“This is mad! We’ll never make it!”

Andy pulled his shorts high as he could without doing himself an injury; didn’t need them falling off halfway down.

Karri beamed. “Only one way to find out!”

“You’re crazy!”

What did he see in her? How did they ever become friends? She’s a maniac! Every bit of trouble he’d ever been in, she was behind it. Every cut and scar on his body had her fingerprint on it. Yet every time she came up with a crazy scheme, there he was, right there with her.

“This party sucks,” she’d said. “Let’s duck out the back, head through the woods, break in through the hole in the fence, climb to the top and take the long ride down.”

“It’s not open yet. They haven’t finished building.”

Karri ignore him. “We’ll be back before anyone notices.”

Spine. That’s the problem. Andy’d never been able to say no to women. Certainly not Karri.

One hand clinging to the side of the two-thousand-foot, part-built water slide, the other gripping his underwear, Andy squeezed his eyes shut. “I’m going to die.”

“Die happy!” Karri shrieked and let go.

Andy knew he would follow her. He knew it then, just as he’d known it the moment he first saw her when they were five-years-old, sprinting across a field with old lady Crabbit’s peaches.

He screamed. Couldn’t help it. The drop was vertical. Three loops later he was upside down. Blinded by water, all he could do was hope Karri was far enough ahead to avoid a collision. Not that she’d mind.


Soaking and caked in mud from their hike back home through the woods, Karri and Andy fell through the kitchen door just as his mother brought out the cake.

“There you are.” His mother peered outside. “Did you get caught in the sprinkler?”

Karri never had trouble dealing with women. “Sure,” she laughed. “Why not?”

She darted into the lounge full of family who gathered at Christmas and birthdays like an obligation. Andy stared after her.

I’m going to marry that girl. That’s a fact.

“Andy?” Andy turned to his mother. “Help me with the candles.” His mother counted them out. One for each year of Andy’s life. “That girl’s trouble, my boy. You watch yourself.”

Andy put eight candles onto his cake. “Yep,” he grinned. “That’s true.”