We hung out in the field, Kev and I. “Look at us Beckett. We don’t need to take anyone’s orders.” He said. “We’re on top of the world right now.” He said. “No one can touch us because we soared so high.” It was odd to say but I knew it was true. I saw two hawks flying above us and it struck me suddenly. “That’s like you and me huh Kev?” I asked, pointing to the hawks. “Yep. Yep it is.” Kev said. “Everyone else is stuck on the ground but we’re in the air. No one can touch us. No one can hurt us. We’re invincible. We’re unstoppable.” He said, looking back up to admire the hawks. I looked back up too. I felt like them. I felt so free, like if I didn’t have a family that I could just spring right up into the sky and fly away. I felt it and he did too. I wanted to feel as free as I did now only I wanted to feel this young and free and powerful my whole life. Or maybe I just didn’t want this to end. I felt almost like I was flying right now. A breeze passed us, stirring my hair in the wind, making this freedom so enthralling.

I shared my headphones with Kev and we listened to Hero by Nickelback, a song Kev picked. He led me over to a nearby part of the hills that overlooked all of Bullworth. I looked on, mesmerized by the sight of it. The sun was setting and it all looked so small and orange. “And they’re watching us.” Kev sung in sync with the song, pointing at Bullworth. He paused before he said “As we all fly away.” There was something so mystical about the irony of this moment. I felt like nothing in my life could ever compare to this moment of freedom, of triumph, of power. It was the most amazing thing that ever happened to me and I suddenly pitied Bart. He may be ignorant but ignorance was not bliss. He could never feel as young, as free or as alive as Kev and I felt in this moment. I knew skipping school was wrong but it was right now because it allowed me to experience this, to become this. Kev looked at me and I knew he felt it, I knew he did because he reminded me of an eagle; he looked so powerful and proud. Kev and I would be the only people who knew. It was suddenly a knowing, some great secret of the world that only Kev and I knew. I remembered my brother Joshua. He was in Heaven but he had to feel like this. I suddenly got an image in my head of Joshua, winking at me with a sly smile on his face. And I knew that he knew.

Kev smiled at me. “I know you understand Beckett. You know what it feels like now.” He said. I nodded. “Have you felt this before?” I asked him. He nodded. “This is where I go every day when I run from school. I come here and I feel so free. Maybe only certain people can feel this at a certain time.” He mused aloud. “I think so.” I said. To Bart this place would just be a waste of time. To us it was so much more. “The land of the free and the home of the brave.” Kev replied as though he had read my mind. “The promised land indeed.” I added, nodding in agreement. There was something about this place that was sacred. And maybe it had been waiting for Kev and I to come here, to discover its’ secret. I knew that no one else could feel this unless we told them, unless we brought them here. We were the gatekeepers, the guardians of this place. We went back and we brought TK. He told us then, that he too felt it when Kev mentioned how we were on top of the world and how we were flying above everyone else. TK, who was so sensitive, seemed to get it. The deepness of the moment, of the place, of Kev’s words. It all fit like a puzzle. Kev told me then, that I was the one who would pick who else to pass the secret on to. I decided then that I would only bring someone very special here, only someone I truly cared about, only someone I could trust with my life, someone who would never betray me.

4 years later…

Kev, TK and I still talked about “that place” when we were alone. Since then I have added more people to the club. I told Kian and Jett, both of them often hung out there. I had also told Jeriko, Eric, Tony, Sterling, Michael and Zander. That was all who knew. I always juggled my friends into categories and waited until I knew they were ready. I already had a few candidates to bring there. But I would carefully wait and see and watch for the signs, like I had learned to do growing up. Watch for the signs.

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