It was already close to 3 o’clock in the afternoon when I entered my little brother’s room. He’d woken me up early in the morning, when he was stumbling on the stairs, making his way to the bathroom and finally his bed. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that the ‘movie night with friends’ hadn’t been as innocent as it sounded.
“Enz? Are you alive?”
I heard my brother mumble something, before he opened his eyes, squinting in the light. “What the hell are you doing, Allie? Leave me alone, I’m tired.”
“I want to talk to you.”
“I’ll talk to you tonight.”
“No, we’re talking now, or I’m telling mom and dad that their fourteen year old son is in bed with a hangover.”
He sighed and sat up. “Fine. You win.”
I sat down next to him on the bed as he rubbed his face with his hands. “How are you feeling?” I asked. “Like shit,” he mumbled.
“How much did you drink, Enz?”
He didn’t say anything.
“You know, you could’ve gotten yourself in real trouble. Do you know what so much alcohol does to your body if you’re not used to it? How did you even get home by yourself? Weren’t you…”
“Geez, Allie, shut up. Spare me the lecture, okay.”
He looked away from me. “My head hurts and the last thing that’ll make me feel better is your nagging.” “Well, that’s your own fault,” I said angrily. “God, I know you’re fourteen, but I didn’t know you’d be this irresponsible.”
“That’s what teenagers are supposed to me!” He started raising his voice. “I’m sorry I went out and had fun with my friends, but…”
“Those aren’t your friends, Enzo! How old are those guys? Most of them don’t even go to our school anymore…”
“So? Just because you’re a nerd, who only has one friend who tolerates her, doesn’t mean everyone has to be. Can’t you just be happy for me that I’ve finally found a group of friends? Don’t you want me to be happy?”
I sighed. “Of course I do, Enz. But those guys are bad news. I’m worried about you. I mean, look at what they made you do to yourself yesterday! Do you really think that’s what friends would do?”
“Look, Allie, they didn’t make me do anything! I wanted this! I wanted to go out and party and have fun, is that such a crime? God, why do you have to be such a judgmental bitch all the time?”
I was shocked. Like all brothers and sisters, Enzo and I had had a ton of fights, but he’d never called me a bitch before. He didn’t seem to regret it at all, though.
Angrily, he got up.
“I don’t have time for this. Thanks for waking me up. I’m going to take a shower.”
And without looking back, he walked out the door. I sat on his bed for a while. What was happening to my sweet little brother?