A university student who never gets noticed finally gets a break. But, how long will it last? Angst only in parts. Not always romance either.
The guys sat in Brendon's hotel room, talking to each other, concerned for AmeliÃ©. Of course, everything was done while playing video games, thus the conversation was interrupted with small exclamations of phaser guns and bombs going off.
"So then you've noticed she's been acting weird all week too?" Ryan asked, his mouth hanging open while trying to kill Spencer's character.
"Yeah. Do you think it's because her birthday is tomorrow?" Brendon asked, flattening his hair with the palm of his hand and stretching his legs out in front of him on the floor.
"No, it couldn't be. She doesn't know that we know, remember?" The rhetorical question came from Spencer, who was dying at the moment and trying desperately to save himself.
"Right, well, I don't know, it's weird." Brendon shrugged, deep in thought.
"Maybe, do you think, it has something to do with that dance captain chick? The one that was giving her a hard time, and then Brendon had to go and make things worse?" Jon put in.
"No." Ryan shot it down. "If it was, she would have been bugging her from the start of last week as well. Why would she just wait a week to suddenly get on Elly's case?" They really could come up with no solid answer, only hypothetical suggestions that got them nowhere.
Later that night, they still hadn't heard from her, and she wasn't answering her cell phone. Ryan wanted to see where she was. All of them broke up and searched in different directions. Spencer stayed at the hotel in case she came back, Jon went searching the Starbucks around the corner, Brendon went to the nearby gym, and Ryan went to the theater, her three main haunts. It was Ryan who found her in the end. She was sitting on the stage, in half dark, only a few stage lights were on and she was sitting cross legged on the stage, singing quietly to herself. At first he couldn't tell what song it was, but when he neared, he could hear the words and the tune, but she was having a hard time singing, it sounded like she was trying not to cry.
"I cried, never gonna hold the hand of another guy, too young for him they told her, waiting for the love of a traveling soldier, our love will never end, waiting for the soldier to come back again, never more to be alone when the letter said: a soldiers coming home." She couldn't continue after the last line and started to cry.
"Elly?" Ryan said quietly, letting her know he was there. When she realized he was there, she hastily wiped the tears away, hoping he couldn't see them.
"Hey, Ryan, what are you doing here?" She asked, standing up to gather her things.
"I came looking for you. We were all sort of worried. You weren't answering your cell and we hadn't heard from you all day." He went up to where she was moving around on the stage.
"Oh, sorry. I guess I must have left my phone on silent." She lied.
"But what were you doing here all this time?" He asked, wondering if she would actually tell him.
"I just wanted to touch up some choreography. Some of it wasn't working so I had to rethink it. I have it now though and I'm ready to teach it to them tomorrow." He had to hand it to her, she was pretty smooth at covering up.
"Okay." He paused, waiting until she stopped moving, but she didn't. "Is there anything you want to talk about?" He asked. She shook her head, still not facing him.
"No, why should there be?" She grabbed her sweater and started walking for the door.
"I don't know." He shrugged. "I'll give you a ride back to the hotel." She tried to propose that she could take the bus or a taxi, but he wouldn't hear of it and she had no choice but to get in the car. On the way back, he phoned Brendon, Jon, and Spencer to tell them that he found her and was on his way back to the hotel with her. When he pulled into the parking lot, she got out, thanked him and made her way up to her room, barely saying boo to the others. Ryan didn't tell them what he had witnessed. As far as he was concerned it was her business for now, and he intended to keep it that way for as long as he could, although he would try to get close to her, try to help her as best he could.
The next day, all of the dancers that wanted to show up at her surprise party did, and it was almost everyone except for that one dancer. Among other guests was the guys from Fall Out Boy, and other people along the way that met AmeliÃ© and really liked her. The party was being held in the theater, where she would think she was going for the daily practice. One of the security guards stayed on watch for her and when he saw her coming, he ran back to the room and told everyone to hide and he went about his normal duties. AmeliÃ© pushed the door to the main theater open and stopped in surprise. All of her friends were in there, yelling the customary "Surprise " and "Happy Birthday " when she entered.
Everyone watched as she looked over her surroundings: the "Happy Birthday AmeliÃ© " sign, the people, the cake and ice cream, the presents, all with her mouth hanging open in surprise. It took a moment before a smile that looked somewhat forced appeared on her face.
