Jace’s Place Chapter 7 Part 3

Robby is definitely worked up for school in the morning. We literally skip all the way to class. Tim 103 He goes right up to Mr. Clark and shows him all the props he’s brought. I notice Robby casually rubbing his hand on Mr. Clark’s shoulder.  He’s incorrigible.

When everyone files in and are seated, Mr. Clark says we were going to read ‘ A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.  Instead of reading from our seats, we’ll act out the roles in front of the class. Everyone will be assigned a role. The boys will play all the speaking parts. The girls will be the chorus and special effects. All the kids have no idea what Robby is planning.
Mr. Clark has all the boys come up to the front. Robby acts as his assistant, while I’m relegated to stand with the boys. Everyone is lined up shortest to tallest, from left to right. He explains that some people will play multiple roles. A girl suggests that since there were not enough boys, some girls could have speaking roles.
“It’s not that we’re short on actors, the play has a play within the play and also a dream sequence, so it is important that the assigned actors take their secondary roles as Shakespeare had written them. You are experiencing living theater, as if we were back in 16th century London.”
Robby assigns the fairies first, himself as Puck,  and the five shortest boys as Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, Mustardseed , First Fairy, and Second Fairy. Mr. Clark says that the fairies are in the play within the play, Robby chooses the tallest boy as Oberon and me, of course, as Titania.

Mr. Clark tells everyone to open their Shakespeare to the first dream sequence, Act II, Scene 1. Robby has taken all the fairies, dividing them  into ‘trains’ for Oberon and Titania. The two unnamed fairies are told they will be doing the opening introductions. Robby takes a blonde hideous wig and puts it on my head. All the other boys laugh at me. Little do they know.
“Okay, who’s in Oberon’s train,” he asks, and two boys are positioned behind the boy playing Oberon. The remaining two and the unnamed fairy, assigned to me as Titania, are told to pick out a wig and get behind me. This all takes place at the back of the classroom.
Mr. Clark announces, “Act II, Scene 1.”
Robby goes to the right side of the blackboard and my fairy goes to the left, to whispered jeers and laughs. Mr. Clark hushes everyone.

“How now, spirit! whither wander you?” says Robby as Puck.

“Over hill, over dale, Swifter than the moon’s sphere; And I serve the fairy queen, (laughs) Our queen and all our elves come here anon,” speaks my fairy, her tone rising in pitch as Puck encourages a feminine voice out of him.

Puck: “The king doth keep his revels here to-night:
Take heed the queen come not within his sight;
For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,
Because that she as her attendant hath
A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king;
And jealous Oberon would have the child
Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild;
But she perforce withholds the loved boy,”

Fairy: “Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
Call’d Robin Goodfellow: are not you he
Those that Hobgoblin call you and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck:
Are not you he?

From the right, in comes Oberon followed by his train of fairies, to the cheers of the seated students.
As Titania in blonde wig, I come next, followed by my train in their varied wigs, to the jeers and laughs of the audience.
Mr. Clark holds up his hands, proclaiming, “Just reactions, as normally occurred in 16th century London.”

OBERON
“Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.”

TITANIA
(in a high soto voice) “What, jealous Oberon! Fairies, skip hence:
I have forsworn his bed and company.”

The fairies and I swirl around  and preen for the crowd. They’re in hysterics.

OBERON
Tarry, rash wanton: am not I thy lord?

