Fool to Think
by: andee lee
It wasn't that bad, until he glanced over at me in horror, grabbed the sheet to his chest, and fled my bed like it had been infested with roaches. Seriously, he was dressed and out of my apartment in less that 26 seconds. Which, if I didn't hate him so much, might have impressed me.
I rolled my eyes and grabbed my cell phone from the pocket of my jeans, which were carelessly strewn next to the bed. I opened a new text and thought for a minute before I punched the numbers. In a hurry? I texted, reading over it once before sending it. I wasn't expecting anything back, so when my screen flashed a few seconds later, I was surprised.
Got somewhere to be, was all it said. I scoffed and tossed my phone back to the floor. Whatever. Last night wasn't supposed to end like this, anyway. It was all supposed to be a joke.
Obviously, we'd taken it too far.
The night before…
Friday nights were usually the one night of the week where I let myself go completely wild, to celebrate the end of another hellish workweek and the two days of freedom my weekend brought. That night, though, was the launch of my fantastic plan to get back at my former best friend.
Cybill Williamson was absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. She was tall and tan, with long, thick blonde hair that reached the middle of her back. She had impeccable fashion sense and had probably never once in her life gone out in public without makeup on. She was kind of a bitch, now that I thought about it, and I was almost glad that she'd committed the ultimate betrayal last weekend when she slept with my boyfriend of two years, Ray. I cried for twenty minutes before I realized that I was better off without a cheating boyfriend and man stealing best friend. Then, the idea popped into my head. The perfect way to get back at Cybill.
I'd considered the obvious choices - you know, arson, aggravated assault, homicide - but had decided that the perfect revenge would be something Cybill would never see coming. I was going to hit her where it hurt - her brother.
Brooks Williamson was Cybill's twin brother, although the only thing they had in common was their looks. He was, of course, absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. He had sandy blonde hair that fell into his eyes at every exact perfect moment and these big, puffy pink lips that practically begged to be nibbled on. His skin was smooth and tan and his smile would make Brad Pitt jealous. He was that gorgeous.
For some odd reason that I'll never quite understand, Brooks had a crush on me. When we were in high school, he'd tried to ask me out 17 times and each time I'd say no, secretly wishing that he could have been related to anyone else. See, when Cybill found out Brooks thought I was cute, she'd made me swear that I would never date him. She was absolutely convinced it would ruin our friendship. Turns out, she really didn't need my help to do that.
So after 17 rejections and no attempt at an 18th, I figured Brooks had taken the hint. And when he'd disappeared after high school to work across the country for his step dad, I thought I'd probably never see him again. Brooks and Cybill were far from close. In fact, Brooks had told me once that he couldn't stand Cybill and thought she was a superficial bitch. At the time, I'd actually been offended for her.
When Brooks showed up six months later with no explanation as to what happened or why he was back so soon, things started to fall back into place. Cybill still hated him and I... well, my heart still pounded then and to this day every time I thought about him standing in the doorway of Cybill's apartment, soaked in rain and carrying only a black leather bag. No matter what I'd made him believe, I was still absolutely smitten with him.
Since he'd been back, he'd made no attempt to ask me out again and actually, I'd only seen him once since his return. I knew asking him for a favor would probably be less than easy. As I dialed his number on Thursday night, my heart was racing as I listened to the rings. It didn't seem like he was going to answer. I sighed and was about to hang up when I heard his voice.
"Alice? Alice Woods? Is that you?"
I cleared my throat and took a breath, trying to calm my nerves. "The one and only. How are you, Brooks?" I was amazed my voice hadn't cracked yet. My palms were sweaty and I felt dizzy.
"I'm okay. It's been a long time," he said quietly.
"I know it has. What are you up to lately?" I asked, praying he wouldn't mention a girlfriend or night job or something that would ruin my plan.
"You know, working. Same old shit, different day." He paused, seeming to be thinking about something. "How's Cybill?"
I scoffed. "She's still the same as she's always been, except now she has one less best friend," I said bitterly, remembering the look on her face when I'd walked in on her and Ray.
