Goodbye Max

“I’m so sorry.” Cassie whispered and sat down on the curb. Max’s death wail was finally quieting. The whine of horn turning into a garbled whimper. She put her head in her hands, ignoring the angry traffic trying to make their way around Max. It was her fault, that’s what everyone was thinking.  The hulking tear of black plastic and metal blocking their way home, they knew it was her fault.

Someone said something. She looked up and blinked. One of the cops.

“Are you alright?” He asked. The burn across her arm stung. Max’s airbags had rubbed skin off. The cop meant really hurt though, ripped apart and spilling fluid on the asphalt hurt. Cassie flicked her eyes to Max and she felt a fresh sob rising in her chest.

“She’s fine. Shook up.” Another cop answered before Cassie could nod. Cassie glared at her instead, the effect lost because of puffy eyes. The two of them nodded and walked away to deal with the other cars. Everyone else had come through with a few scratches. Not Max. It wasn’t fair. Wrong place, wrong time and suddenly Max was just going to be black metal pulled onto a tow truck. Cassie pushed the heels of her hands into her eyes, trying to stop the crying. The second cop was coming back, Cassie could hear the woman’s boots stomping the broken glass. “You have insurance.” It wasn’t a question, the cop could see the bundle of papers crunched in Cassie’s hand. “You’ll get a new car.”

“Yah.” Cassie said and swallowed. That was the worst part. She’d been the one to come around that curve, to smash Max into the back of a stopped car. He was in pieces because of her and she was gonna get a bright shiny new car.  Cassie pushed herself to her feet and walked over to where Max’s green and grey insides were still dripping. His metal was warm, whether from the sun or the crash she didn’t know. Cassie kept her hand on Max’s torn hood. “Sorry” she whispered again.

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