White Picket Fences Chapter 3

White Picket Fences Chapter 3

A Chapter by Gabalicious!

         I kicked a lava rock from Mrs.Kopecki’s yard along the sidewalk in front of me. Beau and I spent hours, when we were younger, throwing the rocks into the sewer drain on the corner of our street. We would try to figure out which volcano the rocks came from.  We had it narrowed down to the one in Hawaii or the one that buried all of those people in Europe. I figured it was the one in Europe because they were digging up the whole city and had to send the lava rocks somewhere.

            As I came up on Gavin’s house I saw Jimmy, Gavin, and his older brother Shawn disappear into the old barn that now served as Gavin’s garage.  Gavin was the exact opposite of me. He was tall, had red hair, and was the youngest brother instead of the oldest. Shawn, his older brother was already in his second year in high school and had all kinds of really cool friends. Jimmy was his best friend; they were always tinkering with cars so they had permanent grease stains all over their hands and clothes.

            I stepped into the garage and saw them quickly stand up from the boxes they were sitting on and start kicking at the ground by there feet. “Holy s**t Brad, what are you doing I thought you were my parents!” I stepped further into the garage and shut the door behind me. I could smell a familiar scent, but it was something I hadn’t been around in a long time. When I was really young my mom and my gran smoked, eventually they both quit and my papa gave up his pipe as well. 

            “Are you guys smoking?” I stepped closer and could see the smoke swirling in light coming through the wooden walls. I wasn’t really sure how I felt. I got my mother to quit by telling her I would be good for the rest of my life if she would quit and now my friends were smoking.

            “You want one?” Jimmy pulled a red and white box out of his pocket and held it out to me. It was strange, I wanted my mom to quit but when I was offered a cigarette I felt like I was part of the group. I had always kinda circled around the outside of this group of kids, and this was my opportunity to be friends with the older kids Gavin hung out with.

            “Sure.” I walked across the room and took the box. I opened it and grabbed the tan filter and pulled it out. Shawn was looking around on the ground for the one he had stepped on and Gavin produced his own pack and removed a cigarette. Jimmy took the box back and pulled out one for himself. A moment later he produced a silver Zippo lighter and lit his, then Gavin’s and finally Shawn’s. Jimmy held the lit lighter to me.

            I put the cigarette to my lips like a straw and sucked in air as Jimmy put the flame to the end. It was hard to pull any air through at first but when he lit it my mouth and lungs filled with smoke. The feeling was horrible!  It felt like the smoke was on fire, burning my throat and chest.  I exhaled as fast as I could smoke was pouring out of my nose and mouth burning my insides all the way out. I fought the urge to cough but my body got the better of me and erupted into a violent spasm of coughing and choking. The three guys all started laughing as I put my hands on my knees and sucked in as much cooling air as I could.

            “Dude, did you see the look on his face!” Shawn was rolling around on the ground, his Irish face turning bright red. The other guys were laughing at me as well. I felt embarrassed and more like an outsider than I ever had before. If I could just smoke this without coughing maybe they wouldn’t make fun of me. I put the cigarette to my lips again and pulled a smaller amount of smoke into my body than the first time. The burning was still there and my throat was tender from my first coughing fit, but I managed to not cough this time.

            “Sorry, it’s been a while since my last cigarette.” I lied. My head was swimming, I felt dizzy like I was going to fall over. As casually as I could I moved over to an old milk crate and sat down. The three of them had settled down and stopped laughing.

            “I didn’t know you smoked.” Gavin looked at me while smoking his cigarette.

            “I don’t very often, I usually can’t get one.” I lied again. “Where did you guys get these?”

            “Jimmy’s sister buys them for us, if you have some money we can get some for you. What kind do you smoke?” Shawn moved back to the box he was sitting on.

            “The same as you guys.” I wasn’t sure what type they smoked but I really didn’t know what brands there were. I let my cigarette burn down to the tan filter and stepped it out. Jimmy smoked another cigarette and talked about cars with Shawn, Gavin and I headed into the house.

            Gavin and Shawn shared a room in the basement. They both had full size waterbeds set on opposite sides of the room. The air was always cool down there and there was very little light. Both of us plopped down on a waterbed and turned on his Nintendo. Another reason I liked coming over was because I wasn’t allowed to play video games very much at home; here I could play as much as I wanted. “Lives or levels?” Gavin handed a controller to me.

            “Sure. How long have you been smoking?” I laid back in the bed, the slow motion of the water added to the buzz from the cigarette and started to make me feel ill.

            “About a year, how about you?” He asked as flashes from the T.V. reflected off of his face.

            “Only for a few months, my parents don’t smoke so they will be able to smell it on me.”

            “Tell them you smell like smoke because my parents smoke.” He kicked his leg up as he sent Mario over a mushroom.

            “Yeah I probably will.” We sat and played video games for the next two hours with out saying much. I don’t know if they believed that I actually smoked, but they didn’t say anything so I hoped they wouldn’t ask me about it again. As noon rolled around I said my good byes and started to head home.




            I stepped out on to Gavin’s back patio; the sun was so bright that I could barely open my eyes.  I began walking home, I walked back the way I came until I neared my block then I turned left to walk down the backside of my block. If I wanted to stay alive it seemed that it was in my best interest to avoid Pete. I got to the opposite side of the block from my house and cut through my friend Javier’s yard. I appeared in my back yard and saw my mom and brother unloading groceries from our van. I walked up and grabbed a handful of brown paper bag and carried it towards the house.

