"April, baby, you ready to go?" My boyfriend, Sam Ritchie, asks, stumbling towards me. My best friend, Skye Sawyer, leans back and wipes tears from her eyes. I drop my hands and turn around to face him. The party shrieks on in the distance.
"No, Sam, I think I'm going to drive Skye home. She's in no state to me using a motorized vehicle." I turn to her and smile, she doesn't return it. I look over at him, his eyes are red and he has a beer in one hand. "But neither do you." I stand there and bite my lip. I slide one arm under Skye's arm and hoist her up on her feet. "Come on, I'll drive you both home." I say, taking him by the hand. We start walking, well Skye is leaning on me hiccuping and Sam is stumbling aimlessly while try to steer them under their weight. When we reach my car, I lay Sam down in the grass and open the passenger's door, pulling the seat forward and laying Skye down in the backseat. I push the seat back into place and help Sam to his feet. He stops and just stands there for a moment, looking me in my eyes. He places both hands on my cheeks and kisses.
"My sweet little April, you take too good of care of me. I love you so much. I really do." Sam tells me. I laugh and kiss his nose.
"You won't remember this in the morning." I giggle, urging him to move again. "Here you go, Sam, in the front seat." I maneuver him into my car, buckle him up, and push the seat straight back, so he too is laying down. "I'll drop you off first." I tell him, even though he isn't listening.
I sit in the front seat and buckle myself up. I put the key in the ignition and turn my car on. In my headlights i see the outline of two figures. One has a black hood on and his head is down. The other I can see clearly. His black hair is long, falling to his chin, and he wears the same green olive toque that he wears every day. His dark red lip is pierced with a ring stuck in it. He wears baggy jeans and red Nike shoes. He wears a green T-shirt, only a shade lighter then his hat and a white long sleeved shirt underneath. He has a skateboard sticking out from underneath his left foot. A joint is sticking out his mouth. He hands the other guy in the clack hoodie and little baggy filled with marijuana. The other boy takes it and hands him a small wad of cash and runs away. I know the dealer. He's in my English class. Well, I mean, he shows up sometimes. His name is Drake Mitchell.
I honk and he looks up. Deer-caught-in-headlights is the only way I can explain his face at the moment. I stick my head out the window and yell, "You could be more discreet, you know." He takes the joint out of his mouth a blows out a puff of smoke. I can smell the skunky stench from my car.
"It's just business, April." Drake replies, inhaling more. I laugh and shake my head. He holds out his joint. "Would you like some?" I hesitate. "Of this, I mean. It's free." He smiles at me, tempting. I look over at Sam and Skye, asleep in my car, I turn back to him.
"No thanks, my friends here can't handle their liquor. I have to get them home." I tell him. Drake shrugs. "Do you need a ride?" Drake shakes his head.
"Not to be rude. I just have a few more regular buyers to meet with. Maybe some other time." Drake smiles, before I can answer he looks away and then takes off running into the bush. I turn around to see two police cars pull up.
"Shit." I breath. I reach over and punch Sam in the chest to wake him up. He jumps up, startled. His eyes are fading into more of a soft pink. Skye is still asleep.
"Are we there?" Sam asks."Am I home?" I smile at him and shake my head.
"No, we're still at the party. The cops showed up. Act sober." I order. He nods and levers the seat back up straight. I hand him some gum and he pops five pieces of it into his mouth.
"What do we do with sleeping beauty back there?" Sam asks, blasting me with his minty breath.
"Just leave her. She only had three shots." I explain, putting my car in drive and pull out of my parking space. A police officer waves me over and I pull up beside him. "Is there a problem, officer?" I ask, reciting my mother's words. She told me exactly how to handle this situation.
"Just making sure everyone in this car is going to be arriving home safe, Miss Cody." Officer Daniels tells me. Everyone knows who I am. My mom is a skilled lawyer who is almost famous in this town. "Are you sober?" He asks. I tell him exactly what my mother told me.
"Of course I'm sober, officer...Daniels." I shriek. "I'm on an exclusive diet. Those shots are filled with calories." I pursed my lips, preparing for the grand finale. Mom always told me that if there is one thing a man can't handle it's talking about our 'ladiy issues'. "Well, I'm on this diet because apparently certain foods and calorie counts increase the chances of having a heavy flow." I lie, saying things off the top of my head. "Nobody wants to be rushing to the bathroom every five minutes to rip out a blood stick before the next explosion of mass destruction hits the tamp-"
"Alright, alright!" His eyes are wide, his face filled with terror. I resist the urge to laugh. "I understand, you're sober." He stares at me with embarresment wiped all over his face. He gives up and looks at Sam in the passenger, Sam waves. Officer Daniels shines his flashlight at Sam to see how red his eyes are. Sam growls and hold his hand in front of his face.
"If you don't mind, officer, would you please lower your light before you damage my cornea?" Sam snaps. Officer Daniels clicks his light off.
"Very well. You may proceed. Drive safe, Miss Cody." He steps back and I drive away.
When we pull up outside Sam's house I have to shake him awake again.
"Sweetie, were at your house this time." I say sweetly. Sam opens his eyes and sits up slowly.
"Thanks, baby." He leans in and kisses me. "I'll call you tomorrow. Be safe." He tells me, getting out of my car. I nod and blow him a kiss. He catches it and taps it on his cheek. I giggle and drive away.
Skye's house it kind of far out of town so I turn on the radio and try to relax. She moans and tosses in her sleep and I just smile. I like watching her sleep, it's entertaining. When we were kids Skye used to fart in her sleep. So loudly and manly, sometimes I contemplated waking her up and sending her to the toilet. I pull out of town and look around. It's a long flat road, flat land is set on either side. It's quiet and dark. The roads are empty. I glance at my clock and realize it's four in the morning. The sun should only be ten minutes away. A couple nights ago, Sam had asked me to stay up all night and record the time the sun comes up. He's kind of a closet dork.
My phone begins to ring and I dig it out of my purse and check the caller I.D.
"Mom?" I say into the phone, feeling guilty.
"April?" A squeaky young voice peels into my ear. I sigh.
"Alexis, what are you doing up this early in the morning? Sweetie, go back to bed." I roll my eyes. My three year old sister sniffled. "Is everything okay?"
"But, April, you told me to call if something bad happened!" Alexis's squeals. Far ahead of me I see a pair of headlights.
"Okay, Alexis, tell me what happened. Where's Mommy?" I ask. Alexis hesitates. "Alexis, where is Allyson? Can you give the phone to sissy?" I ask. Something on her end fumbles and mutters. Then my fifteen year old sister got on the phone. The headlights I'd been watching switch off.
"April, Mom is in the hospital." Allyson tells me.
"What?" I squeal, slowing down. "What happened?"
"She fell down the stairs and knocked herself out. They think it cracked her skull. They think she'll be okay. But they want you to come." Allyson explains.
"Okay, I'm on my way." I hang up, signal, and swerve to make a sharp U-turn. I hear cars tires screech, and I turn my head, just as a car blows into mine.