(Day 21 – Something that you’re proud of)
It was either bindies or gravel. She could have chosen to make do with the tiny thorns on the lawn which latched onto her jacket and pants when she fell, but her hardheadedness compelled her to suffer through the biting pebbles littered throughout their flat’s spacious driveway instead. She got up, rolled her woolen sweater’s sleeves to her elbows, and checked on her cut.
The wound wasn’t that bad. It was just a scrape really. There was some blood, there were some tiny stones that somehow made their way through her woolen armour, but, on the whole, her elbow was still okay. She rolled her jeans up to check on her knees. Not too bad, either. She’d have to tell her mum to get her a new pair of pants soon though.
Her bicycle – just a few ungraceful paces away from her – was mercifully still in good condition. She made her way towards it and forced the blasted apparatus up. I can do this.
“You can do it, Pangging!” Her dad’s voice came from the other end of the driveway.
I can do this.
* * *
“Stop. Go. Stop. Go. Okay, your engine died again.”
This was getting frustrating. She couldn’t figure out why she couldn’t get the clutch-accelerator mix right. She turned the ignition key on for the n-th time, revving the car back to life. Her left foot pushed the clutch, her left hand shifted the gear stick to primera, and her right foot tapped the accelerator ever so lightly. Please don’t die, please don’t die, please don’t die. Slowly, she released the pressure that her left foot had on the clutch. The car started to move.
“Okay – stop. Go. Stop. Go. You can do this, Mari.”
You bet I can. I can do this.
* * *
“Okay guys, let’s all race each other to the other end of the park!”
“You’re on! Ready, set, go!”
She was speeding through Burnham Park, her friends several feet, several inches away from her, and she felt the wind wave about her jacket, ruffle through her hair. She allowed one hand to let go of the handlebar and she raised it up just to enjoy the cool Baguio June air.
This was fun. Her friends’ joyful laughter rang throughout the park and she found herself laughing along. She pedalled quickly, knowing that, this time, she wasn’t likely to even fall.
I can do this.
* * *
What was up with today? Traffic was worse than usual. Did everyone suddenly decide to leave the office at the same time? She shifted the car’s gear to neutral and pulled the handbrake up. Jesusculture’s heavenly sounds echoed throughout Caleb’s interior.
The car in front of her finally started to move. Clutch down, primera in, accelerator down, clutch up. Clutch down, segunda in, clutch up again. Accelerate. We are moving! Clutch down, tricera in, clutch up, accelerator down – okay just a bit more – clutch down – and we are now in gear four! She let out a sigh of relief as the stream of traffic started moving steadily again.
In twenty minutes, she’d be home. Traffic was nothing compared to the two-hour waiting time she once had to endure at the Bandar Tasik Selatan KTM station. Oh sure, there’d be another parade of cars she’d have to brave through once she’d get to the Sri Petaling junction, but she was already very much used to that. It was really just as easy as pie.
She hummed along to the song being played in Caleb’s radio and sped through the Maju Expressway.
You see? I really can do this.