Back Down to Earth

Back Down to Earth

A Chapter by Ricky
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Richard is just a kid on the verge of manhood trying to find out who he is and what he wants out of life.

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“Ram hurry up! Dad’s waiting in the car!” Lizzy shouted to her brother from the top of the stairs. “Ok, gimme a sec! I can’t find my wallet.” He shouted back lifting up the recliner chair. He heard his sister groan and storm off her footstep being very loud. She had to go and meet up with her boyfriend and she apparently did not want to be late. He just thought how ridiculous it was for her to make a big fuss about this considering how fast she went through boyfriends. Plus, she had a whole hour until she was supposed to see him, while plans were dependent on his arrival.

               

Spotting his wallet under the chair he snatched hit and went upstairs, but not before saying goodbye to his cat. Stomping up the stairs he said bye to his my who told him to have fun. Locking the door behind him he paced the car into the passenger seat where his dad and sister were waiting for him. “Got your wallet?” his dad asks before backing the car out. “Yup, and the wood, tinder, and lighter.” Ram replied. “Are you guys planning on doing anything after the bonfire?” Lizzy asked.


“I don’t know, they’ll probably want to but I got football practice tomorrow so I don’t think I’ll stay.” Ram answered. He felt agitated about talking about football, playing for his high school didn’t feel the right. He loved playing for the Trojan select team before high school, the coach was kind and supporting, same went his teammates. With his school, it felt like they were forcing him to become better rather than aiding them. And he couldn’t relate to most of the players, and the ones he could he’d known for a long time or were on the sidelines most of the time like him.

               

He would’ve quit sophomore year if everyone around him weren’t always pushing him to play the game. While walking to catch the light rail in downtown Seattle random people would stop him and be at awe with his size asking if he played football or sometimes basketball. Ram was six foot six inches tall and weighed around two hundred sixty pounds, for sixteen-year-old that was pretty impressive. Encounters with these types of people had become so common for him he had answers and responses already thought up for what they would say. “Yeah I drank a lot of milk when I was a kid.” He’d say or, “I play right tackle on offense and right tackle on defense.” And every time they said he had a good chance to go pro, then they leave wishing him luck with his career.

               

Not once though did they ever ask him what wanted to do with his career, they all assumed that since he’s large and plays football that’s what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. And he considered it while he played for the Trojans but going into high school his mind was changed swiftly. Despite how he felt he never told anyone this, not his family, not his friends, certainly not his coach. He felt scared of what they would think of him if he chose to stop since everyone and their mother thought that football was his future. But with the way the practices and games were going for him he didn’t have a doubt that he’d drop football, the only question was when and what was in store for him afterwards.

               

He was taken from his thoughts when he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket, “When you coming to Alki?” the text from his friend Alexa said. Casually with one thumb he replied, “On my way now, be the in five to ten minutes.” She replied quickly with an ok mentioning that the fire pot they were at was past the volleyball nets. Ram followed up asking who was there in which she named off a list of people that he had known since elementary school.


A problem he found out about himself as he got older was that he wasn’t very social. Most of his friends were people he’d known his whole life and wasn’t very welcoming to the idea of letting others into his social circle.  And for the few who had made it into it were at the edges and sometimes were given less attention friends should give one another. It was just who he is though, no way of denying it, just have to be respectful of those around him at the time.


“Do you know if Will is going to come?” the next text buzzed in his hand.


“Probably not, we have a two-a-day tomorrow, but Angelica would know for sure.” He responded.


“Lol, she said the exact same thing and told me to ask you.” “Oh, lol.” The two lolled together.

               

Now the car just past the volleyball nets and were on the lookout for his group of friends. After a few moments, Ram spotted the and asked his dad to pull over. He shouts hello to the group and asks for some hands to help unload the boxes of wood. His friends Zach, A.J., and Juan rush over and help him out and the four boys stumble to the beach. Immediately after setting the wood down the girls of the group each gave him a hug with a variety of excitement. Each though asked not to be bear hugged which he was notorious for.


“Is this everybody?” he asked.


“Nah, Alejah and Sara are supposed to be here in a while and supposedly Marvin, Chuck, and Ian are supposed show but I don’t know for sure.” Alexa answered. He shrugged with answer and began to set up the fire cabin style placing the kindling first followed by some sticks placing them on two chunks burnt wood that had been left. “Hey Richard do you know if B is going to come?” his buddy Andrew asked tuning his ukulele. Richard, is Ram’s real name and many people referred to him as such, only people who were extremely close to him ever called him Ram.


