When Jonah and Hailey arrived at the house they found Derrick alone. Judy was busy pawning items Derrick had stolen the night before. He was in a miserable state, alone in the kitchen, smoking meth, talking to himself. Jonah and Hailey sat on the couch in the living room, took out their homework, and began to study.
Derrick usually liked to tweak by himself, but he wanted company today and took his pipe with him to the living room and sat across from the two of them. He took a deep drag and blew out a large white puff of smoke.
“Look, a cloud! Oh, no. It’s gonna rain in here and get your books wet.” He knocked the book out of Jonah’s hand and began to laugh.
Hailey smiled so he turned his attention to her. “He is so clumsy. Why do you have such a clumsy boyfriend?”
“He’s not my boyfriend.” Her face turned red in embarrassment as she replied. “He’s Jonah.”
“I know my own bro, yo. What do you know, bro? Hailey says she’s not your girlfriend.”
Jonah stood up and tried to take Hailey with him. “Let’s go.” But, she was having fun. Derrick was inches away from her, staring with a big goofy smile that made her giggle.
“I think that’s a no, bro. Hailey, does my brother know no?” He was caught in a loop. He reached out and touched her face. “Look, I got your nose.”
Hailey let out a loud, wild laugh that made Derrick sit back in his chair. Jonah too sat back down, visibly agitated.
Derrick reached for his pipe. He stared at it for a moment, as if trying to figure out what to do next. Then he leaned in again towards Hailey. “Do you want to make clouds?”
“No!” Jonah blurted out. He had never been told to stay away from drugs. He certainly had not been told at home. It was instinctual. He had never been offered or asked to be a part of the things his mother and brother did. From what he had seen he should know enough to be afraid.
“I didn’t ask you, bro. I asked Hailey.”