Someone needs to take me away from this computer. Take me away from my bank account and other sources of online shopping. I’m going crazy. I can’t help it; lately, most of my time has been spent on checking out what I can buy. I just bought a beanie and I don’t even freakin’ wear beanies! It’s a pretty awesome beanie though, I had to have it.
“Hey, sorry we’re late,” I said to Jenny, “it’s my fault.”
“It’s all good,” she hugged me. “We’re all just starting to set the table.”
“You remember Daniel?” I asked.
“Of course,” she nodded and leaned in to hug him. “Happy belated thanksgiving.”
“Thank you,” he replied. “You too.”
“Daniel,” Jenny said, “this is Daniel.”
“Oh,” Daniel furrowed his brows and Jenny laughed.
“Anna calls him Danny to avoid confusion.”
“You know, I—I don’t get confused anymore,” I shrugged.
“Okay,” Daniel nodded and then took Danny’s hand. “Nice to meet you.”
“Likewise, brah,” Danny slapped Daniel on his arm.
When Danny’s back was facing us, Daniel turned his head and mimed ‘brah?’ to me. I giggled.
“He’s really nice. They both are,” I told Daniel.
“I’m going to go help Jenny.” I started walking away and staggered back when Daniel quickly grabbed for me. “What?”
“What am I supposed to do?” He eyed Danny.
“Talk to him?” I shook my head like it was the most obvious answer.
“Talk to ‘brah’? I don’t think so.”
“Don’t be rude.”
“I’m not being rude. I don’t talk to ‘brahs’.”
“Oh, you’re so elitist!” I sarcastically said, rolling my eyes. “Danny,” I corrected.
“No, his name. It’s not Brah it’s Danny.”
“This is so fucking confusing,” Daniel shook his head. “When are the others coming?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. I have to go help Jenny. Be nice.”
I shifted into the kitchen and took one glance behind me to find Daniel reluctantly walking towards Danny. I didn’t get his problem with Danny, he’s just a nice guy. As far as I knew (which is little I’ll admit) he’s always been no trouble at all.
“Danny brought tons of weed,” Jenny whispered once I entered the kitchen.
“Oh,” I lifted my brows. Not knowing what else to say.
“What? You don’t smoke?”
I shook my head. “Nope.”
“Hey, I thought you were from California,” she nudged me with her elbow.
I laughed. “Maybe that’s why I’m here now.”
“Oh no,” she replied. “New York is hard drugs like cocaine and heroin, California is where the good pot is.”
“I wouldn’t know.” I felt awkward talking about drugs and not knowing a single thing. Am I really that devoid of experience?
The conversation about drugs carried over when Lily and Ashton (the weed supplier) arrived and we sat down to eat. Daniel was into the conversation, detailing a list of information on the topic. Even I was surprised. So surprised I asked, in all seriousness, if he was ever an addict at one point.
Daniel laughed. “The most I did was pot and maybe once or twice with E.”
“That’s it?” I asked.
He nodded. “That’s it.”
Then the conversation turned to politics. A topic I always avoid and voluntarily set myself out to watch the discussion unfold into an inevitable argument.
“I’m voting for Donald Trump,” Ashton said. “He’d be a fun president.”
“Yeah, let’s just give the guy whose entire life counts on him being a dick warhead access codes,” Jenny countered. “We’d be done for.”
“Not to mention he’s a complete racist,” Lily chimed in with her soft voice.
“Hey, maybe a little racism will do well for the country. Weed out the weak, the terrorists, the assholes that want to destroy us.”
“Where are you from again?” Danny asked.
“No, I mean your background. Your heritage. Where are you from?”
“I have English and Irish ancestry.”
“Well, Ashton, looks like you don’t belong in America either,” Jenny laughed.
“Yeah, and you basically stole this country from the Native Americans so you should be locked up for your crimes,” Danny added.
“Oh, fuck you guys,” Ashton bellowed while managing a smile.
“Hey, there’s always two sides to an argument,” Danny said.
“Welcome to the other side,” Lily laid a hand on his shoulder.
Ashton rolled his eyes. “Whatever. Who wants some weed?”
“So what do I do? How do I do it?” I asked Daniel.
“Yo, hasn’t your girl ever smoked before?” Ashton asked before he inhaled.
By this time, Daniel and I weren’t really liking the guy. Daniel lowered his head and spoke. “No, first time.”
