We were seniors in high school which was an astounding 14 years ago. We had cut school as usual and were trying to decide what to do with the day we had before us. We decided we would steal stuff. Will used to call it boosting. We had money, we had all that we wanted, and we were not poor. We liked to steal for the joy of taking something that didn't belong to us from people who had all they ever needed. We would take the huge menu mats on the counter at McDonald's, the place settings of everywhere we ate. The coffee cups, and sometimes even the plates. This day we chose Neosporin and cds from Meijer.
Will had boosted these really cool pocket knives from his work and formulated a plan too put all the items under our coats in a cart and cut off the magnetic strips and put them in the coat pockets. We were in the store filling the pockets when one of the workers caught Will. He told him he had better run because he had called security. Will ran out of the store as I moseyed around putting my stolen goods on the shelves, trying not to let him know I was with Will. I walked past him and out the door, tipping my hat to him as I left. I reached Will's huge van and sat in the passenger seat and he wasn't there. I waited for a minute wondering where he could have gone. On the floor to my left he came sliding up between the seats all 11 feet of him. Scared me to death. He hopped up in the seat, started the van and we split. As we were driving he asked me what I wanted to do, I said I didn't care. He then said, "There are more Meijers." I said, let's go.
Several hours later we sat in jail. I was terrified. It was the first, but not last time I was in the clink. I paced around the cell and spoke a thousand words a minute as I began to hear him snoring. I freak out when I am nervous, he falls asleep. So I sat alone in that cell playing out the scenarios and just as I had freaked myself out to a boiling point, I see a roll of toilet paper roll by unraveling across the entrance of my cell. I had to laugh. He wanted me to. He was bailed out an hour later and I got to stay for dinner. We got back to the house and my mother took me over there for some reason, maybe because our school teacher was there, our parents, and some randoms. We were in for a beat down. I walked through the door with my mom more dissapponted than I have ever seen her, glanced at Will who was at the table with all of them waiting for the punishment. He looked at me in the eyes in such a way that I knew we were going to spin this around on our parents. So we got started with the, "You don't pay enough attention to me, "It was a cry for help," "You're never home," bit. In the end, no punishment outside of the fines and community service and class we had to take. The school also banned us from the basketball tourney which we were the captains of and barred me from my senior trip, citing that Will and I could not go anywhere with them together.
Our senior year was legendary. We never went to school, barely graduated together, went pantsless under our gowns at the walking, peed on the school sign, mooned a teacher, streaked the school. Some of those were just me though, Will and Joe had more sense than I did I think. We were inseparable. You would not see one of us without the other two. We remained inseparable until now. For now we have lost one of our own, a huge part of us. Joe and I share all of these memories and these ghosts haunt us both. Part of us will never be the same again, but we will recover and move forward. Either one of them would step in front of a bus for me if need be and vice versa, heck Joe ran in front of a speeding train to pull me off the tracks.
Truth is I don't know what is going to happen to us. I know we will be ok, but everytime we look at each other, we see Will and we see sadness.
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