Author's Note: Sequel to Eleven-Eleven, semi-companion piece to Okay, This Is War on Crack. So, you should read those as well.
Disclaimer: The summary belongs to the song Never Knew by The Rocket Summer.
Falling in love was nothing like people told you.
It wasn't a crash. Or a lighting bolt. It wasn't a clutching feeling in your chest.
It definitely wasn't a voice in your head, whispering he's the one.
So it was probably no wonder why Remy DuGrey didn't believe in the emotion (or at least believe that it happened- or could happen- to her).
A lot of people (idiots) said that love was like the wind. You couldn't see it, but you could feel it. This could easily lead to her believe that there was absolutely no love in her life.
That was too depressing to even consider. Remy blamed the reaction on the idiots of the world.
But it was simple enough to try out. Try out falling in love, or as close as a person could possibly get to it. Or at least, a functional relationship.
The basics of this were easy. Work had to be applied to the relationship. Sacrifices had to be made. The guy had to be nice. Not her usual kind.
This plan crashed and burned.
Only further proving her original stance correct.
This was far more okay with Remy that people would think. But that was most likely because Remy liked to be right.
So when she went back to her normal ways, the whole falling in love thing kind of slapped her on the face. Or whatever the saying was.
It didn't start off with anything spectacular.
It was kind of stupid, actually.
It all started with her younger brother, Avery, being born. The thing about babies was that they cried. A whole fucking lot.
And that tended to give Remy a headache.
So she started going away. Not too far, only to Long Island. Her cousin (who wasn't actually her cousin, but rather one of her mother's best friend's son, as well as Avery's actual cousin), Marcus, lived there with his parents.
And that was okay. She could go, and watch Marcus's band perform. Or go with Marcus to one of his friend's shows. It was an escape.
But the problem was that she was bored. And horny.
She was so bored with her life; she didn't even want to have sex with anyone she knew.
Remy understood how slutty that made her sound. It didn't matter.
She wanted to have sex. And she wanted it to be somewhat of a challenge.
See? She wasn't as high maintenance as people liked to assume.
So this cure for her boredom came to her one night, in Long Island, after a really shitty show.
Remy wasn't even really sure why she did it, his band had really sucked.
Maybe she did it to prove that she could (that sounded right).
For Remy had been born with two gifts (curses). The first being the gift of playing piano. She wasn't sure what she'd call it (everyone else called it prodigy), just that for as long as she could remember she could hear a song, even if it was for the first time, and just know how to play it on the damned instrument. Her mother was the obvious source of this particular gift. Lola loved (or as much as her mother could love anything) playing the piano. The second was curiosity. This was most definitely not inherited from her mother. As Lola could never bring herself to care why things were a certain way, or what the outcome of an action would be. Things just were the way they were. Working in Lola's favor. Why should her mother care about other possibilities? But Remy cared. Maybe too much. Curiosity was going to do in her one of these days.
Most would argue there was a third gift (curse) that Remy had been born with, this one being called beauty. But she knew better. She knew well enough that beauty wasn't a curse. It was a gift through and through. Beauty got her things that would otherwise be unavailable to her. Let her get away with things that no one else could. For example, beauty could get her the hot guy sitting in the empty section of the bar. The hot guy who was just sending out vibes and vibes of 'leave me the fuck alone'. She could get him. And curiosity is what made her care enough to prove herself right.
She slid into the stool next to him. He wasn't happy. He looked like he wanted to move. But his eyes skimmed her. He didn't move.
People could be so fucking predictable.
But, for Remy, that worked. Most of the time.
The bar tender looked over at her. She ordered a jack and diet coke (even she was predictable), and played with the edge of her hair. There was a science to this. Technically, Remy could go about this any number of ways. Direct. Boring, but worked every time. Demure. Worked, but it so wasn't her. Plus, she was in the mood to have some fun.
"Hey, you're the lead singer of the band that just played," she began, as the bar tender placed her drink in front of her. She couldn't think of the name of the band (it didn't matter if she knew it), just that it was really obvious. She always had issues remembering the obvious. "Jesse's band?"
The answer would be one word. "Yeah."
People tended to overlook the fun in predictability.
"I've heard you play before," Remy reached over and took a sip of her drink, perfect. Then she chugged it. It wasn't ladylike, and it was something she had been meaning to work on for, like, three years. But she liked the burn. "You kind of sucked tonight." Now, no one could say that Remy DuGrey wasn't capable of being kind.