“If there’s ever time to teach a bitch to suck…” he muttered, laughing to Lily who held her lips tightly shut and turned away. Jenny widened her eyes on Ashton, firing a discrete warning shot.
“Did you hear that?” I whispered to Daniel.
“Hear what?” he furrowed his brows and flickered his eyes between Ashton and me, ready to attack.
“Nothing. Nothing.” I was wondering why he was so calm, now I knew and I didn’t want to break his mood.
“Alright, so what you’re going to do is inhale, as much as you can, and hold it in, close your mouth and hold your breath for as long as you can. Then exhale.”
“Okay,” I mumbled, my mind concentrating on his words.
“You sure you want to do this? You’re not really a smoker.”
“I know. I’m sure.”
“Okay. At your own pace.”
“Ugh hurry up,” Ashton said.
“Cut it out, Ash!” Jenny yelled.
“Well, I’m just saying—”
“Don’t just say. No one wants to hear what you have to say.”
“Oh but everyone’s okay with me bringing the goods, huh?”
“Just shut up and pass the joint; stop hogging.”
Ashton laughed and handed Jenny his joint. There’s no person that aggravates a crowd more than a Firestarter. No one—not one person—likes a Firestarter.
With my heart racing, I took a swig of the joint, and without a second passing I started coughing like crazy. The burn and scratch of my throat not like a vodka. This is what I imagine absinthe to feel like, only probably worse. I can barely stand scotch.
Ashton, of course, started laughing. Lily kept her smile down on lock but I knew she wanted to burst out laughing too. Jenny hurried into the kitchen and came out with a glass of water.
“Thanks,” I croaked, taking the cup of soothing, cold water.
“You okay?” Daniel rubbed my back, smiling to comfort me.
I nodded vehemently. “I’m okay. I’m okay.”
I started bracing myself again when Daniel spoke. “Hey, are you sure you—”
“I’m sure. I’m sure.”
I learned that I couldn’t take in long, deep puffs. They were short and simple, and because of that, I got only a tad high and everyone else got to Highville a lot quicker. Damn my weak throat and my intolerance to smoking!
Luckily, I lived right across from Jenny’s apartment. I invited Daniel over since he was too loopy to travel home alone. Actually, he thought he was fine, but I was just worried.
“Wow. I think this might be the first time in a long time you’ve stayed over,” I commented.
“Mmmm…” he moaned, pulling me into him at the waist, “first tiiiiiiiime,” he chuckled and then kissed me.
I laughed with him and kissed him back. “Come on, let’s go to sleep.”
“Sleep tiiiiiiime,” Daniel laughed.
I think he knew he was being silly as well, but even the littlest things set him off.
I undressed him down to his boxers and pushed him onto my bed. I got ready myself. It was late into the night and I had work in the morning. After washing the night off, I chugged down a bottle of water—switching between room temperature bottled water, and refrigerated water (I’m weird like that) and ending with refrigerated water—and then jumped into bed next to Daniel, who was all so sleepy with a smile plastered on his face like he was getting a happy ending.
“Hey, Daniel?” I gently poked him on the shoulder to see if he was still awake.
“Can I ask you something?”
I licked my lips and prepared to word my question. “Richard said something weird to me the other day.”
“Oh, yeah? What’s that?”
“Well, he told me to tell you to keep the money. That he’s leaving us alone. Did I miss something?”
Daniel grinned, his eyes still shut. “I offered him the money that Jade left me.”
“You offered him what?” I asked, gobsmacked.
“Mmm, I thought it was a good idea; considering he loves money more than me.” Then he burst out laughing.
But then, at the corner of his eye, a tear escaped, and I didn’t know if it was from sleep…or that he was actually hurting.
“Well, he’s out of our lives now,” I noted.
“Good. Family don’t mean nothin’,” he chuckled.
“I’m your family now,” I shook him softly and squeezed him.
He opened his hazy eyes, stared at me, and smiled. He brought his lips up to my neck and planted a kiss. “That’s right.”
“I’m here,” I said.
“Yes you are.”
“I’m not going anywhere.”
A lull arose, and the words only hit me now. “What?”
But it was too late, Daniel had already passed out.
***I’ve buried the title of the book I’m writing in this post. Can anyone find it? Can anyone find it for a BONUS post? Soul xo***