Not very long ago, I realized my brakes were hanging on by a whisper of a prayer, that it had been quite a while (well over 5 years) since they had been checked, let alone replaced. And I had packed quite a few miles onto my car. So, I went hunting for the best deal I could, wondering how I was going to be able to afford this new deal, because despite working, almost all of my money had been going to bills. And I'm working all the overtime I can lay my hands on.
I happened to mention to my baby sister that I was looking to get work done.
"My roommate is a mechanic. He rebuilds cars from the ground up. He just finished an Escalade. Let him take a look at your car, see if he can do the brakes."
"Well... I suppose."
So I let him look at the brakes. He also will throw in an oil change, to fix the minor oil leak. He gives me a list of parts, and we make plans for me to drop my car off the following Friday after work, and pick it up after work on Saturday.
I delivered the car, and the parts, as we agreed on. Disappointingly for me, work had been cancelled for the following day, so I told him I'd pick it up after dinner on Saturday.
Saturday I get teexts from my sister, telling me the car isn't ready yet.
Sunday night I go to pick the car up after dinner... Only to be waiting until six AM on Monday for it to be finished. When it looks like it is still going to be a while, my friend Dina comes to pick me up, and I call off of work, because I hadn't slept in 24 hours and falling asleep at my work station is not good workplace etiquette.
Monday night the car is ready, after 10:30 pm, when I'm worried that I might have to call out on Tuesday as well. But, the car is finished, and even though the brakes are incredibly spongy and I have to press down almost to the floorboard to stop, they work. It will get me to work and to home again, and that's what I need the most.
It is when I am almost home about 11:30 that a cat runs in front of my car, and I have to make a hard stop. Until then, I'd been slowly breaking the brakes in, as someone once told me you need to do after a brake change.
There is a horrible grinding noise, the car shudders violently, and then keeps going.
I've lost almost complete control of the car. In one of the more terrifying moments of my life, I see a row of shrubbery and drive my car directly into it in hopes of slowing me down and stopping me. It works. Barely.
(The cat and I are both okay, which is the important part.)
I debate what I need to do. I don't have the funds for an uber or anything like that, so calling AAA to drop my car off at a shop is out. I don't even know how I would be able to afford a shop. I attempt to back out of the bushes, and see how the brakes work.
So driving five miles an hour, I make it home. That is about how fast I'm driving when I limp to the shop the next morning, almost as soon as they're open. I had a very late night talk with one of my roommates, who agreed to help me with payment plans as long as I am able to pay with relative speed. After all, it shouldn't be much more than $600 to repair the brakes on both axles, right?
It is later that morning that I get the really bad news from the shop.
The brakes, calipers, and rotors need to be replaced. The amount the mechanic quoted me made me cry, even though he found me every cupon they had available. Also, the car is now almost hemorraghing oil, and he won't release my car until I let that get dealt with as well.
The car wasn't ready until late afternoon on Wednesday, so I wind up missing three days of work. Three days off that I really can't afford, because I don't get paid if I don't work.
I have no idea how I'm going to manage the payments that we arranged, because I honestly don't have that kind of money. Almost all of my funds are wrapped up in rent and childcare.
So... I'm asking for help. PLEASE help. All I can give you in return is my gratitude. I'm so close to crying again, because this is all too much, and it is hard to ask other people for charity. An exchange of services is easier, but between work and the forced downtime my medication gives me at night, I can't exactly offer anything in exchange other than gratitude.
Thank you for even reading this. Thank you for even considering helping me. And if you do decide to help... Thank you so very much. From the bottom of my heart.
- Anon Ymous
- ALoony Moose
- Joan & Isaac Wolkerstorfer
- Tessa Cox
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