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I'll Never Forget
By Elsa N. Kibowa
Partridge AfricaCopyright © 2014 Elsa N. Kibowa
All rights reserved.
The pack of bikers were on the road for about an hour without a stop, and when they finally got to a stop, Leslie whispered in Calvin's ear, 'Where's our first stop?' Calvin smiled to himself and said, 'You'll see, and you'll love it, I promise!' When the light turned green, Calvin did a wheelie on his bike, which made Leslie scream her lungs out, and soon enough, everyone else in the pack did a wheelie.
After a few minutes, it began to get dark, and the bikes stopped at a pub, and Calvin did the gentleman thing and helped Leslie off while David did the Superman thing and lifted Joe off the bike. And Calvin laughed and shook his head in disbelief. Then David came over holding Joe's hand and put his arm over Leslie and said, 'Now who's under eighteen?'
Joe and Leslie looked at each other.
'How old are you two?' Calvin asked as he folded his arms.
'I turned eighteen three months ago, and it's this little missy's eighteenth birthday on the thirty-first,' Joe said.
'So, little missy, ever lied about your age?' Calvin asked.
'Maybe?' said Leslie, and with no further ado, the four of them plus the three other bikers walked into the pub.
Fist-pumping, dancing, even a bouncer at the door. It was the typical hang-out for anyone who was under 100 years old. Joe danced with David, then she swapped and began to dance with one of the pack members called Chuck; he was huge (aka FAT). Leslie and David danced while Calvin just sat drinking orange juice. Till Leslie walked over and asked, 'And I'm the little girl why?'
Calvin just looked up and smiled. 'I don't dance—never did, never will!' he said and took a sip of his OJ.
'You have got to be kidding me. You're all tough and you can't even fist-pump? What a dork,' Leslie said and walked away. Then Calvin held onto her hand and pulled her out to the back of the pub.
'What now, is the little girl in trouble with the bike master?' Leslie said as if she had known Calvin her whole life.
'I just hate pubs, that's all,' Calvin said.
'So you're the loner type, huh?' Leslie asked.
Calvin laughed. 'No, I'm just the type that gets bored very easily. I bet with a friend like Joe, you never get bored?' Calvin asked.
'Nah ... I've known Joe since I was eight, and we've been friends since. I guess we'll be celebrating our tenth best friend anniversary on New Year's Day,' Leslie said.
'Wow, that's awesome. I've known David since I was three years old, and now I'm ... nineteen, well, going to be twenty in about five months,' Calvin said, then Leslie scrunched her nose.
'Dude, it's December, you can't say five months till New Year!' Leslie said, and then Calvin laughed.
Then Leslie asked, 'So, British guy, how did you end up here?'
Calvin looked confused. 'I'M NOT BRITISH!' he then said.
'Oh really, and my name is not Leslie!' Leslie said, folding her arms.
'No, I'm not British, and I don't know how I can prove it,' Calvin said, laughing really hard.
'Neither do I, guess you'll have to live with it till I can prove otherwise,' Leslie said. Calvin laughed.
Leslie then stopped to look at him carefully, to sort of inspect him. Typical biker boy, black jeans, white shirt, and leather jacket, pierced lip, tattoo on his hand and behind his ear—funny-looking, in other words. With blue-green eyes and a tiny nose to match, he was a perfect fit in Leslie's mind. He looked like a better version of Nicky Romero, and who gets better than that? Leslie thought.
'What yah looking at?' he asked as he saw Leslie inspect him.
'You, I'm looking at you!'
'Why are you so crazy?' Calvin asked.
'It's genetics,' Leslie said.
'Well, how'd you and Joe end up where we were?' Calvin asked.
'Well, Joe and I are supposed to be on a field trip down to the coast, but we hopped off at the first stop, and then we met you guys, and we should be at the beach off the coast by the thirty-first, but Joe and I wanted to go mountain diving before then,' Leslie said.
'And you wanted a bit of adventure instead of a two-week field trip!' Calvin said.
