(Warning: it’s gonna be looooooong)
Imagine going to the beach with people you don’t really talk to and feel very awkward around. That’s how my cousins and I felt that day. I mean of course we had our family with us but, we were invited to the beach by a different group of people and it was really awkward around them. We thought we would leave the beach in an hour. However, we ended up staying way longer than that. At around 6pm, my aunt suggested that us, cousins go cycling, to have fun and just spend more quality time together. All of us thought that it was an amazing idea and immediately got the cash to pay for the rent of the cycle from my dad. We rushed towards the cycle rent shop to get a quadracycle (I think that’s what they call it). A quadracycle is basically cycle made for 4 people to paddle. It accommodates 6 people so one in the middle of 2 cyclists in each row. This cycle was perfect for us since there were 6 of us.
When we asked the person-in-charge for a quadracycle, he said there weren’t any left. I mean it was understandable since it was Saturday evening and a lot of people visited the park. As we made our way back to the area where everyone else was, we saw a quadracycle making it’s way back to the rent shop. Once we saw that, all of us rushed to the guy again and told him about the arrival of the cycle that we needed.
After making paying for the rent of the cycle for an hour, we passed the receipt to my dad and started cycling. In this quadracyle, there’s only one person in charge of which direction the cycle goes to. That person will be in control of the steering wheel while paddling and the other 3 will only be paddling. Just when we started cycling, we went down a slope and the cousin that we made the ‘driver’ had no idea how to apply the brakes. If it weren’t for my dad, we would’ve hit the tree or something. It was funny but my dad was kinda angry. He wasn’t sure if could cycle safely. Since he wasn’t on the cycle, we cycled past him, shouting “Don’t worry! We’ll be safe!”.
Or at least we thought we’ll be.
So, we started our journey. We were the slowest cycle on the road. Everytime we saw someone zoom past us, we’d be like, “Oh, we can overtake him. No problem. Easy.”.
And as we (or my male cousin only) started paddling faster, all of us girls will start screaming as if we were on a ride at Universal Studios. (Oh, did I mention, there were 4 of us teenage girls and 2 boys; 1 teenager & 1 pre-teen i guess) A lot of people gave us the “I’m judging you so hard” look but we didn’t care. As long as we were having fun. That boost of speed would only last for about 20 seconds because by then all of us would be too scared of causing an accident of something.
We kept doing the boost of speed thing and also, kept changing the drivers so that everyone got a chance. From the start, we thought that this whole trial that were following was a like a round or a circle, which means that following the trail will lead us back to where we started. But, we were wrong.
As the sun began to set and the number of people on the route we were following began decreasing, we could see that we were nowhere near where we started. My sister even asked if we could make a u-turn and go back. I kept saying that we were on the right rack and it’s just a round and there’s no point of going back after coming a long way and all that. My sister kept asking from time to time and I kept saying that.
We were still cycling and I don’t know what we were doing at that time but the only thing I remember is that our cycle took a sudden turn and we were on the other lane where people were coming from the opposite direction. Our cycle stopped right at the bushes and there was bicycle under our cycle and a boy about my brother’s age, lying on the ground. All of us were in complete shock. And immediately we started blaming each other for not beig careful, for not being vigilant and all that. Only my cousin brother got up and asked the boy we had the accident with if he was fine. It was then that we realised that the boy might be hurt. All of us apologised to that boy and asked if he was okay. He was totally cool and told us it’s fine and he was fine. The first he did when he got up was to pass my cousin her slipper that she dropped during the accident. That was funny. We helped him get his bicycle and apologised one last time before he left.
We immediately pushed our cycle to the side so we wouldn’t block anyone. It was then that we all saw the deep cut my cousin brother had on his leg. He was bleeding!! We got so worried and asked if he okay and how he got it and all that but he just brushed it off and said, “It’s a small cut, don’t worry, I’m fine.”. But he was bleeding!!! And that cut certainly didn’t look like a small one. Since we had no help we just let it go and thought of attending to his wound once we found our family members.
It was getting dark and we had to return the cycle by 7.11pm since we only rented it for an hour. We were scared that wouldn’t be able to make it on time. oh, completely forgot mention, none of us had our phone nor our watches. NONE. OF. US. We were so excited about riding a cycle as a group of cousins that we completely forgot to take the most important device with us. That was the stupidest we could have done at that point and we did.
