Letter to a Dork-faced Juggernaut
Part 1.1: Reasons why I Hate You
There's an unstoppable, PMSing tornado spinning fiercely down the hall that goes by the name of Andrea Liu (Andie) and she is a force not to be messed with at the moment. Unless, of course, you want to be on the receiving end of one of her mighty ninja-kicks…
My inner narration is interrupted by a tired "What's wrong, muffin?"
"What's wrong?" I hiss into the phone. Robert Lablaw, aka Robbie aka Partner-in-dope, Partner-in-Juggernauting, Crater-faced Four Eyes, Blahblahblah sighs into the phone and I can tell that I've just woken him up. This puts me in an even worse mood, seeing as it's 2am and he should've been at my house two hours ago.
"You okay?" he asks sleepily and I hear a muffled yawn on the other end of the line.
"It's like, the most important day of my life, you're late, my tattoo is stinging, I nearly broke my pinky toe, Backstreet Boys are still not back together, my vagina is bleeding like a pregnant woman's water broke, and you're asking me what's wrong?"
There's a short, two-second pause, then he sighs loudly and dramatically into the phone. "Did you run out of Midol?"
I glare angrily at the phone before responding with a loud and resounding: "No."
"Do you realize what time it is?"
"Good. I'll talk to you in ten hours."
And then he hangs up.
I fling the phone against the wall and am satisfied for about two milliseconds as the back snaps off and the battery falls out. Tears suddenly spring to my eyes and I curl up against Luke Skywalker, my three-foot tall stuffed polar bear that I've had since I was six years old. He wraps his worn out paws around me and lets me cry onto his shoulder. Luke Skywalker is a true friend.
I know that part of the reason I'm feeling so emotional is because I'm major PMSing right now, but I also know that another part of the reason is because in two weeks, I'll probably never see Robbie again. Well. No, not never. I just wont be able to drive to his house and cuddle with him when I'm sad, or complain to him when someone pisses me off, or see him every day like I'm so used to doing. In two weeks, he'll be in California, soaking up the rays and I'll be in New York missing him. He'll have all the Stanford girls drooling over his dorky ass while I'll have absolutely nobody.
The thought of this brings a fresh wave of tears to my eyes and my entire body shakes from the force of my misery. Serious shit, I know. I've known Robbie since I was in kindergarten and hated his puny guts. I've known him through middle school when he got really ugly, had pimples all over his face, and wore glasses (hence the horrible "Crater-faced Four Eyes" nickname that the bullies in school teased him with). I've known him through high school when he slowly grew out of his awkwardness and became the epitome of awesome. I've known him back when he had a crush on me and I told him sorry, but Talbert Ebers was way cuter. I knew him after that too, when he got over me and moved on to Rachel, Riana, and Regina.
The worst part of it all, however, is that in all the years I've known him, I chose this summer to realize that even though he wasn't what I considered "hot" (tattoos, muscles, piercings, fiery eyes, and sexy voices did it for me), I probably wouldn't mind spending a night in his bed in a way that was more (or way more) than platonic. In fact, I would probably prefer it.
I sigh, using Luke Skywalker's paw to wipe at my eyes. I think back, trying to pinpoint the exact second in time when hearing his voice made my heart start acting mentally challenged, pitter pattering away embarrassingly.
Part 1.2: Where my heart pitter-patters embarrassingly
I think it's really funny that your name is Robert Gerald Lablaw. You never thought it was funny, but I think you should just learn to find the humor in things.
Love, Shan Shan
(one month earlier)
The glittering neon sign that reads "TATTOO" makes me want to run away. I'm obviously not as ready as I thought I was. The sketchpad I'm clutching in my hand suddenly seems incredibly stupid and I tug anxiously at Robbie's hand.
"How much do you think a bong costs?" he wonders out loud, ignoring me as we approach the tattoo parlor slash headshop. There are a few tattooed biker guys with leather jackets and mohawks leaning on the brick wall of the building and they eye us as we walk closer.
"I change my mind," I whine at him, tugging at his hand harder, and he throws me an annoyed look. "You're absolutely right. This is a stupid, moronic idea. My mom will kill me, my dad will disown me, and when I grow old and wrinkled, I will so, totally regret this. Let's go to Peanut Butter & Co. and get a PB and nutella sandwich."
He rolls his eyes and shakes his head. "You passed up that chance five blocks ago. No can do. We're gonna do this."
