by Chris Kay
Brian’s father was one of several owners of an oil exploration and drilling company.
To say the least, Brian was one wealthy kid – blonde, rich, and outgoing. The lucky shit. I remember when he got a sweet, emerald green Alfa Romeo Spider from his dad for a birthday present. He drove up in it before school one day in the early fall and talked me into going for a spin. We tore around the school with music cranked up on the transcendent stereo system, until both of us were late for class.
I never understood why he had made friends with me in the first place. I wasn’t wealthy like some of the other kids in our school. We were the same age and had a PE class together, but otherwise, very little in common. For example, I drove a brown AMC Gremlin handed down to me from my older brother. It had a malfunctioning tape deck, one tape of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side and the permanent scent of pot engrained in its torn bucket-seats. My family lived in a four bedroom, three bathroom house on a quarter acre lot in the suburbs – as far as one can get from Brian’s ritzy neighborhood, without leaving the school’s boundaries. My family wasn’t poor by any stretch, but what did he see in me?
Brian had two houses that I knew of. The one I had visited was a twelve bedroom mansion on a lot the size of a city park. I had first seen it when he asked my band to play at a keg party he threw by the pool the previous summer, when his parents were out. 16 kegs and the police were paid off. It was incredible. Rich kids can get away with anything.
One day in PE class, I pulled a muscle playing soccer and got permission from the coach to sit out for the rest of the period. I kicked back on the bleachers to watch the other guys play when Brian came over and sat down next to me.
“You’re still dressed. How’d you get out of class this time?” I looked him over. He wasn’t wearing the prototypical blue gym shorts and white t-shirt, but still had on jeans.
“Note from the doctor.” he said.
“Yeah, B.S.” I laughed and he just smiled.
“Actually, my sister and I got a death threat. Some anonymous weirdo’s trying to scare my family. My parents hired some guys to watch us. They’re right over there.” He pointed over to the school lot where a gray Lincoln sedan was parked.
“Damn! Really?” I said surprised. “Someone kidnapped my dog once,” I joked. “but they gave him back after a couple of days when we didn’t give a shit.”
Brian laughed out loud and kicked back right next to me. Uncomfortably close. I remember at the time feeling that it was odd, since the bleachers were empty except for the two of us. He was so close that his denim covered knee touched my bare one as we talked.
He was about my size and build, five feet ten or eleven, one hundred and fifty pounds, bright blonde hair that was dark at the roots, flopping around short above a truly electric smile. Neither of us were the over muscled athletic type, but had physiques that girls seemed to like. I always felt lucky that we were friends. I wasn’t the type to hang with the preppies or jocks, usually, and neither was he. He could have bought any friends he wanted, but seemed fairly well grounded for a super rich kid. If he gave me the time of day, he had to be down to earth.
“I was going to have another party this weekend at our place in the Oaks.” he offered. “My people are out again.”
“After the last one? Are you sure the cops will leave you alone? It was so rowdy, I couldn’t believe the neighbors didn’t complain.” I said as I pushed my legs together in the gym shorts self-consciously, as if to give him more room.
“Most of the neighbors came to the party, but it doesn’t matter anyway, because of the threats. I can’t have the party with that going on. The hired security guys are going to be guarding the house.” He said, as he gestured with his head back toward the parking lot again. “It’s a bummer, because when my parents are out, it’s such a waste of an empty pad.”
“Your parents take off somewhere when you and your sister have stalkers?” Nice.”
He put his hand up dismissively. “It’s not a big deal, really. It happens. You just have to be careful. But, “No parties!…they said.” and he sighed in resignation.
“Well, our drummer is out this week anyway. We couldn’t have jammed for you.” I said.
“Hey! Wait a minute. Want to come over for the weekend? An approved friend or two wouldn’t hurt! I just have to tell them you’re coming.”
“Sleepover at your place?” I said, though the word “sleepover” instantly seemed grossly inadequate for the scope of the enormous ponderosa in which he lived.
“Yeah, why not. Just you and my sister and the mafia guys parked out front! It’ll be a blast.”
