Part Eight

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I stopped at the stoplight and drummed my fingers against the steering wheel, bobbing my head to the beat. I didn't listen to music in my truck that often, but today seemed like an alright day to do that.

                "Are you going to tell me where we're going?" Ryder asked, sticking his feet up on the dashboard.

                I reached over and slapped his feet down, "To hang out with Shawna. I told you."

                "But where? And what are we doing?"

                "She just texted me the address, I have no clue what's going on."

                Ryder sighed, but he was absolutely excited. And I was too. I hadn't seen Shawna since the day at The Bean, and I was looking forward to seeing her. Probably more than I should be. We had texted for the rest of the week a little bit here and there, and I had been sleeping a lot better.

                She was like some sort of cure for insomnia.

                I took the next left and checked the street name to double check we were in the right place. Looking around, I pulled into a parking spot and turned off the truck. "You ready?" I asked Ryder who was just about bouncing in his seat.

                "Yes! Let's go!" he cheered, jumping out of the car and running towards the door to the building.

                I caught up to him and we stepped into the air conditioned lobby, only to see Shawna and her curly-haired friend Allison. "Hey guys!" she beamed at us.

                "Shawna!" Ryder grinned, and then jumped to the point, ignoring all formalities. "What are we doing?"

                "Well, why don't we go and see?" she smiled, wiggling her eyebrows. She turned her chair and her and Ryder disappeared down the hallway.

                "Uh, hey," I gave Allison a polite smile.

                "How's it going?" she laughed at the awkwardness between us. "I hear you've succumbed to Shawna's charms just like everyone else."

                I blinked, "What?"

                "I mean, she pretty much sucks whoever she wants into being her friend. She's just like that."

                "Oh... well, I mean..."

                Allison laughed, "Come on, let's catch up to them."

                I rubbed the back of my neck and followed after her, watching her curls bounce as she walked. I didn't really know how to act around Allison, I had only talked to her the one time at the park. And that was brief. But she was friends with Shawna, and if I was going to be friends with Shawna, I needed to get a long with her friends too.

                "So what did you guys plan for—" I stopped as we came through the doorway into a big gymnasium with basketball nets. And there in front of me was Shawna, in her wheelchair...

                And my little brother in one as well.

                He was grinning so widely it looked like his face would split as he held a basketball in his lap.

                "Mark, we're playing wheelchair basketball!"

                Allison grabbed two wheelchairs from the side and rolled one to me before plopping herself in her own. She rolled around and turned with ease, she must have done this before. She charged towards Ryder and he started laughing, putting his hands on his wheel and pushing himself forward. But he was either laughing too hard, or he just wasn't good at pushing the chair, so he didn't go very fast. Allison slowed herself down accordingly, and chased him around the gym.

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