Who knows anymore?
"You two had a moment." I looked up from the Dave Grohl-ly goodness of my magazine to stare vacantly at the newest addition to our tour bus.
"At the Bearded Lady. You and Pete totally had a moment." I shook my head, dismissing my friend's senility, and returned to the article I was reading before Bridget's interruption.
"Insane like a fox. We saw you guys when you were getting tattooed. Even Joe thought so." I sighed.
"What did he say?" She shrugged and smiled smugly at me.
"If I'm so insane, what does it matter?" Why must she insist on being so difficult?
"OK, maybe you're not that insane. Just tell me what he said."
"Not much. He just seemed really excited about the two of you getting back together." My stomach twisted and gurgled and I was pretty sure it had nothing to do with the motion of the bus.
"Well, we're not getting back together." I said sternly. Bridget held up her hands defensively.
"I didn't say you were. Your sibling seems to think otherwise." I groaned and placed my magazine over my face, inhaling the light scent of fresh paper.
"This is bad." I muttered into page 42.
"I don't even know why Joe would want his sister with that a cheating, disease infested pirate hooker like Pete anyway." I slowly lowered the periodical just in time to see the realization setting into her features. Her mouth dropped.
"Holy shit. Joe has no idea, does he?" I shook my head slowly.
"You've kept this from him the entire time?" I nodded. She chuckled incredulously.
"OK, let me just make sure I understand this. You and Pete dated for how long?"
"Two years." I mumbled.
"You dated him for two years. You were pretty in love, right?" I nodded, not entirely sure where she was going with this.
"For the most part, it was good."
"Alright. So you two had a great relationship. And all of a sudden, with no indication or even the slightest hint of strife, you break up with him. You despise him with such conviction that you move to the other side of the country to get away from said scumbag." I smiled at her colorful rendition.
"My point is, your brother didn't find this chain of events to be a little odd? I mean, he's not that dense. Right?" I shrugged. I didn't know what that boy thought.
"Well, they do say drug free is the way to be. Perhaps there's some truth to that."
"Talking about Joe?" Andy asked as he entered the lounge, a soda can in his hand.
"How did you know?" Bridget countered with a small grin and an arched eyebrow.
"Just a hunch." He said as he plopped down next to me and stole my magazine. I frowned at the male.
"Ya know, you could have told us the Bearded Lady isn't just a snappy name." He threw his head back to laugh, his reddish brown locks flopping along with the gesture.
"She's a trip, huh?"
"She was definitely something." He shrugged.
"Frankie does good work, despite the facial hair." The tour bus slowly came to a halt. I peered out the darkened window, seeing the stretch of land that would miraculously metamorphoses into a concert venue while we slept.
"Where are we?" Bridget asked, sliding up next to me at the window.
"St. Louis, I think." Andy replied, only half interested.
"We're heeeeeere." My sibling popped his head into the lounge and smiled.
"Good. 'Cause I gotta go." The drummer stood and wandered off with my magazine.
"You can keep it." I mumbled with a roll of my eyes.
"Hey Lola, you wanna go outside for a smoke?" I sighed at my brother's request. That was code for 'we need to talk.' But playing dumb was more fun.
"You know I don't smoke anymore, Froman."
"Of course you don't." I looked over to Bridget.
"See that? Total disregard for my well being." I followed my brother through the tour bus and out the side door. The orange spark from his lighter illuminated his strong features briefly before it disappeared, leaving only the amber glow on the tip of the cigarette.
"You don't have to drag me outside for a smoke every time you wanna talk to me. All you have to say is 'Lola, let's talk.' That's it." He laughed, allowing the smoke to bellow from his nose and mouth.
"I like this better. I kill two birds with one stone."
"I refuse to enable your habit, Joseph." He rolled his eyes.
"Moving on. So. You and Pete. Are you dating again now?" I began to feel the strangest sense of DÃ©jÃ vu.
"Didn't we have this exact conversation before?" He shrugged, flicking some ashes to the ground.
