I remember when I was younger and my mother used to tell me that being in love was one of the most incredible feelings that I could ever possibly possess. That probably explained why she went through so many men after my father had passed. She wanted that feeling back, the butterfly feeling that you get when you just have to be with that one person. My mother was the type of person who believed in happy endings, who believed that every person she met loved her from the very second. She believed that even sleeping with a man didn't have consequences. She couldn't have been more wrong. Over the years I had seen what love could do to someone. I had seen how it could destroy someone with something as simple like, 'we should just be friends'. I never understood how it could ruin an entire girl's world but it did. I had watched my closest friends indulge in Ben & Jerry's half-baked ice-cream eating their feelings away, listening to those old sad love songs or watching those sad romantic comedies and then after a week of crying they'd be fine and move on to their next victim just to get revenge on whoever had broken their heart. It was a cycle and one that I had promised myself that I would never take part in and yet here I was standing in line at my town's local mini mart during the middle of the night, in an old baggy sweatshirt and pajama shorts, grabbing a pint of half-baked in one arm and an old Marilyn Monroe film in the other.
"Rough night?" I glanced behind me to the unrecognizable and over-concerned member of the opposite sex staring at me eyeing the two items that I was purchasing. I glanced at the items he had a bottle of whiskey and scratch tickets. Really? Clearly he didn't know the rule when it came to making assumptions. It didn't matter that he was cute and he definitely knew it too although there wasn't much I could judge on someone who was wearing a pair of Oakley sunglasses in the middle of the night. Apparently even the moon was too bright for him. I could have acknowledged him, I could have been as civil as I could, faking the smile and making his ego rise up even more but I didn't do that. Instead I turned back around, waiting for my turn and hoping that Gavin would speed up the process of checking the customer ahead of me.
"You know you're missing one ingredient in that little kit of yours." This guy was unbelievable. Not only did I not respond to him but even with my lack of conversation he still insisted on getting some sort of response from me. Why couldn't he be normal and learn to take a hint? It wasn't that hard.
"I'll keep that in mind." I muttered under my breath and with that I was saved by my phone going off. Immediately I opened it without checking because I already know who it would be.
"I'm almost there." I say, even as this guy stood behind me pretending like he wasn't eavesdropping on my conversation. I rolled my eyes and looked forward, if only Gavin could pick up the pace, I could get out of here as soon as possible.
"What do you mean almost? I can't handle this on my own, Cherry. She's absolutely freaking losing it. This is why guys don't stick around for the aftermath of the breakup. We don't do tears and by we I'm talking about myself." Vessey screamed on the other end of the phone.
"Logan, please. I'm trying to get there as fast as I can." I groaned and I could hear a snicker from behind me and I couldn't help but roll my eyes. Cassie was my best friend. She had been ever since my mother and I moved to this town three years ago. She was the first person aside from Logan to say hello to me upon my arrival to Scarrow. I didn't expect to get close to anyone, with my mother the second she had gone through every single male in town or got bored we would pack up and be on our way but for some reason she liked it here. She was dead set on this town and maybe a small part of it had something to do with the fact that I hated it here. But even with my hatred towards a town that could make anyone feel the slightest bit claustrophobic Cassie Lynn chose me as her new addition to her circle of friends whether I wanted to be a part of it or not. Unexpectedly, Cassie was a charmer she was the only person who could get me out of my comfort zone it didn't help that she was breathtaking. She was the type of person that girls wanted to be and guys wanted to be with. So, when my phone went off at one thirty this morning I didn't even need to pick it up, I knew who it was and I knew what I had to do. I did what any normal teen would do if their best friend was in pain, I got the necessary refreshments and I called for backup until I could get there. Unfortunately my backup was usually Logan Vessey who wasn't the best when it came to someone in tears. It usually freaked him out and while his intentions were usually well intended he pretty much always made the situation even worse. By the time I arrived at Cassie's I walked straight in, her house was a second home to me actually it was more of a home to me than my actual house. Immediately I went upstairs, opened Cassie's bedroom door just as a black shirt was thrown at my head
"Everything looks hideous. He's seen me in all of this. All of it. I might as well just throw it all away" I heard Cassie's muffled voice as well as a long frustrated sigh coming from Logan.