TITANIA
Then I must be thy lady: but I know
When thou hast stolen away from fairy land,
And in the shape of Corin sat all day,
Playing on pipes of corn and versing love
To amorous Phillida.
To Theseus must be wedded, and you come
To give their bed joy and prosperity.
OBERON
How canst thou thus for shame, Titania,
Glance at my credit with Hippolyta,
Knowing I know thy love to Theseus?
Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering night
From Perigenia, whom he ravished?
And make him with fair Eagle break his faith,
With Ariadne and Antiopa?
TITANIA
These are the forgeries of jealousy:
And this same progeny of evils comes
From our debate, from our dissension;
We are their parents and original.
OBERON
Do you amend it then; it lies in you:
Why should Titania cross her Oberon?
I do but beg a little changeling boy,
To be my henchman.
TITANIA
Set your heart at rest:
The fairy land buys not the child of me.
His mother was a votaress of my order:
And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind;
But she, being mortal, of that boy did die;
And for her sake do I rear up her boy,
And for her sake I will not part with him.
OBERON
How long within this wood intend you stay?
TITANIA
Perchance till after Theseus’ wedding-day.
If you will patiently dance in our round
And see our moonlight revels, go with us;
If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.
OBERON
Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.
TITANIA
Not for thy fairy kingdom. Fairies, away!
We shall chide downright, if I longer stay.
Exit TITANIA with her train
OBERON
Well, go thy way: thou shalt not from this grove
Till I torment thee for this injury.
My gentle Puck, come hither..
PUCK
I remember.
OBERON
That very time I saw,
Cupid all arm’d: a certain aim he took
At a fair vestal throned by the west,
And loosed his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
Yet mark’d I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
It fell upon a little western flower,
Before milk-white, now purple with love’s wound,
And maidens call it love-in-idleness.
Fetch me that flower; the herb I shew’d thee once:
The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees.
Fetch me this herb;.
PUCK
I’ll put a girdle round about the earth
In forty minutes.
Exit
OBERON
Having once this juice,
I’ll watch Titania when she is asleep,
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes.
The next thing then she waking looks upon,
Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
On meddling monkey, or on busy ape,
She shall pursue it with the soul of love:,
I’ll make her render up her page to me.
But who comes here? I am invisible;
And I will overhear their conference.

Mr. Clark claps as the scene ends. Everyone else, yells and stomps. I and my fairies, bow and our wigs fall off.
“Behold the magic of Elizabethan theater alive in tragedy and comedy by Shakespeare in 1975.”
He motion to Robby/Puck who bows and waves.
All the boys are pointing at their friends just recently in wigs, while the girls moon over Robby.
“Living theater, boys and girls. You’ve created the apogee of English literature before our very eyes,” Mr. Clark can’t stop congratulating himself. “Tomorrow we’ll do the play within the play. Read up, you may be up there in curled wigs yourself.”
Everyone squeals like pigs at the thought. Was this Shakespeare or high school. (To Be Continued).

We skip to Biology, where I document our experiment in duplicate, while Robby mugs for the girls, when the Nazi science teacher isn’t looking. He dices up our frog and fakes eating the bits as the girls can’t stop giggling. Somehow everyone else is written up for disruption while we rush away to Nutrition. Our little gang is in the midst of a desperate search for a new hangout and dealer, so we sit with the girls from English.
“I heard your band is all gay.” One daring doubter asks.
“Well, if you’re interested. We have three girls in the band. Do you want to be set up?”
That sets them off, tittering and twittering.
“Are you making fun of Mr. Clark?” one asks.
“He is fun. Can’t you see his role of authority over us?”
“You’re running the class now. You cast a spell over him.”
We wiggle our fingers at them. They giggle.
“You girls should join our new band. It’s for people who aren’t socs and jocks. It’s called the Out-Crowd.”
“What do you have to do to join.”
“Just be fun and increase our merrymaking.
“What do other people do?”
“Well, there’s the groupies, but you aren’t skanks, so you have to come up with creative ideas.”
“Can’t we just help?”
“That’s for the roadies, but you need more muscles here,” and he points to their biceps “and less here,” pointing at their tits.”
“Nasty.”
“No, we’re bad boys.” Robby states. Bleach Ichigo 01

Spanish is fairly normal until Robby keeps asking Sr Chavez what all these slang words meant, like puta, hota and culo. The teacher is patient with him at first, but finally figures out he was being disrespected. He threatens to send Robby to Spanish I if he doesn’t want to learn real Spanish, not the trash words he has picked up. I explain in my best Spanish that Roberto was un pendeyo. He laughs but warns us if we kept making a mockery of his class, we’ll be real pendeyos. Robby’s high from English class is being ground to bits. Algebra is okay as again all we do are worksheets. I make him copy my work so it will be in his handwriting. It reminds him of the note Jace wrote to John.
He whispers, “Why all the mystery about that note?”
“Who wrote it?”
“You did. I saw you.”
“Who’s handwriting was it”
“I didn’t check that.”
“Can you visualize it?”
“Nope.”
“Interesting. Maybe that’s why you love English so much. You’re a verbal thinker.”
“Should I be able to visualize memories like that writing?”
“That’s a photographic memory. People who have perfect photographic memories can remember everything they’ve ever seen. Most people have imperfect memories. What they visualize is blurry. They have trouble reading and are dyslexic, treated as a learning disability. You’re normal just like everyone who wishes they be perfect.”
“What’s so special about the note.”
“Jace wrote it.”
“I saw you write it. You mean you wrote what he had written.”
“No. This is important, Jace took over and wrote it.”
“What did it say.”
“I can’t say.”
“You’re telling me a ghost took you over, but what he wrote is too important to say.”
Jace is jumping up and down, signaling not to tell Robby more.”
“Is this something to do with what you told me in the Sacred Grove?” Robby asks.
“When I play I can feel him moving my fingers like he would do.”
“Jace is playing guitar?”
“No. It’s me but when I took over after he died, he helped me play the right notes.”
“Okay, I can see that. He inspires you.”
“No, you think that ‘cause you’re a verbal thinker. You can’t visualize Jace inside me. It’s an abstraction that you verbalize and accept.”
“Way too deep.”
“Can’t we ditch now. You’re making me dizzy.”
“You’re spinning. The words aren’t coming out right.”
“You got that. Let’s split to Michael’s”
Teacher is reading, so we quietly leave.

