White Picket Fences Chapter 6

White Picket Fences Chapter 6

A Chapter by Gabalicious!



            My Dad pulled off of the main road in the town and on to our street. I immediately felt a nervous tickle in my stomach when I saw Dave’s station wagon out in front of our house. Jessie saw the same thing I did. “Uh oh, Brad.”

     “Uh oh what?” My Dad briefly looked in the rearview mirror as he pulled into the driveway.

     “Nothing Dad.” I nudged my elbow at my brother as we came to a stop in our back yard.

     “What do you mean Nothing, why is your coach here?” He put the car in park and turned off the headlights as he opened his door.

     “I don’t know why he’s here, he said something about coming by when Ed got hurt at practice.” I really didn’t want to go into the house.

     “Did you hurt Ed?” Dad walked up the stairs and opened the screen door and looked back at me.

     “Not on purpose.” I followed him with my head down. I could here my mom announcing that we were home as I approached the back stairs.

     “Well let’s go see what he wants then.” My dad held the door open for me. I walked in Jessie was right behind me.

     “Jessie, why don’t you go get ready for bed, Brad, Joe, why don’t you two sit down?” My mom and Dave were sitting at the kitchen table drinking a beer.

     Dad went over to the refrigerator grabbed a beer and sat down at the table, after he shook Dave’s hand. After my brother scurried away My Dad turned his attention to the table. “Hey Dave, what’s going on?”

     “Well I came over because I’m concerned about Brad.” He set his nearly empty beer down in front of him. “I just got back from the emergency room where Ed got four stitches in his lower lip, I’m sure Brad told you.”

     My Dad gave me a look and turned back to Dave. “No he didn’t, what happened?”

     “Joe, why don’t you let Brad tell us what happened.” My mom looked at me, she was obviously upset and already knew what happened.

     I rolled my eyes. “Ed was making fun of Jessie so I hit the ball at his face.” I held the edge of the table in anticipation of my Dads anger,

     My Dad turned to Dave. “Is that why you are here? I realize that Brad shouldn’t be hitting the ball at people, but isn’t that the point of baseball. It seems that Ed is just as much to blame for not catching the ball.” My Dad spread his hands on the table palms up like he was giving a speech.

     “Yes it is as much Ed’s fault as it is Brads. That’s not why I’m here.” Dave looked at my dad.

     “So what’s the problem?” My dad looked at my mom and back at Dave.

     “The problem is Brad’s attitude. When I told him that I would call later tonight to let him know if Ed was okay, he said that he didn’t care if he was alright.” Dave looked at me.

     “No I said I didn’t care if you called.” I felt like I was under attack. Ed deserved to get hit in the face with the ball. I didn’t think I would be able to hit him, but I did and he deserved it.

     My Dad didn’t speak right away. It always scared me when he didn’t talk. I was never sure if he was trying to get a hold of his anger or he was thinking about what to say, but either way it never ended well for me. “Brad, you have been playing different sports for a few years now, you should know what sportsmanship is about. You should always care when someone gets hurt especially when it is one of your teammates.”

     “I did care, but I didn’t want Dave to have to call.” I was pleading. I didn’t care that Ed got hurt, but now I needed them to believe differently. “I mean, he’s okay right?” I looked at Dave.

     “Do you think we are dumb, I know you didn’t care? You spend too much time worrying about Jessie and not enough time thinking about right and wrong.”

     “It wasn’t right for him to call Jessie a cheerleader or my girlfriend!” I shouted.

     Dave stood up. “We would like to have Brad back on the field, but he needs to rethink his attitude before he is welcome back. I’m going to go and let you deal with this.” My Dad and mom both stood and shook his hand and thanked him for coming by. My mother walked him to the front door.

     “Here is what’s going to happen.” My dad was holding back his anger now. You could always tell because he became much bigger and tended to always be looking down on you. “You are going to apologize to Ed and his parents, and then you are going to help coach your mother and my tee-ball team. If you apologize and then coach for an entire month we will let you play baseball again this season.” My mom had come back half way through my Dad’s decree and was nodding in agreement.

     “I’m not going to apologize to Ed, he deserved it, and a month! That is almost half of the season!” I pushed myself back from the table and stormed out of the room.

     “Bradley! Get back here!” My Mother shouted after me.

     “Leave me alone!” I screamed as I ran up the stairs and headed into the bedroom. I quickly removed most of my clothes and fell face first into my pillow. I clenched my fists and pounded the bed on either side of the pillow. I screamed in frustration into the flannel lump underneath my face. Slowly the tears and frustration began to tire me out. Maybe they would change their minds in the morning. School was out soon and baseball is what I did during the summer. They had to change their mind.

     “Are you okay? What happened?” Jessie peered over the side of the bunk at me.

     I rolled over completely on my back and stared back at him. “No, I’m not okay. You need to start taking care of yourself. I keep getting in trouble watching out for you.” I felt guilty saying it, he was never able to take care of himself in the past. He looked sad.

     “Brad I’m sorry you got in trouble. I didn’t mean for anything like this to happen.” He sniffled.

