The basketball slapped the sidewalk as they walked, John doing a slow dribble as he explained the rules of the sport. Skylar would repeat things back to him growing confident enough they swiped the ball from John and ran a few feet ahead. They took a moment to run their fingertips around the ball, examining the tiny bumps and smooth lines across the sphere. Dribbling wasn't too hard, but Skylar hadn't thought beyond their actions of bouncing the ball off the ground. Glancing over their shoulder, sticking their tongue out at John, they failed to see the small rock on pavement.
The basketball hit the rock, bouncing off to the side instead of straight back up to Skylar 's hand. John laughed as he watched his basketball fly over the strip of grass next to the sidewalk and roll across the asphalt street.
"Sorry." Skylar pointed to the ball, "I'll get it." They had one foot over the edge of the curve when John's hand grabbed her arm and yanked her back just as a green pickup sped past. Hair blew in front of their face, their heart raced, and John's voice sounded much quieter than the thumping in their ear.
"I thought we talked about looking both way before crossing the street." Was his first mutter, before he leaned forward a little to look at Skylar's face whose eyes were wide and skin pale. "You okay? I didn't yank your arm out of the socket or anything right?" Yet he still shook Skylar's arm a little as if that would tell him the answer. Which if Skylar reacted at all, he might have had one. But there wasn't even a blink.
John snapped his fingers in front of Skylar's face. Finally they blinked and turned to John. “Right,” Skylar glanced towards where the speeding truck had gone. “Sorry, I’m fine. Thanks John.”
“You’re welcome.” He pulled his hand away and this time Skylar’s hair whipped back and forth as they looked both ways before stepping off the curb. They jogged across the street and scooped up the basketball.
“Catch!” Skylar pushed the ball through the air right back to John. He caught the ball and grinned back at Skylar.
“The park’s not far, let’s go play.”
“And I promise to look out for rocks when dribbling.” Skylar crossed the street again and threw an arm around John’s shoulders.
Word count: 399