“You don’t know how to waterski?” Brad. “Are you kidding me?”
“Shush, man,” I said quietly. I looked around and saw that all the beautiful ladies around were all watching me and laughing. I felt like giving Brad a knock on the head for blurting out my secret like that.
We were on the beach and relaxing in a restaurant where there were many people. With Brad and me was Stanley. The three of us had been together since we were three years old. Our parents were best friends since they were kids.
Brad, Stanley and I had always done most things together. We were in the same class, did the same sports, played the same games, and we were even planning to go to the same college, maybe also be roommates. One thing that we didn’t do together was date the same girl.
We were on holiday, and a time like this, we usually visited several places to have fun. This time, we were in Miami where Brad’s older brother had a restaurant and a lot of boats which he rented out to people. The bar was a wonderful place with lots of tourists and most especially, beautiful ladies.
Of the three of us, I was the only one who didn’t know how to waterski. Brad’s brother, Jeff, had taught Brad and Stanley how to waterski one time when I was unable to follow them down here. That time, I was a little bit unwell and had to go and spend the vacation with my grandfather in Virginia.
For the vacation this time, after listening enviously to the others talk and talk about their last visit to Miami, I had suggested that we traveled down here again so that I could experience what they had experienced. Everything was going beautifully well since we arrived yesterday until Brad blurted my secret with his big mouth.
Stanley gave me a disbelieving look. “Is it true that you have never water skied before?” he asked quietly. I appreciated his discretion.
“I haven’t,” I replied quietly.
“What?” Brad almost screamed again.
“What is your problem, Bradley?” I whispered fiercely.
“Sorry, it’s just I don’t believe that you haven’t waterskied before,” Brad said.
“I didn’t follow you guys the last time you came here, remember?”
“Hmm. That’s true,” Brad said.
“Well, you are here now, “Stanley said. “You can’t go back to New Mexico without learning how to waterski.”
“Well, how am I going to learn? Will you guys teach me?” I asked.
“Nah, Jeff will teach you,” Brad said. “Come on, let’s go and meet him.”
We all walked inside the restaurant which also doubled as a bar and walked over to Jeff who was playing a kind of game on his mobile phone.
“Hey Jeff, we need your help,” Brad said.
Jeff paused his game and looked up at us. “What can I help you guys with?”
“One of us needs to learn how to waterski,” Stanley said.
“What? Are you telling me that one of you doesn’t know how to waterski?” Jeff said. I rolled my eyes. “Oh, I know it would be you, Mike. I know I taught these two little guys some years back.”
Before Jeff and Stanley could protest that they were not little, I quickly spoke up. “I need to learn.”
“No problem. Get some rest. We start tomorrow.”
“Thanks, Jeff,” I said, but he was already engrossed in his game again.
Immediately we left him, and I went to the library to read and do researches about waterskiing. Brad and Stanley tried to stop me from going, saying that they would teach me all I needed to know but I ignore them. They had no other choice than to follow me.
I read everything I needed to learn. I also checked the pictures section on waterskiing in many different books. As I reviewed the pictures, Brad and Stanley made a lot of noise as they both tried to show me their knowledge. Some library attendants threatened to kick us out of the library if we wouldn’t stop making a noise.
My two friends talked and talked about what they had learned while I tried my best to ignore them wishing the morning would come quickly.
The next morning, I was up early, and I woke up all the others. Jeff was an early riser. He was already waiting for us by one of his boats in the pier. The boat was a fast-moving one. While Brad and Stanley got into the boat, Jeff and I stood outside it while he explained the basic things I needed to know. They were similar to what I had read in the library.
“First, you need a life jacket,” Jeff said. “Can you swim very well?”
“Great. Now, to the skis.”
He brought out a pair of skis, and I put my legs inside them. The holes fit my legs perfectly.
“For now, we have to tie the skis together since you are still a learner. We don’t want any trouble no, do we?”
Right then, I was scared, and I wanted to tell him that I was no longer interested but then I figured that if Brad and Stanley could do it, I could too.
Jeff taught me all the signals that water-skiers use while skiing. It also tallied with what I had read in the books. Books were great, but you would learn more from humans who have passed through the experience and also show the experience to you.
“Before you can ski on the water,” Jeff was saying. “You need to learn the proper stance on the land first.”
He directed me in the cannonball position. I held the handle in the man, and my legs in the skis and Jeff pulled on the other end of the rope. We did this several times until Jeff was satisfied that I was becoming good at it.
Then we ventured to the river. With the others in the boat, he started very quickly. I held the handle very tightly and thus began my first ever waterski. I applied all my training, and even Brad and Stanley cheered me.
I was not as brilliant as Jeff who could perform a lot of skills, but I was getting there. With practice comes perfection.