Pete needs Brendon's help...
Pete was disappointed when the heavy door to the apartment opened and it wasn’t Ana’s face looking back at him. He was even more disappointed there was a six foot male in front of him with the stance of a bulldog and the face to match.
“Is Ana around?” he asked. The man at the door stared at Pete curiously, tilting his head a tiny bit to one side.
“I got it!” he suddenly exclaimed. “Emo band right?” Pete just frowned impatiently. He didn’t want to play guess the band member with this guy.
“Yeah right emo band.” Pete answered.
“So which one?” the guy asked. Pete sighed a deliberately heavy sigh before answering him. “Oh.” the guy seemed none the wiser. “No, never heard of them.” he added. Pete was growing increasingly impatient.
“Ana?” he reminded the bulldog. “Is she around?”
“She’s around.” he still didn’t stand back and welcome Pete into the apartment. Instead he adopted a rather familiar attitude, one of security. Pete knew the body language of security staff, he recognised it immediately. “Who’s asking?”
“A dude from an emo band.” Pete smiled hoping his charm might work some magic. The bulldog assessed the situation before he agreed to let Pete into the apartment.
“Wait there, I’ll get her.” he shuffled along the corridor and Pete heard his fist meet with wood. “ANA!” he shouted.
Pete looked around the apartment. It wasn’t that big, it was a mess and there was a stale smell of cigarette smoke in the air. It could have been worse but unfortunately it wasn’t the picture Ana had painted of her new life. Pete was used to her hiding certain truths so it wasn’t an insult to him that she had lied. He understood why she had. The bulldog shouted again “ANA!” and Pete decided he needed to intervene.
“How about I let her know I’m here?” Pete suggested as he approached the bulldog.
“I don’t think - “ Ana’s door opened before the bulldog could finish his sentence and a skinny boy with a thick mess of hair pushed his way past both of them without a word or a look. Pete sighed again, another heavy sigh and he pushed the door open.
“Thanks for your help.” he said to the bulldog and entered Ana’s room.
It was dark inside. The curtains were drawn shut but Pete heard movement. “Ana?” he squinted as his eyes adjusted to the light or lack of light.
“What?” her voice sounded muffled. Pete pulled the curtains apart a little and a shard of light shone into the room, straight across the bed illuminating Ana’s thin body under the sheets. She had lost weight, no doubt. Her face was buried in the pillows and again she said “What?”
“It’s Pete Ana.” he said softly as he sat himself on the edge of the bed. Pete noticed the state of the room, the floor covered in clothes and dirty plates and glasses. The paint on the walls crumbling, the glass in the window taped up so it didn’t fall out. This wasn’t how Ana would be living if she was in her right mind. Pete knew her, she loved her comforts, she loved nice things. She wasn’t dirty and she wasn’t the kind of person who would live this way happily. He saw an empty pipe on the bed side table, he saw a bag of weed beside it. He noticed what looked like traces of white powder dusted over a pretty mirror laying on the floor. What was she doing? Why had she got herself into this state?
Pete waited as she very slowly pushed her messy her from her face and turned to see him. Her eyes looked empty, she was wasted he could tell straight away. Damn it! He felt guilty. He should have kept a closer eye on her, he should have got her out of this place and kept her with him but she’d been so stubborn about not being anywhere near Ryan or the band. She’d been insistent that he told no one she was in Vegas and that he never mention Ryan to her. Pete had been so busy, he hadn’t called her in weeks, he hadn’t checked on her. He should have checked on her.
“Pete.” she said with a tiny smile. “I was dreaming about you the other day.” Pete leaned in to catch her words, she was speaking so softly. “Or did that actually happen?”
“What are you talking about?” he asked her. She laughed.
“I have no idea.” she turned her head away from him and buried it back into her pillows.
“No Ana don’t go back to sleep.” Pete told her. “Ana you need to get up, we’re leaving.”
“Leaving Las Vegas.” she mumbled.
“We’re not leaving Las Vegas Ana. We‘re just leaving this apartment.”
“Nicholas cage right?”
“What the fuck are you on about?” Pete realised this would be more of a military operation than he first expected and he needed some help.
He got his phone out of his pocket. He hesitated for a moment. He wasn’t sure who he could call. Patrick and the other guys were all away with friends or family. It was their first break in months. The only person he could think of was Brendon. He knew he could trust him because he knew he cared about Ana. “Brendon.” he was relieved he had answered his phone. “I need a big favour.”
“Sure what’s up?” Brendon sounded cheerful as usual.
“You have to keep this from Ryan ok?” Brendon agreed, curious about what Pete was up to. Was it some elaborate surprise for Ryan? “Can you book a suite at a hotel for me, it doesn’t matter too much which one.”
“Yeah ok.” Brendon was excited to find out why, what for.
“Actually don’t make it any of the really big ones, we need to be discreet ok?”
“Right.” Brendon laughed, it all sounded very cloak and dagger. “Anything else?”
“Let me know which one and wait there for me. I’ll call you.”
“Are you going to tell me what the hell this little operation is all about?”
“Ana.” Pete said. “It’s about Ana.” Brendon’s heart raced at the mention of her name. Ana?
"Is she ok?" were his first thoughts.
"Kind of." Pete wasn't sure if she was ok. "Look she's in a bit of a state, I just need somewhere private to bring her and we'll see what's what then ok?"
"Ok, I'll sort it, I'll text you which hotel and you can call me when you arrive." Brendon could feel the adrenaline begin to kick in and he ended his call with Pete ready to fullfill his part of the plan.
It was so strange to hear her name again. He thought about her all the time but he wasn't allowed to mention her in case it upset Ryan. What about him? No one thought about how he felt. No one asked if he was missing her.