TRIPLE POST TONIGHT MAN
“Fuck this!” Lucas shouted, slamming the math book angrily on the table. “I’ll become a stripper!”
“Honey, no one’s going to pay to see you wiggle your junk,” Gia pointed out calmly, not even glancing at her furious boyfriend. Jersey, who was laying on the floor next to Gia, lifted his head tiredly to see what all the commotion was about. When he saw that his papa was just having a hissy fit again for probably the fiftieth time today, he went back to sleep.
“Fine, then how about this,” he said, “you do well on your finals, get a college education, and support me when we’re married. I can stay home to play Mario Kart with the kids! We all win!”
As if on cue, Gerard’s head popped into the room. He had been with Lindsey in the kitchen while his daughter and Lucas studied for their finals in the living room, but it was clear to all that his main goal at the moment was just to spy on the teenagers.
“Hold the fuck up,” Gerard snapped. “What kids?! Gia, don’t you dare have kids before I die! I will not be called grandpa!”
“Will everybody please just shut up?” Gia pleaded desperately but as usual, no one listened to her.
“And especially, you are not allowed to have any children with that creep!”
“Me? I’m a creep? You spend your time spying on your daughter! How is THAT not creepy?”
“It’s not creepy because I’m allowed to do that, and shut up anyway because I don’t even do that!”
“Oh really? Then how come everytime we so much as mention anything that might have something vaguely to do with sex, you suddenly appear?”
“Is that a confession?! Are you having sex with my daughter?!”
“What if I am?!”
“SHUT UP!” Gia screamed. The camel’s back was now officially broken. “Dad, you promised you’d at least TRY to get along with him! If you can’t do that, LEAVE!”
“Lucas and I need to study. We have finals in two weeks. If you keep interrupting us, we’ll fail and I’ll never get to go to law school and I’ll end up stripping for money. Is that what you want?”
Gerard was showing all the tell-tale signs of anger, from the flared nostrils to that freaky vein on his forehead that was about to burst, but in the end he just stomped out of the room. However, not before he gave Lucas a very nasty look.
For a short while they studied in silence, until Lucas spoke with clear hurt in his voice: “People would so pay to see my junk.”
“Lucas, if you don’t shut up right now, there’s not going to be much for them to see once I’m done with you. Alright? I know you don’t care what college you go to and you’re happy just sitting in your boxer shorts with Danny in that tiny apartment for the rest of your life, watching TV and eating cheese, but that’s not what I want! I want to have a good life! So if you don’t shut up, I will kill you.”
“What did you mean when you said ‘law school’?” Gerard asked, emerging from the kitchen once again.
“What did you think I meant? I want to get into a good school to study law.”
“And by law you mean... Art?”
Gia didn’t know whether to scream or cry.
“Gia, you are going to go to art school, right?” Gerard asked, not looking a bit alarmed. “No daughter of mine will be a fucking lawyer!”
“I don’t want to go to art school!” Gia argued, and at this point Lindsey appeared by Gerard’s side to see what was going on.
“Linds! Tell her she’s going to art school! Gia, I will disown you!”
“You can’t force me!”
“The hell I can’t! I’m your father! I gave birth to you! I own you!”
“That’s not even how it works, dad!” By now they were both screaming. “Ugh! You’re ruining my life!” Gia shouted, threw her math book at her father (missing him by miles), and stomped out of the room and up the stairs. Gerard screamed out in frustration, turned on his heels and stormed back into the kitchen. Lindsey and Lucas glanced at each other awkwardly.
“Is it just me or was there something very wrong with that?” Lucas asked. Usually the parent wants the child to go to law school while the child would rather pursue art, so... This really made no sense.
Upstairs, Gia didn’t march to her own room. No, she went to the guest bedroom, where Hazel was now staying. It was a week since she had found out she was pregnant, and they had gone to see a doctor to confirm that there indeed was a freaky parasite-fetus growing inside her stomach. That had been followed by three straight days of tears, chocolates and ‘I don’t want to be a mommy!’s.
“I thought you said you had a headache and needed to take a nap,” Gia snapped at the girl who was sitting on the bed cross-legged with a notebook on her other knee.
“I said that so you wouldn’t force me to study,” Hazel pointed out. “I think I figured out who the father is.”
