I was startled awake the next morning with my phone’s alarm blaring loudly and I couldn’t tell you how fast I flew out of bed thinking I was late, only to look at the clock and see that I woke up way too early. I shut my eyes and rubbed my hands against my face.
“Great.” I muttered to myself. If I was awake now, I wasn’t going back to bed…I was up for the rest of the day. I looked back at my phone at the time.
Why the hell would my alarm be set for that time anyway? I must have not been looking when I set it up or something. I threw my phone back onto the over-sized bed and headed into the bathroom to splash some cold water on my face.
I flicked on the lights and headed straight for the sink, turning it on and feeling the cool liquid graze my warm and tired face. I took a nearby towel and patted my face dry and looked into the mirror.
I looked exhausted. Those extra hours of sleep could have done me good, but that potential was dead and gone and I had to spend extra time in my mother’s house doing God knows what.
My stomach growled. Well, at least I knew I’d be spending some of that time eating.
I immediately turned and headed down the hall and down the stairs where I knew the kitchen would be located, when I got there Maria was already there preparing breakfast because I could smell the eggs and pancakes on the stove.
My mouth watered at the scent. “Morning, Maria.” I said to her grabbing a seat on a bar stool not too far from where she was cooking.
She turned to me briefly and smiled, “Buenos Dias, Misty.” She replied to me.
I played with a salt and pepper shaker on the table beside me, I was a bit too shy to ask for food so suddenly after all I was a guest here.
Maria spoke. “I see you are up early.” She stated.
I nodded, “My alarm clock woke me up earlier than anticipated, now I’m here.” I said.
“Are you hungry?” She asked me.
I smiled over at her. “A bit.” I said.
She laughed. “Don’t be afraid to express your hunger, Misty…I only ever cook for your mother or whenever her business associates are over.” She said business associates a little sarcastically, indicating to me that they weren’t actually what she claimed them to be. I stifled a laugh but that was cut short before I heard the clacking sounds of heels against the pristine marble floors of this expensive Malibu home.
“Buenos Dias, Maria.” My mother casually strutted into the kitchen dropping her Louis Vuitton bag onto the table along with her iPhone, before she headed towards the fridge and grabbed some orange juice and a glass from the cabinet.
She poured herself a glass and looked up for a moment. She scrunched her eyes like she was trying to remember something and then she looked at me.
“I see you’re up.” She said.
“Good morning to you too.” I said sarcastically.
She quirked her eyebrow and stopped pouring her drink and put the carton back into the refrigerator.
My mother took her glass and at over on the table closest to the patio door and continued to stare at me. I furrowed my brow but did not return her gaze although I knew she was looking at me. She was probably just trying to provoke me. Not today.
Maria noticed the tension spurring from our collective silence and quickly filled the air with stories about her days in Barcelona. They were funny and even a bit insightful, but I could feel my mind drifting to other things, one of them being the video I had later on today. I was a mess about it, most days I tried putting myself in a relaxing mode but that didn’t work out so often. I’ve been getting a lot of stress lately and it mostly came from making music and going to school at the same time. I sighed.
Maria eventually came over and placed a large vintage plate in front of me filled with food consisting of toast, eggs, waffles with cut strawberries, and syrup, bacon sausage, and some baked biscuits.
My stomach growled in anticipation.
“Mhmmm…This looks great, Maria.” I thanked her.
“De nada, Enjoy.” She went over to my mother as well and placed a similar plate in front of her. She too thanked her but made no motion to eat, just continued to gaze at me.
After taking a couple bites of my food, I couldn’t take it any longer and I confronted her.
“Is there something you would like to say?” I said suddenly which caused Maria to jump a bit, but my mother arched her eyebrows curiously like she had something to say.
“Me…no I don’t have anything to say.” She said, I could hear the tiny hint of sarcasm in her voice.
I narrowed my eyes. “I just find it weird that you’re staring at me a lot.” I mentioned.
She shrugged. “Can’t a mother look at her daughter for an extended period of time?” She asked.
I shook my head. “No…because you never did it until now.” I said.
She silenced for a moment, “People are susceptible to change.” She stated.
Now I shrugged, “Maybe…just not you.” I said.
She crossed her arms over her chest a bit surprised by my comment, “And why is that?” She asked me.
I took a light sip of my apple juice and thought for a moment.
