Forgetting Can Be a Big Mistake by Colin Kelly

Curt's life takes a turn that he never expected, and he realizes that it's because he forgot something that didn't seem important at the time. He also discovers that others have forgotten things that are important and that turns out to both help him and hurt him.

Mature or distressing themes. This story deals with abuse.


Chapter 41 — Brian Cooley and Colton Brown

Tom and I each picked the same kind of donut, chocolate with chocolate icing. Oh, my, god! I think I died and went to heaven. I’m a chocoholic, and a chocolate donut with dark chocolate icing that has sort of a glaze look all over is better than a wet dream. Of course, maple bars are pretty good, too. Anyway, we learned that Beth Wolman stops at Johnny’s Donuts in Lafayette on her way to the office. To make sure she actually gets the donuts they want she has a standing order for six dozen mixed types and frostings.

Tom and I sat in the reception area while we waited for Mr. Williams to finish reviewing the documents that we were going to sign. I had my smartphone with the Kindle app so I read The Art of Fielding, a novel I’d started reading a few weeks ago.

Maybe a half hour later Mr. Williams came out carrying two clipboards, each with a stack of papers.

“Tom, these are the copies you need to sign, and Curt, these are your copies to sign. First, I want you to read one of the documents, and let me know if you have any questions. Second, if you’re satisfied with the document you need to write your initials in the box at the bottom of each page then sign and date the last page. There are five copies. You have to initial and sign every copy.”

“Why so many copies?” I asked.

“There is one copy for Carlton Ramsen, one for Lee Ramsen, two for Beth Wolman, and one for you.”

Tom and I read one of the five-page documents, and neither of us had any questions. There wasn’t a lot of legalese so the document didn’t have anything confusing. Then we went through all five sets and initialed the box on every page and signed the last page of each set. We handed our copies to Beth and she went through each of them to make sure we’d initialed and signed in every place on all five copies where we were supposed to initial and sign. She didn’t find any place that we’d missed.

She handed us our copies. “Thanks, guys,” she said, “we’ll take it from here and keep your attorney, Mr. Williams, updated.” She turned and walked into her office.

“So that’s it?” Tom asked his dad.

“Yes. Now we can go home and, if you haven’t filled up on donuts, we’ll have lunch and you can do whatever you were planning to do this afternoon.”

I pulled out my cell and checked the time. I couldn’t believe that we’d been here for two and a half hours.

When we got home Mrs. W had ham sandwiches ready for us. When we finished lunch, Tom and I decided to play tennis. It seemed like all we’d been doing is shooting hoops, so tennis seemed like a good alternative. Playing tennis one-handed would be… interesting for me. We went upstairs and got two of Tom’s tennis racquets and a couple cans of balls.

When we got downstairs Tom went into the kitchen. “Mom, we’re heading to Los Arcos to play a little tennis,” he told her.

“Curt, can you play with that cast on your left arm? Is it a good idea?”

“I’m left-handed, but I can use my right hand when I play tennis. I think I can manage. I’ll be careful so I don’t get hit on my cast by a ball. Of course, you’ll have a major advantage so shouldn’t I get a handicap?”

“We won’t play heavy duty, Mom,” Tom added. “I’ll make sure to lob the ball instead of smashing it. That’ll be the handicap Curt’s asking for. We’re just going to have fun.”

“Alright, just be careful, okay?”

I grinned. “Okay, Mrs. W.” I realized that I considered Mrs. W as my second mom. I also realized that having two moms was very cool.

<<<--->>>

There are no summer school classes on Fridays, so when we got to Los Arcos High the tennis courts weren’t being used. We grabbed the one at the end near the parking lot. It had a high fence on the side as well as those just beyond the base lines. That way we wouldn’t have to chase balls except in one direction. I guess we’re basically lazy, and I don’t see anything wrong with that.

