas.’
‘Okay, I want to enjoy it first. Come on, let’s take it for a spin?’

A black cloud burst from the exhaust pipe as I tried to start the engine. ‘Oh, that doesn’t sound too healthy.’ I said as I revved it; the cloud became a whirlwind. Opening the bonnet was not as easy as I imagined. It took a while to figure out. Did I look at the engine when I was buying it? The front of the vehicle has a hinge that opens from the windshield. How come I don’t remember that? The engine groans in black gooey oil, and that’s why I didn’t see it. Nothing I could fix anyway; I’ll leave it for the new owner. The boot was a mystery too. It opened like a door. The spare tyre was missing, ‘I’ll buy a new one, I suppose.’
The evening clouded over, dark and threatening. At last, the engine fired, but with the occasional backfire, the engine chugged. It sounded like a cranky witch. It only needs a run. It will get better.
‘Come on, Bella, a quick spin and then an early night, what do you think?’

My mates spotted us driving past the pub. Our phones rang, and our friends wanted to see the car. We stopped and showed off my excellent investment. It is hard to sit in a boozer without a drink or two. My two pints turned into half a dozen, then more. Bella never drinks alcohol, so she decided she could drive home. The beer refused to let me agree. One problem, her legs are short, so a stretch to reach the peddles. Oh, and a second hitch, she had only passed her driving test the month before. But it’s not far from home, and everything will be fine. No, you can’t drive, it will be dangerous. We are not going far; I’ll drive. So I did.
I was doing well until we reached this zebra crossing. Sure I was driving faster than the 30 mph speed limit. But it is a sports car.
Then a stupid dog jumped out. I slammed on the brakes. It was then I discovered the anchors don’t work. We skidded across the road and ploughed into the traffic lights. Our seat belts saved us from nasty injuries. We sat there panting.
‘Did you get insurance?’ she asked.
‘Sod the insurance, what about drinking and driving?’
‘What about that poor dog?’ asked Bella as she ran back.
My head was in a drunken whir; I joined her at the Doberman’s body.
‘You’ll have to tell the police you were driving, okay? Otherwise, I’ll get time inside.’
She nodded, understanding the problem. We rushed back to the wreck and strapped ourselves in tight. Then, feigning concussion, we waited for the police. It didn’t take long before they arrived, an ambulance followed, and we didn’t argue as they whisked us to the hospital. Past the flashing lights was a man, I knew him, and he was standing over the dog’s body. ‘Oh, no, not his dog?’

So here I am, sitting alone at the site of our accident. I have lost the girl I truly loved with all my heart. She would do anything for me, and now she’s gone. Memories flashed back.

‘Great, you are both clear to go, bumps and bruises. Drive carefully in the future young lady,’ said the nurse. We hid our smirks.
A policeman was waiting in reception to question us. That was no problem, except Bella had no insurance; a fine would follow. Nevertheless, she had a valid licence; most importantly, the tests proved she was sober.

We walked home, and Bella was unhappy, ‘No holiday, we can’t afford it now!’
‘And no grand profit on the sale,’ I said.
Our front door was open. A man sat inside waiting.
‘How come the police didn’t question the blood on your shoes?’ he asked.
We looked at each other. Then at our footwear, sure enough, there were traces of blood.
‘That will be my dog’s blood, as neither of you needed any stitches.’
‘So?’ I asked.
‘It makes me wonder who was driving. The police didn’t think to question you. But I am.’
We looked at each other again. Both remained silent.
The man stood, walked over to the window and admired our small garden—’Pretty plot. My dog wouldn’t like it. Far too small for her,’ he said.
Once more, Bella and I studied our faces. Finally, the man turned, smiled and fired a shot. The bullet entered Bella’s eye.
‘You killed my bitch, and now we are even.’
He jumped over the growing puddle of blood, walked past me and closed the door.

The END

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