Proven part IV
I shut my eyes, enjoying the feel of the wind rushing past me. The whine of the engine filled my ears, vibrating through my whole body. Accompanying it was the steady thud of Alek's heart beat. I peeked over his shoulder, over the handlebars at the road as it passed underneath us.
I had laughed with surprise when Alek had shown me the motorcycle parked outside the apartments. Streaks of gold intertwined as they cut across the snow white undercoat, glistening in the morning sun. He had handed me a black passenger's half-helmet before putting on his own.
As we traveled through the streets of the awakening city, I rested my cheek on his shoulder, allowing the sense of freedom to wash through me. All too soon, Alek slowed the motorcycle and stopped it in front of Gotham Academy. I sighed as I unclipped my helmet and got off the bike. Alek slid up the visor on his helmet and smiled at my resentment.
"You could ditch," he said.
"I've already missed a lot," I said.
"We could go scuba diving in the reef around Happy Harbor," he suggested.
"Don't tempt me. And what do you mean 'we'? You have school too." He scrunched his nose and stuck out his tongue, making me giggle.
"Do I have to go?" he whined. I only rolled my eyes.
"You could join Gotham Academy with me." He certainly had the grades for it.
"With uniforms and a bunch of bratty rich kids?" I slugged him in the arm.
"Ow," he said, "get to class, helmet hair." I frowned and patted down my hair. My side bangs blew across my face in a gust of wind, and I brushed them back in annoyance.
"Oh," Alek exclaimed, "I almost forgot." He reached into his jacket pocket and handed me a small black object. Right off, I thought it was a large bobby-pin. As I got a closer look though, I recognized the shape of a bat.
"Come here," Alek said, setting the kickstand on the bike. I handed him the pin and, as he fixed my bangs back, I realized he was nearly a head taller than me. Alek stepped back to admire his work. "Perfect," he said.
I reached up to feel the black bat perched near my ear. "Consider it an early birthday present."
"I don't turn 14 for another two weeks," I reminded him.
"Then it's a welcome home gift."
I began to point out to him that I had only been gone for 3 days, but decided not to bring it up. "Thank you," I said instead.
"You're welcome," he said, getting back on his motocycle, "now get to class." He slipped down his visor, waved to me, and roared down the road toward Gotham North. Another breeze blew throught the air, and I couldn't help smile as my bangs stayed in place.