"We're not dating again now. We're not dating again ever." My brother sighed and gently crossed his arms.
"I saw you two. I saw how he was looking at you." I bit my bottom lip and stared down at the blacktop.
"It's not going to happen." His hand rested on my shoulder, prompting my gaze to travel up to his face.
"Why not? Why can't things be like they used to? Why can't I have my friend back?" I didn't have an answer. I couldn't have an answer. In complete silence, I turned and headed back inside the tour bus.
It was soft as the melody lingered in the air, floating passed my curtain and gliding through my ears. Slowly, I poked my head out from my bunk and peered into the darkness.
The dim light peeked out from under his dividing piece of cloth, teasing and taunting me. I slid from my bunk and onto the cold linoleum floor. Cautiously, I pulled the curtain back, hoping not to frighten the inhabitant.
He lay on his belly, clad in a tee shirt and boxers. His head was hatless, revealing his wispy strands of sandy hair. A pair of oversized headphones covered his ears and connected to his laptop. His lips formed a small smile upon seeing me.
"Hey." I whispered, my low voice seemly boomed at 3 am.
"Hi." He replied, pulling off the earphones.
"What are you doing?" He shifted over, giving me room to join him in his cramped bunk. I did so gingerly, reddening at the brushing of our thighs.
"Working. Listen." He handed me the headphones, allowing me to listen to the graceful sound that transcended through the night. It was strangely beautiful, yet it conveyed a great feeling of melancholy.
"It's pretty. But it sounds kind of sad." He grinned slightly and turned to face me on his side.
"Thanks." Was all he said.
"So is this what you do late at night? You fiddle with songs on your laptop?" He nodded, a yawn following.
"What can I say? I'm passionate." I arched an eyebrow at him. "OK, maybe passionate isn't the word. It just sounds better than obsessed."
"So, how's the tattoo?" He asked after a bit of silence hung in the still air.
"Good. Kind of itchy though." He nodded.
"Can I see it?" I smirked and rolled away, presenting my back to the male. His warm, calloused fingers glided over my skin as he pulled some of the fabric of my shirt away from the bandaged area.
"You can peel it. It doesn't hurt." I said in a hushed voice before I felt his fingers gently pull on the adhesive.
"It looks good." I smiled inwardly before turning over to face him again. His nose was just inches from mine. The dim light radiated from the computer screen, giving his soft features a bluish glow while making his irises look clear. I leaned in slightly, softly placing my lips over his. It was a tender embrace, but ended swiftly.
His translucent eyes were wide, portraying the perfect deer in the headlights.
"I'm sorry." I whispered before I attempted to roll out of his bunk. His hand caught the crook of my arm.
"Don't leave." I sighed and stared down at the linoleum floor. Stupid, Lola. Very stupid. I had a nauseated feeling in the pit of my stomach, signaling that I just might have opened a Pandora's Box of complexity.
"I'm sorry." I repeated, looking down at his hand that clutched my arm.
"It's OK. Lay back down with me." With the technique of a robot, I obeyed. We lay there, silent, confused, our minds racing...or at least my mind was doing jumping jacks. I couldn't stand it. I couldn't stand how quiet it was.
"I'm sorry." Searching my brain for something else to say proved to be futile.
"Yeah?" I breathed out. He just smiled.
Tiny droplets of sweat began to form around my hairline as my hands expertly went to work. The large wooden spoon effortless mixed the ingredients in a big dark blue plastic bowl. It was six in the morning and I was baking muffins. Lots of muffins. Blueberry, chocolate chip, banana nut, cranberry orange, you name it, I was baking it. That's what kissing Patrick does. It sends me into a guilt-baking rage.
"What are you doing?" I looked over to see Joe standing in his boxers, rubbing his tired eyes.
"Baking. Have a muffin." I tossed a baked good to him before returning to the task at hand.
"I can see that you're baking. But why? And why at six a.m.? And where did you get the means to make muffins?"
"Because I can. And did you know there was a super market up the street?" He sighed and sat at a bolted down table.
