Cycling Stories

The Storm

July 17, 2020

author:

The Storm

“Don’t stop in front of me!” I yelled at my boyfriend, angry and frustrated, trying to weave my way through two lines of crowded cars. I didn’t have enough room to stop my bicycle safely.

But, he did stop. So, I halted forcefully right behind him, narrowly missing the car on my right. The owner gave us a nasty look. I blasted V with an angry smirk. 

“Let’s go on the roadside,” he said prudently, looking at me with worry. “You are going too fast, you’re too angry, and you can barely control your bike.” 

I bit my tongue so I wouldn’t say something I would regret later, but that was unfair and annoying. I was not moving too fast. It was just fast enough to keep my inertia and not lose balance! The cars weren’t even moving. I hated to be bossed around. I wanted to punch someone. The devil on my left shoulder readily whispered some ideas.   

That stupid driver with the blue car? 

I sighed. It was not my lucky day. My mind has been a whirlwind of senseless anger ever since the early morning. I thought that going shopping would make me feel better, but I was already convinced that it was a poor idea.  

Ladybug, my delicate red bicycle, was definitely resonating with me. Today, she was an aggressive beast, ready to scratch some car paint if she got the chance. Both the front and the back baskets were crammed with packages and groceries, and it was challenging to keep balanced.  

I took Ladybug by the handlebars and started to walk beside her, trying to find some opening through which I could leave the street. Cars were bumper-to-bumper, and when one advanced, the next came right on its tail, closing any gap and adding fire to my impatience.  

V was already walking on the roadside beside his bike, waiting for me to join. I had no idea how he managed to get there quickly because all paths were closed for me. I didn’t need another reason to get angry. My mind was already upside-down. 

And I just couldn’t take it anymore! 

I boldly stepped in front of a car. My challenging stare stopped whatever the driver was about to say or do. I secretly wanted him to say something, and maybe even start a fight, but he ignored my vibes and just let me pass. I was disappointed. 

I had no idea what was wrong with me. My boyfriend was probably scared by now. He stretched his hand towards Ladybug to help, but I was in a bad mood and didn’t reciprocate. Being forced off-road, which was all dirt, boulders, and potholes, especially overloaded with groceries, seemed like a twisted joke of fate.  

As a freelancer, I can go shopping whenever I want. And there I was, sharing the thrill of the afternoon rush hour with people who, unlike me, had no choice in their location. I ignored V, mounted the bike, and took the lead.  

But Ladybug is a city lady. Going off-road was an insult. It took her a few seconds to skid and throw me, face first, into the dust. I swore to myself and gathered oranges and grapes from all over the place. Maybe I should have let my boyfriend take both bikes, and enjoyed a nice walk together after all. Home was not that far. But now, I was even angrier. One of my palms was scraped, but my blood was boiling, so I didn’t feel the pain. I wanted a piece of whoever was messing with my day. 

So, like a junkie who wants to go all the way down through the rabbit hole after she had her first taste, I got back on the bike and started to pedal—a little closer to the road this time. A little more in control. I could do it. 

Suddenly, I wrenched right, skidded dangerously, and stopped in a small pothole. Not gently, but I didn’t fall again.  

The blue car passed me like the wind and stopped a few meters ahead. There was no more room to advance. The psycho almost hit me!  

I remembered that car. He was deliberately blocking me earlier while I rode on the street, and I just couldn’t get past him. “What was his problem?” I’d wondered. 

The shock from their passing was so strong that it woke up my entire body. My heart pumped in my neck. My ears rang. Adrenaline made me shake uncontrollably. I cursed him in my mind and wished him a mouthful of bad karma. 

My boyfriend was right by my side, but my vision went red. I didn’t really see him, and I had no idea what he was saying. My hands and legs shook. My blood boiled. Heat coming out of me in waves.  

Like a puppet, I straightened the bike and sprung forward. V abandoned his bike and ran after me, but I was focused solely on my goal. I covered the distance between the psycho driver and me in a few seconds, and did something that I’ve never done before in my whole life: 

I gave him the finger and shouted: “Take this, you piece of …” 

But, I forgot that driving Ladybug one-handed was a challenge, even during my best days. 

So, I didn’t have a chance to fully express my feelings, since the contents of my fruit basket were soon on display for everyone to praise or criticize. Oranges, grapes, and pineapples; all of them messily spread around the crime site.  

I was humiliated and hurt in so many ways. I spitefully hoped that if someone laughed, they would choke. My boyfriend hugged me and then gathered everything. I was still bewildered by what happened, and I wasn’t really feeling present.   

“You’re not touching that again,” he gently said to me, while taking control of both Ladybug and his bike. 

My eyes were full of tears. Bruises were the least of my cares. I was not in the mood to tolerate any human being, so after I promised that I wouldn’t do anything stupid, he took the bicycles and walked ahead, giving me my much-needed space to walk alone and clear my mind.  

I inhaled deeply, basking in the warmth and the purity of the sun. 

I exhaled and imagined that I was expelling black smoke through all my pores.

I walked slowly, trying to relax both body and mind. 

I gently closed my eyes and inhaled again. 

I exhaled and visualized another wave of negative energy, leaving my body.

I inhaled cleansing energy from Mother Earth. 


A few minutes later, I tried another approach. 

“I am Zen… Zen… Zen…” I chanted the mantra in my mind, over and over again. 

Zen. 

I sighed, disappointed and defeated. Who was I kidding? I was feeling murderous. 

I pounded at the door. It took him more than five seconds to answer, so it was tough for me not to say something mean. 

I kicked off my shoes and went straight to the bedroom. On the nightstand, there were two pretty bamboo cases. I took a small black obsidian pendant from one of them and matched it with a pink string from the other. 

I put it on and clasped the ends, and my mind’s storm dissipated like magic. 

“You’re finally home.” He kissed me, and we both smiled. 

was finally home, and I started to laugh at all the joy I lost while wasting time possessed by anger.

Rotar Ozana is a Romanian who started living from the heart after working in the military. She’s passionate about the arts and the supernatural.
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