Now even with knowing that her reason for wanting to cover up wasn’t to be over looked by the seekers, and that I had never been that close to a person whom I’ve had a crush on in my whole life, I agreed, and we snuggled tight together to enhance the look of an empty tent, and just then it happened. As we looked into each others eyes in total darkness feeling nothing but each others breathe on the others face, we kissed, which was my very first kiss ever. It was the softest and most comforting thing I had ever felt. It was like I was in a brilliantly lit room in total ease and extreme enlightenment.
Looking back I’m not even sure if the seekers ever found us, all I can remember is that for one shinning moment on that warm summer night I was about as close to heaven as a person could get, and in the presence of an angel. Well for the next few weeks I had a smile on my face from ear to ear that would have taken a blow torch to get rid of. I’m not even sure if my older sisters ever knew about this, this is one of only a few parts of my child hood that; until now I kept completely to myself. Well before I get the rating of this book put up to a PG-13, I better move on.
Another day that sticks in my mind (and is brought up at almost every family function to this day), is the day that me and my ninja wannabe best friends had our first experience with the realities of law enforcement, and bad decisions. It was a warm humid day in the ladder part of June one summer when we were all at Brian’s house watching MTV. When all of a sudden we heard this awful wail of what seemed to be a thousand sirens go burning past his house. As we went down the street a couple of houses we discovered there was only about five cars and a fire truck, which was still a lot of action for us. Now with one our friend’s dad being the fire chief, we knew where to go to find the facts. So off to Tony’s house we went, and we learned that there some people in the dwelling that had obtained some illegal class three fire works.
Now to a normal group of kids this info would spark some serious curiosities and uncontrollable urges. So did it with us? “YOU BET YOUR BOOTS IT DID!” I don’t think we even had to ask each other where we were off to next. It was to that house we went. Now upon arrival there wasn’t nothing like you see in the movies going on, but that didn’t matter to us, to a pack of considerate yet fun loving kids as us we were not used to seeing that many cops in one spot before, and definitely not in our neighborhood.
As we stood there a crowd started to form and people were all talking like they had all the answers to why the cops were there, and it was kind of funny to hear some of them. Like “I think someone got shot”, or “I think someone there was caught steeling”. But as funny as it sounded we never let on that we knew. Now all that excitement kind of made us feel like we were cool and it definitely got the best of me, you see the police cars were all parked at the side of the house right next to the woods that if you took the right path through would dump you out at Brian’s side door. So I decided that we needed some of those fireworks for ourselves. And away I went to get some.
©Copyright 2004 Bill B.
Man I was so in awe, I don’t know why I did it; I just did. See, I did get the firework that I wanted, but I didn’t take it far. I (for some god forsaken reason) pushed the stick into ground right next to the cop car. Without realizing it I must have cracked the stick a little, so it wouldn’t stand straight up. Well now it was too late to turn back, my friends must have had a good idea what I was going to do, because as I turned to look at them they were nothing more than memories. I’ve never seen a group of guys run that fast before. Never. Well now I was committed, so while nervous as a bird in a lion’s den, I lit the fuse and took off as fast as my skinny but long legs would allow me. When I met up with my friends at Brian’s house they all wanted to know what I was doing, so after not hearing a loud bang on the run there, I figured that it was a dud, so instead of confessing that I took and lit a dud firework (because I would be the laughing stock for about a week), I just simply said that I put it back and ran. And then it happened; the loudest explosion I think that little town ever heard, even with as far away as we were now our ears were still ringing after that blast. And like as if that wasn’t bad enough it was followed by a series of equally loud and more unexplainable ones. Well needless to say, I have no idea who was first into the house or up on the roof, but I do know that we probably broke an all time ground speed record that day.
It didn’t take Tony long to get there and there was no doubt in his mind where we were, he has spent just as much time on that roof as all of us. Well then came the bad news, Tony looked at me and after calling me some amazingly well pronounced dirty names, he informed me that the rocket did light but it didn’t lift of into the air as expected. The rocket sat there for a minute and while everyone was scrambling for a hiding space, the igniting missile must have shaken loose, but in the most unimaginable angle it finally found lift off. And it didn’t go too far either; it went right into the back seat of the car hit the roof and ricochet onto the floor , as if fate was trying to say “I got you this time Billy boy!”. Now by now you know what happened next, yep, that was the explanation for the battle field sounds that echoed probably into the next county.
Now if that news wasn’t horrible enough, Tony then explained that upon arrival with us he ran into his dad and told him that he told us what was going on. Oh man, I was in some deep trouble now. I think that it was as close to fainting as I’ve ever been. Needless to say, we got the heck out of there. We went back to my house and sat on the couch, my mom was talking on the phone with a friend. Me and Brian sat there with both our stomachs doing cartwheels. Just then we seen the reflection of the sun off a windshield go strolling across the ceiling. My mom (who could always control her emotions pretty good) just glanced once out our front picture window and looked away without missing a word in her phone conversation. Now we thought that it must be someone she expected so I got up to look, and my heart missed a beat when I saw two police cars and Tony’s dad’s truck pulling down our long drive. I casually sat back down and whispered to Brian; “we need to get the heck out of here!
