Chapter Two: Change Is In The Air

Chapter Two: Change Is In The Air

A Chapter by 20 Locks - Hustla Extraordinaire

Sometimes "Virtual" Becomes A Reality...

Mr. Fairchild was pounding a nail into a board when Ethan walked into the garage. Although he was aware of Ethan’s presence, he continued pounding for another two minutes while Ethan stood behind him. How could he tell his son that he just lost his job of 18 years? What would become of their family? What was he going to do? How would they survive?
The economy had gotten worse the last few years and while he had noticed other colleagues losing their jobs or moving out of state, he never thought it would happen to him. As an IT Designing Engineer with a Masters degree, he never thought that at 42 he would be looking for another job. Suddenly, as if someone snuck up and pulled a rug out from under him, it was gone.
“Dad”! Ethan yelled.
Mr. Fairchild continued banging.
“Dad”! Ethan exclaimed louder.
Mr. Fairchild stopped and turned around. He couldn’t avoid telling his son any longer. He wanted to tell him before he went into the house and found out from his mother or God forbid, Connor.
“Hi, Ethan. Where have you been”? He asked.
“I was at the mall hanging out with some friends from school. Jonathan picked me up and..” he began.
Mr. Fairchild interrupted.
“What happened to your face? Were you in a fight Ethan? What’s going on?” his voice began to rise.
“Some kid at school punched me in the hall before I had a chance to say or do anything dad. I didn’t start it, he did”, replied Ethan.
“Oh I see, he started. “What’s this other boy’s name”? He asked.
“He’s on the football team; Brent is his name. Do you remember him from little league? Well, he’s a lot bigger now dad”, answered Ethan.
“Hmm Brent you say? Little Brent Bolt”? He asked.
“Dad, he is A LOT bigger now. Trust me. Any way, he used to date this girl named Shelley and well, it’s a long story but needless to say he came out of nowhere and punched me, twice”, said Ethan.
“I see”, replied Mr. Fairchild. “Ethan, there is something I need to discuss with you. It’s important, but I want to reassure you that I am going to figure this whole thing out and we will be just fine”, he hesitantly said.
“What are you talking about, dad”? Ethan inquired.
“Ethan, this isn’t easy for me to tell you and I need you to listen”, Mr. Fairfield continued. “I lost my job today at Kronikle. Apparently, they haven’t been doing too well these last few years. They offered me a severance package and a letter of recommendation. I’ve been thinking about a few things today and I have some options in California I may look into”, he said.
“What? No! I don’t want to move! All my friends are here, dad. My whole life is HERE, dad. My band, my friends, Shelley! NO!” Ethan yelled.
The tension mounted as tears began to swell in the 15 year old's eyes. His cheeks turned bright red. Ethan’s fists began to shake. Everything was finally going great in his life and now this had to happen.
“I’m out of here!” he screamed, and Ethan turned and ran out of the garage.
“Ethan, wait!” Mr. Fairchild yelled after him. “Get back here or you’re grounded mister!”
Ethan kept running. He ran to Jonathan’s and banged on his bedroom window.
Jonathan jumped up with a start. He opened the window.
“What are you doing out here, man”? Jonathan asked confused. “Hey, did you get in trouble? What happened? You looked pissed”.
“I AM pissed but not for the reason you’re thinking. I walked into the garage, my dad was pounding on some s**t and when he turned around he dropped this bomb that he lost his job and we’re probably moving away”, explained Ethan angrily.
Jonathan’s mouth dropped open.
“What about our band? What about Shelley? Dude, you’re my best friend and have been since Kindergarten. What the hell are you-we going to do”? Jonathan’s voice began to falter.
“I’ll just find a way to stay here. I’m not moving away from here and he can’t make me”, Ethan firmly replied.
“What are we going to tell Josh and Stinky? Man, they are going to be so pissed. The band won’t be the same without you”, Jonathan added.
“We’re not going to tell them anything”, replied Ethan. “I’m not going with them and that’s final. Maybe your mom and dad will let me stay here, in the basement”.
“I can ask”, said Jonathan. “Come in the house man”.
Ethan came inside, said his usual “hi” to everyone and headed for Jonathan’s room. They sat there for ten minutes not saying a word. Darkness loomed. As much as Ethan wanted to believe he wouldn’t be moving and that he wouldn’t be losing his best friend and life he’d always known, deep down he knew he would be. Maybe not tomorrow or next week, but within weeks or months, they would be gone.
The boys watched TV, played on the PS3 and then it got late. Ethan said his good-byes and walked home. Today, he knew would be the turning point in his young life, but he had no idea what lay ahead.
Ethan walked into the house expecting his father to be standing there ready to pounce on him, but instead, his mother came around the corner from the family room to greet him. In her hands she had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and tall glass of cold milk. She smiled at him as she handed him the “peace offering”.
She gestured toward the kitchen table and Ethan sat down.
