Terri sat on the edge of an abandoned pool, it was littered with graffiti. She looked up at the darkened sky, far off in the distance light was just starting to show. A smile crossed her lips as kicked the edge of the pool. It had to be somewhere around 4:45ish.
Terri let her mind go blank, she was more than happy just sitting and staring at the sky. She closed her eyes momentarily.
A loud whoop made her jolt up, she looked around. The sun was almost fully in the sky. She must have fallen asleep. She looked across the pool. Four boys where skating in the other end. It seemed that they hadn't noticed her so she just kept watching them. The fluidity of their motions reminded her of snowboarding back home.
Some compulsion in the back of her mind made her eyes flicker to her watch. It read 5:58. She reluctantly pulled herself away from the skaters and stood up. Her eyes caught one of the boarders. They stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity. One of his friends ran into him, breaking their connection. Terri smiled a little before heading into the bushes so she could go home.
“Get off!” Lee groaned in pain, he let out another pained grunt as Lenny rolled off of him. “Ooh, you idiot.” He pushed himself up and coughed a couple of times. He looked back over to where the girl was, but she was gone.
“How am I an idiot? You're the one who stopped.” Lenny punched him in the arm and stood up. He followed Lee's gaze. “What'cha lookin for?”
“Nothin, help me up.” Lenny pulled him up with ease. Lee grabbed his board and pulled himself out of the pool. “I'll see you guys, I actually gotta go to school today.” There was a chorus of byes from behind him but Lee paid it little attention. He was halfway over the fence that blocked the pool from people when he saw the girl go riding past on a bike, she didn't notice him.
Terri pulled up to her apartment building. She parked her bike behind the stairs and walked into her apartment. “I'm home.” Her voice echoed around her. An overwhelming sense of loneliness surrounded her. She stood at the front entrance, feeling cold and unloved.
Her body shook as she inhaled deeply, and walked inward. School pictures of her and Dragon littered the hall. Terri turned into the living room and stared at the large family portrait. Her eyes stared to glaze over, she felt an arm wrap around her shoulders. She looked over at Dragon.
“She's not coming back.” He pulled her into a tight hug before walking towards the kitchen.
Terri gazed down at her feet. “I know.” She followed after him, and poured herself a glass of milk. She finished it off and started for the door.
“Hey, get in here, you need to eat. You haven't eaten since lunch yesterday.” Dragon leaned against the door frame.
“But nothing, I'll give you a ride to school. You need to eat.”
Terri twisted her face up and walked back into the kitchen. “Fine, but I better not be late.”
Lee rode lazily down the street towards the school. He had his headphones in and was lightly bobbing his head to the music. He came skidding to a stop in front of the stairs, he kicked his board up and stared up them. His eyes flickered up to the old clock tower. Ten minutes before the first bell. He had enough time to smoke.
Terri held her bag at her side as she ran to her home room class, the first bell had rung almost a minute ago. She slide into the room at the same time a boy did. She shoved him out of her way.
“Terrence Gold.” Her homeroom teacher drawled, not looking up from his list
“I'm here!” She called, panting for breath. The teacher looked up.
“Miss Gold.” He looked behind her at the boy who was coughing behind her. “And Mister Falk. You're late.”
“I'm sorry sir, my ride and I got caught in traffic.” Terri tried to catch her breath. “It won't happen again.”
He turned to the boy. “And your excuse?”
Terri turned partly to look at him, it was the boy from the pool. He held up a finger and thought. “I-” He dropped his hand. “I don't have one.”
The teacher straightened up, “Well, not that it matters anyway, to detention both of you.” He held out two bright pink slips of paper. Terri and the boy both snatched them and walked out of the room. Terri crossed her arms and held a sour look on her face.
They started down the hall to the detention room, they passed one of the side entrances, the boy backpedaled. He stared longingly out the doors. “Hey Terrence.”
Terri looked back at him. She made a noise to signal that she'd heard him.
He smiled at her, “Wanna ditch with me?”
Lee whistled to himself as they walked down the street, Terrence was digging in her bag for something.
“Hey, mind if I ask you something?” He peeked over at her, in time to see her shrug. “What kind of name is Terrence for a girl?”
She fought to pull something out of her bag, “My mom swore up and down that I was going to be a boy, so when I ended up being a girl she just named me Terrence because she didn't have a girl name.” She pulled a hat onto her head. Lee's eyes widened a little bit as he recognized her. “So most people call me Terri.”
Lee smiled softly. “So, uh, do you skate?”
Terri shook her head. “No, I've never skated before.”
“What were you doing at the skate park, then?”
