Generation 2, Chapter 2
Yet again, I was getting a good throttling from Dad for something I didn’t do. In fact, I have no clue what he was going on about. I’ve had just about enough. That’s when the plan started to formulate – and OH, what a BAD plan it turned out to be!
“Let me flippin’ guess! I’m grounded, right?
“Wha…yes, you are! And don’t you take that tone with me! If you didn’t keep getting in trouble…”
I turned and walked off while he was still yelling that same old stupid nonsense he has been for the past few months. I so badly wanted to turn and tell him to shut up. Better judgment was on my side that night.
“I’m not through with you, yet! Get back here! Smoky!”
I just kept walking. If I’m going to get yelled at, I may as well make it worth something. Later I would decide that that wasn’t very good reasoning on my part. But I was angry at the time and didn’t really care about the circumstances.
“Berryhole!” I mumbled under my breath.
“What did you say?” he growled.
Luck was on my side as my sister started fussing just then and he was forced to deal with her. That’ll teach him for dragging her outside with him. He retreated into the house and I went to the shed and bolted the door behind me. I pulled out my portable music player and tuned out the rest of the world.
*From Onyx’s point of view*
“Hello Bir…er… Mr. Barker.”
Birch Barker had graduated a couple years ago and was currently working at one of Sugar Valley’s many new clubs as a Mixologist. He had a mean streak in him that would make lava freeze. For some reason, he had taken a liking to me, looking out for me in school. I took an instant liking to him – yeah, right – more like fell head over heels for him.
I had never really thought about boys (or girls for that matter) until that first time I met him. I tried to be near him as much as I could at school and away. I had this pining ache whenever I couldn’t be near him. At first I thought I was sick, but I later learned otherwise. I never said anything to anyone else, keeping it all bottled up inside, for fear that Birch would find out and beat the crap out of me. This was my secret; a secret I was unsuccessful at hiding from Birch. Thank goodness for that.
“God, I thought that nosey mail carrier would never leave. She’s notorious for spreading rumors,” Onyx pointed out as he leaned in closer to Birch Barker.
Don’t get the wrong idea. I don’t dislike the mail carrier because she’s Vanilla. I don’t care if she’s Berry or Vanilla, she’s invading my personal space right now.
“Woah, Onyx, what do you think you’re doing?” Birch recoiled instinctively.
“Darn it, Birch, there’s no one else around. They’re all down the hill or in town,” Onyx attempted to reassure him.
“Damn, I’ve missed you!” Birch said as his body relaxed.
I leaned in, grabbed him and gave him one of my best kisses. He said I was a great kisser.
“Mmm… That’s what I’m talking about,” Birch finally broke free. “Onyx, we need to be more careful. We can’t let anyone see us. Not yet, anyway. You’re still under aged.”
“I know, but I love you so much.”
“I love you, too, but we can’t be found out. We’ll be together soon.”
“Not soon enough, damn it!”
“Patience my sweet little Berry! I came by to let you know when I could get away this week,” he winked.
We made plans to meet around his work schedule.
“Oh, and just in case – tell anyone who may have seen us that I was worried about my lost puppy,” he said with a shrug and turned up the sidewalk to his car.
This last sentence of grounding came and went without any more confrontations between dad and me. I did my best to steer clear of both Mom and Dad. I think I would have been much angrier had I been able to see Cotton, but she works almost every night at the theater with her father and, sadly, I probably would have been home anyway.
My cousin, Minsk, found out that I had proposed to Cotton. NO ONE knew! No one was supposed to know. I surely didn’t say anything to anyone. I’ve been held captive here at home, so I KNOW it wasn’t me.
Anyway, he called and said we needed to do something to celebrate. It couldn’t be much of a celebration since we were both under age for anything truly “fun.” Needing to get away from the house, I readily agreed to do something.
“Let me take care of everything,” were his famous last words.
He showed up at the door wearing a tux. A tux; what, exactly, did he have planned? He told me what I was searing was fine, so I stepped out of the house, calling to my brothers who were nowhere to be seen.
He led me around the house, down the stairs to the Nectary and as we entered, I was greeted with a “Surprise!” chorus. My brothers and cousins, Rum and Windsor were there with a few other friends.
I spun on Minsk, “What the hell?”
“Relax and enjoy your last days of freedom,” he retorted.
