Chapter 12: A Sweet Blissful Moment That Ruins Everything
When we finally got to the band director's house, I jumped out of the car and walked quickly to the front door. I heard the car doors slam and the sounding of running footsteps. As I went up the stairs to the patio, I felt someone crashing into me. Next thing I knew, I was falling towards the steps as was a tiny brunette. Time went by as if it was in slow-motion. Before either of us hit the steps, I felt someone strong pulling me up, back on my feet. I looked over and saw the brunette had been picked up too. I also saw who it was that ran into me.
"Josie!" Layla yelled as she ran over. "Why the hell did you do that?! You saw he was going up the steps!"
"Lay," Alex said, who had picked Josie up. "Calm down. It was an accident."
"Alex, she's right," Josie said. "I was trying to get his attention when I caught up to him, and I ended up pushing him while I tripped. I should have just waited to look for him until we were in the house."
"See?!" Layla yelled at Alex. "She agrees with me!"
"Lay, calm down," I said as I put my hand on her shoulder. That seemed to piss her off more.
"Calm down?!" she screeched. "My best friend almost caused another injury for my brother who just got into a car crash!"
"But she didn't," I pointed out, trying to take her somewhere away from the front of the house. She was causing a scene with her yelling. Unfortunately, she wouldn't budge.
"How about we go inside?" Wes suggested. He had been the one to catch Josie. My helper had been Mr. Yu, the band teacher.
"What an excellent idea Wes!" Mr. Yu exclaimed, probably shocked that one of his best students had a yelling break-down in front of his house.
Mr. Yu's voice cause Layla to shrug my hand off of her shoulder and storm into the house with Alex quickly following her. Wes and Mr. Yu followed them, leaving me and Josie outside.
"We should probably go in," Josie said. She turned towards the front door and started to walk up the stairs.
"Can we talk first?" I asked, reaching for her hand.
"Can we talk inside?" Josie asked, turning to me, but not taking my hand. Instead, she folded her arms. "i'm cold."
"Sure," I said, dropping my hand to my side. I quickly walked up the stairs and into the house in order to follow her. "Where do you want to talk?:
"Here will do," Josie said as we walked into an empty room. I closed the door behind me, not wanting anyone to know about what we were going to talk about. She walked over to a chair and sat down. I went to the table in front of the chair and sat on top of it. "So what do you want to talk about?"
"I think we should talk about that kiss," I said. She went from looking bored to looking pissed.
"You obviously didn't feel anything, otherwise you would have argued with Layla about talking being fun," she said.
"That's a lie," I said. "I did feel something, but I didn't want Layla to know. She would start teasing me."
"Take the teasing from your sister!" Josie exclaimed. "At least it would show you like me enough to deal with Layla's bad attempts at teasing people."
"Josie, you don't understand," I said. "I really enjoyed making out with you, but Layla's my sister. You're her best friend. Layla can get so bitchy about me dating one of her friends because I don't even allow her around my friends."
"When have you ever dated one her friends?" she asked.
"I dated Ceana and Karen each for about two months," I replied uneasily. Josie's eyes got big.
"You have got to be shitting me," Josie said. "Why would you want to date one of those two? Their sense of fashion is out there and they obsess over horses."
"Josie!" I exclaimed, shocked at her. "I really liked them! The fact they weren't like every other girl I ran into turned me on. The fact that they were passionate about an animal and everything about that animal made me feel like they were good examples. Sure, it could get annoying with their constant talk of horses, but I respected those horses. They got much more love out of those girls than guys ever will."
"That's all fine and dandy," she said, standing up. "But you're the kind of guy who wants a girl to love him back and look classy. You dated Mary for about a year! Don't tell me that I'm not right about the kind of girls you date."
"You are right for the most part," I said, standing up as well. She started to walk towards the door. "You missed the part where they need to be understanding, kind to everyone, smart, and true to the things they say."
"I am all of those things!" Josie exclaimed, freezing and looking hurt.
