Categories > Celebrities > Panic! At The Disco > Tripping Eyes and Flooded Lungs


by JokeMeKisses 0 reviews

Category: Panic! At The Disco - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Romance - Published: 2011-07-19 - Updated: 2011-07-20 - 1862 words

Chapter Two

The room that had been filled with the uninhibited passion of meaningless sex faded into a melancholic slumber. The approaching morning was motionless apart from the rise and fall of two breathing bodies. When Olivia’s cloudy grey eyes fluttered open in consciousness, the comfortable pressure of an arm around her waist overwhelmed any desire to move. As the man, who still remained unnamed, nuzzled his face into her back she carefully slipped from between the sheets tip-toeing about gingerly until he had fallen back to sleep. Quietly redressing in the shadows on the far side of the bedroom, she examined his wiry arms and bare torso before slinking out the door.

His apartment was both larger and better kept than her own. Although its neat simplicity conveyed he didn’t have very many monetary concerns. Displayed more prominently than the flat screen television was an array of instruments, most of which with names she couldn’t place. With the sound of sleepy footsteps echoing from the bedroom, Olivia scribbled a few characters on a scrap of paper and quickly left the night behind.

When the worn soles of her black Converse Allstars hit the pavement outside that apartment building, the morning was already bordering sixty degrees. It was warmer than each of the previous days, but the sun’s morning glow still left longing for the bland desert summer. This would mark the fifth summer since Olivia had left Ohio behind. And at 22 years old, she had finally settled into a pattern that balanced her past with grave reality. She was finally content with the knowledge that she would live a life both unfulfilled and unloved.

As she walked the six blocks to her apartment, she thought about the man she had spent the night with. Falling into the sheets full of sweat and heavy breaths didn’t erase the pain that Noah left behind, but it surely devalued the sanctity of whatever love she had shared with him. The only mistake she had made, was leaving any evidence of her stay behind. Yet, comfort filled her once more, when she recalled the framed pictures of a happy couple on the table beside his bed. With such a pretty blonde smiling beside him, he had no reason to remember her as anything more than a one-night stand, a lapse of judgment, a mistake.

And despite the fact that she hardly made these sort of home visits anymore, just the memory of this man still caught her off guard. He seemed so young but without naivety, so full of a life but only in an effortless sort of way. He was the very sort of man she could ruin with just a smile and flip of her hair, yet she would have much rather lay in bed with him all morning. The innocence and naivety he projected drew her in every time he blinked his round brown eyes at her. She had meant to become a man-eater, but really, these days, she seemed to be only played one on stage.

As Olivia approached her apartment building, the ragged alley cat that often guarded the chain-link fence let out a territorial hiss. Back arched and teeth bared, she waited there until Olivia was close enough to recognize. Brushing affectionately against her left leg, the cat raced to the front door where she waited patiently for any treat Olivia might have for her.

With no food offering, Olivia looked down at her and shrugged, “I know, Bambi, I know. I should have been home hours ago. But he was a nice boy.”

Unsatisfied with such a foolish excuse, Bambi disappeared into the hedge and Olivia hurried inside before she could return with a dead mouse or bird. Fatigue pulled at her limbs as she climbed each of the steps to her third floor studio apartment. The proceedings of the night had finally caught up with her and she collapsed onto the couch with a yawn. Switching on the television to drown out the volume of her thoughts, Olivia settled into the cushions and easily fell asleep.

And in a dreamy scene a memory replayed. It was a bright Sunday afternoon in May and she was sixteen. With her head resting on Noah’s lap she lazily flipped through the copy of Romeo and Juliet. She had an English test on Tuesday and had only read the first act. And despite knowing she should be studying, the gentle back and forth of the porch swing they sat on was quickly soothing her into an afternoon nap.

A lullaby floated through the screen door. Inside, her thirteen-year-old sister Charlotte sat at the piano playing a hymn from mass that morning. And just off the porch at a small wooden picnic table, Sophia, at only eight, wore her mother’s high heels and a string of fake pearls to a tea party with her teddy bears and the family dog.

Noah, still wearing his church clothes, twisted strands of her hair between his fingers, staring off into the trees that lined the driveway. His mind was a million miles away. Little did anyone know, this was the last perfect moment they’d share.

“Oh Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” She recited with a giggle. Noah simply stroked her cheek with the back of his hand. His silence was accepted and briefly they met in a gaze and a smile.

