I swear I'm going to cry...I'm sick of trying to be tough.
"You can't just leave!" Evie begged as she sat on the edge of a bunk, watching me throw my belongings messily into my black luggage bag.
I continued to pack, deciding not to answer her. Not because I was sad or frustrated, but because I wasn't in the mood for anyone to talk me out of not leaving. For once everything was processing clearly. I mean it was a sudden decision, but it was clear. I didn't want to be here.
"Let me rephrase that," she stood up as I kneeled down to zip up my bag. "Please don't go!"
I turned to look at Evie, still kneeling. Her brown eyes pleaded, making me blink hard, my eyes still itchy and puffy from the events from an couple hours ago. I sighed loudly. What else was I supposed to do?
"I can't do this anymore," I said lowering my eyes from her gaze to my white iPod in my hand. "I'm done being his 'rebound.'" I felt my stomach churn again as the words slipped out of my mouth.
"But he lov-"
"Don't," I looked up at her, with my eyes now pleading.
She looked away, sighing and walked out of the room. Turning back to my belongings, I stuffed my iPod into my back pocket and pulled my blanket off of my bed. Folding it a jumble, I shoved it on top of everything and pulled the top over it to zip up my bag. As I took hold of the two zippers on each side, a sharp pain surged in my right hand. Pulling it back to my chest to nurse it, I looked down at my hand. My knuckles were swollen and red. Clenching it then releasing it slowly, I winched. I must've hit her a lot harder than I thought I did. I smiled at the thought, but it dissipated as I heard the bus door open with a loud swoosh. I quickly pulled the zippers and stood my bag up on its wheels.
"She won't listen to me," I heard Evie's voice approaching closer.
I groaned as I stood up and pulled my messenger bag over my shoulder. Somewhat, I knew that the people coming weren't here to say bye.
I walked out to the main room of the bus, and there sitting on the couch was Patrick and Andy who was leaning against the kitchen counter. They all ceased talking as I entered the room, staring at me with sympathy. The last thing I needed tonight.
"Hey you," Patrick said in a forced happy voice, standing up with open arms, sweat could be seen underneath his arm and along his brow. He came straight from the show. I looked over at Andy and he was in the same state, with a red, tired, face.
I held out a hand and shook my head. My throat was burning from the mixture of being sick and watching Patrick's face sadden as he looked at my bag around my shoulder.
"Stop," I muttered.
"You can't go Aaryn!" Andy blurted, and Patrick turned and shot a face at him. "What? It's not like she's going to listen to your therapy Patrick!" He pushed away from the counter and stood next to Patrick.
"Do you not have any sympathy Andy?" Patrick asked annoyed.
"I was just saying," he put his hands up in defense.
"Well just don't say anything," Patrick shot back.
"STOP," I yelled, clutching my throat immediately afterward, "this is WHY I can't stay."
Before Andy could say anything, Evie pulled him away by his tattooed arm and off the bus. He mumbled something I couldn't make out, but Evie replied, "Leave the talking to Patrick and the ass kicking to Syd." I would've laughed if it weren't for the situation I was in and the solemn face Patrick made at me. I coughed uncomfortably before he spoke again, breaking the stillness.
"Aaryn you can't leave," he stopped as if he had to think of what he had to say, "it's not going to make anything better."
"Well what would you DO Patrick?" I said, my voice rising.
"I," he stepped back a little. "You can't run from your fears," he changed subject.
"Watch me," I said as I turned away from him and walked back to grab my luggage. I could hear his footsteps right behind me down the hollow floors of the bus. I turned around, Patrick almost running into me. "You can't talk me out of it Trick, so don't even try."
He stared up at me since he was so close. "Pete needs-"
"ME," I finished, yelling. "He REALLY needs me. I know exactly what you're going to say Trick, alright?"
He exhaled loudly. In whisper he looked down at the floor. "He's going to fall apart Aaryn. Shit, he's falling apart right now..."
I felt anger rise in me. He was falling apart? HE was falling apart?
"He could've stopped himself Patrick. Did he?" I asked but before he could answer I cut in. "No. He didn't. I'm NOT going to sit here and suffer for the SECOND time Patrick!"
Patrick looked back at me as I picked up my bag remembering not to use my right hand. He shook his head.
"I can't believe you're acting like this."
"How am I acting?"
I let go of my bag and pressed my hand against my chest leaning towards Patrick. He took a step back, his eyes looking as if he immediately regretted his words.
"I'm being selfish? I'M being SELFISH? For what? Wanting to leaving poor little Pete to revel in his self pity? HE'S the selfish one. HE'S the one who CHOSE her. NOT me. The only reason he IS sad is because I ended it first and he can't live with the fact that I have the guts to LEAVE this time. Besides that, he couldn't give another care about anything unless it's his DAMN SELF." I picked up my bag, but Patrick stood in the doorway, blocking my exit.
"I can't fucking believe you Aaryn," Patrick's voice slowly raised. "How could you EVER think like that? Pete is a little mixed up. He knows it. You know it. We ALL know it. But for you to stand here and say he DOESN'T care about you is just plain ignorant." On the outside my composure was strong as he spat in my face. The inside was a complete mess, but I had to be tough. He stepped off to the side. "Leave if you think it's going to make anything better." He dug into his back pocket pulling a laminated V.I.P. pass and held it out to me. "But take this."
