Let’s talk a bit about safety. Shall we?
(Warning, I am going to digress from the topic, totally!!)
So today I was almost done with all my work and was about to return home early when my friend called and asked me to meet her at a coffee shop near her place. I thought why not? It was early as it is and didn’t have much to do either. So I went there, had a cup of coffee, we talked and in some time I decided to leave. It wasn’t late but I just wanted to reach home before it started raining. We were sitting in the garden and I could see clouds getting darker with the time.
Just when I was leaving she reminded me to wear the helmet. Of course I forgot. How could I remember that? I just do not like wearing helmets, I feel as if I have overburdened my tiny head. So I wore my helmet and rode towards my home. It was just a fifteen minute ride.
After just two minutes I felt the strap choking my neck, it was too tight. I loosened it with one hand and rode on. After another two minutes it felt too loose so I stopped and tucked it tight again. I’d better choke than let it loose and keep the helmet coming down to my face. I don’t think there is any helmet made for my size of the head, or for a woman. They are all either too loose or too big! (Smaller ones and the perfect ones are really rare.)
I rode on for five more minutes in full speed, the roads were not too packed, and now I was in a hurry too. My phone was constantly ringing and I knew it was my mom. I hadn’t informed her that I’d be late.
Riding peacefully at a consistent speed, I was really enjoying the beauty on the roads. The part of city which I was leaving is really beautiful with trees on both sides shading the road.
I was about to reach the main road when I noticed two boys riding behind me in a bike, they were almost shouting and I could hear their voices, but could not make out what were they talking about. I wasn’t interested either. Only up till the point when I realised they were following me.
My initial instinct was to ride faster, so I took up the speed. I reached to main road circle and however hard I tried I had to slow down with the evening rush. They had taken all the same turns up till now, and I was hoping against all odds that they would divert ways now. This was the turning point; if they wouldn’t take another turn here then I would be sure that they were after all following me.
I gave no indicators, ignoring the traffic rule, and pretended to go straight. And then just when there was no other way to go, I took a sharp right turn and moved inside the area, switching off from the main road. They had pretended to go straight too but had followed my vehicle taking a right turn against the rules.
I was sure. They were following me after all.
Speeding up wasn’t helpful, so I slowed down, hoping that they’d go away. That particular street was still busy; once I’d go inside the residential area I knew the streets would be would be isolated.
They slowed down too behind me.
I was frustrated, angry, scared all at the same time.
I moved on taking another right turn, taking me inside to the residential area. They came too close to my bike and I am pretty sure my face would have given away my inner feelings. What was I feeling? I was shit scared!
The next time they brought their bike beside me, I loosened my helmet and kept it handy on my left side, the side on which they kept nearing. By this time I had already moved past my home. I couldn’t let them know my residence. What if?
I was already way away, and the streets were getting isolated, and the sky was giving me signals that soon it would rain. It was almost dark now!
I had no option now. I did not know what to do? Where to go? My hands were shivering and making it difficult to ride. My palms were sweaty and tears were almost on their verge of flowing down.
I blinked hard. This was not the time to go weak.
“Shut up and think!”
With again an impulse decision, I slowed down my bike to almost 20kmph and pretended to take out my phone. This time I was the one shouting on the phone declaring my whereabouts to the constantly vibrating phone.
Just when I slowed down further, the main door of the house on the left opened and a man came out. I did not stop but I slowed down to a speed of 10, barely moving further. Of course if the boys behind me slowed down with me that would look fishy. So they maintained enough speed to go ahead of me.
Finally I breathed a sigh of relief. Just when they were at the end of the road, I gave my right indicator on making them feel that I would turn that way.
They turned right. Mission successful!!
I never drive past speed limit, of course I always follow the safety rules, but this was an exceptional case. Just when they noticed me taking up speed, they went further right, one boy constantly glaring behind, to keep track of my bike.
I took a sharp left turn, fortunately avoiding a Harley and increased my speed even further. They took a u turn too but very fortuitously a car came following from just where I took a turn making it difficult for them to follow me. But they still were after me, but thankfully very far away, almost at the far end of the road.
I took continuous three sharp lefts making it a circle to my home. But before I stopped I saw the reflecting mirror that they were not there, they had missed me. I zoomed the bike to the parking space, locked it and rushed to the elevator, the helmet still in my hand.
I was only relieved when I reached the inside of my house, still shivering.
“What happened?” my mom was all worked up just by my looks.
I broke safety laws.
“You never do that. What did you do?”
I broke three laws, mom. Not one. First, I did not give indicators, and when I gave I gave the wrong one. Second, I over sped. And third, I did not wear helmet.
“But you are carrying your helmet in your hand.”
Yes, mom. I just did not wear it.
“So did the police charge you?”
No, I saved myself.