The [X] is only there because Patrick is just so fucking sexy when he's all angry.
Florescent bright and eerily calm were the halls of the recording studio as I walked down them alone, my mind shooting in so many different ways.
(1) Adine and I were getting married in two weeks
(2) Evie had been highly reserved for a month now, leaving a lot of us in the dark. The only thing I knew was that Joe had found her in her hotel room and she was sent to the hospital.
(3) I should have been there.
(4) Evie and Adine have gotten close and Evie is helping plan the wedding.
(5) Joe hates me.
Reflecting on my thoughts, I may be blowing #5 out of proportion just slightly. The thing was, I think only Joe knows what happened in that hotel room when I was gone. But it puzzled me that he would rather send dirty looks at me every time I even mentioned the incident or talk to Adine's stomach that was unusually small for 3 months.
But it was just something I couldn't get my mind off of.
The fact that the two women of my life were sitting on high pedestals in the trunk of my mind, both with round bellies and both with that band of love and devotion (which reminded me that Serafina's name meant that very word) on their left hands. The image drew all those nightmares back; the nightmares in which I'm slowly killing one of them, no matter where I am and right now, I'm killing both of my two loves.
"Hey Pete," I acknowledged Patrick with a nod of my head and sat down in another chair next to him at the soundboard. He pushed back his headphones and let them hang around his neck. "You don't look so hot," I smirked and forced a toothy grin.
"I'm not so hot, I guess," I paused. "Just thinking," Patrick turned back to his mixing.
"That doesn't sound so good," I nudged him playfully.
"Maybe I should be asking the man married to his high school sweetheart and father of two what the hell I'm getting myself into," Patrick glanced over at me in his peripheral vision.
"Bad publicity," I blinked, dumbfounded.
"What?" Patrick sighed and turned the chair to face me fully before leaning forward.
"Listen, Adine is a death trap and I know for a fact she only wants you for the money, fame and press coverage," I knitted my eyebrows together.
"But she's having my first born," Patrick cut me off and crossed his arms, sitting back.
"Jackass, Pete," he hissed. "Spineless bastard, that's what you are," I felt confused.
"What?" I asked. Patrick scoffed.
"That poor kid is going to be so neglected by his mother," he paused and I saw anger slip through his usual calm blues. "Little Peter and Serafina are luckier than that..." I cut him off.
"Don't you dare say that about my kid," Patrick pursed his lips.
"What about the other two?" I looked away.
"They are dead, and there's nothing I can do," Patrick stayed quiet until I looked back.
"The only thing Evie told me when I brought this up to her was that you never said you were sorry for either kid," he paused again. "She told me you never cared enough," I felt my mind bring up another thing.
"She hides more from me than anything," Patrick shook his head, growing angry again.
"She sacrificed /everything/, Pete, and I'm surprised she hasn't tried to kill herself yet," My breath caught in my throat.
"What are you talking about?" Patrick took a deep and low breath. He began to name things off on his fingers.
"Back in the beginning, she had to deal with Derrick, Paul, being shot for god's sake, sued, and then your pathetic ass when she fell for Andy before you," I cut him off.
"I was always designed to be her first, no matter how long I knew her before he stepped into the picture," Patrick shook his head.
"And then you ruined everything they had by playing pathetic, 'Oh, I'm Pete, love me, not Andy'" he mimicked my voice and raised his arms up, starting to rant about something I never thought he knew so much about. "And then she dumps him, and goes to you,"
"I know the rest," I whispered. Patrick's eyes widened.
"You do, do you?" he yelped. "What did you do, then?" he asked. I remained quiet. "What did you do!?" he bellowed now, leaning a little more forward, highly intimidating now. I lowered my eyes.
"I..." my voice broke off as I felt that hiccup tears coming. Patrick didn't care as my eyes glazed over. I felt like he was my father reprimanding me for something foolish. But I deserved it.
"You fucking left her as she confessed her love," he paused and stood up, pushing the chair back up against the wall with the motion. He pointed his finger in my face. "You left her and proceeded to make an entire album that completely devoured her," I gulped.
"Patrick, please," I whispered. Patrick didn't stop.
"And then, we bring her back and you treat her like a jackass/, just wanting in her pants, and what do you do?" he paused. "You /pull out when she mutters those words to you during your first time together," I leaned forward, my vision growing hazy.
"How do you know that?" my voice cracked at the end, my lungs stinging with agony. Patrick crossed his arms.
"Do you really think Evie wouldn't tell me, her best friend something like that?" he scoffed again. "And don't forget when her and Andy got back together and you had to go fuck that up again too," I hiccupped and wiped hopelessly at my eyes.
"It's not like that," Patrick pushed at one of my shoulders.
"Oh don't give me that," he took a deep and rushed breath in. "You went ahead and screwed her and her mind up and then knock her up," My heart sunk and I sniffed. "And then Andy," I closed my eyes.
"Stop," I pleaded.
"He cried on my shoulder, Pete, that's something you didn't know," he paused. "About how perfect Evie was and how fucked up she was going to become in your care," I looked up to see Patrick's eyes glassy with frustrated tears. "And he was right," I hiccupped again.
"I left her...again," I mumbled to myself. "I pushed her away," Patrick took a shaky breath.
"You did good for a while Pete, until you brought her back here, she never belonged here in Chicago unless she was on her own," I nodded, knowing that was completely true. "And then you moved too quickly and lost her again," I spoke up.
"But...Bobby," Patrick shook his head.
"He's a great man, Pete, Evie just unfortunately told him that you weren't necessarily one," I sighed, knowing that was completely true as well.
"He told me to leave," I whispered. Patrick grumbled.
