We were tired and hungry. All of thirteen, fourteen years old, with all the mental fatigue a full day of freshman year leaves. Clint wouldn’t stop complaining about how bad an idea it was, and Andy didn’t yet know how to set his new cellphone to silent. It was the early evening of some girl’s birthday, I forget whom now, but I was supposed to sing a song for her at her party. She had asked. Clint had broken two strings on his guitar from practicing minutes before. So here we were, outside the school’s music room. Straining eyes, clear minds, and a wet rag forced down the throat of my conscience.
It had of course occurred to us to make our way to a mall somewhere to legally purchase designated item, but understand that we were lazy high school kids who, by definition, would seek out the stupidest way to accomplish anything.
I didn’t know shit about picking locks, Clint was a different story. He had a Swiss knife with a pull-out pair of tweezers. I guess that’s standard issue. Andy’s ridiculously noisy phone was our flashlight. The whole thing was my idea, naturally, being the idiot that I was/am, so my two best mates in the world agreed to pin it all on me had anything gone tits up. The school was lit well enough at six in the evening, but the music room was a way’s away from all the larger lights, in the part of the school that was there before all the new canteens and annexes. And when one recalls that it was a Jesuit school and remembers all the stories of headless priests and floating nuns, suddenly being in the dark old recesses of the campus becomes even less awesome. But I remember thinking that even some religious wraith would have been a more welcome sight than a custodian or security guard right then. Clint was on his knees with a knife jammed into a doorknob. Andy was illuminating the deed. We were pretty hard to mistake for anything other than misguided youths.
I got distracted by a cockroach and was about to warn Clint that it was heading for his foot when I heard a dull click and the music room door swung open.
It took us all of fifteen minutes to remove a #1 and 2 from the guitar we all liked to use during regular classes. It was one of those thick boxy types with a nice heavy sound to it. I figured if we were going to go through all this trouble, we might as well make the most of it. I had packed the strings into my bag when Clint grabbed another guitar and stripped more of the same strings. “Just to be sure,” He said.
And that’s when a sudden wave of self-actualization washed over me and made me see the John Hughes scene we were in, in third person. There I was, making a big deal about something as trivial as not being able to impress some girl, and my two best friends in the world coming through for me, risking suspension. Expulsion. All just to be sure.
“She better be one hot girl,” Andy said.
At least it was a fun party.
It was two in the morning when Andy sent me a text message saying he had just found a complete set of strings he had forgotten were in his bag.
Disclaimer: The events and parties in this text piece may or may not be fictional. All of it is true, up until the point it isn’t.