"Correction," I said. "You are those things 75 percent of the time. You just bashed Karen and Ceana, which isn't very kind or understanding of you. I have also heard you talking to Layla and your friends, bashing people because they like so-and-so or they're wearing something ugly. And yes, Layla and your friends do it too, but at least Layla tries not to and will scold people if they keep bashing. I've walked into her room many times because I thought she was asleep, and she was actually crying and scolding herself for being a bitch to some people."
"Sure she was," Josie said, rolling her eyes and crossing her arms. "And she's bashed you many times, so I don't see why you're defending her."
"I've bashed her too," I replied back. "It's a sibling thing. We bash each other one minute and defend each other the next. You of all people should know that."
That seemed to catch Josie off-guard. "You're gonna do anything to defend her and please her, aren't you?" Josie asked, sounding upset.
"She's the only sibling I have," I said honestly. "Of course I will. I know she'll do the same for me."
"I don't know if I can be with you then," she said, heading towards the door. "I can't date a guy who expects me to be just like his sister. That's just so wrong on so many levels."
"Well I can't date a bitch, so it wouldn't have worked out even if you wanted it to," I said as she opened the door. She looked over her shoulder at me with a hurt look in her eyes. I almost started apologizing, but she turned and went out the door and walked into the crowd with purpose. I was now alone in the room with the door open. I sat back down on the table and just stared at the wall for ten minutes, thinking of what I could have said instead. I eventually got tired of seeing all the possibilities and got off the table. I turned around and looked at the doorway, worried about what people were going to think of me. I was about to go towards the doorway when Mr. Yu came in.
"You and your sister," Mr. Yu said when he saw me, shaking his head. "Your sister has a freak out and gets dumped because her boyfriend is gay, and was cheating on her most of the time. She already knew that, but it still hurts to watch him skip off with the guy he likes. You come in here to talk to the girl you like about maybe dating, and you end up making things impossible to fix, or so you think."
"How the hell do you know that?" I asked, scared he knew these things. Was he eavesdropping on the conversation with Josie.
"Well, I saw the whole thing between Layla and Alex go down, and she knew that, so she didn't hesitate to tell me when I asked her if she was okay," he replied. I smiled, knowing how much Layla didn't like people knowing things, but if they asked, it would just come out. I'm sure she's embarrassed she just told her favorite teacher about her love life. Mr. Yu smiled back and continued on with his answer. "As for you, I saw you and Josie come in. Layla had also mentioned she saw you and Josie kissing in the car, so I assume you like her. I then saw Josie come out a few minutes later, look behind her back and then storm off. You didn't come out, so something went wrong. Otherwise, you and Josie would have came out together, holding hands, and whispering in each other's ears."
"And you aren't a therapist because?" I asked, surprised he could tell all of that off of something Layla said and the sights he saw.
He laughed. "Because I love teaching music," he said. "Giving others therapy would bore me to death. I actually went to a therapist, but one day, she wasn't able to be there for me anymore. She was the only one I trusted with my problems and I'm scared to let anyone else know me deepest, darkest secrets. And that wasn't therapy I just did. That was using clues to figure something out."
"True, true," I said, starting to smile. I felt sad for Mr. Yu. He felt as if he couldn't trust anyone anymore. "Then why are you not a detective?"
"Too much paperwork and details," he replied, smiling. "It has to be precise, not just a good educated guess. Though being a detective was my third choice."
"What was your second choice?" I asked, glad Mr. Yu was taking my mind off of Josie.
"Teaching music," he replied. He saw my confused looked and explained. "My first choice was to be a professional drummer in a popular band. I lived that dream for five years, and then decided to quit because the band I was in was screwed up. The singer was cheating on his wife. The bassist was addicted to alcohol and drugs. The guitarist only cared about himself. Also, the music we wrote had no meaning that I liked anymore. If I had continued on longer, things would have only gotten worse."
"Oh," I said, not smiling anymore. "That sounds terrible."
He shrugged. "It's life," he said, leaning on the wall. "Bad things happen. Take a note from it and move on. Use that experience to avoid another like it."
