In Five Years' Time

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chapter three

When the group of friends arrived at Lucy’s, they were split off into separate conversations. Caelan and Lucy were talking about the lecture today about non-verbal body language. Cole and Lola were arguing about whether or not half a dose of five hour energy would give the user a two and a half hour burst of energy or a five hour burst of half-assed energy. Both conversations were very passionate.

Lucy turned the keys to her apartment’s door, opening it and swinging it open. A white and grey cat immediately sprinted out of the room. “Owl! Can someone grab him?” she yelled.

Cole bent down and scooped Owl up, ignoring his mewling as he handed him over to Lucy. “Naughty little brat cat! Evil man.” she said to him firmly, dangling him up in the air facing her. “I’m going to throw you out the window if you do that again.”

“He’ll land on his feet!” said Cole, waving finger guns. Everyone stared at him. “Right? ’Cause, like —“

“Ha ha ha.” said Caelan in a monotone voice. “Hilarious. Let’s go inside.” Cole punched her lightly on the side of the arm and she smirked at him.

They walked inside. Lola hadn’t been to Lucy’s place in a few weeks, but it had the same scent as always. That Lucy’s apartment scent. Like lavender and vanilla and weed.

Lola pointed at the wall. “New posters,” she remarked. One was for Lauryn Hill, one for Brockhampton, one for Rihanna. Lucy grinned. She tapped her Rihanna poster, beside her window.

“Riri watches over me while I rip bowls.” she said, nodding with respect. “It’s how she would’ve wanted it to be.”

Lola nodded, smiling and suppressing a laugh. “Wow. That’s kind of beautiful.” Lucy walked across the room, grabbing a beanbag chair with one hand and her bong in the other.

“Everyone blow the smoke out the window, okay?” said Lucy, dropping the beanbag chair down by the window. “I was a dumbass one night and smoked a J in my room and the place beside me smelled it and said they’d call the cops if they smelled it again.”

“Jesus, Luce.” Caelan said, her brows furrowed. “Should we go outside or something?”
“Nah. Just blow it out the window, okay?” said Lucy, dropping down on the beanbag chair and sliding the bowl piece in. Cole shook his head, smiling.

“You’re gonna get arrested one of these days, Lucy.” he said, watching as she held her lighter to the bowl and inhaled deeply, clearing it. She looked up, leaned forward to blow a thick plume of smoke out the window, then turned and grinned at Cole.

“Probably. You’re up.” she said, handing him the bong and her lighter.

He took the bong with a smile. “You always ball us up. Can’t complain.” he said.

Lucy stuck her tongue out at him. “Exactly. So shut up, narc.” she laughed. He grinned.

Half an hour later, all four of them were lying around Lucy’s apartment, inebriation pinning them all to the couch. None of them could shut up. Caelan laughed. “God. Fucking indica, man.”

“In-da-couch.” Cole muttered. “That’s what my brother always said ’bout it.” Everyone was quiet for a second, then Lucy started laughing, harder than Lola had ever heard her laugh. She craned her neck to look at Lucy, who was clutching her stomach and dying of laughter. “In-da-couch. That’s—so fucking stupid.” she said, wiping the corners of her eyes. Soon, all of them were giggling uncontrollably.

“Why are we such fucking fried cases?” Lola said, almost unable to speak through laughter.

“Y’know. You know.” Caelan said, sitting up suddenly. “I think it’s ’cause we’re psych students.”

“What?” Cole said, looking up at her. “That doesn’t… Doesn’t make sense.”

“Yeah, it does. That’s what we’re studying, bruh.” Lucy said, throwing a pillow at Cole. “Like, drugs fuck with your psycho-whatever. Fuck’s it called? The effect that THC has on your brain?”

“Psychoactive? Is that the word?” Lola muttered.

Lucy pointed at her. “Yes! Psychoactive. Psychoactive. We’re psychology majors. Same prefix. Justified.”
Cole nodded, seemingly satisfied at her justification. “Yeah. Fair.”

Caelan just laughed. “Y’all are fucking clapped.”

Lucy rolled over, her kinky black hair covering her face. She groaned. “Ugh, can I say something really TMI?”

Lola raised an eyebrow. “Uh. Sure, Lucy.”

Lucy covered her face with a pillow. “Why do I always get so fucking horny when I’m fried?” Cole burst out laughing.

