The morning was dark, and it really didn’t look much like morning at all. But, my mother reassured me that it actually was the next day. She had to go to work, apparently it was urgent, and she needed me to go to school today; since my father didn't have time to come see to me, I'd have to trifle through a severe thunderstorm--with the possibility of nickel-sized hail--alone. By the looks of it, the sky had already begun brewing up something horrendous to pelter me.
“Mom… I’m not four… I can take care of myself, you know.”
“ I know that, Jen, I just—”
“You just what, mom? You’d rather force me to go to school in this bad weather than to let me stay home and be safe? With the way things are looking, they may even cancel class today anyway…”
“But, they haven’t, Jennifer Lynette Brighton. So, you’re going. And, that’s final.”
As my mother's phone began to ring, I turned around--defeated--grabbed my raincoat and walked out of the house. She came outside and stood with me a minute and said,
“Can you stay out of trouble for an entire day while I‘m away?”
“Mom… I’m at home alone when I get back from school anyhow.”
“Well, Megan’s mother called me and according to her, school is cancelled today.”
“Oh yes! I’m coming, bed!”
“Yea... if you stay in bed all day, what do I have to worry about?” she teased.
“That’s exactly what I‘m saying, mom!”
“Yes, well… I’ll be back around nine or so, alright?”
“Okay! But, you’ll probably need your key because you know where I’ll be,” I said, pointing upstairs in the direction of my room.
“I doubt if you’ll be in bed that long,“ she tittered. “But please, Jen. Stay clear of the windows and try to use as little electricity as possible. I don’t want any accidents, okay?”
“Mom,” I whined, “I’ve got it! Shoo, shoo!”
“Alright!” She said, inching towards the steps. “Remember, sometime around nine!”
After watching my mother take long strides from the porch and out into the rain, I ran up the stairs and dove into bed. Damn it felt good to sleep in on a school day… on a dark, thundering morning.
Around 12, I got out of bed and lazed around the house for a while. I changed out of the clothing that I was going to wear to school and put on some pajama bottoms and an old, gray, long-sleeved shirt. It was a bit loose in the shoulders and kept sliding down my arm, but it was kind of warm in the house; so, I didn’t mind.
Around one, I found something interesting to read. It came from a box of old novels that mom gave me about a year ago. And by the looks of it, she didn’t go through the box before handing them down because, these books were as guilty as sin.
There was this really short novel I finished rather quickly called, Paradise Island. And let’s just say on that island, there was more than one kind of treasure that they were digging for. Mom would never approve of these books! But, she didn’t check them… So, I’ll just keep them to myself. Next book on the list, The Sandpit.
Throughout the day it was dark and windy. Around two-thirty, the thunder sounded closer. Then around three, it started to rain. And my, did it rain… I could barely see anything out of the windows. Soon after the rain started, the hail came… A visitor came too.
I ran to open the door and… to my disbelief, it was Jesse.
“I told you I’d be here,” he said, huffing. He had barely gotten touched by the rain. His hair seemed dry but, there was a bit of rain sprinkled across his chest and shoulders.
“But—it’s about to storm outside--it's raining…”
“Well, it wasn’t raining when I started walking,” he laughed. “But if you want, I can turn right around and walk back home.”
“Well, I don’t want you to go out in this weather and get sick or hurt—”
“Then I’ll stay,” he said, closing the door behind him.
“Um… alright, then… I just--forgot that you would be coming…”
“Well, just tell your parents I’m here, no big deal.”
“My…mom’s at work…right now…”
“Well… I’m a little reluctant to meet your pops… but if that makes you feel better, I can check with him—”
“My dad doesn’t live here… besides, he could probably care less.”
“Oh, I see.”
I locked the door and laid across the sofa again. Jesse sat in a chair, and for a while, he didn’t say anything. I think it was about 15 minutes later when he actually decided to talk.
“So, what are you reading?”
I held up the book so he could read the title.
“The Sandpit, eh?”
“So, um… what’s it about?”
“This… team of excavators who get trapped in--”
“Well? Get trapped in what?”
“If you want to know so bad, why don’t you read it when I’m done.”
“You don’t have to be so defensive,” he laughed, “it’s just a book.” He got out of his chair and knelt by the box of books. “Deep Impact… Love Slave… Caves and Crypts,” he read aloud. “Why are you reading these types of books??”
“They’re interesting,” I said, tucking my feet underneath myself.
“It’s because you’re…horny,” he laughed. “Aren’t you?”
“Oh my god…” I said, rolling my eyes at him.
“Let me see that book you got there,” he said, reaching up at it.
“No! I’m reading it!”
“I just wanna see what you’re reading,” he insisted, climbing onto the sofa.
He started wrestling me for it. I tried putting the book underneath me, but he reached behind my back and took it.
“John! Take me, right here! Right now! I need your body brushing against mine!” he read.
“Jesse, stop it! Give it back!”
“He pulled himself between her knees and thrust angrily!”
“He lay on his back and watched as she rocked back and forth on his swollen, erect—”
“Ahhhhhhh!! You know what?! Just keep the damn thing!”
“No, no, wait! I’m sorry,” he laughed, “I’m so sorry.”
“I don’t care,” I said, pushing him off of the couch and quickly standing. “Get out! Walk home! I don’t care if you get wet or sick or hit by a car! Just leave!”
I ran upstairs and plopped down across the bed, waiting to hear the front door open and close. I instead felt Jesse sit down beside me. He had followed me upstairs.
“It’s not such a big deal,” he said. “It’s just a book.”
“But it’s embarrassing when you read it out loud like that--you don’t understand.”
“If it’s so embarrassing, then why would you read it?”
“Because--I thought it was-- kinda interesting… I was curious… That’s all.”
After a brief moment of silence, Jesse enlivened.
“Well, what if… what if we cured your curiosity…?”