“Jeremy? Can you come upstairs for a minute, I need to talk to you.” Mr. Heere yelled down the hall. Most people in New York live in small expensive apartments, but that doesn’t mean that the Heere’s are rich. Far from it. The Heeres lived in a small apartment building on E 174th street.
“I’m playing games with Michael!” Jeremy called back. He really wasn’t interested in what his father had to say. He was probably going to ask him about getting a girlfriend or something. It was high-key annoying, but whatever- one learns to cope. He wasn’t going to spare some of his focus on that. Jeremy’s eyes were on the prize- the prize being the television, of course.
“You can bring Michael. Please, this is important, Jeremy.” Jeremy groaned as he pressed pause, tossing his controller to the side without care. With a grunt, he motioned for Michael to come with him into the living room. His brow disappeared into his hairline when he saw his father actually wearing pants for once.
“So you finally decided to get dressed after, like three years?” Jeremy huffed, taking a seat on the couch with Michael, across from the armchair Mr. Heere was currently seated in.
“Yeah… Jeremy, we’re going to be going through some changes, uh…” He paused. Jeremy narrowed his eyes, before looking around. His blue eyes widened when he caught sight of cardboard boxes in the kitchen. “I’ve been seeing someone, and we’ve been dating for a while now,” Jeremy cut him off.
“ You’ve been dating?” Jeremy was kinda surprised. He never thought his father would get back with anyone, after the divorce. It’s been really tough on him lately, but Michael was always there to help him.
“Yes, her name is Heidi. Heidi Hansen. She has a son, his name is Evan, and he’s a senior. Look, I know this is sudden, but we don’t have the money and-” Jeremy cut him off again.
“Are we moving in with them?” Jeremy almost jumped out of his seat. “Look, I have friends here, I’m starting my junior year of high school and stuff! I haven’t even meet her before! How do I know she’s not some wako on the streets?”
“Look, Mr. Heere,” Michael wanted to say something. “You can’t just decide to move in all of a sudden with someone you haven’t even introduced to Jeremy yet!” Mr. Heere took a breath, slowly exhaling.
“You won’t have to worry about school and friends, they live in the Bronx as well. It’s not like we’re moving to Ohio or anything like that.” He gave a nervous chuckle. “Jeremy please understand. I’m trying to get better. I’m gonna get a job and try to fix things... There are boxes in the kitchen if you want to start packing. I’m sorry.” Jeremy stood up and almost stormed off if Mr. Heere didn’t stop him. “And uh, I should tell you,”
“Tell me what? That you’re getting married now without me knowing about it or something?” Jeremy snapped, clenching his jaw, causing is to ache.
“No, it’s about Evan, Heidi’s son.” Jeremy sat down. “Evan has social anxiety, and she told me that it’s really bad and that I should tell you… just, when you meet him, be nice, please.” Jeremy sighed. He kinda felt bad for Evan now. I wonder how he’s gonna take the news…
“Honey I’m home!” Heidi said as she opened the door to the apartment. She kicked the door shut behind her. Evan was sitting by the island in the kitchen with his laptop.
“Um, hi mom…” Evan drifted. Heidi walked over and took a set next to Evan. He looked up.
“Honey, you know I love you and that I would only do anything for you and to make you happy right?” She said. What does she mean? Did she lose her job? Do I have to drop out of school to help her? Evan nodded. He didn’t know what to say. She took a breath. “I’ve been doing a bit of dating recently and I’ve met someone that I think you’ll like.” Evan smiled a bit.
“Th-that’s uh, great!” He was proud of her. Half of Evan wanted to meet them, but the other half was way too anxious to meet someone who was dating his mom. “Uh, is there-there like big n-news or some-something?” A pause.
“Yeah, um… his name is Peter Heere, he has a son Jeremy, he’s a Junior in high school? He goes to the same high school as you, you’ve probably seen him around I image.” No, not really. Evan tries to keep his head down and not make eye-contact in the halls and in class. He nodded anyway. “The Heere’s are having trouble with money and…” And what? They’re going to move in or something? “I said that they could move in with us.” Evan felt his stomach drop and his head fog up with thoughts. He started to pick at his cast.
