Vanilla and Cherry Garcia
I was back at school on Friday. It was the boredom of hanging around my chilly house all day that eventually got to me – that and the fact that I knew I had to face my friends sooner or later. I still hadn’t gotten over the absolute humiliation from Wednesday night. It was the look on their faces more than anything; I don’t know what they expected my mother to be like, but I highly doubt they expected to see her in a stripper costume the first time round. Even If I try to forget it even happened, I’ll still carry this horrible burning shame inside of me.
It could have gone worse. When I climbed into Ryan’s car this morning I was greeted by the usual chorus of ‘Hi’s’ and ‘Hey’s’ and a cheery smile from Kate as she moved her bag aside to create a space for me to sit. Things started to get a little more awkward from then onwards. They looked uncomfortable, I felt uncomfortable. It lasted like this until we pulled up into the school parking lot. So, like I do whenever a situation becomes awkward, I became blunt. ‘My mums a call girl and works on the strip. Please don’t tell anyone, because I think I just might die.’ I said.
‘Oh Steph.’ Said Kate, hugging me ‘Don’t worry, you can trust us.’
‘It’s just so embarrassing’ I groaned into her shoulder.
‘Don’t worry.’ Said Spencer, unsurely ‘they’re um, really common here...’
‘Yes, and I’m sure most of this lot have them for mothers.’ I said sarcastically, gesturing towards the properly dressed and pointy faced students, milling through the gates. ‘Can you imagine all the grief I’d get if they knew?’
‘They won’t’ Said Ryan, taking the keys out of the ignition ‘Don’t worry.’
But it wasn’t them spreading it that I was particularly worried about.
_ _ _
Jane’s house was big to say the least. Everything looked grand and posh and neat and tidy- just like her. Even her mother and her stepfather were walking washing powder advertisements, with their prim appearance and smart stature. I felt sorry for leaving Ryan with them as Jane whisked me and Kate upstairs to her bedroom to prepare ourselves for the barbecue.
I waited for the straightening irons to warm up as Jane sat herself down on a stool in front of me and Kate sat down in front of a mirror to apply her make-up. I was itching to talk to Jane alone about Wednesday night, and my chance did finally come when Kate left for the bathroom, after being fed Jane’s confusing directions. I cleared my throat.
‘Jane?’ I said, swiftly guiding the irons along a thick curl, leaving a much sleeker replacement in its trail. ‘I was wondering if you could possibly not mention to anyone what you saw the other night. Like, with my mom.’
My voice was jittery.
‘Oh, of course not.’ She said, turning to face me ‘It’s not as if it’s anyone’s business. You can trust me.’
I smiled gratefully at her and she turned back around. I don’t know whether it was just that persuasive toothpaste ad smile, but she did seem genuine. Maybe I could trust her. Perhaps I would. I did.
_ _ _
I stepped outside behind Jane and Kate, into the unsurprisingly large and pretty garden. Various small round tables with white and red tablecloths, complete with their own centrepieces, had been dotted around it - dodging the clear blue pool that shimmered prettily with the illumination of the lights from within. The sun was setting beneath an orange sky as the evening drew closer and darker. The air was decorated with the buzz of chatter from the numerous guests as light salsa music played in the back ground. The smell of burgers and sausages wafted from the barbecue that Jane’s Stepdad was busy preparing.
‘It’s so pretty.’ Kate breathed and she stepped out from the patio doors and onto the gravel which was packed with mingling bodies. Most of the guests were a lot older than us. The only teenagers there were us and a few other friends of Jane that she had invited.
I spotted Ryan standing in a group with Spencer, Brent and Brendon. He looked up and glanced at me as I made my way over to them, Kate and Jane following.
‘I didn’t know you guys were going to be here.’ I said to Brendon and Brent, as they looked up at me and blinked.
‘Wow Steph, you look beautiful.’ Spencer said, as I found myself blushing.
‘Aw gee Spence’ I said, tugging on an artificially developed curl.
‘She looks great with curls doesn’t she?’ Jane chipped proudly.
‘Yes she looks very pretty, doesn’t she Ryan?’ Brendon said looking pointedly at Ryan who blinked and cleared his throat.
‘Yeah, they look nice on you.’ He nodded, as I found my face heating up more drastically whilst I made the transformation into tomato girl. He flashed a smile, and my knees went oddly weak.
Brendon was studying my reaction with interest. I hastily gave a quick smile and looked away. Brent said nothing.
‘Hey Steph, want to help me get this party started?’ Spencer asked, holding his hand out to me.
‘Let’s do it.’ I said, taking his hand and letting him lead me into the middle of the crowd where we began creating our own salsa dance for mainly our own amusement.
