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Fiction Sad Drama

“Thanks a lot for answering the door for me, Mrs. Drew.” When it came to Tom’s mother, I was always polite. “How are you this morning?”

She smiled at him. “Goodness, Alex. How many times do I have to tell you? Call me Paige, not Mrs. Drew. You make me feel like an old woman.”

Alex smiled back at her. She was a very warm person and easy to talk to. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Drew, I mean Paige. Please forgive me. Is Tom up yet?”

“Hush, now Alex. There’s nothing to forgive. Anyways, why would you think Tom is up? It is seven in the morning, you know.”

Alex pulled himself up straight. “Well, there’s one way to find out.”

“Yes, there is, isn’t there?” Paige stepped to the side. “You know where his room is.”

Alex walked in and went up the stairs. He opened the door to Tom’s room and found him sprawled out on the bed, dressed only in his briefs.

“Come on, man. You’re grossing me out. Put some cloths on, will you?”

Tom rolled over on his back and stared at the intruder with half opened eyes. “Alex is that you?”

Alex glanced at himself in the mirror. “Yup, it’s me.”

Tom sat on the edge of the bed. “Man, it’s good to see you. When did you get back from Syracuse?”

“Last night. I rolled in around ten last night and decided to wake your ass up first thing in the morning. It looks like I completed my mission.”

Tom smirked. “Asshole.” Then, he jumped out of bed and tried to hug Alex.

Alex took a step backwards. “Hey, hey buddy boy. Clothes first, hugs second.”

After Tom put on his jeans, he finished the hug. “I can’t believe it, man. Your timing couldn’t be more perfect.”

“Timing? Timing for what?

“You don’t know? Where have you been these past few months and don’t say Syracuse.” Tom’s eyes gleamed. “It’s on, man. Woodstock! It’s happening this weekend. Do you know how many bands are going to be there? Deep Purple, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Frank Zappa! More!”

“I never heard of the group, More,” Alex replied.

“Shut up, Alex. You know what I mean. We can take off Thursday night and be there for the opening act on Friday. Music, party, fun, party, girls, lots of girls, and party.”

“It sounds great, Tom. It sounds like you have it all planned out, especially the parties. But I was planning on spending time with Tara this weekend. We’ve been apart the whole summer and now I just want to be with her. You can understand that, can’t you?”

“Hey, Alex, it’s cool. I get it. You two haven’t seen much of each other, but that’s just it. You two will have a lifetime to be with each other, but Woodstock? It’s a onetime thing. It can never happen again. If you don’t go this weekend, you’ll never have the chance to go. Come on, man. Just this weekend. We won’t have to stay through Monday. We can head home Sunday night and then you can spend the rest of your life, with Tara and have the memory of Woodstock too. Come on Alex.” Tom began to chant, “Woodstock, Woodstock, Woodstock…”

Alex threw his hands up in the air. “Alright, I give up. We’ll go to Woodstock. My parents are going to have a conniption fit when I tell them.”

“Then don’t say anything to them. Just say we’re going camping near Hatch Lake. We can be gone for the whole weekend, and no one will know the difference. I should know. I already told my mother we were going camping there.”

Alex hit Tom on his shoulder. “Are you nuts? What if I didn’t decide to go with you? What would you tell your parents if they saw me hanging out with Tara?” He parroted Tom’s voice. “Uh, Alex couldn’t go camping that weekend. His parents would have a conniption fit if he went.”

Tom laughed. “You’re wasting gray matter on that problem, bro. I knew you would give in and go with me. It’s simple logic. Whatever I say, you do it. It’s been like that since we met.”

Shaking his head, Alex replied, “No way, man,”

“Way,” Tom shot back.

Alex looked deep in his memory, trying to think of a time when that wasn’t the case. Surprisingly, he couldn’t recall an example.

“Listen, Alex. Here’s the plan. I got the Beast topped off and we’ll take off at about eight tonight. We’ll stop on the edge of Woodstock and crash out in the car. The Beast is big enough for both of us to sleep in. The next morning, we’ll pull in, find a place to hang out and let the fun begin. Sunday morning, we pick ourselves up and drive back home. Too easy!”