“Um,” Evan tired to say something, but nothing was coming out.
“I’m sorry dear, I know this is sudden for you and I’m sorry, please understand.” Evan ran his fingers through his hair as he forced a smile, trying to hide how angry, upset, and anxious he was. He started to breathe heavier. Heidi pulled him into a hug. “It’s going to be okay sweetie.” She whispered. Another pause. Evan broke the hug and sighed.
“I-it’s fine I j-just need some t-time…” Evan was shaking a bit. He stood up and walked up the stairs to his room. He needed to process some things. He looked at the sign on his door that read “EVAN’S ROOM” with little drawing around it from when he was little. He kept it because he made it before his father left them, and it reminded him of a time when he was happy and not so anxious. He reached out and ripped the sign off. He didn’t want to make it look like he was still a kid- god, the thought of the Heere’s seeing it was so embarrassing.
He stepped inside and threw the sign in a bin by his desk. He plopped down onto his bed. Evan’s room was kinda bland. The walls where a neutral light blue color. His desk, bed and dresser were all from different sets, to save money. His bed was a light beige color with dark blue sheets, and had a little shelf where he would put his favorite books and other miscellaneous items. He had a few house plants in his room too. He didn’t know how to feel about sharing a room with someone else.
A week later and Jeremy was still pretty pissed about the whole thing. His father somehow got him to pack up and get on that moving truck. He was not in the mood to meet his girlfriend and pity her anxious son. He sighed as they found a parking spot in front of the apartment. Heidi was standing outside the steps in a floral shirt and blue jeans. Jeremy rolled his eyes as he stepped out of the car, not looking forward to the obligatory greeting.
“Oh, you must be Jeremy! It’s so great to meet you!” She said as she pulled him into a hug. He was to pissed to hug her back though.
“Um, nice to meet you Miss. Hansen-” He said in a flat voice.
“You can call me Heidi.” She said. Jeremy pulled away from the hug.
“...right.” Jeremy walked back to the truck and picked up a few of his boxes. Mr. Heere greeted Heidi and smiled.
“Oh, you don’t have to unpack just yet. How ‘bout you go and meet Evan?” He said. Jeremy sighed as he dropped the boxes back into the car. He walked towards the entrance of the apartment.
“Go to room 2, 14B, Evan is going to be so excited to finally meet you!” Heidi exclaimed. Jeremy rolled his eyes and pushed the door open but failed. By the door knob was a sign that said “PULL”. Idiot. He yanked the door open and went into the elevator. He pressed the button for floor two and waited. The elevator kinda had a weird smell. It wasn’t dirty, but it wasn’t the nicest elevator in the world. The doors eventually opened and he was brought to a hallway. Jeremy walked down, looking at the numbers until he found 14B. He knocked on the door and waited. There were some footsteps on the other side then science.
A pause. The door opened to a slightly shorter boy with honey hair, freckles, and dark green eyes. He wore a polo shirt, which he was tugging on a bit, and light brown pants.
“Uh, um, hi. You-you must be-be Jeremy?” He reached out his hand, but then pulled it away and wiped it on his pants.
“Yeah, you must be Evan then.” Jeremy said in a flat tone. Jeremy was wearing an old blue hoodie and black pants. His Converse where old and dirty. Evan forced a smile and picked at his cast as Jeremy walked by. He looked around and plopped onto the couch. “Um, nice place I guess?” Evan looked up.
“U-uh yea, um, thanks…” He drifted. Jeremy looked over at Evan, who was still in the doorway picking at his cast.
“How’d you break your arm?” Jeremy really didn’t want to talk right now but he decided that if he was going to live with this kid, he might as well try. Evan froze. Jeremy raised a brow, clearly apathetic. Seriously, he just broke an arm, it shouldn’t be anything serious. Like, falling from the monkey bars kind of serious.