            “Hey Brad how was Gavin’s house?” My mom watched me approach our back stairs.

            “It was okay, we just hung out and played basketball.” I looked at my feet as I walked up the stairs. I didn’t lie to my parents often, but smoking was probably something I could leave out. I always felt anxious when I lied, sorta like my parents already knew the truth but were waiting for me to lie so they could ground me.

            “Okay, well why don’t you get changed for baseball practice and I’ll make you lunch.” My mom grabbed the brown bag from me and set it on the counter. “You smell like cigarettes.”

            “Yeah, Gavin’s mom and dad smoke.” I shuffled past her trying to escape the perpetual lies.

            “Well you really stink, take a shower before you get changed.”

            “Alright mom.” I ran upstairs relieved. I was glad that they hadn’t caught me smoking but I felt really guilty, and I had a headache starting and it was probably payback for lying to my folks.





            I stepped out of the shower and dried off with a towel. I felt queasy and my head was pounding. I stood over the toilet for a moment trying to decide if I was going to puke or not. After a moment I headed across the hall into my bedroom. I opened on of my drawers and pulled out my cup and underwear and pulled both on. I began putting on my baseball uniform when Jessie came in and climbed up and sat on the top bunk letting his legs swing over the side.

            “I got a riddle for you.” He kicked his legs up and down. “A man and a woman were found frozen in a block of ice. Researchers believe they were Adam and Eve. Why would they think that the two people were Adam and Eve?” He looked down at me with a grin.

            “I don’t know, did you hear that at church?” I pulled on my baseball pants and tucked in my shirt.

            “Yep, Pastor Whyburg told it during his sermon. I’ll let you think about it, you can guess tonight at dinner.” He started to hop down from the bed.

            “Well fine, but I have a riddle for you. A man is going to work, he leaves home makes three left hand turns and the returns home. What is his profession?” I watched him think for a few seconds.

            “I don’t know, tell me.” He hopped down from the bunk.

            “Nope, I’ll let you guess at dinner.” I headed out of the bedroom and went downstairs. Jessie followed behind me jumping down four steps at a time. “Are you gonna come to practice with me?”

            “If Mom and Dad will let me.”

            “I was thinking that after practice we can work on your fielding and hitting a little, what do you think?” I continued into the kitchen and sat down at the table.

            “Mom, can I go to practice with Bradley?” Jessie sat at the table across from me.

            “If you go you have to stay on the bleachers.” Mom was pouring a little Italian dressing over some cold spiral noodles for me.

            “I will.”

            “Okay, but you both come home right after practice.” The noodles appeared in front of me with a fork.

            “I was going to practice a little with Jessie before we came home, is that alright?” I stuffed a fork full of noodles in my mouth.

            “Yes but not to long, you and Dad are going to the batting cages tonight, remember?”

            “Oh yeah, can we pick up Dan?”

            “Ask your Father.” She put a smaller bowl of noodles down in front of Jessie.

            I finished up my bowl of noodles and went out to ask my Dad. “Hurry up Jessie, I gotta go soon.” I sat down on our back steps and put on my cleats and then headed into the garage. If my Dad wasn’t in the house working he was in the garage working. All he did on the weekends was work on the house, which was always in a varied state of remodel.

            “Hey Dad, can we pick up Dan on the way to the batting cages tonight?” He was hunting around in his toolbox.

            “Yeah as long as it is okay with his parents.” He stopped and turned around and looked at me.

            “Okay thanks.” My Dad was tall and young looking. When he and my mom first got married he was really overweight, but since then he had become very skinny. My Mom and him tried a million different diets, he always seemed to loose weight but it never really worked for Mom. He was younger than most of my friends parents to. I think he was in his early thirties but he was already bald with only a little brown hair around the sides and back. For some reason I always imagined he was a lot like Michael Jordan, they always had the same stern look on their faces.

            Jessie came bounding out of the house and grabbed my bat and both of our mitts and we were off. Walking down the street I was relieved to see that Pete’s garage was closed and he was nowhere to be seen.


© 2008 Gabalicious!

My Review

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I like the part about smoking to feel part of the group of older kids and then feeling like an outsider because you coughed. The conflict about lying to your parents. Anxiety and protectiveness, and again ending on the "What about Pete?" note. Really great story. I'm hooked!

I only noticed a few grammatical mistakes.
>> I figured it was the one in Europe because they were digging up the whole city and had to send the lava rocks somewhere.

Posted 10 Years Ago


This stupid site. I reviewed this two weeks ago and now I don't see my review. Did you get it? If not, here's a breakdown of my thoughts. I liked this chapter. It has the heart of the others, and kept me involved in the story which is what you do best. bad smoker gabe too. Anyways, I think you need to name Brad in the first chapter. i know you hadn't because of all the autobiographical stuff, but you should. By now, the name won't stick. 2nd thing, I think you should loose the last part about stepping out of the shower and focus on the smoking for the chapter. To me it makes more sense to add the end to the end chapter. One other thought is to add more response to when Brad's mother stops him. I want him to be more guilty or at least show more of it, cuz I think this is a vital turning point. K, so I think my other review was better but what the hell. I'll email a copy too, just in case.

Posted 10 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on February 9, 2008
Last Updated on February 14, 2008



Denver, CO

I was born and raised in Chicago, where my family still lives. Thanks to them I have a large amount of material to draw from in regards to my writing. I have finished several short stories, one of whi.. more..