“No, he has a date with a girl, Alexandria was her name I believe.” Richard answered blowing onto the sparked kindling.


“He has another girlfriend? Jeez what’s that make now, twenty-seven? He has way too much time on his hands to manage all those relationships.”  A.J. commented in awe stalling the game of two hand touch football.


“The man has the smarts, the money, and the experience to handle it.” Richard replies as he sinks his head further into the pit to try and get the fire going.


“That’s just disrespectful in my book, I mean if you have that many relationships you can’t be that dedicated to every one of them. He’s basically just using them for his pleasure.” Kacee, one of the girls, spits out. Raising one finger he signals for them to wait for his response as he backs away from the pit squeezing out the lighter fluid on the wood and amber. Flames burst up and the group crowding around the pit jumps, all the while Richard reenacts the scene from Cast Away where Tom Hanks is dancing around his newly made fire.


“Hahaha, woo! Sorry ‘bout that I just get real FIRED up sometimes.” Richard laughs at the groans his friends make towards his pun. “Seriously though please do not speak ill about B. It may seem be odd that he’s polyandry, but he has his rights. Plus, it’s not like he forces them into a relationship, he lets the ladies know what they’re getting into.”


“Still, it’s weird.” Kacee continued.


“That didn’t stop you two before.” Richard smuggling returned creating a chant after he roasted Kacee.

              

  After that they left the subject alone, and sat around the fire roasting marshmallows and hot dogs. Andrew played his ukulele and the girls sang along to whatever he played. The guys invited Richard to come over and play two hand touch with them but he politely refused he was sick of that game. He just sat on the large log managing the fire while roasting some food every now and then.


Hours past and the summer sun began to set over behind Bainbridge Island, everyone had now settled around the fire and were telling stories of the past and what was going on in their lives currently. “This is the life.” Richard thought to himself. He enjoyed listening to what they had to say, as well as placing some puns in between conversations. He’d laugh more at their reactions than the joke itself, not to say that he didn’t find them funny.


“Hi peoples” a familiar voice greeted the group. They turned noticing Alejah and Sara both walking towards them. Some of the girls got up to give them hugs while others sat expecting the two to come over to them. Richard got up to greet them proceeding to toss another log into the fire. He tried to sit down but noticed he’d been bumped by Sara who’d partially taken his spot. “Can I help you young lady?” Richard jokingly asked deepening his voice. She just stuck out her tongue making fart noises.


Richard smiled, shaking his head and sat back down and listened to the group talk some more. It wasn’t long though for his blissful moment to be interpreted again when Sara rested her head on his shoulder. This would be fine if Richard had gotten over the crush he had on her since middle school. Back then he had a hard time telling her this, even with B’s advice and wingmanning he couldn’t build the nerve to tell her. This went on for a few years until they were about to graduate middle school.


 Back then he was in a better place in his life, for the first time he considered himself to be truly fit, he was doing great at sports, his grades were higher than they’d ever been, and he’d just got accepted into the high school he really wanted to go to. With everything going his way he thought that this was the perfect time to tell her how he felt. That didn’t go as he had planned and he ended up getting friend-zoned which was agony for him. All those years and build up just for that to happen; B tried to make him feel better by setting up dates for him but none of them worked out. This sent him into a bit of a depression that he hid from everyone by carrying a relax or joking demeanor.   


He did his best to just try and ignore her and fiddled with the fire using a piece of drift wood as a fire master.  It was working very well, just gazing at the fire had a hypnotic power over him making him feel content. As he watched the blaze dance Sara poked his thigh taking him out of his trance, “Hey, Richie,” she spoke. “You ok?” “Hmm, yeah I’m fine. Why, what’s up?” Richard asks concealing his slight annoyance from being taken back and forth from a blissful state. “No~thing,” she strums out, “I was just wondering if you wanted to take a walk with me down the beach.”


Richard felt his heart skip a beat, he didn’t really know how he felt. Some of him felt overjoyed at the thought of taking with her along the beach, but also felt angered and saddened with the thought that if his hopes were true. What could’ve happened in the past town and a half years to make her see him differently. Again, Richard hid his emotions and answered, “Sure why not? I could pick up some drift wood for the fire while we walk.


