Gone too far

By Nicholas Martucci

“Get the fuck up! You’re going to be late for school!” exclaimed Johnny’s mother as she viciously ripped open his window blinds, light of the outside world flooded Johnny’s dark room. Johnny checked his digital alarm clock, “It’s 7:05 and it’s a Friday, school isn’t for another 2 hours.” grunted Johnny as he closed his eyes. He pulled his blankets over his head in order to return to sleep but his mother snatched his left hand mid process and with all of her might yanked Johnny out of the comfort of his bed. Being forced to the floor, Johnny opens his eyes once more he finds himself upside down with his shoulders on the floor with the rest of his body still clinging to his comfy mattress.

“The fuck was that for?” snarled Johnny as he worked his way to his feet. “You need to get ready and help me find my keys. I am going to be late for work!” yelled his mother as she stomped her way out his room, turning only to slam his door shut. He places his ear against his bedroom door to hear if she had gone down the stairs and into the living room where she normally gathers her belongings before leaving for work. He hears the clear thumping of his mother’s heels bashing against the hardwood stairs. Johnny then opens the door following his mother into the living room.

“It’s the same thing every morning with you isn’t it? You ‘lose’ your keys and we have to find them because you’re too busy doing some other bull shit to do it yourself.” Groaned Bianca, Johnny’s oldest sister as she rubbed the crust from her eyes.

“Let me guess, you haven’t checked the couch or chairs yet.” said Johnny with a snide as he stood at the landing of the staircase observing his sister and mom looking for the keys. His mother gives a dirty look as she reaches into the cleavage between the couch cushions. Johnny sat down, rested his head on his knees and closed his eyes once more. Johnny, being the most level headed member of the household, begins to recall all of the places the keys have been found in the past but is interrupted by the sound of metal clanging. He recognizes the sound as he lifts his head and opens his eyes to see his mother’s eyes widen as she pulls her hand out from between the cushions with the keys firmly in her grip.

“Thanks for all the fucking help” hissed his mother as she raced to her car and zoomed away. “Was that even necessary?” exclaimed Johnny to Bianca as she walked back into her first floor bedroom. She responds “It’s the same shit on a day to day, week to week basis. You should be used to this by now. I’m going back to sleep, I haven’t gotten much since I got back from work an hour ago….” Johnny grunts, “Its going to be a long day” with a sigh and proceeds on getting ready for the day. Before leaving his house, Johnny checks his calendar to see if he has anything important to do for the day. After a quick glance, he realizes it’s the day of his road test for his license. Pulling out his cell phone, Johnny dials his father to see if he could lend Johnny his car for the road test.

The phone rings, his father picks up. “What’s up Johnny?” Johnny hesitates then replies “Hey Dad… can I ask you for a favor?” Johnny waits and then he hears his father say “Anything.” With a sigh of relief, Johnny asks if he could borrow his father’s car for his road test since his mother would be at work teaching until late that night. “It depends on the time. When do you need it?” his father asked. “My road test is at 1:45pm at Lenevar Ave so it’s near your house, would you also be able to pick me up from school too? I cant leave without permission from a parent and if you could pick me up in the car it would be easier to get there and not worry about time.” His father chuckled and said “Yeah no problem, I’ll get your from school around 1 O’Clock and then we’ll head over”. Johnny smiled, “Thank you so much!” he said. “Anything for you son, I’ll see you then. I love you, bye.” Johnny replied, “love you, bye!” then the call dropped. Suddenly, Johnny is filled with excitement and he raced to the bus stop in order to get his day moving.

Upon arrival at school, Johnny was bursting with excitement and couldn’t wait to tell his friends what he was going to do for the day. He had raced to the fourth floor of his high school to find all of his friends talking together, joking around and enjoying the few minutes before class begins. When Johnny approached Larry, Charlie, Azmi, Ian and Steven, he greeted them with a big smile. They asked what he was doing today and said with all his pent up excitement “Today is my road test retake!” All of Johnny’s friends celebrated with high fives before walking into their Biology class. To Johnny, the day seemed to fly by, he couldn’t help but to religiously check the standard analog clocks at the front of each class every so often. As the hands of the clocks drew closer to 1, Johnny was getting more and more excited. Soon Johnny was called to the high school’s main office to be released into his father’s custody. As if in the blink of an eye he was in the drivers seat of his Dad’s ‘95 Jeep Wrangler next to the instructor waiting for her to bark directions to him.  

Later, Johnny and his friends had all met up around Charlie’s house for their annual weekend game of neighborhood wide manhunt. Manhunt being a variation of hide and seek, once a hider is found the seeker has to tag them and chant “Manhunt, Manhunt, 1.2.3.” then escort the hider back to a designated base until the round is over. Johnny, Larry, Azmi and Charlie were one team while Steven, Ian, Nick, and Stephen were on the other. “She said left at Huguenot, right onto Darlington, make a K turn then a parallel park! Its funny because the car I parked behind was my grandpa’s!” said Johnny as he told the story of how he had passed with flying colors, waving around the receipt given to him by the instructor.

“Oh yeah? Lets go driving! We’ll take my uncle’s car!” slyly remarked Stephen, but to his surprise everyone else thought it was a great idea. Ian and Azmi both jokingly agreed “It would be a great way to see his skills in action.” Within a flash, all eight of them piled into a small sedan having Johnny at the wheel with the reigns in his hands.

