The Rain People
“I always get freaked out walking through Wynwood at night,” Morgan tells me. She clops along in her wooden flip-flops and huddles under my umbrella. “Do you ever get freaked out, Aaron?”
“Sometimes,” I say.
Skully takes the lead, waving a glowstick like a baton. “I bet it’s the next block,” she says, as a Honda speeds past us, throbbing with bass. Words thread the air—a techno remix of a 1980s pop ballad.
“I don’t want to lose your love…tonight.”
At the party house, we push through the crowd of people on the lawn. By this time, the rain has slowed to a drizzle. A couple dudes are blowing up soda bottles in the backyard. They roll sheets of tinfoil into ribbons and cram them into plastic liters of Coke.
“What’s that blue stuff they’re dumping in it?” Morgan asks me.
“The Works,” I say.
Skully grabs one of the steaming bottles, pops on the cap, and shakes it. She laughs and tosses it into the air.
“Run,” she screams.
The explosion rattles my teeth.
“That was intense,” Morgan says, covering her ears. “Let’s go. Skully is majorly getting on my nerves.”
She leads me to a metal staircase that slopes toward the roof. A few people have already climbed up there. A girl rushes past us, sobbing into her cell phone.
“The least you could do is call a cab,” she says with a sniffle.
Morgan plods across the roof. “There’s a soft spot. Be careful,” she says, tripping a little. She tugs me closer. It’s starting to pour again. Cold needles of rain. Now we’re stuck, peering down at the scattering crowd.
I catch sight of someone walking alone, smoking a cigarette. He watches me watching him. He looks up and for a second, it’s as if we know each other. That’s when I realize: It’s not me he’s watching.
“You know that dude?” I ask Morgan.
She shrugs. “The guy with the dirty mustache?” She tries to force a laugh, but it sounds fake as hell. “Not anymore,” she says. “I mean, can you ever really know someone?”
“I guess so.”
“You guess so?” she says, grabbing my hand. She squeezes it hard. “You don’t know so?”
“I already told you.”
“Liar,” she says.
The bottle rockets boom-hiss in slow motion, spewing melted hunks of plastic in the grass. In the morning, there will be flecks of tinfoil glinting in the sun, ultra blue puddles on the sidewalk. There will be more questions, but I don’t have the guts to ask.
In other YA news, the Paolini event was awesome; there will be more on that to come as well as other special posts in the near future.
-The YAthenaeum Team