Disclaimer: All characters in this story are original and any similarities to any of your characters or real life people are purely coincidental Story is PG-13 for drug use swearing and Homosexual themes, no explicit sex scenes.
My slightly tanned hand collided with the top of the shrieking alarm clock. Luckily, I have good aim. Welcome silence filled the room for a short sweet time before my mom broke it.
"Adam! Get up, you'll be late!" she screamed through the door.
It wasn't until then that the implications of her statement hit me. I inwardly groaned. I'd be starting my sophomore year in high school. I'd never liked school, so it was with a heavy heart that I dragged myself out of bed, pulling on my favorite pair of black dickies and a Green Day shirt. 'Time to join the flock of brainwashed sheep.' I thought, grabbing the piece of toast and backpack my mom held as I headed out the door.
"Thanks" I muttered, walking out the door. Don't get me wrong, love my mom, and appreciate all that she does for me. She's a strong lady, having to take care of me after my dad left. I think him leaving really messed her up emotionally. She's lost that look she used to have. That spark in her eyes that told that she was in love with life.
I never really knew my father very well, he was always at work. In love with his job instead of his wife and kids, he finally left one day when I was eight days old. I heard he's working in Wisconsin now. A long ways from Berkeley…but we haven't received so much as a letter since he left seven years ago. Just a fat child-support check. He's a lawyer by the way.
Before I know it, my train of thought ends, and I find that I have consumed my toast and have arrived at school.
I looked up to see the gloomy brick building that is my school. My gaze fell upon the doorways, and the spikes above it. I know they're there to keep birds from landing on it, but it makes the school feel even more like a prison. To me, it seems school is there to brainwash people into believing that they won't amount to jack-shit unless they do what they're told. To turn opinionated children with a lot to say into mindless robots at the disposal of society, believing that success is money, and money is happiness.
I go anyway, mostly to humor my mom, but I know that if I didn't go I would have little to no social life. As it is, I have a lot of 'friends.' If you could call them that. I always thought friends were people you could trust with your deepest secrets. I wouldn't trust most of my 'friends' with a spork! I do have a few true friends whom I can trust, and I'm grateful for them.
"Adam!" called a familiar voice. I turned around to see my best friend"
"Hey Sam, what's up?" I replied with a smile.
"Not much dude, but why are you just standing there, we're late!"
"Aren't we Mr. Studious." I grinned sarcastically, following up the stairs to 'prison'
"Shut-up dude" Sam said, though failing to hold back his smile.
Sam's smile was something I always admired. I think most people did. His smile could bring a smile to anyone else's face no matter what kind of mood they were in. Well…almost anyone. Mr. Johnson didn't smile when we walked into geometry together, grinning from ear to ear.
"Not a good way to start the year boys, tardiness shows disrespect. Now, we were just discussing the quadratic equation. You should have learned that last year, we're having a little review. Mr. Samuel White, would you kindly tell the class what the quadratic formula is…"
Sam's smile faded quickly and was replaced by a furrowed brow and a red face.
"I…uh…don't know, sir." He stammered, running a hand through his blue hair.
'It's going to be a long year.' I thought to myself as Mr. Johnson launched into a lecture about the importance of math. Right, the quadratic equation is going to come in handy all the time when I get out of school…uh-huh.
Well, that day eventually ended and soon the week passed too. It was finally Friday, and the bell had rung. We were free for the weekend.
During the week, I had been reacquainted with most of my other 'friends' We were the outcasts. We had spiked up colored hair, we listened to punk rock (well, some of us), and we don't like conformists. Many of my friends seemed to think seemed to think these three things made them 'punk.'
However, punk is not a dress code, Blink 182 is not punk, and conformity is relative.
While I believe that conformity is a stupid thing to engage in, I don't believe the answer comes in trying to be a so called 'non-conformist.' Because, by being a conformist, you are letting other people tell you what to do. But by being a nonconformist, you are letting people tell you what NOT to do.
