Regret Not A Thing
one-shot – het – romance
I. When You Where Young
A boy has just transferred here, Maria whispers in her ear. She has to lean over her desk do so, her hand cupped over Emily's ear in a conspirator manner.
Emily's eyes never leave the algebraic problem on the board, she just nods and wonders how, exactly, is this news.
I here that he is cute, Abigail adds in, grinning impishly.
Oh, that's how.
Emily isn't surprised when the boy turns out to be like those freaky kids in the corner. He has a pieced lip and eyebrow—clearly against school rules but since when had the been enforcing those rules?—and brooding, my-life-is-so-so-hard eyes. He wears those tight black shirts with bands she's never heard of all over them; his pants decorated with pins and buttons and so many chains she's surprised he isn't wrapped up like a mummy.
This "weird kid"—as Isabella and Courtney K. (or was it Brittany S.?) call him—sticks close to the corners and reads books by author's she thinks are depressive. He's weird and uncouth and her friends decide that he isn't worth the trouble of getting to know.
Emily thinks he is.
He looks sad and lonely as she watches him from the corner of her eyes during gym, only half-paying attention to the gossip Brittany S. had share.
Maria looks at her from across the gymnasium, she looks at her like she knows that she's been watching this boy for far too long. It's like she can see right through her.
So Emily makes it a mission not to look—or think about—him for the rest of the day.
Maria and Isabella and Brittany S. and V. and Amanda decide that they don't like this new boy after an incident with Amanda.
("Hello! My name's Amanda and you are—"
He gets up and moves to the opposite end of the gym.
It's an unwritten rule that if you are friends with them, or mere acquaintances, you have to agree with them full heatedly.
She's watching him from the corner of her eye as her friends coo at Tommy Riley and his friends doing lay-ups, watching their muscles flex beneath their cotton T's and nearly swooning as he casually smiles in their direction.
"Oh. My. God. Heissohot!" Brittany V. let out a long, overly dramatic sigh and fanned herself for effect.
Emily cringed, visibly, as she spoke; her thick Staten Island accent was like nails on a chalkboard anytime the other girl opened her mouth to speak.
"I know, I think he is too!" Brittany S. nodded in agreement, her eyes still firmly locked-on to Tommy and his "cuter" friends.
And it's the fifth time that she's been looking—glancing, observing, daydreaming, stalking—at him that day. It's bordering on obsession.
Maria looks at her and her stomach flutters like butterflies, because she knows that Maria knows and there is no way that she couldn't at this point, it's obvious.
Emily gulps down the dread racing through her, "I'm going to sit down for a bit, I'm not feeling good."
"Right, right," Brittany V. says casually, shooing her away, never leaving Tommy's half-court basket.
Maria glares at Brittany V., casting her gaze quickly back to Emily, "Are you okay? I'll walk you to the nurse, if you'd like..."
"Naw, it's alright. I'm just a little...dizzy, is all."
Maria doesn't look half-convinced, "Alright...If you say so."
Emily smiles, unsure if she really, truly, means it.
She sits next to him on the bleachers, his nose stuck in a book and probably only half-aware of her presence.
"…So, what is it there that you are reading?"
"Edgar Allen Poe."
She blinks, it's a name that she is familiar with. "You mean that guy that wrote Annabelle Lee?" For the life of her, and something she would never admit to anyone but her stuffed teddy, Bob, she thought that poem was the saddest thing next to a frozen Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic.
"…Yeah, you've read him?"
"My brother owns the Complete Tales & Poems of Edgar Allen Poe, I read it sometimes." Which wasn't an untrue…exactly. Her brother did own a copy but after reading one of his poems, she swore off him. Just thinking about it made her heart ache. "My personal favorite is The Tell-Tale of Heart, I think it's positively creepy."
It did help that every October, until Halloween, her family sat around and read scary poetry, stories or told folk-tales—they had a pension for Poe, though, since he pretty much invented the art and her brother thought he was positively wicked.
They talked for a grand total of three minutes—she talking most of the time and giving exaggerated gestures ("You so can't call that a love poem—it's a freaking tragedy!") while he sat there and listened for the most part ("That's dumb.")—and she felt that they—or, um, she did—made some progress.
His name was Mathew; she learned that he liked heavy metal and horror stories and would get along perfectly with her older brother and probably despise her younger brother. All in all, he was the antithesis to how Brittany V. described him ("…He's an uncaring monster!").
…And she realized that he had a very nice smile.
After school, she waits for him outside the Main Entrance before she's by his side.
"So how was your day?"
"…Good." He shuffles from on foot from the next and looks slightly nervous, but she writes that off. "Yours?"
"Fine and dandy. Today, in art, we made paper machete—"
"I know, I was in there."
"Hush, you, I'm speaking."
Which she does, quite elegantly, like it is an art form and he watches her for a long moment, not saying a word.
