Kaimoana Tales

by Kiwi


Part 52

They stumbled and slid down the gully to the foot of the hill. Peter was much faster, he reached the bottom long before Ashton did and stood waiting for him to catch up.

"Wow, Peter. I would never have picked you for the athletic type."

"I'm not really. I just work and play hard. There's a lot you don't know about me."

"There is, but I've got a feeling that I'm going to find out."

"I hope so."

"Yeah, me too."

They made their way along the rocks at the foot of the cliffs. Ashton felt like they'd only been there for a few minutes, but it must have been longer than that, the tide had risen a long way since he arrived. Much longer and they would've been getting wet feet.

They didn't, but it was close in places. Back at the car, he pointed the keys at it and it unlocked with a 'beep' and a flash of the lights.

Peter was impressed. "Whoah. Does it have an alarm too?"

"Sure it does. It's got all the bells and whistles. The alarm's off when the doors are unlocked. Do you drive, Peter?"

"No, I've never learnt. We don't have a car."

"None at all?"

"No, we never have."

"We've always had lots. They get them cheap because he's a car-salesman."

"The only one in town. Our lives are very different."

"I think they are, and the more different to mine your life is, the better off you are."

"Do you not like your life, Ashton?"

"I bloody hate it! Damian did too, that's why he did it."

"That is sad. He was a silly boy. I hope that you never do what Damian did."

"I've thought about it. Jump in, Peter, and we'll get going."

They got in and buckled-up.

"Are these seats real leather?"

"Yeah, some poor cow had to die so that you could sit there."

"That's not nice."

"It's not. Especially not for the cow. But they're all going to die anyway."

"I suppose so. Whoah! What are you doing?"

"Just adjusting your seat. They go up and down and in and out at the touch of a button."

"Very cool. Is that a TV screen?"

"No, that's the GPS. The TV's down there."

"I'm so ignorant. What's a GPS?"

"Global Positioning Satellite, I think. The car's computer reads where it is from a satellite up there somewhere, and puts it up in a map on the screen. And, you're not ignorant."

"Wow. That's amazing. Your car has a computer in it?"

"Lots of new cars have these days. No big deal."

"It is a big deal. You have an amazing car, Ashton. What else does it do?"

Ashton took a few minutes to show him all the different features and toys in the Beamer - the TV, the music etc.

"The stereo has even got a remote. Why, I don't know. It's not like you can't reach the buttons on the dash. All that's lacking really is a big flashing sign on the roof, saying, "Look at me!""

"You're not in love with your wonderful car then?"

"No, I'm not. It's just a car. Let's get you home then."

He drove back into town and pulled-up outside Peter's little house.

"Thanks for the ride. That was something I'll remember. It must be comfortable on long trips."

"I guess. I wouldn't know really. I'm only allowed to drive it in the town. The only time I've been anywhere in it was to Christchurch, for Damian, and Dad drove then."

"You don't drive it out of town?"

"No, never. South Bay is as far as I'm allowed to go."

"Oh. Are you coming in?"

"Into your house? Are you sure I'm welcome?"

"You'll always be welcome here, Ashton."

"Thanks. But, what about your parents? Are you allowed visitors?"

"Yes, of course I am. Father is away, working, but Mother is here. She will make you very welcome. Just don't tell her that you're hungry."

"But I am hungry. I've had nothing to eat all day. Still, I can wait; there'll be plenty of food when I get home. There always is after a party, we get the left-overs."

"I think that you won't be wanting any left-overs. Come inside."

Peter untied and opened the driftwood gate and they walked up the side of the house on the new brick path. Well, the path was new, the bricks were old. They'd re-laid the path after the yard was dug-up to get the old bus up there. Ashton followed Peter's lead and they stopped at the back-door and took their shoes off, putting them up in the box screwed to the wall.

Peter pushed the door open. "Hello, Mother. I'm home."

The old lady looked around and her face lit up with a big smile.

"Hello, My Son. It's about time you came home. You know that I worry."

"No worries, Mother. This is my friend, Ashton."

"Another new friend! That is wonderful. Hello Ashton."

"Hey, Mrs, ah, de Groot. Are you sure that it's all right for me to be here?"

"Of course it is. Of course it is. Come and sit by the fire and I'll make us some tea. Are you hungry, Ashton?"

"No, he's not, Mother!" Peter leapt in. "He'll have something to eat but he's definitely not hungry. Please don't over-feed him."

"Nonsense, Peter. I don't over-feed people. Anyway, Ashton is a growing boy. Teenagers are always hungry. Is that not right, Ashton?"

"Well, yeah, I guess I am a little bit hungry."

"Of course you are! Wonderful."

Peter grinned and shook his head. "Oh, dear."

"Sit by the fire and I'll put some more wood on it."

"You'll cook us! I'll look after the fire, Mother. You could get us that drink."

"Peter worries me, you know. You do not eat enough, My Son."

"Mother, I eat plenty. You'd have me as big as a house!"

"I would have you happy and healthy. Boys need their food.

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