Chapter 7- Responsibilities
Jon pushed the case onto his mother’s bed. It was weird how heavy her case was.
He opened the case up to find a shit ton of bottles.
“For fuck sakes.” He mumbled, getting them out and popping them onto the floor. He took her clothing out and dumped them into her nearly full washing basket making a mental note to go to the laundry place down the road. At the bottom of the suitcase was a load of cleaning products which he also took out and a handful of cash which he placed onto her nightstand.
His mum was a cleaner, hence her taking his door a few years back. The houses she cleaned being tidier than the one she lived in.
Jon had questioned her career though after clearing many of her suitcases after she had left them unpacked to find unanswerable things such as stacks of money and skimpy clothing.
She did what she had to to get by.
Jon came down with the 5 bottles in his hands and under his arms, his mother glaring at him awkwardly.
“I’m just putting this in the fridge ma. You don’t have to be all wishy washy with me.” Jon stated, keeping eye contact. She smiled weakly back at him before getting up.
“I’ll leave you guys in peace. Tell me if you need anything Evan.”
He nodded slightly, watching Jon who was watching his mum climb slowly up the stairs, sighing when she was out of sight.
Jon hummed in agreement, turning to face Evan who was leaning on the counter. His muscular arms were wrapped around his chest as he watch Jon’s eyes. It wasn’t a weird awkward silence Evan tended to cause with others, no, Jon was different.
“I just don’t want to turn out like her, wallowed in self-pity all the damn time with a shit job and a shit house.”
“And you won’t Jo.”
“You don’t know that.” Jon sighed, now coming to cross his arms too. “I’m already failing school. If I don’t start doing something soon I’ll be kicked out.”
“Kicked out? But you work, you’re giving something. It’s not like you’re one of these ungrateful kids that launder money of their parents without a care, who don’t earn what they have.”
Jon huffed, the cogs working in his brain. His voice coming out in a harsh whisper “My ma hates me here.”
“Because I get angry with her. I don’t feel empathy for her like I use too. I can’t feel empathy for her. I’ve done everything for her. I do all the chores and I even pay the bills when she blows her money on shit she wants and she still doesn’t do anything, she still wants me out the house now I’m 18 so she can sell it and live on people’s couches and fuck them for money. Without me here she can do what she pleases without worrying about her children getting in the way. That’s why my sister moved out. Because mom doesn’t want anything to do with us anymore.”
Evan huffed in annoyance.
“It’s not your responsibility to deal with this shit Jo, I know now we’re older we have so much to think about, but I don’t think worrying about your financial support and mother’s health should be one yet, that’s not fair on you.”
“Life’s unfair.” Jon stated factually, shrugging. “It’s better than being homeless, well, I might be if I don’t pass this year, which I didn’t.”
“Jo. You don’t know that. You’re clever.”
“Not that you know this, but I failed every single test I revised at least 3 hour each for this year. When I took the final year exam I only answered 9 of the 30 questions. Don’t you see Ev? I’m not just saying it like everyone else does. I’m not saying it like a ‘D’ or even an ‘E’ is a fail. I’m saying it as like, not even passing. At all. You know that when you were here I only just scraped past the last few years and since you’ve gone and things of got harder, home and school wise, I can’t even get an ‘F’. So yeah, I’m probably going to end up in prostitution or something.”
Evan cringed, he slid along the counter to stand closer to Jon. Jon frowned at him slightly, but smiled. It was that fake smile that Evan hated. The one he’d do if he was thinking in self-doubt, the smile he’d hide behind whilst his head exploded to insure nobody knew his true emotions, nobody knew him.
“You know I wouldn’t let that happen, right? If your mom kicks you out or you go into some dodgy job just to get some extra cash then you realise I’m going to help out, yeah? I’ll let you share my bedroom or give you money or something. Just promise me you won’t push me away and not tell me.”
Jon bit down hard on his lip, meeting the honey eyes of his best friend. There was no way he was going to drag Evan into his problems. They were his. Evan didn’t need extra responsibility just because he had chosen the wrong friend to be close with.
“Ev I can’t-can’t promise anything.”
“Why? Jo, you’re my best friend. I want to help you if you’re in trouble.”
“Well, say if I don’t want help though?”
“I don’t care if you want it. I’m going to help you for my selfish need of making sure my best friend is going to be okay.”
Jon looked towards the floor, his hands wrapped around one another. He knew there was no way of arguing back. When Evan was set on something, he was going to do it no matter what.
“You can be a stubborn bitch sometimes.” Evan mumbled, playing with a penny left on the counter. “But so can I.”
Jon snorted, watching Evan spin the coin.
“I know, thanks.”
A grin fell onto Evan’s face, meeting Jon’s ocean blue eyes.
They both carried a big bag each down to the launderettes in town. Evan had never been to one before and wondered how Jon even managed to carry of all these clothes by himself.
“Could you separate them for me?” Jon asked. Evan looked at him in confusion.
“The colours you tit. The blacks from the whites and shit.”
“Oh right.” Evan mumbled, it was weird doing such a domestic thing without some parent nearby. He was still living with his able parents so he had no idea how any of this worked. It wasn’t that he was lazy- okay he was a little lazy- but his parents just never asked him or taught him.
