I own a 50cc Yamaha moped that travels forty miles per hour at maximum. My best friend and I habitually rode the automobile together notwithstanding its minuteness in both engine and design to reach solely nearby locations. Unsurprisingly, the heavier the riders in the seat, the more slowly the moped functions. When he and I went on, even when going downhill, the vehicle rarely, if ever, reached its fastest speed according to the speedometer. We often conversed, though the wind blowing our faces disallowed him in the back to hear me clearly.
One evening, on our way back to his house from dinner and dessert, the mischievous friend decided to pull a prank that resulted far beyond his simple intentions. At a red light, he slyly stood up and ran to the sidewalk, assuming I would immediately turn around and tell him to come back. Nonetheless, I failed to notice his absence and proceeded forward at full speed when the traffic light turned green. I continued talking for five minutes, thinking he was listening, and then realized my moped was moving forty miles per hour. I, still oblivious, turned around to continue chatting just to find him missing. He had on a Hello Kitty helmet that barely fit his head, and I instantly pessimistically pictured a truck running him over to death or his falling off the moped severely injuring him, thinking both, “Did I just kill him?” and “Please, get off the road.” Never had I experienced so many haunting thoughts petrifying me in the ten minutes I panicked searching for him. The utter darkness of the road with hardly any cars did not help ease my tension. I made a U-turn and shouted his name every two to three seconds heading back to where I last saw him. A woman screamed en route, and I for the first time optimistically believed she had him. When I approached her to ask if she said something, she exhibited an expression of horror as if I had come over to sexually assault her. I did not waste time on her and continued backward, and a couple of minutes after, I saw the friend walking towards me, smiling. I still had not figured he had pranked me but instead observed his entire body to ensure his safety. He told me he did not expect me to ride away and repeatedly apologized for causing this unintended fear. I had to remove my helmet and wait a few minutes prior to returning to his home to shake off this newborn trauma to no avail. I ended up having to stay in his house and sing with him for an hour before returning home.
When I share this story, most listeners hysterically laugh. I understand why, but this dreadful thought of having accidentally killed my best friend, to whom I owe a large portion of my college success, made me overly paranoid; from that point forward, I instinctively made sure, when on my moped, he remained in the seat by checking his shadow, turning around, talking to him, and even touching him. A year and a half have passed since the incident, and I can now thankfully laugh at the memory as well.