“Hey,” Josie observed as they neared the ticket line, “I don’t see Carl. Where’d he go?”

“Hey, Matt,” Angie greeted him sitting down, “where did Carl go?”

Sarah grabbed a bag and pulled out a cheeseburger. “He went off with Theresa. She was flaunting that picture again. He mumbled something about having enough of her shit.”

“How much food did you guys buy?” Matt asked, sorting through the bags. “And what took you so long?”

“He left with Theresa.” Angie said, taking a burger.

“That ruins my plan,” Josie sighed.

Matt looked at Angie with confusion. “What plan?”

“Josie likes Carl.” Angie said.

Sarah laughed. “Josie and Carl sitting in a tree…” she began to sing.

Josie grabbed a few burgers and a soda. “I’m goin’ to hang out with Marlee. I’ve had enough of you.”

“Bye!” Everyone laughed in unison.

Josie flipped them the bird as he made her way to up the hill and to the tree Marlee was sitting under. She put her hand over her eyes to block the sun as she scanned the parking lot for any site of Carl.

Marlee grabbed the bag of food from her. “I’m starving,” she said, eating a fry, “I was just about to come down and see if you guys wanted to go get something to eat.” She looked at Josie, who was still looking for Carl. “What are doing?”

“That bastard!” Josie sat down; “he went off with that bitch!”

“Who?” Marlee asked.

“Carl!” Josie took a bite of her burger.

“Please don’t tell me you like him. He’s a scumbag.”

“That’s what Angie said. But he seems so much fun.”

Marlee rolled her eyes. “Typical case of Bad Boy Syndrome.”

“And, he’s so cute.” Josie added.

“There are much more important features you should be looking for in a guy, Josie.” Marlee took a sip of soda.

Josie finished her burger. “I’m sixteen, no there isn’t.”

“You don’t even know if you and Carl have anything in common.”

“Not important.” Josie answered.

“So let me get this,” Marlee turned to face Josie, “you would date a guy that you had nothing in common with, just because he was cute.”

“That depends,” Josie said, “was the guy cuter than me? If he was then I couldn’t date him.”

“Nice answer,” Marlee shook her head.

Josie laughed. “You take everything so seriously. So, you’re telling me that you would not be interested in a cute guy.”

“That’s not what I’m saying,” Marlee thought for a second, “what I’m saying is that there’s more to dating than good looks.”

“Oh yeah,” Josie paused, thinking of a good comeback, “than why are there so many lonely ugly people?”

“Forget it,” Marlee gave up, “go, date Carl.”

“Lighten up,” Josie put her arm around Marlee’s shoulder, “we’re in high school. Time for fun, time for…” she stopped, looking at something behind Marlee.

“Yeah, time for what?” Marlee asked.

“Don’t look behind you.” Josie told her.

Marlee turned. “Why?”

Josie grabbed her head. “I said don’t turn around. That guy’s looking at you.”

“What guy?” Marlee asked, trying to turn around again.

“That guy,” Josie answered, “the one who’s first on line.”

“The one with the mohawk?” Marlee scrunched up her face.

“No, not the freak,” Josie said, “the one with the green hair.”

Marlee smiled. “Really.”

Josie cocked an eyebrow. “Really,” she repeated, “are you saying that you may be interested.”


“Good,” Josie said laughing. “Because I think he’s coming this way.”

Marlee turned around to see him jump over the wall and climb up the hill.

“Hey,” he said as reached the tree, “do you mind if I join you. It’s really hot in the sun. I think I have scalp burn.”

“Sure.” Josie told him, motioning him to sit.

He sat down next to Marlee. “Hi,” he extended his hand, “I’m Rob.”

“Hi, I’m Josie,” she said leaning across Marlee to shake his hand.

Marlee pushed her away. “I’m Marlee,” she shook his hand, “what are you doing here. You don’t exactly look like a Bruce fan.”

“I’m not,” Rob said laughing, “Bruce sucks.”

“Blasphemer!” Josie interjected.

Rob laughed. “We’re getting tickets to scalp. Do you know how much these’ll go for on the street?”

