“So you drive around a lot, where do you usually end up?” I ask.
“Well, we usually end up at union,” Emma Kelley answers.
“What happened last Friday night?”
Kelley goes on to tell the story:
We emerge from sophomore Frannie Wilkinson’s basement at 8 pm.
“Guys, let’s just like go,” Kelly Gardella says as she hops into her 1998 Honda Accord.
“Go where, Kelly?” I ask.
“Like anywhere it doesn’t matter, just like follow me,” says Gardella.
“No Kelly, I am not doing this again” I told her.
Too late. Gardella attempts to run over others as they pile into Kelley’s car.
“Emma, just trust me,” Gardella says.
Haven’t heard that from you before Kelly…
Rockhurst sophomore Luke Kenney sits in the passenger’s seat and plugs in my iPhone. He grabs my auxiliary cord and drops it into my water cup.
“Haha, that would have sucked!” Kenney says.
He connects it to my iPhone and blasts “Sail” by Awolnation vibrating the entire car until you can feel the bass rattling your bones.
Gardella turns onto Wornall Road.
I know where she is going.
You can see the beacon from a mile away.
The red glow of “QT” draws everyone in.
The safe haven of soft drinks and candy.
The usual murmur of “Hey, can I borrow $2” and “I have money if anybody needs it” travels around the vehicle.
They storm the Quik Trip and ask the cashier his horror stories of working at the gas station.
“Kelly, seriously where are we going?” I ask.
“Fine! Let’s just go to Union!” Gardella says.
“No!” nearly every teenager present groans.
“WHERE ELSE ARE WE GOING TO GO?” Gardella yells.
“That’s what I thought. Let’s go,” Gardella says.
Fifteen minutes in the car until we reach Union Station. Fifteen minutes of a caffeine high. Fifteen minutes of bass. Fifteen minutes of pure unadulterated laughter with friends. We exit the car feeling excited and devious.
I look at Rockhurst sophomore Joe Cochran.
No, you are not doing that!
“Joe! You take that Quik Trip cup out of my glove compartment and put it in the trash!”
Everybody laughs as he slams the door, leaving the cup and runs into the towering building.
“Good luck getting home Joe!”
Everybody knows where to go.
They reach the elevator and press the button.
The room the elevator takes us to a small room. Five doors. Despite our experience we forget each time. Finally, Ed Wilkinson finds it, and up we go. Up, up and away through employee only signs, past vandalism, up a ladder and through a trap door.
I can feel the night air on my face, we swing our feet on to the rain gutter and then to the cement pyramid. The boys race to the top as adrenaline pumps in my blood, and my hands get sweaty. I reach it. The view that matches no other. On top of the world, or just Union Station. Somebody checks the time 10 minutes later.
“Shoot, Emma!” STA sophomore Natalie Rall says. “I have to be at the Wilkinson’s in 10 minutes.”
Driving, we spent the whole night driving for a 10 minute view, only to drive again. We pile in the car and race home. Luke, in the next car, throws trash at us. Natalie Rall gives the thumbs up sign to a man in a hoodie at the bus stop, who waved back, making the whole car laugh.
As Emma finishes her story I wonder: Do they drive in her blue Mazda to see the view at the top of Union or do they go to Union to see the view from her blue Mazda?