Please enjoy chapter two from my story Waiting on July. I hope that you all enjoyed chapter one and I have enjoyed seeing your comments on my other posts as well! If you haven’t read chapter one check that out first! I have heard that people want more of “Tuesday at Midnight” and I will say that I never thought about making a continuation. However, I am enjoying the feedback I am getting on it and am excited to get creative with it! So, with that said, a part II will be coming soon! In the meantime, enjoy chapter two from Waiting on July!
TW: Substance abuse. SAMHSA National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
The rest of that week went by pretty fast. Madyson and I began sitting next to each other in English class and we slowly started being both Ms. Wes’ favorite and least favorite students. Madyson had to work a couple nights that I had to work as well so I would drive her with me. I would park in the center of the parking lot so we both walked the same distance to our shit places of employment although, I think Madyson really enjoyed Bed Bath and Beyond. But, I also think that was because she didn’t need to work. I relied on the shit grocery store and their shit money so working was more of an obligation than a past time.
Saturday night around 9:30 Hendrick picked me up before Max’s party. There was no breeze and the air almost felt warm. It was foggy creating an orb like glow around all the streets lights.
“Hey can you swing by the spot first” I asked.
“Already planned on it my man.” The spot was actually probably the dumbest fucking thing we ever made up. It was a bush in the parking lot of the elementary school that we hid all of the alcohol so our parents wouldn’t catch us. It was the perfect place to hide it for two reasons, 10 year olds don’t typically drink and the second being no one would think to look there for alcohol. Because let’s be honest only a complete idiot would hide alcohol in a bush facing an elementary school. And Hendrick and I were indeed complete idiots.
We pulled up and I jumped out towards the third bush from the street light and used my phone as a flash light.
“Alright so we have half a fifth of vodka or a shockingly full thing of tequila.” I said to Hendrick who was still sitting buckled in the car.
“Take the tequila.” He said. I looked at him and unscrewed the cap and took a swig out of the bottle.“Bro… come on.”
“What, I have to make sure it’s not hobo piss.” I said looking back at him.
“If I get pulled over and you smell like alcohol…”
“What? You’ll get in trouble for being sober? Calm down.” I put the bottle into the trunk and made my way back to the passenger seat.
Max lived in an average neighborhood, all the houses looked like the same split level just in different colors. Max’s was light probably a gray or a white but it was too dark to be sure. There was a wood fence on the side and you could see the amber glow of a fire in the backyard. Almost immediately Hendrick ran off with Tristan and the circle jerk squad towards the fire and I put my bottle of tequila down on the kitchen counter and poured myself a shot.
“Are you just shooting that straight?” A familiar voice said from behind me. I turned around.
“Madyson?” Madyson was standing there in jeans and a loose maroon sweater.
“Well, pour me one.” She said smiling at me and I grabbed a cup from the pile.
“What are we cheersing too?” I said with our cups touching.
“To… you and I’s ever growing friendship in this shit city.”
“Depressing” I smiled and our cups made a subtle bumping noise and we hit them together, followed by a tab on the counter. I could feel the burn reach the bottom of my stomach.
“Why did you tap your shot on the counter?”
“Why? Do they not do that in Florida parties.”
“I mean I see people do it all the time but I’m curious.” I took her cup and poured another shot into both of ours.
“Because you cheers to the future, but tap to acknowledge your past.” I held my cup up to hers again. “Cheers to a great senior year.” Madyson followed me in the tap on the counter and without any hesitation drank the tequila and put her cup in mine. “Wait… didn’t you tell me you don’t drink?”
“It’s fun to try to change your narrative when you move somewhere new.” Madyson smiled as I shook my head.
The party dragged on. I mean really it was one of the most unentertaining parties I have ever been to. Madyson and I stayed by the fire as we watched the number of kids slowly leave and by 11:30 there was almost no one left except a few people talking in different corners of the yard and deck. A few people getting too drunk for no reason and some making out, basically having sex with their clothes on.
