My heartbeat is pounding in my head but I can still hear the tires on the rain drunk gravel. My legs pump hard down on the pedals dragging my younger brother behind me. A new stunt invented in a rare moment of cooperation has his dirty hands gripping the metal U at the back of the banana seat. He rolls behind me on white roller skates with tongue pink wheels. Faster! he cries. I pump faster trying to rip him off but I feel his weight. My hair is flying back and around my ears. Salt drips into the corners of my mouth and down my back and legs. Kevin yells something but I can’t hear the words over my breathing, the smell of chlorine, fresh cut grass, and the neighbor’s BBQ smoke. The no handshake deal was struck for me to stop if he yelled. He would never do the same for me if roles were reversed. I convince myself he said Faster.I speed down toward the cul-d-sac but start to lose energy and glance back. His outstretched arms are desperately trying to lift his skinny chest off the tire which has left a long skid mark down the front of his threadbare fabric shield. I push my feet backward to brake and plant both feet on either side of the bike. He lets go and tries to stand with gravel encrusted road rash knees slowing him. I can see the blood through the gapping knee spaces. The area eaten by the pavement. Bright red gushes from the wounds and runs down his shin hidden by the jeans. Why didn’t you stop? His blue eyes question through water and salt. Why didn’t you just let go?