We didn’t play seriously. We didn’t bother keeping score. Like Tom had said, we played to have fun. So much had happened recently I didn’t want to do anything serious, and neither did Tom. We spent half our time laughing at each other. We had so much fun!

After a couple hours we sort of crashed, tossed our towels and T’s over the top of the net and laid our racquets on the court. We walked over to the side fence, sat down, and leaned back. We were both breathing hard. I pulled two bottles of water out of my gym bag and handed one to Tom. I drank my entire bottle in under two minutes. Tom started laughing.

I looked at him. “What’s so funny?”

“You just drank a whole bottle of water.” He picked up the empty bottle and read the label. “That’s five hundred milliliters, over sixteen ounces. You’re gonna have to find someplace to pee before we get home.”

“Nah. I’m so dehydrated that my body’s going to totally sop up each one of those five hundred milliliters.”

“Bet ya!”

“What? Now you’re gambling?”

“Yup. I’ll bet you a quarter that you’ll have to pee before we get home.”

“You’re on! Let me see the color of your money, Mr. Williams!”

“Hey, I’m good for it. I didn’t bring any change with me today. Where’s your quarter, Curt?”

“Uh…”

“Busted! I’ll trust you if you’ll trust me. Okay?”

“Okay.”

“And Mr. Williams is my dad. My name is Tom. Okay?”

“Okay, Tom. Unless I’m pissed at you, then it’s going to be Thomas or if I’m really pissed then it’s going to be Mister Thomas Williams.”

“Good enough, and if I’m pissed at you, then it’s going to be Curtis or if I’m really pissed then it’s going to be Mister Curtis Fischer.”

I looked at Tom and moved to my right so our shoulders were touching. We both smiled and leaned back.

Two older guys, younger than Mr. Williams but a lot older than us, came in and stood at the edge of the court next to ours. One of them walked over to where we sat.

“This is our court, guys. You’ll have to move.”

“Excuse me?” I said. “These courts are first-come first-served. We’ve been playing on this court. You can take any of the other five.”

“We reserved this court.”

“No you didn’t,” I said. “We go to Los Arcos High and we know that these courts can’t be reserved to anyone except Los Arcos students who are on a tennis team or intermural team. If you say you have a reservation you’re lying.”

“You either get up and move, or we’re going to move you.”

I pulled out my cell and started the video recorder. If this guy thought he was going to try anything I wanted a record of it.

Tom stood up. “You touch us and we’re calling the cops. I recommend that you get your flabby asses off this court. Now.”

“Oh, you think you’re a big man? You threatening me?”

“You’re the ones making the threats, saying that if we don’t move then you’re going to move us. Sounds like a threat to me. You say you reserved this court. No way that could happen. We go to Los Arcos High. We know that the courts are made available first-come first-served on the weekends and during school holidays.”

The other guy walked over and stood about two feet from Tom. “You don’t know squat, nigger.” He stepped forward, pulled his arm back, and threw a roundhouse punch. Tom blocked it with his left arm and punched the guy in the crotch, hard. The guy fell to the court. I got the whole thing on my cell.

Tom grabbed me under my right armpit and pulled me up. We stepped away from the guy he slugged. He laid on the ground holding his crotch and moaning. The other guy kneeled next to him then looked up at us.

“We’re gonna see you’re sent to juvie, assholes!”

My cell can multitask so I twisted to my left so the camera lens would still face the two guys when I turned on the speakerphone. I looked at my contacts, picked the entry for Officer Brady, clicked it to place the call, and turned up the volume.

“You’ve reached Officer John Brady.” At first I thought I’d gotten his voicemail, but then he said, “Hello?”

“Officer Brady, this is Curt Fischer. Do you remember me?”

“Of course, Curt. What can I do for you?”

“Tom Williams and I are playing tennis at Los Arcos High and two adult guys came and started giving us some crap about having reserved our court. The high school never reserves courts except for school teams. Anyway, one of them swung at Tom and Tom slugged him in the balls. I got the video on my cell. Now one of them is giving us more crap about seeing that we’re going to be sent to juvie. Can you send someone here to make sure they don’t try something else?”

