Now let's get to know Frank... [[Filler]]
An hour on, the Sun had gone in and the Moon and stars had come out; leaving the sky a flawless combination of blue and black with various diamanté stars spread inches apart from each other. Though if you really thought about it, it wasn’t really inches. In reality it was probably millions of miles. Possibly light years. But just looking at them from the human eye, they were about a fingernail width apart. So close that you could do dot-to-dot with them. That’s the thing about us humans. We are so oblivious to the truth because of the glamour that hides it. We don’t bother to dig deep, we just seem to go along with the obvious assumption and accept it as fact. It’s only when you really focus on something that you manage to find out the real reasons behind it.
I found myself so immersed in my straying thoughts that I didn’t notice Jepha calling my name from behind. Bert thumped me on the arm.
‘’Ow! What the hell was that for you jerk?!’’
‘’For ignoring Jeph, you jerk. You really need to liven up a little man. You’re all weird and distant.’’
After giving Bert the evil eye, who just looked back at me with a sheepish grin, I turned my head round to face Jepha in the backseat. ‘’Sorry, Jeph. What was it you wanted?’’
He gave me his trademark smile and gestured to the joint that was held between his index and middle finger, ‘’ I just wondered if you would like a drag.’’
Before I could answer, Bert retorted instantaneously once the words left Jepha’s mouth, ‘’Oh, he’s gonna have more than a drag alright. He would probably need ten of those motherfuckers to remove whatever is jammed up his ass tonight.’’
I folded my arms across my chest, ‘’I have nothing ‘jammed up my ass’ alright? I just don’t feel well right now.’’ Bert made a choking sound.
‘’Not feeling well my ass. You’re perfectly fine so don’t bullshit me with this ‘I’m ill’ crap. You look fine and you sound fine. So just loosen up, take a drag or 20, and relax. Okay?’’ When Bert told you to do something, you usually did it. I mean, it’s not like he’s the big, mean bully of the school. In fact, he intervenes whenever he sees anyone even doing anything that resembles anything bullying-related to another kid at school. He’s just not the type of person you mess around with. If you could imagine a food chain for pupils at Timpanogos Highschool, he would be right at the top, with a sizeable gap for the second in line.
I breathed out a defeated sigh, ‘’Whatever. Pass me the damn joint then.’’ Bert gave a chuckle once he’d realised he’d one me over.
I took the joint from Jeph and sucked on it for a good ten seconds; inhaling as much of the intoxicating substance as I could without passing out or choking to death. When I first started to dabble with smoking-drugs, it was hard to control my coughing fits when it reacted to my asthma. But after time and practice, I learnt how to inhale the drugs without choking or coughing or doing anything equally as embarrassing that caused me to look like a complete pansy. A few seconds after the effects started to kick in, I already started to feel more comfortable and relaxed. It must have been visible to see because Bert then slapped me on the back in an encouraging manner.
‘’See, you’re looking more like you want to party already!’’ Bert then moved his hand from the steering wheel and gestured his hand towards me. My heart skipped a beat when I realised what he was inferring. Before I could object and tell him how crazy he was, Quinn had already beaten me to it.
‘’Bert, no way! That is just going way too far. I hate you guys smoking that shit anyway, but smoking it while driving is just crossing the line. Do you want to kill us or something?!’’ For once, I completely agreed with Quinn. Though I seemed to be the only one to as Jepha and Bert both started to laugh.
‘’Dude, chillax. You are way too paranoid and uptight. He’s only gonna have a little drag, nothing more. Right Bert?’’ Jepha reassured smoothly, which seemed to ease Quinn’s uncertainty a little. Jepha has the ability to calm anyone, whatever the situation. Though right now, it didn’t seem to have any effect on me whatsoever.
‘’Erm…right.’’ Bert replied unconvincingly. This caused the repugnant feeling in my gut to become more intense and nausea inducing. I flickered my eyes to Quinn, whose previous unsureness had vanished, and was replaced with a firm, tight-lipped expression.
‘’Yeah, and my mom is really a Transylvanian stripper. I’m offended that you even think I’m that much of a gullible freak. And I so do not buy that bull. So if you even as much as touch that joint while you’re behind that wheel, then I’m out of here.’’ I had never heard Quinn be so upfront and stern with Bert in the whole time I had been friends with them. He usually sticks by Bert and agrees with everything he does-slash-says. I’ve always thought of him as his pet golden retriever. I guess that seems kind of nasty to say but it’s just the image I’ve always had of him. Plus, his bleach-blonde hair doesn’t do him any favors. Okay, maybe I am being a bit of an asshole.
Quinn and I have never been that close. Actually, if I’m being honest, he has always made it clear that he never wanted us to be close in the first place. It’s almost as if he resents me for some strange, unknown reason. This assumption has always made me feel awkward and insecure in his presence. But right now, I fully agreed with him, and was desperate for the other two to agree also, as if our lives depended on it. Which it did.