“Soooo… this is getting lame. Should we leave?” Madyson said checking her phone for the time.
“Yeah, I’m over this. I don’t have a car though.”
“That’s okay I drove and I’m completely sober.” Madyson dangled her keys in front of my face.
“Let me just find Hendrick and let him know I am leaving.” I stood up and Madyson and I made our way into the house. I could hear Blakes annoying ass laugh downstairs. As I opened the door, a familiar scent almost like vinegar gently filled the room. Max laid passed out on the bed in the corner. Blake sat next to him barely awake and his arms looked heavy as they rest on the bed with his neck slouched over. Hendrick and Tristan were on the floor against the wall.
“Hendrick? What the fuck!” I stood in the doorway and Hendrick could barely lift his head to look at me. His jaw sat open and his eyes were dead. I could hear Madyson walk in the door behind me.
“Ohmygod.” Madyson cupped her mouth with both her hands.
I walked over to check to make sure Max was still alive and put my hand to his neck. I could feel his subtle pulse against my hand. I looked on the floor where a lighter and spoon with a small coating of black on it. I began to lift up Hendrick and Madyson ran over to get under his other arm. Hendrick began slowly wiggling.
“Hendrick fucking stop come with us.” I said as he began to try to pull himself down.
“Nnno. Imm staying” His words were mumbled and tired.
“Imm notyrrr mom. Imm staying” I stopped and Madyson looked at me. I nodded my head to her to put Hendrick down.
“Well, if you survive the night then you’re right.” I put Hendrick next to Tristan whose face was expressionless. I grabbed the needle and the lighter and what ever heroin I found and brought it into the bathroom to flush it down the toilet and threw the needle in the trash. Madyson stood behind me. “You ready to go.” I said walking past her in the doorway.
Madyson drove down the street turning right when she should’ve turned left. “I live the other way.”
“you’re not spending the night at home alone after that. My parents are out of town you can stay with me.” The way to her house we didn’t say much. Her neighborhood was filled with curves and hills. It was the part of the city still with forests and homes with long driveways. Madyson’s parent’s car was nice, the seats felt like a leather couch and the inside looked more like a plane than a car. We pulled into Madyson’s drive way and the house was lit up. It looked so warm and welcoming. It looked the way homes were supposed to look. I never lived in a home like this and I never knew anyone that did. She parked the car in the garage and I followed her into the kitchen where she poured us each a glass of water as we sat at the island. Her kitchen was like that out of a movie with its white cabinets and marble counter tops.
“Do you want to talk about what happened at Max’s?” She said softly.
“Not really.” I said looking forwarded taking a sip out of my water.
“Well, if you ever do I’m here.” She put her hand on my shoulder and I looked at her and gave her a small smile. “Are you hungry?”
“Oh god. Yes.” I said. Madyson took out her phone and called the pizza place down the street. She placed the order for a medium barbecue chicken pizza.
When the pizza got there I felt like I was going to pass out from hunger and we sat in the kitchen and ate it in record time. The tangy and subtle spice from the barbecue sauce with the dough cheese and perfectly breaded chicken was so good it was impossible to stop eating even after feeling too full to have another bite. We sat ourselves on the couch after we ate and Madyson put on reruns of Friends as we sat on the couch regretting shoveling the pizza down so quick. We were almost silent and I looked at Madyson.
“My mom died last year.” I said looking at Madyson whose eyes sunk and she shifted herself to face me instead of the TV.
“Would it be rude if I..”
“asked how? No.” I said as I focused my attention all around her trying not to make eye contact directly. “She overdosed.”
“So Hendricks comment…”
“Was complete bullshit and a dick thing to say? Yes.”
“I’m so sorry, Canaan.”
“Don’t be.” I looked at her and could see her eyes filling up with tears. “She was a good mom. She wasn’t like the stereotypes.”
“I wasn’t going to say that.”
“I know, but I also know that your first thought was how bad my childhood must’ve been and how awful my life was. But it wasn’t like that and I want you to know that.”
“I wouldn’t think that. I’m just so sorry she’s gone.”
