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“It always smells like puke in here, man.” Jordy groans. We’re standing in an alley between a bar and a closed 7-11 smoking cigarettes. It’s our charade. Well at least it’s my charade, but I think Jordy is sure it’s all real. Because we all know the cool, successful sixteen year olds sneak out of their houses at one in the morning to go smoke in an alley that smells like vomit.
I bet that’s how Bill Gates got started.
I don’t tell Jordy that it always smells like puke because the wasted chicks from the bar like to empty themselves here. There’s no point with him. He’ll just tell me I’m lying and to shut up. So I stay quiet.
“Allison wants me, man.” Jordy continues after he takes a long drag from his cigarette. The smoke flows from his mouth like a magical, grey liquid. I resist telling him to stop calling me man. I’m most obviously a girl with my long hair and big butt. Whatever, like I said, it’s pointless with Jordy.
“Dude, did you hear my words? Allison wants me. I might sneak over to her place tonight. Bring her over here for a bit you know?” He winks.
Yeah, ‘cause nothing’s more romantic than making out in a vomit stinking, cigarette butt littered alleyway. That’s how to bag her alright. Does he even know she’s an honor student?
“Dude, Jen, are you going to open your freaking mouth or what?”
“Sure, Jordy, whatever you want.” The alley is quiet for a minute after that, besides the pulsing of hardcore music from the bar. I throw my cigarette to the ground and stomp on it with my sneaker. A car honks in the background. All this and it still feels silent.
“God, I don’t know what your problem has been lately, man, but it’s really starting to wear on me.” Jordy grumbles. He’s a whiner. He acts all tough with his black Mohawk and pierced lip but he’s a big poser. He’s really not attractive, or nice, or anything positive at all. That’s how I know he’s lying about Allison wanting him. No one wants Jordy.
“Maybe I’m just sick of being a freaking wanna-be Jordan. Maybe I want to be the real thing.” Only I don’t saying “freaking” and I use his full name. He knows I’m being serious.
“We are the real thing, man! The real, freaking deal!”
“God, no we aren’t.” I roll my eyes and raise my voice. It doesn’t feel silent anymore; the music is loud in my ears, the cars are threatening to give me a headache. It’s cloudy but I can still see his face from the glow of a flickering streetlamp. “We sit here acting like we’re the power, we know all, but dude we don’t know anything that matters. We know how to snag some cigs, cut class and pop our window screens out of our frames. What are we going to do in thirty years man?”
“God, Jen, chill. No one cares about the future, we’re here for now. We live now, man!” He nods his head in agreement with himself. He’s really delusional.
“Jordy, that doesn’t make any sense. I don’t know about you man, but I’m getting low on funds, and all I’m buying is stupid cigarettes. What about a car? I’m going to be stuck with my parents for the rest of my life at this rate, and dude, I can’t take that!” My ponytail swings back and forth across my shoulder blades as I talk. I raise my fingers to my lips to inhale another drag of my cigarette only to remember I put it out.
He looks at me like I’ve been shooting up or something. “When did you get all responsible? You’re sounding like a prude, like some counselor or psychologist.” He fakes a nasally, counselor voice, “’Now Jennifer I suggest you stop hanging around those freaking incredible friends of yours and make something of yourself.’”
“Screw you, man, I just don’t want to be a loser forever.”
I turn and face where the alley meets the street. Give it twenty minutes and the bimbos will start pouring out to use their alley. “I’m so sick of this stuff.” Only I didn’t say “stuff”.
I walk out of the alley. Make something of yourself? Just watch me.