Chapter 19 | Guy's Night Out - Part 2
| Mark’s POV |
“Whoa, where are we?” Connor slurred as Red and I struggled to carry him along the sidewalk.
“We’re on Fourth Street.” Red deadpanned, having answered that same exact question for the last ten minutes. “And before you ask again, in three seconds we’ll be on Fifth Street.” He rolled his eyes to the sky.
I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Man... we walk fast.” Connor squealed, trying his best to place one foot in front of the other.
“You better pray that the girls forgive us for our weird visit.” Red stated as he looked around Connor to me.
“Why are you looking at me? This was all Connor’s idea.” I glared.
“Well he’s your best friend. You should know how much alcohol he can handle.” Red huffed, looking a little tired from carrying Connor. Let’s just say Connor isn’t very light and our thirty minute walk has turned into almost an hour of struggling to carry Connor down the empty streets with our arms locked around his shoulders.
“A. Connor is a big boy and can handle himself. I don’t need to be his baby sitter. B. You were so excited to go over to Naveah’s to see Callie, so I don’t want to hear it Mr. Make’s out on the couch for twenty minutes.” I huffed, struggling to keep Connor upright.
“Well let’s just hope that Connor’s parents aren’t home yet. I really don’t need them calling my folks. I’m already swimmin’ in murky waters when it comes to the rents. Especially after missing curfew over my last DJ gig.”
“How did you get into that anyway?” I asked, trying to keep Connor from pulling us towards the lizard that sat on the edge of the curb.
Red yanked Connor back and we locked him back into place between us before we continued walking down Sixth Street.
“Well, I’ve always been a lover of music ever since I was little and I got to sing for my mom’s church. What really got me interested in just the music and beats aspect of it all, was this guy I saw one night playing nothing but a bass guitar in the middle of a sidewalk. I don’t know how, but the song he played fit well with only a bass guitar. I just always had a spot inside for music. One summer my buddy from back home bought this used DJ turntable and I don’t know... I just became infatuated with it. Ever since that’s all I’ve wanted to do.” He shrugged, still trying his best not to drop Connor.
“My parents bought me my newest turntable last Christmas, and told me I could start playing gigs only if I keep my grades up. So, I’ve been busting my ass ever since as far as academics go.” He smiled.
“Wow, that’s cool. I wish I had something like that. Something that I’m infatuated with that I am able to do every day. It must be nice to know what you want and are able to have it.” I sighed, looking away and into the distance ahead.
“Yeah, my rents are pretty cool. How about yours?” He asked, and I instantly wanted to change the topic of conversation.
“Uh, well... never really knew my dad and my mom is a raging alcoholic. Let’s just say that my childhood wasn’t one from an old blockbuster.” I chuckled, though it was a dry and pained laugh.
“Ouch. Man, I’m sorry. I didn’t know or I would’ve kept my big mouth shut.” He laughed, trying to lighten the awkward mood.
“Na, it’s alright. I’m over it.” I shrugged, though I knew that was a complete lie. “I got one more question.”
“Why do people call you Red?” I rose my eyebrows in his direction, though he had trouble seeing be over Connor’s big head.
He began laughing, and when he finally stopped, he leaned back to look at me.
“Well, it’s actually a long story but I can shorten it for you. Back in middle school, I was infatuated with the color red. I wore nothing but red clothes, bought nothing but red shoes, and I even dyed my hair red once... which I totally regret might I add.” He chuckled.
“Anyway, the red color didn’t really mix well with my dirty blonde hair, so it came out lookin’ a little orange. I literally thought my mom was going to have a stroke when she saw me.” He laughed.
I began laughing too just as we reached Connor’s street. “I bet you looked ridiculous!”
“Oh I did, and to make matters worse... I did it two days before school picture day. My mom was livid. Let’s just say she didn’t order my pictures for that year. Anyway, everyone from school started calling me Red and it just stuck. Followed me all through middle school and beginning of high school. When I moved here, I just told everyone to call me Red and that’s even my DJ name.” He shrugged, smiling at the sight of Connor’s house.
“Honestly, that’s the best story I’ve ever heard.” I laughed, reaching in my pocket.
“I’m glad you think so, ass.” Red laughed, stopping and sighing with relief.
“Now we can get this dude to be-” I instantly froze. I helped Red sit Connor down on the porch steps and I began patting my pockets furiously.
“What?” Red asked as he took in the sight of my panic.
