FACT : No one really wants to spill their secret.
The clock hanging on the far wall of a jewel-toned boutique winked as each second passed. Cassia sat in a fluffy armchair opposite the sapphire wall mindlessly twisting her hair between her fingers until the velvet curtain ripped back to reveal Sabrina in yet another dress she wouldn’t purchase.
“You don’t like that one either?” Cassia asked of the long red jersey-knit gown. The braided detail complimented Sabrina’s tiny stature but her face was turned up in disgust. It was the seventeenth dress she had tried on in this store alone. While Cassia was growing tired of playing personal shopper, she feigned patience for her sister. They hadn’t spent any real time together since long before the wedding.
Turning to see every angle in the three-mirror display Sabrina shook her head. Holding her hand out for the last set of dresses she directed a worried gaze at her sister. While nothing more than attire for another Price Family formal event seemed to be on her mind, Sabrina had fears much bigger than she wanted to admit. The very thought of spilling these demons to even her sister was enough to make her sick.
Sabrina waited until she was safe behind the heavy velvet curtain before she begin speaking about her husband. “I’m starting to worry about Ethan, he’s gotten so distant lately. I’m afraid he’s gotten himself in trouble.”
Her words were firm and direct. It caused Cassia to purse her lips. She furrowed her brow but not to communicate anger. Ethan was not one of her favorite topics; most recently it was easier to pretend he didn’t exist. When no words were expressed in concern for Sabrina, the red dress she had just been wearing flew out the side of the curtain and towards Cassia’s head.
“I’m afraid he’s using again.” Sabrina continued sliding a hanger across the tile floor. Cassia easily put the two pieces together.
“Using you or cocaine?” She asked standing to hang the dress with the others Sabrina had rejected.
“CASSIE!” Sabrina scolded tearing back the curtain enough to display the offense that had been painted across her cheeks.
Cassia shrugged struggling not to laugh, “It was an honest question.”
“He just doesn’t seem like himself anymore.” Sabrina pouted returning to the confines of her fitting room.
Cassia settled back into her seat, hoping she wouldn’t sound too argumentative. “I don’t think I’m the person you should be going to for Ethan advice.”
“But you know him better than anyone, and besides you’re my big sister!” Sabrina insisted joining Cassia in front of the mirror display once more. “Can you help me zipper this?” She asked.
Once she slid the zipper up effortlessly, Cassia unclipped her sister’s hair, allowing the long chestnut waves to cascade down her shoulders elegantly. The satin dress was just the right shade of fuchsia to bring out the slight natural rose color in Sabrina’s complexion without causing her to appear embarrassed.
“But do you think I rushed into marrying him?” Sabrina asked from the mirror.
“Bri,” Cassia’s voice was gentle and soft. Sure, Sabrina threw tantrums and had the tendency to make certain situations more difficult, but Cassia could never want to deliberately hurt her, “You just barely turned twenty. Of course I think you rushed into it.”
When Sabrina exhaled melancholy Cassia realized just speaking sweetly hadn’t kept feelings from being hurt. She forced a smile at her little sister, “But you know better than anybody, if there is something a Meyer girl wants nothing can stop us from getting it.”
Sabrina smiled in agreement; only then focusing on the satin dream she was wearing. “This is the one!” She announced as though the previous conversation had never taken place.
Just a few blocks away, Brendon was locked in a stare with his empty water glass. Across from him, Regina sat finishing her lunch in between random bursts of excitement for the approaching tour. He was listening to her, he really was, but he couldn’t help try and fill that empty water glass with all the good intentions he was on the verge of revealing. It was ideas of love that had never accompanied the early stages of his past relationships that ruled most of his conscious thought these days.
“Bren?” Regina laughed waved her fork trying to get his attention, “Brendon, you there? You looked pretty vacant for a second.”
With a gulp that caused his Adam’s apple to bob, he met her gaze. She smiled and the words that evoked an unsettling fear spilled from his mouth, “I think I love you.” His hands immediately moved to cover his mouth. His naturally round eyes increased in size.
Regina felt her face rush with color. Quieting the increased beating of her heart in attempt to dull the feelings she had to match his sentiment she quietly replied, “We’ve only known each other two months.”
Brendon looked away from her, focusing on the people passing on the sidewalk just outside of the outdoor patio. He had never taken relationships seriously, a fact that could be seen with even just a surface examination of his past relationships. And really, he didn’t know the words to explain why this time was different. He tried anyway, “Part of me thinks I might be crazy. All I meant was that... well...I’m not proposing anything more than the idea of us being together, being something important, being just me and you and nothing else.”
