A Novelette by Scott Semegran
My dreams were sturdy when I was young; they became more fragile as I got older. Summer of 1986. All I thought about was the car I hoped to get for my 16th birthday the following summer. That was all I thought about when I was 15, all day, all night. I thought I had a pretty good chance of getting the car I wanted too because I lived in a pretty good neighborhood and I thought my dad made pretty good money, and the majority of my friends got good cars for their 16th birthdays. The odds looked pretty good in my favor, at least. Plus, I made good grades. It seemed like a no-brainer to me. The car I wanted was a 1980 Mazda RX7. I really, really, really wanted that car, preferably a stick shift even though I didn't know how to drive stick shift, let alone drive a car.
Every summer since I could remember, I spent a couple of weeks at my grandparents' house in Moore, Oklahoma, probably to give my parents a break. During the drive from San Antonio, Texas to Moore, I read the classifieds of the San Antonio Light newspaper, scouring the used car section, looking for Mazda RX7's for sale, particularly 1980 models or ones that were close to that year like the '78 or '79, just not an '81 cause they were different. I found a few for sale with prices ranging from $4,000 - $6,000. That seemed like a pretty good deal to me even though I had no idea really what a good deal was for a car. I was only 15. I didn't know shit.
"What are you looking for?" my mom said. She was somewhat thin with auburn, short cropped hair, kind hazel eyes, and had lightly freckled pale skin. She gripped the steering wheel of her Toyota Camry confidently and sat up straight, ready to bear the heavy burden of the long, boring drive to Oklahoma.
"The car I want for my 16th birthday," I said.
"What makes you think you'll get a car for your 16th birthday?"
"Isn't that what you get when you turn 16?"
"Sure, some kids get a car for their 16th birthday. What kind of car do you want?"
"A 1980 Mazda RX7. Stick shift. Silver."