“It’s something. Hey, you know, I got a ball, so does Rafael I’m sure.”
“I do indeed,” concurred a shorter brown skinned boy with black hair and a confident disposition.
“I know, but the teams are uneven now and it’s super hot. Let’s do something else.”
“Like what?” asked the greasy haired boy, annoyed at not being able to play some more.
“Well Aaron,” Tim raised his eyebrows and leaned his head in his direction, teasingly. “Let’s go take a dip in that waterway at the end of
Aaron took off his cap and wiped his greasy hair away from covering his pimply face, tucking it behind his ears. He let out a deep sigh, paused and then said, “Yeah, you know what, that sounds good. Let’s do it.”
By now the rest of the boys had gathered around Tim. They were dirty and sweaty and a bit worn out from the tense competition in the hot sun. Tim raised his head to address them. “Who’s up for some swimming? We’ll get together here again tomorrow around ten o’clock for some more baseball, but how ‘bout some swimming right now?”
“Sounds refreshing!” said David with exaggerated enthusiasm and a sheepish smile.
“Si! I am also interested,” spoke Rafael. “Esta muy caliente.”
“I can’t,” said a red haired boy, pale and freckly. “I don’t have a swimsuit with me.”
Tim laughed a bit. “You don’t need a swimsuit. Come on, you’re clothes are already covered in dirt, what does it matter if they get wet?”
“My dad would kill me if I went anywhere near that water,” said a boy whose skin was the color of cocoa and his short hair the color of coal. A bunch of other boys nodded in agreement and started walking off the field, some shouting back. “See you tomorrow!” and “Nah, you guys are crazy, we’re going home!” Tim, Aaron, Rafael and David were suddenly standing together, alone, in the middle of the field.
Tim lifted his cap, took the bottom of his Iron Maiden Powerslave t-shirt and lifted it up to wipe the sweat from his face. “You guys have your bikes?” he asked.
They nodded and began heading toward their respective rides. Tim, Aaron, and Rafael all rode BMX bikes, while David had a department store brand junior ten-speed. It was a cheap bike, especially next to Tim’s Mongoose, but he loved it just the same. He could ride much faster then the others, for longer distances, and still do a few jumps and tricks. Not tricks like he had seen in the film “Quicksilver”, but he could balance on his back wheel and ride for a bit and spin around a couple times. He wasn’t trying to compete with his BMX buddies, after all there are things that only a BMX can do.
But for this endeavor, a long distance ride, some of which uphill, he had the perfect bike. He still had a bunch of energy; the game hadn’t really exhausted him in any way. That slide for second was the only action he had gotten the whole contest, and that ended up being it for the day. So, as the others bunny-hoped and did curb endos and foot plants, laughed and made fun of each other, David slowly turned his crank and began pacing out a nice even rhythm. For a time he paced out with his buddies, gyrating in the background while they did their BMX tricks. Once his rhythm found a groove he began out pacing the other boys.
“Hey you guys!” I’ll meet you there!” He didn’t wait for a response, but flew off down the blue spruce and cottonwood lined suburban street, the fresh summer breeze blowing through his blonde curls. It felt good. This is what he liked about having a ten-speed, cheap or not. He clicked into the highest gear, stood up and powered his way down the flat stretch toward the outer lying hills where the waterway was located. The cement lined “stream” flowed out of an archway built into the side of a forest covered hill, which was only the foot of an extensive terrain of rising hills surrounding a snow covered mountain that ascended into the sky. The water was very clean and cool, composed of rain water and snow run-off from the distant mountain, and they had swum there on three different occasions already this late spring. The most secluded part of the “stream” was up at the white cement archway, at the base of the hill, allowing the boys to swim in their underpants without being seen.