She shrugged. “I just thought it was an abandoned pool.” She placed her arms behind her head. “You never told me your name.”
“Lee,” He pulled a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket. “So, do you wanna learn how to board?”
Terri smirked, and shrugged. “Sure, why not?” She held a hand out, and motioned for Lee to hand her a cigarette. He pulled one out for himself and handed her the pack. She pulled one out and tucked it behind her ear. Lee rose an eyebrow as he lit his own.
“I don't smoke it's for my brother.”
They walked down the street together, quietly.
“So when'd you move here? It's like you suddenly showed up one day.”
Terri shrugged, “I here at the beginning of the year, my dad said I could wait a week before starting, so I could 'adjust' to life here.”
Lee hummed around his cigarette, “Where'd you move from?”
“Up North, I used to live in the mountains.” She explained, lazily.
Lee made a noise of interest, but Terri didn't explain anymore. They walked in silence for a while.
“So where are we going?” Terri finally asked.
Lee made a noise that sounded like 'aaoouu', he looked over to her. “Wanna go look at boards? I know a sweet shop where they don't care if you should be in class or not.”
“Sure, why not.”
Terri was confused as to why she was blindly following this boy she'd just met earlier, but she figured she would be able to take him down if she needed to. They wandered down the streets of the city, the normally bustling town was unusually quiet, but only for the fact most people were at work and school. Lee took a couple of sharp turns leading her to what appeared to be a rotting shack, with several giant signs in front of it. They all read 'ThunderWave: Shop of the pros'. Terri paused for a moment. That name sounded extremely familiar.
Terri stood a few steps behind Lee. He held open the door for her, the sounds of a busy shop echoed in her ears. She walked in cautiously, Lee followed quickly behind her.
“Do you wanna smoothie?” He asked, leading her to a bar against the back wall. “The owner makes wicked smoothies.” Terri grunted and looked around at the shop. Something felt familiar but she couldn't put her finger on it.
The group that had been at the pool with Lee, and a few extras sat with their backs to the two as they headed for the bar.
A man popped out from behind the bar. “Lee! I thought you had school today.”
Lee jumped forward and slapped hands with the bartender. “I did, got detention, so I ditched.” Lee's friends turned to look at him, but their attention soon turned to Terri. The bartender pushed Lee out of the way, and hopped over the bar. He took Terri's hand and kissed it.
“Hey there pretty baby, I'm Jay, what's your name?” He gave her a sly wink. Terri blush, she opened her mouth to answer but a booming voice cut her off.
“Terrence Alexandra Gold! Why the hell aren't you in school?!”
Terri spun on a dime, “Dragon!” She smiled innocently. “Um, hi bubby!”
“Bubby?” Lee asked from behind her, staring up at Dragon. His menacing 6'6 height made Lee cower in his shoes. “This is your brother?”
Terri nodded and reached behind her ear to pull out the cigarette, she held it up to him. “A peace offering?” Dragon studied her for a minute, before snatching it out of her hand. He placed it between his lips.
“You know me to well kiddo.” He attempted to light it, but furrowed his brows as the AC kept blowing the flame out. Terri reached up and cupped her hands around the cigarette and lighter. Dragon lit it, dropping the lighter back in his pocket. He pulled it out of his mouth and gave her a kiss atop her head. “Thanks honey.”
Terri moved out of the way, showing the other skaters and Lee, Dragon's missing arm. All of them, besides Jay gawked. Dragon's eyes stared to twitch. “I'll be out back Jay.” He gently moved past Terri and pushed his way past all of the others.
Terri watched him walk away with a sad look. She moved to the bar and sat down at an open seat. Jay passed her a drink, without even asking what she wanted. She looked up at him in confusion.
“Dragon's already told me your love for strawberries. It's on the house, Pretty Baby.”
The skaters crowded around Terri as she sipped her smoothie. They all asked pretty much the same thing, they were asking about Dragon's arm.
“Hey, hey, hey, be cool, give the girl some room.” Jay commanded. They all moved back a little bit but still stared at her.
“He was attacked by a shark.” She kept sipping on her smoothie, “it was two years ago, we were down here, visiting my granddaddy...”
Dragon sat on his board, just drifting with the ocean, trying to feel it out. He felt himself being pulled back by the water. This was going to be a big one, the best wave all summer probably. He swam out with it. The wave was just starting to crest, Dragon started to push himself up, when something felt wrong. He looked to the side, there was a giant mass next to him. He could see a large fin, not to far from him.
Someone shrieked out from the beach. “Shark!”
It dove down under the water. Dragon was frozen in fear. He was completely still, but there was a sudden pain. He heard a scream from the beach. “Dragon!”
