Everybody experiences loss at some time in their lives. Whether it’s the loss of a friend or relative, it’s always hard. As I’ve already demonstrated on this blog before, people can form strong attachments to their cars. Whether it’s a car that’s been in the family for generations or simply a reliable work companion, suddenly losing that special vehicle can be jarring. Today, I’m writing an obituary for such a vehicle that was taken out of its owner’s life far too soon. The car in question, a 2011 Ford Fiesta, was the very first car of its owner, Jennifer.
At the young age of 15, Jennifer was learning how to drive, so her parents decided that she should have her own car to practice with. The family went to the local Ford dealership together and started browsing. In the middle of the showroom, something caught Jennifer’s eye. A Ford Fiesta 5-door hatchback stood out among the other cars on display with its Yellow Blaze Metallic paint job. The car was a perfectly regular daily driver in a color that Jennifer absolutely loved. She asked if she could test drive this particular car and the salesperson agreed. That was all it took. Jennifer’s parents bought the car for her after the test drive.
When Jennifer returned home, she found a message from her then friend and current fiancé telling her that whatever she did, she shouldn’t buy a novelty car. She responded, joking that it was too late. She said her new car was Pikachu-themed, and the name stuck. Like the car’s shocking namesake, the Fiesta was small, quick, and evocative of youthful peppiness and joy. Soon it became so that if you knew Jennifer, then you definitely knew Pikachu as well. She loved taking trips or even just driving around town with her friends. Whenever Jennifer prepared to leave the house, her mother always asked if Pikachu had enough gas in the tank. Jennifer loved this simple little car and the freedom it afforded her from such a young age. As with some great friendships, though, theirs was ended suddenly by an unhappy series of events.
While on a trip, Jennifer was driving Pikachu down the highway in a rural area. A few of Jennifer’s friends were along for the ride on the way back to Texas from a convention in Missouri. In the middle of the road, a coyote came into view. Jennifer’s friend, who won’t be named for reasons that will be obvious soon, noticed the coyote first and screamed to alert Jennifer. She swerved around the coyote, but Pikachu slammed into a guard rail in the process and spun around. Fortunately, nobody was harmed, but Jennifer was annoyed with her friend, who she thought had been overdramatic by screaming. There was major damage to the front left side of the car that had impacted the guardrail. The trip was over. Jennifer called a tow truck and got a ride to the nearest auto repair center.
For a week, Jennifer held out hope that the damage would be repairable, but her insurance eventually declared that Pikachu was totaled. She was devastated. Jennifer had only had Pikachu for three years. In hindsight, she’d wished she had just run over the coyote, but her friend screaming had startled her. Swerving around the lucky canine was mostly an involuntary response. There was no going back. Today, Jennifer is mostly over the loss of Pikachu, although she doesn’t talk to the friend who screamed anymore. She still has her memories of the cute little hatchback, though; three wonderful years full of memories.