The harsh low degrees hit my warm face as I pushed the door open. It was after we had a few drinks together. We agreed on making lasagna that night. I climbed onto my bike, ready to cycle to the supermarket. “Oh gosh, ow” I heard, followed by playful grunting noises.
She was having issues getting on hers. I’ve never been tall, but being as short as her seemed to come with difficulties – one of which; the start of a cycling journey. I suggested getting a head start off the pavement, to be easier for her.
“But it’s on the right…I can’t use my left leg to start the bike”.
“Yes you can”, I said. She always did have a way of making herself believe everything was harder than it was – but that didn’t stop her from trying.
Her left leg went onto the left pedal, but so did everything else. The bicycle fell onto the ground, but thankfully, she didn’t.
We both burst into laughter as she pulled the bike back up. The beers have definitely got to her, I thought. She had a way of making the simplest actions hilariously clumsy.
It was going to be lasagna that night. Cooking with him was always particularly fun, and almost always delicious.
But before lasagna, we needed ingredients; time to cycle to the store! I enjoyed cycling, but it made me so nervous, so many people cycled in that city, you had to keep up the speed.
I wasn’t from there, so cycling was a rare occurrence for me. I attempted to get on the bike, but I almost fell sideways; my legs couldn’t reach the ground from that seat. I laughed off the embarrassment, and tried again, from the sidewalk. The bike fell sideways again.
Of course it was humorous, but I couldn’t help wonder how useless he must have thought I was. Perhaps, if I had been less useless, he would’ve fought for me more. He would’ve told me we shouldn’t break up, because we both love each other and we can make it work.
Perhaps he would have refused breaking up; not to go against my will, but because he would know I didn’t want to break up really. In that perfect scenario, he would’ve known I only broke up because I panicked – because everyone told me “what’s the use of being together?” …Because I felt jealous of how far he got already, but it was jealousy that came along with guilt. I thought that jealousy would stop me from achieving what I wanted – living in his shadow wasn’t an option. No one’s shadow is an option.
We made our way to the supermarket; the alcohol made the bike ride easier, somehow. I loved alcohol for that – it calmed my mind, it made me act clumsy and made others laugh.
It made him laugh.
Making him laugh was an indescribable feeling. His eyes when he laughed with me felt like a warm hug, for my soul.
As we made our way to the supermarket, she cycled from one side of the road to the other, clumsily trying to keep balance, while making oh-so-necessary ‘wee’ noises.
Everything seemed an adventure with her, whether she liked it or not. Making lactose free lasagna was going to be another one. Her eyes seemed to light up when she saw a different pasta she liked; making her question the lasagna, but not wanting to disappoint me.
We headed back home. Both of us on our bicycles. She was getting more tired now, she got slower. I had to slow down my pace quite a lot with her. I just wanted to get home this time; my patience tested. She suddenly was having more trouble; she kept stopping or almost falling over, but she kept getting back on and trying again.
A part of me really wanted her to stop cycling and get on the back of mine; but I couldn’t help but admire her perseverance.
After around 10 minutes, I look back and find her on the side of the road, with her bicycle sideways on the ground. I wondered how she had ended up there – it was then she got on the back of my bicycle.
The cycling journey back home proved difficult. The alcohol began to wear off, and I grew more tired, more quickly. He seemed eager to get home, I couldn’t blame him. A part of me felt guilty for cycling so slow, but I did enjoy cycling, and wanted to finish the journey I had started.