Everybody needs a hobby. Something to distract them from all the drama in their life. Something you’re good at.
Some people like reading books, to escape reality. Other people like to play soccer, to release some energy by kicking a ball. Painting. Baking. Or maybe even to watch a nice show. Everybody had a hobby, except for Alison Hendrix.
She’d tried things, she really had. Handcrafts for example. She had bought a whole basement full of supplies. The first two weeks were kind of fun. Alison spend her spare time in the basement, trying to create things with all the supplies she had bought. Like a paper-frog, or a picture frame for the cute picture of her kids she taken recently. But it didn’t work out. After those two weeks, Alison knew handcrafts were defenitely not her thing. She couldn’t work with the hot glue gun and almost glued herself to the table. She tried to make clothes, but at the end of the first week there were several little bloody holes in her thumb because of the pointy needle. And she also tried to just fold something, but it looked like shit. All the things she made never looked pretty enough, weren’t neat enough to be pretty. It looked unfinished and sloppy. Handcrafts defenitely were not the hobby for Alison.
Alison also tried to knit. She was good at that though. She was good at knitting and she could like it, if she tried hard enough. She could make gloves, hats, scarfs, even little sweaters for her kids, Oscar and Gemma. But it was the same over and over again. The same movements, the same way of tilting the dreads and the knit sticks over and over again. It bored her. Even though she was pretty good at knitting, she didn’t like it either.
Aynsley suggested she join her bookclub. The reading itself wasn’t bad, but the people who also joined the bookclub were as boring as a dictionairy. She also suggested Alison go to the soccer-training of the little kids. Even figure skating. Alison had tried them all. And disliked them all, even more because Aynsley was constantly showing off her own skills.
Eventually, out of pure desperation, she bought a few guns and went to the range. A friend, called Ramon, had helped her out. Ramon was very helpful. He selled Alison her little helpers. So she knew she had to go to him if she needed something what wasn’t… quite legal. As a true lady she chose the gun with the lady-grip, obviously. A big Glock wasn’t her thing. Something more small and elegant suited Alison. Yet, it still had the same power of that big Glock. Alison felt some relief since the first seconds her hands touched the slender lady-grip of her gun. She could feel it at the very first moment she fired her first bullet. The sound of the bullet hitting a brick-wall had made her wince in pain. Alison had been stupid enough to not buy earmuffs first before shooting. Her ears ringed and she kept hearing a annoying peep until very late at night. But she loved it. She loved to feel in control like that. To end a life with one bullet, one stretch of her finger. Of course, Alison would never kill someone, but it just felt amazing. And she realized, she didn’t only like to be in control of her own life. She liked the speed of the bullets. In a second her victim could be dead. Alison loved speed.
Alison kept shooting for an hour or two, until she ran out of bullets. As a beginner gun-keeper she didn’t know where to go for new ones, so she returned to Ramon. Like she expected, Ramon had enough bullets to take care for the whole neighbourhood if he liked. He shoke her hand like she was a long lost friend, with a big smile on his face. He had friendly, hazel eyes and messy brown hair. Thick brown eyebrows which matched the colour of his hair perfectly and an innocent face. Nobody would even dare to think this guy selled illegal guns and pills. When Ramon toke his hand back, Alison’s hand had turned from slightly pink to almost completely black. The smell of oil filled her nose.
"I’m sorry for all the filth, but I’m working on something new lately," he said. Alison had rosed her eyebrows out of curiousity. Ramon grinned and toke her to the back of his garage. There stood a motorcycle. A huge dark motorcycle, half stripped down with pieces of it spread all over the ground. Big oil stains were visible at the once light grey floor. Alison knew Ramon had a garage, but she didn’t know he loved to strip down motorcycles.
"It’s a beauty, isn’t it? I try to fix it, but I don’t have anyone to ride it… I’m not planning to, I need to take care of my customers, like you Mrs. Hendrix."
Ramon smiled at Alison and gave her a friendly push. She looked at him, a smile on her face. Guns were okey, but a motorcycle… All that speed…
"I’ll ride it," she offered.
His eyes widened is disbelieve and Ramon’s thick eyebrows rose of surprise. He tried to say something, but couldn’t say much, apart from:"What?"
"I’ll ride it. You heard me," Alison repeated. "I never ridden a motorcycle before, but it won’t be that hard. It’s something I always wanted to do."
Okey, that was a lie. But Alison did feel a big affection for the motor. She was dying to touch the leather grips, black of the sweat of people’s hands. She wanted to sit on the soft saddle, a helmet placed over her bangs and feel the power of the mechanic-beast underneath her.
"You? But Mrs. Hendrix, that’s a very dangerous vehicle!" he said, still wide eyed. Ramon looked at his half finished motorcycle and back to Alison. But nothing Ramon would say could stop Alison from ride on a monstrous motorcycle like this one. She told him to call her as soon as he was done with it.
In a few days she got a call and hurried to Ramon’s garage. The motor was all fixed up. A black beauty, huge and dangerous and ready for Alison to make its engine roar on the road.