“I’ll have dispatch send a car. You said they’re adults, how old would that be?”

“I’m not sure. Older than you but probably not as old as Tom’s dad, Michael Williams, my attorney.”

“Okay, I’ve messaged dispatch to send a car. Where are the tennis courts?”

“At the south end of campus. Come in the driveway off Main Street and turn right into the parking lot and drive all the way to the end of the lot. The courts are on the left.”

While I talked to Office Brady Tom pulled me to the base line of our court near the gate. I guess he figured that if the two guys came after us and we had to take off being near the gate would be the best place for us to stand.

“I’ve sent that information to the car that’s responding.”

I had Office Brady’s email address on the contact screen. “I’m going to send you the video that I took.”

“Okay, good idea, Curt. Be sure to show it to the officers when they arrive.”

I saved the video file and sent it to him, then started taking a second video.

“You’ll get it in your email in a few minutes. I’m going to sign off now.”

“Okay, Curt. Wait for the officers and be careful. The car should be there in a couple minutes. Listen for the siren. And Curt, next time just call 9-1-1.”

“Okay, I’ll call 9-1-1 in the future. I hear the siren now. Thanks, Officer Brady. Bye.”

The police car pulled into the parking lot right next to our court. Two officers got out and came through the gate next to where we were standing. One officer walked up to us and the other walked over to where the guy Tom slugged still laid on the ground with the other guy kneeling next to him.

“I’m officer Paul Flores. Which one of you is Curtis Fischer?”

“That’s me.” I pointed to Tom. “This is Tom Williams.”

“Curtis, let’s walk over there and you tell me what happened. Tom, I’ll be back to interview you.”

When we got to the center of the court next to ours Officer Flores started to ask me questions. He had a tablet that he used to enter my answers.

“I’ll need your name, address, and phone number.”

I gave him my information and answered a few other questions like where I went to school and what grade I'm in and so on. Then he asked me to describe exactly what happened.

I told him that when we arrived we took the court at the end, and all of the other courts were empty. Then these two older guys came in and said they’d reserved the court we were on, and we told them courts can’t be reserved except by Los Arcos tennis teams and if they said they had a reservation they were lying, and they said if we didn’t move they’d move us, and that’s when I stared taking a video. I saved the second video file and showed him the first video. He grinned.

“You made your case. Do you want to press charges against these guys?”

“Yes,” I said.

 “Okay, all I need to finish up with you is to get a copy of that video.”

“I emailed a copy of the video to Officer Brady. I can email a copy to you if you’d like.”

“Yes, why don’t you do that.” He gave me his email address and I sent him a copy of the first video file. He pulled it up on his cell. He grinned. “I have everything I need for now. Stay right here, okay?”

“Sure,” I replied. I hadn't bothered sending him the second video because it didn't have anything interesting.

He walked back to where Tom sat against the fence and interviewed him. I couldn’t hear Officer Flores’ questions, but when they finished I heard Tom’s answer about pressing charges.

“I absolutely want to press charges against those guys,” Tom said loudly like he wanted the two guys to hear what he said.

I walked back to where Tom stood and we sat down and leaned against the fence next to the gate to wait. I pulled out my cell and stared taking a third video of what was happening.

Officer Flores walked over to where the other officer stood taking information from the two guys. They stepped away and talked privately for a couple minutes, then stepped back to where the two guys were standing. The guy that Tom slugged seemed to have recovered.

Officer Flores pulled a card out of his pocket and started reading from the card.

“He’s Mirandizing them, Curt. They’re going to charge them.”

“What do you think the charge will be?”

“I don’t know. Probably attacking me. There’s no law about them lying to us about having a reservation, and they never attacked you.”

