The interior of her car was a virtual trash bin. Empty coffee cups, crumpled receipts, and dry leaves littered the floor. Dog fur was embedded in the passenger seat. The dashboard was covered with dust, and the steering wheel felt sticky. No more procrastination. It was time to get a car wash.
The same must have been on a lot of people’s minds, because as she pulled in, she saw a long line of vehicles waiting ahead. While she sat reading the various cleaning options, she decided on the basic plus air freshener. 15.99. Plus tip – 20 bucks. As she pulled up, a young man leaned down to open her door, asking her what she wanted. He blinked his heavy black lashes over green eyes, convincing her to get a tire treatment, even though she really didn’t care about her tires whatsoever.
After paying inside, Charlotte headed to the covered exterior waiting area. It was early spring, and today happened to be one of the first times the sun had appeared in quite a while. She sat in a chair, enjoying the warm soft breeze, watching the cars being polished and detailed. Feeling a bit of a chill, she repositioned her seat in the sunlight, adjacent to a sparkling white Bentley convertible. An older man was gently tending to the interior. Mesmerized, she watched him meticulously clean each window, inside and out. She was so fixated, that she hardly noticed when a plastic chair slid up next to hers. A man’s deep voice startled her, “Nice day, huh?” Looking up, she saw a gorgeous guy about her age. He had sparkling amber eyes, and was dressed in a stylish casual way that appealed to her fashion sensibility. She crossed her legs, dangling a low heeled black pump in his direction. She was dressed in her favorite faded cropped jeans with an old leather jacket over a yellow t-shirt that read “Lover’s Only-Jamaica’. She laughed nervously. “Yes, it’s super nice out.” Cringing at her own awkwardness, she sighed. He looked around the lot, then glanced at the Bentley in front of them. Motioning casually with a hand and giving her a glance, he offered up, “Sweet Ride.” She responded with, “Yeah, it is.” Just at that moment, a large black Range Rover with tinted glass slowly drove out from the wash area to be polished. They both watched as it pulled up behind the Bentley. She smiled as she noticed his eyes tracking the shining behemoth.
Turning to face him, she smiled and said, “My name’s Charlotte.” She then ventured to ask. “So, do you work around here?” He cooly slipped on his sunglasses, and answered, “Nah, I work on my own. Name’s Travis. I’m in the music industry, producing and stuff like that. What about you?” She laughed nervously, ” Um, not so glamorous. I’m a dog groomer. Lots of celeb clients though. The dogs have all of the dirt on them! If they could only talk!” Laughter broke the ice, and the conversation flowed. After a few minutes of small talk, he asked her, “Hey, you want a coffee? I’m gonna go inside and get one.” She gladly accepted, and watched him make his way into the carwash retail area. He had a sexy swagger, and she liked the confidence he exuded. Plus, that Range Rover….She was definitely intrigued.
As he filled two styrofoam cups￼￼ with coffee from the free-for-customers plastic carafe, he peered out the smudged window towards the carwash lot. His eyes narrowed as an old grey Honda rolled out. Visible dents and those trademark mismatched hubcaps a dead giveaway. His old standby. Never let him down.
Strolling out towards Charlotte, he handed her the coffee cup, pausing to gently caress her soft, slender well-manicured fingers. She felt a tingle of excitement. He stood close to her as they watched the flurry of activity at the carwash. Just then, her eyes shifted to another car coming out onto the lot; this time a tiny white Toyota Yaris. She giggled and clapped her hands. “Yay, she’s ready!” His eyes widened with horror. “That’s your car?” “Yeah, isn’t she a cutie? Gets great mileage. Just over 120,000 miles on her!'” He visibly cringed, and after an awkward pause he said in a flat tone, “Uh, I thought you owned the Bentley.” Just at that moment, one of the workers shouted while twirling a damp dirty red rag over his head. “Honda! Grey Honda!” Travis lowered his head, as he motioned over to the beat up old car, “Well, my chariot awaits.” Charlottes eyes widened with disappointment, “You mean….that’s your car?” “Yup.” With that, he got up, spun on his cool sneakers, and headed over to give his ticket to the car wash employee. Charlotte made her way back to the plastic chair in the lot, waving sheepishly as Travis exited out into LA traffic. She stared at the Range Rover, and peered around, discreetly sizing up the remaining patrons. A man with slicked back hair and aviator shades sat reading a paper in the corner. She slowly got up and made her way to sit in the empty chair next to him. Crossing her legs, she cleared her throat.