“Oh, no, no, no, no. You are not going to get me in trouble with doing that again?” Suzy said as she smiled at him. He couldn’t help it, he smiled back. Well, of course he was going to do that again. She just told him not too, it was like an open invitation.
They had, after all, just done it once and with all her complaints, he hadn’t died. He had fallen to the side and hit a tree, but he hadn’t died. He was just scraped up a little. He could easily go for another run. He just figured this time he’d go faster and get it right. That’s what was wrong last time, he needed more speed and besides that would make the video that much better.
See, his plan was simple. He wasn’t popular at school, and while they were still on summer vacation, he felt it was the perfect time to start working on his cool factor. He’d been watching all these insane videos on YouTube, watching as kids jumped off buildings and other really crazy stuff. It was awesome. So, if that was so cool, why couldn’t he do something similar. He’d take on Deadman’s Curve.
None of the adults called it that, but to all of them, it was Deadman’s. Many of kids hurt themselves taking the curve too fast on their bikes and skateboarders, they nearly crawled around the sharp turn.
So that was his plan. He was to do what others dared not. He was going to skateboard the curve. He had too. It was this or to suffer the humdrum of unpopularity, to continue being picked on just because he was the outsider. He had to show everyone just how cool he really was.
They had both been walking back up the winding curve, following the stretch of road. Suzy assumed they were walking back to her house so she could clean his scraped skin. He had some nasty road rash and her mom kept a first aid kit. They had been side by side for the walk up, but then he had stopped and she had turned to look back at him.
He had been smiling, she was standing there nervous.
“You can’t be this dumb.”
“Come on, get your phone up and start recording.”
He didn’t wait for her response. He turned and started running. The breeze flowed through his hair, he pushed himself even harder, running faster.
“Watch this!” he called over the shoulder. Then he threw down his board, and as the wheels steadied on the asphalt, he stepped on. She better be recording this time. He had done all that, put on his best moves last time and she forgot to record it on her cell phone. What was the point of nearly killing yourself if it wasn’t being recorded. Really!?
Sure, she had helped him and made sure he was safe, but come on, is that really what was important?
“Slow down,” Suzy yelled.
Riley didn’t turn around. He was already caught in the flow, the steep hill that everyone called Deadman’s Curve was his. He was already picking up a ton of speed, and those butterflies that like to tickle your stomach when you’re on a rollercoaster, oh yeah, they were buzzing hard inside of him. This, this was like an awesome he had never felt before. Last time hadn’t been anywhere near as cool as this.
“Please be recording, Suzy, please.” He said to himself, the words getting lost in the wind.
And then there was the curve to Deadman’s Curve. He came up on it fast, and he had thought he had more time. He shifted his weight trying to catch himself. He had seen the videos, he knew what to do. Those x-games guys, they slid their butts down low, reached out an arm, and glided through turns much faster than this. This should be a cake walk, oh, yeah, he should have this no problem.
But when he had bend back to balance his weight it was already too late. He was never going to shift in time before hitting the guard rail. He’d have to drop really low just like those extreme x-games boarders.
Yeah, and he had no idea how to do that.
His butt hit the road, hard, and then he spun with the speed. He kept turning and turning. The world around him spun, the trees along the side of the road were first right side up and then upside down. The sky couldn’t decide if it wan’t to be above him or below him, and the railing he had been so worried about hitting was getting really close.
“Riley!” he heard someone scream. It was hard to make out in the spinning world around him. Everything felt like it was on fire, he could feel the pulling of his skin setting it ablaze. He felt the slamming of himself repeatedly being pushed onto the asphalt by gravity and knew it was beating the hell out of him. He felt all of it, but he still couldn’t help but wonder if Suzy was still recording this. He hoped so as he knew this was going to get a gazillion likes.
He stopped rolling on the side of the road. He looked up to see that Suzy was running down the hill after him. He smiled to her and felt something loose in his mouth and the saliva wouldn’t stop. He just wanted to keep spitting. Was he bleeding? He tried to wave as she ran by he couldn’t lift his arm. It felt like it was trapped under him, and was too hurt to move.
He guessed it didn’t matter. He would be a legend now. Since he’d moved to the town, his father dragging him from their nice apartment in Chicago, he had come to find more and more reasons to hate the little craptastic town of Lodi. Not only was he an outsider there, but he was also a Bears fan in the land of green and yellow.
But this would do it. This would finally get Chad to back off and prove he wasn’t some weird freak or a wimp who could get pushed around. Riley had just done something awesome and no matter what Chad said or did, he could never take that away from him.
“Riley, are you okay? OMG your going to get us both killed. I have to call 911, you’re a mess. They’ll call your father. Riley?”
It didn’t matter, as he smiled looking up at her and passed out.
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