The two guys were arguing with the two policemen. The guy Tom had slugged pointed at the officer who had taken his information and pushed his finger into the officer’s chest. The officer grabbed his arm and pulled it behind his back then pushed him to the ground. He kneeled on the guy’s butt and put handcuffs on him. He shouted, “Don’t move, stay where you are. Do you understand?”

We couldn’t hear the guy’s response, but he didn’t try to move. The other guy, not the one Tom punched in the nads, was yelling at Officer Flores. We could hear him.

“You don’t have a clue about who we are. We’ll have your badges, you understand?”

We couldn’t hear Officer Flores’ response, but the guy turned and started walking away. Office Flores grabbed the guy’s arms as he walked past him and yanked them around to his back and handcuffed him. He marched him in our direction so we got up and moved away from the gate. I kept recording the video.

When they got close to us the guy saw us and shouted, “You two are going to wish you’d never been born!” That sure sounded like a threat to me.

Office Flores pushed him through the open gate and to the police car. He was put into the back seat. Meanwhile, the other officer, who we hadn’t met, was dragging the other guy toward the gate. The guy kept trying to get away, but the officer pushed the handcuffs up until the guy yelled in pain. After that he seemed to voluntarily walk to the police car where the officer pushed him in the back seat, not very gently.

I decided to stop the third video at that point. I sent it to Office Flores.

Officer Flores returned and walked over to us.

“The court is yours, guys.”

“You don’t need us to go to the police station?” Tom asked.

“No.”

“What are the names of those two guys?” I asked.

“Brian Cooley and Colton Brown. Brian Cooley is the guy who attacked you, Tom. Colton Brown said that he’s a lawyer.”

“That’s the guy who threatened us as Officer Flores walked him past us to the police car,” I told him.

I sent an IM to Tom with their names, Brian Cooley and Colton Brown, and added ‘lawyer, you two are going to wish you never been born’ after Colton Brown’s name, so we wouldn’t forget them or mix them up.

“They know who we are too, right?” I asked Officer Flores.

“Yes.”

 “I sent you another video of what happened after you interviewed me and Tom and sent it to you. Do you want to see it?”

“Yes.”

I showed him the third video and he grinned.

“Thank you, Curt. I love how these cellphones have cameras in them that can also take video. You’re not going to put these on YouTube, are you?”

“No! Something like this I’d never post on YouTube. This might be evidence in a criminal trial. Besides, if I posted it on YouTube they might sue me.”

“I think you have a good understanding of why your video shouldn’t be put on YouTube.”

“What’s going to happen to these guys?” I asked.

“What we’ll do is book them and probably end up releasing them on their own recognizance. That’s up to the prosecutor. Because Colton Brown told us, many time, that he’s a lawyer, I suggest you get your own lawyer.”

“My dad, Michael Williams, is an attorney,” Tom said. “He’s my attorney and Curt’s as well.”

“Then you’re all set. We’ll leave you to your tennis match.” Officer Flores looked at me, then turned to Tom and grinned. “I think Curt should be given a handicap since he’s playing with one arm in a cast.”

“We were playing for fun,” I said. “We didn’t keep score. My cast comes off in four or five weeks, I hope. It’s up to the doctor.”

“Good luck, Curt. Are you two going to continue playing tennis this afternoon?”

“No, I think we’ll go home,” Tom said, “we’ve had enough excitement.”

“I agree,” I added.

“Good luck, guys,” he said, then he walked to the police car. They drove out of the campus, and we walked home. We talked as we walked.

“Tom, do I have a dark cloud following me all the time?”

Tom laughed. “No, why would you say that?”

“Well, first we’re playing horse in my driveway and old man Vanvelick calls you the N-word and tells Don I’m gay. Then Don beats the hell out of me. Then Vanvelick lets Don into Laura’s birthday party. Then Laura tells me she thinks I’m gay. Today it’s those two guys who seemed to feel that they can have whatever they want. Bad things seem to follow me. Except for you. You’re the best thing that ever followed me.”

