He reached over to his phone that was lying on what he called his bedside table. In all reality it was nothing more than two old tomato boxed filled with old comics. He picked up the phone, which was telling him it was time to get up. He did what he did every morning at seven a.m. He sighed.
Once he had finished brushing his teeth he stepped out of the small bathroom and walked over to the only seat in the living room that wasn’t covered in cans and dirty clothes. He plopped down in the seat and leaned over to get his boots. This had been the daily routine for nearly fifteen years. H had no more finished tying the boots and he sprung up out of the chair and stretched his lanky frame up as high as he could reach. Being as tall as he was though it wasn’t much of a stretch. He groaned out like it was the best stretch he had ever done though.
He pulled on his button up work shirt and was getting ready to walk out his front door when his phone once again went off. His first thought was he had set another alarm by mistake. It took him second to realize that someone was calling.
He looked at the phone and a confused frown took the place of his usual somber 9demeanor. He hit the power button and place d the phone to his ear.
The phone was filled with silence at first. He pulled it away and looked at it again. He heard a voice say his name on the other end and he put it back to his ear.
“Hello?” He once again greeted. This time with much more question behind the call.
He listened to the voice on the other end as he heard news he never thought he would hear. News that he never thought to even think of. When the voice paused he heard a sound come from himself that he had never heard. It could have almost been a gasp but in hind sight it was more of a high pitched moan.
When the call was through he found himself sitting in the floor. He had no recollection of how he had ended up there. The last real thing he could remember was answering his phone. Everything after that felt like a sick sad dream. This would turn out to be one of the worst days of his whole life and for this poor man that was saying a lot.
When he got to the hospital he only had to turn the corner to find almost everyone he had ever called friend. Right in front of him was his sister. Her face was filled with tears. All he could think was how could she cry like that? This is all some bad dream. One he would wake up from drenched in sweat and heart racing. This wasn’t really happening and she should be laughing at him for rushing over so fast… but it wasn’t fast. It had taken him an hour to drive so far from home.
When he saw his mother coming towards him he nearly fell on the floor. This was no dream. This was an all-out nightmare. This was the end of his youth. This was true death. And the next thing he knew was that he was surrounded by people who he loved. Some knew it and some were just as clueless as he was to why something so heinous was allowed to happen.
“Son?” His mother asked as if she didn’t know the man he was. No… no it was asking if he was ok. No. He wasn’t ok. He was far from ok.
She held him against her chest as if he was a tiny baby again. She held him and he sobbed. What started to go through his brain next was more or less logic intervening. ‘Why is this happening? Why am I here? My mother doesn’t like me this close to her. Why is she allowing this? Everyone is here, but where is…?’ Oh… but he already knew the answer to that question. That’s why he’s here.
“Baby?” His mother’s voice said a million miles away. “It’ll be ok. It’ll be ok. He’s not hurting. Just remember that he’s not hurting anymore.”
‘Sure.’ He thought. ‘But I am. How is this going to be ok?’
“Trip?” Another question of who he was? This one from his crying sister. What right does she have to cry? She hasn’t seen him in nearly two years. “Are you ok? Would you like to sit?”
‘Hell no I don’t want to sit. I want to go see my best friend.’ He thought but couldn’t bring the words to his lips. Instead he just nodded yes. ‘Why not? It’s not like he’s going anywhere.’ This latest thought brought more tears. Why would he think that? Why would that even come to mind?
As he was sat in the closest chair, one that most normal people have issues sitting in due to the small gap between the arms, not Trip the string bean though, he started to shake unable to stop. Was it cold? No. Something else... fear? Maybe, but that doesn’t seem right. Was he hungry? Maybe his sugar was off.
As he sat there shaking a young woman he had seen nearly every day for fifteen years and even farther back all the way to grade school walked up to him. She also was crying but not as hard as his sister. He understood her tears. She was close to them… him and his friend and his friend’s wife. In fact she would often come over on weekends and they would all do what thirty something’s do on the weekend, drink beer, listen to music and discuss the week’s shortcomings. He had a crush on this girl for years, but that was so far in the past it barely seemed real anymore.
“Hey, Trip.” She hugged him. This made it all worse. Why would she make it worse? She sure did feel nice though. Why would he think that? His best friend was dead and he was thinking about a girl that he hadn’t thought of this way in years. “He’s left us.” The first real words uttered since all this shit had happened.
