This is another short story I wrote for my creative writing class last year. I think it's cute.

Frank calls me up today and says that we’re going to meet some girls. I’ve heard all this before and tell him just that. You see- Frank always likes to get things going, but never pulls through. Especially with girls. He tells me that he’s got a plan today. These are no ordinary girls. They’re fifteen years old and one of them works at the pool hall! We’ve been trying to get in there ever since I turned thirteen, but the doorman prevented that from happening. Anyway, Frank tells me to meet him at the corner around 7 or so- the perfect time for a date. He says he can’t explain the rest on the phone because it’s too dangerous. Frank’s a real joker sometimes. I’m not sure why, but I have no trouble believing him this time. Right after I hang up a familiar sound catches my attention. That would be Greg and Matt tossing pebbles at my window. They want to go to the park and play baseball or chase ducks or somethin’, but I tell them that I have a date tonight. No more time for baby games.

I look in the mirror and study my outfit. Oh no! Grass stains won’t do. I throw on another pair of jeans and notice that these are worn clean through. Oh well, anything beats grass stains. Running into the bathroom, I pull a comb through my hair while brushing my teeth. I am a master of looking good in a hurry. Looking at my face in the mirror, I notice a little bit of hair poking through. This won’t do. I open the cabinet and take out my dad’s razor. Now, I’ve never shaved before so I don’t know exactly how much soap to use. Damn! That’s going to need a band-aid. There’s no regular ones available so I use a Looney-Tunes bandage. My favorite show. I glance at my watch, and start to hurry. It’s almost seven! I’m forgetting something…that’s it! Since this is a special occasion I splash on a dab of cologne. Just enough to set the right mood. When I arrive in the kitchen my mom waves her hand in front of her nose, and asks me what died upstairs. My cheeks turn red, and I confess that I’m going with Frank to meet some girls. She just smiles, and goes back to washing the dishes. On my way out I make sure to grab a pack of Twizzlers. I never leave home without them. I slam the door closed and strut down the steps. Tonight will be awesome!

Five minutes later I meet up with Frank at the alley. He looks good. Frank is two months older than me so he gets to wear the cigarette behind his ear. Not that he smokes or anything- he just likes the look. He’s dressed in his older brother’s leather jacket and a pair of new slacks. I guess they’re new because I’ve never seen him wear slacks before. I would dress the same if I had an older brother, but I think I do just fine on my own. As I walk up to him we start grinning at each other. I punch him on the arm and he tugs on my shirt a little. He makes some comment about me not dressing up, but I tell him I am dressed up and we laugh. Frank tells me that we have to go in the back door so that Julie, Frank’s girl, can let us in without anyone seeing. I nod and start to run off down the alley. Frank grabs my shirt and tells me not to run. Mustn’t look too eager. He’s right, of course, and we start our walk toward destiny.

As we walk down the alley I ask Frank how he met the girls. He launches into a whole explanation about how he met them through some new friends of his and doesn’t shut up so I stop listening after a while. Frank has been hanging out with all of these tough kids from our school recently, and hasn’t been spending as much time with me and the other boys. Now, I don’t mind trying to go out with girls sometimes, but it seems like that’s all he thinks about. I glance over at him, and notice that he has the cigarette dangling between his lips as he talks. It’s not lit, of course, but it’s still cool. A few months ago he wouldn’t even have thought of this whole cigarette trick. Frank asks me what I think of the whole thing, but I don’t know what he’s talking about. I just kinda grunt back at him, and he nods at me. I guess that was good enough for him. Suddenly, a large crash sounds from somewhere behind us. We both stop and stare at each other. Frank shoves me and tells me to cut it out. I tell him it wasn’t me and then we hear it again. Not wanting to take any chances we start to run down the alley. As we run I start to hum the theme song to our favorite cartoon show, and Frank joins in. A few minutes later we stop because up ahead is a glowing neon sign. The pool hall.

