Elijah and I went into the living room and awkwardly arranged ourselves on the couch. After a few moments of silence, he took a shot at making conversation.
"So, I didn't know you were such good friends with Joey."
I could have sworn I blushed a little. "I'm really not... I met him a couple weeks ago at my brother's - you remember Jamie - and we've been talking since. He's pretty nice." I grinned a bit, then rushed on. "And since I'm moving out this weekend, he thought we should smoke at least once in this house, you know, since we won't be able to in the next one."
"The next one?"
"Yeah, my mom and I are moving into a suite in the Parker's house - they're renting it to us - and between hanging out with Tom and Chrissy in it and a very strict renting agreement... it'd just be basically impossible to smoke there and not get caught and kicked out. Our current landlord doesn't give a shit, though."
"Ah... I see." I scrambled for a something to keep the conversation going.
"So... what brought you to my front yard?"
Elijah suddenly looked intensely uncomfortable, to the point of being upset. I hurriedly changed the subject.
"I wonder when Joey will get here?"
And like magic, there he was. I jumped up to open the door and hug him. After an awkward handshake with Elijah, we headed to my room to smoke.
Fortunately, the pot was a gift to me, so I didn't need to exhaust my resources for this little get-together.
After we lit up, everyone relaxed and we got more talkative. Elijah shared a bit of his worries with Isobel, I talked about moving, and Joey discussed his new job. As the hours slipped away, we smoked more and more - I'm not sure how much. We finally finished, waiting for our minds to clear, floating gently back down to the ground.
And on that slow transition, I realised something. I didn't want to be friends with Joey. No, I wanted a lot more. Glancing over at him, our eyes met, and I thought I could see that he wanted it too.
Elijah, perhaps sensing the situation, glanced at his phone and made an excuse to leave. Collecting the dog, he bid us goodbye and ventured out into the night.
I took a deep breath and stole a glance at Joey.
"It's kinda late... would it be more convenient for you to stay here tonight?" What the hell made me offer that? Oh well... roll with it!
And to my surprise, he said yes. We talked early into the morning, eventually passing out on my bed, cuddled together.
Morning came entirely too soon, breaking the spell of the evening. I made breakfast, taking some in to my mother, then eating in the kitchen with him. Stabbing his sunny-side-up eggs with emphasis, he hesitated before speaking.
"I've never really talked to a girl like that before..."
I looked at him with wide eyes, unsure where he was going. He faltered on.
"And I think you're really different from other girls - in a good way! I guess what I mean to say is, would you like to get dinner sometime?" I was stunned. Joey was very shy, It must have taken some cahones for him to do this!
"Of course! When and where?" I smiled.
"Uhh... sometime after you get settled in... say in two weeks from tonight at that Greek place off Fourth Street?"
I gasped my consent, and he was on his way.
I gazed around my packed-up house. A lot of things were changing for me. Moving houses, going to college, getting friends. And now maybe a boyfriend! And in a new setting, with other people living with us, maybe Mum would get better. It was a lot to hope for, but I was feeling optimistic.
As I moved to pack up the last few things, I whispered a goodbye to my old life. To my old self. In just the past week or two, I felt like I'd become a completely different person. I knew myself better. I felt more confident and positive... I felt like I had a shot in life. It was like a second chance. A reason to change.