To The Bike Thief

Do you remember the summer day you stole my bike? My pride and joy. It was purple, sparkled, and perfect for my size. The times I used it, could get real fast, specially going down hills.

But you wanted it, so I let you take it. I was watching when you slipped down the path on the side of my house. Once you’d exited my range of sight, I could hear you brushing past the trash cans when I sat real still.

I could hear the click of the kickstand being flipped out of your way so you could feel how smooth it rode. I knew it wasn’t for you. You wouldn’t ride something so feminine around town, no.

It was for your girlfriend, Elsa. I didn’t know her well, but I’d seen her house, which was cross town. It didn’t look real welcoming, and there was always yelling drifting beyond the presumably thin walls into the otherwise quiet streets.

I didn’t need to look into your eyes to know Elsa needed that bike more than I did. I envisioned the girl riding down Juniper St., long dark hair rising with her increasing speed. She’d follow Juniper St., in my fantasy, in my child mind, all the way to the sea, where she could see true love where the ocean and the sky neither begin, not end, but continue.

And she wouldn’t be lonely. And you’d let her go.
Let her get away.
Because you knew your young love would fade. And you’d hurt her in a way that went beyond repair, beyond being reconciled by presenting her a sparkley *new bike.

You stopped for a moment,  and looked behind you. No witnesses. You thought. You didn’t know me really well.

You didn’t know I was a pretty sick kid, and sometimes had to stay home from class, where my mom would check on me time to time.

You looked guilty anyhow. I just thought you might feel better knowing I didn’t use the bike all that often, it put too much strain on my lungs. I know Elsa didn’t ride to the see the ocean.

After the spring months my mom was driving me to the doctors across town and I saw the purple sparkled bike rusting in her side yard.

But I made sure my mom didn’t notice…

I hope you made her smile. At least for a little while.

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