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 Chapter 34: Can't Buy A Thrill

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Kell
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PostSubject: Chapter 34: Can't Buy A Thrill   Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:32 pm

"How often do kids get to stand on the roof of their own school?" Travis said to me, dropping a proud hand onto my shoulder as we watched dozens of students mingle around the beige concrete. Jacob walked up with a smile on his face, giddy at the concept of being on the roof for my revenue idea.

"This is sooo cool," he beamed. His words instantly warmed me & I felt a wave of happiness rush through me.

The idea I had come up with to gain revenue for the prom's budget was to have art supplies brought up so we could charge students a small fee to pick up some tools & paint or draw anything they wanted on the roof. The school wasn't too happy with kids going on the roof at first but we agreed to go by whatever "safety guidelines" they wanted.

"We already have a few dozen people up here," I said. "I thought a chance to be on a roof would be something people would jump at."

"Hey Connor," someone said, causing us to turn around, "cool idea!"

I didn't know the guy, but I couldn't help smiling when I heard other people chiming in with the same encouragement.

"This is awesome!"

"Whoaaaaa..."

"Connor, you did this? Cool!" I guess that one was a compliment.

My elation wouldn't cease for much of the time. I was behind something that everybody seemed to be enjoying & my temporary rise in popularity had me thinking that maybe there was more to high school than mushy romances & studying.

I watched Travis talking to some other guys on the tennis team as they stood around a particular brick wall & gave some attempts to draw things. A heavy wave of sadness swept through me all of a sudden. Sad that this never-ending feeling of a loss of touch with Travis was still creeping along through me. I decided that I would ask him later to go out on a date with me. Maybe some good old fashioned romance would reignite my feelings. I hoped so. Travis was one of the best things that had ever happened in my life.

"I'm so proud of you," Jacob exclaimed as he suddenly through his arms around my neck, surprising me. I accepted his hug, though, & found my own arms wrapping around him. I smiled as the warmth of his friendship seeped through me.

"Thanks buddy," I said just as Travis walked back over to us.

"I think there's gonna be a lot of people who remember how cool this was, getting to legally vandalize the school," he joked. "You're gonna be the talk of the town for quite some time."

"You already exceeded your job for thinking of prom ideas," Travis added. "They probably appreciate you helping them come up with revenue ideas, too."

"Yeah," I shrugged. "If a good place gets picked...then I suppose I'll go to prom."

Travis & Jacob gave me funny looks. "You mean...you were considering not going to PROM?" Travis said.

"What's the point? It's just a dance."

"It's the most important moment in all of high school. Graduation is for the parents, prom is for the kids."

"It's so superficial," I said. "And the idea of a prom king & queen is nothing more than a popularity contest."

"You're just mad because you wouldn't win," Jacob teased.

"Didn't you just say I'm the talk of the town?" I countered. "I'm...a little more noticed lately, I'll have you know."

"Yeah. You're a real celebrity," Jacob rolled his eyes.

"Okay you, shush."

We watched for a while longer as dozens of students piled around, scrambling for markers, pens, brushes & paints. All to put a piece of their own art on the roof of the building, for all the sky to see. I wasn't surprised to see some dicks drawn, but in the end, it was a fun day. And I was proud of myself for having come up with such a fun idea that people seemed to enjoy.

**********

"How'd you find this place?" Travis asked as we were seated.

"Chris' latest little girlfriend's dad took them here so he could get to know Chris better I guess," I said. "Chris says the guy was itching to blast him with a shotgun."

The restaurant we were in was not overtly fancy by any standard definitions, but at the same time, it wasn't exactly a place you could get away with wearing a tank top & shorts. It was your basic, garden variety steak house. I had been able to scrap together allowance money, odd job money, hell even some change under the couch cushions in the hopes of paying for both of us tonight.

"This is our first date in quite some time, huh?" Travis said with a big smile on his face.

"I guess so, yeah."

For the rest of the date, Travis was the perfect gentleman. He was charming, sweet, funny. And yet...I just couldn't put my finger on what was wrong. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed what he was talking about, I really did. But my level of interest didn't fit right. I wasn't captivated like I used to be when I first fell in love with him. The night didn't feel so much as a date as it did just two friends getting some food.

***

Later, as we were nearing Travis' place, he let me know that his parents were gone for a few hours.

"You wanna come in for a bit?" he asked as he gently held my hand. "We can cuddle a bit...maybe nap a bit," he said with a wink.

"You know," I interjected, not feeling up for anything other than going home, "I think I'm just gonna head home. My belly is stuffed & I think I just wanna lie around & get to bed early tonight. Raincheck?"

