Things to do in Freehold

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Chapter Forty-one:

Jacob Mackenzie (Morning of September 11, 1994)

I sluggishly awoke to the sensation of being shook by Pops. I moaned and groaned, but didn’t get up or at least, not right away. Then he gave me a wet willy and I had no choice but to fully open my eyes and lift my head up just enough.

“Jake, I need my keys. Where are they?” Pops asked, frantically.

Scanning my surroundings, I realized I’d been on the floor, next to my bed. Wrapped in my comforter, I wore nothing more than my boxers. My head was throbbing and my body was too lethargic to sit completely up straight. Also, Adeline was nowhere to be found.

“Jake?” Pops repeated.

“Right, sorry. I think they’re in the front right front pocket of my jeans still,” I replied pointing over to the floor beneath my windowsill.

“What time did you get home last night?” he questioned, walking over to the chain of multiple keys out of my pants. “I tried waiting up for you, but I must’ve fallen asleep. And what are you doing on the ground?”

“I don’t know,” I muttered, finding the strength to stand up and reach into my dresser for some clothes. “It’s all kind of a blur, to be honest.”

He sighed. “Please tell me you used protection, at least.”

“Oh, yeah, don’t worry,” I told him, not knowing whether I actually did or not. After getting dressed for the day, I sat down on the bed and watched as he waved goodbye and left the room. Rubbing the crust out of my eyes, I thought more about the events that transpired the night before. When and how did we get back home? Did I drive last night? When did Adeline leave? Did I use a rubber?

On the verge of pissing myself, I got up to go to the bathroom, across the hall. As I was just about to finish up, I could hear Pat, pounding on the door. “I’ll be out in a minute.

Zipping my pants back up, I headed over to the sink to wash my hands. I then glanced at the mirror and nearly had a heart attack when I saw that Piper was standing right behind me. Immediately, I turned around, only to see that there was no one there. “It’s all in your head, Jake,” I repeatedly whispered to myself, still hyperventilating.

“Took you long enough,” Pat said as I exited the bathroom.

“Fuck off,” I responded, heading downstairs, for the kitchen. Before I could make it there, though, I heard the doorbell ring. I peeped through the hole, curious as to who would be at our door at this hour. However, all I could see was a lock of blonde hair, blowing in the wind.

“Hi, Jake,” Priscilla beamed up at me as I opened the door.

“Priscilla, hey, what brings you here?”

“Well, you see, my family is throwing a bit of a soiree tonight with some of our friends from town,” she explained, fidgeting around, nervously. “And since your family’s still fairly new, I figured it’d be nice to invite you all, give you a chance to meet everyone.”

“That sounds like a wonderful idea,” Ma interrupted, grabbing onto my shoulders. Jesus, fuck, woman, how long have you been standing behind me? “Hi, I don’t believe we’ve officially met. I’m Sue, Jake’s mom.”

“Priscilla,” she told Ma as she went in for a handshake with her. That’s funny; Ma had no problem shaking her hand. “Adriene’s daughter. My mom has spoken very highly of you.”

I left the two to talk while I went into the kitchen like I had originally intended on. It was there I found Zack, sitting at the dining table, eating a peanut butter and jelly. I gave him a single nod, as he did to me. It was probably the most interaction we would get throughout the day, but I was fine with that.

“Up early again, I see,” Ma noted, shutting the door and then entering the dining room. She said it as if I had done something wrong by waking up at a reasonable time. “Sorry, Zack; had I known you were already awake, I would’ve made you something. Would you like me to pour you some orange juice?”

Zack, of course, silently nodded his head.

“Pops woke me up, looking for his keys,” I explained to her as she opened the fridge. While she took care of that, I went over to the sink to fill the coffee pot up with water. Afterwards, I took it back to the coffee maker and poured it into the designated area.

“Since when do you drink coffee?” Ma asked, noticing what I was doing.

“Normally, I don’t,” I replied, looking in the cabinet for a filter. As I started the machine up, I turned towards Ma. However, it wasn’t her I was looking at. Instead, it was more so the bloody, pulverized Piper, standing in the far corner. “It’s been a rough morning.”

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