Archie really did it this time. Of course, at the time it happened, he didn't know he was doing anything. Just having fun in those adolescent behaviors of setting off firecrackers. Archie had a cigarette because it was so much easier to set them off that way.
At the time, he didn't even know that Emily knew because she was full of laughter and partook in the rum festives in the midnight hours while he was out with Fish and Floyd lightening up things.
"What is the big deal?"
She woke him up at 4 in the morning to shout about it. Evidently, the rum hadn't exactly gave her a restful sleep.
"I can't believe you did that?" She turned on the lights and everything, and he was afraid with that sort of voice, which he didn't even know she had, would wake the whole house.
"Why? I've smoked." He winced then told her she should really keep it down. One more reason they needed a place of their own, but honestly, he didn't want to wake up to anymore of these discussions.
Especially when she fought for the covers with her feet and not leaving a bit of any for him.
"When I was 14?" He squinted. "I used to smoke with my brother all the time."
"Smoke what?" She was concerned.
"Nevermind." He didn't want to get into this with her. Not really. It was long ago. He'd quit. Possibly, because he was cheap and didn't have to really kick the habit.
"Smoke what?" She wouldn't let it up.
"All right, I was eleven when he let me have a joint," if she had to know.
"I DON"T KNOW WHO YOU ARE?"
"Jesus, Em, be quiet." He'd never had this sort of jolt of reality in his life with her. Never. It was like seeing a whole new side of her.
"What does it matter? I didn't even get high the first time." He shrugged. "I wasn't much good at it, and he said I was wasteful so I-I prefer a cigarette now and again, but I never really had to have a smoke. All right."
Of course, he could have used one right then.
"That's really funny shit." Fish told him the next day. "Better to have these fights now than later."
"I don't think it was a fight." Archie wasn't sure what it was.
"You make up?" Fish kept his hands in his pockets and nudged Archie in the shoulder with his while they were out staring at the car that Fish couldn't fix in Emily's family driveway.
"No." Archie sighed.
"Thats the whole point. The make up sex." Fish just grinned as if he'd know what to do, but Archie hadn't a clue.
"What do I do?"
"Tell her you'll never do it again. Tell her what she wants to hear." Fish shrugged.
Archie wish he could write it down. He wasn't sure he could remember this stuff.
"You gotta believe it, yourself, you know. Otherwise, she'll see right through you." Fish's final words.
Archie just nodded.