"Your name is Ray Toro, and you think you just fell in love." For Shayla_Boo. Repost.
Thanks for reading!
Your name is Ray Toro, and you are not crying.
You don’t blame her. You don’t blame her for anything at all. Not for smiling at you in the dimly lit bar. You don’t blame her for nodding when you asked her if she needed a ride home, and you do not blame her for taking your phone and typing in her number. You don’t blame her for staying up late with you, going out to get ice cream with you at one o’clock in the morning, for letting you kiss her in the rain like you’re that guy in a romantic comedy movie. Not for saying yes to letting her move in after being together for ten months, not for moving in and turning into your home into our home. Not when she had to work more overtime, not when you smelled his cologne on her thighs. You didn’t blame her when she stopped leaving the house with a kiss and instead with a noticeable sense of urgency and excitement. Not at all when she left a note on nightstand, all her belongings vanished, and never came back to you.
You blame yourself. Because you were never the guy in the romantic comedy that always got the girl, you were never Prince Charming, and know you’re getting to thinking you were never even hers. You were a warm place, a push over, maybe even a couple months of cash. T But that doesn’t mean it hurts any less that you realize it.
The bar’s empty. You feel like a cliché as a body shifts onto the seat next to you, a glass of some unidentifiable liquid scooted in front of you. It smells strong. You think it fits – and you gulp it down in three swallows.
“Whoa there buddy.”
The voice is cool, soothing. It’s not like hers. You like it immediately.
You really hope yours isn’t as slurred as you think it’ll be. “I’m trying to – to wallow in my sorrows h-here, so I’m really sorry if I sound like a douche….or if that was your drink.” A soft giggle, like something adorable and fluffy bounces into the air. “No…no! Is…that a kitten?”
“Ha, what?” You decide it’s about time to turn to this girl before you start making a grand total of no sense at all. Even though it’s probably too late for that.
She’s younger than you thought she would be, but she’s got this glint in her eyes that shine a little more maturity than her features suggest. She’s pretty, but not in the way that the woman who dumped you was. She’s more of a storybook pretty, natural. You figure that you’ve spent too long studying the way her eyelashes contrast against her cheeks when she blinks. “Did I say something?”
“You said something about a…a kitten?” There’s a teasing way her cheek pulls up, like she’s hiding a secret there or something.
“Oh.” You say, stupidly, “Your voice is sorta like a kitten.”
God, are you drunk.
She laughs, unabridged and loose. He’s heard so many laughs before, from his friends, his family, and his once-girlfriend. But hers seems like the only one that was this out there, so exposed and real. You have a sick feeling you’re watching her laugh with your jaw all lax and your eyes unfocused. You can’t really control that though, but now she’s looking at you with bright eyes and you’re suddenly as self-conscious as a frickin teenager.
“You wanna talk about it?” She leans her head down on the sticky counter, her eyes so damn earnest they’re rivaling one of Gerard’s, and that is really saying something because that fucker’s earnest as earnest gets. But her gaze is friendly and warm, and maybe you want to drown in it but that’s the alcohol talking.
“Do you want to listen?” Internally, you applaud yourself for not spouting off in verbal diarrhea and truly taking precautions. She raises one eyebrow, her mouth quirked partway into a smile and partway into nothing at all. It’s highly analytical and you are mildly impressed you can work that out.
There’s a silent, pregnant moment between the two of you.
You don’t know how it happened but you are blinking your eyes open to an unfamiliar living room, a pounding in your head and an extremely fluffy blanket wrapped around you. There’s a glass of water on the coffee table across from you, along with two Tylenols. Somewhere high in the sky, there is a God and he is forgiving.
“How are you feeling?”
You manage to pull yourself up with only a slight head rush and you are so very thankful. She’s wearing pajama pants and a threadbare t-shirt and it’s really fucking confusing why you think that’s so pretty. Her couch is sagging in the middle and you find it so much better than the one at your own place.
Shitty. Hungover. Like something crawled into your body and died. “Yeah, ’m okay.”
She tilts her head but says nothing. You bracket your legs with your elbows and lean down, focusing on the soft carpeting between your toes, breathing deep. There’s a fleeting thought of this girl dragging you into her home and removing your shoe and socks. You lean back up and she’s beside you, bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, watching Cake Boss with low volume.
“Name’s Shayla Becker.”
“Ray Toro.” You say, and then pause, drawing a blank for a bit. “What exactly happened last night?”
Shayla presses the mute button on the TV and turns to you, her bowl of soggy cereal positioned on the coffee table, next to your pills and mug. She pulls her legs up off the floor, crossing her legs and locking eyes with you. “You said something about a girl and dove headfirst into my boobs.”
You stifle a snicker for both of your dignities. Really, you mean mostly yours. It’s unspoken in how she’s as cool as the average koolkid and you’re blushing like a fucking anime schoolgirl. “Oh.”
Shayla hums. “Yep, that covers the bases,” She unmutes the show, picking back up her cereal as if it weren’t mushy as fuck. You can hear the sloshing sounds as she dips her spoon back in and chews it insignificantly before swallowing it down.
This is not turning into porn. You are a classy gentleman, Toro. You slump back into the cushions. No. Just - No.
Your eyes dart towards the tv. “Is that a tranny?”
You leave at about 2 a.m., old school Sharpie marker on the inside of your left arm.
There’s a pink slip burning a hole in your pocket when she finally calls you, after a couple texts and a week and a half. Your mood picks up considerably.
“Wanna go out?” Her voice is shaky, but amused. You say yes.
She’s laughing so hard her face is red and there are trails of wetness down her cheeks. You’re about the same.
“Oh my god.”
“What the actual fuck?”
