“You feel like you’re getting burned, but I promise, you’re not. This plan is fool proof and I have done it before.” Sam was trying to talk me into sneaking out of my house and meeting him for the biggest party of the school year – our senior year.
I was pretty sure – 99% sure – he had never managed to sneak out of his before. Having an older brother who was the quarterback of the football team put an odd amount of pressure on him as his parents put an extraordinary amount of importance on excelling in sports. Sam had no interest in sports and had been practically disowned from the family. He was hardly mentioned at family events anymore and the only one who made an effort to ask after him was his Aunt Molly.
The only time he got any attention from his parents was when he got into trouble. Usually he was caught graffitiing the abandoned buildings around town. He was a talented artist, but since he was not going to get an athletic scholarship for college, he was on the hook for whatever the price tag happened to be. Neither of us knew how much sneaking out for the party was going to affect the course of the rest of our lives. It took me several years to come to terms with the fact Sam was the one who started the fire. Or that everyone inside who got stuck inside did, in fact, die a smoky death.