"You're not the one terrified of needles!"
"I'm also not the one set on getting a body mod," he tells me and pulls me after him as he climbs the corroded steps in front of the parlor. He pulls open the glass door and something jingles from the inside.
Once he hauls me inside, I'm overwhelmed by the brightness of the tiny store. Hookahs and bongs are displayed against mirrored walls behind the counter. Inside the glass counter are millions of jewels: rings, belly button rings, earrings, nose rings, … other types of rings that make me blush.
The guy behind the counter has earphones in and doesn't notice us. He is the pinnacle of hot, with his hair up in a faux-hawk and several piercings dangling from his earlobe. My eyes are zoned into his pierced lip like a homing device. He isn't covered in tattoos, but I catch sight of a design of something crawling up his neck from under his t-shirt. While I'm busy checking out the counter-boy, Robbie's gawking at a bong that's nearly half his height.
"I think we should go," I whisper at Robbie, nudging him with my elbow.
"Oh, Buttercup," he grins at me, wrapping both arms around my shoulders. "Don't be such a coward."
I glare at him. We had been watching The Princess Bride at his house before wandering out into the city to pick up the fake id's we had ordered from City Underground, which was before we started wandering around in search of a tattoo parlor and he hadn't ceased calling me Buttercup since.
"Humperdinck's the coward," I retort gloomily. "Buttercup is the reason why females shouldn't be allowed to have opinions."
He bursts out laughing, making the behind-the-counter guy jump slightly.
The behind-the-counter guy takes out his earphones, looks up, and finally notices us. Robbie notices him too, and maybe I imagine it, but I think I feel his arms slightly tighten around me.
This is the first time my heart starts to beat a little bit faster around him than usual. Just a little bit.
Robbie takes care of the talking, asking to see the autoclave, whether they were licensed or not, what type of experience their tattoo artists had, while I just stand there feeling nervous and useless. I follow them around when the behind-the-counter guy shows him where things are and answers his questions, but other than that, I am a robot.
"How long would something like this take?" Robbie asks for me, prying the sketch pad from my fingers.
The behind-the-counter guy, who's name happens to be Archie, looks at my design and taps his fingers against the glass of the counter. "Is this your first tattoo?" he asks Robbie.
Robbie nudges me and rolls his eyes when I say nothing. "Yes, it's her first tattoo," he answers for me.
Archie shifts his gaze from Robbie to me, looking amused.
"How big is it going to be?"
Robbie nudges me again. When I realize that Robbie can't answer this question for me, I swallow and say, "About… the same size as it is on the pad."
Archie purses his mouth. "Something like this will probably take an hour or two," he says. "It's pretty big for your first tat. You drew this yourself?"
I nod and he smiles.
"You're an artist, huh?" Archie flashes me a charming smile and I can't stop looking at his lip ring. "You take classes?"
"Not really," I answer, mesmerized by him.
Robbie cuts in. "How much will it cost?"
Archie glances up at him and shrugs. "We have a base charge of $100," he says. "Then it's another $100 for every hour. Tat like this should take around an hour."
My eyes are still staring at his lip ring and I don't say anything until Robbie squeezes my shoulder a little harder than necessary.
"How 'bout it, munchkin?" he asks me, grinning.
When my eyes meet his teasing ones, that pitter pattering starts all over again.
Part 1.3: The Beginning of the End
(back to the present)
There is an intruder and the Andie-bot sees it. Andie-bot whirs unhappily and rolls over to the door, flapping her arms, trying to fly. Flying fails. The ceiling is so white it's blinding.
C24-77S4 reporting to service. C24-77S4 needs recharging. Fingertips are turning blue. Wheels need to be oiled. Andie-bot is a cyborg and her battery pack is too heavy. Wait, there is an intruder. Where did the intruder go? Andie-bot turns around, whirring as she does so. Intruder is nowhere to be found.
Andie-bot sees water fountain next to a giant rat. Giant rat is looking at Andie-bot. Giant rat has a giant tail, coiled around the water fountain. How will Andie-bot get to the water fountain to recharge with giant rat in the way? Andie-bot whirs in despair…
"Andie, what the fuck?"
"… need to recharge," I murmur, trying to roll over to the water fountain, but suddenly finding that my wheels are starting to lag tremendously.
"C'mon, Shan Shan."
