Derek glanced at the handout he was given by one of his classmates he didn’t know. “A Kegger?” He looked to Brandt and Kody. They had never been invited to a party. The three of them were the biggest outcasts in school, despite the fact that Kody was on the basketball team and one of the best players the school had seen in years.
“You gotta come, man. It’s going to be epic! My parents are going to be gone, and my brother scored some kegs at his work. You three in?” the kid asked.
Derek shared a glance between his two best friends. “You sure you want us to go?”
“Dude, wouldn’t have invited you if I didn’t. I’m Erik by the way.”
Derek shook Erik’s hand. “Ric, and this is Brandt and Kody.”
“So, you three in?”
Kody stepped up. “Who else is going?”
“Mostly my friends and few people that I like or think are cool. Like you three. I know I like Ric’s use of vocabulary when he hurls it over to Lucas Munch and his bitchy-ass girlfriend. And dude, Kody, man, you rock on the court.”
Derek laughed. Okay, he liked Erik. “We’ll see you at the party, Erik.”
“All right! Laters.”
Derek and his friends arrived at the apartment that weekend. They were so ready to have some fun. They all worked out their cover stories to stay out. Derek didn’t like lying to his parents, but he wanted to get out of the house. He had been cooped up in it for far too long.
“Let’s do this,” Brandt said and walked right through the doors, to the back patio where it seemed everyone was located.
Immediately the three were greeted by Erik. “Dudes! You showed up! Grab a beer.”
There were plenty of kids already enjoying their time. Derek noticed most of the students were either the seniors from school, or the juniors that didn’t click with Lucas Munch. Yup, he was totally on board with this kind of party.
Derek grabbed a beer along with his friends and headed out to the deck. There was a pool, and several other students were hanging out by the side of it.
Derek noticed a couple of teens playing beer pong. He nudged Kody and Brandt. “We gotta play after them.”
“Dude, you are so on!” Brandt said.
Kody shook his head. “You two have your fun. I’m the DD, remember. We have to get home sometime before morning.”
“Thanks, bro.” Brandt patted his brother’s back. “You’re going down, Ric.”
“Ha. In your dreams, Brandt.”
Derek and Brandt went over to the table and watched the game unfold. Once the two guys were done, they stepped away. “Guys want to play? Have at it man,” the one in the red shirt said. Derek recognized him from his Chemistry class.
The other kid started to pour the beers into the cups. Brandt and Derek decided it was definitely time to play. This party was already starting to be an epic night.
Derek slurred his words over to Brandt and Kody. “Maaaan, tha’ was epic.”
Shh,” Kody hissed. “You’re going to get us caught.”
Brandt laughed and giggled. “Duuude, you’re totally wasted!”
“So are you,” Derek laughed.
Kody shook his head at them. “Guys, we’re almost to the apartment. Do you really have to be so loud?”
“Looooouuuuuud.” Derek laughed. He noticed a familiar door and pointed it, laughing at it. “Tha’s my place.”
“No shit,” Kody said.
Derek took a few wobbly steps and went to the door. He laughed when he dropped the keys, but sobered up quickly when the door opened. Uh ohs.
Dad stood there with his arms crossed. “Get inside, Derek.”
Derek wobbled in, and Dad had to catch him before he face planted. He laughed when he got to his room. Derek wasn’t sure why he thought that getting caught was funny, but it was. “Dude, I am totally fucking screwed.”
“Yeah, you are. Sleep it off, son. We’ll talk in the morning.”
Derek laughed more at his dad, while the man helped him get into bed. “Ni’ pops.”
Derek’s head hurt. No, scratch that. His head was going to fucking explode it was so painful. “Fuck,” he winced when he sat up. He held his head while it throbbed. His stomach turned, and he rushed out of bed.
He puked his guts out, and swore that his head was going to explode with each heave. “Fucking hell,” he breathed against the porcelain god of a toilet.
When he finally got his stomach under control, he left the bathroom. He was thirsty, and he wanted to find some pain killers to kill his head. He found Mom making breakfast while Dad was on his tablet playing some game or something.
“Oh, wow, look who finally raised from the dead,” Mom teased.
Derek sat at the stool. “Do we have anything for a headache?”
Dad stopped Mom from grabbing the stuff. “No, Sam. Don’t give him anything.” He glowered over to Derek. “Let the kid suffer for being such an idiot. What the hell were you thinking? Do you know how worried Mom and I were when you didn’t show up? And that Mrs. Lamb had no idea where her boys were either.”
Derek winced as Dad got louder. “Not so loud.”
“Oh no. This is me just getting started.” Dad’s voice rose a bit. “Do you realize how much trouble you could have gotten into last night? Who drove last night?”
“And was he drinking?”
Derek shook his head. “He got the short stick. We weren’t going to be that stupid, Dad. God, it was just a party. My first one. You can’t sit there and tell me you never partied.”
“Oh, I partied. I partied so hard, I got addicted to some crazy shit and ended up having to resort to doing some other crazy shit to pay off my debt. Want to know where that got me?”
Derek didn’t need the answer. He knew some of his dad’s past. That he had been in a gang, and that he was in and out of juvie before he went on to prison. Derek shook his head.
“Home and school. That’s it. We want your electronics in our bedroom by this afternoon. Say goodbye to your freedom for a while, kiddo, because you’re so fucking grounded.”
“For how long?” Derek’s heart sank a bit. He had been doing so well proving to his folks he was responsible. His grades were up, and he even had an A in his science class. He was taking chemistry this year, and because of his newfound respect for forensic science, he was finding ways to relate all his homework into forensics. Currently he was passing every class and had been over a year. He finished his sophomore year with over a 2.0 GPA, and now he was looking at obtaining something closer to a 3.0.
Dad huffed. “Until I can trust that you won’t make the same mistakes as me. I’m not about to let you throw your life away, Derek. You’ve worked too hard, and you have too much ambition in you to fuck up. You are not going to end up like me. I won’t allow it.”
“It was a party,” Derek groaned.
“Yeah, and that’s where it starts.” Dad stood up and walked away.
Derek turned to Mom. “Can’t you reason with him?”
“I agree with him. You know drinking at your age is illegal? If Kody had been stopped, it would not have mattered if he didn’t drink. He had two teens underage that were drunk in his car. You’re lucky I’m not calling your grandfather to have him do what he did to me after I got caught partying one time.”
“What’d he do?”
Mom put a pill and a glass of water in front of Derek. “He took me to the police station, locked me in the drunk tank for a day. Then he made me wash all the toilets in the cells—with a toothbrush.”
Derek grimaced. “Gross.”
“I never went to a party again.”
Derek took the pill, drank the entire glass of water. Mom then handed him a plate of pancakes. He was too tired and too hungover to be super pissed about being grounded. After hearing Mom’s story, he was also thankful that Grandpa hadn’t heard about his outing. He rather be bored at home than scrub toilets, that was for damn sure.
“Thanks for not calling him, Mom.”
She patted his hand. “Don’t make me regret it.”
He nodded in understanding.