Wheels of Gold

I cheered on Chris Hoy; fell in love with Laura Trott; yearned again to be freewheeling on two wheels. But cash was tight. What to do?

I popped into Mr Sharif’s corner shop on my way to work. What was this? Haldeman’s Chocolate were giving away ten golden bikes. Just check inside the wrapper for lucky tokens. I counted out £2, purchased two bars.

I didn’t open them until lunchtime. “No Win This Time”.

I was hooked. I generally prefer crisps to chocolate but each day I was giving Mr Sharif the shopkeeper an extra pound. Haldeman’s was a bit sickly, so I shared it out with my colleague Angie. She accepted with a smile. Maybe she thought I was slyly chatting her up. Maybe I was.

Friday morning. I had five 20ps left in my wallet. Enough for one bar.

The wrapping felt different. I opened it straightaway. “Lucky Winner” read the card. I jumped for joy like I’d won an Olympic medal. I pictured myself cycling the parks and streets of London in the sunshine, mudguards gleaming.

“What is it?” Mr Sharif asked.

My trembling fingers showed him the winning token. With a smile, he removed it from my hand, reached under the counter and produced a cellophane box. Containing a jewelled brooch. In the shape of a bicycle.

“It’s pretty, yes?” he beamed.

“There must be some mistake,” I blustered.

All those pound coins. All that chocolate. Just to be fooled by a matter of scale. All those calories that I’d never burn off now. Mr Sharif passed me the box.

“Is nice present for your lady.”

I nodded. Maybe he was right.

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