Would you Rather Fold or Fight?
That Friday night, Evan entered her apartment, exhausted from her day at work. She was beginning to wonder why she was still in the internship if she hated it so much. But every time the thought invaded her mind—just quit!—she remembered that if she could make it through the internship, she might eventually get some of her stories published.
Sitting on the couch, she could hear the television roar to life in the apartment next door through the wall, and she realized that Caleb was home. Gritting her teeth, she decided to end her acquaintance with him once and for all, before either of them got any funny ideas into their heads. Good luck, her inner voice said, thinking back to her daydream. Shaking her head to free herself of those thoughts, she stood and made her way to the balcony.
Evan steeled herself, standing in front of Caleb's balcony door, before knocking lightly on the glass. Soon—too soon—Caleb appeared before her, drawing back the shades that covered the view into the apartment. His immediate mischievous smile told her that she hadn't been the only one who had thought about that night at the club since then. He slid the door to the side, leaning against the wall as his eyes roamed unabashedly over her body.
Evan felt a thrill as he appraised her despite herself, but she quickly pulled her sweater closed over her chest and snapped her fingers in front of her face. "My eyes are here, got it? Listen, I don't like you. Now if you stay out of my way, and out of my life, we'll be fine. Clear?"
He grinned lazily as he pushed himself away from the wall, taking slow steps out and around her on the balcony. "Crystal. But why don't you stop fooling yourself and admit that you want me?" he whispered in her ear.
As his hands ran lightly down her arms, she began to close her eyes before she realized whose hands they were. Eyes snapping open, she pushed his hands away roughly before she stepped as close as possible and looked straight up into his eyes. "Only in your dreams," she hissed before turning away and stalking into her apartment, closing and locking the balcony door behind her. Then she did the only thing she could think to do. She dialed the phone.
"Carly? I think it's time for a sleepover. Your place? Cool see you in half an hour."
"Okay, would you rather live your teenage years again, or skip forward thirty years?"
Carly snorted. "Ugh, neither!"
Evan had arrived at Carly's apartment to find that not only had Carly ordered a pizza already and it was there, but she had also scooted all of the furniture in the living room back against the walls to make more floor room. They had quickly kicked off their shoes and laid on their stomachs on the floor, the pizza box between them. After finding nothing to watch on TV, Carly decided that they should play Would You Rather.
"Come on, you have to choose!" Evan squealed, throwing a pillow over the pizza box at Carly's face. She laughed, immensely glad that she had called Carly to hang out. Having fun with Carly always took her mind off of whatever was bothering her, and that's exactly what Caleb and her internship were: bothering problems.
"But I can't choose!" Carly whined. "On one hand, I can go back to when I wasn't pretty yet, or on the other hand, I can go forward to the time when I won't be pretty anymore! I choose to never get old and never go back either!" With that, she took the pillow and covered her head with it, as if to hide from the world.
Evan cracked up, rolling to her side as she laughed. Carly lifted her head and stared at Evan with a mischievous gleam in her eye. "Okay, would you rather…"
Evan sat up and saw Carly's grin. "What?" She narrowed her eyes at her best friend.
"Would you rather," Carly repeated, sitting up and tapping her chin. "What's your biggest fear?"
Evan blushed. "Failure. What are you getting at?"
Carly grinned even wider. "Okay. Would you rather epic fail at life—I mean like, have no job, have no life, live at home with your parents until you die—or have sex with Caleb?"
Evan stopped smiling. "Forget it. I quit." She abruptly stood up and took the empty pizza box in the direction of the kitchen. Soon, she heard the quiet footsteps of Carly following her.
"Evan, you can't just run away from this," Carly argued as she followed behind Evan. "You need to face your problem head on."
Evan whirled to face Carly. "What problem? The only problem I have is that Caleb is an intolerable asshole."
Carly held up her hands in defeat, but Evan knew that this fight was far from over. But if Carly was going to hold off for the moment, she wasn't going to stop her. She was going to hold off the main event as long as possible.
They settled into the living room again, taking glasses with Coke and ice with them. As they settled onto the floor, Evan sipped her Coke as she leaned back against the couch.
"Okay, would you rather stay in your internship forever, or…" Carly paused, laughing maniacally. "Or, become a famous movie star that everyone thinks is the dumbest person ever?"
Evan laughed, careful not to spill the contents of her glass. "Definitely the movie star. At least then if I do something stupid, they would just laugh about it and forget it the next day. Okay, now you. Would you rather go without a shower for a month, or grow up to live with twenty cats in your apartment?"