'Yep, you're correct in so many ways,' Leslie said.
'Well, little girl, it's getting late, way past your bedtime. Let's get yah to bed!' Calvin said with a smile and let out his hand for Leslie to hold. She looked down at his hand. Is this really happening, and am I really on this crazy ride with a not-so-total stranger? Leslie then curled up her nose.
'Don't worry, I don't bite! I scratch and kick, but I don't bite,' Calvin said.
Leslie took his hand, and he walked her back through all the crazy fist-pumping people back to the car park, where Chuck and the two other biker boys were. Joe and David just walked out of the pub with afro wigs and face paint all over their faces.
'Typical Joe,' Leslie said to herself under her breath.
'Let's go, people!' David shouted and threw off his crazy coloured afro wig, and with that, Chuck rode up ahead to lead the pack of bikers with Joe, David, and Calvin and Leslie behind him, then the other two bikers. Leslie laughed as they all began to howl like wolves again, and she then did the same, and the bikes began to go faster. You could just hear the engine roar like a lion, and you could just smell the burning tires, and you could see the skid marks the bikes made behind them. The lights of the oncoming city looked so beautiful considering that it was the night-time.
After a while of being in the city, Joe and Leslie began to notice where they were. Joe then pointed to a store that said 'NO UNDER 18!' then Joe stuck out her tongue to show Leslie how unlucky she was for being born at the end of the year. Leslie just laughed it off and kept looking around, and then she saw the one thing she was worried about, the buildings where her snitch of an uncle, Kevin, worked, and oddly the bike stopped right in the car park of the building. And Leslie's eyes widened, and when the boys got off the bike, she got off and ran to Joe. 'What if he's working late?' Leslie asked, and Joe knew exactly what she was talking about. 'What do we do now?' Joe asked, and Leslie looked around, and she saw her uncle walk out of the building.
'Oh, Lord, help us!' Joe and Leslie said.
Then David walked up to Uncle Kevin and said, 'Hey, Dad!'
Leslie then looked very confused and shot Joe a look as if saying, What in the name of MP3 players is going on? Then Leslie and Joe hid behind Chuck, who was the size of both of them times two.
'Dad, what's the name of Aunt Mel's kid again?' David asked Kevin.
'Wren ...' Kevin said slowly.
'No, Dad, the other one, the girl—crazy fuzzy brown hair, brown eyes, and dark skin?' David said.
'Oh, um ... Leslie?' Kevin said, looking confused.
How could Uncle Kevin forget me? Leslie thought to herself.
'Yep, thanks, Dad,' David said and walked back to the pack of bikers.
'Why?' Kevin asked as David walked.
'I want to send out Christmas cards, Dad!' David said and got back on his bike. Leslie got onto one of the other bikes of the two guys at the back of the pack and Joe on the other.
'Can't be too safe,' Joe said to Leslie as they drove off.
In about thirty minutes they arrived at a motel called Squirrel.
'Welcome to Squirrel Restaurant and Motel,' David said and got off his bike.
'What was that all about?' Leslie asked David, getting off the bike.
'What are you talking about?' David asked, laughing because he knew exactly what she was talking about.
'With my snitch of an uncle, Kevin,' Leslie told him with her arms crossed.
'I knew I'd seen you, but I didn't know from where, so I took a hunch, and I was right, as always,' David said with a smile on his face as if he were totally correct.
'Wait, so David and you are cousins, or am I just being crazy?' Joe asked, and a look of disbelief went onto everyone's face. Could Joe be so clueless? thought everyone.
'And who's Wren?' David asked as they all walked into the restaurant part of the Squirrel.
'He is my brother, well, he was,' Leslie told David.
'What do you mean was?' David asked.
'Well, when I was fifteen, he moved out for college, and I've never seen him since,' Leslie said, looking down.
'Well, since we're on this little road trip, let's find him!' Calvin said.
'And how can we do that?' David asked.
'Easy, which college?' Joe asked.
'North Shore,' Leslie said.
