It was a scorching hot day in the middle of July that found Beau and Josh lazing on the makeshift raft out on the pond. School was due to start back in a few short weeks and they were determined to make the most out of their last bit of summer freedom. Which at this point, was anything that didn't involve work or doing anything that required even a modicum of effort. Rest and relaxation was the only thing either boy was interested in.
"I'm bored." Josh said for the third time in the last half hour.
Beau didn't even open his eyes to look over his way. He was currently too comfortable laying face down on the raft with one arm tucked under his head and the other hanging off the side of the raft, making ripples in the water as he gently swayed it back and forth. The sun beat down on his bare back but he paid it no mind, content to lay there and soak it up. And if he got a little more tan, all the better.
"Get over it." He replied. "We're not doing anything. It's too hot to do anything but this."
"We could go to the arcade." Josh suggested from the other side of the raft where he lay on his back, letting his feet dangle off the side. "They've got air."
"We're broke." Beau reminded him.
"Oh yeah." Josh deflated and they both lapsed back into silence.
Beau had just began to doze off when he felt Josh sit up.
"Let's go swimmin'." He said brightly.
Beau snorted and motioned towards the water with a wave of his hand. "Have at it."
"Not here." Josh shook his head though Beau couldn't see. "At the quarry."
That did get Beau's attention and he raised up so that he was leaning on his elbows as he looked over at his best friend.
"Now why would we do that? We're already at the pond and you know we're not supposed to go to the quarry."
"Since when do you shy away from a little adventure, Beau?" Josh asked, grinning wildly at the plan already forming in his head.
"Since the last time we went there and both our dads were less than thrilled when they found out. I don't figure on having a repeat of that fiasco, thank you very much."
Josh merely shrugged as if he wasn't worried about that in the least.
"I hear Sydney and Savannah Parker are gonna be there." He added, hoping that the mention of the Parker twins would sway Beau's decision.
It had the intended effect because Beau sat fully up on the raft and stared at him for a minute before finally shaking his head in the negative.
"It doesn't matter. It's not like they're gonna talk to us."
"How do you know?" Josh asked.
Beau seemed to be weighing heavily the pros and cons but eventually, the idea of Sydney Parker ever giving him the time of day won out and he nodded.
An hour later, Beau pulled the old red farm truck onto the side road that led to the rock quarry. Several other cars and trucks lined the road but Beau found a spot to park with little difficulty. They got out of the truck and made short work of discarding their shirts and shoes in the cab before walking on down to the water in just their cut off jeans.
It didn't take long for them to spot the girls. They were in the water with a small group of girls watching and cheering as several other boys their age took turns jumping off of a small cliff.
Beau took one look at Josh and shook his head.
"Don't even think about it." He said.
Josh just grinned wider. "C'mon, Beau. Where's that famous Anderson bravery when we need it?"
But Josh was already making his way up the path that led to the cliffs, leaving Beau to either follow him or stand at the bottom alone.
Beau groaned but reluctantly took off after him.
Instead of stopping at the cliff where the others were jumping, Josh climbed higher to the next one and stopped at the edge to look over. Beau remained standing a few steps back.
"I can't do this." He mumbled.
Josh heard him and came to stand beside him.
"Sure you can."
"Are you nuts?!" Beau exclaimed. "You were there when I got stuck on a freakin' roof, remember?! I'm tellin' you, I can't do this."
Josh bit his bottom lip and finally nodded. "Alright. Yeah, okay. You got it. We'll just go back down and swim or something."
Beau was just about to turn back when they heard someone shouting from down below.
"C'mon, guys! Jump in!"
They both leaned over the edge to see a dark haired girl looking up at them from the water.
"Hurry up and get down here!" She yelled and both boys exchanged a glance.
Josh shrugged as if to say, "It's up to you," and Beau closed his eyes before taking a deep breath.
"I can't believe I let you get me into these things." He groaned before taking several steps back. Josh, sensing what he was about to do, stood off to the side, out of the way.
Several long seconds ticked by before suddenly Beau took off at a run and jumped off the edge of the cliff.
Beau momentarily felt like he was suspended in mid air and he yelled. Whether out of fear or exhilaration, he wasn't sure.
He landed feet first into the cool water and sank heavily for a few seconds before swimming up and breaking the surface with a grin. Above him, he heard Josh shout in delight just before he made his own jump. Josh, being the show off of the two, managed to do a flip in the air before also landing neatly in the water.
They both swam back towards the bank but before they made it, Sydney and Savannah both were suddenly beside them.
"That was really good!" Sydney said to Beau. "I'm impressed."
Beau took one look at her deep brown eyes and the way her hair curled in wet tendrils around her heart shaped face and smiled brightly before shrugging his shoulders.
"Piece of cake."