"Uh yeah, sure," he said, a slight look of confusion on his face. "Are you all right?"

"Yeah," I looked away.

I felt his hand hold my more firmly. Looking back at him, I saw that he had a somewhat serious look in his eyes. "For real though, are you ok, Connor? Lately you've seemed a little...off."

"Yeah," I answered, my voice dry. "I'm fine."

"You know you can always talk to me. About ANYTHING...you know that...right?" he said, clearly a little concerned.

"I know that," I rubbed the back of his hand with my thumb. "And I'll take advantage of that, I...promise."

"Good," he smiled, seemingly convinced. "Well do you want me to walk you home?"

"I got it from here," I said. "But thank you."

"Thank you for dinner. I'm glad we got to go out," he smiled with such warmth my heart ached.

"Same. It really...helped."

With a kiss on the cheek, Travis gave me one last smile and goodbye before walking up the stairs to his place. I turned around & continued along the sidewalk.

As I traveled, I tried to think hard about what I was doing wrong with Travis. Why couldn't I feel the same connection with him that I had felt so amazingly when we first fell in love? Nothing had changed, on the outside anyway. A somber thought came by, that what I had had with Travis was an incredible, but temporary puppy-love kind of deal. The more I tried to fight that thought though, the more it crept back, & the more I realized...that might be the reason. That was relatively normal, right? To have a fling in high school, to think you're in love? It happens to a lot of people.

I was deep in thought with my eyes on the sidewalk as I turned a corner. That was when I crashed into somebody walking from the opposite direction. With an oof, I regained my composure.

"Oh my god, I'm so sorry about that. I wasn't paying attention to where I was looking," I said to the man, who looked to be in his 20s with a scruffy beard, a skinny body & a plaid shirt. He had on a backpack that looked like it was full & stretched to the point where the stitching was almost busting.

"Nah kid, that's my bad," he waved off my apology. "You do look pretty lost in thought though haha."

I shrugged. "My day's been kinda meh."

"Oh?" he seemed intrigued. "Well," he said, pulling me by the arm into a nearby alley, "if you wanna relax a bit, I have a dub on me if you wanna buy it."

"A what?" I said.

"A dub," he said slower, assuming that I knew what he was talking about.

"I dunno what that is," I replied.

"Weed," he rolled his eyes. "If you got like $20, I'll sell it to you."

"I've never smoked weed before, sorry man," I shook my head.

"Clearly," he chuckled. "Since I got a million of them, I'll even throw in a free bowl. It'll make some space in my bag."

"A bowl?"

With a sigh, the guy took of his backpack, opened a small pouch in the front & removed a glass device that had a bowl shaped bulb on the end of a long, narrow neck.

"This is a bowl," he held it up to me. Reaching into his coat pocket, he produced a small baggie with what I presumed was weed in it. "This is a dub. If you want it, it's 20 bucks."

"Like I said though, I've never done it before. I'm not sure I want to..."

"It'll help you relax. Put a bunch of bad thoughts to rest for a bit & just mellow out, bro," he said so coolly.

"I don't want it messing me up though," I said.

"Kid, just don't drive or be around your parents when you do it, that's all. Just hold it like this," he took my hand, positioned the 'bowl' properly, "cover this little hole here with your thumb, light it, breathe in for two seconds, take your thumb off, keep breathing & then just inhaled what's left."

"Sounds complicated," I scoffed a bit.

"Once you get it down, kid, it's great. You feel like you're floating on air. Oh and the sex," he reeled back, clearly reminiscing. That sparked my interest though.

"The sex?"

"Yeah dude," he said. "You're what, like, 14?" I rolled my eyes. "When you have sex someday," he continued, "doing it high is like, super chill. If you're both high...oh man. Talk about kicking it up ten-fold. Everything feels right in the world," he said. This guy was your classic stoner.

But what he was saying about the sex on pot intrigued me. Perhaps...if I had sex with Travis while using it, I could feel the same euphoria I had felt in the past. It was worth a shot, right?

"I only have $18," I told him, getting my wallet out & offering him the cash I had on me. My dinner date with Travis had cost me about $35, since I had paid for both of us.

He seemed to hesitate for a moment, thinking it over. "Fine," he said. "But only because you're a newbie & I'm doing you a HUGE favor."

With that, he handed me the bowl & the small plastic bag.

"Just don't go around waving that shit in the air," he said. "Enjoy it, kid," he added, patting me on the shoulder & walking off. I stood there in the alley looking at my new purchases, hoping they could change things up for me. I realized how desperate I must have seemed to be doing this.

I just hoped this wouldn't backfire.

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Chapter 34: Can't Buy A Thrill
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