He looked like he wasn't sure how to respond to that. She tended to have that effect on people. Another one word answer. "Yeah."
She gulped down some more of her drink. Burn. Burn. Burn. "What's your name?"
"And your band is called Jesse's band?" Jesse. In Jesse's Band. Remy bet it was suppose to be so dorky it's cool. Or ironic. Irony was so overrated. "That's lame."
Jesse didn't like that. Not at all. Her hypothesis was beginning to be proven. Were Remy anyone else. Looked like anyone else (less attractive), he'd be gone. So gone.
Instead, he stayed seated, drank some more and sarcastically said, "Thanks."
Jesse had said about four words since she had sat next to him. He had sounded horrible on stage, and seemed to not remember what song he was playing. He only stuck around because she was hot. And he had really blue eyes (that shouldn't impress her, since hers were nearly the same intense blue). That's all she knew about him.
If Remy were any other (better, good, etc.) girl she would hate him.
She should hate him.
"I'm Remy," she offered without any interest or prompt from him. Thank God she was who she was, life would be entirely too boring if she did what was right. Hung out with people who did all the right things.
"Okay." She wondered if he had any other tone of voice other than sarcastic.
Remy considered Jesse for a moment. It was nearly fascinating. Tonight would be fun. She matched his tone of voice as she said, "Nice to meet you, too."
Hook, line, sinker. However that old cliché (or was simply a saying? Remy hated English, she didn't understand all the differences and didn't care to either) went. Anyway, whether he wanted to or not, he was interested.
"You're a jerk." Remy wondered why she said it out loud. Maybe she just wanted confirmation. She liked the fact that he was a jerk (not that she was lacking them in her life), it was a change. Andrew hadn't been a jerk. The fact that he was good. So good. Had kind of brought her down.
She preferred Jesse's kind, anyway.
Jesse didn't look surprised by her observation. "Yeah, I get that a lot."
"But I like you." Remy smiled. She really did. She liked that even though she could predict that most of his answers would be one worded and that he wanted to be left alone, he'd be difficult to figure out.
She didn't want to figure him out. She didn't want to know everything about him. She didn't want to know what he thought, or if a certain thing reminded him of a specific event. And his enigmatic personality would make this possible.
After all, she was curious, not stupid.
It was interesting to see if she could say something that would normally piss someone off and get away with it because of the way she looked.
Behavior was interesting.
Knowing a person inside and out, was not.
Remy guessed she had surprised him. "No one else does."
She was coming to find, "No one else matters." Not even her best friend. And then Remy remembered where else she knew him from. Which was kind of from the same place she originally knew him from. The stage. When the amusing drunk (Jack, John???) had kicked his ass over that song. The more Helene bugged her, the more Remy kind of loved that song. And she hadn't even heard it in its entirety. She finished off her drink. "I know how I know you. You're the guy that got the shit kicked out of him for playing that song."
Jesse really didn't like that. Best friends took more effort than they were worth (she was probably over dramatizing). "Yes. I'm leaving." He stood up.
She stood up with him. Her mother would so not approve.
Not because she was probably going to end up having sex with a guy she barely knew after downing a jack and diet coke. But because she was nearly chasing him.
Lola didn't believe in the chase.
She smirked slightly; she wasn't her mother (not entirely). "I'm coming with you."
That gave Jesse pause. She had surprised him. Really surprised him. "You don't know me."
Remy shrugged; didn't he know that was his appeal? She liked not knowing. Her smile widened, "So what?"
Hook. Line. Sinker.
Once they were out in his (shitty) car, Jesse warmed up to her once she had asked him to toke up (whether or not he did that sort of thing didn't come up. He was in a band. That answered that question without it being asked), and once he had taken a hit.
Remy wasn't surprised. She had good weed. It was one of the (possibly the only) reasons she hung out with Makon.
He had further warmed up to her, when she had leaned over and kissed him (hard). Most people would try to rationalize the reason they kissed someone they had barely met.
Remy preferred to keep it simple. She had wanted to. So she had.
Eventually they stopped taking hits, and she had ended up on his lap.
Jesse kissed better than he sang. Or played guitar. She was grateful for that fact.
Really, really, really grateful.
