“Can you wear this for me?” Kenna asks, pointing at the blindfold on her hand which causes me to raise an eyebrow—slightly confused as she starts to smile.
“It’s a blindfold,” I reply before leaning back onto my seat, turning away from my laptop; trying to figure out what she’s trying to do or what she’s probably thinking at the moment. The way her blue eyes are piercing directly into mine as she tries to hide her smile from growing wider . . . she’s only making herself look suspicious. “Why do you want me to wear it?”
“Well, can’t you just trust me?” She leans closer.
“No . . . I can’t when you’re acting suspiciously different.” I answer, looking around the room to find if she’s planning something but everything else looks normal to me. “Can you at least tell me why I have to wear it? Then, I might reconsider.” I add, slowly.
She rolls her eyes, “I have a surprise, for you. Trust me,” She places her hand on mine before slowly leaning closer towards me; our lips are inches apart as she puts the blindfold on, tying it behind my head—making me clench my jaw.
“Is it worth it?” I ask, my voice low.
“Consider it a worthy experience in Dallas,” She replies with a light chuckle as she leans away, her hand slowly reaching onto mine before pulling me up from the seat—letting me stand up but not knowing where I’m heading, only following her and putting all of my trust in her as she leads me down the stairs.
As soon as I hear the birds chirping loudly and the wind blowing directly onto my skin, I instantly know that we’re outside. My eyebrows furrow in confusion as she continues to pull onto my hand, leading the way—making me try to pay attention onto my other senses than only onto my sight which is currently being covered.
“Get in,” I hear her say, making me frown.
“Get in?” I ask, confusingly.
Kenna laughs, “Get in the truck, silly.” She replies before slowly pushing me inside, making me step inside and sit; without asking anymore questions because I know that she’s not going to easily answer them.
“Okay . . . you just closed the door and now you’re starting the truck. Are you leading me to my death?” I ask, chuckling a little bit at the end before running my fingers through my hair. Within seconds, I smell her cologne near me which causes me to turn my head to the side, only for the bridge of my nose to come into contact with her cheek.
“I’m just putting your seatbelt on,” She mutters under her breath as I stay still, clenching my jaw at the fact that she’s close—feeling her fingers running on my body as she pulls onto the seatbelt, locking it before leaning back to her seat, leaving me speechless.
’How can it felt really, intimate?′ I thought to myself.
“And, we’re on the road.” She speaks up, driving down the road while I stay still, not really knowing what to do or where to look.
“Where are we going, exactly? I mean . . . don’t get me wrong, Kenna—I do trust you but I deserve to know where we’re going. Any hints?” I ask, feeling a little bit curious about her sudden behaviour on wanting me to put the blindfold on, leading me towards the truck and currently driving me to someplace, I don’t know where.
“I can’t tell you, Aidan. You just have to be patient,” She replies.
“You know that I’m not a very patient person,” I mutter under my breath before letting out a deep sigh. “But . . . I’ll try as long as it’s worth it in the end, right?” I turn to look at her even though I can’t really see her facial expressions.
“Absolutely,” She replies.
A few minutes have passed as we both stay quiet, without uttering a single word while I try to figure out where we’re heading instead of asking anymore questions.
This might also be a great opportunity for me to start testing my own patience—deep down, I’m trying hard not to just burst out and take the blindfold off but I have to trust my best friend . . . like how I’ve been trusting her for the past years.
“So . . . the anniversary party is tonight,” I clear my throat, starting a conversation.
She stays quiet for a few seconds, “Yeah. When are we heading back to New York?” She asks, as I feel the car turning left.
“First thing in the morning. Why? You miss your job, already? The patients? The medicines?” My lips curve up into a small smirk, knowing that she’s probably glancing at my direction but I can never be so sure with the blindfold on.
“Can’t help but say I do.” She chuckles, “Truth be told, I’m just very worried about Albert. He’s a bit hard to handle—he’s alright when he’s with me but not with other doctors,” She adds, slowly letting out another sigh.
For some reason, I can feel the sudden tension building. It’s never an easy job being a doctor. You further your studies at Med School for years to get your degree and even your masters degree . . . then, you end up working day and night as a doctor in order to save people’s lives. It was never easy from the beginning.
“He doesn’t have any family members to come visit?” I ask, curiously.
“No . . . his wife passed away. He has a son but we don’t have any information about him,” She answers.
I stay quiet afterwards, not knowing what else to say. I sympathy the old man but there’s not much I can do and I don’t blame him for not wanting other doctors to take care of him because anyone; I mean, anyone would easily be fond of Kenna.
It’s hard not to be fond of Kenna. She makes me feel like home and she has never failed to make me happy.
“We’re here,“ She says, earning my attention as I sit straight, waiting for the truck to stop.
I hear her stepping out of the truck before closing the door behind her and heading towards the passenger’s seat. In an instant, I feel her hand on mine as she pulls me out of the truck, slowly leading me towards somewhere I can’t easily comprehend but I stay still—letting her lead me.
“Just walk with me,” She mutters.
“I’m sure people are looking at me weirdly,” I reply and she laughs as a respond before stopping, making me clench my jaw as I feel my heart beating faster with every passing second.
