Jamie spends some time with her friends at her usual hangout, with some humor and surprises along the way.
He, Mikey and I were sat around my usual table at the back of the shop.
'Pretty much,' I answered simply, quietly thinking that I had started to come a lot less since I had actually made some friends.
'Good coffee?' Mikey asked.
'Some of the best,' I replied.
'But like, what do you do here?' Frank wondered, looking around the deserted shop.
I shrugged. 'Write, think.'
'Oh, all that fun stuff,' He grinned.
'Just because you can't form a real thought or sentence doesn't mean other people can't,' Mikey teased.
I laughed as Frank proceeded to smack Mikey with the magazine.
It had been a month since that dreaded strip had turned pink, and already, my life and I were changing. First of all, I had to go to a doctor to make sure that the thing inside of me was doing alright. Secondly, for the first time in my life, I had a belly. What once had been a flat belly, was now a bump, and I was doing everything I could to hide it. All I could say was that I was lucky I owned a lot of baggy t-shirts. Today, Blink-182 was making an appearance on my chest.
'Have you seen them live before?' Frank asked, gesturing to my shirt.
I shook my head, disappointed. 'I haven't really been to any shows that weren't local. My mom wouldn't have it.'
Frank nodded sympathetically. 'Hey, I bet they have plenty more albums in them. They've only had Cheshire Cat and that other EP. And I heard they're recording something at the moment, actually.'
'Yeah. It's got the word ranch in the title. What is it, tennis ranch?'
'Ranch dressing?' I interjected.
'Dude Ranch, you morons.' Mikey rolled his eyes.
'Whatever,' Frank waved his hand dismissively. 'We should go see them next time they come to Jersey, anyway. You'll be eighteen by then, and your mom won't have a say in shit.'
I smiled hopefully at the thought of this. Frank always had a way of making me feel good. I wonder if he knew how much of a ray of sunshine he was.
My thoughts were interrupted by Gerard arriving in the shop and walking up to the counter. After ordering, he sauntered over to the table and pulled a chair over.
'And who said you could join us?' Frank said.
'Wasn't aware that I had to get permission from a hobbit to sit down.'
'No, but really,' Gerard continued. 'Does Tolkien know you've escaped from The Shire, or should I call him?'
'For some reason, I don't think Frank's escape would matter much to dear old John,' I replied smoothly. 'Seeing as he's, you know, dead.'
Gerard tore his eyes away from Frank to look at me. He looked amused. 'Well played.'
'Ha!' Frank yelled victoriously, as the usual old lady brought out four coffees and placed them on the table. Great, coffee I couldn't drink. Stupid caffeine. Stupid me, getting pregnant so I couldn't drink coffee.
'If you're going to annoy the shit out of me, I can always take back the coffee I bought you,' Gerard said to Frank, tongue in cheek.
'I'll be good,' Frank glowered at Gerard as he sipped his drink, and I looked on jealously.
'Hey Frodo, are you still having that party this weekend?' Mikey asked, smirking.
'Yeah, but it's been moved to your place cause your parents won't be home, and if you don't stop calling me hobbit names and acting like a fuck, you won't be invited,' Frank snapped.
'My house?' Mikey looked puzzled.
'Yeah, Frank's hiding the One Ring at his house so he doesn't want any guests with sticky fingers hanging around,' Gerard said.
'How could I not be invited to a party at my own house?' Mikey mused.
'Pippin's having a party?' I asked jokingly, tearing my eyes away from the coffee I couldn't drink.
'Nah, he's not Pippin, he's Merry,' Gerard interjected.
'He definitely doesn't seem very merry right now,' Mikey cackled as Frank poured some sugar on Gerard's head.
'Yeah, Frankie's having a party on Friday,' Gerard said finally, shaking sugar out of his hair. 'You should come, Jamie.'
'Didn't I invite you?' Frank asked, frowning.
'Yeah. And it's at our place now, so you should definitely come. You can stay over and stuff if you wanna avoid your mom as well, so it's a win-win,' Mikey smiled.
'Where will your parents be?' I asked curiously.
'Visiting grandma for the weekend,' Gerard replied. 'We'd go, but Mikey's gotta work Saturday afternoon.'
