It was dark. The house-like apartment buzzed with a depressed and empty silence. A young teenager sat curled up on a leather chair, her knees pulled up to her chest and her chin rested lightly on top of them. She gazed into the orange and yellow flickering fire; it was the only source of light in the room at that moment. A cold hand fell lightly on the girl's bare shoulder and she sat up straight at the sudden touch. "Hey." He whispered, his black locks falling over his eyes as he gazed down at the girl.
"Uuuhg...what do you want, Drue?" Jen pushed herself up out of her position and she turned around to face him.
A fourteen-year old Drue shrugged slightly. "I'm bored."
Jen sighed and stood up, adjusting her body hugging black tank top. She brought her hands back behind her head, running them over her blonde hair. "How'd you get in here anyway?"
"You left the door unlocked." He reached over, switching on a tall lamp. A small pool of yellow light illuminated the right side of his face.
"Oh." She furrowed her brow, "I guess I forgot..."
"Yeah." He breathed in and out heavily. Jen turned her face away from Drue's and she looked back into the fire. She was still in the clothes she had worn that night: a revealing tank top and form fitting pants. Drue, on the other hand, was dressed in black sweatpants and a white tee shirt. He gazed at the shadows of the fire flickering on Jen's profile for a few moments; he wondered desperately what she was thinking about. "So, um...you...have fun tonight?" He broke the dark silence and Jen turned to look at him again.
She shrugged. "I guess. Another night, another party."
"Another 20 year old man?"
Her mouth opened slightly, and then she looked away, almost ashamed of herself for a moment. "At least I get some." She finally responded coldly.
Drue let out a deep laugh. "I get plenty, thank you. You're just always too busy with your pedophiles to notice."
"Pedophiles? Wow...Drue Valentine learned a big word. I'm proud, really."
"Oh bite me, Jen. I may not have a different girl every night, but at least when I'm with someone it's actually legal for me to be with them."
"Oh please Drue it's not like you're a stranger to all things that are illegal."
"Ok, fine, you got me there...but this isn't good Jen. You're better than those sleazy guys."
She took in a deep breath of air, turning her face away from Drue again. Her tone suddenly turned soft and insecure. "Am I?" She said as she looked back at him slowly.
Drue swallowed and stepped towards Jen. She had a desperate expression and she looked at him, her deep hazel eyes pleading for him to say something. "Yes," he nodded and wrapped his big arms around her small waist gingerly, pulling her close to him. "You are so much better than them."
She began to sob softly into Drue's chest, her arms pressed up against his stomach. "Then how come I don't feel better?"
He wanted to say something, to give her an answer to her question. There was nothing he could say though. He didn't know how to answer her. "Shhh..." was all he could mutter, and she continued to cry softly as he held her close, trying to comfort her the best that he could.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"What the hell?" Mr. Lindley stood over the couch, looking down at Jen and Drue. She lay with her head on his chest; his arms stretched around her. They had fallen to sleep together the night before, after Jen's crying subsided and they began to talk about frivolous, teen-age things.
Mrs. Lindley walked into the living room and over to her husband. "What are you looking at?" She followed his gaze. "Aw...how sweet." She smiled. He just shrugged and walked away. His wife followed him. "You know, there's nothing to worry about. Jen and Drue have been friends forever. I'm sure they were just hanging out and fell to sleep." She glanced at the couch. "They look so innocent."
Mr. Lindley let out a surrendering sigh. "Right. It's just a father's paranoia catching up with me."
Jen began to stir in her sleep. The bright white beams shining through the windows hit her face, forcing her out of her dreamless slumber. She sat up groggily, running a hand through her hair and looking back at Drue. "Oh G-d," she muttered to herself as she stretched her arms behind her head.
Drue groaned and sat up, he woke up just about the same time she did, "All you say is 'oh G-d?" He questioned, "No, 'good-morning honey what would you like for breakfast?"
Jen couldn't help laughing. "Good morning, honey." She mocked, "What would you like for breakfast?"
"Two eggs, scrambled, bacon and...hmm...throw some fresh fruit in there too." He grinned at her.
She tossed a pillow at him and rolled her eyes.
"Well good morning you two." Mrs. Lindley walked over to them, holding two bowls of cereal and some orange juice. She placed them on the coffee table. "Must have lost track of time last night."
Drue looked up at Mrs. Lindley. "Yeah...I hope I'm not bothering you."
"No...never. I'll just give your mother a call to tell her where you are." Mrs. Lindley looked to Jen, who was now shoveling some Special K into her mouth. "You fell to sleep in your clothes last night."
Jen swallowed the cereal before speaking. "Yeah...I was going to change but..." she shrugged, "sleep just caught up with me I guess."
Mrs. Lindley nodded. "I understand. Your new pants are all wrinkled though."
"Mom, they'll be fine. You can take them to the cleaners or whatever."
She laughed lightly to herself. "I know. You two have any plans for today?"