“People who want to change make an effort to change but if you are not willing to change you’re just lying to yourself.” I said not letting her speak when she opened her mouth to say something clever.
“You, don’t care about your family, don’t call them unless you feel obligated, you think you’re better than us because you live in a Malibu mansion, when we live in a quaint Indiana home, everything has to be about you, because you can’t stand not being the center of attention.” I took a big breath letting that all out.
I didn’t feel the slightest bit guilty for saying those things to my mother, because they were true and to be honest they hurt…at first they did, but as I got older I learned to conceal and not feel. I became this stone cold rock that felt no emotion towards her ever. But I couldn’t say the same thing for my Aunt Jacqueline, she wore her heart on her sleeve when it came to my mom and every time she’d give it to her only for it to be thrown on the ground and stepped on.
I can’t express how many times I’ve tried to persuade my Aunt Jackie to leave well enough alone, but she continually tried to get my mother involved with us.
If my mother couldn’t even know what she was doing to her own sister, I can’t tell you what she use to do to me. I had no one I was stuck in house all by myself, watching a door that I knew would never open because my mother was never around, and I never knew my father, he was like a myth in my mind.
Now…now I had his address and it’s probably been a month since it’s been given to me and I couldn’t even sum up enough balls to see him. Would it kill my mother to be there to support me? I thought about showing up in front of his door long and hard and I remember shaking my head violently because the thought of coming out of the blue claiming to be his “long lost child” seemed like taboo of some sort.
Besides what was I going to say something. Was I going to walk up to him and scream my head off about why he wasn’t in my life, how he neglected me? Or was I going to show up all nice-nice and pretend that I put all my 19 years behind me and I was ready to start a new? Neither.
I doubt I was going to ever meet him anyway. What was the point? Maybe it was better that I never met him and he never meets me, it’d be easier to carry on with life without having someone who hurt you be apart of it. That went for my mother as well. She didn’t want to be around me or her family, so be it. I didn’t want to be around her either.
My mother tapped her heel for a moment, a frown was drawn on her face. She clearly wasn’t happy with what I said but I could see something tiny flash on her face.
“I care about my family.” Was the only thing she said after a long stretch of silence before she pushed her food away and got up abruptly. She took her bag and belongings and walked towards the door before stopping and turning to look at me.
“Have a lovely day, Misty.” She turned and then she was gone.
I turned to my food and pushed my plate having a lost for an appetite. I buried my head into my hands and just groaned letting out my frustration into my hands as if they would just fall off and I’d never have to see them again. I was wrong because when I lifted my head the only thing I was left with was a headache, and the look of pity crossing Maria’s face as she watched my mother and I “conflict” with each other.
I got up. “Thanks for the food, Maria.” I thanked her one last time before I walked back up to my room contemplating. It seemed like I never stopped thinking these days. It was just weird seeing that type of emotion go through my mother’s face, it seemed like even for just a moment she seemed…different.
I didn’t want to believe that my mother could change. It was an unheard of thought.
But…what if she did?
After a long and depressing shower, I got some casual clothes on so I could be ready for the video. Larz texted me and said that he’d come over and pick me up so we could go to the set together which I agreed to so it was up to me to wait for him. I found nothing interesting to do in my room so I decided to give myself a private tour of the enormous house my mother spent most of her time in instead of with her family.
Maria was nowhere to be found and I found myself looking out the patio doors to the infinity pool, garden area, and the sitting area. The sun was out and blazing even thought it was probably like 9'0 clock or something. I walked around found a theater room, a spa room, a study, and a bar. I continued to walk around staring at the elaborate paintings and sculptures around the house until I stopped upon a room with a grand pearl-colored piano. It was shiny and looked untouched. I questioned if my mother even used some of these rooms. I walked up to the piano and sat at it.
I used to play a lot of piano back in my younger days since I was in orchestra. It was one my hidden talents of course, that and my amazing skills at putting puzzles together. I haven’t done one in the longest now that I think of it. Maybe that’s why I feel so stressed out, I just needed a couple-hour session of puzzles and I’d be fine.
I shook my head at my rambling thoughts and pressed down onto the pure-white keys that shined when the light hit them at an angle. The sound that filled the room was close to holy, it had such a in-tune sound that rumbled throughout the place. I got so caught up in pressing on the keys that I began to play one of these old songs, that I learned a while back, before I knew it I was singing along.
