Jetskiis

The sun crested over the waving water of the Gulf, slowly ascending into the clear blue sky.  A light breeze stirred the leaves of the trees with a gentle whisper.  The temperature began to rise, and by mid-morning it was already 25 degrees Celsius.

Inside #2405 Mendel Ave, four young men rose from their slumber to start their day.  They each woke at different times, having been used to different sleep schedules back home and, being on holiday, wanted to sleep in when they could or just couldn’t break the habit of sleeping in.  Joe walked out of his bedroom, the last to rise, and saw his three friends, Jay, George and Chris, sitting at the kitchen counter.

“Yo,” Joe said as he walked into the room.  The three at the counter turned their heads.

“Yo,” said Jay.

“Word,” said George.

“Waddup,” said Chris.

“Makin breakfast?” asked Joe.

“Cereal,” said George, as he scooped up a spoonful from his bowl of Cheerios.  Joe walked around the counter to the cupboards and got out his own bowl, slid open the drawer at his waist and got out a spoon.

“Woot,” exclaimed Joe dryly.  He grabbed the box of Cheerios, poured himself a portion, added the milk and sat down at the fourth barstool at the counter and dug in.  He munched away at his breakfast as the other three finished up theirs.

“So what’re we doing today?” asked George.

“Beach,” said Chris.

“No shit, but what else? Doing something there?” asked George

“What, like volleyball?” asked Joe with a chuckle.

“Could try jet skiing?” suggested Chris.

“Yeah, alright,” said Jay.

“They rent ‘em on the beach, yeah?” asked Joe.

“Yes sir,” said Chris.

“Alright, sounds good,” said Joe, and Jay agreed along with him.

“Yeah, I guess I’m down,” said George, with some hesitation in his voice. “I’ve never done it before.  Could be fun.”

“Yeah, you just go rip across the waves.  We had one at the cottage.  Me and my brother used to fly around on it. It’s easy.” Chris said.

“Yeah, well how hard can it be, right?” asked George.

“Exactly,” said Chris.

“Other than him,” Jay said, gesturing to Chris, “I don’t think any of us has done it before,” he said, looking to Joe for confirmation, who nodded in agreement.

“Okay, so when do we go?” asked Jay.

“Uhh, after Price is Right?” said George, who had just plopped down onto the couch in the living room, grabbed the remote and flicked on the TV.  The Price is Right had come on after a few clicks of the remote.

“Yeah, sure,” said Chris, looking at the clock on the wall as he sat himself down in a chair.  “It’s halfway done.  Go after the showcase.”

The four friends sat in the living room calling out prices as they watched the show.  Time ticked away as prizes were won and lost.  The showcase showdown was a bust for both contestants as they both over bid.

“How do you manage,” George said to the TV.

“Idiots,” said Jay.

“Ahh well.  Alright, let’s roll,” said Chris getting up out of his chair.  The other three followed suit, getting up and walking to the front door.  They put on sandals and left the house.

The sun was nearing its pinnacle, blasting heat down upon them as they walked down the street.  The house they were staying at, belonging to Chris’ family, was only a ten minute walk from the beach and they felt no need to start up the car and drive there.  They walked down the street, two by two, crossing through an empty lot.  The dust kicking up as they stepped across the dry ground, the grass and weeds crunching under their footsteps.  The air was dry and hot and before long, minutes even, the four friends found themselves wiping the sweat from their brows.  Along the way they didn’t see many people out, but passed by a woman walking her dog and a house that was getting yard work done.

“Fuckin Mexicans man, how do they do it!” said Chris as they passed the house.  Out in front was a Mexican looking man mowing the lawn.  He was wearing a baseball cap, well-worn with sweat stains around the base, a blank navy sweatshirt with a few holes in it at random spots near the bottom and under the arms, sweat pants, of the same navy colour and work boots.

“It’s like a million degrees and that guy is covered like its fuckin’ winter!” said Jay.

“Yeah well I guess compared to Mexico, it’s cold,” said George.

“Obviously,” said Chris. “It’s still fucked,” he said shaking his head.

