“What the hell do you mean you’re not insured!” the younger blonde yelled.  “Everyone’s insured!  I mean, it has to be insured, doesn’t it?” 


“Oh for crying out loud shut up and try helping me figure this out.  My parents are going to flipping kill me!  How the hell did I let you talk me into this,” the taller teenager said as he groaned into his hands while leaning against the wreckage.  “This wasn’t supposed to happen; it was supposed to be fun.  It was just a quick trip.  This is all your fault Jude!  If you didn’t smoke then we wouldn’t have had to go to the Convenience store.  It was just a short trip, dammit!”


“Well fuck it, I smoke.  Get over it.  Okay, now… we can’t call the cops and we don’t have the money for a tow truck or anything; there’s no fricken’ other way to get out of this…you’ve got to call your dad, man.”


“Yeah, but he’s...”


“You don’t have a choice and you know as well as I do that they won’t actually kill you.”  Grinning with a wicked gleam in his eye, “They’ll just use you.  That’s all.”


“Oh, fuck.”  Breathing deeply he dialed the cell phone, “Dad?  I’ve kind of…well...”


“Yeah I’m ok.  Yeah, Jude’s ok too.  The thing is…yeah I know I need to be home by 5:30 for supper.  No, I forgot to get the milk dad.  I know, I know.”


“Dad!  Let me talk, will you?!  I rolled the car.” 


Sniveling into the phone in frustration and fear, “No, no we’re ok, I swear.  I don’t know about the car though.  No.  No one else was involved, just me and Jude.”


“Well, we’re on the Old Mill Road about seven miles fro...”


“Dude, we’re at least 15 miles from town and you know it!  You were fricken’ flying!”




“Dad, he’s exaggerating, you know what he’s like.”


“Uh-huh.  Yeah but, you see.  There was this coyote and he jumped right in front of the car and I swerved to miss him.”


“Umm, no… I don’t think we hit him.  Remember I said we swerved?  Really!  I swear there was a coyote and no, we weren’t driving that fast.  Really, dad.  I swear.”  In a somewhat smaller voice he asked, “We don’t have to tell mom, do we?”


Turning to the other boy, “Jude, man…dad wants you to call your parents.  He said he’s on his way and that he’s going to call a tow truck from here if he needs too.”


“Dude, stop it.  Don’t cry it’s not the end of the world.  They’re just going to make your summer suck, that’s all.”


“Jude, shut up.  You’re not helping at all.  Go smoke a cigarette or something, will you?  Damn, my neck's starting to hurt.  How’re you feeling?”


“Oh my head hurts and my knees pretty sore, but other than that not too bad.  Hey, is that your dad?”


“Yeah, it looks like his pickup from here.  Yeah, it’s him.  Shit, what do I tell him?  Oh man, what’s mom going to do?”


“Dude, your mom scares me.  Hey Mr. Keller!  What’s up?”


“Jude,” the older man sighed, “did you call your parents yet?”


“Sure thing, I just said I’d be a bit late for dinner, they were cool with that.”


“Ok boys, grab your stuff and get in the pickup. No Jude, don’t even bother locking the doors, no one’s going to steal anything in the five minutes that the car's left alone.  Oh, and Jude…”


“Yeah, Mr. Keller?”


“I called your parents and they’re expecting you home soon.  Something about a lecture and I think they mentioned the word ‘grounding’.” 






“Sorry Mr. Keller.”


“Ok boys, buckle up.  So sonny boy, what’re your plans for this summer?”


“Um, well I was thinking about getting a job, maybe?” he said, looking slightly up at his father.


“Oh, well I don’t think you’ll have to worry a bit about finding work.  As a matter of fact, I hear there’s an opening around town.  Actually, it’s got loads of benefits.  You’ll get a lot of child care experience, take a child CPR class, and get to spend quality time with three very special and sweet two-year olds.  I think you’ll love it.”


“What?  Three?  Why three?!”


“Well, there’s the twins and then I know your Aunt’s looking for a qualified baby-sitter.  I just spoke with her a few minutes ago and she’s thrilled that I’ve found one for her.”






“Sorry dad.  Look, if I promise to never drive agai...”


“Oh, you’re going to drive again all right.  You turn 16 next month and your mom’s decided that you will get your license and you will drive the twins to their swimming lessons and gymnastics classes.  Oh, trust me.  You’ll be driving again.  Just nowhere you’ll enjoy; love you son.”


“I love you too,” he muttered under his breath with his best friend snickering, buckled in next to him.



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