Five Years Later.
We decided we were going to have an 'us' day. We were going to stay in bed all day, turn off our cell phones, lock the doors, and stay in bed all day. It was just the two of us, talking, occasionally making out, and occasionally making love. It was pure bliss.
"No, we just made love, and I have a question for you and I want to get your honest feed back while the euphoria is still embedded in your head," he said leaning back slightly.
I looked up at him with a disbelieving look. I was clad in a tank top and my underwear while Pete was donned in only his tight jeans which were still unbuttoned.
I just tilted my head and rolled my eyes.
"Euphoria? Pete, please. That means you actually have to be good in bed," I said putting a sly smile on my face.
"Oh, I know I am good in bed," he said looking through the mini screen on his video camera.
"What makes you so sure?" I asked.
"Oh, Pete. More. Right there. Don't stop," Pete started to moan in a high pitched voice.
"I don't sound like that," I said laughing.
"Right," he said laughing with me.
"Oh, well, how about you? Oh yeah, baby. That's the spot. Oh god," I said putting on a low voice.
"That's just to turn you on more, babe," he said giving me his million dollar smile.
I rolled my eyes at him again.
"Miss Isabelle, what do you feel when you look at me?" he asked changing his demeanor to serious.
"Love," I said simply.
"That's a copout. I know that you love me. What is it about me that you love?" he asked keeping the camera focused on me.
I sat there and looked off to the side thinking hard about his question. There were so many things that I loved about Pete, but he wouldn't let me say everything. I looked him directly into his eyes ignoring the camera in his hands.
"You're real," I said quietly.
"Care to elaborate?" he asked scrunching his eyebrows together in confusion.
"You are real. You are human. You aren't flawless and I don't expect you to be, but you don't expect me to be flawless either. You make me feel real and that is what I love about you," I said seriously.
Pete just nodded not saying anything. I don't think he was expecting quite an honest answer.
"And you're incredibly hot in those jeans," I added.
"Oh really," he said laughing trying to tickle me with one hand while the other continued to hold the camera.
I squealed as he hit my sides causing me to laugh. I managed to grab the camera away from him and point it in his direction.
"Alright Mr. Wentz. Same question directed towards you. What do you love about me?" I asked.
Pete sat back on his knees and looked down on me.
"You feel like forever," he said quietly.
My breath caught in my throat. We've never talked so deeply to each other before and I felt a pull at my heartstrings. He was so sweet at times. I found myself wishing he would get the proper help, so we could be like this always.
"Really Wentz? Forever is a long time. Think you can handle it?" I continued my interview.
"Forever feels like home," he leaned down towards me pushing the camera to the side and began to kiss me deeply.
I awoke with a jolt and tears flowing down my cheeks. I could still feel his kisses on my lips and burning the skin on my neck. That day was one of the best days of my life with Pete and I continued to have dreams about it even though five years had passed since I had last seen him. His words rang through my ears.
'Forever feels like home.'
"Yeah, mom, I'm going to be flying into Chicago tomorrow morning," I said into my phone as I ran around my apartment trying to get everything packed.
"No, Jeremy can't pick me up, but I'm going to be meeting him at the stadium. We will meet you for dinner after the game, ok? Alright. I love you too. Bye," I said and hung up.
I continued to run around my apartment making sure I wasn't forgetting anything. It has been years since I've been to Chicago; five to be exact. A lot has changed since I left Chicago that dreadful day.
I graduated from college with a degree in Psychology and I got accepted to a graduate program to get my doctorate. I am currently living in an apartment in the metro area of Minnesota.
I still haven't spoken to any of the boys from my past since that rainy day that Patrick called me. I think about HIM everyday of my life, but I finally had to accept the fact that HE doesn't want to be with me.
Also, I met a boy. I met him while I was in undergrad on a spring break trip to Florida. I went to watch Spring Training for baseball and he was there. We hit it off immediately, but being he was still in the minors, his life was unpredictable and in Florida. Not more than two years later did he get called up to the majors and he looked me up. We've been together for about a year now and he makes me smile.
