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Coming of Age Teens & Young Adult

“You wanna do something fun?” Jody said.

“What did you have in mind?” Mickey asked.

“Let’s get everybody together and go to the drive-ins. It’s the last one and they do the dusk till dawn special. There’s like 4 or 5 movies. Everybody from school is going.”

“Alright, let me make some calls.”

It was the Labor Day finale at the Northfield Drive-ins and it was always packed. Anybody who was anybody from school was going to be there and Jody wasn’t going to miss it. They never caught a whole movie in all the years they’ve been going. There were too many people to see and the concession stand to hit up or just make out sessions that took a good half hour of the movie. She caught bits and pieces of some but the movies were the last thing on most of their minds. Social status was at stake.  

Mickey had called up a few people and told them to load everyone up in the cars and meet up in the trailer park. This was the meet up spot where they gathered all the things they would need for the night. Junk food. Check. Blankets. Check. Alcohol and cigarettes. Check. Two cars rolled up around a half hour later. Sean in his 1989 Mercury Sable along with Chuck and Rakim and Konrad and Alegra pulled into the driveway with his 1970’s Blue Jeep CJ7. 

“We leaving soon?” Chuck asked.

“Yeah, we’ll be headed out soon,” Mickey said.

“We get there too late we won’t get a spot in the back. That will suck so can we move ass please?”

“What’s up your ass Chuck?” Mickey said.

“Don’t mind him. He’s fighting with Mandy at the moment,” Sean said sitting on the trunk of the Sable and taking a sip out of a flask he pulled out of his pocket.

“What’re you doing Sean? Don’t be pulling that out in the daylight. Mrs. Schultz is nosy as shit and will call the cops on us if she sees that. It’s bad enough they’ve come up to my trailer multiple times this year,” Jodi said.

“Alright alright. I’ll put it away.”

“Can we just go already? Sean I’m riding in your trunk. I don’t have any money,” Chuck said.

“Whoa hold up, why you get to ride in the trunk?” Rakim said.

“I told you I ain’t got no money,” Chuck said.

“They gonna know your fat ass is in the trunk because you’re gonna weigh the ass end down. I should go. I won’t max out the shocks.”

“Too late bro. I called it first.”

“I didn’t hear you call dibs.”

“Fuck dibs. That shit is lame.”

“It’s lame because you didn’t call it.”

“Alright ladies, knock it off. Chuck you take the trunk when we get to the pull off. Rakim ride up front with me,” Sean said.

 The group loaded up all their stuff for the night. Mickey and Jody piled into Sean’s car and they all hit the road. It wasn’t a long drive from the trailer park but they made a stop about halfway there so Chuck could hop out the back and into the trunk. They rolled up to the line of cars waiting to get in. Kids were running around behind the large screen on the playground waiting for the first movie to start. Chuck was yelling from the trunk asking what was taking so long. Long line. They yelled into the seat. 

Sean rolled up to the booth to pay and the guy taking the money was standing outside. He looked into the car and looked toward the trunk and looked back in the car.

“Just the four of you?” The attendant asked.

“Yup,” Sean said.

“Alright, that’ll be $13 bucks each. Cut your lights as you’re driving in.”

They dug out their money handing it out the window. He gave them a program of the movies for the night and they moved inside. As the car moved along the rows you could see blankets spread out and people eating concession stand popcorn or waving glow sticks around. Sean drove all the way down to the last row and turned in to find a spot. 

“Get one near the way back,” Rakim said.

As they made their way past the cars they could see every click in the school. You had the Jocks who were out waving their hands, talking loud and throwing footballs. The Preps who were sitting in lawn chairs sipping whatever was in their red Dixie cups acting like no one else existed. The nerds who were actually here for the movie, tucked away safely in their cars. The freaks were laid out on the hood of their cars, smoking cigarettes and blaring some kind of metal music. The party crowd was doing just that, clanging Dixie cups and drawing as much attention to themselves as possible while the night was still young and the cops hadn’t started patrolling with their flashlights yet.

“Yo, everybody is here. It’s poppin’ tonight,” Rakim said.

“There’s a spot back there next to Mick and those guys, they’re cool we’ll park next to them,” Sean said pulling the car around and backing it in so no one would see Chuck get out.  After the car parked Chuck emerged from the trunk.

“I love that fresh drive-in smell. Sean, your trunk stinks by the way. What do you put in there? Hey, somebody get me a beer,” Chuck said slapping Sean on the back.

Jody opened her door and looked around. She loved the drive-ins. The first thing she did when she got out of the car was take a deep breath. There were so many smells. She could smell the popcorn, the oil from the fries and onion rings from the concession stand. The exhaust of the cars.  The fresh night air. This was the place to be. She broke out the blanket so she could secure a spot with Mickey for the night hoping Chuck wasn’t going to steal the blanket and pass out somewhere later in the night like he did almost every time they came here.

