I was in love the moment she moved next door. I admired its curves across the fence; its chrome trim, its white-wall tyres.

She saw me desiring it. ‘All original inside,’ she said. ‘I’m going down the coast tomorrow. ‘D’you want to join me?’

The trim inside was star-specked vinyl. The bench seat was three wide. She stretched her arm across it as she backed out of the drive.

The suspension slopped like warm treacle. The gearbox popped out of second and crunched into third. The old motor spluttered like an emphysemic grandfather. As we threaded through the last of the suburbs she tuned the radio to a country station, a cowgirl song I half knew. At the chorus she came in, her sweet twang filling the cabin.

Pulling into her driveway at the end of the day I was still in love. But not with her car. No, not with her car.

(this is an edited version of the story Two tone and chrome, published on this day, 2010. See about small stories about love)

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