Chapter 1; 2009Maxi hurried to catch up with the group of racers though she knew she was already too late. Monique had won the race. She owed another $15 to her. She had lost so many races; she had lost $105 dollars to Monique. That's 85 races since they made the deal! Mysteriously, 20 dollars worth of 5 dollar bills kept ending up in her wallet. She had to buy a new one to hold all the money that she didn't need with her at home. Soon, she thought, I'm going to need a safe. She pulled out her sports canteen and took a long swig.
"Hey, 'Snailsi!' Nice shell!" Monique shouted. Some other girls giggled.
"Thanks, Monique; I really 'like' your comment!" Maxi made air quotes with her hands.
"You're so sweet. 'Bye, loser." The group of girls bounced off, leaving a trail of sweaty perfume lingering in their wake. Jay-Dee hung behind.
"They're such jerks, aren't they?" She asked.
"Yeah. Monique makes me pay 15 dollars every time I lose a race. It's really been bugging me."
"Mmm." Jay-Dee slapped a bill in Maxi's hand and ran off. She watched her run after the guffawing group of giddy girls open-mouthed, and then examined the dollar that Jay-Dee had given her. "20 dollars? I didn't even win the race!" She decided to call Jay-Dee that night and ask her why she gave her the dollar. Later, at dinner, she told her parents about it, and that she thought she could call her that night after dinner, but unfortunately, her father had to make multiple business calls that night – he worked at an office – so she could probably call Jay-Dee tomorrow during her therapy. Sometimes money just had to wait.
"Hello? Yes, I'd like to speak with Jay-Dee, Please?" There was yelling on the other line.
"Okay, she's coming. Who is this, again?"
"Maxine Aalen Yansly."
"Yes, it's Maxi, dear." The voice on the phone said, and then changed. "Hello?"
"Why did you give me that $20 bill after the meet yesterday?"
"You slapped bill in my hand then ran off to catch up to Monique and her 'popular' group. Duh."
"Oh. It's not mine… I thought it was yours."
"Well, it's not mine, either." Jay-Dee gasped. "What is it?"
"It might have given you Monique's dollar… she must have dropped it on the track. She said it was a winning… that she got from you… but I thought you gave her 15 dollars when you lose a race?"
"I didn't have change."
"You have to give her the dollar now!"
"But I'm doing my…"
"Now, woman! Do you hear me? She'll kill you if you don't give her the dollar right now!" Static replaced Jay-Dee's enthusiastic voice, and then the dial tone buzzed in Maxi's ear.
"… Therapeutic Warm-ups." Maxi had sprained her ankle out on the track and her doctor said to do leg warm-ups and exercises after every race. Despite her therapy, she ran out the door, all the way to Monique's house.
"I'll get the course set back up." Sighed Maxi's exhausted nurse.
Maxi rapped on the door several times before Monique's dad answered the door.
"How may I help you?"
"I'm Maxine Aalen Yansly, and Monique's money has been mistaken for mine." Maxi breathed. "May I come in?"
"Of, course. Monique, Princessa! A friend of yours is here!" He called.
"Coming, Papa!" Monique pounded down the stairs. "We can go upstairs to my room, if you…" She stopped short when she saw Maxi. "Oh. It's you." A hint of disappointment glinted in her eye. "You'd better be here for a very good reason." Maxi held out the bill.
"You dropped this on the track. Possibly in the locker room. Jay-Dee found it." Monique took the money and started to count it.
"There's 35 dollars here."
"I put the fifteen from yesterday's race in there as well."
"What 15, Mejia?" Mr. Jones interjected. "Tell me, mi Princessa." Monique looked worried.
"Whenever Maxi loses a race, I charge her 15 dollars."
"That is wrong, Monique." His tone stiffened. "I didn't know about this because…" He let the sentence trail for Monique to finish the explanation.
"Because I didn't want to get in trouble. Am I in trouble, Padre?" Monique made a puppy face.
"Yes, you are in trouble, Monique Dona Jones. Now give your Amigo back her money."
"She's not my amigo," Monique mumbled.
"Yes, Papa." Monique sang, through gritted teeth.
"I…" Maxi started, Then thought, Monique doesn't deserve the money, but I can't just take it back. "I'll only take the money if I win it back, fair and square." She stated. "Just like I lost, fair and square. Shake on it."
"Shake my hand to promise to let me win a race and to agree on it." Monique hesitated, and then she took Maxi's hand.
"Deal." They shook.