Four guys in a band living in one house. What could be funnier than that? Throw in two girls, a handful of humor, a pinch of romance, and one tablespoon of drama and you've got something interestin...
My Heart Will Always Be the B-Side to My Tongue
Chapter Four: The Pros and Cons of Breathing
I want to hate you half as much as I hate myself
But you know that I could crush you with my voice...
The boys and I had decided that I would go find Tara, and they would go after Pete. But before I did I picked up the broken straightener off the ground near the wall, where, I presume, it nearly missed Pete's head. Things were pretty screwed up right now. I just hope we can settle this before it gets too much further out of hand.
Tara was sitting up in the attic, a piece of sun-faded paper clutched in her hands. Cait made her way up the attic stairs slowly, half because she was afraid they would fall apart if she moved too fast, and half because she needed more time to think of what to say to her best friend.
She didn't know what kind of state Tara was in until she saw her, tears slowly sliding down her cheeks and onto the paper she had in her hands. "Hey," Cait said softly, "you don't want to ruin that, do you?" She asked. She recognized the paper immediately. It was song lyrics that Pete had written out and sent home to Tara and Cait when the guys were on tour once, the lyrics to /Homesick At Spacecamp/, a song that Pete and Pat had written for the girls. Neither of them knew the significance that paper would hold until later.
"Too late..." Tara said, sniffling and looking up at Cait. "It's already ruined," she finished. Cait could tell she wasn't talking about the paper.
"It's not too late. And you were right for wishing there was hope, because guess what? There is. There's always hope." Cait said, trying to comfort Tara.
"He was right. I was a monster and a bitch. I deserve what I got. I probably deserve more than what I got--," Cait cut her off.
"Tara stop that. Neither of you deserve this!" She said, carefully pulling the tear-stained paper from Tara's hands.
"I heard that you and Pat are together now..." Tara said glumly.
"Don't you even. Don't try and change the subject on me, Tara! We're talking about you and Pete."
"There is no 'me and Pete' anymore!"
"There could be. Do you want this to happen? Do you want to get rid of him?"
"No..." Tara choked on her tears.
"I'm sure he's just as broken up about this as you are Tar. Patrick, Andy, and Joe went to find him." Cait said, looking down at the smudged lyrics on the page in her hand. She started singing them in her head as she read them.
Tonight the headphones will deliver you the words that I can't say.
Tonight the headphones will deliver you the words that I can't say.
(Tonight I'm writing you) a million miles away
Tonight is all about "We miss you" (We miss you, we miss you, we miss you)
Tonight is all about "We miss you"
And I can't forget your style or your cynicism,
Somehow it was like you were the first to listen to everything we said.
My smile's an open wound without you...and my hands are tied to pages inked to bring you back.
Cait smiled a little bit at the lyrics, and what she came to know as their meaning. She was mad at Pete that he had called her a cynic at the time, but now she just thought it was cute. And she didn't know how, but hearing the two of them sing those words always calmed her down when she was upset. Because she knew someone out there, no matter where she was, cared about her.
Maybe the same would hold true for Tara as well.
Meanwhile, the guys were trying to find Pete. So far, they knew he was nowhere inside the house. Patrick went out back while Andy and Joe checked around front and the sides of the house. The three met in the front yard.
"Well, there's only one more place to check..." Andy said, looking in the distance behind Pat.
"Yeah," said Joe, looking to Andy. Andy looked back at him, then they both looked at Patrick.
"The tree house." They said in unison.
"What tree house?" Patrick asked as he followed the other two boys down the block. The three sped up, just barely jogging towards a small park at the end of the block.
"When we were little, Pete thought it would be cool to build himself a tree house, you know. So he could have something that nobody else had." Andy explained as they neared the back of the park.
"He comes here to chill out when he gets upset over something. AKA He's probably here more than he is at home." Joe added.
"Ah. Well, now I know where to find him next time." Pat said as Andy climbed up the tree and knocked on the trapdoor that Pete used to get in.
"Pete, come out of there. It's Andy, Joe and Pat." Andy said, then climbed down as Pete opened the hatch and looked out of it.
He was obviously lying on his stomach, and the little bit of eyeliner the boy had put on that morning was kind of smeared around his eyes, an obvious sign on him crying. None of them had ever seen him cry before; they had thought he was stronger than that.
"You okay Pete?" Pat asked, wishing Pete would come down so he could talk face-to-face with him. It was kind of intimidating looking up at someone that you're quite frankly scared of when they're mad.
Pete didn't answer; he just kind of slid out of sight. They could hear him walking around though. They knew he was a little bit unstable earlier on in his life. Okay, he was a lot unstable.
They had to do something; they couldn't just sit back and watch. What if he tried to kill himself? Pat looked over to Andy. "You've known him longest, right?" He asked in a hushed voice. Andy nodded. "Then you gotta go up there and talk to him. Talk him out of whatever he's got going through his head. Make him believe that everything is alright. I'm sure Cait has Tara convinced there's hope. If you can convince Pete, then that'll be good."
