“Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to our dearr Pe-ete! Happy birthday to you!”
Pete blew his 18 candles in one blow and laughed along. Chris put his arm round Pete’s back and said, “Hey, you big fuck, what a birthday it is.” Pete laughed heartily and cut a slice aside for himself, and began to give out the cake. Somebody popped the Champaign, and the bottle was passed around, but most of ended up on Pete’s shirt.
“You, goddamned – this is my good shirt!” Pete shouted mockingly. Everyone laughed, and more drinks were opened. The cake was gone in no time, and the wild night started. It was Pete’s birthday again, and everyone was happy to comply with the traditions of Pete’s birthdays – drink, vomit, sleep and go home. Tonight was a night everyone was waiting for – Pete turned 18! What an age, and what a person to celebrate. The most popular guy in school, with the best social life that any will be envious of.
At about 1 in the morning, many had drunk way too much alcohol, and had either fallen asleep, or were hallucinated into doing very strange things. Somebody was tied up to a tree and left there to scream and shout, a group of fanatics began to graffiti the expensive Lamborghini with spray paints next door. Another took out the ax stored for firemen and tried to chop down a concrete pole that supported the front porch shelter of Pete’s house. Some guys and some girls had forgotten what it means to be embarrassed and had gone all over each other in the front lawn for everyone to stare and watch. Chris was singing in a crazy way to the beating music that blasted its way from Pete’s high-tech amplifier. A group of radical punks had found some drugs and went stoned on it in a small corner away from the lights of Pete’s house. The more depressed ones drank glass after glass, and wept silently with each other for the tiniest reason of their premature teenage lives.
Pete sat down, quite sober and sighed deeply. Is this what they call fun? He sighed again in a more agitated way. He had simply conformed and reformed to the other teen’s wishes or imaginations of the meaning of being popular – and he had become God for them. And yet, there was nothing much to it. Bring in a few drinks, live in a big house and keep your parents away – then – tah da! Everyone respects you. Pete scratched his head in his own thoughts, while the others calmed down slightly as their energy reached its end. And of course, Pete thought, you’ve got to be a good speaker. If you can’t talk for shit, you’re just an empty bastard – a wannabe. Suddenly, two hands covered his eyes. “Guess who?”. Pete put his hands on the girl’s wrists to pull them away from his eyes, but she tensed tightly. “Guess who?” she persisted. Pete, exasperated at her childishness, said, “I’m not in the mood to play your games, Kate, lets just talk, if you wanna bother me.” Kate pulled her hands away and sat down on the chair next to Pete, and gave a frown. “Not even a nice hello?” she asked, “Come on, say ‘Hello, Katie’, please?” Pete looked up from his thoughts, and looked at Kate. He was first surprised at the way her clothes emphasized her bodily shape so much, looked her sweet face, and said, “Alright, if you want. Heya Katie!” Kate smiled her nice smile and stared with her longing eyes at Pete. “Well, you don’t look like you’re enjoying your birthday very much,” she began, “could I help to brighten it up a bit more?” Pete’s emotional attachment towards this girl raised significantly. “Well, I was just thinking about how retarded we’re acting. I mean, look at them! We’re such fucktards.” Pete spilt out, “I’m also quite pissed about how those guys brought drugs to my party. Fucking druggies, I told them to fuck off yesterday, but they still came.” Kate simply nodded and asked him to continue. “I’m just so frustrated at this – this – this idea of having fun, being cool, you know?” Kate took a can of beer and passed it to Pete. “Maybe some of this?” Pete was disgusted. However, and how much he may think he may be in love with her, she was like the rest of them. She was no different. “No thanks,” he said, “I don’t feel like drinking tonight. I wonder how long I’ll have to stay up until – until everyone’s gone? I’m so tired.”
At that moment, a car honked really loudly. Pete jumped at it, and said, “Who the fuck is that?” Kate shrugged along with him, the two went to the front door.
“I knew it, I just knew it. You son of a bastard, you’re dead, you’re fucked, you hear?” the driver shouted at him. It was Pete’s dad.
“Ah, shit,” Pete muttered. His friends saw trouble, and began to leave. No doubt, they’ll SMS him about it later. His dad walked out of the car in a furious temper and shouted, “That’s right, leave, you good-for-nothing piece of shits! Fuck off, you sods, go!”
Only Kate and Chris remained. Chris was definitely off balance and tipsy. Pete furiously whispered to him that he shouldn’t stay – but Chris was obstinate and adamant to stay by his friend’s side. “Tell ALL of your friends to get out! You’re in for it, son, you’re in for it!” Pete’s dad shouted. Kate and Chris did not move.
“Go on, go! I need to clean up my son, and I definitely don’t need your help, thank you very much,” Pete’s dad railed on.
“I guess I have to go,” Chris said, “I’ll ring ya later on.” Chris left hurriedly, but tripped over the stairs, due to his unbalanced state of mind. Kate quickly kissed Pete on the cheek, and left a few moments later. Pete stood there feeling quite helpless. He closed his eyes, and braced himself for the tirade. But he didn’t get any. His dad said, “I will never understand you, son, I will never, ever – just ever, understand you. You’re a student, you’re only 18!” and stomped off upstairs into the master bedroom.
His dad shouted from the bedroom, “You were such a good boy! We all loved you for it, but what the hell are you now? Do you honestly like this? What the fuck got in to your head?!” The door was slammed shut, followed by a yell of despair.
Pete sighed very deeply. He was a good, nice, smart boy before, wasn’t he? He was always so brushed up, polished and formal. “How do you do?” he would say to a family dinner guest, and the mothers would envy the goodness he showed. He was also very respected in the religious community at Church. He knew his psalms, he knew his God, he knew his Vicar very well. Fuck, when did I change to quickly? Pete thought to himself. He sat down on the sofa, and kicked the empty beer can near him. His phone vibrated angrily in his pocket. It was Kate.
“Hey,” Pete said, “Sorry about the mess-up.”
“Oh, don’t be. It wasn’t your fault – but I can’t say it’s your dad’s fault either. We weren’t supposed to be doing this sort of stuff anyway,” Kate gave a nervous chuckle.
“You know what dad said to me?” Pete said, “He asked me why I fucked up my life so much – and I can’t help agree – I don’t remember when or why I changed.”
Kate gave a surprised gasp. “What do you mean?”
Pete rolled his eyes as he remembered Kate came to his school only recently. She didn’t know what he used to be.
“He just asked me why I go drinking and hang out with friends who drink and do drugs or beat up passer-bys. He asked why I find this so fun.” Pete simply said.
“Pete,” Kate said, “I’m actually in front of your door. Could we just talk face to face?”
Pete chuckled despite his sour mood. “Sure. Let’s go out for a walk. I’ll tell you what my dad means properly.”