“Eric!” a shout came ringing out, and I started shuffling towards my boss, on the other side of the isle of the auto repair shop I worked at. As I got closer, I saw he wasn’t going to give me a raise, he looked more furious than I had ever seen him.
“Yes, sir, what is it?” I replied, pondering why he was this angry.
“You remember a customer that came in with the black Ford pickup truck?” he paused a moment, expecting me to answer. After a second he continued, “State Farm just called, representing that same customer, whose brakes you were supposed to fix, by the way, expecting money because his brakes gave out at an intersection!”
Ouch. This was big. I did fix a guy’s black pickup trucks brakes a while ago, or so I thought. I would definitely be fired for this one, and it would be near impossible to find another job. My head started to pound, and I felt like the world was collapsing in.
“You’re fired, Eric.”
I walked out of the open garage door of the shop and started to think. Without a job, I had no income, and without income, I had no house, no food, no anything. I had no way out. I kept walking, thinking until I came across something; another auto shop, this one called Pro Parts. I casually strolled in, looking around. I quickly realized that this shop was nothing like my old one. It was filled with body parts, under lights, rims, and things like that. This place didn’t repair cars, it customized them. I looked for the owner, and after a second I noticed someone in a back room, working on a car. I hit the service bell, and he rolled out from under the car and headed towards me.
“What do you wish to buy today?” he inquired, looking for something in my hands.
“Are you hiring right now?” I asked, hoping to get another job fast as I could.
“No, I’m not. Sorry about that, but I don’t need help. Do you want to buy anything?”
“Not right now,” I stated, disappointment heavy in my voice.
Trying to make me happier, the guy said, “Did you hear about the race at Resco yet?”
“No,” I said. “What’s Resco?”
“It’s a raceway. I’m surprised you never heard of it. They’re having a tourney soon, in two days. The entry fee is fifty dollars, but the winner gets fifty grand and a new car, too.”
I drifted into a daydream. I could do a lot with fifty grand, all right. However, I had no car. I lived in Chicago, right next to my job, and had no need for one.
“Bye, then,” I said, strolling out the door, and once again onto the sidewalk, happier than when I came in.
I needed to win that race, and I had a plan. I had good credit, so I would just loan money for a car, about thirty thousand, and when I won, I could just give thirty thousand back, and have twenty to spend as I please.
Five hours and a cramped hand later, after filling out tons of paperwork, I had thirty thousand in my account now, to spend as I please.
The next day, my goal still clear in my mind, I walked to the first dealership, this one for used cars. I looked around, and after making five rounds around the entire parking lot full of cars, I walked inside, where they kept their “showy” cars. And that is where I saw it, the car I was going to get. A used 2005 Mustang
GT from Ford. A nearby dealer must have seen my look of awe, because he strolled over and asked, “Would you like to buy that, sir? Twenty five thousand dollars, plus a small fee.”
I had a quick wave of doubt, how this was laying all my cards down, taking a risk that could send my life to the fast track, or destroy everything. However, this quickly passed, and then, I took the jump.
“I’ll take it, right now if I can,” I mumbled, sounding like an awestruck child on Christmas.
“Yes, I’ll get it right away!” The dealer was overjoyed that he made a sale, and he probably earned commission, so I could see why.
I watched them bring it to the garage, where I hopped in, and my heart was racing, beating faster than I could ever remember. The car smelled of leather, and the overall feeling was phenomenal. I would have gone home and celebrated, but I had an idea for that last five thousand.
Five minutes later, after having the best drive of my life, I was in front of the same place I had been before, called Race, Rims, and More. As I was walking up to it, I saw the same guy I had talked with before. I walked inside.
“You’re back again, huh?” the owner seemed happy to see me. “I’m still not hiring, if that’s what you’re wondering. By the way, call me Norman.”
I wasn’t really listening. I was obsessed with the things around me now, now that I had a car. I had five grand in my pocket, and I was going to spend it right, at least in my view.
“What would you think I would need to enter the race, I mean, if I want to win.” I said, completely off topic, but important.
“Oh, you’re entering, are you? What are you using in the race?” Norman was scanning the parking lot, trying to find my car.
“That green Mustang, that’s mine. I just bought it yesterday.” I boastfully told him