A story about karma and what goes around, comes around. 52 Wks
|Ben’s family had a nice cabin in the mountains and Ben knew a nice place close by that would provide his friends with a great skiing and snowboarding experience. They still had a week of Christmas break from school and since they were all friends, it seemed like a nice get-a-way. Well, most of them were friends, all except for Jack’s younger brother, Tony.
Tony was just a wild ass of a guy, always getting into trouble, stepping over the lines, and just plain pissing people off. He tended to be a bit mean and probably would have been even more trouble if it wasn’t for his slight build and the fact that he was all talk but couldn’t back it up. He was also a know-it-all and made sure everyone knew his thoughts, even though he was usually wrong. This know-it-all attitude also meant that Tony was a real show off, he was always trying to show everyone how much better he was.
Jack and Tony’s parents were deceased and Jack had taken Tony under his wing, so the other three put up with him as best they could, even though they didn’t really like him. Maybe they pitied him as well. Whatever the reasons, they let Tony tag along and put up with his shit more than they would have for anyone else, so most of the time, it was the five of them. Jack and his best friend Ben, his girlfriend Jill, Carly, who was Jill’s best friend, and Tony.
Ben had made most of the arrangements and borrowed his dad’s Suburban for the trip. The rest had pitched in for food, drink, and gas. Tony had surprised them when he offered to pick up the tab for the ski and snowboard rentals. What they didn’t know was it was actually Jack who had borrowed him the money and told him to; Jack knew just what a pain in the ass Tony was and tried his best to lead him and show him the errors of his ways. Jack was always bailing Tony out of jams and trouble, even though his friends tried to convince him that letting Tony sink would be the best thing for him.
For a change, Tony was being on his best behavior. He had overheard the others talking about the trip and planning it. They had gotten together at a burger joint and left Tony out of the planning, but he had followed Jack and sat around the corner eavesdropping on them. When Jack had left the table to use the restroom, they had all spoken their minds openly about how nice it would be if they could leave Tony behind this time. They had taken turns pointing out how Tony always ruined things, how much of an ass he was, and how they preferred to not even be around him. But, soon they started talking about Jack and how he probably wouldn’t go if Tony wasn’t invited along and agreed, just before Jack returned, to let Tony tag along, again.
Tony was pretty upset and quietly left. He felt bad for his brother, knowing the other’s didn’t really like him, but being an arrogant son-of-a-bitch, he soon started thinking how wrong they all were about him. So, his good behavior and his renting the equipment at his brother’s suggestion wasn’t anything thoughtful on his part, it was just a means of proving them all wrong. Even though his motives were dark, the other’s enjoyed the drive and the first night at the cabin.
They got there in the late afternoon, unpacked and worked out sleeping arrangements. There were two bedrooms, one with bunk beds and the other, Ben’s parents room, had a double bed. This meant that one person would be out in the living room on the sofa and everyone knew it was going to be a battle over who got the beds. But, Tony surprised them again when he put his stuff down by the couch and told everyone he wanted to sleep in the living room. He also added that it may be best to put the girls in the bigger room with the double bed, since they needed more room for their stuff, and then Jack and Ben could crash on the bunkbeds.
Carly smiled, “That’s a great idea, Tony.”
Jack smiled as well, “I guess it’s settled then. Well, if everyone else is in agreement.”
Everyone nodded and Ben turned to Tony and said, “Thanks for taking the couch, Tony, but if you change your mind, I’ll take it and you can sleep in a bunk instead.”
Ben was like that, always being considerate and nice. He was athletic and talented at just about everything he tried, and Tony wasn’t about to let this jock show him up. “No, you and Jack take the bunkbeds, I’ll be fine on the couch.”
He looked around and then asked Ben, “Is there someplace I can stow my gear so it’s not in the middle of the floor and in everyone’s way?” He was on a roll and showing everyone just how wrong they were about him.
Ben pointed to a pair of bi-fold doors. “That’s a storage closet, you can put your stuff in there. There’s a rod for hanging cloths and lots of shelf space.”
Tony picked up his stuff and set it by the doors. “I’ll put it away later. If the rest of you want to put stuff away and maybe start some dinner, I’ll carry the rest of the stuff in and set it here by the door, that way we won’t track a ton of snow onto the carpet.”
He started out the door but not so fast as to miss the puzzled looks on everyone’s faces. “Call me a thoughtless and inconsiderate asshole, I’ll show you.” He muttered under his breath as he closed the door.