As the evening continued, the stars began to sparkle in the sky adding to the delicate ambiance of the party, and more and more people joined in with the dancing. This included Jane and Ryan who I couldn’t help but get slightly distracted by, especially when Jane sent me a confusing wink at one point which I didn’t understand.
‘I’m going to take a break.’ I said to Spencer.
I meandered threw the crowd, further back into the garden to join Brendon, Brent and Kate at one of the tables beside the glittering pool.
‘I think I’ll go and join Spencer now.’ Kate said, jumping up and walking off as I took her seat next to Brendon, who was busy stuffing his face with a veggie burger.
‘You’ve got ketchup on your chin.’ I said, handing him a napkin.
He took it to wipe his face, and I looked away to try and find Spencer and Kate dancing. My eyes settled on Jane and Ryan before I could find them though, and I couldn’t seem to take them away. They were smiling, and whispering things to each other. At some point they shared a brief kiss, which made a feeling form in my stomach that was so unpleasant I groaned out loud.
‘Is everything OK?’ Brendon asked, poking my shoulder with his forefinger. I blinked at sat up, snapping out of my daze.
‘Yeah, fine. Why?’
‘You’ve been staring at Jane and Ryan for like the past 10 minutes now.’ He said.
‘Hey where did Brent go?’ I asked, ignoring his statement- only just realizing Brent was no longer there.
‘He went to the bathroom.’
‘OK. I’m just going to come right out and ask it.’ He said ‘Are you in love with Ryan?’
I was momentarily speechless due to the bluntness of his question, but when I found my voice I managed to stutter an ‘N-n-no.’
Brendon’s dark eyes light up and he grinned widely ‘Oh my God, you so are!’
‘No, I’m not.’ I said hastily, randomly and pointlessly swapping the positions of the knife and fork on Brent’s cleared plate.
‘You can tell me. I swear I won’t say a thing; I’m a very trust worthy person. Honest.’ Brendon said, pleadingly.
I shook my head and tittered. ‘Of course I trust you, but I seriously don’t think of Ryan like that, what gave you the idea that I did?’
‘I’ll have you know I can be a very observant person. I’m good at sensing these things. But if you say you don’t, then I’ll take your word for it, because I know you and I know you wouldn’t lie to me because you’re my friend. Right?’
Oh crap. He’d gone and done it. I was going to have to voice what I had even been too afraid to fully admit to myself. His brown eyes blinked at me and his lips formed into an adorable pout; I didn’t have a choice.
I sighed in defeat and shrugged my shoulders. ‘Fine. I won’t lie to you; I might- just might- have the teensiest sort of, kind of crush on Ryan. But it’s nothing, really. It’s no big deal. I mean most of the girls I know like him...It’s not like I’m in love with him.’
‘I knew it!’ Brendon gasped excitedly.
‘Yeah, yeah. Look, let’s not make a big deal out of it.’
‘But this is HUGE.’ He said ‘Ooo, you must be so Jealous of Jane. If it’s any consolation, I think you’d make a much better girlfriend for Ryan.’
‘Really?’ I said, biting my lip.
He nodded enthusiastically. ‘Yeah, I mean Jane’s alright, but she’s too Vanilla. Ryan needs someone more ...Cherry Garcia.’ Brendon said as I laughed.
‘Well’ I said ‘I’m probably too Cherry Garcia for him, I don’t think he’d ever consider me as a girlfriend. Not that it matters- I wouldn’t date him anyway. He is my best friend’s boyfriend after all.’
‘Oh, so you’re not planning on mentioning anything to Kate?’
I shook my head and shrugged. ‘What’s the point? I’ll probably be over it soon anyway.’
‘Ahhh, you just wait’ Said Brendon, leaning back and clasping his hands together ‘Next thing you know you’ll be falling for him more and more, and before you know it you’ll find yourself heart-wrenchingly in love with him, and oh sure, you’ll try to fight it, but eventually you’ll have to give in to the fact that you want him. You want him for yourself, yet here he is whispering sweet nothings in her ears, not yours. And it’ll hurt, it’ll burn, it will fucking shred you to pieces, and you’ll become a mess, ever yearning to be the girl he holds tight in his skinny arms. Yet you’re subjected to the sidelines, always wondering what could have been, finding it hard to focus on anything else. Yes, Stephanie Moore, it will down right destroy you.’
I blinked at him speechless.
‘Well it could’ He shrugged. ‘But if you’re so sure you’ll get over then I’m sure you’ll be fine. So are you excited about summer?’
Sorry it's been so long, I've been sooooooooooooooooo busy, its insane. In something thats half related to PATD (only not really) I'm having a band thats toured with a loads of Fueled By Ramen bads (and McFly =S) play at my joint 16th birthday party in march. We bumped into the guitarist and lead singer today and spoke to them. They are hot and I am in love. So when I become a rocsktars girlfriend and they bring me on their tour with Panic, I'll send you all autographs.