When Shannon answered the door she looked at Carlo and smiled. Tad and I know Shannon is sweet on Carlo but he would never be interested in a girl like her. Short, fat, pear shaped, she wasn’t quite Carlo’s type who were usually much thinner and more athletic. A lot of guys in the neighborhood were into Shannon but none of us could understand why. She had huge tits, perhaps that was it. Nevertheless she’s kind of trashy, abrasive, with a voice as rough as sandpaper. Tad and I are too overly obsessed about the girls in our junior high school to care about Shannon. Besides, Shannon is about two years older than us, as is Carlo. They’re already in high school.
The weed starts kicking in. I’m not sure what kind of weed it is but the weed we usually score from Shannon is particularly potent. It doesn’t take much for me to get high from it. Tad, who smokes weed much more than I ever do, needs a bit more to get high, which is why we always buy two from Shannon. I never need more than a couple of hits before I start feeling it. As Tad sets fire to the second one and passes it to me, I’ve already had enough so I pass it to Carlo, who, cloaked in shadow, takes a long pull, sending tiny sparks off the end of the joint and into the night sky. Again, I turn my attention towards the roof door.
I wish we had some music, Tad says. I should have brought my box.
After Carlo taps out the last of the joint against the wall, he slips the ‘roach’ into his wallet. He collects them, keeps them in a jar in his bedroom. This way, if we can’t score any weed — which is rare — we can roll them all up and get something out of them.
I’m okay, he says, his knees drawn up to his chest, gazing out over the next explosion of fireworks. Just a little tired, that’s all.
That’s the plan, Carlo says, and to be honest, I could use one myself. It’s hot as balls, nearly eighty-five degrees, humid, and it’s beginning to drizzle. In a way I hope it starts pouring so it will cool things off a little. We’ve been out all day and I feel grimy, my neck perpetually slick with sweat.
Carlo doesn’t say anything, gets up and walks over to the railing, looks down. After a while he comes walking back over to us. My mother and sister are in the front yard, he says. They got sparklers.
Remember last year when Raymond set off that blockbuster? Tad says. Holy shit, that was something else, wasn’t it?
You know, it’s kind of weird that we’d be celebrating Independence Day when you consider how much our government has us by the balls, Marcus says. It’s all fear, man. All fear. They try to keep us afraid, making us think that at any moment the Russians are going to wipe us off the face of the earth. I mean, what about the Russian citizens, just like us, man. They’re probably scared to death of us. We could wipe them off the face of the earth just as easily.
Fuck ‘em, Tad says and I begin to laugh, again, not knowing why exactly. The combination of the weed and the way Tad says it.
Tad and I give each other a knowing look as Carlo follows Shannon across the park.
By the time he returns to us, Shannon left to join her friends in the handball court on the other side of the park. He looks troubled, though he’s trying putting up a good front. Marcus and Janet can’t tell anything’s wrong but Tad and I know.
As I sweep up in front of the house, I see Carlo up at his house doing the same thing. We wave to one another but we each keep to the task at hand, which is stealing the whole day away from us.
After some usual small talk, Carlo suddenly gets serious. He looks around, then peers at my house to see if anyone is at the window, says, I need to talk to you about something. It’s important.
Not being one to ever turn down weed, especially free weed, he agreed to go get high with her, insisting that he had to go afterwards, that he couldn’t hang around.
He didn’t know what happened, whether it was the weed or just a sudden case of teenage horniness but he became aroused. Once he became aroused, Shannon didn’t waste any time helping things along. She reached down the front of his jeans and grabbed hold of his cock, began stroking it, messaging it. Before he knew it, he kissed her and soon they were all over one another.
It didn’t last long, he says, a few minutes at most. When he felt himself ready to ejaculate, she told him to pull out because he wasn’t wearing a condom, he did so, spurting his semen all over her skin just above her vagina. She went down on her knees and sucked him off. Afterwards they hung out for a while then, as he said he must do, left her and went home.
Remember when she came to into the park last night to talk to me? She’s pregnant.
But gossip, especially among teenagers, is rampant and soon ‘rumors’ start spreading that Shannon is pregnant again and that Carlo is the father. Both of them adamantly deny it and that seems to satisfy most people, even Tad when he confronts Carlo about it, ready to make unholy fun of him over it. It’s Theo, who seems to have taken issue with it but no one can understand why. Theo can pretty much have any girl he wants, why get twisted out of shape over Shannon, who he fucked and dumped him like yesterday’s garbage?
They took care of the paperwork and Carlo paid the clinic in cash, something that he said they didn’t seem to be too surprised at. They spoke to Shannon, what to do, what not to do post-procedure, then Carlo took Shannon by the hand and walked her out of the clinic.