Copyright© 2015 by Bill Offutt
As Bud dressed for his PE class one of his friends asked, "You hear about the accident?"
Bud shook his head.
"Two guys dead, two or three hurt, wrapped their damn car right around a tree."
"Where was this?" Bud asked, hanging up his shirt.
"Saturday night, out toward Kensington. Had to cut the car apart to get the driver out. He died. I think we played against him last year, name's Curtis something, from Chevy Chase."
Bud nodded and pulled up his sanitary socks.
"Fraternity beer party of course," his buddy said, pounding his fist into his glove.
They clattered out to the field in their spikes where the coach was already hitting fungoes.
At supper that night, Bud's father leaned back after cleaning up his pot roast juice with a crust of bread. "That club you belong to," he said, "that fraternity, what's its name?"
"Chi Alpha," Bud said, buttering another piece of bread.
"You ever hear of one called A-D-S, Alpha Delta Sigma?"
"Yes sir," Bud said, "some of the guys at school belong. That's a big one, a national."
'Beer drinkers?" Sammy asked.
"Some," Bud said.
"Including you?" asked his father. "I mean your fraternity?"
"Now and then, once in a while," Bud said, knowing it was weekly, regularly, half a keg usually.
"In Maryland, the age is twenty-one. So stop."
"It's only eighteen in D.C.," Bud said, pushing the last of his food onto his fork with his bread.
His mother sighed, but held her peace.
"You aren't eighteen either," said his father. "You hear about those boys getting killed?"
Bud nodded and chewed.
"Drunk and speeding," Sammy said. "Officer Phillips came by the store and told me. Left hundred-foot skid marks on the road. Hit the tree going sideways, ten feet up."
Bud drank his milk.
"You know them?" asked his father.