He stopped shaking and pulled the woman closer and held her. She fell to her knees and they just held each other. What a terrible way to bring love into your life. Loss is a strange thing. Death is so permanent and yet a new life would come of this one chance meeting. One that only loss can bring. He would take her home that night and after they would finish their physical love they would lay in bed for hours laughing and crying about all the things that Ozzy was to them. Stevie and Trip… those names would end up together many many years later on a stone. It was a love born of loss but a love that had never been truer.
“I don’t know what we will do without him, Trip. But what with Rose do?”
Trip had thought of Rose many times on his trip to the hospital. What would she do? Would she be ok? What about the kids? Where are they now? They wouldn’t allow them in the room? That would be cruel wouldn’t it? Sure… they are older now. Teenagers, right? They are nearly done with high school. Or are they babies? Jesus only knew. Trip couldn’t come up with the answer right then.
“Rose?” His voice seemed horse. Was it from the screaming he did at God and all around him as he drove for an hour to come to his friend’s side? Which friend though? One no longer needed him. He wasn’t here anymore. Maybe he was here for Stevie? His mom? Not his sister. Wait… were they there for him. Oh God. They were. They were there for him. All his friends… they were there for him.
“She’s in the room with the boys. His parents just came out. They were taken to the chapel.”
It wasn’t their first rodeo. Before Trip had met his best friend for life… maybe that can’t apply anymore… best friend in life? Either way before he knew Ozzy and his parents, Ozzy had an older brother who had died of cancer. Ozzy had never talked of his brother much to Trip. IT was painful, but he had once heard that if not for his brother’s death, Ozzy wouldn’t have met Rose… the love of his life. Trip had always thought about that and realized that it would be true too that he wouldn’t have met Ozzy if not for his brother’s death. How odd that tragedy could bring about such love and friendship.
“She’s going to need us, Trip.”
He let loose the hug for the first time. He looked in the beautiful woman’s eyes and saw that she was a strong in tragedy as she was walking the floor of the factory carrying a box that should have been too heavy. She was the rock Trip needed. So with her words he shook his head and pulled an arm back to wipe his face. Strong… his friend would have been strong. That was for sure. Ozzy was the strongest. Damn glad Stevie was here to take up that mantel because ‘screw that’. He thought.
“I’m here. I’m sorry.”
You have no reason to be sorry, baby.” His mom said over his left shoulder. “This is going to be tough.”
‘Wait. You said it’ll be ok. Why the hell is it tough now?’ He looked at his mother and saw how tired she was. If only he could make her less tired. She deserved a break. She has worked his whole life. That made him sad in another way… one that he didn’t know he had room for this night.
They all looked over to see Rose. There were no tears… none that Trip could see. Trip’s mother and sister all went over to hold the woman who he had loved as a sister for so many years. Stevie took her turn after they gave her room. Now it was Trip’s turn. He had managed to stand… but he couldn’t move towards her. He didn’t even have to. Rose was already holding him before he had the ability to move. She held him so tight she nearly broke his spine. This was the time that he was needed. This was his way of being there. She started to shake as tears poured from her face. His arms where what he was there for. This was his moment. The two friends cried. They cried until they couldn’t seem to cry anymore.
“Trip, I want you to see him.”
‘Oh no. She can’t ask this of me. I can’t see him. He’s no longer here. He left us.’
He never said a word but Rose knew this was going through his mind. “Please.” She said softly.
He nodded his head and they walked hand in hand towards his best friend’s room.
“I asked them to give you time to come before they took him. He… he told me before he died to tell you he loved you. He wanted to say goodbye… but he couldn’t. He loved you like his own brother.”
“He is… was… he’s my brother.”
They turned more corners than Trip took count of. ‘Where am I? It’s all the same. It looks like the school’s halls.’ The thoughts were coming randomly but the lack of his whereabouts started to gnaw at him. He started to feel scared. Was this what Hell was going to be like? Tight halls of horrible yellow? Was she taking him to Hell? Why would she do this? Didn’t she know his best friend would go to Heaven? Maybe that was what this all was… this is a ruse to take him to Hell. Maybe he deserved it. There were so many things that made that true.
If Ozzy was here with him he would point this out and remind him of the time they went to the tattoo parlor and the stripper gave him an impromptu lap dance. Or maybe the time that he slept with that older lady… what was her name… while Ozzy waited outside to go to work. ‘Ha! Remember that, Ozzy?’ Oh… he’s not here.
