Controlling Fate

My heart beats extra hard as I step onto my bike. The ride to school isn’t that long, but if I take the main road instead of my usual back alleyways, I might be able to stretch the ten minute ride into fifteen. That’s five extra minutes I don’t have to spend taking my math test. Five extra minutes I don’t have to spend watching numbers dance uncontrollably across the page, twirling just out of my grasp. The adrenaline rushes through my legs as I pedal, feeling each bump in the sidewalk, each crack in the cement. I pass the park to my left. It’s hard to see, hidden behind large oak trees on the side of the road, nestled away in this residential area. My head buzzes a little. I’m finding it hard to think. The stress creeps onto the edges of my thoughts, like ivy climbing a stone tower. I try to force it back. Breathe, breathe. I put as much energy as I can into pedaling, harder, faster, stronger. My bike surges forward. For a few seconds, I coast along, flying. The moment ends too soon. I hit the breaks as I approach the stoplight, and once again feel myself sink miserably into thoughts of first period Algebra. As the road to school shrinks, my confidence fades with it. My hands tighten on the handle bars. I observe each groove, feeling their texture against my palm. In another attempt at distraction, I wiggle my toes in my shoes. I like knowing I have control over them. I can make them do what I want. I force them to pedal a bike to my fate at the hands of an Algebra test.


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