The crazy holidays are over! Which means I’m now making up for lost time by working on a Sunday. There is still a ton of marking to be done and more to arrive but at least classes are over. And soon the blessed word that every student and teacher want to hear will begin –VACATION.
If you want to read this series from the beginning, click here. See all parts below.
David’s laugh punctuated the still silence that morning as he landed with a mighty splash into the lake. He broke out from the surface triumphant before spying the outsider on the grass calmly studying for their high school examinations.
Breaking out into a mischievous grin, he shot a mighty torpedo of water towards Charlie.
He tried to protect his trigonometry book but it was too late. The assault was too quick to evade. “Look what you did,” he growled, squeezing out droplets of water from his shirt.
“I did you a favor,” he said.
Charlie looked at how the silver lights danced upon the gentle surge of turquoise waters. For a moment, his resolve wavered. Then he pursed his lips. “It’s a waste of my time.”
David rolled his eyes. “Count on us to do that for you.”
Charlie sighed in resignation. He started to take off his shirt and then stopped. His face flushed, he turned to his right. We followed his gaze and saw the telltale sheen of auburn hair and that familiar laugh across the woods. A reverent hush came over us boys as Susie descended on our territory. She was a nymph blessing us mere mortals with her presence. She granted me a smile and I never knew why I deserved such a gift. Behind her, Charlie’s eyes smoldered with rage and jealousy.
I gasped, the car jolting me awake as it passed a pothole.
“How long was I out?” I asked Charlie.
“A couple of minutes.”
We had been driving for hours in search of David. For some reason, Charlie couldn’t sense where Susie was. I had already called in sick for work and he had morning classes. I could only depend on his intuition now to lead us to him.
“I just had a dream. Remember that day we went swimming in the lake? Back when we were sophomores?”
He groaned. “How could I forget? I flunked that trigonometry test because of you guys.”
“And bounced right back to become valedictorian.”
“Those were the days.”
“You had everything — the grades, the sports medals, the girls.”
“Not all girls,” Charlie whispered.
He was right. I felt a surge of triumph that Susie chose to belong to me and not to him. Which was why he had to steal her away from me. He just couldn’t stand it not having everything.
But I didn’t want to talk about her.
I stared at the passing trees outside. “You were voted most likely to succeed. I was voted most likely to end up in death row.”
“I was jealous of you.”
“I find that hard to believe.”
“You didn’t give a shit about anybody, John. I did.” He gripped the steering wheel. “You went around doing pot, flunking your courses, spray painting Anarchy in the UK on the school walls. You even mooned Principal Whitehall.” He laughed at the memory.
“Yeah, and look at us now. Who’d knew I’d end up as an accountant? Or you teaching Sponge Bob to kids?”
“Yeah, life’s funny, isn’t it?”
“I never understood why you ever gave up that senior manager job.”
“When you get tired of constantly living up to other people’s expectations and not your own, when you find you’re spending your days in misery and pain, when you could hardly look at yourself in the mirror without feeling guilt, disgust and shame then…….we’ll talk.”
He suddenly slammed on the brakes, pitching us forward. I hit the windshield.
“Jesus Christ!” I shouted.
Charlie’s eyes never left the road. Instead they stared straight ahead without answering me. Slowly, I turned to the direction where he was looking. Standing in front of our car was David.
To be continued
Photo by pixietart
Happy New Year Everybody! I’m looking forward to what everyone else has in store for 2009.