A swelling excitement was building in Darren’s chest. He watched as the sun began dipping behind the low clouds and the night air rolled in.

He could feel the crowd grow anxious, too. The ticket said, “Gates Open at Sunset.” Sunset was almost here.

An older man with a face full of whiskers eyed Darren while taking a long drag on a cigarette. Darren could tell from the pungent smell and bright yellow striping they were same kind Paul would steal out behind the gym sometimes.

The man nodded to Darren and held out the cigarette towards him. Darren gave a smile back and shook his head. He was already harboring a fake ID for this. He didn’t want to push the limit.

The man shrugged and turned back to the girl standing with him. A pretty blonde who was demanding some attention with her tight sweater mixed with a leather mini skirt.

From nowhere, Darren felt a hard nudge in his back and a hot breath on his neck.

“Don’t move, I’ve gotta 45 right in your spine. If you want to walk tomorrow, you’ll slip me your wallet and I’ll be on my way.”

Darren smirked and flipped around. “Well, maybe I’d believe you if you actually knew what a 45 was.”

Josh grinned and pulled his arms across his chest, “Touché, my friend, touché.”

Darren laughed and slapped Josh on the back, “Hey I’m glad you made it. I estimate,” he took a quick peek at the sun, “about fifteen minutes or so before we are in.”

“Well, I hope your estimating is a little off there. I’ve been holding it in since Alameda and, I gotta tell you, I’m close to bursting down there,” said Josh, tilting his head down low.

Darren rolled his eyes. “You’ll be alright. Nevermind that we are seventh in line to get the front seats, being first to the bathroom, that’s what really matters.”

Josh chuckled, “I can’t believe you are this far up. You must have been here, like what? Two, three hours early?”

Darren’s face gleamed, “Four hours, Josh. You know I’d do just about anything to see them up close. They’re the greatest band alive.”

“Yeah, yeah, greatest,” Josh lolled out. “You know, there is one great looking thing here.” He glanced over his shoulder at the blonde.

Darren snorted. “Like she would pay any attention to you.  You’re just a highschooler lucky enough for your parents to still fall for the ‘sleeping over’ lie.”

“You are, too,” Josh scowled.

Darren looked back over to the cigarette man who had pulled in the beauty close, whispering into her ear, making her let out sweet smiles. The girl reached into his pocket and pulled out some white pills and tossed them in her mouth. The man grabbed some for himself and followed it with a small bottle that he pulled from his coat. He down the dark liquid and tossed the bottle out on the grass.

Darren felt a mixture of disappointment and jealousy creeping into him. To just do as you please, no rules, no worries. He would have that freedom someday.

He heard a soft rumble that turned into a roar from the crowd. The sun had set. The gates had opened.


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