“I mean, sometimes I like to smoke. Sometimes I don’t. Regardless, I almost always have my lighter on me.”
“But… how is that lame?” Sidney pleads. “It’s not like I was going to smoke tonight.”
Victoria rolls her eyes, though through the ambient darkness of the porch Sidney does not see it happen. “So that’s not a joint behind your ear?”
Sidney says nothing for a short moment. Flicks his white lighter. Watches the flame dance.
Then, “How did you even see that?”
“I smelled it when I hugged you, dude,” she tells him.
Ah, to be young and in love; Sidney and Tori sit together in wicker chairs upon cushions with horrendously hideous floral patterns in the pleasant evening darkness shrouding the back porch. She parked, he let her in. They hugged. They kissed. They sat. Here they are.
Yeah, here they are. Sidney has no idea what to do now.
“Hello,” he says, then cringes at himself.
“Hello…?” says she, turning to face him.
“I uh… uh,” Sidney starts, fiddling with the white lighter. “How are you?”
“I am good,” Tori hazards. “How are you?”
“I am good,” he hazards back.
“Is that why you’re smoking?”
“I’m literally not even smoking,” he says defensively, gesturing at the air with open arms. “Why do you care so much?”
“Ashtray mouth,” she says simply.
“I guess,” Sidney guess es. He takes the joint out from behind his ear and stares it down. “Honestly, I don’t even know why I rolled this thing.”
“I don’t either,” Tori agrees, plucking it out of his hands. “Jesus Christ, you rolled this?”
“It’s like a cigarette, what the fuck?”
“Thanks,” Sidney says proudly. “I have my own method.”
“Of course you do,” she says tiredly. “You named it too, didn’t you?”
“What, the joint?”
“No, the–… yes, Sidney, the joint. What’s her name?”
“Tori,” he says without skipping a beat.
“You named the joint Tori.”
A chorus of crickets chirping at the moon.
“I didn’t name the joint Tori, Tori,” he folds.
“Oh,” she says. “I thought it was because you wanted to put your mouth on it.”
“My ashtray mouth, you mean?”
Victoria takes a very deep breath. “I thought you said you didn’t smoke tonight.”
“Why don’t you find out?”
Victoria looks at him then, eyebrows high above her eyes. “Is that a challenge, Sidney Blake?”
“Maybe it is,” as Sidney watches her get up and stand before him. “What are you go’n’a do about it?”
Rather than telling him, she shows him; Tori slides the joint back behind Sidney’s ear and straddles him, lacing her hands behind his neck. He puts hands on her sides and pulls her close and they kiss, only on the surface at first, then deeply. She does not taste ashtray on his tongue, but she does taste beefy onions from the gravy, so the kiss doesn’t last quite as long as he was hoping it would.
“You guys have burgers for dinner?” she asks him.
“Salisbury steak, actually,” he says happily. “There’s a bunch left over in the fridge if you want some.”
She shrugs. “Nah.” Puts her tongue back in his mouth anyway.
Sidney allows it to happen. Tori allows his hands to roam south to avoid the rapidly encroaching winter. The wind continues to blow, though it has no bearing on the chills racing across their hot bodies.
“You wan’a go inside?” she whispers to him when they come up for air.
“The joint, though,” he says, feeling idiotic even before the words leave his lips.
“God damnit,” Tori says, putting her hands on his chest to push herself off him. She plops back down in her chair, saying no more.
“What?” Sidney asks her.
“What nothin’,” she answers. “Smoke your stupid joint.”
Sidney takes the stupid joint out from behind his ear and takes the crutch between his teeth. He goes to spark a flame but realizes he dropped the lighter in the commotion. The wicker chair squeaks and creaks with his movement.
“What now?” Victoria asks impatiently. “Are you going to smoke or not?”
“I lost my lighter,” says he, hands digging through his pockets.
“I thought you always have your lighter on you?”
“Got a little distracted,” Sidney admits.
“Not distracted enough,” Tori grumbles, folding her arms.
Sidney fumbles around beneath his chair and feels a cold hunk of plastic bounce off his knuckles. “Aha.” He bends back up and sits back in the chair, brings the white lighter to the end of the joint, then looks over to see his woman looking at him with fire and fury in her eyes.
“Uh,” Sidney uh s obliviously. “You okay, babe?”
“Fine,” she says, sounding not fine at all. “Just smoke your stupid joint already.”
“Well I was kind’a hoping you’d smoke it with me,” Sidney says, thinking on his feet. “Why do you think I rolled it?”
