This story is one of the first really interesting and bizarre things that happened to me. It's a tale chock full of twists, crime, and deceit, guaranteed to satisfy even the most discriminating BtyB reader.
It takes place when I was a sophomore in high school, before I had any clue whatsoever regarding women. Despite my objective inexperience, I had managed to attract my first real girlfriend. I'll write the full story some day on how I met her... believe it or not, I won her over by memorizing more digits of pi than she memorized. Let's all pretend I didn't just admit that. Anyway, she was very attractive, super cool, and perhaps the most compatible girlfriend I've ever had. Now she is a fighter (like amateur UFC or something) and a stripper. Her name is Allison.
One of my good friends at the time was a fellow named Charles. There always seemed to be something a bit odd about him, but I wasn't sure what it was. Later I would learn that he had been sent to juvenile detention for attempting to stab his stepfather.
One day after school Charles asked me if I wanted to go "mudding". Perhaps those of you reading from more civilized places than Texas don't know what mudding is. It's when you have an enormous jacked up pickup truck or jeep, and you drive through mud. Sounds pretty lame, but is actually quite a bit of fun. The problems in his plan were twofold - we had no truck or jeep nor a place to go mudding.
"We can go in my car, and I know a place," he assured me. He drove a 1988 Ford Escort.
Allison and I agreed to go. We hadn't been dating for very long, but already we would hang out nearly every day after school. We followed him in my car as he drove on a wild goose chase to find the ranch we were supposed to go mudding at. After a little while I started to wonder if he actually knew someone who gave him permission to drive on their ranch, or if he was looking for an unoccupied one.
Finally we pulled into a dirt driveway in the woods. Allison and I got out of my car and joined Charles in his. After passing an empty white pickup truck on the path, he floored it and we started careening down dirt roads, even managing to get the front wheels off the ground a couple times. It was a nice day out and we were having a blast. We did doughnuts in the grass, and let Allison, who was 15 at the time try driving for the first time.
But our youthfully irresponsible joyride wasn't enough for Charles. When it was his turn to drive he drove right up to a fence and stopped. On the other side were some cows. On our side there were none.
He got back into the car, put it in second gear and pushed through the fence. Allison and I glanced at each other nervously. This wasn't really what we were expecting.
Trying to ignore the facts that not only had Charles destroyed a fence and let the cows out, but that he also clearly did not know the owner of this property, we continued driving around. Soon the car was stuck in some sand and we began brainstorming ways to get it out.
Nearby was a huge digging machine of some sort. Half jokingly I suggested that we figure out how to drive it and push his car out of the sand. Against my better judgement, I told him that usually construction vehicles have keys in them because different people drive them every day. He made a beeline for the machine and tried to start it. Luckily he couldn't manipulate the many levers and pedals in any way that would result in the machine being started.
Eventually we resorted to more simple solutions like jamming sticks under his wheels. Successfully free of the sand, we began driving towards the exit.
Nearly there, Charles spotted two more construction vehicles. One was the equivalent of a steamroller for dirt roads, and the other was a bulldozer. He stopped the car and jumped out with a word.
First he approached the bulldozer. The key was in it. He turned the key which resulted in little more than funny noises coming from the engine. A few more failed attempts and he directed his attention towards the steamroller.
This one was more promising. The first crank of the key almost turned the engine over. He adjusted some levers, stamped on the pedals and tried again. Allison and I watched him nervously. Closer... the engine started but quickly stopped.
He jumped on top of the contraption, opened the gas tank and spit in it. Satisfied, he tried again. This time the machine roared to life and began belching out black smoke from its exhaust pipe. A wide grin spread across his face.
"Charles... let's go. You shouldn't do that!" I yelled. I was a sissy, but was probably right.
Unable to fully control the vehicle, he drove it around in a circle, running over a small tree and completely crushing it. Finally I convinced him to get out, so he parked it in the middle of the dirt road, took the key, cut off the siren light with his knife, and jumped onto the freshly flattened ground. Before returning to the driver's seat he took the keys of the other machine as well.
He sped off laughing maniacally. I hadn't seen this side of Charles before.
Big Trouble in Little Tynantown
Giddy with the excitement of our mischief, we began back down the dirt road towards my car.
We approached the empty white truck again, but this time it was facing us. And it wasn't empty. There was a man in it, driving towards us. Charles politely pulled to the side and let him pass. A collective sigh of relief was breathed.
We got to my car, hopped in, and as I began to pull out onto the road I heard :
"Fuck. He's following us."
Charles had already hit the highway. Sure enough, in my rear view mirror was a menacing white truck coming right for me. I floored it and swerved onto the highway.
Not wanting to get into trouble, I kept accelerating to outrun the white truck. He matched my acceleration and raised it, causing me to go faster and faster. I hit 110 or so in my trusty 1994 Mazda 626, but the truck was still gaining on me. The light in front of me turned red. I went through it, and so did the truck.
