It was a typical summer morning for Rusty on the farm. He woke up to the sunlight gently seeping into his room, and quickly threw on a pair of jeans and a shirt. Then he went outside to feed the cows and get the eggs from the chickens. After that, he went back inside to cook breakfast (eggs and toast), and then brought the wonderful smelling breakfast up to his dad.
Around 9 AM, neighbors started pouring into Rusty’s side lawn with broken bikes, mowers, and more, so he can fix them.
“Good morning, Rusty!” said Mr. Ross, the next door neighbor, “My mower broke again, and I’m not sure what happened. Do you think you can look at it real quick?” Rusty had always been a hands-on person, and it was no surprise to anyone that he could fix anything.
“Sure. No Problem!” Rusty spent almost his entire day fixing things for people. Everyone in the neighborhood loved him for the fact that he could fix things that they couldn’t, but they also felt bad because between working the farm, fixing things for people, and taking care of his father left no time to do things that normal 16 year olds do. However, there was one thing Rusty enjoyed, and it was driving his UTV around, since he did not have many athletic abilities or hobbies. Rusty was decent at driving his UTV, unlike all other sports he tried when he was younger. For example, he played soccer, baseball, basketball, but none of the sports seemed to like Rusty. But because of his busy schedule, he never got used to doing things that made him happy.
At 10:00 AM, Minty, Rusty’s best friend came over. Rusty was in his UTV, so he pulled up right next to Minty.
“Whats up, Minty?” he said, “Want to go for a ride?”
“Sure,” She replied, with a mischievous grin on her face, “Did you practice your donuts?”
“Nah, I’ve been busy,”
Minty nodded at the remark, and hopped into the familiar, plastic seat, that smelled like rainwater.
There was this tree in the back of the farm, with grass surrounding it, and it was Rusty’s favorite place to do donuts. He could drift around the tree spinning the UTV around it, and making himself and Minty super dizzy until they felt sick. After a little while, Rusty parked and turned off the UTV to take a break, and he and Minty sat down on the grass.
“So what have you been up to lately?,” said Minty, while laying down into the soft grass, torn up by the rough wheels of the vehicle.
“Nothing much, just the usual,” replied Rusty, noticing the guilty look on Minty’s face. “Wait, I know that expression! What have you done?” he exclaimed jumping up and brushing himself off.
“Well,” Minty took a deep breath and continued, “I may have signed you up for a small competition in Albany, and the prize is 1,000 dollars.”
“A UTV race.”
Minty’s face started scrunching up so she was almost squinting at Rusty.
“Minty, how could you? You know I need to stay here and take care of my father and the farm,” Rusty’s nostrils flared, and his face turned red was like a tomato. His fists were clenched so hard that they hurt, with his nails digging into his skin, “You know what?” He said, teeth clenched so hard you could barely hear him, “I need time to think, so you can walk home.” And with that he jumped into the UTV, put on his helmet, and sped away. Minty just stood in awe, her face expression almost frozen in time.
How could he react like that? I thought I was doing him a favor, Minty thought. And with tears swelling her eyes and making her vision blurry, she began her journey home.The next day, by 10 AM, Minty didn’t show up. With every hour that passed, the guilt in Rusty’s chest rose a little bit higher. So he decided to make Minty’s favourite cookies, pumpkin spice-chocolate chip, and went to apologize.
When he got to Minty’s house, her mom, Jessica, said that she went to his house, and so he figured he went on a different route and missed her. So he left the cookies with her mom, and walked the short trek back home. When he got home, he had this strange feeling when he went closer to the front door. The chipped paint of the door, the creaks of the porch, and the door handle almost sagging made it worse. When he opened it, he saw his dad and Minty waiting for him, on the old, broken-leather couch looking both concerned, and excited. But he sensed no anger in their expressions.
“Son, Minty told me everything.” his dad said, exhaling a breath, that he had seemed to have held for a very long time, “I want you to participate in that race. It will benefit you, and you could finally get the dirt bike you’ve been wanting since you were four.”
“Dad, I need to stay and he–,” his father cut him off.
“Enough son. I am a grown man and I can do things myself, and besides, I think I will come and watch you, if you do it.”
Rusty’s dad hadn’t left the house in a long time, after his mother passed away unexpectedly, so he was confused and happy at the same time.
“Dad, if you come I will do it.”
“So then what are you waiting for, the race is today and we need to go! Minty already packed snacks, and if you didn’t notice, your old man already loaded the UTV onto the trailer.” Rusty was in shock, and he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He was so grateful for Minty. “Go get your gear on, and be ready in the car in five.”
Rusty had little waves of water beginning to block his eyesight, so he ran up the stairs before anyone could see him cry. There was so much information, in such a little amount of time, that Rusty’s brain had no time to take in what was going on. So in five minutes, the car was packed, and the group took off on their half an hour journey, to the capital of their state.
When they arrived, they pulled up to a dirt and rock parking spot, and went to check in. Minty had gotten Rusty a promoter discretion ahead of time, so all they had to do was check in. Before they went to the check in desk, Minty tapped him on the shoulder.
“Listen, I’m sorry if I did something wrong, but I was only trying to help. So I got you a small gift.”
“Minty, it was my fault. I shouldn’t have lashed out at you like that.’
“It’s ok, but I was worried that you weren’t making any money because you are so selfless, so I thought that the money that you could win here could be useful. Anyways, here is your racing jersey. Your name is written on the back.”
Rusty’s eyes filled with joy, “Thank you so much Minty! And because of you, I think I may start charging small fees to fix things for people.”
“Ok kids, lets go,” said Rusty’s father.
When they arrived at the check-in tent, the man told him that he would be racing in the UXC3 Pro-Am race. Then he told them that Rusty had a practice race in 15 minutes so he had to get the UTV to the start.
Rusty did the practice round, and when it was time for his race, he suited up. His palms were sweating buckets, and his gloves were only making it worse. He had thousands of butterflies in his stomach, but was so excited. He lined up his UTV in the line of other racers, and prepared himself for the acceleration that could win the race.
Once the horn sounded, Rusty raced to the finish, he came out first, of the entire group, and that gave him an advantage. When Rusty rounded the final bend, a boy took his place on first. Rusty had to do something about this. A jump was coming up, so Rusty decided this was his chance to win. He put all his force on the gas pedal, and went flying over the last jump. It felt like forever before Rusty landed, and when he did, he realized that he had won.
“Yeah, I won!” Rusty shouted.
After the award ceremony and collecting his trophy, a professional racer came up to him.
“Have you thought about doing this more often?” Ashley Fiolek said.
“No,” Rusty said, with a huge smile on his face, “But I think I will.”