4. This Ain't Havana, It's the Interlude

It is a truth that is somewhat known that no matter how salty life gets its still filled with glorious, wonderful, and unexpected moments. Like when a baby is born, a dollar is found on the floor, or you find out that the guy that is trying to flirt with your baby doll already has a girl to la-la-love.

After Syd said cheers, suppressed the urge to cry or even dance at his good fortune. He told the girl (Keith's chick) that he had gone out and would be back later. He left out the part that Keith was traveling with his own girlfriend because he didn't want her throw him over the bar and into Tony.

A moment of silence for all dead messengers would be needed if he did.

So now he, karma, the cosmos, and anything else that determined his path in the super coolness that his life had become were cool like the song Brothers' Forever—aligned even.

His latest mission came in the form of informing his girlfriend his about the new development. He didn't know whether he should tell her himself or if it was pointless bringing the whole thing up since nothing was going on between her and Keith. But he knew if he did, then he would be seen as one of those boys who are two spanking motions and a little hip thrust from putting a chain on their girlfriends, the type with the concrete strong arm around her shoulders whenever another boy came into the perimeter.

The thought flickered across his eyelids as he got closer to his inner kid. With his butt in the air, he practiced yoga while Interpol played in the background. He refrained from playing the Barrett house trinity of Ramones, Pink Floyd, or Flaming Lips since he couldn't drift into any higher force when he was too busy dancing everything out.

He had gotten up early for yoga. On days that he did, he flew on a post-Warrior pose high from morning to night. This time he didn't sleep for most of the night because he was wondering if he should tell his lady lust or not.

"It would be better if those lazy bums didn't pass on learning this," he thought aloud.

He had tried getting Omar and Reggie into it so they would all be able to go to a class together (something that was more fun than solo subway train adventures) but during the first day they had upset most of the women by 'helping them' without their permission.

"Dude, must have tried the same thing on his date," he continued, realizing that Reggie had yet to tell him what happened.

That fact alone said that either a) it went really bad and he didn't want to talk about it with anyone or b) it was a funny sort of bad and he would had to force it out of him for the laugh of the century.

Basically it meant the same thing but would one would mean whether he would be able to get the truth out of his friend in ten seconds or not.

He breathed out and started into tree pose but couldn't balance his leg enough. The lady on the television said that it meant something if a person fell over—something about balance not being in some part of their life. He rolled his eyes, pushing back the loose black curls that were keeping him from concentrating. He was getting hot in his plain white tank and blue boxers but didn't want to strip the top. The last time he had done yoga shirtless, he had been so out of it that when a middle aged neighbor came to the door he had answered it like that and she had returned every morning some time after that to see if he would still be shirtless.

Cougars weren't his favorite animal, except when they looked like Demi Moore.

He stuck with the pose, his tongue sticking out of the left side of his mouth. His silver stud peeked out at him, taking away more concentration.

But he got the pose.

He decided that balance wasn't what was wrong with him in that moment. Omar and the others had knocked him over with their view on their wordplay on his relationship with Evangeline. He needed to talk to his baby love about what they were bringing up but in a conversation that didn't contain any kind of blaming towards her.

This problem was theirs to solve together.

The radio was on in some part of the house, words floating down the stairs. 'I say yes when I ought to say no.' He breathed out unevenly. His love of music wanted him to have The Talk with Evangeline as well.

He brought himself back up and curled into child's pose during commercials, letting his thoughts roll away with the lingering pain as the song changed into something wilder played with bird noses and drum beats. Enough introspection, he thought. And more love noise.

-

The dirty mistress.

The title that Evangeline wanted to write in red on her chest once she had returned to Paint Box with Keith and he had been informed that a lady caller came around for him while they were out. Halfway of trying get Evangeline trapped in a closet, Keith had made track marks in the ground in his speed to get away from her. Once he had secured the place Jack Bauer style, he had made his way back to her only to find that she had already left for home with Syd.

Instead of being at her someone's house, Evangeline hid out in her basement, a lust bomb shelter. The scene reminded her of the movie Back to the Future except for the fact that now Syd's house felt two gyrations from a blitz since Seth and Wendy were still Cold War with each other about the M&W words.

Her parents on the other hand were love/touch like Princesongs in a marriage formally known as perfect. She opted to stay inside the basement instead of watching her parents hug each other in what made her feel like she was watching the movie Body Snatchers.

The basement acted like an emotional sanctuary from the weird world.

She rolled around on the couch, not caring at the way her stomach protruded out of her shirt after a few sessions of comfort food eating the day before. She knew the only one who would notice would be Syd and after hearing his dirty remix version of Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) she knew better now than to get his mind on that track with her body.

