So, if you can name the song this story's title came from, I'll give you a cameo in a later chapter.
I pull into the closest parking spot to my building. Patrick's car is gone. I kill the engine and sit there. Hand still on the key. Maybe this was a mistake. He's not home. That might buy me some time.
I find the courage to climb out the car and up the stairs.
I unlock the door. The apartment is a mess. Pictures and pizza boxes strewn across the floor. I guess Patrick was doing some remembering of his own.
We're similar in more ways than we choose to realize sometimes. Maybe that's why it feels like a piece of me is missing. Its not fair. I know saying that won't make a difference. But I don't think I care at this point. This is way out of hand.
Part of me wants to erase it and pretend the words were never said. Action never made. But it can't be done. So. It too doesn't matter.
A lot of things don't matter anymore.
So. I guess I'm home for now. It doesn't feel like home anymore though. Its strange to feel out of place in your own apartment. Maybe I should just relax.
I grab a soda and walk toward my room. The door the Patrick's is open. Odd. I look around. Though I know no one is there. I push the door the rest of the way open. Walking past the dresser I take a seat on the bed. The sheets are black and soft. With a small red pattern. His favorite.
I lay back and close my eyes. The whole room smells like him. Like shampoo and cinnamon. I bite at my lip to hold the tears back.
Fuck. Why am I crying? I pull myself up and leave the room. Carefully closing the door behind myself. Out of sight. Out of mind they say. Too bad it isn't true.
The phone rings, scaring the crap out of me. I jumped about two feet off the ground before running to the kitchen to grab it
"Hello?" I say taking a deep breath.
"Ane?" The voice on the other end asks. I know that voice.
"Hey." I say softly.
"Hey." Patrick replies. Biting his lip. Sometimes. Its scary how close we really are.
"I miss you." I say mimicking his unseen actions. He sighs.
" I miss you too."
And for the first time in a while. Something felt right.
I move the three feet from the kitchen to the couch and allow myself to sink into the cushy goodness. The breathing on the other line is rhythmic and starting to calm my frazzled nerves.
"Where are you?" I ask with a soft voice. Afraid that if I talk any louder someone will know. That I'm scared to death of this whole situation.
He pauses, "On a plane."
I take a deep breath. What did I miss. "A plane? To where?"
"California." He replies after a moment. I can hear him shuffling a bag of nuts.
"Oh." I say. Not sure that there was much else I could have.
"We got called away for a Radio thing. I thought someone would've called you." The bag shuffles again. And he empties the rest into his mouth.
"No. I just got in an hour or so ago." I run my fingers through my hair. I imagine the five of them on a plane. Pete next to Joe, who is sitting by the window. Andy with his head leaned back, mouth open, drooling slightly in his sleep. Dirty seated next to him, playing game boy. And Patrick, cell phone clutched tightly in his right hand. His left leg lazily out in the aisle.
"We won't be gone long. Maybe over night. Couple of days at most. Depends on Pete really, I guess."
I nod even though I know he can't see. A slight pause follows.
"How long until you land?" I ask chewing on my thumb.
"Not long now. I should go, I guess." He scratches the side of his face.
"Yeah." I sigh. This never gets any easier.
"I call you tonight?" More of a question than a statement. And it worries me.
"You will." I say calmly.
"Bye Ane." He says. And is sounds final.
"I'll talk to you later. Say that. Please." I plead without realizing it.
"I love you." It sounds the same. But this time I'm not sure how he means it.
I've decided waiting around the house is not the best idea. Besides, I forgot about work. A bad habit I've developed since all of this mess started.
I've also decided I don't want this to consume my entire life anymore. I'm a better person than letting something like this rule my life. If he loves me, he'll tell me. If he doesn't, his loss.
Ok. So I don't believe half of what I just said. But if I keep repeating it, maybe I will. One can hope, I guess.
I slam the car door shut and start for the mall. I really have no desire to be here, but I need the money and I feel like an ass for not having so much as called in for the past three days. Niki hates me for sure.
"Hey," I say slowly trying to register the look on her face. She only glares at me in return and points to the five stacks of still boxed Cds. I nod and walk towards Matt's office. If she's this pissed, I really have no desire to see what lies behind this door.
"ANMARIE!!!!!" He yells from the other side. "I KNOW YOU'RE OUT THERE!!"
I sigh and push the door open, "Yeah, I am."
He glares at me too, "I am not happy with you."
"I know. I'm sorry. There has just been a lot going on at home."
"Bullshit Ane. You're too fucking hung up on your precious Patrick to bother doing your job." He says with his back to me. I hang my head. He has a point. But that doesn't give him the right to say that.
" FUCK YOU MATT. I have missed four fucking days in one month. Look at my fucking file Matt. I've never missed a fucking day before without giving notice. I know. And I'm fucking sorry. But I'm here now, when I'm supposed to be. So cut me a little fucking slack, eh?"
"Just get to work Ane. We'll deal with this later." He never turned to face me. I storm out slamming the door behind and listen as something on the wall falls with a crash.
Five to seven hours later, I don't bother to actually figure it out, I find myself back at the apartment. I hit the button on the machine on my way to the kitchen.
"You have eight new messages." The robotic voice recites.
"Message 1: 'Ane, its Patrick. I was calling back. Call me.' Message 2: "Hey Ane its Matt, I wanted to apologize for earlier. I was out of line, and I'm sorry. I'll see you Monday?' Message 3: 'Ane its Andy. I MISS YOU. Sorry, everyone else had girlfriends to call. I felt left out. I'm rambling. See you soon, babe. Forget I just said babe plea..' Message 4: 'Hey Andy again, yeah I got cut off last time. So, I'm sorry. Ummm...I was going to say something. Oh yeah, I love yo...' Message 5: 'Last one promise. I love and miss my favorite sidekick.' Message 6: 'Hey, its Patrick. I just wanted to see if you were home yet.' Message 7: 'Its Pete. I miss you. click' Message 8: 'Ane, Its Jill. Call me later.' "
I slide down the wall beside the machine. This really isn't getting any better.