The man called me stupid.
He shouted, 'how could you have been so stupid!'
I had bumped it. I had bumped our brand new electric car.
The tears flowed, hot and shameful.
A ridiculous mistake on my part. The first accident I'd had in over twenty years. A school girl error. Very, very humiliating. We were going to the garden centre, my head full of wintry shrubs and wood chip, and I forgot to look behind. I reversed out of the driveway and backed into his stationary car parked on the other side of the road. That awful, painful moment when I realised what I'd done.
'Don't worry Mummy, it was only an accident, it can be fixed,' she reassured from the back seat.
What was Younger Dad going to say? Don't scratch the car he'd reminded over and over. Now there were lacerations on the back bumper the depth of a tiger's claw. My lovely, super-duper new car. My space ship. My sonic blue Nissan Leaf. The other car came off worse, a dent the size of an elephant's foot; he was beside himself, 'what were you thinking? Just what were you thinking?'
Oh how I had lusted after a Fiat 500, such a feminine bubble of a car, with its delicious and diverse palette; pearl white, coffee, mint, powder blue... a writer's car; but Younger Dad had insisted I test drive an electric vehicle, and of course he was right; how could I resist the on/off button, the way the car glided on air, the silence as I drove up a hill. This was the speedy milk float of the future. A zero emission rocket.
I was barely in the honeymoon phase, only a week in, when the accident happened; still purging the floor mats of fluff and leaf, wiping away any unsightly mark on the dash board with a tongue-soaked index, driving it to the postbox, around the block for a pint of milk, intoxicated by the smell of brand new upholstery. The man bitterly complained he was going on holiday the next day. I feared a morning among perennials was over...
When was the last time you bumped your car?