The girl grunted softly as she lifted the half-built bike over her shoulder, placing her metro pass on the turnstile. A small light flashed green and two red mechanical gates opened, allowing her and the bicycle to pass through with ease. As soon as the doors closed behind her, a man working the ticket booth opened his window. “Mademoiselle, tu ne peux pas amener les vélos avant sept heure.”
The girl turned around, surprised. “Vous êtes sérieux?” she said, “Je peux pas rentrer avec mon vélo comme ça, et j’habite tellement loin d’ici!”
The man shrugged unapologetically. “Pas de vélos avant sept heure du soir.”
The girl’s head was swimming with a combination of beer and espresso. She couldn’t quite believe that this man was not letting her on the train. “Mais j’ai déjà payé!” the girl said irritably.
The man shrugged once more, as indifferently as the first time. “Je te donne un autre billet alors,” he suggested. The girl was not brave enough to defy the man, so she settled for giving him a scathing look before walking back past the turnstiles.
The man closed his window and sat back down in his chair with a sigh. He reached for pack of chewing gum sitting next to the cash register. He took out a piece of gum, unwrapped it, and put it in his mouth. Chewing slowly, he chose a single metro ticket from a pile and placed it under the window.
The girl grabbed the ticket in a huff and stormed off with her bike still over her shoulder. She began marching down the hallway back towards the street entrance but stopped halfway. A puzzled look came across her face as she put down her bike and pulled her phone out of her pocket. She glanced at the screen and smirked. She skimmed through her phonebook and selected a number.
“Hey! Yeah, can you do me a quick favour? I need you to go to the STM website and see what time you’re allowed to take bikes on the metro.”
“Oh, yeah,” the voice said on the other line, “uh, bringing your bike might be a problem right now. Hold on one second.”
A few moments of silence passed before the voice came on the line again. “Um, according to the website you should be allowed to bring your bike on. Why are you asking then?”
The girl scoffed. “Don’t worry about it. Thanks. I’ll be home soon.” She hung up the phone and turned around back towards the metro.
As she approached the turnstiles, she noticed a small group of girls hesitantly approaching the ticket booth. She cut in front of them and stood defiantly in front of the ticket vendor. She looked him in the eye and he met her gaze, chewing slowly on his gum. “Vous savez qu’il est après sept heure?” she said haughtily, satisfied with the knowledge that the ticket vendor had wrongfully expelled her from the metro. The man blinked and looked at his watch lazily. “Il est sept heure onze!” the girl cried triumphantly, her bike perched proudly over her shoulder. The man shrugged and pressed a button next to the cash. The turnstile gates opened. The girl looked at the gates and back to the man, who was still chewing his gum with the same unapologetic expression on his face. She turned to the gates and walked through the red doors, deciding to forget to offer any fare for the metro. As she walked past the man, who was busy selling a ticket to a shy English girl, she felt a satisfactory wave of pomposity.
Setting her bike down next to the train tracks, the girl took a moment to look over her handiwork. She nodded her approval and decided that it was, indeed, a good day. She couldn’t wait to ride her bike.
- lunaseas posted this