|Music, Pranks, and the Girl Next Door
Author: Cami Errant PM
Two boys become unlikely and warring brothers when their parents marry the summer before their freshman year. In a new area of town, it's hard for them both. Not to mention they have the next-door neighbor girl getting into their business...Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Romance - Chapters: 9 - Words: 21,543 - Reviews: 22 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 08-25-12 - Published: 02-26-12 - id: 3000719
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Why on earth would you tell him something so ridiculous?" I cried (as loudly as I could muster, me being me) into the phone.
"Well, I was on a date thing with him yesterday, and I was trying to convince him to become friends with you." Anne sounded completely natural about the whole situation.
In truth, the sentiment was nice, but it a was a bit of an unnecessary exaggeration on her part. She didn't have much business telling that to someone both she and I barely knew, and we both knew he didn't really like me that much.
"You were on a date?" That was an interesting piece of information to direct the topic away from me. Perfect.
"Ah..." Anne sounded slightly embarrassed about the whole thing. "Well, I talked to him in the elevator for a minute, gave him my number- and yours by the way- and went to Barnes and Noble, and-"
"Why'd you give him my number?" I asked, brewing with slight embarrassment and small (miniscule) amounts of fury. "You had no right!" If I had been with her in person, I probably would've pointed an accusatory finger in her face.
"Anyways!" I jumped at Anne's volume. We were on the phone, not at a rave... thing... "I went to Barnes and Noble, and what do you know? He was in front of me in line, about to order coffee. So, he treated me to a latte, and we talked for a little bit."
"Well," I sighed, "It's good to know he's gonna be your friend."
We were quiet for a little bit, which was a rather odd thing to happen when I was on the phone with talkative Anne. She could usually keep a conversation with a dead squirrel going for a couple of hours, and sometimes I felt like a dead squirrel when she was talking to me. But we were silent for a good few seconds.
"What," I started a couple of times, before finally getting enough grit to actually ask the question. "What makes you think I'm such a good 'therapist?' I mean," I sighed, "I know I'm a good listener, but that doesn't make me a wise old sage people would come to for advice."
"Well, you do remember you've helped me before, right?" Anne asked, her tone slightly softer than before.
"I've got a bad memory, okay?" I sighed.
"Seventh grade," she said. "I was having the... well..." I heard her sigh through the phone, though hers was less of defeat, and more of a 'sighing at the memory of 'x'' sort of thing.
"Oh..." I remembered what she was talking about a bit more clearly, until it finally hit me. Shall I elaborate, lovely audience?
Back in the seventh grade (i.e. last year), Anne was having some, personal issues, I guessed. She started to eat less and less, and became more irritable and unhappy. Eventually, she stopped eating at school all together, which was pretty scary for me and her family. She had two younger siblings, and I'd bet it had a pretty bad effect on them as well as her.
"I visited four therapists about my eating habits," she told me, stern in manner and tone. "You know what they said? All of them said that I needed to 'learn to love myself.'" She made a noise as if she were gagging. "Love what?"
Anne had started to get thinner and thinner, and it was getting pretty scary. By March, she'd gotten to be so thin, her ribs were almost visible without her sucking in her stomach. So, I had an intervention, of sorts. Her family didn't really approve of me trying to take matters into my own hands, but I'd always been nosy and pushy, so it was in my nature.
"So," she'd started, "What're you gonna tell me today?"
"Nothing," I said. Anne seemed a little bit surprised, and slightly relieved by this. "You're gonna tell me."
"Tell you what?"
"Why." I'd seated her down next to me on the couch in the living room (thing) in my family's apartment. I turned to face her, completely serious, but my expression melted a little bit. Anne seemed a little melancholy, even though I'd thought my sympathetic expression would make her soften up a little bit. "Why do you feel the need to do this to yourself?"
She sighed, tapping her heels to the floor, and twirling her finger in the air. I looked at her, puzzled. "Sorry," she said. "I'm just trying to remember my pre-written response." I gave her a scowl, but didn't push her. "'I don't feel like I'm good enough compared to everyone else.'"
