BratThe sound of playing cards rhythmically slapping against bicycle spokes echoed down the poorly paved road. Dusk settled gently, summoning neighborhood streetlights to begin their flickering beam dance.

Moisture laden air pasted Belamie’s bangs against her forehead. Her light cotton tank top cringed against damp glistening skin, an occasional faint breeze shifting wisps of long light brown hair across her shoulders. With a firm grip on the turned up handlebars, Belamie effortlessly steered the stolen bike.

Placing her left hand behind her she twisted around, checking on her best friend peddling methodically behind. Sari seemed as if she just stepped down from pages of a glamour magazine, even eloquently supporting a heavy white plaster cast, resulting from bunion surgery in late April. The hospital casing surrounded her in certain fame, enveloping around her as a fairytale. Every inch of plaster from toes to kneecaps shared heartfelt wishes, funny drawings to make her laugh and phone numbers by the dozen.

Belamie’s homespun “girl-next-door” cuteness, as her mother described her, sprinkled dimpled cheeks in a light dusting of  freckles, the sunspots becoming more prominent when she played outside, deepening and fluttering about her face. To Belamie’s dismay, not one single remedy her Grandfather Anderson presented to rid her of the spreading freckles ever worked, though she tried everything with high hopes.

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