Have you ever had something stolen from you? I’m fairly certain that everyone has had something stolen from them at one point or another, whether it was something big and expensive, like a car, or something cheap and easily replaced, like office supplies. Myself, I work in the trades, which means that I have a lot of experience with things like radios, tools, and parts sprouting legs and walking away. I even know one guy who had his prescription safety glasses swiped from our trailer, as though they would be of any damn use to the thief.
But when I saw this prompt one item in particular came to my mind immediately: my childhood bike.
It’s almost difficult to believe now that every kid who can dress himself has a $700 smartphone/supercomputer in their hands 24/7, but when I was little every kid’s pride and joy was their bike. We would ride everywhere, sometimes spending the entire day from dawn to dusk just riding around town. On grading day every year the local department stores would have rows of bikes on display because they knew any kid who had outgrown theirs would be asking for a new one. Bikes were serious business. I was on mine non-stop during certain years of my life, but like most kids tend to be, I was careless with it. I would often drop it in a friend’s yard or even right on the side of the road while I was off doing something else. I didn’t think anything of it, until one day when I came back to get it and it wasn’t there.
To say that I panicked would definitely be an understatement. I was only about 8 at the time, but I understood that bikes were not cheap and that my parents didn’t have the money to just throw around on such things. I started searching in a frenzy, certain that it had to be somewhere nearby, desperate to find it before my parents found out it was gone. I tried to enlist the friends that I’d been playing with, but they’d been called home for supper and promptly abandoned me. Eventually my own father came looking for me and I had to admit the horrible truth: someone had stolen my bike.
I’m fairly certain that I recall Niagara Falls opening up in my eyes then.
Now, it turned out a little while later that my bike was not stolen in the traditional sense. Like any neighborhood, mine had its share of kids who were rotten little jerks for the sake of being rotten little jerks. It turned out that a couple of these bullies had seen my bike laying in the neighbor’s lawn and thought it would be funny to make me think it was gone. Knowing that they couldn’t just take it home without their parents asking where the heck it had come from, they’d tossed it into the trees and bushes in the vacant lot at the end of the road. Luckily my father and a neighbor were able to find it and it was returned to me with a gentle talking to about leaving my stuff laying around.
So in the end all was well, but something like that can affect a kid at that age. For quite a while after that I was pretty paranoid to leave anything I owned unattended for even a few minutes. Even to this day I’m a little bit twitchy about things like my daughter taking a toy to school for ‘show and share’, and I blame it on the fact that this incident taught me not to trust other kids around my stuff.
Have you ever had something important to you stolen? Did you get it back or was it gone forever? How did its loss affect you? Please share!
Also, a reminder that I am running a contest throughout the month of March. For each comment you post on my blog throughout the month, you will receive one entry toward a draw for a hard-copy of my zombie apocalypse novel, “Nowhere to Hide”! Please note that in order to accept the prize, I will need you to give me a mailing address where I can have the book sent. If the winner drawn did not intend to enter the contest and/or does not want the book, I will draw another name. Please also note that obvious spam/duplicate comments/etc. will not be counted toward an entry…play fair! And good luck! ❤