“Ethan, I know how hard this is on you. I was shocked when your father told me this afternoon. My whole life is going to change too, but remember, we’re a family and your father has to do what he has to do to keep us together. He loves you very much, Ethan”. Her words floated like a soft breeze to his ears.
“I know mom, but I don’t want to leave. My life is here with Jonathan and my band. This is where I was born, and this is where I want to die. I don’t want to leave Fairborn”, he lamented.
Tears began to fall down his cheeks. As much as he fought it, he couldn’t hold back the shock and utter disappointment he felt. He would be losing his “life” and that was something he wasn’t willing to negotiate.
“I know it seems that way, Ethan, but there is a whole, great big world out there. Fairborn is just a tiny spot on the Earth. You love music, right? Well, in California, who is to say you wouldn’t meet some boys who also love music and start a band there at a new school? A lot of musicians get their start in LA. I’m sure your father can find a job somewhere near there. Just give your father a chance, Ethan. Give the thought of a new life with all the things that could be waiting for us there. You may find that California is where your destiny is leading you Ethan. Just give it a chance. That’s all I’m asking”, she begged.
Ethan sat there staring at his milk glass. He didn’t move, he didn’t say a word. So many things were running through his mind and none of them were good. He thought about running away. He thought about hiding in Jonathan’s basement. Then suddenly, he felt a hand on his back.
Mrs. Amanda Fairchild had made many sacrifices in her own life for her siblings to make sure they had everything they needed. Coming from a broken home, she had made it a priority in her family life to make sure everyone stayed together, for better or for worse.
“I love you Ethan”, his mother began. “Your father loves you and we promise to do what we think is best for you and the entire family. We would never do anything intentionally to hurt you or Connor. You know that”.
“I know”, he said.
He sniffed and gave into her warm touch. She hugged him. The comfort he felt brought back young childhood memories of playing in the backyard, the sun shining down, Mom sitting on the back porch watching while everyone laughed and had a wonderful time. Even though he wasn’t keen on moving anywhere, in his heart he believed his mother. Things always worked out for the best where she was concerned. She had never lied and had always done anything and everything to make Ethan and Connor happy. He smiled.
Ethan finished the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, hugged his mom and headed for bed.
“Good night, mom. I love you”. He said as he turned away.
“I love you, Ethan”, she said in return.
Ethan lay on his bed for hours that night wondering what was going to happen to him, his band, Shelley. Oh my God, what would he tell Shelley? He would have to tell her something tomorrow. WHY does this stuff always happen to him?
He fell asleep hugging his pillow and as a tear gently rolled down his cheek.
Morning definitely came too soon. Ethan’s alarm went off and he rolled over to hit the snooze. He may have hit the snooze a dozen times before his father finally banged on the door. He sat up and as he did, a rush of blood flowed so quickly it immediately gave him a migraine.
“Oh man I feel terrible”! He exclaimed.
“You’re going to be late, Ethan”, his father yelled down the hall.
“I’m up, I’m up”, he yelled back.
Ethan got up, washed his face, brushed his teeth, threw on jeans and a t-shirt and ran out of the house. He felt like he had been hit by a truck. Just then, Jonathan whipped into the driveway and blasted the horn.
Ethan jumped at least two feet in the air!
Connor came running out of the door and ran down the street toward the bus stop.
“Butt munch”, he said to Ethan.
Ethan just shook his head and got into the car with Jonathan.
“Hey, what’s up, man? Did you get in trouble last night? What happened? Are you still moving”? Jonathan inquired.
“I really don’t know what’s going to happen”, he replied. “Please don’t say anything to anyone until I’m sure”.
“Ok, man, it’s all good”, Jonathan said.
They headed to Stinky’s to pick he and Josh up for school.
The boys got to school and Ethan walked slowly to his locker. Shelley jumped right in front of him.
“Hi, Ethan!” she said with her usual perky cheerleader banter. Her smile stretched the width of her face. She practically glowed as she stood in front of Ethan.
“Hi, Shelley” he said gloomily.
“What’s wrong, Ethan”? She asked. She could tell he wasn’t quite himself.
“Nothing, Shelley. I just had a bad night last night. But everything’s great now that you’re here”. He replied.
He couldn’t tell her just yet. He just couldn’t get himself to do it. He would tell her but just not right now. What if it ruined any chance of him and her dating? Wait a minute; it’s going to any way, isn’t it? He thought. He would wait. He didn’t want to tell her today.
The day dragged on but Ethan’s worries melted away. Whenever he saw Shelley, nothing mattered. Dark clouds turned to blue skies and rain drops turned to golden rays.
He ran home, changed into shorts and greeted his father.
“I’m headed to Jonathan’s”, he said. “We’re going to hang out and then practice with Josh and Stinky”.