"I did not know that." He bit into the breakfast pastry. "Mmm. Is it a mix?" Crumbs spewed from his mouth.
"You'd think I'd make these from scratch? I'm not Martha fucking Stewart, Joe." He shrugged and continued to eat.
"So what did you do?" I turned and arched an eyebrow at my brother. Nervousness set in.
"You did something. Most likely something bad." I laughed apprehensively.
"Did something? Why can't a girl bake muffins for no apparent reason?"
"Lola. I've known you since the day you were born. We're one in the same. You do not bake muffins for no apparent reason." I sighed. Yes, he was right. But I still had a trick up my sleeve.
"I'm on my period. I wanted muffins. Would you like to discuss further?" He stopped mid-bite to stare at me. His face contorted into a grimace. Victory would surely be mine.
"No. No discussion needed. Continue baking." I smiled to myself as I returned to mixing the batter.
"Something smells heavenly." Andy hovered over my shoulder. "Got anything I can eat?" I reached over to a tray of organic, vegan muffins and handed them to the drummer.
"Would I forget about my favorite tree hugger?" He chuckled and sat down with his special muffins.
"So what's with the baking?"
"Dude, don't ask." My sibling intervened. They shared a disgusted expression and continued to eat in silence.
"You're baking muffins? What did you do?" I sighed at the sound of Pete's groggy voice and dropped the wooden spoon I was mixing with.
"Nothing! I didn't do anything. I'm just baking muffins." He grinned at me, rubbing his stomach with a tattooed hand.
"It must have been something bad." He commented as he pilfered a pastry. I shook my head as I began to pour the gooey batter into muffin tins.
"Morning Patrick." My brother greeted the male. Out of the corner of my eye, I could barely make out his form.
"Ooh, muffins." Patrick approached and reached for a pastry, his arm brushing mine. He smiled upon our eyes meeting briefly before his gaze darted away. Awkward.
Another beautiful Warped Tour day greeted me. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and Tyler didn't want me anywhere near his precious merch stand.
Good luck trying to get Dirty to be productive. The man thinks drinking beer and urinating on himself should be an Olympic sport.
At least I'd get to check out some of the bands instead of dealing with bratty, merch-hungry kids. The giant schedule loomed over me, showcasing the acts and the times they were playing. A grin crawled across my face at "Fall Out Boy" blazon upon the canvas at 11.
"What time is it?" I asked to my watch-less wrist.
"12:13. P.M." I turned to see Patrick standing next to me, a fresh coat of sweat gleaming from his forehead.
"I missed you."
"We've only been apart for a few hours." I rolled my eyes at the smiling boy before giving him a playful shove.
"I meant I missed your set." His plump lower lip stuck out, forming a cute little pout.
"So you didn't miss me?" I sighed and returned my gaze to the schedule.
"Atreyu? They any good?" My accomplice wrinkled his nose and shook his head.
"Not really. Besides, you wouldn't last in their pit." I crossed my arms over my chest and frowned up at him.
"I wouldn't, huh? Let's see you keep up with me." With his manhood on the line, he followed me as I weaved through the crowd toward our destination. Hundreds of bodies surrounded the stage, getting ready for the band to start. The dry heat that hung in the air made breathing almost impossible, doubled with the suffocating feeling of being boxed in by sweaty Atreyu fans.
"Are you sure about this? I think Gogol Bordello is playing on the next stage." I shook my head. No way, Bambi.
Soon heavy riffs and screaming lyrics filled the air, prompting the throngs of people to thrash and leap in no particular rhythm. Patrick stood behind me and pressed his body against mine in a protective manner. The crowd surfers were relentless, constantly bearing down on us. My lungs constricted, painfully gasping for oxygen. OK, maybe I wasn't cut out for this pit.
I twisted my head to admit my defeat to Patrick. Judging by his smirk, he already knew. Then his green eyes widened.
"Lola, look out!" Something heavy plummeted into the back of my head. The last thing I heard was the sickening sound of flesh scraping against the blacktop.