Paramount
Author: Sega Parks

Chapter 14
I Told You So

Carter settled onto the Italian leather sofa next to his Golden Retriever, Able, in the living room. Conway Twitty music could be heard playing from the kitchen in which his mom, Marcia, had been playing since five-o'clock. Something that constantly played in his house. Every time a friend of his would come over to hang out, they would always be greeted by the country music legend playing from the kitchen radio. His mom was an avid country music fan and had every record by every country artist. It was something he was used to. However, his cousin, Hugh Kersey, always teased him about his home being a "Bluegrass Paradise".
  While Able licked his face, he grabbed the DVR remote and began flipping through the channels. Finally he found Notre Dame kicking Purdue's butt on ESPN. He sat back and relaxed as he watched his favorite college football team win.
"Hey!" his father, Gregory, said cheerily as he entered the living room.
He rubbed Able's fur before sitting down next to Carter.
"Hey, dad." he said, not taking his eyes off of the game.

"Why aren't you hanging out with Hugh or your other friends?" his father asked curiously.
It was a shock to him since Carter almost always had friends over.
"I just got back from Reese's and everyone is busy right now."
"Oh." his father said knowingly.
He was a forty-seven year old man with gray hair and tan skin. He looked more like his eldest son, Greg, than Carter and his second son, Chris.
 "Glad to see that the game is on." he continued.
"Yeah." Carter agreed.
Football was one of the many things he and his father bonded with. It was always a tradition for the two to watch football together. His father would often take him to professional football games with a few of his other friends in order to make sure he had a good time. Both of his parents often spoiled him. Then again, everyone spoiled him. He didn't even have to ask for anything, he just got it. He was just as spoiled as his friend Elisha. If not, more.
 "Let me guess." his father said. "First day of school not fun?"
"You guessed it." said Carter. "It completely sucked."
"Sucked or not, you still have to get good enough grades to go to a good college."
Carter sighed. "I know, dad."
His parents seemed to have had this obsession over their children going off to a good college. The main college they were focusing on him going to was Ball State. That was the college his grandparents went to, his parents went to, and now it's the college his parents want him to go to.
He just wanted to have fun, not worry about something that was four years away.
 Just then, his brother, Chris, came down the white spiral staircase.
"What is up, Presley?" he asked Carter.
Carter blushed with embarrassment. He was getting tired of the running gags about his sideburns. He didn't even respond to his brother.
 Chris smiled smugly at him. He was seventeen years old, six-four, and dark-haired. His hair was freshly cut and he looked like a professional football player.
"I told you high school wouldn't be fun." he patronized.
"Greg, leave your brother alone." chided Gregory.
"It's okay, dad." he said. "Me and Carter always joke like that. I'm just saying how he was so excited about high school and now he can't wait to get the heck out of there."
 Carter frowned at him. He hated being proven wrong. It was just like the time in the eighth  grade when Andy Simms had gotten drunk for the first time after Carter had told Elisha that vodka wasn't strong enough for someone to get drunk off of. It was at Dominique's house and everyone was having a good time when Andy came staggering across the room.
The first person he got to was Holly Drake.
"Ohhh...Holly..." he slurred. "You're soooooo sexy...!"
Everyone stared at him as if he were insane. A few people stood and recorded the scene with their cell phones and digital cameras.
"How much for a blowjob?" he had asked, pushing his body against her's.
"Five million dollars." Holly said blankly, wishing to God that he would go away.
"Oh, well, don't worry." he said, falling onto the floor. "I got stacks on deck."
"Really now?" she had asked, playing along with him. She was enjoying every minute of his episode.
"Yeah, my penis feels like it's on fire right now."
Everyone laughed uproariously.
 Carter, Lucas Green, and Damien Marshall went over to him and helped him off of the floor.
"Jen!" he bellowed over to Jen Nguyen, who was the only one sober. "You're Asian, but your boobs are so big! How is that--- how is that even possible? How is that you're Asian with big boobs!"
He let out a drunken gasp and then collapsed onto the floor. Carter, Lucas, and Damien were unable to keep him from falling.
The next morning, Andy had woken up in the spare bedroom at Carter's house with a massive hangover.
"What happened?" he asked dazedly when Carter came in with a glass of orange juice and two Tylenol pills.
"You got drunk at Dominique's party, hit on Holly, and made a slightly racist comment to Jen."
He said it as if it were no big deal.
"Oh..." Andy said. "OW!!!"
He had sat up too fast. Carter shook his head. Elisha had told him that it would be a bad idea to bring vodka to the party, but Carter wouldn't listen. He had told her, "Leesh, you worry to much. Everyone drinks vodka. No one's going to hurt themselves." As soon as Andy had gotten drunk, she didn't hesitate to rub it in Carter's face.

