What, you ask, does it feel like to experience spring? Well, this is a question that I think will take time to answer. Experiencing spring is what happened to me last Saturday.
While riding my bike according to my normal Saturday training schedule, I kept myself very occupied. It was unusually warm for March, especially in New England where it has been known to snow at this time of the year. As I rode, I enjoyed watching the first leaves form on my oak tree. I call it mine because it's the one that I pass every day on my way out to train, and I was the only one who actually stopped to talk to it one day. The fact that I needed something to lean my bike against while I changed a flat was irrelevant. After passing my tree and giving it a kind hello, I passed a house from which the sounds of Vivaldi's Four Seasons could be heard. To those who don't know this piece, it's classical. It's also typical of music that movie directors would choose to play in the background if they were filming a sixteen-year-old riding his bike on a spring day. Neat coincidence, eh? I thought so.
I leaned into the next corner a little less since it had rained the previous night. Upon completing the turn, I discovered that someone else had not taken the wet roads into account. He was lying on the ground, his head, upon two depressingly slouched shoulders, was turned away from me, and he had his share of road burn. As I stopped, I noticed that he was one of those idiots with long hair. I hate guys with long hair. His legs lacked bulk that an experienced rider would have, but how could he be experienced? Look at him, wiped out on this silly little corner. But look at his equipment! The bike was worth thousands. Oh, I see! Daddy's little boy wanted to try biking, so Daddy went out and got the most expensive bike he could find. That spoiled little yuppie. His parents are probably both stockbrokers or something. Oh well, he was a biker; I had to stop and see if he was all right. I got off my bike, leaned it up against a tree, and hoped that my oak tree wouldn't get jealous. I walked over to the dummy on the ground and asked in my best biker voice, "Hey dude, yo aright?"
Then he replied in a rather feminine voice, "That's dudette!" and SHE turned around. "And, no, I'm not all right."
I think she was insulted. Anyway, after about five minutes of gawking on my behalf, I began to help her. The gawking was not so much because she wasn't a he, but because she was one hot-looking she! Keep it together, I told myself. I picked up my chin and helped her up at the same time. When she finally got to her feet, we found that she had scrapes on her arms, knees, thighs, and...well...her butt, too. So then I told her, "Well, the ones on your arms and knees don't look too bad, but your rear end...."
"What," she asked, "were you doing looking at my butt?"
"Well, I thought..."
"You thought what?"
"Did I say thought? No, not me. I, uh don't think. No that couldn't be what I said." I was quite red at about this time and she was working on her own rose complexion too.
"Forget it," she said as she turned her back away from me. "Help me clean these burns out."
"Well, turn around again." Oh great, I don't think that's what she wanted to hear!
"No, the ones on my thighs!" Oh, great. I don't think that's what she wanted to say.
"Okay!" I said. She then pointed to my water bottle, and I realized what she wanted me to do. She wanted me to spray her cuts with water. "But that'll hurt!"
"So? I have to get the dirt out," she said impatiently.
"But, you're a girl!" There went my mouth again.
"Gimme that!" And she took one of my water bottles.
"I wouldn't use that," I told her.
"Why, because it'll hurt?" she said sarcastically.
"No, because it's Gatorade."
"Oh," she said. Now who's the dummy, hey sister? I watched her take one of her other water bottles and begin to clean her cuts. When she got to the one on her aft quarters, I volunteered to take a look at her bike. She agreed and thanked me sarcastically. When I took a closer look at her bike, I made a brilliant deduction. There was no way that this bike was going to ride home without a trip to her mechanic first. I turned around and asked her if she'd like to make a call from my house. "Where do you live?" she asked through clenched teeth.
"Oh, right around the corner," I answered with a rather passive, fear-induced voice.
"Well, then let's go." And we started to walk. I asked her if she knew that she was going too fast for a wet corner. She informed me that she was well aware of the fact. I asked her, with still very little confidence, where home was. "Plymouth," she replied coldly, and I started to wonder if she was mad about crashing or if it was something I said. So I asked. She told me that it was almost definitely something that I had said.
"Oh," I mumbled. Only "almost definitely" though. Almost.
When we arrived at my house, which she let me know was rather unpresentable, I pointed out the telephone. I was wondering what my parents would say when they saw the long distance call, but I had already decided that a phone call to Hell shouldn't be that expensive.
"Hello, Mom?" she started. "Yeah, I had a spill...Brockton...no, I'm fine...at some kid's house." Hear that? Some kid! Well, at least it wasn't some nerd "Meet me at the corner of Hilberg and Ash...O.K., bye." She hung up, turned around and spoke: "She'll be a half hour."
"You can hang around here if you want."
"What the heck, I'll probably never see you again."
Well, in the next half hour, Stacy, (that's her name) and I got to know each other very well. She was originally from Brockton and was driving past her old house when she crashed. She was looking at the house instead of the road. As we talked, I noticed that she had blue eyes and blond hair. I hadn't realized these things earlier. We also talked about her parents, about how her dad is a traveling salesman and is never home and how her mom doesn't work and is always home. Her mom, from what she told me, is also very overprotective, the type who interviews boyfriends before they go out. She also told me that she was seventeen and her birthday was the previous day. Last, but not least, she told me that she had been riding for four years and racing for three. I was rather impressed with this last part. Most girls bike for about ten seconds before they decide that it's too hard or not fashionable or some excuse like that.
When her half hour was almost up, she and I started to walk up the road to the corner of Hilberg and Ash Streets. She thanked me kindly as she looked at one of the bandages that I put on her cuts. No, not the one on her butt. She stopped me after the ones on her knees and did her thighs and butt herself. Oh well.
Shortly, her mother drove up in her minivan and opened the sliding door. As she got into her car she said one last thing to me, "Five-eight-four-six-eight-one-one." My phone number! She must have read it on the phone while she was talking to her mom.
"Wow!" was the only thing I could say. With my mouth wide open, I went over to my oak tree, sat down and thought how wonderful spring was. n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.