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Changing the Frame
“Wake up in the mornin’ feelin like PDiddy.” The hand came down on the alarm clock with a loud smack and Ke$ha was immediately cut off, followed by a groggy moan coming from the overturned 17 year old boy at 6:30 A.M. The boy rolled over and surfacing consciousness came with a flood of memories from the night previous.
The Jeep rolled up with the gentle hum of a taken-care of engine. Zane looked around and saw that everyone was already there. The bonfire looked portentous against the sharp black outline of pine trees. The circle of teenagers against the warm flames appeared harmless but the beer being passed around like Halloween candy pushed Zane’s conscious even further as to why he had come at all. Reluctantly he got out of the jeep and glanced over his shoulder just waiting for the cops to show up. The wind blew and caught the scent of the party perfectly in Zane’s nose: equal parts of cologne, beer-puke, peppermints and some drug he didn’t care to know of.
“Zane! You’re l-l-late.” The blonde stumbled towards Zane carrying two red plastic cups sloshing with beer.
“Hey Kylie I got lost. Having fun?” Little white lies like this never bothered Kylie, but Zane knew she could see right through them.
“Oh, yeah.” She handed him a cup. “Drink,” she commanded. “You need to catch up.”
Zane sipped and tried not to shudder. Cow piss. He took her hand and motioned for her to follow.
Kylie Mulberry was the most popular girl in high school, and Zane was President of the student body so it fit perfectly that they were a “thing”. To keep his status up, he asked her out the summer before senior year. She didn’t seem too pleased at first because she knew they wouldn’t be together much, but when he showed her the quiet gentlemen Zane kept inside she would give anything to go out with him a million times over.
He looked into her perfect blue eyes and somehow his hand slipped behind her head.
Somehow his face bent down to hers. Somehow her lips opened. Somehow Zane kissed her and she kissed back. The bonfire roared and reached for the sky.
The night went on and Zane ended up in the back of the Jeep and no one seemed to notice the absence of neither Kylie nor the Senior President. He eventually drove her home and noticed a dull roar coming from the alleyway between 7 11 and Smiths. He looked closer and realized it was two bodies, fists flying, and finally falling against the dark brick wall and then hitting the ground. Zane backed up and pulled up to the curb in front of the wrangle. They were fighting over something, Zane couldn’t tell what, but it looked like a pair of toddlers fighting over a meaningless toy that turned into a fistfight. The first figure was left in a heap as the other one ran behind Smith’s and disappeared. Zane’s leadership instincts kicked in. He got out of the car and the door slammed shut with an eerie echo. Cautiously he put one foot in front of the other towards the heap. As he got closer he realized it was a kid from his school. Zane had seen him before but couldn’t place his name.
“Calvin Hodges?” The name came from a memory in the second grade when Zane asked if he wanted to sit by him and his friends and Calvin just looked at his home lunch of egg salad on rye. Zane hadn’t talked to him ever since getting the feeling that this was a guy who wanted to be left alone. Calvin was a short little thing with thick black rimmed glasses and squinty little eyes that could bore a hole right through to the back of your head.
Calvin looked right at Zane and said, “Take my glasses, and wear them for one day and change will be on its way.”
“What?” a perplexed Zane asked.
“Take them!” Calvin screeched.
“Okay, Okay!” Zane took the glasses and then something he couldn’t describe happened. Calvin faded. Well, it looked like a chameleon blending into the background, but Calvin disappeared like a mirage. Zane looked down at the glasses and not wanting some mystical force to make him disappear like Calvin just did, he put them on. The whole world changed. He could see every grain of work in the bricks on the alley wall. At the end of the alleyway the direction the first figure disappeared, a bright white light motioned for him to come closer.
The flashback ended and Zane was back in his bedroom staring at the ceiling. He looked over at his nightstand, where the thick black rimmed glasses waited with a daunting presence.