My heart was beating so fast that I couldn't hear what Johnny was saying. My hands were clammy, my eyes were closed, and I could feel the sweat tingling on my skin. Like a baby in the womb, I nestled down near the floor as tight as I could get. I felt like I just ran five miles with a panther on my tail, but I wasn’t exhausted. I was still tense, still nervous. Everyone else in the car was breathing hard as well. Body heat filled the air and the windows started to fog up the windows. The radio was off and so were any lights. Other than our heartbeats, the car had been silent for a few minutes.
"I think we made it," said Johnny. He was in the driver’s seat; his white knuckles still gripped the steering wheel. "Let's go look for the others."
"I wonder if they got away?" I said.
"I think so. We had a few hundred yards between us and the MPs when we booked it. I think we should go back and see if everyone got away." Johnny seemed more relaxed now, but barely.
"Why do we need to go back there?" asked Brain. "Aren't the cops going to be there?" He was still nervous, but then again, so was I.
"I don't think so. But there's only one way to know for sure." replied Johnny.
"But..." is all I could muster. Exhaustion has caught up and my adrenaline subsided, being chased by the police was new to me. And I kept on thinking, if I get caught and my parents find out, my Dad’s gonna kill me. How the hell can Johnny keep his smile and be so calm.
Johnny rolled down his window and pushed aside the bushes that hid his car. "I don't see anyone, do you?" he asked.
I collected myself and looked around. "Looks all clear to me."
"Looks good." echoed Brian.
Johnny started the car and we slowly pulled out of the bushes. The landscape was green, but there was no way you could tell. The night sky hid most things and the man on the moon was sleeping tonight. Johnny turned on the lights and blindness took our sight. Moments later, a black road and patches of greenery filled our view. The cut grass was familiar as the 8th hole lay to our left. It seemed safe so we started our move.
We quietly drove for a minute to reach the mounds. But this time, we drove to a spot across the road to cliff high above. Johnny's headlights flooded the area and towers of gray rocks came into view. The mounds were easily eight feet tall and it was composed of the kind of gravel used for construction. As I looked closer, I could see our swirls on the ground below. The car was our paintbrush and the gravel our canvas. A portrait of interwoven circles was strewn across the grounds. The pattern was a thing of beauty. All were bound to a common thought, doughnuts! Pollock would be proud.
We opened the doors and got out of the car. We stood and stretched. The air was cold, but I didn’t wear my jacket. Small chills began to run up my spine and I shivered for a moment.
"We made lots of doughnuts down there; that was fun." remarked Brain.
"Yeah." added Johnny.
I nodded; I felt relieved. I let out a smile and began to relax, but that was short lived.
Suddenly, we saw another set of lights coming our way. The head lights weren't far apart, so I knew it wasn’t an American car. I looked at Johnny and we instantly knew who it was.
It was a silver 4-door car full of people, it drove by a mound and stopped. "That was awesome, want to do it again?" yelled Joe.
"Are you crazy? We just ran out of here when the MPs showed up." I yelled. "We barely got away."
"So what?" said Joe with a big smile. He got into his car and I could hear the shouting of the voices within.
"Doughnuts! Doughnuts!" shouted the people in the car.
Joe's lights turned on and the engine started to rev. A loud squealing sound screamed out of the tires as it began to peel away at the gravel below. The car started to make tight circles on the ground; over and over it spun and the circles came. The occupants in the car could be heard laughing and cheering, "DOUGHNUTS!"
"They are crazy." remarked Brian.
"Yep. I can't believe Joe found this place. You would think coming here after school would be enough, but for all of us to come back at night...we are all crazy." I replied.
"Mike, so I heard you have a girlfriend now." said Johnny.
"What? She's not my girlfriend, we just had one date. But I've been walking with her to class everyday this week, that's about it. She is a really nice girl. Plus she's cute, has wonderful smile, and I did make out with her on our first date." I replied with a big grin.
