the big secret...
Pete’s cell phone rang in the middle of the night. He reached over and grabbed it, most people would be asleep by now, but he was up watching TV. He never slept. He glanced down at the screen. -It’s Me!- He always chuckled at the way Izzie had programmed herself into his phone. “Hey.” He smiled into the phone. The line was silent for a moment.
“Hi! It’s me.” She giggled, too chipper for such a late hour. “Can I stay at your place tonight?”
“Sure, where are you?”
“Outside. I don’t know which button is yours.” Pete jumped up from the couch and made his way through the apartment he shared with Patrick, Joe and Andy, and down the stairs. Izzie’s face was peering sadly through the small window in the door. “You hung up.” She pouted.
“I was coming down here to get you. It’s the one labeled Andy, Joe, Patrick & Pete.” He pointed at the button for the buzzer.
“Oh. That makes sense.” She nodded. “What were you doing?”
“Watching TV. I was just about to go to bed.” He led her up the stair and through to his bedroom. “So what’s up? What are you doing in the city?” he asked, as she crawled into the bed.
“We had a gig tonight, then we went to a party. I wanted to come see you.” She sighed as Pete got in the other side of the bed and turned out the light. “I haven’t seen you in a long time.” She curled up next to him, slinging her arm around his waist.
“We’ve both been busy. It’s only been a couple weeks.”
Pete was woken up suddenly by someone knocking on his hotel door. Throwing the pillow over his head, he tried to ignore it but they just kept knocking. He looked over at the clock, 10:43. It wasn’t too early, but he didn’t have anywhere to be until this afternoon and couldn’t think of any reason someone would be waking him up. He groaned and climbed out of bed, shuffling over to the door. Still in his boxers, he opened it a crack and peeked out to be greeted with Izzie’s slightly shocked face. She was wearing skinny jeans and a black tee shirt with an American Apparel purple acid wash hoodie. Her dark hair was straightened and still had the pink extensions in it, and she was wearing her glasses that she hardly ever let anyone see her in. They had black almost cat-eye frames and were hot pink on the inside. “Hey.” He grinned, opening the door the rest of the way. Maybe she finally changed her mind about him.
“Have you seen my dog?” she asked, flatly.
“No, I just woke up. Do you want me to help look?” he moved to grab his pants.
“That’s ok.” She turned around and knocked on the door across the hall. Andy answered with a toothbrush in his mouth. Pete closed the door with a sigh and went back to bed.
“You’re my best friend.” Izzie sighed, half asleep.
“I know, Babe.” He wrapped his arms around her, protectively. She picked her head up, looking into his dark eyes. He leaned his face slightly closer, as she closed her eyes and pecked his lips. His hand went to her hair, deepening the kiss, as she ran her fingernails up his chest.
“What about your girlfriend?” she pulled away.
“We’re over. She cheated on me.” He shook his head, rolling over on top of her. His hand grazed up her thigh as he kissed her neck. He sat up, suddenly. “Wait, Iz. I don’t want to fuck anything up.”
“It won’t.” She breathed, pulling him back to her. She pulled her shirt off as he slid out of his boxers.
“I love you.” He sighed.
“I love you, too.”
Pete woke up the next morning and looked over at Izzie sleeping peacefully next to him. He thought for a moment about what had happened the night before. Sighing, he grabbed his phone off the bedside table and stepped into the bathroom, grabbing a pair of pants on the way. Izzie felt the bed shift and cracked an eye open when she heard the bathroom door shut. She listened carefully when he began talking to someone on his cell. “Jeanae, Baby, hey. Listen…” Izzie shook her head, collecting her clothes off the floor. Pete heard the apartment door slam, and ran out of the bathroom, to see that all traces of Izzie were gone. “Fuck.” He threw his phone to the ground and flopped down on the bed with his head in his hands.
“O.P! Optimus Prime, I know you’re on this floor somewhere! You’re afraid of the stairs.” Izzie called down the hallway, under every chair and in every open door. “I’ll give you an extra Snausage if you come out!” She reached the end of the hall and turned around to go back up when she heard faint growling. She peeked in the door to her right that was propped open to see Patrick poking at something on the floor on the other side of the bed with a rolled up magazine.
“Stop it! That’s mine. Don’t eat it.” He cried as he poked.
“You ok?” Izzie stuck her head in the door.
“No! You can come in.” she made her way over to where he was standing and burst out laughing. Optimus Prime was sitting inside Patrick’s hat, chewing on the brim.
