When the three looked around the yard, Diane was nowhere to be seen.
“Where’d she go?” asked Jason, panting.
“Maybe she’s chickened out,” Mark said between gulps of air.
“We’ve scared her,” said Corey with a crooked smile.
Mark grinned. “Told you.”
Just then, a familiar roar came from the old pickup truck behind them. Diane sprang out of her hiding place. “Gotcha!”
The boys screamed as they fell facedown on the grass. They begged her to stop.
Diane wouldn’t let it be. She raised an eyebrow. “So who’s better?” she asked. “Boys or girls?”
Mark stared up at her glowing cheeks and fuzzy hair. He held up his hands in an act of surrender.
“OK,” he said. “You’re better. You win.”
The other two nodded.
Diane smiled proudly. But that wasn’t enough for her. “And?”
Mark added hastily, “And faster. Satisfied?”
She smiled, then, fumbling with her pockets, tossed pieces of bubble gum to all of them.