“You said you didn’t know why you rolled it.”
“Yeah, just now you did!” Tori does not shout but does not quite say, either, slapping her hands on the arms of the chair.
“Fine, you got me,” he shrugs. “Congrats. For your prize, you get to smoke a joint with me.”
“Does it come with a receipt?”
“Damn,” he says. “It’s like that, huh?”
“I don’t like smoking,” Tori grumbles. “I told you that.”
“That movie night in your room, dumbass. Remember? When that guy tried to hump me?”
“You mean Old Jack?” Sidney corrects her. “I think he was more interested in your car.”
“Well… I distinctively remember a weird guy trying to hump me that night,” she shrugs.
Sidney stares at his woman for a second. Then, “Must not have been trying very hard.”
Victoria stares at Albey for a second, but in a very different way. “And what the fuck is that supposed to mean?”
‘Shit.’ “No, I didn’t–… baby?”
“I love you.”
A stare as cold as a late October night.
“I’m sorry,” he apologizes. “I–”
“You what, Sidney? You’re mad at your slut of a girlfriend for not fucking you yet? Is that it?”
“Like, oh my god, we’ve been together for a whole fucking month and I haven’t let you inside of me yet, call the fucking police.”
“No, just shut the fuck up. I’m not your fucking whore, you know that? You, you’re just…” Tori folds her arms and recedes back into her chair. “Just smoke your fucking joint so we can go inside. I’m fucking cold.”
Ah, to be young and in love; there Sidney and Victoria sit, side by side, nothing but an immaterial wall of darkness between them. The crickets chirp, the wind blows on, and not a single word is said for a moment. Then…
“Victoria,” Sidney ventures.
Victoria does not answer him, though that’s not exactly the worst thing that could happen.
“Baby,” Sidney ventures again.
“I’m not trying to fuck you, you know.”
A blank look rises to the surface of Tori’s face. She sits up, very alert, and looks at Sidney squarely. “Excuse me?”
“I’m not trying to fuck you,” Albey says again. “Like, I think you’re gorgeous and sexy and super attractive and everything, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not trying to just fuck you.”
“Are…” she starts, then looks away for a second. “Are you breaking up with me?”
“WHAT?!” he says loudly, then calms back into a reasonable tone of voice. “No, I–… what??”
“Why would you say you don’t want to fuck me and then give me compliments like that?”
“I didn’t say I don’t want to fuck you, I just said I’m not trying to. Like, that’s not why I’m dating you, nor is it the reason I wanted you to come over tonight.”
“But your moms’ car wasn’t in the driveway.”
“They actually planned that themselves, without my knowledge,” Sidney says, rolling the joint between his finger and thumb.
“So…?” Victoria shakes her head as though she isn’t sure what’s happening. “Wait, so what… what’s going on right now?”
“Uh,” Sidney says eloquently. “We’re uh, we’re sitting on my back porch talking. I think?”
Tori looks at her feet, then at her man. “Um… sorry…”
“No, don’t,” he starts, then gets stopped.
“No, I flipped out. I didn’t mean to, I… sorry.”
Sidney smiles at her. “You don’t have to apologize, I come off as a dick all the time like that. It was my bad.”
Tori doesn’t say anything, just kind of looks into the night.
“So uh,” Sidney says, raising up the joint. “You wan’a smoke with me?”
Victoria exhales through her nose. “Why do you like to smoke so much?”
“I don’ow,” he admits. “I haven’t in a while, I just… I guess I thought I deserved a little reward tonight.”
“I finished the manuscript for my book today.”
Tori turns to him. “Wait, seriously?”
“Yeah,” he says giddily. “Well, kind’a. I finished the writing. I still have to edit it, y’know, first, second, third draft, all’a’that. But yeah, the actual text is all done, I have it in a single file. Theoretically I could submit it to Amazon right now and have them print it and it would look like a finished book.”
“Dude, that’s awesome!” she says excitedly. “How long is it going to take you to edit it?”
“I’m not sure yet,” dude admits. “Never done this before, y’know? I think the first draft will take the longest, second draft will prob’ly be the easiest, and then the third draft will…”
After a moment, “Will… what?”
Sidney shrugs. “I honestly have no idea,” he chuckles. “Like this whole relationship thing, I am new to the world of novelwriting. I’m just kind of taking it one step at a time, y’know?”
“What do you mean?”
“Like, I’m trying not to set up any expectations for the process of getting the book out. I don’t wan–”
“Sidney,” she says, putting a hand on his arm. “I mean the other part.”
