| Ronnie Lane sat bored in his living room while staring listlessly at the TV in front of him. At 20, he was just a college student coping with way too much stress to care about his health, much less feed his empty stomach which was currently grumbling like a volcano. He sighed at his current status, and farted loudly into the black comforter beneath him. His roommate’s cat Gerbil ran hissing from underneath their futon into the shadows of the kitchen, sliding across the linoleum into the refrigerator. Instead of laughing, he merely smirked at the noise and thought about Gerbil’s fear of mice, and farted again.
At his core, what he really couldn’t escape from, no matter how hard he tried, was that he just didn’t give a fuck anymore. He was tired of regrets.
The list of them was long and tedious, but tonight it boiled down to just a few that he could think of; the ones that were always there for him no matter what day it was.
School sucked, there were too many required classes he didn’t see the point in taking; he was also beginning to feel like an intern at the pizza shop, barely making enough tips to fill his gas tank; and finally and most importantly, he never had enough time to get laid. Sadly this last one reminded him that he was too poor for an actual relationship anyway. This currently explained why he was thinking about masturbating while watching the ladies of the Home Shopping Club. Thank God his roommate could afford cable.
In the end, Ronnie was the best example of mediocrity he could think of since Tony Romo. He even had his own tramp stamp to prove it.
Alcohol had never been his best friend.
But Jake Wilson was, and he was currently at the living room window banging on it so hard from the outside that it was shaking the frame; so hard that Ronnie put his hand up in front of himself fully expecting it to explode inwards on top of him. Before that could happen, Jake ended his attack on the window pointing erratically towards the front door. Ronnie slowly got up in a daze and unlocked it, opening the tattered screen door of the small apartment outwards into the freezing night air.
“What the fuck was that about, douche? Why didn’t you just come to the …” before Ronnie could finish Jake slammed into him, and they both ended up on the ash stained carpet while Gerbil hissed at them from somewhere in the kitchen. In a panic, Jake scrambled to get back up and slammed the door shut.
“Dude! What the fuck, man!” Ronnie yelled from the floor, the shock of being bowled over by his friend was evaporating, replaced with concern at the absolute fear he saw painted across Jake’s face. Jake was a linebacker on scholarship and Ronnie had seen him wrestle an alligator once when they were growing up together in Louisiana. The Jake in front of him now looked as if he might pass out if he saw his own shadow again.
“We…Have to get ready for them. We have to get ready, they’ll be coming.” Jake whispered loudly, spitting out the words like they were acid on his tongue.
“What’s going on man? What happened?” Ronnie couldn’t help from backing up, as he slowly slid away from his friend, unsure of what was happening.
“I finally decided to do it. You remember last year, when I said I wanted to leave them, leave all of that shit behind and just run away from it all? Well, I finally told them about it, I finally told my parents, Ronnie, and now they’re angry. They're Very Angry.” Jake’s eyes were on fire while he scanned the room back and forth as if he was searching for a hidden enemy.
Ronnie began to remember that night long ago; they had been so wasted, so terribly fucking wasted.
Everyone except for Jake that was.
Jake could out drink anyone, but he always seemed sober at the end of every party. On that night, when they were all alone, he had started to tell Ronnie about his parents. His real parents he said; not the ones that Ronnie had met at all of the summer barbecues and ballgames they’d grown up together going to. Those parents were his surrogates, Jake had said. His real parents were as old as time itself, old and burdened with dark intentions. It was a curse he had said, one that he had refused to believe in until he had met them when he turned eighteen. Ronnie remembered how for the last year Jake had seemed so distant, caught between his youth and a maturity far beyond his age. His depression had grown deeper ever since. Other than his vow to leave them, he had never finished telling Ronnie anything else about them that night. Instead, he had silently slipped away and sat down in a corner to cry, far away from everyone else. He’d simply considered it as some kind of strange experience by Jake and had tried to forget about it.
But Ronnie had never seen Jake cry before or since.
“Jake, what are you talking about man? You’re scaring me.” Ronnie’s voice was quivering, he was trying to calm both himself and Jake down.
“You should be scared. They said I had no choice, it wasn’t up to me. It was going to happen no matter what I did…” His voice began to crack as he stared down hauntingly at Ronnie, his eyes clouded with indecision.
“It’s the sin of kin, Ronnie. I’m so sorry man, but I don’t think they’re coming to hurt me anymore, I think they’re coming to keep me in the family…” A desperate giggle erupted from him as he finished locking the front door and turned back to stare down at Ronnie with a wicked smile.
Ronnie stared back in confusion.
“What are you?”
"Your last regret..." answered Jake as he fell upon Ronnie embracing his destiny.