I stared at the keys in my hand, then back at the empty car spot where I knew my car had been just an hour ago. Then back at my keys…
‘You okay, buddy?’ a parking attendant asked, leaning over to check the meter on a car a few spots down from me.
‘My… my car,’ I frowned. ‘It was here.’
‘Are you sure?’ he asked. ‘A lot of these streets look the same.’
‘I’ve worked in that building for fifteen years,’ I snapped, vaguely gesturing behind me but unable to look away from the empty parking spot. ‘I know what the streets look like.’
The man laughed and put his hands up in surrender.
‘Alright, alright,’ he said. ‘It is a hill – maybe it just rolled away.’
‘Rolled away?’ I asked, incredulously turning to look at him.
‘Rolled away,’ he repeated with a nod. ‘When was the last time you had a professional brake service?’
‘It didn’t roll away,’ I growled. ‘The brakes are just fine.’
‘Maybe you didn’t put the parking brake on,’ he mused.
‘Okay,’ I said, shoving the keys back into my pocket. ‘You’re not being helpful.’
‘Yeesh, sorry man,’ the attendant said. ‘Just trying to give you a hand.’
‘Well I don’t need one,’ I snapped again, turning to walk away.
‘What if I knew where it was?’ he called after me. I froze and turned back to look at him with a glare.
‘What if I knew where it was?’ he said. ‘What if I knew how to take care of it? What if I took it for long ocean-side drives near Morayfield? Log book servicing, power washing on the weekends, premium fuel… wouldn’t it be better off with someone who cared that much?’
‘What have you done with my car?’ I asked, feeling the blood drain away from my face. ‘Who are you?!’
‘Me?’ he laughed. ‘I’m nobody. I’m just a parking attendant.’
He winked at me and kept walking slowly away.