“Oh,” Sidney says. “Yeah, uh, you’re kind’a my first girlfriend. Like, my first real girlfriend.”
“Yeah,” he says shyly. “I thought I told you that.”
“You definitely didn’t,” she says, taking her hand away.
‘Shit.’ “Oh, uh… is that…” ‘Shiiiiiiiiiiiit.’ “Should I have?”
She shrugs. “Meh, doesn’t really matter.” A moment passes. “So… you’re, like… a virgin, then?”
“Oh no, goodness no,” Sidney says haughtily. “I had a friend with benefits in college. Fucked that girl’s brains out many a’time.”
“Many a’time, huh?” she chuckles. “Lucky girl.”
Tori shrugs. “Maybe. I don’t know yet.”
Sidney’s not sure what to say. “Do you… I mean, should we… uh…”
“Should we uhhhhh,” she says mockingly.
“Do you want to go have sex?” Sidney asks awkwardly.
Victoria giggles adorably, covering her mouth with a hand. “Nah, not tonight.”
“Are you all right with that?”
“Yeah, of course,” he says with a tad bit of fear. “I didn’t, I-I, I just, I–… Tori?”
“You perplex me.”
“As do you me, Sidney Blake.”
Albey puts the joint into his mouth for the tenth time tonight, but just like the other nine times, he does not immediately light it. “Yeah? Why’s that?”
After a moment of staring into his eyes, she asks, “Why do you like weed so much?”
Sidney shrugs. “I don’t know. Why do you dislike it so much?”
“My last boyfriend,” she says wistfully.
“Oh, no shit. What happened?”
“Maybe later,” she waves him off. “Why do you like it so much?”
“Uh… honestly, baby, I don’t really know. I just kind of picked up the habit in college. I actually got to know my uh, my… friend – her name was Jocelyn, just so… like, just so I don’t have to keep alluding to her, I guess – through the weed. I had some extra cash from selling a bunch of stuff before I left so I was able to always have a bunch on me. We were both really high the night we met and we hooked up a couple times, and then we kept hooking up, and… oh wait, you asked about weed.”
“I did,” she says flatly.
“Sorry. Um, but yeah, I was just getting high, like, constantly in college. I had a bunch of folks around me all the time because I was kind’a the weed guy. Some folks even called me the weed god, like, it was like that. And… I don’t know. Whenever I came home I was really lonely and I didn’t think Keaton and Carl would want to deal with me so I never hit them up, I just sat around and wished I could get high the whole time… and then when I went back to school all I wanted to do was smoke. I guess I got addicted to it at some point.”
“You don’t seem–”
“No, like, it was kind’a bad. Before I met you I was smoking way, way too much. Started dipping into the craziness a little bit.”
“I mean, you’re twenty and you wrote a novel, dude. I think you’re crazy regardless.”
“No,” Sidney assures her, “like, the schizo-kind’a craziness. Like, I was having these weird delusions and somewhat psychotic episodes. It was bad.”
“Yeah. So I promptly stopped using it all the time, but I never got rid of it completely.”
“I couldn’t really tell ya,” Sidney says, shaking his head. “I just like being high. I like the overall feeling of it; the headspace, the physical sensation, the… well, everything. I just really like it. You can’t really understand it because you’ve never done it, but–”
“Oh no, I’ve done it,” Tori says. “Many times. Many a’time, like you said.”
“You… wait, you have?”
“Oh yeah. With my last boyfriend.”
“Yeah. It was actually how he convinced me to start fucking him.”
“We were hardly together for a week. I was fifteen. I think. Maybe even fourteen, I can’t exactly remember. As bad as that is. He was, uh, more than a couple years older, and a very bad influence on me.”
“I mean, I don’t–”
“No, he was. I’m not saying that for your sake, trust me. I used to be such an innocent girl, but he put that to an end real quick.”
“Oh… how uh, how long were you guys together for?”
“Five years,” she says, looking out into the night again. “Maybe six, actually. I don’t remember. I try not to think about it. He cheated on me, like, a lot.”
“Yeah!” she says angrily. “Which was fucking ridiculous, because I was on that dude so much his dick literally tasted like my vagina. It was…” She sighs. “We never even slept together in my bed. He didn’t give a fuck about me, all he ever wanted was my fuckin’ body. It was… it was really fucking ridiculous.”
Sidney is quiet for a moment, as is Victoria.
“Are you okay?”
Tori chuffs. “I’m fine, dude. It’s the past. He was a fucking asshole and I hope he dies, but it’s the past.”
