Short Fiction: Ode to a Car Theft Boyfriend

Short Fiction: Ode to a Car Theft Boyfriend

Karen Trujillo-Castaneda

Thursday, after school, my phone exploded with a text.

“I found a bus,” Bruce wrote.

“Come outside.”

Clutching my phone, I stepped to the driveway and waited.

Within one minute, a long yellow school bus zoomed down the street. My ninth grade boyfriend, all five-foot-four of him, was behind the wheel.

As he zoomed past my house, waving from the driver’s seat, I followed the spectacle, gobsmacked.  The doors were open, and I could see him honk the horn twice, smile, and wave.  Then he turned the corner and disappeared.

I sighed. I was deflated.

My boyfriend stole a school bus.

I didn’t call the police.

I just texted him:  “Put it back.”

He did.  And no one found out.

This wasn’t unusual in this young relationship.

“Come outside,” Bruce texted again.

I obeyed, like a mutt taking order from its master.

I stepped outside to see a blue car parked at the end of my driveway. His 14-year-old uncle behind the wheel looked away to give us privacy as I approached the passenger window.

Bruce, his eyes red and low in a straight face that soon turned into a grin once he saw how serious I was.

He found my wrath fascinating, as if he saw grace in my anger, and I suppose that’s why he kept doing stealing vehicles.

I didn’t say, “Hey.”

“Who’s car is this? Where’d you take it from?, Why do you have it?” My questions were machine gun fire.

“Whatcha talkin’ about gurrrrrl? This is my homeboy’s car. Don’t believe me? Ask ‘em!”

He pointed to his “ Responsible Uncle,” the one in middle school whose eyes were as low as his reputation.

Beneath his bowl cut, he murmured, “Yah.”

“What homeboy?” I shrieked. “You have no homeboys. Tell me whose car this is!”

I stepped back and examined the sky blue ride.  With a little work, this antique could be a showpiece.

“Put it back,” I said, again.

Bruce also stole a bicycle. I figured it was supposed to be a Christmas gift. It was blue, tan, and white, and the seat looked like one of those really expensive $25 seats.

The bike magically appeared, propped up against the mailbox.  I was inside talking to Bruce for about 15 minutes before we were interrupted by my mother’s screams.

My little brother was riding that blue bike he “found” near the mailbox.

“Look at the bike I found!” He was thrilled.

“Wow.  So now, all of a sudden, it rains bikes? Why did you steal that bike?? That’s not yours I’ve never bought you that!”  My mother was horrified.

I just looked at Bruce, smiling on my sofa.  My raised eyebrows asked the question.

“What, gurrrrrl? I got tired of walking,” Bruce said.

Bruce and his transportation theft.

Karen let me in. I wanna be your friend

I want to guard your dreams and visions…

Bruce wound up leaving me on the last day of school with a simple, “It’s over.”

I rode the bus home alone.

I still reminisce. I reminisce back to the time when I had my fun ride with my crazy rider. I start to remember how happy Bruce would make me.

I also remember those stomach pains I got before seeing him, and they weren’t butterflies. I was so anxious and excited to see him I wanted to vomit.

I remember holding his hand and inspecting his knuckles, checking to see if he had any more scabs and bruises overlapping his scars from the previous punches. They were his punches to break free.

I remember all these feelings he sparked in me, all these rushes, all these feelings which soon lead to love and away from love. It was fast and furious, and I was along for the short ride.