The agonizing pain coursed through my legs. Every push left me breathless. I didn’t know how long I could keep looking for her. Did she just leave without saying anything, I wondered. The idea quickly escaped my mind. That was an unlikely thing for her to do. That’s why I couldn’t just stop searching.
It was a slow Saturday evening. Most likely in November when it was still hot. I was spending my time on the couch scrolling through every social media. Then it crossed my mind how almost every weekend I did nothing thrilling. Not a single idea popped into my head of what to do. Until… I thought about one of the most adventurous person I knew, Rachel. Without hesitation, I called her on FaceTime and to my surprise, she instantly picked up. I got straight to the question.
“Hey, Rachel! You free to hang out?” There was a moment of silence between us until Rachel broke it by saying
“Uh, my parents aren’t home and I have soccer at 4, but… I could still try to bike to your house.” I thought she was joking. But she was DEAD serious.
“How are we going to make this work,” I asked.
“I’ll bike to your house.” I was really iffy on the whole proposal, but the idea of biking sealed the deal.
“Ok. Let’s do it! Come right now, we don’t have time to waste,” I responded. Then I ended the call.
I walked into my closet and threw a pair of jean shorts on with a plain, white top. It wasn’t the best attire for biking, but I didn’t feel like wearing anything sporty. Once I was satisfied with my outfit I stumbled down the stairs, grabbed my bright blue helmet and walked out the door. As I stepped out of my house I completely forgot to tell my mother where I was going (she wasn’t home at the time). I slipped my hand into my pocket and grasped my phone. Pulling it out with ease. Quickly, I texted my mom and notified her. That was a close one, I thought while placing my phone back into my pocket. I was so distracted at thought of my mom thinking I went missing that I didn’t even notice this red car at the end of my driveway that was right in front of me. The person in the car was blasting music, windows rolled down, and they didn’t seem to mind that they were on my property. Fear took control of me. Without even thinking I started to look for my bike which lucky enough was on my patio on the right of me. I ran towards my bike, grabbed the handles and guided my bicycle to the back of my house where I could hide from the person. I didn’t want them to see me, I was afraid that they might kidnap me. Immediately I dialed Rachel’s number. The phone rang. She picks up.
“Rachel where are you?!” I had no patience and I could hear the anger growing inside of me.
“Can we actually meet up somewhere,” she asked.
“Because it just won’t work OK, just come towards me.”
“Rachel you don’t understand, I can’t just leave! There is some random dude at the end of my driveway. And I’m not trying to get kidnapped” Rachel sighed. Slowly the hope in her disappeared.
“Just forget it, this isn’t going to work.”
“Why would you say that there has to be a way?” I became desperate. Longing to go biking.
“Because…” Rachel paused. “Because… I don’t know where I am. My phone is at 3% percent and I can’t just stay on the call with you until you get here. Just please find a way to get to me. I’ll send you my location.” There was no need for disagreements. We both wanted to bike together, and I guess I had to make it happen.
“Fine. I’ll be there in about 10 minutes. Please stay where you are I’m coming right now.” When I told her that, I sounded brave, but deep down I was scared.
“Oh thank you,” Rachel said. I could hear her holding back the tears. Maybe those tears were because of fear or maybe they were from joy. I will never know. Anyways, I had to think of a way to get to her. The idea finally appeared after a minute of pondering.
Swiftly, I sprinted through my backyard with my bike dragging behind, praying that the person in the car won’t see me. I ran so fast that I didn’t fully register that I was at the top part of my street which was one big bumpy hill. My heart was pounding the heat from the sun was getting to me. I let out one big sigh. Let’s do this, I said to myself. As I started to go down the road I noticed that there were at least 5 construction men standing around. They were about 100 feet away from me. Some stood watching as two men went on a lift to work on the power lines. Fear came back like lighting. There was no way I could stop now, so I went. I stayed on the left side of the road watching every step I made so I wouldn’t trip over rocks. One car passed by and the smell of gasoline hit me. It smelt so bad that my lungs gave out and I started to cough. Yet I continued on. I started to grasp harder on my bike’s handles, feeling the sweat from my hands loosening my grip. I was getting closer to the construction men. I wanted so badly to run down the hill fast, but it felt like time was slowly trying to kill me. Now I was less than 5 feet away from them. One guy stood on the grass. I could feel his eyes following me as I moved down the street. So naturally, my reaction was to put a mean face on so people knew I was not to be messed with. And it worked. Eventually, I reached the end of my street without being bothered. I’ve never felt so scared and excited at the same time. It had only been 5 minutes since Rachel and I have spoken to each other. Yet, as soon as I thought about Rachel I received a text from her that showed me her exact location. She was at a place called Circle Road. Ok, this will be fine, I told myself. After walking down my road I felt like I could do anything. So I clipped my phone to my bike with those dandy phone holders and placed my helmet on my head. It was time to find Rachel.