“Curt, those two guys today are just assholes. You didn’t get hurt or abused. I’m the one who Brian Cooley tried to hit. Trouble is, he didn’t know how to fight and I got him in the balls.”

“You were great, Tom. I hope his balls turn all black and blue and swell up and hurt like hell for a couple weeks.”

He laughed. “I don’t think I slugged him that hard.”

Tom thought for a couple seconds. “You know, we’re going to have to tell my dad about this.”

“That’s going to be easy. I’ll tell him the same way I did when Officer Flores interviewed me. I’ll describe what happened until I started the video, then show him the video. You can be the narrator for the video. For what happened after the police arrived we should do the same, tell him about our police interviews then show him the other two videos I took.”

“I haven’t seen either of those videos. How about a look right now so I’ll know what they show before I’m interrogated by Dad?”

We stopped and I showed Tom all three videos. He just shook his head when he saw what those two guys did.

“I sent you the first one, and I’ll send the other two now. That way if somehow I lose my cell you’ll have the copies.” I did that and we continued walking home.

“If Dad tries to talk to us separately, I’m going to tell him we want to tell him what happened together, not separately, because most of it is on the videos you took.”

“That’s a good idea. Do you think he already knows? The police might have phoned him.”

“Maybe they did, but probably not. We weren’t taken to the police station.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

We continued walking and talking about what happened. When we got home neither Mr. Williams nor Mrs. W was there.

“I’m going to take a shower,” I said.

“Me too. You want to shower together?” Tom wiggled his eyebrows.

“What if your folks come home while we’re in the shower?”

“So what? They won’t come into the bathroom to see if we’re in there together. Besides, I can wash the parts you can’t reach because of your cast.”

“True that,” I replied. “Let’s do it.”

So we did, and we had a lot of fun, and I didn’t get any water on my cast.

Tom wanted to go to bed and play some more, but I wanted to take a nap. I got dressed, then I took a nap, in my bedroom, alone. Tom said he’d do the same. I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

<<<--->>>

The next thing I knew, someone shook me.

“Time to get up, Curt.” I saw Mrs. W standing next to my bed. “We’re going out for dinner for a change. Tom’s up, and he said you two need to talk to Michael before we leave.”

“Okay, I’ll get up. Do I need to change for dinner?”

“No, we’re going to Stanford’s so casual is fine.”

I got up and went to the bathroom to pee and to comb my hair. I walked downstairs. Tom and Mr. Williams sat watching the news on TV.

“I understand you two have something you want to tell me,” he said when he saw me walk in.

“Should I sit down or are we meeting in your office, Mr. Williams?”

“Let’s do it in my office.”

We gave the introduction to what happened, then showed Mr. Williams the three videos. He shook his head.

“You two are so lucky to have a cellphone that will take videos. Otherwise it would be your word against theirs, and they could tell any lies they want and because they’re adults they’d have an advantage. I’d say that there is no doubt that they can’t claim that you guys started anything. What makes the video so valuable is the audio, so what they said is clear enough to understand.”

“Do you think there’ll be a trial?” I asked.

“I doubt it. They will probably ask for a plea bargain for a reduced sentence, probably community service.”

“How about they clean the quad and cafeteria at Los Arcos High?” Tom asked. That made me laugh. “And the bathrooms, too!” Tom added. That made all three of us laugh.

“That is such a great idea. It would serve them right for messing with a couple Los Arcos students.” I said.

Mr. Williams chuckled. “You know what? Monday morning I’ll call Beth and pass on your suggestion.” He made a note in his day planner.

“Why don’t you get a smartphone, Mr. Williams? It would be useful because you’d have everything with you. It would let you link phone numbers to your appointments, you could change and copy appointments, you could put notes on your appointments, you can use it to record what’s said in meetings, you can set alarms and timers, lots of things you can’t do with a day planner.”

“I’m too old and too set in my ways to have to learn all that stuff.”