Terri stared at her smoothie. “By the time the boats got out there, and scared off the shark, Dragon's arm was completely mutilated and a bite had almost been completely taken out of his side. They say he's lucky to have survived. He still has the surfboard with the bite taken out of it, he uses it as a reminder.”
The entire shop was silent. The sound of the door opening made everyone turn to see who dared interrupt this sacred moment. A woman with strawberry blonde hair walked in, she walked straight back. Terri smiled some.
Julie smiled back at her. “Hi there sugar-” She did a sudden 180, “Why aren't you in school.”
“Dragon made me late, so I got a detention so I left.” She held out what was left of her smoothie, “Do you want some? It's strawberry.”
Julie, like Dragon only moments before, studied her before taking it. She took it and took a long sip of it. “Aw! I can't stay mad at you” She hummed and sucked down the rest of the smoothie. “Where's your brother?”
“Outside smoking. Why are you here, shouldn't you be at work?” Terri took the empty glass and handed it to Jay. She spared a quick glance at Lee who was talking with his friends. When she looked back Julie, the woman was fixing her make-up in a compact.
“I'm off for lunch, so I was wondering if your brother would be willing to go out on a would-be date with me.”
Terri gave her a once over. Julie was in a dark blue cocktail dress, her hair was in beautiful curls, and her make-up was spot on. “Julie, I give you a 10 out of 10, my brother would have to be a fool to not go out with you.”
As if on cue Dragon pushed himself through the door leading to the back. His back was facing the front of the store. “Hey, Jay, I'm gonna head to lunch after I set out these wheels, I want to take Julie somewhere nice.”
Julie let out a soft, girly, squeal. “Aw, baby!” Dragon looked over his shoulder and smiled at Julie.
“Well now I don't have to call and ask.” He gave her a quick kiss and walked over to the display of wheels. Julie giggled and followed after him, her heels clicked against the floor as she bounced.
Lee saw an opening and slipped in next to Terri who was watching her brother and Julie.
“Aren't they perfect for one another?” Terri asked in a spaced-out manor.
“I guess, do you wanna look at boards?” He offered a hand to her. Terri hopped down, and took her hand from his immediately. Lee pointed her over to the boards all laid out. “Pick one you like and I'll tell you if it's any good or not.”
Terri skid over to the display and studied them all. From the corner of his eye Lee saw Dragon wrap his arm around Julie and start to head out of the store. Dragon stopped and kissed the top of Terri's head.
“Have fun boarding Bear Cub,” He snickered and led Julie out the door. Terri stared at him with a look of distaste.
“Asshole.” She went back to looking at boards. She spun the wheels, studied the brackets, and looked at the designs on the backs. She grabbed one with a giant misshapen eye on it and flipped it. She ran her hand over the front. She picked it up and brought it over to the bar. Terri dropped it there with a loud clatter. “Jay, I need you to ring this up for me.”
Jay studied her for a moment, he motioned for her to come closer and whispered something to her. Terri pulled away and looked at the board. Jay held his hand out and she grabbed it and shook it once.
“Deal.” Terri grinned at him.
“Alright then Pretty Baby, I'll draw up a contract and give it to you later. Either your brother or your daddy's gonna have to sign it, cause you're a minor, but that shouldn't be a problem.”
Terri smiled and nodded, she grabbed the board and hugged it. She hopped onto a bar stool and laid the board on her knees. She spun the wheels a few times. “Hey Jay can I get another smoothie?” She asked, spinning the wheels once more.
“You have to pay after this one Pretty Baby, I can't keep giving away merchandize. Even to pretty girls like you.” Jay gave her another wink and went off to make Terri, her smoothie.
Lee slunk back over to her, “Nice board. When do you wanna start learning?”
Jay popped up again, “I'll start teaching her tomorrow.” He gave Lee a sarcastic smile and handed Terri the smoothie. “Last free one, savor it.”
“Hey man, I'm supposed to teach her.” Lee interjected. Jay leaned against the counter, he stared at Lee with a smirk.
“Lee, baby boy, who taught you how to skate like you do now?” Jay hummed checking his nails. Lee thought for a minute.
“I guess you did...”
“Then, baby, why would she learn from the student, when,” He motioned to himself, “The master is right here?”
Lee stopped and thought, he opened his mouth, paused again, and closed it. He started to open it again.
“Stop before you hurt yourself baby. You know I'm right.” Jay looked over to Terri again, “Your brother told me that you leave your house around 4 every morning. Come here tomorrow morning, I'll be up. We'll start your training."
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