This shot of Queen guitarist Brian May about to jump in the swimming pool fully clothed (and with bandmate John Deacon looking on in surprise) was taken by photographer Justin Thomas. “It was at the first Rock In Rio festival in 1985”, Justin recalls. “We were at the Copa Cabana Palace Hotel and they threw this huge party with lots of sexy girls in white bikinis and G-strings, and there were guys banging drums. It might well have been Brian’s birthday, but I can’t remember! But it was after Queen’s gig where Freddie Mercury had come on stage draped in a Union Jack that had a Brazilian flag on the other side - when he turned it around, the crowd went bonkers. After Brian got out of the pool, he went out of the hotel where fans had written his name in the sand in candles - it was very sweet.”
The third time Eleven run away was on the 23rd of May, 1985.
Mike Wheeler thought he had dealt with his father’s lack of care long time ago, but that day was just too much. Way too much.
An F on a test he really studied hard for, he really tried, but couldn’t focus enough, due to one of the panic attacks that he started having after the events of last year, and constant anxiety.
But, of course, his father didn’t know. Neither did his mom for that matter. Lately she was acting almost as distant as her husband, with the difference that she seemed weirdly joyful.
Mike knew he couldn’t just spend his life worrying, but he couldn’t help it. He was constantly worried - terrified - that one afternoon he’ll find the cabin empty. He was anxious all the time, unless he called Will and heard that he was okay. He worried about his parents marriage, that was less of a marriage with every passing day. He worried about Nancy, who was studying so hard for exams she barely slept. He worried about Holly, that she has to grow up in the atmosphere of either constant silence or constant arguments. He even worried about Steve, everytime he looked at his face when Nancy was around.
Mike Wheeler was worried about everything.
Lucas once told him that he should sometimes think about himself, but how he was supposed to stop caring? He wasn’t like his father. He cared.
And when Ted Wheeler finally decided to pay some attention to his only son and it turned out to be scolding for messing up a test, Mike had enough.
‘I get it, you are not really a sports kind of person. But can’t you just get good grades, as it seems to be the only thing you can do properly, at least it used to be?’
He wasn’t even yelling. Mike wished he would yell, just once. It would at least mean he gave a shit.
He felt like he was six again, his father bitterly disappointed that he didn’t find pleasure in kicking a ball around.
'Shouldn’t you do something other than reading your books all day?’ he heard when he was ten.
When he was eleven, the only response to his excited statement, that he and his friends won the science contest was an unfocused gaze, a nod and bored 'That’s great, son.’.
When he was thirteen, he stopped trying. When his son was thirteen, Ted Wheeler didn’t care that he woke up crying almost every night. Neither did he care that the shadows under Mike’s eyes seemed to grow with every passing day. He didn’t care enough to ask why he was mean to teachers. He didn’t bother to ask, once, if Mike was okay.
He preferred to assume he was, because that meant he didn’t have to do anything. That he didn’t have to be a father.
So now, Mike suddenly realised that he was not okay.
'OKAY, OKAY, SO WHAT IF I STUDY ALL THE TIME, GET THE BEST GRADES?! YOU WOULDN’T BE PROUD OF ME EVEN IF I MADE SCHOOL BASEBALL TEAM! YOU DON’T GIVE A SHIT! STOP PRETENDING YOU’RE MY FATHER!’
'Michael!’ no yelling. No hurt on his face. Calm, stern voice, reprimand.
And Mike wanted to hurt him, wanted to make him feel the way he felt for nearly fourteen years, but he still didn’t care.
So he fled. He quickly put on his torn sneakers and ran, slamming the door behind him.
He ran until his lungs and muscles burned. He ran, going past the town’s centre, he ran far, to the deserted alley. He wanted to scream, to punch something, he was angry, so angry…
'Hey, Wheeler! ’ he heard a menacing voice. He set his jaw, turning around to face Troy.
'What do you want?’ he growled.
'What got you so worked up, Frogface? Missing your freak of a girlfriend?’
'Shut your mouth!’
'Or what? You’re going to punch me? Maybe I would be afraid if you were trying to throw a ball five feet away from me. ’
Troy’s cronies chuckled, approaching him.
'Hey, Wheeler, I’m actually curious. How does it feel to be such a failure that even freaks run away from you?’ he grinned with disgusted expression.
Mike’s fist flew first.
When Mike didn’t come over as soon as the school ended, she was disappointed.
When he didn’t answer her first supercom call, she was worried.
When he didn’t answer next five, she put on her blindfold and a hooded sweatshirt she stole from him a two days ago, focusing on his scent and warmth she could almost still feel.
Then she saw him, in the void, pushed onto the wall, his lip split, that mouthbreather towering over him, she was out of the door in seconds.
'You really thought you could beat me up, Wheeler?’ Troy chuckled, punching him in the stomach. Mike gasped for air. 'Maybe if I put you on a wheelchair, we could call you 'Wheels’? 'Frogface’ is getting old anyway. ’
Then he kicked his leg so hard Mike saw the stars.
