Rhea: JamieMature

I walked home since the rain had eased off and I didn't think I could face Tom after that day. As I stepped onto our rickety porch, I realised that if I spent the day there I would most certainly lose my mind. Continuing inside, I found the house phone and phone directory in the kitchen, and hopping up to sit on the counter, called my older brother.

Part of the reason people at school stay away from me is Jamie, my  brother. He's why no-one gave me a chance to prove I was actually sane. This is because my older brother has a corner on the wild-eyed white-trash loose cannon deal. Jamie's good at heart though, and he always let me tag along with his friends when they went places. In fact, Jamie and his crowd - punk rockers, druggies, and dropouts - are the closest thing to friends I have. They gave me a chance because of Jamie. But since I decided I was gonna get my life together when I graduated high school, I hadn't really spoken to my brother or to any of his friends.

The phone had been ringing for a little while and I was surprised that the answering machine hadn't picked up yet.

"What?" My brother's voice startled me. He didn't sound too pleased at a call from home. I couldn't blame him. He'd moved out as soon as it was legal, even though he had to couch-hop for a few months while he found a job.

"Jamie!" I squeaked. 

His voice softened. He'd always had a very soothing voice. He could do radio work if he were inclined to it. "Hey, Ree. Long time no talk, huh?"

"Long time no see is more like it... I can't stand the house tonight, can you pick me up?"

"What happened? Mom ok?" While he never got along with my parents, he didn't wish them ill. Jamie was also quite protective of our mother.

"Oh yeah, it's nothing to do with family. Just some drama at school."

"Sucks. Look, I don't know if you wanna see us tonight. I'm having some friends over and we're gonna smoke some... I'll only pick you up if you'll promise to do it with us." 

That was the thing about Jamie. He'd been trying to get me to smoke weed with him for ages. After a day like that, though, my guard was down and I agreed. He said he would pick me up in about twenty minutes.

Upstairs, I took off the black dress and slipped into a "wifebeater" undershirt and some old jeans with paint on them. Surprisingly, they fit like a glove. I guess I'd gained a little weight over the summer.

The drive back to Jamie's was uneventful. Arriving at his apartment, I started to feel apprehensive. Jamie laughed at me and said his friends would love me, just like they did last year. Climbing the stairs to his hallway, I started to relax, even though I was still on edge about what he wanted me to smoke. 

When I opened Jamie's door, I couldn't see into the room for a second. That's how thick the smoke was in there. Once I got a little more used to it, though, I recognised all of the guys I hung out with last year. Memories flooded my mind with images of treks through trees,  discussions on rooftops, laughing with and calming down boys who were too high to know where they were or what was going on. I smiled. Short little longhaired Anthony smirked back at me. I tackled him with a hug. "How've you boys been?"

Mumbled replies and half-joking threats came back at me. I went into the kitchen, looking for some kind of food. 

"Nothing in here." I was startled by a quiet voice. Looking up, I was met by blue, blue eyes, with blonde hair half-covering them. A lean boy was leaning on the doorframe. He was someone I'd never met before.

"Sucks for him." Breathless, I turned to walk away. I was probably blushing all over the place now.

When I walked back into the sitting room, my brother was smirking cheekily at me. "I see you met Joey."

"Shut up." So that was his name. Joey. 

Over the course of the afternoon, I caught up with my friends, guilt-tripped Joey into dancing with me, and traded stupid jokes. Around six, though, Jamie got serious.

"Come on, Ree. Time for you to light up."

Nervously, I looked around the room for support. Anthony just handed me the bowl and grinned, grabbing his guitar. Michael, the youngest of all of us, stuck his lighter in it and told me how to inhale.

I felt lightheaded after my first hit and leaned back, smiling. Anthony started in with the guitar, singing a song I knew well. It was one of his. 

"Snuck out last night

Her first time getting high

And she saw, she saw that

It was everything that they told her it would be;

Say goodbye to your morals and

hello to stereotypes you'd tried to avoid.

Fall right into 

Everything you ran from

It'll kick your a**and f**k you up!

 

Snuck out last night

Her first time getting high

And she saw, she saw that

Everything they said

Started in her head!

Got the munchies fooooooor... PBMJ!"

He grinned cheekily. I laughed. Feeling a little more relaxed, I told them about that school drama. They definitely found me screaming at two girls in my underwear in the school bathroom pretty hilarious. Retelling the story, I realised I'd better apologise to Isobel and Chrissy, even if they were stupid.

The End

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