after january nick earls essay https://leelanauchristianneighbors.org/disciplines/blasphemy-definition-example-essay/57/ https://journeysmobilevet.com/edimprove/quanto-costa-il-cialis-one-day/26/ j essaye de trouver http://hyperbaricnurses.org/11605-viagra-auxiliary-labels/ essay car accident ibuprofen viagra drug interactions custom research paper writing service go here review of the literature essay watch ampicillin mayo clinic https://mdp.berkeley.edu/wp-content/uploads/?online=big-bucks-pharma-essay-writing cialis tadalis efeitos do cialis em jovens minoximen 5 propecia results https://hobcawbarony.org/coursework/are-essay-writing-services-legal/27/ diana knight critical essays on roland barthes get link prednisone 1 mg tablet usar viagra faz mal essays on high school football avatar film techniques essay typer cialis keskustelu source site go difference between gnc and prescribed testosterone past ppe essays no prescription viagra australia essay conclusion outline https://medpsychmd.com/nurse/viagra-improves-erectile-function-by/63/ “My dad is going to ground me for life!”, he said, finally landing his knees on the asphalt. Any sound he could’ve been making was completely drowned by metallic engines whirring behind him, and wheels picking up rubble. “This isn’t fair, I– I’m DEAD!”

“Wait, what?! That’s what you’re worried about? Kaimen, at least you aren’t dead, for god’s sake! This has gotta be one of the worst bike crashes I’ve ever witnessed, and that’s got weight to it– oohh my god, your arm–”

“I’m fine, I’m fine! It barely hurts, seriously, you sound like mom!” he staggered up, wiping blood from his stained nose with his thumb. His jacket was shredded like the victim of a kitchen blender, I’m astonished he wasn’t turned to slush. Yet he affixed his sleeves to his wrists as if nothing happened. Is this typical? It all happened in a fraction of an instant, I can distinctly memorize the sound of tires broiling on the asphalt. The sound of a motorbike losing control. Chrome-painting steel clashing the wall, merging into one. If anyone… I anyone could’ve survived that, it was Kaimen. But still, I stood astonished at his mortality in the face of the complete death sentence that was his purple, prized heirloom bike; crumpled like a soda can.

“Hey, hold on–” I glared around, my little brother missing from the shattered glass he was kneeling on. “Hey, where do you think you’re going?”

“To go fetch Satoshi, dumbass,” he said, scooping his scraped helmet from the rubble. He curved his way through the chainlink fence gate and disappeared.

“Hey, watch your– ugghh”, I took one glance and he vanishes. Typical. Around the fence, marked with a ‘DO NOT ENTER’ sign I sprinted, leaving his bike deserted, and followed his small head weave through the back alleys. Three lampposts away– two– one. The sound of the other contestants, still whirring on the street, soon became fainter and fainter.

I caught up to him eventually, but he was practically speed-walking down the same shady alley we sneak through each Friday, midnight on the dot. Incredibly familiar, yet ever-changing with new installations of posters, concrete decay, and spraypaint letterings. Tonight, the streetlamp that knocked over was finally cleaned out. Silence hung over the night sky for longer than I wanted…

“…Y’know, you should take this as a sign. You should’ve taken other signs, too, that this would happen. I don’t think there’s much Satoshi can even do… that bike is more than gone.” I said, following close behind Kaimen.

“It doesn’t matter, Plum, I have to try. I’d rather die than show up at dad’s door with our family bike crumpled to freakin’ pieces.”, he kept his eyes ahead, nonchalantly turning corners, his spiky ponytail bobbing. “Not only that, but I don’t think he’d be very… thrilled… about the whole bike-racing thing? Don’t you think? I can’t even come up with some stupid excuse to fight it.”

“Well… sure, I mean… dad’s gonna be pissed. But moreover, I just think he’ll be glad you’re still breathing. I think you’re missing what’s important.”

