Part I: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
Midnight in a calm and desperate place… there is a quiet rapture that wraps itself around the cool breeze gently swirling across the parking lot. What this will mark is the beginning of both the sweetest and maybe the most painful ride.
The ground was damp after an early rain, it was around 4 A.M. and there was only a few cars parked in this parking lot. The lot sat in front of a grocery store whose bright lights lit it up. A man dressed in black jeans, black clogs, a purple and black button down shirt leaned against his car smoking. One foot was firmly planted on the ground and the other on the front bumper. His jet black hair glistened in the parking lot’s light since he had been out there during the rain… smoking. Why was this man out there? Why was he smoking out in the rain? Why did he choose to smoke outside of that grocery store? Why did he choose that position? There are many questions one could ask about this fellow’s dilemma. Why not start not too much earlier, rather 7 hours earlier at 9 P.M. Why not get it from his point of view because after all it is his story.
Ah man… out of smokes… I’d have to go to the store to get some more. But fuck man, I need to quit. Not for all those people telling me to. Just for myself. That’s how I wanted it. If I had to do anything I would only have to do it for myself. It was dark and quiet outside my house. I breathed in the cool night air through my nostrils and just stared down the dirt path that I called my drive way. I just stared into the darkness at the end of it.
“Shit!” The time light on the front of the house went on and scared me shitless. I wasn’t expecting that. Not at all! Damn… my nerves have been on ends recently… I don’t know why. Just because it was the end of the school year, ready for college. Yeah… I am really ready… I think about it leaving my friends, leaving the people I went through High School with hurt… a lot. That’s enough to make me feel sick and on edge. Thinking I should do something productive I went into the house. What to do? What to do? Nothing good was in the house. Just to sit in front of my T.V. for long hours of the night for just some parts of my brain to be stimulated in some way but not in an educational way didn’t really do it for me. Or sit in front of the computer and eat, drink, and play some bullshit game that has no reason and no pay off just to be left with that emptiness that I began with. Or watch internet porn just to satisfy one need of mine which was a meaningless need when I could go to a strip club to see almost the same thing. Fine, I was going out. I picked up the jacket that was laid over the counter and picked it up. It was a damp and cold summer night I may need it. I turned the light off in the kitchen since I knew I wasn’t going to be back for awhile nor were my parents.
I went through the door that connected the kitchen to the garage. I pressed the button to open my garage door and that triggered the garage light. That made my recently waxed Mustang sparkle and that was nice. I walked to the door, opened it and got in. Put my key in and turned the car on. It was a relatively decent car; at least I thought it was. It was not vintage but it was nice. I had installed a new stereo in there that made the music sound nicer than with the original stereo.
I turned on the radio and put Metallica’s Kill Em All album in and cranked it up. That album was meant to be played loud. I put it into gear and rolled out of the garage. I pressed the button on my visor that closed the garage door. Then I was rolling by now it was 9:15 P.M. and just the beginning of the night. I pulled the cell out of my jacket’s front pocket which was on my passenger seat and called up my friend John.
He picked up and said, “Hello.”
“What’s good, motherfucker?” I replied.
“Jack mah boy. Everything is good. Partying in an hour and you’re invited.” John said.
“Sweet. I will be there.” I said.
“Aight man. See ya then.”
“Peace.” I said.
I then hung up the phone. Took a deep breath and kept driving. I brought down all four windows of my car and sped up. Down the dark, long, and narrow dirt driveway I drove. I already craved another cigarette but I didn’t know what to do. Get one now or just drive around until the party and hope the cool air could satisfy me for awhile.
Time finally came 15 minutes early when John called me again.
“Party is starting earlier than suspected man. Come now and ride like the wind.” John said on the phone.
“I am 5 minutes away. I will be right there.” I said and hung up.
