Blowing in the Wind….by Lilachigh
"Man – look at all these people – like – wow!" Suki-Star – her real name was Sarah, but how old was that! - stared in wonder at the swarming masses, sitting, standing, lying in abandon in the Woodstock mud.
Sheila Lieberman was struggling to unpack the little tent she'd carried all the way from where their last lift had dropped them. She was just seventeen and this was the first time she'd been allowed to spend a few days away from home. Her parents thought she was with Suki and Suki's thought their daughter was staying with the Lierbermans!
Sheila was very unhappy at having to lie, but man, she was seventeen now. An adult. And what on earth could happen to her in the middle of all these people? Love was what life was all about. Making friends, Saving the World, Down with War. Adults didn't, couldn't, understand what their generation was all about. How could they when they were so old? Her mom was thirty-nine! Thirty-nine – almost forty. That was ancient.
She stared happily at the flowers she'd stencilled on the back of her hands last night. Hopefully they'd come off by the time she went home. Her boring cotton dress was buried in the bottom of her knapsack and her long, floaty green skirt and the chiffon scarf she'd tied round her forehead made her feel a million dollars.
The only worry she had was Suki. She wasn't as close a friend as Jessica, but Jessica had recently started dating Anthony Harris and Sheila felt left out. They'd been friends since they were five and it hurt that she now seemed to prefer Harris, whom, it was whispered, drank a lot.
So when Suki had suggested that they go to Woodstock, Sheila had agreed. It was nice to be wanted. But Suki had insisted they hitched a lift here, instead of catching the Greyhound as Sheila had expected. Then she'd flirted dreadfully with the guys who'd picked them up.
Sheila bit her lip. She was, of course, all for Free Love. Marriage was outdated: sex shouldn't be used as a bribe or a reward. Right on! But, she didn't actually want to start experiencing the Free Love scene until she went to college. Not that she didn't believe in it, of course….
At last she managed to get the tent erected. It was getting dark and camp fires were flickering everywhere. There was music and singing and the all too familiar sweet smell of the cigarettes her parents would freak about. She knew Suki smoked them and took pills, too. But that was Her Choice, so cool.
"Hey, check out the guy over there!" Suki was standing outside in the gloom, hands on hips, smiling provocatively at someone Sheila couldn't see. "Dig that platinum hair! Oh, he's smiling at me. Hey, Shee, I think he fancies me."
Sheila wriggled out of the tent and stared at the man who was standing, smoking a cigarette. "He looks – " A shudder ran over her which was weird because it wasn't cold. "He looks sorta dangerous, Suki. Ignore him!"
"No way. He's the hottest thing I've seen all day. Hey, he's coming over. Be cool. Let me do the talking."
Sheila shrank back as the guy prowled across to them. He was pale, as if he didn't see much sunlight, had very blue eyes and a mouth that made her insides quiver. She watched as Suki put her hand on his arm, laughed into his face. The man ran a hand over her hair, fingering the long locks. Then he wrapped his arm round her waist and turned to go.
"Suki!" Sheila called out, anxiously.
The guy turned and smiled at her. "Want to join us for a little drink, pet?" he asked softly, the eyes sparkling in the light from the camp fires. "I've always room for one more and – " his gaze settled on her hair and she felt another shiver run through her – "I've a thing for redheads!"
For a long second Sheila hesitated. She didn't want to stay here on her own but there was something about this man that worried her. "No, thank you. Suki, don't go. We need to get some sleep."
"Chill out," the other girl laughed. "You're so boring, Sheila! Don't wait up for me! I might be out all night."
"Oh you will be," the man grinned happily and as he led her away into the dark, Sheila had the oddest feeling that she'd seen his blue eyes turn to gold.
She sat alone in the tent until she fell asleep. She was furious with Suki, but at the same time, felt almost envious. Her friend had chosen a different path to travel, one that Sheila was tempted to walk, but knew she never would. She searched for her the next morning, but amongst all those thousands of people it was an impossible task. And there was no sign of the blond man with the bright blue eyes.
Woodstock seemed to have lost a lot of its appeal. The music, the noise, the people, the dirt. Sheila wanted nothing more than a nice hot shower. So that made her boring? Suddenly, she didn't much care.
She wondered if Suki and the guy had made love last night. She bet they had. She wondered what it would be like to let a man like that touch you – there. She wondered if Jessica and Anthony Harris had ever – done that. Would she ever meet anyone herself?
She didn't want to hitch home on her own, but had no choice: Suki had all their. money in her backpack. She was probably spending it somewhere in Woodstock right now.
A cold wind was blowing as Sheila stood by the roadside. And incredibly, the first car that stopped was driven by a nice Jewish boy who hadn't been at the Festival but was on his way back to California after visiting his grandparents. His name was Ira Rosenberg.