Turns out Gerard forgot something very important in the midst of all this fun.
1: "Hey Gee its over now."
3: "Hey I don't have a ride so you need to come pick me up."
I knew this voicemail was going to be worse when he resorted to calling me.
"Hey Gee its Mikey. Its uh...1:15. Where are you? Alicia's family's getting pretty mad 'cause they can't just leave me here home alone and they want to leave to go on their vacation."
And then finally on the last voice message-
"Don't bother. Aunt Tracy just got me. I hope you have fun at Jade's." He said in a tone that suggested quite the opposite. I heard Aunt Tracy's familiar voice squawk in the background:
"Nuh uh! Tell that boy to git his ass down ova to his 'ouse!" Her heavy 'New Joizy' accent was oozing all over her words. Not to mention it was too octaves too high.
"You heeya that Gerawrd? We got sum tawkin' ta do."
Oh I heard you alright, Aunt Tracy.
Then I heard Mikey-the old Mikey-say with an expression I could almost hear over the phone,
"Well you heard her."
And in that instant I heard someone who was still my younger brother who I'd play detective with up in the attic or dressed up as vampires with on Halloween, and play pranks on Aunt Tracy. Not the new, popular Freshman Mikey. But I heard the Old Mikey in there somewhere in the message and that made it hurt all the worse that I hadn't been there for him.
Little did I know that it would be at least an hour or so more before Jade actually came home.
After hearing the message, me and Elle just sat there quietly and watched more of the movie. Elle obviously knew something was wrong. I mean a minute ago wasn't I singing on top of an arm rest? Now everything was silent. I didn't want to tell her how stupid I'd acted. What if Jade didn't even get the job? He'd have wasted my gas and it'd all have been for nothing.
I was already trying to come up with arguments and explanations for my 'trial' that would surely be waiting for me at home. The things I had to avoid saying were things that revealed the fact that, yeah, I let Mikey stay the night at her house and yeah, sometimes I didn't see him for a few days at a time ever since Summer vacation started. But he was fourteen years old. It wasn't like-
Just then Jade burst through the door.
No guy would ever cry that out unless they got a job, for sure!
I exhaled in relief, "So you got the job?" I asked as a formality.
"Nope," he chirped merrily from the hallway, "But I got a good feeling he may just call me back."
Guess Jade would cry that out even if he didn't get a job.
"Are you serious?" I asked. I didn't want to ruin whatever good vibes he had goin' on or anything.
I mean, hell I must've needed whatever shit that got him so happy cause all I could think about was Aunt Tracy's big, brown mole on the tip of her nose. It was going to quiver with anger once she cut loose on me. Me and Mikey had decided when we were little it was so freakishly large that it was its own person. His name was Leroy.
The mole, that is.
"Dude are you chill?" Jade's voice snapped me back to attention, "You look stressed."
I didn't feel like explaining.
I just needed to get out of here and let the verbal bashing just take its course. I'd apologize to Mikey and try to convince him that it hadn't been my obvious reluctance to take him that made me actually not come get him. Or had it been? I was all confused. All I know is that the longer I stayed here, the longer Aunt Tracy's speech was going to be.
But regardless of how utterly confused I felt at the time, it all just kinda fell out of my mouth and landed in an ugly heap on the floor for both Elle and Jade to see.
"I forgot to pick up my little brother from his girlfriend's house and then when I did find out, I already lent you my car."
There was a long pause from the both of them. What the hell were they supposed to say to that? 'Oh, sorry for needing money. Sorry for needing a job.'
Elliot's eyes cast down to the floor. I was just making things more difficult for myself. I mumbled something about leaving and hurried out the door.
And of course hurried back in to take my keys from Jade's outstretched hand.
"I took the liberty of driving the car down actually down near the house. You know there's a more decent pathway past that one with a sign, right?"
"Why didn't you say so in the directions?"
"I dunno. I thought you'd like to take the scenic route," he shrugged with a mischievous grin. I smiled back.
What a jackass.
So after taking the faster way out of the woods, I was finally at 6:00 p.m. on my way home. I took comfort in the thought that it was all going to be over soon and things would all go back to normal.