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


   When I was six years old I owned a bike justlike the one in "Calvin and Hobbs." The bike, inaddition to being dangerous, was a hand-me-down from mysister. The worst part was the color - it was pink. A pukey,girly pink that would make most any little boy sick to hisstomach. This dangerous bike had training wheels on it.Normally training wheels prevent a little kid from falling;for this bike, however, the laws of physics didn't exist. Asimple turn resulted in the bike falling, scraping the rider.I loathed that bike, its color, its life-threatening dangerand the fact that it was a girl's bike. To a boy, pink wasvery embarrassing - pink was a Barbie doll; pink was a tutu;pink was the color of my first bike.

I grew indifferentto the color. A bike is a bike. One day I decided to ride tothe end of the road. On this adventure I was traveling withone of my neighborhood friends, Kirk. He was sort of an oddkid; basically, he was a mama's boy. He even had all thestigmas of a mama's boy: glasses, lactose intolerance, severeallergies and the odd habit of wearing long pants even in thesweltering summer. His parents tried to keep him innocent bynever allowing him to see any movie rated higher than PG forfear of emotional scarring; surprisingly, they were correct todo this. They never allowed him to leave home alone. Hisparents never had talks with him about life, sex, drugs orother evils in the world. Nevertheless, the neighborhood Ilived in was small and it was good to have a friend, no matterhow strange.

So, my strange friend and I decided toride to the end of the road, a very large endeavor for twosix-year-olds. Well, I should have guessed Kirk's dad wouldfollow us to make sure nothing bad happened. Although his dadwas only 40-something, he had had gray hair for as long as Ihad known Kirk, all of three years. He was a good and deeplyreligious man who loved his son. I was very fortunate hetagged along.

The ride was probably only the length ofa football field, but I decided to go as fast as I could whileKirk and his dad slowly pedaled along. When I got to the end Itried to turn; I was going pretty fast and the road wasgravel. The training wheel made contact with pavement,toppling the bike. I hit the pavement, managing to scrape myknees, elbows and the top of my head. You can imagine how muchI cried. When my wails filled the air, Kirk's dad knewsomething was wrong. He rode to see my bloody condition. Heknelt by my side and muttered the only swear word I ever heardhim say. When Kirk showed up, he was crying because he thoughtI was going to die right there. I don't know how but I managedto get home with the help of Kirk's dad.

For the restof the day I sat on our sofa with bandaged elbows and kneesand an ice bag on my head. At least something positive camefrom the ordeal. I got a new bike the next day, a blue Huffy -a boy's bike - with training wheels that worked.



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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