Hey again. Please read the A/N at the end of the chapter, it's important, there's also personal notes at the end.
Dis)claimer: I (don't) own "One Song Glory" from the Broadway musical Rent, Yellow, Fake Plastic Trees, Death Cab For Cutie, Incubus, Something Corporate, Wal-Mart, free-food samples or pork-chops.
Chapter Nine – Whisper me a Long Forgotten Song
I let the razor blade trace paths across my skin. No matter how much I do it, it never seems to bleed enough, and the edges are never too sharp, the pain never too deep. I position myself on top of the bed, the sheets are still intact of months of insomniac nights. The colour is still black like the ceaselessly waves that keep pulling me to the past. I contemplate the ceiling and transfix my gaze in a certain spot. I can hear Nate and Natalie having sex in the next room. Another reminder that I am alone. I wish I could go somewhere, anywhere I could call my home. I wish I could get out of the murderous walls that keep me prisoner of my own mind. I sigh and let the knife explore the corners of my arm further. I yelp silently watching the drops of blood adorn my mattress. And for a moment the pain is once again too real, so real that I can finally remember that I'm alive. And once again the voices are too hunting, the screams too loud, the memories too powerful. I can't drown the tears, I can't stop the blood, and I can't vanish the screams. Just like I couldn't back then. I hold back a loud squeal as I let the knife sink a little deeper. I stand up to grab a towel and drip off the blood. I sit in the floor with my back against the wall and I open my last drawer. I take out an old brown box hidden underneath all my clothes. I take out the photograph that lies at the bottom of it. I let my eyes scan the bent memento. I had memorized the whole picture by now and still I keep torturing myself by looking at it. In the center she lays with her auburn hair and brown eyes, looking back at me in mockery. The wind plays adorningly with her silky dress clinging onto her curves. She is seating next to someone I had cease to know long ago. Both are smiling radiantly like they are sure there would never be anything as perfect as that very moment, as if guessing that's all they had. His arm is hugging her lightly around the waist. They're seating in a wooden bench in the park, the happy couple is holding a white gerbera in their hands.
I turn around the little scrap and re-read the date November 8th, 2003. That makes two years of unhappiness, two years of silent misery, two years without feeling the blazing fire that being alive brings. I wonder if that when that picture was taken she was already sick, she was already hiding it. I will always wonder, but no one would be able to fill the void of my forever unanswered doubts.
I close my eyes as I engulf my despair. Then I hear a knock on the door but I don't answer. Another knock. "Sid are you there?" Nate's raspy voice resonates inside the room.
So he does "Oh my God Sid!" he clasps his hand to cover his mouth. "Oh my God"
"You don't believe in God" I remind him unaltered.
"Stop it, it's no time for jokes" He runs towards my bed and feels between the tip of his fingers the blood stains. "Don't worry it would be clean before you and Natalie can have sex again"
"It's not funny" he points out.
"I'm not laughing"
He scoffs "You are still bleeding"
"It would have stop before the gig don't worry"
"It's not the gig I'm worried about!" he snarls frustrated.
"Don't worry about me, I'm fine"
"Like hell you are, you just have to look at your scars to prove otherwise" he says.
"It's not from the outside I'm bleeding Nate"
He plops himself next to me on the floor "I know" he pats my shoulder reassuringly but I blow him away as I stand up "I don't need nor want your pity Nate"
"It's not pity I'm feeling"
"Oh, it's disappointment then?"
"Like if being a junkie wasn't pathetic enough, what are you doing here Nate? Why you came in the first place? You wanted to see if I had some chemicals left? Wasn't that it?"
"That's not fair"
"It's just life"
"Yeah, well what could you know about it anyway?" And with that he disappears out of the room with his arms hunched and his eyes cast downwards.
"I'm sorry brother, I'm sorry" I mutter under my breath once he is out of sight, once it's safe to ask for forgiveness, once he is not able to hear it.
I push the door open violently and start kicking the scattered clothes across the floor angrily. Natalie sits in the bed covering herself with the blankets. The reflecting rays of sun stretch around her figure making her look like an angel. My angel. "Are you okay?" she asks with a slight hint of worry in her voice.
I place my arms on the wall and kick it hardly with my bare feet. "Hey what's wrong?" her reassuring arm makes contact with my shoulder. "Nate?" I stop kicking the wall and start shaking "It's nothing"
"You are shaking" her hand trace patterns across my arm and I tremble.
She spins me around carefully so I'm facing her she uncovers her body to embrace me with the blanket until we are cuddling together half way covered "You can have my warmth" I smile as I kiss her forehead.
"I love you"
"And I love you" she declares.
"What happened in there?" she points her finger towards Sid's room.
"Nothing he is just… messed up."
"Is he okay? What did he do this time?" she musters concerned.
"He cut himself" Her arms stop embracing me and she drops them back down to her sides.
"Nate let's do something! We have to help him!" She exclaims hurriedly.
"Natalie let's face it, he doesn't wants to be helped"
"I'm not asking what he wants I'm stating what he needs"
"He won't let us! You of all people should know that by now"
"I don't care if that's what he wants, I'm going to try to save him with or without your help" she picks up her clothes and disappears into the bathroom. I kneel down and take a look at my bruised arms with little dots of needle scars; maybe Sid and I aren't that different after all. Am I not killing myself slowly just as he is? I sigh as I mutter "I need your help babe, I need you to save me too"
Of course she doesn't hear my plea.
"Help me move the amps" Nate commands as I keep playing with my set of drums. Well Card's set of drums but who cares? "Marcus help me!"
Talking about mood swings "What's up with you? Didn't know PMS was characteristic in males or maybe you are a travesty!" I open my mouth faking amazement.
"Oh so funny look I'm rolling my ass off" He replies sarcastically.
"Geez you really are in a bad mood, what I can't figure out is why." I let the drum sticks on top of the table and walk up to my cousin "Did you and Natalie fight?" I ask in a low voice.
He sighs and ruffles his hair with one hand "No"
"Okay… then what is it?"
