Number One

“Alright, funny guy, where are your parents?”

Cole slid away as the clumsy mess of a fight was being cleaned up, trying to escape onto the rink. He picked up speed and got into a nice circle-shaped cruise. In his mind he was running scripts of how he would ask Lisa to do the moonlight skate. Hey, Lisa! Hey… Lisa… Hey. Lisa. Wanna go on the moonlight skate with me? You, me, moonlight? You want to moonlight? Let’s hit the moonlight.

“Hi, Cole.”

“Hi, Lisa.” Oh God, Lisa.

“What happened? Is Ricky in trouble?”

“Yeah, no, I dunno. He knocked a tooth out of his mouth, so I don’t know if you can actually be in trouble for that,” Cole stammered.

“Oh my god, did he loose a tooth when he hit that wall?” Lisa asked, fearing she might get in trouble. Cole, meanwhile, was feeling his stomach flood with adrenaline and his heart was beating hard enough to shake his fingers. The very fact she was near him, close to him, talking to him scared him out of his mind. Lisa was the kind of girl you just saw. She didn’t interact with you. It was like the television had come to life, and was asking Dan about the well-being of another television.

“No, no, he shoved Andrew and lost his balance and fell and bang, tooth broken,” Cole said, staring at the rink floor whizzing by. Lisa let out a little cooing noise of concern, looking off in the direction she shoved Ricky. Ricky, meanwhile, was still on the floor, looking for his missing tooth.

“He, uh, he did land on me, by the way. He hit the wall and went end over end and his legs tackled me.”

“Oh my god! I am so sorry, Cole. Are you ok?” Lisa had put her hand on his shoulder. The warmth of her contact seem to spread over his back and neck like water spilling over cracks in hardened soil. Cole felt the pains in his hip wash away. He felt his heart slow down.

“Yeah, I’m fine. I can still skate at least, right?” Cole said, feigning machismo. Lisa smiled at him, Cole smiled back. Cole could feel everything aligning in his favor like a perfect game of Pin-Bot. He had knocked down all the drop-targets, the visor was raised, time to make that last shot! Free game, here I come!

“Hey, Lisa, next skate’s the moonlight skate, want to skate with me?” asked Scott Foreman. Scott Foreman? Foreman, you asshole!

“Oh, yeah. Totally!” Lisa called back.

“OK, see ya in a bit, I’m gonna buy glow-sticks at the prize counter,” Scott said as his glided effortlessly out of the rink and up to the prize counter. Cole was stunned, feeling his blood run hot and his teeth grind. Foreman, you tremendous asshole.

“Well, Cole, be careful. Don’t let anyone else land on you, OK?” Lisa said. Cole, without looking gave a small nod. Just then, Lisa leaned in and gave Cole a peck on the cheek. What? What, really? “Sorry that Ricky fell on you! Totally my fault.” Cole looked at Lisa just as she built up speed to exit the rink. She slowed down on the carpet and gave Cole a smile and a wave. That felt good to do, Lisa thought. It felt good to care. It felt good to push Ricky. This feels good.

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Moonlight Skate

Adam Bozarth