He was the reason I was going back to Chicago. They were playing the White Sox and the Cubs, so he asked me to come see him. He's away a lot during the season, so any chance that I get to see him, I take.
I continued to run around my apartment smiling just of the thought of Jeremy, or JB as I called him, folding clothes that I was going to bring with me to Chicago.
"Fall Out Boy, bassist, Pete Wentz engaged? Coming up next on Entertainment Tonight."
I stopped what I was doing and stared at his picture on the TV. My heart stopped. I dropped the t-shirt that was in my hands and walked slowly over to the TV, sitting down on the couch.
I felt as though I couldn't breathe. He couldn't be engaged.
Finally the commercials concluded and they flashed his ever charming smile over the screen.
"Word on the street is that Pete Wentz, bassist from Fall Out Boy, has just recently got engaged to model/actress girlfriend, Kelly Jackson. We are told that it hasn't been officially announced, but she has been seen wearing quite a large ring on her finger," the sparky personality stated.
They showed pictures of him and her together and I just wanted to puke. I knew he was dating her, but I didn't know it was serious. Shit, it was just announced two months ago that they were dating. I thought she was like every other girl he has dated; a fling.
I quickly turned off the TV and took a deep breath.
"Breathe, Izzy," I said to myself.
I slowly got up and started to pack again trying to ignore the pain that was apparent in my heart. How could he forget me?
I looked over at my bookshelf and noticed a picture of JB and me down in Florida this past spring. I smiled. I loved JB, but was I IN love with him?
I took another deep breath and continued with my packing.
After a couple more hours of packing and double checking that I had everything that I needed, I went into my bedroom. I walked slowly to the top drawer of my dresser and opened it pulling out a box with some pictures. They were pictures of my past. Pictures of the boys. Me with Joe, Andy, and Patrick. Me with HIM. It wasn't until then did I allow the tears to fall. He's moved on. He's forgotten me. I missed him so much.
I landed in Chicago the next morning and memories came flooding back. The only face that flooded them was Patrick's. He was the one that dropped me off at that same airport and said those words of goodbye.
I missed him too. He was my rock for so long, but he had to make a decision, and he chose Pete. I don't blame him. I probably would have chosen Pete if I had to.
"Will you take me to the airport next Friday?" I asked Patrick as we sat in my room with various boxes and suitcases strewn about.
He sighed heavily as he looked up from the picture of the gang that was in his hands.
"Me? Why me?" he asked sounding too sad for words.
"Because I don't want anyone else to and I don't have anyone else to," I almost whispered.
Patrick's eyes looked as though they pitied me. I hated when he looked at me like that. He'd been giving me that look ever since Pete and I stopped talking. He knew how much being apart from Pete was killing me. He could see the breaking of my heart on my face; everyone could.
"Please," I pleaded with him after he didn't answer.
"Sure, Iz. I'll bring you to the airport," he said quietly and went back to staring at the picture.
It was a picture of all of us on graduation day. That day that was etched into my memory as being one of the best days of my life. It was the end of one chapter of my life and the beginning of a new one. It was supposed to be a time of new beginnings. It was supposed to be a time where Pete and I could start fresh and have a wonderful life together.
Things weren't supposed to turn out this way.
I held back the lump that was in my throat as I walked quickly through the airport with my carry-on hanging on my back.
Riding in the cab and watching the Chicago scenery pass by me was like watching a movie of my past. We drove past places where Pete and I would hang out alone, or places where I would hang out with the boys. We even passed places where the boys would perform before they became the big 'rock stars' that they were.
I could feel the presence of tears stinging my eyes and I had to keep reminding myself to breathe. Maybe coming back to Chicago wasn't such a good idea.
"Oh my God! Stop! You are killing me!" I laughed out as Patrick did an impression of his physics teacher.
Pete, Joe, Andy, Ady, Patrick and I were all sitting in a booth of some low class 24-hour diner after one of their gigs. We were the only ones except for the occasional trucker to occupy the place.
"And I thought Mr. Sour was bad, right Izzy?" Pete asked wiping his eyes with his free hand being that his other arm was around mine.
"Don't get me started on that man," I said looking down at the table laughing lightly.
