When I first thought about the phrase “heavy metal” naturally the first thing that came to mind was very literally heavy metal music and I thought, boo, how obvious, so I dove into my mind, searching for something that could be twisted into fiction and suit the phrase, “heavy metal.”
Almost instantly, something came to me. I almost did a happy dance. I probably would have if I hadn’t had such a horrid day at work. But letting the idea brew got me through the day and I’m excited to share it with you all.
When I was eighteen, I met a guy who was really into cars. Well, not cars really, just one car; the Trans Am. His dream was to recreate the Knight Rider car, KITT.
One night, after coming home from the beach, my friend Stacy and I decided that it was too early to go home, so we drove by Mike’s house to see if he was home.
We found him under the hood of the Trans Am, coveralls pulled down, hanging low on his hips as he slid out from under the car.
“Mikey!” I shouted out the window as he sauntered down the driveway, a cheesy smile on his face.
“Jules, what’s up, chica?”
“Nothing much,” I said hopping out of the car. “We were down at the beach, about to head home now. How’s it going?” I pointed toward the hulking, hollowed out shell of the Trans Am.
Mike shrugged, running the back of his hand across his forehead. “She still won’t start.”
“Show me?” I asked leading the way toward the car. Mike followed, wiping his hands on a rag hanging out of his back pocket.
We stood side by side, so close we were almost touching, the sparks between us lighting up the summer night like a miniature fourth of July fireworks display.
“Not much to show,” Mike said as he angled the light over the engine. “I think the fuel pump is bad, but really, I have no idea.”
I nodded, liking the way his hand brushed against mine as he spoke. Truth was, we loved each other, always had, probably always would but we were both too stubborn to say so, so we pretended that we were content being just friends.
When he finally got the Trans Am working a few months later, we took it for a drive where it broke down five miles from his house.
Mike got out of the car and popped the hood of the Trans Am, peering down at the silent engine. I sidled up next to him, looking down. “what’s wrong?” I asked.
Mike shrugged. “Again, I have no idea. I’m amazed I ever got it started. Guess we better start walking.”
I gazed down the unlit five-mile long stretch of road and sighed. Mike pocketed the keys and reached for my hand, his fingers entwining with mine. We walked in silence for a mile or so when I finally slid my hand out of his, shoving it into the pocket of my shorts.
“What’s wrong?” Mike asked reaching for my hand again.
“Nothing,” I said kicking a rock with the toe of my flip flop.
Mike reached for my hand again. “Are you mad because the car broke down?”
Shaking my head no, I kept walking.
“What’s wrong then?”
I glanced at him briefly, then turned my eyes back to the road.
“Look, I’m sorry. I didn’t know the car would break down. It’s a stupid hunk of metal that just quit working.”
“Mike,” I said softly. “It’s not that. We’re friends. Why go ruining that over something like this, something that might not even work in the long run.”
Mike and I walked silently back toward his house. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. You’re too good for my heavy metal heart anyway.”