The Girl on the Bike

"Forgiveness is the fragrance a flower leaves when someone treads on it." ~Unknown.

"Everything around you is made of protons, neutrons, electrons and morons." (Post in The Lighter Side of Science FaceBook group.)

School was over, and the kids dribbled out of doors and into sunshine like worms out of old wood. Each made their way to parents, grand or first-generation, eager to share stories of their day, or to sling their bags and coats under prams and scream unfettered around the playground. Some clambered on their bikes, zig-zagging their way home, others into prams with their younger offspring; most crawled into four-wheel drives and people carriers.

Susie was 10 and happy to be on her bike. It was new; bought recently so she’d have it through the coming summer holiday and hopefully, for most of her years at her new secondary school.

She was a quiet girl with a small but tight group of friends. But today she was on her way home alone. Her music lesson started at three-thirty, so there wasn't time to hang back and chat with her friends. She went straight to the bike sheds when the bell rang, rescued her bike and weaved it through the disarray of other wheels, handlebars and waiting adults to get it onto the narrow country road.

She was already a kilometer away before the first of the Chelsea tractors caught up with her.

The black van wasn't far behind. The driver, a mother with styled hair and over-sized brown-tinted sunglasses, sported a look of bored disdain. She rested her elbow on the open window, head propped up on her arm. She looked like she'd be at home in either a black BMW or the trashy black van she was in. A sniff, a flick of the hair, and she opened the door, and shut it again. No-one knows why some drivers in moving vehicles do this. Maybe it’s boredom.

There were kids in the back, 4 or 5 of them. Maybe 6. It was possible some weren't from her current boyfriend, or even hers at all. Most were chubby and topless, climbing over the seats and each other, waving crisp packets, throwing sweet wrappers and shouting with nothing to say.

The driver guided the van around a blind bend. She saw a girl on a bike just meters ahead, so she moved to the center of the lane and pressed on the accelerator to get past the obstacle in her way....

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Aaron Anderson
Oct 25 2021

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A very emotive piece of writing. I loved it.

Tracy Windross
Oct 27 2021