“Yeah, my older brother once went around twenty times,” Jason said. The rest of us laughed, and I snapped up another cookie from the table.
“Yeah right. That story inflates each time you tell it–next time it’ll be twenty five times and the cops will chase him for the last three.” I sat back down next to them in the circle and put my folded slips of paper into the bucket. “Alright, who’s next?”
The game didn’t take long to die out, after everyone’s bucket lists had been explored. Siley stood in the center of the ring, talking and taking ideas for our next game.
“Where’s Mark?” Jason suddenly asked.
“I think he stayed home,” another friend said.
I looked around the group, pursing my lips as I looked at the rest of my friends. “Let’s go get him. If I’m socializing tonight, he’s socializing.” There was a general round of laughter and Jason stood up.
“I’m coming,” he said.
“I’ll come too,” Siley offered.
~ ~ ~
We sat outside his house, waiting for Mark to enter the car. Rain sleeted across the windshield, and Jason flipped on his wipers to deal with the downpour. I opened the box of popsicles we’d bought and stuck another one in my mouth. Tonight was not the time to wonder why I ate ice cream in the freezing rain, but to simply do it.
Mark slid into the middle seat, Siley following close behind. Ever the gentleman, Mark. I smiled at him, wondering if he’d say yes if I asked him out. Maybe I’d take the chance tomorrow, after I dealt with the headache and sugar crash.
“Back to the house?” Jason asked. We all nodded, and he threw the mini into gear. the tires splashed waves through a puddle as he turned onto the main road. I blinked tiredly, stifling a yawn, and tossed the finished popsicle stick back into the box. Turning, I smiled at Mark again, then looked out past the front seats to the road ahead. A roundabout.
“Are you guys up for it?” Jason asked.
“Why not?” I said. Tonight was a night for taking chances.
We entered after a white civic, following it until it left at the third turn. But we didn’t. Twenty times, that’s what Jason’s brother had done. I licked my lips and stuck grabbed another popsicle.
Once… twice… three ti-
“no, that’s not three, we haven’t passed the yield sign!” … three times… … four… I blinked again, dizzy. The windshield wipers flew water droplets from side to side. Five time… cars entered and exited around us, none staying long enough to realize we never left. I tipped to one side, laughing. “Six,” Jason called. Mark laughed too, and I turned, reaching out one hand to take his. And froze, blinking at his and Siley’s entwined ones. Of course. The rush left, and I licked my popsicle, pulling myself back and against my seat again. The dizziness came back. Seven… … eight… of course they were together, they’d been friends for longer. And it wasn’t like I hadn’t seen her look at him. Nine times… ten.
“I’m done,” I called to the front seat, holding my half eaten popsicle in my lap. Jason opened his mouth to protest, but I held his eyes in the mirror just long enough.
“Ok,” he said, and pulled out of the roundabout.
The windshield wipers flicked back and forth rhythmically, white noise to Siley and Mark’s chatter. I took another bite of popsicle, blinking tiredly. Ten times around the roundabout, quite the adventure. Such a risk. Hah. I stole a glance at Mark, grateful for the chance I hadn’t taken. That was a lie–life is chances, really. I’d missed this one, but hopefully there’d be another. Maybe not with Mark… but another.
Thanks for reading,