"How am I supposed to do that?" Andy asked, looking from Pat to Joe to the open hatch.
"You'll think of something," Joe piped up. "You know Pete better than the rest of us."
"Right. Wish me luck," Andy said, climbing up the ladder and into the little tree house.
"What do you want?" Pete asked him.
"I want you to cut this out." Andy responded.
"Well, too bad. That's not on my agenda."
"Pete, come on. Please. You think lying around and feeling sorry for yourself will accomplish anything?"
"It's worked in the past."
"Yeah well that was the past. This is now. You're a different person now, and someone else's feelings are involved."
"Doesn't matter. Those feelings are dead now, just like she is to me."
"Only because you're killing her more every minute you're not with her Pete!" Andy shouted at him, getting aggravated with Pete's sour attitude. "What do I have to do to convince you that you're making the biggest mistake of your life here, by not trying to patch this up? This could work Pete! If you put any effort into it!"
"Tara, you don't get it do you. Some relationships need work. The one you have with Pete is a high maintenance relationship." Cait said, trying to get Tara out of her funk.
"Ours needs far more than work." Tara said, glaring at the boom box Cait had brought up to play the song. It had obviously not worked the way Cait hoped it would, even after she explained her view on the song to Tara, she still never wanted to hear it again.
"No it doesn't." Cait said, moving over to Tara and hugging her. "You just need to put a little bit more effort into it. I am one hundred percent sure you guys can make this work."
"I can't put any more effort into it if he's not putting any in. It's too much work."
"But you know how happy you two were once? What happened to that Tara and Pete? Where did they go? Can they come back?" Cait asked, letting Tara out of her hug and holding her friend's shoulders as she spoke to her.
"I know, but it's exhausting!" Tara exclaimed, falling back onto the floor with her arms spread out above her head.
"That's what love does. It's exhausting because you work so hard to get to those good moments, and then you don't enjoy them enough. You need to be able to see that there are more good moments than bad-," Cait was going to continue, but Tara cut her off.
"Where have you been lately!? How can you say there have been more good moments than bad?" Tara shouted.
Cait rolled her eyes. "I meant the whole time you two have been together! Not just this last month! Tara, things have been so good at times that even if someone told you the worst of news, Pete simply walking into the room could make you smile. I've always wished I could have that kind of relationship."
"But you do! Now that you've got Patrick you have a better relationship than Pete and I ever had! And you've only been dating for a week or two!" Tara shouted, tears streaming down her cheeks faster than before.
Cait sighed. This wasn't working as well as she thought it would, and she wasn't finding any way to convince Tara that it /would/, eventually all be okay. "Tara. Please? Just do this for me?" Cait pleaded, actually getting down on her knees and begging.
"I can't Cait. It just won't work, he hates me, even if I still love him, he still hates my guts." Tara said.
"You really wanna make me do this?" Cait asked, gaining a blank look from Tara. "Oh well, too late. Come on girlie!" Cait said happily, pulling Tara to her feet and down to the first floor.
When they got to the front door, Cait pushed it open and sat down on the swing on the front porch, Tara next to her. "Now, we wait."
"Tara fucking hates me anyway," Pete protested, sitting down with a thump. "After what I said it'll be a wonder if I can walk into that house without getting mauled."
"Pete," Andy put his face in his hands. "It's your house," his voice sounded muffled, but he said it loudly enough for Pete to hear.
"So, she lives there too..." Pete said lamely. "Oh it doesn't matter anyway. Tara will never speak to me again, even if I do still love her."
Andy pulled his face from his hands. "That's where you're wrong Pete. If she ever loved you in the first place, she'll still love you now."
"But how will I know?"
"You'll know when we get home, now let's get out of here." Andy said, moving to climb out the hatch, but saw that Pete was just staring at the ground in front of him. "I swear to God, Peter Lewis Kingston Wentz, I will push you out of this tree house if need be." Andy said, pulling Pete towards the hatch.
"Aahh! Don't shoot, I'll go quietly." Pete said climbing out of the tree house. The two boys left on the ground smiled as Pete's legs emerged from the tree. He landed on the ground with another dull thud and turned to look at them. "What?" He said, pushing past them and walking towards the house he called home.
Andy climbed down a second later, smiling at Pat and Joe as he passed them.
"Good job," Pat said, following them home.
When they got there, Cait was sitting on the stairs to the porch and Tara was sitting on the swing they had.
Pat walked up first, just behind him to his left was Joe, and to his right, Andy. And behind the rest of them by a few feet was Pete.
He had walked the whole way home a few feet behind the rest of them, even though he started home first. His eyes stared at his feet the whole time, as if he was too ashamed to look up at the world around him.
"I'm sorry Peter," Tara said, coming down the stairs but stopping on the bottom step. She looked as if she couldn't get too close, or else he might hurt her again or something.
He looked up, but only for half a second, probably to see who was talking, then looked back down to his feet. "It's okay, I guess..."
Cait looked at Patrick, who had a smile on his face. She smiled as well. This had worked, and everything seemed to be fine.
Key word: seemed.