"Evangeline!"

Jimi's voice as he came down the stairs brought her out of her memories.

She reached her hand over to get the remote. She had been watching a marathon of reality relationship shows on MTV which was sometimes akin to soft core Jerry Springer in the way it ruined lives but funny none the less. But with her brother coming into the room the channel was a no-no. She didn't want to be blamed for corrupting him any further than her someone had already managed to.

"Yours." He dropped the phone in her lap then ran back up the stairs. Evangeline's mouth dropped in shock.

"No, 'hello' or anything, tsk. What is he?" she complained. She picked up the phone and held it to her ear. "Yes?"

"Hello to you too, Evan," Seth's amused voice came on the phone. "Long time, no see at work."

She held onto the phone even though her heart had shot right up to her ears and was rearing to deafen her.

"Oh, Mr. Barrett…dad… how are things?" She shuttered the words out; not knowing which title would allow her to avoid his anger and/or disappointment. There was nothing on the other line for a while, except breathing. She realized that it originated in her mouth since Seth came back to life with a sigh.

"If there is anything wrong then you should tell someone instead of just hiding at home. One day is without an excuse is enough to warrant a phone call," Seth continued, "Now if it's something that I can fix then I'll try to help too, Evan."

Evangeline's voice got all shakily when she tried to respond like sea shells from the beach, bouncing in pocket. Brody use to call moments when she cried during parental-mush scenes in movies, the Parental Figure Effect, since she got the same way when either Seth or Wendy if not both came to cheer her on during events in elementary school when her parents left or were too busy to come.

"I can't work there anymore…" she whispered out. Somehow the teenager inside her had disappeared from the emotional sanctuary and let the girl who was a little chubbier than everyone else in her class out. Evangeline didn't like when that side of her came out but if it was going to get the job done then so be it. "Not because of you or Tony or mom but…"

"Syd? Or maybe Keith?" Seth filled in.

"Both of them." Evangeline pulled herself up from where she had slide down onto the couch. She needed to have a straightened back for this, something that would give her more courage when it came down to it. She couldn't hide behind the past or feeling guilty anymore. "I can't work there and be a good person at the same time." At least someone I can't be someone I can look into the mirror at, she thought.

"You can leave if you want to," Seth said in a voice lighter than she expected. "Just be sure to visit or else Tony is going to think that we fired you and start head butting people again." He laughed. "Now find yourself something to do instead of hiding out. Syd is driving us crazy from wanting you over but not knowing if he should just go there himself and saying random things like 'knowing without wanting to know' It's almost scary."

"I'll come and knock some sense into him as soon as I find something to do," she replied.

"Okay. Don't be a stranger, sweetheart."

The phone clicked off, leaving Evangeline wondering where this something was located.

"I better step into the light first." She picked up the phone and put it in one pocket and tied up her hair.

"Oh, look it's our long lost daughter come back to us." Her mother walked past her with a smile on her face that looked too close to a smirk.

"This is a time when I sent that little prayer to heaven that I have been holding onto for Maple Leaf hockey games," her father returned. He had walked in the kitchen from the living room solely to kiss her mother as she turned the corner upstairs. Evangeline made a face before she turned around, somehow she would never be able to get use to the love-fest.

"Take me away from here."

Jimi came up from behind her, holding her around her waist with a haunted looking expression on his face.

"Take me away," he repeated. She didn't know whether to pour blessed water on him or to just back into her basement. The feeling of coming onto the surface threw back to 28 Days Later, it was eerie without anyone else there, and pictures of women shaving their own heads were the cover girls on magazines.

"We're going out," she called to her parents as she got Jimi away from her waist and holding her hand.

They sent back muffled sounds of agreement that she didn't want to know what muffling them. She looked across the seat to see if Syd was still at home but saw that his driveway didn't have the revived Volvo in it.

"Boyfriends, as reliable as gas princes," she said, not minding that she had uttered the B-word, her indignantly made the situation usages alright.

-

"Are my boyfriends in?" Syd called into the frame of the door after knocking.

Syd smiled wide and opened his arms for an embrace as Reggie opened the door to his condo. Reggie grabbed the other boy and pulled him in by his hoodie. Syd stumbled into the room, falling against the shorter boy as a neighbor went pass and shook her head at the scene.

"Showoffs. At least close the doors!" she said as she walked into her condo.

Reggie pushed a laughing Syd off of him before he closed the door.

"Peter is away at his 'other wife's' place again. You showing off made a heartbroken old woman jealous," he said with a scowl.

Syd bounced to his feet with a cheeky grin.

