Sneaking Out And Around - 01.25.99

Probably one of the peaks of my rebellious-ness during my 14th year on this planet was the night that I snuck out of the house with my step-brother. I know now that it wasn't that big of a deal at all, but at the time, it seemed like one of the craziest things I had ever done. After all, I was and probably will always be a big dork.

When I was about that age, my step-brother and I weren't really at the point where we got along famously. He was only about 2 months older than me, but was one grade higher in school, and at that age it made all the difference. Besides, his real dad was in the air force and he had been all over the place in his 14 years. He'd lived in England, Hawaii, and a couple other places that he thought made him much more knowledgable than me.

Even more importantly, he was knowledgeble in the ways of girls (or so he told me). He told me about the different girls that he had kissed (it wasn't to happen for me until 4 years later) and all the crazy things he had done. I think he partially told me all these things not to make me feel bad directly, but definitley to let me know that he was more knowledgeble in "the ways of the world." In a way, I felt that he did, too. I was attracted to girls at that age, but would have never had the gall to say anything to them. I was too scared and not really that cool (even though I thought I was).

During one of our conversations in which he was divulging a particularly large amounts of secrets, he told me that he had snuck out of the house several times to go hang out with a girl that he knew from school. He told me that they would make out in her back yard and convinced me that she had friends I could meet if I came out with him sometime.

I really only had to think about it for a bit before I decided that I would go. He told me that there was no way that we would get caught, as he had done it many times before and had a system set up for leaving the house. Since the parents slept with their door closed, and he had a room in the basement, all he had to do was come up the stairs and go out the front door quietly. Once he was in the garage, he was quiet getting his bike down and would slip out the door without making a sound.

It sounded like a good plan, and he told me that the girl he was meeting was going to bring along one of her friends to meet me. Although I had never been in anything close to the sort of situation before, I thought that I would have the chance to kiss a girl.

That night, instead of sleeping in my room like normal, I plopped a sleeping bag out in the living room floor in front of the television and watched MTV with the sound turned off until knew that it was about time. It was past 1am in the morning and I knew that my parents would be asleep. My stepbrother came up the stairs quietly, just as we had planned and I put on my shoes and we exited the front door without incident.

Once in the garage, I let my step-brother do everything. It was completely dark inside, and even though I had just put my bike away that afternoon, I didn't want to stumble over something and create a racket. I stood there in the murky silence as every little sound my step-brother made seemed to be amplified inside my head. I almost expected my dad or his mom to walk through the side door at any moment and ask us what we were doing.

Before I knew it, though, my bike was in my hands and I was being led out the side door again. My step-brother pulled it closed softly and we were on our way.

By this time, it was about 2am in the morning on a starry, summer night. The street lights made for nice lighting, and the light from the stars helped to fill in the dark spots enough for riding without worry. For the first half-mile or so, I had thoughts of turning back every minute. I only expressed my thoughts once, and my step-brother simply laughed and told me not to worry.

After we had ridden for just a little longer, my worries seemed to drift away in the warm air and I was left with a much better feeling. The night was beautiful, and I was pedaling along smoothly in the quiet dark on my bicycle. It was one of those times where I knew that I was doing something wrong and I would get into trouble if I were caught, but the situation at hand was so nice that I almost didn't care if I were. We stuck to the back streets and didn't come across any cars for quite some time. The one time that we did, we ducked in behind a row of hedges as the headlights passed up by.

One of the things I had forgotten to enquire my step-brother about until that point was whether it was actually legal for us to be out that late at night. He told me that a cop had stopped him once, but he had somewhat lied about his age and was simply told to get home at once.

And so we rode on through the neighborhoods for over 5 miles until we finally reached the street where we were supposed to meet the girls. Upon arriving, nobody was there, so we pedalled up and down the block several times until we finally heard someone calling my step-brothers name.

I followed him over to a house and around the side where we were quickly met by a girl about our age. I was introduced shortly and then my step-brother and her started talking again almost acting as if I weren't there. I didn't hear mention of anyone else that would be joining us, and I didn't feel like bringing it up so I just sort of sauntered off into a neighbors yard while they sat down by some bushes.

There was a trampoline in the yard that I had walked into, but I knew that it probably wouldn't be wise to start jumping on it. Instead, I climbed underneath it and layed down in the grass. I could hear the slight "s" syllables of my step-brother and the girl he as with mingled in with the "crick" of the crickets and the occassionaly croak of a frog. I kept my eyes on a couple lone fireflies in the area for awhile, but soon started drifting off to sleep.

I was awoken by my brother what seemed like only a few moments later. He told me that it was 4am and it was time to go home. The girl had gone into her house and we walked up to get our bikes and head for home.

The ride back was much more unenjoyable for many reasons. I was still half-asleep from just having been woken up and the breeze that was blowing seemed much colder than I did on the way out. I also didn't know what I should think of my step-brother. I figured that the whole story about the other girl had always been a lie to get me to come out with him, but I wasn't sure what his motivations would be for doing such a thing.

It could be that I would have been somewhat of a buffer to him if we had been caught by the parents. Since we had both been caught, he wouldn't have shouldered as much punishment as if he were alone. On the other hand, though, maybe he just wanted me to get out and experience the exhilirating feeling of sneaking out with him. I'm sure that my dorky tag-along presence didn't exactly help his situation with the girl.

At any rate, we made it back home without any problems. I almost expected for all the lights in the house to be on and waiting for us, with police cars out in front, but there was nothing of the sort. We simply slipped our bikes back into the garage, locked everything back up as normal and went back to bed.

It was the first and only time that I ever snuck out of the house. My step-brother got caught only a month later while sneaking out with a friend who was spending the night with him. They were in the garage getting some bikes out when they knocked over a shovel, which in turn knocked over a couple rakes and broom. The parents heard the noise and thought it was a burglar, and ended up catching the two just as they were wheeling their bikes out the door.

In the end, I wasn't really sad about how the night turned out. The feeling I had while first riding away from the house in the early morning was something that I've experienced only a couple times in my life. Even simply laying in the grass under that trampoline in a strange, yet comfortable environment was exciting to me. While it did turn out that there wasn't a girl lined-up to kiss me once we got to our destination, I wasn't that sad. After all, I wouldn't have known what to do anyway.