Not everyone, I had hoped to see, was at the party. I was told that Coach, Mrs. Bailey, and Lily were on a trip. It was still a great party, but I was constantly drawn back to our talk from earlier. But I spent most of the party with Matthew, since Ken was off hanging with Jeremy for most of it.
‘It’s strange to be back.’
“So dude, how is it being back home?” Matthew and I were outside, taking a breather, by the pool.
“It’s good to be back, but it feels different. Like…” I couldn’t really put my finger on it.
“Like you are a vistor and not the resident,” Matthew answered.
“Exactly. Wait…how did you know what I was trying to say?” I glanced at Matthew.
“It’s pretty much what Jerry said when he came back,” Matthew took a sip cola. “I’m amazed you will be going back again. I know it’s your plan to continue swimming, but I thought you would have missed your life here, a little bit,” Matthew kept looking forward.
‘I understand what he is feeling.’ “I do miss it here. If there was a way to reach my dreams by staying, I would; but right now the only fesible way to reach them is to return back home…I mean Montana.” ‘Crap. I’m sure that doesn’t help.’ “But what are your plans for College,” I swung my arm over Matthew’s shoulders, “after all the straight A’s in high school I assume you got some prestigous scholarship?”
Silence. ‘Was I wrong?’
“Yeah. Well we will have to see. My plans are kind of up in the air due to various reasons,” Matthew shrugged and sipped his drink again.
‘What?’ But I decided not to push the issue. Mostly because Matthew’s posture told me he was done discussing it. ‘What have I missed these last two years?’
“Well we should head back in there. Your mom put in a lot of effort, and you should do your job as the main character at today’s party,” Matthew stood and pulled me up with him. “Let’s go.”
Matthew walked back into the house, leaving me wondering; ‘What on earth is going on?’
Well…the party lasted about six hours. I was exhausted; more importantly, I was surprised that Jeremy was still functioning. He and Ken had spent most of the party
together. Probably talking things out and figuring out how they would interact from now on. There was no Jenny today. Dad had mentioned that she might try to make it, but that it was a long shot; I guess she has been super busy. Hopefully I could catch her before I go back.
“Where were you dude?” Ken had walked up to me just as the last guest left the house. “It seemed like you disappeard the entire evening.”
I laughed. ‘It was more like they disappeared.’ “I was around. Matthew and I pretty much made our rounds several times these last six hours. More importantly, I am amazed you are still functioning,” I said to the half dead looking Jeremy.
Yawning before answering, “I have probably had about ten…,” first looking to Ken; Ken nodded, “yeah…ten coffees. I too am amazed I am still awake, and not having a heart attack.”
All four of us laughed together. It seemed like everything was fine between us, but I forgot there was one missing… ‘Jerry.’ Just as I thought it, Jerry came out from the kitchen, slowly walking towards us. The laughing died. Nothing was said. We five just stood there in the living room.
“So…” Mom and Dad also came out of the kitchen; they probably stopped talking seeing the weirdness of us standing around without talking.
“Everything alright son,” Dad walked towards us?
“No problem at all. Thanks mom for the wonderful welcome back party,” I walked to mom and scooped her up into a big hug. “But to thank you, why don’t you let us clean most of it up for you. You and Dad,” I paused giving Dad a signal to tell him to take mom out, “go out for a date night, and don’t worry about anything.”
“What?! We cannot leave you this huge mess…” Mom pulled away from me to head back into the kitchen.
“Hon. Let’s listen to George on this. Anyways, you deserve a break,” Dad understood and started pulling Mom to the front door. “Don’t rush Son. We will go out for a late night dessert,” they were in front of the door.
“Oooo…” Mom’s face lit up, “I can’t say no to dessert. Thank you George,” and before I could say anything Mom pushed Dad out the door.
I chuckled to myself, ‘that’s my mom.’