I nod not pressing the subject any further "Okaay. Let's move the amps then"
"Fine hold that side and on the count of three we lift them up"
"One, two, three" We carry them all the way to the van, once inside the trunk I lean onto the white vehicle exhaling loudly. "Those have to be the heaviest amps I've ever carried"
Nate smiles for the first time in the day "That's because you are a wimp"
"Oh so funny look I'm rolling my ass off" I imitate him mockingly. He hits my arm playfully and I laugh until I catch sight of the patterns of bruised skin. "Nate what's this?" I examine his arm carefully, afraid that his scars might still hurt. He removes it from my grip quickly "It's nothing"
"You are using needles now? Oh God…" I trail off.
"I haven't used them lately" He defends himself.
"But you will! Sooner or later!"
"No little cousin I promise you I won't" He caresses his arm looking at the cement down his feet.
"You always break that promise"
"I won't, I swear"
"I think you need professional help Nate"
He turns to look at me "What are you suggesting? That I'm a junkie? I'm not! And if I was it would be none of your business."
"Right, because I'm your cousin. Stop looking for the easy way to get out of this. You need help."
"I'm perfectly fine"
"Like hell you are" his eyes widen and then he hits his head with his hand.
"Look I'm not doing drugs right now okay? I'm not a junkie and I don't need professional help. I'm fine I just take them once in awhile like every teenager does so stop worrying about me and worry about your life, don't mess it up by trying to help me."
I stay silent looking down with a sad face "Lil cousin?" I don't respond, he sighs "Look I promise I won't use drugs tonight nor this week, I promise I'm going to try to quit, okay?"
I stay silent for some seconds and finally I reply "Why should I trust you Nate? Didn't you make that same promise a year ago?"
"You really don't have faith in me at all, do you?"
"I have faith in you but you have taught me to question that faith." I scratch my head and walk out of there "I have to pick up Allison and Kyle, I'll catch you later"
I ignite the engine and push the pedal of my car watching Nate through my rear view mirror drifting away.
"Are you okay?" Rooney reaches for my hand placed in top of the table. I smile distractedly "Sure" and take a sip of my coffee.
"You seem a little bit distant… like lost in your thoughts, where are they drifting at?"
I open my mouth to reply and close it again finally stating "I just have many thing in my mind right now" when I really was aiming more to something like; I have Marcus in my mind right now. He caresses my cheek with his thumb "Okay" and plunks himself back in his chair.
"Hey you wanna go to the movies later on? I heard that Hooligans is really good, but we can go to watch another one-" he stops abruptly when he realizes I'm not paying attention. I nod embarrassed "sure"
"Gracie? What's bothering you?"
I shake my head "Nothing it's just…"
"There's a gig today and my best friend is playing and-"
"Ow you should have said that from the start! Let's go to that gig then. I like shows and I think we'll have a great time."
I let his words sink in my thin skull once I swallow them I pop instantly "No, no! We're not going we can go to the movies, we can…"
"Don't worry I see how much it means to you"
"So let's go plus I get to see Emily and Rach and meet your other friends" he smiles widely.
"No buts, it'll be fine I promise" he reassures me.
I really wish he is right.
"I'm bored" I complain to Lis who is seating next to me on the green couch of her living room.
"It won't be long before Marcus arrives" She pops her head out of the book she is reading.
She raises her eyebrows "Here…"
"Is it good?" I ask referring to the book
"Sense and Sensibility? It's good"
"May I?" I request.
She smiles and pats the chair she is seating on "Not at all sir."
I scurry away to where she is and sit in her lap she chuckles "I don't know why, but I have the slight impression that I am the man in this relationship"
"Then I'm sure as hell I'm gay" I lean forward to peck her lips. She clings into my neck "You know what? Let's forget the book" she throws it away and grabs onto my neck with more strength than before.
"Oh my God I've gone blind!" I scream as I enter to Allison's house and find her and Kyle making out in the floor heatedly,
"Hi Marcuuuuuuus" Kyle's head appears out of Allison's hair.
"Get a room" I scoff away.
"Well… in case you failed to notice, you are standing in a room" Allison replies indifferently.
"The living room it's not a room pigeon"
"Is not?" Kyle looks confused.
"No… it's common ground for Christ sakes!"
Allison stands up "Whatever, get over the fact you saw Kyle's hand on my brea-"
"STOP!" I cover my ears in fake terror.
"Haha… shall we go then?" Allie smirks.
"Yes pigeon" I coax.
"Come huns we can finish making out in the back on Marcus' car" Allie shots me a teasing glance.
"Oh no! you are not corrupting Bertha's back seat today!" I burst out hysterically.
Allison furrows her eyebrows "You should really get a life Cus"
"I do have a life!"
"Yeah… people who have a life don't name their cars" she ruffles my hair.
"Who does?" Kyle stands up showing his toothy smile to us.
"I do! I named my car Bertha and I love her very much so don't you dare insult my precious" I defend the honor of my lovely pink car that has been the one who had ride us to so many places.
"Calm down Gollum" Allison bites her cheek to restrain her laughter.
"Ow just get inside Bertha already!" I point my fingers towards my car.
"Who's Bertha?" Kyle asks and Allison and I turn to look at each other and nod our head in agreement before slapping Kyle's head coordinately.
So here we are at one o'clock walking around Wal-Mart trying to buy camp's stuff, like Gerber Bottles, ropes, garbage bags, a compass, and other products we can't remember seeing as Rachel forgot the list. And let's face it I'm starting to dread the camp. For what would we need a rope? And a compass? They aren't going to let us get lost inside the jungle and then found our way back… or would they? I scratch my head and turn to look at Rachel who is drooling in front of a counter waiting for the girl behind it to hand us some oily cow product. We've been waiting for it to get fried around seven minutes I would have flee by now but Rachel insists that with a bit of proteins in her body she might remember what is it that we're missing. I don't really believe her.
