Shoulda Known Better


I was definitely dreaming.

That, or the past six years of my life had been one hell of a déjà vu. How else could I have ended up on the front porch of my childhood home, splitting a joint with my neighbor’s son, who was, still, way out of my league. I had done this once before, but I wasn’t going to let it end the same way that had.

After a few passes back and forth in silence, I began to realize that I was getting too high to actually come up with anything to say to this man. I mean, here I was, shaking in my wee little boots over the fact that he was shedding some kind of attention in my direction. What the actual fuck?

Now, let me stop for a second to explain that I don’t do this normally. I mean, I’m friendly enough with my weed, that’s not the issue here. I just don’t choke up and stutter and go into an absolute frenzy around every attractive male I meet. That would be ridiculous. No, back in Massachusetts I was much more poised than this. I new how to sweet-talk a guy till I was blue in the face. Well, not that I ever really wanted to. But, I had no problem with the opposite sex. It was just Zack. Something about this guy had me on pins and needles. I could literally feel my heartbeat pulsating through my eardrums.

I have spent years trying to figure out what it is exactly that Zack got a hold of in me. Like, I barely said five words to the guy before I fucked him, but what does that even mean for me? I had wanted it. I initiated it. Yet, here I am getting myself worked up into a conniption over a dude who doesn’t even know my first name. Yeah, he took my virginity. I always loop back around to that one. Maybe that’s why I always felt so sick whenever I thought about it. Not like the whole experience wasn’t good or anything. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have fucked him twice if I didn’t enjoy it.

I just—I don’t know anymore. I honestly don’t. I should have known better than to jump into a situation like that. But, at the same time I’m tired of caring. Who cares! It was my virginity! He was drunk, and so was I. I had wanted it. If anything I forced him into it and he should be the one feeling sick at the memory. But, no.

I get the migraines. I deal with the tossing of my stomach every time I think about it and I just don’t understand why!

By the time I had completed my inner monologue, the jay was nothing but dead roach. Zach handed it over to me before standing up. He offered me his hand. I looked down at it and then back up at him quickly, trying to keep my expression as unreadable as possible.

His eyes were bloodshot; I noticed that right away. But he kind of had this lopsided grin smeared across his face and I couldn’t help the tugging at the corners of my own lips. I grabbed his hand lightly, standing up next to him. The sensation of his skin on mine felt oddly familiar and at the same time something completely indescribable.

Once again I was floored when I looked up from our now released hands and caught him giving me that quizzical expression again. Did I have ash on my face somewhere? I tried subtly rubbing my nose and mouth, but I doubt it came off subtle. So, instead I made a point of looking in every direction but his eyes.

“Johnny hit you with his bike, right?” It was less of a question and more of a statement of fact. I nodded anyway, finally bucking up enough to give this guy another glance.

My eyes met his again. Yep, still beautiful.

“You’re okay now?” he questioned, his eyes reading more toward that of concern. Once again, all I could do was nod at him. I swallowed hard, convincing myself that I might have just swallowed my tongue in the process as well. My mouth was so dry. A beautiful vision of bottled water popped into my mind and I knew I had a good excuse to get away from him. But, for a reason I couldn’t explain, I just needed to talk to him for a few more seconds.

Talk, that was a joke. I was standing here nodding my head up and down like a goddamn bobble head while he did all the talking. I have no idea why on earth he was still standing in front of my porch. I hadn’t said anything to him since I offered him a hit.

“Evangeline” I muttered, extending my hand to him once again.

He looked down at my hand, almost surprised that I had said anything at all, before taking it in his own. “Evangeline” he repeated, “I’m Zack.”

“I know.”

Uh, curse the automatic reaction of my big mouth! Why did I just say that?!

Well, I know why. I have word vomit almost every time I get stoned. That is if there’s someone else there with me I do. But, I would have much preferred my word vomit to blurt anything else but that.

Before I could open my mouth to continue or run away into my house forever, Zack sent me one of those knee-buckling smirks. “You know?” he questioned, with a curious expression on his face. I couldn’t help the grimace that crept over my features as I saw the gears start turning in his head. “You know…”

“Zack, I—“ I was cut off by Zack interrupting.

“Have you always lived in this house?” he asked, hurriedly. His body seemed to be gravitating in my direction and it was starting to make me nervous all over again. Without hesitation, I took a small step back from him while nodding my head.

“Yes, my whole life I lived here.”

“And siblings,” he pressed, “do you have any?” I shook my head at him, knowing full well where this conversation was headed. And let me tell you something, I was not having it. Hell fucking no. “Evangeline…you…I…weed” he sputtered, obviously looking for the right way to phrase it.

We fucked six years ago! How about that for phrasing?

Maybe Zack was just trying to be delicate about it. I didn’t want delicate, though. Hell, I didn’t even want to broach the topic with him in the first place. I had just smoked for the first time in weeks. His mouth was still opening and closing like a fish out of water when I decided to pull out a cigarette from my back pocket and light it up.

“Do you want one of these?” I questioned, extending on of my shaky hands in his direction. He nodded, finally deciding to be quiet and smoke his nicotine. He grabbed the cigarette from my hand and I held my lighter out to him to spark it.

After both of us taken a puff or two, Zack turned back towards me, his face holding nothing but pity. I knew what that look means. This conversation hadn’t really been finished, and for good reason. I didn’t want a single part in it.

I stood up from the steps I had just found myself getting comfortable on again. “No, Zack.” I said, moving my body away from his as I exhaled more smoke from my lungs. “Drop it. I shouldn’t have said anything.” I shook my head and averted my eyes from him. I didn’t even want to see how he was looking at me now.

“You haven’t said anything.” He muttered. “But, fine. That’s cool.”

I knew it really wasn’t cool. I knew deep down that this was something Zack and I were probably going to need to discuss if I kept on running into him over and over again. But, I was feeling particularly selfish and stubborn, and not to mention damn hungry at the moment.

On queue, my stomach emitted a tremendous growl. I looked over to Zack as I flicked my cigarette butt into the driveway. “I better get going. My pizza is getting cold.” I mumbled. I gave Zack one last fleeting look as I opened my front door. “See you around, Zack.”

As I pulled the barricade the space between the two of us, I heard him faintly respond with, “Yeah, thanks for smoking me up, again.”

And with the last word he uttered, all traces of anonymity were completely erased.
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This chapter is not my best work, I know that.
I've been updating like crazy the past two days, but I'm gonna have to cool my jets for a couple days between school and work.

So if y'all could please keep it up with the comments and feedback I'd really appreciate it. I'm still trying to figure out how well this plot line is actually playing out. And your nice comments keep me motivated to keep developing it!