*heads up: possible trigger warning (alcohol/smoking addiction, and like, one curse word)
Kirstie and Avi were having some of his leftovers for dinner on his couch when they got a call from one of their closest friends, Scott. Avi muted the cheesy movie they were watching on TV while Kirstie put Scott on speaker.
"Do y'all want to come to San Rosa?"
"San Rosa? I don't know Scott, we're already home and it's almost eight. San Rosa's like an hour away." Kirstie looked at her watch. San Rosa was a really nice area downtown. In the average-sized town of Calisto, Florida, San Rosa was like a mini New York City.
"Yeah but Mitch and Kevin are here! And we're celebrating!" the two didn't hear any slur in his voice, so they knew he wasn't drunk.
"Why?" Avi asked, chewing his food slowly.
"You'll find out if you show up! We're at Uncle Frank's. Don't worry about time, we're probably going to be here for awhile. Might want to catch an Uber." Scott laughed from the other line.
"What? Scott, come on-"
"Bye!" Scott hung up, leaving Avi and Kirstie to just stare at each other, their eyebrows raised.
"...do you want to?" Kirstie asked. Neither of them ate very much, so there was still room for a dinner at Uncle Frank's, the best restaurant in Calisto, hands down. It had a karaoke stage, a bar area, fantastic food, good prices, and it was owned a local family who ran the place since the 1950's.
"I mean if you want to. If Scott wants us to take an Uber then there's probably going to be drinking involved...do you want to?" Avi asked. They both knew that Kirstie wasn't a big fan of drinking, especially Avi drinking, after what happened years ago.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?!" Kirstie shrieked, pulling the bottle away from Avi's lips.
"Stop trying to be my mom! I'm older than you Kirstin!" Avi stood up, dizzily towering over her. Despite the height difference, she shoved him with all her force, causing him to fall on the ground because of his drunken state.
"Stop acting like this! You're being a jerk right now, Avi! A selfish, greedy, irresponsible jerk!" Kirstie was sobbing, and Avi was crying too. He stood up instantly and sneered right in her face.
"And you're a bitch!" Avi felt her hand slap across his face not even a second after he said that word. It burned like fire. His heart broke and he stumbled back against the wall behind them, trying to catch his breath. Every fiber of his body, from his fingertips to the stubble he was trying to grow, felt numb. He couldn't even look her in the eyes as he whispered a pathetic attempt at reconciliation.
"...I'm so sorry..."
Right away Kirstie pulled him into her arms, ignoring the stench of beer and cigarettes on his breath and in his clothes. She was disgusted by his behavior, but there was no way she could ever be disgusted with him as a person. He was her best friend, and maybe even more...but then again, maybe not.
She knew he was having some problems, but she never thought once that they would cause him to do this. Drinking and smoking?! Sure, a lot of teenagers did these kinds of things, but Avi? Avi Kaplan? After everything his mother was going through, with all her cancer treatment, and everything his father had overcome, with his alcohol addiction and rehab...she sighed into his shoulder, letting him cry as she peppered his hair with kisses.
They were sixteen.
"Yeah, okay. Let's go." Kirstie sighed, standing up, bringing both of their plates to the kitchen. Before she could though, Avi grabbed her arm and stopped her.
"Are you sure?" Avi asked, concern, and maybe a hint of guilt and embarrassment, in his eyes. Kirstie smiled and nodded.