Falling Off a Log

By Driver

Chapter 19

I was up and off to school early the next day. I was in one of the best moods I'd ever had, and I couldn't wait to tell Keith and Nick about the PA system, and to see If Nick had told Keith about our practice yesterday. I was the first one there. From the whole school. I sat on the front steps looking up the street and down the street. A few kids started arriving, then the early buses came in and suddenly there were lots of kids milling around.

Finally, Keith's Dad dropped him off. I went running over to him. "Hey, Keith!"

"Hey Joe. Brian said you tried to crack all our plaster yesterday."

"Keith, man. It was awesome! Nick was awesome! Reallyreallyreally good! And he's right - I can play better than I been. Way better. It's just that when we first went over there I didn't know how good you guys'd be, so I didn't play too good. But you been doing the same thing! I can't wait 'til tonight to see what we sound like! Did you talk to Nick? And guess what?"

"What? Slow down! Here comes Nick now."

I looked to see Nick saying goodbye to Mandy, then he started towards us. I grinned my best grin and ran over to him. I started pawing him on his arm and shoulder. "NICK - I was just going to tell Keith, come and listen!"

He gave me a smile that I hadn't seen before. Warm and friendly and ... finally ... Happy! I tugged him over to Keith and announced, "Scott got a PA system! A brand new one! He's bringing it today! Nick - tell Keith what we did yesterday!"

"Keith, you're not gonna believe this, man! You remember that tape Joey played us the first day? THAT WAS HIM AND SCOTT! We played one song all day yesterday, and it got better and better! Then we started dancing around - you know, like guitar players do. And it was AWESOME! I can't wait to hear it with your drums." It was fun to see excitement coming from Nick.

Keith grinned, "Brian said! But Dad gave me a warning - we gotta keep it down. The jerk across the street is pissed about the noise, and he wants to get us busted."

I said, "We should ask Scott about moving to his place - they don't have any neighbors, and his family's been listening to us forever. We could clean out a spot in the barn and practice there."

Keith looked at the parking area, "Here's his bus. Let's walk in together. We can meet up at recess and figure stuff out."

Scott started to get off the bus. He didn't make it. Just as he took the last step, his backpack caught on a door hinge and he landed on his ass on one of the steps. Everyone who saw it was laughing. Keith ran over and helped the blushing boy up.

"Scott, man, you're too much. Where do you keep coming up with these things?" Keith was laughing.

"Just trying to keep things interesting," Scott said as he wiped dirt off his butt and looked around to see what had caused it this time. Everyone assumed we did this stuff on purpose, and we never denied it.

We started towards the school door. "Did Joey tell you guys I got a new PA?"

"He started to, but then you hadda go clowning around."

Four very happy boys walked up those stairs, listening to Scotty describe his new treasure, and anticipating a very rosy future. I was between Scott and Nick, holding hands with both of them.

... continued

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