“Nonsense!” Tom said, “You’re smart and not that old and I could teach you how to use a smartphone. There’s even one now that has a stylus so you can write on the screen and take notes. It will convert your hand printed notes to text. How about it?”

“I’ll think about it.”

“Tell you what, the contract on my phone has run out. You buy me one of the Galaxy Note smartphones and I’ll show you what you can do with it. If you like it you can get one for yourself.”

“Maybe. Let me know what it will cost for me to upgrade you to that new note phone, and I’ll seriously consider it.”

“Great, I’ll find out the upgrade cost and let you know. Thanks, Dad.”

<<<--->>>

We went to Stanford’s and I had a half rack of baby back ribs. The meat just falls off the bone and is so tender. The barbeque sauce is a little spicy and a little sweet. It comes with fries but I substituted a baked potato. Tom ordered the same thing. We were both too full to have any dessert.

When we got home I reminded Tom that we told Mark we’d call him about doing something tomorrow.

“It’ll be Saturday, so there must be something interesting we can do.”

“You know, while Dad and I were waiting for you to haul your butt out of bed, we saw the weather news. It’s going to be a lot hotter tomorrow than today. It’ll probably be over ninety. How about we go to Water World? It’s a lot of fun.”

“That’s a great idea. All we have to do is find someone who’ll be willing to drive us there and back.”

“Are you sure that the bags you put over your cast will keep the water out?”

“They work in the shower, and I get water all over the cast protector. I’ll be careful.”

“Let’s call Mark and see if he and Kyle are interested. Maybe Mark will want to invite Parker.” Tom smirked and I rolled my eyes.

“Maybe Mark’s grandma will be willing to drive us,” I suggested.

I stood up and pulled my cell out of my pocket and handed it to Tom.

“Why do I have to call him?”

“Because it’s your idea, and I’ve never been to Water World and you have. So if he has questions you’ll be able to answer them.”

“Yeah, yeah. Okay. I’ll call him. Where’s his number? I don’t see a ‘Mark’ in your contacts.”

I took back my cell and found Mark’s number — I display contacts by last name, so his was filed under H for ‘Hutchins’ — and selected it, then handed my cell to Tom. “Put it to your ear. Mark should answer. Then you can talk to him.” Tom stuck his tongue out at me and we both laughed.

I listened to Tom’s side of the conversation. Ignoring the joking back and forth, the part of the conversation that made sense confirmed our plan to go to Water World. Mark got his grandma to drive us, leaving around eleven in the morning. Tom said “Bye,” and handed me my cell.

“What do you want to do now?” Tom asked.

“I have some Algebra 2 homework and I need to study for a quiz that I’ll have on Tuesday. I’m going to do both now, then I’ll be clear for the weekend.”

“Party pooper!”

“Tell me that when I show you my A in Algebra 2 at the end of summer session,” I retorted.

“True that,” Tom said. “Grades are important if you’re going to get into Cal.”

I went upstairs to my room and got into my homework. Later I went to bed and fell asleep immediately.

<<<--->>>

My alarm went off at nine, playing Why Don’t You Love Me by Garbage. It woke me and I dragged myself out of bed. It’s not because I was still tired, more that I ached from two days of activity. We’d played basketball — what I’d played was one-armed basketball — for several hours on Thursday, then a couple hours of tennis on Friday.

A shower helped work out some of my aches. Going to Water World would help work out the rest of them. After I finished in the bathroom I put on my swim suit, some cargo shorts, and a T, and my Ugg flip flops. I packed my gym bag with boxer briefs and a couple T’s, a bath towel and a beach towel, my suntan lotion, and a couple cast protector baggies and the roll of tape. I went downstairs for breakfast. Tom hadn’t come down yet, but Mr. Williams and Mrs. W were sitting at the breakfast table.

“Morning, Curt. What are you planning for today,” Mrs. W asked.

“We’re going to Water World with Mark and Kyle. Mrs. Hutchins is going to drive us there and back. She’s going to pick us up at eleven. She said she’ll go to the mall and so some shopping while we’re having fun in the water.”