We made it about two feet when from around the portioning wall in the kitchen I heard; “Boys you better sit down right now”. She had been watching us through the reflection off the toaster that sat on a small bread table at the far side of the kitchen. I heard the phone hang up and she walked from around the wall, looked at us very calmly and said “ok who wants to tell me”. Now I wasn’t one for giving someone too much information until I knew exactly what they wanted to know, and even though I know she seen the police and fire truck pulling down the drive I was hoping they had some other reason for being there. There couldn’t have been any other reason in the world why they were there (besides the one me and Brian knew of), but I was crossing my fingers and hoping for one.
Well then came the knock on the door, and as my mom opened it, in came four police men and Tony’s dad. Yep, there wasn’t any other reason possible now. One of the cops looked at us as he casually and very politely (considering the reason for their visit) talked with my mom. Now I don’t know if Brian felt as uncomfortable as I did, but he was about too. Another knock on the door got our attention wondering just how many police officers were going to come get us. Nope not even close, but I bet Brian was wishing it was when he seen his mother come walking in the door.
©Copyright 2004 Bill B.
My mom was able to keep calm after seeing the brigade of law enforcement and hang up with her friend and call Brian’s mom without us even realizing it. His mom was just standing there with this look of total embarrassment as they all talked quietly in the kitchen. See in those days the cops and your parents worked together to plot against you. It might have helped a little if we got our stories straight but we were even afraid to breath too loudly, so we just sat there trying to act like we were dumbfounded to the cops presence. Well that didn’t last long. As they walked out of the kitchen two of the cops walked right up to us and one said “hello boys”, we wouldn’t even look at him, but as our eyes filled up with tears we might as well have written and signed a confession for him. All he said next was you two need to come with us down to the station. That’s all it took for my solid stone friend to blurt out “Billy did it, we didn’t even know what he was doing”. I couldn’t believe my ears, he was telling them everything, he was right, but he was telling them everything.
Just then, another first for the both of us, just like in the movies the policemen stood us up and began to pat us down and proceeded to handcuff us then read us our “Miranda rights”. Well that settled it, we were done. After what seemed like forever at the police station surrounded by about twenty cops, the whole story came out in two separate rooms, and amazingly they must have matched because Brian left a long time before I did. After a lengthy sermon on the dangers of fireworks and a serious discussion on the laws, I was walked over to a jail cell. I looked up at the cops face and to this day I can still see his eyes piercing through me like a hot knife through butter. Nothing more was said as he sat me down on a cold and horrifying cot in a very small jail cell. I was totally surprised now, I never thought in a million years that kids could go to jail; I never knew that just in the next room sat my parents, who were letting the cops teach me a very valuable and memorable lesson. And that it did.
When I was finally allowed to leave they made me believe that my parents had to bail me out, and I remember that I didn’t want to go. I remember uttering the words “no please don’t let me go with them”, that was the biggest and worst thing I had ever done and I just knew that when I got home; oh man was I in for it! Unknowing to me the police and my parents had already chosen a punishment for me, and when I got home my parents showed what had to be the world’s best example of restraint as they just told me to go to bed and we would discuss this in the morning. Funny how parents can surprise you, if you get caught fighting for no reason you got your butt spanked good, but you burn down a cop car and they tell you to go to bed. The only thing I thought was that they were afraid to spank me at the time because they might not be able to stop, so in the morning I was really going to be in for it. But I wasn’t, when I woke up, there was already two cops at my house talking to my parents. As I walked out into the kitchen I was just stared at by my mom and step dad with these burning eyes. The one cop said “sit down son”, “ok here it comes” I thought, “here comes the twenty year sentence to prison”. See they had already convinced me that children could go to jail when they were bad, so I just knew I was going up the river for this one. But what he said to me was the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard, even till this day. He said that the city was dropping the charges on one condition; I had to pay my parents back the “one thousand dollars” that they paid for me to get out of jail. (Now they really didn’t have to pay anything), but I didn’t know that, so I was so shocked “a thousand dollars” I thought, “man that was more money than I’ve ever heard of”. So I said to him, “I don’t have any money sir”, and with some of the best acting ever done by a policeman he looked at me with very sympathetic eyes and said “well I’m sorry then”, that’s all he got out when I started crying uncontrollably. I grabbed onto my mom and kept saying “I’m sorry mommy”, at that point the policeman went one step further to keep the charade going as he stood up and removed his hand cuffs from his shiny leather tool belt. Just then my mom said “well couldn’t he work it off”? The police officer thought for a minute and said “I guess if he is willing too that is”. “I’m willing, I’m willing”, I rapidly responded, then it was set, my punishment was “TWO THOUSAND HOURS” of community service, with the understanding that I couldn’t hang around my friends outside of school until it was complete. Especially Brian; see, our parents blamed the other child for what had happened and from that day on, what ever we did wrong, our parents always put the blame on the other child. (This is the one thing from my childhood I would change). So without really understanding just how many hours that was; I agreed to it, (now two thousand hours may not seem like a lot but at eight hours a day a full year would only be two thousand nine hundred and twenty hours). And with that the cop pulled out this contract that I didn’t even realize at the time, but it had already been made out, so I signed it then spent the next two years cleaning up the streets of our neighborhood and washing police cars and fire trucks.