Unfortunately, most of my little 'group' didn't understand this, becoming just as sheep-like as the preps they claimed to hate. However, a few of us, Sam and I included, don't let anyone control who we are. Sam Mike, Dave, and me. I guess you could call us the 'true punks.' While the other 'outcasts' listen to bands like Blink 182, Sum 41, and Green Day, we listen to the Ramones, Bad Religion, Dead Kennedy's and Operation Ivy (although I do like Green Day, and Sam never leaves me alone about it).
The four of us seek refuge in a punk rock club called the Gilman Street Warehouse Project.
"Hello? Anybody home?" said Mike, waving a hand in front of my face.
"Eh, What's going on? What?" I asked, looking from Sam's concerned face to Dave and Mike's who were laughing hysterically.
"Earth to Adam!" Dave yelled in between laughs, hitting me in the back of the head. He looked high…he probably was.
"Shut the fuck up, dude." I growled angrily
"We were trying to figure out what to do this weekend" Sam finally revealed, face still maintaining a concerned look
"Let's go to Gilman, tonight." Dave suggested, followed by a 'hell yeah' from Mike. Typical, they wanted to go to Gilman every night.
"Good Riddance is playing tonight!" Sam exclaimed excitedly, his small body straightening, bright blue eyes lighting up. Needless to say, Sam liked Good Riddance a lot.
"Sounds good to me." I lied, Good Riddance is far from being even close to one of my favorite bands. I just don't like them. But I would much rather fo to Gilman with them than return home to my zombie-like mother.
So we headed off to Dave's to have a couple beers before the show. Dave's dad was an alcoholic, and by this time of day, had passed out, leaving us access to the fridge. I took the beer Mike tossed me, and took a swig. Mike proceeded to toss one to Sam as well, who tossed right back.
"Straight-Edge motherfucker" he laughed jokingly. Sam was always the good one of us. He did well in school, didn't do drugs or drinks, and was the only one of us with parents still together. I respected him a lot. Maybe that's because he's the only one on my life I CAN look up to. Dave and Mike were cool, but they wouldn't amount to anything. They had a band, but they weren't very good, and their drummer, Chris, was horrible. Not just as a musician, but as a person. He was into speed, and was hell of violent. I never liked him. I'm pretty sure Mike and Dave would end up just a couple of greasy punks panhandling on Telegraph Ave., crashing at whatever squat they could.
I can almost picture Dave, at age seventy, his faded green mohawk sticking out at strange angles. Warming his hands by a trash can fire and smoking a joint. Mike standing right beside him, his deep brown eyes wrinkly and dead.
I realized I had zoned out again, and turned to look at Mike, whose eyes were full of life. He was talking about how the scene had been dying ever since Green Day sold out.
"What the fuck do you know, you were never even part of the scene before Green Day sold out" I said, stifling a laugh.
"Yeah, well that's what my brother says." He said defensively.
"Then why don't you come up with your own opinions instead of regurgitating your brother's words" I retorted, equally defensive of Green Day.
"What the fuck is your problem man?" Dave interrupted our dispute.
"No, he's right, man." Mike muttered.
Three surprised people turned to look at Mike's gigantic sulking frame, sitting in a beat up green chair, his carefully spiked blonde hair smashed against the back of the seat. Mike doesn't usually admit when he's wrong.
"But Green Day still sucks!" he said, smile returning to his defeated looking pale face.
"You got that right," laughed Sam, playfully punching me in the shoulder.
"I leapt off my chair, lunging at Mike. I landed on top of him, but didn't stay there long. Mike is fucking huge, and extremely muscular. I mean, Dave was pretty big, but he was a hamster compared to Mike. He didn't have to try very hard to pin me, as Dave reached into my pocket and grabbed the box of cigarettes.
"Hey, those are mine!" I exclaimed, though smiling because I didn't really care. I watched as Dave helped himself and Mike let go of me, doing the same. I followed suit, and we all smoked our cigarettes(except Sam), and talked about how stupid school is, and how music is the answer to everything.