Michael’s maid, Conchita, lets us in but tells me to call my dad. Luckily she has his number. When I dial it I  get his secretary who puts me through.
“Tim, we need to be at the Coral Gables Police Station at 3 pm.”
“Will Mr. Antonio be there?”
“Yes, and why are you home early?”

“We got out of math early after we finished our worksheets.”
“Who is we?”
“Robby’s in my class. We’re actually at Michael’s to practice.”
“I’ll see you at 3.”
I have over an hour before the interrogation. Instead of being able to kick back on the guitar with Jace, I see intrepid cub reporter Jimmy Olsen walk into the music room.
“What ho, you turncoat. Selling our story to the Herald.”
“Hey, a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do.”
“Well, you’ll be due for an ass whipping someday. I’ll be right there laffin’”
“Nice to see you, too.”
“What do you want?”
“Well, I want to say your show on Tuesday was a record breaker. How many separate performances did you put on, four?”
“Five if you include the Beatlefest at 2 am in the parking lot.”
“That little kid was, I don’t know, just something you’ve got to see.”
“Go ahead, say he was better than me. He’s my little brother.”
“The whole city was brothers that night, even the rednecks.”
“Yeah, we never did ‘Freebird.’ Hey, stop manipulating me into talking with you.”
“Not so happy with all the press you got?”
“Yeah, that Anita Bryant bitch is something else. My killer’s just a misunderstood youth.” I realize that Jace was doing the talking. I push him out. He gives me an evil grin.
“She’s just a publicity whore.”
“So, you been spending the big bucks you got for your story?”
“Yeah, 150 bucks. The only reason they published it was because I had the photo of you boys with the girls.”
“What do you want now? I ain’t selling my soul again for $150.”
“Well, Mr. Antonio called me and said we should do a follow-up story.”
“What? Jace is still dead. End of story.”
“Settle down. I’m on your side.”
“Until you can get paid for it.”
“Why are you so mad. That show will be talked about into the next century.”
“You promised to ask my permission to write all that gay shit.”
“So, you’re not gay now.”
“Not with my boyfriend dead. You saw us. Do you think I’ll ever be happy again?”
“Not the way you’re spouting anger now.”
He’s waiting for me to burst into tears and confess all my sins. I’m past all that. I look him in the eye, “I’ll do what Mike Sr tells me to do. You have to deal with him.”
“He asked me to come by.”
“Well, get him to tell me it’s okay to talk with you. I’ve gotta go be interrogated at the Police Station.”  I got up to leave.
“Wait. What?”
“Chill. It’s just standard procedure when your best friend is killed.”
And I walk out.

