It was the twenty-fifth of December, and she had begun to question what she wanted from life yet again. She had always considered herself to be an individual driven by an immense level of motivation. Coming from a family that used to survive off the bare essentials, she understood the level of work that went into creating the reality of her dreams. Perhaps this was why she decided to work for a bank – an institution she believed was the home of focused professionals much like herself. She had never been in a relationship before; she had never seen a need to be in a relationship at all. Thinking back to the abusive experiences her mother endured, she promised herself to never be in a relationship with anyone. It seemed that her twenty-seven years of life experience had hardened her from believing in what she used to call the cliché called love.
Her car was her pride and joy. It was a symbol of her belief in the outcomes of hard work. She bought it after having seen an advertisement of it on her television set describing it as being a practical sports car. She had never heard the terms practical and sports car being mentioned alongside each other – she had always thought of it as being an oxymoron. Perhaps this was the reason why the Alfa-Romeo GT piqued her curiosity. Living alone, she never had to concern herself with practicality – unlike her younger sister who had two children and spent her days driving them to school and back. She had all the time in the world to do whatever she wanted, and she decided that she would christen her morning by driving to the café.
As befitting of a public place during the festive season, the café was packed to capacity. She did everything within her power to settle into the crowded environment, but the days and nights that she was used to spending alone in her apartment made it difficult for her to adapt herself to what the café had become on this day. The only consolation that she had was the fact that she had decided to remain seated next to the massive window pane of the storefront – her face being obscured by the large sign that read CUP OF COFFEE CAFÉ, painted on the glass. This gave her the maximum exposure to the light entering the store, while protecting her face from the stares of everyone on the sidewalk. This was a combination that she had managed to stumble upon almost coincidentally, and it gave her the strange feeling of invincibility that she had been craving all morning – a feeling that was unrivaled by the cappuccino that was placed at her solitary table.
The barrage of thoughts passing through her brain had made it so difficult for her to finish drinking her cappuccino that by the time she had had her last sip, the clock was ticking over into the afternoon. It was at this moment that she looked up from her empty cup and stared at her car – a car which was coincidentally parked five steps from the café entrance. Perhaps her staring at her car was motivated by the fact that the Alfa-Romeo GT was once voted the World’s Most Beautiful Automobile, much like the Alfa-Romeo GTV – a car that won the award in 1995. Perhaps she needed to find a way to make herself feel comfortable in this crowd. Perhaps she needed to stare at her car to confront the realization that she chose this particular café because it was where she had her lunch during her workdays – a realization that made her understand the negative extent to which her career had begun to affect her life.
The sun was about to set, and she had done nothing with her day besides sit in a café, questioning her life. As she stood from her table, she imbued a sense of poise that disguised the troubled thoughts running through her mind, and she stepped into her car and drove towards the sun – almost as if she was afraid that it would leave her behind. She had no idea why she was doing this. All she knew is that there were unresolved issues that her mind was trying to process, and she needed to do something to facilitate her thoughts until she could reach a conclusion that she was content with. As she reached the first set of traffic lights from the café, she realized that chasing the sun may be a futile exercise. Perhaps what she needed to do was to settle herself into a gentle cruise, and leave her V6 engine to do the rest.
It was dark, and she was now on a road with city lights behind her. She heard that ringtone selected specifically to remind her that her sister was calling. She tried to reach for the phone positioned on the passenger seat of her Alfa-Romeo, only to realize that she was entering an intersection that was occupied by a vehicle that should not have been there. It was too late for her to stop in time to avoid this car, and she smashed into its rear fender, leading it into a spin that was brought to an abrupt halt by a tree. Leaving her damaged car in the middle of the road, she then concentrated her efforts on making her way to the car that she just collided with. However, there was something that was eerily familiar about this car. As she approached the smashed fender, she noticed a little cloverleaf dangling above its bumper. She began to think back to the year that was, and she remembered her co-worker from the bank. She began to wonder if this could be him, and as I was jolted to consciousness by the siren that is my alarm clock, I knew that it was now time to go to school.