Johnny was at the wheel while Azmi was in the front passenger. Steven, Stephen, Nick, and Larry were in the back seat while Charlie and Ian lied down in the small trunk. Johnny had felt uneasy about letting them ride in the trunk since this was his first time driving without an adult in the car. Johnny yelled “Is everyone ready?” Each one of them sounded off a “Yup” with two muffled ones coming from the trunk. “Okay, lets get this show on the… road!” Johnny exclaimed laughing to himself. He had looked around with a huge grin for the approval from his friends to only be faced with blank stares. “Wow …thanks guys” he sighed and turned the key in the ignition.

The sedan coughed and sputtered until the engine awoke, truly showing the age of Shephen’s car. To Johnny, the engine running sounded like an air compressor, one that reminded him of every time he had visited his father and they had taken a trip to his Uncle Richie’s house to work on his father’s ’74 El Camino. “Hey are we gonna leave or not?” said Stephen not trying to hurry Johnny snapping him out of his trance-like state, “I just don’t want my Dad to notice we took the car.” Johnny nodded and threw the sedan in reverse. With a groan, the sedan lurched backwards, starting to roll out of Stephen’s driveway and onto the narrow street. Johnny had made sure to take it slow because he was not fully used to driving just yet and once they were in the middle of the street, Johnny shifted into drive and gently pressed his foot on the gas. The sedan bucked forward as screeches from the belts filled the cramped cabin of car, barely making the conversation audible. Johnny had proceeded to turn onto the main stretch of road that connected the neighborhood where they all lived. “Alright! Are you guys ready for some real fun?” Johnny asked with excitement. In unison his friends roar “Yeah!” as Johnny slams the gas pedal with his foot that seemed to be filled with lead at the time. As if a slumbering beast had awoken, the sedan’s engine revved up and unleashed its true power, only allowing Johnny to be in control.

“Just be careful…” said Stephen sternly “She can’t go past 40 because her tranny is shot” he added. Johnny nodded and continued on the road. In the distance Johnny noticed something that would add some excitement for the guys in the trunk. “Its about to get a little bumpy so hold on!” Johnny slammed the gas pedal to the floor and raced to some speed bumps in the distance. The sedan hit the mounds with a thud, then launching a few inches off the ground. Everyone came crashing down in their seats while the two in the trunk bounced around like rag dolls, hitting the metal doors with their bodies, but they didn’t care, everyone was laughing and having a good time. With a firm grip Johnny whipped the sedan around for another go at the bump. At this point, the guys in the front decided to play a joke on the guys in the trunk. “Cops! Cops!” Larry yelled, insisting the guys in the trunk to be quiet as Johnny raced to the speed bump once more.

After hitting the bump for a second time Johnny had sensed that his audience was getting bored, with a smirk he said “alright lets go back.” Just then Johnny idiotically jerked the steering wheel from left to right causing the sedan to swerve on the street. If he had been paying attention, Johnny would have realized an actual police car had turned onto the same street and was traveling towards him.

Before he knew it the cops had turned their red and blue lights on and turned around to get behind Johnny. “Johnny yelled “FUUUUUCCCCCKKKKK!” with a crack in his voice. Everyone was quiet; once again Larry had insisted that the guys in the trunk must be silent because this time there really were cops pulling them over.

“License and Registration” barked the police officer as Johnny cranked the window driver’s window down. He pulled his learner’s permit out with the receipt given to him by the test instructor from his trifold Velcro fastened wallet and deposited it in the hand of the officer with his hands trembling. “What the hell is this?!” said the confused officer when referring to the receipt Johnny had given him. “It…. It… its my license…I.. I just got it today.” Stuttered Johnny still in shock of what was happening. “Did you know why I pulled you over?” hissed the officer. “Ye…yes, sir. I swerved.” responded Johnny as he looked down, trying to hide the tears starting to form in his eyes. “Now why would you do that?” asked the officer .“M… My friend dropped his MP3 player by my feet and I tried to reach for it while I was driving causing me to swerve. I didn’t mean to swerve officer, honest.” said Johnny with a sniffle, lying through his teeth. “Okay” replied the officer, “I need to run your information, I’ll be right back” and he walked back to his patrol car. Everyone was silent for what felt like an eternity, as the officer made his way back to the driver side window.

“Now I’ll let you off with a warning since you’re a new driver and you have a clean record. I really shouldn’t seeing as you have 7 people in a 5 seater. Don’t let me catch you fucking around here again.” hissed the officer as he handed Johnny back his information and returned to his patrol car. With a sigh of relief Johnny started the sedan again, this time the sedan started right up with the engine purring as if satisfied with the event that had unfolded. He drove off to Stephen’s house without a sound coming from anyone.

Once at Stephen’s, everyone had evacuated the car to talk about what had happened. Ian and Charlie were shocked with the events that had happened, while everyone decided to keep the event that occurred a secret. Johnny, being a good sport said “Lets make this an inside thing. If we really must tell someone, then change my name to something like Bob so no one knows the truth.” And so, that night, everyone had agreed to never speak the truth of the events that had occurred.

Bzzzt bzzzt. Bzzzt bzzzt. Bzzzt bzzzt. Johnny’s flip phone hit the worn blue rug with a thud. Johnny opened his eyes and rolled over. He saw his phone on the floor, when he picked it up he noticed he had a text from Gab, his other sister. “I didn’t know I had a little brother named bob ;)” Johnny immediately rolled out of bed and proceeded to her room, which was directly adjacent to his. He burst through the door to find that Gab was talking on the phone. “I’m talking to Larry” she smiled “Don’t worry I wont tell” as she winked to Johnny. He squinted his eyes at her and closed her bedroom door in front of him. Johnny looked down at his phone firmly gripping it after being embarrassed and sighed. “I guess that’s what I get for being and idiot” as he made a turn into the bathroom to continue his day.