Old friends abandon me, it's just the routine politics of jealousy
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 Chapter 28: Moving Forward

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Join date : 2008-10-05

PostSubject: Chapter 28: Moving Forward   Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:28 am

I clapped along with the rest of the guests as J's parents lifted the cover off his new 2007 Toyota Corolla. I beamed as his eyes nearly blew out of his skull at the sight of his 16th birthday present.

He ran up to his folks, hugged them so tightly, you could see Charlie mouthing 'let go' to his son. They handed him the keys, but not before telling him that he wasn't driving it until he got his license, which would be in a few weeks anyway. I was still working on mine & I wouldn't be completed for a few more months. But for now, I was happy that J had a car. My dad had told me that they had been saving up for a car for about five years now.

Most of the party continued on the grass, with everybody talking, laughing & enjoying everyone's company. Jeff & I walked over to J, who was still venerating over his new toy.

"You are now our chauffeur," Jeff said. I laughed.

"Like hell I am. You live on the other side of town. I can give Noah rides though," he smiled at me.

"Yeah, but not until you have your Junior License. Until then, we're still taking the bus. Not to mention that you gotta sign up for a spot at school," I pointed out.

J made a face but it soon left his face when he remembered that he still had a car anyway.

"You've had your permit for a year, right? Have your folks even let you drive?" Jeff said.

"Well obviously. But only with one of them in one of their cars. Since Jackie's bee home lately, I thought about asking her to let me practice with her a bit, but she said no."


The young man shrugged.

"Because I hav two older sisters who have always bullied me & when they don't harass me, they ignore me," J said.

Just then, Shannon bounded up next to me. Very close to me actually.

"Hi Noah," she said.


"Ok, so. Your birthday's coming up soon, right? So I was thinking that we could go to Old Orchard Beach for the night. Play some games, ride some stuff, go on the pier, maybe even go on the beach or something," she blurted out.

I glanced at J, who was staring at her. I turned back to Shannon.

"Well, maybe we can think of some things soon. But it's J's birthday today, so let's focus on one birthday at a time," I said kindly.

"I know, but I just wanted to get my ideas out so I don't forget. Like how I could have some my friends, myself, & my mom pitch in so we can get you a car," she offered.

"Shannon, I don't think this is the time to be talking about MY birthday."

She turned to J.

"Hey do you think your folks could save this stuff so when Noah turns 16, we can use it again?" she asked, completely ignoring me.

"I, uh...I don't...know," he stammered.

I dropped my head.

"Noah, I need help with the uh, ya know, the thing in the...place. Can you give me a hand?" J waved me towards the house.


As I started walking, I felt a tug on my arm.

"Noah, we have to talk about your party..." Shannon said.

"Not now," I yanked my arm away & followed J into my house. We walked to the living room & looked out the window, watching everybody from inside.

"So what do you wanna do for your birthday?" J asked me.

"Ugh," I said, rubbing my eyes with my thumb & index finger.

"I'm sorry about that."

"Don't worry about it."

"How can you say that? She was the only person who didn't sing Happy Birthday AND she's discussing MY birthday at YOUR party. It's disrespectful."

"Are YOU talking about your birthday today?" he asked.


"Then don't beat yourself up. You need to like yourself a little better," he smiled.

I looked at him.


His smile faded. He looked at me for a second, but then turned his attention back outside.

"Because you're never concerned with yourself. There's nothing wrong with being altruistic. But you never seem to do anything for yourself."

I turned my body towards him.

"Where did you get that from...?" I asked.

J ignored my question & looked down.


He looked back at me.

"I was talking to Gina..." he said.

I sighed with disgust.

"What I told her was in confidence."

"She's worried about you. She told me that you've been over stressed lately?"

"I'm not over stressed."

He put an arm around me.

"I've know you for 13 years. I know not only when you're lying, but when you're stressed. And Gina just helped me know a little better."

I didn't answer him. I wasn't liking where this was going.

"If it's about your dad, I agree with Gina. Maybe you should just talk to him, let him know what you're thinking."

"I want my dad to myself. He makes good money, we can get by. I'm grown up enough to not need another adult around. I don't like her kids-"

"Whoa! Chill, would ya?" he said. "Like Gina said, you can't possibly know if they're gonna get serious."

"What if it does?"

"What if it doesn't?"

I looked back at the party.

"You should get out there. You're missing your own party."

"Come on then."

"You go."

I felt him staring at me.

"You're right. I just need to think a little. I'm fine, go back to your party. I'll be out soon, promise."


I nodded.

J started to walk off, but not before a kiss on the cheek. I smiled.

I walked over to the couch & sat down. I leaned my head back & closed my eyes for a moment.

Suddenly, I felt a cold spray of water hitting my face.

"Hey, what the...?!"

I saw Max kneeling behind the table with a water gun. J & I hadn't seen him there.

"What do you want?" I hissed at him, wiping my face with my sleeve.

"Just testing out the water gun I got your boyfriend," he sneered, the way a little kid who sneer at words like that.

"He's not my boyfriend," I said. "He's my ex boyfriend."

Max laughed.

"Just get out Max."

He came over & sat down next to me. I glared at him.


"My cousin's friend Nick is gay."

I waited.


"I don't know. I just thought I'd tell you," he smirked.

I got up & walked away. I felt a cold wetness on my butt, where he sprayed me. i turned around & glared at him. He did nothing but cackle.

As I got back to the party, I noticed a few people staring at me.

Dane & Randy came up to me.

"What happened to you?"


Collin appeared.

"Max did that? And you didn't fight back?"

"I'm not fighting a child if that's what you're implying."

"Why not?"

I rolled my eyes & looked for the birthday boy. I needed new thoughts.

Hopefully, I'd find them soon.

I'd pick bacon over a bj any day.
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Chapter 28: Moving Forward
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