I didn’t even want to get out of bed. Part of me knew that my response should be to be party it up until the break of dawn, but I felt too depressed to even get out of bed.
Burying myself deeper in the bed, I ignored text messages from Jane. When broken down, they all said the same basic thing. “Hey girl! Let’s get drunk!” That was one of them verbatim, the “hey girl” and everything. I can’t imagine when she picked that up, but I hoped she dropped it pretty quickly.
Even Milo had texted me, but I didn’t reply to him either. He mostly just informed me that he was bored since Jack was gone, off meeting Ezra somewhere for some stupid business transaction.
I closed my eyes to the night outside my window, and I wondered how Jack wore his hair when he went on this business adventures with Ezra. Did he lay it flat, or gel it into the mess he normally has it? Did he wear a suit and tie? I could only picture him in the corner of some business meeting, playing Pac-Man on his cell phone, with his hair much too cockeyed for what could be considered appropriate.
This was the last night I could stay up all night, and he was gone. That’s what had really gotten to me, and part of it was my fault. If I hadn’t mocked him about his lack of interest in a career or fiscal responsibility, he might not have felt it necessary to learn the family trade.
I heard Milo yelling from another room, and I didn’t even hear the front door to the apartment open. He was calling my name, and I just pulled the covers over my head. It was really too hot for them, but I just wanted to bury myself and sink into oblivion.
“Alice,” Milo said disapprovingly, after I heard the creek of my bedroom door opening. “What are you doing? Trying to give yourself heat stroke?”
“What’s going on with you? I texted you like ten times.” He peeled back the blankets when I didn’t answer, and I tried to hide how refreshing it felt for my head to be out in the open. “Is this about school starting? It’s just school. It’s not the end of the world.”
“What do you think people will say when it really is the end of the world?” I wondered dryly. “It’s the end of the world, but at least it’s not school. Or prison. Or shots. Or whatever else isn’t the end of the world.”
“You’re not very good at being contemplative,” Milo said. “You always sound like some bad caricature of a philosopher, like those fortune cookies with ‘Confucius say’ or the Nietzsche guy from Mystery Men that’s always saying ‘when you walk on the ground, the ground walks on you.’”
“This is you cheering me up?”
I turned to look at him, trying to cast him a dubious glare in the light streaming in from the streetlamp outside my window, but he wasn’t even looking in my direction. He sat on my bed with his back to me, and he appeared to be filing his nails, or something equally gay.
“Hardly. This is me entertaining myself.” He tossed aside the emery board, and finally looked back at me. “Jack’s gone and I am bored with a capital ‘O.’”
“Why a capital ‘O?’ It starts with a B. That doesn’t even make sense.”
“Why does the first letter always have to be capitalized? Vowels are more dramatic.”
“It’s not grammatically correct to capitalize the second letter. It’s just the way the English language is,” I said.
“Well, maybe I’ll change grammar. I’m a vampire now. I can do anything I want.” He flashed a 100 watt smile at me and threw himself down on the bed, sprawling out over my legs. Propping his head up on his elbow, he patted my stomach. “You’ve gotta get out of this bed. We’re gonna do something.”
“There’s nothing to do,” I groaned.
There were plenty of things to do in the Cities on a Saturday night. I just didn’t want to do any of them. Lying in bed was the most excitement I could handle.
I hadn’t even read any of Peter’s book today because it just seemed like too much work. That, and I thought it would be better if I worked at trying to just forget him. I didn’t know how or even if that would be possible, but it couldn’t hurt to try.
“Oh, Alice,” Milo sighed, tilting his head at me. “What am I going to do with you?”
“Nothing. I’m going to stay here. And do nothing.”
No sooner had the words left my mouth then my phone started ringing. Before I could even think to reach for it, Milo jumped and grabbed it off the night stand. His reflexes were lightening fast, so at least Jack’s training appeared to be working. Not that I fully understood what Milo needed to train for. It wasn’t as if he was a soldier, after all.
“It’s Jane!” Milo scrolled through my phone and read the text message. “And she has a marvelous idea!”
“I don’t even wanna know what it is.” I tried pulling the covers back over my head, but Milo grabbed them and stopped me.
“You need to hurry up and get ready.” He finished texting her a reply and flipped my phone shut again. “She’s going to be here in twenty minutes.”
“What the hell for?” I growled.
“We’re going out. Clubs.” He quickly added, “No vampire ones. We all know how those sit with you.”
“We can’t get into clubs.” I shook my head. “We’re too young, and we always get turned away.”
“You never went with me before.” Milo winked at me. “I’m like a good luck charm.”
“I’ve had nothing but bad luck since you got here.” I tried to roll over, but he gently placed a hand on my arm.
“Alice, come on. It’ll be fun. I promise. And it’s not like you have anything better to do.”
“What’s in it for me?” I rolled back over to face him, eyeing him up.
“A good time!” Milo grabbed my hand, yanking me out from bed. “You’ve got to hurry. You can’t go to clubs looking all sweaty and hot!”
“Wait, wait, wait!” I protested when he pulled me to my feet. “You’re a vampire now. Don’t you think Jane will notice?”
“She never sees me or pays attention when she does. Just tell her I had a growth spurt,” Milo decided.
“A growth spurt?” I scoffed.
“This is Jane! She doesn’t put a lot of thought into anything, except how she looks. We’ll be fine.”