Lying in the sun, letting the warmth sink into my exposed skin, it feels great. Sunlight always makes me feel alive, ever since I was a child. To me summer’s the greatest season, sunshine means safety, warmth, life and comfort, and it’s something I didn’t feel until I arrived in San Francisco.
Before then all I can remember is freezing, feeling cold all the time. “Thought I’d find you out here.” The voice breaks through my stream of memories, and I turn to see that Ted’s a few feet behind me. The sun sparkles on his hair, and makes his eyes twinkle even more than usual.
“Is Kevin ready to get his arse kicked?” I slip back into my t shirt, glad that it’s just behind me. Dad doesn’t like it when the neighbourhood lads see us in our swimming costumes, since Luce nearly caused a riot when she was a teenager. Her abilities kicked into overdrive before she knew how to handle them.
“First off it’s ass.” Kevin appears at his brother’s shoulder and stretches out one hand to pull me to my feet. A small part of me is surprised by his increased strength, he’s only been away with his dad for a couple of weeks. “How long have you been livin’ in the States again?” a smile curves his mouth but he doesn’t give me chance to answer, “Secondly there’s no way that you’re going to beat me again,”
I pull my Converses on, not caring I’ve no socks on as I relish the prospect of beating both Harts. “How about a bet?” I find myself saying, as I see the smug look on Ted’s face.
“What kind of bet?” Ted sounds intrigued and I can see Kevin’s slightly worried. Ted and I have always been ultra competitive, and some of our bets have been on the dangerous side.
Kara comes padding out of the house, before we can settle the terms of the bet, and she’s carrying the cordless phone. “Max’s on the phone for you,” She doesn’t hand it over, “Please hurry up. I want to phone…”
I know who she wants to phone. She’s always phoning the same person lately. “Hey Max,” I love hearing about and from Max, but he’s been incommunicado over the last few months, “Where are you?”
“I’m right outside yours. Mom and Dad have gone to Seoul for something.” He says excitedly “Come on Mel,”
“Okay,” Ted’s stiffened and I can practically hear his thoughts. He always hates it when me and Kevin meet new people, scared that we will stop needing him as much, or that his world will change again.
“Who was that?” Kevin’s voice is just as curious as I end the call.
“My friend Max. Come on it’s gonna be two on two, for our race,” I lead the way out the front, to see that Max is waiting on his shiny ten speed, a cheeky smile creasing his face. I’m unable to resist the impulse to hug him, despite how girly it is. He always makes the summers more interesting.
“Let’s get goin’,” Ted cycles away without another word, closely followed by Kevin on his trusty BMX.
“He still doesn’t like me then?” Max remarks lightly, as we pull back from the hug.
“Don’t take it personally, Ted doesn’t like anyone apart from Kevin.”
“And you,” Max doesn’t wait for my response, which I’m relieved by as I have no idea what I would say. He takes off at full pelt after Ted and Kevin, his determination to win the race driving him on.