Troy was kind of upset when we drove by the Peking Moon and saw that it was way too crowded to stop. There were people waiting in a line outside in the rain, so he was going to have to wait until another night for the crab Rangoon and cashew chicken. Instead, we went to some mom and pop restaurant out near the airport called Fat And Happy's.
It was one of those informal little joints where the cash register was behind the bar so you were expected to seat yourself. We took a booth near the front door so we could look out at the rain. Soon our waitress brought us both a menu and asked if we wanted a beer. We both said yes and she didn't even bother to card me. I guess maybe my stubble made me look twenty one.
We noticed the place starting to get really busy as we were waiting for our food. I'd ordered a barbecued beef sandwich and Troy had a big-ass steak, medium rare, and an order of fried mushrooms for an appetizer. After the girl brought out the food and refilled our beers, she seemed to vanish. Soon we noticed a different girl waiting on the tables around us, so we just assumed our waitress was on break, and the new girl would bring us the check.
After about forty minutes of watching the chaos, Troy tossed me the car keys and told me to pull up by the door while he took care of the bill.
"So I get to be rained on? I see how you are..." I joked.
"You have the coat." he told me, with a quick wink that tweaked my penis ever so slightly.
I saw him take out his wallet and start shuffling through it as I slipped my coat on and headed outside. I had to run to the car as the rain beat down on me. Once I got the engine warmed up I pulled over in front of the door under the old fashioned canvas awning. After tossing my coat in the back seat I noticed I couldn't see out the passenger side window, so I rolled it down to check if Troy was coming yet.
Suddenly the door burst open and he came running towards the car like a mad man and dove into the open window head first, yelling, "Go! Go!"
I hit the gas, peeling out on the wet pavement with his legs hanging out the passenger window. I headed for the nearest exit and then fishtailed down the road as Troy got turned right side up, looking out the back laughing his ass off and screaming woo hoo or yee haw or something like that.
"What the fuck did you do?" I asked, with a big grin and my heart beating out of my chest.
He smiled and told me, "Nothing... But we probably shouldn't eat there for a while, ha ha."
"You asshole! Why didn't you just pay the check?" I asked, as a sudden paranoia took hold of me. I was constantly checking my mirrors and going 20 miles per hour over the speed limit as we passed the airport.
"I didn't have enough money, besides, our waitress forgot about us. Don't worry, no one saw me leave. I went into the bathroom and when I came out the busboy was clearing our table. I just walked by him and went outside." he explained, with a reassuring confidence that made it easy to believe him.
"Oh my God -- you're crazy!"
"A little maybe...but you're smiling."
"Yeah, but I nearly pissed my pants when you came flying in the window. I'll never go out to eat with... Oh shit! The cops are after us!" I yelled with my eyes frozen on the rear view mirror where I could faintly sees the red and blue flashing lights a couple miles behind us and gaining fast. The highway running beside the airport was flat as a pancake and you could see for miles in all directions.
Troy flipped around thinking I was messing with him and then freaked out when he saw I wasn't. "Floor it! Then take the next right and turn your lights out!" he hollered with a new found sense of fear in his voice.
"Are you mad? I'm not out running the law!" I yelled back at him with the same frantic yelling.
"No, you have to! I have warrants and they'll take me to jail!" he pleaded.
"Tough shit!" I told him, as I began slowing down and pulling onto the shoulder.
"Aww, Gaw damn it dude...I'm fucked..." Troy mumbled, as he sank into his seat with an overwhelming disappointment.
I put the car in park and reached for my wallet only to realize it was back at Evan's house and I too would probably be going to jail for driving without a license. I started picturing myself doing dishes at Fat And Happy's with a ball and chain strapped to my ankle. The lights were getting closer and they had the siren blaring.
"We're both fucked." I said, resigning to the idea of getting hassled by the cops and dreading the call to my mother from behind bars. "It's probably too late to jump out and run huh?" I jokingly asked, trying to break the gloominess that was suffocating the both of us. Then I saw Troy begin to perk up and look out into the open field. "Don't you fucking dare! I was only kidding...besides, you're gonna be my bitch when we get to prison. I own you big time, you asshole."
"Piss on it, I have a bag of weed on me." He confessed, with a sad look in his eyes as if he was ready to cry.
"Oh, no..." I said as the red and blue lights became brighter inside the car. I felt like my head was going to split open from the throbbing pain, and I wished I was home in bed.
A split second later the cops flew right past us with the siren instantly a tenth as loud and then a second cop car zipped by following the first.
We sat there in shock for a few seconds with the sound of the windshield wipers slapping the rain back and forth as we watched them getting further away until they eventually disappeared into the hills beyond the airport.
I looked over at Troy and started to say something just as he leaned over and grabbed my face with both hands and pressed his wet mouth into mine for a brief, celebratory kiss before letting me go and yelling, "Hell yes! Awww what a relief."
I just sat there staring at him in the glow of the dash lights as he bounced around with utter delight.
"Let's go, before they come back." he said joyfully.
I put the car in gear and pulled onto the highway licking my lips and smiling inside and out. Whether Troy realized it or not, he had just broken the ice.
[to be continued]