I kind of hate this chapter.
Okay, this is officially my sixth try at writing this chapter, and it's just going up as-is. I'm not a big fan of it, I think it's ridiculously boring. But there was someone I needed to intro and I had no other way, plus I needed to get some time out of my way so the good shit can happen. Sorry.
The rest of summer passed uneventfully, producing little more than a good tan with a few updates from the guys thrown in. October rolled around, and as much as I'd like to say the leaves changed and the air got brisk, it really just got less humid. I love the warm weather, but I still miss the Chicago autumn. Weather notwithstanding, October also brought the Fueled By Ramen Halloween party, where I finally got to meet some of the bands I've been pimping out to strangers for so long.
After shaking hands with a ton of people I will not remember after tonight, I find myself being chatted up by some random roadie, and I'm contemplating throwing workplace decorum out the window and just getting hammered when I hear a familiar laugh from across the room.
"Excuse me," I blurt in the middle of what was either his fifth or sixth exclamation about my "beautiful eyes," and squeeze through the crowd. That son of a bitch. I run across the floor and tackle him full-force, bringing both of us down.
"What the mother... Lex?!"
"Pete, you sorry bastard! How did you not tell me you'd be here tonight?"
"Well, for starters, I had no idea you'd be here, and also it was a completely spur-of-the-moment thing."
"Hmm. Forgiven. Now where's everyone else?" I look around the room as I stand up and offer my hand to him.
"They're not here," he grunts as I pull him up. "I told you, it was last minute. Lucy's still at home, the guys are in LA. We just had a day off and Beckett mentioned it to me."
"Ahh, the infamous William Beckett. Funny, I haven't seen him yet. Mike and Borgman are here though."
"Yeah, I saw them too. Where did he..." He starts mumbling to himself and grabs my wrist, dragging me with him as he searches for, well, whoever. "Aha! I told you to stay still."
I stand on my toes and peer over his shoulder as he does that weird man-hug thing with... whoa. A total fox.
"Lexi, this is Tom. Remember when we went to that shitty bar in Hoffman to see that show?"
"Something with an office, yeah."
"Back to the Office. Well, Tom's in one of the bands we saw, 504plan."
"Okay cool, I'm a big fan of yours." I turn to Tom and shake his hand, mentally counting back. I just started my third beer, which means that no, I do not have on beer goggles, so yes, this guy is way hot.
"Yes. I just found Beckett, I'll see you later Lex." He kisses me on the cheek and darts off.
"Make sure you say goodbye before you go!" I shout at his back, getting only a wave over his shoulder as a response. "Eh. So what are you doing in Florida?"
"I'm not sure, really. Pete just called and asked if I wanted to be his date to some Halloween party. He failed to mention it wasn't in Chicago, but I didn't have anything to do tomorrow."
I spend the rest of my night laughing and talking with Tom, and even though I doubt I'll see him anytime soon, I give him my number when he asks for it.
Cute boys make the best new friends.
"What do you mean you're not coming home for Christmas?"
"I can't. It's ridiculously busy right now, and I have to work the holiday sale."
"Doing what? It's not like people come in there and buy stuff!"
"Yeah, I know. I'm with like three other people hand-checking every single order that gets placed to make sure they're right before they're sent out. It fucking sucks."
"Don't do it! Just come home."
"See, but I like my job. And I'd like to keep it. I'll be back soon anyway. Hell, I was there not even six months ago!"
"What about New Year's? What about your birthday?!"
"I'll be home. Here-home, not there-home, so don't get your hopes up. I promise, I will be back soon. Just not next week soon."
"Okay. I miss you."
"I miss you back." I hang up with Lucy and sigh. I wish I could go back for Christmas, but FBR does not dick around with this sale. We've been overloaded since last week when it started, and I don't plan on having any spare time until mid-January.
I spend the next two weeks up to my ass in tshirts and whiny phone calls from home. I've also spoken to Tom a few times, and it turns out he's a really great guy, so I've agreed to hang out with him if I ever make it back to Chicago. Today, however, I talked to Patrick, and hearing him blab about his New Year's plans with Anna has not put me in the greatest mood. I blow off the office New Year's Eve party and take a nap, waking up at five minutes till midnight. I sigh and turn on the tv, muting the anchor's inane shouting about the "excitement in Times Square!" Another year and don't believe in what they say about how beauty goes away... I start humming to take my mind off the fact that in three minutes and forty one... forty... thirty nine seconds, I'll be twenty one, and I'll be alone. Technically, I was born at 12:04 a.m., but the bars don't take that into consideration. I flip off the tv, grab my keys and head for the door, making sure I have my wallet in my pocket. My hand grazes my phone in my coat pocket and I pull it out, staring at the clock on the front counting down the seconds. In less than a minute I'll be getting birthday phone calls from a place where it isn't even my birthday yet. I turn off the phone and toss it on the couch, locking the door behind me as I head off to ring in another year.
Chapter Title from "In Our Defense" by The Academy Is. You know, back when they didn't suck. Bleh.
If anyone knows what song she's thinking of, please let me know. It's killing me. I'll make you cookies!