It was an evening like any other, cooler than the afternoon and still bright enough to start making plans. I may have been bored, or feeling particularly kind, but for whatever reason, I said out loud, Why don’t I teach you to drive the scooter? My sister, usually one to express minimal enthusiasm about any new idea of mine, looked up with interest. (That should have been my warning.) And off we went to the streets of Boat Club, with its mansions and leafy lanes.
This is how you start the vehicle, you just press the button.
Turning the right handlebar towards yourself means you accelerate. -No, not so much! Turn it a little!
This brake is for the front wheel, and that one is for the back.
Indicators before you turn. Look in the mirror.
And so on.
I seemed to have done a fairly decent job. Soon she was driving back and forth and making turns left and right (indicator turned on), honking at men and dogs crossing her way. And then I said, Wait, why don’t I sit behind you? Really, I was full of brilliant ideas that day. She did not mind, and we started going around in circles once more. Me, with the occasional pointers (Look in the mirror to see who is behind you) and her, focusing on keeping her hands steady.
You seem to have really picked up the knack for it! (By now feeling a little too pleased with myself for being the perfect patient teacher. I may have to check with her on the use of the word “patient” though.) A man on a moped appeared before us at an intersection, wanting to turn right (to the road we were on), and us wanting to turn right (to the road he was coming from). We were diverging, of that there was no doubt (at least in my mind), but panic seized my sister and she turned the handlebar all the way towards herself. We went faster than we ever did go that evening and climbed over an iron fence to crash into the outer wall of a large white house.
This is where it became interesting, because when I tried to get up, I realized that my sister had fallen on top of me, and that my leg was glued to the silencer. I had to prise my leg away, push her away from me, and lift the scooter, only to note that the mirrors and the speedometer were broken, the headlight damaged, and the scooter itself scratched all over. I just want to go home, we wailed.
I’ll drive, you just sit behind me. I barked at her. We reached home, and amidst much exclamation and righteous disapproval, I was taken to the hospital for a tetanus shot and to have my wound dressed. I came back home to find my sister waiting. I went straight to bed.
I did not speak to her for a few days. No, not because my scooter was damaged or that she hit a wall. She did not have a single bruise on her! Oh, the injustice of it all. I could not be consoled. As for my sister, I don’t think she ever drove a scooter since.