I woke up to the smell of fresh cigarette smoke and quickly remembered where I was. I slowly rose up and stretched. Spencer's couch wasn't exactly comfortable. I quickly walked to the end of the hallway and looked into the bathroom mirror. My makeup had run slightly and my hair was sticking out, but I didn't look so bad. I washed all the makeup from my face and ran my fingers through my hair, attempting to keep it maintained.
When I walked in the kitchen, I was started by a familiar voice.
"Grape! Long time no see."
It was Eric. Sitting there, at the table, was Eric. I instinctively fixed my hair, but then stopped feeling stupid. I'd had a crush on Eric my whole life, and now here he was, sitting with no shirt on, or pant. Just his blue-green boxers.
"Eric." I said, unpleasantly, sitting at the table and tajubg a cigarette from the cardboard package that was sitting in the same place I'd left it.
Spencer was rooting through the cupboards fully dressed. "Mornin' Grape." he said.
"Thanks for telling me you had a roomate." I said sarcastically.
"You never asked." he said, putting three bowls on the table.
"Cigarettes for breakfast? I prefer cereal." Spencer laughed.
"What's so bad about me anyhow?" Eric asked.
"You know." I said, as smoked escaped my mouth.
"We're not talking about that." Spencer said,
He quickly put smoe milk and spoons on the table and went back to the cupboard.
"But I do want to know how everything is, beginning with Sebastian."
He put a box of Corn Flakes on the tavle. I lay my cigarette on the side of the ashtray and slowly poured some in my bowl. Eric playfully stole my cigarette from the ashtray and smoked the last of it.
"You don't even smoke!" I laughed, taking a spoonful of cereal.
"You have been gone a while." Eric laughed.
"Stop flirting and tell me how things are ar gine!" Spencer said.
"Flirting?" I asked. "Anyways Sebastian's fine. Mom's fine. Yes, Eric, Molly Gray is dating somebody. No, Spencer, Chantelle Pearson didn't lose much weight yet."
"Everybody dies famous in a small town." Eric laughed.
"Don't I know it I mumbled.
Everyone knew everything about everyone in Pictou, including what James and I did. I hated it. We chatted some more as we finished our Corn Flakes. When we finished, I washed and dried all of Spencer's dirty dishes.
"Stacy, you really don't have to do that." he said, as I whirled around the kicthen, cleaning anything that looked like it could be cleaned, which was pretty much everything.
"My god Spenc', god knows the next time I'll see you." I said, as I finished wiping the counter.
"So, rather than spend a few hours with me, you want to clean my kicthen?"
I began to laugh. "This place is a mess."
"We like our mess." Eric cut in as he came out of his room. He had a pair of jeans on now, but still no shirt. He walked over to the table and lit a cigarette.
"When did you start?" I asked, lighing a cigarette of my own.
"Seven months ago." he saod.
"Why though? It's a dumb habit." I said.
"I was stressed. The girl I was seeing told me that smoking always helped her de-stress. I bought a pack, I figured I wouldn't even finish it. One time thing, ya' know? Yeah, right."
"I wish I never started." I said, taking a long drag.
"Well, some day, you'll quit."
"I can't go a day without right now." I said.
"That's gonna change." Eric said, assuringly.
"Whatever." I said.
After I was finished my cigarette, I changed back into my clothes and headed for the door.
"Where are you going?" Spencer asked.
"Home." I replied
"But you just got here." he complained.
"The bus leaves in half an hour."
"You're not taking the bus, that costs too much. Stay here for a few more hours, and Eric will drive you home."
"Okay." I laughed. There was no way I was arguing spending more time with my big brother, or Eric for that matter.
I stayed at Spencers for three more hours, talking about how things were at home, mostly. Occasionally we would talk about how things were in Pictou, and how people have changed a lot. Eventually Spencer had to go to work.
"Grape, I'm sorry about last night. I was outta line. I just worry about you." he apologized as he changed his shirt to go the mall and work in the hardware store.
"It's okay." I replied.
"No, it's not, and don't make yourself such a stranger. I miss having you around."
"We miss having you around too." I said.
"Your dad doesn't."
"Our mom does! And so does Sebastian. So come see us sometime!"
"I'll come down some day soon." he promised.
"You better." I said.
Spencer quickly gave me a big hug and then walked out the door.
In Eric's car, I lit a cigarette. I smoked more in the past twenty-four hours that I had in the past week, subsequently leading to bigger cravings.
"He beats himself up too much." I said, staring out the windsheild.
"Well he frew up without a dad, pretty much. You know.. his dad split, my dad hated him, especially after Sebastian was born, yadda yadda. And not to mention he left home the second he turned eighteen. You hear him go on and on about how he's gonna be a terrible father when I know for a fact he'd be great."
"Well, Grape, he loves you and Sebastian more than anything on this earth."
"I know, but.."
"But Spencer never dates! Yes, he goes out and hooks up and stuff, but he never gets serious."
"He's only twenty-one." Eric laughed.
"Yeah, but I think he doesn't want to get serious because he's afraid he's going to fall in love, get married, and have kids, and he's afraid he's going to be a bad dad because he didn't have a real dad growing up. But he doesn't realize he'd be the best dad any kid could possibly ask for!"
"I think you have too much time to think and over think this too much. In like twenty years, it would be normal to worry about this, but right now it's crazy. Spenc' is fine, okay? Don't worry about him."
"I miss having him around the house." I admitted.
"He misses having you around too."
"Yeah, sure. That's why when I show up at his door, he looks for any reason to get me to leave. Then goes on about James and I."
"He's worried about you Grape. You showed up at three AM. Who wouldn't be worried?"
"Me." I said.
"Your brother worries about you a lot."
"Why'd you have to tell him?" I asked.
"Because, Grape, I didn't know what to do. I'm just as protective of you as Spencer, you must know that by now. I was mad."
"He hates me now! All because of you."
"He doesn't hate you. Even if he did it wouldn't be because of me, it would be because of me, it would be because you did something stupid."
"Whatever." I said.
We pulled up in front of my house.
"Next time your in New Glasgow, come to the apartment. Spencer misses you."
"Okay." I said getting out, and slamming the door.