They reached the walkway that lead from the street to the beach.  A cement stone path, similar to the sidewalk but with a more ornamental stone used for the path.  They passed the sign at the entrance giving rules and regulations for the beach.

“Aww damn,” said Joe, “gotta turn around boys. I brought my gun,” he said as he gestured to the sign that said “No Guns.”  His friends chuckled and they continued along the path.  They passed several pensioners leaving the beach but followed no one on the way towards the beach.  The stone path turned into a constructed wooden bridge path.  It turned to the left and in the corner, before the bridge turned back to the right, was the foot wash station that beach-goers could use to rinse the sand off their feet before putting on their shoes to head home.  There was a little shower head that was connected to the garden hose leading up from the building behind the path.  The bridge was wet where the water had splashed and run from the end of the hose.  The four guys walked past it, turning with the path and walked down the ramp onto the beach.

The white sand was hot under their feet.  It was a fine sand at this top section of the beach but as the beach reached down to the water, the texture and consistency of the sand changed from the squishy soft sand to harder courser sand mixed with broken shells, enough to be annoying to the foot but not enough to break the skin, and then to more shells than sand right as the tip of the water’s edge.  Under the water the shells continued and then reached out into the soft sand again.

The beach was pretty crowded and stretched along the coast of the Gulf.  Farther up the coast, the sand and beach got better.  The sand darkened and the shells disappeared.  The beach was much fuller where the sand was nicer.  People were scattered over the different sections of sand. Families, old and young couples, groups of kids and teens and solo tanners made up the population of the beach that day, much like every other day.

Joe, Chris, George and Jay walked along the beach passing the people tanning, returning from the water after a swim, noting which women were hot and which were not to each other.  The Jetski rentals were up at the busier part of the beach, where the sand was softer.  It was a good twenty minute walk along the beach before they reached the little hut they were looking for.

They walked up to the hut and got the attention of the teen working there.  He couldn’t have been more than eighteen.  His skin was dark from the constant sun he got living and working at the beach.  His hair was long and roughly twisted into dreadlocks.  It was bleached from the salty water and sun and ranged from blonde to dark brown.  Perhaps he had it dyed at some point.  He wore sunglasses and surf shorts.  He was average height and quite thin.  His partner in the booth was not as dark, but well on his way to matching his partner.  He wore a white Billabong t-shirt and surf shorts as well.  He stood at the other side of the booth, leaning over the counter talking to a father and son duo.

“Hey guys,” said the attendant as the four friends walked up to him, “How are ya doin today?”

“Good man,” said Joe.  “We wanna rent some Jetskis.  How do we do it.”  The other three spread out along the booth counter, leaning against it and either looking at the attendant or staring out across the beach.

“Yeah, sure guys.  Well we have them over there,” he said pointing out to the water where, in a roped off area, sat five red and white Jetskiis.  “You guys ridden before? You have a boating license?”

“Boating license?” Joe asked. “What do we need that for?” Now all four guys were looking at the boot attendant, worried that their plans for riding jetskiis was in jeopardy.

“Well, yeah, you need it to operate the jetskiis.  Unless you’re twenty three,” he said.  “Any of you twenty three?”

“I’m twenty three in three days.  Swear to God,” said George.

“That close? Well come back then and it’s all good, otherwise gotta have the license.”

“So, we’re fucked otherwise?” asked Jay.

“No.  We can issue a temporary license.  All you gotta do is pass the written test.  Ten bucks to take it.”

“Ten bucks? Fuck sakes.  Alright.” Joe said, reaching into his pocket and pulling out his wallet.  Joe, George and Chris followed suit, getting their money out and putting it on the counter.

“Alright boys,” said the attendant, gathering up their money and reaching under the counter.  He came back up with a handful of papers in his hands.  He distributed the test papers.   Fullscap size sheets of paper.  Each test was three sheets of paper.  All the questions were multiple-choice questions and fit onto one page.  The pages underneath were so that the markings could carry through the first sheet and be carbon copied onto the sheet underneath.

The four friends looked at the test paper, looked up at each other, at the attendant and back down at the test.