“I got –”
“And you –”
People are looking at the two of you with marginally horrified expressions but you’re too busy laughing your ass off. Her temple slides against your shoulder and you have to grab hold of her upper arms to regain your footing. Both of you are breathless and smiling so wide, it’s a little scary to be perfectly honest. You are famous for your clown-ass smile. Unlike yours, hers is sweet and genuine, like summer breeze or your fondest memories.
She puts out her arm and you loop yours into her elbow.
“We just got fired on the same exact day.” She tells you. You notice your steps are in sync.
“It was a shitty job anyway.” You admit, plain and straightforward. Boring fucking office nobody, Gerard would be so disappointed in you for even considering taking the job. All the more the reason why this change seems so much sweeter. Because your boss was a dick and you finally got away from his dickhead.
“Yeah,” she agrees. “Get away from the dickheads.”
Yes, you said that last bit out loud. Nice, Ray, nice.
“Pizza?” She offers a twinkling beam to your profile.
“Oh fuck yeah.”
You swear you can feel her pull you a little closer.
The first time you play your guitar to her, she starts to cry.
“Hey, hey! What’s wrong?” She laughs, wet and stuttered. You put down your guitar and scoot closer to her. She keeps her eyes away from you, so you do the most natural thing of stooping down and gazing up at her, worry written all over your face. She takes about a second to study you, before snorting and turning away to laugh into her palm.
“You –” her gasps, still choking on her giggles, just like the ones you remember a month ago, warm and fluffy and frankly the most adorable thing you could have ever imagined. Like a kitten. “You – You look
"Shut your face, I'm trying to comfort you." You insist.
“Jeez, Ray, it’s – you’re a drowned lion."
A slap on her shoulder, a not-quite offended expression melted onto your lips and eyes and brows. She regains her composure and grins. Her quiet gaze slides over to where your guitar is, propped up against the armrest. She bites her lip, looking back at you.
“It was beautiful. Fucking amazing.”
You tell her about how you have always wanted to be in a band, about being home in Jersey. You give a proper background on the handful of friends you’ve briefly mentioned through the two of your conversations over the past few weeks. Frank, Hambone, Mikey, Gerard and even a little about your ex.
She listens and stops you once your words taper off about where you gave up, where all your friends made it out big time (just like you always knew they would) and you were left in a vague corner somewhere in California, where you hate the lack of weather and the not home aspect of it. She stops you, grasps you wrist, and looks you dead in the eye.
“Don’t give up what you want. “ Her eyes blaze. “You have to fight for it”
Your name is Ray Toro, and you think you just fell in love.
You get off stage and you are positively high off the feeling.You’re alive again.
“Fuck yeah, Ray” Frankie cuffs you on the shoulder. You still can’t get used to that mustache, but you know it’s still Frank. The fucking prankster, little Frank Iero. He’s got a band now, and they’re reeling in a decent fanbase. You can’t believe he actually made it, after spending your high school days telling him he’s not going to. You kinda hate your younger self for doing that, but whatever. Gerard slips in behind you, hugging Frank from behind and kissing his cheek, never mind the sweat or the blood from getting punched in the pit. Gerard looks past that. You’ve never seen two motherfuckers more in love than these two.
“You were a beast up there, Raymond.” Gerard grins with his creepy tiny teeth over Frank’s shoulder and Frank still seems like he’s running on hot adrenaline so you pipe up a thank you and go off your way. You don’t really want to see your best friend molest each other.
You make your way to bar, finding Shayla playing around with the label on her beer bottle. She perks up when she notices it’s you and immediately pulls you into a tight hug that takes your breath away.
“You did so god damn well.”
The simple words falling out of her mouth are so unpretentious and proud for you it makes your chest feel tight. You squeeze her once, just to make yourself believe she’s real and not just a figment of your imagination. You never want to let go but you have to because that’s creepy and she’s your best friend and you are so stuck in that zone it is unbelievable.
Once the two of you unstick, she pushes a cup of some unidentifiable drink in front of you and you have de ja vu hits you in the face so hard it hurts. You smile because you like it this way. Not the reason why she gave you that drink in the first place but the glaring fact that you did meet her and for that reason you are so happy your insides could burst.
She nudges your side with her shoulder, giving you an amused bewildered mien. “Dude, you’ve been blanking outta reality since you got this gig. Stage-high got your tongue?”
“No, I’m just thinking,” you pick up the unnamed drink and sip it. “Hey, what’s this drink you keep ordering me called anyway?”
A spray of Hot Cock fans out in the air in front of you and you hear Shayla’s trademark kitten giggles. Life is good.
The first time you kiss her; there are no words to even give it a tiny bit of justice. You laugh when she tells you to stop being a butthole and that she totally kissed you first. You secretly agree with her, but you just love the angry little face she pulls when she disagrees with you and that is not often.
The moment it happens, everything is perfect. Okay, that's a fat lie because the wind blows a lot of sea salt into both of your eyes. She’s crying, and you’re crying, and god, if this isn’t true romance –
crying and kissing on the fucking beach together – you don’t know what the fuck is. You wrap yourself up her scent, never wanting to let her out of your sight, never want to lose someone so amazing and so beautiful. So yes, it is fucking perfect, only to you and her and not anyone else.
“You’ve got snot dripping down your nose.”
She grins and rubs her face all over your shoulder. She stills and tugs you nearer, breathing hot against you neck.
“I love you.”
The words glow out at you as you’re watching the sunset on the Jersey shore, back home, the best thing to ever walk into your life enveloped in your arms, and you feel as if you are the luckiest man on Earth.
“I love you too.”
You marry her. She smashes cake into your face; you slap your piece into her cleavage. The pictures will come out great on your first anniversary. Hell, they’ll look great on your 50th anniversary.
You still kiss the sugary, buttery mess that is your wife’s face. She still tastes sweeter than the cake.
You get her a kitten after your honeymoon.