The Summer I Died
Author: Richard Anthony

Chapter 5
Selena Gomez on My Mind

School has been out about two weeks and as usual, we were already bored out of our minds. I could never quite figure out why we thought we needed this huge, long break during the summer. I guess we needed to recuperate from all the knowledge crammed into our brains over the last nine months.
It always seemed to me that the winter and spring breaks went by too fast, and as the spring rolled into the beginning of summer, we really needed a nice, long break. When it came, it was like ‘Wow, what do we do now?’
My parents would always tell me to enjoy it ‘while it lasted,’ but I do not believe they ever went through anything like I am going through now.
“What do you want to do now?” asked David.
“I don’t know,” I replied. “What do you want to do now?”
“Maybe we could check out the skate park that Ricky, at school, was talking about.”
“Right, we’ll both jump on our boards and hang out with Ricky and his gang down at Potrero del Sol,” I replied.
David shrugged his shoulders.
“Well maybe by this time, they would have forgotten all about the rad board I told them you got for Christmas,” he said.
“Right and maybe, just maybe one of our parents will win the Mega Millions,” I replied.
“Boy, wouldn’t that be great!” exclaimed David. “What would you do with a million bucks?”
“Probably buy all that crap you are talking about and have Tony Hawk personally teach me how to skate,” I said back.
“Dude, that would be so cool,” David said.
“And then maybe have Selena Gomez fluff my pillows for me before I go to bed,” I suggested.
“Wow, I love where you’re going with that AJ.”
“You’ve been watching way too much Disney channel, dude,” I stated. David just looked over at me and smiled.
“Yeah, but wouldn’t it be so cool to be a wizard and stuff like she is on TV?” he asked.
“What’s gotten into you?” I asked.
“Oh, I don’t know, just bored I guess.”
“I’m bored too and you don’t hear me spouting off about wizards and skateboarding,” I told him.
David had that far away look in his eyes that he gets sometimes. “Dude, wouldn’t it be great if they came up with a wizard show where the main character used a board to get around with?”
“Dave, you’re killing me dude…you’re killing me,” I said laughing.
“Naw really, I mean check it out,” David said. “The main wizard dude, say his name is, oh I don’t know, maybe Billy.”
“Great, Billy the Teenage Wizard,” I said goading him.
“Yeah, Billy who is escaping from his arch enemy Draco,” David suggested.
“Use another name, Draco’s already been taken for bad guys,” I replied.
“Oh yeah, forgot. Ok, ah…” David began.
“And so is Darth,” I interjected.
“Crap,” he said. “Ah…how about his evil twin Willy?”
“Sounds like a whale, Oh yeah, Free Willy, try again, Slick,” I suggested.
“What rhymes with Willy?” David asked.
“Ah, Silly?” I asked. I was no help at all.
“Come on, help me out here,” David pleaded.
“Fine, Billy,” I mused. “Hmmm, Dilly, ah, no,” I continued. “Chilly? Ah, no. Definitely not, Chilly.” I really wasn’t helping out,
David had a big grin on his face. “I got it! Killy,” he exclaimed.
“Killy?” I asked. That’s not even a name.”
“Yes, it is,” he replied. “It sounds Irish to me.”
“Fine,” I gave up. “Billy’s, Irish evil twin, Killy.”
“Yeah, well Billy’s skating along, minding his own business, when out of the blue, one of Killy’s henchmen…”
“Killy’s got henchmen now?” I asked interrupting.
“All bad guys have got henchmen, AJ,” David stated incredulously.
“Are they Irish too?” I asked.
“What? Naw, they are just regular guys,” he stated. “Anyway, one of his henchmen throws something out in front of Billy. He crashes into it and it sends Billy flying through the air. Billy is about to run head first into a statue in the park when he whips out his wand and turns the statue into a giant marshmallow.” David says laughing. “Pretty cool, huh?”
“Oh, speaking of food, I gotta jam,” I said. “Mom wants me home for dinner tonight.”
“Yeah, I gotta get going too,” admits David. “Dinner and then work tonight down at the wharf.”
“Want company?” I ask.
“Sure, you think you can make it on time?”
“Wouldn’t miss it, okay, see you at your storage unit around seven,” I stated waving goodbye to David and headed back to my apartment for dinner.

