Antonia sat cross-legged with her hands fiddling in her lap and starred at the black Kawasaki Ninja on the other side of the garage. The shiny black paint was striking with its sharp curved body and polished rims, but even from here she could see the fine layer of dust that had settled over it.
It was a beautiful machine. One she had longed to sit on and ride. Her brother had bought her a bike. You can have mine when I die, he'd joked. Then he'd shown her how to ride. How to lean with the bike. How to hug its body with her legs. How to position her feet so she could quickly change gears. She'd even gotten her learners, so they could go riding together.
Her eyes tracked the long, silver gashes in the paint. He'd lost control. Antonia snorted. He'd been going too fast.
Antonia pulled her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms around them tight. Anger rippled down her back. Brandon never sped. He'd always been so careful, always telling her to watch her surroundings, that drivers never saw motorbikes so she always had to be vigilant. The police had made no sense. The report had made no sense. And no witnesses? He'd just ridden off the road?
Pushing herself to her feet, Antonia lent against the wall. That had been three months ago. Within a week they had closed her brother's case. A month after that, they'd released his bike. It still worked. She'd had it checked out by her brother's mechanic. A beautiful machine, he'd said. Your brother had always looked after her.
He had offered to fix the damage. She'd politely declined.
Antonia sighed. She'd sold her own bike when her brother had died. Fear and anger had driven her to it, but she couldn't bring herself to give up his prized Kawasaki and now it just sat there on the other side of the garage.
She needs to be ridden. You can't let a girl like her sit alone in a place like this.
Biting her lip, Antonia squashed the urged to chuckle as her brother's voice echoed in her head. She knew he was right. Not that she was starting to hear voices or anything, but it was something he would have said.
She pushed off the wall and wandered over to the machine. Her hand brushed its side and came away dusty. She cringed. She needed to clean the beast and then ... first thing. Antonia nodded, cementing the thought. First thing tomorrow, she'd ride.