Before we knew it, it was six o'clock, and we all extinguished our cancer sticks and started walking towards Gilman. We showed our memberships at the door, and paid our admission, walking into the minute warehouse that was the Gilman street Project. Walls covered with names of bands and political statements. It was my second home, and I made myself comfortable in a chair as I watched my three best friends disappear into the crowd.
Of course, I knew quite a few of the people in the pit. They, like me, found Gilman to be a sanctuary. People from age ten to fifty joined in the sweat soaked mosh pit, wholly consumed by it. Music for Gilman street regulars was the reason for everything. It was the reason to live. It inspired, and taught all of us. But again, I wasn't much of a Good Riddance fan. So I sat out, still enjoying the sense of community I always felt inside these four walls.
I suddenly felt as if I was being watched, and rotated my head to the left, coming face to face with Sam.
"Are you allright, you seem kind of out of it." He questioned.
It was then that I realized that the bank wasn't playing anymore. Taking a break, I assumed.
"How long have you been sitting there?" I finally managed.
"Just a couple minutes, long enough to see that you're pretty deep in thought. What are you thinking about?"
"Ah, nothing." I told him, not exactly lying. I wasn't really thinking about anything of importance.
"If you say so man." he muttered, somewhat angrily.
"Thanks for asking, though." I said, not liking to see him upset.
"You know, if there's something wrong, you can always talk to me about it. I'll always be here for you." He said, expression changing once again into concern.
"Of course! Same to you man." I smiled. Sometimes it seemed Sam was a little bit more emo than punk. I'd never tell him that though, he'd probably hit me.
"Allright, I'm gonna go talk to that hot girl over there." He said, gesturing to a red-head in a Ramones shirt, looking board, tapping her black high top Converses on the ground.
"OK" I said, smiling back at him.
I saw him disappear into the crowd and reappear on the other side in a few seconds. They talked for a while, and I watched as he infected her with his contagious smile.
Sam soon grabbed her hand and walked out of the club, without even telling me he was leaving or saying goodbye. I began to get angry. How could he 'always be there for me' when he was out with some girl. I sat there for another few moments feeling sorry for myself before I just left. It was dark out, and pretty fucking cold.
I walked around Berkeley not really sure where I was headed. I was remarkably cold, because I didn't have a jacket with me. I saw the Peet's coffee sign in the distance. Ah, the sweet paradise of Peet's…I sauntered in, ordering a cup of coffee. I wasn't really angry at Sam anymore, just sad. And I really wasn't sure why. I took my steaming cup and sat by the window.
I sipped the coffee idly, looking out at the dark streets of Berkeley. My gaze fell upon my reflection. Hazel eyes stared right back at me. I had black spiky hair and a round face. Few zits were to be found on my face, which was still pale from the summer. I wasn't TOO bad looking. Yet for some reason I hadn't had a girlfriend in a long while. They used to ask me out all the time. I'd go out with them, but they were just all these 'non-conformists' from school, kind of stupid and air-headed. I've never asked a girl out, I'm too shy.
I smiled at my counterpart in the window. I wasn't mad at Sam, I was lonely. Oh well, only eight months left of school, plenty of time to find someone. Besides, there were always plenty of girls hanging around at Gilman.
So I finished my coffee feeling slightly better about myself, and walked out of Peet's, towards home. Before long, I arrived at my front door, and I quietly opened it so I wouldn't wake up my mom
The house was spotless. Cleaning is something of a habit my mom had been developing lately to keep herself busy. It keeps her mind off of other things.
I carefully placed my backpack next to the door and walked into my bedroom which looks like a disaster area compared to the rest of the house. After kicking off my shoes and stripping down to my boxers, I I climbed into the bed and fell asleep at once.
Author's note: I am aware that this chapter is fairly boring, it is written only to set the stage for the events to happen in the story. The exciting stuff will begin next chapter. I already have eleven chapters written of equal or greater length. Being the idiot I am, however, It's hand written. I'll try and get it typed as soon as I can. But keep in mind the more reviews I get, the more motivated I'll be to get it typed out.