He grabbed his guitar, an Epiphone Les Paul Standard, black and beautiful. It was a gift from his mother for his fifteenth birthday. He had recently replaced the stock pickups with Zakk Wylde’s signature EMG’s. Ooooh yea.
“Her” name was “Hellraiser”, a song written by Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist, Zakk Wylde, and Lemmy, the frontman of the heavy metal band Motörhead. Ozzy, Zakk Wylde and 24 rules, he thought.
Jonathan and Ethan usually took turns playing lead and rhythm on certain songs but once in awhile there would be a verbal war over ‘who’ got to play ‘what’. Stinky played drums and Josh played bass. It was argued years ago that Josh sucked at lead and rhythm and therefore was told to play bass or he was out. Josh was excellent at bass so he didn’t argue the point.
The four played until 8:30 pm. Jonathan sang and Ethan screamed until he was hoarse. They played “Bark At The Moon” by Ozzy, “Fixation On the Darkness”, by Killswitch Engage”, and “Asphyxiated” by 24 ‘Til Death.
Ethan walked home slowly, taking in the last few minutes of sun as it set. He took a breath of fresh air and exhaled slowly. Ah, another beautiful day in an Ohio summer.
As he turned the corner onto Date Street, Kammie came running at him.
“Where have YOU been”, she asked with a smirk. “I thought you were going to play Parcheesi with us today”?
“Oh my God, I am so sorry Kammie”, he said. “I forgot and went to Jonathan’s. We played a few tunes. I promise this weekend I will stop over and we can hang out, ok”?
“Ok, Ethan”, she giggled with delight with the thought of having Ethan all to herself.
He picked up speed and got into his house as fast as he could. What the hell was it with that girl? She freaked him out..totally. Ok, he thought, that would be ONE reason to move, he laughed to himself.
As Ethan came into the kitchen, Connor came running around the corner with a sheet of paper flailing in his hand, laughing teasingly at Ethan.
“Guess what I have in my hand, Ethan”? He asked wryly.
Ethan instinctively lunged at Connor. He tried to grab the sheet of paper from his hand.
“What do you have you little peckerhead”? Ethan asked aggressively.
Connor ran around the kitchen and into the family room. He was laughing and taunting Ethan as he ran.
Ethan finally tackled him onto the living room floor and grabbed the paper. He turned it over to read it. It was a message in his mother’s hand with Shelley’s name and home number written on it.
“You little butt munch”, he said to Connor.
His heart jumped and began to beat so fast he was sure it would pop out of his chest. Shelley had called him.
“Some girl came by earlier too. It was probably the same girl”, Connor said. “Mom told her you were at Jonathan’s”.
Ethan ran to the phone and dialed her number. He couldn’t figure out if he was going to throw up or pass out. One ring, two, three and finally her brother answered.
“Is Shelley there”? He asked.
“Who is this”? Her brother Dave inquired.
“Um, yea, this is Ethan from school. She left me a message”, he answered nervously.
“Yea, hold on”, her brother said. You could hear the phone drop onto the counter.
Minutes seemed like hours while he waited.
“Hello”? A saintly voice broke through the silence.
“Shelley”? He shyly spoke.
“Ethan”! She exclaimed. “I have some great news! I have been trying to reach you all day. I even came over to your house but your mom said you were out”.
“Oh, yea?” His right eyebrow lifting ever so slightly as did the tone of his voice.
“Yea”, she said. “What are you doing this Saturday”?
“Um, well, we all have tickets to see 24 ‘Til Death at Kronickle Arena, why”? He asked.
“Oh, well, shoot. We just got free passes to Kings Island and I wanted you to come”. She sounded disappointed.
“Well, as long as we are back by 6 pm, I could go”. He said.
There was silence on the other end of the line and then a scream.
“Dad! Dad, can we be back from Kings Island by 6 on Saturday”? She yelled.
There was a mumble sound and then she was back.
“Yes”! She exclaimed. Yes we could have you back by 6. Do you want to go? She asked with anticipation.
“Hell yea,” he answered with excitement.
“Great, ok, well, I gotta go but I’ll meet you at your locker in the morning”, she said and then hung the phone up before Ethan could say another word.
He hardly noticed as he was frozen stiff with the phone stuck in his hand. He was going to Kings Island with Shelley Perkins and her family on Saturday.
He finally hung up, walked to his room in a daze and fell back onto his bed with the same stupid grin plastered on his face. He didn’t even remember falling asleep that night. But he must have because he awoke to Connor banging on his door and when he looked down, he still had on what he was wearing the day before.
Ah, he thought to himself. Ain’t love grand?

© 2017 20 Locks - Hustla Extraordinaire

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Added on March 26, 2017
Last Updated on March 26, 2017
Tags: Ethan, band, story, notsoimaginary, ethans notsoimaginary, ethans not so imaginary tour, writer, xosassystaceox, sassystace, writing


20 Locks - Hustla Extraordinaire
20 Locks - Hustla Extraordinaire

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Altruistic Enigmatic Polymath | Writer, Poet, Actress, Musician, EMT. I'm an Artist. I paint pictures of the verbal kind. ☯ Stacy Purvis more..