“God, that’s so fucking valid.” Lola mumbled, shooting Lucy a look of understanding. “I used to be a lot more like that than I am now.”

“You ever had sex high, Lola?” asked Lucy.

A knock on my door. I go to open it. Marley. She’s standing there, in the rain, a smile on her face I can’t quite decode.

“Baby, what are you doing here?” I say.

She just steps inside, putting a hand on my shoulder and closing the door behind her. “Is anyone home?” she mutters.
“No, just me.” The smell of weed hits my nose. “Did you smoke?”

She puts her mouth to mine, and the taste of her lips answers my question without her saying a word. I kiss her back, hard, and we stumble backwards towards the stai—

Lola shook her head. Jesus. Not right now. Lola looked at her with a smile, trying not to resume the memory in her head as she answered.

“Yeah.” she said, finally.

“Same.” said Cole. “Like, literally last week.” Caelan raised an eyebrow.

“Nah. I call bullshit.” she said, grabbing a handful of chips and shaking her head.

Cole threw his hands in the air. “What?!”

Caelan kept shaking her head. “I don’t think you had sex with a girl anytime recently.”

Lucy burst out laughing. “Caelan, you’re literally such a bitch.” She shrugged. “Why wouldn’t he have?”

“I just don’t buy it.”
“I’ll literally call her right now.” he said, sitting up to meet Caelan’s eyes.

Caelan smiled. “Do it, then.”

He pulled out his phone, and after a couple seconds his phone started ringing. He turned the screen to face her, tilting his head and smiling as if to say told you so.

“You even don’t have her number in your contacts? Damn.” said Lola.

“Yeah. I’m that bitch.” he said.

“I respect that shit.”
The girl picked up. “Cole?”
“Hi, Kat. Can you confirm that you and I engaged in sexual intercourse last week, while heavily under the influence of marijuana?” She was quiet for a moment.

“…yeah, why?”

Lola and Lucy cheered and Cole threw his arms in the air. “Literally suck… my fucking… dick.” he yelled, pointing at Caelan.

“Alright, alright. I’ll give you this one.” she said, clapping sarcastically.

“What’s going on?” said the girl who’s name was apparently Kat through the phone.

“Oh. I forgot to hang up. Sorry. Bye.” said Cole.

“Wai —“ He hit END CALL, and everyone laughed raucously.

“Poor girl.” said Lucy, and Lola nodded.

She felt her phone buzz in her pocket and pulled it out quickly. It was from Marley. “Shit, who’s got you pulling out your phone so damn fast?” Lucy said.

Lola smiled. “Just this girl.”

Lucy sat up straight “This girl? Lola’s back on the dating scene? My shordy got a shordy? Why the fuck did I not know about this?” she demanded.

Lola waved her hand. “No, no. Not like that. It’s kind of a long story.”

Bitch. We’ve got time.” Lucy said. “Not an excuse.”

“Okay, so my, like—“ Lola did air quotations. “First love, from high school, Marley, and I made a deal when we broke up five years ago that in five years’ time, we’d go on a date. Because a lot of the reasons why we broke up was like, shit we were both going through at the time. The other day, I saw something in an old yearbook of mine that reminded me of it. I got her number from another old friend of mine. She’s at uni in Washington right now, but she’s coming to Chicago to visit family, so we’re gonna go on that date. Just like, to humour our fifteen year old selves.”

Lucy stuck her bottom lip out. “That’s so adorable.” she said.

Lola shrugged. “Yeah, I mean like, it’s just for nostalgia or whatever.” She laughed. “When we broke up all those years ago I remember I thought of this hypothetical date as, like, this thing that would remind future me oh, holy shit, this is my soulmate. Because I did think that.” She rolled her eyes at herself. “Teenage naïvety. Beautiful thing.”

Lucy was looking at her with wide eyes. “What if… okay, I’m so high but like, imagine if you were right?” Lola raised an eyebrow at her. “Just, that’d be so cute. That’s a really cute background story.” Lola nodded.

“Yeah, I guess.” she agreed.

“You gonna text her back?” said Cole.

“Oh, shit, yeah. I totally forgot.” Lola said, smacking her forehead. She pulled out her phone, opening the text from Marley.

studying psychology? that’s so cool

“‘Studying psychology? That’s so cool.’” quoted Lola, turning the screen to show her friends. “What do I say?”