This is a familiar voice. My right eye opens slowly to investigate. Ouch, right eye encounters light and closes again.
"Wake up, dude."
I reach out and encounter something furry and comforting. I close my fingers around the furry object and tug it closer to me. Mmm. Warmth. "Love you, Robbie," I sigh into it, smiling happily.
Robbie's voice chuckles. "Love ya too, Andie, but that's Luke Skywalker you're drooling on."
"Love Luke Skywalker. Andie-bot does not drool."
Sleep is slowly evading me and I cling desperately at it. The line between reality and dreamland is suddenly becoming clearer and I groan unhappily when the brightness of the shiny ceiling starts to fade.
"Did you dream that you were a cyborg again?" Ugh. Robbie.
I remember feeling a distinct bitterness toward him, but can't remember why. I open my eyes and see his warm, brown eyes smiling down at me. His eyebrows are sort of wrinkled and his lips are pulled back in a grin.
Why am I bitter?
Oh yeah. I remember. "You forgot my birthday," I accuse, mustering up the fiercest glare I can. He smoothes out my wrinkled forehead with his index finger.
"I did not. I come bearing kolaches!"
"Not hungry," I retort, ignoring the immediate lurch of my stomach at the mention of food. "Too fat, anyways."
He ignores the last statement and brings the familiar white box from Kolache Factory into view. My mouth instantly starts salivating.
"Ham, jalapeno, cheese!" he waves the box in front of me, "Creamy Italian chicken! Your favorites."
"You think you can bring food and all will be forgiven?"
"What'd I do? Why are you forgiving me?" he seems confused.
"You forgot my birthday and I'm not forgiving you!"
"I did not! You think I went and got your favorite Kolaches for what, my health?"
"You should always get me my favorite Kolaches. And you were supposed to come over at midnight, remember? We were supposed to watch Harold and Kumar and get high as kites."
"I don't – oh. Shit. You're right, I'm a complete douche, Shan Shan."
My eyes narrow. I can tell from his voice that he was doing something – more specifically, someone - that wouldn't make me happy. I'm suddenly not hungry anymore. Instead, I feel familiar tears start prickling my eyes.
He must have seen my face crumple up because suddenly, he drops the box and wraps me up in his arms. I take a deep breath in, but my nose is completely stuffed. I can almost sort of smell the scent of his fabric softener, but it just makes me want to cry even more.
"Sorry, Andie!" he squeezes me and I purposely stay stiff in his arms. "I'm a jerk. I'm worse than a jerk. I'm a – "
"Complete cad," I finish for him, sniffling. My bitterness towards him has come back full force. "I have never ditched you on your birthday for another boy."
"I did not ditch you for anybody. And I'm here right now aren't I?"
"It doesn't count now. My birthday is over. It's like it never happened. You might as well go home because I've already finished celebrating and am completely knackered out from all the partying."
"Stop calling me Shan Shan!" I snap. He's always called me Shan Shan and I've always hated it. It's his own fucked up pronunciation of my Chinese name which, by the way, is nothing closed to what it's supposed to sound like.
He runs his hand up and down my back and it gives me the tingles, but I refuse to let myself be affected by him. Because he is a slut and I am angry with him at the moment.
"C'mon, Andie," he continues, "It's not even noon!"
"I was born at midnight."
"You don't know that."
"My mom told me."
"No she didn't."
"Yes she did, want me to ask her?"
"No, but does it matter? I'm here and I've got your birthday present!"
"I don't…" my sentence trails off because I am, in fact, very excited and eager to see what my birthday present is. I sigh heavily and concede, "okay, where is it?"
"No, you have to forgive me first."
I glare at him, "Birthday gifts are supposed to be unconditional."
"Yeah? Well mine aren't."
"You know it's tasty," he sticks his tongue out and waggles it around. Ugh.
"Well, you are the Michael to my Jackson."
"You're such a gay-ass."
"You know you're the Elton to my John," he winks, and I have to smile at the familiar line.
"And you're the pop to my music."
"Does this mean I'm forgiven?"
"Of course not."
He stands up, picking me up in the process. I know the second my butt leaves the floor that this will not end well.
"Put me down! I weigh like, five times more than you…" I squeal and he starts spinning me around. My arms tighten around his neck. "Robert Gerard Lablah, if you drop me, I WILL END YOU!"
"I'll put you down when you say you forgive me."