"That's a good way of looking at life," I said, soaking in what he said.
"I know it is," Mr. Yu said. "I learned it from the best of the best."
"Your therapist?" I asked.
"Yes, my therapist," he said, smiling sadly. "I just wished she was still around to continue helping me and others. She could make the saddest person smile and her advice was so good."
"What happened to her?" I asked, sitting down in a chair.
"She died about 16 years ago," he replied. "There was a nasty car crash that killed her, her family, a girl, and some of her friend's family. It was so sad and devastating, especially since she was changing the world, even though it was mostly just in this area of the world. You would have loved her sons. They were smartest troublemakers I knew, and whenever they worked together, they could get away with almost anything."
"You knew her sons?" I asked.
"She and her husband were good friends of mine," he replied. "I was at their house at least once a month. Since we were great friends, it was easier to trust her with my problems. I also knew she would be honest with me and give me the best advice."
"That makes her death even worse," I said, feeling sad.
"It does," he said, thoughtfully. "But I have mourned enough over it. I now honor her in every way I can. That's why I teach. I know I am helping people out with something they love. She would have loved to see me teaching."
"Well that's a positive thing," I said.
"Let's cheer you up," Mr. Yu said, pushing himself off the wall and standing straight. "You are going to go and hang out with your sister and some of your mutual friends, besides Josie, Alex, and Wes, and goof off. I will even give you Apples to Apples. It works wonders for bad feelings."
I stood up and followed him into the hallway. He led me past the living room, where Alex, Wes, and Josie were dancing together and laughing. He led me up the stairs and into a huge room with three couches, two fluffy chairs, a huge television, and big coffee table. I saw Layla, Karen, Ceana, Amy, Juan, Dallas, and the new guy, Raymond. They were sitting on the floor around the coffee table, which had puzzle pieces all over it.
"Look who I brought," Mr. Yu said as he walked into the room. They all looked. Mr. Yu went over to a bookshelf and took out a box, walked over to the table, dropped it in a space that didn't have puzzle pieces, and walked out of the room. Everyone turned to see the box except for Layla. Layla smiled and spotted the floor on her left. As I made my way over, I noticed that Amy was the right of her and Raymond was across from her. I also noticed I was going to be sitting next to Dallas. The kid was sweet, but I've always wondered if he's had a crush on me.
"So nice of you to join us," Ceana said, looking at me and smiling.
"We really do need you're expertise on puzzles right now," Karen joked. I laughed. When we were dating, we tried to do a puzzle together. I eventually got upset with it and pushed all the puzzle pieces on the floor. After we cleaned the mess up, we swore we would never do a puzzle ever again. And yet, here we were, doing a puzzle.
"I think I'll just watch," I said, kneeling.
I watched as they took pieces and tried to put them with other pieces to see if they would work together. They spent thirty minutes on it, talking every now and then about school, work, and plans they had coming up. They also questioned Raymond a lot. I learned that he was from Michigan, had three sisters and two brothers, and worked at the Subway at the mall. I also found out that he was in Layla's percussion class, AP Calculus class, book club, and BETA club. They eventually got bored with the puzzle and cleaned up. Karen pulled the box into the middle of the coffee table. I hadn't looked at it, but now that it was in the center, I saw it said Apples to Apples.
"It's time for the game with the funniest, more creative results," Amy said solemnly as Layla dramatically took to lid off. Raymond took out the instructions and read them in a funny voice, By the time we started playing, we were already in tears from laughing so hard. We spent the rest of the night playing Apples to Apples and watching episodes of the old show, Psych. When Layla and I left with Ceana, I felt as if I had the time of my life. I had forgotten all about the disaster with Josie and Layla didn't show any sign that she even knew who Alex or Wes was. It was a good night for us, and I will never forget the kindness Mr. Yu had showed to Layla and me.
Hope you enjoy this chapter. Sorry if the name of the chapter doesn't make sense. I didn't know what to call it. Sorry it's been so long since I posted new chapters. So much homework and I didn't have my laptop over the summer.