“Optie, that’s not how we accessorize.” She baby talked the dog, scooping him up. “Sorry, he ran away when I tried to put his vest on. I think it was too girly.” She pulled a tiny piece of plaid fabric out of her pocket.
“It’s ok. He didn’t do any damage, just a little slobber.” Patrick inspected his hat. “So, what do you guys have going for today?”
“Nothing much.” She sat down on the edge of the bed. “We’ve got to start practicing the songs from the new album. So we can add them to the set and play them at all the promo crap, so we were going to hit up sound check a little early. Other than that, I have to autograph 500 CDs for some contest and figure out how to get these out of my hair.” She tugged on a piece of pink hair. “Oh, and hide from Pete. You know. Nothing much.” She laughed.
“Yeah, sounds REAL boring.” He took a seat next to her.
“What about you?”
“Pete’s been writing a bunch of new lyrics, so I was going to try and see if I can do anything with them. I don’t actually know what the other guys are doing.” He shrugged.
“So…what kinds of lyrics has Pete been writing?” she stared at her hands, picking at her nail polish.
“Oh, you know. Betrayal, losing your best friend, not knowing the purpose of life…he’s tripled his anti-depressant dosage since the tour started.” Patrick gave her a knowing look.
“Maybe he needs a different kind. Sometimes they can stop working.” She sighed.
“Why don’t you just talk to him? Hear his side of the story.”
“There’s nothing to hear. I heard all I need to. I don’t want to talk about it.” She snapped, causing the sleeping dog in her lap to jump.
“Ok. I’m sorry, I won’t bring it up again. I see you’ve given up on the vest.” He scratched O.P’s head.
“Yeah, he’s very moody today. I think we’re just going to go naked.” She held him up so she was looking in his face, and wrinkled her nose at him as he gave a little yawn. “Eew, dog breath.”
“Who’s naked?!” Joe stuck his head in the door, excited.
“No one.” Izzie laughed.
“What are we doing?” he came in and flopped down on the bed on the other side of Izzie.
“Just chilling.” She shrugged. “Is it time to unveil?” she pushed her sleeve up to reveal the white bandage covering her new tattoo.
“Hell yeah!” he reached for the bandage on the inside of his upper arm.
“I can’t believe you wouldn’t get one.” She looked over to Patrick.
“You’re lucky you even got me inside the shop.” He shook his head.
“Loser.” Joe reached around Izzie and punched Patrick in the shoulder jokingly.
“Hey, be nice. Ok, on three. 1…2…”
“Wait! We take it off when you say three, or three then go?”
“Just do it now.” She laughed as they both peeled their bandages off. “Cool!” she inspected the orange koi fish on the inside of her wrist. “What’s yours look like?” Joe held his arm out for her to see. He got a crazy skeleton that perfectly matched with the designs on the rest of his arm.
“I still think you should have let me pick yours.” He pouted. “You got to pick mine.”
“But yours looks good. You remember what happened the last time I let you pick.” She lifted her pant leg to show a blue dog wearing a party hat on the inside of her ankle.
“But I got the same one. We were bonding!”
“We were drunk, and they were free.” She gave him a look as Patrick laughed. “I should get going to sound check. I’ll see you guys later.” She stood up, carrying Optimus Prime to the door.
It had been almost a week since that night with Izzie, and Pete hadn’t heard from her. He was beginning to get worried. They were always talking, either on the phone or on the computer. Even when she went on vacation, she would text him from the beach. She was probably just avoiding him, but he decided to head up to Wilmette anyway to check on her, just to make sure everything was ok. He knocked on her front door, and smiled politely when her grandmother answered. “Hi Mrs. Page. Is Izzie home? She hasn’t been returning my calls, and I just wanted to see that she was alright.”
“Oh, Pete. She’s gone.” Mrs. Page gave him a pitying look. “Didn’t she come to your apartment?”
“What do you mean? Gone where?”
“They signed with a major label and they wanted the band in New York immediately to begin recording. They went into the city last week to celebrate. She said she was going to stop by your place to say goodbye.”
“Oh, yeah. Right. I didn’t realize they were leaving quite so soon. Do you have a phone number or anything for her?”
“Of course. Come on in.” Mrs. Page held the door open, smiling as Pete slowly died on the inside.
“My hand’s still cramping from signing all those CDs.” Kyle said as the band sat down at a table in the venue’s catering area.
