512 Words

My Best Friend's Motorbike

M. Stanley Bubien

Crashing your best friend's motorbike. Think that's enough to end a friendship over? Most people wouldn't, but they never met my best friend.

"You know how to use the brakes?" my best friend asked, laying my skateboard on the ground.

I squinted and grimaced, "Totally," and climbed aboard. "Don't worry, dude, I'm just coastin' down the hill."

"Sure duuude!" he said, drawling his "dude" at me. "The road's wet, so watch out!"

He sat on my skateboard and rolled away down the hill. I squeezed the hand brakes, hesitating. This was only the second time I'd been on a motorbike. I couldn't tell him, though---I made that mistake once with my BB gun.

"I've just shot a coupla cans," I had told him. "I'm still learnin'."

He pulled the rifle from my hands, aimed at a streetlamp, and fired. The glass sprinkled the sidewalk, and I cried, "Dude! I'll get busted."

He laughed and drawled, "Duuude! It's cool," and shot out two more lamps and a neighbor's window.

Shaking the memory off, I squeezed the brakes again.

My best friend looked back and smirked. "Puss!" his fading voice called.

I frowned and pushed the motorbike after him.

Just as I knew I'd overtake him, he veered off the street and tumbled into a bank of iceplant. I grabbed the brakes. One of them pulled all the way in, and the other---the front brake---grabbed the wheel as I was passing over a puddle. The front tire stopped spinning instantly, and the motorbike tipped. I went down, breaking my fall with my arm, remembering just then that the rear brake was on the foot-peg. I skidded about twenty feet, the motorbike on top of me, and the road rubbing a bunch of skin off both hands.

Somehow, my best friend had turned over in time to see me eat it. He screamed, "DUDE! MY BIKE!" and leapt to his feet.

He pulled the motorbike off me and I laid there thinking what a total lame-o I was. As I started pushing myself up, a jolt of pain hit my arm, and I fell back.

I sucked a breath and tried not to cry, "Dude..." I gasped, "I... think---"

"You dick!" he replied, "You thrashed my bike!"

"Sorry... dude..."

"Duuuude," he drawled, "you're SUCH a dick!"

One of the motorbike's foot-pegs was tweaked, and the handlebars were bent---but that was all. Even with worrying about my busted arm, I could see he'd fix the stuff with a wrench and a hammer.

That's when it happened. I'm not sure why---maybe I was just pissed off---but it was such a rush, my vision got blurry. I jumped up and screamed, "YOU SUCK!" and karate-kicked his motorbike. It fell over and pushed him down too.

"Don't ever come over to my house again!"

And I walked away.

I avoided him at school ever since. He had me beat up once. I just stood there and took it---man, they kicked my ass! But, you know, I think it was worth it anyway.

Copyright ©1997 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.

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May, 1997
Issue #13

512 Words