She sat there quiet for a moment before we heard Friends in the background and we both looked at each other to make sure it was appropriate to laugh. The mood felt lighter and refreshing. Madyson showed me up to her brother’s room that was still pretty much in boxes except for the bed which was made up in all white sheets. The softest sheets I have ever felt. They gently brushed my skin and before I knew it I was more tired than I had ever been.
The next morning I woke up to the sound of people talking downstairs and my heart sank. Madyson had me sleep in her brother’s room. I went across the hall and opened Madyson’s door only to notice that she was already out of bed. Maybe she was trying to preoccupy her parents so they didn’t notice I was in the bedroom upstairs? I looked around. For a house this fucking big there are no other fucking exits. I didn’t expect a fire escape but even my apartment has two exits two stories up. I opened up the window of the bedroom and looked down trying to figure out first how to pop out the screen and then if I am going to die if I jump. As I begin taking the screen out the window I heard the door to the bedroom swing open to Madyson standing in the doorway confused.
“What are you doing to the window?”
“Uhm.” I looked at the window and looked back at her.
“were you going to jump out?”
“I heard your parents.” I said
“They know you’re here dumbass. They brought us breakfast.”
“Oh, right, well at least I won’t have to break my legs this morning I guess.” I followed Madyson down the stairs towards the kitchen where her parents were very over dressed from 9 am on a Sunday morning.
“Mom, dad this is Canaan.” Her parents turned around from pouring coffee into mugs both smiling. Madyson’s mom placed the coffee pot on the counter and walked around the island and hugged me.
“It is nice to meet you Canaan, I’m Gloria and this is Mark.” Madyson’s dad reached his hand out for me to shake.
“you have a nice firm grip you’re going to crush it in those interviews later on in life.” He said letting go of my hand.
“Uhm, thank you. It’s really nice to meet you both.”
“Well come on now, we brought home bagels. Canaan, Madyson can you two grab those coffee mugs and meet us on the sun porch?”
I walked around the island and grabbed two of the coffee mugs and Madyson grabbed the other two. “You guys have a sun porch?”
“Of course we. Do this is Tanglewood remember.” Madyson looked at me and winked.
The table was set with sugar and cream, cream cheese and an assortment of bagels and fruit. Her parents were really good at talking and making you feel welcome. It wasn’t the awkward small talk they just told funny stories but not the kind you can’t relate to and any small talk was comfortable and not, how was the weather at the party last night?
“So, we talked your ears off, have you always lived here Canaan?”
I swallowed my bite of a bagel and wiped my mouth with the napkin. “Yes, born and raised.”
“What do your parents do for work, Canaan?” I looked at Madyson and she was giving her dad the don’t fucking talk about his parents look. And I could tell her dad saw it too after he asked. “oh, I…”
“No its okay, my dad is a mechanic at a shop downtown. Its a small family owned place but they can fix anything.” I paused looking down at my plate. “My mom was a bartender be-uh-before she passed away last year.” The table went silent for a moment. I looked at Madyson’s parents who looked caught off guard. “So… how was the conference?” I probably shouldn’t of dropped that ball. I probably should’ve just told them what my dad did and maybe they wouldn’t of asked any follow up on my mom. Or just said she was a bartender and left it at that. I hate when people feel sorry for me because you know that they only feel sorry because you made them uncomfortable.
We spent the rest of breakfast trying to look past that my mom was dead and they didn’t ask any more questions directed about my life or my parents. I guess it was for the best that we had a moment of awkward silence. It got the focus off of me and back on to Madyson and her parents. They were like a real family. They laughed at her dad’s very obvious dad jokes as her mom smiled and rolled her eyes. They talked so highly about Madyson and her brother. It was just so refreshing to see how proud they were. I remember when my mom and dad used to have those little moments. It was never like this, it was never to this extent. But, when they happened they were genuine and powerful. I miss my mom being able to break my dad down. I miss when my dad talked to me more than just asking me what was for dinner. I miss life before my mom died.