I finally came to my senses and realized that this was quite likely going to get me killed, and I would hate to do that to the world. I slowed down to 90.
The truck caught up with me but passed without even slowing down. He wasn't after me - he was after Charles.
Allison looked worried. We had just begun dating, and this was a lot to digest. We talked it over and decided the best thing to do was to just pretend nothing had happened and go home. I dropped her off and continued towards my house.
But I was rattled. I'd never driven that fast, been chased, or been involved in any sort of crime. Adrenaline was flooding my veins and distracting me. After turning into my neighborhood I promptly jumped the curb and ran over some bushes and flowers. I yanked the wheel back to the right and continued home.
I got out of my car, pulled the foliage out of my grille and went inside.
The Lies Begin
"Where have you been?" asked my mother.
"Studying at Starbucks," I replied. It seemed like a good excuse.
Of course, she should have known I was lying. For one I don't study, and for two I don't drink coffee or go to Starbucks. However, eternally optimistic that I might some day find value in my education, she bought the story. I was quiet during dinner, trying to contain my guilt.
Allison and I caught up online. Her parents weren't suspicious, and mine seemed to believe me. We were in the clear. No cops had called either of us.
Later Charles called me and told me that he was driving 120 and successfully evaded the white truck. We were in the clear. I hadn't wanted the trouble in the beginning, but I felt like a badass for getting away with it. My confidence rose.....
The Plot Thickens
My cohorts and I reconvened the following day at school. It was Wednesday, almost 24 hours after the incident, and no one had heard from the cops. We felt pretty good. By Thursday we were convinced that we were criminal masterminds, and plotted our next scheme.
Charles' parents were going out of town for the weekend. Did Allison and I want to sneak out, and go to his house? My mind clouded with impure thoughts, I quickly convinced Allison that it was, in fact, a solid idea.
Our plan for Friday was executed perfectly. Allison and I went on a date like we did many weekends. We got back to her house, hung out with her parents for a little while, and I left.
I went back home and asked my parents if I could sleep at Charles' house. Yes, dad... of course his parents are going to be home.
I packed a few things and drove to Charles' house. We knew that Allison's parents would be awake for a while, so we hung out, waiting for her to give us the ok signal. We were very pleased at the level of complexity built into our plan.
Finally at 1am her parents had gone to sleep. They had an alarm system, so her plan was to escape through a window and meet me at the end of her long driveway.
I pulled up to the house, turned off my lights and waited in the parking lot. Still a virgin, I stared at the ceiling of my car wondering what might happen that night.
Reacting to a sharp knock on the window, I jumped out of my seat. I looked over and saw a commando in full camo staring me back. My terror subsided quickly when I realized that it was just Allison. She had somehow gotten a camo jacket and bandana.
We drove through the empty streets back to Charles' house.
Debauchery and Mayhem?
So... what exactly do three teenagers do when they've snuck out to a house with no parents?
You may have your own theory, but my experience tells me that they sit around and watch movies all night. That's right... no action. No mischief. I don't even think we ate junk food. The thrill of our plot was enough that we didn't need anything else. Also I think Charles had a crush on Allison and never left the two of us in a room alone.
Finally 6am came and Allison needed to go home. On some occasions her parents took walks early in the morning, and she didn't want to risk getting caught. I drove her back, watched her walk down her driveway, and returned to Charles' house.
We waited to hear from her, and the news wasn't good. Her parents were out looking for her. How did she know? Their van wasn't in the driveway. She was panicking and very scared. I, on the other hand, was not panicked or scared. When I dropped her off after our date, I had noticed that the van wasn't in the driveway then either. It must be getting serviced, I assured her. She didn't believe me.
Exhausted from our long night, I went to sleep.
Good Morning, Austin
"It's for you, dude. It's your mom."
I hadn't even heard the phone ring, I was so deep asleep. She wasn't happy.
"Where were you last night?" Oh god. How did she know? She couldn't, right?
"At Charles' place."
"Tynan. Tell me the truth. Where else were you?"
"Nowhere." I didn't have a strategy. I was just so busy trying to figure out how she found out that I couldn't say anything else.
"What did you do?"
"We watched movies."
"Look, Tynan. I know what happened. Just admit it." I almost gave in and admitted everything. Clearly Allison's parents told her what happened, and we were in trouble.
"Well, some police came by today and said that your car was at the scene of a crime."
Uhoh. We had assumed that we were free and clear of that disaster. I was almost relieved that she knew about that and not about Allison. After all, I had almost no involvement in the destruction at the ranch.
"Well, Allison and I went to a restaurant last night. Maybe there was a crime there."
She seemed somewhat convinced, but insisted that I come home immediately.
My plan was to go home, come clean, and deal with whatever minor punishment might be handed down.
Unfortunately, Charles had another plan.