"This" she points at the counter in which they are frying her meat product "is why I love Wal-Mart so much"
I scratch my head "And this is exactly why I hate it"
She gulps and coughs "You hate Wal-Mart because they give away free-food samples?!?" Oh God, now she is going to go hysterics.
"Seriously, how could someone hate a place that gives away food?" she yells a bit too loud and every passerby located in the fruit section turns to gawk at me in horror, not believing how could anyone hate Wal-Mart.
Stupid American stocks.
"I.don't.hate.Wal-Mart.in.normal.basis." I say through clenched teeth. "I just hate coming with you"
She looks hurt by my sincere outburst "Why? I'm too fun for your own good?" she says jokingly.
"You are too damn food-craver for your own good" I stay silent for some seconds until finally adding "and for mine"
"So what if I dragged you all along the place looking for free food?"
"My feet are sore" I complain.
"Yeah and so is my mouth" that's her last statement before the lady finally hands us the oily cow product and Rachel thanks her as she devours it in one mili-second. I turn to look at mine with repulsion "Hmm… are you sure this is good?"
"Absolutely the best pork meet I have eaten in long"
Pork? Hmm… that just decreases the probabilities of introducing that to my mouth.
"Aren't you going to eat it?" she asks obnoxiously. I inspect the piece of pork again and frown slightly "Oh come on Emily if you can eat the school Meatballs you can certainly eat this"
Valid point. I nod and then introduce it inside my mouth.
She seems like she is about to puke and she runs to the nearest trash can and spits the tiny fractures of the pork. Then in the most un-lady like way wipes her mouth with her hands "That has to be the worst piece of meet I have tasted! You liar" she protests grimacing. I laugh hard when I realize a hottie is looking at her with eyes wide open "And that- is the best piece of meet I have ever seen" I hiss in her ear and she turns around to acknowledge the guy of who I'm talking about.
I pivot quickly to see THE guy and stamp my head on someone. A very well built someone mind you. I can hear Rachel laughing behind me I title my head to apologize and freeze. Thank god I didn't have the pork with me because I am certain that I would have choked if that had been the case.
"Emily?" he says grabbing my shoulders.
"Trent" I back off.
"Oh so do you know this fine piece of meet?" Rachel asks from behind and I flush as he just chuckles. Calm and collected. "Hi I'm Trent" He offers his hand.
She takes his hand "Rachel"
"A pleasure" he flashes a lop-sided smile towards her direction.
"So you didn't like the pork did you?" he turns to look at me, blue orbs meeting boring brown.
"Oh I did, is just that I like throwing things away, especially when they give inexorable pleasure to my mouth in fear that my tongue can actually have an orgasm"
OMG Hostility Alert! Everyone watch out! Seriously that has to be the first time that I had seen Emily answering someone in such a rude and witty remark. It's clear that she doesn't likes this Trent very much, what I can't figure out is why. He seems okay with me, well, more than okay if you ask me. Okay I kinda lost the plotline back there. So I turn to look at Trent, he looks as shocked as I am. Yeah, who would have known Emily have it in her? She is always so freaking nice it scares me.
"Do forgive her, she forgot to take her Ritalin" I echo to break the uncomfortable silence.
"No problemo" he says a bit unbiased.
"So are you buying stuff for the camp thing?" he asks I suppose to break away the tension. I can't really blame him.
Emily grunts, why I have the slight impression that I'm in trouble?
"I've got the gerber bottles what else do we need?" A little kid that looks around nine appears out of the hallway addressing Trent as he holds a bag with gerbers and a box of chocolates.
"I think we need a rope and…hmm let me see the list" he takes out of his back pocket a shattered paper.
"Can I have this box of chocolates?" The little kid jumps.
"Sure, put it on the pushcart"
"He is really cute, what's his name?" I swear I have no idea where that came from.
He snaps his head back to me and grins widely. Blue orbs meet mine and I shudder "His name's Matt"
"Ow" I turn to look at the little kid with red hair, pale skin and freckles adorning his cute face.
"Where are we heading now? Are you finally taking me to the toy shop?" Matt urges.
"Almost little champ, we just need to get a rope"
"Wait? Are you buying things for the camp?" Rachel interrupts courtly.
"That we are mademoiselle" he replies huskily.
"Cool, maybe you can help us then?" I'm so gonna kill her.
Trent raises his eyebrows "Sure, what do the ladies need?"
Not your lady. Okay now that's just being hostile.
"See I forgot the list… but maybe you can help us find the stuff we need for the camp"
"Or he could just hand us the list" I intercede quickly.
Trent yanks his disheveled hair backwards "Sure, I'm already done- so here take it if you please"
"Ow so you're not coming with us?" Rachel of course.
I tilt my head to look at him, he looks at his feet and finally replies "Sorry I promised Matt I'd take him to the toy shop."
"That's okay, we can handle it" I grin he shrugs and hands me the list willingly.
"Ow… that's bad. Anyway thanks for the help, you just saved my life" Rachel adds.
"Sure, hmm got to get going, bye" he turns around and walks towards Matt ready to disappear out of my vision when Rachel jogs towards him "Hey Trent!" she calls.
He turns sideways "Yes?"
"What are you doing later on?"
Oh no, she is not going to invite him to Cus gig.
He grimaces courtly "Why?"
"Well there's this gig at Vendetta's Club, I was wondering if you wanted to go"
"I'm sorry, I have to look after Matt, but thanks for the offer anyway" He jerks his shoulders apologetically.
"Ow, that's a pity, well I guess we'd have to leave it for another day" I give you three dollars if you guess who said that.
"Thanks Rachel" he replies nodding charmingly at her, then he looks at me with a placid face "Emily" and drifts away pushing the cart and giving Matt a piggy back ride.
"Why I have the slight impression that you don't like him very much?" Rachel asks once he is out of sight.
"Because I don't"
"May I ask why?"
"Okay, so why?" she teases.
"Maybe the fact I saw him making out with Michelle has something to do"
"He…WHAT?" She snaps back with eyes wide open. "Marcus' Michelle?"
"The one and only"
"So… she is just not a bitch but also a skank?"
