Another girlfriend from the past.
Judging from the countdown that was constantly shown on the TV screen, itÂ´s been at least five days I had spent in this room. If I was dead then why was there something like time? IÂ´ve always imagined that the afterlife would be timeless. Who would need the concept of time here? A glance at the screen.
I averted my eyes from the TV and took a look around. Who would need a bed if they didnÂ´t need to sleep anymore? The table and the chair, ok, thatÂ´s just to pass the time. (Figure of speech.) Occasionally I sat down there and stared blankly at the wall.
Why was the goddamn mirror in here? I examined my features in the glass. After five days of seeing just yourself plus the short appearances of people from a life now lost on a freak TV screen, you really get bored of yourself. Bored to death.
That made me smile. No need to worry though, lunatics usually don't realize they're insane.
I stepped away from the mirror. I still looked the same as when I had first woken up in here. No changes. I wasnÂ´t rotting away or anything. At least not on the outside.
I was thinking about Patrick and the others in the lawyerÂ´s office. Hoping that I would be able to witness their next step via the tube once the countdown was up. I wanted to see them fail. I wanted to see a confirmation of the irreplaceability of Pete Wentz. I was what had held this band together. I was the one who had called Decaydance into being. And Clandestine Industries. I knew how to market us. They were nothing without me.
And Patrick knew it. Deep inside he knew it. I could see it in his eyes.
Two young adults in an apartment, sitting at the kitchen counter.
The woman, straight blond hair that almost touches her shoulders, in light blue pjÂ´s. The man, dark brown hair, his bangs falling into his face, in a muscle t-shirt and sweats.
She pours herself some milk over her cereal and puts a spoonful into her mouth. Chewing, she says, "Pete? Can we go out tonight? It doesnÂ´t have to be anything fancy. IÂ´d just like to go out for dinner again."
He stops scribbling away on his yellow notepad and looks up to meet her eyes. He smiles at her. "Of course, baby." Then he busies himself with his writing again.
She smiles to herself. "Say... How are things with the band? You came home pretty late last night, huh?"
He clicks his pen a couple of times and then replies, sounding quite tired, "Yes, we practiced until... I donÂ´t know. It was well past 2 AM when I headed home."
She watches him jot down phrases on his pad. "HowÂ´s this Patrick kid? Any good?"
Not looking up from his notes he mutters, "Yeah. HeÂ´s amazing really. PatrickÂ´s what weÂ´ve been looking for... Um, IÂ´d really like to finish this song. So..."
She hesitates before putting another spoon of cereal into her mouth, "Oh, yeah. Sure. Sorry. IÂ´m gonna shut up now." Sheepishly, she munches on her breakfast and traces the plastic bottle of milk with one finger.
He looks at her and sighs, "IÂ´m sorry. I didn't mean to be rude. IÂ´m just a bit stressed out, I guess." He pauses and grabs her hand. "I just really feel like weÂ´re onto something here. I know that Andy, Joe, Patrick and I can make it big if we only work hard enough."
She smiles at him, somewhat weakly, and places her other hand on top of his. "I know, Pete. ItÂ´s alright. I can see how much this means to you. If this makes you happy then it makes me happy."
He gets up, grabs his pad and pen and walks around the counter. He places a quick kiss on her lips and says, "IÂ´ll go to the bedroom to finish this. When IÂ´m done weÂ´ll hang out, ok?"
She nods and softly slides a hand across his cheek.
"I love you." He says and smirks.
"I love you too, Pete."
He leaves the kitchen.
I watched the countdown begin. The seconds ticking away, the minutes dissolving into nothingness. As if it meant anything in a place like this. My thoughts drifted off, even though I tried to fight it. It's not the most pleasant thing to remember the wrongs you've done.
Caren Lafitte, that was her name. We had hooked up about one and a half years before I met Patrick and the whole Fall out Boy thing really started. By then we were sharing an apartment we had moved into four months previously.
It was a bold step for me to take. I'm not the the type to get all serious and settle down with one person. I'm not a swinger or player either... I just like to keep my options open. But I really liked Caren and I knew she was deeply in love with me. Maybe too much for her own good...
