More fiction from a work in progress, perhaps Pompous Whiners part 2…
property o’ kat, trademarked by kat, copyright kat, yadda yadda:
Jake wasn’t breathing regularly. No one noticed his shallow, weak wheezing but me. They were all drunk on Mad Dog, wobbling around on somebody’s grandma’s morphine tablets, listening to The Cure and deciding who was going to bed down with whom tonight.
I was secretly sober. My Mad Dog went down the bathroom sink after three sips, and the pills I spit behind the couch. I wanted to be with my friends, but I didn’t want to be like my friends.
Jake was sweaty, cold, sick. His Misfits t-shirt was soaked through. He didn’t answer when I asked him if he was ok. I couldn’t call 911 because how would I explain this party, this mayhem, when someone finally showed up? Someone’s bra was draped over the telephone. I wasn’t even sure whose house it was, just some place where the parents were out of town, just another high school Saturday night.
Jake had epilepsy or narcolepsy or something, I just couldn’t remember what. ADD or chlamydia or something. Diabetes, I think. Would that make him sweat like this? Is he overdosing? Jesus, why I am the only sober person here?
I decide Jake’s got to go to the hospital. I’m not old enough to have my license, but I’ve had driver’s ed so I think I can pull this off.
“I need your car keys,” I say as I fish around in the pocket of Mike’s jeans. He runs a cold bottle of Rolling Rock up my leg around the edge of my skirt and says, “Yeah, but I need you.”
“Later,” I promise. Mike is Jake’s brother, but I know he’s so messed up that he’s useless to me now. He looks good in his black leather jacket; maybe he’ll give me that jacket later. I’ll tell him about Jake when he’s sober, maybe tomorrow.
I bend over Jake to tell him I’m going to pick him up. He doesn’t answer. Good thing he’s a small guy and I’m a big girl. I heave him over my shoulder and weave out of the house. His heavy Docs bang against my stomach. I wonder why my life is not more like a Molly Ringwald movie.
Sean is sprawled out on the hood of Mike’s car staring at the stars.
“Help me get him in the car, open the door, do something,” I say, staggering a bit. I feel like I’m going to drop Jake. On the bright side, I don’t think he’ll feel a thing.
Sean rolls off the hood and opens the passenger door. We push Jake into the backseat of the car. Sean takes shotgun and I drive down Pisgah Highway as fast as I can with the Ramones blasting out of the Buick’s stereo.“You know, you can’t check him into the hospital, man,” Sean shouts over the music. “How are you gonna tell his parents what he’s been doin’ and how are you gonna tell your parents where you’ve been, man?”
Sean rambles on for a few minutes. I get the picture. Parents. Police. Nothing good could come of this.
We cruise through the parking lot of the emergency room, stereo down low, headlights off. It’s dark and empty. I see a wheelchair in a corner of the lot and I know what we’re going to do.
I let the car idle in the shadows and send Sean for the wheelchair. We put Jake in the wheelchair; he slumps forward. I feel around and, yes, his wallet is in his back pocket. That’s good. They’ll know who he is. I get back in the car, put it in drive, ease up close to the entrance. Sean is running with the wheelchair, then lets it go, rolling toward the automatic doors of the ER. Sean jumps in the car and away we go like the Dukes of Hazzard. I don’t look back because I don’t want to know if Jake was going so fast that he smacked into the automatic doors; I want to think they opened and he rolled right in. Either way, he’d be taken care of and my parents wouldn’t have to know a thing.
Sean is kissing me while I drive back to the party, pulling my hair. I can’t see much of the road but the streets are deserted. The car weaves through all the lanes. His kisses and the Ramones fill my brain. Sean is not my boyfriend. This is not my car. I don’t even have a driver’s license. I have an English paper due on Monday on a book I haven’t read. My parents think I’m at Penny’s house. There is no one named Penny at my school. My period is late. Sean smells like cloves and sweat. Hey ho, let’s go…