I nod holding back a chuckle.
"And why that would make you mad?"
"You like him" she says more like an affirmation than a question.
"No, I barely know him"
"Well, you barely know Liam"
"Yes…but it's different, and besides I already lost all hope with Liam" I reply frustrated.
"Why you say that?"
"Well for instance I'm not full of testosterone"
Rachel bursts out laughing "Oh my, I forgot to tell you! He is not gay"
I drop the plastic glasses I'm holding "Yeah sure…"
"Really he told me that day in the coffee shop, he isn't gay, he is bi"
"Well… it doesn't exactly make a difference, should I remind you that he has a boyfriend?"
"He had. They broke up"
"How do you know that?"
"Because I was there when it happened"
I get a bombastic sensation that I'm not hearing properly "Come again?"
"Ew, Emily I know he turns you on but that doesn't applies to me. So what else is in the list?" she asks a bit repulsed.
I scan the list and burst into hysteric giggles. "What? What is it?" she hurls trying to remove the list from my hands.
"These guys are nuts" I manage to spat out after I end up with my fit of laugher.
"What? What is in the list?" she asks impatiently.
"One word; Tampons"
And that's when she really looses it.
I enter to the club somehow nervous for the thrill of watching my best friend performance. Or maybe is the fact that I have never been to a club that was so crowded. I keep walking stumbling into unfamiliar faces until I spot Nate. He is thinner than I remember him and he has add some green steaks to his chestnut hair. He is leaning in the counter of the bar propelling himself with his two feet. Would he still recognize me after all this years? Or would he just see me as another groupie? I am about to approach him when I see him exchanging something with the bartender. Nate hands him some cash and the bartender nods in complicity. Then he hands him a brown paper bag and Nate grins slightly and turns his back on the bar. And before I know it he is standing in front of me watching me quizzically. Then I realize I'm looking at him intently. I shake my head out of the trance as he says kindly "Hello, may I help you with something?"
"Na-ate" I stutter.
He furrows his eyebrows. Great he must think I'm just another groupie. "I-I. Do you remember me?" really clever Emily, I bet he does that's why he is looking at you like if you were a crazy fan.
"Sorry I…do we know each other?" He smiles warmly. Okay maybe he doesn't think I'm a groupie.
"I come to see the band" Yeah. Probably he just thinks I'm part of the crowd, not necessarily a groupie.
He chuckles softly "Sorry but I have a girlfriend, but don't get me wrong; if I hadn't and I didn't love her I would surely consider your offer"
I open my mouth but no words come out, I close it again and open it once more. "I…" but I don't even need to finish as I see my pink-haired savior approaching to me. "Pigeon! I've been looking for you all around!"
Nate narrows his eyes in confusion "Do you know each other?" then he turns to look at his cousin then back at me and explodes into fits of laughter "Ow… of course you know each other- I bet you are deeply connected." He gives especial emphasis to the last word and I find myself flushing like mad.
"No… no this is a misunderstanding!" I snap out.
"But I'm sure you'll make it understandable as the night proceeds" I bet he is having the hell of a time.
"Don't be an asshole dear cousin Emily is just my best friend, it amazes me that you don't remember her, but I'm not surprised at assuming that you wouldn't" Marcus snarls, his voice cold and full of a raged fury I had never seen him used before with anyone.
"Emily? As in Emily's Jack Skellington's Lover?" Nate asks fazed out.
I nod my head proudly pointing at my Jack t-shirt. Then none of us can hold our laughter any longer as we embrace ourselves awkwardly "God I'm so sorry hahaha. It's just you look so grown up!" she says checking out my body and I flush once again "And… you dyed your hair and pierced your nose. Hahaha. Oh my I'm truly sorry Emobobo" I kick his shoulder hard. "Don't ever call me that again, Natalicio" his laughing face is replaced with pure panic. "Shhh someone can hear you" I laugh once again. Then our happy daze is interrupted by Marcus.
"What's in the bag dear cousin" once again the hint in Marcus voice if full of venom and sarcasm that even I become nervous.
Nate transforms his kind smile into a heavy scowl "Mind your own business dearest cousin" he then turns to look at me "well milady I have to go but it was a pleasure seeing you after so long, hope we'll meet again tonight" he bows courtly and walks away from us.
I lock the bathroom cubicle and hit my head with the door some time. I turn to look at the bag Brian gave me. Some needles, heroin and a bit of weed. I take out a joint of the later and keep inspecting it for some time. This is the last time. Once the contents of this bag are empty I'm over once and for all. I tell to myself as I inspect the cigar with my fingers. I'm about to light it when a memory I long hadn't dwell on appears in front of me.
"You've got kicked out of the football team?" Dad's welcomed me as I entered the house I couldn't quite called a home, handing a letter in his hands.
"And you've got suspended because you attacked another kid in the bathroom'" he yelled madly. "I want to know why?!? Why?!?"
I shrugged my shoulders and yanked my chestnut hair out of my eyes "Just because"
"How dare you, you irresponsible kid, don't you see it? You are jeopardizing your admission to Yale! Your whole future because you felt like punching someone" He slapped me across the face, knowing that it was the first and probably last time dad would ever lay a hand on me.
"Well I learnt from the best, didn't I?" I said with my voice full of venom and my eyes full of hatred. Then he slapped me once again "How dare you, how.dare.you"
Even if I could felt the pain in my cheek I turned to look at the stranger standing next to me "See?" I was pushing his strings too far but I didn't care.
He just clenched his fists against his sides "Get up"
I did as he said and stood before my dad defiantly, until he took out of his pocket a plastic bag which its contents I knew so well. "How did…you?" I stumbled through words. How had he found it?
"I found this in your room son" how had he known where my stash was hidden? No one had ever guessed where my deepest secret lay unless… my breath caught in my throat, my heartbeats were sporadic against my chest… he wouldn't, he didn't. Marcus would never betray me in that way. True, he had warned me that if he didn't stop he would tell my parents but he wouldn't actually…
"How long has this been going on?"
