The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
The teen, Eric Cameron, a good looking boy around 15 years old, was now visibly annoyed.
“Dude, how much longer do you need? I have been waiting for you to be ready to leave for almost an hour now! Hannah has been blowing up my phone wondering why we haven’t picked her up yet and you still are no further you were half an hour ago! Let’s go already!” he demanded annoyed, crossing his arms, tapping his foot on the floor.
“Yeah, yeah, … MOOOOOOOOM, where is my black hoodie? I cannot find it anywhere.” the addressed, Ewan Leif Cameron, also a teen at barely 16 now since his very recent birthday and very undeniably related to the other boy – had no mind for being rushed.
A blonde woman came into view, carrying a happily giggling and squealing toddler, Ewan’s little half-brother Lucas. Meagan Cameron, formerly Bradford and the step-mother to the 16 year old. Had been for over 4 years now.
“Honey, it’s in the laundry hamper. I know it’s your favorite but you wore that thing to death. It was begging me to be washed.”
“Man, I was gonna wear that tonight. It had one more wear in it before wash.”
“Ewan, sweetie, no. It reeked. It needs to be washed. Wear the blue one, that brings out your eyes and makes you look so handsome.” Meagan smiled.
“Mom, nobody wants to be handsome here. Just hanging with friends. I’ll be right back Eric.”
“Hopefully before I die of old age. I don’t care what you wear – or if you wear ANYTHING, just please PLEASE let’s go soon!” Eric moaned. Ewan was always late. ALWAYS.
“Just shut up, you crybaby! Everett Heights has been there for a million years, it won’t run away now. For fuck’s sake!” Ewan said as he was leaving the kitchen.
“Ewan Leif Cameron! Watch what you say around your little brother!”
“Sorry! Eric is driving me NUTS! Can you please try to keep him calm, maybe give him one of Lucas’ pacifiers and I’ll be right down and then we can go, so chill okay Eric?”
“Even your brother is calling bullshit on that! I’m about to have my mail forwarded to your kitchen, been here so long waiting for you fashion victim to finally get your ass out the door!” Eric growled.
“Eric Cameron! Same goes for you! No potty mouth, especially not around your little nephew!”
“Sorry, aunt Meagan. We were supposed to be there by now, yet here we are while your son is holding a frigging fashion show.” Eric moaned. Over the past few years Meagan had been the mother Ewan never had in Sarah, and everyone just treated her like she had always been part of the family. Nobody ever used the term ‘step’ or ‘half’ for anyone.
Ewan came rumbling down the stairs, a quick peck on the cheek for his step-mom, one on the forehead for his baby brother and out the door he was with Eric, wearing his blue sweater, making Meagan smile. He tried to play the cool one, but was such a sweetheart and always minded, even if not at first glance.
“Drive safe boys! And they said heaven on earth couldn’t be real, can you believe that, my sweet angel. Oooh, your daddy will be home soon, better get dinner ready.”
“Daddy is already home! I snuck in as those terror-teens were leaving. How are my wife and my son? The one that doesn’t make my hair turn grey yet! Did you by any chance allow Ewan to take the Escalade? He just about ran me over with it in the driveway just now!” Eli entered.
“No, of course not! That sneaky little devil! He must have swiped the keys from my purse. We bought him his own car, but I suspect the GTI wasn’t cool enough and he wanted to impress some girls, that little Casanova. But Eric is with him and they are going to pick up Hannah, those two will keep him straight. Hopefully.”
“I sure hope so! He’ll still be grounded for a week, after a big, fat tongue-lashing and some extra chores piled up to his eyebrows, so I hope he enjoys it while it lasts. Trying really hard to trust that boy, but not lying, it’s been hard since those hormones took over. He is a constant hybrid between perfect son and walking, talking advertisement for birth control these days. By the way, Tara is on her way here, because I am taking my beautiful wife out to dinner!”
“Oooh … what’s the occasion?”
“I love you, that’s the occasion. I had my assistant make reservations at the Magnolia’s.”
“Oh, nice! Music to my ears! Your wife will go get dressed up then. Here, entertain your son, while I go get ready. Dinner tonight is perfect. I have some big news for you as well.” Meagan was all smiles.
Watching his wife hurry up the stairs Eli smiled at his son Lucas.
“If only she knew how happy it makes me to see her so giddy. If I could I’d take your mother out nightly, not just on Sundays – and evidently on a Friday afternoon when I accidentally found five positive pregnancy tests in the trash can in the morning before work. Don’t tell your momma I already know what big surprise she has for me.” Eli smiled happily.
After decades of a mediocre marriage to Sarah he finally had the kind of family life he had always dreamed of. His two older kids loved their step-mother and she them, to Ewan she was just “mom” and Bri simply adored Meagan and her toddler half-brother Lucas. And to Lucas she had always been a real mother, Eli had no doubt in his mind she would be to the newest addition as well, whenever they would make their appearance. Meagan even dealt with Ewan’s teen problems and sometimes unpredictable behavior with enviable ease and near stoic patience, while still keeping him in line. Workwise she had moved into an investor position, allowing her very fluid work hours, only seldom requiring her to having to go into the office. For those times they would call Tara, who was married now and expecting her first child as well, so she had given up being a nanny, except for whenever the Camerons may need her.