They made their way to busy area and she pulled him along to a side room… ‘Oh my God. Is that blood on the floor? Surely not.’. IT surely can’t be coming from that bed. The one that Ozzy is laying in. Nope. Can’t be from Ozzy.
He felt the sting return to his eyes. Or had it ever really stopped? She let go of his hand and he nearly fell over. He stepped back and she touched his arm.
“You can say good bye. I won’t listen.”
“No.” He jumped back.
“It really is ok, Trip. This is still, Ozzy. He’s just asleep now.” She covered her mouth and started to cry. “He’s my sleeping angel.” She choked back a sob. “And he will be with us always.”
‘No. Don’t say that. He’s gone. This is a nothing… a no one. Ozzy left us.’
She backed out from behind the curtain that held Ozzy’s forgotten physical self. This left Trip alone. He couldn’t handle it. It was Hell. He was right. All he had done wrong in life was leaving him all alone forever. All because some ass hole had to drink and drive. This person thought that taking Trip’s best friend from him was what would hurt him the most. He was right. This is one thing that Trip would never truly heal from. No one would take the place of Ozzy. No one could.
He looked at his best friend. He just moved? Right? No? Shit. Trip just couldn’t do it. He turned to leave and a thought hit him like a ton of bricks. ‘What the hell are you doing? Why are you trying to run away from him? This is my best friend. Turn the fuck around and say something to him.”
“What am I supposed to do now?” His back was still turned away from what life leaves behind when we go on to another place. “How am I supposed to stand here and say good bye? I don’t even say that when I leave. You fucking know I hate good byes. What if it’s the last time? What if you die?” He stopped and turned around. “Why are you making me do this? Why? Can’t you just wake up and tell me you love me and you won’t leave me?”
‘If I did that then I would have to do it for everyone and we know I hate to be center of attention.’
“Bullshit. That’s what this is. You left me and you left Rose and Stevie and the boys. You left your parents… what about them? What am I supposed to tell them?”
‘Tell them you loved me and leave it at that.’
“Leave it at that.” He said softly. “I more than loved you, ass hole. You are my best friend and you are my brother. You made me who I am. God knows what I would have been if you hadn’t been there. A drug addict? Dead? Who fucking knows? And now you’re fucking dead? Why the hell would you leave us?”
‘It was my time.’
“Bullshit. Bullshit Bullshit.” His voice rose up enough for the curtain to rustle and a doctor look in.
The doctor looked at Trip and then at Ozzy and just nodded and left the two alone.
Trip lowered his head. He still hadn’t had the ability to move any closer to Ozzy. He made an attempt but was at a loss.
“I love you, man. I love you and I love the kids and Rose and… and I love you, man.”
‘I love you too.’
“But I loved you.”
“But… what do I do without you?”
‘Love. Love Rose and love my boys and love Stevie and, Trip love yourself. You know that that is the most important thing. Love yourself.’
“You were always full of shit, Ozzy Hutch.” He muttered the next little bit. “Love myself. That’s some of your hippy tree hugging bullshit lines you would spit out at me. Maybe I don’t want to love myself. Ever think of that?”
‘I know. That’s why I was there. I was there to love you enough to let you know it was ok to love yourself.’
Trip made a step forward. He reached out and tried to touch the end of the bed and missed. This made him jump back two feet. ‘Shit’ He thought. He looked at Ozzy for what felt like the first time. He saw barely a scratch on his face. How the hell can that kill him? Ozzy can’t die from a scratch on his face. ‘Bullshit’.
“You know… you shouldn’t leave Rose? You should wake up and be here for her. She needs you. The boys need you.”
‘I can’t come back. It’s too late.’
“It’s not too late. It would be just the right time. I could go back and make everyone happy because I got to tell them my best friend is back.”
“No.” His eyes sharply turned down and he refused to look at Ozzy. “No. Don’t say my name like that. That’s how people who are about to say sorry start. Trip, I’m sorry. Hell no. I won’t hear that bullshit. You aren’t allowed to be sorry. You are supposed to say ‘yes Trip. I’ll wake up and be here with you when Rose comes back’. And all will be ok. Rose will be happy and I’ll be happy… your boys.”
‘I’m sorry, buddy.’
“I told you not to say that.”
‘What would you like me to say that I can say? Because we both know I can’t come back.’
“Say… say…” He walked up to Ozzy. “Say you’ll meet me on the other side. Tell me that I won’t be alone forever.”
