Chapter 16.1: Jacky

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On Sunday morning, Jacky obsessed over whether or not to call Ryan

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On Sunday morning, Jacky obsessed over whether or not to call Ryan. At the party, after going downstairs, he had found Cody not getting stoned, but on the back porch, calling Jacky's cell phone. "Dude, where have you been? Nina got all in my face about doing drugs. And then some chick came in and said Matt was upstairs with Monica and she, like, flipped out. Like, I don't wanna smoke if maybe she's single now, but I don't know what's going on."

Jacky had explained, and then they had waited around – Cody for Nina, and Jacky for Ryan, but after neither had shown for a while they decided to just leave.

So Jacky wasn't hung over at all. He was pretty sure Ryan might be, so he procrastinated until around noon. He still didn't have Ryan's cell number, but he could call the house, and maybe if he told Ryan it was Jacky calling, Ryan would know who he was and not be weird about it. He was just about to pull up his contacts list when his mom called him down.

"What?" he yelled back.

"Come down here," his mother yelled up the stairs.

He went as far as the top of the stairs. "What do you want?"

"Andrew Jackson Jennings, I am not doing this!" she called from the kitchen.

"Fine," he said, and stuck his phone in his pocket before heading down. "What?"

"First thing, lose the attitude."

He heaved a huge sigh.

"Second," here she turned around from the kitchen counter, where she had been in the process of making another lasagna. For Ryan? he wondered. "I think we should try driving again this afternoon."

His stomach seized up, and he glared at her. "I'm pretty sure that's a fucking awful idea."

Mrs. Jennings raised her eyebrows.

"I'm not going to apologize," he snapped, turning back to the stairs. "I don't feel like having another panic attack, thanks."

"Dr. Greene thinks it's a good idea." That spun him back around. "It's better to confront your fears head-on."

"You talked to Dr. Greene about me?"

"Why is that such a surprise?"

"It's supposed to be confidential!" he shouted her. "That's not fair! She didn't tell me she was going to talk to you--"

"I talked to her. I called her and asked her about it."

"She shouldn't have talked to you!" He felt his hand shaking, and he balled it into a fist against his thigh.

"Andrew." This was the second time she had called him Andrew, and she only did that when she was dead serious. "Let's sit down and talk about this."

"No! It's not fair!" He blinked back angry tears. "How am I supposed to trust her now, huh?"

His mother sat down and looked at him. It pissed him off even more that she was so calm.

"I don't wanna go in the car," he gulped.

"Come sit down, honey."

He looked at the stairs longingly. If only he was up in his room, calling Ryan. If only he'd dialed the number just a minute earlier, he wouldn't have to deal with this.

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