"At least he doesn't fall asleep while having class in session," Joe said speaking of his shop teacher.
"True," I said pointing at Joe.
"Do you remember how he reacted when we started the counter on fire freshman year? I thought he was going to body slam both of us to the ground," Pete said laughing loudly.
"You started the counter on fire?" Ady asked in shock.
"Oh yeah, it was the talk of the school. Izzy and I were famous for about a week," Pete said rubbing my shoulder slightly.
"Yeah, and then it came out that some senior was pregnant and all was forgotten," I piped up.
"You guys are going to miss it, you know," Andy said now putting his arm lovingly around Ady.
We all sat around in the booth and nodded silently.
"I can't believe it's almost over," Joe said shaking his head.
"It's not almost over. It's almost beginning," Patrick spoke up.
My head shot up and I looked him in the eyes. He had that look on his face that caused me to melt and I smiled back. He was right. It was only the beginning.
As I walked into the stadium, I forced a huge smile on my face. I needed to focus on the present and not the past. It is extremely important for me to remember that. He moved on, so can I.
Thinking only of the present did not last long, however. During the game, I couldn't help but think back to my past. Everything just came flying at me with no warning. I would recall everything from the first day that I met him to the day that I said goodbye to Patrick. I wished we had stayed in touch, Patrick and me.
"I think you should talk to him," Patrick said sternly.
I just rolled my eyes at him.
"Patrick, just stop. I'm so sick and tired of you and everyone else trying to get me to talk to Pete. Why won't he come talk to me? Huh?" I asked as we walked through the mall.
It was a ritual that we did on Wednesdays when Pete had his appointments.
"I've tried to talk to him about it, believe me," Patrick said sounding almost exhausted of the fact.
"I wish I knew how he could stop loving me so quickly," I said stopping in my tracks feeling defeated.
I had been trying for so long to be strong and not let them see me cry, but I couldn't do that anymore. I missed him more than anything. I wanted to be back with him again. We were supposed to be forever.
"To be honest, Iz, I wish I knew how anyone could stop loving you," Patrick said looking at me sadly.
I burst into tears and ran into his arms. He encircled his arms around me and held me tightly as people walked past us giving us odd glances.
While sitting there and thinking about him, I found myself get angry. Why, if Pete had obviously moved on, hadn't Patrick tried to get a hold of me? In all those years, I never changed my phone number. I always thought I never changed it for convenience, but deep down I think I kept the same phone number so Pete would always be able to contact me.
I was broken out of my deep thoughts when everybody started to stand up signaling that the game was over.
'Present, Izzy. Focus on the present.' I had to keep telling myself that the past was in the past.
"Hey baby," JB said happily as he saw me waiting for him outside of the stadium's player entrance.
"Hi!" I said happily and hugged him tightly.
"Was your flight ok? Did you get settled into the hotel alright?" he asked grabbing my hand and walking with me down the street.
"Yeah, everything went fine," I smiled. I loved how nice he was to me.
"That's good," he smiled as he stared straight ahead as we waited for a cab.
"Hey," I said getting his attention.
He looked down on me and gave me that smile that made me melt.
I didn't know what to say to him. I just wanted to look at him.
"What's up, buttercup?" he asked.
He constantly had cute little pet names for me, which caused me to blush every time he used them.
"Nothing. I just missed you, that's all," I said standing on my tiptoes to give him a peck on the cheek.
"Are you alright?" he asked looking at me suspiciously.
"I'm fine," I smiled, but the smile wouldn't reach my eyes.
It had been a long time since my smile reached my eyes. Too long.
After dinner, JB and I walked hand in hand down the streets of Chicago.
"It was nice to see your mom again," JB said absentmindedly.
"It was," I agreed.
It had been Spring Training since we both had seen her. She came down for part of the time that I was visiting him on my spring break from school.
"So, lovely lady, what would you like to do," he asked lifting my hand up and spinning me around as if we were dancing.
"All I want right now is to be alone with you," I said spinning and walking backwards.
JB put his arms around my back and hugged me close to him as I stared up into his eyes and continued to walk backwards.