He loaded up with gear and hauled it in, setting beside the door, then went back out for a second load. He carried their luggage in next, making a third trip to get all the bags. He was thinking that these girls packed way too much stuff for the few days they would be staying here, but then gals always had to bring twice as much as they needed. Once done with the luggage, he carried the skis and snowboards up to the open porch and stood them against the side of the cabin. As he stood up the last snowboard, he mumbled to himself, “Guess who was the only one who hauled his own stuff in, and you call me an ass.” He smiled at the thought, then went into the cabin.
While Tony hauled stuff in, the rest went about putting the stuff in the rooms and taking the food to the kitchen. “What do you think got into Tony, he’s being nice?” Carla asked Jill as they put stuff in the fridge.
“He’s probably just showing off for you, He’s probably got a crush on you and thinks maybe he’ll get lucky if he puts on a good show.”
“Please tell me your kidding. I don’t care how good of a show he puts on, he’s not my type and that’s that.”
The guys were putting their stuff in the bedroom and choosing who would get top bunk. “It don’t matter to me,” Ben told Jack, “I’m just glad I don’t have to sleep on the couch. What’s up with Tony, he’s not acting like himself at all?”
Jack looked at Ben and smiled. “I told you, Tony’s a good guy. He just has kind of an attitude and needs to grow up a little. I guess he just finally decided it was time to quit being such a brat all the time.”
Tony took off his coat and put his gear away, then plopped down on the couch. He kicked his shoes off and stretched out. It was just long enough that he could stretch out if he put his feet on the armrest. It wasn’t as comfortable as a bed, but it wasn’t bad. He smiled as he thought how a little discomfort wasn’t anything to show them all how wrong they were.
When Ben and Jack finished they went out and seen Tony stretched out and dozing on the couch. They quietly went to the kitchen and offered to assist the girls with dinner. “Where’s Tony?” Jill asked. “He isn’t still hauling stuff in, is he?”
“No.” Ben answered, “He’s napping on the couch, must have worn himself out carrying everything in.”
Carly looked over at Jill, “I knew it, he’s not acting nice to show off for me, he’s sick.”
“Who’s sick?” Tony asked as he entered the kitchen.
Carly smiled at him, “No one, I guess. I thought maybe you were sick when Ben told us you were napping.”
“Nope, not sick, just trying out the couch to see how comfortable it is. I guess it’s pretty comfortable, I nodded off for a few minutes.” He went to the fridge and took out a bottle of beer, twisted the top off and was just about to fling it with a snap of his fingers at Carly. He reminded himself that he needed to show everyone what a great guy he was and adjusted his aim so the cap flew towards the garbage can. It zipped through the air and right into the trash.
“Nice shot!” Carly told him. She thought for a second he was going to try and hit her with it, since he usually did zip his caps at one of them.
“Thanks. If you all have things handled out here, I’m thinking of going outside to look around a bit.”
The girls nodded and Ben offered to show him around. “That’s alright, just want to have a smoke and enjoy the view. Tomorrow you can show us all around the place and then that great hill for skiing.”
“Okay, guess I’ll help with dinner.”
Tony put his shoes and coat on, then headed out the door. He lit a cigarette as soon as he was out the door and puffed on it while he walked around the corner of the cabin. There wasn’t much snow in front, but on the side it had drifted in and he soon found himself knee deep in the powdery stuff. He backed up and brushed at the snow on his pants, “Damnit, why didn’t anyone tell me the snow was this deep.” He went back to the porch and sat on the step to take his shoes off and dump the cold, melting snow out of them.
He flicked his cigarette at the Suburban and chuckled when it landed on the roof. “Hope it burns the paint.” He mumbled to himself as he put his shoes back on. He was going back in but decided he better take the butt off the roof or they would think he did it on purpose. He smiled when he seen a small brown stain where the cigarette had burned in a little. He rolled it between his fingers and made sure it was out, then stuck in in his pocket. He normally would have just tossed it, but he figured someone would see it and think he was an ass for littering up the scenery. He would just hold on to it and maybe, if the timing was right, he could drop it in someone’s beer later.
When he went back in the girls where setting the table and Ben and Jack were on the couch. He took off his coat and shoes being careful not to let anyone see the snow on his socks before he pulled them off.
“The brats and beans are hot, might as well come to the table.” Jill spoke to everyone in the living room. Ben and Jack got up and moved to chairs at the table.