“Everything ready?” She asks, her voice low and somehow further away from me—it’s clear that she wasn’t speaking to me while I furrow my brows, wanting to rip the blindfold off and see what’s the whole fuss is about but for some unknown reason, I want to be surprised.
“Ready for what?” I ask.
Within seconds, I feel her hands going to the back of my head before untying the blindfold; causing me to blink a few times to clear my vision. My eyes widen at the sight of a pink bicycle, making me turn to look at Kenna who has a wide grin plastered on her face—leaving me confused.
“Surprise!” She exclaims, happily.
“This is . . . the surprise?” I raise an eyebrow.
“Aren’t you happy about it? It’s your first bicycle!” She replies before heading towards the bicycle and starts to get on, pressing onto the bike’s bells as she smiles. “Come here, want to give it a try?” She adds.
“You’ve got to be kidding me. I don’t know how to ride a bike, Kenna. You know that,” I reply as I shake my head in disagreement; seeing her making her way back towards me.
“Of course I do. That’s why I’m here to help,” She points at the bicycle, “The bike is the first surprise because the second surprise would be me teaching you how to ride a bicycle,” She continues to speak, both of her hands on her waist as she grins up at me—wanting to earn a better reaction from me.
“That’s not surprising,” I roll my eyes. “Are you trying to embarrass me, in front of everyone? For god’s sake, you even got me a pink bike! What’s with the colour pink?!” I respond with slight annoyance building inside of me but I try my best to keep my anger deep down instead of increasing.
“They had the same exact bike in yellow and blue but unfortunately, they ran out of stock. I didn’t want to wait for a whole week for the other bikes to arrive because that wouldn’t even be possible—we’d already be back in New York. Besides, it’s just a colour . . . it’s not a big deal, right? Think of it as a good memory here in Dallas with me,” She grabs onto my hand with a pleading look on her face, her blue eyes piercing into mine as she tries her best to make me smile.
“The colour is not even a big issue. You got me here just because you want to teach me how to ride a bicycle is kind of a big issue, Kenna.” I breathe out.
I take a few steps away from her; not really wanting to be mad for something like this but knowing that not being able to ride a bicycle ever since I was little because I was never given the chance to learn . . . it saddens me. I feel embarrassed by the sight of other people riding bicycles around the city while I’m left without knowing how—I appreciate how she tries her best on wanting to teach me but for some reason, I feel left out.
Alain was given everything. I was given something; I missed out a lot when it comes to my childhood and truth be told, I regret not having a father who would spend his time with me instead of being in the office.
At the same time, I feel discouraged. Why did Alain got the chance to learn how to ride a bicycle or play catch with father when he was a kid? Why wasn’t I given that exact chance? Was I different? Those questions would always replay in my mind when I think of how much I deserve more.
Kenna sighs, “Aidan . . . I’m sorry that this might be a sensitive issue for you but I’m just trying to help. You don’t have to be embarrassed when you’re with me. You don’t even have to look at other people and feel like you’re left out when they get to do things that you can’t,″ She grabs onto my hand.
I look at her, seeing her sincerity.
“I’m not mad at you, Kenna.” I mutter under my breath but loud enough for her to hear, “I’m just—you’re right, I’ve been embarrassed because of this. I feel like knowing how to ride a bike is literally ′Life Hacks 101′ but at the same time, I just don’t think I can.” I reply.
“Hey, it’s either we take this bike to the park and you’re going to have a lot of fun learning how to ride it or we can just give it to someone who has always wanted a bike. How does that sound?” She places her hand at the side of my cheek, her lips curving up into a smile; while my eyes bury deep into hers, watching and feeling the way her skin meets mine.
“Taking this bike to the park and having a lot of fun learning how to ride it sounds good,” I mutter, smiling.
“That’s the spirit. That’s my Aidan,” She laughs before pulling onto my hand, making me walk towards the bike with her as we both walk side by side, heading towards the nearest park—excited to begin.
“First things first . . . get on the bike,” Kenna points onto the bike as I furrow my brows; eyes wandering around the park to see if people are looking at our direction and luckily, people don’t really seem bothered.
“Just get on the bike?” I raise an eyebrow, holding onto the bicycle.
“Just get on the bike. That’s all you have to do,” She replies as I slowly get on the bicycle, both of my feet on the ground—making sure to balance my body.
“Wow . . . congratulations, I’m seventy-years-old.” She adds, sarcastically before rolling her eyes while I laugh; not expecting her to be reacting that way.
“Okay, I’m on. Now what?” I turn to look at her as she takes a few steps closer towards me, “I don’t know what you have in mind but if I fall and any parts of my body getting miserably in pain, I won’t talk to you for days.” I add.
“Did you know that I fell at least ten times? I still have the scar on my elbow,” She replies before lifting up her right arm, showing a small scar from her past ‘accident’. “I’m not sure if you’re going to learn without falling,”
“I’m starting to change my mind,” I groan.