'LEAVE HIM, ASSHOLES! ’ a strong, loud voice yelled, and suddenly the bullies were thrown across the alley, landing few feet away. Troy, on the other hand, was pushed against the wall, both with her mind and her forearm pressed under his chin, just as Hopper taught her. She saw Mike fall to the ground, groaning. She was seeing red. Troy’s face paled when he recognised her.
'Last time not clear enough?’ she was almost scared of the tone of her own voice. There was another voice inside her head. Voice sounding a lot like Kali’s.
He hurt Mike. You need to hurt him, now. He deserves it. He dared to hurt Mike. You should make him pay. You weren’t strong enough last time, will you be now? He deserves to be punished.
'E-el, don’t… ’ Mike’s voice, tense with pain, cut trough Kali’s taunts. 'He’s not worth it… Don’t… ’
She let him go, standing, frozen, breathing heavily. Troy and other boys ran, nearly tripping over their own feet.
She stood there, unmoving, until Mike spoke up again.
'You shouldn’t… come out…’ he hissed weakly, feeling like he could pass out any second. 'Put the hood on… ’
She broke out of her reverie, launching herself towards him, kneeling on the ground.
'Mike. ’ her voice broke. She was nearly shaking.
'I’m okay… ’ his voice seemed distant.
Just like him to say that with a broken leg, swollen eye, split lip and unfocused gaze, being on egde of unconsciousness.
'Fuck, Mike, you are not okay!’
'Stop swearing… ’ he said weakly.
'Can you walk?’ she took his head in her hands, panicked.
'Uh, maybe…’ he tried to get up but quickly laid back down, feeling like a wave washed over him.
'Shit. Shit, shit, shit. ’ she got up. 'Wait here!’
And she was gone.
'Yeah, I’ll just… Stay here.’ he muttered, barely aware of his surroundings.
El ran, heading towards the police station. She could barely breathe when she reached he door and swung it open with her mind. She bursted inside.
'Hopper!’ she yelled, ignoring bewildered looks of people around her.
Jim appeared in the door of his office, his eyes wide.
'Hey, chief, what’s going on?’ one of the cops asked with confusion on his face.
'Get back to work. ’ Hopper grabbed El’s arm and steered her outside.
'Mike…’ she gasped, catching her breath 'Hurt…’
'Get in the car. ’
When Mike woke up, the first thing he saw was bright light and white ceiling. Then, when he looked down, a mass of curly hair on his chest.
'El..?’ he whispered hoarsely.
Her head shot up and her fingers tightened around his palm.
'You okay, kid?’ then he saw Hopper, standing behind El with his arms crossed on his wide chest. Hoppers stern face had a concerned look on it. The chief laid his heavy hand on Mike’s head, ruffling his hair.
'Yeah, I guess. ’
'He’s not. ’ El spat, suddenly scowling. 'Those dicks broke his leg. ’
'Jesus, kid, where’d you hear that?’
'You. ’ she deadpanned. 'Are you going to find them?’
'First, you gotta tell me who that was. ’
They both looked at Mike, who pressed his lips together, forgetting his lip was split and groaned.
'Mike, if you don’t tell, I’ll show him. Or I’ll find them. ’
'No, I’ll tell, I’ll tell, okay?’ Mike said quickly and the room spun around him. He closed his eyes for a moment.
'It was Troy Donovan and his group. ’
'Of course. ’ Hopper growled and furrowed his brows. 'Little shits… Your parents are on their way, kid. ’
'Great. ’ Mike muttered. 'Can you cancel it though?’
'What? Your parents?’
'My dad. ’ Mike looked at the wall behind Hoppers back as if it had done something to her. 'He probably won’t even come, though.’
The same second, Karen barged inside, Ted following her quietly.
'Mike! Oh my god, Mike, what happened?!’ Karen looked at him frantically.
'I’m okay, mom. ’
'Is it that Russian girl?’ Ted looked suspiciously at Eleven.
'Since when do you give a shit?’ Mike muttered, clutching El’s hand. 'She’s not Russian. Her name is El… I mean Jane. ’
Hopper cleared his throat.
'If you don’t mind, I think it’ll be best if we talk in my car, Karen, Ted. Doctor said he’ll be right back. Mike is in good hands. ’
'But… ’ Karen started, looking back at her son, but Hopper steered them out of the room. The door closed, and El looked back at him.
'Why are you mad at your dad?’ she furrowed her brows.
'I’ll… I’ll tell you later, okay?’ he muttered, hoping she’ll think she moisture in his eyes was an effect of the pain. 'It’s just… He’s such a…’
'Yeah. Mouthbreather. ’
She sat closer to him and started running her hand trough his hair, remembering that was what Hopper did when she was sick. Mike closed his eyes, and a single tear ran down his temple.
American Man protests during the Bitburg Controversy, 1985
The Bitburg controversy involved a ceremonial visit by Ronald Reagan to a German military cemetery in Bitburg in May 1985, designed to commemorate the end of World War II in Europe 40 years earlier. The visit aroused considerable criticism, both in the United States and around the world, due to the many burial plots at the site dedicated to members of the Waffen-SS. The Waffen-SS, alongside with the entire SS, was judged to be a criminal organization by the Nuremberg trials. The controversy was compounded by the fact that Reagan did not originally intend to visit the sites of former Nazi concentration camps, though a trip to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was later added to the itinerary.