"What do you care?"
"Look Nathaniel, you are going to answer me every time I ask you a question. You are going to answer me once and for all; how long has this been going on?"
"Since the divorce"
I could see my father trying to held back some tears "Oh God…" was all he could whispered before he shake me by the shoulders "Are you mad? Are you…? You are going to rehab first thing tomorrow morning"
I shrugged him away violently before I screamed "I'm not going anywhere, I'm fucking sick about everyone always telling me what to do. I don't want to go to Yale dad face it, I was not born to be the valedictorian hero you were! I wasn't born for being golden or looked upon. I just want to do my music and if you and mom can't understand that then I don't care about this family anymore"
"Oh no young man not so fast. Your mom and I would have given you everything in our grasp, we had raised you, feed you, all we ever did was care for you"
"But you never loved me" I spat out even if I had knew even back then that the words I had just pronounced were the biggest lies I had ever council.
"You are wrong, you are so wrong about everything Nathaniel." I never really liked it when he called me by my whole name it made him sound so distant.
"No Christopher, is not me who am wrong. I'm going to pursue my dream and fight for it with or without your help"
"Killing yourself by being a junkie is not a dream" his eyes were blotching by now. "Listen you need professional help, you will get through it, we would all get through it"
"No dad." I prepared myself to left that house forever.
"You just can't turn your back on this family like that!"
I picked up my schoolbag from the marble floor "Watch me" and snap the door shot as I ran towards Sid's house as fast as my feet had ever let me.
"What was that about?" Emily asks confused at the scene that had just displayed in front of her eyes.
"Nothing important" I reply dryly.
She snorts "Come on I had never seen you act so hostile"
"I'm just mad with my cousin that's all"
She waits for me to elaborate a little longer but I remain silent. "Hmm ho" she mutters incoherently before she pouts at me and runs a hand through her rainbow-ish hair.
"What's that about?" I smirk at her animatedly and she grins.
"Just breaking the silence and chirping original noises to change the subject in a subtler way." That's exactly why I love Emily so much, she is more curious than she'll ever admit but she is patient and never pushes me to tell her things.
"Talking about subject change, do you know if Grace is going to come?"
Her eyebrows knit together and I notice as she tries to raise just one, but fails miserably "I don't know, why don't you ask her?"
"She doesn't talks to me remember" I remind her.
"It's not like you have tried"
I yank my hair, it really is growing long "I… just tell me, please, is she coming or not?"
"I believe she is" I don't know why that makes me feel as making combustion. "By the way you are terrible at trying to raise just one eyebrow" I tease meanly.
She glares "It's not like anyone can do it, for instance I don't anyone who can just raise an eyebrow what kind of weirdo would be able to just raise one eyebrow"
I beam cockily at her and raise just one eyebrow. She scowls at me and clenches her fits in a theatrical way "I hate you" she states childishly.
"Don't blame me for your incompetent eyebrows"
"They are not incompetent! They just refuse to work in separate ways"
"Umm hu" I nod and start walking slowly around the club. It just takes a second for Emily to catch up with me putting a hand on my shoulder and muttering "Fine, you win, can you teach me how to do it?" she says miserably.
"Sorry pigeon, I can't teach you how to raise an eyebrow" I tell her unfazed.
"But… you can do it so teach me how you do it!"
"It's not something I can teach, it just comes with my many talents" I chuckle until I feel a spank in the back of my head. I massage it and turn to look at Ms. I-have-a-problem-with-accepting-Marcus'-perfection. "Ouch what was that for?"
"Oh consider it my way of wishing you luck with your performance" an innocent smile tugs her lips.
"Gee thanks how considered of you" I say sarcastically.
She taps my head with her fists as it was just a drum-set "You should go get ready for your performance"
Suddenly I become aware of how it's almost time for 'Social Casualties' to make an appearance on stage "Yeah I must…"
She hugs me one last time "Good luck" I ruffle her hair playfully as she does so. "Thanks Emo"
She taps my shoulder "Tsk, tsk, don't forget to catch me later"
She breaks the hug and starts to walk away from me, her messy hair waving across her back. I watch her walk away and she stops, spinning around and glaring "Oh, and just for the record, one day I'd be capable of raising just an eyebrow"
I cross my arms over my chest "Can't wait for that day to come"
She rolls her eyes annoyed "I hate you" and vanishes along the crowd.
I watch her walk away smiling slightly. People used to ask me why Emily and I were so close. I always answered them that I didn't know, but looking back at how she always manages to put a smile on my face in the most critical situations it hits me that I have always known perfectly well why we did.
I sigh nervously and walk around the club, its big enough to hold around a hundred souls then I realize than in half an hour I will be performing in front of all those hundred souls. I intent to go backstage to get ready but I stop in mid-step when I spot Grace's fiery red hair in the bar. My stomach begins to churn as I approach to her. She is swinging herself with her hands on the stool. I pat her shoulder gently and she turns her head slowly smiling, once she registers my face her smile fades "Hey" I offer.
"Hi" she turns around to grab her drink.
"Glad you could make it" I grin.
"Rooney wanted to come"
"Ow… who's Rooney?" I ask trying not to sound too curious.
I stop walking with my hands in my pockets and for a moment I wonder why those words sting. It should be a good thing right? After all it was me who let her go. I can still see her walking gracefully around the crowd. I start to jog towards her when a body stands in my way and stops me.
"Look Marcus!" I pinpoint at my homemade t-shirt that says 'I killed music" Brutney Spearme and then turning around with an original 'Thanks God Social Casualties knew CPR'
"Oh hi Liam" he waves unenthusiastically.
"Do you like it?"
"Huh?" he looks tired, must be the band practice.
"The shirt" I smile showing my whole teeth.
"Yeah it's… original" he retires the bangs from his eyes.
"It's growing long" I venture myself to touch a stand of hair and enroll it between my fingers, its soft and curly and…
He flinches and moves away "Yeah… where are the others?"
"I have no idea"
"Ow and where's Jake?"
