“HELLO?” I call. No answer. And that was not the worst part, the worst is that I could not see anything in the 2AM pitch darkness of Itu, Brazil. I could be sleeping soundly inside my warm, comfy home, instead, I am currently stranded in the cold, on the gray asphalt, and I know very well I am lost. My bike is completely broken and the back wheel refuses to spin. I am completely lost, cold, abandoned, and bikeless. One may be wondering how I got into this clutter of a situation.
11:35 PM. We were all laying on the couch inside the house, bored, on our phones, silent, but absolutely not sleepy. We were full of energy. Itu was always the best trip of the year for us, and we never wasted a dear second of it. Out of the blue, one of the eight guys has the dumbest, most imbecile idea ever,” Hey, how about we take our bikes out for a stroll?” In the middle of the cold, black night? No way. However, being of our adolescent years, we tend to do very dumb and imbecile things, especially in Itu.”Yeah, just a quick ride then we’ll head back, right?” I reply. Without hesitation, we sprint towards the front door, hop onto our bikes, and hit the road in direction of the lightless, chilly hell in front of us.
12:11 AM. We are laughing and joking and having a great time in the ride. The cold wasn’t very disturbing anymore, and the dark was no matter of fear for us. The music was loud enough for someone a few hundred feet away to hear, but it was just fine for us. I casually shift gears on my bike to adjust to the rhythm of the gang, when without any warning, my bike makes an ear splitting mechanical screech and I am propelled into the air. I hit the ground, but stand right up to recompose myself after the impact and turn on the flashlight to see what went wrong with my bicycle. I try to move the pedals but the back wheel won’t budge. “Hey, can any of you guys come and gimme a hand here?” I ask, still pulling at the chain. Silence. “Yo, could anybody just please-” I turn around and all I see is darkness in front of me. Oh no.
So here I am, stranded, the cold rushed back into my body despite the jacket I wear to protect myself against it. The laughter and beat of the music no longer drums in my head. I am completely forsaken, completely deserted. I think to myself, It’s fine. I’ll just walk back to the house and fix the bike there. With great effort, I start pushing the bike forward, towards the nearest road. The streets are completely empty, like a ghost town. The houses have all their lights off and I cannot see any cars. After about 20 minutes of walking, I spot a security car coming my way. I wave my hand in order to try to stop the car, and I manage to succeed. The officer’s car stops right next to me and a small, heavily-clothed cop steps out of the car. “Can I help you?” he asks, a bit frustrated about dealing with some teen’s problems in the middle of the night. I start explaining the situation to him when someone I know since childhood steps out of the car. “Arthur?”
“What in the world are you doing in the officer’s car?” I ask, not believing in the coincidence.
”Oh, I accidentally let my skateboard fall into the sewer...”
Typical Arthur, always showing up with some messed up situation on his shoulders. I get into the car and put the bike on the backseat together with Arthur. When we arrive at the place Arthur let his Skate fall, we exit the car and make a small plan. Even though it is not the best plan of all times, it’s what we’ve got.
In a few minutes, I see myself holding Arthur’s torso in my arms while his lower body is completely immersed into the sewer, and the cop shining his flashlight into the hole. Arthur slowly pulls out the board with his feet, while I pull him out of the sewer hole. We finally retrieve his skateboard, which doesn’t smell that dandy and sweet, and head home. When we get home, all the guys are there, laughing and cheering when I opened the door. The broken bike, the cop, Arthur, it was hilarious to them, but not that much to me. It very well serves as a lesson: never, with capital n, go bike riding at 1 AM.