After 20 minutes of following the GPS, I reached my destination. That destination was called Circle Road. The street was one small circle with three trails leading out from the road. Some of those trails leading to nowhere. In the center of that avenue was me, but no sign of Rachel. She wasn’t there. I wasn’t sure exactly what I should do. I also didn’t know where to start looking because she could have been anywhere. I took my phone off of the phone holder to call Rachel. I dialed her number but she didn’t pick up. I called her once more. Nothing. Before I could even clip my phone back into the phone holder a white sign popped up on my phone. Oh no, I thought. My phone was at ten percent. Fear started to creep up on me once again. I looked at the time and I noticed it was three-twenty-three. Now I was panicking. Rachel was gone. She wouldn’t answer my calls. So my best chance was to go look around for her. I put my phone away and started to bike. This time I was moving fast. I went up massive hills. Then down massive hills. Did several loops. And found myself losing it.The agonizing pain coursed through my legs. Every push left me breathless. I didn’t know how long I could keep looking for her. Did she just leave without saying anything, I wondered. The idea quickly escaped my mind. That was an unlikely thing for her to do. That’s why I couldn’t just stop searching. She had to be somewhere. Standing by her bike hoping that I would come to her. I kept pushing on.
Another 20 minutes passed. I found myself back on Circle Road. The feeling of determination started to vanish. My last hope was finding another friend to help me find Rachel. With no hesitation, I dialed Makena’s number. The phone rang. While I nervously waited for her to pick up my mind wondered. Where could Rachel be? Why won’t she answer my calls? Will I ever see her again?
“Hello?” Makena picked up.
“Oh hey. Makena I seriously need your help?”
“Why? What’s wrong?” She sounded genuine.
“Well long story short, Rachel and I tried to meet up by biking to each other, but now I lost her. And I was wondering if you could help me out by biking with me and maybe we could find Rachel together.”
“Oh, I can’t. Sorry. I have dance today. But if I were you I would just look for her one more time but if you can’t find her you should just go home.” I didn’t want to accept the faith that Rachel and I wouldn’t get the chance to bike together, but I couldn’t stay outside looking forever. I thanked her for the advice and hung up. The sun was going down and I knew I had to move fast.
I went through the same process. Up massive hills. Down massive hills. Going in circles like a madman. I just couldn’t seem to find her. All that hope I built up was destroyed. I faced the facts and turned back towards my house and headed on to a main road. As I biked to my house I studied the lane ahead. Branches and rocks scattered everywhere. The heat from the sun mixed in with the breeze, soothed my skin. I was at ease despite the fact that Rachel and I didn’t get the chance to bike together. I never acknowledged, during this bike ride, that this was the first time I’ve ever left my house by myself. The feeling was exhilarating. Being independent was a new feeling I haven’t really felt. Sure I’ve been out with friends, but I’ve never been out by myself. A smile started to grow across my face. Then my phone started to buzz. Rachel was trying to FaceTime me. I stopped in my tracks. Picked my phone up and answered the call. As soon as my phone started to develop Rachel’s face the first thing she said was,
“Claudia! Hey… I’m so sorry. I had to go home because I didn’t know where I was and I needed to go home before my mom came back.” I could tell in her face that she meant it and I believed every single thing she said.
“Also my phone died. That’s why I couldn’t answer your calls. I was so scared and just wanted to go. I tried getting Allie to bike towards me so she can help me get back to my house, but she couldn’t come.” Rachel was talking faster than usual. It seemed as if she was trying to spit out all of her words before I could question her for leaving me.
“It’s whatever. I’m on the way to my house anyways.”
“That’s good. I just wanted to make sure that you weren’t outside still looking for me,” Rachel said. The pace of her words slowed down. Her tone of voice was much calmer.
“Well, I know now.” I paused not sure what else to say to Rachel.
“How far are you from your house?”
“Only about a minute,” I responded. To my surprise, I totally forgot that my phone was near death. It was barely holding two percent of batteries.
“Rachel my phone is about to die so I’m just going to hung and talk to you later. Sounds good?” She smiled back at me through the screen.
“Ya, sure! Be careful getting back home,” Rachel said. I nodded
“Bye Rachel.” Then my phone died. Then I slowly peddled back home to safety. In the end, we realized that if we ever wanted to bike together we needed to make a bulletproof plan or things will never work out. Did I regret what I did? No. It was a disaster that turned into something amazing. It turned into a memory that will stick with me for as long as I live.