Dad and Mike Sr. are talking by the entrance to the Police Station. We all go in and are escorted to an open office where the policemen have their desks. Two officers come to greet us. We all sit in a circle around one desk where one officer takes notes while the other asks the questions. I expected to be grilled like I’d seen on TV courtroom dramas. The officer makes statements and asks Dad and me to fill in where they’re unsure about details.
“When did Jace Conning first stay at your house,” he asks.
My Dad answers first, “We knew he was visiting often, as the boys had started a band. We heard them practicing at night. I had forbidden them from playing during the day after a neighbor had complained.”
“When was this?”
“Sometime in the fall about the end of October.”
“Actually he had stayed several nights earlier than that,” I explain. “He had some trouble at home and asked if he could stay over. After Halloween we decided to have a band. He was teaching me to play guitar. The band moved to Mr. Antonio’s house after the noise complaint. At my house, Jace and I used smaller practice amps to learn songs and sing. It was much quieter.”
“And the dog?” Tim 316
“He came over because he cheered us up. He’s very friendly. After I had a fight with Jace’s brother, we were worried about Max because he bit Jeff on the butt. So Max and Jace stayed over to keep away from Jeff. All this happened because Jeff came home from college for Christmas.”
“Why did you fight with Jeff?”
“He tried to make me leave their house. I told him to stop harassing Jace.”
“Who initiated the fight?”
“Jeff came at me. I hit him in the stomach, and he fell down. I put my foot on him and told him to stop hurting Jace. Max was growling at him. It was the next day that Max bit him. He was fighting with John and Max chased him out of the garage. John says he only ripped the seat of his pants, not really biting him. That’s when we felt Max was not safe. He stayed over with Jace.”
Dad adds, “Tim asked us if Jace could stay during Christmas because he was being abused. I wanted to call child services, but the boys convinced me it was only until the brother went back to college.”
“That was on Christmas Day?”
“Yes.”
“So the dog was brought there after Christmas?”
I answer , “Yes.”
“So the boys were already fighting and the dog was acting aggressive toward Jeff?”
Dad says, “That boy came over when the boys were not home and demanded to get the dog. I was not happy to find the dog there, when we had only approved of Jace staying. But I noticed that the dog was agitated and barking at the older brother. I told the boy he had to bring his father over before I would give him the dog. He was angry and walked out without further comment.”
“Was Jeff acting strangely.”
“I thought so. I already knew he was harassing Jace, so I refused to comply with his request for the dog.”
“Did you feel threatened or that your son was threatened.”
“Not particularly, but I had never met this boy before.”
“You refer to him as a boy, but he was quite a bit older than your son.”
“Yes. I knew he was in college.”
“Let’s talk about the abuse Jace was telling you about.”
Dad said, “I trusted that Tim was telling me the truth. But I didn’t ask for details.”
“What did you know Tim?
I look at Mr. Antonio who indicates I should speak freely. “I had been told things which I promised never to reveal. Not only for Jace’s sake, but for others. The first time I saw Jeff I made sure he would never harm Jace again.”
“You’re bigger or stronger than this boy who is three years older?”
“No. But he didn’t expect me to fight back. Max was right there after I knocked him down. Tim 327 I wanted to show Jace he could fight back.”
“Tell me what happened the night of the shooting.”
“Dad told me that Jeff had come for Max. I explained that Jeff would harm Max and thanked him for saving him. Dad told us to stay at home in case Jace’s father came for the dog. We did, but Max had to go out. We were on the front lawn when Jeff came flying around the corner in his car and drove up on the lawn. We knew he wanted Max, so Jace was holding the dog back. When Jeff got out of his car, we saw his gun. He demanded we give him Max. Jace held Max behind him and swore he would never give Max up. That’s when Jeff fired the first shot. All the neighbor’s lights came on. Dad and Mom, umm Susan, came out the front door. Max leaped in front of Jace. Jeff fired two more times. I jumped in front of Max and Jace. My dad had gotten his rifle, while Mom, umm Susan, was calling the police. We started arguing with Jeff that he was in big trouble already and that he should put the gun down. I heard the police sirens coming toward us. Dad came out with his rifle and ordered Jeff to put down his gun. Jeff fired again. Dad shot him in the leg. He fell down. I ran over and grabbed his gun, while Max was attacking him by pulling on his leg. I turned back and saw Jace, lying on the ground, looking at me. I ran over to him and held his head. He said my name and died. I started screaming and crying. Mom came over and held me. The next thing I remember is sitting on the front steps with a blanket over me. I heard the paramedics say they had gotten a pulse. They took him away  in the ambulance. I tried to go too. Susan found out they were going to Mercy and my parents drove me there. We waited but Jace was dead.” Tim 488
