The Birthday Party
I ran around hugging everyone once we got off stage. I got to Aubrey and I paused. Would it be ok to hug her? I debated over it and then hugged her. I felt her relax into me a little, but that could’ve been my imagination. She smelled really nice. I knew it was an odd thing to notice, but I did anyway. I wanted to keep holding on to her, but I couldn’t. It was time for me to move on. Aubrey obviously already had. I pulled away and went outside.
Janelle was standing a small distance away from everyone else. I walked up to her. “Hey!” I said. “Happy Birthday.” she smiled. I gave her a kiss on the cheek. “Thanks.” I replied. “Isn’t it lovely out tonight?” she spoke. I loved hearing her French accent. “Ya. I really like the bonfire thing.” I nodded. She turned her face away from the sky to look at the large bonfire. “Yes, I like it too.” she smiled.
Whenever I wasn’t listening to all my friends I was listening to Janelle. I asked her about her life and everything, I was so curious about her. I learned that she and Mellie moved here from France about a year ago. Mellie had picked up English pretty quick, but Janelle said that she, herself, had trouble with it. I loved hearing about her life. She was just so interesting to me.
“I would ask questions about you, but my sister has already told me everything.” she said with a small laugh. “Ya, that happens. Sometimes I think the fans know us better than we do.” I chuckled. “I bet it’s crazy. I don’t know how you handle it.” she shook her head. “It still surprises us sometimes, but its easier to deal with after a while.” I explained.
My phone beeped. It was midnight. “Guys I have an announcement!” I said loudly over the chatter. Everyone got quiet. “You see, Chelcie, here told me not to tell anyone it was her birthday today. Well its not today anymore, technically it’s the sixteenth now.” I grinned widely at Chelcie. “So happy day-after-birthday Chelcie!” I kept grinning. Frankie came outside. “If anyone wants cake they better get in here!” he shouted. Everyone hurried in.
I laughed at Chelcie’s expression as we walked in. “I cant believe he told everyone that.” she tried to pout. “Get over it birthday girl.” Brooke laughed. “Technically its not my birthday anymore.” Chelcie corrected. “Whatever.” I rolled my eyes.
There were two cakes backstage. One with nineteen candles and the other with seventeen. Obviously Nick had told Denise and Paul about Chelcie’s birthday. We all sang Happy Birthday loudly and then Chelcie and Joe blew out the candles. Everybody clapped. I took a big piece of cake. I was laughing along with everyone and then I seen Janelle get her piece of cake. It was the smallest sliver of cake. Just the fact that she only took that much bothered me. It made me feel ugly and fat. Suddenly I lost my appetite for cake.
I watched Joe and Janelle. They seemed so interested with each other. I was just about to blow up with jealously and then I got a text. It read:
‘Hey its Kyle.’
I smiled at the text and remembered that I still had Kyle. ‘Hey’ I text him back. For awhile I just sent texts back and forth to Kyle. “Aubrey.” Joe’s voice pulled me out of my text conversation with Kyle. “Ya.” I looked up. “I wanted to introduce you to Janelle.” he pointed to Janelle. “Hi.” she said with a French accent. “Hey.” I said blandly. “Joe has told me a lot about you.” she smiled. I almost smiled. Joe had told her about me? That meant that he had been thinking about me. “I hope it was all good things.” I responded. “Oh it was.” she nodded. “I couldn’t say bad things. You have never done anything bad to me.” he looked in my eyes. It was quiet. “Well I think I’m going to introduce Janelle to some more people.” Joe said and walked away.
I stood there in shock. Joe had looked at me with a look I had never seen. Always before when Joe looked at me there was this love in his eyes that made it hard for me to stay mad at him, but this time it wasn’t there. It wasn’t that there wasn’t love in his eyes, but it wasn’t strong. It was weak and fading.
I looked over at Aubrey. The look on her face bothered me. She was watching Janelle and Joe. I decided to leave Brooke talking with everyone and see what was with Aubrey. “Hey Aubs.” I said. “Hey.” she replied with a touch of sadness in her voice. “What’s wrong?” I asked. “Nothing. Why would something be wrong.” she defended herself. “Come on Aubrey. Remember you told me that I had to be your older brother, so since I’m your older brother I want to know what’s wrong.” I reasoned. “Fine.” she muttered. “To be honest, Kevin, I’m…I’m…jealous…” she sighed. “You’re jealous?” I raised my brow. “Yes.” she sighed.
I thought for a moment, carefully choosing my next words. “Why are you jealous? You seemed to have moved on.” I spoke. “I know. It’s stupid really. Kyle is a great guy and I really like him, but the thought of Joe being with another girl…” she trailed off and then shook her head. “Why don’t you tell him how you feel.” I suggested. “Because he seems really happy hanging out with that Janelle girl.” she waved towards them. “Think how Joe felt when you were hanging out with Kyle.” I said. “I know Kevin, I know.” she shook her head. “Just think about talking to him ok?” I used a pleading voice. “Ok.” she nodded. I walked away from her.
Kevin left me with a lot to think about. Before I could only guess how Joe was feeling, but now I could feel it too. My heart ached. Kyle was great, but I never wanted to really go out with him. My heart belonged to Joe. At last we all said goodbye to everyone. I watched as Janelle and Joe exchanged numbers. I knew that a look of pain was on my face, there was no way that I could hide this pain. I also knew that everyone could probably see the look on my face, but at this point I just didn’t care.
We walked onto the bus and I went back to my bunk. I needed to talk and this time I didn’t want Brooke or Chelcie, this time I wanted my Momma. I know it sounded pathetic but I needed to talk to her and her alone. I slowly dialed her number on my phone.
“Hello?” I heard her tired voice.
“Mom, it’s me, Aubrey.” I answered.
“Oh. Hi sweetheart.”
“I need to talk.”
“Denise has probably told you Joe and I were dating right?” I asked.
“Well we broke up. I met this new guy Kyle and hung out with him today and then at Joe’s birthday party he was hanging out with some girl named Janelle.”
“…I’m so sorry sweetie.” I heard the concern in her voice.
“What do I do Mom?” I pleaded.
She sighed, “Talk to him. I know you don’t want to, but it’s the only way to fix this.”
I paused. “That’s what Kevin said.”
“Well Kevin was right. Aubrey, just get him alone and talk to him. You cant hide it forever, eventually you’ll burst.” she knew me to well.
“Ok Mom, I will. Thanks for the advice.”
“Your welcome. I’m so sorry, I’d love to talk but I got to get some sleep.”
“Alright. Well I love you.”
“Love you too.”
I snapped my phone shut. I would have to talk to Joe, there was no way out of it. Mom was right, eventually I would burst. I could hold things in for quite awhile, but once quite awhile was over, the feelings came rushing out. It happened to me every time I had a lot of emotions that were hard to control. One small thing could break loose all the emotions. If I didn’t talk to Joe soon, I would end up getting extremely angry and sad and make a complete fool out of myself. I could handle anger or sadness, but I didn’t handle it well when they got mixed.
I began to think about talking to him. What would I say to Joe? When would be the right time to talk? Would Joe listen? Could I even follow through with it? So many questions raced through my mind in one quick blur. I blinked a couple times and shook the thoughts out of my mind. I would just have to talk to Joe and that was that. Period. End of story. There was no other solution.