Regina neatly placed her fork down, smiling at the core of his message, “I thought you said you didn’t ‘do’ commitment?”
“I did. I mean I don’t. Usually I try and get as far away from it as I can. But this time it’s different, with you it’s different.” He explained, bowing his head to hide the flush that had run too his cheeks.
“Brendon Boyd Urie, behind all that bravado there’s really just a hopeless romantic in there, isn’t there?” Her eyes danced with laughter. Brendon quickly repaired his wit, knowing it was still possible to turn the whole conversation into a joke. It was something he was good at.
“Basically, I just don’t want you to get out on tour and fall in love with Ryan Ross.” Brendon explained a smirk creeping across his face, “Because if you’re not prepared that’s exactly what’s going to happen. I know from experience.”
“Are you implying you went on tour unprepared and fell in love with Ryan Ross?” Regina giggled, watching as Brendon took the bill from the waiter. Opening his wallet without hesitation.
“Possibly,” He shrugged. Pausing only to build momentum to the punch line, “All those things those kids write on the internet, they can’t all be fiction.” winks.
“You start your own rumors, don’t you Brendon?” Regina could not control her laughter. He simply winked. His face split into a smile when he couldn’t play it cool anymore.
Across the patio, Cassia and Sabrina were seated at a table for two. That didn’t stop Brendon from leaping out of his seat and pulling a chair up to join them. Regina couldn’t bound after him with quite enough speed. By the time she skidded to a halt in front of the table Brendon was exclaiming, “A salad, but you have to remember you’re eating for two now!”
Brushing hair out of her face, Sabrina rolled her eyes at the dark haired stranger. “Cassie, please tell me you don’t know this creep!” She cringed.
“That creep would be my boyfriend.” Regina announced. Cassia finally looked up from her menu was glad to see her best. Brendon’s comment was sure to inspire some difficult questions from her sister.
“We all want to see a very healthy baby in a few months, have the steak!” Brendon encouraged her.
“Cassia, is he joking?” Sabrina laughed uncomfortably. There was nothing funny about the possibility of becoming an aunt in the near future.
“No, it isn’t a joke,” Cassia sighed, “I’m pregnant.”
“Have you told mom and dad?”
Regina looked on awkwardly. This wasn’t the type on conversation she and Brendon should be overhearing. “No.” Cassia shook her head, “And Bri, don’t!”
“I can’t promise anything.” She shrugged flipping her hair over her shoulder.
“Don’t tell Ethan either!” Cassia insisted knowing her sister often had trouble keeping secrets undercover.
“And the father?!?!” Sabrina choked on the very thought of the question.
Brendon’s chatter started again, “His name is Jon. He’s going to be your future brother-in-law.”
“Jon?” Sabrina was hesitant to believe her sister would be involved with anyone who sounded so simple, “You’ve never mentioned anyone but Jon.”
“Bri, let’s not talk about this right now.” Cassia pleaded, “Please, let’s just enjoy this.”
“Come on,” Regina pleaded, “Brendon we really should let them have their lunch.” Obediently, Brendon stood. Returning his chair to the nearby table.
“At least tell me what I can start buying pink dresses?” Sabrina asked refolding her napkin in her lap.
“That’s not going to go over too well when it’s a boy!” Brendon said firming. Regina grabbed his arm in attempt to lead him away.
“It’s a boy?” This was far too much information to take in all at once, “I’m going to have a nephew?”
“I...I...I don’t know yet.” Cassia stammered, “It’s still too soon to tell.”
Regina was nearly inside the restaurant before Brendon even moved from the spot in front of the table the sisters shared. He felt as though there was a knife in his pocket, a concealed weapon just waiting to be unleashed. He had talked to Jon the night before. And from a phone line in Chicago the man could not put his current thoughts into words. He sounded unlike Brendon had ever heard him before. He said he hadn’t been sleeping since he left California the morning after he found out he was going to be a father. He hadn’t spoken to Cassia at all. Above sounding anxious, above sounded scared, above sounding any other emotion that Brendon could place, Jon sounded tired. All Brendon wanted for his friend, was someone who could give him a good night’s sleep. They would need him in top form when tour started in a week.
Although Regina was beckoning him with just her glare, Brendon turned back to Cassia’s table. “You should call him,” He told her, “I think he’d really like to hear from you.”
Cassia nodded quietly. Brendon was right; she should call Jon. But with the nervous fluttering in her heart and the disapproving glances from her sister she knew that phone call would not be made.