So we moved in together and things were working out fantastically. At first. We bought furniture together, we went grocery shopping together. We even divided the chores up amongst the two of us. I guess in the end, she got stuck with most of the work though.
I remember the day we went to get a pet. "Once we have a pet," Caren said, "it's official that we live together. When you share a pet, it's final." I laughed at her silly remark but I thought it was cute. Caren was definitely naÃ¯ve but she wasn't dumb or gullible. She had something totally refreshing about her, something that most people have when they are little but lose eventually, on their way to growing up. I guess that's what initially attracted me to her. My Peter Pan complex.
We arrived at a rough patch once Fall out Boy got some attention. We were signed by a major record label, we had to record a full-length album and most of all, we had to tour, tour, tour. During the first months of that Caren never dropped a word of complaint but I could tell that she felt neglected. The way she would look at me when she told me she was going to bed, me sitting at the kitchen counter, scribbling away on my notepad under the light of a desk lamp. Her pj-clad body leaning against the door frame, her eyes pleading for me to follow her into the bedroom, to lie down with her just so she didn't have to fall asleep on her own again. Most of the times I didn't even look at her when I said "good night". I was too busy transforming my thoughts into words, my words into lyrics. My lyrics into money?
In less than a year after we had moved in together we were at the end of the road. Our relationship cul-de-sac left us with one option only: To go back all the way, but on our separate ways. It was my decision mostly. She told me she had patience, lots of it. And I knew she wasn't lying. The thing was, I didn't. I didn't want to share my life with her anymore. I had big plans, I realized the world could be our oyster if only Joe, Patrick, Andy and I worked hard enough. There was no room for a steady girlfriend.
I returned from the studio one day and was greeted by a cheerful Caren. She had prepared lasgana for the two of us. I slammed the door shut. I was pissed, we were behind our schedule. We had four more songs to record and we should have been done by the day before. Things were a mess, I was a mess.
She told me to sit down, dinner would be ready in a second. She pressed her soft lips against mine, then looked me in the eyes, her own ones full of expectation for what I was going to tell her about my day. I didn't say a word, instead I fidgeted with the silverware in front of me.
"How was your day at the studio?" Caren finally broke the silence.
She bent down to take a peek at the lasgana through the oven door, "Why's that?"
"We're lagging behind. Look, I don't wanna talk about it right now, ok?"
She turned around, her brow in a furrow, and sat down next to me. Her hand on mine, she asked, her voice full of sympathy and warmth, "What's the matter with you lately, Peter? We don't talk anymore. We need to communicate."
When I think back to that moment now, my next reaction makes me feel ashamed. All she wanted was help me. All she wanted was to give me strength to get over my frustration. All she wanted was for me to be happy.
And, apparently, thatÂ´s all I wanted too.
I shot up from the chair, sending it toppling over and crashing on the floor, and tore my hand away from underneath hers. "I don't NEED to talk to you about my day, Caren. I don't need to justify myself. In fact, I'm not even sure I still need you in my life."
She just sat there, wide-eyed, her hand still on the same spot where it hand been covering mine earlier. "What... do you mean?"
"I think we need a break. I'm gonna go pack some stuff and spend the night at Patrick's."
When I returned with a backpack full of clothes five minutes later she was still sitting at the table, staring at the silverware. The smell of burnt lasagna filling the room.
My hand on the handle of the door I heard her voice, "Do you feel that I'm holding you back, Pete?"
I didn't turn around. "Yes... And I think your dinner is burning up."
Then I was gone.
I returned to pick up all of my belongings three days later. I moved in with Patrick until I could find a new apartment. I wanted her to keep ours, even though I had usually paid the bigger share of the rent. It helped me soothe my guilty conscience. It was like, hey, I'm not that much of a bad guy, at least I'm not kicking her out of the apartment.
Just out of my life for good.
A/N: I apologize for any incorrect information regarding Fall out Boy history. I'm not doing any research for this story, I just wanna write it while it flows.
Thanks for giving me faith, Katy. Enjoy the lasagna. ;)