“Oh, um sorry, I uh sorry, I um… I didn’t uh, um, I-I-I uh, sorry,” He panicked. Jeremy rolled his eyes.
“Hey, don’t have a panic attack. I asked you a simple question.” Evan curled his fingers into a tight fist, his fingernails leaving deep, crescent marks into the palms of his hands.
“I um,” He looked at his empty cast. “I-I fell out of a tree…” Evan hated that one of the first things he said to Jeremy was a lie, but he didn’t know what else to say. He couldn’t just start to get all emotional and start venting out of nowhere.
“What were you doing in a tree?” Evan opened his mouth but was cut off by Heidi and Mr. Heere walking in.
“Evan, this is Mr. Heere, Jeremy’s father.” She introduced him. “Peter, this is my son Evan!” Evan was visibly anxious- darting eyes, shaky hands, obvious fidgeting.
“Nice to meet you Evan, I’m Peter.” He put out his hand for Evan to shake. Evan reached out his hand and Peter shook it firmly. Evan was the first to pull away. “Sorry if Jeremy’s been a bit moody.” He looked over at Jeremy who was on the couch. “Hey, do you want to uh, show him your room?” Evan nodded and looked over at Jeremy. Jeremy huffed then followed Evan up the steps.
“Do you have like, a guest room I can be in?” Jeremy said as they walked into Evan’s room.
“U-h, um, n-no, sorry.” Evan tugged on the hum of his shirt. “My-my-my mom said that-that-that we would uh, share a room?” He stuttered. Jeremy sighed as he spun around in Evan’s desk chair. “S-sorry?”
“It’s fine, I don’t care.”
Dinner was very awkward, to say the least. Heidi ordered pizza and she and Peter were the only ones who actually maintained holding a conversation. Jeremy said some things here and there, only because he had to. The whole, insert obligatory ‘good’ when asked about how his day was, or how school was. Dumb questions like that that just made the teenager even more annoyed, because it was so obvious he was annoyed . And Evan just kept his mouth shut.
“You must be so excited to start your senior year tomorrow, Evan.” Mr. Heere said. Evan almost choked on his pizza.
“W-what?” He managed to say.
“What? Did you not know that today was the last day of summer?” He ruffled his hair. This time Jeremy almost choked on his drink.
“Wait what?” He almost yelled. “We’re moving in the day before school starts?” Evan winced.
“Honey, is everything alright?” Heidi tried to help. “It’s okay, we’ll get your furniture here tonight.” Jeremy stood up.
“I uh, need to use the bathroom.” He then stormed away and left Evan in shock. Jeremy had already taken his phone of his pocket by the time he slammed the bathroom door shut behind him. Running his non-dominant hand through brown locks, he took a seat on the edge of the bathtub.
From: Jeremy To: Michael
Can you hang tmmrw? (6:12)
From: Michael To: Jeremy
Yeah, sure. How’s Ethan? (6:13)
From: Jeremy To: Michael
*Evan. He’s an anxious wreck. I kinda feel bad for him tbh (6:13)
From: Michael To: Jeremy
That sucks man, (6:14)
From: Jeremy To: Michael
Yeah, I know (6:14)
After they got Jeremy’s furniture in Evan’s room, Jeremy ended up on with a closet on his side of the window, while Evan got the window- with all the beautiful view and wasted usage of sneaking out to do god knows what in the middle of the night. Evan fell asleep fast, surprising for a boy so anxious. Jeremy however, couldn’t sleep. He was never fond of the idea of sleeping in the same room as a stranger, and he’s pretty sure a majority of the population agrees. It was around 12:30 when he decided to take residence on the couch downstairs. He was about to fall asleep before his dad came in.
"Jere you have a bed for a reason." Peter said, nudging his son’s shoulder lightly. The corner of his lips were pulled down into a tight frown.
"Yeah, well, people take naps on a couch all the time, I'm just using it to its full potential." Mr. Heere sighed, shaking his head a little before walking back to bed.