It all started -- hell, it all happened -- because my girlfriend forgot
her damn fake ID. I shouldn't have been surprised. I mean, she was
always forgetting things -- her house keys, her homework, her gym
clothes... my birthday. Sheesh! And they say us guys are bad. Still,
when she'd told me she'd forgotten it, I became pretty upset. Hey, when
you're sixteen years old, and it's Friday night, and you're ready to
party, little things like a fake ID become priceless. And besides, it's
not like we could have gotten away with it if I had a fake ID of my own;
I looked sixteen, no matter what the identification I handed to the
cashier might say. Angie didn't. It's amazing how a little make-up can
transform a teenage girl.
"Are you sure it's not in the bottom of your purse?" I asked,
knowing it was hopeless. We were sitting in my old, beat-up '72 Chevy
Impala -- "The Boat" as my friends called it -- in the liquor store
parking lot. It was mid-October, a crisp time of year in the Midwest,
and already The Boat's windows were fogging up from our breath -- Angie
frustrated, searching in vain for her ID, and me huffing out
"I told you, Mark, it's not here!" she whined. "I must have left
it on my dresser at home. God, I hope my mom doesn't go into my room
and find it. She'll kill me! You know how she is."
Angie's untimely death at the hands of her over-bearing mother was
the least of my concerns; there was drinking to be done and the only
thing getting wasted was time. "Why don't we drive back to your house
and you can run upstairs and get it?" I asked.
"Oh sure, Mark, that would look real good. It was hard enough
getting out tonight as it was, let alone going back there." She pulled
her hands out of her purse, sat back in the passenger seat, crossed her
arms, and pouted. "My mom's so suspicious, she would probably think I
was coming back because I forgot birth control or something."
"Well, don't worry, I didn't forget that," I said, patting the
wallet in my back right pocket. The comment was an intentional jab at
Angie's teenage senility.
"Screw you," she hissed under her breath.
Yeah, I hope so, I thought. But first I want beer. I wiped away
at the condensation on the windshield.
"Hey, I know that guy," I said, pointing through the clear area of
the windshield toward the man standing just outside the liquor store's
front door. "Well, I sorta know him. His name's Steve Campbell. Went
to school with my stepsister Janice. I'll bet we can get him to buy for
us. He's probably cool."
In a small Midwestern town like ours, you couldn't be too careful
about who you propositioned to illegally purchase alcohol. Word got
around, and asking the wrong person for that kind of help was as bad as
confessing to your parents. Of course, my mom and stepdad probably
knew all along that I was out boozing it up most weekends; they just
pretended they didn't. Angie's mom, on the other hand, still held on to
the belief, for the most part, that her only child was an innocent
angel, and if she found out otherwise, well...
Funniest thing of all was the fact that none of the local
storeowners had ever told Angie's mom that she had a fake ID; we'd used
the thing enough. I figured they were just happy to get paid, and
Angie, like always, had probably forgotten to consider the possibility
of them telling. I didn't remind her of it, though. Why mess with a