‘You’ll never be alone. Hell… if I can I’ll come back and haunt your ass.’
“I’ll have a beer ready for you.”
‘Don’t buy the cheap shit.’
“Oh hell no. That’s what your ass deserves for this shit.”
‘This wasn’t my fault.’
Trip walked up to Ozzy. He reached down and took his hand in his. He looked at his friends face and his closed eyes.
“You do look like you’re asleep.” He held his friends hand and leaned down and touched his cheek. “I will never forget you. You will always be here with me… and you better remember that when I’m in the bathroom to stay outside. That’s my personal time.”
‘You have no problem with that, sir.’
Trip smiled. He held his friends hand in silence for some time before Rose came back in.
He turned and looked at her. “Hey.”
“Are you ready?”
He looked back at Ozzy for a moment. Then he put his hand down on his chest and looked back at Rose. He nodded and she came to him and the two oldest friends looked at the man they loved and took each other’s hand.
“Rose… I’m no Ozzy, but I’m here always.”
“Like the plague.”
He looked down at the small skinny girl next to him and smiled.
“You know…” She said “He loved us so much that he knew if anything ever happened to him that we would be ok.”
“He made us. He brought us together. Of course we will be ok. We have each other.”
She squeezed his hand tightly. “Have you ever seen so much peace from so much evil?”
“Yeah. When he asked you to be his girl.”
She slapped him with her free hand. “I wasn’t evil.”
“All that pink you wore was.”
She laughed and then quickly pulled her hand away from Trip and covered her mouth.
“It’s ok.” Trip reached over and hugged her. “He knew the pink was evil too.”
She laughed from behind her hand and he just hugged her tighter.
‘I love your laughter, my loves.’
Rose looked up and Trip did too. Then they looked at each other and smiled.
Later on Trip was driving home and he looked around at the green grass and the blue sky. He saw children playing in a yard. He looked he was stunned as to how the world was still moving forward. He thought how can this be happening? What in the hell is going on? Don’t they know that it’s cloudy and raining and that the world just stopped forever? They should be ready for this. But they weren’t. People were smiling and laughing and playing… they were living. Work was still there. Life would go on with or without Ozzy Hutch.
As he was driving along he felt light… like he could float away if he just let go of the steering wheel. When his phone rang he nearly run off the road. He was shaky but managed to answer the phone.
“Trip, it’s Stevie.”
“Are you ok?”
“Would you like me to come over?”
“I’m not… home yet. Are you?”
“No. I’m just getting a cup of coffee at the McDonalds. I thought maybe I could come over.”
“That would be really nice.”
“Ok. Well, I’ll see you in a while.”
“Ok.” She said as she paused a second. “Trip?”
“I like you.”
“I don’t want to hang up this phone until I tell you how I feel. I don’t want you to not know. I really like you. I… have for a long time. I thought it was Ozzy who made me stick around after school… but… you’re goofy ass smile and that damn halfhearted attempt to ask me out. You just always made me feel good about myself. I didn’t really feel that way before you.”
Trip thought of a million different things to say every time he was around Stevie, but couldn’t come up with one thing. So he was silent.
“Um… I just thought you should know… I… you know. I like you.”
“I like you too!” He blurted out. “Sorry. I like you too. I tried to say it forever, but… I like you too.”
He couldn’t see Stevie through the phone but he knew on his end he was smiling.
“I’ll see you soon.” She said from the other end.
“Real soon.” He agreed.
He put the phone down in his lap and looked ahead at the road.
“What do you think about that?” He said to no one in particular. “Damn it Ozzy. I can’t even tell you what happened.”
The light floating feeling had suddenly become more grounding. His heart hurt but started to feel something other than pain for the first time since he pushed the answer button on his phone. He looked over at the clock on his trucks dash and saw the time. It had been six hours since he received that call. His life had changed so drastically in such a short period of time.
“Jesus… I didn’t call in to work.”
The days had passed as if there had been no change. Only the obvious hole in his heart let him know of the change. But the day had come when they would bury his dear friend… the day when everyone that called Ozzy friend and even some who knew him for a very brief time. They would come and say nice things about him and all describe the loss they felt. And for this one day no ill would be spoken of the man.
Trip found himself feeling less and less like he belonged among people he had known for so long. When Stevie walked up to him he felt a small splash of calmness lick at his heart. She never said a word. She just pulled him into a tight hug.
