that's what she said

TWO

"…it's tight."
- about a guitar string

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© Jhaynee, 2009

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INSOMNIA MENU

Regular Coffee ........... $ 1.25
Cappuccino ................. $1 .95
Hot Chocolate ..............$ 1.50
Marshmallows .....Extra $ 0.25
Doughnut .................... $ 0.89
Muffin .......................... $ 1.90
Cookie .......................... $ 1.00
Brownie ........................ $ 1.75
Croissant ...................... $ 1.00

A chance to crawl back into bed instead of being awake at this hour
..... Sorry, we're out of stock

The local coffee house is called Insomnia. It's a small café located at the corner of Main Street.

With the bright pink paint covering the brick exterior of the building, it's a place that's impossible to miss. Many people say that it's because of the atrocious hot pink colour they wind up discovering what's claimed to be caffeine heaven. Insomnia was given its name for one specific reason. The coffee is intoxicating, that with one sip it's impossible to stop, reaching the point where people can't sleep. Some wonder whether the beverage is drugged, spiked, or had some form of scientific chemicals injected into it…yet, they tend to forget their thoughts after drinking from their cups. The coffee tends to do that.

And as much as Toni hated coffee, she needed a fix…and fast. The familiar and uncontrollable ringing of her phone and awoken her from her sleep, causing her level of crankiness to rise. As much as she attempted to ignore it, the sound was persistent and she could do nothing but answer it...after the second time. Whoever was calling was asking for a death wish. Glancing at her phone, she glared at the name that was appearing on her phone's screen. Taking a deep breath, she turned her head to scream angrily into her pillow; then groggily, she answered the phone.

"She picked up!"

"What do you want?"

The question was terse, short, and hopefully conveyed the annoyance that was radiating from her voice.

"Get dressed and wait outside…"

Turning to look at the digital clock beside her, the three red numbers glowed brightly. She scoffed, "Why would I do that? It's nine in the morning."

"Because, we're gonna be at your house in a few minutes."

"I'm going back to bed…"

Toni yawned.

"No, you're not. You're getting out of your bed, getting dressed, and coming outside. Then you're going to get in the car and come to the mall with us."

Toni yawned once more, "I don't think so…"

"If I don't see you on your porch in fifteen minutes, I'm going to keep calling your cell phone…"

She smirked, "I'll turn it off."

"Then I'll call your house phone, until you pick up. I don't think your parents are going to be too happy about that?"

Once more, she turned her face towards the pillow, silencing the loud scream into the red fabric. Placing the phone back towards her ear she responded, "You are going to be dealing with a very grouchy version of myself this morning."

"Fifteen minutes."

And with that the line went dead.

She blamed the sleep deprivation that she was experiencing, but in the end she had stupidly agreed to whatever had been said, and in a matter of fifteen minutes had found herself lazily pacing on her driveway, basking in the sun's light. The neighbourhood was quiet—with only a scatter of bird chirps echoing in the background.

She liked the peace and tranquillity. She was never one for danger. She was never one to do dangerous things. In all honesty, she valued her life. With the understanding that there was so much more to life, she was careful with what she did—doing the smart thing by avoiding an early death. She didn't drink and drive, always wore her seatbelt, never stayed out too late—especially near dark alleys—and she didn't talk to strangers.

Okay, maybe she did talk to strangers, but having someone grab her from behind and throw her into the back of a silver car was definitely something she was most certain she would avoid in life.

She was wrong.

She could already see her life flashing before her.

Or, more precisely, she could see the various signs flashing before her.

A stop sign here, a school crossing sign there, a few billboards.

Turning her head around, she could see her house growing smaller in the distance. For, here she sat in the back of a car, without her seatbelt on, with what she presumed was being driven by a drunk driver based on the car's movements.

Once again, she could see her life flashing before her eyes.

She was too young to die. She had just graduated a week ago and was ready to move on with the next step of life. People's birthdays were coming up; she had a party to attend. She couldn't die now, especially not in some car leading her to an unknown destination. If she died now, they'd never find her body. She'd never rest in peace—she'd rest in pieces. No, no, no…

She screamed.

A hand was suddenly clamped over her mouth.

"What the hell are you doing?"