"I can't get in trouble for this," he began. "I've already been to juvy twice and this is my third strike. I'll go to jail. If you tell her that I was involved, then I'm going to tell her that you snuck Allison out"
Well, that certainly didn't make things easier. I wasn't too surprised by his ultimatum - he'd already proven to be totally crazy.
I drove home with a lot on my mind. With all of the factors churning, I figured that the best course of action was to pretend that nothing had happened. Maybe it would go away.
Conversation was brief when I returned. They bought my story and I ate breakfast with them. Maybe things would turn out ok after all. I left the house to go get my oil changed.
The (semi) Honest Truth
More than my oil had changed when I got back. I walked into the house and saw my parents each sitting on a chair in the living room. Across the table from the chairs was the couch. I sat down, knowing that the interrogation was about to begin.
"An officer came by while you were gone. He told us everything."
"I can't believe you would destroy property like that. It's not like you."
Blackmail or not, I had to come clean. I already felt bad enough about lying, and I didn't want my parents to lose respect for me thinking I did that. When I told them everything, everyone felt better. They knew I wasn't a thug, I knew that I didn't have to worry about the incident anymore.
"Now, Tynan, is there ANYTHING else you want to tell us now?"
Feigning deep contemplation, I replied, "No."
I was sure. I'd had enough disclosure for one day. My mother asked if Allison's parents knew what had happened. I told her that they didn't, and she insisted that I go over to tell them personally. My parents liked Allison and were very happy that I had a girlfriend. If I didn't go over I might be forbidden to see her.
I talked to Allison online. She was convinced that her parents were suspicious. They had been asking weird questions, but didn't seem to know anything. I told her what had happened, and that I wanted to come over and explain the mudding incident to them with her. Reluctantly, she agreed.
She wanted an hour to eat dinner with them and tell them. Then she would call me and I would join the discussion. Happy for a break, I headed for McDonalds to buy my favorite meal of all time - the venerable Fishwich.
Allison was back online when I got back.
[allison] I told them everything
[tynan] Cool. I'll be over in a second.
[allison] No. Everything.
[tynan] What do you mean?
I was worried.
[allison] I told them about how we snuck out, and about the mudding.
[tynan] Are they ok with it?
[allison] No, they are furious. They want you to come over.
I hadn't even met her father before. Her mother liked me, but that was clearly distant history. I can't really recall a time when I was more scared in my entire life. Only sixteen at the time, I was about to have to tell a mother and father that I snuck their fifteen year old girl out to spend the night with me alone, only days after committing a nice run of breaking and entering.
As I drove up the winding road up to their house I looked past the guardrail. Surely a swift jerk of the steering wheel would send me careening over the side of the hill. At worst I'd die, but at least then I could avoid this moment. At best I could be severely injured and feign memory loss. I overcame the allure of the guardrail and continued to her house.
Meet the Parents
Immediately after walking in I saw her father. It was at that moment that I knew the exact length of my lifespan. 16 years. The guy looked like a professional wrestler. He was enormous, had crazy hair sticking out from his head, and had a very menacing look. Her mother's face wasn't any more inviting.
"Hi...." I stammered.
"Did you have sex?" Hulk Hogan was in no mood for pleasantries.
"No." For once I replied truthfully. Well, I guess "Unfortunately, no" would have been more truthful, but there was no need to go overboard.
Immedately his face showed his relief. I wasn't the cassanova he had imagined. Over the next half hour we talked about what happened. The parents calmed down, Allison and I felt better about everything, and order was restored. Not the most auspicious introduction to her father, but it seemed like it could be salvaged.
"Do your parents know about all this?"
"Some of it."
"Do they know you snuck out?"
"I don't think so."
"I think you should tell them."
"Ok, I will."
"Great. Just use that phone over there and have them come over."
What? Who comes up with plans like that? Our parents had never even met before, and they wanted to talk this one out?
"No, that's ok. I'll just tell them when I get home."
My mother answered. I told her that we had talked everything out and that her parents wanted to meet them. It didn't even occur to me that maybe the right move was to let them know that they were about to be blindsided.
"Well, at least we know everything."
"Well, at least we know everything," my mother offered to the group.
Allison and her parents quickly shifted their gaze to me. My parents followed suit with anxious looks on their faces.
"Actually... that's not exactly true."
I proceded to relate the entire story to them.
"Did you have sex?" My mother asked.
Like Allison's parents, my parents then relaxed. Passably friendly conversation was exchanged, and I left with my parents.
"I don't think they're ever going to let you see her again," my mother offered helpfully.
We ended up having to pay a small amount of money to the rancher for the equipment. I'm not entirely sure he was aware of the full extent of the damage. Charles refused to pay the entire thing. Allison and I did keep seeing each other, and over time I developed a very good relationship with her parents.
Neither of us ever hung out with Charles again.