'Sweet, that's on the way, you can say hi,' Calvin said.
'But for now, let's go crazy,' Chuck said, and with that, they walked through the big wooden doors.
The live music played loud. The waitresses on roller skates served you faster than lightning. The dance floor lit up in many beautiful colors that made it look even more fun—blue, red, orange, and even green and yellow. Perfect way to end a perfect day!
The next morning, Leslie and Joe were awoken by monkeys yelping like mad. 'What was that?' Joe said, looking like she wanted to kill whoever woke her from her peaceful slumber.
'Great, you're awake, you guys sleep a lot!' Calvin said, walking in wearing nothing but swimming shorts.
'Why are monkeys waking us up instead of an alarm clock?' Joe said, looking like she wanted to tackle Calvin.
'Well, we are next to a zoo, so why not?' Calvin said, raising an eyebrow, which made Leslie laugh.
'Well, what's up with the shorts?' Joe asked.
'Simple, David and I found a lake, so we thought a morning swim was in order, and we wanted to see Chuck in a swimsuit,' Calvin said. Leslie laughed again. 'Want to join us?' Calvin asked, taking a seat on the bed beside Leslie.
'Sure! But Leslie is scared of cold water,' Joe said, and then Leslie put a pillow over her face trying to hide her shame.
'Aw, shame, guess that fear ends today,' Calvin said and opened the door to leave.
'Meet Dave and I in fifteen minutes outside!' Calvin said, and he was about to walk out when Joe said, 'Fifteen minutes? It takes long to look good, you wouldn't understand.' Calvin then laughed in disbelief. 'Fine, twenty minutes then,' he said then left.
Twenty minutes passed faster than an Olympic runner, and Leslie and Joe were outside where David and Calvin stood eating ice cream. 'Took you long enough, cousin,' David joked with Leslie, and then Leslie just stuck out her tongue at David, who did the same. 'Where are the other guys?' Joe asked. 'Chuck and the others are down at the lake,' Calvin said, and in less than ten minutes, the four of them were down at the lake to meet Chuck and the others.
'Oh yeah, Joe, Leslie, meet Randy and Matt,' David said when they came face-to-face with the others. Randy was tall with green eyes and black hair—he had a cap on but it was backwards—and he had a bracelet on his upper arm that said 'KEEP ME AWAY FROM BEES'.
'What's wrong with bees?' Leslie asked with her head tilted to the left, which made her long brown fuzzy curls go down as low as her hips.
'I'm allergic, and I just don't like them,' he said with an accent that made Joe and Leslie swoon.
Matt had brown eyes and long black hair that made him look like a hippie. He was wearing sandals, and for some odd reason Joe liked him 'cause the first thing she said was 'Are you single?' which made him laugh, then he said after a while, 'Are you serious?' and Joe nodded slowly. 'Yep, I'm single,' he said, laughing even harder. Then next thing they knew, Matt lifted Joe and jumped into the lake with her in his arms. 'I've never heard Joe scream so loud,' Leslie told Randy.
'Have you ever?' Randy asked her.
'Nope, I don't scream,' Leslie said with confidence.
'I bet you do!' he said.
'Prove it!' Leslie said, and next thing she knew, she was the next person screaming because she was in the icy cold lake with Randy.
Then Joe shouted, 'What about you two?' David and Calvin looked at each other then said at the same time 'Us?' But soon enough Dave was in; it was only Calvin and Chuck left on dry land. 'CANNONBALL!' Chuck shouted, and then he began to run, attempting to jump, but when Calvin saw what was happening, he stepped aside, and well ...
Calvin began to laugh. 'HA HA!' He even fell to the floor in laughter. 'Wow, Chuck, you're such a great diver, ha ha!' Calvin said while laughing, but he was laughing too hard to notice David, Matt, Randy, and Chuck walk back up to the diving point, and they grabbed him by the arms and legs—Randy and David on the left and Chuck and Matt on the right—and they lifted him. 'What are you guys up to?' Calvin asked, but next thing he knew, they tossed him like a stone into the ice-cold lake.
