a few hours later a giggly Cara waltzed into the apartment and plopped down on the couch with me. i had been curled up watching the history channel but immediately turned my attention to her.
“ya know, the cast makes him look clumsy but he’s not where it counts.” she sighed and put her feet up.
my jaw pretty much dropped. i didn’t know things would go that well.
“oh, stop. it was just a kiss.” she clicked her tongue and laughed. “but a bloody good one i’ll say that.”
“are you gonna see him again?” i asked somewhat awed. i wasn’t sure if Tyler was beau material but Frank could vouch for him so he couldn’t be all bad.
“well i got his number,” Cara started and then made a snooty face. “and he wants me to go with him to a show.” she winked and i made impressed noises at her.
“i guess this means double dating.” she looked at me as i said it and then we both shuddered at the thought.
“did he say which show?"
"oh there’s one his friends band is having next week. apparently your whole lot is invited. i think they’re called The Web or something,”
my heart sank. “The Internet?”
“yeah, that’s it. do you know them?”
“oh umm… that’s Sydney’s group.”
Cara bit her lip slightly. “i see.” she said after a moment.
i sighed and curled back up again. Cara tried to change the subject, but all i could think of was Frank and Syd and how if i got dragged to this show things would end up ten times messier over night.
three days later I was walking into a club on Franks arm trying to focus on looking cool. People had already started to ask about me on the blogs so there was pressure to look like I belonged. We were set to meet Tyler and Cara in the VIP room of the club. we weaved through the dim room passing the bar on the way. a women in a skin tight maroon dress turned from the bar then and smiled wide at Frank.
“fancy seeing you here.” she cooed in a sultry voice i couldn’t dream to match. He responded to her like an old friend. i suddenly remembered Asia and was prepared to take the claws out.
“Cleo! wow… its been what, 3 years?” he held her at arms length and looked her over. i cleared my throat slightly and Cleo shifted her eyes to mine. i caught a hint of venom in them but she quickly hid it with a cheery smile. “a friend of yours?” she said the word like an insult. Frank remembered me then and moved an arm around my shoulders.
“this is Naomi… my girlfriend.” as he said it i felt my self relax. he hadn’t called me that to anyone and it felt like a relief. i hadn’t know i cared so much. Cleo seemed catch on to the newness of the title. “here for the show?” she asked coolly, all the while body turned to Franks.
i was afraid that i would be subject to a whole sentimental reunion when i felt a tap on my shoulder. "sup nigga!“ i nearly sighed when i heard Tyler’s voice behind us.
Cara was with him and like any best friend saw the situation and knew immediately what i was dealing with. she gave Frank a sweet a hello and looked at his hand that was still on Cleo’s arm. he dropped it fast and i tried not to look too smug.
Frank recovered smoothly of course. "you remember Cleo right?” he said to an unimpressed Tyler. he shook her hand but no bells seemed to go off with her name. “from south Cali…” Frank went on.
“oh its fine, we only met briefly. i know you all meet a lot of people.” Cleo kept her cool demeanor in check. i had to admit i was somewhat impressed but, the threat wasn’t yet clear.
Tyler asked Cara for the time and it was getting close to the start of the set. he pointed to an area of tables with reserved signs on them. “we have seats if you wanna chill,” he said and started to move toward them “i guess its fine cause you know Frank.”
Cleo tried to refuse but gave in fast to Franks insisting. i held my tongue at her eagerness. Cara ave me a glance as we made our way to the tables. a small girl with long blonde hair came up on the stage to open the set. she started to play a slow song on the keyboard.
Frank and i sat on one side of a table with Cara and Tyler at our left, Cleo sat awkwardly across from us and had to turn from the stage to face our group. she didn’t seem to care about being a 5th wheel so i guess i was the one feeling awkward.
She and Frank continued to catch up. she had moved to LA a month ago after living in London for a bit. she worked for some private art collector and was currently looking for new pieces to send to him. she had heard about the show randomly and decided to give it a try. i listened as she spoke but mostly watched the body language of the two. they were so familiar. like old friends who had never spent time apart. with Asia their had been attraction but this… this was deeper.
My heart sank a little when i thought of her tight red dress compared to my my blue baby doll dress and yellow cardigan. she wore killer heels that she pulled off effortlessly and i had on black booties and thigh-highs. she was all women and i screamed highschool. how was i supposed to compete with all that?
the singer launched into a faster song and Cleo turned to watch her whip her hair around as she played. Frank squeezed me shoulders and looked at me hard. “you okay?” he said softly. i flashed a smile and said yes. “just a bit tried. was on my feet all day.”
he didn’t seem to take this answer serious. “you and Syd okay?” i nearly flinched at her name. i had nearly forgotten why we were here.
“um… we haven’t really spoken in a bit.” i admitted. he frowned slightly but didn’t push the issue.
as the singer finished her few songs a few guys came on to fix the equipment. finally Syd and her Band came out and everyone applauded. i Tyler couldn’t clap so he whistled loud. Syd looked over at us and smiled big. when her eyes fell on me her eyebrows went up but that was the only reaction she showed to seeing me and Frank.
she thanked the crowd and introduced the first song. “this is about a girl… yeah” she shrugged and they the bass line started.
She sang with her eyes closed:
“I can be your fantasy, while you’re dancing alone tonight (yea) Or you can be my majesty, got me running for you Said we ain’t got to take it slow Here’s what you do to me (yea) I think it’s time to take control Girl I just want to love you
Bad you want to give it I want to give it to you I know you won’t admit it but at least I know the truth The way you move around me there’s something seductive to it Got a place we can go if you’re down Let’s go all the way (yea)”
she opened her eyes then and looked right at me.
“Cause basically I, I just wanna ride with you I gotta get you, cause I just wanna vibe with you Let’s find some place to go,
Cause I just gotta to know if you want me too
Dontcha want me?”
i was floored. i couldn’t look away till she did. my face was hot and i had a lump in my throat.
Cara squeezed my knee under the table. “did she just Taylor Swift you?”
after that i counted down the moments till i could go home.
Syd was hurt, and i had hurt her. now she would make me pay.