“I know! At least the album will be out soon and these contests will be over.” Taylor shook his head.
“Hopefully.” Izzie added.
“Hey, you guys mind if we join you? There’s no empty tables.” Andy walked over with the rest of Fall Out Boy trailing behind him. All 7 guys looked directly at Izzie.
“Whatever.” She mumbled, staring at her plate. Everybody squished in a little to make room, Pete wound up sitting directly opposite from her. “I’m not hungry.” She moved to stand up, but Taylor grabbed her arm pulling her back into her seat.
“You have to eat.” He looked at her pointedly. She sighed, relenting, and quietly listened to everyone’s conversation for a while.
“This tour’s been so much fun.” Joe said as the original Star Wars vs. new trilogy argument died down.
“I know, when was the last time we all toured together?” Steve nodded.
“Warped Tour ’05, I think. When we went home early.” Kyle wrinkled his eyebrows.
“Yeah, why’d you guys leave?” Andy asked.
“Uh…I don’t remember.” Kyle shook his head.
“Because someone started a rumor that I’d slept with half the tour, and wanted to sleep with the other half. I was getting harassed by 15 different bands on a daily basis.” Izzie glared at Pete.
“Oh, shit. That sucks, I’m sorry.” Joe made a face.
“Well it’s not like there wasn’t a kernel of the truth there.” Pete glared back at her as everyone’s heads spun around to look at him.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Her gaze turned icy.
“I know you fucked Chris two days later.” Everyone gasped and turned to Izzie.
“I could hear you on the phone with your girlfriend. While I was in your BED! You told me you broke up.”
“You left the STATE, without even saying goodbye.” Their voices kept rising, as everyone’s heads flipped back and forth like they were watching a tennis game.
“Why do you think I came there?!”
“I was just another notch in your bedpost!”
“I WAS A VIRGIN!” Izzie spat, running out of the room. Pete fell silent with his mouth hanging open.
“Wait, so you…? And her…? Oh, snap!” Joe pointed between Pete and the space Izzie had vacated.
“I should go check on her.” Taylor moved to stand up.
“No, I’ll go.” Pete jumped out of his seat.
Pete was in his car speeding back into the city. He looked at the piece of paper in his hand and carefully dialed the number. It rang several times before Izzie’s voice giggled down the line “Hi! It’s me!...” Pete smiled, about to say something. “I’m not here, or I’m too famous and important to talk to you. Leave a message, and if it’s good enough I might just get back to you!”
“Um…hey, it’s me. Pete. Your grandmother gave me your number. I just wanted to see how New York was. I miss you, please call me back. You’re still my best friend.” His voice wavered. He threw his phone down on the seat next to him and glared out the windshield. After a few moments, he picked it up again and pressed the button for speed dial, tapping his fingers impatiently on the steering wheel as he waited. “Patrick. Meet me in 20, we need to rewrite the album.”
When she wasn’t in the dressing room, Pete cautiously pushed open the door to her bus and heard loud sniffling coming from inside. He walked up the stairs and saw her curled up in the corner of the couch with tears streaming down her face. “Jesus, Pete. Haven’t you done enough yet?” she wiped her eyes, angrily when she noticed him standing in front of her.
“Iz, I’m SO sorry. I had no idea. I just thought, with the way you always acted…”
“Yeah. The way I ACTED. You never would have let me hang out with your friends and go to all those hardcore shows if you thought I was some innocent little girl.” She sniffed.
“But then, why did you leave?” he sat down next to her.
“Because I heard you call Jeanae. I was in love with you. Was I just supposed to just sit there and wait for you to kick me out so you two could get back together?” she asked, growing angry again.
“Shit.” He mumbled under his breath. “She had been begging me to give her another chance. I was calling to tell her there was no way. That I was with you.”
“But-“ she was cut off by his mouth crashing down on hers. “I slept with Chris because I thought you were back with Jeanae.” She pulled away, breathless.
“It doesn’t matter now.” He reclaimed her lips. “I’ve loved you since that summer you went away.”
“I’ve always loved you.” She smiled, tearfully.
“I started that rumor.” He wiped away her tears with his thumb.
“I posted your naked pictures online.” She smirked.
“I know. I guess we’re even then.” He laughed. She leaned in and kissed him again, running her hand up his arm and into his hair.
Well, there it is. I hope it was as juicy as everyone had hoped. Please review and tell me what you think.