Returning the Favor

The corvette screamed down the road wind blowing Jordan’s hair back like a flag. It had taken him five years of hard work and every spare penny had had to restore the car. He couldn’t be happier with the results. He eased off the gas, letting the speed come back down to a respectable sixty-five. Reaching forward, he turned the radio dial and tuned onto the local classic rock station. Metallica’s Enter Sandman played loudly as he pulled onto the off ramp of the highway leading to downtown. He pulled into the parking lot of a retro diner and killed the engine. 

A girl who didn’t look over twenty with electric blue hair and bright green eyes came toward him on a pair of old style roller skates. “What can I do for you today?” She asked.

Jordan smiled. “Chocolate shake, double cheeseburger and large fries. Thanks,” he said.

She smiled, wrote the information and, with a nod, skated back to the building. Jordan sat in his car, people watching as he waited for the waitress to bring his lunch. His attention was captured by another car sitting a few spots away. It looked almost as old as his corvette, but it was a mustang in need of serious repair. No one was sitting in the car, so Jordan couldn’t ask about it. 

It was about six minutes later, and the woman returned with his food. “Here you go,” she said, hooking the tray on the side of the car. 

“Thanks,” he said, handing her the money along with a good sized tip. 

“If you need anything else, just push the button on the pole,” she said.

“Will do,” he said, watching her skate away. He leaned back and nibbled at his lunch. He had just finished the burger and was about halfway through his shake when an older man walked up to the mustang. The two men exchanged a nod. 

The other man spoke first. “Nice machine,” he said, stepping a few steps closer to the corvette.

Jordan smiled. “Thanks. Looks like you have one of your own,” he said. “Are you planning on restoring that beauty?”

The man turned to look at his mustang. “Yeah, going to take me some time now. I bought it originally to restore with my son, but we lost him last summer,” he said, shifting from one foot to the other. 

“I’m sorry,” Jordan said.

“He was a good kid, just struggled with depression.” The man said.

Jordan took his fries and shake off the tray and sat them on the passenger seat, then he opened the door, making sure the tray didn’t fall off in the process. He stepped over to the other guy. “Would you be willing to allow me to help you restore that beauty? I know I look like a kid myself, but I restored the corvette myself,” he said. The two men walked over to the mustang, Jordan examining the lines of the car. 

The man grinned. “You’re what, twenty-two or twenty-three?” 

“Good guess. Turn twenty-three next month. Took me five years to do the corvette on my own.” Jordan said.

The man moved to the front of his mustang. “Why would you want to help an old man like me restore a car?” He asked.

“Several reasons. First being I lost my father to suicide the year he bought me the corvette. I restored it because it was his favorite car and I wanted something that mattered to him. And second, because doing it by yourself is a pain,” Jordan said.

The man nodded. “Name’s Michael, and if you’re willing, I would love the help,” he said, reaching into his back pocket and pulling out his wallet. He retreated a business card and extended it to Jordan.

Jordan took the card as he spoke, “I’m Jordan, and I would enjoy doing it.” 

“Call me tonight and we’ll set up a schedule.” Michael said, before turning back to the mustang. 

Jordan nodded and walked back to his corvette. He thought his father would be honored and proud of him for helping the man both restore the can and greave.

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