Now, walking the streets of Newark, I have completely realized why I moved to New Jersey in the first place; I love it. For some unexplainable reason, I absolutely love New Jersey and everything about it. The car horns blaring? I love it. The constant yelling and violent threats, that are most likely empty? I love it. There isn't a thing that anyone could point out that I wouldn't find something that I loved about it. Strange how I feel like I was born and raised here, when in truth I was just beginning my life in the not-so scenic Newark, New Jersey.
As much as I love it here I can't help but feel a little out of my element. Sure we all sound the same pretty much, and yeah we all curse like sailors but none of that can compare with the staggering difference between me and everyone else here; looks. If I thought my looks stood out back in Alabama, I might as well be sideshow here. Everywhere I look I see a few things in common with the people around me; they are all very tan. It's probably because they're all most likely some part Italian, but I definitely stick out with my ivory skin. Based on all the people I've seen so far, their eye colors are mainly hazel, with a few exceptions of light brown while my eyes are coal black. None of the girls here have any visible tattoos and that's saying something because the majority of the females I've seen aren't wearing much; another difference. Despite all the differences between the rest of the population of Jersey and I, I think I'll like it here.
Finally I see a Starbucks, which is always a plus because coffee is god in liquid form; people need it. I walked in, surprised to see not that many people in there because usually there is, like, three thousand people just dying to get some coffee. Of course there are your standard kids you'd see in a coffee shop; geeks, goths, preps, and... other. I tried not to classify them too much because I hated when people did that to me, but it just kind of happens. The geeky kids sat there clicking their lives away on laptops; blogging most likely. Gothic looking kids sat there talking quietly amongst themselves and occasionally jotting down a few words on notepads in front of them; morbid poems without a doubt. And the preps.... fully stocked with little dogs and everything, those preppy chicks just can't stand the diversity of this place; can you say 'latte to go, please'?
Then there were the people that really couldn't be categorized. Unfortunately with the lack of people in general here, there weren't many 'other' people here either. One looked a little business-like complete with suit and tie; he just stood there until, I suppose, he couldn't handle the lack of general structure so he left. Another looked a bit like a gypsy; she had flowy grey hair, and was even dressed in the whole purple satin get-up. But one of the unlabeled people stood out a little more to me for some reason. Maybe it was basic physical similarities between the two of us; whatever the reason, he didn't go unnoticed.
I decided to get my coffee before I broke down every little thing about him. I do that a lot; it makes me feel less freak-ish. It's not a nice thing to do, really, but it's not like I'm going to tell anyone my conclusions on a person or anything. The dude behind the counter was really easy to peg; struggling rock star. I immediately had nothing but respect for this guy because I knew his pain of having to work at a job so far from what you really want to be doing.
"Half-caf decaf with extra sugar, please," I said. He smiled in what seemed like approval in my choice of caffeinated-- or in this case, half caffeinated-- beverage. I could feel the light smile break on my face at the gesture.
"Here you go, Briella," he said handing me my coffee. I took it and was just about to say thanks, but something caught my attention. He knew my name?
I couldn't stop the confused look that found it's way to my face. "Um, thanks. How do you know my name? Do I know you?" I asked awkwardly. I searched mentally through all of the people that I've ever met with that face, but I came up with nothing.
"Oh, c'mon, you don't remember me?" he asked teasingly. I shook my head biting at my lip ring. "Maybe it's the hair..." he mused. "My name is Cory Blake. We went to middle school together...?" he prompted. I immediately knew who he was.
"Oh my God." This man standing before me was once my best friend. I could not believe my eyes; he looked so clean. Back in the day he was this scruffy, perverted, sicko who used make air humping motions behind the teachers' backs. "Cory. I haven't seen you in forever. What are you doing in Newark?"
He laughed. "Honey, I could ask you the same question. Last time I checked, you were livin' it up in Bama," he reminded me. I grinned at him.
"I finally got out," I said proudly. That was something we had always talked about; getting out and taking the world by storm. He was supposed to be in jail right about now if our predictions were correct.
He nodded his head. "Ride on, ride on. I came up here when Damien decided to start playing drums again. Blond Knock Out is so back, Bri." Damien was his older brother by eighteen months. They had always had an on-again/ off-again band. I was just happy to know I had a friend here, even if it was one I hadn't spoke to since I was thirteen. "Oh, I should let you get to your coffee. Plus I'm willing to bet there is a sketchbook in that bag of yours." It's amazing how he remembered such a detail about me. It's been ages since we've talked, much less sat down and let our creative fluids mix with the art of drawing.
I smiled. "You know me too well Mr. Blake," I said. "Here," I continued writing my cell phone number on the corner of a napkin. "Call me whenever. Don't be stranger, okay?" He nodded and I knew that he probably wouldn't call. That was just the unreliable Cory behavior we could all depend on.
I sat down at an empty table and sipped my coffee. I took out my sketchbook, but I couldn't draw anything. Nothing came to me, so I didn't push it; when you're inspired, you're inspired and when you're not, you're not. Once again he caught my attention.
