Ryan Ross, enough said. Well, that and Brendon's girlfriend lies about how Taylor looks. Jealousy!
Laura nuzzled up to my side, making the smell of my pizza disappear. She wore some fancily named perfume that was like 60 dollars a bottle. I didn’t get it, but I was a guy… and guys rarely did get anything girl related. “Look babe, it’s sweet that you’re all cuddly but I’m trying to eat.” Was that rude? I didn’t mean to. I heard her sigh heavily though and I knew there would be some kind of verbal altercation later on when we were alone. That’s how it usually went.
Taylor had gone silent.
I hadn’t heard her leave though.
“Who else is with you?” I asked Laura, who had moved, providing me with eating space once again and the ability to smell my pizza. Mushrooms, yum. How could Taylor not like mushrooms? Oh well.
“Zacky.” Laura purred out his name.
“Hey Zack!” I didn’t use the pet nickname Laura had given him earlier in the year. They were ridiculously inseparable, but who was I to judge? I was like that with Ryan. Ryan was my best friend. It sucked that he had already graduated.
“What’s up?” Zack asked, and I could hear him move in his seat. It scraped forward, or backward… I wasn’t entirely sure.
“Not much. You haven’t been hanging out with Ry and I lately.” I commented, since he used to complete our group. That was before him and Laura had started hanging out so much though.
“I know.” Zack sighed. “I miss you guys, but Laura really sucks at math.” He tutored her in the subject, since I also hated it. I understood it just fine, but I didn’t want to waste extra time teaching Laura. As much as I adored her… she really sucked at understanding things.
“Excuse me.” Taylor finally spoke up. I heard her chair move and then her footsteps as she quickly walked away.
“Where’d she go?” I asked, slightly concerned. Maybe the food had made her sick?
“Probably to the bathroom.” Laura replied. “She’s…” She trailed off. “Nevermind, I shouldn’t say anything.”
“What were you going to say?” I took another bite of my pizza. Sadly it had gotten slightly cold. I loved cold pizza, and I loved hot pizza… but partially cold pizza sucked.
I would still eat it though.
“She’s kind of ugly Bren.” Laura answered. “Oh, I shouldn’t say that!”
Zack laughed. He had gotten mean since hanging out with Laura. He didn’t used to be that way. “I doubt she’s that ugly.” I commented. Her voice made her sound… attractive-ish. Not that I cared. Really, I didn’t. But I was curious, and I couldn’t deny that. “What does she look like?”
Laura sighed. “Well, since you asked… she has orangey skin like she’s tanned way too much. Her lips are dry and chapped. Like I seriously want to give her my chapstick. That shit looks painful. She has a big nose. Like, huge. And she’s fat.”
“Oh well I… I don’t really care what she looks like.” I shrugged it off. I found it weird though. I had imagined her differently, now I was thinking of an oompa loompa.
“Yeah, you wouldn’t.” Laura replied. “But still, gross.”
“Yeah.” Zack chuckled. I had no idea what he found so funny though.
“We have to go honey.” Laura leaned over, kissing me on the cheek.
“See you later.” We didn’t have many classes together.
I waved in the direction she had been, but their footsteps were already fading.
Footsteps stopped at the table I was sitting at a few minutes after Laura and Zack had left. I figured it was Taylor. “You okay?” I asked, taking another bite of my pizza. I was starting to feel full, but that didn’t mean I was going to stop eating.
“Yeah, where’d your friends go?” Taylor sounded sad. That was easy enough to pick up on.
“Back to school.” I answered. “They like being on time.” I teased.
“Oh.” Taylor didn’t even laugh.
“What’s wrong?” Something obviously was. I relied on tones, and her tone wasn’t a cheerful one.
“I just don’t feel well.” Taylor answered.
“Oh.” The pizza wasn’t that bad here. I thought it was pretty good actually. “Eat too much?” I instantly wished I hadn’t asked. Just seconds ago Laura had warned me that she was fat. What if she was sensitive about her weight? Damn it!
I felt like I was on a sinking ship now. You weren’t supposed to ask any woman if they ate too much, or anything about eating at all. I already knew that.
“Yeah, that’s probably it.” Taylor answered.
I didn’t say anything, hoping that silence would be safe.
It seemed to work, and Taylor changed the subject. “So, Laura… you and her, you guys are in a relationship, like a closed one?”
“Like you guys don’t date other people too?” Taylor sounded like she felt about as awkward as she was making me feel.
“Er, yeah. It’s all closed up… I like to call it a normal relationship though.” Was she hitting on me?
“Oh.” Taylor didn’t say anything else.
“Look Taylor, you’re a nice enough girl… and I like you so far, but I’ve known Laura for a few years. We’ve been dating for a few years actually and-”
“I really like the design they have on their table mats.” Taylor awkwardly cut me off, and I could feel her embarrassment. So I shut up. ‘Cause I was embarrassed too.
Well, this sucked.
“They have… well, it’s hard to explain…” Taylor trailed off. “I’m bad at describing things.”
“They still look like they have little tiny aliens on them, don’t they?” They were really supposed to be frogs, but the artist had to have been high at the time of the drawing.
“Yeah actually, yeah. How did you know?” Taylor asked.
“I haven’t always been blind.” I admitted.
“Oh?” I could tell she was interested but didn’t want to pry. That was pretty much the same reaction everyone I met had.
“My dad and I were fucking around in the garage last year… and well, shit happened.” I didn’t really like talking about it.
“So… you’ve only been blind for a year?” Taylor asked, gasping.
“Yep.” I bitterly answered.
“I’m sorry to bring it up-” Taylor whispered.
“You didn’t know.” I tried to give her a reassuring smile. “It broke up my parents marriage.” I never talked about that. I don’t know why I was talking about it now.
“They divorced?” Taylor asked.
“No, but they might as well. They are miserable with each other. All I can feel is hate when I’m around them. They don’t hate me but they hate each other. I wish they didn’t but they just… they do.” Mostly because of my dad’s guilt. No one could talk him out of feeling guilty. Not me, not my mother… and so he kind of lost it, and my mom tried to hang on to him but it just made him angry. None of it made sense. All he did was create another tragedy.
Taylor didn’t say anything, and I was trying to think of something to say but then… “Brendon, you’re late for school!” Ryan yelled, plopping down beside me. Our chairs knocked together, despite him being skinny as a stick.
“Shit.” Taylor breathed out. “We are.”
“Who is this?” Ryan directed him question at me, but I was sure he was staring at Taylor. He sure as hell didn’t make her sound ugly, and he was picky when it came to girls. More picky than I used to be, before I started dating Laura- and before I could no longer see what girls around me looked like.
“Ryan graduated last year.” I told Taylor. “And Ryan this is Taylor. She just moved here.”
“Freshman?” Ryan’s frown was obvious.
“Senior.” Taylor corrected him.
“Well then guys… I know nothing really important happens senior year so wanna throw our own senior ditch day?” Ryan asked, teasingly.
“Don’t we do that like most days?” I asked. “Plus you aren’t even a senior anymore.”
“I’m a senior at heart.” Ryan replied. “And so why would today be any different?”
“Taylor?” All attention fell to her.
“Er, sure.” But she sounded hesitant. “Just don’t get me arrested.”
“No promises.” Ryan teased.