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Health class, the last class of the day. The old, hairy, dried up teacher is up front, smacking the whiteboard, making my fellow students repeat the same three words over and over.
Me and Aaron aren't listening, as usual. Both of us have our hands under the table, sending text messages to our girlfriends or other friends.
"Adrian!" The teacher yells at me. I put my phone in the strap of my boxers quickly, because I know about her cell phone check. She makes me stand up, shake my sleeves, empty my pockets, and check the hood of my jacket.
The Teacher then asks, "What have we been talking about for the past few minutes?!". I look past her sweaty head to see in big blue words on the whiteboard, "JUST SAY NO."
"We've been talking about passing on drugs and alcohol, and being above the infleuence. Ma'am, I was twiddling my thumbs because I AM above the infleuence, and I don't quite understand why we have to waste an hour and a half recapping what I already know."
I sit back down as the Teacher grunts and walks back. Aaron knuckle pounds me, and just seconds later I receive a text message with a smiley face from him.
another fifteen minutes later, I receive a message from my girlfriend. "Hey babe, happy one year anniversary. I can't believe your moving in just two months! See ya at your locker!"
Danielle always had a way of making me smile. I got another message from Aaron saying, "Did you dump her yet? You're so whipped."
I punch Aarons knee, right after the rest of the class says, "JUST SAY NO." for the hundredth time. He laughs, and I get another message from him. "The Forest, at midnight. Tell everyone."
The bell rings, and now I only have one half day of school left. Aaron walks with me, as always.
"So are you finally gonna smoke it tonight?" He asks.
"Dude, you know I don't do that stuff. If you bring beer, I may have a bottle, but that's it." I replied.
"Okay, Adrian. Just don't forget your tampons."
We arrive at my locker, and there's a big heart on it. Danielle is standing there, waiting for me. She is two centimeters taller than I am, she always wears my shirts, and loves denim jeans. She never wears shorts or skirts, except when her and I are alone. She usually has a crowd of friends with her, but today is different.She is alone, and waiting for me.
She welcomes me to my own locker with a gigantic hug, as usual. We kiss, and Aaron gags.
Danielle and I barely talk while I clean out my locker, but Aaron gives Danielle a stare. They've never liked each other.
"See you at your place, Aaron." I say as my girlfriend and I walk away. Before I met Danielle, Aaron and I took the bus. Now I walk home every day, so I can walk Danielle home. Aaron didn't approve.
"What are we going to do when you're halfway across the country, Aidy?" Danielle asks as she grabs my hand. Wyoming was a far distance from Portland, Oregon.
We walk behind the gigantic high school, and lay in a field nearby. The corn field blocked everyone from seeing us, and we were able to do anything there, but we usually just talked about our day.
"I ask myself that everyday, Dani. And I don't know."
Danielles head leans over mine, her finger rubbing around my chest. She kisses my cheek, her favorite spot to kiss. If I had the choice, I would never leave here. But my little brothers need me at home.
I kiss her back, on the nose. That's my favorite spot to kiss. She giggles, and rests her head on my upper chest, observing my heartbeat.
We get up, and cross a major street to her apartment complex. We walk up to the second floor, and she wraps her arms around me and kisses me.
"Dani, Aaron wants me to go to the Forest around midnight. Everyones going to be high or drunk, I will be the only sober guy there. Will you come with me? You can invite your friends."
She stares at me for a second. "..Sure."
I kiss her one more time, and head home. I need rest, I hardly slept last night because I went to Danis. Her parents work night shift, so Dani is usually left alone.
I open the front door, and pass my brothers, on the video games of course. My Mom and Dad are having a conflict as usual. I put my headphones on, and strip down to take a nap.
I wake up at 7, to the sense of starvation, and I rush to the kitchen. Dinner for me, just in time. Steak, potatoes, Mac n' Cheese, my favorite. The family members stay quiet, little brothers watch television while parents sit on opposite sides of the table.
"Im going to Aarons tonight." The family is shocked that Anyone at the table said a word.
"is that a request, Adrian?" My Dad asks. He likes to be in charge, I don't feel like getting into this. I drop my silverware on the plate, and I notice my mom rolling her eyes.
"Father, may I please go to Aarons?" I say in the most polite, sarcastic way possible.
Yay, grant accepted.
I bring my plate and cup to the sink, and go to my room to get ready. I change my clothes, put on Dani's favorite cologne, and begin to tie my shoes. My parents walk into my door, and shut it.
My Mom is crying, my Dad looks angry, as usual.
"Son, we know we have been fighting, and were sorry." My Mom wraps her arms around me. "I can promise you, we will resolve the conflict soon." Dad looks like he would be anywhere but here. Admitting he is wrong is like saying God is wrong. It just doesn't happen.
I take my moms arms off of me, and stand up. I head for the door, and open it. "Ill be back when the conflict is resolved, then."
Talk about leaving home on a good note.
I walk across the street to Aarons house, and we sit there for about four hours, watching TV, texting, talking. Aaron tells me he might get something out of his girlfriend tonight, and he's excited.
"Fat chance, Ron. I gotta go pick up Dani and her friends." I reply.
Aaron makes the whipping noise.
I slam the door behind me and head over. Halfway through the walk, I look into the forest, a fire is lit inside. The party begins soon. Dani and her one friend are waiting outside of her apartment,just waiting for me.
Tonight is one of those feelings where I just want to love the crap out of everything. Treat everything as they should be treated.
My cell phone vibrates in my pocket, I almost forgot it was there. The message says, "From Mom: Come home, your Dad and I are okay, all thanks to you. You gave us a reason to fix things."
I close my phone, ignoring what I just read. I can hang out with my parents when I move. This is a night for me and my close friends.