“Who the fuck knows this shit!” exclaimed George.  The attendant laughed.

“I think I know some of this,” said Chris, “I have a boating license from a few years ago from up at the cottage.  I think I remember some of this.”

“Well that’s all well and good for you but we’re fucked,” said Joe.  Jay and Joe began to work together on their tests.  Trying to figure out what the answers were.  It was the blind leading the blind.  Neither had any idea what to put but made what they thought were educated guesses.  Chris finished his test first and handed it to the kid behind the counter.  George finished next, sighing as he handed it over.  Jay and Joe finished at the same time, since they wrote it together, and handed theirs over.

As they finished, they overheard the other attendant talking to the father at the other side of the booth.

“Sorry sir, you failed the test.  We cannot issue you the temporary license.  If you want, come back tomorrow and try again.”  The father looked a little disappointed but not as much as his son who stood beside him.

“Oh well.  Come on Andrew,” the father said to his son, turning from the booth and patting his son on the shoulder.

“Wait,” said Joe, “so if we fail, we gotta wait until tomorrow to do it again and try to pass?”

“Well, let’s see,” said their attendant.  He got out a pen and began to go through the answers of the test in front of him.  He looked at the answer that Chris had circled, he was marking his test first, and then flipped to the last page of the three to see the real answer.

“What?!” exclaimed Chris.

“The answers are at the back?” asked Jay.

“They were there the whole time? What the fuck!” said Joe.  “I feel like I just got Heeb’d.”

“Heeb’d?” asked George.

“Yeah.  Heeb’d.  Like, Hebrew.  Like Jew. Jew’d.  Y’know, got the shaft,” explained Joe.

“Alright,” said George with a chuckle.

The friends laughed and even the dreadlocked attendant smirked at his comment.  Joe turned away from the booth in disappointment.

The attendant went through each test and marked them with a laugh as he tallied up each answer.

“So how’d we do?” asked Joe.

“Alight, well,” said Dreadlocks, “umm, you all failed.”

“Fuck!” exclaimed Joe slamming his hand on the counter.  Chris and George exchanged looks with a half-smile and Jay looked onward.

“You serious?” asked Chris.

“Yeah.  Sorry fellas.  Chris and George? You guys failed by the most, by like 8 questions.  The other two, Jay and Joe, you missed by three each.”

“Oh for fuck sakes!” cried out Joe.

Chris laughed at his result.  George looked at him and said, “you said you had a license! You had done this before!”

“I dunno,” said Chris, “it’s different in Canada.”

“Alright, alright,” said Joe. “Buddy, come on.  What can you do for us here?” Joe asked Dreadlocks, leaning in towards him.  Dreadlocks looked at him, looked over at his partner in the booth and turned back to the four failures.

“Okay, well,” he said getting out Joe’s test, “here, on this question.  When you circled D, you meant,” he flipped to the back page and then flipped back, “you meant C right?”

“Oh yeah, of course!  The pencil slipped,” said Joe.  They laughed and Dreadlocks scratched over Joe’s original answer and circled the correct one.

“And here,” said Dreadlocks, pointing at a different question “when you said B, you meant A.”

“Yeah man.  See you get it.  That pencil kept slipping to the wrong letter,” explained Joe jokingly.

Dreadlocks continued for another couple questions until Joe had a passing score.  He then turned to the other three tests and did the same.

“Alright.  Congrats boys, you passed,” he said after changing all their papers to passing grades.  “Now just fill out these two forms and we should be good to go.”  He slid two forms to each guy, one was an injury waiver form and the other was the temporary license.  Each filled out the appropriate information.  “Oh, and sixty bucks for the half hour rental,” said Dreadlocks.  Each reached into his wallet, pulled out the cash and slid it across the counter with the filled-out forms.

“Okay boys, here are your life jackets,” he said handing each a black and orange life jacket, “let’s get out there.  You guys are lucky, we just got these new jetskiis this week.  They’re like two days old. I think you’re the first ones to ride ‘em.”

