Mark’s Story: The Bike

I heard the knock on the front door.

‘I’m outta here. See you later.’

I knew it was him as he never lets me down. He’s my best mate, Mark, someone I’ve known for all of my life and will know for all of my life. I’ve had some of the funniest times with Mark. Proper side-splitting times. You hear people say that, but no truly, I mean it, piss yourself funny times. My mate Mark is a diamond.

I flung open the front door.

‘What the fuck are you wearing? Where d’you get that?’, I asked. Mark had on a cream coloured matching Adidas track suit: top and bottoms. There’s no way that was his, he just didn’t have things like that.

‘It’s Paul’s, fucking kill me if he knows I’ve worn it. Anyway, fuck ‘im, how’s he gonna know eh?’

Paul is Mark’s older brother, and yeah, he’d be pissed off.

‘It’s quite smart mate.’

We headed off down my road and turned into Windermere. We were going to the river bank where everyone always gathered on a Friday night; it was either that or causing chaos down the seafront. It was a light, warm evening and we could hear the screaming and shouting from our mates. We were a gobby lot, but harmless.

We got to the end of the road and through the cutting, jabbering about this and that, some bird or other.

‘I thought I could hear a fucking bike’, said Mark, ‘whose is that? Look at that bunch of fucking twats. They’ve never driven a bike in their lives. Haaaaa, it’s only a fucking 50cc. Haaaaa. Look at ’em.’

We upped our pace as we walked along the river bank. Mark was determined to get to the other side and show them how to ride a bike properly. They were taking it in turns to burn up and down the bank, and Mark was getting more and more animated about how shit they were.

‘Oi, oi,’ he shouted, ‘oi, Finch, hold on hold on, I’ll fucking show you how to ride it. Been riding them for years me.’

We reached the other side of the river and watched for a minute as yet another rider messed up their turn.

‘Right, bugger off, get off the fucking thing. Where’d you get it from Finch? How much was it? I’ll show you how to ride it.’

‘£50 quid mate. Yeah ok, ‘ave a go’, said Finch.

I’d never seen Mark ride a moped before, but he seemed to know what he was doing. We watched as he turned the handle, revving the engine, and then he was off. We turned to watch him, he was going at some speed, well, as much of a speed as a 50cc could do, and then…….

‘Fuck, where’s he gone. Fuck.’

He’d disappeared. We all ran toward where he was last seen. There’s a kink in the river edge, close to where the bushes are, so we scrambled through them hoping that our friend was ok. And there he was. Well, I haven’t laughed so much in all my life. I swear to god, I wasn’t able to control myself. Mark was stood in the river, Adidas track suit filthy and soaked through, moped upright on its back wheel, in a wheeley position, and his face stunned in a state of shock.

‘Fuck sake, Paul’s gonna kill me. Get me out for fuck sake. What the fuck happened there.’

That was the day I properly pissed myself. My mate Mark had done it again. None of the other ‘twats’ had ended up in the water, only my mate Mark. He’d added another story to the hundreds that I already had of him, and I love him for it.


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