“You didn’t lose your Jeep. You totaled it,” I reminded him.
“Semantics.” He waved it off. “So I’ve been looking for a car to replace mine, and today I found the perfect one.”
With dramatic flair, he pushed open the door to the garage and stepped inside. Sitting next to the bright red Lamborghini was a small silver car. For a moment, I was dumbfounded. His new car looked old, like from the eighties. Don’t get me wrong – it was in good shape, almost mint condition, I’d guess, but it was not at all what I’d expected. I’d thought Jack would want something as equally flashy as the Lamborghini.
“So?” He stared at me expectantly.
“It’s nice.” I forced a smile, trying to match his enthusiasm and failing.
“You don’t get it.” His face fell with surprise and disappointment. “I can’t believe it.”
“No, it’s nice,” I said again and walked closer so I could see it better. I had to be missing something since he was that excited about it.
“It’s more than nice!” Jack insisted, still looking appalled. “This is a completely rebuilt 1982 Delorean!” He gestured to it as if that would make me understand, but something about the name clicked with me.
“Oh wait. Is that the car from Back to the Future?” I asked.
“Yes!” He dashed over to his new car. “But it’s better. It’s been modified, so it has keyless entry, an iPod interface, and lots of other stuff. But look!” He pulled on the handle and doors open, lifting up instead of out. “Gull doors!”
“So are you gonna take me for a ride?” I went over and peered inside, admiring the interior that looked brand new for being nearly 30-years-old.
“Yes, definitely,” he smiled. “But first, I gotta talk to Ezra.”
“Well, for one thing, I just pulled nearly a hundred grand out of our savings.” Jack leaned into the car and flipped open the glove box. He grabbed a few papers, which I’m assuming had something to do with his transaction. “And I need to talk to him about getting this thing insured. I don’t know if I need special like collector’s insurance or something.”
“You paid almost a hundred grand for this?” I gaped at him.
“It was totally worth it.” He closed the doors to the car and walked back to the house. “And if you think that’s bad, you should hear what Ezra paid for the Lamborghini.”
“You guys are ridiculous.”
“Ezra!” Jack shouted as he went inside. By the time we made it to the dining room, Ezra was already at the end of the hall. “Good. I need to talk you. I bought a car.”
“Good,” Ezra said, and if he was surprised, he didn’t show it. “What kind?”
“A rebuilt 1982 DMC-12,” Jack said, and Ezra smiled approvingly.
“Nice,” he nodded. “What’d you pay?”
“Here.” Jack handed him the papers he’d pulled from the glove box.
Ezra sat down at the dining room table as he read through them, and Jack sat next to him. I peered over Ezra’s shoulders and saw that Jack had gotten some kind of warranty to go with it, and Ezra was apparently deciphering the terms of it.
“What are you guys doing?” Milo asked. He and Bobby came downstairs, and Milo stopped in the dining room to see what we were doing. Bobby ventured on, going into the kitchen to go through the fridge.
“Jack bought a car,” I said.
“A Delorean,” Jack smiled, and he puffed up every time he mentioned it.
“The car from Back to the Future?” Milo raised an eyebrow.
“Yeah.” Jack’s smile grew broader.
“Does it come with a flux capacitor?” Milo asked.
“No.” Jack looked at him like he was an idiot.
“So it can’t really travel time?” Milo asked.
“Well, no. Of course not,” Jack said, sounding a little deflated. “It’s a car.”
“An old car.” Milo crossed his arms over his chest.
“My cousin would’ve sold you his Gremlin for a lot less, I bet,” Bobby said, coming back into the room with a Diet Cherry Coke.
“Whatever. It’s awesome,” Jack said defensively. “You’d know if you saw it.”
“Can we see it?” Milo asked.
“Yeah.” Jack pulled the keys out of his pocket and tossed them to Milo. “Go ahead. But don’t break anything and don’t drive it. You can just look.”
“Yes, sir,” Milo said, stepping towards the door. He turned to Bobby. “Wanna see it?”
“Sure. Why not?” Bobby shrugged.
“Bobby, don’t even think about taking that pop in the car!” Jack called after them, and Bobby set his can of pop on the kitchen counter before following Milo out to the garage.
“It is a really cool car,” I told Jack once they were gone.
“I know.” He looped an arm around my waist and pulled me close to him, so I was leaning on his lap.
“This all sounds good,” Ezra said finally. He tapped the papers on the table and looked at Jack. “It was maybe a tad overpriced, but everything is in order.”
“So it’s cool that I took the money?” Jack asked.
“You earned it. You can do with as you see fit,” Ezra said mildly. “We need to get insurance started on it, and while I’m doing that, we should transfer the Audi into Alice’s name, and the Jetta into Milo’s.”
“What?” I asked, feeling a little startled. “Those aren’t our cars.”
“Nobody else is driving them.” Ezra pushed back his chair and stood. “They’re not coming back, Alice. It makes more sense to have everything in your name, in case you get pulled over or in accident. You’d have enough questions to answer without dealing with car ownership.”
“I guess,” I said, but it still felt strange to me.
“Let me get some papers. I think I might actually have title papers,” Ezra said and went down to the den. He stockpiled all sorts of legal papers. It made things easier when he had to transfer things, since most of the transfers were to different versions of himself.
“If you don’t like the Audi, we can get you a different car,” Jack said, misinterpreting my unease.
“No, the Audi’s a great car.” I shook my head. “And I shouldn’t get a new car. You had to work for yours, and I should too.”