‘’Quinn’s right, Bert. It’s dangerous and cops drive on motorways 24/7. Leave it to the party, it’s just not worth it.’’ I said softly. And to my relief, he let out a frustrated sigh and averted his eyes to the road, gripping the steering wheel tightly. It was silent for a couple of seconds until Quinn let out an outburst of complaint. Oh here we go.
‘’Oh, so you listen to him?! Why him? Why not me? What was so special about what he said than what I said? We said virtually the same thing! Or maybe it was because it was him that said it. What’s so special about him?! I’ve known you since kindergarten and we have been best friends since we were born! And—‘’ Quinn suddenly came to an unexpected halt throughout his nag. It was once again silent; only the low murmer of Nirvana’s Lithium playing in the background that disturbed the silence.
I looked over at Bert who was still staring at the road, but now looking a little more thoughtful. It’s quite funny looking at Bert when he’s deep in thought because he’s not the type of guy to really put much thought into anything. When he wants to do something, he’ll do it. Even if there are countable consequences attached, good or bad. I looked over at Quinn unwillingly; who was surprisingly looking down at his hands, wringing them together in a nervous way, his head bowed so his hair fell forward and blocked view from his face. He looked ashamed. As if he regretted all the insulting things he spewed about me. But why should he? He doesn’t even like me. And I know that he meant every word he had said because he had said it with such conviction. Even though these guys were about as smart as a coat rack, they confused me more than anyone I knew.
Bert finally came out from thinking and spoke in a soothing tone that I had never heard him use, ‘’Quinn, shut the fuck up. You sound like a whiny drama queen. I wasn’t listening to Frank more than you, I was just outnumbered. Well, two of you were against me and only one was on my side. Oh, and thanks for that Jeph.’’ Bert quickly turned round to flash a smile at Jeph, who was smiling, as always, ‘’So that’s why. Don’t get your panties in a twist Quinnie, you’ll always be my best friend you little shit.’’ Bert put his arm round the back of the chair and squeezed Quinn’s leg, who swatted him off in an irritated way, but had a small smile on his face and a rosy tint to his cheeks that proved he was now officially satisfied and happy.
A silence cast over again and I decided to make a different conversation, not only to make a fresh start to the current atmosphere, but also because I was desperate to know, ‘’I know you told me you weren’t going to answer any questions to how and why you got to NJ until the party was over, but if I don’t find out the answer to this question then my head is going to fucking explode.’’
‘’Now that I would miss the party for.’’ Bert added enthusiastically.
‘’That’s beyond the point. Just tell me how the hell you got to NJ from Utah in that absurd hour I told you I wasn’t going. That’s just impossible Bert, unless you got fucking Aladdin’s flying carpet.’’ He looked at me with a mock-amazed face.
‘’How did you guess?’’ I was in no mood for jokes.
‘’I’m serious here. How did you?’’ He laughed a little and Jepha then intervened to explain.
‘’Becca’s party is being held in NJ. Well the outskirts of NJ. Her granddad lives here and he is filthy rich. And I mean filthy rich. The venue for the party is in that really big hall—‘’
‘’Arena.’’, Quinn corrected, ‘’Newfound Rangers Arena*.’’
‘’Yeah, that one. It is gi-fucking-gantic! It must have cost like…just a really fucking lot to hire out. So if the venue is absolutely incredible, then the rest of the party is going to be insane!’’ Once he said all the overwhelming facts of the party, only one fact stuck in my mind clearly.
‘’Did you say the Newfound Rangers Arena?’’ The sentence sounded weak and uncertain once I had said it. Jepha’s smile grew even bigger as Quinn replied.
‘’Yep, sure is. The same arena Anti-Flag played their legendary ’01 performance and—‘’ I cut him short because talking about punk music is one thing that you cannot shut me up about.
‘’And Justin jumped into the crowd and joined in the circle pit. People went ape-shit crazy and jumped him from all angles and—‘’ Quinn then cut me short. He was looking at me with enthusiasm, an expression he never shares with me.
‘’He ended up breaking three bones. So fucking hardcore.’’ Quinn said this with admiration. I never knew he cared so much for music. I started to take a little bit more of a liking towards him.
‘’And he didn’t end his set there. He carried on until the end. That was such a fucking good show. The best show I ever went to.’’ Quinn then froze and looked at me with disbelief.
‘’Did you just say you went to that show? Like, seriously?’’
‘’Yep. Of course I would go to see Anti-Flag play in New Jersey for the first time at that legend venue. It was so insane.’’ Bert then interrupted our bonding session, or whatever this was, obviously bored.
‘’Man, you get excited about something that happened years ago more than something happening in an hour. You have to live in the present, not the past. And the present is an awesome party with free booze, free food, free girls and free music. Which will hopefully be good.’’, Bert then paused a little, ‘’Though Anti-Flag are the shit.’’
Jepha cleared his throat a little, ‘’Anyway, as I was saying, the party is being held there so we came down to NJ last night and stayed at some hotel.’’
