The first time I saw your rusted purple skeleton, I knew it was love. You were different than the rest of them; your purple color shined above all of the rest. Your wheels were creaking with excitement when you were brought out from the back room, and I couldn’t help but squeal in unison with glee.
I paid the man behind the counter as you patiently waited. Your kickstand was the only thing supporting you because I had not yet held you with my hands. The first time I sat on your shiny seat, I knew that you and I would be exploring all of Copenhagen together for many months to come. To be honest, I was quite nervous at first to ride you. But I trusted you, and knew that you would never fail me. Before I started that first ride, I named you: Eggplant. Your deep purple color and black accents reminded me of a vegetable I so truly love, and knew the name was a perfect fit.
I put my foot down on your pedal, and pushed ever so slightly. You moved, slowly at first, as I tried to navigate around the other Danes who were already in long relationships with their bikes. I looked forward, breathing in the fresh air, listening to your rusted chains move around as I pedaled. It was perfect harmony, we were a perfect match.
The next few weeks were wonderful. Every day, I would lock you outside of my building, making sure to blend you in with the other bikes so no one would steal you. I had heard horror stories of bikes in the past who were stolen in the middle of the night, and knew I could never let that happen.
Although the first few times were tough, we made it through. You safely guided me to school in a snow storm, and made sure your lights shone brightly at night so I could see clearly. A few weeks into our relationship, we hit a rough patch, which we thankfully laughed at the rest of the semester. Do you remember when I broke my key inside of your lock, and had to carry you all the way to the bike shop? I didn’t actually mean it when I told you to shed a few pounds, but can you blame me? I was agitated, and you were so heavy!
Through all of my grocery shopping, we always managed to successfully make it back to my dorm without anything dropping or spilling. I’m sorry I had to put grocery bags on each of your handle bars. I know that threw you out of balance, and all of the other bikes were looking at you because they thought you were drunk. But don’t worry, they were just jealous because we were having so much fun.
As the months got warmer, we spent more and more time together- it was wonderful. Oh, Eggplant, the places you took me! The 8 mile bike ride to Deer Park, where we quietly snuck up on deer and watched as they pranced away, frightened. How we would have picnics in the sun with a Carlsberg beer, eating tuna from a can. We explored Copenhagen together without spending a dime. Some would say we were meant for each other.
You never complained when I left you outside in the snow and the rain, and you didn’t care that I kept you waiting while I was having fun inside of a bar. You didn’t care that I kept you up until 6 in the morning; you just loved the fact that I always chose you first as my mode of transportation.
Unfortunately, you almost made me have a heart attack one day. I had been soaking in the sun near the library canal with my friend for a few hours. When I went back to find you, you were gone. At first, I thought it was jealousy, but then I realized you would never betray me like that. I ran around the entire library lot, looking at every single bike, hoping you would be there. I must have looked like a lost child, but I didn’t care- I needed to find you! After 10 minutes of hopeless searching, I saw your purple metal glistening in the sun. We were reunited! It may have been partly my fault that you’d been moved from your original spot; I’d been lazy and leaned you against the library building that morning.
My favorite memory with you is when we went on a 70 mile bike ride through southern Denmark to see the Møns Klint cliffs together. I pretty much exhausted myself, but I can’t even imagine how tired you must have been, having to carry me the whole way. Your three gears made it quite difficult to make it up some of the hills, but I never blamed you. As we coasted through the farm lands, across bridges, and through tiny villages, I felt our love slowly grow. I’m sorry you weren’t able to see the cliffs, but there was absolutely no way I was going to bring you hiking.
As the semester neared an end, I had to come to terms with the fact that I would soon leave you behind. I could tell you were upset, too. Your lights slowly died one by one until I was biking in the dark at night. Your kickstand mysteriously broke off one day, never to be seen again. Your tires lost their air, your coat lost its sheen, and your chains lost their stamina. Still, we had biked hundreds of miles together through the semester, and seen a lot of Copenhagen I otherwise wouldn’t have.
When I had to leave you at the store, it was a very hard goodbye. The walk back to my dorm was painful; I had been so used to biking that walking seemed daunting and excruciating. Still, Eggplant, you were there for me whenever I needed you, and you had never given up and let me fall to the ground. Hopefully our paths will cross again one day. Until then, I will just have to live with the jealousy that hangs heavy on my shoulders, knowing you are having many new adventures with someone back in Copenhagen.