"Awe, I'll un-break her. She can have me after you, sweets." He ran down the short flight of stairs to avoid Reggie's wrath then pushed Omar's feet out of the way as he sat down on the couch beside him. He took up most of the space with his legs that stretched past the couch table.

"You sit on one side of the room and yet you manage to screw up the rug on the other side of the room," Reggie started in annoyance, kicking at Syd's legs with his foot. "Remind me to jump on your couch next time I come over."

Syd turned to a sleepy Omar who was now lounging on the other side of the couch.

"What's wrong with Tommy-boy?" The other boy seemed less laidback then normal—borderline PMS-y if he really thought about it.

"Girls," Omar replied after yawning. "He already snapped at me about it and we fought. I'm tired from kicking his ass."

"You didn't win, you sucker punched me—"

"Like a sucker," Omar ended with him. He opened his eyes just wide enough for his irritation to come across before he closed them again. "He is your problem now."

"Fine, fine, tell me more after I tell you the news," Syd said as he nudged Omar. "Guess what happened."

"I don't care. Tell Reggie so I can overhear it," he answered lightly.

Reggie nodded, already looking like he was softening up a little.

"You know the guy we saw at the concert? The leader singer trying to make Evan his Iman?" Syd made sure that brought of them nodded in remembrance before he moved on. "I met his girlfriend yesterday."

The fireworks lit produced no explosion.

"It's good news, men. Why aren't you both saying anything…?"

Reggie leaned back, his legs on the countertop and hands behind his head in a relaxed pose before hearing his mom in the background. He opted to remove his legs from her furniture.

"I'm not taking this one, Omar," he said, still relaxed.

Omar breathed out a long sigh.

"I cannot sleep or date, just here giving advice to blockheads," he started, getting up front the chair and stretching. "I get at least one drunken kiss from Evangeline and Reggie when you get a girl, send her my I.O.U."

Dodging his friends' glares, Omar shook his head.

"Syd, you stole her pants and as impressive as that is my friend, it's just the first part of the getting of her attention," he started. "Now that you have her attention you need to be bringing something more to the table than skinny legs. You have to be her boyfriend, a word that I'll tell you on the real man, most of us guys don't understand fully."

He went over to Reggie and then looked back to Syd.

"Example 0.A," he continued. Reggie swung for him but missed as Omar stepped back. He returned to his sit near Syd and shrugged. "You just have to find out what that means to her and where that meaning leaves you."

Omar pointedly ignored Reggie's humming to 'Cater 2 U' for his own sanity.

Syd looked pensive for a moment, the kind of thought that the statue of the thinking man would have if he lived.

"So I ask her?" he asked.

Both Omar and Reggie looked back at each other before rushing to Syd's sides.

"Don't do it! They can't know that we wonder about their needs!" Reggie moaned. Omar slapped him on the head.

"This is why what's-her-face makes her sister say she is out when you call her," Omar snapped.

Reggie looked at him in wronged shock before he went back to the chair, head in arms.

"I'm going to have to deal with that while you're gone but thankfully I can just sleep it off," Reggie said as he lead Syd back to the exit. "Go to the video store and take out every single chick flick that you can find, especially the ones with Julia Roberts. She will teach you everything you need to know."

Syd looked at Omar with his smile in place, wanting to get away from the comically haunted voice that he was dishing out.

"Go man!" he yelled out. "Go!"

Syd went into Space Mermaid after staring at the entrance for more than five minutes once he parked. He didn't have anywhere to run now that he had Evangeline, nothing to stand behind. If something went wrong then the honeymoon would end, there would be no Havana and both of them would have to chose between fight or flight.

Fighting, he thought now. Returning to what he always did when it came to her.

Knowing that the only people who get what they want are the people who chose to fight hard, fight sexy, fight dirty, just fight like they know that it's their one shot and life so they have nothing to lose.

Nothing at all.

"Syd, are you coming in to see me or not?"

Already his fighting spirit was making him hallucinate, hear things that weren't there.

"Syd!"

Fine, he thought as he turned around and saw Evangeline. I'm not hallucinating since most of my hallucinations come with purple fish and a naked Evangeline.


Darlings, I'm home.

I love-heart writing this story and I know that I paused for various reasons but that is a dark period that should never be mentioned again. I have fun now for everyone and their best friend. And of course, more Syd and Evan.

That and another open call for MOVIES, add movies with timeless couples in them (tragic ones most wanted) in comments okay? I need them for the next chapter to come and can only think of two in the pre-exam mind haze.

For all those who watched Atonement, 'Come back to me. Come back.' I miss all the lovely reviews so post an 'add oil' for old time's sake.

-CHIIJOY.