Death by wheel
I have a fear of the wheel.
Last year, in April, I went to my grandmother’s house for New Year, and my cousins were all there too.
I’ve always been a bit girly, so it is my bad luck that all my cousins are boys. I hated their games and fighting.
But I always wanted to belong with them, so I tried to do what they did. On that particular evening my eldest cousin brother had gotten a new bike, and we went into the playground behind the house to ride it. I have a feeling it was because of me too, because I wanted to ride it, but every time I got involved with something, it ended in me getting hurt. They were being careful.
But there was a cricket match going on, we couldn’t ride it there. So we took it to the other side of the house, where the road was.
I’d been to my grandmother’s house very often, but I didn’t know the neighborhood very well. All I knew was that my grandmother’s house was on a bit of a hill. My cousins took turns riding it down the hill and then back up. Then, finally, they allowed me to ride it.
I’ll say this for my cousins; they weren’t much older than me, just a year or two’s difference. They let me get on the bike without much reluctance.
For the first fifty yards, everything was fine. I carefully cruised down the hill at a snail’s pace, and then tried to remember how my cousins had turned around while they were going downhill, because I sure as hell couldn’t. The bike just kept going.
I hit the brake button but it was wedged somehow. I was slowly edging into full-blown panic. The bike was picking up speed as it went; I was going really fast now. Frightened, I tried to put my legs on the ground, but the bike was too tall.
“Help!” I screamed, crossing the border into absolute panic. I was hysterical. I hated the road anyway. I always swore I’d never learn to drive when I grew up. Now I was just whizzing past houses and people so fast. I didn’t want to end up in China.
The brake was wedged, the bike was too tall.
Maybe I’m going to die.
The bike was still going, with me clutching the handles for dear life (which wasn’t going to last much longer). I wonder what the passers-by saw.
Then ahead of me, I saw trees. The branches of trees near my feet.
Shouldn’t the branches be near my head? Maybe I was losing it. Going mad.
Then, as I got nearer, I saw that the road suddenly dropped off into a cliff. I couldn’t even imagine the drop. Those trees looked ginormous, and they were growing from somewhere far, far down.
I stared at the trees coming closer and closer, terrified. Adrenaline filled me, but there was nothing I could do, no way to save myself.
The bike toppled over the cliff. I was thrown off and slammed into a tree with the force of a jet.
Everything went black.