He chuckled. "I knew it was only a matter of time before she pissed off the only person who could actually deal with her."
I nodded even though he couldn't see me and cleared my throat again. It was now or never. "Speaking of the Devil Incarnate herself, I need your help." I cringed as I said it, imagining the things he must have been thinking. Why should he help the girl who'd incessantly rejected him?
He was silent for a few moments. "Oh yeah?" He finally asked. "What exactly do you need my help with?"
"Cybill slept with Ray," I said, hoping he'd know who I was talking about.
"Does that surprise you?" He asked nonchalantly.
"Well. Not exactly. Kind of."
"And this has...what, exactly, to do with me?" he asked, and I imagined him running a hand through his hair as he said it, which made me lose my train of thought. I shook my head to snap myself back to reality.
"Actually...I have a plan. To get back at Cybill. But I can't do it alone and..."
He laughed. "I know exactly what you're insinuating, Alice. And I can't believe you'd be so evil."
I smiled. "Sure you can, Brooks. Your sister's rubbed off on me and now I'm just a little too mean for my own good. So, will you do it?" I asked, crossing my fingers and praying he'd say yes.
He was silent for a good minute, and finally muttered the only word I'd been hoping to hear. "Sure."
It was nine o'clock and the plan was already in motion. Brooks was on his way to pick me up from my apartment, and I was actually getting a little nervous. I'd almost thought that he was going to chicken out, so when I heard the knock at my door, my heart jumped to my throat. I opened the door with sweaty palms and stood there, marveling at how much he'd aged since I'd seen him last.
His hair was still the same sandy blonde, messy and unkempt, and his eyes were still the same sparkly ocean blue they'd always been. But he had small wrinkles around his eyes and lips and his skin was slightly weathered. Maybe he'd spent a lot of time in the sun, whatever it was he was doing. It didn't matter though. He was still absolutely perfect, even more so than before. He stood in my doorway, staring at me, no expression on his face. His eyes clouded over and he looked away for a second. "It's nice to see you, Alice," he finally said when his eyes met mine.
I smiled nervously and nodded, opening the door so he could come in. He stood awkwardly at the door, taking me in. "You look beautiful," he said simply, motioning to my sparkly gray top and dark jeans. I'd worn my light brown hair down in loose waves around my face and highlighted my green eyes with some simple eye makeup.
I looked down self-consciously and smiled. "Thanks. So do you."
He chuckled and I felt my cheeks grow hot, but I didn't take my eyes from his. "So, you really think this is going to work?" He asked, stepping towards me.
I nodded. "Cybill would hate the very idea of you standing in my living room right now," I said, smirking. "Imagine what she'll do when we show up at the club together."
He shrugged and watched me as I grabbed my purse and slipped on a pair of silver heels. "Don't be surprised if she doesn't do shit. She probably doesn't exactly care too much about me...or who I'm dating, for that matter."
"I promise you, Brooks, seeing me with you will drive her absolutely bananas. If she thinks we're going out, she'll be pissed, I promise." I nodded and locked the door as we walked out together and made our way to the elevator. "She's been on me since the 9th grade about you. She made me swear to God that I wouldn't ever go out with you, by the way. So I hope He's not too mad at me." I motioned upwards and smiled as Brooks laughed and I reached up and pushed some of his hair from his forehead. He made my heart beat faster than anyone I'd ever met. "I'm sorry about that, by the way," I whispered.
He shrugged. "Hey, at least I got a lesson in rejection before it was too late," he said, his eyes following my hand as I pulled it from his face and set it in my lap. I was keenly aware of his eyes as they traveled over my body, but I was surprised when I noticed him blush and turn his face away from me.
As we approached his car, he slid around me and opened the passenger door, allowing me to get in before slamming it shut and running to the driver's side. I smiled at how polite he was, how he was treating me like his date. Maybe this had been a better idea than I thought.
