Jamie has an out of ordinary day. All the warnings for this chapter are extremely mild, by the way.
‘Morning Jamie,’ she said cheerfully, handing me a coffee and bagel. Either she was pretending nothing happened last night, or she genuinely didn’t remember it. ‘Go out for a morning walk?’
‘Uh, yeah.’ I replied. That’s the worst thing about this whole alcoholism thing: She treats me like shit then can’t remember it in the morning, so she never feels guilty, and if I’m horrible to her in retaliation, I’m the one who gets in trouble. I never know how she’s going to behave the morning after: whether she’ll kick me back out the front door, or welcome me with open arms.
Today, I considered myself lucky because I got to go to school with some lunch money. It must have been my lucky day because Joey came up to me before English telling me to meet him at his car after school. And so I agreed before I went to sit in my usual spot at the back of the classroom. This is where I was taken by surprise. As I pulled out my notebook, some kid who usually sits around the middle of the classroom came and sat next to me. I was so gobsmacked I actually stared at him a lot longer than it was probably considered polite. I would have gathered my manners quicker except this had never happened to me before unless a kid was forced to sit next to me because the class was so full. My English class is pretty small, so I could only deduce that he genuinely wanted to sit next to me. Naturally, I was pretty damn perplexed.
‘Hey.’ He said simply, sending a small smile my way.
‘Hey...’ I replied slowly, still staring at him. By now my mouth had started gaping very unattractively. We sat in silence for a while, waiting for the teacher to arrive. I couldn’t help but examine him for a minute. Glasses perched on his nose, hair flattened down with gel over his forehead, and a Radiohead t-shirt. ‘I’m sorry,’ I said abruptly. ‘But if this is some kind of joke, can you just get it over with?’
‘Huh?’ He looked thoroughly confused. His confused expression turned to a grin. ‘Can’t someone sit next to you without having some ulterior motive?’
‘Would it be rude if I said no?’ I asked.
‘Look,’ he said, smiling kindly. ‘I just like this spot. I’m sick of sitting next to Bad Breath guy over there.’ He gestured to a nervous looking guy in the third row. ‘I won’t even interact with you if you don’t want me to. I definitely promise not to copy you.’ He glanced down at my notebook. ‘Although it looks like you’re not doing much class-related work.’
I looked up into his sincere face. ‘You’re not hiding a baseball bat somewhere to thwack me with?’
‘Do I look like I could even lift a baseball bat with these chicken arms?’ He laughed, indicating his skinny arms. ‘I’m Mikey, by the way,’ he grinned. I smiled back at him. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d sincerely smiled at anyone. This kid wasn’t so bad. ‘Thwack?’ He laughed. ‘What kind of a word is that anyway?’ It was the first time I’d talked with someone through an entire lesson.
After school, I snuck my way down the side of the school so as to avoid any witnesses, and into Joey’s car, which was sitting waiting for me in the teacher’s parking lot. He sped off the moment my door closed behind me, and off in the direction of our usual spot, Riverside County Park. ‘Wow, someone’s in a hurry,’ I smirked, taking off my gloves and holding my hands up to the heating vents.
‘I just didn’t want anyone to see us,’ He said, brushing the hair away from his forehead.
‘Would it be so bad if they did?’
‘Are you kidding?’ He laughed, glancing over at me with an incredulous look on his face. We lapsed into silence, leaving me to think about his embarrassment about sleeping with me. Joey and I didn’t have anything in common and we barely talked at all on our trips to and from Riverside Park. I was willing to bet we’d just have sex in the school parking lot if Joey wasn’t so terrified that someone would see him with me and tell everyone.
‘Move to the left a little,’ Joey grunted as he thrust violently above me in the back seat of his car. I didn’t budge; I was getting far too close to my climax on this angle. ‘Fuckin’ move!’ He yelled at me, grabbing me and yanking me to the side. I felt a little bit of pain due to the powerful movement, and I shifted further back towards my original position.
‘Don’t move, I’m nearly there!’ He groaned, frustrated, trying to move me back.
‘Hey!’ I snarled back. ‘This isn’t just about you! I’m on a good angle here!’
‘Do you think I give a fuck?’ Joey replied heatedly, continuing to try to manoeuvre me.
I stared at Joey for a moment. ‘Fuck you!’ I spat, pushing him away from me and beginning to redress myself. ‘Drive me home! I’m not doing this anymore. You’re not even good. Fuckin’ Lee Jacobs from the school band is better than you. Much bigger too.’
He laughed sarcastically. ‘Like fuck, I’m driving you home!’ He yelled, pulling his pants on. ‘You can walk home. You’ll come crawling back anyway, like you always do. Slut.’ He muttered, laughing to himself. ‘Can’t go even a few days without a fix.’
We sat, staring each other down in the back seat of his car. ‘Jamie. I really love that you think you not being around even slightly affects me. But the truth is, nobody cares what you do. Nobody would even notice if you disappeared one day, and if anyone did, it would be the guys who noticed the absence of your mouth wrapped around their dicks.’ I’m not gonna lie, that fuckin’ hurt. First my mom insulting me, then a guy who’s seen me naked. It’s not good for the self esteem when someone says something like that to you, no matter how strong you are. So I kicked him in the balls, grabbed my bag, jumped out of the car, and ran like fuck.
The Belleville Coffee Shop was empty as ever upon my arrival almost an hour later. Walking in the snow was a bitch, but not having coffee was worse, so I’d decided to save money for coffee instead of taking the bus. ‘Usual?’ The old lady behind the counter asked me, looking sympathetically at my sleet covered coat. I nodded thankfully, dropping a few coins on the counter, and went to sit at my usual table – except that someone was already there. For the second time today, a boy had chosen to sit at my table. However, as there were plenty of empty tables in the shop and this wasn’t high school, I sat at a table across from him, removing my coat and rubbing my hands together to try and rid myself of the numb feeling in my fingers.
Upon closer inspection, I realized that this was the same boy who had come in the coffee shop the night before. Again, he had his sketchbook and was scribbling furiously on the paper, his long, greasy black hair falling over his face. He looked up briefly at me, and our eyes locked. This time, my smile was not uncomfortable. It was just small and genuine. He smiled back. Just like me, I didn’t think he smiled often. He didn’t just hand out smiles to anyone. He made me feel like I deserved his smile, and I wasn’t sure why. He averted his eyes back down to his sketchbook, and I returned mine to my notebook, beginning to write more about this stranger. I looked back up, and his eyes were looking back. I was beginning to like him, and I didn’t even know his name. All I knew is that those hazel eyes had such sincerity in them, that my own blue ones couldn’t tear themselves away.
Rate, review, let me know what you think! :)