She cycled down King’s Parade at least three times a day. She’d been doing it from the age of seventeen, since that ‘wouldn’t it be funny if’ conversation with her best friend. It might well mean she was going the long way round occasionally, but what did that matter? She always looked her best and her black, vintage bicycle was always gleaming. In the basket, her much loved satchel peeped over the top. Her expression was pleasant at all times; no furrowed brows, no screwed up eyes. During inclement weather she donned her very tasteful navy mackintosh, the one with the white piping, along with a rather fetching cap to keep the rain and snow off her face. Today she had to visit that same friend who lived nearby. The detour was a long one and she was feeling very tired, but she couldn’t stop herself.
As she pedalled along King’s Parade she smiled left and right, but forgot to look straight ahead where a delivery lorry was turning in the road. As she went under its wheels her life flashed before her in snapshots. Her last happy thoughts were of the thousands of holiday snaps in albums and frames around the world, featuring that elegant lady cycling along in front of the most photographed college in Cambridge. Almost seventy-three year’s worth.
Whenever I see a picture of a girl on a cycle, I'll think of this story.ReplyDelete