by Chemical Billy
Jen passed the joint to Stu, peeling paper from her lip. Stu shifted, jostling her against the gearshift.
“Hey,” said Jen.
Stu nosed up against her neck and breathed out, curling smoke down her blouse. She felt like she’d come from someplace far away, a whole other dimension.
Jen laughed out loud.
“What’re you laughing at?” Matt leaned back against the driver’s side door.
“I’m soooo high,” said Jen, taking her time with each word, “I just now realized it.”
Jen felt Stu’s laughter rumble around inside him. He put both arms around her, resting his chin on her shoulder.
“Look,” said Stu, pointing his chin out the window.
They could see the whole valley. Moonset over the lake on the far side of town, lighting up the clouds from behind, like a chiffon lampshade.
This is the best night of my life, thought Jen.
“Jen,” said Matt, from way over on the other side of the car, “When did you have to be back?”
Jen fell out of the car a block from home, a kiss for Stu, then innocent walk to her door.
All the lights were on. Jen’s dad and brother sat at the table, faces hanging off them like stones.
She was in deep shit.
“It’s Mom,” said Jared, voice coming from an unmoving face, “an aneurysm. She’s gone.”
Jen looked toward her mother’s room, light spilling into the hallway.
That’s what I get, thought Jen. Best night of my life.