They walked from the booth, putting on their life jackets and followed Dreadlocks into the water.  The water was clear and cool.  It felt extremely cold after being in the sun and heat for so long.  It was refreshing and intimidating.  But none of the four wanted to seem wimpy, so each mustered up the courage and plunged through the water.  The first few steps were easy but as the water reached above the knees, goosebumps broke out across the skin of the four friends.  Their steps slowed ever so minutely but noticeable to the keen observer.  Dreadlocks, however, was unfazed by the water.  They waded over to the jetskii and Chris climbed up on the first one.

“Ok, so here is the ignition,” said Dreadlocks, pointing at the starter.

“Yeah, yeah.  I’ve ridden these before,” said Chris turning on the machine.  He feathered the throttle, pulled ten feet away from his friends and the rest of the jetskiis and then blasted the engine into full and took off, a fountain of water shooting out of the back of the jetski as he powered away into the open water.

“Okay, so don’t do that,” said Dreadocks as he moved to the next jetski.  Joe struggled to climb aboard but got up and on top. Three jetskiis sat in a row, bobbing on the surface of the water.  Joe sat on the first and George and Jay climbed up onto the two beside him.  They sat there, waiting for instructions.

“Okay, so you have the hook up from your life jacket to the key.  That goes in the ignition.  It’s the failsafe.  If you fall off, it cuts the engine.  Right side is your throttle.  There is no break on these things so be careful.  They turn on a dime but only at a fast speed.  At a slow speed they can turn but it won’t be as agile,” said Dreadlocks as Joe, Jay and George turned on their machines.  They sputtered and hummed into life, sending small splashes out water out the back.  “Ease your way out of the shallow end and stay out farther.  When it’s time to come back, we’ll wave you in from the beach.  Keep an eye out.  Have fun boys!” He finished his little lecture and backed away from the three jetskiis.

Joe revved the throttle and the jetski lurched forward.  He released, feeling unsteady and then eased into a forward motion, gingerly applying the throttle.  He pulled out into the open water. Having watched their two friends start off in two different ways, Jay and George decided upon the easy method and followed Joe’s lead, easing the throttle and pulling out into the open water slowly.

It took a few minutes for the rookies to get used to the throttle and how the jetski responded to the driver’s reactions.  Turning, speeding up and slowing down were learned within a dozen minutes or so for Jay, Joe and George, but Chris, having had experience on jetskis nad being full of confidence was zipping around the open water with easy and quickness.   Even decided to torture his friends by charging near them and then turning to send a powerful spray of water into their faces.  Quite the jerk move to pull on new riders.

The sky was as clear as the water and just as blue.  The sun shone done glimmering off the surfaces.  There were light natural ripples along the surface of the water and the only real waves came from the jetskiis zooming about along the water’s surface.  They had gone pretty far out from shore and were all alone in their little section of the water they designated to themselves.  They didn’t stray too far out or to the left and right and stayed near to each other but keeping their distance.

Joe and Jay maintained average speeds of 15-20 MPH but Chris was averaging double that and even George had felt the courage to crank the throttle and speed up to the 40s.  They were feeling pretty good.  The soft spray of water cooled the skin that baked under the sun.

George had felt uneasy about the whole idea of jetskiing never having done it before, but now felt that those reservations were held unnecessarily.  It was fun, and easy.  No big deal.  He began to relax and enjoy himself as he turned  his jetskii.  Ahead and to his left, still pretty far off he saw Joe and Jay riding parallel towards him.  They were far enough apart that they wouldn’t hit but close enough to talk.  Zooming up behind them and closing in was Chris.  He had the throttle down at max and was gaining quick.  He pulled up beside them and slowed.  George was heading towards the three, lined in a row, but they were at least fifty feet, maybe a hundred, to his left, so there was no cause to worry or change course.  George coasted along at a regular speed, not too fast, but enough that little waves bumped him up off his seat.  He looked ahead and then over to his friends.  They too were coasting along at the same speed, carrying a conversation of sorts.  They drew nearer to George.  Suddenly, with a rev of the engine and a big spurt of water launching from the back, Chris spun his jetski away from Joe and Jay with a hard right turn, spraying them with water.  George heard Chris laugh and Joe and Jay curse.  George laughed himself until he saw what the sudden turn did.