So, we stopped a lady and asked her for the time. 7pm. We had 10 minutes to get back to where we started. Then named her a landmark that was near our area and the rent shop and asked her if she knew the way to that place. And guess what. She pointed at the direction where we came from and said, “It’s all the way the other side”. Once we heard that, all of us were shocked. It wasn’t a round after all. We now had 10 minutes to get back to where we came from. The journey that took us about 50 min to reach to where we were at at that point, we had to travel all that distance in 10 min. Impossible.
But nevertheless, we took a u-turn and stated our journey back. All the times my sister asked us to make a u-turn, we should have done it. I should’ve never refused. But there was no time to regret. As the sky got darker, we paddled faster and our stress levels increased. Right now, all we wanted to do was to get back to where we came from and before 7.11pm. (Because we had to pay an extra $40 if we didn’t return the cycle within an hour from time of payment) The stress was real. We were beyond tired but we never gave up.
Suddenly, we realised that our parents had no idea where all of us were. We were supposed to be back by 7.11pm latest but it was surely way past that now. So we started looking for someone who could lend us their phones to make a call to our parents. Guess what. We ddin’t just ask anyone. We asked someone who looked trustworthy. Wasted a bit of time n that. Once we saw someone we could trust, we immediately stopped cycling and shouted “Excuse me!”.
Once we caught his attention, the first we said was that we were lost and we needed to contact out parents. He was kind enough to search for the directions to go back to our starting point and reassured us that we were going in the right direction. When I asked him if I could use his phone to make a call, guess what he said. He said, “Sure, but I only have 1% battery left. I hope it doesn’t shut down too soon.”.
Could it get any worse? The help that we got, the phone was at 1% battery. I made a call anyway and the only words I was able to tell my dad was “We were lost but we found our way. We are coming.” and that’s it. The phone died. I was satisfied that our parents at least knew that we were safe and were coming back.
After that, we didn’t bother asking anyone else for their phones. We just focused on getting back ‘home’. I was on the driver’s seat now. And my legs were moving much faster then before we found out we were going in the wrong direction. I don’t know where I got all that energy from. All of us, actually, were moving our legs very fast.
Every hut like shelter that we found, we thought were ‘home’ but, we weren’t. The number of times we thought that was insane. We were also following this ship during the WHOLE journey. When we started, we thought that we were going in the right direction by following the ship, but obviously we were wrong.
We started losing hope gradually. That’s when I thought that we should sing some songs so that we feel better. And the only songs we could think of were “Bhagwan Hai Kahan Re Tu”, “Hum Honge Kaamyaab, Ek Din”, “Kal Ho Na Ho” & “History” (Translated “Where are you God”, “We will succeed, one day” & “There might not be a tomorrow”). Quite funny when I now think of it actually.
The sky was darkening and we were getting exhausted. We were really hoping we were very near the area we came from. We had mini arguments due to the stress but most of the time, all of us just kept saying positive things of how we were reaching soon. All of us were secretly praying to just reach ‘home’ as soon as possible.
All our prayers stopped instantly once we saw a familiar face walking towards us, smiling at us. It was our uncle and my cousins’ dad!!!! Wow, I can’t tell you how relieved we all felt. We immediately stopped cycling and started cheering. Behind my uncle, I saw my dad. And once I saw his face I knew we were all in deep trouble. My uncle immediately asked me to leave the driver’s seat because he was going to cycle instead. Since there were no other seats left, I had to walk back with my father. My cousin decided to follow me. During the walk my obviously angry dad started telling me off and questioned all the decisions we made during that journey. The only one thing my dad said that I clearly remember was “How is it suppose to be round when the sea was always on your right?!” Okay, ya maybe we didn’t think of that but whatever we actually had fun.
Anyway, after all the scoldings and crying, we had our dinner and we were exhausted. But we had fun. Like SO much fun. We couldn’t stop talking about it and laughing at all the stupid decisions we made.
I never thought we could be experiencing such adventure. So many “what ifs” and “if we had done this…” but anyway, all of the decisions we made ended up in that day being one of the most memorable days of our lives.
Now when I think of this whole adventure/ experience/ journey I can’t stop laughing at most of the things we did. It was actually quite funny. I will never forget that day. Surely a story to be told.