After saying goodbye to Mason and Bella, Casey and the sisters hopped into Maddie’s truck. As they headed out the driveway, Maddie made a right.
“What are you doing? You’re going the wrong way.” Megan complained.
“No. We have to swing around, we’re going to go pick up Sophie and Tiffany.” Maddie explained.
“Ew. What?! No! They’re juniors! It’s bad enough we’re bringing Mya!” Megan said.
“Dude what are you talking about? Mya’s a senior.” Said Maddie.
“Well she SHOULD be a junior. I don’t know why they bumped her up a grade.” Megan complained.
“Really she should be a freshman in college, but she turned it down to stay with that dimwit she calls a boyfriend.” Maddie said.
Mya rolled her eyes.
“I didn’t decline to stay with Travis. I declined because I wanted to graduate with you and Megan.” Mya said.
Maddie shook her head.
“Either way it was dumb. You got a ticket out of this shithole and you turned it down. ” Said Maddie.
Pulling up to a big blue house, Maddie parked the car and locked eyes with her baby sister in the mirror before turning her attention to the house. As the door swung open, out walked two blondes, a short one, and a taller one.
The shorter of the two wore a short, sparkly dress that left very little to the imagination.
“Ew, what the hell is she wearing?” Megan asked, as the blondes made their way towards the car.
“Megan, be nice.” Mya warned.
“Please, I’m always nice to your little slutty friends.” Said Megan.
Mya swatted her sister’s arm.
“Megan, they’re not slutty,” Said Mya.
“Just Tiffany.” Mya added under her breath as the back door opened.
When Casey and the girls made it to Maddie’s friend Chelsea’s house, the party was in full swing.
“Hey! you guys made it!” Yelled a red head, as soon as they walked through the front door.
The music was loud, but not blow your eardrums out loud. Bodies floated through the house, dancing, grabbing snacks, and conversing with one another.
The redhead said a quick hello to Casey, Mya, Tiffany, and Sophie before grabbing Megan and Maddie’s hands and pulling them into the sea of bodies.
Scooting close to Casey, Mya tapped their shoulder, getting their attention. Then, with a hand to their stomach, she lifted herself onto her tiptoes so she could talk in Casey’s ear.
“Hey, Sophie and I are gonna go get a drink, wanna come?” She asked.
Casey nodded before allowing Mya to take their hand and lead them through the crowd.
Meanwhile, somewhere among the bodies, Maddie, Chelsea, and Megan began dancing. Then, after a couple of songs, Maddie leaned into the redhead.
“Hey I’m gonna go get a drink, wanna come?” Maddie asked.
Chelsea shook her head no.
So, after informing Megan of where she was going, Maddie headed to the kitchen.
Setting her red solo cup on the counter, Maddie reached for the vodka when a voice came from behind her.
“What’s that like your fourth drink?” Asked the voice.
‘Of course HE’S here.’ Maddie thought to herself as she rolled her eyes.
“What are you, the alcohol police?” She asked.
“Nope. Just a concerned friend.” He said, arrogance dripping from his words.
Twisting around, she came face to face with her ex-boyfriend, Ricky.
“We’re not friends.” She said.
Ricky darted his tongue out, dragging it across his bottom lip; A gleam of lust shining in his eyes as he looked her up and down.
“Yeah, that would never work.” He said in a low voice.
Was that supposed to be sexy?
Unamused, and dry as the Sahara desert, Maddie took a long drink.
“Wow, does Jaxson always let you drink this much?” Ricky asked.
Lowering her cup, Maddie wiped her mouth with the back of her hand before looking at him.
“Dude, what’s your obsession with my alcohol consumption?” Maddie asked.
“Hey, I’m just looking out for you.” He said, holding his hands up.
“Somebody’s got to.” He muttered.
Maddie opened her mouth to respond when the kitchen door opened and in walked Chelsea.
“There you are! How long does it take you to get a-” Her sentence was cut short upon seeing Ricky.
“Ew, what are you doing here?” She asked, looking him up and down.
“You invited me!” He said, throwing his hands in the air.
“Well clearly that was a mistake.” She said,
Then, without another word, she looped her arm in with Maddie’s and pulled her out of the kitchen.
“What the hell was that all about?” Chelsea asked as soon as they crossed the threshold.
“He’s ‘concerned’ about my drinking.” Maddie said.
“Please, when has that asshat cared about anyone other than himself?” Chelsea asked.
Maddie opened her mouth, but was cut off by her boyfriend, Jaxson.
“Geez, thanks for inviting me ladies!” He said sarcastically as he threw his hands in the air.
Maddie and Chelsea shared a look of confusion before looking over at Jaxson.
“What are you talking about? You hate parties, and high schoolers.” Maddie pointed out.
“It’s the thought that counts.” He said, causing Maddie to laugh.
“What are you, a chick?” Maddie said.
Jaxson shook his head before stepping forward and taking Maddie’s cup from her. Then, after taking a sip, he lowered the cup and pointed at her.
“That’s very sexist of you.” He said, causing Maddie and Chelsea to share a look before laughing.
While Maddie and Chelsea continued to tease Jaxson in the hall, Mya and Casey were out on the dance floor in the living room.
As the up beat pop song they had been dancing to faded into a bit of a slower song, Casey leaned into Mya.
“Hey, I’m gonna step outside real quick.” They said, earning a nod from Mya.
Making their way through the living room, Casey headed for the foyer where they grabbed their coat and pulled it on before slipping out of the house. As they pulled the door closed behind them, the loud music from within turned into a low thumping. Making their way to the porch railing, Casey reached into the inside pocket of their coat jacket, and pulled out their carton of cigarettes. Opening the carton, they counted three cigarettes left; As they pulled one out, they made a mental note to get some more. Popping the cigarette into their mouth, Casey fished out the lighter Mason had given them, and lit the cigarette. As they took a long drag, Casey looked up at the stars and thought of their twin brother, Cain.
As kids, whenever the group home they were in got to be too hectic, Casey and Cain would sneak out in the middle of the night, and go lay under the night sky. Sometimes they would stay out until sunrise, trying to count all the stars and talking; anything to drown out the fighting. As they got a little older, Casey and Cain would talk about movies, or make up their own stories.
Then, when they got to be about eleven or so, they got separated; Now oftentimes, Casey finds themself staring up at the stars wondering if Cain is somewhere out there looking at the same stars right along with them.
“You alright?” Asked a voice.
Turning around, Casey found Mya standing there, her arms wrapped around herself for warmth.
After taking one last drag from their cigarette, Casey mushed it into the railing before pocketing the bud. That could go in the trash later.
“I have a confession, I actually hate parties. Partying was more Cain’s thing.” They said blowing out the smoke and looking up at the stars.
“Who’s Cain?” she asked.
“Cain was my twin.” Casey said.
Not even a second later, they shook their head and looked at Mya.
“Is!” They said a little louder than intended. “Cain is my twin.”