"And so I told Veronica, Biiiiitch, please and then she was like—"
"Why are you being nice to me?"
She stops for a second, blinking owlishly into the distance, not really sure how to answer that.
"Well it's just, um, you just looked so lonely and—" biting her lip for a moment, she thought long and hard before saying it, and blushing horribly (for no reason, at all) as she did, "—no one should ever be lonely."
She figures this is the moment that he starts to think of her as a friend and not as some-crazy-girl-who-might-or-might-not-have-rabies, she hopes.
That is, until her friends—Maria, Stacy and Manicure-Mandy—who had been so diligent in ignoring her (except for Maria, but asking what the homework doesn't count, right?) were waiting at the corner. Their arms crossed over their chests and standing before her like some human wall, one at the other's side.
She smiled pleasantly to them, taking in their similar looks of shock as they slowly registered his presence.
Mandy, after a quick glance to see that neither of the other girls' where paying any mind to her, smiled back.
Emily sighed, mentally relieved that there was at least one person who wasn't entirely ignoring her existence.
The air around them is hostile and as he walked past them like they, too, didn't exist, she followed behind him with her head bowed.
She swore to herself that she wouldn't regret being his friend.
The next day, nobody dared to sit with her at lunch.
Her friends sat far off at the opposite side of the cafeteria, eating their lunch and chirping happily without the awkwardness of being alone or abandoned like she felt as she nibbled on her chips and ham-and-cheese sandwich.
Then, he showed up in the last ten minutes of lunch—something about getting into a fight with another kid during class and being reprimanded, he had run by her quickly before lunch started—when she was about to dump the rest of her not even half-eaten lunch into the garbage.
"Mind if I…?" A question hangs for only a moment before she nods enthusiastically to him, her mouth full of chips and making her cheeks puff. He took the seat across from her and ate in silence. She watched.
"Why do you—" He starts, unable to take a bite of his tuna fish.
"Because I can, silly." She takes another bite from her ham-and-cheese, suddenly struck by the urge to eat.
She tells herself that her friend's weren't whispering behind their hands as she walked by them in the halls.
That Tommy Riley wasn't making nasty comments about her to the other boys. That he hadn't been the one to gang up on Mathew after school—while she was having the teacher run by the Pythagorean theorem just one more time—to tell him to, politely, "fuck off" with a black-eye and a smile.
That no one was throwing paper balls at her as she sat down in English because Brittany V. was paying back at anyone who even shared the same space as him.
Emily meets Maria's eyes and feels an over whelming sense of betrayal stab at her, repeatedly, as the days wear on.
Maria leaves her a note telling her how sorry she is, how she wants to still be friends.
And Emily accepts because she's known Maria forever and...
She's missed her.
School's out for the week and she has to look up his phone number in the Yellow Pages because she doesn't have the guts to ask him for his number directly.
It is Saturday and she finally gets the courage to call him late into the night.
"H-hello, this is—"
"Is Mathew there?"
"…This is Mathew."
"Oh. Hi! It's Emily. You know you sound so different on the phone—"
"You're on speaker."
She can hear him snort in the distance, it's muffled and not very noticable but—
Her heart flutters anyway.
It becomes a routine to call him late at night.
She is sure that his mother thinks she is mad by the first time she called—for her son's safety, supposedly, she hung up on her (but it could've just been the fact that she called at six in the morning)—his house and his mother picked up. It wasn't pretty at all.
(His mother is getting used to it; she sleeps through the call now. She's starting to accept that her son's only friend is a complete loon, but she is happy for him.)
Their calls are usually about nothing. She'll tell him that her toes are cold and that her math homework—damn him for being in Regular courses!—is trying to eat her brain in a most diabolical fasion whil he, trying to cordinate the proper amount of reaction time with proper attention to her (and Sora who, nine-times-out-of-ten, has already—or is on his way to—dead), slipping in a comment or two ("Brain? What brain?").
She tells him everything because, as she said, "You're like one of my girl-friends! I can tell you just about anything…except, maybe, you know, certain girly stuff…"
Then he hung up.
II. Take My Breath Away
She calls him fifteen minutes before her birthday, greeting him with, "Luke, I am your father and I demand you tell me what my present is now before I go crouching tiger on your ass!"
"…I'm going to hang up on you now. Sora's almost dead as it is and you just killed Donald, thank you. You are holding me back, love."
"—Wait! I gotta tell you something first!"
"Make it quick."
It's the day before she turns fourteen and she calls him up at eleven-fifteen at night and tells him she loves him.
And she means it.
He tells her to call him back when she stops joking around and goes back to defeating Sephiroth.
She tells him she loves him (and she means it).
And he tells her: "Happy birthday, Emily."
He can't get himself to say it.
After years of knowing her, years of it just being them against the world, he still can't get himself to say.
And as she comes home with her first boyfriend--and the next one and the next one--he thinks she's moved on.
