We walked around town aimlessly for four hours in search of a non-existent party. It was getting close to Natalie's curfew and that was where all five of us were staying. As we began walking back I saw James walking down the street.
I assumed he was high, so I ran up to him and grabbed him by the arm, and began dragging him with us. I waited for his response as I tried to remember where he lived up here.
"What are you doing?" he asked, sounding annoyed.
"You can't go home high!" I said, knowing that if he went home high he'd be grounded for sure, and not be alowed to go to Pictou.
"I'm not high! I burnt out an hour ago, why are you even in New Glasgow?"
"Melissa and I came up to drink with Natlalie and Jordyn, but that Annie chick is really beginning to annoy the hell outta me. I don't know if I can deal with her the rest of the night up at Natalie's."
"That's too bad." he said, "I'd let you stay at my place, but my dad's home and he doesn't let us have people over for the night."
"Oh, that's okay." I giggled. I hadn't expected him to offer.
"Do you wanna hang out for a little while and talk? Or do you have to go back to Natalie's?"
I looked ahead at my four friends walking ahead of me. I momentarily contemplated the situation. I really wanted to spend some time with James, but if I did now, I wouldn't have a place to stay. Of course, this opportunity may not present itself again.
"Just a second." I said, quickly running ahead.
"Hey, guys. Um.. I think I'm going to hang out with James for a little while. I'll talk to you tomorrow."
"What the hell?" Melissa asked. I could tell she was mad because now she would be the only one from Pictou. Personally, I could have cared less.
"Where will you stay?" Jordyn asked.
"I don't know, don't worry about me. The worst thing that can happen, is that I end up having to spend the night at my brother's place."
"Alright," Jordyn said, looking slightly worried.
"I don't wanna sound rude, but don't come by my house. My mom is the lightest sleeper ever, and I really don't wanna get grounded." Natalie said.
"I get it." I said.
"Nice meeting you." Annie said as I walked away.
"Tell James I say hi." Natalie called after me.
"Yeah." I yelled over my sholder.
Natalie's crush on James was only slightly discomforting, considering I knew him much, much better than she did.
By the time I was back to James, the girls had turned the corner and were out of sight.
"So you're gonna chill with me?" He asked.
"Yeah, I guess.."
"Where the hell are you going to stay?" he asked.
"Well, if I get desperate enough, I'll go to my brother's apartment."
"Oh." James said, sounding somewhat disappointed that I actually had a place to stay.
He quickly turned around and began walking towards the bridge. I followed, unsure of what to say. I was beginning to regret staying. I was thinking that if I ran, I could probably catch up to the girls before they got to Natalie's. James had stopped now and was standing in the middle of the bridge looking at the water. The moonlight shone over the black ripples. I was about to make up a stupid excuse to leave, and try to catch up to the girls when James spoke.
"So what's new in Pictou?" he asked.
He was trying to make small talk. So, I guess I wasn't the only one at a loss for words.
"Oh, you know.. Nothing's ever new in Pictou. When did you started rolling with Jamaica?"
"Is a better question why?" he asked.
I tried to hide my smirk. He had read my thoughts.
"Either way." I said.
"Well, when I got up here, I had two choices: Be with her, or be hated by her. She would hate me if I didn't roll with her, because you know, my connections."
"Right." I said, remember that James' cousin was a drug dealer, and gave insanely cheap prices to people she knew.
"How've you been anyways?" he asked, sounding genuinly enthused.
"Better." I said, wondering if he remembered how unstable I had been eighteen months ago.
"That's good." He replied.
He began walking the rest of the way across the bridge, and again I quickly followed.
"What about you?" I asked, "How've you been?"
"Been better, been worse." He said.
"What's te bad part?" I asked.
"Dad's an asshole, even more now."
"Oh.." I said. James' dad was a real asshole. I was dumbfounded by the fact that he cold have possibly had a hand in prodcuing James. Although the more I thought about it, James was a real asshole most of the time. He was only sweet when he wanted to be. Ironically, this was usually when he was around me.
By now we had gotten off the bridge and were walking down a public walking trail. There was no one walking at this time of night. James stopped at a gazebo that had been built into the side of the bank. Underneath was totally open. The soft grass made a comfy place to sit.
We sat there for a long time staring at the moonlight over the water. The silence wasn't awkward, it was touching. James slowly took my hand, and was stroking the top of it with his thumb.
"It's been a while." He said.
"Eighteen months." I said, laughing softly.
"Has it really been that long?" he asked, sounding surprised.
"Yeah, I know. It doesn't seem like it's been that a long. A lot changes in a year and a half."
"Sure does." He said.
I sat there, thinking about everything that had happened this year. I had hooked up with a lot more people. He had gotten into a lot more drugs, but he had also grown up a lot. It was because his little sister, Madeline, was dating a guy with a reputation to fuck anything that moves. The more I thought about the baby, the more I realized how immature I was back then, he probably would have agreed with me. But now, I wondered, if I were pregnant right now, would he want me to keep it? The question lingered in my mind as I rested my head on his sholder.