Chris was looking back towards his victims, watching them rub the water from their eyes as they slowed to a stop.  He had not released the throttle and was picking up speed heading in George’s direction.  George looked at Chris, then in front of him, mentally drew a line to where he was going and where Chris was going and saw the two lines intersect.  Chris turned his head forward.  Made the same calculation George and just done and looked up.  George and Chris locked eyes as their jetskiis got closer.

Since there was no reverse gear or brake on a jetski, the only way to avert a collision is to hammer down the throttle and turn the jetski away from danger.  “They turn on a dime if you’re going fast enough” the kid had said.  The problem was getting the idea into your head.  Seeing that you were on a crash course with another jetski was one thing, but the see that and think “Speed up and turn” was another altogether.  And something that neither Chris nor George had time for.

The water rippled between the two jetskiis as they closed in.  Eyes still locked on each other, Chris and George saw what was about to happen.

“Fuck! Chr-”

SLAM! CRUNCH. WHOOSH. SPLASH.

It happened in an instant.  Chris crossed in front of George and they T-boned. George’s Jetski’s nose hit into the front third of Chris’ jetski.  Chris was launched sideways off the jetski, arms and legs spread like a star. He flew off the seat, into the air and crashed into the water in a huge splash.  Water shot into the air waves and drops flying up and falling back down.  George was thrown from his seat, sideways into the water.  He shot off like a missile and slammed through the surface of water in a big splash.  The two jetskiis rocked after the collision and rested, bobbing on the water’s surface, engine’s puttering out because of the failsafe keys.

George surfaced, waving his arms frantically to get to the air.  His nose was flooded with water, his eyes squinting as his lids tried to push out the excess water.  His hair stuck to his forehead.  George splashed and paddled himself towards his jetski which sat a few feet away.  He climbed up on board as fast as possible.

There.  We’re good. I’m on, nothing happened, George thought to himself.  He looked at his jetski.  Leaned up over the front.  It looked okay.  No damage.  How is this possible? He thought.  He looked over at the other jetski.  Chris had surfaced and was climbing onto his seat.  George saw where the jetskiis impacted.  The fibreglass body of Chris’ jetskii had a big oval dent in the side.

“You alright?” asked Chris.

“Yeah, you?” George replied.

“Yeah.  Fuck.”  Chris sat on his jetski and surveyed the damage.  “Better start up,” he said to himself.

George’s heart sank.  He hadn’t even thought of that.  What if it didn’t start? He worked part time retail, he couldn’t afford to pay off a jetski.  I knew this was a bad idea, George thought to himself.  What the hell did we get into, he thought.

George slid his key in and started up his jetski.  It sputtered and droned into life.  The engine started and sounded good.  However, there was an odd rattling sound that followed.  George heard it and sat up, looking over the front of his jetski where the noise was coming from.

“Ahhhh Fuck!” said George as he solved the mystery of what was making the sound.  The front bumper of his jetski was loose from the impact of the crash.  It was vibrating against the rest of the body.  “It still goes, though,” said George out loud to nobody in particular.  HE fed the throttle and pulled away from the accident seen.  His heart was in his feet.  His stomach growled and sucked against his spine.  He felt awful.  He didn’t know what to do.  He had no idea what the cost would be, if he could afford it or what the owners of the rental place would say.  He turned back to look at Chris and see how he was doing.  He was going in a circle.

Chris’s jetski took the worst of the collision.  The front had been dented, the fibreglass broken and inside somewhere, a steering mechanism had broken and now the jetski would only turn left.  It would only make circles.  It couldn’t go straight.  Chris had given up trying to drive the thing back to shore and had gotten into the water and was swimming alongside it, pushing with each stride.

George slowly drove the jetski back to shore, dreading telling anyone what had just happened.  But surely someone had seen it.  The beach was full.  And there were at least two guys working that booth.  The owner was probably nearby too. George pulled up to the shallow water of the beach, drifting over the rope that sectioned off the shallow area from the deep.  The dreadlocked kid waded out into the water to meet him waving his arms, shooing him away.

