The Creek

November 12, 2010
The fire flared at Dad’s ears, and spread to his cheeks, nose, chin, and eventually his forehead, causing the pressurized tension in the room to build. One trick remained up my sleeve for when Dad’s rage reached its boiling point; the infallible puppy-dog face never failed, so I prepared my face for the three essentials to the perfect puppy face. First, I stuck my lower lip out and curled it into a pout, then I tilted my head down and to the side slightly, so I could view Dad out of the corners of my eyes. Finally, I batted my eyelashes to give off the impression of a sweet innocent girl, but Dad hardly noticed my display. He still had the intent look of punished glued to his face, so I had to try harder. I made my lower lip quiver and my eyes fill with tears, but Dad’s fierce eyes pierced me like needles. With nothing more to do, I surrendered to the boss. Feeling utterly defeated, I flopped down into a chair and equipped my ears for an hour long lecture.

“Sarah!” The word formed a sphere and rolled out of my father’s mouth like a bowling ball ready to strike the petrified pins that waited for their doom at the end of the lane. “Somebody could have been seriously injured or even killed! What on earth was going through that little head of yours? You have to think before you…” My dad’s voice drifted off into slow blah blah blah then died. With my father successfully tuned out, I began to think about the events that led up to this particular consequence.

My hearing suddenly intensified, as every little nuisance in the room became audible. The short tan girl on my left chewed on her gum, smacking the edible play-doh against the roof of her mouth. Behind me asthma boy snored and drooled on his desk as he slept. On my right little miss popular tapped her pen against the desk with absolutely no rhythm, and the contently ticking clock morphed into a leaky faucet that slowed with time, as we all anticipated the precious ring of the bell that would release us to summer. At last the agonizing pain ended, and I dashed out the door ready to meet my three best friends. As we all found each other, we formed a natural line shoulder to shoulder, and we fell into step. Ashley spoke first, “I can’t believe we’re finally freshmen!” With that one sentence, all of our smiles warped into frowns, because one of us wasn’t going to be spending ninth grade year with the rest of us. Katie’s new home resided in Vermont, because her dad got a promotion if they moved there. That only gave us two weeks to spend with Katie before she left. Unable to stand the misery cloud floating above us, I decided I had to do something to bring our spirits up, so I invited the gang to my house.

I said, “Come on guys, we’ll have a good time before Katie moves.” Everyone nodded in agreement and arrived at my house on Friday. We all lounged around in a circle, or rather a square since there was four of us, and contemplated about what we should do in our last moments with Katie. When nobody came up with something fun to do, I whispered, “ Hey guys lets go down to the creek behind my house. The monsoon rains we’ve been getting have filled up the creek.”

Jordan whispered back, “ Last time that we went down to the creek, we got in trouble. Remember? We were told not to go back down there.”

“ I know,” I responded. “ But my parents have cooled down since then. It’ll be fine,” I reassured her. Since nobody else had a problem with this, we put on our tennis shoes, and headed down to the creek.

The creek had transformed into a river with all of the rain we had gotten. We all stood there gazing at it in amazement, but this didn’t last long. Ashley decided she wanted to have a little fun, so she shoved Jordan into the creek. As Jordan plummeted into the water, fury exploded over her face. Jordan bounced out the water at Ashley like she had been pushed onto a trampoline. She tackled Ashley and drug her into the water, then a fight broke out between the two of them. Katie and I stood on the sidelines gawking in fascination and laughing at the hysterics of our soaking mud covered friends. Of course, when Jordan and Ashley noticed this, they paused their battle and became partners in crime. Katie used me as her barrier, and Jordan started splashing water at me, as Ashley threw mud balls. This lasted only a few seconds before I hurled myself at the enemies. The three of us fought each other for about ten minutes, then we realized that Katie remained dry, so like the good friends that we are, the three of us hauled Katie into the creek. We chunked mud at one another until we appeared to be the great monsters from the lagoon, but I knew that I could enhance our enjoyment.

I jogged up to my house and snuck around the garage, making sure my mom didn’t notice me. Peeking around the cars, I found just what we needed. The boogie boards my brother and I purchased in Hawaii. Mine had purple and blue waves with a dolphin on the front. My brother’s had a picture of a shark opening his mouth to reveal his razor sharp teeth. I grabbed the boards, but I wasn’t quick enough, my mom came stomping out the door at that moment. Knowing that my mom would stop me if she got a glimpse of me, I sprinted out the garage and down to the creek, hearing my mom’s threats the whole way. I didn’t want my friends to know that we had been caught, so I suggested that we migrate up the creek where the rapids are.

We took turns racing down the rapids on the two boogie boards, but the cold water numbed our skin and kept us from realizing how much our knees were getting scraped and bruised. After we played in the water for a good two hours, I finally confessed to my friends that we were in trouble. We decided to pick up our beat up bodies to head home and face the consequences. We all agreed that our risky adventure could never be replaced.

My dad hollered at me, making me jump out of my day dream. He screamed, “Sarah! Are you even listening to me?”

I replied the usual response, “Yes Daddy I will go to my room and think about what I’ve done.” As I headed off to my room, I couldn’t help but grin. I would never regret this, because being grounded for a month was nothing compared to the memory I share with my friends of our day in the creek.

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