“That’s rather weird.”
“You mean, makes no sense, right?”
“Or that, yeah.”
“Anyway, I tried to make sure he knew not to mess with us, but then I saw his eyes change. And I backed off from him.”
“Really backed off, or just a step?” Catherine asked.
“Yeah, that sounds more like he startled you.”
“That’s what I thought too, but I don’t know.” Alex said.
It was then that Catherine changed the subject. “Nathan and I are having lunch on Wednesday. If you want, come talk to us.”
“Sure. Be glad to.”
After getting the time and place logged on his phone, Alex and Catherine parted ways. Class went by quickly after that, leaving him some time to practice at the Tampa park again.
Sliding out of a Backside Tailslide, now warmed up with practice, he stopped to attempt the 50-50 again. Pulling the board past vertical again, he stood on the truck, balancing on the tail. The floor of the park was much smoother than the driveway, making him think his balance faltered for a second. Leaping from the truck, his fingers twisted the board back around, his feet landing off center and forcing him into a switch tailstop from his weight.
Taking a second to reposition, Alex ran through the trick in his head. He was close, but off somewhere. At the same time, he was getting thirsty. After the next attempt, he would take a break.
Repeating the motions, his board seemed to move a little easier this time, shifting from one hand to the next while he found a balance point. He held it for a second, and then leapt from the truck. Adding a slight backwards hop as his fingers twisted the board, Alex felt his left sole connect before the right. They both landed on the screws for the trucks, sticking him in place as he rolled forward an inch. The sounds of all four wheels clacking at once were the final sign that he had landed the trick.
With a single fist pump, Alex mouthed “Yeah” and went for a drink. The shop was still devoid of the younger customers but a few guys about his age were there. Taking a minute to talk to Walter, whose scent was splotched with a recent meal, he asked about how the demo was going to work. Hearing that there might be a competition as well, Alex felt a twinge of nervousness.
“I haven’t been in any competitions before.”
“Most skaters I know haven’t, so you’re not alone.” Walter said. Alex nodded at that, but the truth was he was already getting chills from the idea of having so many eyes on him.