“What time will you be home?”

“I’m not sure. Tom might know, he’s the one who called Mark.”

“I’ll ask Tom as soon as he comes down.”

“Should I encourage him to get up?” I asked, and grinned.

“I think that’s a good idea,” she replied.

I went upstairs and found that Tom had just finished dressing.

“You ready for breakfast?”

“That I am, Curt, that I am.”

“Did Mark say when Mrs. Hutchins would pick us up at Water World to bring us home?”

“He said we’re supposed to call her when we’re ready, or by three-thirty at the latest.”

“That gives us plenty of time. Your mom wants to know,” I told him.

We went downstairs and sat down.

“Mark told me that his grandma said she’s going to the mall to shop. We should call her when we’re ready to leave, no later than three-thirty,” Tom told his folks.

“So you’ll be home for dinner?” Mrs. W asked.

“Yes,” Tom replied.

“Alright, what would you boys like for breakfast?”

“I think something light for me,” I said. “We’re going to be in the water and going down water slides, and a big breakfast isn’t compatible with that kind of activity. Maybe some fruit and a toasted bagel.”

“Same for me, Mom,” Tom added.

Mr. Williams looked at me then at my cast. “How are you going to keep your cast dry if you’re in the water all day?”

“I have a couple of those waterproof cast protectors I bought at the drugstore. Tom will help me put one of them on when we get to the water park. If it springs a leak we’ll take it off and put on the other one.”

“Do you need some adhesive tape to help seal it?” Mrs. W asked.

“They came with a couple rolls of waterproof tape, and I’m also bringing that wide roll that I bought.”

“Well, if they leak and you can’t solve that problem, be sure to stay out of the water, alright?”

“Yes, ma’am, I will” I replied

After we finished breakfast Tom and I went out on the back patio and sat watching the blue jays and squirrels arguing about acorns. The blue jays would dig them out of where they’d planted them in the ground. The squirrels would try to startle them so they’d either abandon an acorn or drop it. Then the squirrels would grab the acorn and run up a tree and eat the nut.

We laughed at their antics. “Just like people,” Tom said.

“True that,” I replied.

I checked the time and dialed Mark. He answered.

“We’re ready, dude!” I announced.

He laughed. “Enough of that ‘dude’ nonsense. My name is Mark, and I’m not going to change it.”

“Alright Mark, Tom and I are ready anytime you want to pick us up.”

“Okay, we’ll see you in a few.”

About ten minutes later Mrs. W came out and told us that Mrs. Hutchins had arrived. We grabbed our stuff and headed out to the driveway where Mrs. Hutchins parked her SUV.

“Hey Curt, look who else is in the car. It’s Parker and Ray.”

We got in and Mrs. Hutchins backed out. We all waved goodbye to Mrs. W.

“Okay, Mark and Parker, how was your date last night?” I asked.

“And do I suspect that Kyle and Ray went along?” Tom asked.

Ray turned and looked at Tom and me. “You guys are exactly as nosy as Mark told us you’d be, maybe even more. Aren’t they, Parker?”

“Yeah, definitely the ‘even more’ part applies,” Parker replied as he turned around and looked at me and Tom. “Ask us no questions and we’ll tell you no lies,” he said in a sing-song voice.

“Yeah, like you expect that I’m not going to ask you four any questions?” Tom stated.

“You’ll just have to wait,” Parker told us. “But I have a neutral kind of question. How are you going to go into the water with a cast on your arm, Curt?”

I told them about the waterproof cast protectors.

“Why don’t they just make waterproof casts?” Mark asked.

“They do,” Ray answered. “They’re not very expensive. My dad’s an orthopedist, and I’ve heard him talking about them. A guy on the Clayton High water polo team had his ankle in one of the waterproof casts. You’ve probably seen people with them, they’re usually bright blue or red. You can shower, swim, do whatever when you’re wearing one of them. You should talk to your doctor.”