“Like, he fundamentally changed who I was as a human being, but it’s fine. I’m over it.”
“He got me to do things that I never…” She sighs again. “I’m fine, though. I’m over it! It was a long time ago and I’m over it. I’m fine.”
Although he probably shouldn’t, Sidney says, “Honestly, babe, you don’t seem fine.”
“I’m just saying, like… if you want to talk about it–”
“I did talk about it. Just now. I’m fine.”
“I know, but–”
“If I fuck you will you stop asking me about it?”
“Uh… probably not, no,” Sidney says honestly. “I didn’t… I had no idea you went through something like that, like… I’m sort’a worried.”
“What are you worried about?” Tori asks irritably. “What, do you think I’m go’n’a fuck him behind your back or something?”
“Can you stop assuming things about me, please?” Sidney asks seriously. “You keep pretending that you know what I’m thinking, but you have no idea what’s actually going on up there.”
“So what are you thinking, then?” she barks.
“That I love you!” he barks back. “That I just want… fuck, I don’t even know what I want.” The night sings on and on. “I want to smoke this fuckin’ joint, that’s what I want.”
“How about you don’t?” Tori asks.
“How about we do?” Sidney dumbs.
“How about I just go,” Tori suggests, getting up slowly. “This night is not going how I thought it was going to go.”
“No, don–… I mean, if you…” Sidney sighs.
Victoria starts towards the screen door but doesn’t make it there; Sidney grabs her hand and pulls her back.
“What are you doing? Just let me leave, please.”
“Nah,” he says nonchalantly. Sidney kisses Tori, and she lets him do it, but she doesn’t necessarily kiss back. “Victoria?”
“This isn’t going how I thought it was going to go either, y’know.”
“Okay…” she says, looking at their feet.
“I love you, Tori.”
She doesn’t say anything.
“I love you, Victoria.”
She looks up at the ceiling so she doesn’t have to look into her boyfriend’s stupid eyes.
“I love you, Victoria Moriarty.”
“I love you too,” she grumbles.
They look at each other for a moment then, peering through the windows and directly into one another’s souls.
“Hey,” he says.
“Hey,” she says.
“Are you really go’n’a leave?”
“I don’t know yet,” she says. “Are you really go’n’a try to get me to smoke with you?”
“Nah,” he says. “I wouldn’t have asked in the first place if I knew about your ex.”
“Oh,” she says. “I guess… maybe I should hav–”
“No’no,” he says, “no, it’s fine. That’s, like… that’s heavy shit, I don’t blame you. All I’m saying is now I kn–… now I have the information.”
She stares at him for a second. “The information.”
“Sure, why not?” he shrugs, then tugs on her hands.
“What are you doing?”
“C’mere,” he says, pulling her back to the wicker chair. “I want to tell you something.”
“Then just say it,” she says uncertainly.
“No, I wan’a whisper it in your ear.”
Not a word goes whispered. A few minutes later – well, more than a few – Victoria sits back in her chair while Sidney tries to figure out what he did with his white lighter.
“I honestly am flabbergasted that you’re still trying to smoke that stupid joint,” she says truthfully.
“I told you, honey, I used to be addicted,” he bleats. “That kind’a thing never goes away. I’m always go’n’a wan’a smoke.”
She watches him for a moment, then, “I bet I could make you not want to smoke.”
“I doubt that,” he says honestly, finally finding the white lighter. “There’s nothing in this world that would – or could – make me not want to smoke this joint.”
“You really think so, don’t you?” she asks, getting up and crossing towards him.
“I… do?” he says then asks as Victoria kneels down in front of him, putting her hands on his knees. “What are you–”
“Shhh,” she shushes him, walking her fingers tantalizingly up his thighs. “Do you remember what I said on the phone that night?”
“What night?” he asks, eyes on her hands.
“The night with the guy.”
“Uh… I, I don–”
“I said I was go’n’a get you to stop smoking,” as her fingers hook the waistband of his sweatpants. “Just a second ago you said there’s nothing in this world that would – or could – make you not want to smoke that joint, right?”
Albey gulps. “Uh, y-yeah, buh–”
“Shhh,” she shhh s, then starts pulling his sweatpants down.
“Wait, Tori, y–”
Victoria successfully convinces Sidney Blake to not smoke the joint he rolled without knowing why he rolled it. In other words, like Albey does his words, Miss Moriarty swallows.
This has been the second subchapter of the sixth chapter of Untitled Bigfoot Project. Here is everything you need to know about it:
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