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 Category:  General Fiction
  Posted: July 26, 2021      Views: 70
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Retired Marine; retired high school teacher; married 35 years; father of three; five grandchildren; one rescue granddog.

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Chapter 12 of the book Fifty Days of Friendship
a friend to get in trouble with
"Steve, Not William" by Bill Schott

My later teen years were filled with missteps and misinformation. When I was seventeen the drinking age became eighteen. Essentially that meant that younger people could buy us beer. It seemed as though we were in the Wild West as far as the law was concerned. We were often approached by law enforcement and asked if we'd been drinking. With bottles clinking and pimpled faces suppressing snickers, the blushing driver would say "No" and we would be on our way.

I recall we kids used to meet at the community center outdoor basketball lot for pick up ball. We were mostly average players and typically played the baskets across the narrow sides of the rectangular asphalt court.

One day this guy showed up; his name was William, but wanted to be called Steve.

Steve had game (as one might say today). He moved to our town from the city, and brought what was considered average dribbling and shooting skills there. It was like the circus had come to town. Steve drove through all of us like we were nailed to the ground. He would spin into a lay-up, leap and shoot between his legs in the air, and hurl a nothing-but-net ball from half court. We were totally impressed.

Steve and I hung out a lot. We both worked at gas stations. This was back when there was an attendant who not only pumped gas, checked your fluids, and washed your windows, but also changed tires, exhaust systems, brakes, and did car tune ups. As a result, his abilities on the basketball court were never transferred to the high school team. This limited his circle of friends to us "also-rans".

As it turned out, his sister was becoming my brother's girlfriend. This was the topic of a few discussions, as she was a bit odd. He couldn't imagine anyone liking her, though my brother (and others) found she offered a chance to explore the sweet mystery of life.

Steve and I would ride our bicycles most places, since it was still cool to have a driver's license, but continue to ride a bike.

Sometimes we would be each other's alibi. If he decided to hang out with a rough crowd, he would tell his folks he was with me. They liked me.

In the same way, when I found myself hanging out with some fast girls (too fast for me) and some other outcasts with whom it was verboten to associate, I would say I was with Steve. Parents -- so trusting.

One night, however, we stayed out too late running around and the driver needed to sleep before attempting to drive a hundred miles back home. We spent the night sleeping six people in a '64 Mustang. It wasn't as enjoyable as you might imagine.

Anyway, I dragged in around seven a.m. to find my mother had slept in a chair by the door all night fretting I had been in an accident. I apologized and told her that Steve and I had been in his car (non-existent) and had run out of gas up north. She was fine with that explanation until Steve knocked on our door, entered, and asked where I'd been all night. My eyes widened as I turned to my mom, whose eyes had narrowed considerably. My credibility took a big hit that moment.

eventually moved back to where he used to live. His sister hung around and my brother ended up marrying her and hauling her to live with him in Alaska.

I eventually regained my mother's trust. I believe I was thirty-five, married, and a father by then.



The book continues with Karen wth the Brown Eyes. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

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