Blaine led me to a house that was about a block away from my little piece of beach. We walked around back to a good size backyard that had a dock jutting out from it. Our feet made soft thudding noises as we walked down it. In the dark, I could see the outline of what appeared to be jet skis. There were two of them tied to the small dock. He began to untie them. “Ummm...I’ve never ridden one of those.” I said, trying my hardest not to seem lame. I was well aware of the blush that was more than likely making my face glow.
“No? No problem. We’ll ride doubles. If that’s okay with you.”
“Isn’t it dangerous to ride these in the water at night?” I heard him move, causing a clicking noise. A bright light shone from the front of the jet ski in front of him.
“Any other excuses?” I glared at him. Pushing by him, I climbed on to the jet ski. I set my purse on the dock to protect my belongings. He climbed on behind me, rocking the jet ski under his weight. He slid into the seat and reached forward to grab the handles. “Okay. The key to these things to pretend you aren’t in the water. I’ll do a few laps and then see how fast of a learner you are.”
“Yeah yeah. Let’s go.” He turned it on, the motor purring under us. He put my hands under his and then pushed the throttle. We moved forward away from the dock.
“I’ll try to keep us away from the west side. If my parents see me out on the water they’ll get all pissy.” We drove around the marina for about twenty minutes. We had the water to ourselves, all the boats docked. In the distance, I could see the beam of a lighthouse now and then as it rotated. My giggles mixed with the sound of water splashing behind us as he sped up. He did a few tight circles before stopping. We had to be about a mile from the shore. “You’re turn.”
“Ok.” I said, gripping the throttle and the break. I eased it forward and started doing circles like he had. Having nowhere else to grab, he carefully placed his hands on my hips. I smiled to myself, going a tad bit faster.
We rode on the water for a while, taking turns. He taught me how to do donuts and other small and easy tricks. I was having so much fun that I didn’t notice the fire go out, signalling the end of the BBQ. By the time Blaine noticed it, the moon was high in the night sky. It gave everything a slight glow to it. “Shit.” He said, cutting the engine. The dock was about 100 yards off.
“I have to get this back to our dock without my parents hearing it.”
“How do we do that?”
“We float?” I asked.
“Yeah. Ill rev the engine a bit to give it some momentum and then guide it back. Shouldn’t take long.” He gave it some gas and it went about 60 yards from it. We came to almost a complete stop about 15 feet away.
“Now what, genius?”
“Ugh. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to do this. Here.” He handed me his glasses and jumped off the jet ski causing waves to splash up on my legs and feet. I heard him resurface as I killed the light on the front. Gripping the tail end of the jet ski, he began swimming towards the dock. Once we were close enough, he tied it up and pulled himself up out of the water. I climbed off, handing him his glasses. He was dripping all over the place. “Thanks.” He said in a low voice.
“You’re welcome. What time is it?”
“My guess is after midnight.”
“Oh! I should get back.”
“I’ll walk you.”
“It’s fine. You should get inside and change. Thanks for the ride. It was fun.”
“You’re welcome. Are you busy tomorrow?” His question threw me off slightly.
“If I’m not walking back to Maine, then no.”
“A friend of mine and I are going to go out on the water for a bit. Hopefully to find some dolphins or a seal. Want to come? Great photo op.”
“Sure. What time?”
“Early. I’ll stop by and grab you?”
I was realizing my problem by the time I made it back to my father’s. The first hint was that all but one light was darkened in the whole house. The second was that the light was in my make-shift bedroom. Opening the backdoor, I saw my door was open a crack. Taking a deep breath, I pushed it open the rest of the way. I found Chris sleeping in the computer chair at the desk, a photo album on his chest. My name was drawn across the cover in cursive. “Dad?” I said. He jumped slightly, his eyes opening slowly.
“Huh? Oh. Hey.” He set the photo album on the desk and rubbed his eyes. He also glanced at his watch. “Woah. It’s after 2 am. Where have you been?”
“Meeting the locals.” I replied, tossing my bag on my bed. Now he wanted to get all fatherly on me?
“Look, I don’t care if you stay out late. Just as long as you tell me where you are. I’ll see you in the morning, kiddo.” He stood up and walked towards the door. Pausing slightly, I thought he was going to say or do something else. Instead, he just walked out.