I didn't stop my glower. "Then I guess I should play the stereotypical therapist, huh?"
"Have the kids said anything mean to you?" I asked, using a playful and mocking voice.
"You have no idea."
"Then please enlighten me."
"Sure." She listed off all of the insults she'd received throughout the year, using a disgusted tone with each word and phrase. The words were much too profane for my liking, so I didn't repeat them. "Are you happy?" She asked, after finishing her performance.
"So what if they've said stuff like that?"
Anne looked extremely offended. "What do you mean 'so what!"
"You're stronger than that." I stood up, more passionate than I thought I would become. "Just because they say stuff like that, doesn't mean it has to have any sort of influence on you. You've gotta be strong enough to just brush it aside. Because doing what they want, breaking yourself apart, will only make you weaker. You don't need to prove anything to them. You need to be strong enough to just not care about their opinions. Sure, you can mope about it for a few minutes, but you can't go to such measures as these to just prove you're not fat, or whatever. It's unnecessary."
Anne had just sat there, staring at me the entire time, her mouth gaping open, and round eyes as wide as saucers. I dropped my shoulders, and sighed.
"Do you get what I'm saying at all?"
Anne said nothing, but instead stood up and hugged me, and began to cry into my shoulder. I seated her back down a moment later, still letting her cry into my shirt. After that, we ate some ice cream together.
And they all lived happily ever after.
"Remember now?" Anne asked, her tone lighter.
"Yeah." She was silent for a moment, probably expecting me to say something. "Not that I'd ever forgotten in the first place," I pushed it.
"Well, anyways." Anne hummed to herself before actually getting to the point. "I told Ribco that you're a really goo therapist. And hey, you were better for me than four professionals. That tells you something."
"I guess," I sighed.
"Anyways," Anne repeated her favorite word. "You should try talking to him sometime, okay?"
"He's right next door to you."
"I hadn't noticed."
I could tell Anne was scowling at me through the phone. I smiled a little bit, my unpredictable sarcasm amusing me a little.
"Don't give up on him just yet," she insisted. "Honestly, I don't think he did it with truly mean intentions. As he told me, he's a guy for his personal space."
"I dunno, okay?" I sighed.
"Just think about it a little. He and Garrett seem to be pretty cool. And you're stuck walking to school with them for the next four years, you know."
I cringed at the thought of walking with warring brothers for four years, and sighed.
"Bye!" Anne was her cheerful self when she hung up.
I put the phone up, and considered walking over to the adjacent apartment. I thought it over while grabbing for my drum sticks, singing "Over and Over" by Three Days Grace under my breath. Wow, I marveled. I'm a terrible singer. I wasn't tone deaf or anything, since I played mallets in Band, but I wasn't a singer. And I hadn't touched a piano in years.
"Was that Anne on the phone?" My older sister poked her head out of her room. I jumped at her sudden untimely timing, then let out a sigh when I realized that my life wasn't in impending danger. I leaned back on the counter and crossed my arms, looking at her as a disapproving mother would her young child.
"April, you scared me," I sighed. "Yeah, that was Anne."
"Boy troubles?" She gave me a mocking look, and came out of her room in all of her tall and busty glory. April was almost a foot taller than me and our mother, was well filled out and curvy, and had short and spiky brown hair, same tone as mine, but with some highlights.
I snorted to myself. "You have no idea."
"I've had boyfriends, you know."
"I haven't, and that doesn't have anything to do with this."
Her smile turned into a devilish grin. "You like one of them, don't you?"
"You're a bad liar, girly." She pointed at me, looking very amused with me and herself. I looked down at my feet, embarrassed.
"I barely know them, and anyways," I was going off. "One of them is way too glamorous and out of my reach, even if I did like him, and the other probably doesn't want anything to do with me," I concluded proudly.
"You need to stop down-grading yourself."
"And from what Anne was saying, it sounds like the guy just might want to get to know you." April smiled again.
She was listening to the conversation... "Ah..." I could barely muster noises. "Why did you listen!"
"I was curious," she shrugged.
"Whatever. I'm going to E-mail my Pen Pal Guy."
And I was in my room.