His face is grinning down at me and I nearly melt as I see a dimple forming on his left cheek. Without thinking, I lean up and kiss him lightly on the cheek. "I forgive you," I whisper into his ear and he seems to freeze for a second. But then his grin gets wider and his arms are holding me even tighter than before.
He moves me over to my bed and unceremoniously drops me down. I hit the soft mattress with a slight thud and pull a face at him as he plops down next to me, a gift seeming to suddenly materialize in his hand.
He hands the small box to me and I raise an eyebrow, inspecting his wrapping job.
"What shitacular wrapping, Blahblah," I grin at him before proceeding to rip it apart.
"What's wrong?" he suddenly asks, sounding serious. I turn to face him and find his eyes studying me carefully. I quickly face forward again and bring my hand up to play with my cartilage piercings. What do I tell him? I can't not say anything but, at the same time, I can't say anything.
"Do you –" I start, then stop not knowing how to continue. I take a deep breath before trying again. "Do you ever think about what'll happen when we leave? I mean, we only have a few weeks left. After that, … we've never been that far from each other."
I'm determined not to look at him, but I feel his eyes on my face.
"Well, not really," he sighs. "I don't really like dwelling on what's going to happen. It doesn't really make a difference whether it's a few weeks, a month, a year from now. It's pointless, isn't it?"
Oh. I try to ignore the disappointment filling up my chest.
He pauses for a split second before asking, "Do you?"
I wish I could just deny it as nonchalantly as he did, but I don't think it's possible. Maybe it's finally time to let the truth out.
"Yeah," I whisper, fiddling my thumbs.
"I can't help it," I shrug. "I mean. I'm going to… you know… maybe miss you a little bit. I mean, it's nothing big, I guess. I don't know."
I grit my teeth and chance a glance in his direction. He's looking at me intently and I find myself unable to look away. Shit. What did I just get myself into?
"I mean," I quickly say, racking my brain to think up something witty and fast. "You're…"
My brain fails me miserably.
"I'm what?" he asks and I can see a trace of a smile on his lips.
"You're… an okay guy I guess."
He raises an eyebrow, "I'm an okay guy? That's it? Wow, Shan Shan, and here I was thinking that our fourteen years of friendship meant something to you."
I punch him lightly on the shoulder, but he stays stiff. I almost think that he's taking what I said to heart until I look up to see his warm, brown eyes smiling at me. My cheeks flush red.
"I love you, you know," I say, unable to help myself. The content expression on his face changes for a split second and before I can shut my mouth, I'm rushing off, trying to rectify my flub. "I mean, come on. You're … you're one of my best friends. In fact, you're the best. Best of the best. You're like the Reese's Pieces to my Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Perfection. You're like, uh, like the Incredible to my Hulk! You know what I'm saying? You're like the cool in LL Cool J. If I were Harold, you'd be Kumar, you know? You're like cheery in cherry blossoms, the glitter to my nail polish, you're… you're the coolest guy in the world!"
I find myself babbling, but he's beaming now and I know I've finally said the right thing. He reaches over and takes my hand, weaving his fingers through mine. My heart skips a beat, but I smile back and tighten my fingers around his. We sit in silence for a long while, a wave of peace and contentment flowing between us.
He finally looks over at me and says, "I think you're the coolest girl in the world, too. But you know that already."
"Remember back in ninth grade when I had a ridiculously huge crush on you?"
I nod, unable to speak.
"I told you that you were the coolest girl I knew. It's still true."
"You'll meet someone cooler in Stanford, I'm sure," I say more to myself than to him. The sourness laced in my voice is evident even to me.
"No," he shakes his head, pulling my hand towards him. "I don't think you understand. There will never be anyone like you for me. Ever."
"No, listen to me."
He gets up to pace around, dropping my hand in the process. Before I can completely take my hand back, he's grabbing it back and suddenly kneeling in front of me, placing both hands on either side of me.
"I know you feel this, too, Andie," his voice is low and urgent, his eyes searing. "I can't… You know how you asked me if I ever think about when we leave?"
"Well, I lied, okay? I think about it all the time. I keep thinking about what'll happen to you when I'm not around and, well, all I can think about is that there's some asshole, some smart-ass, pretentious, stuck up Ivy League kid with tattoos everywhere and that lip piercing that you're so into that'll be sitting next to you everyday. I keep thinking about all those guys in the city that'll be able to see you every single fucking day, while I'll be all the way across the country wondering if, maybe, you're thinking about me, because I'll definitely be thinking about you.
