I knew it would come eventually. I would have to start racing some of the less talented pro motor cross racers. Mark was a very talented pro racer, one of the best actually. I would have to take him on at the state championship races. Him and a bunch of others like him. The thought of it made me kind of queasy. Eck. But championships weren't until late August and after Labor Day it was back to school. Sophomore year. One year closer to my sixteenth birthday and living on my own. I could almost taste the freedom of such a thing and my patience for it to finally come was wearing thin.
So I raced and the edge I had developed kept getting more and more challenging and I was still winning the races I entered. I really don't know how and it was kind of amazing how I kept coming in first. I sure as hell hadn't done any spells to make it happen. I did enjoy winning, and I wasn't in the races for the money. If I was I'd go pro with it, and that is something which I'd never do. I had no interest too. I believed it would take the fun out of the whole affair.
Kelli, Melody, and I were in a local coffee shop one evening after we'd eaten a delicious dinner at a fine Greek restaurant. We were stopping there for a quick caffeine fix on our way to the underground; just the three of us. We'd already planned earlier in the day to meet our boyfriends at our destination later.
"I have something to tell you guys," Kelli announced after we had placed our orders.
"Like what?" Melody asked and pushed a piece of hair out of her face.
"You know my brother Kail?" she inquired and looked at each of us closely. We nodded in confirmation. "Well, he's moving down here."
"What?" I exclaimed loudly, drawing a few looks from the customers but not really caring what they thought. Kail was very hot with a good size dick, cute bubble butt, and a decent body. He'd be even hotter if he worked his stomach and got a new personality. He annoyed me like crazy.
"Yeah, it's true," Kelli said sadly.
"I don't see what's wrong with it," Melody remarked. "Kail's cute."
"Yeah, he'd be even better if he got a personality transplant," I cracked sarcastically. Both girls laughed loudly.
We got our coffees and headed out the door sipping them on the way to the underground.
"When is he moving in?" I asked and we turned a corner.
"In two days," Kelli said.
"Are you going to Berkeley to live with your mom?" Melody questioned.
"No!" Kelli proclaimed. "I mean, don't' get me wrong, I love her and all, but I can't live with her. We always end up fighting."
"Good," I said. "I don't want you to move."
"Me either," Melody agreed.
"Thanks guys," Kelli said. "I love you!"
Melody and I sandwiched her. "We love you too!" we shouted. People on the street gave us weird looks and we burst out laughing. Friends are great.
Danielle, Liz, Katie, and I were all at Kelli's house chilling out by her pool. We were waiting for Kelli to come back outside with some music. Misty, Melody, and Claire walked out the door and joined us.
"We need music," Claire remarked causally.
"Kelli went to get some," Liz informed her.
A second later Kelli came out with her stereo in hand and plugged it in. DMX blared out of the speakers.
"So what are we doing tonight?" Danielle asked and blew on her fingernails freshly covered in maroon polish.
"I don't any immediate plans," Claire announced, flipping through a back issue of Vogue.
"Well, let's see," Katie began calmly. "We haven't been clubbing in a while. Why not do that?"
"That could be fun," Liz stated. "I'm so sick of hanging out around the boys all the time."
"Where's Zoey?" Danielle asked as she switched to her toes.
"She called me and said that she would be with Michelle all day," Misty answered.
"You'd think get sick of being together," Melody observed. "It's like they spend every waking moment together."
"God, I know," Kelli agreed. "I couldn't be around Robert that long. I'd go nuts."
"You are nuts," Katie said. "You're a Gemini for God's sake!"
I listened to their conversations, not taking a part in any. My mind was far too busy thinking about my next and last race of the year, the championships. I couldn't believe how fast Mark, whom I considered a good friend, would be out of my life. It happened to me with all the guys who had a hand in training me, because they were all pros. Damn them.
I was tanning, naked, as I always do, in fact, all my friends do. I was laying on my stomach and had been doing so for half an hour and decided it was time to switch sides. So I flipped over and closed my eyes once more. A few minutes later I felt a shadow fall over me.
"Get out of my light," I ordered to the person, not bothering to look.
"Sorry," Kail's voice said.
I opened one of my eyes and squinted up at him. I didn't bother to cover my naked bronzed body. I was very comfortable with nudity. "Did you want something?" I asked nonchalantly.
"I can't come outside if I want to?" he said, tugging at his blue board shorts. They hung low enough that part of his ass crack peeked out and the v on his pelvis showed.
"If you want," I replied indifferently.
"So, Quin, what's up?" he asked and sat down next to me.
"The bump in your pants," I said obnoxiously.
He laughed. "Maybe it's the sight of your naked body."
I sat up. "Are you?"
"I am," he replied.
"Oh," I lay back down. "You're out?"
"I have a boyfriend."
"Oh," he got up. "Later, Quin."
"Bye," I called as he walked away.
Damn! Kail was gay and onto me. Sweet!
