Jamie continued to look up at his old friend, a sad smile on his face. “You found me.” He whispered.
“I’ll always find you.”
The two men sat in the sand, the wind ruffling their hair.
“Put it out.” Danny said, gesturing towards Jamie’s cigarette. “My mom’ll throw a fit if I come home smelling like that.”
Jamie took another quick pull and then obliged, putting his cigarette out in the sand.
“How did you know I’d be here?”
“You always come here when you’re upset.”
“How’d you know I was upset?”
Danny bit his lip, hesitant about his answer. “O’dell told me.”
Jamie breathed deeply, but didn’t say anything.
“He’s worried about you. We all are.”
“There’s nothing to worry about.”
“Really?” Danny asked in surprise. “Last time I checked there was plenty to worry about.”
“No, please, listen to me.” He stopped, checking to see if his friend would interrupt. When he didn’t, Danny continued.
“I’ve known you since the sandbox Jamie, you can’t hide from me the way you do others.” He paused again, waiting, but Jamie continued to stare straight ahead.
“What happened that night? With Kayleigh? What was so bad?”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“I bet you haven’t talked about it with anyone. Come on, help me understand.”
Jamie leaned all the way back so that he was lying on his back in the sand. He stared straight up, his eyes reflecting the stars in the night sky.
“We had sex.”
“Well, yeah. We kind of all do. The whole parents yelling thing tipped us off.”
“She told me she needed a break right after.”
Danny lay down next to him, not saying a word. He didn’t want to interrupt now that his friend was finally talking.
“She called me a few weeks later. She was four weeks late.”
Danny sucked in his breath, and held it. Questions exploded inside his head, but he stayed quiet. He hadn’t known this.
“She was pregnant. John was right. I would – I did get her pregnant. He was right.”
“Kayleigh.. she doesn’t look pregnant. She.. would have had the baby by now though. Right?” Danny questioned softly.
“She isn’t anymore.” Jamie rolled onto his side, facing the swing set he had played on as child. He could almost hear the spirit of his unborn child laughing on it.
“I told my mom about it. She cried a lot, and told my stepdad. They weren’t happy.”
“I wouldn’t think so.” Danny whispered.
“You know, that night John told me that I’d wind up like my mom; too young, uneducated, and alone. He was right, wasn’t he? I am alone. The only difference between me and her is that Kayleigh killed our baby.”
“Don’t say that, Jamie.”
“She did, Danny. She didn’t want a child. She wanted a career in hockey, and she’s going to get one. She’s damn good.”
“So are you.”
Jamie smirked, but didn’t answer; his thoughts still lingering on the baby. “Were you really high at practice?” Danny asked tentatively.
“But O’dell said-
“You trusted me up until this point Jamie, why are you lying to me now?”
Jamie was on his feet, feeling his temper rise.
Danny was on his heels. “Talk to me.”
He turned around, eyes flashing. “Listen to me. I wasn’t on anything. I took some painkillers earlier in the day because I couldn’t walk. My brother was jumping on my bed while I was in it and landed on my knee. I wouldn’t have been able to practice if I didn’t take anything. But I wasn’t high.” He turned back around, and started to make his way home.
Danny blinked into the night. He hadn’t been expecting that. “I’m going to have a lot of apologizing to do,” he said to no one in particular.