McFadden’s was always busy on a Saturday night. A typical Irish-styled bar in the middle of Manhattan, the establishment attracted all sorts of people looking for a drink, looking for a new Facebook default, or just looking for a fuck. As was common in such places, the average patron was college-aged, hormone-driven, and scarcely of legal drinking age. The barhops could care less: it was more money for them, anyway, and at least the college kids knew when to call it a night, unlike the filthy old scum who sat in the dark corners buying drinks until it was time to go to work the next morning. But the college kids never noticed those folks: they noticed the bass-heavy, 80’s-driven music, the generous pints the bartenders doled out to anyone willing to pay for them, the hot, sweaty guys, the sexy, scantily-clad chicks, lips locked, spreading secrets, hands in the air, wild abandon. Yes, McFadden’s was always crowded, always loud, and always fun. It was here that Jesse Andrews and his crew spent most of their weekend nights. Jesse, just twenty years old, appreciated the fact that the men upfront accepted his fake ID without so much as a second glance. They also sold Guinness, his drink of choice. And wherever he was, the fun followed. Jesse was a popular guy, a charming guy, a sexy guy. Tanned skin and shaggy, dirty blonde hair gave the young man a West Coast appearance despite having grown up in New England. His frame – an even six feet tall – was endowed with light muscles from his travails on the school soccer team: a junior and a star athlete, he was destined for the captainship next year. Soft, supple lips looked so inviting. Light blue eyes could drown you. The man oozed confidence, charm, and sex appeal. Just as a Beyonce song came on, Jesse’s cell went off, the dull vibrations just barely getting his attention amidst the chaos of the bar. Checking the caller ID on the front of his phone, he excused himself from the group, heading quickly out of the building and out onto the cold city street. “Hey, Mom,” he said, wondering if it was obvious he was getting a little tipsy. “Hi, honey,” said the woman on the other end. “Listen, remember how at Christmas we were talking about maybe having your brother come stay with you a little while, to see what it would be like living away from home and get a sense of what college is like?” Jesse vaguely remembered the conversation and was clearly in no mood to talk about it at the moment. “Yeah, Mom, I remember, why?” He asked, looking around; he wasn’t thrilled at the notion of people knowing he was missing out on more shots to talk to his mother. “Well, your father and I are thinking about having that happen in the pretty near future.” Jesse didn’t like the sound of ‘pretty near future.’ “What, like, next week? Next month?” He asked, growing a bit impatient: all this mother-son talk was making him lose his buzz. “Well, he’ll be on the 11:57 tomorrow.” Light blue eyes went wide. “Well, gee mom, thanks for the notice!” He said sternly, a bit annoyed. Jesse’s relationship with his brother was strained at best, and in fact they had scarcely spoken since the end of the summer. And even when they did speak, it was always forced: the two simply had nothing in common. The boy sighed. “Alright, I guess I’ll be there at the train station to pick him up,” he said at length, shaking his head. The conversation ended shortly thereafter, and Jesse headed back inside, determined to make this night – probably the last awesome night he’d have in a while – be the best it could be. Morning came all too quickly, and Jesse awoke with quite the hangover. He was alone in bed, much to his disappointment. He glanced at the clock: 11:30. The train ride was only an hour or so, and Jesse would have to be at the train station in an hour and a half. That gave him just enough time to hop in the shower, throw on some clothes, and do a little bit of tidying. As for where the heck this kid would sleep… well, there was only one bed, so they’d have to run to the store and buy an air mattress or something. Checking himself once more in the mirror – not that Jesse particularly cared what his younger brother thought of him, but he put a lot of effort into his appearance and was, frankly, pretty proud of himself in that department – he was out the door, heading to Grand Central Station. A brief subway ride away, Jesse found himself shortly thereafter in the middle of the terminal, looking up at the giant board to figure out which track the train would be coming in on. ‘Track 21,’ he said to himself, walking across the sprawling lobby towards where that train would let out. Picking a spot for himself, he leaned against the wall, wondering exactly how he was going to get through the next – wait, how long exactly was this kid going to be here?