They got up, Richard put one of the guys in charge of managing the fire while he’s gone and the others bicker over why they don’t get to tend to it. The two are already gone though to answer any of the complaints. They walk down the beach talking about how they did in school and what colleges they are thinking of applying to. Their conversations mostly remain idle chitchat as they continue, Richard picking up pieces of wood as they go along. The amount of idleness and casual conversation started to concern Richard, “Surly she didn’t have them walk so far from the others to just have a life checkup between them.” He thought to himself.


“Hey Sara,” Richard spoke sensing something amidst. She hummed acknowledging him. “What’s the reason you dragged me all the way over here?” he asked with his words having sternness. “Um…” Sara trailed off not prepared for such a change of tone. “I-I mean SHORE the walk is nice and all, but we’re being real SHELFISH for just leaving everyone back there. I mean unless I was for something URCHIN-t, we didn’t need to come all the way out here.” Richard humbled out as many puns he could think of realizing how rude he must’ve sounded. They didn’t talk much after that but still continued walking.


They finally stopped when they realized that there were less than a handful of people on this side of the beach. Richard suggested that they should turn back but instead of saying anything Sara walk over to a large log and sat down. She motioned for him to join her and he did, not wanting to be rude and they just sat. There was no longer any conversation between them, the only sounds heard was that of the water pushing back and forth against the shore.  The sun was setting behind Bainbridge Island Making the sun glow of its edges creating a glare of the buildings downtown.


A squad of fighter jets soared over the sky creating a loud roar behind them. It was normal to see them around this time of year with Sea Fair just around the corner. Richard eyes trailed the jets until they were too far for him to see anymore. He peered down at Sara who was playing with her thumbs still not telling him what they were doing out here. The awkwardness that came with the silence was becoming too much for him to handle, sure he liked the scenery and all that came with it, but why would his former crush drag him all the way out here just sit down?


“Sooooo,” Richard killed the silence, “what’re we doing out here?” “Do you still like me?” Sara asked not looking up at him. “I… uh… Well, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t, but you said you didn’t feel the same so it really doesn’t matter.” Despite his hopes that this issue would come back up it still caught him by surprise. Sara didn’t reply but Richard could feel the tension between them and tried to relieve it with comedy. “Knock knock.” He didn’t get a response so he tried again, “Knock knock.” “Richard….” Sara answered with a depressed expression. Still he persisted, “Knock knock.” “Who’s there?” she sighed relenting.  “Tense.” “Tense who?” she played along with the joke. “You’re tense and I’m tense that’s who.” The bad joke made her groan and, although it didn’t make him laugh, put a half smile on his face.


“This is one of the reasons I turned you down you know.” Sara spoke.


“What?” Richard asked confused by her statement.


“You can be so immature sometimes, you always crack jokes that aren’t even funny, you don’t take school seriously settling for an average grade, and you can be so close minded. I mean, maybe if you tried a different approach you wouldn’t be struggling with so many things!” Sara ranted.


“… I’m sorry?” Richard asked is disbelief. He was hurt that a friend he’d known for most of his life would speak to him in such a manner. “I’ll have you know that I tried a different approach back when I asked you out. Back then I was trying my hardest and succeeding at school, I went away from the approach of playing sports with the friends I’d known for my whole life and took a chance at a sport I’d never played before with complete strangers! And you know what happened, I got into the greatest shape that I’d ever been in in my entire life! And with that came success, I got into the school I wanted to, people outside my life began to recognize me as someone special! But news flash! The school sucks, all they want are winners who will become successful and spread their name so that they can make more money off idiots like me dumb enough to believe that they actually care about them!” He shouted at her his words were fiery fueled by the anger, frustration, and pain lying dormant with in him for so long.


“What’s wrong with being successful Richard, cause then you have the needs so you don’t have to worry for the rest of your life!” Sara argued still sounding serious but meeker after hearing him talk.


“Are you kidding me?! Do you realize how often those people have to check their money to make sure it’s still theirs? And then you have the constant presence of everyone judging you on every little thing you do. I don’t need that in my life, I got enough thank you.” “That’s the price of success. And what the hell do you do that has people judging you?! All you do is go to school and play sports that’s it!” “What the f**k do you know about me?! Do you realize people have already decided what I should be before I’ve decided myself, that I get talked to by complete stranger who are always telling me how I should live the rest of my f*****g god damn life! Not to mention the pressure put upon me by my parents, my dad has been working two jobs for years in hope that I become successful in my private education!” “Well you must be a real let down then huh?” Sara gasped realizing how personal she just made their argument.


