“Look Sam, there is a booger sitting beside you,” Gabriella said from the backseat, pointing at Jenny and then started giggling.
I sighed, “How many shots did she take?”
“I don’t know. But, looking at her state I guess-” Jenny was interrupted by Gabriella’s giggling, yet again.
“Hey booger, show me how you boo!”
“-somewhere near 20 shots,” she continued, annoyed by the fact that Gabby has been constantly calling her booger since she got drunk in the party.
“We can’t take her home like this. You guys can crash at my place,” I said.
Gabriella’s family is very strict. They won’t be happy seeing their daughter in such a state. Jenny’s home is quiet far and, I am pretty sure, we are not in the mood to drive so far. So, the only option remains my home.
“You sure?” Jenny asked, hesitantly.
“Positive,” I gave her an assuring smile.
Jenny nodded and started driving. We remained silent. The only noise was coming from Gabby, who was murmuring something and laughing on her own.
“So, I saw you and Trystan Ryder sharing a cozy moment in Jason’s kitchen,” Jenny said, finally breaking the silence.
“If you consider insulting each other a cozy moment, then sure it was very cozy,” I rolled my eyes.
“Yeah right,” she smirked.
“Oh please! Don’t even get some weird thoughts about me and Trystan,” I snorted, “You know he is a jerk.”
She did not reply. But her expression told me that she did definitely not believe me.
“Talking about jerks,” I continued after a minute of silence, “I saw Evan following you everywhere in the party.”
Soon a scowl appeared on Jenny’s face.
“Ugh! Don’t remind me of it. That guy was getting on my nerves. And can you believe it, he was calling me ‘Just’ Jenny all the time.”
I burst out laughing, looking at Jenny’s annoyed expression. She, on the other hand, gave me a stink eye before focusing on driving.
Soon, we were standing outside my house. After numerous protests by Gabby, we finally pulled her out of the car and took her to my house.
“She’s so heavy,” Jenny muttered in annoyance.
“Shut up, you booger,” Gabby frowned, before laughing.
“Guys, be silent. I don’t want mom to wake up,” I warned them in a strict tone.
I slowly pushed the door open, hoping no one will notice my arrival. After we were all inside, I closed the door silently and we started tip toe-ing to my room. And that’s when I heard it.
My mom’s voice.
“Who is it?” she asked, standing in her night gown and rubbing her left eye.
“I-It’s me, mom,” I replied, hesitantly.
“Samantha?” Mom questioned in disbelief. Suddenly, the lights of the living room were turned on and I saw dad standing near the stairs with a shocked expression.
I quickly mouthed him a ‘save me’, before again looking at mom.
“You realize it’s one in the morning?” Mom asked with raised eyebrows.
Gabby giggled, trying to escape from our grip. Jenny quickly covered her mouth, and I just hoped mom didn’t notice Gabby’s weird behavior.
“Oh C’mon Caroline, let the girls enjoy their life. They must have lost the track of time,” Dad said walking towards me and Jenny, and gave us a tight lipped smile.
“Samantha already informed me she’ll be late,” he added, throwing a warning look at us.
Mom looked at me with disappointment. Her eyes were filled with unspoken words. I knew she wanted to talk to me but something was stopping her.
The very same thing which has been stopping her since last twelve years.
“It’s late, you girls should go and have some sleep,” she said softly, walking back to her room.
I looked at her walking figure and took a deep breath.
“Thanks dad,” I hugged him once mom was gone.
“Nu-uh not so easily,” Dad said shaking his head, “I saved you from being grounded and all I get is a Thank you?”
Jenny giggled beside me, “If you want us to taste your homemade cookies then we are totally in, Aaron.”
“Now that’s like my girls,” Dad said patting our heads and going back to sleep. Not before giving Gabby a suspicious look, who was trying to touch her nose with her tongue.
We slowly walked in my room. My room is quite big with a queen size bed in the middle, walls covered with movie posters and a mini book shelf near my study table.
Gabby soon crashed on my bed, without changing. I and Jenny slipped into one of my shirts and collapsed beside her.
I could hear Gabby snore softly but I was sure, no way was I going to sleep so soon. So, I slowly closed my eyes and hoped for sleep to take over me.
“You know, I noticed something,” suddenly, Jenny’s voice made my eyes flick open.
“And what is that?” I asked, turning my head towards her.
“Caroline still blames you,” she said, her eyes filled with pity.
I stared at her for a moment before laughing bitterly, “Because I am to be blamed, Jenny.”
Her eyes softened and she turned on her stomach to have a better look of me, “You both need to move on, Sam. It’s been twelve years now.”
I said nothing but averted my gaze and closed my eyes again. She sighed beside me and laid down on her back.
“Maybe you need to concentrate on something else,” Jenny muttered, before going back to sleep.
I stayed on the bed with my eyes open, staring at the ceiling. I looked at my best friends who were both fast asleep by now. Jenny’s word revolved in my head.
Am I really not to be blamed?
Do I need to focus on other things than my past?
I stood from my bed carefully, without waking up my best friends, and after gaining all my courage, went near the mirror.
It hurt. Standing in front of the mirror and looking at my reflection, I felt a pain in my heart. But, anyway, I looked at myself.
I frowned at my reflection. My lips were chapped, my brown hairs had lost their shine and even the makeup was unable to hide the dark circles popping under my eyes.
I looked so dull. So dead.
That’s when I realized that how much I had let my past affect me. Something clicked my mind and, on the spur of the moment, I opened my laptop and posted a job offer volunteering ad I wrote a short bio and mentioned about still not being officially eighteen, before closing my laptop.
I sighed. I could have gone to a cafe or maybe somewhere else to ask for a job, but there lies my weakness. I may not be a nerd but I am a little socially awkward. I stutter a lot while talking to someone I don’t know and even end up saying something inappropriate. I am not the one who can start a conversation successfully and I need some time to be comfortable around people.
My past had already taken over all my confidence and that’s why I don’t talk much to people or let them in. I mean, why should I give someone the opportunity to come close to me and be a reason for my vulnerability?
I looked over at my laptop for the last time. Closing my eyes, I prayed that hopefully I will get a job somewhere by tomorrow.
That is the thing I need. I am tired of my past chasing me. If I cannot forget it then at least I can try to get an escape from it.
Finally, after taking a few deep breathes, I crumbled on my bed and gently let myself drown in sleep.