The Ride

November 5, 2008
By Keisha Frazier, Rockaway Bch, NY

“Ready number 13?” “Ready Number 16!” It was summertime again. My sister Janay and I were going for a bike ride. My sister and I have been bike riding for years, or at least since I was ten years old and allowed to go outside without my parents. It was tradition to bring the bikes out to the hallway by the front door. My bike was pink and white, given to me by a sister from church. My sister had a blue, newer, and more athletic bike, which she received as a gift a Christmas ago. Check tires for air. Check. Dust off seat. Put on appropriate kicks. Sun-block on skin. Check. Check. Check. Secure helmet—well until we realized that helmets weren’t exactly cool. But as soon as we presumed ready. I would begin “ready number, (her age)” and Janay would answer “ready number (my age). Then we were off. That But the summer of 2007 had a different vibe.
It wasn’t like previous summers. It was my last real summer before college.

Summer time in my neighborhood was when everyone came alive. As we cross the street we could see people flocking to the beach. All my homies from the block had come out of hibernation and would spend hours at the basketball court. Cars were in procession along the street, ready to drive at the beckon of the cops. Lines formed inside the handball courts of people who “got next”. The senior citizens parked their beach chairs under the shady tree near the playground. My sister and I rode by. Familiar faces and sites flashed by our eyes as we talked and rode. On this boardwalk was where we both learned how to ride a bike. Where we got splinters after leaving a day at the beach. On this boardwalk was where I walked my dog, while really spending time with my boyfriend that I wasn’t supposed to have. As I ride I think. I think my first memory of my sister is when she was in her “terrible twos”. I had a typewriter that I loved. My sister took the ribbon out of it and flushed it down the toilet. I cried and told my grandma. My grandma claimed that “she didn’t mean to”. She probably didn’t. My sister never did anything to hurt me. She is my best friend. And even though she doesn’t usually express what she is feeling, I’m more of the talker; it’s the unspoken truth that we’ve got each other’s backs for life. My mother used to tell me “Keisha, you have got to be the example for your sister.” That’s a lot of responsibility that I was given at age 3 when Janay was born. Since then I’ve made a lot of wrong turns hoping my sister would know which way to go. I got hurt by a lot of people so that she could choose her friends more carefully. I worked hard and took risks, so that my sister could be even more successful than me.

The ride back home is always the best. The wind gives you that extra push to grant you a smooth landing. We always get hot by the time we are almost home. We decided to go upstairs to drop off the bikes and take a dip in the pool to cool off. My sister is a really good swimmer. No matter how hard I try I can never beat her in a race. After the pool left us hungry we would go upstairs for dinner. Those are the days I miss the most. Leaving her to go to school was hard. We are growing up so fast and I don’t want to miss any of it by being apart. I used to joke before I left that I was going to hook up the digital cameras so we could video chat. I told her I was going to make her stand up, turn around, show me her bra size, everything. I don’t want to miss her grow into a beautiful young lady that she is. Most importantly, I didn’t want our relationship to suffer. I didn’t want us to grow apart. Now that we have survived my freshmen year, I worry less. We communicate a lot via text and instant message. We also talk on the phone when we can. I am so proud of her and the way she is maturing. So while we are apart beginning to ride down two different roads, it’s okay, because if she were to ask, I’m ready.

The author's comments:
This piece is dedicated to my little sister Janay. Being apart just makes speding time together even more special.

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This article has 5 comments.

freddyfreeze said...
on Dec. 2 2008 at 3:01 pm
Wow her writing and story touched my heart,will it would Dad

Rozzie55 said...
on Nov. 12 2008 at 6:27 pm
Through your words I was able to remeber some of those great summer days on our special boardwalk. I sat here also remembering watching you and Janay on those bikes,what a great memory. Wonderful article

Yvonnesmiles said...
on Nov. 12 2008 at 3:02 pm
The author is sharing a heart- warm story about a sister she loves and admires. In my opinion she is a postive role model to her sister, and her sister should be proud of her.

spiffysmooth said...
on Nov. 12 2008 at 1:39 pm
It's a very nice story with a positive personal touch. Look forward to the next episode

KC89 said...
on Nov. 12 2008 at 12:30 pm
Very good work. I am very proud to see this online for others to enjoy.

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