I think it was the Christmas I turned six years old. I woke up that morning and rushed downstairs to see what Santa had brought. Reflecting the twinkle lights back from the tree stood a brand new, shiny-red ten-speed bicycle. The drop down handlebars were wrapped in black tape, the seat was black and narrow. The chrome gleamed on the narrow tire rims. The bike looked Fast and I couldn’t wait to try it out.
I walked slowly over to the beautiful machine and stroked the red frame. I caressed the leather on the seat but when I reached up to squeeze the hand brake lever I noticed the tag Santa had hung on the gear selector, mounted in the center of the handlebars, either side of the stem.
“Eileen” it read. In that instant, I hated my older sister, just a little.
Mom and Dad oohed and aahed over the nice new bike that Santa had brought Eileen and after breakfast suggested a ride. The very thought caused me to hang my head, dejected.
Dad noticed, “What’s the matter Stevie?” he asked.
“I don’t have a new bike to ride.” I sobbed.
“Sure ya do,” Dad said. “Come on I’ll show you.” We headed for the garage. I could feel the tension and the excitement building as dad opened the door from the kitchen into the garage. I looked around for my new bike.
“There ya go.” Dad said as he held his arm out towards the pink spyder bike that belonged to Eileen. It had shiny chrome high rise handlebars and a pink banana seat. Rainbow colored streamers hung from only one side of the handlebars but there was a bell mounted just forward of the handgrip. It was perfectly positioned for ease of operation with my right thumb. I knew, I had stood in the garage and rung it before.
“I can’t ride this bike, Dad” I said.
“It’s Eileen’s bike. She’ll thump me if she catches me riding her bike.”
“Santa brought Eileen a new bike, Stevie. She won’t mind.”
I turned and saw Eileen and Mom standing in the door. I looked questioningly at Eileen and she nodded her head. “It’s yours now Stevie.” She said.
“Yahoo!” I whooped. “Let’s go for a ride Eileen.”
She and I rushed upstairs and changed out of our pajamas. She wheeled her new racing bike out the front door and waited on the drive for me to get my new spyder bike out of the garage. We rode together that morning for at least two hours. She experimented with her new gears and handbrakes while I delighted in ringing the bell.
“Pretty good, huh?” Eileen yelled back to me as we rode.
“It’s Grrreaaaat.” I yelled back in my best Tony the Tiger impersonation.