I’ve watched him drive that car around back and forth a while, when he still was with his sister and now that he’s with us. He drove well but that car always left me feeling as if it might be moments from falling apart and that was just one of those things that offered me no comfort considering that when he drove everyone to the library, there were four of them in all and if something were to happen, I didn’t think I’d forgive myself.
Recently, I’d let it be because he still was healing, when he came home with the twins he always looked ready to collapse and it didn’t seem a right time to take him out and about to look for a new car. I wasn’t thinking brand new spanking car but a somewhat used car that looked to be in better condition would have made me feel better.
On the Friday following his first full week of time spent at the library with the others, I told them I had plans for Saturday and that I’d need Cyrille with me, so to please not wear him out too much. To my amusement, to most everyone’s amusement really, the twins blushed deeply and I snickered. Cyrille only rolled his eyes but told me he’d do his best to be in good shape. He mentioned something about how they’d gone to this one herbal medicine shop some blocks off to get an ointment to help with the soreness of his healing muscles and it was doing absolute wonders.
By mid-morning, when I had figured out that plenty of rest had been gotten—I am a morning person but I wasn’t sure about Cyrille—I was up and about, I was dressed and I was knocking on their door. Cyrille is the one who opened it, bright-eyed and smiling, looking much better than he had even just a week ago when he’d still been limping uncomfortably. He called out to the twins to tell them he’d be back eventually and we stepped to the elevator and then outside.
“Now I’m not going to twist your arm or force you to do anything, I’m saying this as someone who worries about your health and that of your passengers.” I paused as he still kept to my pace though I wasn’t walking quickly. I led us to the smaller car Lex and I shared to get around.
“Your car is old. I know it was your sister’s before it was yours and it’s likely that there’s an emotional connection but I think you realize this as much as I do that your car is in poor condition and it has seen better days.” He tilted his head as he sat in the passenger side and I slipped behind the wheel. He glanced at his car as we eased by it and I got us to the street.
“I guess you have a point, it has seen a lot of years and a lot of traveling. It wasn’t new when Magali got her hands on it and she couldn’t really take care of it much.” He sighed, a soft little sound and I knew he was trying to wrap his mind around the fact that we were going to replace it.
I drove in silence until I stopped by the first and main dealership in the city. The place had old and new, all in pretty good condition. “I’m not saying we’re going to pick a brand new car. That one is completely up to you. I’m just saying that you could keep the old car and try to fix it up if you want but a somewhat newer car might just be safer for you, Armin and the twins.”
He nodded, thoughtful and I offered him a smile. “I know what it’s like to change your car, especially when the one you’re trading in has a lot of sentimental value. At first you really don’t want to but eventually you manage to wrap your mind about how it was a good idea and how now you’re a lot less likely to stall somewhere dangerous.”
He offered another nod and we got out of the car. I didn’t lead him anywhere, I let him decide where he was going, it was his decision and I kept the sellers a few paces so he could have all the time in the world to really make up his mind without the pressure of someone trying to get him to buy.
On the way home, I followed him, curious to watch how he handled this new car more than anything else. A foreign model, four door, a beautiful sort of midnight blue. It was a good choice. It had a few years’ worth of use but it ran so much more smoothly than his old one did. Once back home and the car parked up front since his old one was in the spot he’d eventually use again, he got out and looked the car over again.
There was a bit of sadness to his eyes as he touched the cooling vehicle. He looked up to me, a sheepish smile offered and I only shrugged. “It’s never really easy, Cyrille, we get attached to a lot of things in our lives.”
He laughed, the first I’ve honestly heard him laugh since I first saw him at the hospital and it warmed me. It felt good to know he felt well enough to laugh. “Here’s an idea, I know it’s still essentially your sister’s car, how about you drive it back home and I follow you so I can get the both of us back? That way, it’ll sleep in the garage as it should and if someone at your house wants to try to fix it up, they can?”
He looked thoughtful, his gaze moved to the car in question. After a few moments he nodded and rubbed the back of his neck. “That might be for the best. Once that’s done I can call in to places I need to, to get the paperwork, the insurance and the rest.”
So I got back into my car, he got into his old one and again I followed him. Not because I didn’t know the way but because I felt better being behind him, just in case someone went terribly wrong with the car though I had a feeling it wouldn’t really have happened.
Once at his home, I parked outside and let him input the code, drive the car inside. He came back out after a few minutes. He looked a little torn but I figured it would eventually pass on its own. I offered him a smile as he settled back into the passenger side and started on the way back home. “It gets better, I promise.”
He laughed, oh he laughed until he actually held his ribs with a couple of tears at his eyes. “That just sounds so corny, I’m sorry. I feel like I’ve just buried one of my oldest friends and I know it’s not really right to feel that way. I’ve known for years I was in need of a new car, I Just really didn’t want to because I was attached to Magali’s rust bucket.”
I chuckled and shook my head, parking up into my usual space once I got us home. He got out, moved to his car and saw to parking it right next to mine. We blocked the other two vehicles from use but they weren’t used that often and we knew we could just move either one of the front-parked cars to another spot when the time came.
“I’m glad you’re healing up, Cyrille. I was honestly very worried about your well-being when I saw you at the hospital. I might not know you much but what I know is that the twins adore you and they would have been absolutely devastated if you’d no longer been a steady part of their lives. They’re not my kids but I feel like they are. I guess that makes you one of my kids too.”
He blinked at me, snickering moments later though he smiled and it was a warm, content smile. I knew we were on good terms.