The day finally came. The last race I would do. Shortly after school would begin again. The races were three in all, rookie, semi pro, and pro. I had signed up for rookie, knowing I'd win, and for semi pro. If I won that, I'd automatically be in the pro race.
In the last few days, shortly after Kail settled in at Kelli's, things between Max and I got strained. We started fighting and one night I had called him and we broke up. Needless to say, he didn't come to my race, but Aaron, my crew, and their attachments, the popular boys and their girlfriends did, and surprisingly Kail showed up too.
I had distanced myself from everyone. I needed the time to mediate on my races and some time to get into the vibe. After I signed in, it was ten minutes until the rookie race. The time was agonizing waiting for it to begin, so I did a thorough look over on my bike, making sure all was ready. I didn't want to get out there and have to lose it all around the second turn.
When the race started, that's all there was in the world for me. The rush of air as I jumped, the feel of vibration in the bars over the dirt and the great swell of my heart as I passed the checkered flag without anyone on my side. My friends came up, but I told them I needed the time alone. It was "me time," I even brushed Mark off. I raced in the semi pro, which of course required I be a little more edgy than what had been required in the rookie. I won, but shortly after I jumped the finish line, some other rider came in second. I really had to bring up my edge if I wanted to win my next race.
Technically, since I'm fifteen I can't race at pro level but they always let the winner of the semi pro race do so, just to see how good they really are. I spent the minutes before the race with Aaron, his presence always calms me in ways I can't explain, and that took the rawness off of my nervousness. Mark gave me a thumbs up and soon enough it was the moment I had been skittish about; the race. Aaron gave me a good luck kiss as I headed out to face my fate.
It was the most intense race I had ever done, and I'm not exaggerating. The pros had edges of their own and I had to raise my own to compete with them beyond what I had raised it beforehand. Once I found my groove though it was only a matter of shifting gears and careful calculating before Mark was my only real competition. We were neck to neck the entire race, and in the final stretch he pulled ahead of me. I'll never be able to fully explain or understand what happened next, but I put in the last dose of speed and edged my front wheel ahead of his. When we jumped at the finish line, by some miracle of the Goddess, I was first.
When I was out of my helmet, I was given my third trophy of the day and cameras surrounded me, taking pictures as if I was the second coming of Christ or something. After pictures came the questions of a few reporters and one in particular who wanted to interview me.
"So, Quin, how does it feel to win the state championships for amateurs and also beat the pros at their own game?" she asked, sticking the microphone in my face.
"It feels great," I said honestly. "But I never could have gotten as far as I did or as good as I am without the help and guidance of Mark Fisher. He's the real reason I'm standing here today."
"Quin, you're famous already for winning numerous awards in BMX racing, skateboarding, roller bladeing, and surfing," the reporter listed of my accomplishments. "What's next?"
"Junior drag racing," I replied. "Got to get my thrills somewhere."
"How right you are," she said in way of reply. "Thanks for your time, Quin."
I left and was taking off my gloves when Mark approached me.
"Drag racing?" he asked, raising his eyebrows. "You're not going to go pro?"
"No," I said and faced him. "Look, Mark, I don't do this for the money or the recognition. I do it for the experience and the fun of the sport."
"You're not going to waste your talent, are you?" he questioned.
"No," I answered. "I'm going to use all the things I've learned so I can do my own stunts when I become a famous star. I want to be able to say when I'm interviewed about my movies that I was the one doing that. That I learned how when I was growing up. And that I was good enough to go pro. Do you get my reasons?"
"Yeah, I think so," he said. "Well, Quin, I can't thank you enough for what you've done for me."
"Me neither," I agreed, knowing he meant the girls and him knowing I meant the training for racing.
"I guess I'll be seeing you," he said in a somewhat wistful tone. "You've got my e-mail, right?"
"Yeah," I replied and nodded.
"Bye," he said and turned to leave.
I grabbed him and hugged him. He hugged me back.
"I'm not trying to get fresh," I explained and let go.
"I know," he said. "Can I ask you something?"
"If I was gay, would you go out with me?"
"If I were, I'd go out with you," he admitted. "Good bye, Quin."
"Good bye, Mark," I said and watched him walk away.
Aaron and I were laying together under an afghan on my bed watching the credits of a movie roll by which we had just finished.
"Are you okay, Quin?" he asked me, concern in his voice. "You seem depressed."
"Oh, I'm okay," I said. "I just hate how I make friends with these pros and never see them again."
"Well, at least you both touched each other's lives in some way," he observed softly. "That should count for something."
"You're right," I admitted. "Oh, Aaron, how is it you always know just what to say?"
"I don't know," he remarked quietly. "Maybe it's our connection."
"Maybe," I agreed.
"How do you feel about the summer?" he inquired and pulled me closer to him.
"Good," I replied. "And you?"
"The same," he answered.
I brought my mouth to his. Yes, the summer had been very good, indeed it had.