I could hear the music all the way down the street when I pulled into his development. It was a muffled Kick Out the Jams by the MC5. I knew John was playing it for me since he knew it was my favorite song. That and he knew I was probably going to show up during some part of the song. No place close to park so I pulled to the side of the road like 4 houses down. This busy and it just start holy shit. I rolled up the windows, stepped out of the car and locked it. Took a deep breath and walked down the side walked which lined the streets. Then walked to the back of the house then around to the back and let myself in through the gate of the fence that went around the backyard. The party was already in full swing. The party was going on inside and outside because I could see lots of people drinking in the kitchen. I could also see a lot of kegs too. The back yard was lit up with those torches things. Making it sort of tropical looking though it was chilly and people were swimming anyways.
I saw John a few feet away standing on the picnic table. He was a tall kid with brown hair. He idolized Keith Buckley the main singer from Every Time I Die so he had the moppy sort of brown hair that the singer had. He was unshaven with both his ears pierced. I don’t know if Keith has those or he just customizing the look. He was wearing a wife beater, with blue jeans and black cowboy boots. He also was wearing a pair of aviator glasses. He had a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. I’ve seen the kid sober maybe in middle school but once High School started that was his usual look and disposition.
He was surrounded by girls sitting around the table and a few guys standing up listening to what he had to say. He loved ranting about shit and he chose to stand on that picnic table. I asked what his platform was. He replied with “Beer, Blondes, and Bitches”. I then asked him why he said “…Blondes and Bitches” because I thought it was the beer talking since he sorta said the same thing. He then came back with “Well Blondes are a rare breed of craziness”. I then didn’t ask anymore because it was just gonna get weirder. He spotted me and gave me a wave. He then jumped off the table and walked over to me.
“What up, bitch? Enjoying yourself?” John asked me.
“I just got here man.”
“Oh, well enjoy yourself. Beer is in the kitchen, and women all-“ He stopped abruptly, “You don’t look good.”
“I need a cig.” I said.
“Oh here you go.” He pulled his pack of camels out of his pocket, took a cig out and handed it to me. I took it and lit it with my lighter. “If you need anything else man just ask.”
“Just don’t work on that chick over there. That’s Ami and she’s mine, man.” John said.
“No problem man. I won’t. I will see you around man.” Just then 50 Cent’s High All the Time came on over the system he had set up. That song gave me a good feeling and I was ready to party. I walked into kitchen. Six guys were sitting around the kitchen. Patrick manned the kegs, Robert next to him. Across from those two were Ian, Zach, and Jefferson, one of the only black guys at the party. All five of them sat on the counter. Then there was Mark who just leaned against one of the counters. The light was dim but gave a perfect atmosphere.
“Hey Jack.” Robert said.
“What’s up?” Jefferson asked. The other guys nodded and waved. Patrick already began pouring a cup, and then handed it to me.
“I assume this is what you are here for.” Patrick said.
“Yeah, thanks man.”
“Well were always open.” Patrick said. I then turned around. That was extremely awkward. The guys were on the baseball team and I was on the freshman year and I played with those guys. I quit though because I couldn’t deal with the ego maniacs on the team. Jefferson and Robert I could handle because they weren’t that bad. Patrick on the other hand was the worse. I told him to shut the fuck up the 3rd day into practice. That didn’t go over to well. So I have been sportless the last 3 years of High School and it was fine and its over so it’s all good.
I went back outside, still puffing on my camel, I looked took a view of what was going outside. The party was just starting. I hope I wouldn’t have to go home tonight because I couldn’t deal with my mother in the morning asking where the hell I was. She didn’t like me drinking because I was under aged. Also she was a single parent with two kids. It was me and my sister Caroline and she just started High School and in four years she will have to find some way to send me to college. I’d be out by then and hopefully I could get a good job so I could help pay her way. Since that what I was gonna have to do with the help of my mother. My mother already worked too much and I wanted to take some the strain off of her when my sister gets to college. Since I’d do anything for my younger sister. It was weird sometimes when I think it leads to deeper and bigger things. I always wondered if everyone thinks like this. Whatever.