“If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song
Uh oh, uh oh
Lord make me a rainbow, I’ll shine down on my mother
She’ll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colors, oh,
And life ain’t always what you think it ought to be, no
Ain’t even grey, but she buries her baby
The sharp knife of a short life, oh well
I’ve had just enough time
If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song
The sharp knife of a short life, oh well
I’ve had just enough time.” I sang to myself as I hit the keys on the piano perfectly, It was like all the feelings of being younger was coming right back to me. I could feel myself getting lost into the music, feeling it rumbling all over my body. I carried on with the song and before I realized it, I was done.
Someone was clapping.
Startled and wide-eyed I turned to the person clapping and Larz was leaning against one of the walls by the door opening to this room, with a light smirk playing on his face and I blushed realizing that I was got caught slipping, I seemed to get lost a lot with music. Somebody would rob me and I would never know because I’d be so into it.
“I didn’t hear you come in.” I said to him.
“You were really into your music…a lady let me in.” He said referring to Maria.
I nodded, “So why didn’t you stop me?” I asked him.
He got that mysterious look I his eyes again, that sent shivers down my spine and electric shocks all over my body.
“Because you were feeling the music, and I like watching you.” He said.
I stood up and walked over to him. “That’s not creepy at all.” I said sarcastically.
He smirked. “So are you ready?” He asked me.
I cocked my head to the side. “Yeah, can’t you tell by my clammy hands?” I smiled.
He laughed grabbing my arm and pulling me closer to him. “You will be fine, trust me when you get there you’re going to even wonder why you stressed over it.” He said to me. I gave him a serious look and he met with the same.
“Don’t be nervous alright? I’m here with you.” He kissed my forehead lightly.
Sometimes I swear Lazaro saw right through my bullshit, like I couldn’t get anything past him for long.
I nodded. “Okay.” I responded.
Even though I finished answering him he didn’t let me go so quickly. “I missed you yesterday.” He said to me.
I smiled a bit. “I know.” I said cockily. Her arched his eyebrow at my response and I laughed.
He put his hand to his heart. “You know it hurts…I was all alone with Red and Brendan and you know how that goes.” He said.
I laughed harder. “Sorry.” I wiped my eyes from the tears that were coming out from all the laughing. “My mother said I should be a lot more secretive about coming to your place because of the paparazzi and stuff.” I said to him.
He brushed the back of his head slowly, “Yeah, I didn’t really think of that.” He thought to himself. He looked back at me and put his hand back on his heart. “Still…it hurt.” He joked.
I rolled my eyes and slapped his arm, grabbing his hand in the process. “Come on, let’s go.” I said pulling him towards the door. He followed me and we headed outside where Olivia was waiting in a Range Rover parked out in front of the door.
She looked up when she saw us approaching and smiled at me. I smiled back at her. Larz opened the passenger door for me and I hopped in and he shut the door. I got comfortable and Larz got in as well, starting the car’s engine.
We headed off to the set direction. I leaned my head against the windowsill as I glanced out casually to the breathtaking view of the ocean. It seemed that California was always taking me by surprise every time I wasn’t expecting of anything. It wasn’t anything like Indiana but I liked the difference amongst them. It was different.
The ride there was pretty mutual. Olivia explained everything to us as Larz drive, so we didn’t really get anytime to talk to each other but I could see him stealing glances at me here and there whenever he got the chance. We got there on time and we all hopped out of the car, towards the set where we greeted by the director.
“Ah! There he is…the main attraction!” The director pushed by some standing people and came over to embrace Larz in a hug, which he took a bit awkwardly patting the man’s back.
“Nice to see you, Brian.” He said.
Brian let of him and rolled his eyes. “There was so much enthusiasm in that greeting, I almost believed you.” He said sarcastically. Larz smiled.
Brian looked over at me barely and nodded before he clapped his hands. “Alright, as soon as Misty arrives we can start.” He said.
I quirked my eyebrow and looked over at Olivia who shook her head.
Larz nudged Brian who turned around to look at him. “What is it?” He asked.
Larz pointed to me. “That’s Misty.” He cleared his throat.
Brian now REALLY looked at me, he stepped and leaned closer to me and squinted his eyes as if he was looking at something from a far distance. He made a noise with the back of his throat before he stood up straight and nodded.