She laughs, “Don’t be silly. Come on, stop wasting time.” Just like that, she starts to hold onto the bicycle. “Trust me and lift your feet up, both of them and place them on the pedal.” I look down at my feet before lifting them up—feeling the bicycle losing balance if she would ever let go.
“Now . . . trust me more and start pedalling,” She adds and I do as told, slowly pedalling the bicycle as it starts to move with Kenna’s support to hold it without letting go.
“Don’t you dare let go.” I say, sternly as she nods; chuckling while I try my best to balance my body—knowing that if anyone else can do it then so can I. It might take me a few hours to get a hang of it but I’ll manage.
A few minutes have passed as Kenna keeps on holding onto the bicycle without showing any intentions of letting go. I, on the other hand, continues to look back at her; wanting to make sure that her hands are right where they need to be.
“You’re doing great,” She says from behind.
“I still think I’m going to fall,” I reply.
Some people would glance at our direction for a few times when they pass but the longer I’m here and the more effort I put in wanting to make sure that I’ll learn this today . . . I start to not care about what they think.
They might know who I am and they might start talking about it but I don’t mind. They can even take pictures, all they want but I’m determined to finish what I started; Kenna was right, all long, there’s no such thing as impossible as long as we have the will and the strength to achieve what we want.
“Do you like your job?” I ask, wanting to start a conversation instead of staying silent.
“Why are you asking me that all of a sudden?” She asks me back, peeking as she wants to look at my face while I smile to myself. “Like . . . do you like your job?”
“I know it was a random question but I just want to start a conversation. Maybe, there’s a few things that I don’t know about you and I want to change that. You told me before you went to Med School that you have always wanted to be a neurologist but maybe . . . just maybe, that you’ve changed your mind.” I shrug, slowly pedalling as she looks up at the sky, laughing at me which causes me to frown.
“So, you think that I might’ve hated my job, already?”
“That’s a possibility, right? Things like that can happen,” I reply, turning to look at her.
She looks down at the ground for a few seconds as I stop cycling and she starts to stop walking, “There are times when I feel like I should quit—like this is a big mistake and I should’ve just took over my family’s company instead but I have wasted years of my life in school and here I am, a neurologist. Not everyone can achieve what I’ve achieved, especially at my age.” She starts to speak while I listen.
“So . . . yes, Aidan. I do like my job,” Her eyes meet mine. “It may not be as fancy as yours but I like helping people. Not just because I love my job but because I want other people to feel like they have hope in this corrupted world,” She adds.
“Hope, huh?” I breathe.
“Yeah. I’ve seen people dying and hurting and I hate it when I see people losing their families or friends just because their body has stopped fighting. I could’ve become an oncologist but I don’t want to see their faces when I tell them that they have cancer,” She looks away, the wind blowing onto our faces as we just stand in the middle of the pavement.
I keep on looking at her and all I can see is a passionate and hard-working doctor who would do anything in the world to make sure that the people she treats would always have a second chance in the world. She’s determined to make people see that even if it’s the end of their lives . . . it’s not the end of everything.
“Well, this conversation got personal and it sucks.” She says and we both laugh, “What about you, though? Do you like being a CEO? You know, living the high-life.” She continues to walk down the pavement while I cycle.
I clear my throat, “I didn’t have a choice, did I? My parents wanted me to take over the company and I couldn’t say no to something like that. Anyone would die to be in my shoes but for some reason . . . sometimes, I’m just not grateful.”
“What do you mean?” She asks, raising an eyebrow.
“You got to choose your path, Kenna and I didn’t get that chance. My parents forced me into majoring in business when they knew that I had no interest, whatsoever but as soon as I graduated and got the company, I started to see a brand new life. You can say that I got carried away,” I reply.
“You really did get carried away . . . but you’re still the same Aidan whom I met twenty-years ago. No worries,” She smiles up at me as I look up at the afternoon sky, liking how the wind continues to calm me down.
“If I didn’t major in business, I wouldn’t have met Dimitri. That would be a shame and it’d just be me and you,” I continue to speak but as soon as I hear no respond coming from her, I start to turn and look behind.
My eyes widen at the sight of Kenna, who is currently standing at the same spot I was—which means that I’m currently cycling on my own without anyone to hold onto the bicycle; leaving me panicking of how I’m going to balance myself instead of falling.
“You got it! Aidan, you got it!” She shouts from afar.
I look down at my legs as they shake and my hands begin to sweat, not knowing how to remain calm. “Kenna, this is a big mistake!” I shout back, continuing to look down at my hands.
“Aidan, watch out!” I hear her voice from behind as I look up, to see a pregnant woman standing in the middle of the road who has turned to look at me. Our eyes widen at the same time, instantly making me turn the bike left—heading towards the bushes.
Everything happened so fast.
I blink a few times as I try to control my breaths, a sudden pain increases as I move; making me groan, clenching my jaw in order to calm myself down.
As I try to move my left arm, I can’t feel anything but pain which causes me to groan even louder as I see Kenna running towards me with a worried expression plastered on her face. She examines my face and down to my body before landing on my arm, “Can you move? Are you okay?” She asks, panically.
“Kenna . . . I can’t move my arm,” I exhale as I stay focused onto her face, scared to even look down.