On the way to Jordin’s luxury home, Baron and Aurelia monopolized the conversation. It didn’t start out that way. It started out with Jordin leading the way as she discussed an upcoming party she wanted him to escort her to next week.
After quickly telling her that he’d think about attending that event, Baron engaged Aurelia in conversation about her stolen car. He wanted to know things like the size of her engine, how much horsepower it had, and how well it handled on the road.
Aurelia proved to be a wealth of information about German cars as a whole. She was particularly knowledgeable about Volkswagens and Porsches, who were both designed by the same person – Ferdinand Porsche.
“I don’t talk about this much, but my brother Count and I used to own a fire engine red convertible ’67 Beetle,” Baron said, finding it so easy to open up to Aurelia. Had it just been Jordin in the car, this subject would have never come up. “We spent a whole summer working on that car, trying to get it just right. It was going to be our teenage love bug. Yet another way for us to get girls.”
Aurelia and Jordin chuckled.
“I would have dated you in that car,” Jordin said, putting a possessive hand on his right arm.
“I would have wanted to see what was under the hood of that car,” Aurelia said. “Especially since around ’67 the VW engine was upsized to 1493-cc and the horsepower was raised to a solid 53.” She chuckled. “Then I would have wanted to drive that car.”
“I would have let you,” Baron replied, meeting her gaze in the rearview mirror.
Jordin instantly frowned and smoothly removed her hand from his arm. It wasn’t like he had paid attention to it anyway.
Aurelia simply smiled. “Whatever happened to that car? Seems like I remember you saying that you and Count used to own it. Did you sell it? It didn't get stolen, too, did it?”
“We sold it, but not willingly.” Baron sadness crept into eyes. “My father made us sell the car after his Jewish grandfather came for a visit, saw it, and got deeply offended by it.”
“The whole Hitler thing got to him, huh?” Aurelia asked, fully aware of the Volkswagen’s controversial history. A history that included the car being commissioned by Adolf Hitler to ensure that every German was mobile and equipped with an affordable vehicle. In fact, Volkswagen actually meant ‘people’s car’ in German.
“Yes, the Hitler thing got to my great-granddad in a major way. We thought he was going to have a heart attack right there on the spot,” Baron replied. “He thought it blasphemous for any of his offspring, even those who weren’t fully Jewish like Count and I, to have a car associated with a man that had caused his people so much pain and suffering.”
“Didn’t he know that the Volkswagen had been in the works years before Hitler ever got involved? That Porsche was simply the designer of the vehicle, not the one slaughtering innocent people? That under the circumstances it wasn’t like he could refuse Hitler’s request anyway. If you want to even call it a request.” Aurelia scoffed. “It was more like he’d been made ‘an offer he couldn’t refuse’,” she added with a faux mobster’s accent.
Baron smiled, despite the painful memory this topic had stirred up. He actually found it therapeutic to finally talk about a subject that had long been taboo in the Weaver family. “I tried to tell my great-granddad all that, but he was beyond listening to reason on the subject. He insisted that Porsche could have still found some way to refuse instead of profiting from the suffering of so many. In the end, the car had to go just to keep peace in the family. To make up for the loss of our beloved vehicle, my father bought us two brand new American made cars.”
“Let me guess, two Lincolns, right? Because they are so American that they’re even used by
Baron laughed. “Right. A month after my great-grandfather died, Count and I traded those
“Smart move. Less controversy with those models.” Aurelia laughed.
“Right again.” Baron looked downright impressed by her keen perception, by her remarkable intelligence.
“I didn’t know you were part Jewish?” Jordin interjected, clearly trying to end the laugh fest between the other two people in the car.
“Yes, but only a quarter since both my paternal great-grandfather and grandfather married Caucasian women and my mother has deep Mexican roots,” Baron replied in a more somber tone.
Great! Just when the conversation was getting deep and interesting, she had to go and drag us back to the boring shallow end of the pool, he mused with resentment towards Jordin. It would be a long time before he went out on another date with her.
As Baron pressed down harder on the gas, anxious to get Jordin home sooner, Aurelia smiled knowingly from the back seat. That smile disappeared a few minutes later when she saw Jordin give Baron a goodnight kiss at her front door. A deep French kiss, at that.
© 2009 by Mi’Chelle Dodson/Suprina Frazier
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A photo of Baron and Count’s teenage car: