( j. )

He's hung over. He's still in his clothes from last night: a faded pair of jeans and a Sublime t-shirt with a hole in the sleeve. The sheets are twisted around his legs; his head is pounding. He can't remember what he did last night. To him, the means that he had a good time.

He's not thinking of me. He's not thinking of us, them, anyone. He's just concentrating on opening his eyes and stumbling out of bed. He picks up his guitar and strums a few chords, his slender fingers instantly finding the combinations of strings, even with a pounding headache and swollen eyes.

He checks his cell phone and sees that he missed a call. He stares at the number for a minute, then feels his heart skip a beat. He makes a mental note to return the call immediately after classes.

He forgets. He waits until the alcohol arrives, and then he parties, even though it's a Tuesday. Maybe he'll even smoke up, if he can find pot. But probably not tonight.

He told me once that his room mates and himself had called their searches for pot "missions." I had just laughed; there was no point in telling him that I was worried.

He suddenly remembers at 11:30 that he needed to return a call. Disoriented, but cursing at himself at the same time, he numbly punches on his cell phone and counts the rings before she pick up. He's relieved to hear that she's awake, and mumbles something. An amused, yet suspicious voice questions him, suddenly barreling him with questions. Why did he change? Where was the old him? Didn't he know that we were all worried about him back at home?

He frowns, confused. His voice is hoarse as he asks her what she means. She's angry, and yet she sounds like she's pleading with him. Why couldn't he just take it easy for a while?

He tells her sternly that she had no right to lecture him, and she falls quiet with a mumbled, "I love you." He knows that she loves to toy with him. She was always like that. When he doesn't say anything, she hangs up. He stares at his cell phone for a minute. That was not how he had thought the conversation would have gone. He throws his phone onto his bed, his heart broken again, and soon follows, falling face down into the pillow. After laying there, thoughts racing through his mind at a dizzying pace, he reaches over slowly and picks up his cell phone again. He calls me, needing someone to talk to. He tells me he misses home.