Joey wasn't expecting this. Being home alone at Vada's.
Up until now, he'd been OK with a lot of things. Like no cable.
Even breaking up with Corina, hadn't been that bad. He guessed. It was best not to think about it. After all, she was giving him the silent treatment these days at work, and he could live with that.
But now that silence was growing in the dark, and he wished he had someone to talk too. But Vada's brother went off with his friend on spring break, and Vada and her brother were glad somebody was home to watch the house. After all, Vada went to Denver to be with Alo.
But Joey didn't like it.
What if..what if Chelsea came back?
He looked about his empty room. Even his laptop was shut down. He went to the thin closet and opened the door, turned on the light, just to make sure, no one was hiding.
Chelsea seemed to be hiding from him, lately.
No, he knew she wasn't really there..but..but.. A shiver ran through Joey. He jerked an old cardigan from the hanger and put it on.
Why were there so many showers in April?
It had been a cold one.
A part of him, wanted to ring Dakota and ask if he could stay the night with her. He'd sleep on the floor. Her bed was small. Of course, it looked like a Disney princess lived there, but it might help him get through the night.
He didn't want to piss Xander off. Joey looked at the clock on his phone. It was going on 10 p.m. He couldn't call Dakota now.
He got in bed and hesitated to take his shoes off. Finally, he hid under the blankets. Chelsea better not show up.
After the quiet set in as he shut his eyes, trying to find sleep. Perhaps, it would find him, sooner or later.
"Hey." It was barely a whisper.
Joey's eyes sprang open. Someone was there in the dark. He moved to turn on the lamp and rose up on his elbows.
"What are you doing here?" He squinted sleep, wishing he could go back to his slumber. "Why do you always wear my underwear?"
He looked a Chelsea who was only in his boxers.
"Why not?" She was a tease.
He tried to shake the thought of seeing things. But he looked again. He decided those were men's breasts she had.
Joey squinted. Was she changing? He remembered her pregnant stomach, once upon a time.
"Why do, you do these things? To me?" He sighed.
"Because, we've been together, for a long time." She smiled.
"How long?" He wanted to know.
"You, forget everything." Chelsea told him and made herself at home, right next to him, as if she would be here for the long haul.
"What did I forget?" He winced. What would she tell him next?
"That's because you don't like to remember the bad stuff." She shrugged.
He wished she'd stop talking in riddles.
"Why can't you do something good for a change?" He hugged himself hard.
"I dunno, can't you find a ghost or something...like..like Sophie." Now that would be something, if he could talk to Dakota's mother.
"Sophie?" Chelsea looked hurt now. "I'm your invisible friend, why would I have anything to do with ghosts?"
Joey was in a pout now. What could he ask her?
"All right, when did I first meet you?" Maybe she wasn't telling him, everything, maybe Chelsea was a ghost.
Chelsea sighed. "You said..you didn't remember."
"Refresh my mind." He winced.
"We were little then." She asked if he remembered the old tire swing when he used to live close to the railroad tracks.
Joey shivered again. He remembered when he five or so, he wore the shortest shorts, even into the depths of autumn. He thought of the little striped shirts his mom got at the dollar store. Those cheap shirts never kept him warm, either.
Joey nursed his bottom lip. He thought of the names the kids at school used to call him. Albino. Of course, he didn't know what that meant. Sure, his mom was black and the black kids said he wasn't black enough to play with... and the others, well..he lied too much. Everything, that came out of his mouth was a lie. He was a natural born liar.
He didn't have a real family, like he said, just a mom who lived with a truck drive. She waited tables at the truckstop way into the night.
Yeah, he was home alone at night a lot. Only the TV to keep him company. Honestly, Joey didn't want to remember how he'd met Chelsea.