THE LAST GOODBYE
BY NOW THERE'S SOMEONE ELSE THAT HEARS YOU CRY
David and Andrew walked around the Wal-Mart and grabbed the groceries and other things they needed, including some umbrellas.
“I need to get some dog food and some more dog toys for Dublin,” David told Andrew.
“Okay. I'll go and get some soap and toothpaste. Maybe the rain has slacked up so we need to hurry and leave,” Andrew told him.
David just waved him off as he walked toward the pet department. He walked up the dog aisle and grabbed Dublin some dog treats and a few new toys. After wandering around the pet department and looking at which squeaky toys he'd buy Dublin next, he went and found Andrew looking at a bunch of mops.
“Just get one of those Swiffer mops,” David told him.
“Yeah, but which one?” Andrew asked him.
David grabbed the wet/dry Swiffer mop and tossed it in their buggy. “I'm never going grocery shopping with you again! Next time just give me a list and-”
He stopped. He saw Jayde with another guy, and she was laughing.
“Oh, dude... I'm so sorry...” Andrew was telling him.
David didn't hear him. He was focused on Jayde. His heart started beating faster and he felt like he was going to throw up. He had to get out of there, even if it meant leaving Andrew alone.
“Can I give you the money to pay-?” David asked Andrew. His stomach was churning.
“Dude, go, now! I'll take care of everything,” Andrew pushed him towards the closest exit, in the Lawn and Garden Center. “I'll bring everything back home, just find someone to come and get you now,” Andrew told him.
David nodded and walked through the Lawn and Garden Center. They had their Christmas decorations out, and the Halloween decorations were marked down. He walked past them all as fast as he could and headed to the outer part of the Lawn and Garden Center, where they had Christmas trees and poinsettias in little arrangements. He texted Andy and asked him to come and get him.
“Dude, you're with Andrew. Why do you need me to come and get you?” Andy quickly replied. David's mind raced with the memory of seeing Jayde with the other guy. “Never mind. Andrew just told me.”
David kept his mind focused on other things: his song, Dublin, L.A., his song, his song, his song....
“Dude, what's wrong?” he heard Andy asking him. He was suddenly aware of his surroundings.
“Jayde, s-she has a boyfriend,” David stuttered.
“Are you sure he's her boyfriend and not her brother?” Andy asked him.
David looked at Andy like he was completely stupid.
“She was laughing at what he said,” David said pointedly.
“So? Get to the bottom of it!” Andy told him.
“I can't. I'm not in there. But Andrew is. I'll... I'll let him handle it. I just wanna go back to the apartment,” David told him.
“Yeah, yeah,” Andy said, “Get in.”
David got in the car and they headed back toward the Chinese restaurant. David watched the seagulls swoop low in the sky as Andy drove. It was a beautiful sight, but not one that was helping David keep his mind off of what he saw at Wal-Mart. He got a text message right before he walked into the apartment. It was from Andrew.
“Jayde asked about you,” he had said. David tried not to drop his phone in his haste to reply.
“What did she ask you?” David texted back. He walked to his room and flopped on his bed.
“She asked me how you were, if you were sick, why you haven't called her...” Andrew replied. David was mad, but not at his brother.
“Did you ask who that was she was talking to?” he asked Andrew.
“She said it was 'some guy' but he wasn't important,” Andrew texted him.
David decided to take matters into his own hands. “Thanks,” he sent Andrew. “Who was that you were talking to?” he texted Jayde.
“Some dude I know from school. He's asked me out more than a few times and he did again today, in fact,” she replied.
David felt a pang of guilt. It was just some dude. Just some dude. Why did he always have to jump to conclusions? He remembered the look on her face as she laughed with the guy and he grabbed his notepad and a pen and left. He ran down the stairs and hailed a taxi; he went to the first place he could think of outside of the comfort of his temporary bedroom.
“Take me to the nearest beach, please,” he told the driver. The driver stepped on the gas pedal and weaved in and out of traffic for what felt like hours, but was only ten minutes. When he finally got to the beach, he paid and tipped the cab driver for getting him to the beach unscathed. He grabbed his notepad and pen and got out of the cab.
The first thing he noticed about the beach was that it was deserted. A small windstorm had whipped up and it was drizzling lightly; he headed toward a covered picnic area so he could write. He looked around and noticed that there was hardly anyone around him in this area. He began writing nonsense on his notepad and noticed that, after awhile, he had written a bunch of gibberish. He laughed as he read it to himself: “I like pie. Beer is good. Hot wings make me crazy.”
David ripped the sheet of paper he had written on out of the notepad and wadded it up. He took it to the nearest garbage can and suddenly realized it was pouring down rain. He groaned; he didn't drive here, and Andrew was still at Wal-Mart getting things they needed. He decided to text him anyways.
“Hey, where are you?” he sent. He didn't have to wait long for a reply.
“Just left the store. And you?” he replied.
“Beach.” David looked at his surroundings. Andrew wasn't lying when he told him Monroeville was right on the beach; he figured that if it only takes a ten minute ride to get to the beach then Andrew should be able to get to the beach to pick him up with all of their groceries and –
David picked his head up off of the table; he didn't realize he had fell asleep. He looked at his phone and noticed that there were five missed calls, all from Andrew. He called him back.
“Sorry I didn't answer; my phone was on silent,” he quickly lied. He knew his brother was too smart for that.
“Yeah, right; I'm circling back around so be ready,” Andrew told him.
David strained his ears. “What? What'd you say?”
“I already circled around once! Be ready when I come back around... now.”
David looked at his phone; Andrew had hung up already and he said he was on his way. He looked around for him, but it didn't take long. He was parked by the walking track, just a few hundred yards from the playground.
David jogged down toward him, ignoring the little bit of rain that was falling. He quickly got in the car with Andrew, just as it began pouring down rain.
“When will this rain go away?” David asked Andrew.
“I don't know,” Andrew replied. He flipped the switch on the windshield wipers and had them going on high. He peered through the front windshield at the clouds; he looked out the back windshield and began backing up.
“You got it; go, go, go!” David told him. Andrew finished backing out and drove to the exit.
“Where are you?” Jayde texted him.
“On my way back home. Why?” he asked her.
“We're under a tropical storm watch!” she messaged him. “It's expected to strengthen within the next few hours.”
“Hey, have you heard anything about this tropical storm?” David asked Andrew.
“No. We need to hurry home,” he said.
They hurried back and began carrying bags up to their apartment, taking three trips. As Andrew carried the last bag in, David turned the TV on and checked the radar.
“That's a bad storm,” Andrew said. David got up off of the couch and helped him put the groceries up.
“You guys see this?” Andy carried his phone with him and it had the radar on it. He was soaked from being outside. “Look at this storm!”
“We see it! Look -- it's supposed to be here and be a hurricane within the next few hours!” David told him.
Within a few minutes, Kyle, Monty, Neal, Devin, and David were all crowded in the apartment with Andrew and David. They were all tracking the storm on their iPhones.
Meanwhile, across town, Jayde kept trying to get out of a conversation with the guy from the store. “I don't want to talk to you. I'm trying to talk to a friend of mine, and she's in LA!” she messaged him. She then sent her friend, Skyla Miller, a message: “Sorry, some weirdo is bothering me and I am trying to get him to stop.”
“Threaten to call the cops!” Skyla texted back. “Sorry, I gotta go – I'll text you back as soon as I can.”
Jayde sighed and replied with a simple, “Ok.” She put her phone beside her on her bed and curled up, listening to the tropical storm outside.
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