I don’t even know why my parents decided to get me a bike. It wasn’t anything I did – my parents don’t subscribe to this performance-based reward/punishment scheme. I get stuff in three ways: my parents go on a trip, I ask for something and they give me the money, or I beg. However, that day, my mother inexplicably got me and my brother in the car and we went to the bike place. I didn’t even know what was going on; I honestly thought we were getting the bike for someone else. I was made to wait in the car while my brother, who was visibly more excited than I was, went with my mother to get the bike. When they came back, I noticed my brother riding on the new blue and black bike, and that not only got me excited finally in anticipation, but also made me kinda mad that if that was MY bike, my brother was riding it first. So I gave him a death stare.
Obviously, my brother told me he picked the bike for me, and I got very excited. I couldn’t wait to ride it at home! I’d do stunts and speed fast and do cool stuff!
[NOTE: As a kid, I had this idea that I would be naturally exceptional at all wheel stuff… bikes, roller-skates, skateboards, so I always imagine myself doing this…
… but end up looking like this…
So when I got home, my eldest brother held the bike up for me to sit on confidently and he gave me a push. I lived my little fantasy for about five full seconds before I crashed sideways into a plant.
It wasn’t the first time, and it wasn’t the lowest point of me riding a bike. That was when my cousin, who -I- taught how to ride, beat me in a race, in a veeery waterlogged and dangerous road in front of his house, to cheering supporters. Hmm… that was definitely the lowest.
There were highs as well! I remember pretending to be one of the Famous Five, or the Five Find-Outers, riding around “snooping” for mysteries and adventures. I made mad theories about people I see on the street and even stalk sometimes. Occasionally, I was also the Blue Ranger. Oh yeah!
I guess I was feeling particularly bad ass the day that it all went wrong for me.
That was because I was just back from school and everyone else was praying at the mosque, and I was biking around showing off without a care in the world.
This episode was a couple of years after I got the bike. And my brother, who I went with to get it, had a friend over and they were passing by to his room, totally ignoring me. Now I wasn’t going to allow that. I shall not be ignored! I had to get attention! I HAD TO GET ATTENTION, DAMMIT!!
And so I sped.
And then sensed something was wrong.
See, the initial idea was to make as if I was going to hit the concrete fence that surrounded our barnyard animals and their storage sheds, heighten their anxiety, AND then conduct an epic handbrake turn in the manner that we refer to as kotsiya!!! OOH YEAH!!
You could see a mile off how this not-so-full-proof plan could go wrong. And at this junction I am going to advise all of you readers to never try anything like this on a bike, should you feel an inexplicable need to show off.
It was the brakes.
As I reached to apply the right brakes, which was the good one, it swivelled 180 degrees to underneath the handle-bar to render it as useless as the left brakes – which were… pretty useless.
And I was left with my human instincts. At that particular moment, I knew if I hit the fence full force, I was going to topple overhead unto the barnyard with all those thorns and plants and some garbage and God knows what.
So I steered left as hard as I could without completely losing my balance, and was headed towards the gate to the barnyard. Man, that gate was some dangerous piece of shit, what with rotting spikes and all.
When I hit it and one of the spikes sank into my right cheek, I didn’t even feel it.
[Intended picture too gruesome to post]
How shocking must it have been to those praying in the mosque for a whizzing bleeding kid to run past them into the house. I can’t remember sensing clearly my mother lambasting me, my brother trying to explain what happened, my aunt immediately rushing to wash my face with the bottled water in her hand, and whoever it was that got me tissue for my face.
I couldn’t even remember clearly when I got into the car and went to the hospital. All I knew was that even though I felt like shit (mentally), I didn’t cry. You see, even though it is not hard to get me to cry, I usually cry over emotional hurts, not physical ones (even if they do accompany each other). And that injury was the fourth of the five prominent scars and wounds I have on my head. But more on that in forthcoming posts.
No, the closest I came to crying was the next day at school, which I dreaded going to since I saw the size of the bandage they put on my face. The first girl that saw my face laughed loudly and went and told everyone, and for the next hour, I sat with my face hidden by my arms.
I felt like this.
However, my teacher, Uncle Thomas, told me to chin up. He assured me that it was just an injury, and I could do nothing about it. He addressed my concerns, and promised me that no-one would laugh. He asked me to relax. And I did!
All of them. Hysterical. Even the teacher.