It took five years of saving and a second job, but at the age of twenty-seven Chelsea Carlton was in a position to not only purchase her first car, but to pay cash for it as well.
“What kind of car are you going to get?” her six-year-old nephew Chase asked.
“Whatever I can afford,” she told him. “But it has to be red. I love red-coloured cars.”
“Ready to have us drive you home?” asked Sophie, who was both Chelsea’s older sister and mother to Chase and four-year-old Inez.
“Sure thing!” Chelsea answered, grateful for the ride and all the free meals Sophie and her family had her over for in order to help her save. “Let’s get you two rascals buckled into your car seats!”
It was only a twenty minute drive between Chelsea’s apartment and Sophie’s house out in the country, but long enough for them to pass a lot of cars.
“There’s a red car, Aunt Chelsea!” Chase shouted upon seeing the first vehicle in his aunt’s favourite colour. “You should buy it!”
“Do you think?” she said.
“There’s another red one!” shouted Inez a few minutes later. “Are you going to buy it?”
“Someone else already owns it, sweetie.”
“Hey look! Another red one,” Sophie pointed out. “You’d look great behind the wheel of that one.”
“I think I’d look gaunt.”
“What does gaunt mean?” Chase asked.
“It means I’d need a loan for that model and there’s no way your Aunt Chelsea can afford both a car loan and food.”
“That’s okay, you can keep coming to our house for supper,” Inez told her. “Right, Mommy?”
“Oh look, here we are at Aunt Chelsea’s building,” Sophie said without answering her daughter’s question.
“Thanks for dinner and the ride, sis. You’re the first person I’ll take for a spin when I get my new car,” Chelsea said as she undid her seat belt.
She made good on that promise two weeks later, and the first place she took her sister to in her new red car was the grocery store.
“This week’s groceries for your family are on me,” she said. “It’s my way of paying you back for all those rides and Sunday night suppers.”
“You bought a compact car, my dear. You’d need a school bus to pay me back for all the food you’ve ate over the last five years.”
The two sisters laughed and then headed into the grocery store, each pushing a cart.