Sweet Dreaming: Book 4

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"You know I'm seriously impressed," says Remy, a girl who has been taking care of me at the bowling alley.

My head pokes up at her as I place a pair of baby bowling shoes back on the shelf. "Impressed with what?" I question curiously.

She pushes her long blonde hair over her shoulder as she leans onto the counter beside me. "With how quickly you've picked everything up," she comments. "Most people that come here to work thinking they can get away with doing the bare minimum. But I like you, you aren't making my job any harder."

A small laugh rumbles from my chest. "Thanks, I've been trying," I say as I wipe my hands against my black jeans. "How long have you worked here?"

"Two years," she nods, her hand running along the till. "Hopefully this year will be my last, I want to go travelling in a couple of months. So really I'm just saving up the money for that."

"That's cool," I tell her, my eyes watching out for any customers. But it was getting late and most people had gone home, closing time was in thirty minutes. "I would love to go travelling someday."

"I cannot wait," her big blue eyes burst at me with joy. "So did you just recently move to Michigan or?"

I instantly nod towards her. "I used to live here when I was younger but then I moved away with my two dads for twelve years."

"Where did you live?"

"We lived on the outskirts of New York,"

Remy's jaw drops instantly. "As if you got to live in New York!" She yells. "You're so lucky."

My hands hesitantly pull down the sleeves on my long top as I shrug at her words. "Wouldn't exactly call it lucky, didn't really go to Manhattan much so was pretty much like this."

"Even so," she tilts her head in my direction. "So what's going on with you? You have any friends here?

"Not really," I say quietly. "I've not been here long enough to really meet anyone."

"Well I'm having a little get-together with my friends tonight," she nods enthusiastically towards me. "You should come."

"Oh," I say quickly. "Urm yeah sure, if that's okay?"

Remy hums as she grabs a bottle of water from the side and cracking the lid. "Course it is, it's not like a house party or whatever. I have this shed in my backyard, my parents get sick of everyone making noise so we have our own place to hangout now."

"Sounds good," my eyes check the watch on my wrist.

"As long as you're okay with a bit of drinking and smoking,"

My eyes stare back at her, trying my best for my expression to come across rude. "Sure," I make out before nodding.

"Great," she claps her hands together. "My friends are all probably at my house, do you want a ride to mine?"

"Yeah, please," my hands reach up to tighten my ponytail. "I don't drive yet."

"No biggie," Remy smiles at me. "It's best not driving, means you don't have to be the designated driver."

. . .

The thought of meeting Remy's friends in my work clothes made me feel a little on edge, I probably smelt of cheesy shoes and sweat. Remy lends me a perfume that was kept in the back of her car, along with a jumper she said she never wears.

Pulling down the sun visor and taking one quick glance at myself in the mirror, my red hair poking out in all kinds of directions. Attempting to fix my ponytail and straightening out the hairs on my eyebrows. Nothing was going to make me look better at this rate.

Remy pulls up outside her house and I quickly get out. "So they're already here?" I ask as I follow closely behind her.

She nods as she jams her keys into the front door. "Yeah, they mostly hang here because it's a no parent zone."

Walking through Remy's house felt like a museum, abstract art and sculptures. "Wow," I say. "Your house is awesome."

Remy snorts shortly. "Don't say that to my parents, they're too house proud."

She leads us out the back door and into the yard where I notice a large wooden shed at the bottom, lights flashing occasionally inside. "Come," she says as her head notions towards it.

Cracking the door handle open with her right hand and pushing her way in, the sound of rap music fills my ears. Once I step in I take a quick glance around, the room was messy but the place for teenagers.

"Guys," Remy declares loudly, gaining everyones attention. "This is Myla, she works with me at the alley."

"Hey," I nod as I look from one side of the room to the other.

My eyes almost skip over Jake who sits comfortably on one of the couches, he stares back at me unfazed. "Hey," I blurt out.

"Hey," he replies, his hand lifting his hand slightly.

Remy looks between us quickly. "You guys know each other?"

"Our dads are friends," Jake speaks first.

I nod towards Remy. "Yeah, long time friends,"

"No way, what a small world!" She smiles. "Anyway this is Zack and Carter,"

My eyes dart to the two guys sitting at a table, one with a spliff between his fingers. The smell surrounding every inch of the room. "What's up?" Zack nods at me.

"Hey," I nod back.

"Do you want some?" Carter raises his fingers with the spliff between.

I shake my head instantly. "No, I'm good thanks. I don't smoke."

He shrugs before raising up to his lips and taking a long toke. Remy presses her hand to my back and turns me to a girl sitting in a beanbag, curly black locks fall around her face. "And this is Emily,"

"Nice to meet you," I say in her direction.

"Likewise," she says before pushing herself up from the floor. "Do you want a drink?"

"I'll just have some water, if that's alright,"

Emily's eyes narrow ever so slightly as she turns her head at me. "It's a Friday, have a drink." She says before walking over to the bar full of alcohol.

"Urm I don't really dri—"

"We have wine, vodka, beer, your call," she says as she twirls around a couple of bottles to look at their labels.

