Youth

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Chapter 67

“Everyone’s coming to dinner tonight. And when I say everyone I mean everyone,” Adrian groans, fixing his tie.

“Why is everyone going?” I furrow my eyebrows as I button up my dress shirt. The white material is soft and strangely comfortable.

“Everybody and their mother basically. I told them we’re treating your Mom so Levi is taking his mom, Stephanie is bringing her older sister, Sage is bringing her parents, Mason and Madeline are taking each other, Aaron can’t make it, Amelia is bringing her Aunt Katie,” He winks enthusiastically after he says that, I roll my eyes and wait for him to continue, “and I’m gonna be nice and bring Arturo and his fiancée,” He shoves all of his belongings in his pockets and adjusts his hair in the mirror, “But dude, I can’t believe Mason came out to us. I wonder who he has a crush on in the group.”

“Well he made it pretty clear it wasn’t you,” I laugh, putting my phone and wallet in my pocket, “Besides, don’t make such a big deal about it. I think the only other person who knows is Maddie.”

“Duh bro, I’m not gonna say anything about it,” Adrian scoffs, putting on his shoes, “Are you ready?” He asks me and I nod in response. We leave my bedroom and find my Mom in the living room putting long gold earrings on.

Honestly, she looks breathtakingly beautiful. I haven’t seen her try like this in a long time.

Adrian lightly hits me on the back and I turn to look at him, “Dude, your Mom is hot.”

“Oh gross, be quiet Adrian,” I whisper back to him, “We have to leave now or we’re going to be late for our reservation,” I say louder so my Mom could hear me. She turns around and nods, picking up her champagne colored clutch.

“I’m all ready to go boys,” She says walking by us and out the front door.

“I’m still not over how hot your Mom is. I think I’m into cougars now,” He basically runs after her and lets my Mom into the front seat of his truck, “Milady,” He bows as he opens up the door.

I can feel the vomit rising is my throat as I watch him flirt with my Mother. Once he closes the door and meets me in the front of his car, I smack him upside the head as hard as I could.

“Ow! What was that for?” He grabs the back of his head in agony.

“Stop flirting with my Mom idiot!” I push him to the drivers side and I get in the backseat.

We arrive at the restaurant in less than fifteen minutes and I help my Mom out of the truck. She smiles sweetly at me and I shut the door for her.

“I can’t believe I’m actually going to be eating at Fogo de Chão,” She says, looking at the tall building in front of us, “I used to see this place all the time when I worked in the city but I’d drive by it because I knew I couldn’t afford the meals here.”

“Well you can order whatever you want Mrs. Carson. Tonight is your night,” Adrian smiles, offering her his arm. She loops her arm in his and I follow behind them, shaking my head in disappointment. I can’t imagine a life with me calling Adrian ‘Dad’.

We walk into the building and are sat down almost immediately because of our reservation. Almost all at once everyone piles into the restaurant and is led to our table. Parents I’ve never met before, siblings I’ve seen once or twice, and an Aunt I used to see all the time. The long table is enough for all sixteen of us and everyone is dressed as elegantly as possible.

All of our parents converse over us and we talk about anything and everything.

“Mason, I think Lukas’ Mom is digging me,” Adrian says, lightly bumping his shoulder.

“If anything she’s digging your money,” Mason says, his eyes shoot up to me the second the words come out of his mouth, “I didn’t mean it that way man.”

I shake my head,“Nah it’s cool, I know who my mom is, and there’s no chance she’s into him. She doesn’t talk to prepubescent boys.”

Adrian furrows his eyebrows,“Don’t call me prepubescent because every female here knows what lies within dude, every single one.”

Levi sits on the other side of Mason and I see him smile slightly, “You’re such a man child Adrian,” He says, soon breaking into full-blown laughter.

“I know I’m full of myself guys, but I can’t help it. I mean look at me!” He outlines his face with his hands and flexes a little bit.

“I see what you mean,” Maddie says leaning across the table. Her eyes squint and she points at Adrian’s face, “right there...says asshole.” All of us erupt into fits of laughter and Maddie sits back down in her seat, a ghost of a smile playing on her face.

All of our parents look at us, confused about what we’re laughing about. Other guests at the restaurant stare with the dirtiest looks but none of us care. We’re together as a family and we’re enjoying our time. I wouldn’t think of any other places I’d rather be. Except for one, but it’s kind of impossible.

The whole night is spent with us laughing and eating expensive foods. My mind constantly wonders though, from one thing to another. Sometimes I can keep up with the conversation and I say a few things here and there but my mind always finds its way back to Bo and if she’s alright with whatever she’s doing. I miss her, I want to see her again. The last time I even got to look at her was at one of the days for the trial.

I haven’t seen her since. I haven’t heard her voice since she was telling her side of the story. The exact story she told me months ago. Which makes it even harder for me to budge on saving her. There’s still more that all of us can do to help her, I just want to protect her from all of this.

I’m worried about her. I’ve always been worried about her.

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