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Writerly Wednesday -The Best Laid Plans

Originally posted on Wordpress Blog - Feb. 17, 2016

Gwen scrunched her face and slowly squeezed the handbrakes. The piercing squeal of worn brake pads rubbing against rusted tire rims drowned out any other sound that may have entered her ears. Her blue bicycle slowly came to a noisy halt. Gwen slid from the seat and planted her feet firmly on the ground. Her cheeks were flush and her bangs clung to her forehead, damp with sweat.

She held tightly to the handlebars as she steadied the bike between her bare legs. She looked down at her hands, watching as her knuckles turned white. Gwen closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. As she slowly allowed the air to escape through her pursed lips, her heart rate slowed and her lids fluttered open. She briefly curled her toes, the orange nail polish contrasted with the dark blue of her sandals. She stepped over the cross bar and laid her bicycle down on the side of the street. The bike’s stand had been broken off two weeks earlier.

Gwen stepped cautiously forward a few steps before stopping. She stared down at the orange striped cone standing guard on the street beside the sidewalk. Bright yellow police tape was still wrapped loosely around it. The street had been cleared the day before, the cone the only reminder of what had transpired.

It was supposed to be the best summer ever. Everything had been planned. Every day was going to be different. All winter long, Gwen and Jessie had planned their summer outings. They had a calendar, a day planner, they even had contingency plans. However, nothing could have prepared them for yesterday.

Gwen kicked the orange striped cone. It wobbled but remained tall. She wiped away the single tear that had rolled down her cheek. She had to get to the hospital; Jessie would be waiting for her, they had new plans to make.

Gwen picked up her bike and pointed it toward home. She scrunched up her face as she began to pedal away. What was it mom always said about the best laid plans?

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