Life Cycle

Chained like a prisoner. Day in and day out, both full and under-sized humans touch me and talk about me. I look forward to the day I will be unleashed and free even though I'll still be but a possession.

~.~

It finally happens. A petite one loves my color, size, and speed. It wants me. Not another, but me. I'm shiny and new and a gift from the taller one for a birthday. As I stop to wonder what kind of celebration that might be, the weight of the lock is lifted and I instantly feel the liberation I'd been hoping for. They wheel me out of the department store and haul me into the back of a loud metal box. I only recognize that it also has wheels, although, they are much thicker than mine. As we travel, the breeze kicks back to where I lay hinting at the liberty to come.

~.~

A large red satin bow is stiffly placed on my handles making me feel important. No longer having to share the attention with others, I am the centerpiece. I stand proud as I see a mid-sized being walk out of the giant white box with a brown triangular top. This one is soundless, not like the metal one in which I came. The bigger human with long, thin chains hanging from the top, hides the little one's reflectors with its tassels. I'm in awe of how they can control them whereas the wind is the only thing that moves mine.

Once revealed, the miniature human shrieks with excitement, running after me. It mounts me immediately, and raises the kick stand. Then, I move. Its pedals against my pedals, quickly shifting in a circular motion, making my chains run smoothly, turning my tires. It shifts my gear, pushing us faster and faster. This is it; the moment I have been waiting for: freedom.

We cut through the air with the greatest of speed, one happy human on its two-wheeled steed.

~.~

The first few months are bliss. The small being rides me daily, showing me the dirt roads, grassy terrain, and lofty trees. Nature at its fullest.

It slides a small piece of stiff paper between my spokes, and when we fly, it makes me sound like that big metal box of theirs.

~.~

One day, it leaves me without putting down my kick stand. I fall hard to the ground. It hurts. I expect it to come back and pick me up, but it doesn't. It goes back into the big white box and doesn't return.

Cold water begins to rain down from the sky. At first there are only a few drops, but then it pours. It doesn't let up for days. My body aches. I feel the rust developing on my metal. I feel neglected.

After this time, it happens quite often, the rust progressing over my metal further each time.

~.~

The sun is shining and a larger human picks me up and wheels me to the garage. I'm disappointed when I see no sign of the little one today.

~.~

I hear yelling coming from the white box, then the small one runs out. It grabs me and rides me farther than we've ever been. I get a sense of anger as it pedals me hard and fast. I no longer know where I am.

Many loud metal boxes pass us as we travel the road. We come to another giant box much like the white one, but this one is blue. Another little human comes out about the size of the one with me. It lets me fall again. It must think my kick stand has been broken; it's used no more. I don't feel the pain this time as I hit the rocky ground. I'm more worried about my human. They talk; mine cries. They go into the blue box. I wait patiently.

The metal box in front of me roars to life. It moves backward and I think it will stop, but it persists until I whine in pain of the bending and breaking of my front wheel and spokes. The metal box stops and moves forward. I see a large human climb out and calls toward the box where the smaller ones went in. They run outside and my human sees me.

It wails and cries. This is the first time I know it still cares about me. Even though we haven't been riding in a while, it doesn't like the thought of me being in this mangled state. The pain resides.

~.~

I'm lifted again into the metal box in which I was first delivered; they take me back. My wheel can be replaced, and I'm not worried about it until I hear the two tall humans talking. They say that a replacement part costs almost as much money as a new bicycle.

~.~

I'm leaned into the corner of the garage, and I see a similar sight. The human with long thin chains covering my human's reflectors. But this time, I am not the one they are revealing. It is a new bike. I'm am but an old, worn out piece of metal.