The Right Track
The wind whipped my hair around, the cold breeze sending shivers down my spine. This is why I love cycling, the exhilarating feeling of speed, the never ending rush that throws you forward, leaving the world behind.
The days when I stop and sit at my job in the reception at the local primary school is when I feel misplaced. The year 6 children go on a bike ride once a year. I wish the school would notice that I love to ride too. At least I work only for 6 and a half long, motionless hours. I ride to the school from home about 5km, so I get to ride to work and back but if I could choose I’d be cycling all day everyday, stopping for breaks of course but I would cycle for as long as I could.
I thought about becoming a professional cyclist, exploring the world racing along tracks in France, Italy and America but I’m just not as fast as those cyclists, I would come last even in the try outs to go to internationals. Well, I’ll just have to stick with morning and afternoon rides and the occasional weekend cycle, when I have the time, I have other things I do but cycling is my favourite.
“Morning Talia”, yells Mary my co-worker from the copy room.
“Hey”, I say as I walk through the door into the reception.
Mary walks into the room carrying a stack of school reports. It’s the last week of term 2 for the school and we both know who’ll be stapling all of those pieces of paper together for the next couple of days.
“You know, you’re a young, beautiful girl that could be doing so much more then working at a school reception. You could be travelling the world, working in africa to help the children there, creating a charity or something, dipping fries in milkshakes”
“Like I say every morning, I have thought about that but I’m sorry Mary, life doesn’t really work that way. You need money to travel the world, you need someone funding you to help in Africa, I don’t want to run a charity and who dips fries in milkshakes?”
“I did when I was younger, you know, with the cute guys that move in down the street and don’t really know the area, so you show them where the cafe is and then afterward they drive you home in their Ford Falcon”, says Mary smiling dreamily.
“I don’t think that happens anymore and also I’m 25 not 18”, I say shaking my head. “One day I’ll be needed for some higher calling but for the rest of this year no, I want to keep my work simple so I can go cycling a lot, I have heaps of time to do it in anyway”
“You know Talia if we could switch bodies for a day I would go find you a man to marry and get you some fancy shmancy job where you get paid a lot for doing nothing so you can go do some travelling. You need to be doing more Talia, you have a lot of life to live and you should do more with it”
“I’m happy where I am Mary, I’m just fine”
Mary rolls her eyes at me. For a 60 year old lady she is very much like a teenager that I look after when I’m at work, rather than the other way around.
“Right I’ll go get the mail, while you start stapling”, I say to Mary.
I like getting the mail every morning exactly at 8:00am before the children get to school because there’s this guy that cycles past the school in the mornings on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at exactly 8:00. Don’t tell anyone about this by the way because if you tell a person, that person will tell another person and then Mary will be eavesdropping on the last person. Then she’ll go talk to this guy, and then try to introduce me to him and then I’ll have to talk to him which will get me in a whole lot of hot water. So just shhhh. I would prefer just to watch from a distance.
I walk down the driveway to the letter box, right on time he comes flying past. He’s always gone in a flash, I get one glimpse and then he’s gone. I grab the mail and walk back up the driveway to the reception, my heart beating that little bit faster than before.
All day I was just stapling, stapling, and stapling. 100 reports we did that day, just 100. We have 300 reports, to go. Sure we had about as many breaks as reports but it was still tiresome.
“Bye Talia”, she says as we walk out the door of the reception.
“See you tomorrow”
“Yep, oh I almost forgot, I opened the mail this morning and guess what I found.”
“What?”, I ask.
“There is a bike riding competition hosted by the local council coming up this weekend, all cyclists are welcome to compete but the winner gets to donate $1,000 to their favourite charity. Talia it’s your big break”, she says looking at me intently.
“Ok, I’ll do it”
We look at each other for a while and then all of a sudden, we squeal and jump for joy.
“We’ve got to make T-shirts Talia, and banners, big banners, yes, that say ‘go Talia!’, it’s going to be a royal ball”, squeals Mary.
“They have to be blue with forrest green writing”, I say pointedly.
“Absolutely”, she replies saluting. “We’ll have a cheerleading team at the finish line as well with big pom poms and I’ll be in it too. It’ll be just like high school.”
“You know sometimes I forget how old you are when we have conversations like these.”
“Well honey, forget how old I am all the time. It’ll do you some good.”
We both grin at each other and then hug.
“I’ll see you tomorrow Mary”, I say getting onto my bike.
“Bye honey, have a good sleep tonight, we’ll do some planning at work tomorrow”
She gets in her car and then drives away and I begin my ride home. Mary is pretty cool, despite the age difference she is most likely my best friend/ my second mum. I ride into my driveway and lock my bike up in the garage.
My car sits in the garage a lot, I hardly use it, it’s great too because I pay hardly anything for fuel.
My bikes a good bike, it’s one of those sports bikes, with the drop handlebars to make travelling long distances more comfortable. It’s got a water bottle holder, a phone holder, a lovely, black leather seat, a black front basket and is painted completely blue. I got it painted when I first bought it because it was yellow and yellow clashes with my skin colour. Anyway, it’s the perfect bike no matter what anyone says.
I walk into my house, my cat, Flopsy comes purring, rubbing herself against my legs. She obviously wants food, the only reason she loves me is because I give her food.
“Your a pretty little cat Flopsy aren’t you, yes you are, yes you are”, I say as I pour the cat pellets into her bowl.
Its 5:00 in the afternoon but it feels like 9:00. I heat myself up a freezer meal. Today it is spaghetti bolognese. It’s a bit sad that I live on my own. I can’t have a dog as i couldn’t look after it and I obviously don’t have a love life. My cat Flopsy is nice and all but it’s just not the same.
As I hop into bed that night I think good thoughts. Not only am I going to race in a competition but I could win and help support a charity of my choice. I think I’ll do what Mary said, I’ll help the children in Africa with the money, that’s what I’ll do.
To be continued…
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