"Really?" he asked with a suggestive tone.
"Really," I stated matter-o-factly.
"Well, I think I can handle that," he said as he stopped walking and kissed me on the lips not caring who may be walking by to see our public display of affection.
We were rudely interrupted by someone coming out of the small record store bumping into us, causing me to bite my lip.
"Shit, sorry," the guy said touching my arm slightly as I put my hand up to my lip.
"It's ok, really," I said trying to wave him off.
"Are you ok?" JB asked lifting my head slightly to see my lip.
"I'm fine," I said tasting the slight hint of blood. I couldn't help but notice that the boy who ran into me was just standing there, staring.
I looked over at him with a confused expression.
"I'm fine, you don't need to worry," I said laughing nervously.
"Izzy," the boy said quietly.
My smile faded quickly and I turned completely to face the curly haired boy who had hit me and the other shocked one in glasses.
"Joe? Andy?" I asked shocked.
"Holy shit," Andy murmured quietly.
I couldn't hear anything at that moment except for the loud beating of my heart. I didn't know what to say or do. I just stood there frozen staring directly at my past come flying back at me like a Mac truck going mock speed into a brick wall. It wasn't a pleasant experience.
Andy's head whipped towards the door and his expression of shock turned to that of almost fear. I didn't quite know what was going on. My head turned in slow motion and I saw HIM walking out laughing with Patrick right on his heels. They both looked genuinely happy and I felt my heart ache and anger burn in my chest.
"Guys, what's up?" Pete asked confused as he saw the looks on Joe and Andy's face.
Joe hadn't moved from his position in front of me since running into me. Andy seemed to be the only one functioning.
It felt like it had been five minutes that had passed when in reality it couldn't have been more than thirty seconds.
Pete heard Patrick gasp once he realized what Joe was staring at. In slow motion I saw Pete's head turn towards me and his smiled faded into a non-readable expression. I couldn't tell if it was sadness, anger, or just plain nothingness.
"Pete," I said quietly.
I shocked myself with my own voice.
"Izzy?" Patrick asked still not believing that I was standing there.
I wanted to, but my eyes were still glued to Pete's. I suddenly felt as though passing out was the best option to get myself out of this.
"Oh my God, Izzy," Patrick said happily and ran up to me giving me a hug.
Pete's eyes never left mine as I numbly hugged Patrick. I didn't squeeze quite as hard as he did. I felt abandoned by him, and the trust I once had for the boy had long left after that last phone call three years ago.
"Patrick, hi," I said trying my best to keep the quiver in my voice to a minimal.
"Iz, I can't believe I am standing in front of you right now," he said in shock.
I tried to keep eye contact with him, but I felt Pete's eyes burning into my skull. I looked over at him and he kept the same incomprehensible expression on his face. I got chills when ever my eyes met his and I wasn't sure if they were good chills or bad chills.
Joe continued to stare, his mouth slightly hanging open in shock. Andy stood back, looking as though he was ready to run in case Pete's head exploded. It just might.
Patrick was the only one able to function. This only caused me to be angrier with him. My absence should have had more of an impact than what it obviously had on him.
"Patrick, you look good," I said stuttering slightly.
What do you say to the one you thought of as your confidant who just abandoned you for the love of your life?
"Thanks. You look great. What are you doing in Chicago?" he asked keeping up conversation.
What brought me to Chicago? What did bring me to Chicago? I suddenly felt JB grab my hand and everything came crashing down. I noticed Pete turn and start to walk away with Andy and Joe following. My heart broke and I felt tears stinging my eyes.
Patrick turned and watched them walk away. He then looked over at me with a sympathetic look that said 'I should really go.'
"It was nice to see you, Trix," I said quietly as I nodded my head.
"We miss ya, Iz," Patrick said just as quietly.
"Good luck with everything," I said and grabbed JB's hand and turned in the opposite direction and left him standing there.
They missed me? Right. They sure had a funny way of showing me that they missed me. Turning to leave without saying goodbye; what was that? The least they could do was acknowledge me as an actual human being. All those boys acted like they had just seen a ghost.
Who was I kidding? I was a ghost to them.