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Posted: Jun 30 2006, 04:46 PM
Princess of Highland
Member No.: 71
Joined: 26-October 05
(Continued from: A Lone Soul at the Bar and Grill)
Could today possibly get any worse?
This was the solitary thought of Ricky Callahan as he ambled down the path of sidewalk running down Redwood Avenue. His eyes, still glued to the sidewalk after the embarrassing situation that had occured at Benson's Bar and Grill, every so often rose from their lowered position to look ahead of him. All was quiet on this residential street. Every once in a while, he would pass by an empty car parked on the corner of the road. This neighborhood was a peaceful, middle-class neighborhood. Mostly elderly people and established families, really. Out of the corner of his eye, he couldn't help but notice the group of young boys playing basketball in the middle of the street.
They sure don't make 'em like this anymore.
Indeed, in a world filled with chaos and confusion, it was rare to see the sort of peace and tranquility this neighborhood conveyed, still stuck in its old ways, without the thugs and street trash that had accumulated in many of the larger cities across New Jersey. This was why his parents had chosen to settle down here. The community surrounding Bathurst High School had been the original location, but Ricky had heard lots of bad things about Bathurst. The gang fetish that seemed to flourish in New York had passed across the river, namely to that school in Denton, relatively close by. At least, that's what he'd heard. Looking back, he found himself glad they'd settled down in this community.
His thoughts were quickly interrupted when the pattering sound of running feet began to echo from behind him. Turning around in surprise, Ricky could see the bouyant, bouncing red hair and grinning features of someone he'd considered a friend since his move to New Jersey: Eric Silvstedt.
"Hey! Hey bro, wait up!"
The shouts echoed down the street, and despite himself, Ricky stopped in place, awaiting his friend. If there was one thing he had learned about Eric since their meeting, it was that he was notorious for blowing off big events when it came to his friends. Ricky knew that never again would the incident be brought up where he had been slammed into the wall for standing up for Matthias Kovalenko. Maybe it was better that way, anyhow. Allowed the boys to remain friends despite all the harsh and uncalled for things Eric had done.
Eric skidded to a stop in front of Ricky, and the hispanic boy couldn't help but do a once-over of his rather messy looking friend. Eric was still running his hand over his mouth every so often, wiping away the blood that had accumulated when he'd bitten his tongue during the fight with Matthias. Ricky couldn't help but feel ashamed of the actions of both his friend and himself... after all, he'd done nothing to stop Eric's incessant bullying of the younger boy. It just didn't seem right. Despite it all, Ricky knew bringing up the matter would only result in another dispute between the two, and thought it better to just let it be over with.
"Man, you missed all the fun, dude!" Eric belted out, feeling rather proud of himself for his accomplishments. "Kid's baby sister showed up after you left. She thought she was hardcore, she was actually gonna try to fight me to stand up for her puss of an older brother. Can you BELIEVE that, bro? How fuckin' lame, right?"
Would you just shut up?
Scowling somewhat as his friend dismissed the fight, Eric almost immediately shrugged his shoulders as though it were of little concern. Eric was proud of himself, he'd enjoyed what had just happened. Being able to hold himself over his fellow peers, being able to control them and bend them to his will, it made Eric Silvstedt feel powerful. And Eric... Eric liked that feeling. After all, he'd been powerless his entire life.
Powerless to stop his father from walking out the door. Powerless to stop his mother from smoking marijuana in a house full of kids. Powerless to keep her from sleeping with the random men she brought home every night. Powerless to stop her from shrieking and sobbing later on when she found out that she was pregnant again, or that she had contracted something else from one of those random men. Completely, totally, utterly powerless. But not anymore. Now, Eric was the one with all the power, the power to control everyone and everything, and it made him feel good inside. Worthwhile.
The two continued their walk down the beaten path of Redwood Avenue, neither exchanging many words. Ricky couldn't help but wonder why exactly he hung out with people like Eric Silvstedt, or why he let people like that push him around. In the end, he supposed it was because he just wanted to fit in. He didn't want to be that solitary kid in the back of class who never talked to anyone. Just like everyone else, Ricky had needs as well. Needs for companionship, friendship. Although looking back, he supposed that he could've made much better choices in the friends he had chosen to make.
