Tight blue jeans clung to her body as she confidently walked down Fifth Avenue. Her salon-straightened, shiny blonde hair blew behind her in the mid-afternoon breeze and a purse her mother had purchased for her at Barney's hung on her bare shoulder. Clad in a red halter-top, Jen looked more like seventeen then almost fifteen years old. The girl that walked next to her, Laura, walked with the same confident stride, and her long brunette hair was tied up in a messy bun on top of her head. She turned her pretty face upwards as men and teenage boys blatantly looked both girls up and down, while some that drove by beeped or whistled.
"Another day..." She looked to Jen and smirked slightly.
"Another day..." Jen breathed out with a sigh.
Laura furrowed her brow, "Is something wrong?"
Jen looked at Laura, a small smile curled up from one side of her mouth, "No..." she shook her head, "no, nothing at all."
"Well that's good," She smiled and pulled open the door to a store, "We couldn't have Jennifer Lindley being upset the day of what's supposed to be the most rocking party ever, now could we?"
Jen laughed slightly, "No...I guess we couldn't..." she entered the store behind her friend, "I mean, if I'm in a bad mood, man that will really ruin the morale of the whole shindig...you know, because I am what makes every party a party to remember." Jen grinned at her friend as they browsed through the racks of high priced pants and shirts.
"Your tone may be sarcastic, but you know it's the truth." She glanced at her from of the corner of her eye. "When you're not around people want to know where you are, and when you are there you're all anybody can look at." Laura pulled a small, dark purple spaghetti strapped dress off of a rack. "This," she handed it to Jen, "would look so cute on you."
"You think?" She smiled and held the dress up to herself in front of a nearby mirror.
"Oh yeah," Laura raised her freshly waxed eyebrows and nodded as she looked at Jen in the mirror. "Everyone will be all over you in that thing."
"Please," Jen rolled her eyes, "I could wear a potato sack and they'd be all over me."
Laura laughed, "Oh my g-d shut up!" She threw a shirt she was holding at Jen.
Jen jumped back a little, catching the shirt against her stomach. "Hey!" She threw it back at Laura.
The girls laughed, and Laura placed the shirt back on the table she had gotten it from. "Now," she said, "to find something for me..."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Drue strolled down a street in the city, his hands in the pockets of his dark jeans. His right hand clutched the crisp fifty-dollar bill in his pocket. The exchange would be smooth, it would be easy and it would be quick. Even if you were standing there watching, you wouldn't even know what had just gone on. You'd think it was just a handshake, a friendly "what's up." His dark eyes searched the street corner, and a tall, probably seventeen-year-old boy dressed in light jeans and a black t-shirt nodded at Drue. Drue nodded back, lifting his chin and flashing a wry smile.
"Hey man," the older boy said, putting out his hand. Drue pulled his right hand out of his pocket, grasping the other boy's hand, making sure the bill was secure in his palm. Their thumbs locked in a "secret handshake" and as they pulled their hands away from each other's, Drue closed his hand, locking the small bag in his grasp, and put it back in his pocket smoothly, as did the other boy.
"So, are you going to the party tonight?" Drue asked, keeping his hands in his pockets.
"I hope so. Depends if my girl will let me." He pushed a piece of his blonde hair out of his face.
Drue nodded. "Okay. Well, thanks man. I'll see you later maybe."
The boy nodded. "It's nice doing business with ya." He smirked, turned, and then headed down the street.
Drue grinned to himself, satisfied with the effortless exchange that had just been made. It went down just as he had expected, and he fingered the plastic of the bag that contained five small pills in his pocket as he shook the hair out of his eyes in the soft breeze blowing through the city. He thought about what the party was going to be like tonight, what girls were going to be there, and what various assortments of drugs and alcohol there would be available. He didn't think about Jen, though; he forced himself not to think about her.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"Well you can think whatever you want, Jenny, I personally think Drue is mighty fine." Laura raised one side of her mouth in a smile as they walked further down Fifth Ave, a small shopping bag hung on her wrist next to her gold bracelet.
Jen rolled her eyes, "That's ridiculous! He's..." She shuddered, her face scrunching up in a grossed out expression, "Drue...uuhg."
Laura chuckled slightly, "I think you need to get your eyes checked, hon."
"I think you need to get your head examined," Jen rebutted, "I don't see where this sudden interest in Drue comes from anyway."
"I've always been interested..." She shrugged, "I've just never...verbalized it before."
"I'm just going to warn you, Laur, he can be such a dick sometimes." Jen cautioned.
"You think I don't know that? I'm just as good of friends with him as you."
Jen sighed, "Yeah you're right. He's just not worth messing around with, in my opinion."
"Why, you know from experience?"
Laura raised an interested eyebrow. "Explain, please."
Jen hesitated to answer. Her mind was sifting though and running over everything that had happened between her and Drue, and Laura looked at her out of the corner of her with anticipation. "Okay..." Jen finally began, opening the door to a coffee shop and walking in a step in front of her friend. "The first thing that comes to mind is the whole incident where he first betrayed my trust...the drugs slash money slash lying thing. I'm sure you heard about it. Jen pushed an errant strand of golden hair away from her face and stepped forward in line, clutching the strap of her purse with one hand while the other fished through the pocketbook for her wallet.