"You what!" spoke Brian. He was shocked. "On your first date. NO way!"
"The timing was right so what the hell else was I supposed to do. I didn't' want to look like an idiot. Dating is new to me, I just went with the flow."
Suddenly everything froze. I could barely hear it coming. But I knew what it was; the sounds, the sounds of trouble. It was the second time tonight, but this time we weren't ready. We were all going to get caught now. They were coming and nobody seemed to notice except me.
"Johnny we need to bail, now!" I yelled.
"Why" asked Johnny? Brian looked puzzled as well.
Suddenly the approaching sirens could be heard by all of us. Johnny fumbled his keys as he opened the door; Brian jumped into the back seat. I got in and Johnny tried to start the car. He turned the key but nothing happened. He turned again and it still didn’t start.
“Don’t do it again or it will flood.” I said. “But if you flood the carb Joe showed me how to fix it.”
“I won’t. It will work this time, trust me. I know my car,” replied Johnny. He turned the key and the green machine awoke.
But it was too late, I could see the red and blue lights streak across the windshield. The sirens were too close.
Joe's car must have noticed it as well, as they stopped making doughnuts and backed up behind one of the mounds. We were all dead, there was nothing we could do. It was too late to run.
But before the colorful lights arrived, a car streaked down the road right past our eyes. It was going really fast and it was followed closely by a police car; lights and sirens blaring. Then a second police car followed suit, but as it drove off I could hear the loud speaker yell, "You punks stay right there! We’re coming back for you!"
Still in shock, no body made a move.
"Is that who I think it is?" I asked Johnny.
Johnny returned a big smile.
"Oh shit! That was Ricardo's car." yelled Brian.
We all started to laugh. Even though I could barely see it, I could swear I heard laughter falling out of Joe's car as well.
"Let's get the hell out of here." yelled Johnny. "No need to wait around to get a ticket!"
"Hit it!" yelled Brian.
I didn't say anything since I was too busy laughing. Seeing Ricardo being chased by the police made my day.
As we drove off, I could see flashes of red and blue shine on the rear window. They must have caught Ricardo, and the second car was coming back for us. I guess it was our turn to run, I hope Johnny was a good driver.
We rolled in to the parking lot next to the softball fields across the street from the Olympic shoppette. The lights from the field were off and there were still a few cars parked in the lot, so we didn't stick out.
"Get down." yelled Johnny.
We all hunkered down and Brian said, "Don't step on the brake, it will give us away. Ricardo said to use the hand brake in situations like this."
Johnny’s hand was already on the brake and it was wrenched. The car settled and we waited. I slowly slouched down to the floor and began my hibernation.
"So what's her name?" asked Johnny.
What the hell? "I don't think now is the appropriate time for us to talk about my love life." I replied in an irritated voice.
"Seems like a good time to me. We don't have much else to do." said Johnny with a smile. "Is she..."
"Hot?" injected Brian. "or is she a butter face."
"Shut up!" I replied, "I already said she was cute, so can we drop this right now."
Everything became silent as we all saw the flashes of white light reflect on the windshield. We all held our breath as the police car rolled slowly by. It seemed to last forever, but eventually the lights went away. The police car was gone, we were spared.
"I can't believe we got away." I said.
"We made it. See I'm a good driver, you can always count on me." replied Johnny.
I smiled and since everything was clear I began to return to myself. With my wits back, I decided to turn the tables on him.
"By the way Johnny, you joined the bet too, how did your date with Trisha go?" I asked.
He thought about it, looked at me, and gave me a big smile. Then he said, "I think that's it for tonight, let's go home."
I guess he didn’t want to tango. But it was alright, I was too tired to dig it out of him anyways.
Johnny started the car and turned on the music.
On our way home Brian asked, "What bet? What are you two talking about? Why do you all have girls? What the hell is going on?"
Johnny and I smiled and decided not to tell him.