"You had a choice, and you chose to abandon Evie when she was at her all time low," I looked back up at Patrick when his voice broke. "When she lost her first baby," tears started to spill from his eyes. "Your baby," I felt my heart strings tighten and my breath collapse with the last one I let out.
"Please Patrick," I pleaded one last time. Patrick closed his eyes tight and shook his head, turning off everything and grabbing his things.
"I'm done talking anyways," he muttered, right as he walked out. I had five new thoughts in my head.
(1) Adine was having my third child
(2) There were two Wen(t)z graves
(3) Evie is mentally unstable
(4) Adine and Evie are close friends
(5) Patrick hated me.
Adine's squeal from the front hall obviously meant somebody was home. I held my breath and began those deep breathing exercises my therapist taught me when I was 14. Inhale for five slow seconds and exhale for another slow five seconds. I kept doing this as I averted my eyes from the hall and concentrated and last minute wedding plans, such as flowers. Now, yellow daisies, or pink roses. I felt throw up crawl up my throat at the sound of his voice and the loud smooches from the front door.
"Oh, is she here?" I could tell he was having a mini-heart attack, but then again, so would I coming face to face with someone, someone who shared this awkward rift between.
"Why do you all of a sudden not like Evie anymore, I thought you guys were best friends," They were getting closer.
"Something like that," he whispered. An arm slipped around my waist and I jumped right off the chair and stood, staring at a shocked looking Joe.
"So I go away for three weeks and this is the greeting I get?" he laughed. I gulped and eyed Adine who was busy adjusting her shirt over her stomach and Pete who looked surprised by my reaction.
"I told you about it, Joe," I whispered, Pete creasing his eyebrows together in confusion.
Joe's hand lightly brushed against my elbow as he attempted at bringing me closer. I held my breath and forced back the tears as I hugged him, wanting to keep everything a secret in front of Pete. Joe gently kissed me and smiled, combing back some of my hair.
"How's my little splenda packet doing," I giggled softly, my fingertips snapping to my face as I did.
"I'm ok," I mumbled. Adine walked over and gasped loudly.
"Oh my goodness, my dress is ready for pickup!" she squealed as she hung up her phone I had ignored she was on. She turned to me. "We have to go pick it up!" I breathed out.
"I'm gonna stay home this time," I paused. "I don't feel so well," Adine nodded and I kissed Joe's cheek once before jetting out of the room and towards the guest bedroom to lye down.
I heard a car start out front and smiled to myself at thinking I could be alone for a while. I thought wrong. A hand met my back and I flinched just like before sitting up and scrambling towards the headboard. Pete stared wide-eyed at me from his sitting position on the edge of the bed, hand poised in the air as he slowly pulled it back.
"Ev," I felt my breathing turn shallow and rushed, my eyes watering up as I felt unsafe.
"Go Pete," I pleaded. He crawled closer and sat down next to me. I hugged my knees to my chest and buried my head away.
"Not until you tell me what's wrong," he tried to push some of my hair away. "Why you have been so...out of character," I glanced up at him slowly.
"I've lost everything that matters to me most," Pete closed his eyes, knowing.
"I'm sor..." I cut him off.
"Saying sorry is the lowest form of apology," I muttered.
Pete gulped and took my hands away from my knees; unfolding my body and making me face him. I observed my limp hands in his tight grip as he tried to burn holes into my skull with those brown orbs that always held something I could never tell.
"Tell me what happened that night of Ryan and Jenn's wedding," My heart stopped and I nearly fainted at the thought. Tears instantly spilled from my eyes and I'm sure all the color fell from my face.
"I can't," I barely whispered. Pete seemed confused.
"Is it that bad?" he asked, shifting closer. I closed my eyes tight but was instantly faced with two different images. "What happened after I left, Evie?"
My heart grew heavy, remembering the short lived night Pete and I had shared before he left the room to check on Adine, leaving me naked under those silk sheets until I bothered to get dressed.
"I..." My voice fell and I couldn't find the words. Pete brought us closer, his arms up mine as he held my shoulders firmly and yet softly.
"Tell me what happened after we..." he blinked hard and looked down at our laps. "Made love," those words meant nothing to me now. I shivered involuntarily.
"I...was hurt," I mumbled. Pete looked at me for a long time.
"What?" he whispered. His eyes turned angry and he bit down on his bottom lip hard. "By whom?" he shook me slightly. "Who hurt you, Ev? What did they do?" I shook my head and tried to console him, my hands pressing against his biceps.
"Please, Pete," he paused at my pleading voice for a split second before almost tearing himself.
"Tell me, Ev," he begged. "Tell me so I can erase everything bad they did to you," I narrowed my eyes.
"Who's going to erase everything bad you did to me?" Pete's breath hitched.
"What?" he breathed. I looked away.
"Stop trying to save the world Pete," I paused. "I'm handling it on my own," Pete's hand gingerly brushed against my cheek as he brushed my frustrated bangs out of my face.
"Did he..." he gulped. "Rape you?" he lowered his voice so softly. My heart stopped again and I starred straight ahead into nothingness. Each second that passed, the more anger built up in his expression.
"Ev," he breathed. I slowly turned my head, but kept my gaze low.
"Please leave," I whispered, not wanting to speak of things any longer.
Pete gulped before turning his body and lowering his head, picking my chin up slightly and pressing his lips tight to mine. I didn't respond in it, feeling too weak in the heart to even register that Pete was kissing me. Instead I just lowered myself back down to the way I was as soon as he parted.
"I'll be going then," he mumbled. I closed my eyes and counted until five.
(1) Pete stood at the side of the bed watching me.
(2) He kissed my forehead.
(3) He kissed my cheek.
(4) He kissed my lips.
(5) He left.