Mom and Dad had taken the girls off on some junket; something about needing “time away from the boys.” While they were gone, Minsk conspired with Grey and Onyx to organize a Bachelor Party for me. They somehow moved the nectar machines from the middle of the nectar and brought in some seating and a bar, complete with bartender. Our father taught us to be resourceful; probably too well.
I knew the guys were planning to clean the Nectary for Dad, but I never suspected this. They had pretty much begged me to go spend some time with Cotton; that they could handle it without me. I thought they seemed a little anxious for me to leave, but leave I did.
It wasn’t too long before a dancer showed up. You know; one of those bachelor party types you hear so much about; the ones that throw them self all over the intended groom.
She moved to the far side of the room and began her taunting gyrations under some sort of portable spot light she had quickly set up. I guess the bar was closed then, as the bartender turned his full attention on the dancer.
Everyone was watching her dance, occasionally pawing at my cheeks and tousling my hair. I instinctively recoiled from her every Gah, I hate when people touch my hair.
A short time later, some guy pranced into the room wearing only a Speedo. He literally “pranced” into the room; I kid you not. He was clearly at the wrong party, or so I thought. I was wrong. It seems Onyx had hired the male dancer. What was he thinking?
This guy began dancing for Onyx, as he was clearly the only one interested in watching the muscle-y guy swivel his hips. Was that dancing? It probably wouldn’t have been so bad had he been wearing some clothes.
I instantly thought about Cotton; would she have a bachelorette party? Would someone like this hunk be dancing for her? Eww, I forced the thoughts from my mind. I didn’t need to know.
Everyone was having a good time; the bartender back to serving non-alcoholic drinks. The dancers had found each other and were matching each other’s moves, shake for shake. The female dancer packed up her things and disappeared out the door, planting a congratulatory kiss on my cheek on her way out. Onyx had captured the attention of “the guy” and was chatting with him.
Another man entered, who clearly had no invite, and stormed over to where Onyx and the male dancer were talking. I had seen this one before. Where was it? Oh, yes, the guy that was talking to Onyx on the front walk the other day. Dad said Onyx told him the guy was looking for his lost his puppy or something.
This guy didn’t seem too happy. What was his problem? He strode over next to Onyx and placed his hand on his hip; the sourest of expressions on his face. When Onyx turned and saw him standing there, he looked like he had seen a ghost. I could actually see the purple hue of his skin drain from face. Luckily the dancer just grabbed his things and left or there could have been a scene; and I get the impression it would have been ugly.
Onyx got the angry guy to leave as well. And none too soon; Uncle Val strode in the door; looking like he was ready to party himself.
I shifted in to panic mode! The shit is going to hit the fan now, and I’ll probably get blamed for this as well.
“I want everyone to leave. NOW!” he said sternly. “I’ll deal with you when I get home,” his attention on Minsk. “And you should know better,” turning to Windsor.
Windsor just shrugged and left with the laptop he had nursed all night tucked neatly under his arm. Apparently Rum had left some time earlier. I would have guessed Windsor to be the bigger party pooper. After everyone had gone, Uncle Val grabbed my shoulder.
“You guys could get in big trouble for this, you know that, right? I’m not going to say anything to your father about this, though. I will leave it your conscience, because, well, I was once a teen. I remember what it was like, but it still doesn’t make it right.”
I couldn’t say anything. I had no words.
“And I here congratulations are in order. I think you’re making the biggest mistake of your life, but I’m not here to interfere or try to talk you out of it,” he said as he handed me a bottle of his Nectar. “Promise me you will not drink this until you’re old enough.”
“Umm…thanks, Uncle Val,” I stammered.
“Don’t worry; I’ll make sure Minsk gets off with a light warning this time. All of you should have known better,” he lectured. As he was leaving, he turned at the door and jokingly said with a faint chuckle as he winked, “I’m disappointed; but I’m sure my invitation was just lost in the mail.” And he was gone.
Nothing more was ever said about the party by anyone…I mean ANYONE. No one was grounded; Minsk never said whether he got in trouble; and the Nectary was back (pretty much) the way it was.
Why do I still feel so guilty? It was getting so bad, I was about to burst; spill everything to Mom and Dad; come what may. I had to get away from the house before I said exploded. I went for a walk. I just walked; no clear destination in mind; not really paying attention to where I was.
As I neared the chapel, I stepped back in to reality! I just stared at the cross that adorned the front portico for the longest time.
I pulled out my cell phone, scrolled down the list of numbers and pressed Send.
“Are you working tonight?”
End Chapter 2