“Well, howdy! C’mon right in!” Jonathan said as he opened the trap of an old, but yet surprisingly well-kept tree house.
“Thanks.” Lina replied as she climbed inside the tree house. The brunette crawled to the pile of pillows close to the trap door. “So, what are we doin’ tonight?”
Jonathan closed the trap door behind her as she did that. “Did’cha bring snacks?”
“Always.” The girl took off her backpack and emptied all the candy and other snacks she brought to the tree house.
“Ain’t that perfect…”
It was 8:12pm, Friday night. For most of the 16-year olds like them, it meant start of the weekend. It meant partying, skateboarding with friends, or even something entirely else. However, for Lina and Jonathan, who have known each other since they were in diapers, Friday night usually meant it was time for one of their movie nights. They host it in the tree house Jonathan had set up in his backyard when they were five years old.
It hasn’t been easy keeping it up in order all these years. It required a lot labor to do so, but learning how to do it eventually lead him to upgrading, what they refer to as, ‘the penthouse’. It went from being a true child’s hangout, to a small private hangout/clubhouse that the two of them would chill during their free time. It was very well decorated, with a lot of posters on the walls, a floor of pillows and blankets, as well as a TV with its own VHS tape player. In reality, it was quite embarrassing, but that didn’t mean anything to them. As long at the two of them were together, spending time and having fun like in the good old days, nothing could get in their way.
Times have been especially hard for the two in the last few years. Lina’s mom has gotten a promotion and was never around anymore, which meant her dad became more and more abusive. And their relationship developed, and in a very terrible way. For alas, she became his servant. He had a really secret motive behind her mother’s back, which was being involved with almost every criminal in the city by running a drug cartel. It wasn’t an easy business to run, especially with a risk of being caught by your own wife, but oh boy, did Connor spend a lot of time making a perfect tactic of running this double life. The plan has been going longer than both her and her brother have even been born. And now? Now, Lina became his very own drug mule. It was less risky to be caught as a kid with drugs than an adult. Life was terrible for little Lina, and it didn’t help that her mom didn’t believe her, and had an illusion that she was a ‘spoiled’ child. Hanging out with Jonathan was one of the few ways she experienced happiness. Few ways to keep her sanity, even.
Jonthan had a similar situation in his life. He hasn’t been doing as well as he would make everyone believe. Ever since 5 years ago his mother died, he hasn’t had a chance to properly grow. It didn’t help that his father, turned to alcohol, and became very neglectful towards him, blaming his mom’s cancer on the poor kid. The cowboy never even had a proper chance to say goodbye to his mother, and now, the entire death was being blamed on him. So when 2 years prior, he turned to drugs, it surprised no-one. The popping sound you hear when smoking crack… It was amazing, kinda felt like a pop rock; however, nothing compared to the sweet release of bliss into the mind. And that was one of the many he tried. Ecstasy, coke, LSD… You name it, and Jonathan likely tried it. They talked many times about the risks of overdosing on these dangerous drugs, but Jonathan didn’t care. He had nothing left to lose at this point. All he had left to his name was the cowboy hat he’s wearing, and the buckle belt. They belonged to his great grandfather on the mother’s side. His mom gave them to him right before she passed away and he held a special sentimental meaning to them. He hasn’t stopped wearing either of them since that day. It has been a special omen; a memory of when times were better and that special little thing from his mother from when she was alive. That way, he never had to truly say goodbye to her. Jonathan wanted to make his mother proud by living his great grandfather’s legacy.
The cowboy took the bag of chips from the pile of junk food Lina had previously poured out and went to sit down next to Lina on the pile of pillows.
“So, what are we watching tonight, Jonny?” She asked, as Jonathan was opening the bag of chips.
“Oh, actually I got the good old classic.” He shoved the handful of chips in his mouth and left the bag on the side, as he pulled the videotape, with a barely readable red text on it. “Georgian Blood Bath 2.”
“Nice! That’s a classic!” Lina was the special fan of the horror genre. Her and Jonathan both enjoyed a good scare, and especially if it was cheesy. “Play it! Play it! Play it!” Lina chanted.
The cowboy put the VHS inside the player and grabbed the remote. Normally, a tree house didn’t have electricity in it, but thanks to an extension cord, Jonathan could bring the power from his room to the tree house. Everything was connected to that one extension cord: the TV, the VHS player, all the lighting… It was a fire risk, but it never went through either of their heads. After all, they were just the two kids trying to have fun.
Jonathan dived back in the pile of pillows and handed the controller to Lina “Would mi’lady like the honors?” He took the bag of chips once again.
She chuckled, as she took the remote and pressed the button labeled ‘Play’ on it. “Let’s get on with it.” As she put the remote next to her and grabbed a fistful of chips from Jonathan’s lap.
As the movie started both of them cheered at the opening title card. The chips being passed around from one lap to another, spilling the delicious treats all around the three house.
“I love this part.” Jonathan said.
“Oh, yeah, the head rolling scene. A masterpiece.”
Both anxiously expected the scene, and when Debbie’s head finally got sawed off, in a cheesy dramatic way, the duo cheered in joy.
“A masterpiece!” Lina yelled out as she jumped a bit in excitement. “God, I love this movie so much.” She snuggled against Jonathan.
To most people, something like this meant they were into each other, but for Lina and Jonathan, it was normal that the two kiss, hugged, or snuggled against each other, however this was never a true indication of some sort of a romantic relationship. You see, when you know someone your entire life, and love them with your fullest heart, you form a special type of a platonic relationship. They weren’t just friends; they were brother and sister. They knew each other’s secrets. Lina is very well aware of his obsessions of becoming a sheriff, and Jonathan knew Lina’s wishes to become a doctor. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, for both know every single detail about each other.
As the film was still going, Jonathan interrupted it “You know, I was thinking about gettin’ a tattoo…”
“Oh? What are you gonna get?”
“A skull maybe.” He raised his undershirt and showed the spot he planned on getting it on “Right on the tummy here.”
“Nice...” Lina smirked “Hey, we should get matching tattoos one day.”
“That’d be mighty fine.” Jonathan said as he fist bumped Lina. “But you know what we should do right now?”
“What do you have in mind?”
The cowboy pulled 2 sticks from his back pocket and handed one to Lina “Getting high on these bad fellas.”
“All right!” Even though they never had the talk, the way he always referred to blunt as ‘fellas’ made Lina think Jonathan might be gay. However, that would never get in a way of her loving him. After all, despite the preaching of the church, all of that was natural and everyone had a right to live their life, however they want to live it.
Lina took the blunt and lit it up. “I’ve been waiting for this whole week.”
Jonathan would say the same, but he smoked just this morning “I have waited a whole week just to spend another night with you.” He took a drag, and felt the calmness burst through his veins.
“So, did you hear what happened to Kayteelin on Wednesday?” Lina asked
“Oh, gossiping! Tell me all about it.”
“Well, it all started in 2nd period when…”
And the rest of night was spent in joy. They laughed, giggled, told each other stories, shared secrets, until they both passed out on that treehouse floor. They’d wake up in the morning, have a little more fun, and go back to their own homes. It wasn’t a perfect day, but it mattered. It mattered because for at least one evening they could escape the misery of their lives and spend it with the someone they loved. It made surviving the whole week for this moment worth it.