I stay silent and frown trying to hide my sadness "We broke up"
He opens his mouth "I'm sorry"
I meet his gaze and send him a lopsided smile "Yeah, hey do you think you can get me backstage?"
He is standing in his tiptoes looking for someone then his eyes darken and he breaks out of his daze turning to look back at me smirking slightly "Sure, follow me"
So I do.
I make my way towards Rooney walking as fast as I can. I don't want Marcus to catch up with me, a part of me praying he will. Suddenly I become aware of how much I'm trembling when my beverage spills and falls on my fingers. Why do I have to love him? Why after all these years his smile still moves my heart? Why I can't stop thinking about him every minute of my days? What is it with him? I mean he is not even that good looking. Sure he is cute and has very soft and wavy hair, and stunning hazel eyes. And he has the most killer smile in the whole planet, and sometimes when his pearly whites appear playfully from his mouth a barely noticeable dimple forms on his left cheek or when laughs his delicate features shine intensely, shedding light in all directions. But what is it about him? What exactly? He is not more talented than others, not more chivalrous than others, he has flaws, I mean he is not even capable of staying seated in a place for more than fifteen minutes. He can't sing, he can't do the laundry, he can't even fold properly his clothes. Sometimes he acts childish and spills unasserted comments, he always forgets to brush his hair and at times it seems as if he lives in another planet. He is nowhere near perfect, he is flawed and messed-up… and still despite of this or perhaps because of it, I love him. I love him as much as that day I learnt he could draw unicorns crossing rainbows to a distant enchanted place. And I love him even more that the day I learnt he could create beautiful universes with just one glance, only now I'm beginning to understand I wasn't invited. I was his advice not his plan, I was his rock not his diamond.
I sigh and stop my inner thoughts when I realized I'm standing next to Rooney who is smiling at me tenderly "What took you so long lovable?" he mutters huskily into my ear as he holds my waist.
"I don't know you, but last time I checked this place was crowded"
With his grip still firm on my waist and his head still dug in my hair I can feel him smiling and for a minute I forget that he is Rooney and not Marcus and I smile too.
I have been seating in here for the past hours just contemplating the white rickety wall, listening to the other bands chatting and playing from here, the closed door makes the sound seem blurry, like if covered by an invisible veil, an untouchable one. I sigh, that music, is just like Nate and Sid lately, unreachable. No matter how much I stretch, how much I try I'm never able to catch them. I don't know how to help them. I care for Sid so much and it hurts to see him in so much pain, especially when I remember how he was back then when I met him. He was so different, so happy. And about Nate I just know he is still doing drugs, even though he keeps on telling me he is going to quit. He always promises bonds bound to break the next day. I want to help them, both, but they won't let me. I close my eyes tired of everything evolving around me until I hear the door creaking open, and for one simple minute I'm able to retrieve the veil and let the music embrace my ears.
"It's almost time" I inform Natalie who appears to be asleep.
She opens her eyes slowly and turns to look at her watch "Yeah…" she looks sad.
"Are you okay?"
She nods "I was just thinking"
Then an uncomfortable silence envelops us. "Okay, so shall we get ready?"
I don't get an answer so I start moving some amplifiers and cables I'm about to make my way out when Natalie finally speaks "Do you remember how we used to be?"
I let go of the music equipment and turns sideways to glance at her, she is looking at the wall looking deeply miserable. I'm about to reply but she is not waiting for me to answer, she is just waiting for something to bring back what we used to be.
"Back then when we first started playing… we were shimmering, do you remember? Can you recall?"
I nod silently not wanting to break the bitter harmony of her words.
"What happened to us then?"
"I don't know Nay" I tell her sincerely.
"Sometimes I stay awake at night and wonder if we could ever go back, don't you ever wish we could?"
"Do you think Nate does?"
I smile sadly "I think he wishes that more than you or me."
"Then why we can't if we all wished for it?"
"Because wishes are ideas not realities."
"They are also silent pleas" she refutes my answer.
"Or lost hopes…"
"If I had one wish in the whole world it would be to get something of that long time happiness back"
"Yeah, anything, even if it's just a minimum reminder of the past"
I make my way towards the opposite side of the room and pick up an acoustic guitar. I began humming along the chords slowly, caressing the strings with immerse care and began playing the song time has forgotten as if it was the first time.
She opens her mouths in amazement as unfailing tears began to form in her eyes.
I keep playing even though every note snaps my heart in two, I keep going even though each scratch makes my fingers bleed and my crooked smile falter I give her away a bit of the little human affection I have left in me. "Wish granted"
She keeps crying with a mesmerizing smile adorning her face.
I walk outside the bathroom after long agonizing minutes of inner quarrels and shattered memories. I don't know if it was my father's figure or the old Sid that stopped me from consuming pot tonight, but I didn't and I don't think I would. I look in the mirror examining my image realizing how much I have changed, not longer easy on the eyes, not longer the innocent youthful child. I become aware of all the people I had left down in the past years, my parents, Marcus, Natalie, even Sid. A killer urge to harm myself starts to grow inside of me and I start kicking the mirror with my fists, after several attempts I give up, it doesn't break, it never would- that image I hate fondly would always be plastered in front of me.
Desperate and defeated I abandon the bathroom and walk towards the backstage to get ready for the performance. An inch away from our door I freeze unexpectedly. Not able to move, not able to breathe I stay outside the door listening to that song that was once upon a time our anthem to happiness. The conjured tune to our bliss. The song none of us dares to play anymore, dreads to hear one more time, needing desperately to recognize in every other song. I kneel against the door for five minutes wiping away tears from my cheek. Once over I open the door silently and for the first time in years feel an inexorable internal peace.
"We should get ready" I inform the two people I love the most.
They glance at me with crystal blurring tears behind their eyes. "Yeah, let's get moving then" Sid says hiding his tears behind his sleeve.
"My God look at this place, man it's awesome, and look at those amps man, they're awesome! And is that a Fender Bass? Man it's so-"
"Awesome" I finish for him dryly.