“Thank you. That was hard for you to remember.”
“I’ll never forget.”
“Anything to add Mr. Castle?”
“I had Jeff pinned to the ground with my foot as I stood over him with my weapon. When the police arrived, they took him into custody and contacted the fire department to make sure the paramedics were coming. I told the officer pretty much what Tim just related, noting the boy, Jeff, had been at my house earlier and made a scene about the dog. The officers secured the area and took my weapon and the boy’s handgun. I showed them all my weapons and my weapons permit. They said I would have to make a formal statement later. It appeared that I had acted properly and would not be taken in for further questioning. We followed the ambulance to the hospital, waiting in Emergency until the doctors told us Jace had died.”
“Just to follow-up on the abuse allegations; is there any proof of what Jace told you Tim?”
I look at Mr. Antonio again. He asks to speak to me privately. We go into the hall.
“You promised not to reveal anything I say to anyone, right?”
He nods.
“Jace wrote a note to John saying he had told me all the sexual things that Jeff had done to them, starting when they were 8 and 10. He wrote what he had told me after I promised I’d never tell anyone what was in the note. He wrote that John should trust me and that I would protect him. I can’t tell the police. I promised. John would be hurt further if people learn what had happened to him and Jace.”
“Who has this note?”
“I gave it to John and promised I’d never tell anyone.”
“Can you tell me the general contents of the note?”
“No. Nobody can know.”
“Let me talk to the detective. Don’t you think Jeff should be punished for these things as well as killing Jace?” tim-672
It amazes me I had gotten so clear-eyed about all this. “All I want is to never see him again. John should be taken from his parents because they never cared about Jace and are as evil as Jeff is.”
“Tim, I heard you arguing with the reporter because he promised not to write about your sexual preference. I don’t want you thinking all adults lie when they promise things, so you’ll trust them. If John is in danger, I must do everything I can to protect him. Will he tell the police what was happening?”
“No. Don’t even ask him. He freaked out when he saw the note. He barely trusts me. That’s why it is so important that you got child services to remove him from his parents.”
“Again you’re always plotting five steps ahead of everybody. I have to trust you to make the right call. I will talk to the detective and get his assurance that Jeff will never bother you or John again in return for not revealing this note. If you agree to a lesser sentence than Jeff deserves, they will see that as a charitable act. The police will get the parents to agree to the lighter sentence. If it goes as I believe it will, the investigation will be closed. You can go back to a normal life.”
“I wish.”
“I know you loved Jace. I saw how everybody loved him, which was due to your influence on him. You’re a good person, Tim.” Jace hugs me.
“Good enough to still be your first grandchild’s godparent.”
“Well, I’ll have to ask the Lombardi’s.”
“They have already promised.”
“I wholeheartedly agree. Let’s see if we can wait a few years for that.”
I smile. “Always thinking five steps ahead.”
He gives me a bump on my shoulder. Italian machismo.
He takes the detective aside. They go to confer.
Dad asks me why I had to talk with the lawyer.
“He’s going to tell the detective not to pursue stronger charges as long as I never have to see Jeff again.’
“Good, but what about the abuse. Do you have proof.?”
“Just what Jace told me, but it involves other people who were also abused. I promised Jace never to tell in order to protect them.”
“Well, maybe you learned some sense of values after all.”
“Hey, Dad. Did you have a dog like Max when you were my age?”
“I guess you think I really like Max.”
“Yeah. You even told Mom to get dog bones. But remember, he’s my dog.”
“I remember exactly how you feel. It’s really Max’s choice who he treats as master.”Tim 318
“You’re the boss.”
The detective and Mr. Antonio come back and say we were finished. He promises Ill never see Jeff again.
Outside Mr. Antonio says they negotiated a lighter sentence as long as we never reveal the information I had from Jace.
“Tim just told me about that. I think that is the wisest decision.”
“What were you two laughing about while I negotiated the fate of that boy?”
“Oh, we were fighting over who’s really the boss of Max. We decided that Max gets to choose who he gets to boss around.”
“Max, the unsung hero,” Mike Sr notes.
“Max gets all the credit he can handle. Everywhere I go, people know who he is and not a clue about me.”
“I think you might like some time out of the limelight.”
“No doubt.”