As usual, nothing was quite like dinner at our place. Dad had his usual stories about “witnessing’ to the people of San Francisco and mom had her stories about the rising costs of really everything. I chimed in, from time to time just to make them believe that I was involved with the dinner conversation, which of course I was not.
I was thinking about the night ahead and about the newest version of DarkStar 1 that the makers keep promising to bring out. I love space fighter role-playing games. I mean I really love them. If I could, when I graduated high school, I would find a job as a game consultant/player and help them work out the bugs in a game. Failing that, I would work as a mail boy in the company that makes the games so I can be close to them.
Many of my school friends think I have an unhealthy attraction to these kinds of games but as far as I am concerned, the only thing that is unhealthy is not having an attraction to these games.
Sure, plenty of kids that play shooter games like; Call of Duty, Battlefield Bad Company or even Warhammer but they are all just ground pounder games. They are not like what I love to play. Besides, I tell David, who loves those types of games, if it was not for me or my flyboys, the ground pounders would not make it to the battlefield.
He keeps calling me a space jockey and I call him a dirt eater but we are still the best of friends.
We finally I finish dinner. Afterwards, I help mom clear away the dinner dishes and help carry the garbage down a couple of flights to the dumpster in the back.

With garbage detail done I hustle over to David’s family storage unit where they keep the rickshaw and other family heirlooms. Thankfully, the storage unit is between David’s apartments and mine so it did not take me too long to get there.
I just made it; well actually, I was only 10 minutes late this time. David was pacing up and down in his little getup as I turned the corner to his unit.
“Glad you could make it,” he stated.
“Hey, I’m only a couple minutes late this time,” I admitted.
“You’re late which makes me late and then I hear it from dear old dad,” he said flatly.
“Gees, what are you on a time clock or something?” I asked.
“Yeah the worse kind, a Dad time clock,” he said. “Ah, come on help me get this out so we can get going.”
I helped David get the rickshaw out of the storage unit. He jumped onto the bike seat and I jumped into the back with my backpack. David turned around while he was pumping away on the pedals.
“What’s in the backpack?” he asked.
“Ah just some stuff to read while you’re raking in the dough,” I replied.
“By stuff, you mean some more walkthroughs of some space jockey game you’re thinking about talking your parents into buying for you this summer?” David asked.
“Yeah, well sort of,” I stated. “I mean there is a game that I’ve been checking out on the internet called Mech Warrior 4. It’s pretty cool, they have all sorts of weapons that you can get in the game to armor your starfigher. Like small, medium and large pulse lasers, X-pulse lasers, particle projection cannons and a billion other things,”
David chuckles, “Oh my God, AJ, you are so hooked.”
“Everyone’s got to have a hobby and especially during the summer when we got like a million hours to kill,” I stated.
“At least some of us do,” David replied.
“Yeah, well I feel for you,” I admitted. “That’s why I’m along for the ride tonight instead of staying home and reading.”
“That and the fact your parents drive you nuts,” David replied.
“Well, that too,” I admitted. “But I got no problem hanging out with my best friend when he has to work his butt off for his dad.”
“Or the family,” he reminded me.
“That too,” I said. “I mean face it, there are not too many kids our age willing to do what you do and not piss and moan about it.”
“It’s all in the way you’re brought up,” he admitted. “But I’ll tell you something, when I get married and have kids I’m not going to make them slave away their teen years like I had to.”
“You my friend are a credit to kids everywhere,” I admitted. I smiled and David kept pedaling, and in no time, we were on the wharf.


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