Coral’s Reefer

If she was going to be forced to give Reston a lift to Long Beach, she was damn well going to smoke a fatly-packed blunt beforehand. Even though most people will try to tell you they’re better drivers when they’re high, Coral really was. And yes, with a name like Coral, many found it no surprise that her favorite thing to do was get high by the beach (though she didn’t share much affinity for the Lana Del Rey song of the same name). That’s where she was, in fact, when she got the call from her mother yammering in her ear about how she couldn’t get off work in time to take Reston to his big football-something-or-other. Coral was generally always tuned out, but especially at the mention of any sports-related descriptions. In this and so many other ways, she was the polar opposite of her brother, two years her junior and the “star” of every team the high school had to offer. 

Coral’s time at the same institution did not turn her into a legend, so much as another “throwaway” shat out by the public school system. Coral’s recent decision to drop out of community college (not even bothering to apply to rich bitch “regular” university in the first place) had seemed to make her mother believe she had a surfeit of free time on her hands to tend to her athletic brother’s every fucking need a.k.a. be his full-time chauffeur to all sporting occurrences. And since Coral had been the one to inherit the vintage red Trans Am from their deceased father a year ago when he suffered a heart attack, Reston was particularly grudging toward her about finagling rides whenever they were needed. Or, more accurately, wanted. It seemed that each whim Reston was struck with required being transported into the outside world. Meanwhile, Coral was just trying to check out mentally as much as she could and try to forget about her father, the ruin of her life, the absurdity of this world. To her dismay, Reston was constantly bringing her back down to reality with location requests—like she was his goddamn personal Uber driver. It could really put a damper on her ability to “elevate her consciousness” by numbing it out entirely. 

She tried to explain this to him as coherently as she could while speeding calmly and deftly like a professional racecar driver down the Harbor Freeway. Reston wasn’t focused on anything she was saying, instead holding on for dear life to the “panic bar” and chanting a mantra to himself that he had taken to repeating before games in order to “get into the zone.” The mantra was: “I will conquer all. I will obliterate every obstacle.” 

But there was one obstacle he never could seem to obliterate, and that was his underlying attraction to his burnout sister. Not only was he physically attracted to her, but she also embodied everything he wished he could be: carefree, unconcerned and, most important of all, never appearing to feel any pressure to do, well, much of anything at all. That’s how he wished he could be. Yet it had been indoctrinated in him by both of his parents that he was special because of his talents. That to squander them would be to waste his potential. And ever since that conditioning—which began when he was around seven—he could never shake it out of his mind to be “the best.” Coral was the only person in his orbit who never gave off the impression of being “wowed” by Reston’s so-called accomplishments, and he reasoned that was probably another catalyst for his more-than-brotherly love for her. 

Although both Reston and his mother were worried he would be late to the game, Coral’s efficient, cool-as-a-cucumber driving had landed them there fifteen minutes ahead of time. It gave Coral the chance to light up, as she had been eagerly awaiting to do so for the entire drive. 

Maybe it was because she was high. Maybe it was because there had always been some sort of “there” there between them. But whatever compelled the events that transpired next, it wasn’t just Coral’s reefer alone. The urge had been lying in wait, dormant. Anticipating an opportunity to break out. And as Coral leaned over to blow the smoke inside his mouth, they both pounced upon the sensations they were feeling. Reston had only chosen to accept Coral’s “want a hit?” overture because it was a chance to get physically closer to her. To have a reason to be. The scent of her dishwater blonde hair smelled more like weed than the weed did. Yet it didn’t bother him. There were other small details he noticed about her as he was allowed his chance to get closer. Like how her black eyeliner was smudged and faded, as though she had been wearing it for days. She probably had. 

She was everything he was not, and he needed to be inside of her—right then and there. Coral, obviously, was amenable, reciprocating his touch and kiss by pouncing on top of his lap. It was in this moment she realized there was a subconscious reason for why she had chosen to park so far away. She had been silently praying something like this would finally happen. After all of their in-close-quarters car rides, punctuated by arm grazing and “accidental” touches, it had all built up to this orgasmic instant for both of them. 

It wasn’t long after that night that Coral made it a point to apply to college again, using what little credits she had accrued as enough of a “base” to warrant getting in somewhere more “legitimate.” And, of course, much farther away. She couldn’t be around her brother anymore. Not after what they had done. And it wasn’t because she felt bad about it, but because she knew she wouldn’t be able to stop herself from doing it again. Whereas she knew that Reston could… because he would likely never accept a blunt from her—therefore lose his inhibitions like that—in the future. And honestly, she couldn’t deal with that kind of rejection. Especially not from her own brother. 

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