Frank stops again and adjusts his jacket. I run my hands through my hair and make sure my shirt isn’t torn anywhere. After sniffing under my arms I slap Frank a high five and we walk into the shallow pool of light created by the sign. My hands begin to shake a little so I shove them in my pockets and take a deep breath. I notice that Frank is doing the same. My heart trips up at the sight of the two girls waiting for us. One of them is my height with brown hair and gorgeous white skin. She’s wearing a "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" t-shirt. I love that show. Not many other guys my age admit to watching that show, but I know they all do. Anyway, the girls. The other is dressed in a low cut shirt and a tight, short skirt. I guess that’s Julie. We walk up to the girls confidently. They say nothing. We say…nothing. My girl is kind of rocking back and forth on her toes. Real cute. I tell her my name and extend my hand. She does the same. Her name’s Mary. I love that name.

From this close up I can tell that she’s a little shorter than I am. I look down and see her looking up at me with those big brown eyes, and I feel like fainting right then and there. Little birds flap around in my stomach. I must be in love! I glance over at Frank and notice how well he’s chatting up the other girl. She’s leaning against the wall and he has one hand pressed against it near her head. He’s too slick. With a giggle, the other girl asks Frank why he has half a cigarette behind his ear. It must’ve broken when we were fooling around in the alleyway. Frank laughs too, and they start to talk more. I turn back to Mary and say something that must’ve been funny because she lowers her eyes a bit and laughs. Mary comes a little closer to me and puts her hand on my chest. Oh my God! I close my eyes in anticipation, and then….she takes my Twizzler! I open my eyes in shock and watch her start to nibble on one. She offers me the package and I take one for myself. I glance over at Frank. Thank god he didn’t notice. Julie slips over to the door and goes inside, holding it open for us to pass through. Frank goes inside and motions for us to follow. Mary offers me her arm, and we smile at each other again. We cross the threshold quickly and regroup with Frank and Julie. The night’s off to a great start!

She was lying on her back, strawberry-gold hair fanned out on the dark, moonbeam-streaked grass beneath her. Her sundress no longer keeping her warm, the cool late-spring breeze causing her to shiver. She was wrapped in the faintly warm embrace of champagne, however; the alcohol warmed her a little, an unseen flush on her cheeks.

One arm was resting on her stomach, the other outstretched, a limp grip on the heavy, green bottle of champagne. She had it bought by an older friend she rarely talked to, but she felt that she deserved a drink. She didn't want a lot of alcohol, just...enough. Enough to make everything a little fuzzy, a lot warmer, and much more friendly than it actually was.

She started humming, watching the stars race in the black night above her, twinkle at her, burn for her. Everything that had made her upset seemed to fall away as she thought about how many wonderful stars wanted to dance just for her. She liked the thought of something so far away and tantalizing wanting her to be happy. And then she took another drink of her champagne and let the bubbles flow through her, felt the glow of artificial content seep into her veins.

Only a few blocks from home, she knew that there could be anyone to see her in the park, but thinking of the late hour - she thought it must be two in the morning - she wasn't worried about being found. She only worried about the moon leaving her, of the stars fading. But she knew she still had a few hours left with her dazzling friends; she wished she could fly with them, the billions and billions of miles away that they were not mattering to her.

And the next thing she knew, she heard the sound, a bit muffled, of a car pulling into the parking lot a little over a hundred yards away. She paid no mind, knowing that no one knew where she was, that no one could find her if they weren't looking. She smiled, a sensation of joy filling her as she watched the waxing moon float above her, singing her a lullaby. She wished she could sing back to the moon, but she had no idea as to what it wanted to hear.

She had always had a wonderful, strange relationship with the moon. When she was born, the moon was there to greet her. When she was sad, the moon was always large and sympathetic, lighting the path to the back garden where she could lay among the flowers and let the lunar orb sing her to sleep. When her head ached, the moon was there, watching, unintentionally causing the pain, but she knew that the earth's natural satellite only wanted to help; it was only there to try to comfort her while she held her eyes shut tight against the blinding, burning pain.

