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The High Cost of Transportation
By Beth Beutler

1     "Now THAT'S a sweet car," I said to my buddy, Darren. Even Darren's sister, Melody, agreed. "It's beautiful," she said. (For a 10-year-old girl, she had a good eye for cars!) Since my dad and I were going to shop for a car the following week, I wanted to have some ideas. Darren had to watch his sister, so she came along while Darren and I stopped at various used car lots.
2     "It is a beauty," Darren added.
3     We took a closer look at the three-year-old Wildfire. It was black with a sunroof. It had air conditioning, a standard transmission, and a multi-disc CD player. It was everything I wanted in my first car. And it was also about twelve thousand dollars.
4     "Wow, that's a lot," Melody said.
5     "That's a little out of your price range, isn't it?" Darren asked me.
6     "I don't think so. My dad knows I love sports cars. He loves them too. He was just telling me about his first car the other day. His dad bought him a sporty red convertible."
7     Darren didn't look convinced. "Okay," he said. "Just be prepared. If he's anything like my dad, you'll be driving something like that." Darren pointed to an old diesel two-door. It was white with dents on both sides. Melody giggled.
8     "He's right," she said. "That's why I'm already saving up for my first car!"
9     "Yuck," I said. "Dad wouldn't let me be seen cruising around in something like THAT!"
10     Darren laughed. "We'll see," he said. "As for me, I think I will buy a junker at first. I don't want to use up too much of my college money."
11     I shot Darren a questioning look. "Just take out a loan," I said. "You have a job."
12     "No, thanks," Darren replied. "I'm avoiding debt."
13     "Suit yourself," I said. I thought he was crazy. "Why wait?" I thought to myself. "The interest rates are low, and the payments are, too."
14     One month later, I pulled up to Darren's house in my shiny car. "Wow," Darren said. "You actually got the Wildfire."

Paragraphs 15 to 35:
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