-You were betrayed by anyone who ever mattered.-
“Taylor, you have a missed call!” Mikey called, walking out of the bathroom and tossing Taylor her cell phone. “My clothes aren’t really dry but I’m going to head out and get us dinner anyway. Your stomach is like screaming at me.”
Taylor chuckled, “I have headphones if you need them.”
Mikey pouted, “I can’t bring you to the beach and starve you. It’s just not the right thing to do.”
“You’re right.” Taylor’s laughter grew. “I’ll have to put that on the list of horrible things to do to people.”
“And I’ll be off the list because I’m going to get you food right now. Anything in particular you want?” Mikey shivered as he pulled his shirt back on.
“Tacos?” Taylor sat up, holding the blanket against her. The missed call was from Gerard, of course. “I would love some Tacos right now, with um, some hot sauce. Yeah, I think this calls for Taco Bell. I love Taco Bell.”
Mikey had to keep himself from laughing, “We are at the beach and you want Taco Bell? Classy.”
“Did you want to be sent out for oysters?” Taylor met his gaze with a challenging stare.
Mikey held his hands up in surrender, “Only if you’re going to make sure I get laid tonight.”
“I’m not much in to voyeurism, so since we’re staying in the same hotel room tonight I’m going to have to shut down any ideas you have of getting laid. If you want to masturbate then the bathroom door locks, so feel free…” Taylor was hiding her grin, as Mikey’s expression grew horrified.
“Well, you discussing me masturbating just killed any hard on I had hopes of maintaining tonight anyway so… forget sexual gratification altogether, okay? Thanks Tay.”
Taylor burst out in laughter, “Masturbation is perfectly normal.”
“To do? Yeah. To discuss? Not so much.”
“Let’s hope your future kid never needs to have a serious conversation with you concerning anything sexual.” Taylor sarcastically remarked.
“Let’s hope.” Mikey agreed. “Or we can at least hope that you are around to explain shit for me. You seem pretty comfortable having sex at the tip of your tongue.”
Taylor laughed a little harder. “Uh, Taco Bell?”
“Taco Bell does indeed sound quite fantastic after all.” Mikey agreed, and with a bow he left the room- leaving Taylor in tears from how hard she was laughing.
Once Taylor was able to stop laughing she called Gerard.
“Fighting already?” He yawned almost instantly.
“Get sleep if you’re tired.” Taylor commented, “And we’re better now.”
“What was the fight about?”
“Your brother pissed me off.” Taylor answered, without really giving an answer. “But he apologized, and I overreacted… and things are fine now.”
“You’re supposed to get him in bed. I think your methods are a little off.”
“How many men have you slept with recently?” Taylor challenged.
“Well, uh… none but-“
“Right. Don’t challenge my methods. They work just fine. Your brother doesn’t want to sleep with a skank Gerard. It’s better if I play with him first. If I just jump in to bed with him then it’ll ruin everything before you’re ready, and this family vacation will be worse for the lack of honesty.”
“If I was honest then it would ruin everything- more than this stupid family vacation.” Gerard spit the words out, angry with himself over all his lies.
“Or it could make everything so much better.” Taylor responded, “But you don’t really know because you’ve never tried honesty before Gerard. You’ve never tried the truth, have you? It’s just lie after lie. That’s what liars do; they lie.” She was annoyed with having her methods questioned, and she knew every single person’s buttons- including Gerard’s. She would press them, because he pressed hers.
“Yeah, because you have so much honesty under your belt. You lie for a living Taylor. What’s worse is you make people believe your lies for a living. You don’t just lie; you promote lying.” Gerard actually got under Taylor’s skin, though just barely. She quickly found control, but she was unnerved at losing it- even for a small period of time. The loss of control she had experienced in the water earlier was still under her skin, though she was a lot calmer now.
“Did you want to set a date for when I get Mikey to sleep with me? You’re making it sound like I’m running out of time to get him to-“ Taylor asked the question so casually.
“No.” Gerard cut her off. “We’re actually fighting Taylor. Who knew we’d be so good at this couple thing?”
Taylor chuckled, “Too bad I’m not there for the make up sex.”
Gerard laughed, “I could drive up…”
“You could… but I’d need a couple of lifetimes to talk your brother in to that kind of threesome.”
“Eww.” Gerard’s nose wrinkled in disgust, just as someone knocked on his door. “I gotta go. Keep your sex clean and incest-less.”
“No promises.” Taylor joked, hanging up with the touch of a smile to her face. Despite Gerard’s fucked up lies she still liked him. She understood better than anyone else why a lie could be better than the truth.
When Mikey arrived he was shivering and quickly tore his clothing off, after tossing the bags of food on the bed. Taylor watched with amusement, “Hang them up so that they can dry a little more.”
Mikey obeyed her and left with his clothing to the bathroom again. “So I hope I got everything right…”
Taylor was already sorting through the food, “I love these packets.” She tossed one at Mikey.
“Marry you?” He read, with a grin. “Well that certainly melted my heart so why not?”
Taylor chuckled, “Taco Bell is the #1 source for romantic tips.”
Mikey continued reading the sauce packets, “Well, that or stalker-ish behavior.”
“It’s hard to tell the two apart sometimes.” Taylor teased.
“Ain’t that the truth.” Mikey agreed, with another laugh.
“They need break up ones. It would make things easier.” Taylor commented. “Like, I love you but not in that way? Or… these taco’s give me more heartburn than you ever could.”