“What’s your dad’s name and where’s his office?” I asked.

“His name is Doctor James Curtis. His office is in the Orthopedics building in Shadelands. Their phone number is 555-5800.”

“Hmm. Maybe I’ll go see him and have this cast replaced with one of those waterproof models. But for today I’ll have to use a waterproof protector.”

We got to Water World and Tom helped me put on the waterproof cast protector. I got a locker and stowed my stuff, then went out to the water rides. I decided to be careful about the rides, and only went on the slow ones where I wouldn’t get bashed in my left arm or where I wouldn’t have to use my left arm to guide me down a pipe like the Tornado or the Big Kahuna. I did go on the water slides and in the wave pool with a boogieboard.

After being in the water a couple hours I decided to catch some rays, so I got my stuff out of my locker. I put on some suntan lotion and laid on my beach towel. Tom found me after a while, and I asked him to put some suntan lotion on my back and on my sides.

“Just be careful that you don’t get sunburned, Curt.”

“I will. Thanks, Tom. Now go have some fun.”

After a half hour lying on my face to get a tan on my back, and a few minutes lying on my back to get a little more tan on the front of my body, I got up and went into the pool to cool off. Then I picked up my stuff and walked over to the café to sit in the shade and get something to munch on and to drink.

The others came in and saw me. We moved to a larger table.

“So, how’d you like Water World?” I asked.

“It’s great,” Kyle enthused.

“I agree,” Mark added.

“I love it,” Tom said. “Of course, I’ve been here at least a dozen times.”

“Well, I’ve been here a lot,” Ray told us, “and I’ve always liked it a lot.”

“Me too, everything you guys said,” Parker added. “How about you, Curt? Did your cast stay dry?”

“I stayed on the easy stuff like the water slides and the wave pool, but not the tubes. Gotta keep my arm protected. And the cast protector didn’t leak at all.”

“So, Mark, tell us about your date with Parker last night.”

“Well, to start with I felt bad about Kyle not going with us. I told Parker that Kyle had never been on a date so he suggested we have Ray call Kyle and ask him out on a date.”

Parker told us the next part. “I called Ray and asked him if he’d like to go on a date with Kyle. He said he’d love to go on a date with Kyle, that he thought Kyle was cute. So I gave him Kyle’s phone number and he called and Kyle said yes.”

Mark took over. “So the four of us went to a movie and then went to MoMo’s for something to eat. Afterwards we walked home. First to Parker’s house, then to Ray’s, then to mine. End of story.”

“Did you and Parker kiss when you got him home?” Tom asked.

Mark looked at Parker who nodded, and told us, “Yes, we kissed. Then I walked Mark to his house and we kissed again. I walked home from there.” He grinned.

“Woo woo!” Tom said, wiggling his eyebrows.

“Hey, I haven’t been on a date in like two years, and never with a boy, so I wanted more than one little kiss,” Parker responded.

Mark grinned. “I didn’t have any arguments with him about walking me home so we could kiss again.”

“How about you, Kyle? Did you and Ray kiss?”

“No, unfortunately. I’m leaving in a couple weeks so we’re just friends going to see a film and going out to eat. Now, if I could stay here instead of going back to Illinois it would be a different story. I like Ray a lot, and I could see us dating regularly.”

“I agree one hundred percent,” Ray added.

Mark looked at the clock on the café wall. “It’s three o’clock. I think we should call my grandma and tell her we’re ready to be picked up. Is that okay?”

We all agreed with Mark, so he called and we went to the changing rooms and showered and got dressed. When we walked out to the pick-up area Mrs. Hutchins had arrived and parked in the lot. She had lots of questions about our day, and we answered them as she drove us back.

When we got to our house we saw a police car parked in the driveway. Tom and I got out and we waved as Mrs. Hutchins left to take everyone else home.

“Why are the police here?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” Tom replied. “I think we’d better go in and find out.”


[Continued]


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