Shortly before Harry dropped his big revelation on me, he had bought me a special gift. He knew that I loved the outdoors but never had the proper equipment to keep them memorable. I’d study in open courtyards and under trees at the park, yet I was limited in my resources beyond the books. Going to the park was refreshing but not entertaining. So he thought I’d enjoy a little outdoor machine action. That’s when he covered my eyes and walked me outside to reveal to me a lump of tarp in my parking lot.
When he shed the covering, out popped a sexy little two-person Jet Ski with the Kawasaki brand name and a racing stripe emblazoned on the side. It had a flower insignia and my initials inscribed underneath on the front.
I fell in love with the watercraft the moment Harry taught me how to use it. The thrill of the speed, the splash of lake water against my face—it was nasty, but oh so exhilarating. Immediately, it became my second love. Each day I’d hop a few waves before breakfast. I’d go out again after work, and stay until night fell when Harry would come over with flowers and we’d watch a movie.
But the night Harry shed his scales was the night he managed to take my love for the watercraft with him. Though the thrill of hopping water lingered, I no longer had the heart to put his machine between my legs. After two weeks passed, I wanted freedom from the reminder, so I put a FOR SALE sign across the handlebars.
I stuffed the money I’d made from the sale into my bank account so I’d have something to go back to college with. But as time passed and deadbeat men came and went, I started thinking my return to school would never happen in my lifetime. The income trickled in more slowly than a boat on land, the guys cleaned me out of resources, and I still had bills to pay. Eventually, I had to put my academic dreams to bed. So, with my ambition for a degree vanished forever, I spent my money on something else.
Since my love for the lake had never wavered, I invested in my own personal watercraft—free from Harry’s wallet.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t sell my old Jet Ski for the full price that Harry had spent on it, so a sport model large enough for two people was out of the question. I looked through the classifieds for a nice used personal watercraft but realized the prices were too low for comfort (some people advertise hot items, and I can’t bring myself to buy something stolen), so I invested in a new solo. And sure, it was expensive enough to break me, but it was still cheaper than my first. My only real concern was that I had learned to ride sitting down, and this one required me to stand.
I’ll admit that the two-person sport was easier to ride, but the solo offered unparalleled freedom. It was like skipping a motor scooter across the water. The experience carried all the benefits that my old one had provided, but added an extra thrill with the whole butt-suspension thing. Needless to say, I felt free to love again.
And that’s what made me happy. I had my own Jet Ski, bought with my own cash, ridden on my own passion, unattached to any man. No one could steal it from me. This was my true love. No greasy stranger would intercept my heart now that it was spoken for.
But then came the event that relapsed me into my newest oblivion. Richard entered my life.