This is a narrative written for my English class. It’s a short reflection on opportunity and regret.
We waited. Parked just beyond the road that led to it. Our apprehension held us hostage and no one dared to fight its affectionate embrace. What was the verdict? Were we to resume our journey toward uncertainty or return bruised with our tail between our legs. Neither seemed favorable so we just waited. While my intrepid thoughts drifted to the seemingly distant age of yesterday.
A typical Saturday, unimpressive really, my two closest friends, Gavin and Spencer, and I were hanging out around the fire pit in my backyard eating popsicles while the Dirty Heads hummed in the background. I leaned forward in my chair. My head perched on a closed fist while the opposite hand fed me the frozen treat. My face was caked by the heat radiating from the dancing inferno a foot before me. The flames lunged towards me only inches before me but I was as placid as ever; it soothed me. Embers, slaves to the cool midnight breeze, gracefully twirled and drifted into the oppressive void above. The subduing aroma of the smoke relieved me of all thoughts other than the popsicle I held. Rather than recoiling from its menacing clutch I welcomed the intrusive beast. I occasionally looked beyond the vibrancy of the fire to confirm that my guests were still there and doing well.
Gavin rested his worn, black Vans on the concrete edge and sat back. One arm relaxed behind his head while the other handled the popsicle. He seemed to be enjoying himself. Spencer, the least appreciative of us, had already devoured his dessert and had begun to dismantle the lighter. He manipulated the height of the flame and seemed relatively pleased with the results, I know this because he shoved it in Gavin’s face; demanding recognition for what he’d done. He continued to restlessly fidget. Nothing less was expected from him. I grew up with Spencer so to me this type of behavior was unextraordinary. Spencer was bored.
I questioned him and my initial diagnosis was affirmed. Spencer’s attention deficit and hyperactive disorder was consuming him. All of our effort, which there wasn’t much of, was now focused at suppressing Spencer’s boredom. The serenity of the evening was shattered due to his incessant needs.
Spencer recommended his typical ideas which consisted of going to Bella Terra, Triangle Square, or Pacific City. Not having the interests of young teenage girls, Gavin and I immediately shut down his ideas and teased him for being so predictable. Content with where was, I didn’t give much input other than to ridicule Spencer’s lame ideas. After about two logs had burned, Gavin finally spoke up about an abandoned blimp hangar in Tustin. My immediate reaction was to shut it down but echoes from previous nights that I had kept us from doing anything told me otherwise. We agreed to drive there the following night.
Sunday was a blur. My mom and sisters were still out of town so my two brothers and I had the house to ourselves. Gavin and Spencer met up at one of their houses while I enjoyed mongolian barbecue with my brothers. I let them know when I was finished and from there we began our excursion.
The drive was uneventful. There was little traffic and most of the drive was spent telling Spencer not to touch things. Although I didn’t object to going to the hangar, tonight I was feeling especially indolent and would’ve prefered to relax at home. Nontangential thoughts were intertwined and I began to abhor the trip. I developed a coherent argument about why we should turn back. Then came the revelation. We were within eyesight of the road and Spencer read a webpage concerning the hangar aloud. The words slipped through his lips with no purpose but they were enough to stop the car. The hangar’s perimeter was often patrolled by security due to construction to turn it into a museum of some sort.
We waited and considered our options. When I first heard Spencer my immediate reaction wasn’t relief but rather indecision. Should I launch a campaign to ruin the night and lasting memories? I already planned one but acting upon it would accomplish nothing. The other option is to follow the Spencer in his rather unconventional path that either doesn’t or simply refuses to acknowledge potential consequences. He seems fulfilled, I guess.
We ended up turning back after we saw flashlights piercing through the darkness. I went home and watched tv like I had never left at all. That night while in bed Robert Frost’s poem hijacked my thoughts, taunting me.