Just Another Night

By
It was near the end of my freshman year, a Wednesday night. I had some friends who were graduating soon, and we were all at my house, bored out of our minds. Technically, they weren’t my friends; they were my brother, Arthur’s. Of course, I think of them as my friends too. There were 4 of us, John, Alex, Bob and myself. I don’t count Arthur because he was with his girlfriend that night, so he wasn’t hanging out with us. John was probably the most clean-cut of all of us. Alex was the crazy one. He always had something interesting or at least amusing to say, whether it was appropriate or not. Bob was probably the smartest, or at least the hardest working (he was the valedictorian that year). When Alex found out that I had a box of bottle rockets in my garage, he begged and pleaded that we go shoot them off. After some persuasion, I decided we would.

I didn’t want to light them in my backyard, so I decided we would go to the old abandoned horse farm about half a mile from my house. My garage is a treasure trove of stuff. Everything imaginable is in there. Except a car. After some digging, I walked out with a box of matches, a bottle, and about 20 bottle rockets. When we left my house, it was already dark and many of the streets on the way had no streetlights. As it got darker and darker, we began to talk more softly to each other. The silence of the night went from being peaceful to sinister. At one point, an Asian lady dressed in all black walked by. Bob said hello, but she didn’t respond and kept walking by. When we looked behind us, she had disappeared into the night. Bob, who is a highly rational person, had a theory that was quite uncharacteristic of him. “For all we know, she could’ve been a ghost.”

Finally, we got to the horse farm. The farm was fenced in and had a no trespassing sign. The farm consisted of an open field, a forested area with a creek, and then another field. We planned to fire the bottle rockets in the second field, which involved a trek through the first one, not to mention walking through the wooded area in the dark. We jumped the fence and walked through the tall, unkempt grass of the field. It was pretty easy going, mostly because the field was all grass. After a couple minutes, we made it to the tree line. Many of the trees were old and gnarled and the wind almost made it seem like they were old men talking to each other in raspy voices.

“Are you sure we should be doing this?” asked John. “We’ll be fine. The path through the woods isn’t that long.” I replied. The path was rougher than I remembered, and the recent rain had made the dirt of the path turn into smelly, sloppy, black mud, especially as we drew closer to the creek. John and his new white sneakers were the first to find this out. Needless to say, he was not happy. Despite our best efforts, all our shoes were covered in muck and we smelled like swamp monsters by the time we got out of the woods.

Finally, it was time to shoot the bottle rockets. After a little fiddling, I got the bottle placed and we were ready to go. I lit the first one and it whizzed into the air and exploded with a satisfying pop. A rush of adrenaline coursed through my veins. All the walking and dirtiness had finally paid off. While loading up a second one, I noticed Bob and John were already walking away. “Where are you guys going?” Alex yelled. They said they were scared that someone would call the cops. Alex and I shared a look of disappointment and disgust and a few choice words were exchanged between us before we went to try and persuade them to stay. Alex and I tried to make them change their minds so we could keep going, but they were not having it. After a short argument we started on our way back to my house.

The walk back to my house took what seemed like no time at all. The dark, menacing streets just weren’t that scary anymore. I got all the guys onto my back porch and we took turns washing our shoes with the hose. After everyone was relatively clean, I sent them all off before my dad got home from work. as they were on their way out, we joked about the Asian lady and the mud. By 10:30, they were all gone and it was just me and my brother.I was exhausted and remembered that it was only Wednesday. With a disappointed sigh, I trudged off to bed.
I look back on it now and realize how unusual it were that I was friends with these guys. I know that I don’t have any freshman friends now in my senior year, and I’m probably not going have any by the end of it. I believe that night was a turning point for me. It made me realize that if I could make friends with a bunch of seniors on my freshman year, I could make as many friends as I wanted for the rest of high school with ease. I think of all the people I’ve made lasting friendships with, and I think of this night where I learned that I can be any person I want to be.

While to some this may seem like a story of a terrible night, I remember it fondly. In fact, I think it was one of the most fun nights I’ve ever had. It made me realize that a little danger can take the most boring, anticlimactic night and turn it into an exciting adventure. I still see those guys every once in a while, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever do anything with them that compares to the time we had on that Wednesday night.





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