The day started out perfect. It was the beginning of spring. The lilac tree was in bloom; its sweet smell filled the air while the fallen petals swirled around the tree in the breeze. I could feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, as I twirled around in the tall un-cut grass. It was a glorious day and nothing was going to ruin it.
I put on my most beautiful dress to match the gorgeous day. I called it my pizza dress because when I twirled around, the bottom would spread out like pizza dough being tossed in the air by an Italian chef. It also had bright blue, pink, orange, yellow, and lime green polka dots that resembled the pepperoni. As I circled around bare-footed in the grass the dimpled texture of the fabric brushed my fingertips--I loved that the most about my dress. Its rippling was mesmerizing, but that one time I looked up long enough to notice the sparkling pink and silver tinsel pom-poms of my Barbie bike.
I had just gotten my Barbie bike for my fourth birthday in September. My dad took off the training wheels for me when it was warm enough to ride it. Now, in my mind, I was a natural born pro with the need for speed. So I hopped on my bike in my lovely pizza dress and pedaled down the driveway toward the road. My glorious day was about to taste like a mouthful of gravel.
I was in the zone, showing off my speed and skill to my audience, the birds and squirrels. All eyes were on me, and it was time for my big finale. I started on the cement part of my driveway; one foot was on the pedal, the other on the ground, and both hands gripped the handlebars. I touched the pom-poms for good luck and popped a start-off wheelie. I yelled “One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go!” I was off.
Flying down the road at a supersonic speed with the wind in my hair, I felt so free. After I got up to speed, I let it coast for a while. I was almost to the poles that once held the city limit sign and decided I would turn around when I got to them, but I didn’t quite make it there. I kept feeling little tugs on my dress, but when I looked back I didn’t see anything. I looked back one more time, only for a split second, to see my dress being sucked between the frame and the tire. One second more and that bitter taste of gravel would be forever etched on my tongue.
It seemed as if the world around me stopped to watch me plunge, in slow motion, over the handlebars. I could almost hear the slow, deep voice of that male opera singer as I plummeted toward the ground. The fall had knocked the wind out of me and when I caught my breath I lifted my head to spit out the grit and stones I collected in my crash landing. I looked at my arms and legs. All the skin that the dress didn’t shield was either covered in dirt or a deep crimson liquid. In that quiet moment, before I started crying, I could hear the birds and squirrels make noise, but they weren’t the usual tweets and chatters I’d heard before. They sounded like they inhaled nitrous oxide. The birds and squirrels were laughing at me! The tears started cascading down my face as I picked myself up off the ground and walked my bike back to the house.
The sun was hidden behind the clouds and the breeze turned into blasting gusts. I saw my dress in the garage door window. It was filthy and had an enormous black tire streak up the back. I twirled around but the dress was motionless. It didn’t ripple, it didn’t graze my fingertips. It wasn’t my pizza dress anymore it was a dirty, lifeless rag. My dress was dead. My day was dead. I was dead.