Carl sat in his car which was parked in his garage. The garage door was closed and the car engine was purring gently.
Carl sat in the unnatural darkness, his hands on the steering wheel, his mind full of sad thoughts.
He was ashamed of his melodramatic tendencies, the banal way in which his mind chose to occupy itself. He knew – and resented the knowledge – that he was going to end his life following the same mindless, self-pitying thoughts that had occupied him for several decades.
Carl’s fingers gripped the staring wheel, his knuckles turning white from the effort. I should be thinking about my wife, he thought, how will she feel? She bought me this car to remind me of the newness in the world, and here I am using that present as a weapon against myself.
And Carl started to think of all the things his wife had done for him, the sacrifices she had made to be with him. He thought about her patience, her love. He realised that she had never doubted him, even when he was full of doubt.
Carl suddenly understood: she didn’t need me to answer those questions; she loved the questions that had no answers.
Carl began to feel tired then – so very tired. And as his eyes drooped and closed, his only regret was that he hadn’t loved his wife better.
Carl’s wife returned home to find Carl’s body slumped over the steering wheel of his new car; the engine was still whirring softly.
“Carl!” she screamed.
Carl sat up with a start; a guilty look crossed his face.
“Carl you old fool,” Carl’s wife’s voice held a gentle sadness, “this is an electric car."