“You are ok, Trip. You are ok.”
He heard the words as more of a reassurance than anything. That’s’ when he realized he had tears coming down his face. They had been there even before Stevie walked up. He just let them fall as this woman, who had held him every night since the accident held him once more. The more he cried the tighter she would squeeze. And after a time the tears subsided.
She let go of the lanky man and he stepped back just far enough to let her breath. However if it was up to him he would never get farther than he was from her at this moment.
He nodded yes to her and she just pulled at his tie to straighten it.
“You look very nice dressed up, Trip.”
“Almost like a grown up, right?” He said softly with a weak smile following.
“I’ve never known you to be otherwise… in your adult life.” She chuckled a little to herself. “There was a while there we thought we were going to have to start worrying though.”
“Why grow up? It’s more fun to be a goofy kid.”
“If you didn’t grow up, Mr. Adams, you may never have caught my attention.”
He smiled a genuine smile at the woman in front of him. She had a way with him. She really always had. He just let go of that when life had become all about making a living instead of living to the fullest.
She had told him a few nights before as that sat slowly sipping beers and reminiscing of the past that she had once thought of Ozzy as more than just a friend. She told him how he and her had talked at the end of the school year about being a couple. Of course she went out of town for a several weeks to spend time at her father’s. In that time Ozzy and Rose had managed to fall in love. That truly was one that everyone could see. It didn’t hurt Stevie. In fact to her it was the just a reassurance that love was real. And their love was one for the movies.
When she told Trip of her near encounter with his friend he was not in any way shocked. In truth he understood perfectly. He had seen the way Ozzy was with people. Ozzy was the quintessential good guy. He was what all should strive to be. When she was done speaking about him, Trip went ahead and told her how he had felt for her for all those years. She simply kissed him.
“I saw your name in the program. Are you going to speak?”
“Um… sort of. I’m going to play a song on my guitar.”
“That’s perfect. Ozzy would have loved that.”
Before he knew it Trip was standing in front of a crowded church holding his guitar. The people in attendance went silent as he walked up the aisle. He had never stood in front of such a large group. His heart was nearly pounding out of his chest. He could feel the sweat dripping down his back and as he reached for the strings of his guitar.
“I’ve never done this in front of more than a few friends, but I know this was Ozzy’s favorite song. I apologize though. I’m not much of a singer.” He started to play the chords to Amazing Grace. Then when it was time to join in his voice filled the small church. “Amazing grace how sweet the sound… that saved a wretch like…” His voice which had already began to crack suddenly left him. He kept playing the music but just started to shake his head and tears slowly dripped from his eyes onto the body of his older well used guitar.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know if I can sing this song. If you don’t mind I would rather just say a few things. I will continue playing and you can sing or listen. It’s up to you. Either way won’t hurt my feelings.”
No one said a word. They listened to the man standing in front of them play the beautiful song and talk.
“I was never much for going to church. I never really felt much in the way of faith. I just lived my life and the other day…” He swallowed back a sob and continued. “The other day what little faith I had was crushed when I… when our friend was taken from us. I know Ozzy was deeply into his faith. He took his family every week on Sunday to this church. He invited me several times but never pushed me to come. I wish… I wish I could take him up on his offer Sunday. I wish he could be her just to offer me his faith once more. I could use it today. I would love to feel what he felt when I played this song. To me it’s just a pretty song that someone gave me the chance to play.” He let the song play for a few moments before he continued. “I’m going to go home tonight and I’m going to drink a beer in my friend’s name. It’s not faith. It’s what we did on Saturday’s. I’m going to play a song off of that terrible alternative album that I told him twenty years ago was crap and I’m going to remember him the best way I can. I know there are a few of you who know me and know where I live. You are more than welcome to join me. Now though I’m going to try my best to finish this song. You’re all welcome to join me.”
He continued playing and started to sing the song from the beginning. This time he was joined by the whole room. Their voices nearly drowned out Trip’s playing but for the first time he could feel just what Ozzy felt when he heard the song. It was a song of love. Trip was one lost and now he was found.
That night after the burial and the after funeral get together that the south was famous for, Trip found himself driving along the twilight lit roads going home. He looked over at the six pack he had sitting on his seat. He had every intention of finishing it off as quickly as possible.