Life was just perfect in Elias’ book.
In the meantime Ewan and Eric had picked up Hannah, Eric’s cousin, and arrived at Everett Heights located on the outskirts of Windenburg.
“I need food! Hopefully they left some for us!” Eric moaned, still unhappy about being so late.
“I am always in the market for barbecued stuff, guess we are all hungry. Except Hannah .. she is looking for a different type of sausage.” Ewan smirked smugly at her.
“You are DISGUSTING!” she protested.
“Eric and I didn’t check ourselves out in the mirror fifty times on the way over. I think I know who you are looking for … ”
“I am not looking for anyone!” Hannah told him, getting upset.
“He Eric, look, isn’t that our school’s starting quarterback there checking out your cousin’s ass?” Ewan pointed at some trees behind Hannah.
“What? Where?” Hannah instantly straightened up, looking around, while Ewan laughed loudly.
“So busted!” Ewan grinned at her now, nudging Eric, who just rolled his eyes.
“You are an asshole!” Hannah said apparently grumpy and stomped off.
“Why do you always have to torture her about boys? Just leave her be. She is so sweet, don’t you hate yourself for being so mean to her all the time we are out together? So she has a crush on Kevin, half the girls in school do. That’s one of the main reasons most guys want to be quarterback in the first place in some small town school like ours. Definitely not for hopes of being discovered into the big leagues. None of the scouts ever even heard of Brindleton Bay.” Eric sighed.
“I do have to! Firstly because it is hella fun when she gets cranky, she’s hillarious to watch when she gets upset, like a cartoon character. And because I don’t want to make dating too easy on her. Her brother graduated and is off doing his football thing now, that lucky devil, so it falls on us and I don’t want her to be some toy for one of the guys. You know how we are, what makes you think the others are any better?”
“She can handle herself, Hannah’s not an idiot and she really wants a boyfriend. And do you honestly think any of the guys would dare mess with her, knowing we’d come after them for sure?” Eric countered.
“I don’t care, she can date when she is 18 or whatever. When you see a girl you like, are you thinking ‘Oh yeah, I want to grab me a white horse and ride off straight to our wedding with that one?‘ Nope! No guy our age does. Everyone you see here – present company included – that has a dick just wants to use it to fuck and then move on. Our main objective at our age right now is to have fun while collecting experience, that’s what teen boys do, so once we are old enough for a real relationship we are not total duds in the sack and know how to please a lady. But I am a responsible teen asshole, so I make sure your sweet cousin doesn’t get hurt real bad. It is impossible to reason with her about this, so I found being an ass to her works best, it pisses her off and she is not in any romantic kisses-in-the-moonlight mood anymore. Win, win for all of us. I am getting me some burgers. Want anything?”
Eric rolled his eyes. Ewan had his own reality and it was hopeless trying to change his mind.
“Yes please. I am starving and when you are eating you cannot spout any more of this nonsense, so yeah, food has my vote!”
Some of the teens with stricter curfews had already left, just a few were left sitting around the campfire, laughing, as the cousins approached.
Like Ewan, Eric was popular, liked to laugh, was a good student and was involved in a lot of activities beyond academics, in and outside of school. He liked to claim he was living his best life.
Someone managed to get some music going, there was dancing.
Hannah pulled Eric and Ewan along onto the makeshift dance floor, but somehow Eric ended up dancing with Susanne, his secret crush. She was 15 too, as far as Eric was concerned the prettiest girl in the whole world and judging by her smiles and blushing, she found him quite interesting as well.
They ended up going for a walk and suddenly, somehow, Eric and Susanne shared their first kiss.
He blushed, his heart raced, his palms were sweaty and he wore the most foolish smile when they finally joined the others again. She hadn’t been his first kiss ever, not by a long shot, he already had dated and even slept with girls, but Susanne was special to him. That was saying a lot, because Eric and Ewan used their good looks to date-hunt pretty girls for sport, often a bet would be involved. Which incidentally was the reason for his first time sleeping with one of the girls. And actually a few other ones after that, same was true for Ewan. To the boys it was all just part of being young and having fun. There would be enough time for settling down when they were old. Like 20 or something. Eric wasn’t really reckless, nor a bad guy, he never lied to the girls and those who went along were well aware of his attitude. Aside from his debatable zest for life he was very courteous, helpful and sweet to anyone.
Somehow suddenly there was alcohol circulating. Eric, Hannah and Susanne declined, but Ewan didn’t. He gulped the beer down like it was going out of style, while the other three decided to instead go skating for a while.
When it finally was time to leave, Eric, Susanne and Hannah had to search for Ewan. Finally they found him, passed out in some bushes, too drunk to drive.
“Don’t look at me, I still didn’t pass my driving test.” Hannah shrugged. She had failed her driver’s licence test three times now.
“Well, don’t look at me either! I am not even 16 yet, I only have my learner’s permit. I am not supposed to drive without an adult in the car.” Eric said while shaking his head. The buzz from the first kiss had worn off now.