I looked down at it, debating weather or not to take it, but I didn't have a choice since he grabbed my hand and placed it in my palm. I wanted to throw it on the floor, and walk out, but I held on to it. I walked pass him and down the steps of the bus. Stopping at the bottom step, I looked back at Patrick. He stood there staring back at me. For a second I wanted to reconsider everything, take back everything, but as my hand pushed onto the door, I knew this is what I had to do.
I had to leave.
I stepped out into the cool late summer night. The moon was full and shining brightly. It was almost ironic. I reached into my back pocket without the iPod in it, and felt around for the paper that I written the taxi company number that I had managed to get off the internet through all the hysterics. I felt a paper and whipped it out as I flipped open the phone.
I'm sorry. Love you.
I crumpled the paper up aggressively and threw it to the ground. 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry.' That's all he ever seemed to say. For a boy who wrote lyrics, you'd think he'd have a bigger vocabulary. I re-dug into my pocket and found the right paper. I quickly dialed the numbers and held the phone to my ear.
My heart skipped at the voice as the first ring, rang. Not the good kind either.
"Don't you EVEN talk to her faggot."
My soul jumped to the other voice. I rotated around to face Syd and Pete both walking rapidly at me as if it were a race. Pete was ahead by a few steps, but Sydney grabbed him by the shoulder and pulled him back, swerving him around to face him. Quickly I walked over to the two hanging up the phone. This wasn't going to be good. I stopped a few feet behind as Pete spoke again.
"Learn a bigger vocabulary before you insult me." Sydney's eyes widened and with the light of the moon I could still see her deep blue eyes turn bluer.
"Why don't you go and overdose on Advil and we'll call it a night?" She fired back.
"Go fuck a Beckett will you?" He said turning around and started to head towards me. "Aaryn..." Sydney pulled him harder and faced him towards her again. "FUCK," he exclaimed.
"You inconsiderate...I don't even see what she SEES in you fag," he opened his mouth to talk, but she talked over him, "don't you think you've done ENOUGH for one night? OR do you want to take her arms and legs down with you too?"
"You don't even know what's going on," he said, almost as if he were talking to a little kid.
"OH will you just SHUT UP and NOT talk to me like I'm five years old? News spreads fast around here you stupid whore. I'm surprised you haven't gotten an STD from that hooker."
"You STOP talking to me like I ruin EVERYTHING when I'm trying to do something RIGHT."
"You DO ruin everything!"
Pete threw his hands up. Deciding that this argument wasn't going to get any better I stepped in, but not in time.
"YEAH, I DO! IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT ME TO SAY SYDNEY? I RUING EVERYTHING." He yelled in her face.
Sydney pushed his face away, annoyed. "Ten points to Ween for saying something that isn't complete bullshit. You fucking ponce."
"Why don't you go and find William and go revel in your perfect relationship?"
"What does Will have to do with ANY of this. STOP hiding and-"
"STOP IT BOTH OF YOU."
Pete turned around and Sydney rushed up to me, grabbing me by my shoulders, shaking me slightly. I pushed her away and she stood off to the side of me, frowning.
"Aarie just give me the word and I WILL tear him apart."
Pete laughed mockingly. "What are you going to do short shit?"
"I wouldn't be talking WEEN."
I pulled at my hair in frustration. "BOTH OF YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP!" I screamed. "You're both being SO immature."
Sydney looked down at her shoes. "Sorry," she said, "I told you what would happen if he hurt you again Aarie."
I looked in between my best friend and the boy who stole my heart a ripped it into a million little pieces. Everything was falling apart. Everything. I hated how Patrick was right about everything.
"I need to talk to you...alone," Pete said, stepping closer, but Sydney pulled me back as if she were a little girl and I was her new toy.
"No you don't," she said, shaking her blonde hair with her words.
I turned to Sydney and held her by the shoulders. I looked down into her eyes. They were glazed over and pure blue. My mouth curved into a frown.
"Syd," she nodded, "don't worry about me."
"But I'm I can not worry. I'm your BEST friend Aaryn. And you're the last person I'd ever want to see hurt."
For that second I felt my body fill with a feeling I hadn't felt for what seemed like an eternity. "I know Syd. But..." I looked at Peter, his hair was messy and his eyes were puffy, "I have to talk to Pete...alone."
Sydney sighed, but nodded in agreement. She turned away, but before she left she looked at Pete.
"Tell me you're not going to feed her your bullshit."
"Probably," he said sarcastically.
In one quick motion, her hand raised and made contact with the cheek on the opposite side of where I had smacked him earlier. He held his face in his hands as she walked away triumphantly. Normally, I would have aided Pete. But this wasn't my 'normally' situation. I watched him as he winched and cursed in pain for a few seconds, until he regained dignity, and looked at me again.
I felt my heart face. He was good at making me it do that, but I wasn't sure if it was for the same reason anymore. I put my hand on my hip as he played with his hands, but his gaze never left my face.
/This is over/. I repeated to myself in my head. His face searched mine as if I had the answers to what ever he was thinking. Inhaling deeply he spoke.
"I'm sorry..." he began.