Before I could stop myself, the Frankie part of me decided to make a minor performance, ‘’What about school?’’
The look on the guy’s faces caused my face to flush and my heart rate to increase. But to my relief, Bert started to laugh. Jepha soon joined in, but Quinn remained silent.
‘’We bunked off…as we do. Oh, I see. You’re being sarcastic. I’ve told you to not use that on me, I never get it when you are.’’ The only thing for me to do to compose myself once again was to give him a small smile and shrug it off.
‘’You’re so funny Frank.’’ Jepha said, in what I thought was a complimentary way. A couple of chuckles were to be heard, but then it was once again silent. I decided to ask another question; taking advantage of their willingness to answer.
‘’So, you dropped out of school to get yourself down here. What about everyone else? Surely you’re not all expected to make your own way down here.’’
‘’Of course not!’’, Jepha scoffed, ‘’As I said before, her granddad is mega rich and has paid out for everyone to get there by private jet. Private fucking jet! And there’s like 200 kids invited. I am so jealous of that spoilt brat.’’ He sighed and seemed to stop there. I still had plenty of questions to ask but only one obvious question seemed necessary to ask, as the probable answer to the question will change my now calm mood back to dismal.
‘’Okay. But why aren’t you going by the private jet? If everyone else is then why shouldn’t you. Or…’’ By just looking at Bert’s excited face, my stomach made that painful clenching motion as before. Why do you hate me so much God?
‘’We’re crashing it baby! The best way is the most stylish way, and everyone knows that you can’t get any better than crashing.’’
I huffed a little, unable to control my now flaring temper, ‘’Sure it is. Until you get kicked out and end up looking like an idiot.’’
Bert gave me a look as if he was talking to someone from a mental institution, ‘’Frank. We are not going to get kicked out. I can promise that now.’’
That’s it. I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck prickle with uncontrollable irritation, ‘’Oh yeah? And tell me just how you’re going to do that Einstein?’’ Bert then gave a sly smile that made me feel even more uneasy than if he had given me a death glare that would have promised a kick out the car.
‘’Because Frank, she likes a certain someone here. Not mentioning any names.’’ He gave me a meaningful look that made it hard to not figure out who he meant.
‘’Shut the fuck up no she doesn’t!” I said a little too defensively. They all started to laugh, including Quinn. My ears started to burn with embarrassment.
‘’Frank and Becca sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, then comes marriage, and then comes—‘’ Before Bert could complete that disturbing sentence I punched him in the arm, which fortunately caused him some pain.
‘’OW! You stupid, little son of a—‘’ He didn’t get to finish that sentence because Quinn squealed. It was a sound I would never forget for the rest of my life.
‘’Oh my god we’re here! It’s the Newfound Rangers Arena! Park the fucking car, I need to take a picture.’’. Before Bert could park up, Quinn opened the door and jumped out the car before you could stop him. Looking at the arena brought back pleasant memories and feelings. And desires. It felt like I had come home. In some odd, indescribable way I couldn’t describe. A big smile made it’s way on my face. I could tell I was going to enjoy tonight. If not for the purpose, then purely for the atmosphere. I stepped out of the car and breathed in a deep breath. The air smelt of BBQ-ed food, aftershave and girl’s hairspray. I knew that this wasn’t going to be permanent. In a few hours, the air would have a pungent smell consisting of sweat, beer and puke. I knew this because I had been to way too many parties that had the same outcome.
I looked at the entrance, which was crowded with girls and guys in dresses and tuxes; dressed to their best. I looked down at my baggy jeans and skate footwear. Not to mention my ‘Let’s Fuck Shit Up!’ hoodie. Fuck. I looked over at Bert, Jepha and Quinn who were all wearing similar clothing. Though none of the other guys wore anything as graphical as myself. I wasn’t sure if that was a good or bad thing. I quickly changed out from my hoodie and threw it in the car. It still didn’t make up for my lack of effort. The other guys didn’t seem as fazed in the slightest as myself. Bert then turned round to me with a grin so big, it scared me.
‘’All right, now this is what I’m talking about! This is so going to be the best party ev-ah.’’
Authors Note: Yeah, I guess it kinda sucked. I started writing it and I was on a roll, but then my laptop decided to turn itself off halfway through. What a stupid piece of shit. And decided to stay off for a few hours and when I went back on, guess what? My writing ability just went ka-poof and turned out like this. So I’m sorry if the ending is a disappointment. Or if the whole thing is for that matter. This is only a filler by the way. It just let you know more about the relationship between Frank and the guys. Anyways, rate & review. If you want to that is. I would really love it if you did though. Thank you xo.
*Newfound Rangers Arena is an arena I totally made up, obviously. I know, what a lame name for an arena haha. But I just couldn’t think of one. And obviously I made up the whole Anti-Flag playing there fandango. Even though you probably figured that out for yourselves I just thought I would mention it.