The Serpent: Part 1

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Chapter 14

April 23, 1989

1:46 A.M.

“Anyone want that last piece of pizza?” Alex asked. “I’m about to claim it.”

“I’m good, man,” Jason said. “I’m freaking stuffed.”

“Same here,” Robbie said. “I feel like I’m gonna’ puke.”

“Awesome,” Alex said.

Alex grabbed the piece of pizza and ate it in about three bites. He then grabbed another piece of chicken and began munching on it as well.

“So, how’re you feeling?” Sam asked Heather.

Heather looked at Sam for a brief second. A large smile spread across her face.

“My favorite band of all time came to my house and played songs just for me,” she said. “I think the word ‘excited’ would be quite an understatement. I…don’t even really know what to say.”

Sam grinned and nodded.

“I’m not gonna’ be able to move for days,” Robbie said. “Someone’s probably gonna’ have to carry me to the van.”

“That, or we can just leave you,” Jason said. “Honestly, I kind of prefer the easier option.”

“Same here,” Alex said. “At least we would have less equipment to deal with.”

Heather laughed.

“You guys always act this way towards each other?” she asked.

“It definitely makes practice a lot of fun,” Sam replied.

“Wow, now I wanna’ watch you guys practice.”

“Be prepared for a bunch of horrible jokes.”

Heather laughed again. “Well, Sam. I’m…beyond grateful that you guys did this for me. I mean, I don’t even know how to word it. It’s like…it’s…I don’t even know. I’m not even sure how I can give my thanks.”

“Anytime,” Sam said. “I just thought this is what you deserved. A fan like you doesn’t deserve to miss out on a concert.”

“Well, I’m not the only one who missed the concert. In fact, a lot of people I knew really would like to have gone. What makes me so special?”

Sam sighed.

“I don’t know, Heather,” he said. “Maybe it’s because I was so used to those other fans. You know, the ones who are probably obsessed with every little thing I touch. It just became pretty refreshing to finally meet someone like you. Someone who likes us more for what we do rather than who we are.”

“Well, you really are great guys. Very nice and down to earth. Not what you normally see in celebrities. Honestly, I’d rather spend a day with you guys than half the people I know.”

“Yeah. It’s just…I was just glad to finally meet someone that actually treats us like regular people. Instead of…you know, the way your friends acted toward us.”

Heather rolled her eyes.

“I can’t even imagine how Leslie would act if she ever met Prince.”

“I’ll be praying for him.”

Sam and Heather both laughed.

“Yeah,” Sam said. “Since our music was obviously a lot more important to you than just talking to us at IHOP, I just figured I should give you what you deserved.”

“Like I said,” Heather replied. “I can’t be anymore grateful.”

“Also, thanks for all the food,” Sam said. “Though you really didn’t have to.”

“Hey, you went out of your way to help me, so I went out of my way to help you. Just returning the favor, that’s all.”

“Though if you don’t mind me asking, how much money did you spend on all this? I thought you said that you were tight on money?”

“Let’s just say I’m gonna’ need a little help from my parents next month. They’re probably gonna’ bite my head off, but whatever.”

Sam rubbed the back of his neck.

“Oh, I see,” he said. “Well…good luck with that.”

“I hope you guys have a safe drive to Baltimore tomorrow,” Heather said. “Play your hearts out. Though, I’m pretty sure you were going to anyway.”

“Thanks. Though I really hope we don’t have to postpone that.”

Sam looked over at Robbie and Jason, who were both lying on the couch and appeared to be passed out. Alex was still munching on chicken.

Heather chuckled.

“You need any help cleaning up all these dishes?” Sam asked.

“Nah, it’s fine,” Heather said. “I got it.”

“You sure? There’s quite a lot. I don’t want you spending all night cleaning up after us.”

“You guys just had a concert last night and have another one next week. You have better things to do than wash dishes. Besides, I wash dishes pretty fast. I should be done in like an hour.”

“Alright. Just an offer.”

“Somebody punch me in the stomach,” Robbie said. “Get all this crap out of me.”

“I’m on it!” Alex said, getting up and walking over to the couch.

“AHH!! Dude I was joking!” Robbie began to kick at Alex.

“Hey, don’t say things unless you mean it. People will get the wrong idea.”

“Well Heather,” Sam said, standing up. “I don’t wanna’ keep you up too late, so we’re gonna’ go ahead and take off. I…guess I’ll be seeing you around. I guess.”

“Yeah. Hopefully. Maybe I can actually make it to one of your concerts someday. When I get a better job, that is.”

“Yeah. I hope you can.”

“Somebody help me up!” Robbie shouted.

After about fifteen minutes of loading up their equipment on their van, the group all began to say their goodbyes to Heather. As Sam began to imagine taking off in a few minutes, he began to stare at Heather. Just how likely was it that they would see her again?

“Well gang,” Robbie asked, clutching his stomach. “Are we ready to take off?”

“More ready than ever,” Jason said. “I need a freaking nap.”

“We should totally do this again,” Alex said, still licking his fingers. “Just make sure to buy more ranch next time.”

“Hopefully I can afford it,” Heather said.

Robbie, Jason, Alex, all gave Heather a hug and piled onto the van. Sam gave Heather a very large hug and then looked at her for a moment.

“Well, I guess I better get going,” he said.

“Once again, thanks for doing all this,” Heather said. “I can’t be any more grateful.”

“You’re welcome, Heather. I’ll see you later.”

Sam began to slowly walk away, but then stopped. After a few seconds, he turned back around.

“Heather,” Sam asked. “Can I get your number?”

Heather got a surprised look on her face.

“My number?” she asked.

“You know, so that we can stay in contact? I mean, I probably won’t get to call you until I’m back home. That probably won’t be for another few weeks, but I still would like to talk every once in a while. What do you think?”

“Well…that’s great. But…I’m…I’m…’re Sam Kruger. And…I…I work at a Starbucks like four minutes away. You get what I’m saying?”

Sam rolled his eyes.

“That doesn’t mean we can’t be friends. Okay sure, I’m famous. But I’m still a person. You’re a person. We can still be friends.”

Heather stared for a moment, but then smiled.

“Okay,” she said. She then wrote her number down on a piece of paper and then handed it to Sam.

“Good luck in Baltimore,” Heather said, still smiling.

“Thanks,” Sam said, putting the piece of paper in his pocket. “I’ll tell you how it went as soon as I get back to L.A.”

“Of course. Can’t wait to hear about it.”

Sam and Heather then gave each other one final hug. As the van pulled out of Heather’s driveway, Sam began to reflect on all that had happened that day.

Definitely our best show ever, Sam thought as the van drove out of the neighborhood.

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