Everything settles down after the police charge Jeff with involuntary manslaughter, He is sentenced to three years adult prison, modified to juvenile detention until the age of 25. He is issued a restraining order to not come within 200 feet of John or me. A funeral is held, Jace’s body interred without incident. Jace signs to me that it’s a relief that his cold flesh is no longer above ground. I had feared his ghost would disappear once his body was buried. He read my thoughts. After the funeral he stages a mock disappearance. When I don’t cry, he comes sulking back. We have a good cry over the whole body thing, laughing as the tears flowed. Tim 219

School remains crazy. I cheat Robby through Biology and Algebra by letting him copy all my work. Somehow he learns enough to pass the final, although I have to give him a few answers. He gets an A+ in English, while I only get an A. Mr. Clark is totally crushing on Robby. He lets him put on ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream,’ with all the boys dressed as girls in wigs, dresses, and garish makeup. The girls in the class are convinced to teach the boys how to walk and act like real girls. Robby had them under his spell. Mr Chavez keeps after Robby to clean up his Spanish. Soon he is having dinner at Mary’s, complimenting them on el pollo. Flo, Edi and I become even closer. When it’s the day of Jace’s 16th birthday, we hold an orgy in his honor. Jace fully participates. The girls say they could feel his presence, while I watch his wispish performance. There is not an orifice in either girl he doesn’t fully penetrate. I worry that it’s perverted to have sex with a girl who doesn’t know what is being done to her. The girls confess they can fully tell what he is doing and tell me to try harder to keep up with his lovemaking. I prefer the wet dreams I continue to have where I can touch and talk to Jace, even if it’s just my dreams. I call him my dreamboat. I learn it was wise to put on a condom before going to sleep. My laundry load decreases considerably. Yes, I continue to wear the gay underwear, which I won’t describe Tim 154 Tim 150 Tim 155 but will say it is Italian. I’m thinking of converting when Michael and Jenna need a godparent. Felix wants to expand the Out & Proud franchise but finds that the rest of Florida is far behind Coconut Grove in gay acceptance. Eventually he finds greatest success with mail order, specializing in autographed boy’s underwear for ‘tweener girls. Phillip is fired when Felix’s sugar daddy decides to replace Felix with a younger model, i.e. Phillip. I fulfill my obligation to have dinner every week with Hippie’s moms. They remain battle axes. I decide they aren’t so old, just ancient. Hippie’s love life flourishes. He decides he might be cool after all. Unfortunately the whole leisure suit thing didn’t last long enough to become a fashion statement. He tries open shirts with gold medallions but is mocked as Disco Hippie along with the Disco Duck. He still plays bass and can sing like an angel. He loves being teased endlessly.

Wilkie and Jill are able to negotiate a truce between Scott and me that Saturday morning. Scott admits his relationship with Lydia has run its course. I recognize my relationship with Tina is stalled due to the distance between us. Jill says Scott and I can make up and start over. Wilkie knows better and tells us so. He goes on to great Olympic glory for England, but Jill stays American as apple pie. Scott and I leave that day as friends but my heart doesn’t speed up thinking we’ll get back together. I tell him Jace is always watching me. We try double-dating with Flo and Edi. Jace gets jealous about Scott doing Edi. He starts tickling and poking Scott which throws him off his cowboy moves. The girls say Scott is nothing like Jace, which I’m glad to confirm. Scott is better to Stu and John, who continues to live with the Watt’s. John’s parents pay child support. He slowly opens up. He and Mike Jr double-teamed Stu, who calms down somewhat until he goes through puberty. His bed buddy tendencies stand him well when he really has girlfriends He always insists they just sleep together. I believe him about half the time. The monster that was Stu at 12 is never tamed. Good sex ed from Coach Earl keeps him from becoming Big Daddy at 16. Mike Jr never changes, find a girl who is the opposite of Stu (in every way) and they stay steady until college. They marry after their sophomore year.
The band, False Gods, goes into seclusion to write more songs and avoid premature ejaculation over instant success. The Out-Crowd starts playing shows for the younger set, with Stu and Mike Jr returning as hosts, singers, and dancers. They book parties and Quinceanera’s all over Miami. That next summer we sign up as on-board entertainment for a Disney Cruise ship, going throughout the Caribbean, doing four shows a day. Mike Sr hires one of Jenna’s Lombardi brothers to be our manager. Soon Jenna is doing duets with Stu and Mike. Michael is the only one to enjoy the cruise life. After the summer, the Out-Crowd is offered a permanent role as the new Mickey Mouse Club in Orlando. No one wants to move there, so the rights are sold by the Lombardi’s. Everyone gets enough money to pay for college. Brittany Spears and Justin Timberlake should thank us. Robby takes his share and corners the Colombian pot trade until a Jamaican cartel moves in and makes him a target. He goes to Rollins College as a drama (queen) major where Mr. Clark is now a professor, extolling his living theater to rich college kids. False Gods never gets a record contract. All our songs lie dormant, waiting for another era of rock n roll to discover them. That’s another story, if anyone’s interested. th

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