A Wild Ride
By: Jessica Bartels
Behind the little white house a shed shined a bright light and blared music. As always, on this day Kenny was tinkering; building some mystery. My little brother worked hard on his projects. He was a smart kid and good with his hands. When I was about fourteen years old he made a mini-bike from scratch. I would have never admitted it to him but it was pretty cool. At twelve years old he took two bike frames and welded them together (another skill he taught himself). He installed a lawnmower motor. He got handlebars, tires and parts from a broken dirt bike. I was secretly impressed with his creativity to make the seat out of a skateboard. His little motor bike was fast too. But with all his stuff he warned us to leave them alone. Actually he threatened us with our lives.
Coming to my house there was one way in and one way out. Coming off Nebraska onto 138th there was a rundown trailer park on the left side. To the right was a parking lot surrounded by a flimsy metal gate. At the end of the street you can only turn right. On the left side was a two acre field with a small white house sitting at the far end of the field. On the right was the same flimsy metal gate and an entrance of the almost abandoned parking lot of donated cars to the Salvation Army. The road dead ended into the Salvation Army’s men’s rehabilitation center.
We walked out of the tiny white house onto the rickety old wooden porch. Vicki and I had just enough time to sneak one last cigarette before my mom’s blue escort station wagon hit the corner of our dead end street. I knew it was coming. I felt it in the air. As I took my first drag and inhaled the sweet taste of menthol I saw Vicki’s brown eyes glisten with excitement. I sat down in the brittle plastic chair hoping that she would join me. Of course not. She paced back and forth eying Kenny’s mini-bike. Being the person that she is, the person she’s always been, rebellion was calling to her. From where I was sitting I could see down the L shaped road and I kept an eye out for mom.
Suddenly she jumped onto the spray painted minibike. All I saw was her goofy demented smile behind her thin pink lips. She fumbled for a second before she got the engine to roar. Kenny didn’t hear it at first even though it sounded like roaring thunder in our front yard. We both looked back at the shed to see if he was coming as she stopped revving the engine. We heard Eminem from his speakers barely drowning the sound of a drill. When I looked back to her she all I saw was cheekbones again as she grinned.
She kicked the bike into gear. With a jerk that could have caused whiplash she took off out the gate and to the right. Instantly she was picking up speed. When she got to the stop sign she drifted around. I stood there watching, wondering why she didn’t slow down. Kenny must have heard because he came out running down the street behind her screaming. As I stood on the porch all I could do was laugh. She was going 40 miles per hour straight towards Nebraska, a very busy street. Like a scene from a superman cartoon she held onto the handlebars as her legs flapped in the air. Then I realized he was screaming there’s no brakes. Suddenly she turned the handle bars back and forth. I thought she was trying to slow down. She veered toward the flimsy metal gate. From my raggedy porch I watched my best friend slam into the gate. All ninety pounds of her was thrown over the gate. She landed on flat on her black in the muddy grass. I knew she was out of breath because she didn’t move at first.
“That’s what your dumb ass gets!” Kenny screamed at her before he jumped the gate to help her up. When she got up he left her standing alone.
He rode back on his bike. Both of our stomachs hurt when she walked up covered in mud and grass. I laughed until I cried.