"Wow." She laughed lightly. "This is..." She couldn't find a word. The door closed behind her. "Wow." She smiled again. Everyone surrounded her and hugged her, clapped her on the back, said congratulations and somewhere along the way, a piece of cake was shoved in her hand.
"How did you find out it was my birthday?" She asked. She looked down at the piece of cake she was expected to eat, and her throat started to close at the thought of it.
"Oh, we looked at your driver's licence one night when you were in the bathroom." Brendon smiled sheepishly. Her mouth opened in surprise.
"Brendon Guys, you shouldn't have done this." The smile faded.
"We wanted to do something special for you, because having your birthday when you aren't at home with your friends and family kind of sucks, so we wanted you to have the best birthday ever." Jon hugged her again.
"Still, you really shouldn't have." Everyone started eating their cake and ice cream and talking with each other. Even though Ryan was talking to Brendon, and Pete of Fall Out Boy, he kept his eye on AmeliÃ©. She didn't seem too enthused that a party was thrown for her, and he was still worried. When she thought no one was looking, she quickly and quietly dumped the paper plate with the piece of cake on it in the garbage and slowly backed towards the door. Brendon noticed where Ryan was looking just in time to see AmeliÃ© slipping through the doorway, which was only open enough to let herself through. He had enough. He went after her, not caring for Ryan trying to warn him.
The door burst open behind her as she walked quickly down the hall, making her jump. There were quick footsteps following behind her and a strong hand gripped her arm and whipped her around. Looking at his shoes, she saw it was Brendon, and refused to look at him, couldn't.
"What the hell is wrong with you? Why are you being such a bitch?" He let his anger flare in the heat of the moment. She didn't answer him, only looked at his sneakers. "We went to all this trouble just to give you an awesome birthday and you don't even pretend to be excited for it.-Would you look at me? " He pushed her chin up, but she closed her eyes entirely. "Fine. Don't look at me." His lip curled. "But just know how snobby and selfish you are right now, and everyone in there thinks it too." Leaving her with that, he wrenched open the door and joined the party again, which sounded more hushed. She could hear him talking loudly to him, obviously he was hoping for her to hear it.
"It's okay everyone, the birthday girl has decided to take a fit and has left. She's too good for us now." When she heard that, she left. She felt guilty for loading this onto them and making them feel like they went to all this work for nothing.
AmeliÃ© walked around town for hours, not wanting to go back to the hotel, for they would for certain be back. It was only as she mounted the front steps to the grand building that she realized she dropped her bag at the party. She didn't feel like going all the way back to get it, so she just kept walking. The lobby was quite full and she didn't feel like being bothered, so she put her hood up over her head, keeping her eyes averted to the floor, her arms folded across her chest.
"Elly " Someone called to her from behind in the lobby. "Elly, you left your bag at the theater." It was Ryan. She stopped only long enough to take it from him and mumble a quick and quiet 'thank you'. She kept walking and he followed, which annoyed her deeply, as she wished nothing more than to be alone.
"Elly, I want to talk to you." She walked a little faster. "Elly, slow down. I want to help you. I've been through shit too, and I don't know if I can relate to your problem at all, but I'd still like for you to feel like you can trust me." By now, she was climbing the stairs to her floor, Ryan huffing along behind her.
"It isn't that I don't trust you, Ryan, far from it. I just don't celebrate my birthday, that's it. That's all." She reached her floor and started walking down the hall.
"But why? Everyone should celebrate their birthday." She got to her room and fumbled for the key, sliding it into the lock.
"Well not me. Okay? Just, because, I don't want to, I don't celebrate it. Am I being forced to celebrate on a day when I shouldn't celebrate?" She opened the door and let it shut behind her, locking it as she went. Ryan stood there, thinking for a moment, then went down the hall a little further to Brendon's room, where his friends were playing video games.
He relayed what had just happened in the hall. They spent the night trying to figure out what was wrong with her.
"Just face it, Ryan, she's being a two faced brat. Our party wasn't good enough for her." An argument ensued where the sides were split, three against one. Brendon was the only one who believed her to be that insensitive and that heartlessly uncaring.