“Still better than me. I keep getting the gas and the break pedal confused. I am hopeless!” Hannah said.
“Eric, can you please suck it up and drive to get us all out of here? My ride left hours ago, if you cannot take me, I’d have to call my parents and if they see the drunk teens around here, we’ll all be in some shit. They will 100% call everyone’s parents tonight still! And I cannot drive that monstrosity Ewan drove you guys here in. That SUV is huge! So pleeeeease Eric, come on.” Susanne begged.
“Fine, I’ll drive us. But if we get caught I fully expect all of you to fess up and support me. I am not used to driving in the dark in the countryside out here in Windenburg, every time anyone let me drive it was back home in Brindleton Bay and and when it was light out, so we’ll just take it slow guys. Mom and dad will rip my head clean off if they found out I drove at all, grandma and grandpa will help them and I am not sure what uncle Eli would do to me for driving aunt Megan’s SUV, but it wouldn’t be good.” Eric was not exactly thrilled.
“Just do it! You’re the only one who can. Susanne is right, if mom and dad even suspected there was even a sip of alc anywhere near where we hang out, I’d NEVER be allowed to go to anything like this ever again and pretty sure you two wouldn’t either.” Hannah said.
Hannah’s parents were great, but had firm rules about certain things, since her dad happened to be their high school principal, while her mom taught elementary school kids across the street from their high school. Including all of them when they were younger. So along with the worry about their daughter and nephews there was the reputation as faculty members.
“Catch…” Ewan slurred, tried to toss Eric the keys, missing by half a mile.
When they had finally found the keys in the tall grass and darkness and were in the car, Eric’s hands were shaking as he started his aunt’s big, heavy luxury SUV.
His entire family would kill him if they knew he was trying to drive this expensive thing and even worse with passengers in the car with him! Maybe he should call his dad to get them all. But then his eyes met Susanne’s who was in the passenger seat next to him and he wanted to seem tough and like a real man for her, not a little boy. What difference did a few months till 16 and a piece of paper make, right? And a car was a car. Right?
For the first mile it all went well, until suddenly a red truck kept tailgating, honking, then catching up, driving next to them, their windows down and Eric could see four boys in the truck whom he did not know, but they were shouting obscenities at them.
“What the …?” Eric mumbled forcing himself to keep his focus on the road, while also trying to make sure the truck didn’t scratch the expensive car.
“I have no clue! Ewan, did you pick a fight again? Or mess with any girls you shouldn’t have?” Hannah sounded upset.
“Nope! I didn’t fight and didn’t pick up any chicks tonight. All innocent. All I did was eat, laugh, dance and maybe drink a few beers.” he slurred, then burped, earning protests by Hannah who was next to him.
“You are disgusting!” she grimaced while fanning air away from her face, as Ewan laughed, trying to pull her face closer to his and burping again, resulting in her hitting him until Eric complained, looking at them in the rear view mirror.
“Guys, you mind putting off the toddler behavior till we’re home?! I have enough on my plate with those fools in that truck!”
“It’s because of me, Eric. It’s my boyfriend and his friends. He probably thinks I am trying to make him jealous by talking with you. We fought earlier, he and I.” Susanne explained.
“BOYFRIEND?! You have a boyfriend?! Why the heck did you let me kiss you then?! That is just … ugh!” Eric couldn’t believe it.
He wasn’t exactly unpopular with girls and didn’t need to steal some other dude’s chick. But ever since he first ran into Susanne – by literally running into her in the school’s hallway – he only had her on his brain. He had never seen her with any boys around school and assumed she was single too.
“Don’t make a scene or something! Not like I’m married or something and he has been such a moron to me of late, I was thinking about breaking up with him anyway. I definitely like you a LOT better already, Eric!” Susanne said.
“Ever thought to mention that you had a boyfriend BEFORE making out with me?! What the hell Susanne?! Dammit! Maybe I should pull over! This is insane. He can take you home and we can get there in peace, not pieces!” Eric barely managed to dodge another swerve by the truck and was now very distracted anyway, trying not to stare at Susanne next to him, as the news really had made him feel awkward.
He thought they had something special going, instead she either used him to lighten her frustrations about her real boyfriend or to make him jealous. Or both. Neither option sat well with Eric. No, he didn’t need that kind of drama in his life.
“NO! He must have seen us together or one of his friends did. Maybe even the kiss. He’d break you for sure! He is almost 18 and plays Rugby at the school here in Windenburg! Just keep driving! Faster! The highway isn’t that far. He lives here in Windenburg, and they are all drunk, doubt they would follow us to the Bay!”
But unfortunately things got a lot worse in just the blink of an eye.
As Eric was so focused on trying not to get hit by the road-raging teens in the big truck at increasing speed, that he did not see the oncoming traffic in which lane he had been forced into until it was way too late.
The headlights of the car suddenly blinded him and the next thing he heard was a mixture of car horns, screeching tires and Hannah and Susanne’s high pitched horrified screams, he felt loss of control and gravity, tumbling until he lost track if he was upside down or right side up and then heard a big boom before all went dark for him …
The End of Generation 7
Next chapter will pick up a few years after this chapter and begin the adventures of Generation 8