It was British racing green, or so I told myself, but really it was a disappointment. First glanced at everything seemed superficially correct: the five speed gears, the drop handlebars, the uncomfortable racing saddle. But the other kids knew: it was not the branded model, nothing to boast about, it was a discount bike.
During the summer rain it rusted outside. The thin paintwork became scratched and dented. We played out on the fields at the back of the estate; no time or land for cycling. The bike was only retrieved late afternoon for my paper round.
I told my friend, from two doors down, that the bike had been hit by flying bullets while escaping the police. The rusty scratches were proof, absolute proof. I still don't know if he believed me.