Drue and Jen caught each other's gaze from the corners of their eyes.
"Not as of yet." He answered.
"Don't you have to get to the spa or something?" Jen asked her mother, trying to change the subject.
Mrs. Lindley laughed lightly to herself. "I suppose so. Be good, Jennifer."
Drue resisted his urge to laugh.
"Of course, Mom." She smiled sweetly and watched her mother disappear out of the door. "We will be doing nothing today." Jen turned to him.
"Why? What'd I do?"
"Because I have plans. Laura and I are going shopping. And besides, why would I spend the day with you?"
He looked away, hiding his hurt expression, and then looked back to Jen with a new bite in his eyes. "I don't know why I even considered wanting to spend the day with you and your shallow adventures. How much fun would it be accompanying you to some over priced store where the sales people know you, your mother and your maid by name? " He took a sip of orange juice from the medium sized glass.
"Probably not much." She said back. "But what about you, what fine drugs do you plan on purchasing this afternoon?" Jen asked with the same cutting tone.
"Depends on my mood. Anything you want me to buy you?" He smirked.
"Mmm..." Jen took a large sip of her juice before answering, "not really. I'll just have some of whatever you buy."
Drue nodded. "Sounds good. Do you know what's going on tonight?"
"Greg said something about a party in Soho. I don't have all the details yet. You know, the address, the time...but some kid who goes to La Guardia...his parents are out of town...and supposedly he's got a kick ass loft."
"And how do we know this person?"
"He's Greg's friend or something. I don't really know."
"Whatever. It sounds good to me."
"Yeah, me too. I have to buy an outfit."
"How much money did Daddy leave for you today?"
Jen stood up, taking the empty bowls and glasses. "I don't know. Why don't we go check?"
Drue followed Jen into the kitchen. She set down the dishes on the black granite counter-top, her eyes searching the space for a few green bills. Jen found them finally and proceeded across the kitchen to the refrigerator. Five twenty-dollar bills sat on the counter next to it. Drue watched Jen awkwardly, almost not sure what to say at this point. He wanted to just get away from her but at the same time all he wanted was to be close to her, always. These feelings seemed to have come from absolutely nowhere, and he was trying so hard to suppress them and make them go away. But they wouldn't go away. He couldn't help caring about her, no how hard he tried not to.
Jen looked back at Drue, "Don't you have things to do...somewhere to be or something?"
Drue swallowed and tucked a piece of falling hair behind his ear, "Not really. But since you're so quick to dismiss me...I'm sure I can find something to do in that cold house of mine..." Drue began turning around, pushing his pain away.
She sighed as she watched him, folding the bills into her back pocket, "Hey...wait..."
Drue turned around and looked at her. His big, dark eyes met with her hazel ones. Their stare was intense. "So?" He finally said after a short pause.
"I don't know..." She said, "I just felt bad all of a sudden." Drue looked down. "Do you maybe want to...just hang out for awhile? I don't have to go out for a few hours...and you can watch TV or something while I shower..."
"You know what, Jen?" Drue interrupted, "It's really not all that important, and frankly I don't feel like hanging around if you're just going to be a bitch. So, I'll see you later. Have fun spending Daddy's money." He smirked.
Jen looked to the side, "Have fun buying your designer drugs." She articulated with a snide expression.
"Yeah...I will." He rolled his eyes and walked out of Jen's kitchen.
She watched him go; he was so annoying sometimes, most of the times, actually. She knew he cared though, she knew that she would always be able to turn to him for support and comfort. Like the night before, he showed unconditional love when she wept into his chest, and there was gratefulness for that inside of her that she couldn't express out loud. Those moments were rare though, and when they surfaced she never knew what to do. She'd push him away usually out of pure fear. Getting physically close was easy for her, it was the emotional part that she couldn't do. Maybe it was because of the way her parents were like business people with her. They'd give her what would be good for them, what would be good for their 'business.' When they showed any type of care or concern for her, Jen could never feel like it was purely for her. She didn't want to flat out say that her parents were selfish socialites, but she knew that's what they were, and it hurt her to even admit that in the slightest, because it made it all the more clear to her how much they didn't care. But Drue...when he did care he cared so much. He'd often be her savior; he'd find her at just the right moments, whether she be on the brink of doing something really insane, or crying and shivering somewhere as she came back from an Ecstasy high, he'd help her home and into her bed. He never asked to be thanked or for her to do something in return; it was genuine selflessness on his part. It was a selflessness that she couldn't reciprocate, because sometimes she just wished he would have left her there, that he would have let her do something really insane. She wanted him to stop meddling in her life, and let her live the way she chose to. If her parents let her do whatever she wanted, why wouldn't he? He was doing almost all of the same things that she was; in her opinion he had no right to be telling her what was good for her and what wasn't. Drue didn't know what he was talking about, she often told herself, even though hiding deep down inside of her was the fact that he really did.