Why Does It Look So Clean? A loss series, part 1

The space in front of my car looked unusually clean and tidy. A lack of dirt did not make it that way. I could see the usual specs, a dust bunny, and a little sticker stuck to the concrete. But it seemed uncluttered. Not normal. And it wasn’t until I got to the car to open the door that the reason seeped into my consciousness. It looked so blank because my daughter’s bicycle was gone.

It had been her big birthday gift from less than a year ago. Not expensive, but a beautiful not-too-girly hot pink Huffy Trail Runner with a spring in the middle which was supposed to absorb the shock as she road, giving her a smoother ride.

Nothing absorbed my shock.

I walked to the exact spot as if that would make it reappear. It didn’t. Gone too was the cable lock that should have held it securely to a small section of the fenced area in front of my car. All gone. Who steals a kids bike?

The little sticker semi-adhered to the concrete was from one of the lights we had attached to the bike for safety. The sticker told us where to put the batteries. Lights gone. Batteries gone. Bike gone. Bell gone. Bastards.

I realized a bike two parking spots down was also gone — the green one that had been covered in a thick layer of dust. A blue bike, just as dusty, was still there — held securely with a D lock.

Why did it have to be my daughter’s bike? We should have had a better lock, but I never imagined we’d need it.

We put up signs for her beautiful missing bike. It made us feel a little better. Finally we purchased a used one from a neighbor.

The blue bike with the D lock is still there now a year and half later. Still covered in dust. It hasn’t moved. I think the people who owned it have moved away and forgotten it.

Updating to add that the sticker actually tells how to operate the light. I checked. It’s still there in our building’s garage in front of my parking space. And I was really proud of how my daughter handled all this. She was sad, but very grown up.