Thrift Shop

Hunter dragged me into a thrift shop around the corner. How he knew there was one was beyond me – he was five. I can’t imagine his dad would have brought him to a place like this. It was full of things people didn’t want and Alex didn’t look like the type to want things people had used.

A stab of painful memories jolted my senses. Jealous moments – not mine. Pain and heart ache and things I didn’t remember but I knew they had hurt Alex. Was he right?

I didn’t have time to reflect on the jolt of emotions as Hunter tugged me into the clothes section and started pushing clothes hangers around looking for something that spoke to him. He dropped my hand and I followed suit. It was like looking for a needle in a hay stack.

I found some really old 70s era shirts, the paisley and patterns made me put them back immediately. While I could do the disco guy I really didn’t want to. The thought of wearing such clothing gave me the heebie-jeebies.

I moved down the line of shirts and found a rusty colored denim shirt that looked like it had been loved and worn a lot. It triggered a memory. Sitting on the couch curled up with a friend. I didn’t remember his name. Or even his face, but the comfort of friendship was there as we watched Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The orange jacket tied around Ted’s waist gave me an idea. 

“I know who I’ll be.” I said to Hunter holding up the rust colored shirt. “I need a 80s rock band white t-shirt – preferably Van Halen.”

Hunter looked at me like I was crazy. He had no idea who Ted was or even who Van Halen was. I mean I barely knew but I could manage it all the same. But now I had a goal in mind. The rest would be easy.

Hunter helped me find a pair of black shorts and the black vest. The sweats were easy enough, the tube socks we found were just gray we’d have to stop at a hard ware store and pick up some red tape. And there was still the matter of the Van Halen t-shirt. We looked all over for one, but that was going to be a rare find and I could make one, but I opted just for a plain white t-shirt. 

“I can make you one.” Hunter said. “It’s easy. I just need to practice.” 

“Practice?”

“Yeah it’s like drawing but not. Cassy colors her hair.” He smirked and I knew he wanted to say something else but he didn’t.

The biggest thing other than the shirt was the hair. I wasn’t about to dye my hair black. I liked the color in it as it was but I didn’t want to ruin everything with it, plus it was a bit too short. And I needed to shave.

We found a long wig at the costume shop around the corner and when we got back to my apartment I pulled up a picture of what Ted’s t-shirt looked like and Hunter started playing with magic.

I watched and I thought I saw him doing something, but it wasn’t quite there. I didn’t understand. Hunter kept looking at me and then back to his work. He finally sighed, “If you take the leather band off you could see, but if you take it off everyone will see.”

“What?”

Hunter sighed and he came over to me and colored the leather black, and it looked like Ted’s watch, “At least it’ll match your costume now.” Then he walked back over to the shirt and held it up. “Like this?”

“Perfect.” I said. It wasn’t exactly like the picture and anyone who got that close and knew for sure what he was wearing in the movie was too much of a fan and I didn’t really care. It was going to be covered mostly by the vest anyway.

Hunter and I drew out the “save the humans” bumper sticker and the smile face that added to the shorts. And the last thing was the red friendship bracelet which we just used an old t-shirt and Hunter’s magic did the rest. 

I tried it on and we styled the wig and the beard and make up had to go. I practiced my “Woah’s” and “No Way!”, “Yes Way!” and just plain “Way!”

It was barely lunch when I pulled up Netflix on my borrowed laptop and Hunter and I sat down to watch Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. It was good research and it was a movie that Hunter had never seen. And I only recalled bits and pieces of it from my childhood – a childhood I could barely remember.

We laughed. I cried, though I blamed it on the movie. Hunter saw through it and comforted me. I fucking hated that I didn’t remember things. My fucking life was a piece of shit and for all I knew it was heaven on earth before. But knowing my luck it was worse than what I was doing now.

When the movie was over Hunter and I rode the train back to his neighborhood. I was my normally dressed self, and I was hoping Alex would walk me home and I could make him dinner. Though taking the train would work too.

As we got off the train I lifted Hunter up and carried him down the street. “I had a good time today, but you have to stop running away.”

Hunter pouted, “But when will I see you again.”

“Halloween party. Okay? You promise, and I’ll be there all Ted and everything.”

Hunter nodded, “And I’ll have a present for you.” He was grinning widely as we walked into the lobby of his building. The smell of coffee drew my eye. I missed working at Brew. I missed the people there and it hadn’t been barely more than a day since I quit.

“You could still work there. Then I could see you without running away.” Hunter smiled triumphantly.

“I don’t know if I can see your Dad all the time.”

Hunter gave me a weak smile, “Think about it, after Halloween, it’ll still be there Uncle Rider is so upset you quit.”

“I’m sorry.”

Hunter wrapped his arms around me hugged, “It’s okay. We have lots of time still.”

We took the stairs up to the living quarters. I was not excited to see their reaction after the second time I brought Hunter home from his unauthorized excursions.