The story of one bike & a dream
My stories usually involve me walking somewhere or with someone darling and although it is mostly because I enjoy walking, I have to admit it is also because I don’t know how to ride a bike. Everyone in my village owns one, you should see the woman who hides her smiles behind her scarves pedalling every morning to go to the baker with her scarf flowing behind her.
So yesterday I woke up and decided that I wanted to learn how to ride a bike. I sent a letter to Wells asking him whether he would be keen on teaching me and soon after the old lady brought me a letter in which he said he would meet me in the piazza after lunch.
Wearing a pair of shorts and smoking slippers and donning a light blouse and a hat to protect me from the afternoon sun, I headed to the piazza where I found H.G. waiting near his bike.
“Are you ready for the ride of your life Madeliene?”
“Oh darling, I’ve been on it for an immesuarable time.”
His lips hid under his whiskers when he laughed and his eyes — his light hued eyes seemed of crystal in the light of the afternoon. I positioned myself on his bicycle and waited for his instructions.
“Now, try to find your balance.”
“Darling, have we met, when have I ever known balance?”
I tried to glide along the pavement, on the only patch in the piazza that was not layered with cobble stones.
“Now, move faster.”
“I don’t think I can H.G.!”
“The faster you move the easier it is to balance.”
I was heading down the slope, knowing all the while that I had no control over my movement.
“Does this thing have breaks?” I asked loudly, I didn’t know how far behind me H.G was.
“Madeliene have we met? I don’t do brakes remember?” he shouted.
“Yes, yes, physical urges and all but this is a bike damn it, not a woman!”
I flew to the end of the slope and hit a wall that stood at the border of the village, with no bruises except for my smoking slippers getting scratched with the chain of the bike. As I sat on the pavement, catching my breath, I could see him running down the slop and coming towards me, panting heavily once he arrived.
“Madeliene are you alright?”
“You know, when you said yes to teach me, it meant you had to prevent this from happening.”
“This is how we learn Madeliene, you cannot daydream everything. Now, ready for another ride?” He held out his hand and waited for me to take it.
“I have forgotten all of your instructions already.”
“Oh come, you will soon remember, just get on it, it’s just like riding a bike, oh wait, haha!”
“If you leave me alone again darling, so help me, I will tell you how bad War of the Worlds turned out as a movie.”
“They made it into a movie?”
“Trust me darling, you wouldn’t want to know.”
I stepped on the bike again and pedaled awkwardly while he walked beside me every step of the way. I got better after a while, almost enough to start enjoying it. I knew it would never be a substitute for walking but it was a good excuse to see H.G.
Story credits: David Lodge’s A Man of Parts;Vogue Turkey for the image.