The call came at two AM. Two. A. M. Who calls at two AM? On a Sunday morning no less. Didn’t these inconsiderate bastards realise that Sunday was the day of rest?
Still, I answered the blasted phone. I had a reputation to uphold after all, and anyone calling at this ungodly hour of the morning clearly expected me to be awake and off doing something questionable. You know, instead of sleeping.
‘What?’ I barked into the phone.
Hopefully my less than stellar response would be cast aside as normal and not as “I just woke up and I want to kill you.”
‘Hey,’ said a tired voice. ‘You two ever coming home?’
‘Huh? Genie?’ I asked, fighting the urge to yawn.
‘Who else would it be?’ she asked, surprising me at the rather snappish tone to her voice.
‘Hell if I know,’ I said, relieved that I could drop the act and let the yawn out—she wouldn’t ruin my reputation. ‘What’s with the early morning call?’
A momentary pause that told me something was off. ‘Just thought you guys would be back by now.’
‘Back from where?’
‘I dunno,’ she said, still unusually snappy, but also somewhat perplexed. ‘Freddie said you guys had stuff to take care of. He is with you, isn’t he?’ she asked.
‘Hm? Yeah, course he is,’ I said, without thinking. Jesus, when was the last time I’d lied to Genie?
‘Right…’ she said, her voice becoming dubious. ‘When will you be back?’
‘Won’t be,’ I said, trying to wake up enough to come up with a decent lie—why the hell had he told her he was with me? For that matter, if he was up to something, why wasn’t I with him? ‘Gonna stay at mine. Look, call you in the morning, alright?’ I said, and hung up before she could respond.
Five texts, two unanswered calls, three packets of Doritos, a salt and vinegar chip sandwich, two cold sausages, and half a litre of Mum’s favourite chocolate ice-cream later and I was starting to get worried.
I was debating whether or not to jump in the wagon and go out looking for the stupid twat—I had the bloody keys jangling in my palm—when my phone finally emitted a little “ding”.
‘Pick me up? At prison.’
‘The fuck? Prison, why the hell…oh you did not go visit your brother. You stupid, idiotic, bloody, fucknuckle!’
‘?? You there?’
I stared at the phone and contemplated leaving his sorry ass out there. Who did he think I was? His girlfriend? I didn’t have to go running around after him just because he beckoned. What did I get out of it?
I shoved the phone in my pocket without a response. Asshat could sweat it out for a while. Serve him right.
It took an hour to drive out to the prison, which gave me time to wake up and become less…cranky.
He was sitting out on the curb nursing a bruised jaw and a black eye when I pulled up. I sighed as I got out of the car and sat down next to him.
‘Was it at least worth it?’ I asked, glancing up at the small, local prison.
He glanced up at me, raising one eyebrow in sarcastic question. I grinned.
‘Looks like it hurts,’ I said.
‘Good. That’s what you get for waking me up. How long have you been sitting out here anyway? Don’t visiting hours close in daylight?’
More glaring. He was so chatty tonight.
‘Right,’ I said, ‘Well get in the car. I’m hungry.’
His scowl deepened, but there was a question in his gaze as he dropped into the passenger seat.
‘Relax,’ I said. ‘I lied for you.’
I mean really, what did he think I was? His girlfriend? Of course I lied for him. Idiot.