“Too easy, my ass. Not only do I have to lie to my parents, but I’ll also have to lie to Tara. It feels wrong.”

“Hey, it’s not like you never lied to her before. You told her she was the first love of your life, but we know that isn’t true, don’t we?”

“What do you mean?” asked Alex. “She was the first love of my life.”

Tom snidely grinned. “Sure, she was. What about Wendy DeSousa?”

“That was the fourth grade, you idiot and that doesn’t count for anything.”

“Love is love, bro. You lied to Tara.”

Alex gave up. “There’s no sense arguing with you. It doesn’t matter if you count Wendy or not. It still feels wrong.”

“You just can’t stand me when I’m right, which means, you can never stand me. Now get out of here. I need a shower and I don’t need you watching me take it.”

“Thanks a lot. Now I can’t get that crude picture out of my mind.”

“Crude, you say. If you looked half as good as me naked, you’d have more chicks than Tara chasing you around. Now go, while the going is good.”

“Alright, I’m out of here. I’ll catch up with you tonight.”

Later that evening, he packed a few clothes and stuffed them in his backpack, along with some sundries. He ran downstairs and grabbed a sandwich. Casey and Paul were out somewhere, and Mom was working at the Grand Union. There was no one to say good-bye to. So, he walked out the door and returned to Tom’s house.

When he got there, Tom was waiting for him on the front porch. “It’s about time you got here. The Beast is topped off and we’re ready to roar!” Tom looked at Alex’s backpack. “That’s it? You got any munchies in there?”

Alex shook his head. “Hey, don’t worry about munchies. If we get hungry, we can stop at a gas station and grab something.”

“I was hoping to go nonstop,” Tom replied. “I wanted to beat the traffic jam.”

“What are you talking about, traffic jam?”

“Haven’t you been listening to the radio? That’s all they’re talking about! We’ll be lucky to get there before dawn. Speaking of which, get in and let’s go.”

Tom turned the key and hit the gas. The Beast’s engine roared into life. He put it in gear and took off down the road. “Woodstock, here we come! Woohoo!” as they headed down the road, Alex turned on the radio and tuned it to WOUR, FM Rock. The Who blasted out from the speakers. The rock opera Tommy was the rage.

“You know, Alex? asked Tom. “The Who is going to be there too. Outrageous!”

Alex began to fall under the spell. “Woodstock, Woodstock.” Time with Tara and his family could be put on hold. This was a once in a lifetime experience. “What about that traffic jam. Is it that bad?”

“Nah, don’t worry about it. I know a few long cuts, which will save us some time. We’ll be there with time to spare.” They continued down the road and headed towards Oneonta. Just before they got there, they stopped at a Gulf station and loaded up on soda and chips. Before they hopped out of the car, Tom asked, “What did Tara have to say about the trip?”

Dismayed, Alex replied, “She wasn’t happy about it, but in the end, she gave me her blessing. Still, I have a lot of work to do in making it up to her.”

“I’m glad she’s cool about it, man. If there’s anything I can do to help patch things up between you two, just let me know.”

“You’ve done enough damage for one day. You pay for the snacks, and we’ll call it even.”

They ran into the store and moments later, the jumped back in the beast, with their arms filled with shopping bags.

“That’s it, baby! Nonstop from here on out.” They hopped back in the Beast and continued their trek. Twenty minutes, Tom turned on a smaller road. “Here my friend, is where we’re going to make up for lost time.”

The road was a narrow two-lane highway and hosted several twists and turns. Tom wasn’t intimidated by any of it. He continued to go as quick as he could, sometimes skidding around the corners. The radio was still blaring. Led Zeppelin was playing Whole Lotta Love when a deer suddenly jumped in front of them. As Tom swerved out of the deer’s path, he skidded off the road and crashed head on with an old oak tree. Silence, followed by darkness. The beast’s radio was playing to a vacant audience. Want to whole lotta love. (Guitar rift) Want to whole lotta love...


November 23, 2021 04:29

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