"...I know that you're in between arms somewhere next to heartbeats where you shouldn't dare sleep..." Meet Jamie, Patrick's little sister and Joe's girlfriend. Her 16-year-old life is free of a...
"JOE. You're making my brain hurt." I said, my voice loud and tense.
"Awh, Jamie, I didn't get to finish Juliet's line-"
"I don't fucking care," I snapped through gritted teeth, "Old English makes no sense."
Joe leaned back on his heels, giving me and up-and-down glare and taking advantage of his 5'11 to my 5'3.
"You have this test tomorrow, James, and you're gonna fail."
"So be it." I sighed in a dramatic British accent, raising my hand to my forehead.
"You fail this test, Jamie, you fail English 10. You fail English 10-
"I don't graduate in grade 12, yeah, yeah Joe. I know the whole routine."
Joe sighed and put his arm around me.
"I just want you to get out of high school ASAP so we can run away together."
He gently kissed the top of my head and I blushed.
"Yeah," I said softly, "You're done in two months, huh?"
"Two more years for you, James, you can do it."
"Pssh. Might as well just drop out."
Joe spun me around to face him, his eyes livid.
"No, Jamie, no."
"I suck at everything, anyway! Plus I don't want you to leave me. I want to come with you on tour!"
Joe opened his mouth to argue, but I cut him off; the last thing we needed was another argument.
"Oh, no! You shut your mouth, Joseph! I'm leaving." I shrieked, pulling away from my boyfriend and grabbing my coat. He threw up his hands in disgust and followed me from the living room to the kitchen. I glanced out the open back door; dusk was taking it's toll over the Wilmette neighborhood, and I could see shadows creeping into the yard.
"Jamie, it's getting dark, come on- you can't leave now." he sighed, trying to end the argument.
"I'll take the bus back to the city." I snapped.
And with that, I stepped out onto the back porch, slamming the screen door behind me. The cool spring air made me shiver.
"Patrick wouldn't want you to leave, Jamie, you were supposed to spend the night here!" Joe yelled.
"Fuck off." I snapped, and I ran across the yard and into the back alley.
Patrick is my older brother. He's almost 18, and I'm almost 16. Patrick lives with our mum in Wilmette, but I live with our dad in Chicago. I don't see him much, Mum is basically dead to me. Patrick hates being called Pat 'cause it's our mum's name, but I call him Pat. I am the only person on earth with that privilege.
Even though we live apart and we hardly see each other, Pat makes sure I'm taken care of. Dad knows nothing about me; I basically just live in his house. He's a workaholic, and I never see him. Pat comes into the city about once a week to make sure I have food, clothes and tampons. And he does routine checks of the liquor cabinet to make sure I'm not drinking my life away, since I have a reputation as a teenage alcoholic. But he doesn't deprive me all together; despite my 5'3 figure, I look older than I am. Patrick has connections; I have a fake ID card. My name is Rachel Thompson, I'm 21 years old.
Originally, Patrick got me the card so I could get into his shows. But at New Years we ran out of vodka so he let me run and grab more, seeing as I was the soberest of the three; Patrick, Joe and me. That's how Joe and I met, and we've been together ever since. Four whole months; and now it's the beginning of May. My drunken make out session with Joe kind of caused my drinking, I think; I like vodka, and I associate vodka with Joe, so I like Joe. I wouldn't dare tell him this, though. Patrick knows I buy the occasional bottle of vodka, but he doesn't know I use my fake ID to buy booze in local bars. I never go to the same one twice, for the risk of being busted. Hey, what else is the card good for? Patrick's band can't be doing that good if I still haven't been invited to a show.
That right there must make me sound like a total nut job; I'm only with my boyfriend because he reminds me of vodka. But that really isn't it; I love him, I really do. I think that makes me more of an alcoholic than a nut job.
Patrick hates me to take the city bus anywhere, but it's cheap and easy for me. Joe can't always come into the city to drive me places, and I only see Dad on weekends 'cause he works so late. So what am I supposed to do, walk to Wilmette? It's a bit sad that I see Joe more than my own brother, but I flatly refuse to set foot inside my mother's house. Patrick comes to me, or we don't see each other, period. Normally Patrick drives into the city once a week, and he will take me out on errands, or just hang around the apartment and visit with our dad a bit. Saturday is the only day of the week my dad doesn't work. He'd be such a great dad if he only payed more attention to his children.
Today was Thursday. I would take the bus home, then walk down the street to Suzie's, a new bar in the neighborhood. I'd been there once before and figured I could push my luck a little more. They made a nice appletini; but tonight, I needed an ice cold beer.
I could still hear Joe yelling at me as I came out of my day dreamy state and walked through the alleyway, but he didn't feel like chasing me, so I walked on. The sun was almost set over the quiet neighborhood, and a dog was barking off in the distance. I now came to the sidewalk, right in front of my mother's house. Just my luck that the bus stop is right across the street, huh? I jay walked across the cool pavement and waited beside the city bus stop sign, shivering in the spring air despite my light jacket.
"Jamie!" I heard my name being called, and I looked up; Patrick stood on the front lawn of our mother's house, waving at me, a look of concern across his delicate features. I smiled vaguely; we look a lot alike. My hair is the same shade of sandy blonde, and I have the same carved nose and plump lips.
"Hey, Pat." I waved back.
Patrick crossed the street and stepped onto the curb.
"What the hell are you doing here? You're supposed to be at Joe's."
"We got into a fight." I muttered, crossing my arms across my chest and looking down at my red Converse.
"Another one?" Patrick sighed.
"Just a little one."
"You left your stuff there, James," Patrick said, noticing I was empty handed, "Don't you have a test tomorrow?"
"Shit!" I exclaimed; I had left my copy of Romeo and Juliet in Joe's living room. Now how was I supposed to study?
"Go back, Jamie, please. It's getting late and I don't want you on that bus.
"Fuck, Patrick, I'm sixteen years old, I can take care of myself!"
"You are not, you'll be sixteen in a month!" Patrick shot back.
We stood with our arms crossed, glaring at each other in the way only siblings can. Now the bus pulled up to the curb, and it's squeaky doors opened to release several passengers.
"Jamie, if you get on that bus-" Patrick began, his voice low and threatening, but I cut him off with a smile and a wordless wave. I skipped up the steps of the bus, leaving my brother, my boyfriend and Shakespeare behind.