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Authors: Daniel Dickson

The Long Way Home

BOOK: The Long Way Home
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THE LONG WAY HOME

By

Daniel Dickson

Chapter One

Jillian had spent the majority of her summer going to parties and otherwise trying to entertain herself. It wasn't that she was ugly or anything. Her friends said she looked kind of like a blonde Julia Roberts. Jillian thought she had a smile that was too big. Suffice it to say her best supporter was her best friend Charlotte. Jill became friends with Charlotte because she was the only girl she had ever met that was named after the place where she was conceived. Charlotte was fair of skin and kind of looked like Marry Ann from Gilligan's Island only her hair was naturally curly and she was shorter.

Jill's life was what seemed to be a never ending quest. She simply didn't think she would ever find anything to do that would ever excite her. It’s not that she was one of the clichéd depressed teenagers, she had her fun but it just seemed that there should be more to life then sneaking out to go to raves and randomly making out with some guy or calling her friend talking into the wee hours of the night. Now that summer was almost over she felt that now she could start anew, and find something that would make her somewhat interested in life again.

Tonight however Charlotte was coming over and they were going to go out and eat somewhere. Charlotte was telling her earlier that there was some diner on the boulevard that had a DJ on Friday nights that played quirky 80's music at excruciatingly high volumes. Jill did not see the appeal in this but Charlotte seemed to more than enough for both of them.

Jill went to her room and looked in her closet and she suddenly had a thought, what exactly do you wear to an 80's disco diner? She tumbled this over in her mind for awhile then came up with the conclusion that it obviously wasn't a regular diner and therefore she had to dress like she was going somewhere. But at the same time she could not just wear any old thing there might be some interesting guy there, but then again why would any respectable guy go to an 80's disco diner and for that matter would she ever want to date someone who regularly attended that kind of place. Tossing the idea aside she opted for a little red skirt and a matching top and with cool shoes that had strap like thingies on them.

She was putting on her shoes when Charlotte came in. Jill looked at her and saw that she was in all out clubbers wear.

"Why the hell are you wearing that?" "I mean I thought you said that this was a diner, Charlotte, not some club." Jill said, not realizing that she sounded kind of mean when she said it. "It is... I mean I think it is. I don't know because I have never been there." Charlotte said a little confused. She looked as if she was trying figure out how she got into that outfit, as if she was the victim of some hate crime or something.

To Jill, Charlotte looked kind of like a Fly Girl, the only thing was her outfit was too small for her in all the wrong places. Just as she was trying to figure out how her short sighted friend got into that colorful kaleidoscope of an outfit, Charlotte sort of mumbled, "So do you think I should change before we go?" "Well, I think it would be best for both of us," Jill said. Jill was laughing to herself as her friend changed and then remembered why she liked Charlotte so much, it was because... well, because she was Charlotte and she was always there.

They headed outside and on their way they decided to take the car that Jill's dad bought for her. It was an old beater that he got from the neighbors for at least fifty dollars. She didn't really like it but it was better then nothing and being that it was her first car it had some sentimental value but that was about it. It didn't have a radio or air conditioning and the rearview mirror had a tendency to fall in Charlotte's lap at nearly every stop, on a good day it would only overheat once or twice. Being that Charlotte didn't have a car it was their only choice. It wasn't that Charlotte couldn't get a car her father had plenty of money it was just that she was afraid that everyone drove like it was their last day, and in Hollywood Jill could understand.

On the way to this place Charlotte was describing her latest male experience with some guy named "Chuck" that she met at a coffee shop on Franklin. You see Charlotte was easily persuaded by men and couldn't understand why they would sleep with her and then never call her again especially when they seemed so nice. This was why Jill didn't really deal with guys other than superficially because she was always pulling her friend out of the 'I can't believe he hasn't called me back he said he would' phase. Jill had always treated men the way she felt they would treat her. Anyways this new young Chuck was "shockingly" different then the last one in that he took Charlotte to dinner, roller-skating and a movie, before he screwed her.

They were approaching the diner it had one of those poorly done 50's motifs. When they got out of the car they could hear "Tainted Love" blaring from inside and there was a bouncer at the door only he didn't check for IDs he only made sure everyone stood in a straight line. It was a diner after all "oh God" thought Jill as they walked in. When they got in, the music was so loud that they had to yell at the waiter. At first they tried talking but they couldn't so they just sat there listening to a horrible remix of "Purple Rain." After eating they decided to see if there was a dance floor, so they walked around the entire place only to find other silent people eating overly priced burgers. Jill motioned for the door and got outside, looked behind her and saw that Charlotte was not there. She looked inside and saw her standing near the bouncer who was pointing to Jill. Charlotte looked up to see Jill and had a look of relief on her face and came running over.

"I thought that you had ditched me or something, come on let's go back in there this is the last weekend before school starts and I want to have some fun." Charlotte said desperately.

"Charlotte honey, I hate to say it but that place is anything but fun, I mean we would probably have more fun sitting in a room by ourselves staring at each other trying to figure out what one another was thinking," Jill said in her most convincing voice. Charlotte agreed and reluctantly got in the car and they headed home.

They normally wouldn't have ended the night so early or on such a low point but Jill had plans and things she needed to do before the first day of what was now her last year of High School.