He nods "Hey bro thanks a lot for showing me around!" Liam pats my shoulder with brotherly affection. "No problem"
"Is just I mean… wow I have love Social Casualties ever since they first start playing openly two years ago and now I'm going to meet them I'm so so exited!"
"I can tell" I say unenthusiastically. I don't mean to be rude with Liam or anything is just that after hearing someone praising us so much gets kind of… annoying after a bit. Besides watching that Rooney guy holding Grace protectively didn't put me in the best of moods… and to see how she smiled when he muttered something in her ear… to see that pretty smile tugging to her rosy lips just made my heart yearn a bit. It was that smile she barely uses now, the same one she displayed for me when I kissed her a year ago… I swallow and a bitter taste enrolls my mouth, that smile, don't belongs to me anymore.
I have stop listening to Liam's blabbing long ago when I enter the white door that has a piece of paper displaying 'Social Casualties' plastered to it.
Sid, Natalie and Nate are already moving and trying their instruments silently. I can't help but feel an aura of trust and sorrow circling the room.
"Hmm guys…" I whisper afraid to break away the peaceful scene.
"About damn time you show up!" Sid says rudely. "Who's the kids friend? Does no one tell you can't bring your friends here?"
At this point Liams jumps exited "Oh My God! Social Casualties I love your music since the first song! I'm Liam your biggest fan on the whole world"
Nate looks impressed and Natalie smiles a bit "Hi then Liam, we are very honored to hear that."
"I'm going to pee my pants" he announces.
Sid cocks his eyebrows "We are working can't you see it?"
Liam keeps smiling "May I help?"
"Don't be an asshole Sid." Nate warns "Liam we are very glad you like our music so much, and we would be pleased if you ever joined us in the after party, but right now we are kind of busy so if could you please wait for us outside until the gig is over we would be forever grateful."
As Nate tells him all of this I become aware that he is not stoned and smile to myself feeling kind of proud for him, even if it just for tonight. In the meantime Liam is hugging everyone inside of the room, Nate and Natalie are hugging him back but Sid scoots away running around the room, with Liam running after him. After some seconds Liam gives up his chase and mutters "A pity… but one day I'll get to hug him". Then he waves good-bye and disappears from our view.
After wandering around the place for half an hour I spot Grace and… "Rooney?"
He stands up from the table automatically displaying a charming smile "Emily? Come here it's been ages!"
I hug him strongly and chortle as he ruffles my hair playfully, "How have you been?"
"I've been great what about you?"
"I'm about to enter Uni" he informs me.
"Let me guess, Marketing?"
He laughs "Sure"
"You'll do great, so are you dating now?"
Grace flushes and Rooney answers honestly "I think we are" then he lands his lips on Grace's cheek.
"Good" I tell them.
Suddenly Rachel, Allison and Kyle appeared in front of us, panic written across their faces with Liam running behind them.
"Is everything okay?" Grace asks concerned.
"Liam is trying to-" I pant tiredly until I feel some arms around my shoulders cutting away the breath from my lungs.
Then he proceeds to hug Kyle.
"I met them, I met them!" He claps contently as he does some goofy dance around the table. "I met them!" and starts hugging everyone seating in the table. When she reaches Emily she blushes a deep shade of crimson red and Kyle blasts out laughing.
"Love is in the air" he sings and Emily just scowls at him.
"What the hell happened?" I ask quizzically as Liam hugs me.
"Liam went nuts" Kyle adds.
"I dunno… we were just walking around the bar and suddenly I see him running towards full speed to us and before I knew it he jumped us causing us to stumble to the ground"
"I met them!" Liam continues pippin in.
"Who?" Rooney says all lost.
"Who? Social Casualties that's who!"
I turn to glance at his t-shirt, and burst out laughing "That's the hell of a good shirt did you made it?"
He bows courtly "With my very own hands"
"It's really creative" I tell him sincerely.
"Yeah you should start producing and then sell them at gigs" Emily advices.
"Do you think so? Wow I'm glad someone appreciates my talents at last"
"yourwelcome" Emily slurs embarrassed.
Suddenly the lights go off and Natalie's voice fills the whole place "Hello my darlings, are you ready for Social Casualties?"
"Yeaaaaaah!" every single soul in the crowd cheers loudly.
"Let's begin then"
The dim light illuminates the stage revealing an inexorable scene before my eyes. There he is, playing the drums, he looks so oblivious to the world around him. He looks so lost, he looks so youthful. As he plays I forget everything that had passed between us these past days, and once again he is the Marcus I had known all these years. And he still belongs to me…
Everyone around me claps and sings along and display encouraging words towards the band. I had to admit, they are pretty good, I can understand why Liam likes them that much. They sound like Death Cab For Cutie mixed with the angst of Something Corporate combined with the rocky tune of Incubus. Sid has an amazing voice and Natalie too. Plus the energy Nate gives on stage is impressive. They have been playing for around fifty minutes, playing many covers between them Fake Plastic Trees from Radiohead and currently playing the acoustic version of Yellow, once the song is over something tells me the performance is as well. My suspicions are confirmed when Natalie yells "Well my loves, this has come to an end but it was a pleasure playing for you tonight"
Once we're done with Yellow I know the show is over. "Thank you all for coming" Natalie flashes a smile to the crowd "But we gotta go now" The mope of complains bursts out "Sorry guys but until the next gig my loves" she blows a kiss towards the audience. Everyone claps excitedly around me, the dim lights remind me of the past and I blink my eyes to wash the image away. Nate puts his bass carefully on the floor. He stands up and abandons the stage bowing and smiling, like he had not a worry in the world, like he wasn't a junkie. Like if he is just going backstage to rest. Natalie leaves quietly smiling adoringly at her boyfriend. Kid throws the drum sticks in the air and I stay on the stage. Standing and visualizing every face. Trying to electrify my body with all the energy contended in the small room. Natalie calls for me but I grab onto my guitar strongly.