Tony told her, “I’ll be right there, I just need to go toss this butt in the trash first.” He had taken it out of his pocket and was headed for the kitchen to dispose of it.
“Wow, I figured I’d be out there picking up all his cigarette butts after the snow melted next spring.” Ben stated.
Tony heard him as he went into the kitchen and dropped the butt in the trash can. “Not this time, Ben ole buddy; I’m on a mission and I’ll show everyone who’s an asshole.” He spoke low so no one would hear his snide remark.
After dinner they all sat around the living room enjoying a fire in the old stone fireplace and drinking wine or beer. Tony drank two for everyone else’s one and the friends expected him to be more his old annoying self with the beer in him, so they retired to their rooms early. Tony finished his beer and set the empty on the coffee table next to the rest. “Good idea, we can get a good night’s sleep and then an early start tomorrow.” He got up and wobbled a bit, then caught his balance and carried a handful of empty bottles to the kitchen.
Carly picked up the rest of the empties and followed him. “Thanks, Carly.”
“No problem, always glad to help out.”
“Well, if you really want to help out, you could slip out to the living room after Jill falls asleep and help me with this.” Tony grabbed the front of his pants as he talked.
“Piss off, Tony.” Carly stormed back to the living room. She knew it was too good to be true. “Once an ass, always an ass.” Everyone had headed off to bed, so she made a brief visit to the bathroom and then headed for bed. When she came through the living room, Tony was stretched out on the couch and patted his groin as she went by. “Get the light for me, would you Dear.”
She didn’t say anything but flipped the light off before she went into her bedroom and closed the door. She was glad she was sharing a room with Jill, she just didn’t trust Tony not to try something when he was loaded up with beer.
The next morning Tony woke up with a hell of a headache. He heard some noises form the kitchen and wondered who else was up already. He went to the bathroom, took a leak and then splashed some cold water on his face. After he dried his hands and face he went back to the couch and thought about going back to sleep. Instead he decided to stay up, so he slipped into his pants and shirt, then headed to the kitchen to find some aspirin or something for his head.
Carly was the only one up and she was working on getting breakfast going. Tony seen a full pot of coffee and asked her if she wanted a cup as he looked through the cupboards. She glared at him, “I don’t want anything from you.”
Tony took down two cups anyway and poured them full of coffee. He may have been a bit inebriated last night but he remembered everything. Why was she so pissed, he had just flirted a bit? Hell, it would do the bitch good to get laid. He reasoned that she was probably more hungover than he was, since he hadn’t noticed that she only had one glass of wine. Well, so much for showing everyone he wasn’t an asshole.
He turned towards her and held out the cup of steaming coffee. “Sorry for last night, Carly. I didn’t mean anything by it.” He lied. “I guess I just drank a little too much and—and, well.” He paused, it was difficult to apologize, but he wanted to show her she was wrong about him. “Like you said, once an ass always an ass. But I’m trying to show you, to show everyone, I’m really not.”
He didn’t know why he had confided in her, maybe he was beginning to realize they were right, but more likely, it was the cobwebs in his head from too much beer the night before. Hell, maybe it was because he really did have a crush on Carly and for a second, felt a little guilt for his crude remark. “It’s just that…. Well, I’m sorry, Carly and I’m willing to make it up to you. How about I finish breakfast?” He knew that was a mistake, hell, he couldn’t heat up canned soup without scorching it, but it was too latey, he had already offered before he thought about the consequences if she took him up on it.
“That’s alright. I guess I was a little over sensitive, but damn Tony, that was just rude to say that.” She wasn’t pleased with the outcome but what if he was trying to change? As much as she didn’t trust him, she made him a counter offer anyway. “How about we make breakfast together?”
“That sounds like a plan. To tell you the truth, I doubt anyone could stand to eat it if I made it myself. I’m not a good cook.” Again, tony wondered why he had told her this. It was weird, but when she looked at him, in the eyes like that, he found it easier to be honest than to lie and try to bull-shit her.
Tony cooked bacon with some guidance from Carly, she took the task of frying eggs and making toast. They had just about finished when Jill came into the kitchen. “Boy, it smells good in here.”
She looked at Tony wearing a yellow apron and Carly standing right beside him helping him flip the bacon over. She felt kind of awkward, so she added, “Looks like you two have things handled and about ready, I’ll go wake the other two up.”
Jill had them up by the time Tony and Carly carried the food into the dining area. Carly felt kind of embarrassed to be working this close to Tony and seen the way everyone was looking at them. “We just worked together to fix breakfast, don’t look so surprised.” Carly told them as she sat down.