Oh, open pool chair. I went over and sat in it. I kept looking at what was going on all around the pool. Lots of people were swimming. Some people in their clothes and some out of their clothes. The female’s bodies glistening in the moonlight and from the torches. It was pretty nice, it was a pretty rocking party so far. Others were sitting around the pool, some getting PDA. John was still on the picnic table being the good host. The Zombies’ Time Of the Season came on over the system. Flash back whoa. My cell phone rang and I was John. I looked over to him across the pool he pointed to his cell and I answered it and he did too.
“Mingle the fuck around. I don’t want to see you moping around because you’re going to college in a few weeks. You’re supposed to have fun the last two weeks.” I was looking at him the whole time we were talking on the phone. “One last thing, drink some more beer.” He held up his glass and hung up. I got up and headed back for a refill on my beer. Yeah what the fuck was wrong with me… I was supposed to be having fun. That’s it I am not going to think about college anymore until I have to go. I went to the screen door into the kitchen and got a refill on my beer. Jefferson pointed to the funnel in his hand. I was said sure and funneled some beer then went back out. Walked over to my chair and there was a girl sitting in it.
“Hi.” She said.
“Um hello.” I said.
“This your chair?” She asked.
“Well it was. I will just stand then.”
“Oh is that for me.” She took the beer from my hand, “Thanks.”
“Um, no problem.” I turned back to the kitchen to get a new cup. I was back in the kitchen.
“There we go. Now that’s what I call drinking.” Mark said.
“Accually some girl took it from me.” I said.
“Gonna hook up with someone tonight?” Jefferson asked.
“Look I don’t even know this girl. When I went back to sit down in the pool chair she was there and took my beer from me.” I said.
“Man you’re a bitch.” Patrick said. He handed me a glass.
“Well look motherfucker, least I am not in sausage heaven.” I then got out of there as fast as I could to avoid a fight and went back over to where I was sitting and she was still there.
“Hello again.” She said. “What is your name?” I was still looking around at the party.”
“Jack.” I said.
“Hey Jack I am down here. You gonna ask my name? Or are you gay or something?” She said. I then looked down at her and gave that I am not amused a look at her. Then I noticed she was wearing white two piece swim suit with red polka dots. She was wearing big sunglasses. She had black hair and a slim body and luscious lips. I took a gulp. This girl was really good looking. Since my break up about 4 weeks ago I haven’t really done much. Haven’t looked at girls the same way and just been a recluse. What was I getting myself into? Am I setting myself up to get hurt? What the fuck I can’t worry about this stuff and I took a big gulp of my beer and went with the flow. Be Jack not the fool…
“What’s your name?”
“Kelly.” Hmm the beer was starting to kick in. I did a lot of funneling. I was getting the good buzz.
“It’s nice to meet you Kelly. You’re a friend of John’s? I don’t think I have ever seen you before.” I said.
“Yeah I didn’t go to your high school. I went to McNamara High.”
“I know someone there.” I said.
“Aaron Hudra. Know him?”
“You know Aaron? He is a good friend of mine.” Kelly said.
“Really? He is actually my cousin. I haven’t talked to him in awhile. How is he doing?”
“He is doing fine I guess. He is going to Ithaca for Business. Other than that I don’t know. He doesn’t like talking about his personal life.”
“Yeah I know. I never figured out why.” I said. “I think it is because his parents are split up. I think something happened to him during that time because it wasn’t two long ago. Beginning of senior year I think.”
“I see hmm. Tell me a little about yourself, Jack.”
“I don’t know. My name is Jack Kinsey. I am 18 and going to college in two weeks. I got a lot of my mind. Sorry if I don’t sound too interesting.” I said.
“Don’t worry about it. I think all the people here are in that same mind set. Thinking about college and drinking to not think about. I am even doing that.” She stood up. Grabbed my hand and sat me in the chair then proceeded to sit on my lap. I hardly knew this girl. “Jack, I want to tell you something. This may come out wrong but that’s probably why I because of the alcohol. Thing is I like you. I think you’re really cute. I think I want to kiss you.”