The last two lots were where the high school kids parked. It was so they could make out, smoke weed, drink or engage in sexual activity without bringing too much attention or disrupt the rows of cars in front of them which were full of children waiting for the first movie which was always a Disney flick. The attendants would walk the back lot early with their flashlights. The teens had learned not to give them any reason to come back and by the end of the second movie or the beginning of the third they were too tired to walk all the way back. Besides the young kids had gone home so the parents would complain less. 

Jody had just lain down on the blanket with Mickey when the queen bitch herself Becky and her group of over makeup’d minions strolled by. Becky was the head of the cheerleading squad and prom queen and whatever stuck up title stuck up girls like that coveted. Jody wasn’t any of those things but she was pretty and this threatened Becky’s crown. Jody could say that Becky didn’t bother her but that would be a lie. She did care. She didn’t want to take the small digs; the underhanded comments that she subjected the rest of the high school population to. But she did, as did everybody else. I don’t think anyone knew why they just accepted it. It was like acknowledging gravity or some other force that affected you but you just brushed it off as a normal thing because it was just a part of everyday life. 

“Hey Jody, love those sandals, so bohemian,” Becky said standing at the end of the blanket chewing gum.

“Thanks Becky.”

“Hi Mickey, you look good, have you been working out?” Becky said glancing at Jody.

“Uh, no. Just 6 ounce curls,” Mickey said with a chuckle.

“You’re so funny, you always make me laugh. I’ll see you guys later, tah tah,” Becky said walking off. 

“Tah tah,” Jody said making a vomiting sound. “Don’t entertain her. She’s hitting on you. Why can’t you throw your arm around me and make out just to throw it in her face?”

“What like this,” Mickey said trying to kiss her.

“Yeah, you’re way too late to that party Romeo,” Jody said blocking his kiss with her hand. “Alegra, you wanna hit up the snack bar?”

“Yeah, I want some Rolos and popcorn,” Alegra said.

“You boys want anything?” Jody said.

“They got Vodka?” Chuck said.

“Jesus Chuck shut the hell up.”

“Looks like someone’s raggin’ it,” Chuck said.

“I will straight up smack your face off if you say one more stupid thing.”

“Thing.”

Jody ran at Chuck who was bracing for an impact as Mickey grabbed her behind.

“Let me go,” Jody said struggling.

“Calm down. Chuck just does this to get a rise out of you. You and Alegra go down and get some snacks. I’ll get Chuck to settle down,” Mickey said.

The two girls navigated down in between cars and groups of people to the small little shack that was located in the center of the sea of cars. The fluorescent lights from inside made it glow in the darkness drawing hungry movie goers to the smell of grease and sugar. 

“I’ll meet you in there, I’m gonna hit the bathrooms,” Jody said to Alegra.

Normally there was a line of about 5 people waiting to get in but at this moment she was in luck. The bathroom was empty. This was a sign of from the drive-in gods. Jody walked into the stall and closed the door and sat down to pee. She was wiping when you she heard some voices come into the bathroom.

“Did you see those sandals? They were so 1970 yuck.” Becky said.

“Yeah they were like dirty hippie chic,” Makeup minion one said.

“Hello, Jesus called. He wants his sandals back,” Makeup minon two said.

“Bitch, that’s gold. I’m stealing that. I want cheese fries. One of you two order. I can’t stand talking to those mouth breathers,” Becky said fixing her hair.

Jody sat there and part of her wanted to get up, swing the door open and smash Becky’s face into that mirror. But again she didn’t. She just sat there waiting for them to leave. 

“Hey what took you so long? I’ve eaten a ton of this popcorn,” Alegra said her mouth full.

“I was waiting for some bitches to leave.”

“Forget them, let’s get back and have a good time tonight,” Alegra said putting her arm around Jody as they walked back to the car.

Over the next couple of movies Jody relaxed. She had a couple drinks, they listened to music. She even smoked a few hits off a joint. She was feeling good until Becky and her two stooges sauntered back into her orbit. 

“Hey, we had some extra beer, thought you’d want one,” Becky said holding her arm out with the offering.

Jody was hesitant but had enough of a buzz that she let her guard down. She took the beer and cracked it open. It sprayed all over her. That bitch shook it up before walking over. Jody wanted to hit her and normally she wouldn’t, she would do what she had always done, nothing. But maybe it was the weed, or the buzz but she felt her hand move, as if her arm had a mind of its own and before she knew it her knuckles were imbedding into that soft cheek and she had tackled her onto the cool grass. She grabbed Becky by her hair and was slamming her head into the ground. Jody could see the bobbing of flashlights as the local cops showed up and dragged her off Becky. She was taken away and put into the cruiser. As she sat there in the back seat with her hands cuffed behind her back she thought: Best night ever. 

October 09, 2021 03:27

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2 comments

Annalisa D.
02:33 Oct 12, 2021

I really enjoyed your story. You did a great job of making an easy to visualize scene and a main character people will root for.

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Ian Barrett
11:10 Oct 12, 2021

Thanks for the feedback Annalisa. The drive-ins was fun to write. Brought up a lot of good memories from when I was a teen.

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