 It made him so upset that he didn't speak to her for a week. In his world, he was always right even when he was wrong.
"It's okay, little buddy." Chris said mock-soothingly. "High school will get better, I promise. It's only the first day."
He sat on the couch next to Gregory.
 "Anyone hungry?" Marcia asked, entering the room with chips and dip in a silver tray.
"Yep!" Chris and Carter answered at the same time, reaching for the chips.
Their mom was five-six with short blond hair and laugh lines on her face. For some reason, she always seemed to have interfered with their lives. No matter what, she was always prying information out of them. Carter was afraid she might ask him a personal question.
 "Shouldn't you be doing homework?" she asked him sternly.
"Yes, but I don't have any." he answered.
She gave him an "Are You Sure?" look.
"Honest, I don't." he said. "It's only the first day."
"High school isn't elementary or even middle school." said Chris. "it's where the big dogs go to. You need to start getting serious about your works or you're going to be sweeping the floors when you're twenty."
Carter glared at him. Why must he be so parental?
"He's right, sweetie." Marcia said. "You really need to get going. The future's nearing close."
"Four years!" protested Carter.
"When you're a sophomore, your adviser is going to start asking you about your career plan." Chris went on. "This is no joke."
  Carter seethed. He hated how Chris was always giving him advise on everything. If he needed help, he would ask. Everyone getting on him about education was tiring and old. As much as he wanted to go off to college and be successful, he couldn't think about it now.
  "Let me make you a deal," Gregory proposed, "if you get your grades up, I'll buy you a nice car when you turn sixteen."
Carter was suddenly interested. "You serious?" It sounded more like a statement than a question.
"Definitely." Gregory promised. "I paid for your brothers' cars, I'm going to pay for your's. If you get decent grade, that is.”
"Cool with me." he said, smiling ear to ear.
It was good enough that girls loved him. Driving a nice car would give them something another reason to love him.
"I gotta call Andy about this!" he said eagerly, leaping off of the couch and running upstairs.
"Stop running!" he heard his mom call after him.
"Sorry!" he said, not caring.
 When he got to his room, he grabbed his phone off of the receiver on his desk and pressed number nine for Andy. In one ring, Andy's voice picked up.
"Y'ello."
"Andy get this." Carter said into the phone.
"Get what?"
"My dad promised me a car if I get my grades up."
"That's awesome!" exclaimed Andy.
"I know!" agreed Carter. "I would give people rides once I get my car.”
"I know and you'll be able to give hot girls rides." Andy said, thinking of all the possibilities Carter could do with his car.
"Andy?" Carter heard Mrs. Simm's sweet voice in the background. "I need you to help me in the kitchen."
He could hear Andy sigh heavily. "Alright, fine. Look, Car, I'm sorry, but I gotta go."
"That's alright." Carter said, unable to control his happiness.
"Love you, man." Andy's mature voice said.
"Love you, too." Carter responded.
"Bye."
"Bye."
 As much as he hated high school so far, he couldn't pass up the chance of getting a new car and showing it off to people. Every student that went to Paramount High had a nice car and he would be just like them. Smiling, he got on his computer and logged onto Facebook. No surprise, he had quite a few friend requests from girls. He accepted them all and then checked his wall comments. There was from Danielle Klasky asking him about his first day of school, another one from Debbie Savage, who went to middle school with him but decided not to go to Paramount High because she had received a scholarship from St. Claire's Catholic School for Boys and Girls a few months ago, and one from Lucas Green who was asking him if he had seen his iPhone.
 He chuckled at Lucas's comment and wrote back saying that he didn't know where it was. Every one of his friends had something crazy to say him. Especially Holly. It was like she was high when she talked to people. He loved his friends and he didn't know what he would do without him. Everyone looked up to him and liked him. He had the reputation of being one of the nicest guys in Paramount, and he made sure to maintain that recognition.
He was suddenly excited about high school. It couldn't be that bad if he was getting a car out of it.

 

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