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Fiction Teens & Young Adult Contemporary

This story contains themes or mentions of substance abuse.

Anna and Jack had almost nothing in common at the beginning of their relationship and that’s what brought them together, but the constant arguments and different viewpoints and backgrounds soon grew out of its cute phase. Much like their usual pattern, this odd couple finds themselves back in the deserted parking lot of a movie theater that closed down a few years back.

“Remember when we attended your brother’s wedding?” Jack asked, took a puff of his cigarette and passed it to Anna.

Anna placed the tiny cylinder between her lips and drew in a breath, then began coughing violently, “I thought I told you to stop smoking new ports.” she scolded but still drew in another puff.

“And what would you have me smoke babe? Tobacco’s tobacco, it’s all the same anyways just different names, it’s a monopoly.”

Anna rolled her eyes, she’s heard this ‘monopoly’ thing too many times to count and quite frankly, she’s bored of it. She passes the tiny cylinder over to him, “We didn’t attend his wedding, we crashed it.”

Jack shrugged, “Same difference.”

“We were high Jack, we ruined the entire event.”

He drew a puff and held it in for a few seconds, “I’d like to think we made it better.” the smoke puffed out of his nose as he spoke.

“You’d like to think Jack but my family disowned me after that.” she said, exasperated.

He leaned in to give her a peck on the cheek but she dodged it, “I thought you said you only needed me.”

She rolled her eyes, “I was high then too.”

Jack shrugged the comment off, it didn’t seem to faze him and Anna didn’t like that, she didn’t like that not one bit. She had wanted to make a comment that sunk into his skin, a comment that burned him.

“Okay, remember that time we went to the top of lady liberty? That was fun.”

Anna groaned inwardly, “Yeah and now my work opportunities are limited because I have a criminal record.”

“You just didn’t run fast enough.” he laughed as he passed the cigarette over to her.

She drew in a breath the puffed some smoke out, “Maybe if you hadn’t snuck spray cans in my bag and spray painted the halls and bathrooms of a federal monument, I wouldn’t have had to run.” then she coughed a little before passing it back to him.

“Not all our good memories had something to do with drugs or cops.”

Anna looked over at him, skepticism practically oozing off her face, “Name one romantic or otherwise moment we had that wasn’t influenced by drugs.”

“That time we went to the aquarium?” he puffed and gave it to her.

She held it between her fingers for a while, drawing back the memory of that night. It was her first time out in a while and she was a bit nervous. She drew in a puff and passed it back, “We took some acid before we left.”

“Because you were a nervous wreck and I wanted you to chill out a little.” he retorted.

“Yeah and now we’re banned for life because you thought the fish were drowning.” she yelled.

He burst out laughing, “Okay, you gotta admit, that was pretty funny.”

She whipped her head at him, a warning look on her face that says he shouldn’t push her buttons.

He immediately stopped laughing and puffed out some smoke before taking another hit, “Okay what about at the pool? Oh my god, I remember you jumped in there naked.” he said and burst into another fit of laughter.

“Yeah and I was arrested for public indecency.” she said, instantly turning the mood sour.

“But that wasn’t drugs though, that was all you.” he stated.

“All me?” she scoffed, “All me?! You gave me coke.”

He sighed, “Well you needed something to get out of that shell of yours, you were too scared to go outside with your bikini.”

She narrowed her eyes at him in anger, “I needed calming and reassuring words not fucking cocaine Jack.” she yelled, giving Jack a start which resulted in him dropping the cigarette.

“Shit.” he called out and went to pick it up. He inspected it to see if it was still viable before dropping it in the cup holder they had turned into a make-shift ashtray and lit another one. He dragged it in, letting the freshly bitter taste stew in his mouth before he blew it out. Like a breath of fresh air he thought. He passed it to her, “Okay then,” he paused, looking deep in thought before speaking again, “what about… there was this one time the titanic was showing in this old timey theater and you said you wanted to go, I worked my butt off to get you tickets.” he smiled while recalling how her face lit up when he surprised her with the tickets.

“Yeah and we got kicked out before the movie even started because someone had the bright idea to smoke fucking weed.” she breathed in frustration before pressing the cigarette between her lips.

“Okay then remember when we went to Washington square park, that was fun.” Jack said even though he knew he was grasping at straws, he could see how over with the conversation she was but still went on because he had something to prove

She rolled her eyes again, she was done with this reminiscing bullshit because nothing about their relationship was okay from the start. “Yeah it was fun.” she smiled

“See.” he yelled, finally happy to have gotten through to her even a little bit but then her smile dropped, “It was fine until we puked in the water fountain and had to be escorted off the premises because we were drunk.”

Jack seemed rather dejected, Anna noticed this and began to search for times where they had fun and weren’t under the influence of anything, “Um… there was that time at the um abandoned warehouse where we first met.”

“Yeah,” Jack immediately lit up, “and we lit fireworks, it was so much fun.”

“Yeah it was fun, until we took some heroin and burned down the building.” Anna said and it came out meaner that she meant for it to.

“Okay Anna,” he said, his tone changing into one filled with anger, “I’m trying here, cut me some slack. You had a panic attack that day, I gave you something to make you less anxious and I took you somewhere that made you calm. It was your idea to light fireworks so I went along with it.”

“Jack I-”

“What do you want from me Anna? I know I’m not perfect but I’m trying, everything I did was for you but all you fucking do it complain, Why? I know your background was more refined than mine but I’m doing my fucking best. I called one of my buddies to get you a job and he did, we’re working even with our records so what’s the fucking problem?”

Silence took over the entire car, the only thing heard was the sound of Jack panting because not once during his rant did he take a breath.

Anna licked her lips and pressed the cigarette bud into the ashtray, “I think we should break up.”

Jack sighed, lowering his head to rest it on the steering wheel, “Yeah, okay.” he said and started the car.

August 10, 2022 03:33

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3 comments

Zi Poromon
04:28 Aug 18, 2022

Great story!

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Brynn Helena
17:21 Aug 14, 2022

i've always loved stories that center around meaningful conversation, and this definitely fits the bill!! i'd love to know even more about these characters and the trouble they got into together. this was simple but effective. very well done!! :)

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Dunbarin Fadairo
18:18 Aug 14, 2022

Thank you so much for saying that, it means a lot. Also about them, Anna is somewhat of an over-thinker, she doesn't do anything without imagining up numerous consequences but when she met Jack, she learned to live more in the moment and even though Jack was a good times only type of person, deep down he really did care for her but as I said at the beginning of the story, their different outlooks grew out of it's cute phase. What I tried to do was portray another outcome of the opposites attract trope.

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