I was still hanging on the fact that I had used the word “sleepover”. I felt stupid for even saying it. I wanted him to continue thinking I was cool. “Yeah, alright. why not? I’ll ask my people. I’m sure they’ll be ok with it. My mother would prefer it to some of the gigs we’ve been playing lately anyway.” I laughed.
He clapped his hand down on the exposed skin of my leg just below my shorts as he stood up from the bleachers. “Great! just show up whenever on Friday after school. It will be fun, I promise. Saturday night, too. Stay all weekend, k?”
I was taken aback at first by the familiar touch on my leg, but as usual, I felt a little shot of pride pass through me as he started to walk away smiling. He was a cool friend to have, I thought. The popular golden boy type.
“What should I bring?” I asked.
“Nothing. You don’t need anything. We’ve got it all.” he said as I watched him walk through the main doors to the first floor classrooms, the bell ringing to signal the end of class.
On the following Friday night at about 6:30 I rolled up to the iron gates in front of Brian’s palatial home, wound down the window on my Gremlin and pushed the call button. Brian’s sister Karen answered and asked me who I was. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hear her well, because the engine was idling really high. I couldn’t understand her over the noise. I shut off the car and said, “Hi, Karen. It’s Alex.”
“Oh, hi Alex. C’mon in.” and with a click of static from the intercom, the iron gates rolled open.
I restarted Ole Bessy and puttered down the interlocking brick driveway to the castle hidden deep in the evergreens. I pulled up in front of the stairs to the entranceway and parked next to a dark sedan not unlike the one that I had seen in the school lot. I couldn’t see through the tinted windows, but assumed the ubiquitous security Mafioso were lurking just inside. I felt briefly ridiculous parking my junker in front of the ornate mansion.
I grabbed my little overnight bag, stepped out, slammed the door without locking it, and started up the stairs. A door on the passenger side of the sedan opened and a man in a white shirt and tie emerged He came over and stood next to me with one foot up on the step above mine.
“ID please.” he said emotionlessly, as they do.
I gave him my driver’s license…the real one…, and waited. He took it back to his car as the driver’s side window rolled down with a whir. Another man sat just inside. I could hear the stereo from within as they discussed my license. They weren’t cops, but they sure felt like it. After a few minutes he gave me back my ID and asked me what I had in the bag.
“A change of clothes…toothbrush…just stuff.” I responded. “You won’t need to examine the undies I hope.” I said sarcastically as he looked inside the bag that I held open for him.
“Have a good night,” he said as he disappeared behind the dark windows of the sedan once again.
I climbed the steps up between two huge roman columns and dropped a shiny silver knocker once onto the sculpted wood of the front door. I looked down at my feet as I waited for someone to answer. I noticed that even their cement was nicer than the stuff in my neighborhood. It had little sparkles in it. After a minute, the door opened and Brian was smiling and inviting me in. Still wearing the faded jeans and the Mr. Zogg’s t-shirt I had seen him in at school earlier in the day. “C’mon in man! Make yourself at home!” he said with his hands spread out wide around him, his voice echoing up to the high ceiling of the foyer.
It was a palace of marble with a huge curving stairway off to the right and a sitting room with an assortment of high-backed leather reading chairs to the left. A wide hallway led straight ahead into the depth of the place.
“Make myself “at castle” is more like it.” I responded sarcastically. “This place reminds me of the Modern Art Museum.” I said, looking up at a huge cubist painting hanging on the wall below the upper floor railing above us. I don’t recall the exact painting now, but knowing his wealthy family, it may have been the original Nude Descending a Staircase for all I knew.
Brian walked over to the stairway and motioned for me to follow him up. “Lose the shoes,” he said without turning around, and I noticed his bare feet below the jeans as he walked up the hardwood steps. Not seeing where to put my sneakers, I just left them by the wall and ran up behind him with my small bag still in hand.
He walked down a wide hallway and swung open two French doors to reveal a sweet playroom. There was a full size billiard table, a wet bar and even a juke box over in the corner – bubbling away with bright colored lights. He walked over to the box and punched some numbers into a keypad. Sound poured from everywhere around the room as some metal tune awakened the quiet room.
