Home Stories The Bicycle in The Tree

The Bicycle in The Tree

by Ifunanya
The bicycle in tree

Hi guys. I cant believe its been over two weeks since my last post. Believe it or not, it feels like an eternity to me. I never intended to ever go this long without a post. But sometimes life happens and you need a minute or two(weeks) to catch yourself.

Anyway, I am here now and with another “random picture inspired” story like this one here. I hope you guys enjoy reading it.

Btw let me just say real quick, if anyone reading this is struggling with a block or even just creative writing in general. I suggest you try this whole looking at a photo and trying to imagine the story behind it thing. Chances are, it will help you get the juices flowing again. I know it certainly works for me.

Okay then, lets get on with it shall we?

The Story….

The thing with life is that it keep going no matter what. The world keeps spinning and the clock keeps turning.

We will all be forgotten eventually and it’s not because we didn’t matter and it’s not because they didn’t care.
It is because, life happens and it never stops.

 

When I got up this morning, I had James on my mind. It didn’t make any sense at the time and I didn’t think much of it.

“Old age really does a number on you” I concluded to myself as I struggled to make it to the bathroom unaided.

Growing old had its ups and it downs, mostly downs but I try not to complain. I stay grateful because I have lived long enough that know not everyone is blessed with the curse of growing old.

James lived down the road from my grandmother so I only got to see him every Sunday when we visited mama. These visits were the highlight of my week.
I got to put on my pretty church dress and mother even let me put a ribbon in my hair. Standing in front of the mirror,  I would twirl round and and round and watch my dress and my ribbon fly.
My shoes weren’t as fancy as mother’s shoes but I didn’t mind, they were nicer than my school shoes. Getting to dress up made church bearable, I would sit patiently beside mother and anticipate going over to mama’s house.

We went over to her house every Sunday after church and I loved it. Mama’s house always smelled of freshly baked bread and she’d always let me eat as many cookies as I liked. She’d make my favorite apple pie for dessert and let me eat my lunch in front of the TV.
But all the food and all the loose change Mama would give me when we finally got ready to leave was not my only reason for enjoying our Sunday visits.
It was James, the scruffy kid that lived with his dad down the street.

One day when I was 10 years old, mother spotted James and I playing outside in mamas front yard. This made her really mad, she scolded me for playing with a strange kid. But mama swooped in and scolded her for scolding me.

“He’s a harmless child Izzy, he lives with his dad two houses away” mama responded with her hands on her hip.
Mother was getting ready to start speaking again when mama caught her off

“Let the kids play, she needs someone her age to play with anyways?” She said as she shooed me back outside.

That wasn’t the first time James and I had played together but that day it became official. No longer did we have to sneak around so that mother wouldn’t see me.

James and I became best friends. Looking back now I guess we were both really lonely. He had half siblings but they lived with his mother and their dad in a different part of town. I was only child.

Mama had a big backyard with trees at the edge of it that extended into the woods. We would play hide and seek and take turns riding James’ bicycle till mother was ready to leave. Then she would call out my name and I would say farewell to James and dash inside to wash my hands and my face before mother and I would head home.

Those Sundays were the best.

Then everything came to an abrupt end one day.

James had gotten a present from his mother for his birthday last birthday. It was a brand new skate board.
The wheels shone and turned effortlessly as he struggled to maintain his balance on top of it.
I was excited too, mother would never let me own a skateboard so I figured this was my chance to ride one. That day we did not ride the bicycle. It was chained to little tree at the back of the edge of the woods.

We usually rode the bicycle on the corners and on the narrow path that lead down the woods. But with a skateboard we needed smoother, steadier roads. So we ventured into the street. Ofcourse we knew it was unsafe so we decided to cross the street and move into the alley on the other side.

This was supposed to be a quick ride across the narrow street. But a delivery truck driver had not been paying attention and James was yet to master the ropes of skateboarding.

It was a head on collision, I am certain James didn’t have time to react nor did he feel a thing.

Mother would later tell me that I had screamed till I lost my voice and I had gone into shock and had to be sedated.

I don’t recall any of that. I remember hearing the horn blare a little to late, then I heard the sound. It was the sound of his 11 year old body getting hit by a delivery truck.

Needless to say, Sundays at grandmas house was never the same again. I’d sit inside staring at the woods thru the window.

I’d catch a glimpse of the bicycle

“Why didn’t anyone move it?”
Didn’t his father want it?
Did he even know where it was?

But I never voiced my thoughts, never went out back again and we didn’t visit grandma as often anymore.

Eventually she got too old to live on her own and moved in with us.

Grandma is long gone and the house belongs to strangers now but James’ bicycle is still there – what is left of it atleast. Time and life has taken its toll on it but I suppose this is what life does to those who live long enough.

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