Mikey shook his head, though he was still grinning. “You could get a job with hallmark, you know? The break up card section is lacking.”
“Well, you know… seeing as how most people would murder if given a break up card… that’s probably for the best.” Taylor took a bite of her taco. “It lowers the homicide rate.”
“And suicide rate.” Mikey replied.
“Ouch.” Taylor applied another packet of sauce to her taco. “I don’t get why anyone would kill themselves over a break up… or over anything. It’s just such a permanent solution for a temporary problem.”
“I think that’s actually the headline for all the anti-suicide campaigns. Are you trying to drown your taco or something? I can’t even see the lettuce anymore.”
“I like three packets per taco.” Taylor answered, as she continued applying the hot sauce. “Unless it’s mild… then I need a few extra.”
“Yeah, that’s some serious drowning.” Mikey replied, “And well… like, how would you feel if Gerard broke up with you?”
“I’d be surprised.” Taylor glanced over at Mikey, “But I wouldn’t be suicidal. If I killed myself after every break up then I’d be a very dead girl.”
Mikey chuckled, “So you’ve uh… been with a lot of guys?”
Taylor forced a blush, “Oh… so not what I meant.”
“But?” Mikey seemed completely interested.
“I’ve dated my fair share. What about you?”
“Straight as an arrow.” Mikey teased.
Taylor rolled her eyes, “Lame joke. Fess up. How many ladies has there been?”
“Not many actually.” Mikey actually blushed, “I’ve been in a few relationships but only two were serious… and out of those two… only one was really, really serious.”
“She got pregnant.” Mikey sighed.
“Oh, so you have a kid? Wow. I didn’t know…”
“No, no way.” Mikey shook his head quickly, “I assure you… if I had a kid then I’d be with that kid, and I’d be flashing constant pictures of that kid but um, she got pregnant and uh, it wasn’t mine.”
“Damn.” Taylor whispered the word, “How did you… know?” It was a weird question to ask and Taylor could tell it was a sensitive situation for Mikey.
“Well, as lame as this seems on my side… we hadn’t had sex yet.” Mikey admitted. “We were together for three years and she always said that she wanted to wait for marriage. I loved her without the sex but for her it was just a big joke, and she obviously didn’t care much for waiting. She just didn’t want to sleep with me.”
“That’s weird.” Taylor couldn’t imagine why the girl wouldn’t want to sleep with Mikey.
“You know what’s really weird?”
“She tried to convince me the kid was mine.” Mikey laughed a little but it was without humor.
“Uh, Mary much?”
Mikey laughed again, but this time he did seem amused. “Yeah. She said we were blessed. I called bullshit. Up popped the actual boyfriend… and that’s how the story goes.”
“Well just wow.” Taylor shook her head again. “That’s insane.”
“What about you? Any crazy break up stories?” Mikey asked.
“There has only ever been one guy who I was really serious about.” Taylor admitted. “And it wasn’t in a romantic way at all.”
“No?” Mikey waited for the story.
Taylor thought for a few seconds before deciding that since Mikey had opened up to her, she should open up to him in return. She stood and went to the bathroom and once she found what she was looking for in her jean’s pockets she returned to the room where Mikey was waiting.
Taylor handed Mikey the small chip that she carried with her everywhere. He studied it for several seconds, “Um, dare to dream? Did someone make this for you?”
Taylor laughed, “Nah, turn it over.”
Mikey did, “Five years?”
“It’s my brother’s token from NA. He was five years clean.” Taylor answered.
“NA?” Mikey wrinkled his nose in thought but then he realized. “… Narcotics anonymous?”
“Yeah, he struggled with drugs. On my 18th birthday he gave me that chip and told me that he didn’t deserve it anymore.” Taylor looked away so that Mikey wouldn’t see how uncomfortable she was. “He relapsed and um… he said that the best memories he had were times when he was sober and it was what he wanted more than anything else but the desire to use was always there and he just didn’t want to have to be strong anymore. He didn’t want to fight it. So he gave in.”
Mikey tightly held on to the token, “Where is he now Taylor?”
“He died last year.” Taylor was sitting on the edge of the bed, facing away from Mikey. “It was an intentional overdose. He left a note.”
Mikey moved closer, until he was sitting beside Taylor. She still didn’t look at him, even as he put his arm around her shoulders. “Sometimes… sometimes painful things happen to us, and it… it makes us stronger, I think.”
Taylor finally looked at Mikey. He was leaning towards her and their lips were just inches apart. She could smell the Taco Bell on his breath, and knew hers wasn’t any better. “If I was strong enough I’d have been able to save him.”
Mikey’s eyes widened, “Is that what you think?”
Taylor didn’t answer him with words, instead she leaned closer. As she closed the distance she thought of Gerard and why she was doing this. She knew deep inside that there was something about Mikey that reminded her of what it used to feel like to be alive.
That was a feeling she couldn’t have any more though.
That was a feeling for kids, and she wasn’t a kid anymore.
Their lips touched.
Mikey pulled away to look at Taylor. “You’re upset.” He whispered, causing his breath to tickle Taylor’s face.
“Not anymore.” Taylor whispered back.
“This is wrong.” Mikey muttered, just seconds before leaning forward to re-attach his lips to Taylor’s. Taylor’s back hit the bed as Mikey moved over her.
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