Go Whichever Way the Wind Blows

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The waves crashed into the shore as Josh and Jake starred out at the endless ocean.

“You ready?” Jake asked Josh.

“Heck yeah man. Look at that, it’s beautiful! I’m ready to jump in yo’! ‘Ey man let’s jump in b’fore a beautiful wave passes us by man,” Josh replied. They ran toward the water, helping each other zip up the back of their wetsuits. Paddling out, they raced to the horizon.

After about two hours of surfing, they came back to shore. They rinsed off at the public showers and walked back to the car. As they were packing the surfboards up, Josh asked Jake,

“Hey Jake, are you going to Nate’s party tonight? I kinda have a date with Melinda Lim and I was wondering if I could borrow your car.”

“Sure man. Nate’s not havin’ his party tonight anyways, it’s next Thursday,” ake was always happy to help out.

“’Cause you know how bad mine runs and all. . .”

“Dude, I said it’s cool, you know I’d help you out every time. Besides I know how ghetto yo’ car is!”

“Man. . .Stop jokin’ my ride yo’!” Josh replied defensively. Josh could only afford his old, beaten up ’79 Pinto. He didn’t have a job, so he was constantly borrowing money from Jake, returning the favor with only empty promises of paying him back. Jake knew Josh wouldn’t pay him back; but Josh was his bother, his younger brother, and he loved him, so he helped him out anyways.

When they got home, Jake gave Josh the keys and said, “Be sure I get that car back by Monday with a full tank of gas,” Jake then handed Josh a fifty dollar bill. “Don’t spend it all on her, you know her man. One day she loves ya’, the next day you’re trash. She might be pretty, but she will use you in a heartbeat and not think twice about your feelings or whatever.”

“I know man…but she sure is beautiful…” Josh had had an on and off relationship with Melinda Lim for the past two years.
* * *

Josh returned Jakes car Friday night, blasting his favorite song, “Slacker”, by Tech N9ne:

I’m a slacker; never did I have a lot of dough. I’m a slacker; smokin’ pot and watchin’ videos. I’m a slacker; go whichever way the wind blows, those that’s tunin’ in I’m jus’ lettin’ ya’ know…

This played as he turned the corner to my grandmother’s house. Jake met him ten outside seconds later.

“Capped off with thirty-two dollars left, as promised,” Josh said tossing the keys and money to Jake. Josh then reached into the car to grab his CD, Absolute Power.

“Thanks man,” was all Jake said as he walked back into the house. Josh put his CD into his pocket and walked inside to join the rest of the family for the traditional Friday night dinner. Then we saw him.

His back straight, shoulders square, and an expression that said “I’ve got big news” on his face. We knew he had either done something or he wanted something, but we also knew that neither could be good. However, to our surprise, Josh said,

“Mom, everyone, I’ve decided to join the Marines. I’m goin’ to boot camp September twenty-first!” At first, none of us believed him then he said, “Jake, I’m sorry I lied but I didn’t have a date with Melinda, I went to the recruiting office and signed up. I’ll finally be able to pay you back! I hope you kept track!”





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