The familiar voice silenced her as her eyes were widening in shock. A set of amber eyes were staring back into her pools of dark brown. Out of normalcy she kicked the chair. He released his palm from her mouth, and sat back into this seat. Her eyes became slits as she stared at the two figures that were sitting in front of her. Buckling her seatbelt in, she then proceeded to cross her arms then kick the chairs once more.

"Hey! Do not kill my car, I just got it!"

Ignoring the statement, she kicked it once more. Then in an aggravated voice she opened her mouth, "You freaking scared me! Do you have any idea how much I hate you right now? I thought I was going to die!"

Suddenly, without warning, the car swerved into the next lane making a fast left turn. Laughter erupted from the two boys that were situated before her, "Toni, if you don't want to die, don't scream! It's distracting!"

Leaning back, she just stared straight ahead, "What the hell do you guys think you're doing?"

"Okay, you said once we got a car we were allowed to kidnap you," the amber eyes turned to look at her once more, "and so we did."

Toni scoffed, "Ryan, a heads up would have been nice."

"We did give you a heads up, we said fifteen minutes…and it's been fifteen minutes," Ryan smiled, then faced forward as he turned the radio on. A familiar tune began blasting through the car.

"Well, sorry, if I didn't know that you were coming up in some random car I've never seen before! Calling my name would have been so much easier instead of grabbing me and throwing me into the car!"

"Sparky, it wouldn't be considered kidnapping if we called you over."

"Drake, don't call me that name!"

"Drake says it's a cool name," Drake commented, as he switched the radio station. Ryan switched it back.

"I hate you," Toni argued, as she gave the chair a final kick.

"You know you love us."

Resting her head against the headrest, she looked around at her surroundings. The car was nice, and had the new car smell that Toni loved. A pair of dice hung from the rear view mirror. Typical.

"Where'd you get this anyway? You said you didn't have enough money saved up…"

The loud music seemed to have drowned out the question, yet she received a response from Drake, who was happily controlling the car's speed and direction—much to Toni's dismay, "It's a baller graduation present."

Toni nodded her head, "It definitely is…but I give…oh let's say a week to last?"

"What are you saying?" Drake exclaimed as he glanced at her from the mirror, "I am a raw driver!"

Ignoring the comment, she turned her head to stare out the window. There was nothing exciting, nothing new, nothing extraordinary. It was the same houses that looked alike, all aligned in their perfect order, planted on streets that looked the same. This is what one calls life in the suburbs…only a few more days until freedom.

It was only one more week until she would something other than the same old buildings, the same old street names, and the same old everyday lifestyle.

She'd see something other than the same square, gray mall—which, as they pulled up into a parking spot, was empty with only a few cars littering the asphalt. As irritated and sleepy as Toni was she had miraculously gotten out of the car and into the building—much to the pestering of Ryan and Drake.

"I don't get why we had to go to the mall at nine thirty in the morning, on a Saturday!"

Toni rubbed her eyes, stifling a yawn. As she continued to walk down the linoleum floors of the mall, her footsteps echoed in the emptiness of the building. Unlike her and the two monkeys beside her, everyone else had been smart and would wait another few hours or so before getting out of bed to enjoy the rays of Saturday's sunlight.

"Because, it's a friends' night out…"

The two sets of eyes, dark brown and hazel, stared back at her. Toni pouted her lips, "If it's a friends' night out, it shouldn't it be…you know…night time? Hence the term night out?"

"Aww, Muffin!"

The sarcasm was evident in Ryan's tone as he glanced back to look at her. Toni hated that sentence.

"I need to get some more beauty sleep!"

"Yeah, we all know you do…but really, it's not working," Drake laughed.

"In your own words Drake, that was rude!"

Toni stuck her tongue out.

"Remind me again why you had to resort to calling me?"

Taking a few larger steps, she had caught up to the two boys who towered greatly above her.

"Because, if we called Mia or Aaliyah, their parents would kill us…Emmy's working, Josh is off somewhere, Simon's probably working too, we don't even have Shanté's number, Vy's way too far for us to get, and…well, actually no one was answering their phone. You just happened to pick up," Drake exclaimed has he patted her head, "Good job, Sparky."

Toni slapped his hand off of her head, "Remind me to keep my phone off before I go to bed...and remind me that if you ever call me that name again, I'm going to kill you."

