The Half Car

Theo from Sanders Car and Tire Repair could see and hear Bria coming from half a mile away.


After her fender bender with a pickup truck that stopped abruptly in front of her, Bria decided to drive the car over to the repair shop herself rather than call a tow truck to bring it there. She had always taken her Accord to Theo for routine maintenance and repairs, but hers was significantly more than routine. It did help that the two had been dating for the past few years.

With smoke billowing from her hood and broken tailpipe, she only had a mile and a half to drive. A tow truck would have set her back a couple hundred on top of the repairs that the shop would be charging.

Unfortunately, the smoke pollution weren’t the only things going against Bria. She had a tailpipe dragging, as well as various metal, wires, and lights dangling from her bumper. The back of her car was untouched so she did have that in her favor.

When she phoned Theo, he said he’d be able to make room for the Accord. It took her four times as long to go the distance as she drove with her foot to the floor chugging along at 10 miles an hour. Along the way, she attracted the looks, smiles, smirks, scoffs, and chuckles from onlookers. She laughed along with them because anything else would cause her to cry. There was absolutely nothing she could do about her present situation.

The Accord came to a sputtering stop in front of one of the repair bays.

Bria got out of the car and Theo approached her.

“Looks like you’ve been through the ringer, young lady. How ya feeling? Need to go to a doctor or anything?”

Bria said nothing but shook her head.

Theo grabbed a couple of the guys and they pushed the Accord into the garage. Bria went inside to wait.

An hour later, as Bria was mindlessly thumbing through a two-year-old Vanity Fair in the waiting room, Theo came out to her. She started to get up.

“Eh, stay seated,” he said as he flipped through two pages on his clipboard.

He was now down on her level.

“Bria, based on the year and condition of the beast over there, the insurance will probably total the car. By my estimations, though, they will give you $2000 to replace it. And just so happens, Bria, I’ve got a nice little foreign car over here that I’ve been tinkering with for a couple of years. Not the newest car but solid and will get you where you need to go. I can part with it for about that amount.”

“Yeah, it’s a lot to think about, Theo. But if you say it’s in good shape. I trust you since I’ve known you for what, seven years now?”

“Eight to be exact,” Theo said. “Eight wonderful years. Thing is, Bria, and I should tell you this up front, it does come with only one condition.”

Bria threw her head back and said, “Ugh. One more thing to weigh me down today. What is it, Theo?”

“Well, I’m not very good at this sort of thing, but…” he said as he reached into his front pocket and pulled out a small jewelry box. He waited for her to return her head to a level position because of the silence, opened the box, and said, “Will you marry me, Bria?”

With her mouth opened wide and her eyes blinking uncontrollably, she broke into tears and said, “Yes. Yes. A hundred times yes.”

Theo slipped the engagement ring onto Bria’s finger and she flung herself into his arms, and they crashed to the floor since he was already crouching. They rose and hugged more, the grease from Theo’s uniform transferring to Bria’s clothing.

That didn’t matter because this was the day Bria had been dreaming about since she was a little girl. She just never expected it to happen in a garage repair shop.

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