“Be like, hell fuckin’ yeah it is, I’m getting lit with my psych buddies as we speak.” said Lucy, pounding her chest.

“No. Say thanks, what about you?” said Cole.

“Cole, what the fuck? That’s such a, like —“ Lucy made an incomprehensible gesture with her hands. “I don’t know. Unnatural thing to say.” Cole shrugged.

“Y’all are stressing me out and I’m gonna go ahead and classify myself as too fried to respond to this right now.” Lola said, putting her phone back in her pocket.

Lucy shrugged. “My response was good. But suit yourself, Romeo.”

The four continued chatting, laughing, and eating until the sun had gone down. When Lola finally glanced at her phone to check the time, she saw that it was 9:17 PM. “Shit, I should probably get going.” she said, getting up off Lucy’s bed. Lucy grabbed her wrist, and Lola looked at her quizzically.

“Staaaaayyy, Lolo!” she said in a singsong voice.

Lola shook her wrist free and went to grab her headphones. “God, how are you still high?” she asked. “It’s been, like, five hours since we smoked.”

Lucy was lying on her back on her bed, her head hanging off the side and her arms in the air, reaching for Lola. She looked like a little kid, beaming, her dark eyes twinkling. The whites of her eyes were still a little pink. “Low tolerance gang.” she giggled.

“Don’t you smoke, like literally every chance you get?” said Cole, running a hand through his dark hair. “How is your tolerance still so low?”
She giggled. “Dunno.” She pointed at the sky. “God just loves me, I guess. Loves all of us.”

Caelan laughed. “Yeah, God really has a sweet spot for a bi Japanese girl, a black girl, a trans guy, and a lesbian. That makes so much sense.”

“Hey! God loves everyone, motherfucker.” Cole said, throwing a pillow at Caelan’s face.

“Yeah! Love thy motherfucking neighbour, bitch.” said Lucy, pumping her fists in the air.

Caelan shrugged. “If God is real and can do anything and loves everyone sooo much, why is being gay still punishable by death in ten countries? Why do we have an admitted racist as president, still? Why—“

Lucy leaped up and covered Caelan’s mouth with her hand. “Shh. Hush, with your politically correct blasphemy.” After a moment, she drew back with a yelp. “Why would you do that?!” she screamed, rubbing her open palm on Caelan’s leg as she burst into a fit of laughter and writhed to get away from Lucy. “You’re such a kid! Ew, I don’t want your fucking mouth germs on my hand! Who knows where your tongue’s been!?” cried Lucy.

“Hey.” said Caelan, putting her hand over her heart. “The only thing that is ever in my mouth are the words of Jesus Christ, amen.”

“Shut up, you fucking heathen.”

Lola shook her head. “Jesus. Would love to stay and argue about religion and get my hand licked by Caelan, but I need to get back home. It’s late.”

Cole raised his hand. “I would also love to get my hand licked by Caelan.” he declared, and Caelan smacked his arm.

“You’re such a perv.” she said, and he laughed.

“I’ll see you guys tomorrow.” Lola said, and she waved goodbye to her friends and left Lucy’s apartment. She could still feel the slight pull of THC on her legs, just softly. Numbingly. It was relaxing.

She opened her phone, navigating to Spotify. She tapped the SHUFFLE button on her entire library and slipped it in her pocket as the opening notes to The Scientist by Coldplay started in her headphones.

Come up to meet you,

Tell you I’m sorry,

You don’t know how lovely you are.

As she exited the apartment complex, the cool night air hit her face, ruffling her hair and making her shiver a little.

I had to find you,

Tell you I need you,

Tell you I set you apart.

Tell me your secrets,

Ask me your questions,

Oh, let’s go back to the start.

Marley. Her mind touched on Marley, and as she listened to the music playing in her headphones, she rode that train of thought further and farther.

Running in circles,

Chasing our tails,

Heads on a science apart.

Why was she thinking about Marley so much lately? Why was she so consumed by memories of her in the past twenty four hours after Marley hadn’t even crossed her mind for months?

Nobody said it was easy,

It’s such a shame for us to part.

Nobody said it was easy,

No one ever said it would be this hard.

Lola looked up at the moon. Marley was so far away from her right now. But in four days, she’d be right here in Chicago. Just like old times. She felt her breath catch.

Oh, take me back to the start.

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