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The First Ride

By , Phoenix, AZ

In the Arizona heat, there are a few breaks that drive the children out of their cool homes. The days the sun doesn’t come out and greet the softening cement. The grey skies roll in with the whipping wind that turn trees inside out. The peoples’ conversations all start with the exciting events that happen right outside their door. My family kept telling me to slow down at how fast I was spitting my words. My mom and dad and brother all came together to watch as I pleaded to take a step in my journey through girlhood.
I ran through the door in an exasperated fashion. My parents couldn’t move their feet fast enough. I leaped for my bike that was laying clustered together with the others that collect dust in the scorching seasons. I tipped up the bike and struggled to saddle the metal pony. Tippy toe walking down the slanted driveway, struggling to not tip over, I regained footing when the concrete land flattened. Zealously waiting upon my uneager parents that trudge to the street, I sat glaring at them and their saunter down the slope.
All I wanted was to learn to ride my bike. I had been waiting to see when I would get the opportunity to conquer this hovering fear of mine. All the other children on my street knew how to ride their bikes and I wanted to join them, to ride with them. Today was the day that could not have come any faster.
The other children were out now. All coming into the grey light, some on their bikes, some on their boards, some with their toys. The street was whirling with little laughter from the neighbors’ smaller siblings. The boys were battling each other with fictitious blades that could dagger them in the heart and the girls were on the warm ground in an alternate world where their dolls are having a crisis over who said what. One of the older kids that lived next door zoomed past me on his bike. I attempted to controlled my breathing as a new flock of butterflies migrated abound my stomach.
Mom and dad rushed to grab me and exchanged nervous looks. Dad asked me if I was excited to finally learn. I nodded enthusiastically and asked if I could begin riding. Both parents grabbed onto either side of my metal pony and began to push and hold it steady. Mom with heavy breaths began to instruct me to begin peddling. I pushed and pushed and pushed against the pedals and kept my eyes forward careful not to crash, too scared to look back I began to pick up speed. The wind brushed past me now and the colors beside me began to bleed together like water colors on my school art projects. The sound of my parents huffing got quieter as the colors blend. I looked back and saw the joy on my parents face. They were so proud that I had finally ridden on my own!
I dashed forward greatening the distance from my parents and my house, my safe place. The more I rode, the faster I got, the more confidence I gained. I felt independent and alive. I surged by the boy that passed by earlier and show him the open smirk on my face. This exhilarating feeling left me on top of the world.
The already grey skies grew black and the lights glowed before I could even blink. Reluctantly riding back home I park my worn bike back amongst the dusty ones. I stare at the bikes and began to feel sorrowful for the inanimate objects. Strutting back into the house all eyes are on me. I stand tall before I look at the scene before me. Mom is sprawled out amongst the couch with her foot resting high on a tower of pillows. Dad is holding frozen vegetables to the swollen limb. Concern floods me like a broken dam as I rush to mom’s side. I asks if she’s ok and my mom replies with yes, it just began to hurt after pushing you on that bike. Guilt builds up in me and I profusely apologize. Tears well up in my eyes and my vison begins to blur. Mother quickly hushes me and tells me to listen. Mom tells me that I doesn’t need to feel bad, she knew that learning to ride the bike was the most important thing in my life right now and she wanted to see fit that I would do it. Both our hearts began to swell and we embraced each other in an enormous hug.




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