“It’s just that Tony can’t cook, that’s all.” Jack kidded when he seen her blushing.
“Well,” Ben stated, “It looks good to me.” He picked up a slice of bacon and took a bite. “Crispy but not crumbly, perfect. Looks like he can cook after all, Jack.”
Now it was Tony’s turn to blush a little as he explained, “Carly helped me so I didn’t burn it into charcoal strips.” He wasn’t use to anyone giving him an honest compliment and it caught him off guard. He was still kind of fuzzy from drinking too much too fast, but he knew that wasn’t all of it, either. He was kind of feeling like he was part of the group for the first time.
They talked about the slope they would be going to and how nice of a day it was turning out to be while they ate. After they finished, Jill started clearing the table, so Tony joined her. He needed to get back on track and show everyone they were the assholes, well except for Carly, she was kind of nice, tony decided.
Ben and Jack followed them into the kitchen. “We’ll do up the dishes. After all, Carly and Tony fixed breakfast and you cleared the table. Well with Tony’s help; we better do our part too. Tony’s making us all look bad.”
Tony walked out of the kitchen with a smile, thinking to himself, “Good, it’s working then.” He had more to show them, but at least Ben was starting to realize who the real assholes were.
After dishes were washed, dried and put away, they got dressed for the outdoors and headed outside. Ben showed everyone around the property then they headed for a nice hill for some skiing and snowboarding. It was slow going because the snow was so deep but they forged ahead and talked while they walked. Once they got to the trees, the snow wasn’t as deep and they moved faster. Jill had never been skiing and was nervous, but Carly told her that she would help her. Ben added that the hill was pretty open and the girls could start towards the bottom, kind of a bunny hill.
Jack and Ben had both skied here and explained how the hill they would be using was more like three distinct hills, one at the bottom, then another above that one, and the last was the steepest and highest. “If you start at the bottom, it’s just a gentle slope and not very high, no trees, and ends in an open and flat area.”
Jack added, “Once you feel comfortable on the bunny hill, you climb the next section. It’s a little steeper but not much bigger. When you hit the bottom, you’re going fast enough to carry you over to the first hill and then down that, just like before. There are a few trees, but you can stay to the center and avoid all of them if you want.”
Ben picked up after Jack. “the third hill is as tall as the other two combined and much steeper. There are more trees and obstacles, so you want to be pretty sure of yourself before tackling that one. When you hit the bottom, you’re at the second hill and going fast enough that when you top the hill, you take a small jump unless you slow yourself first. Then, after the jump, you’re on the slope of the second hill and heading towards the bunny hill, only much faster. Since the bunny hill is more rounded, you don’t jump when you reach the top, but your moving fast enough to carry over at a pretty good clip and by the time you’re at the bottom, your flying again. You will clear the open area and then there’s a big hill but there are lots of trees and it’s quite difficult. The best bet, if you’re not an adept skier, is to stop in the clearing and not even attempt that one.”
The group had reached the clearing and looked up at the slope of the three adjoining hills. It was easy to see that the first would be a great place for beginners, the second a bit more challenging, and the third a real challenge even for a good skier. Ben led them over to the end of the clearing where another slope dropped down almost to the cabin. It was difficult to see the building because of the trees, but once Ben pointed it out, they all seen it, about three hundred yards down a very steep slope.
“The wooded area kind of steps up, that’s why it was such a long walk. If you go down here, you go past the east side of the cabin and you’re going fast enough that you’ll end up out by the main road we came in on. I only tried it once, with my dad. He made it all the way, I ended up halfway down before I wiped out.” Ben finished, “I don’t think any of us are up to this hill yet. Someday, but not yet.”
They backtracked then headed out across the clearing. “There’s a heavy rope on the other side, tied to some trees to help us get up the hills. It’s not a chairlift, but it works.” Ben informed them as they crossed the center of the clearing.
Tony was bringing up the rear, his smoking had him winded in the thinner air. He had to pee and had since they left the cabin, but Jill was holding up the bathroom and everyone was in a hurry, so he didn’t stick around or they would have blamed him for being late getting out the door. Now, he couldn’t hold it any longer. He stopped right there and turned away from the rest and started peeing in the snow. He swung his willy in arching movements as he wrote his name out in bright yellow on the white snow.
“What the hell, Tony?” Jack commented more than asked. “Why are you pissing right in the middle of where we are going to ski?”