“You can’t be in here! Go back out there to the deeper water!” he yelled.  George kept drifting closer.  “What’s wrong?”

George couldn’t believe that he hadn’t seen the crash.  “uhhhh yeah.  We crashed.”

Chris swam his jetski towards shore when a small fishing tour boat pulled up alongside him on the non-dented side.

“Had a problem there son?” said the driver of the boat.

“Uhh yeah.  It just stopped working. I dunno,” said Chris keeping a straight face letting a false confusion wash over it.

“Hmm, okay well take it in to shore then,” said the man and drove off.  Chris kept swimming the jetski back to shore and when he got to the shallow section, planted his feet on the ground and walked the jetski back to its pen.  He waded up next to George and the two looked out at the water and then back to each other.

“Aww man, guys.  Really,” said Dreadlocks.  “They’re brand new too.”  George and Chris exchanged glances.  “Come on,” Dreadlocks said, waving to them.  They three walked out of the water, up the beach to the hut.  “I’m going to call my boss.”  He got the cell phone from under the counter and walked away dialing.

George stood close to Chris.  “What the fuck man.  What do we do?”

“I dunno.  We see what the guy says and probably have to pay for repairs.”

“Fuck sakes man.”

“Yeah.”

“Okay my boss is coming down, he’ll be here in a few minutes.”  He walked away to his partner.  Dreadlocks got onto an ATV while his partner hooked up a trailer.  They drove it to the water and collected the two broken jetskiis on the trailer, one at a time, and dropped them off at the booth.

The sun felt a lot hotter than before on the skin of Chris and George.  It hadn’t gotten any hotter but they were under pressure and felt more heat than before.  The water beaded off their skin and dried up as if not wanting to be associated with the two troublemakers.

A middle-aged man walked up to the two attendants looking at the two jetskiis.  He wore a floral decorated short sleeve button up shirt, shorts and sandals.  He was well tanned and had salt and pepper hair.  He looked at the jetskiis and walked over to Chris and George.

“Hello boys.  I’m Dan, I own this rental shop.  So what happened?”

“Well there was this big wave,” started Chris, “and it threw me off, like, shook me and I turned and then we hit.”  George looked from Chris to Dan and nodded in agreement.

“Yeah,” agreed George, “it was a total accident.”

“Well I’m sure it was guys.  But we gotta figure this out.  You guys from around here?”

“We’re staying near here yeah,” said Chris.  George stayed silent.  They decided that Chris would do most of the talking.

“Okay well what we can do is this.  I can call my guy and get an estimate.  You can put some money down and then we can figure it out after I get the estimate.  Like, put an initial amount and if it’s more I’ll ask for more and if it’s less I’ll refund you some.  Or, if you want we can get the police involved.  But I don’t really want to do all that and I’m sure you won’t want to either.”

George swallowed hard as he heard Dan mention the police.

“No, yeah we don’t want to make any trouble.  So yeah, we can do the first thing.  Let me just get my Visa card, I gotta go and get it from the house.  It’s not far,” said Chris.

“Yeah, I’ll stay here though,” said George.

“Yeah.  Alright,” said Dan.  “Okay let’s have a look and I’ll call my guy.”  He walked back over to his employees and the jetskiis.

Chris looked at George.  A little kid walked up to them, “hey, you’re foot is bleeding,” he said.  Chris looked down at his foot.  A little trickle of blood ran down the side of his foot.  Sand was sticking to the blood on the side.

“Uhh, yeah.  I stepped on a shell,” Chris lied.  The kid shrugged and walked away.  “Little shithead,” Chris muttered and George smirked.

“Dude, why is your foot bleeding?” asked George.

“I dunno.  I didn’t notice it before,” replied Chris.

“Was it from the crash?”

“Maybe? Maybe it was a shell.”

“Dude, if it was from the crash, and then you were bleeding into the water,” George paused, his mouth open, “sharks man! There’s sharks!”

“There’s no sharks out there.”

“There’s totally sharks man! Damn!”

