I’m taking a risk just writing this. The rain has been falling steadily for hours now and every once in a while, there’s a clap or two of thunder. I’m not seeing any lightning but I’m sure it’s there in the canopy of the slate-colored clouds. The violence of the weather could shut my PC down at any time when the weather is violent like this. Okay, it isn’t as violent as it could be, but the threat of the electricity going off is real when we have storms here on the plateau.
The risk of being online now reminded me of a time when I took a risk as a kid. Some of it was due to being naive. The rest, however was because I was so determined to do whatever my friend was doing, no matter what kind of trouble I might find myself in.
My friend, Linda, was a year older. She appeared to be so much more assured of herself than I was of myself. Doing things that I knew were wrong were everyday occurrences at her house. She would steal coins out of her mom’s purse, try on her mom’s best dresses without asking, make telephone calls that I’m sure her mom wouldn’t have approved of and would have punished her for attempting, let along actually doing.
Yes, Linda was the typical ‘bad girl’. And this, of course, made me the gullible friend.
To give her a way out of this title, I feel that you should know that her parents were divorced, and her mom had to work full-time at a clothing store. I might have tried to get away with things if I had been in her position, though I doubt it. I liked living within the confinement of the rules.
Tracks and Beyond
One Saturday afternoon in the late spring, Linda got the bright idea of going to a store to buy gum. It seemed harmless to me, although I know that there just had to be more to it than what she was initially telling me. There usually was.
She went into her mom’s bedroom and stole some coins plus a couple of dollar bills from her mom’s middle dresser drawer. This was the first time I had seen Linda take money that wasn’t from her mom’s purse. It was also the first time I had seen her take more than coins. A red flag or a blaring alarm should have gone off in my head telling me to scoot out the front door and go home. Obviously my brain had decided to take a little vacation.
As we walked down her front walk to the street, I turned my head towards my house. I could still bow out of the adventure, but somehow I already felt trapped. When we turned the corner at the end of the block, I knew for certain that Linda was up to no-good again. We were heading in the wrong direction to go to the drugstore that was about a mile up a steep hill. Instead, we were headed downhill to the 4-way stop.
As we walked over the old railroad track, I tried to figure out were she wanted us to go. A busy street was coming up fast. Were we going to walk along that with the sand getting in our shoes from it being shoved on to the sidewalk by the traffic whizzing by? There were stores along that street, but not any that I would want to enter. I didn’t want to look at cranes, rental equipment, or plumbing fixtures.