Chapter Two

It was unsettling that the summer was taking so long. Grey had decided it would be best to spend the last remaining week before starting at school lying around at home. He found comfort in just being at home and listening to music. Besides that he was sick of everyone at this point he no longer wanted to be in the crowds. He resented the fact that others seemed happy wasting their time trying to impress others. He couldn't understand why most people spent their time trying to be someone else just so that they could then try to explain how they weren't actually that way. He found that people started bothering him whenever he was around them all the time, but at the same time he found that even if he tried to get away they found him.

All was not lost however; he still had his friends and still enjoyed their problems. It was all he could do to advise them not to do stupid things. His only true friend was Mike. He found that Mike could bring him up no matter how bad he felt, it was Mike that was always around when he needed him. Grey knew that he and Mike would be friends forever.

Grey was changing to go and take a shower when Mike called. "Dude where are you?" Mike slurred over the phone.

"I am at my house, you just called me!" Grey didn't mean to sound angry but he knew that Mike was drunk somewhere and needed to be picked-up.

"Where are you? I'll be over there as soon as I take a shower," Grey said.

"I am down on the strip. I'll be at Tower just come when you're ready. I'll... be uh... out front on the curb. You sure you're coming dude I don't want to be out here long it looks like it might rain." Mike at this time was hardly audible due to the fact that he had a tendency to lick the phone whenever he got to drinking and calling (just one of the reasons not to use pay phones in Hollywood).

"Yeah man I'm coming, I'm just going to take a shower first, don't call me anymore I assure you I am coming. By the way, it's the middle of summer and there is no way that it's going to rain." Grey said knowing that in 15 minutes Mike would be calling again to make sure that he was actually coming.

Sure enough while he was in the shower he heard the phone ringing not more then ten minutes after he got in. Grey decided to ignore it only to have it ring three more times before he got dressed.

On his way out the door the phone rang again Grey picked it up and said "I am coming!!!" "Oh cool man just checking," Mike said this time sounding as if he hadn't just called now five times. Grey slammed the phone down and got in the car.

He got to the record store to find Mike on the curb reading the newspaper. Grey honked and Mike got in the car handing the paper over while saying, "I got this for you."

Grey took the paper and threw it in the back. He looked over at Mike and cursed himself for never being able to stay mad at his friend. Grey thought perhaps it was because they had known each other since they were six. Mike looked like a cross between Mick Jagger and Ben Stiller.

"Do you want to come over to my place?" Grey said calming down.

"You can come and eat all of my food like you normally do. My dad isn't home and we can practice in my basement ‘till the neighbors call the cops on us." Grey said realizing later that he was almost pleading with him.

"Yeah man but as long as you let me buy you lunch for picking me up," Mike said with a sobriety that made Grey feel better.

They ordered and were sitting in a restaurant down on Fairfax eating corned beef hash and eggs.

"Hey when are you going to have some fun, I mean all you do is sit around your house by yourself or with me. Or you go to parties and just get annoyed at everyone else. I mean why don't you get a girl or something, shit it's almost like we're dating," Mike said with a certainty and clarity that shocked Grey.

"Well the main reason is that I don't like all the shit that I have to go through, besides that where do people meet people? It's not that I don't want a girl I just don't want to have to jump through hoops to get one" Grey said this and really felt as though he was convincing himself that this was true.

Mike unfortunately saw right through him. "Dude I know you to well to believe you, I have seen you in love before you are... What's the term...? Oh yeah, you're a 'hopeless romantic' every time some girl comes around you fall head over heels for them. Remember the last one, what was her name again?" Mike said with a grin.

"Wanda" Grey said agitated. Mike put on the lecture face that he always put on right before he went on some huge litany.

"Yeah Wanda you really like her in fact if I remember correctly, you spent thousands of dollars on her just to have her dump you, what two months later. I mean for Christ's sake you bought her a four hundred dollar cashmere trench coat for your two week anniversary. Look the only thing that you have to remember is that you can't buy the love from someone. It is the things that you do and how you remain that they fall in love with not the things that you buy for them. Take me and Gina for example we have been going out since junior high, she doesn't know it but I would do anything for her, I know that I love her and I know that she loves me. All that I want is for you to have the same thing, in your life." Mike ended his lecture with a satisfied look on his face and finished his eggs.

Grey knew that Mike was right and he knew that he had been a fool too many times with this damn thing called love but he decided right then and there that... well that he was going to turn over a new leaf, not just a new leaf but a whole tree of leaves. He finished his lunch and the two of them headed for the car.

Once back at Grey's house they went down stairs to practice their new songs. It was exactly 2:13 am when they received a knock at the door and sure enough they were shut down for the night. They went to the living room and ate cold pizza not really saying much.

Grey was starting to fall asleep when Mike asked him a weird question, "Hey man what are we going to do when we get back to school?"

For whatever reason Grey was annoyed at Mike's question so he got up and walked over to a mirror he had in the living room. He looked at himself he knew that he was good looking or at least that's what his girlfriends told him. Wanda told him that he looked like a young Frank Sinatra. Lost in his thought he replied sarcastically, "The same thing we do every year, try to get out of doing any actual school work, planning parties and meeting girls. I don't know why you act like anything different is going to happen."

BOOK: The Long Way Home
11.16Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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