After a minute, Jacky reached down into one of the sacks and pulled out a foil wrapped package. To my immense relief, he unwrapped a greasy cheeseburger, and proceeded to eat it, holding it with the foil to catch the grease. The smell of cigarette smoke had masked the burger smell until he had opened the foil, unleashing a greasy and pungent smell that temporarily overpowered the stale tobacco. After a minute, my heart rate dropped back to normal, and visions of a small town jail, an expensive lawyer, my crying mother and angry father and of doing hard time left my head. It was certainly after midnight now, and I couldn’t wait for this adventure to end, having had my fill. I couldn’t wait to catch up with my friends to tell them about the evening, and impress them with my exploits and bravado.
My friends were probably all sitting in the dark around a country club pool, putting back beers, relaxing on the lounge chairs, and joyriding on the golf carts. The girls were probably past wasted, trying not to get sick, and the guys were probably angling on how to separate the girls, planning on a divide and conquer strategy. I hoped that I could cruise in right in time, arriving before the party broke up, or before everyone paired off and disappeared.
Jacky picked up the pace a bit now, as if sensing my desire to get home. Without the contraband, he was probably less antsy about getting stopped. The roads, which had scarcely had traffic before were now deserted, and he pushed the old Ford to ten or fifteen over, whizzing along the country roads. Finally, we were on a stretch of road I recognized, and traffic picked up as we came back into town. With hardly another word, Jacky took me back to the shopping center where I’d left my car. As we pulled into the lot, with my Honda in sight, he looked over and grinned at me.
“Didja have fun?” He asked.
“Sure did.” I said.
“Good deal” Jacky said, as he cracked open yet another beer for his ride home.
He pulled up behind the Honda and I got out, thanking him for taking me along.
“Anytime,” He said, as if he was appreciative of the company, even though he’d hardly spoken to me all night. “Anytime.”
I got out and he didn’t wait for me to get the Honda started, off he peeled back onto the highway. I cranked the Prelude, opened the sunroof and windows, and popped in a Zeppelin tape, tired of country music, and thankful to be out of the smoky Ford. My clothes reeked of exhaust, cigarettes and greasy hamburger, but I’d gotten away with it. I sped up as I pulled out of the parking lot, caught second gear, barking the tires and putting my foot to the floor as I sped off to find my friends. It wasn’t even midnight yet, we’d only been gone about two hours. I hoped that everyone would be suitably impressed with my story, and I wondered if there’d be any beer or girls left at the pool when I arrived.