Three years ago, on February 14, 2020, my life changed. It was a Friday that year, and I was coming home from school. I had been searching for a car ever since I had gotten my license the previous year, but to no avail. As soon as I walked in the door, my mom said, “Kate, I think I found the car.”
An hour later, we drove down to Phil Long Kia where a shiny, glossy white 2016 Kia Soul sat in the parking lot waiting for a test drive. I had test driven a multitude of other cars before this point, even other Kia Souls. But something about this car was different.
This car was clean and well maintained inside and out; its previous owner had treated it well. The two-tone seats brought light into the car while maintaining a clean appearance. The tinted windows looked slick as they contrasted with the sharp white paint. It was one of the most beautiful cars I have ever seen.
I quickly accepted the offer of a test drive and took it for a spin. The car handled well, the heating and air conditioning worked and the speakers sounded great.
At one point, I had to move past a car parked on the curb. It was a narrow pass between that car and the car next to me, but I made it through. I remember the salesperson on the test drive saying, “Wow, you know the size of this car pretty well for only driving it a short time.”
From that moment on, that car became my CBFF (Car Best Friend Forever).
When we got back to the dealership, I bought it with my own money. As soon as I drove it off the lot, some of the best years of my life began. Many of my friends had cars that they simply drove, but I was fortunate to have a car that I loved. And I have loved it ever since.
There is not a day that goes by when I don’t think about how grateful I am for Aeryn, the name that I later gave my car. If you’re finding yourself in the dating scene this Valentine’s Day, do yourself a favor and get someone who talks about you the way I talk about my car.
If you are not looking for anyone, know that Valentine’s Day isn’t just a day for romantic love. It can also be a time to tell your family and friends that you appreciate their company, to show extra love to the pets in your life and even to write a poem about how much you love your car.
“Ode to Aeryn”
She’s carried me through the snow,
carried me through the rain,
carried me through sunshine,
carried me through pain.
She is my companion and my friend,
I will love my Soul to the very end.
Graphic by Kate Marlett.