Carter joins Emily at the bar and grabs a red cup. "Here, have some vodka," he says before pouring a large cup.

The smell wafting through the air. "Honestly it's okay," I say as I hold up my hands. "I don't want to drink alcohol."

Carter and Emily stop what they're doing and turn to look at me. "You don't drink?" He asks, his voice sounding humorous.

"No," I say simply but confidently.

He looks back at me confused. "That sounds boring. Why?"

"Because my biological mother was a alcoholic and a drug addict and I don't want to end up like her,"

The room falls silent at my bitter comeback. But it was true. I didn't want to drink knowing my mother was an alcoholic, she became aggressive and paranoid and seeing that as I grew up, it's enough to haunt me forever.

"Leave her be," Remy breaks the silence. "I'll get you some water."

"Thanks," I say to her, my feet carrying me to the couch and taking a seat beside Jake.

Emily and Carter chat by the bar, music flowing through the room. "Just ignore them," Jake mumbles from beside me.

I turn my head towards him but he's not looking at me, he's staring ahead at the wall. "Huh?" I ask.

Eventually Jake glances at me, his eyes darting around at Carter and Emily. "Don't take notice to what they say," he says before taking a gulp of his beer. "Do your own thing."

"I will," I say back.

Jake nods at me once just as Remy comes back over with a glass of water. "Thank you," I say to her as I watch as she grabs a bottle of wine and swigs the bottle.

"Where is Aria?" Emily spins around and walks towards Jake.

He shrugs. "How would I know?" He says bluntly.

"Because she's your sister?" Emily says before rolling her eyes.

"Fuck knows," he grumbles. "She's your friend."

"I heard she's trying to fuck that guy who works at Starbucks," Zack comments before laughing. "Pretty sure she's been peacocking him, who knows they might be fucking in his car right now..."

Jake sighs from beside me and begins to shake his head. "That guy who is like thirty?" Emily gasps in shock.

"Youbetcha," he flashes us wide eyes, a look to say that saying this was almost painful for him. Like he was taking it as one big joke on himself.

"Don't worry Zack, I'm sure Aria will come to her senses—never." Carter claps him loudly on the back before Zack downs the contents of his drink quickly.

"Shut up," he grumbles before standing up and walking towards the bar.

"So Myla," Emily says as she perches down on the couch beside me, barely any space for her but I refused to bunch up closer to Jake. "How comes we haven't seen you around here before?"

"Because I used to live in New York for most of my life before my dads brought me back here to be closer to their friends and family,"

"Two dads?" She repeats, her facial expressions coming across confused.

My eyebrows narrow slightly as I nod in her direction. "Yeah I have two dads,"

"Holy shit," she slaps one of her knees. "That's so cool, my dad left before I was even born. You're lucky to have two."

"I know I'm lucky," I agree with her. "Luckier than the rest."

"Right," Remy shouts. "Let's play some games or something because you're all being boring,"

"We're just relaxed Rem, that's all," Carter says as he stretches his hands behind his head and extends his feet.

"Because you guys are fucking stoned and that's self-inflicted, sort yourselves out," she claps her hands together shortly before placing red cups on the ping-pong table.

"Myla, I know you won't drink but you can just nominate someone from the team to drink for you," she explains before pouring beer straight into the standing cups.

"Fine by me," I say as I push myself up from the couch and stand beside Remy.

"Let's do girls against boys first," she nods at us. "Cause they'll do shit and we might actually win for once."

"Pffft," I mumble, earning a side glance from Remy. "Let's not put ourselves down before we've even begun."

Remy flashes me a bright smile. "Normally when we play with Aria, we don't do too great. Aria does have the worst aim in the world."

Jake laughs from the other side of the table, the first time I've heard him laugh or even seen him smile. "You can say that again,"

Remy hands me the ball and I quickly line up at the table and throw it down, bouncing on the line perfectly and landing in the first cup.

My hands raise to clap and Remy screams in my ear. "Holy shit! Now this is a first,"

"Who's drinking?" Zack asks as he twirls the ball between his fingers.

My mouth moves to one side as I think for a brief moment. "Jake can drink,"

Jake pulls at the string of his hoodie before stepping forward to swipe the first cup and brings it up to his lips. He gulps in one and slams the cup down onto the side. "Easy,"

Emily rolls her eyes. "Of course it's easy, it's beer,"

"I'd like to see you get one in at all Em," Jake grumbles.

She mocks him just as he throws the ball perfectly into the middle cup. "Fuck sake," she groans.

"Myla," his voice brought me back to his attention. His lips part ever so slightly as his arms fold across his chest. "It's your drink."

"Then I nominate you,"

Jake's head tilts slightly towards me. "It doesn't work like that,"

"Says who?"

"Says the rules,"

"Do you have a rule book?" I ask as my head shakes once.

Jake's eyes narrow at me, no one talks above the music. Maybe he wanted to punch me, maybe he wanted to laugh. Who knows but he drinks anyway and stares me directly in the eyes as he does so.

"Game on," he says slyly.
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