When he really rolled on the throttle, it sounded like coins rattling in a tin can. Pre-ignition, timing's all fucked up. Bikes like his aren't meant to tip-toe around, but even still, a couple minutes with the wrench and it'd sound a whole lot prettier.
(more) Guys like him mix nervous pride and feigned give-no-fucks to come up with badassery, like some rookie trying to re-cook an accidentally good batch of meth. They find themselves a gun and keep it in the saddlebag, uncleaned and unused. They never tell anybody about it, but when shit gets a little heated, they ask if they need to head out to the bike, get a little help, like it's a big brother who'll scare the tough boys at school. Stupid doesn't know that everybody here has a big brother, and they're a lot closer than the saddlebag.
But he's not hard. His ass has been kicked many times and in front of just about everybody. He tries, though, and he buys well from the right guys, so they keep him around as long as he doesn't fuck up too bad, say something stupid or talk too much about something he shouldn't know. He doesn't bring a woman but everybody knows he has one. Somebody saw him running around with some chick riding bitch a couple months ago. Wasn't wearing his colors. Pleasure-cruising with a missus on a Sunday afternoon. Doesn't want her here. Can't stand the idea of sharing her, probably. Maybe she doesn't want to, and he can't make her.
He passed by, barely turned his head to count the bikes. Took him a while to learn we don't wave back. He crested the hill, the sun in his eyes, the bike rattling itself apart under him.
"I can imagine us running free, just the two of us, through a field of corn!"
Corn was right. How corny was that. There was little or no chance of either of us running anywhere together the way things were.
Martin held my hand and looked into my eyes with heartbreaki(more)ng intensity. This was one of the things I loved about Martin, his unfailing positivity. If I didn't love him, I think I would brand it stupidity, but that is the funny thing about love. Most of the cliches are right; it is blind. We were sitting under the bridge, the sound of the water bubbling all around us. The heat of the day had dissipated a little and a gentle breeze stirred. It would be dark soon, it came on so fast those Summer evenings, one minute it was bright, then all of a sudden dark. My father would be standing on the porch, holding the lamp looking out for my return. I had told him I was gone to visit Jennifer, my friend in the village, that I had gone to have tea with her. It was all a ploy to steal some time with Jamie. Jamie was a slave boy. He was what is known as a Runner. He did errands for my father and due to his speed, could afford to go to our meeting place without being missed. His skin burned next to mine with the same intensity as his liquid brown eyes. If he was ever found out, it would mean death. He was risking everything to see me and I was the coward. Lying to my father for fear of making a stand, still eating and sleeping the fruits of Jamie's labours and hundreds like him without one word of protest. (less)
One day I just woke up and put my shoes on. They were cross trainers. I went out the door, ready for work. I didn't go to work though because it was such a nice day out. I dropped my things and I ran. I ran and ran some(more) more. It wasn't like a morning jog, or a cardio session at the gym. This was running free.(less)