Where am I? I had just turned into a dead end. My palms were sweating and my head was spinning. What was I thinking? I disobeyed them. I went behind their backs. Why didn’t I just listen?
“Hey. Do you want to bike together today?” I asked my friend, Claudia.
“Yeah. Come bike over to my house.” I sighed and agreed to bike to her. I didn’t really know where I was going, but I thought I’d be fine. What’s the worst that could happen anyways…
I jumped, startled seeing some high schoolers jogging. They came around the corner and I turned the opposite direction. I let my body lead the way. Pedaling fast. Without thought. I didn’t know where I was going, but I decided to go for it, maybe I’ll surprise myself?
I tried to bike in many different directions, but none of them looked like the way to Claudia’s. Left? Nope. I started sweating and my legs were burning and my throat was dry. I biked back to where I started, coming to a conclusion that I wasn’t going to figure this out on my own. I tried calling Claudia for directions. I dialed her number, breathing heavily.
“Hi. Where are you? Why is it taking you so long?”
“I don’t know where I am. Wait, here, I’ll send you my location.”
“Ok… I think I might know where you are. I would just meet you there, but there are a few guys that have been hanging out at the end of my driveway. They look old and creepy and I don’t want to ride past them. They’re freaking me out.” (I wished she would have quickly biked past them, what’s the big deal anyways?!).
“Fine. If you won’t meet me here, can you give me directions to your house? I don’t know why I didn’t ask before I left. I wasn’t thinking.”
“Ok let me th…”
“Claudia? Hello?” My phone spazzed. Home screen. Then black. It was dead. Panic rushed through me. Why didn’t I charge my phone before I left? Now I have no way of figuring out where I am. How to get to Claudia’s. How to get home. Home. That sounded so nice right now.
As time went by, the sun felt stronger. My throat felt drier. My hope of getting home felt impossible. I was just biking in circles now, occasionally running into the joggers. They glared at me. My initial thought was, great, they probably think I’m following them. I looked away, hoping that was the last time I had to see them.
I wondered if Claudia was worried about me. Nah. If I were her I would laugh and think my friend was crazy for getting lost. What about my parents? Are they worried? I’m so terrible. I didn’t even tell them I was leaving. My dad was doing yard work. Maybe he was too busy to notice. My mom wasn’t home. Something else was bothering me… I remembered my mom told me she didn’t feel comfortable with me biking down this way. It’s too dangerous. You aren’t familiar with that neighborhood. I don’t want you getting lost or hurt. I didn’t listen. I thought that was stupid and I told her I would be fine. Now looks who’s right.
I didn’t know what time it was, but I needed to be back by 3:30 for soccer practice. I’ve been looking forward to it all day. I can’t miss it. I continued to bike in circles, giving myself time to think… what am I doing? Have I given up? I had to stop. I was acting like a baby. Boo hoo I’m lost forever. No. I’m going to find my way out.
I tried to visualize how I ended up here. Pedaling, I looked around. Wait. Something looked familiar. I biked down that way, feeling better. Ok, that wasn’t so hard. Up a head… my heart started racing, that’s Sport Hill! I pedaled hard onto the main road. Never, all day, have I felt this good. I shook my head and laughed. When I pushed myself to build up my confidence. When I told myself I could do this without help. I found my way home.