If you’re reading this, then that means I am dead. You will probably find a stack of these in my desk drawer as I have always written one before flying to make sure that each important person in my life knows how I felt about them and how much I love them and how much I hope they loved me just as much as I loved them. But this one is different. This one I’m going to tell you about my friend’s car.
One of my closest friends, Matthew Johnson, has this super cool car. It’s a blue 1968 convertible Ford Mustang. The blue is less of a blue and more of a cool tinted gray with the blue only coming out under lights, making the car gleam and glow. Its interior has leather seats held together through barely-sticky duct tape, a paint chipped stereo that barely even functions, and a shedding steering wheel, leaving little pieces of its leather all over your hands until it follows you home and stays in your bedsheets. They creep and crawl until they become one with the bed and you don’t even realize they’re there. And upon reading that, you’re probably thinking “Yeah, it's a blue 1968 convertible Ford Mustang, but it sounds like a piece of shit.” And it is. That’s the charm.
Matt found it in a junkyard two years ago with the keys and 5 gallons of gas still in it. He decided to take it. I mean, a free car is a free car. And it’s especially nice if it’s such a desired vintage car, even if it’s a piece of shit. But Matt wanted to fix it up. He would always talk about adding in an aux, painting the stereo, covering the steering wheel, sewing the seats, and things like that. Eventually, I got annoyed with him talking about it constantly so I said why don’t we just do it? So we did.
First thing we did was reworking the wiring to make the AC work and give him an aux. That probably took the longest. It took a lot of YouTube tutorials and failed attempts and running to the store and back, but we eventually did it.
We then worked on the chipping paint on the interior. This was relatively easy, as we just peeled the old paint and painted over it. He let me paint a few stars in the corner, which was nice. He then took my paint pen away and painted our initials in a heart in one of the other corners.
I think now would be a good time to mention that I have fallen for Matthew Johnson. He doesn’t even like me, that’s for sure, but it doesn’t matter. I’m in love with my best friend. You will see this if you read my other letters, but I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me that he doesn’t feel the same way. I’m fine with just being friends. Maybe. Either way, that doesn’t change the fact that he doesn’t like me. Like that, at least. It’s funny how you can feel so strongly about someone, but they’d never feel the same. It’s almost like a parasocial relationship but with a real person who’s standing right in front of you. Instead of telling you to hit like and comment down below, he tells you how he can’t be paired with you because he’d be too distracted. Instead of replying to your question on Instagram live, he walks you to your car and hugs you. Things that make you question. Things that lead you on. Things that eventually make you fall for him. And once you realize, it’s all over. It can never be the same again.
Anyways, back to the car; next we sewed up the seats. Leather is not fun to hand stitch with thin thread and poor skill levels from both those attempting to sew. It was frustrating, but it was done. Eventually. The most fun part about this step was tearing off the duct tape. Hearing it slowly rip off the patent leather seats as it exposes its insides for all to see. The real problem came when I had to put it back together. It just didn’t want to go back.
Finally, we fixed the steering wheel. This was by far the easiest because all we had to do was buy a cover. The wheel itself would be very hard to replace, so we concluded it would be best if we just did a little online shopping and covered it. Most of the time it took was just waiting for the cover to come. It was a boring black cover. Very pretty, but it had no personality. And it took forever too. Why did it take two weeks for the cover to come? I mean, it’s fine, but two weeks? Anyways, the two weeks did eventually pass and it finally arrived at my doorstep. That night, we put it on the wheel and it was official. The car was done.
“Do you wanna go for a test ride?”
That’s what he said to me right after. I said yes without any hesitation. We drove around for a little bit, then went to In-N-Out. We were out until like 1 or 2 am and we were walking distance from my house, so I said I should walk home. He said no. He said that he wanted to drive me home. The long way. And also that it was very risky for me to walk home at 2 am. So I said okay. And we got in the car.
On the long way to my house, there’s the wetlands leading up to the beach. It’s very quiet and peaceful at night with barely anyone around but racing cars trying to get to the beach. But because it was 1 or 2 am, everyone was asleep. So we put down the roof. And he turned to me and said “Now’s a good ‘teenage years’ moment. Turn on Tounge Tied”. So I did. And we screamed throughout the wetlands. And then we were at my house. And it was officially over. I will always remember him with that song in mind, that moment in mind.
I need to end it on a high. I could say that this is all chopped up to my trauma or my mental illnesses. But it’s not. I could say this is because of the bullying or the boy I like not liking me back. But it’s not. If this gets to the news, if people care, then I’ll be painted as a teenage mishap, a high school suicide stat, another one gone. So please, don’t think of me like that. My life has genuinely just been so shit and I need to end it on a high. I need to end it thinking about all the beautiful possibilities of life instead of the fear and darkness I normally wallow in. This is about me, not about you.
I love you all and I’m so sorry you had to deal with me and my stupid idioms. Please read the letters I wrote to you all individually, I really mean what I say in them. I hope I won’t throw your life off course or something and I hope you all live the best lives ever and you get everything you ever wanted. Thank you for everything.
Sincerely and forever yours,