What Remy wasn't so grateful for was when Jesse stopped and said, "You don't know me."
It was what he had said to her before they left the club. Word for word.
This time, however, it his voice was filled with more awe and wonder. Like, she was too good to be true.
It (he) was cute.
So she smiled, because he was starting to amuse her, "How many times do I have to tell you, it doesn't matter…" Unless that was seriously going to be a problem for him. "This is fun." (Her perception was so screwed). "You're having fun, right?"
Jesse didn't even hesitate with that one. "Yes." But… "I don't want a…"
Ah. That was it. He was trying to see if she was too good to be true. "Relationship?" She finished for him. Thank fucking God. Because, "Neither do I. We can just have fun."
And then she kissed him again, because apparently thinking was a dangerous activity for him.
Sex was better than thinking anyway.
Things with Jesse went as well as Remy had expected (hoped). It would be stupid to risk it by doing it again. Right? Then again, not going to the Long Island club (The Rementopia), would be a change in her routine. She always escaped there on the weekend. That would put an importance on Jesse that he didn't deserve.
Plus, it would be nice to get laid again.
And Remy wasn't as people wanted to believe. She wouldn't just sleep with anyone. So, sleeping with a person she had previously slept with would be a good (right) thing to do.
See why thinking was such a dangerous activity for her?
So she went.
And Jesse's Band wasn't as bad as they had been the previous week. But, Jesse still kissed (among other things) better than he sang. Or played guitar.
After the set, she made her way to the bar.
Not to look for him.
Because she wanted a drink.
She leaned against the bar (looking straight ahead), "Diet Coke and Rum."
But she still caught Jesse out of the corner of her eye.
Sometimes it was difficult to figure out what was spontaneous, and what was planned out. Remy wasn't sure what this one fell under.
"Hey." This was one of the rare (rare, rare) occasions she greeted someone so mundanely.
Greetings were so overrated.
Apparently, Jesse felt the same way, because he replied with, "It's you."
He was still cute. She took her drink from the bar tender. She took a small sip. That didn't burn. "It's me." Chug. That burned.
Apparently, he was still in awe of her. If she brought herself to care, she'd wonder how difficult the girls were he'd have in his life.
She doubted 'very' would cover it.
"What are you doing here?"
Remy sat down next to him and flirted, "You played, didn't you?"
"I thought you were a one time kind of thing."
Jesse was careless with his words. She liked that. It (probably) made him more honest than most.
She set her (empty) glass down. "You're great with words, Jesse."
He looked like he was about to get even better (sarcasm intended). "I'm surprised."
He really did amuse her. "When you're surprised, you can't speak?"
"I have trouble."
Yeah, he sang better than he talked. (That was saying a lot from what she had seen lately).
"I can tell," she told him, as she tucked a few strands of hair behind her ear. That was okay. They didn't need to talk anyway. "This band is so horrible. Even you guys were better than them."
Jesse didn't look offended by her (somewhat bitchy) remark.
Another point in his favor.
"Do you want another drink?"
Two more points in his favor, but, "Two steps ahead of you." The bartender set a fresh rum and diet coke in front of her. This time she didn't bother with the small sip.
Chugging was so underrated.
There was two ways he could go with this. He could be in awe of her chugging ability. Or think she was some sort of lush whore.
The first one, whatever. The second one, she didn't want to hear it.
She held up a hand (to emphasis her point), and set her glass down with the other. "Don't finish that sentence if you don't have something nice to say. I don't like criticism."
Jesse didn't finish his sentence. She wasn't sure if it was because he didn't have something nice to say, or because she scared him off.
He surprised her with, "What do you like?"
Very few things she'd admit to. "There are many more things I don't like, than there are that I do like."
That was the truth. Almost.
Remy smiled, and she wasn't sure why. But hell, she went along with it. "I like alcohol." State the obvious. "Piano." Something that would probably come as a shock to her instructor. Now, something not so serious, so she smirked, "Shitty local bands."
Again, he didn't take offense. "The basics."
"Pretty standard." This conversation was so over. Remy stood up to signify that. "Can we leave?"
Jesse didn't look like he was able to say no to that.
Maybe if Remy thought more she'd wonder how fucked they were going to be.
But as long as she took everything at face value, everything would remain alright.
Nothing would change.
That's the way things worked. (Right?)To Be Continued…