Staring at the ceiling, slumped backward over the sofa cushion that had been knocked onto the floor at some unknown time in the evening, Ch—- inhales sharply, and releases in a heavy sigh…, “Man…, I wanna do something!” he declares.
“Like what?” responds C—, only half interested in his little brother’s response.
“I don’ know…. just something….”
M—- chuckles from his spot in a chair across the room, resuming his tossing of a Hacky Sack into the air over and over again with the same hand, having abandoned actually standing and kicking it around in the air half an hour earlier… Ch—- always says this.
“It’s not like we can actually go anywhere, anyway, Ch—,” M— reminds him, “seeing as how it’s already nine o’clock and all, and your parents have gone to bed.”
Ch—- is silent for a moment, reflecting, ignoring M—‘s comment.
“I wanna go swimming,” Ch—- says, “That’s what I wanna do: go swimming.
Let’s go swimming, you guys!”
“In which pool exactly?… None are open and, in case you forgot, we don’t have a pool,” C— calmly reminds him.
M— speaks up, “Swimming actually would be pretty nice right now.. zI could totally go for a swim.”
Baffled, C— regards him, eyebrows scrunched together, raised.
“What?” asks M—, defensively, “I’m just saying I’m not against the idea.”
“Again, where would we be doing this swimming? Nowhere is open.”
“Too bad we don’t live near the ocean – the beach is always open!” Ch— chimes in, somewhat passively.
C— turns to look at M—, then slowly tilts his head to one side, eyebrows raised…
M— regards C—, questioning at first, and then raises his eyebrows in recognition, drops the sides of his lips, and raises a shoulder, as if to say, ‘Why not?’
“Whadda you say?” asks C— to M—.
Ch— sits up suddenly, looking back and forth between the two older boys, jaw dropping in disbelief.
“Let’s do this,” declares C—-.
The three jump up, and each rushes to grab a few items, including the keys, use a bathroom, eat a quick snack before moving silently and stealthily toward the minivan that is parked in the driveway – their mother’s minivan and the only vehicle C— has started driving since getting his license recently.
An hour later, the trio find themselves on the Galveston beach, Ch— frolicking gaily in the sand at the water’s edge, while the other two take another hit on their unsophisticated and uncaring palates.
Ch— and M— share a drink or two, but they forbid C— from drinking – he is still driving them home later, and even the stupidity of the youth has its limits when dealing with genuinely smart and somewhat self-aware teenage boys.
By three a.m., they are careening back toward Houston, searching for a gas station with a vacuum to clean out C— and Ch—‘s mom’s minivan – it is filled with sand, though no one quite remembers when or how it all got in there – the haze of the fun was kind of in the way for them.
Eventually, they find it, and somehow manage to clean the minivan up really well, returning it to its nighttime place in the driveway.
Finally back home, the boys head silently into the back of the house, and lapse into total unconsciousness in the form of sleep.
It is five a.m.
At seven, their mom wakes up, and heads off to work, leaving the boys to their usual sleeping in routine, unconcerned.
When, after a week, no parent has mentioned anything, the boys begin to believe fully that they actually away with it.
And, somehow, they did…