“My apologizes, Misty….I was just a bit thrown off I’m not used to seeing someone as meek looking as you.” He gave me another over look before he turned back to Larz.
I shrugged. “Not a problem.” I responded to him.
He clapped his hands. “Then, I guess we’ll start.” He said.
Larz and I nodded. Brian showed us to the dressing room, where hair and makeup was done for us, we switched into these pretty cool outfits, nothing too special but it was really nice and stuff. The whole story to this song was that Larz had messed up and I was giving him a hard time, and he was trying everything in his power to get back with me and everything. It was pretty cute, especially since Larz was looking like the heart-breaker when he came out in this leather jacket, and these dark jeans.
When he saw me his eyes lit up and he was by my side the next minute.
“You look amazing.” He complimented me.
I blushed a bit, “Thanks, you don’t look too bad yourself.” I returned.
“MISTY!!” A voice called out to me suddenly and I turned to where the voice was coming from and from a distance I could see Ginger’s curly, honey brown hair bounce up and down as she waved at Larz and I. We both waved back at her. I was glad she was here, I needed all the support I could get for this video so I didn’t fuck up or anything.
Larz nudged me and I looked at him curiously. “Don’t sweat it, Mist.” He whispered to me.
I looked away from a moment. “I’m not sweating anything, I’m fine…” I trailed off.
He arched his eyebrow like he didn’t believe me and spoke. “I can see it all over your face.” He stated.
I looked down at my deep red, Mary-Jane heels I was wearing. I could feel Lazaro’s warm hands graze my chin and pick it up so I was looking directly into his eyes. His familiar steel, gray eyes were a bit dark almost giving off a blue color, they still burned with passion…it was like everything he said it was with a purpose. He meant everything he said. It was easy to believe in him.
“Mist…take a deep breath.” He said suddenly.
“A breath?” I asked him.
He stared at me and nodded. I didn’t know where he was going with this, but I did as he asked taking a huge breath and as I felt my body about to burst with all the air I held in, I let it all out slowly and I could feel all the muscles in my body relax, the tension that was building deep inside me was subsiding. I felt 10 times better now that I think of it.
He brushed a loose string of hair away from my face. “Better?” he asked.
I nodded. “Better.” I replied.
“You’re going to be incredible and more, don’t worry if you mess up a bit we can always re-do it.” He said.
His words radiated with warmth through my body and I knew I was going to be fine. I really needed to stop worrying about such little things, he was right whether I fucked up a bit or a little there was always a chance for me to fix my errors. This is what I signed up for the end of the day, and there was going to be more of this were it came from.
Larz noticing that I was completely fine now, let me go and I hated the feeling of cold abandonment when his hands left any part of my body. Like the warm and the energy was all gone. I couldn’t help myself, so I pushed my body towards his in an embrace, wrapping my arms around his body. I buried my face under his chest where I knew I could find the most warmth and safety.
He was a bit shocked at first, I could feel it in his body but as soon as he realized what I had done he softened up and put his hands around me as well.
“You always know what to say, thank you.” I whispered to him.
Not too soon after that the video began. I definitely did not expect that everyone would be laid back about the whole thing. After a couple of shots I was back to my normal self, laughing and enjoying my time together with Larz.
It was done by seven which was great, I hopped back into Larz’s car and he took me back to his place. Brendan and Brad were both there reclined at the television playing Titianfall. I can thank Tess for teaching me the differences between these games.
Brad turned at the sound of our entrance.
“Hey Larz…Mist.” He said.
Lazaro nodded towards him and I waved.
“You want to hang out?” Larz whispered gently into my ear.
Before I could answer Brendan was calling out to Lazaro.
“Larz! Come play with us!” Brendan shouted as he waved the vacant game controller wildly in his hands.
“Or not.” I joked.
He smirked and brushed his dark hair away from his face.
I pushed him towards the guys. “Go…relax! I’m gonna grab something to drink.” I said allowing him to hang out with his friends. I didn’t want to be the one to burden him or anything like that.
“Are you sure?” He asked curiously.
I nodded positively. “Yeah, we can hang out a bit later, I’m not leaving until tomorrow.” I said to him.
He nodded before placing a light kiss on my cheek. “Don’t get lost in here, alright?” He said sarcastically.
I rolled my eyes. “I’ll try.” I replied.