Grumbling she stalked ahead of them, taking heavy steps as she walked forward. She didn't care if she was getting glances from the various workers that were watching her quizzically, she wanted to find a nice bench and just fall onto it and return to dreamland.

"Uh, Toner, you're going the wrong way."

Turning back, Toni looked at Ryan who was now pointing his finger towards the opposite direction, "It's that way."

Rolling her eyes, she marched back towards the correct direction, and moved ahead.

"Where are we going anyways?"

"You want to slow down? Seeing as you don't even know where we're going…"

Toni ignored the question and continued at her pace, glancing into the various store windows to her right. Window shopping, it was probably a hobby she had mastered over time…and the cheapest one at that. Maybe she should have taken up a different hobby…something, not so dumb…

Suddenly, a hand was placed on her shoulder, and she jumped a little, "Sus man, when we say slow down we mean it! And you were the one who was tired…"

Looking back at Drake, Toni rolled her eyes, "Okay, so where are we headed anyway?"

"Electronics store."

Before Toni had a chance to reply, she found herself standing in front of a blue wall with yellow bright lights hanging a few feet above her. Looking inside, TVs lined the walls, as various laptops, computers, phones, and video games could be seen in the distance. Without realizing it, Drake and Ryan had breezed by her, headed towards the far corner of the store. Toni could do nothing but follow.

As she reached both figures, Ryan was staring at the iPod that was situated behind a display case.

"Why the heck are you getting a new one? You still have your old one!" Toni placed both hands on her hips, as she walked towards the display.

"Well, I need for space, because I can't add anymore songs…" Ryan added as he continued to stare at the various coloured objects that were lined in a row.

"You resorted to calling me at nine in the morning for a stupid music player?"

The irritation was evident in Toni's voice, as she crossed her arms over her chest.

"No, we resorted to calling you in the morning, because we wanted to get an awesome music player," Drake smiled, as he wandered to look at an adjacent display case. Ryan nodded in response.

"One size fits all—isn't that like a sick slogan?" Ryan asked, as he smiled brightly at her—she could sense he was teasing her, tossing some joke in the air.

"Oh please, that's the stupidest thing in the world! It makes no sense!"

"It's a raw slogan!" Drake announced as he walked back towards the two.

"The only reason you like that slogan is 'cause you can't say it for yourself," she poked a finger into Drake's chest, as she glared at him. As angered as she may have looked, Toni was actually very pleased with her insult…err comment. At least her brain could still function at this hour.

"Now, that was rude…and how would you know?" Drake wiggled his eyebrows as he smirked towards her, "Y'know…"

Before Drake could continue whatever he was going to say—which may have scarred her ears—Toni whirled around to focus her irritation on Ryan, "So, let me get this straight? You are going to spend around probably two hundred dollars for this thing, and you've been saving up when you know you clearly owe me thirty dollars?"

"Mmmm…pretty much! But, look, I need this thing for the road trip! I can't survive without my music!"

"Mans gotta have his songs!" Drake proclaimed, as if that was the answer to life's unsolved mysteries.

"Mans, can deal with a radio on the road trip!"

The sarcasm was evident in Toni's statement. She hated it when Drake said 'mans' and she had no sympathy for the word when she used it against him.

"Oh please, with Emmy with us we'll have to listen to mainstream!"

The comment from Ryan triggered a memory of a recent argument that Toni was sadly dragged into. It had only been a few weeks ago when a 'heated' argument had ensued between the two of her friends over the issue of mainstream music and metal. Clearly, she didn't want a repeat…

"You think we're gonna be blasting metal on the road at high volumes? Yeah, I don't think so…"

"Which is why we're getting my new iPod!" Ryan interjected.

"Let me guess you're going to get a new speaker too?" Toni rolled her eyes as she asked the question, tapping her foot a few times on the floor beneath her.

"Actually that's a good idea…where's the one you have in your room?"

"Yeah, my cool one, probably aisle four or something…"

"Is it gonna fit this one?" Ryan asked, as he pointed towards the iPod.

"Yeah, it fits all sizes," Toni answered dully. It had only taken a second for her to realize that mistake.

"Proper!" Drake bobbed his head up and a down a couple of times as he put his hands together.

Slapping his arm, Toni responded, "Ew, you dirty child!"

"You said it, not us," Ryan stated.

And at that moment she could do nothing but simply utter the two words, "Shut up."