"I don't want another guy telling you that you're the Elton to their John, okay? And the hell are you ever going to say to some other guy that he is the fucking Reese's Pieces to your Cold Stone ice cream. I think about it and I go crazy."
He stops talking to take a deep breath. "Shit, Andie," he swears, "Lately I haven't been able to look at you without wanting to jump your fucking bones. I didn't think you felt the same way, but today,… I don't know anymore. All I know is that if you're not kissing me within the – "
My hands are suddenly grabbing his face and my mouth is suddenly on his, cutting him off mid-sentence. My fingers thread through his hair and my lips are firm against his and it is the most awkward, most sudden, most surprising, most wonderful kiss ever in the history of kisses. Neither of us is moving, we're both so shocked – or at least, I am.
When I break away, I'm panting and I hear him take in a short gasp of breath. My forehead is pressed against his and my eyes are still closed. My heart's jumping ecstatically and my pulse is going out of control. My mind cannot stay on one idea; it is too busy shouting, screaming, exclaiming nonsensical mumbo jumbo.
All I can really think about is kissing him again, but I'm too jumpy to initiate anything. I can literally feel myself shaking.
"Andie," he whispers and I hear his voice break.
"I don't know," he sort of laughs and I can feel the vibrations in my fingers from where they're gently touching his neck. "Just felt like saying your name. There's really no follow-up."
His laughing is infestatious and I can't stop the giggle fits from rising out of my throat. "I know how you can follow it up," I tell him, trying to control my giddiness.
And he did.
Part 1.4: An Epilogue of Sorts
What do you want to do today?
Same thing we do everyday, Pinky. Try and take over the world!
In the past few hours, I have learned a lot of cool things about Robbie. The first cool thing is that he is an elite kisser. If I had to rate him from a scale of novice to expert, I would have to say that he must have a PhD in the Art of Tongue and at least a Masters in How To Use One's Lips. How he grew to obtain such expertise I do not know nor care to find out.
"So are you my boyfriend now?" I ask him, resting my head on his shoulder. He grins stupidly and nods. I shift and kiss his shoulder, happy and relieved. "You don't mind the long-distance thing?"
"Oh, come on," he says, pressing a kiss to forehead. "Distance has nothing on us."
Our lips meet again and I shiver with joy. I don't think my birthday could have turned out any better.
Part 1.5: The Epilogue of the Epilogue
I love you.
"Do you still think Tal's cuter than me?" he asks me suddenly, mid-kiss. This question catches me off guard for several reasons. Firstly, we are lying in my bed and had been enjoying a rather impromptu make-out session. Secondly, at the moment, I fail to realize how Tal has anything to do with Robbie and me.
"You're seriously asking me this now?" I frown at him. His hand finds it's way under my shirt and I don't think I can take him seriously at the moment, so I arch my neck to recapture his lips.
He dodges me. "Seriously," he insists.
"I think you and Tal can't really be compared," I sigh. I sit up slightly and pull my shirt off, successfully distracting him for a few seconds. His hands immediately take advantage and starts skimming up my bare stomach.
"So Tal's cuter," he pouts slightly, sounding annoyed.
"Tal's a prep and not really my type."
"I'm not really your type, either, remember?"
My index finger finds its way to his ear and carefully traces down his jawline. It's slightly stubbly and perfect. His features are high-class and defined and at that moment, he's the most beautiful person in the world. I shift closer to him and feel his hand slide around to my back.
"I dunno," I say softly, running my finger over his cheek. "I think you're pretty damn hot."
His sudden grin is loaded with self-pride and satisfaction. So much so that I feel like slapping the smug look off his face, but before I can put the thought to action, he's kissing me and the idea fades away into wherever it is that forgotten ideas go.
Author's Note: I'm embarrassed. I wrote this like a million years ago and, if you can tell, I left out the middle. I was just so excited to write the end that after I finished the beginning, I put a little [insert middle] then wrote the ending. After I finished the ending, I got wrapped up in another project and completely forgot about finishing the middle. And... after finding this story again years later, there's absolutely no way I can fill in the middle without everything sounding... different and wrong. I'm a different person than I was when I wrote this.
Lastly, to those that are currently following my story The Crazies, this Andie is not the same as that Andy. I didn't realize that they had the same first name until I started writing this Author's Note. Hehe.