He was sitting next to me when he fell off his bike. We were out of our seats, pushing up a hill, and the music was so loud I didn’t hear anything. He must have toppled over near the end when my eyes were closed and I was focused on getting my heart rate up near 190. That’s like the highest it’s ever been, and I almost made it.
So the song ended and I was panting and about to vomit. I turned to tell him that I made it to 188, and he wasn’t there. I thought maybe he went to get a drink, but he wasn’t by the fountain either. Then I looked back again, and saw a blob on the floor behind his bike, over near the bosu balls. I asked him if he was okay, and I thought I saw him nod. The next song started, and since nobody else seemed to be worried, I started riding again. It was a speed song, you know, by Fall Out Boy and I really like those. He doesn’t like speed work, so I thought he was sitting this one out. I kept looking in the mirror, waiting for him to get up, but he stayed on the floor. I assumed he was really tired. It was a good class, and we had to get there early to get a bike, and I didn’t want to stop.
Then I remembered that he’d had that heart attack, I don’t know, maybe five years ago? I was still in middle school, and he and Mom weren’t married yet. He’s been doing triathlons, so I thought he was fine. He said he was anyway.
I kept on cycling, but I was getting worried. He still wasn’t getting up. I tried to wave to the instructor, but she was really focused, and I guess she couldn’t see me. It was nearly time for the class to end, so the music was really loud. You know, just one more big push, then time for the cool down. I wasn’t sure I should interrupt. Everyone looked so serious, like they’d be really pissed if I interrupted class. And I knew he’d be angry if everyone started looking at him. But yeah, now I know I should have interrupted. I thought maybe he was pulling my leg. You know how he is. He’s always joking around.
But he wasn’t joking. When the cool-down started and the instructor turned on the lights, she screamed. It was really scary. She started running around and telling people to grab things and call 911 and all. I didn’t know what to do, so I just put my bike away. I put his away too; it was in the way. I thought the instructor would appreciate that, but she didn’t. She just yelled at me for not doing something. I mean, what did she expect? It’s not like he was my real father.