He pulled into his drive and got out of the beat up old pick up and walked slowly onto his porch. As he went to unlock his door he heard a vehicle pulling up behind him. He turned and Sat Stevie getting out. She smiled at him and he smiled back. Then out of nowhere several other cars and trucks pulled up and started parking in the yard and across the road from his home. He looked around at all the people getting out and waving at him.
He looked over at Stevie who had made her way to standing beside him. She just shrugged and smiled at him. “You did say to join you.”
“I think I may not have enough beer.”
Stevie latched on to his arm and leaned in close. “I think it’ll be ok. We’ll manage.”
Trip looked down at Stevie who stood no less than a foot shorter than him and smiled at her with a mixture of happiness and sadness. Then he looked up to see Rose pulling up in her car. He and Stevie watched her get out and sadly look up at them and wave. She walked through the see of people pulling folding chairs and cases of beer out of trucks and cars and up to her two friends.
“Ozzy would have been so proud to see the two of you together.”
“I’m happy to see you, Rose.” Stevie said. “We didn’t get much of a chance to talk earlier.”
“Where’s the boys?” Trip asked.
“They are staying at Ozzy’s parents. It keeps them all occupied. His parents think they’re keeping the boys at ease and the boys think they are keeping their grandparents at ease. That keeps me at ease.”
“I didn’t expect you to come here. Actually I didn’t expect all these people either, but you… I figured you would stay with your family.”
“I am with my family. Besides… except a hand full of times where have I ever spent my Saturdays except here?”
“You are always welcome here, Rose. You are after all the sister I never had.”
“Trip, you have a sister.”
“Yeah… she’s the sister I never wanted.”
Alissa walked up to them after getting out of a truck with her boyfriend in tow. “You’re an ass hole, Trip.”
He smiled at her as he flipped her off.
She instead turned to Rose. “Hey, Rose. How are you?”
“I’m good as long as I’m here with the lot of you.”
“Well, come on in. Let’s get this place open for business.”
The night went on with several toasts to Ozzy and stories being told all around. Trip played the guitar and people would sing and laugh and cry. Then Trip put a cd in his stereo and played it over and over singing along with songs he knew by heart. Songs he professed to hate but more than ever wanted to listen to. As the night wore on people slowly dwindled away until it were just Trip, Stevie, Rose, Alissa and her boyfriend left. They were sitting on some random chairs around what had been a large bonfire. Now it was just bright red coals barely giving off enough glow for the group to see each other.
“So there we were driving back from the movie and Ozzy was doing his best to talk sexy to Rose… all because he thought I was asleep and I just started laughing my ass off. I had totally killed his mac.”
“The boy never had mac, Trip.” Rose interjected. “I just took the initiative and made his ass love me. The boy was clueless most of the time.”
They all laughed.
“I’m going to really miss him.” She said starting to cry.
Trip popped up from his seat and nearly jumped over the coals to reach her. He pulled her up from her seat and held her until she finally was able to stop crying.
“I’m ok. I’m ok. I’m ok.” She was telling herself to believe it more than anyone around the fire.
“No. You’re not… and that’s ok. I’m not ok and that’s ok too. We will be ok but it’s fine to be hurt. We’re alone without him. I’m just glad we have each other.”
He held his best friend’s wife as close as he could. The smoke from the coals rose slowly around them. His closest friends were all within feet of them… all but one.
‘Take care of them, brother.’
Trip looked down at Rose and smiled at her. “I’ll take care of you, Rose.”
She wiped the tears away and gently pulled back. “I’m ok, Trip. I really am. Thank you.”
“I mean it. You’re family.”
She hugged him again. “Thank you.” She turned to the rest of the group and smiled. “Thank you all.”
They all smiled and gave their love to the frail young woman.
“What are you going to tonight?” Trip quietly asked her.
“I’m going to go to my parents. I don’t think I can go home right now. It wouldn’t feel right.”
“Ok. If you want you can stay here. It’s not very clean but it’s home.”
“No. I’m going to be ok.” She shrugged. “In fact I’m going to head out before it gets any later. I’m sure they’re already worried about me.”
The group all gets up and says their good byes to Rose. And then the rest slowly make their way to their vehicles. This left Trip with Stevie. He looked down at the woman he was falling in love with and hugged her. They waved as the last car drove away and he leaned down and kissed her.
“You ready to go inside?” She asked.
They turned to go in and Trip stopped and turned back and picked up an unopened beer that was sitting next to his chair. He opened in and sat it on the chair.
“You not bringing it in?”
“No. That’s just me keeping a promise.”