SHORT STORY: Jimi’s First Bicycle Ride

Jimi's first bicycle rideJimi, the second son of Mr & Mrs Isaiah had just turned 5 when he caught a bad cold. It was the day after his birthday when he started sneezing badly. He also had a running nose and his head ached a little.

“You played so much in the cold yesterday,” his elder brother, Tobi, reminded him. “That’s why you are sneezing.”

Jimi looked at his brother and wanted to reply him but what came out of his mouth instead was a big sneeze – “Ha, ha, ha, tum!” He wanted to cry, but then he remembered what his Dad had told him when giving him his birthday gift the previous day.

“You are now a big boy, Son. This means you must act like a big boy. No more unnecessary crying. If you don’t act like a big boy, I will take this gift back to the store I bought it from,” his Dad had said. Jimi didn’t want that to happen, so he ignored his brother’s teasing and went to meet his Mum instead.

“Mum, when is this cold going to go away?” he asked.

His Mum looked at him and chuckled. “I’m not sure about that darling, but I know a warm bath and your medicine will make you feel better.”

She led him to the bathroom and gave him a warm bath. After that, he ate his breakfast of boiled plantain and fried eggs. Although this was his favourite meal, he couldn’t finish it. He just didn’t have the appetite.

“Try and eat some more, darling,” his Mum said, taking the plastic fork from him and holding some food close to his mouth.

But Jimi couldn’t eat again. “I don’t want any more. I’m OK.”

She finally let him be and gave him some medicine which made him drowsy after some time. He fell asleep on the sitting room couch while watching TV. By the time he woke up, he felt much better and had stopped sneezing.

Jimi went into his room and looked at the birthday gift his Dad had given him again. It was a bicycle. It had a shiny blue and yellow body with black wheels. His Dad had promised him to teach him how to ride it by weekend and he was so excited about it. Suddenly, he wanted to ride the bicycle so bad, he could hardly stand still. He ran to the kitchen to find his mother. “Mum, I feel better now. Can I go out and play with my bicycle?”

She gave him a look that meant “no”.

“Please, Mum” he said, pulling lightly at her skirt. “I promise I won’t spoil it.”

“You know you have to wait for your Dad first. He will teach you how to ride it this weekend.”

Jimi groaned. The weekend seemed so far away.

“What is today, Mummy?” he asked.

“Today is Thursday.”

“And when is the weekend?”

“The weekend starts on Saturday.”

“We still have two days before the weekend!” he screamed.

“Yes.”

Jimi was so upset. He wanted to ride the bicycle right away. He didn’t want to wait till Saturday. He ran to Tobi’s room with the same request, but his brother also refused to teach him.

“You know I can’t do that, little brother,” Tobi said. “You have to wait for Dad. He will teach you how to ride it himself.”

But Jimi was so eager to ride his bicycle, he didn’t want to wait. He felt he could do it all by himself. When his Mum and brother took a nap later in the afternoon, he quietly rolled the bicycle out of his room and into the large compound. He tried to balance himself on the seat with his two legs on the pedals but failed each time. He didn’t give up. He remembered how his brother, Tobi used to ride his own bicycle so fast within the compound and wanted to do just that. He tried again and again until he was able to move the bicycle a few feet forward. This got him so excited and he started to go even faster. Soon, he began to wobble and fell on his side with a loud crash. The bicycle landed on his leg and he felt a sharp pain that made him scream till his mother and brother woke up. They ran to his side and helped him up. He couldn’t walk properly on his right leg so they carried him into the house. His mother called a Nurse who came to the house to treat the wound on his leg.

Jimi was lying in bed when his Dad got back home. His Dad was so disappointed that Jimi disobeyed his instructions and didn’t wait for him. But he calmed down and said some soothing words to his son whose leg still ached.

The bicycle got damaged when it fell to the ground. Jimi’s Dad fixed the damage, but didn’t let Jimi ride it even when he got better. That was his punishment for disobeying his father’s instructions.

About Adeola Adeyemo

Adeola Adeyemo is the author of Sarah’s Victory, a children’s book, and is the director of the independent book publishing company, Green Biro Publishing.