I was on my way to his house when I started feeling a consistent thump on the rear right side of my car. I pulled over next to the cemetery and got out – flat tire.
I had never fixed a flat tire so I sat on the curb for a minute and called my boyfriend to come help. He lived right down the road. Immediately after the phone call I felt a rush of competition and convinced myself I could change the tire, maybe even before he would arrive. Talk about how to impress a man, right?
I pulled out the tools and spare from my embarrassingly trashed trunk and started a timer on my phone. I have always been uncomfortably obsessed with efficiency and timing.
Lifting the car with the jack was the easy part. I had to stand and jump on the tire iron to loosen the bolts. Right as I was about to loosen the last bolt a lowrider with spiked rims and bass blasting slowed down to a stop. Here we fucking go, I thought.
He rolled down the window with weed smoke pouring out. Who hot boxes anymore?
“Say baby, you need a hand?”
I didn’t even look up and kept working on the tire.
“Na, I think I got it. Thanks though.”
He reached his neck out of the car, “Damn, I like your ambitiousness girl, can I get your number?”
I stood up annoyed and waved the tire iron at him, “Yea, you can grab it from my man when he gets here. Keep it moving. And it’s ‘I like your ambition’, not ambitiousness, by the way.”
He slid back in his seat, “Damn bitch, I was just trying to tell you your beautiful. You a english teacher and shit?”
Sweating profusely, I pulled off the tire and slammed it on the ground, “Damn bitch I was just trying to change my tire. Who the fuck hot boxes cars these days anyway? Your stoned ass probably couldn’t help even if you wanted to. Now, move the fuck on!”
He murmured some shit and turned up his music and sped off.
It took me exactly 8 minutes and 32 seconds to change out the tire. I was sitting on the curb smiling when he pulled up. He ripped off his helmet annoyed and took a walk around the car.
“It took me exactly 8 minutes and 32 seconds to change my first flat tire! Not bad eh? After I called—”
“Why did you even call me for help?”
He was unamused and definitely unimpressed. I stopped smiling.
“Well, I have never done it before and I wanted to test myself and see if I could do it without you before you got here.”
He grabbed his helmet, “Well, most people try to figure things out before they call and ask for help.” He put on his helmet and got back on his motorcycle.
My accomplishment turned confusion quickly shifted into a familiar rage. My eyes began to water and I flipped open my pocketknife.
I walked past my car and towards him on his bike and stabbed my knife into his tire.
I jumped in my car and screamed, “Say baby, you need a hand?” and sped off.