"You don’t think I can handle it?"
Alison dared Ramon to answer back. The boy kept himself silent and stared to the ground, taking a deep breath.
"Alright then. Just don’t break it," he said, pulling up the corners of his mouth into a small smile. She couldn’t help but to return the smile.
Ramon took the motor and took it outside. It was a windy day with barely any sun that got through the thick layer of clouds. It was cold and she needed to wear a jacket to keep warm, with some thin gloves to keep her hands from freezing. The little road was empty. There was one man in his garden, trying to pot some plants before the winter began, who looked up when they entered the small road. She wondered if she wouldn’t crash onto the brick walls immediately. Ramon gave Alison a helmet as he sat down on the saddle. She held the helmet under her arms, kind of enjoying the soft wind blowing through her bangs.
"Okey, so this is how you start it," Ramon began, showing how to put on the engine. The machine roared enthusiastically, ready to cycle for the first time in ages. Ramon showed her how to ride forward, how to stop and how to turn. It didn’t looked very hard, but she hadn’t touched the motorcycle yet. There could be a chance she would fall in the first few seconds she sat down. She was a good driver, better than most of her neighbours or Donnie. If she could make a huge van move and park parrallel into the tiniest spots, she couldn’t be bad with a motorcycle too, right? Alison smiled at the thought.
Thinking she would be a good motorcyclist was a huge mistake. When Ramon stepped off the motor and Alison sat down, she almost fell down with the machine. The motor was too heavy. She wasn’t prepared for so much weight when Ramon stepped back. She toke the dark grab bars. They used to be dark brown, but they turned black due to the sweat of tons of bikers through the years. The saddle felt unfamiliar under her body, what made her a little uncomfertable. After gaining her balance again, she tried to throttle. She throttled too much, obviously and raced down the street, way to fast. She almost hit a street light and turned in panick. A group of people who just walked into the small road started to swear loudly when Alison almost ran into them. She wasn’t able to scream a sorry, because she was too busy not to crash into other people. Alison could hear Ramon laughing in the distance.
Eventually she was able to stop the motor, turn and drive back to Ramon. The douchebag could barely stand up straight because he was laughing so hard. Pissed off, but also kind of releaved she didn’t broke her leg, she gave Ramon his motorcycle back. She got off quickly.
"This is not like you, right, Mrs. Hendrix?" Ramon joked, trying to cover up his chuckling. Alison slapped his arm softly and rolled her eyes in disapproval. It was actually quite fun to ride a motorcycle, minus the near-death experience. There defenitely was speed. She just needed to learn how to control it and make the bike do what she wanted it to do.
"Actually, I’d like to come over another time and try it again," Alison said. Ramon chuckled, clearly thinking she was joking. When she kept silent, he silented as well and wided his eyes in shock. He opened his mouth to say something, but seemed to have forgotten he could speak. He just stared at her blankly, with rizing terror in his eyes. She smiled, a little proud of herself, being sure she would be an excellent biker soon.
They made an appointment. Next week Alison would return to Ramon’s garage and try to ride the motorcycle again. Ramon wasn’t an excellent teacher himself, but she learned quick enough.
At every meeting she got better. The second time was still a big embarrassment. She almost ended up in a huge mud pool and almost crashed several times. But after the third time she was totally in control of the handlebars. Alison had to be careful she wouldn’t crash into something or someone once, which was defenitely an improvement on the last two times. She drove faster at every meeting, she dared to drive faster. It felt like she flew, it felt great. She could barely feel the saddle of the bike beneath her or her fingers clenching at the bars. Her helmet didn’t smell like dirty, manly bikers anymore, but of her own sweat and sweet parfume. She got better and better and in a very short time she was motorcycling like a professional.
Alison motorcycled through the suburbs, a little scared anyone would recognize her tiny figure. Luckily no one did. Her old, grumpy neighbour actually called her a vandal which actually made her day. Nobody knew it was her, so she could drive without the fear of being recognized through the suburbs or the city. It made her feel free. This was her thing and nobody, except for Ramon, knew it was hers.
She drove through the countryside and enjoyed the beautiful green landscape. There were barely any cars on the countryrode, so Alison sped up until at least 200 mph. She loved it. She loved the speed. She loved this motorcycle.
Once she came back at Ramon’s garage, they made a deal. Alison bought the motorcycle but it would stay here. Donnie or the kids couldn’t find out. He would think it was dangerous and irresponsible. The kids would play with it, maybe even break it if she lost them out of her sight for a few seconds. Luckily Ramon thought the same and allowed her to place it in his garage.
After a week or two, at another meeting with Ramon, her friend announced there was this local competition for beginning racers. Ramon slapped her on her back and laughed loud. He gave her something to drink, but she wasn’t thristy. Yet, she took it and took a small sip of it.
"You know, you should totally join, Mrs. Hendrix," he said, while taking a sip of his can of soda. He placed it back on the table and grinned at her. Alison’s eyes wided and her timid smile grew to a huge grin.
"You know what, Ramon?" she said. "I’m going to do it."