Why yes, I’ll Marry You Brad! –
The pungent and acrid odor of epoxy filled the room. Sixteen year old Steve Madison carefully poured the fluid over the fiber material creating a fiberglass hall for his downhill racer. His dad, Thomas, helped him smooth out the bubbles and soon, the new shell was formed and cured for a day. A few days later, the two broke the shell out from its form and they began to file away the edges and sanded it down. Having accomplished their tasks, they took it into a clean room and spray painted it a fiery red. A few days later, they bolted the new shell to the chassis of Steve’s racer. They were ready for the down hill race through the streets of Pearisburg.
Steve and his dad then picked up the racer, put it in the back of their Ford 150, and headed off to a spot in the nearby hills were Steve could practice and get used to his racer. The two blocked off a decent fire road with cones and took the race up to the top of the hill. Steve put on his helmet and waited for his Dad to get to the bottom of the hill. Dad raised a flag and swooped it down with vigor starting a stop watch as he did so. They spent the afternoon tweaking and refining Steve’s driving techniques and the actions of the wheels until Steve had improved his performance down the hill by a stunning twenty seconds.
The following weekend, they checked in with the racer, named The Engine that Could, at the racing tent and waited out their heats. There would be seven double elimination heats where the winners would move on to the semi-finals. There would be four heats in the semi-finals leading to the finals. Three heats would yield the winners of the race.
The race went well for Steve. It came down to the last heat of the race. He would either be first or third. Thomas came up to his son and said, “Okay Steve, you know you can do this. Just believe in yourself. Remember, your sister is counting on you to win this one for her. She has been through a lot with her surgeries. You will be her champion!”
The Engine that Could, with Steve in the driver’s seat lined up at the starting gate. They raised the back of his car until it was a thirty-five degree angle. He looked next to him. His competition was being lift up to his thirty-five degree angle. They looked at each other. The tension between them was fierce. They both wanted to win.
Coming out of the gate, Steve slipped in behind the Grey Ghost and slip streamed down the first part of the course. The driver of the Grey Ghost was trying his best to lose Steve, but he hung on his tail. Coming around the last curve, Steve went into action. The heavy head wind on the Grey Ghost gave Steve the chance to swerve tightly into the curve and shoot past him. The last forty yards was an all out race between the two as they scream to the finish line. Steve focused on keeping his vibrations down. Try as he might, the Grey Ghost couldn’t gain ground on him and The Engine that Could crossed the finish line first.
Rolling to a stop, Steve jumped out and hugged his Dad. Then he turned around and went over to the driver of the Grey Ghost and put out his hand. “Well fought my friend!” he said. The two men shook hands and hugged. Steve spoke into his ear. “I won. Are you going to keep your promise?” The driver nodded and beamed.
Slowly, he took off his helmet and reached into his pocket and pulled out a small velvet case. He walked over to Steve’s Dad and said, “Do I have your approval sir?”
“Yes you do.” Thomas stepped aside revealing his daughter. There was Steve’s sister looking simply radiant in a simple sun dress.
The driver walked up to her, dropped to one knee and said, “Veronica, will you marry me?”
She thought about how much she loved him. How he helped her through her transition and struggle to go from Larry to Veronica. Her eyes filled with tears as she said, “Why yes, I’ll marry you Brad!”
Copyright © 2017 by AuP reviner
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