We drove in silence, but stole glances at each other whenever we thought the other wasn't looking. As we pulled up to the nightclub that I'd visited every Friday with Cybill since graduating college, I felt strangely nervous. Everything was different about the place tonight. I walked to the VIP line and smiled as I handed the bouncer my ID. Brooks followed closely behind, and as I entered the club, I turned to make sure he was still behind me. Offering me a reassuring smile, he pointed to the bar and raised his eyebrows in question. I nodded and steered my way through the mass of people until I made it to the bar. Brooks was beside me a few seconds later, waving down the bartender. He ordered two shots of tequila and my eyes widened as he handed one to me. "Bottoms up," he said, clinking his small glass with mine.
"Don't you think we should at least wait until we see Cybill?" I asked, staring at the clear liquid in the shot gloss.
He shook his head. "No. It's Friday night. Don't be uptight." He winked at me and threw his shot back in one expert gulp, and I followed. I cringed as I sucked feverishly at the lime perched on the side of my glass and he laughed.
"Strong?" He asked, grabbing my arm and leading me to the dance floor. I nodded.
"Wait, wait," I said, when I'd finally gotten my voice back. "We need to see if Cybill's here." I looked around but could only see a mass of heads and bodies.
"Let's dance first," he whispered, pulling my body to his and grinding against me to the beat. I shrugged and decided to go along with it for a minute, at least until the crowd around the bar died down. I felt the tequila raising my body temperature and I glanced up at Brooks.
"Another drink?" I asked, suddenly feeling thirsty as I looked into his eyes. He nodded and disappeared, leaving me to fend for myself amongst the crowd of people. I glanced around and finally saw Cybill, hand in hand with Ray, walking towards the bar. She smirked as she approached me.
"Back on your game so soon, Alice?" She asked, her eyes traveling over my outfit. "I thought you'd be heartbroken." She motioned to Ray, who was standing next to her, looking at his feet. I shook my head.
"You know, I was for about two seconds. Then I realized that it was probably the best thing that could have ever happened to me," I said, smiling sweetly at Ray and then turning to look at Cybill. "I couldn't be happier."
She rolled her eyes and looked at me doubtfully. "Oh yeah?"
I nodded and glanced over my shoulder to find Brooks, who was standing with his back to us at the bar. I watched him for a few seconds as he handed a bill to the bartender and turned back, his eyes catching mine.
I smiled instinctively, raising my hand to wave him over. His smiled back, but when his eyes shifted to Cybill, his face darkened immediately. I heard Cybill gasp and gave myself an imaginary pat on the back. She was surprised, all right.
Brooks walked up behind me and slinked his arm around my waist, pulling me into him and pressing a kiss to the side of my head. "Hey, sis," he said nonchalantly. "How are you?"
She narrowed her eyes at him and glanced down at his hand around my waist. "Is this a joke?" She asked, pointing at me.
Brooks shook his head, hading me a whiskey sour. I gulped it down. "What do you mean? Are you talking about Alice?" Her mouth was gaping wide now, her eyes darting back and forth between her brother and me. "Really sis, you know I've liked Alice since high school," he said, smiling at me. "I guess she finally decided to run her own life instead of living up to all of your expectations."
I had to smile at how perfect Brooks was being. He was exactly what I needed to push all of Cybill's buttons. "Thanks for that, by the way," I said sweetly, smiling at her. "If it weren't for you fucking my boyfriend, I would have never figured out how into Brooks I still was." I smiled up at him in an attempt to look like a fool in love but was completely taken off guard when Brooks kissed me.
His lips pressed against mine and it suddenly felt like the entire club was on fire. His hand ran up the side of my body to cup my face, and he pressed one last gentle kiss to my lips before letting go. My heart raced as I stared at him. "Yeah," he said, panting slightly, never taking his eyes from mine. "Thanks, sis."
My body still tingled from the kiss as Cybill shook her head in disgust. "I know I've done some pretty messed up things to you," she said, glaring at me, "And I know we can hardly consider ourselves friends anymore. But there's no way I'm going to let you do this to yourself. Brooks is an idiot. He's just like my dad. He's useless. He's an alcoholic. He's not shit, Alice." She was glaring at him angrily, her cheeks red.
