It’s a cool, Georgia, Wednesday afternoon - not quite 80°f. The sky is clear, and the sun is dazzling against the cadet blue sky. Its reflection is multiplied a thousand small times, creating glittering, broken mirror glares that ripple, relentlessly, across the water’s blue surface.
On the lake, if you’re not wearing polarized sunglasses, then you’re going to suffer - no worries though, we have drawers full of them. We’re on my parents' Tiara-43 ski boat, at anchor in the sheltered-cove of an uninhabited island. It’s windy, Leong and I, bikinied and fresh from the water, race shivering for our giant, Turkish-linen beach-towels.
Charles, a large, redheaded, retired, NYC cop, (who’s been my full-time driver and escort since I was 9), is our boat-captain (I am not allowed to dock the boat). Charles, a chef of steaks nonpareil, is working the grill and unconsciously swaying to the music. The aroma is mouthwatering, and my tummy is growling with anticipation.
Ashe’s “Another man’s jeans” is bumpin’ from the stereo, and I can’t help but feel this somehow beats going to class. As we wrap up and settle in our lounges, a green and white ski boat careens into view, about a quarter mile from the cove entrance.
The sight of it makes me smile. It’s going so fast that it seems to hover over the surface of the lake, only jerking slightly as the boat lightly touches-off the water. It zeros in on us like a missile, its approach flat out - perhaps 60mph (52 knots).
I knew who it was instantly - Kimmy - of course. I look at my watch - 3:30pm - she got out of school at 2:15 and must have made a hot bee-line for us using “find my friends” GPS telemetry to uncover our hidden cove location.
As the boat edges the cove lip, Kim cuts power - the boat heaves as it settles into the water and quickly decelerates. Charles, anticipating the approaching wake, secures things (spices and utensils) in the galley area. When the boat’s closer, I can see that Bili’s onboard too.
Kim and Bili are my two homie BFFs. They’ll graduate high school in 2 weeks. Kim is a small, pretty Asian American bound for Brown University, to study public policy in the fall. Bili is a tall, gorgeous, chocolate-brown Nubian princess who’ll attend the University of California, at Berkeley to study “financial engineering” - whatever that is.
When Kim’s boat is about 80 feet from us, Kim and Bili jump on deck, water-ready in bathing suits. Each girl, used to the boating-life, tosses an anchor - one to port, one starboard, and not bothering to look back, dive off the bow and begin swimming toward us.
Kim’s boat, which briefly seemed intent on catching them, jerks to a stop, like a wild thing suddenly restrained, as anchor lines catch.
When Kim and Bili draw along aside, they reach up with clasped hands which Charles uses, like a handle, to smoothly hoist them one-handed, as if they were weightless, in turn, from the water with long mastered ease - presenting them to me for squealing embrace.
As I excitedly introduce them to Leong - summer has officially begun.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Nonpareil: "having no equal."