“The keys... they aren’t in my pocket. What the hell!” I reached into all of my pockets once more and began frantically looking around the porch in case I dropped them.
“You’ve got to be kidding me dude...” Red sighed, trying his best to help me look while also trying to keep Connor from falling over.
“Connor, I need you to wake the hell up!” I yelled, turning to stand in front of Connor as I kneeled down beside him and slapped him a few times in the face.
“Stop it, asshole.” Connor mumbled while trying to swat my hand away, but missing terribly.
“No! I can’t find the house keys and we’re locked out. Your parents will be home any time now man. They’re going to know that we left the house and that we’ve been drinking.”
“It’s cool man.” Connor burped before speaking again. “They won’t care.” He laughed.
“Um, have you met your parents? Because I have and let me tell you bro, they will definitely care!” I sighed, trying my best to stand Connor up much to his protest.
“I c-can’t stand right now, the ground moves.” He giggled in a high-pitched voice.
I rolled my eyes and looked to Red who was trying not to laugh.
“Red, we gotta figure out a way into the house.” I sighed, giving up on Connor and letting him lay down on the porch.
“Are any windows unlocked?” He asked.
“I don’t know, let’s go check.” I kneeled down to Connor again. “Connor, stay the fuck here! I swear if you get up and try to leave, I will punch you directly in the face.” I threatened.
“No!” He cried, burying his face into his hands.
I couldn’t help but smirk. “Then stay put, got it?”
“Yes daddy.” Connor mumbled into his hands in fear.
My eyes widened as I face palmed myself.
After running my hand along my tired face, I got up and began searching for an unlocked window to climb through. Connor has a two-story house and there are a lot of windows. Searching each window became more and more frustrating as each one is locked and I can’t get to the second-story windows. I know for a fact Connor’s bedroom window is unlocked because he never locks it.
Finally giving up, I make my way back to the front of the house. I take a seat on the steps and sigh.
“Damn Connor, none of your damn windows are open.” I chuckled tiringly as I glanced to my right.
My eyes widened as I realized Connor was no longer sitting on the porch like Red and I had left him. Connor is gone.
What the hell.
“Man ain’t none of these windows open. Even the back door is locked.” Red sighed as he approached me.
“Dude.” I stated.
“What? And where’s Connor?” He looked around the porch with a confused look on his face.
“That’s the problem... I don’t know.” I confessed as I stood up.
“What! Where the hell could he have gone? Dammit Connor... we leave you alone for two minutes.” Red started cursing as he began looking around the front yard and near the driveway.
Red and I began frantically looking all over the yard and street for Connor, fearful that he may have ended up in a ditch somewhere.
When we couldn’t find him, panic began setting in.
“Dude, what if we never find him? What if wild coyotes are eating his body and playing fetch with his eyeballs as we speak? What if a UFO came down from space and abducted him? What if he wandered off and was picked up by strangers who are taking him to New Mexico to start a new life as a Mexican Hat dancer?”
Red began pacing back and forth shouting ridiculous scenarios while I stood still and rolled my eyes.
“Will you shut the fuck up? I highly doubt ANY of that has happened. He is probably just walking around somewhere. Maybe he went back to Naveah’s. I’ll give her a call, hold on.”
I fished my cellphone out of my pocket and dialed her number.
“Hey, um... this is awkward, but is Connor back over there?” I asked with a sheepish smile.
“Um, no. Why?”
“Well... we uh, sort of lost him.” I muttered.
“You lost Connor? How the hell do you lose an eighteen year old boy who let’s just say isn’t exactly scrawny.” She sighed.
“It’s not like it was intentional. We couldn’t find his house keys so Red and I started looking to see if any windows were unlocked to crawl through and we left Connor passed out on the porch, only when we came back he wasn’t there. We can’t find him anywhere.” I sighed, feeling fed up with this guy’s night out.
“Well you better find him before his parents get home. They usually roll in around three am, sometimes a little later depending on their alcohol intake. It’s a little after one now so you don’t have much time.” I felt a sting of jealousy at the thought of Naveah being over at Connor’s at three am. I guess I will have to get over the fact that she and Connor were an item first.
“Okay well, do you know where he could have wandered off to?” I asked, hopeful that she would have an idea.
“How should I know?” She sighed.
“Um, you were only with the kid for like three years.” I deadpanned.
“Oh wait! I got it! Go to the park by his place. The one with the broken swing set.”