I watched as he made his way over to the couch were Brendan and Brad were both awaiting him. Brendan threw him his controller and they were off into gamers word, talking non-sense in my opinion. I turned on my heel and walked into the kitchen and decided on looking for a snack along with my drink. I went into the cabinet and took out a random cup before I headed into the fridge and found some soda which I helped myself to. After I got that, I went into the pantry and found a big bag of chips and cookies I could snack on.
I was ready to chow down, heading for the living room where the guys were before I heard sniffling. At first it was such a tiny sniff, that I contemplated even hearing it, but then I heard another loud one and I knew it was someone. I walked closer to where I was hearing the sound and I stopped right at a shut door.
There were no lights underneath and my heart picked up a bit. This was just like all the horror movies I’ve been watching, I’d be the dumb girl to go snooping around trying to find the source of the noise and then I’d end up dead, while the guys play video games in the other room not noticing a thing.
I thought to myself for a second.
Should I go in there?
More sniffling came from the door and then the sound of someone moving around.
What if it was a ghost ready to kill me?
I took a deep breath and despite the pacing of my heart I decided to go in. I didn’t do any of that slow, creak of the door shit. I barged right in just in case I needed to scream I’d do it before the attacker could get me. I flicked on the lights at that moment all the while holding my drinks and snacks.
And then I realized who it was.
“Red?” I cocked my head trying to recognize the pale, dark ball wrapped in itself, sniffling and shaking. I walked closer.
“Red?” I called again.
She stopped shaking and looked out of the ball she put herself in and looked at me with tired, blood-shot looking eyes. It was almost as if she didn’t hear me the first time because she answered me this time.
“Misty? What are you doing here?” He voice sounded worn out and sore like someone who has been to a concert and yelled the entire time they’ve been there. I stopped being so panicked and placed my food on the glass table besides where I was standing. On the table I could see a couple of alcoholic drinks standing idle opened but it was still full. There was a glass on the table as well, it too had dark liquid filled to the brim ready to fall out by the slightest blow of a wind…it was untouched.
“I just finished shooting the video with Larz.” I answered her.
She had a blank look to her eyes and brought her face back into her body.
“Red…do you want to talk about what’s bothering you?” I asked her softly, skipping all the “Are you okay?” bullshit because we both knew damn well she wasn’t okay. She didn’t answer me she began shaking again and I frowned because I didn’t like seeing Red like this…she always seemed like she had it together, I mean at least when she wasn’t drinking, but now she looked like she could barley stand.
“Red…talk to me, something’s up with you.” I walked over and touched her arm lightly. She stopped shaking so abruptly I almost jumped.
“You’re so warm.” She whispered, I had to strain to hear that.
“That’s because you’re freezing, come on Red tell me what’s up.” I said sitting over by her. She groaned, but she didn’t start shaking again, which was good. Slowly, but steadily she started to unravel from the ball she created for herself and she laid her against the arm of the couch and looked up towards the ceiling.
“It’s my birthday.” She finally said.
My eyes widened at the announcement she made. I didn’t know it was her birthday today. Did the guys know and just ignore it? This had to be the reason she was so sad right now, everyone forgetting her birthday.
“Red, why didn’t you say something?” I asked her.
She turned her head. “Because it doesn’t matter.” She said harshly.
I was a bit taken back. “Why doesn’t it matter?” I asked her.
She stood silent for a moment. “It brings too many bad memories…I hate it.” She stated.
I would have never imagined Red to come to such a conclusion about the day she was born, I was shocked and confused as to what brought her to this point. Something had to have happened for her to think this way, to make her act like this.
Before I asked her what brought her to choice, she began speaking.
“Not many people know this about me…but I can trust you, so I’m going to tell you.” She took a deep breath. “I hate my birthday because it was the day I ran away from my family.” She said.
My eyes widened. Red ran away from home?
She kept speaking before I even thought of opening my mouth to say anything.
“I lived in a really boring town in Maine, I had a tough time in school…I was really never sure of myself…you know having a hard time fitting in and all the bullshit the cliches say. I think I found it was even harder to be myself because I felt like I did not belong here. I always dyed my hair different colors, I wore attention-grabbing clothes, I tried to be original.” She stared up at the ceiling in a daze as she spoke.
