Midnight. I stare out at the open road, tarmac and white lines stretching out before me seemingly eternal, begging me to glide across its surface in a symphony of rubber and steel. The air is warm with the heat of summer, my skin shivering as a light breeze seeks to wrap itself around me. I shake it off in a silent apology, for tonight I’m taken.

The impatient throb of the 1.8 litre temptress over my shoulder grounds me in reality as I turn slowly, gazing upon her striking beauty.

It’s different now. The game has changed, and I’m the one being played. In the weeks and months before, a late night drive meant a foot carelessly mashed into the accelerator, the tiny econobox grinning and giving its all as we worked in tandem to paint a picture of rambunctious joy across the countryside.

Good times. Great times. But now a new challenge sits before me, steeped in racing pedigree and with no need for hyperbole. You will find no box flares or aggressive styling features here she says, as I’m guided into a low seating position, aged Recaros gripping my body with purpose. My shaking eases into the soft blue fabric, that ever present hum of power seeking to soothe my nerves as I gaze anxiously at the 9,000rpm redline. It’s like standing at the foot of the world’s tallest building, feeling dizzy as your eyes scan the top. It’s a long way up.

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A grunt escapes me as I depress the heavy Exedy clutch and engage first. I curse myself, a sign of weakness right from the beginning to which she sighs, whisking me away from the humble gas station toward the unknown. Perhaps I’m not ready for this, I ponder, as we surge into darkness. My friends and family, they all possess sensible automobiles with low risk and high MPG, well suited to whatever daily task may come their way.

I chose to befriend a demon.

Time passes, the city lights giving way to a canopy of trees and moonlight who politely inform me of my arrival at this little slice of heaven. The winding dips and curves of the route ahead beckon with a dangerously tempting delight, almost as if they know my true purpose here.

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This time it isn’t all about having fun. Tonight we dance as one with knives held to each others throats, daring ourselves to push further, go harder, make a move.

I waste no time in building revs and releasing the clutch, front tyres screaming bloody murder into the night and chirping once more as I seize second gear, the howl of VTEC pounding my eardrums with the force of the Gods. Torn between wanting to stop and pressing onwards I foolishly choose the latter, advancing towards the first of many corners at a speed I was completely inexperienced of. She feels my nervous fingers gripping the MOMO steering wheel, foot threatening to engage the brakes before she waives my fear and turns effortlessly, not a hint of body roll nor squealing of rubber. There are no party tricks here, no need for frills or machismo. The apex gives way to another yawning straightaway to which I offer an endorphin fuelled grin, the scent of gasoline and oil stinging my senses on the way to triple digits before another corner offers itself to us...followed by another, and another.

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Soon, we’re back in the city. I pull up to my home and shut off the engine, revelling in the silence offered save for the ticking cool of hot metal. I take a moment to catch my breath before exiting the car on trembling legs, offering her one last look before our night draws to a close.

We have much to learn from one another. She terrifies me, yet I somehow engage her. The necessity for such a thing in my life does not exist, and yet...I need her. I love her.

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Goodnight, Integra.