Thrilling. Awesome. Incredible - are only a few words I can use to describe that night. I can’t put into words the feeling you get when you’re almost caught. Caught in the act of manhunting.
None of us thought that that night would be the night the “Napoleon Dynamite” group came to be. None of us knew that we would be so close to getting in trouble that our hearts were pumping so much that asthma attacks almost occurred. It was probably a horrible idea, but it was our amazing horrible idea. It was amazing because (for one) it was Friday, and two, it was my birthday dinner party. Most of my best friends were there and I expected it to be a great time, but nothing close to what actually happened.
It was seven o’clock, on the second day of fall. The air was crisp and clean, just like fall should be. I had just been dropped off at my house by one of my close friends, Jason (I had been at his house after school). I asked him, “Hey, why don’t you come stay for dinner?” Of course, Jason said yes, maybe because he felt badly or maybe because he actually wanted to stay. So it was the five of us. Andy, the little firecracker, Lucas, the somewhat gentle giant (he was known for his impeccable wrestling technique,) Jennifer, the sportsie fashionista, Jason, the kind, funny friend and me. So being tweens, we got bored with talking in about six minutes and twenty five seconds. So, I thought, being the oldest and most mature, I decided to step up and make some arrangements.
“Mom, can we go outside please?”
“Sure, just be back in fifteen minutes.”
Of course it wasn’t fifteen. I lost track of time; we all did. It was probably about an hour. Or more. Anyway, we hopped the fence in my backyard that led to the baseball field, but no, we couldn’t just play on any old field. So we hopped the fence to a private Brown University, rugby field.
“Do you wanna play tag?” asked Lucas.
“Naw,” we replied in unison.
“Manhunt?” he asked.
Well, if you don’t know how to play manhunt, it’s pretty much hide and seek tag, but if you get tagged before you make it to the “base” you go to jail. We were so excited to start that we didn’t designate a base or jail, so it was basically just hide and seek tag.
We were off, after a short round of “not it’s,” Lucas was the determined “it.” We bolted off in all directions, to mulch piles, to trees, all over. Suddenly I observed and outdoor lav. Me being the smart one, had to say,
“Hey, look a porta-potty! That is the best hiding space!”
So, I locked the plastic door and sat. And sat. And sat. I was so bored. Plus, I was pretty sure my friends saw my phone flashlight peeking out from under the door. I bolted to find Jennifer. Fortunately, she called me at that exact moment so I answered.
“Hey, come to the trees behind the mulch pile. I’m so bored.”
I went to meet her. We tucked next to each other under a short pine tree and waited. Now, at this point it was the second round and Andy was “it.” So then came Jason.
“Hey Jason,” I said.
“Jase shhhhh!!!!” I sounded like a librarian.
“Let’s take the secret passage”
Every boy and girl who lived around us knew the secret passage. Andy being from four blocks away, did not. So we hid in the small overgrown backyard of a one-story house. I started to look at where we had been hiding, behind the tree. No one. So Jennifer and I left. We heard Jason shrieked like a toddler and start running away. We disregarded it and kept sneaking towards our next adventure. Eventually we found an amazing spot, next to a bush. Suddenly, Jennifer started running away and she yelled,
“Jenni!” I screamed.
Then, two probably college (Brown) students started walking down our secret path towards the street. “Huh?” I remember thinking that their voices were higher than mine, but that wasn’t saying much. So we did what we did best, we ran. We ran for our un-grounded lives. I can’t speak for them, but I was scared. What would happen if we got caught? I also was not sure that we were supposed to be on that field, especially at night.
When I reached the fence, Jason was kneeled on the ground and so was Andy.
“W-what?” I gasped. I’m not a sprinter btw. Wow, I’m starting to sound like Jennifer now. Anyway, Jason told me that Andy’s asthma was acting up. Great, just great. I’m supposed to be the responsible one and I’m outside at eight o’clock at night with four friends and one of them might have to go to the ER. Fortunately and unfortunately, Andy was kind of overreacting. So we decided to leave. That was my one good decision of the night.
We wanted to eat dinner, but it wasn’t ready, so we decided to watch a movie. What movie you ask? None other than the infamous, Napoleon Dynamite. It was a great movie but we didn’t understand that much of it because during the movie all of my friends were on their phones. They were doing that because someone (*cough, Jennifer, *cough) had posted a picture of us on snapchat, and instagram. Now, all our friends that weren’t there were jealous (and for good reason.)
This story ends with a delicious steak dinner and an experience that will last a lifetime. I look forward to all of our Napoleon Dynamite Fridays (that is a thing now.)
I learned one thing from this. Man, I love my friends. A lot.