"Tonight I'm going to sing one last song" I break out just as Nate grabs my arm hiding behind the shadows. Squishing it lightly. A squish that suggests I'm in no condition to sing an extra song. A warning I blow away.
"Tonight the song is new, the notes are remasterized, the version stronger" is like I can't keep myself from telling lies, the song is not new nor better, just more intense because I can feel it deep within my bones. The crowd bursts with ovations. "You rock Sid!" someone screams out of nowhere and I frown, what do the fuckers know about me anyway? They don't know me, I don't know me. "So listen closely because tonight will be the first and the last time I sing this".
Nate releases my arm as he realizes I'm not coming down until I get this over with. Until I scream out my life to strangers. Until I sing my one song glory.
I start to play the first chords of my guitar slowly and quietly. Then I scratch harder as I begin to sing with raspy voice.
"I'm writing one great song before I..." I stop and the crowd looks puzzled so does the band. "Come on!" they all demand.
"This is my song you mother fuckers and I will sing it as slowly as I want to"
Then everyone goes silent. I let the perfect harmony of silence take power over me, I sew my eyes shut and pretend that I'm alone. I open my eyes instantly remembering that no matter how many people are in the room. I'm still alone.
"One song Glory
Before I go
One song to leave behind
Find one song
One last refrain
From the pretty boy front man
Who wasted opportunity"
I make a pause wishing for only that part of the song to stay true.
It doesn't work.
He had the world at his feet
In the eyes of a young girl a young girl
Find glory beyond the cheap colored lights
One song before the sun sets
Glory - on another empty life
Time flies - time dies"
"Glory - One blaze of glory
One blaze of glory – glory"
My voice vibrates louder and louder reminding me how powerful I was back then.
And then slower and slower, fainting and weakening like me.
In a song that rings true
Truth like a blazing fire
An eternal flame Find
A song about love
From the soul of a young man
A young man"
A stupid young man.
I keep chanting as I reach the last stanza, breathing deeply knowing it has to be done. It has to be over. Maybe if I sing the last verse this pain could be over as well.
"Find the one song
Before the virus takes hold
Like a sunset
To redeem this empty life
Time flies and then - no need to endure anymore
A/N: Geez seems this is going to be a long note. Okay first of all I change the rating to 'M' for obvious reasons, some themes treated in here like drugs, lacerations and other innuendos. This chapter came out a whole lot more depressive than I intended to and way much larger as well. But I like it even if it makes me want to cry with so much drama haha. Please tell me what you think so I can keep improving.
Second thing; I don't know if I should change the category to Young Adult or General instead of Romance, what do you think? I'm also thinking on changing the title, any suggestions?
Third thing: I posted pictures of some of the characters in my profile in case you want to check them out. I post Marcus and Sid very recently and although some of the pictures are not exactly with the color of the eyes of a character or the exact same hair, I think they suit them. So if you check them out please tell me what you think.
Fourth thing: I'm incredibly sorry for being such a crappy updater and always taking so long, you certainly don't deserve this but I was going through some kind of weird and annoying writer's block and I wrote like two other versions of this chapter before it turned out fine so I'm really sorry.
Fifth thing: I really appreciate you guys, everyone that reads this story, every review left, every encouraging word means the world to me thanks so much! This story will be nowhere if it wasn't for all the amazing reviews you leave! Thanks tons.
Now to personal notes:
Nothing So Mundane: Tri bien tri bien with your reviews meci meci ?- Mihaila will be so proud of me do you think not? So aww you are growing so fast lil sarcastic one. You are growing just like this story. Well guess what; Now you can vote for Pedro or whoever you like… and we can go to jail together, that's rad. Anyway I think this thank you note/letter is growing way too long so I'll cut it now. Thanks to you because you are a big big big reason (one of the main) to keep this story growing. For your beautiful reviews and advices I love you and this goes entirely to you.
P.S. I think I misspelled Mihaela hahaha I am a naca… I don't know it it's supposed to be; Mihaela, Mihaila (hahaha okay I know this is not it) or Michaela blahh well you can tell me in your review French painter.
P.S.2 how do you say naca in English? (sorri for de spelin misteiks ai got mai educashion in inglich from Betty markez… And a wier irelanish col dany… vistes?)
Btw I'm entirely happy to be seating next to you again. I missed you a whole lot last semester.
Tweetzthebizarre: You are never late at reviewing, swear you're just in time! Thanks so much for reading this. I'm glad you like it so far. I also like your stories. Thanks again.
PamWTKA: hi baby this chapter goes entirely to you because you always encouraged me to keep on writing but never pressuring me and you see the evolution of this chapter since the beginning (four months ago jaja) and you are not stupid at all just busy. We all are. I love you so very much and I really appreciate your kind comments and beautiful words. I made you forget brendon? Man I'm good hahaha… (not as good as Adam Lazzara though). Ay we have to go together to a SoCo show, imagine I can throw myself at Rubber McMahon while you make out with Brendon in backstage haha… yeah I drift away to Dream Land. Well Thank you I'm glad you love chapter eight and that you laughed with the whole pumpkin pie incident. You know I love you. and guess what; Kyle reminds me sometimes of myself. Scary business, really.
silentsilhouettes: Cool nick! I love it :D, sounds poetical hehe. Oww thanks so much for the kind words. I swear I'll keep updating. Thanks again!
Shanasheart: Aw you are a sweetie. I love your review. When I read it I was really happy, giggly, and all, I almost take out my pom-poms (I'm sure if I had some I would have taken them out haha but I don't have pom-poms I just have pens and papers). I'm glad you love the story as much as I love your review. Thanks really. I don't know what else to say just another humble thank you. "Thank you"
Pig/cerdo/Claudia/Hawaiian-Poshi/io/zorro: however you want to call yourself this time I love you & I keep thinking that that mail (juanbuenoessexy(arroba no lo puedo poner no lo encuentro is the hottest mail in the wholeeee web. It sounds more like a hot line actually. Can I mail the user? Yum. Haha yeah well thank you I love you.
Kaula.- Your review motivated me, it really did and it was because of it I finished this today. Thank you