`“Hey guys! Are you going to our awesome gig tonight? We are gonna rock your socks off!” exclaimed my good friend Cameron. Apparently he and Erek were in a “hard core” band that we just HAD to see. So, of course, whether it was out of curiosity or just to humor ourselves, my friends and I decided to go. Though we knew little about the place, we agreed to meet at the Great Mall of the Great Planes at around 7, when the gig supposedly began.

Being 15 and surrounded by a bunch of 16 year old friends, I asked if anyone could give me a lift to the extravagant occasion. Luckily, Kevin agreed to take me. Arriving at my house around 6:30, I hopped into Kevin’s car, excited for the night ahead of me. I shut the door behind me, closing off the cool air outside.

“Soooo…Where the hell is this place anyways?”

Though I should have foreseen it, Kevin, the one who was supposed to be driving us there, had no idea where the Great Mall was and was too damn lazy to look it up. He also did not have a GPS. It was just me, him, and his extremely old, bright blue truck. Trying to remember what my mom had told me earlier, I named off a couple streets I believed could get us there.

“I think you get onto I-69 then go to 435 and then I-35? Wait no maybe not… I don’t remember! You’re the driver! Why don’t you know this stuff?!”

We continued our journey anyways, hoping I knew what the hell I was talking about. Feeling pretty confident, we made our way onto the highway, all the while keeping our eyes peeled for the correct exits.

Apparently our eyes decided to take a little break that day. Missing our first exit, we had to circle back around and attempt to find the exit all over again. This turned out to be much harder than we expected. Getting off at the next exit, we crossed a railroad track and found an old abandoned lot to turn around in. Simultaneously, a train decided it would pass by. So, we were stuck for a little while. Once we finally got to the exit we were looking for, we continued our trip. We only got lost one more time before reaching our confusing destination.

Little did we know that the destination was rather…strange. We walked into an old mall that had about 5 places total inside. JR’s, the bar Erek and Cameron were playing in, was the first place we came to. Even though Kevin and I got lost multiple times on the way there, we were the first of our friends to arrive. Luckily, the show was running late and hadn’t started yet. Upon sitting down, we looked up to see a wall full of bras and thongs that were stuck to it. Also, all of the waiters were walking around with the number 69 on their backs. Classy.

Even though the venue was pretty sketchy, the actual performance wasn’t too bad. Once you get over the fact that nearly all of the bands performing contained members that looked about 10 years old, the music wasn’t too bad. Naturally, the best band was Erek and Cameron’s. So, afterwards we gladly congratulated them, hung around for a bit, messed around, and took random pictures. After a while, getting bored, we decided to leave.

Of course, with our luck, there was a severe weather warning going on. We looked outside, noticing the extremely hard rain, and Kaylea decided to mention the fact that she parked right next to Kevin’s car; literally about an inch away. There was no way I was getting in that car. So, making the plan for me to jump in the driver’s door, we sprinted as fast as we could to the car. Out of breath and really wet, we attempted to make our way home.

The only problem with this, however, was that if you can’t even get someplace easily when it’s light out, it’s ten times harder to get back in the dark…when it’s raining. Taking about ten minutes to find the highway again, I prayed to God that I wouldn’t die on the way back. My prayer nearly went unanswered. As we were trying to see where the lines of the highway were, out of nowhere a huge truck passed by. I nearly had a heart attack. 30 minutes later, we rolled up to my house, thankful to be alive. I was surprised I didn’t have a heart attack.

All in all I learned a couple things from our trip. First, never ride in a car with Kevin. Second, always look up directions before you go somewhere new. Third, even though things might get in the way, messing things up, you can still have a hell of a time if you allow yourself to. Although I nearly died, I will never forget that awesome night.

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