Ben added, “Why didn’t you go before we left?”
Both Carly and Jill spoke at the same time. “Eww, that’s disgusting. Nobody wants to see your junk.”
“Hey, when I guy has to go he’s got to go. If you don’t want to see my junk, why are you watching me write my name. Come on, girls you know you want me.” He finished by underlining his name, twice then shook it and put it back in his pants. He thought about turning towards the girls and shaking it at them, but didn’t.
It didn’t matter, they had all turned and were heading for the rope, leaving him behind with his artwork. He tried to catch up, but he was too winded from smoking and thy had a good lead on him. They reached the rope and started up the slope but Tony had to stop at the bottom and catch his breath. He took out a smoke and lit up while he took a break.
When he finished his smoke he started to put it out and was going to stick it in his pocket, but since they couldn’t even wait for him and were already at the top of the first hill, he got mad and flicked it with his fingers out into the clearing. “I hope someone hits it and it wipes their ass out,” he grumbled as he picked up the snowboard and started the climb.
The girls had already stopped on the first slope by this time and were getting their skis on. Tony couldn’t’ hear them but could tell that Carly was giving Jill some tips about going down. He was just past halfway when the two girls started down and laughed when Jill wiped out as they passed and tried waving to him.
Ben and Jack were at the top of the second hill, out of Tony’s line of site, but by the time he got to the bottom of the second hill, they were coming down. He ignored them as he continued up the second hill. He finally made the top and looked down. They had all made it to the bottom and were standing around talking, probably about him.
He fastened the snowboard on and almost fell as he tried to balance. He wasn’t a skier, and had only ridden a snowboard on some small hills by his house. This was a lot bigger and a lot more difficult. No problem, he started out slow and soon was zipping down the hill. The problem was, he was zipping a lot faster than he wanted to. He was halfway down and still picking up speed when he hit a drift and turned sideways. He managed to keep his balance as he now raced at an angle down the hill towards the trees. Not wanting to run into the trees, he leaned to the side and put his hand out to help break his fall.
Instead of falling, however, he slid sideways a little and ended up pointing back down the hill. He was now squatting on the board with both hands down rubbing in the snow trying to slow himself down. It was too soft and powdery, however, and he continued to build speed. By now, he was at the base of the first hill and it felt like he was slowing a little. As he climbed the slight rise he seen everyone watching him.
He swallowed down his fear and stood up. “There probably laughing at me and hoping I’ll wipe out. I’ll show them,” he thought. When he stood, he was just hitting the top of the bunny hill. But with his speed up as high as it was, standing just made him and the board lift off the ground. For about a minute Tony was flying through the air. He knew he would crash and closed his eyes as he waited for the board to hit the snow and send him tumbling down the hill.
He felt the board impact the side of the bunny hill but he didn’t tumble. He almost fell over backwards and to those on the ground it looked like he was going to sit right down. But, Tony managed to get his legs back under his center of gravity and stood back up as he went down the bunny hill at a very fast clip. He found his thoughts going to the hill at the end of the clearing and he was afraid he would sail right past everyone and down that hazardous slope. He had to stop and there was just one way to do that, he turned his feet while he leaned the opposite direction. He would wipe out and slide down the hill on his side but at least he would kill himself going over the other side.
By now, Tony was already onto the flat of the clearing and when he turned the board, he threw snow in a high ark. Everyone was staring as he hit the bottom and turned sideways, then leaned down to stop. But, instead of stopping, his board caught the snow and he ended up somersaulting through the air and coming down head first.
Just before Tony squeezed his eyes shut he seen big yellow letters in the snow, then his face was sinking into it. He sunk deep into the soft snow and if it hadn’t been for Ben racing over and pulling him up, he likely would have suffocated. “Are you all right?” Ben inquired with a look of shock on his face. “You’re lucky you didn’t break your neck when you landed.”
Tony nodded that he was alright. He had snow down his coat, down his shirt, and in his eyes and mouth. He was also missing his stocking cap. Everyone broke out laughing once they knew he wasn’t injured. Jill asked him, “Do you prefer flying to snowboarding, you were off the ground more than you were on it.”
Carly smiled, “Pretty impressive trip down the hill but the landing needs a lot of work. Do you realize you just landed in your own pee?”
Tony nodded as he spat out a mouthful of snow.
Jack shook his finger at him, “How many times do I have to tell you, Tony, don’t eat the yellow snow.”