8th grade finished up just perfectly, I passed all of my exams in the high 90’s, I had an awesome boyfriend, and I hadn’t touched a drug other than marijuana since my first date with Ethan. Even then it was rare that I would do anything, every weekday instead of smoking up with Mitchi after school I would go to Ethan’s house, which was like a playground. He lived in the biggest house I had ever seen, and to get in you had to ask the security guards who worked 24/7 to open the massive gate for you. He had an indoor and outdoor pool, a tennis court, and a gym. There was a maid, a butler, and a chef; it was a pretty luxurious life style, and one that Ethan resented. He had been born and raised for years in poverty, up until his Mother discovered that if you marry rich old men you get all of their money when they die. “When I’m older I’m going to live like my Mom except I am going to earn every penny of all of it,” he would always say, and I didn’t doubt it. Ethan was very intelligent, and had been called gifted by a number of teachers. He had every book on physics and calculus ever written, and would pass on some of his learning’s to me, which believe it or not could be quite interesting.
It didn’t take long before things between Ethan and I became quite serious physically, and I lost my virginity on the day of Mitchi’s 16th birthday. It was the best first time experience possible because Ethan was more than just a boyfriend, he was quickly becoming a best friend as well. This enraged Mitchi who I now barely spent time with, and he made no point in hiding that he was counting down the days until Ethan went to his summer house in Lake Louise. I was only allowed to go with him for two weeks, despite both mine and Ethan’s protests, and his Mother’s reassurance that I was most welcome. Finally my Mom got so fed up that she told me if I complained one more time I wouldn’t be allowed to go at all. Mitchi, who was now insisting he be called by his formal name Michael, was delighted, and had got a yellow Mazda convertible for his sixteenth birthday and told me over and over how much fun it was going to be going to Seattle every weekend. In all honesty I felt very uncomfortable driving with him, and wasn’t afraid of saying that to his face.
I did enjoy the two weeks I spent with Ethan and his family in Lake Louise, we went exploring on the mountains every day, and swam in the clear blue lakes, and even took a trip to Jasper to go to the hot springs. As usual it was all drug and alcohol free, and not once did I have to worry about anyone puking, or making a fool of themselves. For the first time since Alexis died I felt like a normal kid again, and it was just the best feeling.
When I got back home to Victoria I was surprised to see Michael had a new companion, Emily, she had moved to Victoria a couple of months ago and was Michael’s female dance partner. Priya and I both had mixed feelings about her, she was an even bigger addict and alcoholic than he was,but she also was someone he could lean on and was depending on Priya and me less and less. I did go to Seattle quite a few times with Michael that summer,sometimes Priya and Emily would come along, but I knew that as soon as it was September and Ethan came home I would spend the majority of my time with him.As much as I loved Michael and considered him my best friend it was hard to be his Mom, which is what I felt like with him more than half the time. One late summer evening Michael came over pounding on the door, quite obviously drunk.This was a pretty normal occurrence, and as usual I carried him into my bed and snuggled up to him. I could smell the alcohol all over him, but I would always hang on for dear life, and would silently pray in my head for him to get better so that he could live a long healthy life. “Chels?” he mumbled in that way drunk people do and grabbed my hand. “Yeah?” “I’m sorry I’m such a fuck up, and I’m glad you have Ethan, if you turned into what I’m like I’d feel even worse,”he said and my eyes watered. “I just want you to get better one day,” I whispered. “I will, I promise.”