“Oh fuck off with your sharks.”

“I’m just sayin’.  Sharks.”

Chris shook his head at George.  He slipped on his flip-flips and walked away towards the exit path nearest to them.  George leaned up against the counter of the booth and began to wait for Chris’ return.  He looked out over the beach watching the people go about their day, wishing he was as carefree as they were.  But he wasn’t.  His gut was beginning to hurt from the stress he felt.

By this time, Jay and Joe had finished their rides and had brought their jetskiis back to the beach without incident.  They walked up to George who was waiting in the shade of the booth.

“Dude, what the fuck,” said Jay.

“Yeah I know,” said George.

“Where’s Chris?” asked Joe.

“Went to get his Visa.  He’ll be back.”

“Fuck man.  You know how much?” asked Joe.

“Not yet,” said George.

The three stood there waiting.  Time seemed to pass by slowly.  They watched Dan and his employees survey the damage, talking on the phone with people.  Forty minutes later, but what seemed like hours to George, Chris returned.  He walked over to his friends.

“My fuckin flip flop broke halfway back to the house.  I had to walk barefoot.  Fucking Bullshit!” he said and the other three smiled.

Chris walked over to Dan, George following behind while Jay and Joe stayed at the booth.

“Okay, I’m back.”

“Right,” said Dan.  “Well we have to do some body work for both and hook up the steering mechanism on this one,” said Dan pointing to the jetskiis.  “I’m just getting through to my guy now.”  He raised his phone to his hear and began talking.  Chris and George stood back.  They listened to the conversation and when Dan said “Sixteen” both George and Chris looked at each other, both thinking the same thing.  Oh Fuck.  Sixteen Grand.

“Okay fellas,” said Dan, “If you can just pay me sixteen hundred bucks,” George and Chris let out the breath they didn’t know they had been holding, “and we can settle this up and go home.”

“Yeah, just put it on my Visa,” said Chris, handing the man his card.  Dan accepted it and went to the booth to process the payment. It went through without a problem.  Chris and Dan exchanged phone numbers and emails.

“I’ll email you the estimate and we can make any necessary adjustments after, okay?”

“Yeah, sounds good,” Chris said.  George nodded.

“Alright, well I’ll be in touch,” said Dan.

“Okay, thanks.  Again, we’re sorry,” Chris said shaking Dan’s hand.

“Yeah, real sorry,” George said, also shaking Dan’s hand in turn.

“Shit happens, right?  Just gotta own up to it,” Dan said as he turned away.

Chris and George walked back to their friends by the booth.  “Let’s get the fuck outta here,” said George.  The other three nodded and they walked back down the beach.  Chris led them to the nearest exit pathway and across the street to a parking lot.

“Yeah, after my flip flop broke and I walked home on one, I said fuck it and brought the car for the way back,” said Chris.  They four got into the car and went home.

“We’ll split it?” asked George.

“Yeah,” said Chris.

“Okay, I’ll get you later then.  When we’re back in Canada,” he said with a chuckle.

They went home and spent the rest of the day and night sitting at home watching movies and drinking.  They felt that after that sort of a day they needed hard liquor.  They each told each other their version of the crash and how they saw it.

“Oh man,” said Joe, “you flew off that thing with arms out like spider-man shooting his webs! Shoo! Shoo!” Joe said, making web-shooting gestures with his hands.

“Dude,” said George, “I felt off about the whole thing all day.  And then we fail the test and that was a sign not to do it, but we did and then we fucking crash.  Bullshit.”  The rest of them laughed and they drank until they all passed out.

They woke up the next day, began the same routine and after breakfast sat down to watch The Price Is Right.  The showcases came up and in one of the showcases was a brand new Yamaha Jetski, red and white.

“Holy Fuck!” George exclaimed.  All four stared at the television in amazement.  It was the exact same jetskiis they had ridden the day before.

“Well, I dunno about retail value, but it costs sixteen hundred bucks to fix ‘em!” said Chris with a laugh.

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About Christopher Eyles

Aspiring writer, player of video games. I write poetry, fiction and non-fiction including some life-based stories.
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