by Tabula Rasa
When I arrived at Russel’s house, the plan was that I would only be there for a few hours. My parents were concerned about my being out of the house with a snowstorm brewing, but I insisted that the project was due the next day, so they agreed to drive me over. “We’ll talk about planning ahead when you get home, young man.” Fine, I can take it. Next year I’m off to college anyway, so I really don’t care. I wanted to drive myself, but they said they didn’t want me driving in this weather.
When I got to Russel’s house I learned that his parents weren’t thrilled either. Once we began working they kept walking by, peeking in, and interrupting every time we broke for a second to talk about something more interesting to remind us to get back to work. Then the storm began. We see it falling, fast, though the window. We grinned at each and slapped five, “Snow day!” That’s the cool thing about being a senior; you don’t have to make up snow days. My parents called to say I’d have to stay over there, since there was no way to make it home in this blizzard. That wasn’t a big deal, since Rusty and I are good friends. We figured once we were done with the project we’d watch some T.V. or something.
Eventually Russel’s parents called us in for dinner. Nothing against Russel, but his mother isn’t a great cook. The food tasted weird; slightly bitter, actually. They made it clear that they thought we had been irresponsible about the project, “and your parents agreed with us Ryan” it was very “immature” and “you were lucky this time, if you do this sort of thing in college, you’d be in trouble. You can’t put everything off for the last minute.” I’d heard this lecture a million times before, so I wasn’t that interested. The last bit was a little odd though. “Normally we would ground you for pulling something like this Russel, but I’m simply going to trust that you’ll be more mature by the time you get to college.” “Yes mother.”
“Your parents agree with me Ryan. I don’t normally lecture Russel’s friends but I have express permission from your parents. We agreed that we’re going to simply trust that the two of you will take advantage of the time from now until you go to college to grow up.” Suffice it to say, I’ve had more fun meals.
So after that Russel and I got back to work on the project. The last bit was really tough; the math was much harder than the earlier stuff. When we finished Rusty suggested that we try a new computer game he’d gotten, StarCraft. We started a new game (we had to play as a team) and he started playing. I asked for a turn, and the meanie refused, so I tried to grab the keyboard from him. His father came in when they head the noise. “Honestly you two. If you can’t respect MY computer, you’d better just get off it. Go watch T.V. or something.”
We turned to MTV first, but there was just some stupid music video on. We flipped through the channels and settled on the Cartoon Network. Not that we normally watch cartoons, but it was the best thing on. After about an hour Russel’s mother came in and told us it was time for bed. “But it’s only eight.” Russel pointed out. “We’re big boys, we don’t go to bed ‘til nine.”
“Alright, I’ll let you stay up until nine if you both get changed for bed now.”
She escorted us both to Russel’s room. “Ryan, you’re going to sleep on Russel’s sleeping bag tonight. I’ll pick out some pajamas for you.” She went into Russel’s drawer, searched for a minute, and picked out a one-piece blue footless sleeper. It occured to me that it was a little immature, but I saw Russelhead to the bathroom with the same sort of thing in red, so I figured it was just what he wore. “Why don’t you just change out here while Russel’s in the bathroom,” his mother said. I took off my clothes and put them in a pile. The sleeper looked much too small, but Russel and I are about the same size, so I figured it just looked small. I slid on the legs, which didn’t seem long enough at all, but as put my arms through the arm holes I felt a strange tingling feeling, which got stronger and stronger until I finished zipping it closed. It had seemed tight as I zipped it, but now it seemed to fit perfectly. The room looked subtly different, but I figured it was just getting late. I hadn’t said anything when Rusty was arguing with his mother, but my bed time is eight. Rusty came out of the bathroom and we went back to watch some T.V.. We were sitting at opposite ends of the couch, stretched out across it, when Rusty kicked me. I kicked him back. “What was that for?”
“You kicked me.”
“Uh-huh!” He kicked me hard, so I punched him, and then he grabbed me and we started wrestling. His dad must’ve heard us, ‘cause he said “Okay, you two are overtired. It’s off to bed.”
Rusty said “Nuh-uh. Mommy said we could stay up ‘til nine.” “Mommy didn’t know you were going to misbehave. BED!” We didn’t have any choice, so we went to Rusty’s bedroom. His mom was putting out the sleeping bag as we came in. “I’ve put out clothes for both of you for tomorrow. Ryan, your parents will just send them back when you’re done.”
“Thank you Mrs. Lorraine.” I said as politely as possible. We got into our beds and she tucked us both in. After she turned out the light, Rusty whispered to me “Is it true that you kissed Susie?” “Eew!”
“You did! You kissed a girl!” “Nuh-uh.”
“Go to bed you two.” We giggled and talked a little more (whispering), but I was pretty tired and fell to sleep quickly. Rusty’s mom woke us up later and asked if I needed any help getting dressed. I said I could do it myself. I took off my sleeper and put on the clothes she had put out for us. They were the same kind of stuff I wear at home; Power Rangers underpants and long pants and a heavy shirt ‘cause of the cold. Then Rusty’s daddy came in. “Would you boys like to go sledding?.” “Yeah!” So he helped us put on snow pants and boots (Rusty had spares) and took us sledding. It was so fun! After we came in our clothes were wet, so we took them off and just wore underwear while they dried. We had hot chocolate with cool colored marshmellows and then watched cartoons.
When my mommy picked me up I got dressed since the clothes were dry again and she drove me home. “Did you have a good time?” “Uh-huh. It was really fun.”
“So Ryan, are you excited about starting kindergarten next year?”