Brendon and Desi on the beach.
They didn't say much. It wasn't needed. They were both entranced with the beautiful waves crashing down underneath the moonlight and consumed with the smell of the ocean breeze blowing though their hair, to even think about the fact that they were sitting next to complete strangers.
"This is by far the best part of California," Brendon broke the silence.
Desi sighed. "I agree. I was born and raised in California. I practically grew up on the beach. But it never seizes to amaze me how beautiful it is." A smile appeared on her face. "It never looked as beautiful as it does right now at this very moment, though."
"I don't think I've ever seen anything this beautiful," Brendon, still entranced with the waves, said.
"You sound like a chick." Desi chuckled while continuing to stare at the ocean.
Brendon rolled his eyes at her response. He turned his head to glance at Desi. Her red hair danced in the wind while she sat spellbound. He had never seen/met anything/anyone so intriguing in his life. He needed to know more. "Who are you?"
Desi broke her gaze from the scenery and turned to Brendon with a confused look on her face. "What? Did you get hit with a sudden case of amnesia? I'm Desi, you idiot."
"No, I know that. I meant, who are you.....as a person. Where do you live? What school do you go to? What's your favorite food? Color? Who's your favorite band? What's your favorite song? What do you-" He was suddenly silenced by Desi's hand covering his mouth.
"My brain cannot comprehend that many questions all at once. One question at a time, mister."
"Sorry," he mumbled into her hand. Desi slowly unclasped her hand from his mouth.
"Now, ask again."
"Kay, so where are you from?"
"Montclair. It's about 45 minutes away from here."
He nodded. "What school do you go to?"
"I'm a senior at Don Lugo High."
She took time to think about it. "Vegetable lasagna, definitely."
"I'm a vegetarian," she stated matter-of-factly.
"Me too," he smiled. "Favorite color?"
"Red," she answered quickly. "Can't you tell?" She smiled as she pointed to her hair.
"I'm just a fan of music. I have tons of favorite bands ranging from different genres. I can name some, but there isn't enough time in a night."
He laughed. "Song?"
"Freebird by Lynyrd Skynard. It changed my life when I was 8 years old. Haven't been the same since."
"What do you do in your free time?"
"Go to concerts, go to concerts, and after I go to concerts, I go to more concerts." She smiled cheekily. "But besides going to concerts, I like to play music and read. I'm a huge book nerd."
"What book are you reading right now?" He inquired curiously.
"Right now I'm re-reading Hairstyles of the Damned by Joe Meno. This is my 3rd time reading. It's amazing."
"Maybe I should give it a try."
She nodded. "You should."
"Uhh." He made a face while thinking. "I think I ran out of questions."
"Already? Damn, I was hoping for some more," she said sarcastically.
"I can conjure up some more if you like."
"No thanks." She turned her head back towards the ocean. "This place seems so different at night. It's so peaceful and....." She trailed off.
"I know what you mean. I don't think I can ever go to the beach during the day again. I almost don't want to leave."
Desi sighed. "I almost forgot we have to leave. Back to the real world." She shook her head. "Great." She rolled her eyes at the thought.
"You're preaching to the choir."
She scoffed. "Please. You get paid tons of money to sing. You're life is so hard. How do you do it?" She said mockingly.
Brendon swiftly turned his head towards Desi. "You don't know anything about my life. You don't know how demanding and consuming my life is. There's stuff behind the scenes that most people don't know about."
"Oh yeah? Like what? Girls constantly throwing themselves at you. People swooning at your feet; having people at your beck and call. Yeah, sounds really hard."
"Try having people around you except so much from you, more than you can give. They expect you to be perfect, they expect you to be the best at all times. Mediocre is not option to them. You must be presentable 24/7 because you never know what they'll want you to do, and you can never be yourselves. All the glitz and glamour, it's nothing. But the pressure, it's everything."
The intensity in Brendon's eyes almost scared Desi. But the scariest part was that Desi knew exactly what he was talking about.
She turned her head to stare into Brendon's emotional eyes. "I thought I had you figured out. But apparently we're in the same boat."
"What do you mean?"
She took a deep breath. "You try so hard to be yourself, but you just feed them. You feed them, and that pressure just grows bigger and bigger. Then suddenly, it's a part of your everything; the part you never wanted but can't avoid."
Brendon nodded in understanding. "I thought I had you figured out. What's your story?"
She smirked and turned back to the ocean. "You don't get to hear it yet. Next time."
Brendon slyly grinned. "Next time?"
Desi's smirk turned into smile. "Next time."