Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler: Part 1
Billy Dwyer had spent the majority of the day locked in his room playing video games, much to his mother’s chagrin. He didn’t understand why she complained, the chores were always done and his summer assignments were completed two weeks before school started. As far as he was concerned, this was his time to just relax.
“You fucking idiot! You’re supposed to cover me!” He screamed into his headset, his mouth stuffed with pizza rolls, “I don’t care if your controller froze, figure some shit out and cover me.” He managed to get a few more shots in before he was gunned down by the opposing team. He chucked his controller at the television, muttered a few expletives and searched for his phone amongst the pile of unfolded clothes and a few dime bags. He was taken aback by the brightness of the phone screen, temporarily blinding him as his eyes struggled to adjust to the light. The numbers on the screen read six fifteen, which meant that the sun was still high, his black out curtains did a good job of keeping it out. But sadly, for him, that meant that he had to wait a few hours before he could sneak into his girlfriend’s house. Before the screen dimmed, he noticed two text messages from his mother.
Hey Sweetie, working the late shift tonight. Left money on the kitchen counter for takeout.
I love you.
He texted back a quick “I love you too, ma” and fumbled through his contacts to make a phone call. On the third ring, a smooth, honey like voice answered.
“Well hello stranger. I was starting to think that you forgot all about me.” The voice said.
Billy chucked, “Now, baby, how could I forget about those sweet lips of yours?” He had inherited his charm from his “no good, piece of shit father” as his mother liked to reiterate as often as she could. “Listen, my mom won’t be home till three. Come over here instead?” She was silent for a moment. Technically it would be safer for Billy if she came to him this time. She had already gotten in trouble once for being with him; sure, he had good grades, and would probably get a full ride scholarship anywhere he wanted. However, to her father, all Billy was, was trailer park white trash. “C’mon, please? You know I’ll make it worth it.”
He could hear her smiling through the phone, “Oh fine, I’ll call Audrey and tell her to cover for me.”
“You sure they’ll buy it?” Billy got up from his bean bag chair as slowly as he could, his legs had fallen asleep because he had barely moved for hours.
“Of course, they will. Besides, I’m not exactly lying, I’ll be at her house tonight eventually.” Courtney Keller was your all around good girl: head cheerleader, the upcoming senior class president, and she and Billy were neck and neck when it came to being valedictorian at graduation. Her rebelliousness was one of the things that Billy loved about her.
“God, I can’t wait to see you. Wear that perfume I like?” Billy was going to marry her one day, he was sure of it. Before she could respond, he could hear her father calling for her in the background to come down for dinner.
“Only for you. I love you.” She said.
“I love you too. I’m gonna order Chinese, think you can slip away in like an hour? Hour and a half?”
“I’ll see what I can do.” She hung up. Billy slapped his lower half to get rid of the tingling sensation that still lingered in his legs and made his way to the kitchen to collect the money.
The trailer that he shared with his mother was larger than most in the park. It had a garden that surrounded the perimeter of the home, a medium above ground pool and the nicest furniture one could find at a thrift shop. Billy’s mom pulled enough tips at the diner to give him the best, but never enough to get out; that’s all that Billy wanted. He called the restaurant and could barely make out what the lady was saying on the other end, just pots and pans clamoring against the oven.
“And an order of Krab Rangoon too, please.”
BANG! “Okay, fifteen minutes.” He slipped into his hoodie that was sloppily hanging over one of the dining room chairs. It had a few holes in it and a graffiti style Tardis on the back. Courtney had given it to him last Christmas and he wore it with everything, even if it didn’t match. When he opened the door, the Louisiana humidity smacked him in the face; without a second thought, he made his way over to his bike that was locked up against the fence that his mother tried to keep as white as possible. He was not going to walk in this heat.
He stuffed the lock into his backpack and made his way out of the trailer park. Residents waved as he rode passed them, kids ran around, playing in their sprinklers and plastic swimming pools. Billy smiled and nodded towards them, not wanting to take his hands off the handle bars. I used to be happy like that, he thought. They didn’t know that they were in a trailer park. They didn’t know that the reason why the kids at school never came to their birthday parties was because of the PTA mom’s gossip. I would not take long for them to quickly become unsatisfied with their lives, a few would probably run away, the girls always ran away. And the boys? Well the boys had a more permanent solution for leaving. Before he made his way out of the park, Mr. Lupu called him over. He had a funny way of speaking; he came to Louisiana when he was in his mid-thirties, and forty years later, his Romanian accent barely dissipated and it had merged with a Cajun accent, making him incomprehensible.
“Billy, my boy! Vere are you going zis fine evenink?” He had this incredulous way of speaking with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, putting enough pressure on it so that it would not fall. Billy tried to do it once when he was younger, but he threw up from the smoke before mastering the technique.
“Just picking up some food, I have a friend coming over. Did you need anything?” Billy disliked almost everyone in the park, except for Mr. Lupu He used to watch Billy when he was younger, and tell him stories of Romania, how he used to get his ass kicked every week for at least a year when he first came to America. But he made it here with his wife Daria, “God rest her soul.” He would always say.
“Oh, a friend, huh? That little blonde one I see you valking vith on some of the days! Good boy.” He laughed, his mouth opening wide, and yet, his cigarette never left his mouth. “Vell, I know better than to keep a boy from having a good time.”
“I’ll see you later Mr. Lupu.” Lupu looked up to the sky, and then to Billy. His demeanor changed from joyous and playful, to one filled with dread and terror. Dark grey clouds covered up the blue that the weather man promised would stay for at least a week, and the low growl of thunder permeated the stillness in the air.
“I hope so Billy, please make promise vith me, if I don’t see you. Be careful.”
Billy backed away slowly, Mr. Lupu had told Billy to be careful before, but this was borderline creepy.