Lydia Takes the Leap

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Chapter 18

The sun sparkled through Lydia’s window and the birds sang their songs to greet the morning. She gave a long drawn out stretch under the covers, wiggling her toes which were peeping out from the other side of her comforter. As her mind slowly awakened, she remembered the club was meeting up for another day of selling! Leaping out of her bed, she checked the alarm clock ticking away, 11:45 am, the numbers glowed.

“Oh my gosh!”

She’d slept in! She threw on a jersey knit skirt and a tank top, pulled her hair into a ponytail and breezed into the living room. She was greeted by her father relaxing on the couch with his laptop.

“Hey, kiddo! Big day of selling must have worn you out, I don’t think you even slept in this much as a baby!”

She rolled her eyes and picked up the phone.

“Oh yeah, while you were in your sleep coma your friend from down the street called.”

“Thanks, dad! I’m going to call her right now and see what the plan for the day is.”

She dialed Veronica’s home number and waited for someone to pick up. When she was directed to the answering machine, she hung up and proceeded to call Veronica’s cell phone. After two rings, the phone connected and Lydia could hear the screams of people in the background.

“Hey, girl! Where have you been?! I called around 9:00am and your dad said you were pretending to be Sleeping Beauty.”

Lydia scoffed, of course, he’d say that. “I am so sorry, I’ve never slept so much before! Where are you?”

Laughter and whimsical music echoed through the phone.

“My brothers wanted to hang out at the boardwalk today and my parents made them take me so they could go to a winery with their friends.”

“Oh, that’s actually perfect! I can meet you there and we can set up like we did yesterday. Is that ok?”

“Uh, yeah! That would be perfect, I’m so bored following my brothers around and I brought my pot holders just in case. I called Karen this morning too. She wants to take today off since she’s out of stock anyways and her dad doesn’t have to go into work until later this evening.”

They agreed to meet up in front of the Neptune’s Castle bowling alley in one hour. Lydia went to her room to pack up a beach bag with all the items they would need. She threw in the blue beach blanket, two water bottles, some snacks, the shoebox of profit money, and the rest of her inventory. She was going to ask her parents for a ride, but it was such a nice day out and she didn’t have much to carry, so she decided to ride her bike to the boardwalk.

“Another day, another dollar!” She called out on her way out the door when her dad asked about her plans for the day.

She cruised all the way to the bustling boardwalk. Pedaling down streets lined with swaying palm trees, chubby succulents, and half-naked surfers. It was a short ride to her destination and she locked her bike up at the bike rack. Hiking up the straps to the beach bag on her shoulders she weaved her way through the weekend crowds, making her way to Neptune’s Bowling Alley. Veronica jumped up from the edge of a giant planter and waved her over.

“Hey friend!” she wildly flapped her hands in excitement.

“Where are your brothers?” Lydia asked, glancing around, and preparing for one of them to jump out as usual.

Turns out they were completely absorbed in one of the new games at the Fisherman’s Arcade and hadn’t even noticed Veronica’s absence.

“Let’s pick a spot to set up.”

They started to shuffle through the tourists and locals, but all the excitement going on around them was just too irresistible to pass by. The scent of cotton candy and fried artichokes filled their noses while rumbling laughter rang in their ears.

“Can we go on a few rides while we look for a spot?” Veronica flashed a pleading smile at Lydia.

After they decided to purchase a pack of ride tickets with the cashed they saved, the two friends rode the wooden roller coaster, the spinning Fireball, Logger’s Revenge and the Sea Swings. All that fun in the sun got their appetite up and rather than munching on the snacks Lydia brought, they used the money from Saturday’s profits again to buy iced lemonade and share a plate of nachos. They were having such a great time together, that if it wasn’t for the heavy beach bag Lydia was lugging around, they would’ve forgotten the main reason for meeting up.

After they’d had their fill of snacks, the girls headed over to the arcade to check in with Veronica’s brothers.

“Hey geeks!” Veronica poked Jacob in his side as he frantically pressed buttons on the street arcade game he was playing.

“Don’t distract him, brat! He is on his way to having the highest score. Where’d you go anyway, you’re not supposed to leave us?” Michael scolded, and then nodded to Lydia. “Hey… sorry about the other day. Um… do you have any more of that slime?”

“Yeah? Don’t worry about it…”

She riffled through the beach bag and showed him what was left. Michael picked out the tangerine slime and handed over three dollars in quarters.

“I exchanged all my cash for the games…” He gave her an apologetic look.

Lydia shrugged, money was money in her mind and tossed the quarters into the shoebox. Veronica informed Michael where they were headed and to just text whenever they were going to head home.

The girls made their way out of the arcade and picked out a shaded spot in front of the Coconut Grove picnic area. There were already five other blankets set out along the sidewalk they were on, this being a popular spot to peddle since it was next to the wharf, the arcade, and a trendy sandwich shop. They laid out their products and shop signs. Within two hours of setting up, they were completely sold out and ready to leave. They met up with Veronica’s brothers again and Jacob offered Lydia a ride, which she graciously accepted. They tossed her bike into the trunk and piled into the car.

Exhausted from all the enjoyment of the day, it was a quiet ride home. Lydia and Veronica rested their heads against each other, lazily gazing out the car’s window. They were becoming closer and closer to being the best of friends.

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