©Copyright 2004 Bill B.
It taught me a valuable lesson, one that has helped me even through the present times of my life. After that instance, I would always think things trough, and consider what the consequences would be for me as well as others for my actions.
Well for fear of boring you to death, I guess we’ll move on. After the clan was off punishments from my incident, we were back to normal. I remember the first day that Brian and I were able to hang around each other; we went to the white house and must have spent the whole day there. But that day sticks in my mind for a few reasons. That was the first day that really strange things started to happen there. We were upstairs moving a make shift couch from one side of the room to the other, when we heard the floor boards downstairs creak. It stopped almost instantly as we stopped dragging the couch, but not soon enough for us not to notice it. Well if we would have kept going without being silent and surprised, we would have probably found out what it was, and to this day I’m not sure that it would have been a good thing. But we didn’t keep going, we were totally frozen, both of us looking at each other trying to act like we weren’t as scared as we really were. Just then in the silence, whoever was downstairs must have moved because we heard this loud but slow creak, now we were convinced that someone was there. Brian, who was always the bravest of our group, looked at me and whispered “let’s go down stairs and scare them”. And then the air was a little easier to breathe, I never thought that it might have been one of our friends, so with complete confidence in him I shook my head in support, and while giggling I took one step toward him and a floor board creaked under my foot. Just then we heard this thunderous sound of someone running across the floor downstairs, and then the sound of rustling twigs as someone ran outside. We were hot on their tail now, we were running full bore yelling and shrieking as if we were primal beasts. When we got downstairs and out the door we just barely caught a glimpse of a figure bolting into the brush a ways from the house. That’s when we stopped and every ounce of excitement and thrill turned into complete terror. The figure we seen dart into the dense woods was not only not one of our friends but it was a UNfamiliar short haired adult wearing dirty coveralls. We stopped almost immediately feeling every muscle in our stomachs just completely twist and turn, we looked on to make sure we knew which way the figure was headed, and then we turned to run the opposite way. And that’s when we saw it; leaning up against the outside wall of the house just beside the doorway was a wooden handled rusty ax. I believe that it was the first time in my life that both me and Brian cried in front of each other, we couldn’t even talk as we ran as fast as we could through the woods away from the direction of the unknown person. After getting into my back yard the tension dropped a lot, and we started down playing the whole thing like nothing was really scaring us. We did however agree that no parents should know of this, because we would never be allowed to return there. So I never spoke of that day until right now.
It was extremely hard to fall asleep that night, it was hot and I wanted my window open, but the thought of the person and thinking what if he followed us home kept plaguing my mind. I did get to sleep and over time forgot all about that day.
The next few days were spent as always, just running around the neighborhood with not one care in the world, me and a few of my friends were seeing if we could walk through the woods and find a way to make it from one of our houses to the others. So we got most everyone together and told them what we wanted to do, and told them that they could help if they wanted. Only a few of them did, the rest of them wanted to go into my back forty to climb trees, so we said that we would go with them and start our trail there. And we did, we went with them until we got into my back yard by some of the highest trees I had, and then we split off. A few friends and I went off to look for a short cut through the woods to Brian’s house. Now we knew the direction of his house but we also knew that there were a lot of houses in between us, so that was going to be the adventure. We walked for hours, coming up to a house and having to go back to find another path, and then only to find another house in our way. We looked almost all morning and only came up with one close one, the only thing was; it went completely around town by a house that we were not allowed to be by. It was this house of a doctor who had this son who was mentally retarded. Every time he seen someone walking past his fence he would run up to the fence screaming like a banshee and try to grab them. One Halloween he did get a hold of a child and it was one the scariest things I had ever seen, we didn’t have a good grasp on the understanding of the mentally ill, so when it happened we all stood there and yelled “the monster got him, the monster got him!!”. Some parents ran over and tried to free the boy, but his grip was intense and it took three dads and the doctor (who had heard all the commotion and came running out front to see what was happening), to finally free the young trick or treater. The doctor was apologizing to the crying child as his son wailed like an infant and ran up and down the front fence that went the whole length of the property. We were scolded for staring and laughing, as the parents of the terrified boy forbid him from ever walking on that side of the road again.
©Copyright 2004 Bill B.