Roaring Regret

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
May/June 2006

Michael Scognamiglio

Someone’s trust can take years to gain, but only seconds to lose. Revving the motor of my best friend’s dirt bike always gave me a thrill. Yet, nothing could compare to the feeling of zooming down the back roads by my beach house on a warm, summer day. As I switched gears from first to second, I glanced at an old woman giving me a cryptic stare. I saw her shake her head as if to say this was not safe, which only enticed me to go faster. I shifted to third gear and sped past her garden. I did not care about her opinion, for at that moment, going thirty miles per hour, I was the king of the world. The warm wind whipped through my hair while my shirttail flapped furiously in the breeze. Little toddlers venturing to the beach gazed at me in awe. Nothing could bring me down on that day . . . except for a small strip of gravel on the side of the road.

My head was up in the clouds so I failed to notice the sliver of sand and pebbles ahead. I plummeted down quickly from Cloud Nine, however, when I flew through the dusty air and onto the hard pavement. I heard my friend stop his bike short, dismount, and rush towards me. Wanting to look cool in front of my fourteen- year-old friend, I stood up, brushed myself off, and forced a smile. He gasped as he pointed toward my arm. Suddenly I felt a flash of pain travel up my arm. I stared in disbelief at the blood dripping onto the bike from the dirty gash in my left arm. Gravel was jammed under the flesh of my palm, and my hip and legs were badly scraped. Holding in my tears of agony, I slowly drove back to my house and said I’d call him after I got cleaned up. After he drove around the corner, I sprinted through the front door and screamed for my mom.

Roaring Regret biking downhill

At that moment I was the king of the world

To be honest, I had never told her that I was riding this motorized vehicle. So, when she questioned me, I simply told her I had fallen off my bike. She took me down to the ocean and carefully washed off my scrapes and cleaned the gravel out of my hand. The salt stung my open wounds. When she had finished, I limped over to my friend’s house. I was feeling terrible, not just because of my injuries, but because I felt guilty. My mother had recited over and over how dangerous dirt bikes were and that I was never to ride them. The thrill of the ride clouded my judgment, and I did not heed her warnings.

Later that evening, we all went out to dinner. My sister had been with my dad in town during the day and was unaware of my injuries. So, when I was scooping up my lobster ravioli she noticed the cuts on my arm. She questioned me about the cuts and my mom replied that I fell off my bike. She misunderstood and thought my mom had said dirt bike so she blurted, “You fell off the dirt bike! Aha! Jesse said that thing was extremely safe!”

My dad chimed in with, “How did you fall? You looked like you were great at riding it when I saw you!”

My mom glared at me.

Watching my mom’s face, realizing that she had been misled, was sheer agony. Her words, “I see you conveniently neglected to tell me the whole story,” felt like daggers in my heart. Suddenly, as I looked at her face, I realized that trust was a very fragile thing. Her eyes clearly told me that I had lost her trust. I always knew she would forgive me, but I still regret hurting her because of my need for speed.

Roaring Regret Michael Scognamiglio

Michael Scognamiglio, 13
Saddle River, New Jersey

Roaring Regret Zachary Meyer

Zachary Meyer, 10
Shelby Township, Michigan

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