"Tonia..." a voice called to her from somewhere in the distance.

She took another quick drink before calling back, her voice lilting a bit with the effects of champagne, "Oh moon! Is that you?"

She heard a low laugh that got closer. She continued to stare in awe at the laughing moon above, wishing it wouldn't mock her; it made her realize how pathetic she truly was in this moment. She didn't like the image that laugh created in her mind's eye. That of a girl in a bright blue dress and green shoes and guady beads, holding onto a bottle of liquid she certainly should not posess. She made a noise caught between mirth and disgust.

"No, just me," a voice crawled to her through the darkness.

"Oh. Graham?" she inquired, as if asking a question in a classroom; innocent, desirous only of knowledge.

"Yes. You're light wasn't on when i drove by on my way home. I decided to find you and get you back there. I had a feeling that you'd go off and - "

"Drink myself silly?" she supplied, as if tentatively giving a teacher an answer. If only life were formulaic like school was, but she knew better than to wish that.

"If that's what you like to call it," she was still staring dazedly at the stars. Antonia knew that he was laying next to her, talking at her. He never talked to her, just in her direction. He was the instructor, the one with the answers and processes; she just tagged along for the ride, collecting bits and pieces of things she found as they went.

He reached out and laid his hand on hers, the one that rested on her stomach. She was surprised by the gesture, and looked over at him, "Did you need something? Is that why you came to get me? It seems that's all you do lately: find me when you need something of me."

She didn't mean for it to sound rude, didn't mean for her words to tip out and splash all over the night, broken and a bit angry. She didn't plan on telling him off, only to ask if he was going to take her home.

Graham used to talk at her constantly, always showing her how to do things, teaching her new bits of different subjects, showing her a variety of what life had for inquisitive, bookish people like themselves, but over the past few months, he had drifted away. He had left her to flail in the metaphorical sea while he went off on his own adventures. And throughout that period of estrangement, he only sought her out when he needed advice or food or money. She always helped him no matter what, he always returned the favor with something material. And maybe that is what drove her to drink; all that time alone and some bizarre semblance of what once had been.

She knew the cause too; it was a girl named Sylvia. A slight, pretty girl with watery grey eyes and straight brown hair. Sylvia enchanted him, caught him by the throat, jaded him, and quite recently, deposited him on the side of the road after riding off into the distance with an older man. And by an older man, Antonia meant a grad student from a university three or four hours away; she really wasn't sure about the details, nor did she really care.

She took another pull from the bottle, pulling herself back to the present. She wondered how long she'd been gone, but then she heard the moon say that she needn't worry about that, he'd left her for months, he could wait a few moments.

"Are you paying attention now?" he asked, his voice low in her ear. She felt him turn toward her, willing her to look back at him, but she was too engrossed in the moon.

He sighed and turned to her dear friend Luna, wanting Antonia to fixate on him the way she was fixating on the blue moon tonight, "Tonia, please. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to..."

The words grew cold, dead in the air around them. He wanted her to understand that he only wanted her, that Sylvia was gone and would stay gone. But at the same time, he knew that Antonia was disenchanted and nothing he could do would bring him back to the pre-Sylvia Thatcher era.

She finally turned her head to look at his silhouette, his long nose and small mouth, round cheeks and closed eyes, "Yes, you are sorry aren't you?"

He heard her words, sickly sweet with champagne and something that couldn't acheive proper malice. He just wanted her back with him, teaching her how the world worked, sheltering her, holding her hand and catching her if she stumbled even a little. He wanted the security of her, the familiarity. Especially after the Sylvia incident, he wanted Antonia's moodiness back, her messy strawberry hair. Without thinking, he pressed his mouth to hers, only to feel her hands struggle to find purchase and finally push him back.

He laid back in the now-damp grass as he watched her rise shakily to her feet, brush bits of grass clumsily from her skirt, and stagger slightly as she quickly found her way home. As he watched familiarity and childhood both leave him after clinging so closely for nearly eighteen years.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.