The atoms of my flesh pinged off the now seared hairs of my heated leg. I didn’t remember how to scream until I glanced down at the now bright red ellipse in the center of my calf. All at once everything came together. The fact that I messed up, and what was to come if my parents had found out.
The day was middle aged and not one ray of sun was blocked as it entered the atmosphere and graced my skin with warm pleasant heat. My brother had been teaching me how to ride our mini bike. It was an old 70’s model with a small 50cc german engine maybe going 30 miles per hour max, so I was in no serious danger. Even if I wiped out, I was wearing a helmet as at a very early age I was taught to keep my head protected especially in the event of a crash.
I started to sweat even at the thought of wearing jeans any longer. The sun had gotten to me and the warm blanket of sunshine had turned into a hot sauna as humidity fogged up my visor. “Can’t I wear some shorts on this Lance?” I complained, my voice bouncing inside the helmet, “I’m so hot.”
My brother looked at me with trust as he had seen me ride and taught me himself. He had a confidence that would almost cost me my leg. “Sure go ahead.” I sped off to put on my shorts being very eager and quick back outside as it seemed like a new experience to me. A whole new brand of respect and trust I had gained from my brother.
My brother pulled the recoil for me as I was not strong enough to start the engine myself. I slid on the seat and I could feel the engine emit a heat on my calfs. I started down the driveway not even 2 meters and I felt hot searing pain on my right calf as it pressed up against the side of the small engine.
So here I am, laying on the driveway just after ripping the seared skin from what was left of my calf. My eyes passed the side of the engine which was now a tint of spotted red as my eyes frantically searched for my brother. I could hear his shoes hit the pavement as he ran up to me with worry in his voice and eyes. He checked me over and kept looking at my calf as if it was some other worldly thing. In this moment, he knew that this was not just my problem, but his as well.
For the next few days the bandage that my brother had carelessly wrapped around my leg had begun to stick to my wound. I didn’t know I could do any more to help it. I was scared to do anything about it. What would my parents do to me? What would my parents do to Lance? Many solutions ran through my mind, but not one of them was telling my parents.
A couple days in, my parents noticed me limping and questioned me about it. I couldn’t take the yearning pain anymore and told them everything. As they unraveled the bandage my eyes darted to their look of horror and disgust as yellow puss oozed from my blistering wound. My parents quickly took me to the doctor that very morning. My doctor claimed that, “It’s good you came in so early. If you would have waited any longer you would have lost your leg to the infection.”
So in the end, I didn’t end up losing my leg. All that remains is an ellipse scar that can barely be seen, even by me. My calf was not the only thing to be burned that day. The memory of that day has been melted into my mind, but something new was added on that day. A newfound respect for not just motorcycles, but anything that can kill you. That old Fox Sundowner has since been restored and I have planned to dedicate my life to the study of the automotive field. I have learned that the things you love can and will hurt you. When it happens, it is a true test of love and devotion. Nothing can change my love for cars and motorcycles, especially not a little burn on my leg.