[SleepingDragon]: 268.Metal Daze.Chapter 4 - Grounded
Let’s just be glad for the time together
Life’s such a treat and it’s time you taste it
There ain’t a reason on earth to waste it
It ain’t a crime to be good to yourself
Lick it up...”
‘Lick it Up’
Steve couldn’t believe it. He hadn’t been grounded since he was a little kid. He could almost understand it, except for the ‘all summer’ part. He’d known there would be consequences if he was caught, but he hadn’t cared. Going to the show had been the important thing. It was all that mattered. He wasn’t sorry. Having met Roxy, he’d do it over again in a heartbeat.
The first three days had been the worst. He hadn’t been allowed out of his room except for meals and potty breaks and his guitar had been hijacked to his parents closet. Phone calls were forbidden except for him to tell his friends he was grounded. He was allowed music at a low volume some of the time, as long as it wasn’t Ozzy. Other than that, he was able to read. That was about it.
Roxy either had not called, or he hadn’t got the message. He had begun telling himself she probably wouldn’t call at all. Maybe it had simply been what it was, a one night thing. That was okay, if so. He would always have the memory of her and him at the Ozzy show. No matter what happened, nothing could take that away from him.
After three days of torment, and best behavior on Steve’s part, his mom relented and let him have his guitar back. He wasn’t to plug in though, and was only to play it in his room. She also allowed him to have a friend over once a week for a couple hours, though they were confined to the house.
Steve spent a lot of time practicing, and was getting the Flame Sabre stuff down tight. He learned five new covers including Number of the Beast and Don’t Fear the Reaper. He spent a lot of time studying chords and scales and decided that Matt had been at least partially right. He needed to spend more time working on material for the band. In less than a week, he’d written the rhythm and lead parts for two new songs, including solos.
Matt was allowed over one day and the pair sat in his bedroom while Steve ran through the new material for him. When he was done, Matt had an amazed look on his face.
“Wow, that’s awesome Slam.” He said.
“They still need lyrics man.” Steve told him. “That’s your show. Here,” he handed Matt the guitar. “Go ahead and try the rhythm part I showed you.”
Matt took the guitar and looked inquisitive. He played a couple of the chords to one of the tunes, but it was all out of synch. He stopped.
“No,” Steve directed. “More emphasis on that first A chord and go into the riff a bit quicker.”
Matt tried again and still didn’t get it quite right. Steve gave him the benefit of the doubt, hoping it would all come together when they actually tried playing it.
“Good enough man.” He said, “now try the bridge, G then D and then up to E.”
Matt played the chords but it was all wrong. It was as if he hadn’t even listened to how Steve played it.
“Palm mute on the G and let the E ring out.” He instructed.
Soon it was obvious that Matt was getting frustrated. His face was beginning to turn red. He handed the guitar back to Steve.
“I’ll work on it at home.” He said.
“Cool,” Steve ran through the sections that he had showed Matt again. “And don’t forget to work on some lyrics.”
A polite rap on the bedroom door heralded Steve’s mother. She generally always knocked if she wasn’t in a rare foul mood.
“Phone call for ‘Slam’.” She announced. “Make it quick. Lunch is almost ready.”
Steve went to the dinning room where the phone was. His mom hovered close by.
“Hello?” he answered.
“Slam?” a female voice inquired.
“Yea” he said.
“This is Roxy. How are you?”
“I’m good.” He lied. “How you doing? Great to hear from you. I thought maybe you forgot to...”
“Slam, listen.” She interrupted. “I can only talk a minute and I have to tell you a couple things.”
“I won’t be able to come up there anytime soon, but I’m going to the Kiss concert in Saginaw on the twenty-eighth. It’d be awesome to see you there.”
“Yea it would.” Steve’s heart sank. He didn’t have a hope in hell of being able to go to that show. He’d be lucky if he could cross the road by the end of the month.
