Another 500 words. 610 to be correct. And it feels good, like 610 words should.
It took inspiration from a familiar stranger to make this second installment work.
What was said to me amounted to “Let’s see if you can keep this up”. So, here goes. This one is called ‘1989’. I think my 3rd installment will build on this. Please, don’t hold me to that.
Fifteen minutes into the rehearsal, Teddy fell in love. Wally only snuck him in to give an opinion about his performance. He told Teddy he took the role just to get out of class.
“Who is she?” he asked.
“She’s the lead in the play,” Wally answered.
Teddy watched him tap down the tobacco in his cigarette, light it from the lick of his Zippo’s flame, clacking its lid shut. He exhaled quickly, getting the taste of lighter fluid out of his mouth. They both smoked, waiting for the bus after rehearsal.
“Bye, Bye, Birdie isn’t much,” he went on. “But you have to admit, she looks a bit like Ann Margaret.”
“Well, her hair reminds me of Ann Margaret anyway.”
“Was she in the play?”
After some back and forth, Wally managed to clear some things up.
No, Ann Margaret was not in the school play and she did not go to his school.
Yes, Teddy needed to expand his interest in movies beyond that of those made by Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas.
“It’s a classic,” Wally said. “I can’t believe you haven’t seen it.”
Teddy nodded, inhaled on his smoke long and hard, taking it almost down to the filter then ground it out under the heel of his cowboy boot.
“When is your next rehearsal?” He asked. “I want to go.”
Wally finished his cigarette the same way, only he wore Reeboks, not cowboy boots.
“Bus’s coming,” he said.
They were the only two at the stop when the drive brought to bus doors skillfully to a halt right before them. They got on, paid their fare with tickets, and proceeded to the back of the bus, propelled by its quick acceleration. An hour later they were sitting on the picnic table in Wally’s backyard, smoking cigarettes, drinking Coke, and listening to Metallica on a boombox.
Wally went in through the patio doors to answer the phone when it rang.
“Hey,” he called out to Teddy. “Hey.”
Teddy poked his head through the door, careful to keep the smoke from his cigarette as far away as he could.
“Wanna go see a movie?” Wally asked. “The new Indiana Jones is playing.”
“The Last Crusade?”
“With James Bond himself.”
“I thought Sean Connery was in it?”
“That’s what I said.”
“Roger Moore is James Bond.”
“You have got to watch more movies,” Wally said and then went back to the phone. He hung up a few minute later.
Wally lit a cigarette using his Zippo then said, “They will be here in a couple hours.”
One started to play from the boombox and Wally nodded his head along with the beat.
“The twins. Along with their friend, Liz.”
Wally hung around with identical twin girls he knew enough to tell apart, no matter how hard they tried to fool him.
“Do you remember anything I say?”
Teddy shrugged. “Only if it’s important. If it’s not, I know you’ll remind me.”
Wally went back to smoking his smoke and drinking his coke. “You’ll figure it out.”
A few heartbeats later, Teddy did. “Are you serious?”
“Ya. They’ve been best friends for years. For, like, forever.”
“I’m broke,” Teddy confessed.
“I can spot you a few bucks.”
“No. That won’t work.” Teddy wanted to impress Liz and he wouldn’t do it borrowing his friend’s money every time he wanted to buy something.
He stomped out his cigarette on the patio.
“Hey. I gotta clean that up.”
“C’mon. We don’t have time for that. We need to go upstairs and raid your closet.”
“To make some money.”