"Cass, if you did that you'd have nothing to wear." For a small second they both seemed shocked by the fact that I was here, almost like they didn't think I would show. Cassie peaked her head out from behind her closet door, her hair blonde hair was up, messy and appeared to be tangled in every single way possible, the only thing she was wearing was a long shirt assuming it was from her previous boytoy Alix seeing as it was two sizes too big for her and had a skull in the center of it. Cassie was known to wear alot of things but an oversized shirt wasn't one of them.
"Cherry, I don't know how this happened." She continues dissappearing into the abyss of her closet again, she must have been digging threw something because clothes were flying everywhere to the point where Logan had strategically moved each time one came his way. "We were celebrating our anniversary and then before I knew it we got into the car, I gave him a kiss and the asshole dumped me. He dumped me. Can you believe it?"
"Gee, I wonder why." Logan muttered while rolling his eyes and taking a spoon, opening up the what seemed to be now half melted icecream.
"Logan.." I hissed and he just shrugged and leaned back. "Did he say anything?" I directed my attention back to her, this wasn't the way i typically planned my friday mornings but Cassie was known to be a bit melodramatic.
"Of course he said something Cherry. He said: I can't do this anymore. Can you believe it? After everything I gave him. He says he can't do it anymore. I know what it is, I'm too much for him."
"Yeah, that's obviously it." Logan mumbled under his breath and I shot him a glare. "Tell me again what happened from the beginning." I glanced over at Logan who was now so out of the conversation that he was just sitting on the floor flipping through CDs and smoking a cigarette which was smelling up Cassie's room even though she didn't care because she'd just blame it on Jonathon. "I mean I liked Alix."
"You like everybody Cherry." She tells me crawling out of the closet and leaning closer to the mirror examining me. "What the hell are you wearing?"
"That's not true." Logan fought back standing up for me, he was always good at that, I grabbed the CD and turned it over examing the back. "Cherry never liked Mark. He always looked at her boobs any time he was around her."
"Logan, please." Cassie says. "Mark looks at everyones boobs, he doesn't count. Cherry over here, likes everyone, I'm just saying." I shot her a look and she shot me one right back.
"Actually there was someone in line at the store that I didn't like. He was rude and obnoxious." I tell her and this gets her interested. A mysterious stranger, something exciting happening in my life to take her mind off of Alix. Great.
"A stranger? What was he like? What did he look like?" I leaned back out of frustration.
"It doesn't matter. I'll never see him again and I'm not going to entangle my life with something absolutely unnecessary." She bit her lip, then tucked a springy curl behind one ear, ducking her heard with the hurt expression she always got lately when we talked about my decision on dating. She hated the fact that I didn't want to experience it.
"Exactly. Just do what I do Cherry, one night stands. That way you never have to worry about the commitment or hearing from them again." Logan grimmed and Cassie rolled her eyes.
"Don't do that Cherry. Logan just has a fear of commitment." Cassie smiles.
"Hey now, I've been fully commited to you two for the last three years, I think that's saying something."
"But, you haven't slept with either of us." Cassie says and Logan and I exchange a glance between eachother. The thing was Logan had but upon my request. It happened one night that we never bring up into discussion. I knew I wasn't going to be in a relationship with anyone but I didn't want to be seventeen and not have lost my virginity so out of the people I knew best I asked Logan, he was hestiant thinking that it would make things weird between us but it didn't. In fact it was almost like it never happened except when Cassie brings up Logan's dating life. I just let out a giant sigh completely ignoring the entire conversation and Logan nodded. "Cherry, please don't go all anti-men on me. I need a wing-woman tonight."
"Tonight?" The very thought if it made me itch. But then, I wasn't Cassie. I'd powered through most nights going to clubs by overly drinking and trynig not to make a fool out of myself. I made sure there were no guys, no messy romantic encounters, no dealing with an unstable Cassie and making sure I always had a phone on me incase I needed someone.
"Well, I know Alix is going to be at this club tonight. I figured I'd make an apperance." She reached over and turned up the radio, filling the room with some boppy song with a la-la-la chorus. I made my way over to her closet, pulling open the door to examine my options.