“Kids at my school didn’t like that so much, I got bullied and teased all the time…which was fine I could take any of that crap I was strong girl. The hardest part in my life was getting my parents to accept me…they never got anything I did, said I was wasting my time and talent.” She stopped looking at the ceiling and turned to the glass table beside her and reached for the over-filled glass and just inches before her hands grasped it, she changed her mind and pulled away, crossing her hands over chest and closing her eyes.
“I liked to write..create things, stories,…songs, I liked to that a lot. I ghost write for a lot of celebrities back in my time in Maine. It was fun and invigorating when I heard the very song I wrote on the radio, where thousands…millions of people could sing daily. It helped me get through the day a lot more easier.” She took a breath and shook her head.
“Anyway, one day my parents and I got into this huge fight, a day before my birthday and I just couldn’t do it anymore…that and my many failed suicide attempts. It’s really hard to die you know.” Her eyes looked over at me, scaring the crap out of me. She laughed, but it was a sick kind of laugh. The kind you hear in the horror movies, like they were the only ones in it on the joke.
The only thing I knew was that it wasn’t her normal laugh.
“That night, I couldn’t sleep…I didn’t know what I was doing until I was doing it. I was packing up random clothes, my things…some money for the road. I didn’t know how far I was going or how long so I took it all…good thing I did. I don’t know if I would have been here If I didn’t take it all.” She stopped looking at me and turned her head towards the ceiling.
“I left, and that was the last time I saw my parents. I didn’t even them a note or anything, telling them where I was going or anything. Just gone…like that. I hitch-hiked for a while, grabbing rides from strangers here and there, getting awkward jobs at shady places. I enjoyed the freedom, I didn’t have to go to school, have to argue with my parents everyday. I ended up in Indiana somehow on a bridge. I was crying a lot, I looked up to the sky and said, ‘God, if I don’t die today on this bridge, then I’m not going to try to kill myself ever again’.” She said imitating a younger version of herself.
I listened intently.
“Then…” She began sniffling again. “Then…Larz came, he said a couple of things to me I really wasn’t listening to him, just thinking to my head “Why won’t this guy leave me alone so I could die”…then he said something that always stuck out to me still to this day.” She turned and looked me in the eye. Her red eyes matching her fiery red hair.
“He said: “For every bad thing that happens in your life, two good things come and balance it out.” She gave a tiny little smirk. “Isn’t that nice, it sounded like something you’d find on the internet or something, but somehow I was off the bridge and I didn’t want to kill myself anymore.” She sat up slowly on the couch.
“To make a long story short, I got back on my feet moved to California, wrote songs for celebrities, and supported myself, met Larz again, and here I am I sulking my life away, liquor that I’m finally legally able to drink and I can’t even take a sip without wanting to chuck it across the room.” She said.
I stared at her. “Why did you tell me this?” I asked her.
She nodded her head. “I told you…I trust you, and there’s something about you.” She said. I arched my eyebrow. “Something about me?” I asked.
“Yes, you and Larz….I know this is weird to say, but it’s like you guys come from the same kind of wavelength, like you two breathe the same energy or something. You’re not like the other people up on stage performing. You got natural born talent.” She said that with a sigh like she was looking at a rainbow after a rainstorm.
She crawled over to me slowly. “Are you still with that guy Jayden?” She asked me suddenly.
I cleared my throat and looked away for a moment, my thoughts flashed to Jayden for a moment. I felt like I haven’t seen him in ages since every weekend I was flying into Cali for vocal lessons, videos, and single recording. I didn’t know where she was going with this but I honestly didn’t want to talk about him or our relationship status right now, still I answered her for the benefit of the doubt.
“No…we broke up a while ago.” I said.
She leaned her head against my shoulder and whispered softly. “Good…now Lazaro can have you all to himself…no offense but he deserves you more than the other guy.” She whispered. I looked over at Red, her eyes were closed and she had a smirk look to her face and I narrowed my eyes wondering if she really wasn’t drunk.
“What makes you think that?” I asked her taking advantage of the moment.
She shrugged. “It’s kind of obvious you guys have this sort of…attraction to each other. Brendan and I kind of caught you guys making out on the couch when you came over to visit.” She said.
I could almost feel the heat rising up on my cheeks, but I made no movement so I would not alert her by my sudden uncomfortableness. Her voice sounded tired and sleepy as she spoke again.
“Oh, don’t be ashamed it was already clear from day one that he liked you, since he’s been so famous I never once saw him look interested in a girl…you come into the picture and just like that he’s shown a side I’ve never seen before.” She said.