(Deep down, she just wants him to say it.)
IV. Love Song (Pornography)
She walks into his apartment fifteen days after deciding to drop-out of college, with only a pair of faded jeans and a tight, too tight, black T-shirt—probably belonging to that skinny ex-boyfriend of hers—that makes her chest look like it's on the verge of spilling out the front.
…Not that he's noticing.
She's carrying her laundry basket (that she named Fred) and her back-pack slung over her shoulder.
He takes the laundry basket out of her hands ("Aww, you are so gentlemanly all of a sudden! It's so cute.") and ignores the Calculus book that he really should be studying from but isn't, completely focused on her.
She settled onto his Lazy Boy and grabbed his phone from the charger on the coffee table before her, telling him her woeful tale.
"Phil—" her current ex-boyfriend, "—kicked me out the other day; don't ask." Not like he was planning to but okay, he can take a hint. "Oh, General Chow's Chicken Place! On speed-dial! I love you!"
She laughs nervously as he lectures her, "You need to gain more weight; you're practically like a stick!"
Faintly, he can hear a faint, "Yes, mom."
"…When was the last time you ate a proper meal, anyway?"
It was May.
Upon realization, he turns to her, aghast, "That's too long! How do you survive! I'm—"
He threw a random pillow at her head, "—surprised with all the fast-food you eat it hasn't gotten to you thighs and made you fat and ugly—"
His phone whizzed by his ear and met the wall. (Miraculously, it didn't break.)
"—I'm going to make you a proper meal and don't even think of running off."
She stuck her tongue out at him. Some things never change.
Clearly, calculus wanted to kill him dead in some diabolical scheme to make his brain into putty.
Glaring woefully at the pages, he wished that they would just give in and give him the damn answers already.
…But, clearly, their will was much, much stronger.
"Glaring at it won't help you get any smarter." She nibbled on a Pixie Stick beside him, lounging on the couch with her feet propped up on his coffee table.
He glared at her.
"Glaring at me won't take my shirt off. You have to do that yourself."
He blushes that lovely shade of pink—no, blue; the shock caused him to swallow his eraser—that she loves so dearly.
Unable to resist, she pecked him on the cheek.
There are three days before finals and it is official, she is going to be the death of him.
She hears that he got perfect marks in all his subjects.
("And you doubted me."
"Who, me? Never.")
"I liked Rob," she said pointedly, brandishing her spoon high in the air. "He seemed…nice."
"Like a brain-dead hippie." Maria chimed in from the opposite end of the table.
Mathew sulked in his seat adjacent to her.
"I hope you mean nice as in, he won't steal money from your purse in order to feed a drug habit, I hope." He was clearly mocking her (because of all the mistakes she could make, the men she dated where absolute pigs), "I didn't like him."
(She could hear Maria mutter under her breath, "Score!")
"Why not?! He was sweet and, um, not like Mike—he was scary nice, kind of like you—" Mathew's glare, clearly pointed at her, probably would have killed her if she wasn't so used to it. "—I liked him."
"No, we all know how this will end: you deserve someone better, Em."
Emily blew her bangs out of her eyes in exasperation, "Well, then, who exactly do you think is ideal for me? You?"
Maria took a long, scoop from the Ben & Jerry's container settled on the middle of the table. "Eww, I don't need that mental image right now, Em. Are you high?"
Maria and Emily snorted, "You think she is high, Matt?" they said in unison.
"No! I think that—" He really couldn't place the words.
So, he kissed her.
And she kissed him—which, honestly, was a surprise in of itself—because it was what she kind-of-sorta-dreamed about.
"Get a room you two."
V. End Song
Three weeks into the eighth-month, he feels the baby kick beneath his finger-tips.
They are happy.
3/27/2007, 5:39 PM - 11/5/2007, 6:58 (- 10:02) PM
Author's Note: Looking it over, upon editing it for three hours straight, I noticed that both their names are only mentioned so-and-so time (originally, it was only once!). Now, I don't know what to think of this monster. There will, possibly, be rewrites on-and-off as I type. I might add in more details to appeances and the like but, right now, I'm too tired to actually care.
I've finished it. I've finally finished it! ...And it makes me feel all tingly inside. I hate it. XD – Noelle
- Each Section is titled after a song except the last. In numerical order: I, The Killer's "When You Where Young" (Sam's Town); II, Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" (80's Song Collection); III, Eric Clapton's "Layla" (Unknonw Album); IV, The Cure's "Love Song" (Disintergration) and "Pornography" (Pornography), respectively.
- Each Section (begingin with "When You Where Young" and ending with "End Song") each represent a different space in time. The first one, I roughly place around Middle School. The ending, I say that they are around twenty-four or so.
- At the moment, none. (11/5/2007, 2:02 PM)
- Typos/style problems fixed! (11/6/2007, 5:59 PM)