Laura shook her head. "I have no idea, actually. I tried to find out...but no one would tell me about it."
Jen raised her eyebrows in surprise. "Wow...okay...just hold on." She paused to order a tall caf latte and Laura ordered a fancy tea of some sort. "Anyway," Jen explained as they carried their drinks to a secluded table in the back corner of the caf. "I gave Drue one-hundred dollars to buy me some E and a few joint and he comes back to me later that day empty handed, with my one-hundred bucks no where in sight."
Laura took a sip of her tea, keeping her eyes up on Jen.
"So, he proceeds to tell me the drugs were stolen from him by some guy on the subway. The scenario seemed plausible for about half an hour, then I talk to Andrew, who tells me Drue smoked the joints and sold the E."
Her mouth dropping, Laura's eyes widened at Jen. "The son of a bitch..."
"Wait, it gets better." She sipped her coffee and continued speaking, "Of course I confronted him. I wanted my money back. At first, that's all it was about. Whatever, he came up with an excuse to make himself look better, I understood his reasoning and wasn't so pissed off that I would yell at him, so I just asked him what happened and he proceeded to lie to me about it again and again for about three days. Then I talked to someone else about it and he said Drue was bullshitting me, so I confronted him again, this time angry about being lied to, calling him a liar and selfish and all that good stuff. He finally admitted it, offering to give me the money back, but it wasn't about the money anymore. He broke my trust in him and from then on things were shot between us in my opinion."
"But I don't get it, Jenny, things seem great between you two..."
"Only sometimes. I'm usually just pretending I like the guy, you know, to spare the few feelings he has."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Drue and Greg sat in the stairwell of Drue's building on 5th Avenue, the freshly cleaned stone of the stairs almost sparkled. Greg blew a large pink bubble gum bubble and popped it in between his teeth. The cracking sound echoed though the empty stairwell.
"So, who you hookin' up with tonight?" Greg asked, chewing his gum loudly and obnoxiously.
Drue shrugged, "I don't know. I'll see what happens as the night unfolds. You?"
"Same, I guess, I'll be aiming for the lovely Jenny though...mm mm mm...what I'd give to tap that ass."
Drue almost winced but hid it by brushing a piece of hair behind his ear. "Jenny? Why would you want her? She's been around, man, who knows what diseases she might have."
Greg shook his head. "Don't do this shit again, Drue."
"What?" Drue responded, giving his friend a weird look.
"Don't go bad mouthing her in a vain attempt to her for yourself. She doesn't want you man, so give it up. Didn't you learn that from the whole Chris incident? They really liked each other."
"Oh that's such bullshit! You know it. I know it. She felt diddly fuck for him. Those tears she cried were all an act for the attention she starves for."
Greg rolled his eyes, "Whatever, Drue. It doesn't matter anymore. I was just saying...ya know...she's hot."
Drue sighed. "She's a bitch."
"Okay then," Greg nodded, "A hot bitch." He grinned at Drue and they burst out laughing. The bellowing sound drifted up and down the stairs.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Laura turned away and rolled her eyes to herself before turning back to Jen. "I still don't see why you think he's such a jerk..."
"Okay..." Jen looked at Laura weirdly. "do you want to hear something else?"
Laura shrugged, her attitude suddenly turning cold. "I've heard plenty as it is. Honestly I don't care about what he 'did to you' at all...because it's not going to change my desire for him by any means..."
Jen let out a hurt breath of air. Mixed in with the pain was disgust and disbelief. "Well thanks for being honest." She voiced sarcastically.
"Anytime." Laura flashed Jen a fake half smile.
Rolling her eyes, Jen picked up her bags from underneath the table. "I guess I'll see you later then." She swiped the coffee cup off of the table and tossed it in the garbage on her way to the door.
As she walked back towards her house she wondered why the hell she hung out with half the people she did. The female half, in particular. All they did was compare, compete, and pretend to be your friend until suddenly a guy gets involved. The superficial bullshit they prided themselves on was enough to make Jen want to puke. But she knew she probably looked just like the rest of them to everyone else: fake and shallow. She didn't want to look like that though; she wanted to be her own, deep and interesting person. She felt stuck though. Stuck in the girl everyone knew and loved, the life of the party, the hottest girl in the room, the girl who everyone thought she was. Who she really was, Jen could never let anyone see, because she didn't like the real her that existed after the drugs or alcohol wore off. She didn't feel like she was acceptable, or anything special like people made her out to be. And she never let anyone get even the slightest glimpse of just how unstable and defenseless she was. Except for Drue. As much as she claimed to hate him, as loud as she screamed that he was untrustworthy and a horrible friend, she knew that he was the only one she'd show her weak and vulnerable side to. Why she chose Drue of all people...well the story behind that it is short and simple. He was there. He's always been there, and would always continue to be there. By now one would have thought Drue would have given up on Jen, but he didn't. He believed in her and knew her like no one else did, and it killed Jen to admit it, because she felt like such a liar claiming to despise the boy when she really knew just how much she loved him. Loved as in a platonic love, like one has for a best friend. And that's what they were. Best friends.