'Okay, I'll come. Mom probably won't even notice I'm gone.'
'Fuck her, who needs a mom past the breastfeeding stage anyway?' Frank winked at me. I laughed and turned back to eyeballing the coffee in front of me.
'If you're trying to have a staring match with the coffee, you know you're gonna lose, right?' Gerard had seemingly been watching me.
'Au contraire, G,' I replied. 'My poor coffee has no eyes, so I think I win based on his disqualification.'
'He's a dude? How can you tell?'
I shot Gerard a sarcastic look.
'Well, are you gonna drink it? 'Cause if you're not, I'm gonna drink it. Us art students don't like to waste our money, you know. We're working towards degrees that are pretty much guaranteed to leave us broke for the rest of our lives,' he joked.
'I'm uh, not really in the mood.' Couldn't I have thought of a better excuse?
Gerard shrugged and pulled my drink across to his side of the table.
'I'm sorry, is the world ending?' Mikey asked, his eyebrows raised. He mockingly took off his glasses and rubbed them clean with his jacket. 'Can I truly be seeing this? Jamie turning down coffee?'
'You better shut up, otherwise the next thing you'll be seeing is my fist in your face.'
'Ohoho!' Frank jeered.
As we walked home from the coffee shop that evening, I walked beside Gerard. His black leather jacket was almost brown, it was so stained and faded. His black hair showed how truly un-black his jacket was. I watched him suck in his cigarette, fascinated.
He noticed me staring at him. 'What?'
'Come on,' he grinned.
'I didn't ask you what you were thinking every time you stared at me in the coffee shop before I knew you,' I retorted.
'You stared at me too, so we were even then.'
'Oh, so now I owe you?'
'Nah, I just wanna know what you're thinking.'
'How about The English Patient winning Best Picture at the Oscars, huh? Well deserved.'
'Wow, you must really not want me to know what you're thinking.'
'Billy Crystal was a great host, too.'
'Why won't you tell me?' Gerard asked.
'There's a reason thoughts are in the head, and not out in the open. Let me have my privacy, okay? I don't have diary like other girls, so my head's where I keep my shit, respect that.'
Gerard simply smiled. 'Billy Crystal, huh?'
'Did you know he was in This is Spinal Tap?'
'No way, I don't remember that.'
We watched as Mikey and Frank walked ahead of us, discussing a movie they had seen earlier that month, Lost Highway.
'Lynch is one weird motherfucker, that's all I can say,' Frank was saying animatedly.
'I still can't even decide whether I liked the movie or not. My brain cannot even process what happened in that movie. Am I dumb? I feel dumb.'
'Well, I didn't wanna say anything...'
'You love my brother, huh?' Gerard snapped me out of my reverie, as he spoke to me quietly.
'He's the first real friend I've had,' I answered honestly. I immediately realized what I'd said and was mortified, but Gerard just nodded.
'Yeah, me too,' he smiled.
We arrived at the front of my house, where the lights were off. I guessed mom wasn't drinking tonight.
I turned and said goodbye to Mikey and Frank, who said they'd see me later. As I turned to leave, I felt a fingertip lightly touch my shoulder. I slowly turned to see Gerard, his eyes wide as he realized he had actually reached out to touch me. This was the first time he'd actually seemed uncomfortable to me.
'I uh, was thinking,' he said awkwardly. 'That I wanted to know you.'
'What?' I asked, momentarily confused and dazed.
'Every time I was staring at you in the coffee shop. And I couldn't tell you because I knew I'd end up looking like a dick, or whatever, so I just drew you, which I never do, because I think it's creepy when people randomly sketch people they don't know. I just thought that if I had a picture of you, even if I'd never talked to you, I'd still be able to remember you. You were the first real thing I'd seen in this town, and I didn't wanna forget you. That's all.'
He looked up into my eyes and smiled slightly, then turned and left, as casually as if he hadn't said the nicest thing anyone had ever said to me in my entire life.
Oh my god, I'm so sorry for the huge gap between updates everyone, everything's been so hectic with uni and moving house and all this dead laptop business that kind of made me lose my motivation for a while, but I started holidays today and thought I would update.
Let me know if you guys are still around interested, and please let me know what you all think! Thanks for being so patient with me :)