“Why would he go there?” I asked.
“That’s where he usually goes when he’s in a bad mood. It’s where he and Arabelle used to play when they were younger. He sometimes goes there to think or just sit whenever he doesn’t want to be home.” I could hear the pain in her voice and I knew she was feeling guilty about everything that’s happened over the last few weeks.
“Oh. Okay, well thank you. I’m sorry about all of this. I don’t know why he turned to alcohol. Or, maybe I do. Shit Nave, I just-I feel so bad. I feel so bad, but I also feel so happy. Is that even possible?” I lightly chuckled, smiling when I hear her do the same.
“Yes, it’s very possible.” I could hear the smile on her face. “Anything is possible.”
“Talk to you later?”
“Of course.” Then she hung up.
I let a small smile show, but then it went away when I heard Red clearing his throat. My chest constricted in hoping he didn’t hear the last part of that conversation.
“Well, where is he?”
“Follow me.” I began walking towards the small park near the end of the next street.
“Man, I’m starting to feel that alcohol and not in the good way. I may or may not need to stop to puke.” Red confessed as he clutched his stomach.
“Great.” I sighed as I kept walking.
Red followed behind me, and I silently gagged when he suddenly stopped to run to a nearby bush. After a few seconds of him regurgitating his wings from dinner, he wiped his mouth on the bottom of his shirt and began walking beside me again.
“Here.” I pulled a pack of gum from my pocket and handed Red a piece. “You’re going to need this.”
“What a life saver you are.” He smirked, sticking the gum into his mouth.
I decided to have a piece myself; needing something to distract me from the panic I’m feeling as we look for Connor.
A few minutes after I begin chewing, we near the park Naveah told me about on the phone.
I saw a figure sitting against one of the slides, and I instantly knew it was Connor.
“Connor, buddy, why the hell would you walk here by yourself?” Red blurted out as he noticed Connor the same way I had.
“I um, just needed some space.” He shrugged, finally able to put together a working sentence.
“Well, you could have told someone you know! We thought you died a painful death via coyotes!” Red declared, causing Connor to give him a confused look while all I could do was laugh.
“Actually, only Red thought that.” I defended myself.
“Whatever.” Red huffed. “Why’d you come here? Your parents are going to be home soon and we still can’t find your house key.”
“Oh, I found it. I felt something sharp whenever I was laying on the porch, so whenever I sat up I noticed it sticking out of the wood.” He shrugged as if it were no big deal.
“So not only did you find the key and not tell us or stop us from searching for an unlocked window, you also just up and left without letting us know?” Red seethed, feeling irritated by Connor’s wrongdoings.
“Pretty much.” Connor sighed.
“Well, that’s just PEACHY.” Red rolled his eyes, and crossed his arms over his chest.
“Relax crybaby. I’m fine.” Connor stood up straight from leaning on the slide, and began walking towards home again.
“Hey, wait a minute! I’m not finished with you yet...” Red yelled after Connor, leaving me to stare at the old playground Connor and his sister used to play at when they were kids.
It made me miss the old playground in my old neighborhood back home in Florida. All of my friends used to meet me there every day after school and we would spend hours just sliding or swinging... not a care in the world. I guess times change and people grow up. I never would have thought that the seven year old me would grow up to be such a horrible person. Lying to my best friend is one thing, but also lying to everyone else and hating my mom just goes to show that my life will never be the same again. So many things are weighing me down, but somehow I always find the courage to stay above the surface of it all.
I can’t stand not being with Naveah, but being without her would hurt ten times worse. I know I have to wait and I know I am probably going to lose Connor as a friend when the truth comes out, but I can’t give up on love. I can’t give up on someone who I could potentially spend the rest of my life with, you know... if it escalates that far. We are still young, and things are constantly changing.
Anything can happen, and I think that is what scares me the most, not knowing. I don’t care though because Naveah is worth the anticipation of it all.
She is worth anything.
“Mark, let’s go!” Red yelled from the end of the street.
I shook my head of the racing thoughts and bolted towards the both of them. We need to beat Connor’s parents to the house. If they know we’ve been out all night, Connor is dead.
I always used to say how lame Connor’s parents were for their strict rules and guidelines... but the truth is I envy Connor. His parents are together and happy and their family is whole. Yes, they have their bad days, but what family doesn’t? I have only wished countless times that my mom would care enough to lay down some rules, or to scold me for coming home late all the time. Only, she doesn’t and she never will. She will never care about what I am doing; I have come to realize that over the last couple of years.