He sat there drawing as well. An artist? Plus one for this guy. His hair was black and not long but definitely not short. And from what I could see of his eyes were either hazel or... yellow. What a strange color for eyes. Then again, I could really be talking about unnatural eye colors because mine were black, not brown, black. I watched him discretely for the next fifteen minutes at least. I was getting the feeling that sizing him up like that made me a bit of a stalker. I left because a stalker is something that I don't want to be.
Once again I was walking the uncharacteristically empty streets of Newark. I sipped my second coffee that I had gotten on my way out the door. For some reason, I didn't want to go home yet. I did the only illogical thing that, being Briella Andres, I could do; I turned around and began walking in the direction from which I had just came.
I looked down to put my sketchbook back into my bag seeing as how I hadn't put it up yet. Not looking where you are going doesn't really help the naturally clumsy. I collided head-on with someone, sending pictures and papers flying everywhere. Perfect. Some how I managed not to spill my coffee, but my sketchbook had just been stripped of all its contents.
"I am so sorry," I mumbled sitting my coffee down and picking up the papers. I suddenly realized that not only were some of the pictures I was picking up not mine, but the person I just pumbled was that 'other' guy from the coffee shop. I handed him the drawings that were undoubtedly his. "Here; these are really amazing." I scrambled to pick up just my pictures but it wasn't working well; they were all too mixed up.
"No, it's my fault I should've been watching where I was walking. Sorry," he apologized. "Did you draw these?" he asked me holding up one of my sketches. I wasn't sure whether or not to take that offensively because it sounded like he didn't think I could draw them. I just nodded my head and went back to trying to sort through the pictures. "This is... wow."
"Thanks," I said.
"I have an idea," he proposed, "How about we just take all of these to the park about a block from here? We could see each other's work and it will help sort them out." I couldn't argue with that kind of logic. I got the feeling immediately that he was a total dork; that's probably a good sign because I am too. We grabbed the pictures and papers in random piles and began walking toward the park. It's funny how I thought he stood out amongst few people that were in that particular Starbucks because he really didn't seem that different.
Walking, he struck up a conversation; not my forte. "My name is Gerard Way," he said. I almost laughed because he said in a tone that either implied he wasn't sure or he was asking for permission. Hmm. Gerard Way... familiar, but I don't think we've ever met; I would have remember him. Then again, I didn't remember Cory for Christ's sake! What kind of friend am I?
"Briella Andres," I introduced. "So, how long have you been drawing?" I asked casually. Awkwardly would be a more accurate word, but I was trying to make conversation.
Gerard bounced his head in a thinking fashion. "I think.... I think came out of the womb with a sketchbook, if you buy that," he grinned. I laughed. I'll take that as a really long time.
I was looking a sketch of his once we sat down at a bench. "'Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all'," I quoted in low voice. I probably shouldn't have said anything, but it just came to me when I looked at the piece; I could not contain it if I tried.
He leaned over to see exactly what I was looking at. He saw and looked up with a curious look in his eyes. "That's the quote that inspired this one actually," he said with a faint, reminiscent laugh.
"You aren't serious?" I said in partial disbelief. I've never been one to relate to others' work, unless they were dead already and couldn't tell me if I was wrong or not. After that we talked and discussed art until the sun went down some three hours later.
"Oh," I almost gasped checking my cell phone for the time. Hours had passed in what seemed like thirty minutes. "I should really get going." Though I didn't have much waiting for me back home, spending this much time with a person I just met is bit creepy to say the least.
He glanced down at his watch. "Dammit," he muttered.
"What is it?" I asked picking up my newly sorted out sketch book and sliding it into my back before another spill could take place; I would be out here forever if we had a repeat.
He gathered his things like wise. "Oh--nothing," he said sounding rushed. I raised my eyebrows a bit while he continued. "My wife, Lindsey, I was ah... supposed to be home around two and half hours ago. We're putting the finishing touches on our new house."
I nodded as if I cared. Not to sound rude, but um, I don't know her, dude. "Oh," I said with semi-false interest. "Is it here in Newark?" Of course, you fucking moron. Where else would it be?
"Uh, yeah it is," he said reaching in his messenger bag. "Actually we are having a house warming part tomorrow night and a bunch on friends and co-workers and some random neighbors are going to come. You interested?" He held out a piece of computer paper with a typed invitation on it stating time and place.
"Err... yeah, sure. I'll be there," I said with more promise than I was actually willing to keep. I quickly decided to go and if things got too awkward fake an illness and run like hell.
"Excellent," he grinned. "Well, I'll see you then, Bri."
I turned the other way and waved over my shoulder as he did. "Later, Gerard."
Hi! I hope you all like this update. I told you the Chemical was a' coming! ;) Don't worry, Briella goes to the party.... but that's ALL I'm saying about the subject.
Anyways, Rate and Review!!