“Red…I know he’s in love with me.” I said to her.
“Yea…so are you in love with him?” She asked me suddenly catching me off guard.
I looked away again. “I need more time to think about that.” I said to her.
She hummed. “Understandable….but do me a favor.” She said.
“What?” I asked her.
“Don’t break that poor man’s heart. He’s my best friend,he knows me the best out of this group. If you’re not going to be with him don’t mess with him, he loves hard. I get you and your ex had something, but ask yourself…if what you have Larz even compares.” She was drifting as she spoke.
“Red?” I called out to her.
“Yeah.” She muttered.
“How long has it been since you’ve seen your parents?” I asked her.
She stood silent for a moment and I thought she fell asleep but she answered.
“8 years.” She replied.
Which meant Red was 21, which made sense when she said she was now legal to drink.
But damn….8 years. No contact with family, I could feel the guilt in her body as she said that, it was obvious.
“Do the guys know it’s your birthday?” I asked her the final question.
“No…it wasn’t necessary.” Was the last thing she said before I could hear her light snoring against my arm. I slowly got up being careful not to wake her and made sure she was comfortable on the couch before I took my things and headed back into the kitchen where I found the guys standing in front of a couple unopened boxes of pizza.
“Ah! Angel voice, we were just about to go looking for you!” Brendan said cheerfully.
I smiled. “You guys finished playing?” I asked them.
“Yea, we got food…want some?” Brad asked.
I put my finger up. “Yea, but I’m going to stop and get something really quick.” I said grabbing my purse really quick.
Larz gave me a confused look and walked over to where I was gathering my things.
“Where you going?” He asked me, his eyes were filled with so much concern and my heart skipped a beat. He really did seem worried for me I that moment he was looking at me.
“I need to pick something up.” I said to him.
“I’ll come with you.” He said ready and set to abandon his friends to go with me.
I shook my head. “No, I swear I’ll be quick…just let me do this.” I said to him.
His eyes were searching and begging for me to answer but he could see the confidence and assurance that rang through mine and he nodded, still worried but practical about what I had to do.
“Don’t get lost.”
“We’re baking a cake!!” Brendan shouted. I shushed him, I didn’t want Red waking up to the guys acting like a bunch of idiots in front of an uncooked cake.
“Who would have thought it was Red’s birthday.” Brad said crossing his arms over his chest while he leaned against the counter tops.
Brendan nodded in agreement. “I thought for sure, that at least Larz would know.” He said.
Larz shook his head, “I was just as clueless as you guys.” He was looking at the cake box directions trying to figure it out. He was such a sport about the whole thing, I just told him we were going to bake a cake and he didn’t ask any questions.
“Red doesn’t tell us anything, sometimes it breaks my heart, really.” Brendan said seriously. I looked at him. “Well, she told me this…so the least we can do as friends is bake her a birthday cake.” I stated.
“I agree! Let’s get to it then.” Brendan said.
We got to work.
About an hour of fighting with the guys on how to make a goddamn cake, we finally cooked it to perfection. I could thank Tess for all the cooking tips she gave me back at the Zeta house, it really did come in handy. We got some frosting and frosted the cake, decorated it and slapped a million candles on it. Now all we needed was Red.
“I think she’s waking up!” Brendan whispered fiercely as he flew into the kitchen.
Larz lit the candles and we all waited patiently for her to enter the kitchen. Surely Brendan wasn’t lying because we heard slow, dragging feat in the hallway and then finally Red walked into the kitchen. She didn’t notice anything at first then, she looked up and saw all of us smiling, the cake, and her eyes filled with tears.
Her bottom lip trembled. “Misty…” She started.
“Red, it’s your birthday you’re suppose to enjoy it.” I walked over to and pushed her towards the cake we made for her.
She looked at all the 21 candles lit before her. “Thanks, guys.” She said.
“You know we love you Red.” Larz smiled at her.
“Yeah! Don’t leave us out again….because now we know you’re birthday!!” Brendan shouted.
Brad slapped his brother’s arm. “Can you act normal for once?” He asked him.
He flipped off. “Brad, this is normal.” He huffed.
Red bent down and blew out all her candles and we all cheered.
“What did you wish for?” I asked her.
“I just thanked God, I already have what I wished for right here.”