From Chapter 2 of Special Times, Special Summers:. It's July 4th. Diane and Mike have just met, really. But already she's turned on the "Flirt-burner". It's JUST a game of Rag Tag...but it's already turning into something more. Read On!
I heard a splash, and a moment later Steve surfaced next to me. Too late, I realized that he had the rag, and he got me in the chest for the second time. I snatched the rag and did a dive, heading for the ladder. I powered the rag into Karl’s behind, finished climbing the ladder, and paused to catch my breath. No such luck, however. I found myself in the water. As I surfaced, I was met by a human projectile I recognized as Steve. He had pushed me in, and somehow he apparently was suffering the same fate. Diane was the only one on the raft. Had she done it? I climbed the ladder and heard her say softly “That one is for you, honey.”
Honey?, I said to myself. Did I hear that right? Did she call me ‘honey’? Not able to make myself believe what I had heard, I stood for a second, until I saw Karl coming up the ladder. No rag. Linda had it but she tossed it on the raft and left the game. Apparently, she had been out on the raft too long. Diane grabbed the rag and went after Steve, who did an amazing back-flip into the water. He apparently came up under the raft, where it was somewhat safe. Diane stood holding the rag, looking at me. I waited to see what she would do, ready to dodge. But Diane surprised me. She walked over to me, placed the rag in my hand, and said “Go get them, Mikey.”
Mikey? I wondered. Nobody has ever called me that before. Karl came up the ladder. I hit him in the belly, and went into the water. Steve followed Karl up the ladder.
In seconds, Karl was in the water, but he still hadn’t gotten rid of the rag. I climbed the ladder and attempted to push Steve in, but the big guy was too strong for me. As I went into the water, I saw Diane coming up after him. She was in the water in a second or two, and we both dived for the underside of the raft. I came up first, grabbing a beam. She surfaced just barely after I did and sputtered incomprehensibly.
“It seems that they want to play ‘king of the raft,’ Diane,” I said. "Let’s go get those idiots!” She took my hand as if to shake it. But she held it too long, and then she said, “Okay. We have a pact.” Now, what was that supposed to mean?
Diane and I teamed up. If I was hit, she would take the rag and hit the person who hit me. I did the same for her. If one of us was pushed in, the other one of us pushed the person who did the pushing. I found myself wondering why I was teaming with her. But I didn’t question the fact that I was teaming with her.
The ringing bell alerted me that Lunch was ready. I excused myself and left the game, and when I did the game broke up. I didn’t go in immediately, knowing that the lunch bell usually meant 10 minutes. I headed for the gym bars. Diane went to the swings. Steve and Adam left the beach entirely and Karl went in, too. The parades had started. That meant it was 2 in the afternoon. Had I been out there that long? Somebody tossed a firecracker behind me. It exploded and I jumped. I glanced around, finally glaring at the offender who was laughing at me. It was a big, burly guy who apparently he thought it was funny. I looked over at the swings. Diane was there, swinging a little but looking directly at me. Then she did something that struck me as a bit weird. She put two fingers to her lips, then lowered them and blew across her fingers, toward me. Then she headed up to the cabin. Once again, a firecracker landed at my feet, and I got out of the way just in time. That one wasn’t an ordinary firecracker. That one was an M-80. It was the equivalent of a quarter stick of dynamite. Same fellow tossed it as before. Not wanting to put up with it, I went to the west side of the beach. And I thought about what Diane just did. Then it occurred to me. She had blown a kiss to me.