When we reached Connor’s street, I cursed under my breath when I noticed the car parked in the driveway.
“Shit Con, they’re home.” I whispered out of habit, though I don’t know why since no one could hear us anyway.
“Dammit... did you guys check the windows?” He asked. Red and I gave each other a look before we glared at Connor.
“Really?” I deadpanned. “That’s what we were doing when you decided you needed to take a stroll down memory lane.”
“Sheesh, sorry.” He mumbled. “We can always go in the garage door.” He shrugged.
My eyes turned to slits. “The garage was open the ENTIRE TIME?” I yelled.
“Yeah, I left it unlocked early today by accident and just remembered.” He sheepishly smiled.
“Woo-fucking-hoo.” Red deadpanned. “Let’s go see if we can sneak inside before they realize we aren’t there.”
Red, Connor and I sprinted towards Connor’s house and made a beeline straight for the garage. We pushed open the heavy door, and once we were all inside of the garage, we pulled the door back down.
We quietly tiptoed over to the door leading into the kitchen of Connor’s house.
“Ow! Connor!” Red hissed quietly as he reached for his foot. “Watch where you’re walking Bigfoot!”
“How about you watch where I’m walking next time?” Connor defended.
“Both of you shut up!” I hissed, silently slapping both of them against their heads.
Knowing I was the most sober out of the group, I quietly reached for the doorknob and very slowly turned it until the door opened. I then slowly began to push it open and I almost got it all the way open before it hit something hard and we heard a grunt.
All three of our eyes widened as we slowly looked up into the angry eyes of Connor’s dad.
“Well, fancy meeting you three here.” He sarcastically stated with rose eyebrows.
“H-hey there dad. How’s it going?” Connor sheepishly smiled while giving his dad a wave.
I face palmed myself while listening to Connor’s lame attempts at lightening the mood.
“Oh gee, I don’t know son. How is it going?” Connor’s dad crossed his arms over his chest just as Connor’s mother peered around his father to look at the three of us.
“You boys are so busted.” She smirked.
“Thanks mom.” Connor sighed while all three of us piled into the house.
“Mind telling me where it was that you were on this fine evening?” Connor’s dad asked once we were all in the living room.
“Well, we uh, just wanted to go to the park and hang out. We got bored in the house.” Connor tried to lie.
“Oh is that so? So then tell me, what’s that?” Connor’s dad pointed his gaze to the bottles of booze lying around the living room that we never cleaned up. I sucked in a tight breath and prepared my apology.
“Dad, if you have a problem me and mom are here for you.” Connor smiled wide, knowing he was already walking on thin ice.
Red’s eyes widened and he gave Connor a “dude do you want to die?” look before trying hard not to let out a chuckle.
“You hear that Beth? Seems I have a drinking problem.” He looked to his wife.
“Well, sweetie, you should have never let it get to this level.” She sighed, faking concern.
“Please forgive me; I didn’t realize it had gotten this bad.” Connor’s dad pleaded, though his playful look soon faltered.
“Connor.” He said sternly as his hard gaze fell onto his son. “No excuses. Clean the booze and get up to your room. All of you.” He demanded towards the three of us and we began sprinting into action as we starting picking up beer bottles and garbage from the living room floor.
“Once you’re done, get up to your rooms and go to bed. I am bored with this conversation. Son, we will talk about your punishment tomorrow when your friends leave.”
“Yes Sir.” Connor sighed while Red and I followed him upstairs.
“I can’t believe you said that to your dad.” Red whispered.
“I can’t believe he played a long for a second. He never does that.” I whispered.
“Both of you shut up.” Connor glared as we each went into our designated bedrooms.
Thanks to Connor’s ginormous house, Red and I had our own separate guest rooms to sleep in.
I laughed while pulling off my T-shirt at the turn of events this evening. Connor’s parents are a little strict, but they mean well and I like being around them. It makes me feel as though they are my parents too in a way. I hope Connor doesn’t disown me once he finds out about Naveah.
The only highlight of tonight was seeing her. She looked so cute in those booty shorts and crop top. She would have looked even cuter with them off.
I shook my head of my wandering thoughts and pulled out my cell phone.
I texted Naveah a message before setting my phone on the bedside table and laying down for bed.
Me: “You looked cute tonight Nave. You have no idea how badly I wanted to kiss you. Sweet dreams.”