I don’t remember exactly when I met him, I just always knew he was going to be there.
As a kid my parents would travel from our house to my pawpaw’s house every weekend as he would babysit my sisters and I while my parents worked.
The drive was about an hour or so and we had to cross a ferry every time.
It was a very boring ride, aside from my imaginary friend that would show up riding his bike next to our little green mini van.
I would stare out of my little back seat window and watch him ride his bike as fast as I wish I could.
He always seemed to keep perfect pace with my dads quick driving.
He would always be so happy but i knew something was wrong early on because his body was distorted, not like mine at all.
And his clothes were torn and tattered.
His skin was also purple and yellow in most places.
I remember staring at his neck and leg as they were the most misshapen.
He never quit riding his bike despite the awkward way his leg would swivel when he was pedaling.
He was very fast and could even do tricks.
He would jump his bike onto the railing of the highway bridges living in southern Louisiana we had a lot of wet land to drive over.
He never lost his balance or went into the water or even fell off his bike the way I have so many times.
One morning on our drive to my pawpaws house, I asked him why did he look like that..
(we spoke with our minds I’ve never talked to him out loud)
He didn’t answer me at first.
All we’ve talked about before that question has always been casual things
I can’t really recall.
I just know we would talk a lot with our minds so that my sisters and parents couldn’t hear us.
I do however remember very clearly his story about why he looked like that..
He was riding on the rail of the ramp to get onto the ferry that we took,
He was going very slow and teetering on the thin rail used for pedestrians.
I watched him carefully, scared he would fall in and I’ll never see him again.
I remember being very sleepy, as I typically became on these rides when he wasn’t talking to me.
But as I laid my head on the little window sill and watched him jump off the railing and closer to the van, he began to speed up and jump his bike onto other cars as we parked.
When my dad turned the engine off the boy on the bike suddenly jumped into my ear, bike and all!
I closed my eyes down tight at the movement of his jump..
He was there in my head. His voice was always very shaky and far away from what I can remember of our previous conversations.
But when he spoke now inside my head, I heard him loud and clear
He spoke very evenly and sat very still on his bike.
One leg down like a kick stand.
(never ever in all my memory of him being my imaginary friend has he gotten off of his bicycle.)
I could see the bike more clearly now it was red and purple,
It had a sharp thin frame and there were no silly wires trailing down to the back tires.
I knew this bike was a pedal stop.
It even had pegs on the back tires.. well one of them anyway.
This bike was the coolest bike I’d ever seen and, as a little girl I was obsessed with bikes, I even had a little catalog of mongoose bikes
I would circle parts and bits that I wanted on my dream bike.
I imagine that this was his dream bike.
It was a bit beat up but it made complete sense that it would be because he’s rode it for every trip to my pawpaws house.
I just looked at him, shocked.
He’s in my head and speaking so clearly.
He said hi and waved his had slowly one of his fingers hanging a bit but he just looked at it and laughed
I smiled too thinking it looked funny, bouncing up and down as he waved I mimicked the movement but my finger didn’t bounce quite as well as his had.
And I sort of swallowed hard looking back at him.
His head was down as if he was looking at his front tire sad.
Probably because it was so bent and the spokes were poking out at odd places.
I remember staying quiet but wanting to ask again how did all of this happen?
But not wanting to be rude I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.
He answered me
He sounded like he was crying
His voice was a bit shaky
He said his name and for the life of me as I write this I can not remember it and it doesn’t feel right to make one up..
after his name he told me his age
“ I’m 14 and I’ve been riding my bike nonstop for twice as long as you’ve been on this planet.”
Quickly doing the math in my 8 year old mind I thought to call him a liar
No way could he still be 14 and how could someone ride a bike for 16+ years
They would be way too tired
I can’t even go for more then an hour without taking a break...
He spoke up again just plainly saying “ Shea I’m dead.”
His voice wasn’t spooky or chilling it was almost as if he was telling me “Shea I’m a boy”
Just a fact that should have been obvious
How could I NOT know he was dead.
He sat on his bike crushed fingers.
A leg flipped almost backwards.
Skin that had very colorful and vibrant bruises and not to mention all of that extra skin on his neck just twisted there.
Hmm made sense I remember chuckling and thinking oh yeah ok and saying “ should’ve worn a helmet.”
He continued to tell me how he died saying a car had hit him head on, making his bike fly backwards only to see the bottom half of that car crunch over him.
I asked if it was painful and he shrugged saying he doesn’t remember anything after watching the big black tire roll over his view.
He just remembered waking up on his bike and knowing he had to start riding then I saw him on the road and the rest I already know.
After that I don’t have many memories of him jumping into my head and I never remember him jumping out but there he was on my ride back home just jumping and twirling his bike doing amazing tricks I could stare at for the entire ride.
As an adult I’ve rarely told anyone about the dead boy on the bicycle and I couldn’t say exactly when I stopped seeing him.
My pawpaw died when I was 12.
My Dad and uncles sold his house soon after.
We didn’t make that drive anymore and we moved around a lot after that.
I think about him often and when I thought to tell my stories about him, the only one that stuck almost perfectly in my memory was when he told me the story of why he looked the way he looked.
Sitting here nearly 20 years later I feel like my memory of him was completely innocent and scare free.
The horror loving girl I am today would like to believe something far more nefarious was going on with my dead boy best friend but in all honesty I don’t think there was.
He always kept me company and I could trust him with my secrets and he could trust that I would still be friends with him, even though he looked the way he did.
It was the only scary thing about him and who was I to not be his friend based off of his looks.
It wasn’t his fault after all..
I think of writing horror fiction about him because of the overall feeling of how creepy it is to have a dead boy as my imaginary best friend.
The thought of him being a ghost of an actual kid that died on a bike and came to visit me or that I’ve seen a ghost and he connected with little me.
Could be pretty scary.
He was a good sprit and I miss him a lot.
Thanks for reading my story and sorry Nick for all the punctuation errors.
(SUMMER TIME STORIES EPISODE)