Gia felt all the anger and hatred she was harbouring towards her father just fade away. She sat down on the bed next to Hazel and looked at her expectantly. “Well?”
“There’s no other choice,” Hazel said, shrugging. “I’ve done the math like four times now, and it fits.”
“Who is it?!” Gia asked eagerly, trying to see what exactly was written on the notebook.
“It’s Danny. It has to be.”
Gia instantly felt bad for her friend. “Oh god. Danny? I am so sorry.”
“Well... He’s not THAT bad, is he?”
“Last time I saw him, he found a month old mayonnaise sandwich between the couch cushions and he ate it. Now color me insane, but I probably wouldn’t want him raising my children, or anywhere around them for that matter.”
“Do you think I shouldn’t tell him?” Hazel gasped. “Maybe if I claimed it was someone else’s?”
Gia shrugged. “It’s your choice. But who knows, maybe he will actually clean up and be responsible.” After a moment of hesitation, she added: “I think you should also prepare for the possibility that he says he wants nothing to do with it.”
Hazel nodded. “I think... That wouldn’t kill me. I’ll tell him and he can decide for himself. Maybe we’ll take a paternity test to confirm and it could turn out he’s not the father.”
Gia thought she sounded a bit too hopeful, but agreed with a nod. She promised to keep Lucas from going home until Hazel and Danny managed to talk things out. And that could take a while.
“You look like shit,” Lucas pointed out the second he saw his roommate. Danny was slumped on that ragged old recliner, with a beer in his hand and a cigarette in the other. Lucas didn’t smoke, and he didn’t particularly enjoy the smell of cigarettes, so usually he just poured some water on the damn things if he saw Danny light one. This time, though, the poor guy looked so down that he didn’t dare to upset him.
Danny grunted a response and took a swig from the bottle. Lucas sat down on the couch, grabbed a beer from the table as well and opened it with the bottle opener he had in his keys.
“So what crawled up your ass and died?” Lucas asked in that cool, nonchalant tone, but actually he was starting to get a bit worried.
“Your mom’s dick,” Danny replied and instantly felt ashamed by what he’d said.
“Oh wow,” Lucas gasped. “That was so bad. What the hell happened?!”
“My life is over.”
“Your mom’s been saying that since you dropped out of high school, hasn’t she? Did she finally get to you?”
Danny rolled his eyes. “No. Hazel was here. She said she was pregnant.”
Lucas spat out the mouthful of beer and then proceeded to choke on his own tongue. “WHAT?! You’re shitting me, aren’t you?!”
“I wish I was.”
“She doesn’t LOOK pregnant!”
“Well not yet,” Danny said.
“Who’s the father?!”
Danny glanced at his friend in disbelief. “How fucking stupid are you? It’s me! At least she claimed so.”
“So that’s why her parents kicked her out,” Lucas said. Gia had told him that Hazel was staying at her house for a while, but didn’t say anything about why that was. “But you can’t be a father! You haven’t finished high school! And you eat your morning cereal with booze instead of milk! How can you be a good parent?!”
Danny sighed. “I dunno, man. She told me I don’t even have to do anything if I don’t want to. She’s keeping the bastard but apparently there’s no pressure on me to be a part of it.”
Lucas thought about that for a moment. If he was in Danny’s shoes, there’s no way he could just leave her to deal with it alone. Then he glanced at the boy who was half-sitting, half-lying on the recliner, and realized that it wasn’t so easy for Danny. He might not have any trouble leaving Hazel alone now that he’d been given the choice to do so.
“What do you think you would you do if you got Gia knocked up?” Danny asked, obviously thinking about the same thing.
Lucas shrugged. “There’s nothing to think about,” he replied matter-of-factly. “I’d do the responsible thing. I mean, remember that one time when we heard she was pregnant and I proposed to her in a school bathroom?”
“Yeah I probably won’t do that... I just don’t know what to do. I’d have to get a job and I wouldn’t get to keep any of the pay. I’d have to use it on diapers and shit...”
“I think that’s what they call being an adult,” Lucas said, and as he did, it dawned to both of them for the first time. That’s what they were becoming. They’ll be eighteen in just a few months. It really did seem like they lives were nearing the end. Of course, to Danny, it was a bit more serious. He had a difficult decision to make, and no idea what he should choose to do.