The five minute walk from Danielles apartment is a silent one, and we step into the forest. It is now 11:45, and Aaron shows up too, a backpack full of pot and ice cold booze.
Dani and I sit on a log together, staring at the fire. She holds onto my hand, and she moves her thumb up and down mine. Aaron sits across the fire, him and his friend exhaling smoke in our direction.
Fifteen other people arrive, pushing me and Dani off of the log.
Dani grabs me, and we journey deeper into the Forest, where the light from the fire barely shows. We lay down together, staring up at the trees and stars.
Dani looks at me, I can see it in the corner of my eye. She reaches into her pocket as I turn my head, and pulls out something I cannot quite see.
"What is it, Dani?"
"Its a condom."
"do you know what these things are for?"
"Duh, but were only thirteen."
"I don't care, Aidy, Im in love with you."
I cant think of anything to say to her. It's too early, and why in the middle of a forest? What if something went wrong, and she became pregnant?
Before I can say anything, she rolls on top of me, kissing me and attempting to take my shirt off. I keep pulling away, trying to say that it's too early.
Just then, a man walks through the bushes, and Danielle rolls off of me. We sit up. This guy is probably 16. He walks to us and says, "Is this the Forest party?"
Danielle and I say yes, and he walks past us.
Dani looks at me with a disappointed look, and I pick her up and we walked back to the campfire. Not as a couple, she's a few steps ahead of me.
What the hell was I supposed to say? This long distance relationship will work just fine, at least that's what I hope. Why waste my virginity here, with the smell of pot and lack of romance?
Dani and I sit at the log, and everyone is loud. Throwing beer bottles all over the place, playing music, laughing at the stupidest things in the world.
Now I look away from Danielle and think. Maybe I should be with my family, they're wondering where I am. My two little brothers need me, whether I like it or not.
I turn around, and Aaron and Danielle are smoking weed. It was a shock to me, because Danielle said she disliked pot. How could she fall for this?
All the people I've known since kindergarten are whipping out cocaine, pills, more pot. I can't take this.
Aaron turns back to the 16 year old, and they talk like best friends. I stand up and take Aaron to the side, and ask him about the kid.
"Thats Theodore, he's my bigger brothers best friend. We are good friends as well. Just chill dude, enjoy the party!"
We walk back, and another guy is sitting by my Danielle, and she doesn't seem to mind.
"Danielle, can we talk?" I grab her arm a little too harshly, and she whimpers. We walk back to the spot where we nearly had sex, and she starts by telling me to chill out too. I'm chill, dammit.
"Danielle, let's go home. If we go there, ill think about doing something, just please don't smoke anymore."
"Aidy, it's just pot. My sex offer no longer stands, you had your chance. Let's go back." She giggles.
She grabs my hand and takes me back in. I can't say anything. The next five minutes on the log, I'm offered three smokes. I refuse.
Aaron had a master idea. "let's go to the high school and chill in the parking lot! Cops never look there!"
Everybody starts to walk that direction, including Danielles friend. Dani looks at me and says, "Are you coming?"
"No thanks. I'll be here when you come back."
"you're such a drag tonight!"
Talk about leaving your significant other on a good note.
She walks away, and I am left with my competition for Aarons best friend. Theodore smiles slyly and says, "You must be Adrian. Nice to meet you."
"You too, Theo. How long have you known Aaron?"
"Since he was a baby, I held him."
Theodore stands up and sits on my log, a little closer than Im comfortable with. "So tell me about yourself, 'Aidy'."
"Well, Im pretty uptight most of the time, it's just my thing. Todays my anniversary between me and my girlfriend."
"Uptight, huh? Sounds like you need some pot, it'll loosen you up a bit." Theodore responds, completely disregarding the second part of my sentence.
"No thanks, I don't do that. I'll drink a bit, but the high is kinda too much."
"Dude. Try it. It's good for you."
"No thanks." Now I'm staring into the fire. I'm thinking about my Mom, and how worried about me she is.
"I should g-" My sentence is interrupted by a hand pulling all of my hair.
"Smoke the pot." He forces the weed into my face.
"No! Let go of me!"
Theodore takes a puff, and blows the smoke into my face. I close my mouth, trying not to breathe. I can see the crowd walking back from a distance. Theodore punches me in the nose, and I feel the warm blood flow down my face and neck.
"Last chance. Smoke."
I kick Theo right between the legs, and make a run for it. After just a few seconds, I'm tackled. I scream for help.
Theodore flips me over, and pulls a knife out of his pocket. Switchblade. He reaches down, and cuts my neck, making it hurt to breathe. Blood is flowing out of me now..
Theodore gets off of my chest and stares at me, shocked, while I'm gasping for air. It took him this long to realize what he was doing?
Theodore looks behind me, and I hear screaming. Everythings fuzzy. Theo runs, and I see everyone running after him. Aaron and Danielle kneel down to me, both crying. Danis tears feel warmer than my blood.
My hand reaches up and touches her cheek, leaving a blood stain on her face.
My family. My two little brothers. They need me. Without me, they'll focus on the fights between my parents. Stay awake, Adrian.
I lean up, but even more blood gushes out of me.
"we can't call the hospital, or we will get in trouble.." Aaron says.
"We have to! He'll die!" Dani says.
I look over, and the crowd walks back. They didn't catch him.
Dani calls, arranges an ambulance to come to the forest.
My Mom is quietly waiting in the living room for her favorite son to come back.
My eyes get heavier, both of my closest friends tell me the same thing I'm thinking.
Gasping for air, thinking of my Dad. No parent should bury their child.
My Mom waits in the living room, holding the Teddy bear she gave me as a baby.
Aaron and Dani leave me, so they dont get caught. Heaven forbid they get caught. That's their biggest worry.
Stay awake; everyone needs you.
Mom, i'll be home soon, I promise.