     “Whatever, don’t ask me for anything again.” I rolled back over and put my head back into my pillow. I started to cry again, mostly because of what I had just said. I cried myself to sleep.




     I woke up fifteen minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off. I quickly got up and got dressed. I ran down stairs and grabbed my bag off of the desk and ran out the door. I could here my mom shouting for me as I ran down the block. I don’t think I could have faced my mother and I know I couldn’t face my brother so escape was really my best option. Jessie always looked so small; I felt like I should put my hands around him and protect him. I knew if I saw him I would go back on my word. It was time for him to take care of himself.

     I reached Gavin’s house before I realized that I didn’t even look to see if Pete was out watching me. I went into his backyard and got down on my hands and knees and knocked on his bedroom window. A very asleep looking Shawn opened the window.

     “What do you want?” He scratched his rumpled head.

     “Can I have a cigarette?” He let the window drop shut. I wasn’t sure if he was gonna come back. I waited for a second before I started to get up.

     “If you get caught with this you didn’t get it from me. There are matches in the garage. I will tell Gav that you are here.” The window dropped shut again.

     I held the cigarette like it was a fragile egg and headed into the garage. I stepped in and headed over to where we were all smoking the other day. On top of the workbench sat a book of matches. I put the cigarette in my mouth and picked up the matches. I pulled on one of the red tipped pieces of cardboard and struck it on the rough part on the back of the book. The match sparked to life, wild flames shot out in all directions and then settled into one constant flame. I held the match up to the end of the cigarette and sucked on the paper cylinder. Smoke filled my mouth and lungs. It tasted different than the first cigarette I had and the room smelled of rotten eggs and smoke.

     I exhaled the smoke and started coughing but not as hard as the last time. I held the cigarette between my fingers and looked at it. The orange glow at the tip seemed unreal, like it wasn’t even hot, and with the low lights the smoke swirling out of the tip looked blue. I held the cigarette to my lips again and slowly inhaled some of the blue smoke. This time I didn’t cough. It left a bad taste in my mouth, but I kinda liked the buzzing feeling in my head.

     I just about finished the cigarette when the side garage door opened and Gavin stumbled in. “Hey, why are you up so early?”

     “I got into it with my folks last night and I just needed to get out of there.” I dropped the cigarette and stepped it out.

     “What about?” Gavin pulled a pack out of his jean pocket and held the pack out to me. My head was still spinning but I took one anyway.

     “I hit a kid in the face with a baseball and didn’t care that he was hurt. So now they won’t let me play for a month.” I lit the cigarette and took a puff. I looked back at Gavin who really wasn’t paying attention. Instead he was rummaging through his pockets. I held out the matches to him.

     He waved them off. “I hate the way matches make them taste. That’s why I don’t play baseball anymore, everybody is always whining.” He produced a blue bic from his backpack and lit his cigarette.

     “I like baseball, but I’m not apologizing for hitting the kid in the face.”

     “Who did you hit?” Gavin sat down on the milk crate.

     “You don’t know him he goes to Willow, his name is Ed.” Willow was the other junior high in the area.

     “Oh. Are you going to Great America next week?” Gavin exhaled a mouth full of smoke while he asked.

     “Yeah, as long as my parents don’t take that away from me too.” I dropped half of my cigarette and pt it out. “Are you?”

     “Yeah, you wanna hang out there?” Gavin finished his cigarette and stepped it out.

     “Sure, you ready to go?” I picked my bag up off of the floor.

     “Lets go.” We walked out of the garage and started walking to school. As we got further along more and more kids from the neighborhood joined our procession. It took about fifteen minutes to get to school. All of the kids hung outside the school waiting for the bell to ring and the teachers to open the doors. Everyone was talking about his or her weekend. A few of the kids that we played baseball with were clumped up talking. They kept looking over at Gavin and me. “Seems like the jocks have a problem with you hanging out with a burn out.” Gavin nodded over to the clumped group.

     “Eh, you play football with me.” I wasn’t really sure what a burn out was, but I guess it had something to do with smoking.

     “Hey Johnson, heard you got kicked off the team.” Andy shouted.

     “Man, screw this. I’m out of here. Can I go hang out in your garage?” I looked at Gavin.

     “Yeah, Shawn will call you out of school and we can go over to Jimmy’s house. They are already out of school for the summer.” We both turned and headed back to Gavin’s house. We took the side roads so any teachers on the way to the school wouldn’t see us.

     “They call you out of school?” I looked up at him.

     “Sometimes, come on. Do you have money for cigarettes?”

© 2008 Gabalicious!

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I think this is my favorite chapter yet. I'm not sure why. It seems more interesting - there's more dramatic tension with Brad getting in trouble, what he said to his little brother, all the conflict he's feeling. It seems in this chapter like he might be heading down the wrong path, and I just want to grab him by the shoulders and tell him, "Don't DO that!" I hope he realizes and straightens out, and I'm wondering when Pete is coming back into the story.

Great job!

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Added on February 14, 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..