Last Ride

I got home from work at 8 o’clock tonight and quickly mowed the lawn, edged and blew the grass clippings off of the driveway and sidewalks. I walked into the garage and stopped to look at the trusty Shadow. There it was… shiny black paint and chrome. I put the key in the ignition and the garage was illuminated by the headlight. I pulled the choke, turned the key and my faithful steed came to life.

I wanted to crank it up just to make sure everything sounded okay before Charles and his family come to pick it up tomorrow morning. Everything sounded great. I listened and stared. My old friend turned, looked at me and said, “Come on, let’s go. One last time.”

I obliged.

I saddled up and reved the throttle so the straight pipes could echo in the garage.

The trusty Shadow and I went on a peaceful ride. I wanted it to be one to remember. We took Slaughter up to MoPac and headed south. We curved onto Hwy 45 and took in the baby blue glow of the hill country sky as dusk began to pass. I held back a tear or two as it set in that this was our last ride. Then a bug hit me in the forehead.

We turned right on 1826 and I gunned it just for old time’s sake. I thought about all the miles I put on that bike. All the places we had been. It was my only source of transportation for years. I’d been through a lot with that motorcycle. It’s a great bike and has a lot of years left in it.

It was a great last ride. The temperature outside was comforting, the air was thin and all I could smell was grass and trees. There were very few cars out and of those, none were trailing us. We could go as we pleased.

I pulled into the garage and left the engine running for a bit so I could listen for one last time. I turned off the engine, dismounted and stopped to look at the trusty Shadow again. Riley walked into the garage, looked up at me and meowed. He and I are in-tune. He knew that this was a deep moment for me. I picked him up and we shared a final look at the ride I’ve always known as trusty.

I’m going to miss my old friend…

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