Pedals

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You can't run away from your own fears.
Nor can you ride.
Trust her, she learned that the hard way.

She loved her bike.
Blue and silver painting.
Faux leather seat.
3 speed, although she only went to two.
Wide handle bars.
Perfectly functioning kick stand.
This bike had it all.
She loved it, for it was her escape.
Her get away.
Her freedom.
But she was never free for long.

She learned at age ten.
From six years old until then, she was petrified of riding a bike.
An accident happened.
Two uneven training wheels.
One driveway.
The result?
One bloodied elbow.
One fear.
Four years later, she tried.
She tried for an hour, like Dad taught her to.
Push.
Push.
Glide.
Push.
Push.
Glide.
Finally, after 27 deleted videos and two tired legs, she did it.
For 12 seconds, she pushed.
She pushed again.
She glided.
She pedaled.
"Oh my god, I'm doing it! Dad, Dad, I'm actually doing it!"
Those twelve seconds turned into minutes.
Days.
Hours.
Months.
Years.
Three years, to be exact.
She learned how to ride standing up.
How to ride without her left hand.
Without her left hand.
Without any hands.
She knew every street in her neighborhood.
She knew each shortcut, how long it might take, and where they would be.

Them.
They weren't nice.
No, not at all.
They scared her, and they never stopped.
She was their entertainer.
Their joker.
Their t o y.
They taunted her.
They screamed at her.
They laughed at her.
They crowded around her.
They TERRIFIED her.
If she wasn't sitting on her bike, feet on the pedals, she was screwed.

She wasn't sitting on it when they came.
All the way on the other side of the road.
They hovered over her.
They shouted really loud.
She didn't like it.
They'd try and take her headphones off and scream right in her ear.
She cried, but she didn't sob.
Just tears.
Tears fell, quickly and swiftly.
So did her sense of hope.
She just wanted to escape.
She wanted to ride away.
She couldn't.
Run.
Run.
RUN.
RUN.
R U N .
R U N.
She sprinted towards her bike.
RUNRUNRUNRUNRUNRUN.
She hopped on the seat.
GOGOGOGOGOGOGOGO.
She dashed away, looking behind her.
NONONONONONONONONO.

They were chasing her.

They were gone when the first car passed.
She saw them, but only in her mind.
She saw how they teased her.
They knew it scared her.
That's why they did it.
That's why they followed her.
That's why the bike did nothing.

She rides it.
She always has, always will.
However, she doesn't escape.
Not from her fears.
She can't.
She just pedals.

Fin.

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