               Richard jumped to his feet face red on and pumping in and out air like a maniac. He made surprisingly quick motion with his arm and Sara naturally closed her flinched. Richard was twice her weight and over a foot taller than her, if he wanted to he could deal a fatal blow. But instead of hearing a smack, the tearing of fabric was made instead. Sara opened her eyes and Sara Richard standing jeans to his ankles with a ripped belt in hand. It’d be comical if he wasn’t still so passed off, he cocked his arm back and tossed the belt into Pudget Sound yelling as loud as he could. He tried to turn to face Sara but ended up tripping on his pants making him even more frustrated. He started kicking and hollering frantically on the sandy ground cursing every word he could think of while he tried to remove his pants over his large shoes.


               Sara just watched not saying a word as this scene went on in front of her. She looked around to see if anyone else was watching but there was no one, they’d all left before or during their argument. She’d seen him get upset before, it wasn’t often, but every time he did get upset he’d get pretty violent whether it was in words or actions directed at someone who made him mad. This however was different; his anger was more manic and less directed. It was like everything had passed him off and he was lashing back the only way he felt he could. She wanted to leave but felt a compassion to stay knowing that she unleashed this behavior from him. She needed to say something for his sake more than hers, but before she could say a thing she can hear him sobbing.

            

   Richard now is lying on the sandy beach curled up in a ball, pants still around his legs, crying in frustration. Sara hesitantly gets up from the log and squats beside the young man placing her hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry, I don’t like getting mad because I know I can hurt people when I’m like that.  And I don’t ever want to hurt you or any of our friends, but it feels like I’m all alone in this world with everyone against me. And I know that you guys are there for me but I feel that is all an act sometimes, that you do it not because you care but because someone told you it was the right thing to do. If success leads to this much pain and frustration, I’d rather be a failure my entire life.” Richard sobs hating himself for how he acted.


“Richard… I… we are both at fault here. I shouldn’t have said what I said, nor should I have thought that your life was as simple as it sounds. You need to realize though that life is not all laughs, that you need to struggle. Maybe not in order to be successful financially, but instead characteristically so that you can know if you’re going down the path that you want.” Sara calmly tells him.


               Richard gives her a glance not really expressing any emotion, then picks himself out of the sand wiping the tears out his eyes. The sand on his wrist smears over his over his eyes, but at this point he really didn’t care. In truth, he felt a lifted, like a big weight had removed from his.  Turing to Sara he wraps his arms around her hugging and apologizing repetitively squeezing tight enough that it wouldn’t hurt. She returns the hug and accepts his apology and gives one in return adding emphasis that they were both at fault.


“Ahem, well, now that we’ve settled things… can you uh, go to my bag back at the fire pit?” Richard awkwardly requested.

“Uh yeah. Wait, no actually let’s go back like this and see what the others think what happened.” Sara joked.” “Really?” Richard sarcastically asked. “Yeah I’d be pretty funny.”  “Maybe, but think I’ve had enough drama for one day, so can you please get me my shorts?” Richard pleads. Sara concedes and making the long walk back to the fire pit.


               As soon as she turns her back on him, Richard’s joking expression saddens and he hangs his head in shame. “Why the f**k did I do that? God I’m such an idiot!” the young man groans bringing his head to his knees. He knew he couldn’t let himself get angry like that, he knew that he could be very violent when he’s in that state on mind, but he got angry anyway. And all because she was speaking the truth, well sort of. “It doesn’t matter know I guess, this is either going strengthen our friendship or tear it down completely.” He thought to himself sitting alone with no one but himself to comfort him.




© 2017 Ricky



Author's Note

Ricky
This will link to the previous chapter just give me some time.

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Added on March 16, 2017
Last Updated on March 16, 2017
Tags: Sci-Fi, Adventure, Action, Drama


Author

Ricky
Ricky

Seattle, WA



About
I am a young ambitious man who has always been fascinated in telling stories. And unlike the rest of my family who can draw very artistically i cannot so writing is as best as i can in displaying what.. more..

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A Chapter by Ricky