“Okay, and write this down.” She told him hurriedly. “It’s my Cousin Trina’s number. Six-one-six, five-three-six
“Yea, got it.” Steve said. “But why...”
“I’m not allowed to give out our home number, but if you really really need to talk to me for some reason, call Trina and she’ll let me know.”
“And get to that show!” She demanded. “I want to see you again!”
“Okay.” What was he saying? There was no way.
“Good.” She said happily. “ Okay, I gotta run. See you then!”
Steve couldn’t believe what he had just done. He’d made a promise that there was no way he could keep. He couldn’t sneak out again unless he planned on never coming back, and that wasn’t an option with his seasonal part-time job as a dishwasher.
“Who was that?” his mom asked. “Was that a girl?”
“No one.” He said, annoyed.
“Oh!” his mom’s eyes lit up. “Steve has a girlfriend! What’s her name?”
“Mom!” Steve protested.
“C’mon, out with it.” She insisted, half joking, hands on her hips.
“Okay,” Steve said exasperated. “It was a girl but she’s not my girlfriend. I met her last week.”
“Well, does this girl have a name?”
“Oh, that’s cute.” His mom said. “’Roxy’.” She rolled the name around on her tongue. Steve rolled his eyes.
“Mom, would you let off?”
“What did she want?” his mom asked, excited. “Did she want a date? Oh, this is so exciting. I was beginning to worry about you, you know.”
“Mom,” Steve said, feeling rather harassed. “I’m grounded, remember?”
“Well if it’s for a date,” his mother replied. “We might be able to work something out...If you’re good.”
Steve felt even more miserable than he had before, if that were possible. A date was one thing. He was sure his mom was thinking Dairy Queen and the movies or something. She’d never say okay to an out of town, overnight trip to another concert when he was already grounded for pretty much the same thing. That was not to mention the fact that he would need to borrow a car to get there and would need a place to stay on top of that.
Lunch consisted of burgers and mac-n-cheese. The three of them ate at the dining room table; Steve trying desperately to keep the conversation off Roxy and the phone call he’d just received. After lunch, His mom drove Matt into town, allowing Steve to ride along and get out of the house for a few minutes. On their way back, she brought up the subject again.
“So where did you meet this Roxy at, Steve?” She asked.
Steve said nothing, trying to ignore her. He turned on the car radio. The latest single from Def Leppard, Photograph was playing. His mom switched it back off after about four notes.
“Steve?” she persisted.
“I met her at the concert, all right?” He snapped finally.
“Oh, I see.” she said softly. She was silent for a moment then asked. “Where’s she from?”
“Oh,” she said. “That is difficult, isn’t it?”
“Yea.” Steve said shortly. He crossed his arms and a scowl appeared on his face. He was tired of talking about it. His mom let it drop a minute then looked over at him.
“Look Steve, your father and I are not your enemies.” She lectured. “But you have to talk to us or we can’t help you.”
“What’s there to talk about, Mom? This is all so impossible.”
“What’s impossible?” She asked.
“You don’t understand!” He blurted. Then he put his head in one hand, sulking.
“Steve! What in the world is the matter?” She pulled the car to the side of the road and parked. She looked over at him and put a hand on one of his shoulders. “Tell me what’s going on, right this minute!”
Steve looked up at her then put his head back in his hand. He stared angrily out the passenger-side window for a minute, then looked back.
“She wants to meet at the Kiss concert!” There, he’d said it. “...In Saginaw! And I already told her I would.”
“Kiss?” she asked, surprised. “You’re still into them? I thought they were has-beens.”
What? It was not the response he’d expected, not at all.
“They have the make-up off now Mom.” He informed. “And they’re making a comeback in the metal scene.”
“Oh, really?” She said. “I didn’t know that. Saginaw you say? When?”
She put the car back in drive and pulled back onto the road.
“I have an idea.” She said with a grin. “Let me talk to your father when he gets home.”