He grabbed a pool cue and tossed it to me. “Let’s play.” he said as he grabbed one for himself. “Eight ball?” he asked and I agreed. I set down my bag on a nearby couch.
As young friends can, we dove into conversation effortlessly. We talked about anything and everything as we knocked the balls about. Our PE class, girls, the teacher with the odd recoiling sneeze, the asshole jocks, his emerald green Spider, my lowly AMC, just everything. It was nice.
His sister Karen came in after a while. I don’t remember her exact age, but she had just graduated the previous year. Like her brother she was a good-looking blonde. In fact, she was super hot standing there in shorts and a close fitting blouse. I couldn’t help but stare at her tits. I must have done it for a bit too long, because Brian was grinning at me across the pool table. I looked quickly away from them both. I didn’t know how he’d feel about me checking out his sister.
“Um, say, Karen…” Brian said in his best harmless sounding voice. “Oh sister, dear…favorite sibling o’mine….” he continued pleadingly. “A simple request?”
“Your ONLY sibling” she said as she leaned over the juke box to see what songs Brian had cued up. “What is it?” she asked with a suspicious tone.
“You have the key don’t you?” Brian asked through a practiced smile.
“Yeeesss.” she replied back, not even looking up at him.
“Please…….” Brian pleaded.
“Hmm.” she pondered.
I was clearly out of the loop. “Ok. what are you guys talking about? What key?” I asked curiously.
“To the bar.” Brian indicated by pointing his nose.
“Oh…THAT kind of key.” I replied hopefully.
“Yeah, she’s got a key, now she’s graduated.” Brian said in a mocking tone.
“Yes, I do, don’t I?” She teased as she patted her pocket – grinning at us both, blowing a lock of blonde hair out of her face while leaning on the glowing juke box. “Perhaps, I’ll open the bar, grab a beer, and pour the two of you Shirley Temples.”
“Sister dear…” he said again. “Pleeeeeaasssee. Alex is super laid back! He’s not the crazy type. We won’t mess anything up, promise!” And he waited with sparkling wide, blue eyes for her response – the pool cue clutched possessively against his chest like a good luck charm.
She gave him a Mona Lisa grin and then looked me up and down quite intently. I felt a flush run across my skin as she sized me up. “You won’t tell your parents will you Alex?” she asked, to which I rapidly replied, “No way, absolutely not. Not a chance.” crossing my heart with the pool cue. After another pause she finally said, “Alright. Just beer though, you two. Ok? Cause dad knows what liquor we’ve got. And I don’t drink much.”
“Sweet!” Brian said. “Love you, K!” and both of us jumped toward the bar.
“You heard me guys! Only a few beers. And you stay home tonight. No driving anywhere.”
“No problem.” I said happily.
She went behind the bar and put one of the keys from her ring into a cabinet panel, which swung open to reveal a row of gleaming bottles, glasses, and a half height fridge. “There you go. Be good, now.” She smiled and turned to leave the room. “I might have someone over tonight too, so don’t get in our way. Got it?”
“Moi?” Brian mocked as he hastily pulled two cold bottles of brew out of the little fridge, and fished for an opener.
“Who will it be, tonight? I wonder.” he asked rhetorically as he scratched his chin. He put the unopened bottle in front of his jeans at his crotch like an enormous cock and waggled it back and forth. “The swimmer one, maybe?” he giggled. “That was a good show the other night. You guys out in the pool at 2:00 am.” Brian laughed as he leaned back, thrust his hips forward, and flopped the beer about like a bouncing boner.
“Laugh it up, you little stain.” Karen chided. “Be polite or I’ll lock it all back up.”
“Chill Sis. It’s cool. We’ll be good.” he said with a truthful glance at her.
“Yeah, we’ll see. All it takes is one call to Mom” she reminded him as she grabbed the French doors.
Brian set down his brew and formed an impromptu halo over his head with both hands.
“Did I just hear a choir singing?” I laughed while opening drawers around the bar in my search for a bottle opener.
She giggled with us as she closed the doors behind her. We heard her walk off down the tiled floor of the great hallway.
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