The Bicycle This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Tyco wheeled the old red bicycle out of the garage and into the sunlight. The bike's chain needed oiling and the tires were a bit flat, but the boy hopped onto the torn cushion and headed down the driveway. Today was Friday, trash day. Tyco's father had reminded him the whole week not to forget to place the bike outside, next to the other garbage, on Friday. Tyco had responded only by nodding his head. His father had bought Tyco the bike he saw in the magazine and just had to have, a week ago. Yet as Tyco turned the bend, he realized his new 12-speed racing bike would never replace what he was now riding, his very first bicycle.

It seemed like just yesterday that Tyco had received this beat up red bike, the gift his grandfather had given him for his fifth birthday, yet back then it was shiny and without a single scratch. At the time, Tyco's joy knew no bounds. The gift overshadowed all his other birthday presents. His joy lasted until he saw all his friends riding brand new bikes and the ad for a racing bike a few weeks ago. He complained about his old bike to his friends and family, but he didn't realize how false his unhappiness was until now. Nothing could replace this old bike, just as nothing could erase those memories.

His grandfather was the one who taught Tyco how to ride. Those balmy spring days when Tyco fell and got up, then fell and got up again, only to repeat the cycle, had brought Tyco and his grandfather very close. They were two kids, the best of friends. On the day when it all clicked, and Tyco's body finally stayed balanced, he rode without falling, and his grandfather took him out for an ice cream sundae to celebrate. Tyco remembered his grandfather's words clearly. "Tyco, my boy, you've overcome the first obstacle in your young life. You've come a long way."

Tyco rode the bike at least once a day from then on. All his friends had their bikes too, but he secretly thought his was the nicest. It was neither the fastest nor the most modern, but he knew it was the most special.

When Tyco's grandfather came over, he and Tyco would race: grandfather on foot, Tyco on his bike. His grandfather could have beaten him, but he let Tyco win. Tyco knew that, but didn't mind. Once his grandfather even tried riding the bike while Tyco ran. Tyco won, of course. Tyco never let anyone except his grandfather ride his bike.

Tyco's father brought him back to the present, "Tyco, better put that bike in the trash; I hear the garbage truck coming."

Tyco responded subconsciously by turning around and pedaling back up the street. What were his grandfather's last words? Something about taking care of his bike, but that had been a long time ago. Tyco reached the sidewalk and slowly got off the bike. He put down the kickstand, letting it stand upright, a little away from the rest of that week's trash. He realized now that it was in good condition considering the use he had put it through. Tyco sat on the steps and inspected the small bike. With a little tuning, it could be almost as good as new ... no, it couldn't, who did he think he was kidding?

The monstrous garbage truck roared to a stop in front of Tyco. A man asked him, "Are you throwing this bike out?"

Tyco paused for a second. "Ah, yeah," he stammered.

The man dumped the bike into the back of the truck without much care. As the truck reached the end of the block, Tyco suddenly jumped up, yelling, "Wait! Wait a minute!"

"What are you screaming about?" asked his brother.

Tyco quickly wiped that wet spot from under his eye, and turned to face his brother. "Umm, nothing. Just calling my friend."

"Well, can I use your new bike? I'll be back ..."

"Sure, go ahead, take you time."

"Really?"

"Really."

Tyco walked up the steps, and turned at the door to look at his brother on the bike. He wondered, why did they get me a red bike? I don't even like that color.

He was too late, too late to salvage it, and only his memories of his little red bicycle remained. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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i_am_nobody said...
Jun. 9, 2010 at 12:03 pm
sad ending.
 
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