"So what do you wear to get revenge on somebody?" I asked her, as she was twirling a lock of hair around one finger. "Black for mourning? Or something cheerful and colorful or maybe I should wear some sort of camouflage, something that will help us disappear quickly in case it doesn't go well." This made Logan laugh and I just smiled.
"Personally." She tells me, pulling out a pair of jean shorts and a top with the back ripped, placing them in my hands. "I'm thinking something with a bit of cleavage."
"Please. I'm just going to go with something dark and slimming. I'm not the one trying to get revenge on Alix." I handed it back to her.
"Come on, Cherry you wear that every night. Please consider it." Cassie groaned. "Logan help me out here."
"No thanks." Logan said while lighting up another cigg. It had been his third within a twenty minute time span and I just shook my head.
"Cassie, this is every night." I responded.
By the time I was able to find something to wear that fit up to Cassie's standards we got to Bazel and it was already two in the morning. We pulled up, parked and walked up. We always goes to Bazel because Logan knows the bouncer. Cassie blinked, stuck her hand down her shit and came out with her id. She kept everything in her bra, money, id, extra barettes, it was like sleight of hand the way she pulled things from it like a quarters from your ear. We went up to the door, Steven eyeing us from the back of the line making us go forward where he was sitting on a stool propping the door open. You had to be twenty one to drink though with our connections Cassie and I could usually get out hand stamped. Especially by Steven.
"Cherry, Cherry." He says wrapping me in a hug. "The night is definitely doing you justice."
"I don't know what you're talking about." I said, smiling at him just as he stamped my hand and we made our way inside. Bazel was already crowded. It appeared that the band hadn't even come on yet, but the bar was two deep and the air was full of smoke which was exactly when we lost Logan.
"Let's find a table." Cassie calls out to me and I nodded, heading for the bar, pushing my way through the crowd, dodging people until we got a decent spot by the beer taps. I was trying to wave down the bartender when I felt someone brush up against me. I pulled away but it was packed to where I was standing.
"Ah, we meet again." I heard his voice in my ear just as I turned my head slightly and right there, practically on top of me, was the guy from the gas station. Just my luck.
"Oh fuck me." I placed my head against the counter wishing I could possibly be anywhere else but here.
"Well, it's a bit sudden and I usually ask for names first but I guess I could make an exception. I'm Elijah" I ignored him glancing around behind me for Cassie but saw she had been waylaid by a guy in a plaid shirt I didn't recognize, let me tell you, the girl's fast.
"cherry sierra mist mixed with vodka." I shouted at the bartender who'd finally seen me.
"Make that two." Elijah yells.
"Excuse me, you are not with me." I snap.
"That could change." He responded. God, he was so full of himself it was annoying.
"I'm not-" I said just as the bartender dropped two plastic cups in front of me.
"Will you be impressed if I tell you I own the club?"
"Really? Not at all?" He raises his eyebrows. "God, that usually works with chicks."
"Look." I say whirling back around facing him. "First of all, I'm not just some chick and second I don't like you." I turned my back to him and started to elbow my way back through the crowd back to Cassie.
"I could give you free drinks." He offered still following me. I was moving so fast that the drink I was carring kept sloshing but damn he caught up.
"I don't want free drinks."
"Everybody wants free drinks." He really didn't know how to take a hint.
"Not me." I tapped Cassie on the shoulder and she turned around, she had on her flirting face, all wide-eyed and flushed and I handed her my drink. "I'm going to find Logan."
"I'm right behind you." She replied, waving at the guy she'd been dancing with but Elijah kept following me.
"I think you like me." He decides just as I step on someones food but I keep moving.
"I think youre a stalker." I say finally spying Logan in a corner booth, head propped on one elbow talking to some blonde that he probably met ten minutes ago, he looked bored. When he saw me he held up both hands, in a what-the hell gesture but I just shook my head.
"Who is this guy?" Cassie called out from behind me.
"Nobody. Don't worry." I muttered.
"Elijah." He responded to her extending his hand whlie still keeping in perfect step with me. "How are you this evening?"
"I'm well." She said, a big uneasily. "Cherry..."
"Ignore him." I called behind me stepping around two guys in dreadlocks. "He'll lose interest and leave eventually."
"Oh sweetheart," he says cheerfully. "I'm just getting started."