The stillness of that residence was quickly killed with the piercing shriek of her mother. Charlotte’s song stopped abruptly, and Sophia ran wide-eyed onto the porch, the dog right behind her. With a gulp, she rose from her seat and hurried into the house. Her father was a the kitchen table with the newspaper, his head hung and his reading glasses beside a glass of sweet tea while her mother stood at the kitchen sink, the fragments of a broken plate at her feet. Reid, the eldest of the four children, stood between his parents his chest puffed out proudly, his green eyes darting between them. He didn’t dare explain himself anymore until the room calmed again.

“I thought you would be proud of me.” Reid sighed. She had never heard such disappointment in her older brother’s voice.

“Reid, what’s going on?” She begged him to tell her.

“Reid.” Noah said in a warning tone. Olivia looked between them, her brother and her boyfriend, as the silent conversation in their tense facial expressions told her something was terribly wrong.

Noah paused debating whether or not to include himself in this admission of truth. Ultimately he decided he’d have to tell her eventually. “Reid and I, we’ve enlisted in the army. We report for Basic Training three days after Graduation.”

She tossed and turned in attempt to jostle the image of such a memory from her mind. Failing, Olivia awoke to find it was late afternoon and her neck was stiff from sleeping curled in a ball on the couch. She slid her feet across the hardwood floor and poured a glass of orange juice.

Surveying her studio apartment, she stood at the counter and took small sips from the glass. Near the window, there was a small table. It functioned as more of a storage surface than anything else. Not far from the pile of junk that engulfed the table was the bathroom door, which was inoperative considering the door and the hinges from which it should be hung were propped up against the wall adjacent to the doorway. In the center of the room sat the couch and coffee table, which doubled as a bed and side table. The old pointe shoes, which typically found their home as a decoration piece near the front door, were thrown on the coffee table where they had been abandoned after her toes had grown numb recalling old ballet routines the afternoon before. Although hers could hardly be considered a life of luxury, Olivia smiled with satisfaction knowing she had found a place to call her own.

As she suppressed a yawn, her cell phone sang out a jingly tune only slightly muffled by the cushion it was hidden under. Wiping sleep from her eyes, she fished for it blindly, answering without even a glance at the caller id.

“Hello?” She answered finding a comfortable spot on the couch. Her voice hadn’t returned as quickly as her nap had ended leaving her sounding gruff.

“Liv? Olivia?” A perky voice sang from the other line, “It’s Beth. Bethany Cora.”

“Oh.” Olivia replied in surprise, the image of a perky blonde from Maine recalled from the time she spent living in New York, “Hi. How are you? I haven’t heard from you in forever!”

“I’m great, wonderful really. I’ve been doing a touring stage show for a few months now. You’re still dancing aren’t you?” Bethany asked with all the chirp and excitement she usually spoke with.

Olivia curled her feet beneath her, cradling the phone like it were a security blanket before hesitantly answering, “Yeah, I’m still dancing…” While it wasn’t the kind of dancing Bethany surely assumed, it was still the closest shred of truth Olivia could offer.

“I didn’t like Los Angeles much though,” Olivia elaborated, if not only to avoid sounding suspicious, “I’ve been in Vegas a few years now.”

“Vegas! You’re kidding me? That’s absolutely perfect!” Cora shrieked, “I’m not sure how happy you are with the gig you’ve got now, but there’s been an opening with the show I’m in. We’ve been practicing in Vegas the last three weeks. It’s a bit cabaret, Can-Can, circus-y stage performance sort of thing.”

“Sounds…diverse.” Olivia replied timidly. While her lifelong dreams had never included baring it all for cash, she had finally fallen into a routine that at least resembled real life. Was she really so quick to relinquish that all for the thrill of professional dancing (it hadn’t exactly been a world that treated her well).

“Anyway, when one of our dancers backed out last minute,” Beth continued, “I immediately thought of you…Although I thought you’d still be in LA. I figured, if you could spare a couple months…it’d be just like old times in New York.”

Olivia gulped seriously contemplating the offer. In a way she missed performing on a stage that didn’t require taking off her clothes and she and Bethany had been close when she first left Ohio for New York at 17. She shot off a few rapid-fire questions about requirements and logistics before agreeing to meet her old friend at a dance studio across town.

Abandoning her cell phone on the counter, Olivia took in her reflection in the bathroom mirror. Some days she had trouble remembering who she used to be, but not even the most flawless dye job or perfect make-up application could disguise the look in her eyes that conveyed her true identity. Although, these days she preferred to believe that that girl had died with Noah.
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