Still, he considered Eric a friend. After all, he was the first person at Franklyn Senior High to ever extend a hand of friendship to the hispanic boy after his move. It was a move that had almost surprised Ricky, but Eric had actually reached out to him and tried to be his friend. Even through the boy's emotional outbursts and often immature attitude, Ricky had never forgotten this fact, and in the end, that was why he'd remained so loyal to Eric. Eric had pulled him into the first bond of friendship he'd ever made at Franklyn High, and without him, Ricky would probably still be that quiet, solitary kid sitting in the back of class.
And in the end, I suppose I owe him. For everything.
Ricky was quickly drawn back from his reverie as the sounds of a cop siren echoed loudly through his eardrums. Looking over, he could see the police officer sitting in the squad car, a friendly smile on his face as he flagged the hispanic boy over. Looking around momentarily for his friend, Ricky soon realized that Eric had bolted from sight upon the arrival of the squad car, and he couldn't help but think that this was probably one of the after-effects of the brawl that had broken out at Benson's. Calmly, Ricky approached the squad car, his hands still in his pockets as a friendly smile came across his face.
"Afternoon, officer," the boy greeted him in a friendly manner.
"Good afternoon, young man," the almost elderly looking officer replied en suite, "Got a call from one of the customers down at Benson's a while ago, said some kids were outside fighting in front of the store. Asked if we'd come down and check it out. Now we can't find the kids who started it, though."
Ricky's stomach sank a little bit as the officer interrogated him concerning the events at Benson's. Ricky had left long before the police had ever arrived. In fact, he had been completely oblivious to the fact that the police had even been called. Surely, they were looking for Eric, probably for causing a disturbance on public property. As Ricky struggled internally over the matter, he kept a calm, cool, relaxed face on the outside, only halfway listening to the officer's comments.
"You know anything about that? Just thought maybe you might've seen one of the hooligans walk past or somethin'."
He's standing in the bushes right over there, officer. He's hiding from you, because now he's afraid I'll rat him out. Afraid he'll get busted for mercilessly beating some poor kid at the bar just because he stood up for a friend. Afraid you'll haul him off for making a public nuisance of himself, not only bothering those kids, but everyone in the entire place with his ignorant nonsense.
"No sir. Haven't seen anyone suspicious like that. I'll keep an eye out for them, though, give you a call if I see anything."
The older man in the squad car smiled a friendly smile at Ricky, and Ricky couldn't help but smile back, still knowing that he was blatantly lying to an officer of the law just to save his friend some grief. It was wrong, he knew it was wrong, but he just couldn't rat Eric out, not after everything, even if he did deserve it.
"Thanks son, that'd be greatly appreciated," the officer chimed, "So many wild kids these days, goin' around starting up violence and acting all crazy. It's nice to see someone like you with some respect for authority. Wish there were more kids around here like you. Thanks, young man."
Yeah... more like me...
With that, the elderly officer waved a goodbye to Ricky and the squad car was once again off, creaking slowly down the streets in search of those who had caused all the mischief and mayhem at Benson's earlier. Fritz sure hadn't taken things lightly. When the officer was completely gone from site, Eric emerged from his hiding place in the bushes, wiping the sweat that had formulated above his brow off with his hand and sighing a relieved sigh. Walking up to his friend, the redhead clasped a hand on Ricky's shoulder and grinned.
"Whew, thanks bro, I owe ya one."
"Anytime... what are friends for?"
Indeed, what are friends for? Despite all the nonsense and the foolish stunts that Eric committed on a regular basis, despite his heartless and cruel use of women, despite his piss-poor attitude toward life in general, and despite his immature and selfish ways, he shared a special bond with Ricky. One that was almost unbreakable. It was the bond of brotherhood, and indeed, the two boys walking down Redwood Avenue shared a special, brother-like bond between them. From the time he had become friends with Eric, Ricky had stood up for him, fought for unjust causes in his name, done things he wasn't proud of just to look good in Eric's eyes. Always had, in in truth, probably always would.
(Eric continued in: What Some Might Call Home...)
(Ricky continued in: Usurper)