Bike Ride

September 30, 2011
By , Plymouth, MI
My hair whips back from my tear stained face as I raced passed the nondescript houses. My breathing is gusting out from crying and from pedaling too fast. If my friends or family saw me like this right now they would ask, “What is wrong?” as if they could understand or even help. Another thing that they would do if they saw me would look at me with pity in their eyes. I don’t want to be pitied and I don’t want to be helped. Most of all I don’t want to be seen.

A lot of the kids my age don’t have my problems. I know every teen-age girl thinks that but for me it is true. I am not crying over being dumped by a guy or because the popular girls whisper about me behind my back. Personally I would greet these issues with open arms than have to deal with the dilemma I have now.

My emotions are mixed with fury, sorrow, fear, and depression when my mind replays the dreadful moment of the semi-truck hitting my car and my brother’s heartbreaking facial expression when he found out in that dang hospital bed that he could never walk again. It wasn’t fair. It just wasn’t fair.

Why couldn’t it have been me? I deserved it. I didn’t have anything going on in my life while my brother had tons of potential and talent. He was the star basketball player of the eighth grade and he was going to graduate in a month. Wasting most of my life goofing off I had no plans, no real future, and no real goals. It should have been me, the deadbeat sophomore who didn’t take anything seriously.

I swerved on my bike as new tears leaked out of my eyes and smudged my eyeliner. Lost in my thoughts I had lost track of how far I had come. The road before me was unfamiliar and I realized that I had missed my turn. Turning on a beaten path hoping it led back to the main road I rode on my bike getting comfort from the wind in my hair and the steady pedaling.

Suddenly I screeched to a halt almost doing a flip off of my bike. Not sure what was compelling me to stop at this quaint little park I got off the bike and plopped down on the bench.

It was a tiny park in a large commons area. There were a few crab apple trees but they didn’t add much shade; the sun beat down on my back making me sweat. The park consisted of a swing set connected to a metal slide, monkey bars, and one of those large round spiny things. The ground was sandy and hot on my feet.

I don’t know how long I just sat there staring at that park. On one hand it felt like eons but on the other it just felt like only a few seconds. Tears were at the edge of my eyes but none of them ever came out. Somehow being at this park comforted me; it reminded me of simpler days where my brother could still walk.

After sitting a few more minutes I took a slow breath and stood up shakily. I still wasn’t what people would call ‘okay’ but I accepted that there was no way to turn back no matter how much I wanted to. Hauling myself back onto my bike I turned back and looked at the small but now significant park. Pedaling off I knew I would remember this moment forever as my darkest hour but life moves on…
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4 years later… I graduated high school with a 4.0 and I am training to be a physical therapist. My brother is now a star wheel chair basketball player on his team and I am an assistant coach to his team. Life moves on.





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