Tom saw the car coming around the corner, but Rick had his back to it. One thing about modern cars, along with generally more efficient engines, is that they are getting quieter and quieter, which may make the drivers’ journeys more comfortable, but also makes them harder for pedestrians to hear. Rick didn’t hear it at all, but then he was laughing and joking around to the two girls who stood on the pavement.
The first thing that crossed Tom’s mind was actually curiosity. Was this prime athlete so focussed on showing off to the girls on the sidewalk that he wouldn’t notice the car at all? Naturally, he assumed the driver of the car would spot Rick and squeeze the brakes, screeching the vehicle to a juddering halt in time. But at the very last minute, horror bloomed inside his chest like a rotting putrescent explosion.
The driver wasn’t slowing down at all.
And then Tom saw it: the driver was not paying attention, the driver was too intent on using his mobile telephone. It infuriated Tom when people used cell phones while driving: it was just as stupid as driving while intoxicated by alcohol because your brain wasn’t fully focussed on what you were doing. People would know never to use a cell phone while using a chainsaw, say, but somehow the car is seen as safe. Never mind that the automobile has killed more people than any war in history.
Tom dropped his bag and ran, not thinking about what he was doing, not considering that perhaps Rick would see the car at the last minute and leap out of the way, not even hoping that the driver would see the colourful football shirt that the boy in the street was wearing. He dropped everything, including his personal CD player, and pumped every available ounce of energy into the muscles of his legs and arms, pushing himself as hard as his body could manage towards the impending collision.
Rick even didn’t see it at the last minute, and the driver didn’t brake at the final moment because he wasn’t watching. In that glimmer of a moment, it all happened, and for Tom, it seemed to happen so very slowly. He bounded towards the huge quarterback, a guy normally used to shaking off all number of tackles to get that perfect spiralling throw to connect with his wide receiver and get the all-important first down, Tom leaped towards him and piled all his weight into him.
“Oh God, Tom, I can see why all the girls are talking about you – you’re a powerful guy,” Anne stroked his softening cock, still wet from their combined juices.
“How come you don’t have a boyfriend?” he asked her, the first really substantial thing he’d actually said to her.
“Oh, I do,” she said casually, as though it was the most natural thing in the world. “He’s a trader – works in the city. Very rich. Bought me a Porsche last month.”
“And he doesn’t mind you…fooling around like this?”
“What he doesn’t know can’t hurt, you know?” she said, getting up now and straightening her clothes.
Tom wanted to ask if he would ever see her again, but the truth was he knew that he probably wouldn’t. She’d conquered him now, and it was time to move on. It made him feel a little shallow, a little used. He really should have expected it.
At the time it all happened, though, there was no way he could have expected everything: it was all about risk.
The two girls put their hands to their mouths and shrieked, like housewives in early sixties sitcoms when faced with a mouse. At the last minute, Rick turned to look at what the girls were reacting to, but didn’t have time for even a quarter turn of his head before he felt the full power of Tom crashing into him, lifting him clean off his feet to a crumpled heap on the sidewalk.
A hideous crunch was clearly heard as the brakes of the vehicle were at last applied by the muppet at the wheel. Tom heard this crunch, but he didn’t connect it with anything at the time. Only when he and Rick landed there on the edge of the sidewalk in a painful heap, did he realise that the car had hit his ankle, crunching into it with merciless force.
The moment was over soon, though. The driver of the car, a wealthy businessman in a suit clearly smarter than he was in the head, naturally enough panicked and drover away without stopping. He didn’t want to be caught in any trouble, he already had enough stress what with his superior not giving him that Deputy Vice Assistant Manager job title and everything.
Rick was clearly shaken from the experience, but was instantly concerned for Tom’s ankle. Ironically, it was a mobile phone that came to Tom’s aid: the quarterback pulled his phone from a pocket and called for an ambulance almost immediately.
“Jesus,” was all he could say for a while. What did you say when you were captain of the football team and you suddenly found that you actually weren’t totally invulnerable. “Jesus,” he shook his head, amazed at his sheer lack of care – especially with a big game coming up at the weekend. And who was this kid, this guy who had come from nowhere to put in the most incredible tackle ever? Who was he?
“Man, what can I say?” That was Rick down to a tee: Tom didn’t know it back then, but the guy was distinctly likable, and it was the honesty that was part of that. “I mean…” he stammered, “I mean…you saved my ass there. Like, I don’t even know you from Adam and you risked your goddamn life…”
“Hey…it was no problem…” Tom said, wincing at the pain of his ruined ankle.
“I’m Rick, by the way,” he held out a hand for Tom to shake.
“Tom,” said his rescuer.
“Christ am I lucky to’ve had you around. I swear, if that idiot had hit me, he would’ve probably killed me. Or worse – he could have put me out of the game on Saturday.” The little group of them laughed nervously at that: nervous was the word – if circumstances had been any different, Rick would have been the one lying in the street, and it wouldn’t have been a broken ankle that was the problem, either. But Rick was the kind of guy who had to raise a smile to defeat tension, and it made Tom realise that actually, it wasn’t just football that made him popular. It was one of the things about life that Tom would learn from the whole experience after rescuing the most important individual in school.
He went to hospital, though everyone knew what was wrong with him already. It wasn’t long before a plaster cast was sealed around his foot, like a heavy and unstylish boot. But the plaster cast wasn’t the weirdest thing about Tom’s life in the coming weeks. Not by a long shot.
Anne waved a quiet goodbye, her grin promising a future encounter, though Tom thought she would probably sit tight and see how popular he was when the fuss all died down about his live-saving activity. She wouldn’t want to be seen even acknowledging his presence if he headed back down to the kind of social oblivion he’d taken for granted before the whole incident.
Tom lay back against the pillows, pulling the sheets over his naked body in case someone else came in. He didn’t even know whose bed it was: the room looked feminine, in a sister-type way. Did Rick have a sister? He had to. Would Tom be around long enough to find out these kind of details about Rick? Somehow, he actually thought he would. Rick wasn’t the kind of guy that struck up a friendship like theirs had become, only to dispel it. Rick wasn’t you typical jock footballing genius, though. That had been one of the biggest surprises for Tom.
Lying there for a moment, his flaccid penis still throbbing in remembrance of what it had been doing five minutes previously, he felt very strange: light-headed, somehow empty. Had it really happened? Had he just come inside Anne Higgs?
It was bizarre. He leaned over the side of the bed, and there on the floor was a little crumpled pair of white lace panties, still moist from her wet pussy. He held them up to his nose: the scent was strong, musky, and real enough. It had happened, but what now? He had a little memento of his encounter with the captain of the cheerleaders, but did that make it all worth it?
Maybe that was the norm now: this world he had entered had people in it that did not sleep with each other more than once before looking for the next peak to climb. He scratched his head: were people like that really happy? Tom liked women, of course, and for years he’d fantasised about making love to many different girls, but at the end of the day he needed someone he could really commit to. He just wasn’t the type to go round looking for the next challenge.
His world had changed, though, and there was no way it would ever go back to the way it was. His world was gone now.