'Cycling Through' by Gina Headden
The sun looks like the moon. Or does the moon looks like the sun? Mel isn’t sure. But whichever looks like which, the way ahead is veiled in mist.
Martha had been sleeping when he left whereas he’d lain awake all night, waiting for the dawn. By first light, he’d come to a decision. He would tell Martha about Seb when he returned home from his bike ride.
As he pedals past the lake, the leaves on the mature trees rustle out their disapproval. He turns up the music on his phone but the disapproval echoes in his head and he pedals ever faster. His gum is short on sweetness yet he chews and chews and chews in time to the pumping of his legs as he moves towards the Downs.
It’s not that he’s frightened. Really, he’s not. People do things like this every day. Nothing awful happens.
The pedals keep on turning, his feet push, push, pushing, shackled by his toe clips. His heart pounds, his gum now has no flavour and the voices multiply and clamour for attention in his head.
Sweat trickles down his brow and, legs circling, he stutters past the turn-off to the depression in the Downs where Seb is waiting for him, where Seb always waits for him, and he thinks of Martha, lying in their bed. Of Seb, Martha, Seb, Martha, Seb… Round and round and round.
The sun-moon is burning him. He slips a gear and disappears into the mist.