After about two hours by the lake, they then all began to walk back to the Squirrel. But Leslie and Joe weren't walking. Joe got a piggyback ride on Chuck, and Leslie was carried there like a baby by Randy. 'Girls, pack your things, next stop, the countryside,' David said.
'Yep, with cows and chickens and everything,' Calvin said, and in about ten minutes, they were back on the road down to the countryside. Randy's grandmother's place is where they were headed. 'Welcome to casa de Randy's me maw,' Randy said after two hours, as they got to a big beautiful green farm with cows grazing and the majestic white horses trotting about with a boy holding a silver leash that was attached to the horses.
They got off the bikes and walked down a long path made of gravel. To the left was a barn where you could see pigs eating from a big pile of lots of scrap food. Their little pink and white ears perked up when Randy waved and said hello as if they knew him. And in front, to the right of the piggies, were sheep that were following a boy as the sheep went 'baa'.
To the right of the farm were cows grazing, and you could just hear the chirping of the birds up in the leafy green trees, not one cloud to be seen in the clear blue sky. They walked up the path till they reached big wooden doors with a tiny little golden bell on the side. Randy pushed the little button, and the little ding-dong could be heard from outside.
'Coming,' said a friendly old voice, then the big doors swung open, and there stood a small lady with a friendly little wrinkled face. 'Randy,' she said with a smile on her face. 'Calvin, David, Chuck, Matthew, how are you? Come on in, kids. And who are your two new friends, Randy?'
'Gran, this is Joe and Leslie,' Randy said.
'Wow, you share a name with Leslie, how cute! Is she your girlfriend?' Randy's grandma asked.
'No!' he said very quickly.
'Wait, your other name is Leslie?' David asked, laughing.
'It's a nice name,' Leslie said, defending herself.
Then Matt said while laughing, 'For girls, it's a nice name for girls.'
Then suddenly everyone broke out in laughter except for Joe who again didn't get the joke.
'What's so funny?' Joe asked.
'Oh nothing, sweetie, take a seat,' said Randy's grandmother, and after a minute, she left with Chuck to go get cookies and milk.
'Take a seat next to Randy, he is a clone of Leslie,' Calvin said, laughing so hard you would think he was about to cry.
'Leslie is a wonderful name,' Leslie said.
'Yeah, but for a guy, that is just plain funny,' David said, laughing harder than Calvin.
'So where to from here?' Joe asked.
'We're staying the night,' Randy said.
'Okay, nice ... what's that!' Joe shouted, jumping onto the couch.
'Oh, him, Mr Whiskers, why?' Randy said.
'She's scared of cats,' Leslie said, pointing and laughing at Joe.
'Wow, you're crazy!' Matt said.
'They're just weird and creepy, and I hate them, okay?' Joe said, and with no hesitation, she hissed at the cat that Randy had in his arms.
'Wow, you crazy,' Calvin said, and Randy put the cat outside.
'Well, we know that my second name is Leslie, so what's your second name, Mr Manly?' Randy asked David, and David quickly hid his face behind a pillow.
'Spill it, Dave,' Randy said.
'Don't laugh or make fun,' David said, warning everyone around him, and with that, he said in a whisper tone, 'Xavier.'
And as soon as he said that, everyone burst out in sheer laughter at Mr Manly. 'And you, Matt?'
'Oh, I have no shame—Kendrick, the name makes me sound manly!' Matt said, flexing the muscles he wished he had but sadly didn't. 'And you, Calvin?'
'Lazarus!' Calvin said, looking like it's the best name in the world. 'And you, Madam Josephine?' Calvin asked, and with a shocked face, Joe said, 'No one calls me by my full name except for my grandma.' And then she said with a shy voice, 'Riana.'
Excerpted from I'll Never Forget by Elsa N. Kibowa. Copyright © 2014 Elsa N. Kibowa. Excerpted by permission of Partridge Africa.
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