Jon chuckled to himself. It was hilarious watching Evan try to figure out the colours. He was putting them into rainbow formation, and it was adorable.
“You do realise you can keep the coloured ones together.”
“But you told me to separate them! You can’t tell me to do one thing and it not be that.”
Jon laughed harder.
“You’re such a pampered bitch. Wait till you go to uni, you’ll have to learn all this shit.”
Evan rolled his eyes.
“I might have to take you with me then.”
Jon paused for a second. He wished Evan wasn’t joking. He would love to come with him across the country and live with him. But, he still had to finish school. He knew without school he’d turn like his mum, and he really didn’t want to get stuck there. He wanted to be just as successful as the rest of his mates, even if it meant it would take him 2 years longer.
“Wanna go grab something to eat?”
I was about 6pm, but they were both hungry anyway after not eating much of whatever Ryan had cooked, God’s knows what it really was.
Evan nodded as they both walked down towards the McDonald’s near the main street.
They brushed lightly against each other as they talked about, just, stuff. It wasn’t anything special. It was normally the ideas that Jon was having and Evan trying to make sense of whatever idea that was, and skits, they loved making skits together from the ideas they’d make up. Yeah, it may have seemed childish to talk about shit like how it would be funny if terminator got hit by a car and died crossing a road somehow. But that’s why they were best friends, because they loved talking about nothing but random ideas and skits. It helped them take their minds off of all the responsibilities they had.
Jon watched Evan eat slowly across from him. He still couldn’t get his head around the fact he was here, in front of him, eating the shit out of a double cheeseburger.
“This is so damn weird Evan.” Jon muttered, smiling slightly. The habit had started to come back again.
“What is?” Evan questioned, trying to catch a falling drip of sauce from his lips and failing.
“You being here, looking like an idiot I swear it.”
“You know like, what-ever” Evan said, clearly pouting as he put on the childish accent.
Jon laughed, pointing to his own chin to signal the spill Evan had left.
He quickly wiped at it, causing Jon to roll his eyes.
“Let me get it you damn man.” Jon got a tissue from the bag and leaned over the table, dabbing the spot from his chin. “I told you you were a pampered bitch.”
“No.” Evan replied, grinning. “Why would you think that?”
Jon snorted in reply, now biting into his burger. He wanted Evan to never leave him again.
They went back to the launderettes to grab the clothing and lunged it between them back up the hill and into Jon house.
They came back to a quiet house as Jon’s mum has disappeared back to where ever she spent her paycheck. They dumped the laundry into each room, ready to be put away.
Evan was about to start unloading it when Jon touched his arm lightly.
“Let’s do it later Ev. We deserve a damn rest.” He laughed, bringing Evan to sit on his bed with him.
“What do you wanna do to chill off? It’s only like 8 and I’m tired as shit.”
“Hm,” Evan sat in thought, his eyes scanning the tanned face before him. “Do you still play the guitar?”
“Yeah man, do you?”
“Of course. Where is it?”
Jon looked around his room, trying to find any hints of where he had placed it last.
“I think I left it near my push bike, let me get it a second.”
Jon ran down the stairs, going into the garage where he stored his bike. He couldn’t afford a car and even if he could there wasn’t any point, he lived close to everything he needed and Luke was always up for giving him a lift places to show off his car.
He found the old thing tucked behind a box to keep it safe.
“Oh dude it looks older than I remember it.” Evan stated as he handed it to him.
“It’s cuz I use it so much, it’s missing a damn sting too… I’ve rocked this old boy into its grave. I’m too poor to get a new one. But I’m saving.” He laughed, coming to sit next to Evan who plucked the strings.
They were all still in tune as Jon had kept it so, but the missing sting was annoying Evan.
“Just pretend it’s there.” Jon mumbled when he saw Evan frown in annoyance.
“My imagination doesn’t stem as far as yours Jo, I like hearing it.”
Jon rolled his eyes, taking the guitar from Evan. He began to play an unfamiliar tune as he made it up on the spot, missing out the C string he no longer had.
Evan giggled as he watched him play, it was so bad it had Evan almost in tears by the end.
“I know children with better rhythm than you.”
Jon pouted, glaring.
“Shut your rolls, tried my hardest, ya know, and it was damn beautiful!”
Evan bashed into him, laughing as he got jabbed by the neck of the guitar.
“Well this is no use, I wanted to teach you a song but I can’t now.”
Jon huffed, putting his guitar down. It used to be Evan’s before he bought a new one around 6 years ago and Jon never had the heart to get rid of it completely.
Evan pulled out his phone from his back pocket.
“You know that deep meaningful conversation we had earlier.”
“I mean it, you know.”
Jon frowned at him, wondering why he had brought up such a conversation now. He scanned his face, not getting a lot of information before Evan turned to him.
“Black or beige?”
“Black or beige Jonathan. Just pick one.”
Evan shut his phone off, his grin a cheeky one.
“Someone likes the big D.”
“What do you me… EVAN THAT’S DAMN GROSS.”
Evan started to laugh hard, watching Jon chuckle, his cheeks flushed pink.
Jon looked so happy, and Evan found himself wanting to do anything to keep that smile planted on his face for the rest of time.