She got up again and startled the chair. I proceeded to look over to John and he was already looking at me and gave me thumbs up. Well if he approves. I proceeded to kiss her. I closed my eyes and proceeded and continued. I felt her put her around my neck. So I put my arms around here. Her body was cold because she was only wearing the two piece. Her skin was smooth and soft. We were really getting into this when she shifted her weight. The chair began to tip. My lips came off of hers and eyes open. She was still trying to kiss nothing.
“Oh shit.” We fell backwards coming down her glasses came off. I saw the most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen. My head hit the hard ground which paused things for a few seconds. I closed my eyes for a second.
“Are you ok?” She said. I opened my eyes again and looked into hers.
“You have beautiful eyes.” She then proceeded to kiss me again. Then got off and helped me off. John was walking over.
“Damn man. That was pretty good. You guys ok?”
“I am.” Kelly then hugged me.
“Surprisingly. Better now” I said and try to crack a smile.
“Kelly can I borrow Jack for a second?” John said.
“As long as you give him back.” Kelly said.
“Trust me, I will.” Kelly let go of me and John put his arm around me and we walked a few meters.
He then began to talk in a quiet voice,”Be in good spirits because your gonna have a good last two weeks. I am looking out for you man and pulling for you. So rebound it’s been four weeks. You gotta get over Sarah because it’s over. So enjoy it. So I am going to prophesize what is going to happen to night. You’re going to go wherever with this girl and hit it.” He then took out a condom out of his pocket then put it in my shirt pocket, “Do it. It may make you feel better.”
“Jake… Jack. Fuck… I am drunk… I am going to tell you something. In college life will be tough ok man. You won’t be the same. So do whatever makes you feel better as long as you don’t get killed because of it. Just take my advice it may not be the most honest thing but do it.” He then patted me on the shoulder. “Good luck, and good night, my friend.” He then walked away. I turned around and walked back to Kelly.
“Hey want to get out of here?”
“Sure, where to? My house or yours?” She asked.
“How about yours. My mom I probably home.”
“Fine with me. I got the guest house at my home. Just adjacent to the main house. So it’s all cool.” We started walking.
“Didn’t you bring clothes?” I asked her.
“Oh yeah.” She giggled. She walked over to the table next to the chair that was still on the ground. As she walking she gave a little twist to her walk which kind of hypnotized me because I was looking at her ass. She picked up her jeans, shoes, and t-shirt. We began to walk out and I waved to John but he wasn’t paying attention. Took a deep breath and opened the gate for her. We proceeded to my car. I unlocked it and let her in and then opened my side. I wasn’t drunk just buzzed. Since I wasn’t at the party long enough. I pulled out she explained where her house was and we pulled up to her house and I parked on the street so easy exit whenever I leave. It was 12:30 A.M. now.
I got out and went over to her side. We didn’t talk much on the ride over. I opened the door for her. We walked up to the guest house and I took the clothes from her and she unlocked the door. We walked in. It was nice house, upper class, clean and rustic and a lot of white. I liked it I felt comfortable for once. I wasn’t even like that in my house. There was a wicker table near the door.
“Um you can put the stuff there.” She pointed to the chair. I put the stuff down. She then said, “I will be right back.” She walked down the hall into a room. I was figuring she was gonna freshen up. She left the lights off in the hall way. So I just stood there for about 5 minutes and she still wasn’t back. I then looked at some the paintings she had hanging on the wall. Squinting to make most of them out. She then came back out of the room and walked over to me. I just watched those beautiful eyes walking towards me. She was so beautiful. More beautiful than Sarah. I could still taste Kelly on my lips. Kelly walked up to me and took my hand and led me to the bedroom. Where she then turned one light on and then pushed me ever so lightly onto the bed.
“Shoes.” She said and I took them off very quickly and through them down the hall. Then took my socks off. “Better.” She then push me down so my back was now on the bed. Then whatever ensued did… Hit the Lights*, baby.
*Metallica Song off their Kill Em All album.