Carly made a face and put her finger to her chin as if she were thinking very hard. "No shower. Because at least after that, I could get back to normal and get some guys again. If I was the cat lady, I'd always be alone."
Evan set her empty glass on the end table and fell flat on the floor, gasping for breath she was laughing so hard. Carly joined her, laying down with her head on Evan's stomach. "You don't know what you could have right now…" she said quietly, breaking the fun mood.
Evan sat up, pushing Carly's head off of her, and grabbed her dirty glass to take it to the sink. "I don't need a guy, Carly. They're nothing but trouble anyway, and they're dogs. I'm perfectly fine with my career as my lover."
Carly slammed her hand onto the glass end table loudly, capturing Evan's full attention. "Goddammit, Evan! You don't really think you can go on living your life like this, do you?"
Evan shrugged. "Why not? I know better than anybody else what pigs guys can be."
"What about sex?" Carly suggested. "You can't really think you can live your entire life without sex. Besides you deserve better."
"Carly, believe me," Evan sighed. "I'm happy."
Gripping Evan's shoulders tightly, Carly narrowed her eyes. "I don't believe you. I think the only reason you can't find a guy is simply because your standards are too high."
Evan scoffed. "Caleb has way too many faults for me to ever have considered him anyway. For anyone to consider him, hopefully."
Carly smirked slightly. "I didn't say anything about Caleb. You totally like him! You're the one who brought him up."
Evan turned away, breaking Carly's grip on her shoulders, but Carly wasn't finished. "Evan, he's imperfectly perfect. Don't you see that?"
Evan shook her head honestly. "No, Carly. I'll be honest that I find him attractive, but a guy who tries to make out with me on the dance floor when he just met me the previous day is nowhere near perfect."
"Maybe he's been hurt in the past and this is how he copes," Carly suggested. "He has faults. So what? Nobody's perfect!"
Evan felt her cheeks turning red and she stared coldly into Carly's eyes, knowing that she was about to explode. "Nobody's perfect? Okay. So why do you try so hard to be?"
Carly opened her mouth to protest, but Evan barreled through, reverting automatically to her defensive mode. If Carly was going to criticize Evan, Evan was going to give Carly a piece of her mind She never could back down from a fight.
"You're not comfortable without a mini-skirt, a cleavage bearing top, stilettos and a pound of makeup. No one can see the real you through all of that shit. And as for your one-night stands…nobody's perfect, right?" Evan could see the hurt already gathering in Carly's eyes, but once she started she couldn't stop. She wasn't usually one to curse continuously, but she had to get her point across. "Is that why you only ever fuck a guy and then leave him in the dirt? Are your standards too high? Maybe you think that if you ever find someone perfect enough for you, you'll actually play for keeps. Newsflash: if Mr. Perfect ever did come into your life, you'd have no idea what to do with him. You'd fall into your own cruel habits and end up breaking your own heart along with his. So don't lecture me about how nobody's perfect."
Carly bit her lip and stared at the floor, tears gently running down her cheeks. Evan's guilt surfaced almost immediately. She'd never chewed anyone out like that, especially not one of her friends. "I'm sorry, Carly. I didn't mean to—"
"Yeah, you did," Carly said sharply, still avoiding eye contact. "Just leave."
Evan furrowed her brow, but obeyed her orders. Grabbing her purse off of the couch, she opened the door. Pausing before leaving, she called over her shoulder to Carly. "Call me tomorrow. We'll talk like adults. Bye."
On the way home, Evan rethought her words. It wasn't that they weren't true; they were just a little bit more than harsh. She knew that she was right, but she might not have been right in telling Carly exactly what she thought. At least not in those exact words. But, she thought, maybe now she'll see it herself and make a change for the better.
A/N: Sorry it's taken so long. I've had some major writer's block on this story. I've been spending all of my time either adding more to stuff I've written in the past, or coming up with new stuff entirely. Haha. By the way, if you haven't noticed by now, some of the chapter names are from songs, so I thought I'd start letting you know what they were from. Some of them, however, are slightly altered from the original. Chapters 1, 4 and 6 are not from songs.
Ladies' Night and the Feeling's Wrong—"Ladies Night" by Kool and the Gang.
Swear to Shake it Up if You Swear to Listen—"The Only Difference Between Suicide and Martyrdom is Press Coverage" by Panic! at the Disco.
Work Sucks, I Know—"All the Small Things" by blink-182.
Continue to read and review, please! Thanks!