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“Ezekiel Meriwether Lewis Cage, do you think that I would let you thieve?”
“Yes, yes I do,” I said to Rudolph Riley, while I laughed at my full name.
Rudolph and I had been best friends since we were three. We went everywhere, did everything together, but this, stealing a car, his dad’s car, someone I had known, looked up to, respected, was not something I was going to do.
“Well, that’s on the itinerary tonight, bro. Car race, 11 o’clock, Porsche, Maserati, you and me versus Julian and Calvin. Whoever wins gets to hang the losers from the college flagpole for a whole day. So, what do you say?” He seemed so eager to embarrass his brother, Calvin, but then I thought, what if we lose?
“I say no. I know that the Porsche is slower than the Maserati. And I don’t feel like being hung from the flagpole any time soon.”
“How about I tell you that there’s no playing fairly.” He waggled his eye brows in my direction, but I just shook my head.
“I don’t want to risk my life right now. Maybe later.”
“What if I said that Ruth would be there? You could express your ‘deep, undying passion’ for her then.”
“Nope. I can do that any other time.” I responded, even though I knew it was the perfect opportunity. I have been in love with Ruth for two years and I had never had the courage to ask her out, but to risk my life to win her over?
“But you’re the best driver in the school! You can’t wuss out. Everyone will shun you, especially Ruth. She likes bad boys. And so do all the girls at Morrison High school. Dude, you can be a lady’s man! Every girl will be all over you!” I mulled over at what he was suggesting. It sounded great. To be the most popular, respected, looked up to guy in the school. To be the dude with all the babes. And then I thought, what’s in it for him?
“You mean every girl will be all over us. Mostly you, ‘cause of your rep. This is all just to boost your ego, isn’t it? No. I’m not gonna help you kill yourself over a bunch of girls,” I retorted, my voice tinged with annoyance. He could be so self centered at times.
“No, Zeke. I'm doing this for you. My rep is through the roof, so there’s no point in raising it even more. I am trying to make you back to who you were three years ago. The guy who would do anything to be noticed by the people around him, the care-free fourteen year old whose only thought on his mind was if he looked good when he tried to pull off a stunt on his bike. The guy who’s last thought was about girls. What happened to the kid who just wanted to have a rush, a high, an exhilaration?” asked Rudolph with a disappointed look on his face. I hated to disappoint him. It felt like I was a terrible person if I did.
I rolled my eyes, knowing that I had to cave. “So, what time does this thing start?” Rudolph and I smiled. He grabbed my hand.
“Zoom, zoom, brother. Zoom, zoom.”
Reckless Boys Die in Car Race.
Last night, at the old abandoned highway, kids Calvin Riley, age 19, Julian Morrison, age 18, Rudolph Riley, age 17, and Zeke Cage, age 17 were all found dead at 11:45pm. It is apparent that they had set up a car race, because both cars, a GranCabrio Maserati and a Porsche 911 Turbo, were both totaled with the boys inside. Their deaths were imminent as they were launched through the wind shield, yet were strapped to their seats. The Riley’s, the Cage’s, and the Morrison’s are grieving terribly.
“The mayor of Philadelphia sends out a public announcement to all the licensed teenagers: ‘car racing is dangerous, reckless and illegal. If you would like to live a full life, then I suggest you drive more carefully and respectively to the law.’
The memorial for the boys will take place of March 17th, 2010.