Adam liked cars. He liked working on them, driving them, watching them; he just liked cars. This worked out okay for Shelby though, because hers was always breaking down. Most of their time together was spent working on her car, or making out in his. Their dates usually consisted of auto parts stores or car shows. But Adam was happy, and because he was happy, Shelby was happy too.
Sometimes Adam drove fast down their remote forest roads out of town. This scared Shelby a little bit, but Adam told her she didn’t love him if she didn’t trust him. She just didn’t always feel safe, but she wanted Adam to be happy.
Before Adam, Shelby used to spend afternoons at the lake with her best friend Meagan. They would jump off the rope swing and swim for hours. When the days began to get a little cooler, Shelby would sketch by the shoreline. Meagan always loved Shelby’s art, and constantly begged her to hang it up or submit it to art shows. But Shelby was too afraid, and didn’t see her drawings the way everyone else did, she didn’t see them as good enough. She was sketching the first day she heard the roar of Adam’s engine for the first time.
“That’s some nice work there,” he said to her, pointing at her sketchbook. “Do you draw much?”
“I draw when I can. It relaxes me. I like your car” Shelby nervously responded.
“I’m Adam. Can I take you for a ride?”
Shelby looked to Meagan, who nodded, excited that her friend was talking to a cute boy. She knew Shelby would call and tell her everything when she got home later that night.
That was the first day Adam took Shelby on a drive. It was the first day he kissed her.
Shelby didn’t draw much anymore. She didn’t have time, because she’s always with Adam. She had a few sketches of his BMW, and a few of him, but he’d rather have her holding his tools than a pencil. It seemed that Shelby had lost herself, that Adam had taken everything. He took her art, her joy, and her virginity. But she loved him, and she knew he loved her too, even if he didn’t say it much.
One night, Shelby was too tired to go out.
“Can we just stay in and watch a movie? Please?” Shelby begged.
“No, I’m too restless. Lets just do the mountain loop once! We can stop at the top and look out over the city.” Adam demanded.
But Shelby just didn’t feel right about going out this night. She told Adam she was staying home and he had to make the choice about whether he wanted to stay with her or not.
Shelby heard the door slam, knowing that she wouldn’t be seeing Adam for a few days. She hated when he got in his huffs, but he always came out of them.
The next morning Shelby got a phone call. They found Adam’s car. He had been driving too fast, and he missed a corner. He went off the cliff. Shelby’s heart stopped.
At Adam’s funeral, there wasn’t much Shelby could say.
“Adam liked cars. He liked fixing them and driving too fast. Adam liked cars, but I loved Adam.”
Later that day, Shelby hung her first gallery piece; it was Adam, standing in front of his BMW with a beer in his hand and a smile on his face. This was how she wanted to remember him.
Shelby’s heart stopped the day Adam died, but that was the day she began to live again.