“What’s important is for me to keep this job, and for this job to stay undercover. Hah! Job… sure feels like it’s a job, huh. A real job at one of those crappy rebuilt offices couldn’t earn me a fraction of race-gambling money. Dad has no idea where these filthy paychecks come from…”

“Kaimen…”, I started, but couldn’t finish my words. I just kept silently following, staring at the groggy street as I walked. We were minutes away from Satoshi’s bike shop by now, I could tell by the increase in speed in Kaimen’s footsteps.

As we turned the corner, the first thing that caught my eye was ‘Satoshi’s Motor Repair’ written in hazy pink neon-lit lettering, barely blinking over a dark run-down garage. His wide-mouthed door was hanging open, where his back was turned to his workbench in the night. Kaimen approached the doorway with no hesitation, spitting into a bucket on his way in.

“Psst,” he whispered to me, “how long do you think I can lean here before the old wad even notices?” He smirked with his tongue between his teeth, before kicking a nearby leaning crowbar to the ground.

CLANG!

“WO– W–WOAH THERE!”, the man howled, whipping back.

“Y’almost scared the life outta me, kid! Is that another grey hair on my head? Haha– woahohooo–”, immediately his smile faded, as he stepped to my brother with haste.

“You look rougher than usual, Kaimen, what on god’s grey earth happened?”, he said, snuffing his cigarette to the wall.

“Bike crash”, he shrugged, “thought if anyone could save my skin, it’d be you.”

“Well I’ll be darned… you crashed the thing, huh? Gonna be honest I saw that miles away heheh, goin’ 150 on those pothole-filled strips of rubble you call racetracks.”

I met eyes with Kaimen, giving him an ‘I-told-you-so’ look. He rolled his eyes.

“Well, let’s get you cleaned up at least, then I’ll take a look. Can’t promise you anything, though. Might be time to take the ol’ thing to the city dropoff,” Satoshi huffed.

– –

Through the chainlink gates, we entered again, checking behind us for lurking eyes. The street was utterly barren now, as other bikers left for the night; or, dark morning, as it now appears. The moon was on its climb down to the horizon, but the distant buzz of the city was as loud as ever. The main streetway whirred a couple of miles away, and if you were silent enough, you could hear the unmistakable crumbling of buildings straining to hold. In a whisper voice, was the city’s echoing strain to hold itself tall after a century of monumental tragedy.

Tonight, tragedy had struck Satoshi’s aged face at the sight we circled. The bike he’d watched pass down from our family for years, always as pristine and in-time as before, finally met its end.

He crouched down to the road to examine its mangled legs, shattered rims, and unphotogenic frame; each piece he grazed gently with his hand. His grave expression was enough of a signal to Kaimen.

“You loved this bike, huh,” Satoshi said, pulling himself back up from the ground.

“Yeah… yeah, I did.”

“She won you lots for your family. Filthy, dirty money, but money nonetheless. Money that you eat for breakfast, cleanse yourself with in the night. I don’t know where you’ll go from here,” he said. Finally, he turned to him, patting his shoulder. “But Kai, you’re strong–”

“No. Don’t even say it, I’m not. I’m just stupid,” he brushed his hand promptly off. “You said it yourself, both of you, this bike was gonna kill me! Now it hasn’t, but now I have to deal with my father and the hell he’ll unleash on me; maybe it should’ve. I can’t be quiet about my little secret anymore– he’s gonna find out– he has to, and when he does, how will we survive?”

“Kaimen,” he said. “I should’ve never given you that jo–”

CRAANK.

The unmistakable sound of the rusty gate creaking open. Metal sliding against metal, a sound we’ve all engrained deep in our brains. We turned to the gate– silent as sedimentary stone. And within, a tall dark figure casted in its shadow.

“K… Kaimen? Plum? Is that you?!”, it said.

He came at full speed gaping for air, slippers kicking up dirt, as he burst down and tugged us into a tight, fatherly, and loving embrace.

His warmth heated my cold breaths. Hot tears began swelling my eyes, turning each city light into a fuzzy circle, as I let go shoulder-to-shoulder from my brother. I could hear his breath shaken in-tune with ours. A symphony of happy crying that celebrated our liveliness played as we huddled in the middle of the street. Nothing had to be said, no guilt to be had. That’s what Kaimen finally realized; the worth of this moment over any bike they could ever own.