Friday at school could not be over soon enough. I could not wait to go play around in the Camaro that night around town then head over to Freeport for Saturday night. Emily walked into English class, I could not keep my eyes off of her. Was what I heard really true? Would she like someone who was in to cars like I am? I would like to think so but you never know. She “accidently” dropped her pencil a couple of times during class and I grabbed it each time and handed it back to her. She gave me a slight smile every time.
The rest of the day seemed to drag on and it felt like the school day would never end. When the last class ended with the bell, I walked out to the Bug to head home. Emily was walking through the parking lot at the same time and she walked over to me and said, “Hi I am Emily, you are in my English class, what is your name?” I felt like a deer caught in the headlights but finally was able to get the words out, “… I’m Joe. The Chevelle you drive is really nice, is it yours?” “Yes, my Dad gave it to me when I got my license. I really like it.” Like a goofball, I said, “I really have to go, lots of things to do” She said, “Oh ok, that’s cool. See you next week?” “See you then” I said. As I drove home I played the last few minutes over and over in my head and thought how stupid could I have been. I should have asked her to go get ice cream or something, or I should have said this or that. I am such a nerd.
When I got home, I decided to not go cruising in the Camaro but keep working on the little details to assure that when I go up against the Vette, everything will be working like it is suppose to.
Saturday I cleaned up the Camaro, inside and out. Funny how a car gets dirty by just sitting in the garage. Finally it was time to go top off the tank and head over to Freeport. I felt like how a soldier must feel when he mounts up to go to battle. Time to put on my game face and go find that Corvette.
I met Danny at his garage where he was about to start up the Vega to head out to Freeport. He said that when we find the Vette whoever get in position to race the other will back off and let it happen. A few minutes later, I was following the V8 Vega as we drove the speed limit for the 20 mile drive. I thought how cool that Vega looks on the road with the fat tires sticking out of the rear wheel wells. I also played over and over what Emily said yesterday afternoon and how stupid I was. Time to focus on tonight!
We drove Main Street over and over looking for the Vette. Danny and I were both challenged by other cars but turned them down, we knew who we wanted to race. At around 9:00 I saw the red Corvette going the other direction. Danny saw it too and did a quick U-turn. I followed. After a couple of blocks Danny pulled his Vega up next to the Corvette. The Corvette raised his RPMs when the cross street light turned yellow, so did Danny. The light turned green and both were gone in a heartbeat. I could not see who was leading as I tried to keep up without drawing any attention to my Camaro. The race looked close. As we always did after a couple of blocks in a race, the Vega turned left at the next intersection, and the Vette went about half a block and turned right onto a side street. We do this in case any Police may be after us. I caught up with Danny at a nearby parking lot.
“So, how did it go?” I asked. Danny responded, “Man that Vette is radical and he knows how to drive. He beat me by about half a car length. He was banging through the gears and pulled ahead each time. He is a tough guy to race.” I said, “I am ready for him.”
Back on the street I was on the warpath, I had to find that Vette. I finally saw it with some other cars around it as it drove. I made my way up next to it. I could not see who was driving, I tried to see but since it was dark out, and adrenaline pumping I was more focused on setting up the race. Apparently he saw me too and started to pace me in the lane to my right. The next light was still green but we drove slower to make the red light. The light turned yellow then red, so we both stopped. I looked over to see who was driving but still could not tell who it was, their window was up. I saw the cross street light turn yellow so I brought up my RPMs and I could hear the Vette rev up their RPMs. This is the moment I worked so hard for, don’t blow it!
The light turned green and I dumped the clutch and kept the gas pedal flat to the floor. When I hit a little over 8,000 RPMs, I shifted to second. The Vette was in sync with me on the shift. Both cars lurched forward in unison with each gear change. At the next light where it was known as the finish line I pulled ahead of the Vette by about a foot. I had the win!
I went left at the next intersection and the Corvette went right. A few minutes later I pulled into a parking lot hoping the Vette would pull in too. Danny drove his Vega into the parking lot. He was laughing as he walked over to the Camaro, “Man that was AWESOME! Did you take him?” I said, “I barely did. I pulled ahead right at the last”
We then heard something with open pipes pull into the parking lot, both turned to see who it was. The Red Corvette loped over to us. I was dying to see who was driving. The Vette stopped, shut down the engine and the driver’s door opened. “Wow, the driver is a girl!” I said. She started walking over to us and it was not just a girl, it was Emily! I was at a loss for words as usual. Emily said, “I thought you drove a Bug”. I responded, “I thought you drove a Chevelle!” She said “I do drive a Chevelle, and this” as she pointed to the Vette.
We all stood around our cars talking for what was about half an about an hour. Emily told us how she saved up for this Vette before she got her license. She and her Dad built it into the monster it is today. The Air Force Base where they used to live let them race it on one of the runways on Saturday nights. Since they moved here the only place she could race it was here in Freeport. Danny said "At least the runway was legal, here you have to watch for the Police". As we re-lived our race, I said, “You sure know how to drive! The way you hit the gears was like art.” Emily smile as she said, “Thanks”. "You know I let you win" as she smiled. Danny said “It is tradition here that whoever loses has to give the winner their shifter handle” as he handed over the shifter handle from the Vega. Emily took it and walked back to the Vette. She returned a minute later with the shifter handle from the Vette. As she handed it to me she said, “Don’t lose this, I will get it back later after our next race.”