Brooks shook his head. "I think you have me confused with someone else, Cyb. Maybe yourself."
She opened her mouth to say something but stopped and looked away. She turned to me and glared. "You are a horrible person," she said, teeth clenched.
I laughed in her face. "Cybill, I never knew you were such a hypocrite."
Ray grabbed Cybill's arm and she shook him off angrily. "No. I won't stand here and watch this fucking train wreck. I still care about you, Alice…"
Brooks pulled me back and took my place in front of her. "You don't give a shit about anyone but yourself and you know it. How dare you try and tell Alice what to do, after what you put her through. And you," he said, pointing at Ray. "You are probably the biggest idiot I've ever met. You have no idea what kind of mistake you made letting her go," he said, motioning to me in the background. "For that." He pointed to his sister, who was fuming. "The only reason she gives a shit at all is because she knows I'm a decent guy and she's jealous of Alice. Like she's always been."
Cybill's eyes darted towards mine and she quickly looked away. "Brooks…" she started, clenching her fists at her sides. "You don't have any idea what you're talking about."
Brooks grinned at me and looked back at her. "Oh, but Cybill, I do. You don't think I remember those conversations you used to have with all of your other friends? How much you used to say that you wished you could be more like Alice? I do, sis. And now I just wish I could have been there to tell her this a long time ago. She's been living in your shadow for way too long."
My mouth opened wide as I heard him accuse her of being jealous of me. Never in my 25 years on the planet had I ever thought that Cybill Williamson was jealous of me. But it all made perfect sense. She didn't want me with Brooks because she knew I would be happy – happier than her. "You're pathetic," I said to her, shaking my head. "You have no idea how much shit I've put up with from you." I didn't give her another second to say anything. I turned on my heels, grabbed Brooks by the arm, and pulled him out of the club.
When we got outside, I turned to grin at him. "That was amazing," I said.
He smiled back and nodded. "She's had that coming for a long time." He glanced back to the club and then to me. "That was all true, you know. She's always been jealous of you."
I shook my head. "I don't know why. She has everything," I said, sighing.
Brooks grabbed my hand. "Al, she doesn't have anything but superficial friends and a spray-on tan." He smiled and dropped my hand. "You feel like going somewhere else? I know this pretty chill bar down the road from here."
I nodded, but then paused. "You know, your duties are over. You can bring me home if you want, we did what we came to do."
He shook his head no and placed his hand on the small of my back, leading me to his car. "No. I'm having a good time. Let's go get a couple drinks."
A couple drinks turned into a couple too many and soon we were staggering into my apartment, laughing as we tripped over the threshold and fell into each other's arms. "We're drunk," I said, ruffling his hair. He nodded and stood, wobbling slightly before he offered his hand to me.
I took it and he helped me up, pulling me close to him. "I want to kiss you again," he said abruptly. "I've wanted to ever since I did that first time."
I giggled, half because I was drunk, half because I couldn't believe what he was saying. After all this time Brooks was still interested in me? It seemed too good to be true. "You mean that?" I asked.
He didn't say anything, just grunted and pulled me to him. With our bodies pressed together like that, it felt like the only place in the world I'd ever really want to be again. He put his finger under my chin and tilted my face to his, smiling gently. He looked at my mouth and licked his lips, took a breath and finally pressed his mouth to mine. I moaned in response to his body pressed against mine and he grabbed me tighter, his hand moving to tangle itself in my long hair. We stood there for a long time until I felt him lift me in his arms and carry me to the bedroom. He pushed open the door with his foot and sort of threw me on the bed. He laughed.
"Sorry, that's the tequila," he said, falling down on top of me perfectly, his hands on either side of my head.
I nodded. "'S'ok," I slurred, leaning up to kiss him. Our mouths met again and it was like we melted into each other. I'd never been kissed like that before, so passionately and with so much feeling.
He groaned against me and as he reached over and turned the lamp off on the nightstand, whispered "I've been dreaming about this day for a long time."
I smiled against his lips. "Me too," I said.