Josie rolled her eyes. “What a waste of ‘first on line’ space.”

“More like a waste of time,” he answered. “Shithead down there said we would only be a few hours, now it looks like all day.”

“Yeah, apparently I have nothing else to do today.” Marlee told him.

“Let me guess,” Rob turned to Josie, “you fell for the corporate marketing and think that Born In the USA is the greatest album ever.”

Josie’s mouth fell open. “How dare you speak of my boyfriend like that,” she paused, “and the two of  you would make a great couple.”

“My sentiments exactly,” Marlee said, “this album is nothing but Bruce cashing in. He’s sold out and his fans have no idea. I mean, look,” she pointed to the crowd, “I’ve lost count of how many people down there are wearing blue jeans, a white tee-shirt and a red bandana. They’re like servants following their demigod.”

“Yeah,” Rob agreed, “and have you seen the annoying girl with the picture?”

“Uuugh,” Josie moaned.

“Friend of yours?” Rob asked.

“We go to school with her.” Marlee answered.

“What a bitch!” Josie exploded. “She is ruining my plans.”

Rob chuckled. “What plans?”

“My plans,” she repeated. “I am supposed to be with Carl today! Not that snot-nosed, preppy, wanna-be slut.”

“What a bitch.” Rob said sarcastically.

“Mock me if you must,” Josie said standing up, “but I’m gonna kick her ass.”

“Girl fight!” Rob said enthusiastically.

“What school do you guys to?” Rob asked.

“Roosevelt.” Josie answered. “And you?”

“Lincoln. Senior.”

“You wanna kick her ass for me?” Josie asked, half seriously.

Rob thought for a moment. “How much are we talking.”

“Seriously!” Josie’s eyes lit up.

“No.” Rob answered flatly.

“You sure,” Josie continued.

“What’s up with that shirt?” Marlee asked pulling at Rob’s Sex Pistol shirt.

He looked down at it. “They’re the kings of punk,” he paused, “what’s up with the black hair and black clothes?”

“This is my statement to the world. It’s my current state of mind.”

“Let me guess,” Rob teased her, “you listen to Bauhaus all day long.”

Marlee narrowed her eyes. “And let me guess, in your car right now, you have Bad Brains and The Circle Jerks.”

“You forgot the Dead Kennedys”

“I’m so sorry.” Marlee answered sarcastically.”

“I detect some sarcasm. Do you not like punk?” Rob asked her.

“I just can’t get into the anarchy thing.”

“But Goth was born out of Punk. It’s just a subculture of the Punk scene. It’s all connected.”

Josie waved at them. “Hello! Third person here!”

“How long do you think this wait is going to be?” Marlee asked.

“I don’t know,” Josie answered, “it’s too long already. And no one’s even come out to let us know what’s going on.” She looked at her watch. “And, I have to be at work by 3:00.”

Marlee shot Josie a dirty look. “You said this would only be few hours. I’m gonna be waiting here all day.”

“What are you complaining about,” Rob jumped in, “if you weren’t waiting here, you’d just be waiting somewhere else. Life is nothing but a series of lines. You wait at the store; you wait at the doctor’s office. If you weren’t waiting here, I’m sure you’d be waiting somewhere else.”

Josie rolled her eyes. “Who invited you here?”

“No, you’re right,” Marlee agreed, “you’re born and you wait to die…” she thought for moment, “but what matters is what you do with the wait.”

Rob turned to Marlee. “Are you saying that you don’t believe in fate?”

“Not really, but yeah. You choose your destiny. Every choice you make is followed by another choice and then another. Every action has a reaction. Every choice you make, in turn creates another decision that must be made. Fate has nothing to do with. Things just don’t happen.”

Rob smiled at her. “So, following your theory, it would be safe to say, that if you hadn’t chosen to come with your friends today, we wouldn’t have met.”

Marlee smiled back at him. ‘I guess so.”

Josie waved at them again. “Hello! I’m still here. I think I’ll leave you two alone, since you seem in your own world anyway.”


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