It isn't every day that you wake up enveloped in smoke. So when Archie Locke opened his eyes at 3pm after a late night and saw only a grey blanket of smoke coating his field of vision, he wasn't quite sure how to react.
He took in a small, tentative whiff. The cloud definitely smelled of cannabis. He wasn't too fond of the smell, but he was just so warm in his bed that it was difficult to leave. After basking in the dank ambience for about as long as he could stand, he decided it might be best to leave the third floor and the rest of Dreamwood Terrace altogether. He got dressed in the fog and walked over to his dresser to grab his phone and contact Lena. He'd already missed 3 calls from the female. She'd never quite grasped the teenage concept of "sleeping in." "Please meet me outside. I need to escape weed." texted Archie, beginning to recover from his sleep daze only to begin developing an entirely different kind of daze altogether.
To Archie, drugs had always seemed like a great idea on paper. Loss of inhibitions, expansion of thinking, increase in sense of humor, etc. However, their addictive aspects made them vastly more unappealing than they were worth. Other kids in town Archie and Lena's age had started drinking and doing drugs from fairly young ages. It's not as if they were raised badly or anything, there just wasn't much else to do in town. The bull in the alleyway next to Terrace was a casual hang out spot, but Archie was never too interested in going. The teenagers of the alleyway would continue getting themselves addicted to harmful substances, and Archie would continue trying to care about anything as much as these kids cared unintentionally about drugs. Albert Camus might call it absurd.
It was absurdly cold outside. As Archie pushed through the front doors of the Terrace, cold wind bit into his cheeks. Hopefully Lena would meet him soon. She had a long walk to endure.
They met up around 3:30, and took a leisurely stroll around town. Archie mentioned how the entire third floor got hotboxed, and they spent quite a while determining how someone could come up with enough weed to hotbox an entire floor. They stopped by the library, where Archie picked up the books he needed for his philosophy class next semester at the community college. Lena picked up Cat's Cradle, insisting that it was Vonnegut's best work. They got dinner at O Harley's and discussed what they were going to do with the budding evening.
"Some people are hanging out over by the Giving Tree later tonight if you want to come. Or you can stay at home and read some of those philosophy books," said Lena. "I've heard Heidegger is a real sweet-talker."
"I don't know," replied Archie. "Is that the tree over by the asylum?"
"Yeah, I think so. Why?" Lena didn't understand, but then it clicked. "Archie, why are you so against seeing her? I'm sure she misses you."
"It's not that I don't think she misses me, Lena. I just think she needs some time to herself."
"You haven't seen your mother in six months. You've written to her a few times, but that's it. Don't you think it's time you pay her a visit? Or at least give up your fear of walking anywhere near the asylum?"
"I want to. I just don't want to be disappointed if she isn't better. You know?"
Lena's face grew longer. She stood up and moved to Archie's side of the booth. "I know. I just want you to be yourself again. You've been so different since she left."
She was right. Archie motioned for her to slide out of the booth. They both stood. "Wanna go look at the stars?" Archie asked.