It had been three hours since Brooks had left, and there was no sign he was coming back. I was pissed. Could he really be as cold and insensitive as Cybill?
I finally got out of bed around 2:30 that afternoon and took a shower. I was in the process of eating a melted chocolate bar with my bare hands when I heard the doorbell ring. I rolled my eyes and washed the goo off of my hands, then went to answer the door.
I was shocked to see Brooks standing there, a brown paper bag in his hand.
"What do you want?" I asked, eyeing him.
He looked at me, confused, then looked down and sighed. "Can I come in?" He asked, holding up the bag. "I brought Chinese."
My stomach growled in spite of myself and I sighed. The chocolate wasn't cutting it. "Whatever. Only because I'm starving."
He followed me in, set the bag on the coffee table, and turned to look at me. "I'm sorry for bolting this morning, Alice," he said quietly, sitting down on the couch. "I…"
"It's fine, whatever. We all make mistakes, Brooks, it's no big deal. We were both drinking and… you know, just forget it." I looked down at the floor and tried to hide my embarrassment. I'd never had anyone run away from me as fast as he did this morning. I must have been pretty revolting in the morning.
"I only left because…"
I held up my hand to cut him off. "Don't," I said, shaking my head. "It doesn't matter. You did what you had to do and I'm not mad at you. We'll chalk it up to a one-night stand and that'll be it. Maybe we can still be friends but it might be a little awkward. Or maybe…"
He cut me off by placing his fingers over my lips. "Alice, I'm in love with you," he blurted, eyes wide as he realized what he said.
I stared at him. "What?"
He didn't say anything this time. He ran a hand through his hair and turned to go.
"Where the hell are you going now?" I asked him angrily. "You can't just blurt out that you're in love with me and then turn around and run away. Is that how you do this kind of stuff? Just do it and then run away?"
He looked down at the ground. "Alice," he began, and I could tell his was trying to steady his voice because he paused and took a deep breath. "The only reason I left this morning was because I was absolutely horrified at what I did."
"You were horrified that you slept with me? It keeps getting better and better." I said.
He nodded. "Yeah. But…"
I didn't want to hear any more. "Brooks, I don't need an explanation. It's fine. Why don't you just take this food and go," I said, shoving the bag into his hands. "I'm not hungry anymore."
"Listen to me," he said, dropping the bag and grabbing my shoulders. "I was upset because…" he stopped and looked at me, and he looked incredibly nervous. "Because I…I wanted it to be something…I wanted it to be special," he finally said, his eyes avoiding mine. "Because I'd thought about it for so long…I'd thought about being with you for so long…Alice, I never let you go. Never, not even after you turned me down all those times. And I hold you up here, on this fucking pedestal," he said, motioning with his hands. "Like I know I don't deserve you. And I especially don't deserve you now, after I took advantage of you and then hurt you…"
I looked at him and tilted my head to the side, confused. His eyes met mine and I had to smile at how nervous he was. "You never gave up on me?" I asked, looking up at him.
He shook his head no. "I knew you cared about me, Al. I could see it in the way you'd look at me. Cybill was always in the way."
"What about now?" I asked, tilting my head up. "Cybill's out of the picture."
He smiled and tucked a loose piece of hair behind my ear. He leaned down and kissed the edge of my ear lightly. "Now, we pick up where we left off this morning," he whispered, placing his hand behind my head and kissing me softly. "Only this time, we'll actually remember it."
I smiled and touched his cheek, then turned my face to his and kissed him.
"I love you, Alice," he whispered against my lips. His breath on my face sent shivers down my spine.
I grinned as he pulled me even closer, pressing our bodies together. "I love you, too," I whispered back.
Author's Note:I have no idea where this came from. I don't even know if it was good. But it took me a whole day at work to write it because I'm slow... and isn't it funny that I got paid to write this? HAHA. My boss just doesn't know it. The title comes from a Dave Matthews Band song and, if you don't know it, if you check the lyrics out I guess it would probably make sense. Anyways, let me know what you think! Thanks for reading!! :-) -Andee