The thrilling conclusion!
Zena took her place and sat down. It wasn’t so bad, she had to admit. The leather seats were comfortable enough, at least. Nothing jabbing or poking here. And there were a lot of dials. For all she knew, Zena might have been at the wheel of a nuclear reactor.
“Here’s the key,” Chelsea chirped. “You just put it in the ignition and turn.”
Trembling, she did. The machine growled to life.
“Oh, Danny!” Renee moaned. Danny, as Zena had recently learned, was Renee’s current fling, a strapping stud too young for anything long-term but a lot of fun for the time being. The knowledge failed to put Zena’s mind at ease.
Chelsea sensed in Renee’s ecstasy an opportunity to get back into the transaction. “Now this vehicle comes with heated seats standard, and…”
“Heated seats!” Renee shrieked, still at least half in Danny’s clutch.
Zena, for her part, mostly tuned them both out. It had been years since she’d driven, and it required her full attention.
“…so you can feel that you’re doing something good for the earth,” she half-heard Chelsea drone as she put the car into reverse. That is reverse, right? She double checked, and it was. Check her progress in the mirror and—total blackness? No, they just weren’t adjusted. Zena slammed on the brakes, a completely unnecessary maneuver, as the car was traveling below walking speed, but still. She needed to stop to prevent an accident, and that would do it.
“Whoa, cowboy!” Renee shouted, back from her fantasy and annoyed about it. Zena ignored her and carefully adjusted the rear-view and side mirrors, before inching the car backwards once again.
“…accelerate from zero to sixty in…”
But Zena didn’t want to accelerate. She didn’t want to waste time in traffic jams, or parallel park, or negotiate with mechanics about brake lines, or be honked at for not running a yellow light, or run the yellow light out of fear of being honked at and run over a little kid.
“…just $43,995 to buy, or you can lease…”
Forty-four grand? Zena definitely had things she would rather use that money on. But Renee was insistent, and probably right. Maybe she would lease, and she wouldn’t technically be buying a car, at least. Of course, she would have to buy insurance. So, yeah, she was buying a car.
“…and you can see the power for yourself…”
Car dealers are insured, right? They must be. With that much inventory, they’d be insane not to be.
Zena was still in the lot, rolling down the aisle of cars on either side without yet having the courage to actually depress the gas pedal. She did now, and spun the steering wheel to the left as she did so.
The airbags—driver and passenger side, and side curtains—worked, even though Chelsea hadn’t bothered to highlight that fact in her pitch. They didn’t need to, really; even with her late burst of speed, Zena wasn’t driving fast enough to injure anyone.
“Maybe driving isn’t the way you want to get noticed,” Renee muttered.
“No,” Zena admitted, concealing her glee.
She agreed to pay $3,000 to cover the dealer’s deductible and not buy a car ever.
It was the best deal she ever made.