Bikes that were never new, rides that never got old.
Your usual Tuesday afternoon. Today is Friday, I'm aware, but the day I'm telling you about was a Tuesday.
Our school was a large, white building with walls that felt pleasant to touch. The stone on the walls had smalls bumps on it, like the muddy spikes in a mangrove forest. The school yard was as vast as the horizon, looking from the shore of a blue lake. The yard grew smaller every passing year, though – and in fact, I'm quite certain that if I were to explore the yard now, it would not feel vast at all.
We were two boys heading home from school. Riding our bikes that were never new but bikes that felt new every time we rode them. You could imagine yourself in a motorbike race, shift the gear from the handles and boost up your speed by pedalling as hard as you could, passing your rivals with ease. It's not as if you could tell one another what you were imagining the bike ride to be but I think we both knew our positions in the race.
The other boy was a bit older than me, and he was actually the only one heading home. I was heading to where he lived because that's what boys do in the afternoon, when the never-ending story of the school's clock had ended in a siren of joy, a bell of freedom. The way to where the other boy lived wasn't that long but we would see things along the way – funny-looking people, dead animals run over by speeding cars too ignorant to realize the lives they've taken, paths that led into the near-by forest, sometimes even other boys – and the trip would become a journey. Journey back home.
We eventually reached our destination, hopped off our bikes and practically ran up the concrete stairs in front of the other boy's house. We both knew what was waiting for us inside the house. Video games.
I like to think I spent the majority of my childhood outside because we never had video games at home. I had to socialize to make my way to video games, and yes, the games were a lot more fun with the other boys as well. We grabbed the shiny controllers with their X -buttons beaten down hard so many times that the green color of the cross had turned into a faded grey, and launched the game.
Sometimes other boys would join us. They were the friends of my friend, the original other boy. I didn't know them by their names so my friend introduced me to them. I always felt like shaking hands with them because that's what you did when you met new people. They would join our games and most of the time they were better than me at the games as well. I blame my lack of exercise in the given games.
When the sun started setting early in the evening I would head home for dinner.
Sometimes we make life to be so hard. We must work, we have to meet new people, we got to keep fit. Life is really much more simple than we let it be. What is life anyways but an enjoyment of your imagination. A bike ride among other boys where you can always win if you want to.