The Band This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   I could hear the loudness fromthe drums; the bass was heart-pounding. I walked into the garage and saw Chuckgoing off on the drums. We've been good friends since third grade. He looked likehe was having a seizure, pounding on the five-piece set as if trying to end itslife. Stacy was staring at him, holding her microphone, jaw dropped, wonderingwhere he gets this stuff. After ten minutes, he was done with his craziness. Bythen I had my guitar out and had finished tuning.

Stacy always asks methe same question every time we get to our three-hour, treacherous day of loudcraziness. "Did you practice, or just slack off as usual?"

Ireplied with some snotty remark under my breath like "Did you?" or,"I bet you should have." We always fought, but no matter what we saidto each other, I still had this unusual crush on her, even though I know she willalways adore Chuck the way I adore her.

We started practicing and soon myears were throbbing from Chuck's loud pounding and Stacy's high, annoying voice.

After rehearsing two of our most difficult songs, we called it a day anddecided to relax at the beach and catch some waves. We rode our bikes down thestrip and picked up Tammy on the way since her house is a minute's walk from ourfavorite surf spot. I'd brought the camera because Chuck and I were working onour new surf video, "Massive Wave Surfers."

It was a gloomy dayand when we got to the beach the waves were crashing like thunder, which made mea little worried since I'd heard the undertow can be bad. Chuck was always adaredevil and so I knew what he was going to do even before he dashed out,paddling fiercely.

Chuck got a great barrel, and rode it like it was hisjob. Stacy, Tammy and I were going crazy watching him ride this wave. When he gotto the end of the barrel, all of a sudden he got sucked under. We start freakingout, screaming his name, hoping he would reappear. After a minute, I yelled toTammy to get a lifeguard and call an ambulance.

Dropping the camera, I ranin after him. Stacy started crying. I fought the waves, my adrenaline at fullthrottle. When I finally reached his board, it was broken in half. I startedgoing under to search for him, but the water was too fierce. I looked back at thebeach and saw four lifeguards heading my way. They told me to swim to shorebefore I got hurt. Exhausted, I crawled to Tammy and Stacy who were hugging andsobbing.

An hour passed, and a life boat returned to the beach with allthe lifeguards' faces bold as a Picasso painting. I walked slowly to the boat,and saw Chuck, his skin blue and pale white. My heart dropped, and I stood therenot talking, feeling like I wanted to curl up and die.

The girls and Istill haven't talked much since the incident. We had a memorial for Chuck atschool, but I passed it up. I think it's wrong for them to have a ceremonybecause they didn't really know him or what he would have wanted.

Afterschool, I found Tammy and told her to find Stacy so we could meet at the surfspot. Stacy walked up to me and asked, "What's this all about?" Iexplained that this is the right thing to do - we should bury his soul. I put apicture of him and his drum sticks on his favorite surf board and pushed it offinto the current. We all watched it float into the deep blue sea, and I askedthem if they wanted to get the band back together. Tammy could take Chuck'splace. I knew I shouldn't have asked, but I was looking for a reason to get ustogether as friends again. They both turned me down, but I don't hold it againstthem.

I hope we remember him as a good friend who was cheated out of hislife, which might have been something great.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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