Learning to Play

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 14 (v.1) - Just Like Them

Submitted: August 19, 2011

Reads: 421

Comments: 17

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 19, 2011

A A A

A A A

This doesn't make much sense
Think far out but I'm still locked in
I'm still lost, walk in circles
The floor swallowed me up
Oh, there's nowhere to go

~Fixed at Zero-VersaEmerge

Truth is Emerson and I didn’t talk for the next week or so and it wasn’t going unnoticed by anyone. Mom had noticed, Beth had too and probably the whole school if not into the details knew there had been a fight between us and there was gossip about what had happened. The most popular version was I realized my impending superiority and dumped him. Ton of bullshit.

I did want to talk with him, of course I did I was going crazy already but my pride was too strong—I never realized how much pride I had in me—and in my mind I was just going a step ahead to prove no one could control me and I guessed in Emerson’s head he was right too. So here we were not talking, a couple of tables apart and with a school full of eyes waiting for something to happen, my friends included.

“So Maia,” Aria began an apparently concerned look in her face, “why aren’t you and Emerson talking? We’ve been giving you your privacy but I am worried about you sweetie.”

“We had fight Aria and I don’t really want to talk about it, it’s silly,” I muttered.

She sighed and patted my hand. “Maia if it is over moping over him won’t help, you need to move on, show him what he’s missing—and what you aren’t missing—and just pour salt over his wound.”

I looked at her. “It isn’t over between us Aria, we just had a fight.”

She smiled like my mother often did, placating me. “Okay best formula for a fight is go out have fun flirt with a cute guy, make it known to the boy in question and have him beg for forgiveness.”

She had to be kidding me.

“It’s really effective,” she said her eyes wide at my incredulous ones. “Actually how about if you and I go to a party this Saturday and do just that so you can stop moping around and actually have some fun. It might even do you some good or some sense might come back to you.”

I sighed. “I don’t know Aria. Besides I’m in my senses.”

She scoffed. “Honey I think you haven’t been in your senses for a while now but since I’m your best friend I’ve put up with you and your crazy plans to date The Freak.”

I rolled my eyes. “So this is all a scheme to separate us?”

“No, this isn’t even a scheme. I just want you to have some fun, that’s all.”

I considered this, it probably wasn’t truth but I was tired of moping around and my grounding had just been lift and a party didn’t sound so bad. There was also the beer, after some beers I could put my pride aside and call Emerson being me the one begging for forgiveness… “Fine, I’ll go with you to this party.”

Aria squealed and threw her arms around me. “You won’t regret it Maia, it will be a blast. I’ll pick you up, be ready by eight.”

I smiled feebly at her. A party, how fun!

*

So Saturday night I was ready in a black strapless dress with my leather jacket slung over it black pumps killing my feet and I was ready to go and have some fun with Aria which was the most surprising and shocking event of my week.

“We are going to have so much fun!” Aria declared once I was inside her BMW. “There’s this really great band playing tonight and there are rumors their lead singer is super hot, single and hurting after this girl in a town broke his heart.”

I looked at her. How in the world Aria knew so much gossip? “Poor guy.”

“I guess so,” she conceded. “Still it wouldn’t hurt to check him out.”

“I thought you and Owen had something,” I told her, totally confused.

She laughed. “Maia, Maia, Maia you haven’t been listening to anything, have you? I forgive you since The Freak has been messing with your head but Owen and I are over, we never started actually it was all casual flirting.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah,” she nodded. “It has been so long since we had a Maia-Aria time,” she said looking at me with a small smile and it occurred to me that maybe Aria did value our friendship that maybe I was just a little bit judgmental, the next words however proved me wrong, “since you’ve been spending all your time with The Freak that isn’t even worth it. You’re so much better than him and should know it.”

“Aria,” I groaned. “Not this, please. Let’s just have fun.”

“You’re right, I’m sorry—I still mean every word though.”

I nodded and dozed off as she caught me up with the latest gossip. I just did the appropriate noises when needed and pretended to listen because soon enough we were at a strange sort of shed or storage building thing where the party was taking place.

Aria found a parking space not far from the door and we were in our way to what Aria promised was a big party with good music. Considering she had drooled all over Justin Bieber I wasn’t hoping for much.

We lined up with a bunch of other people, girls in dresses just as scant as ours boys trying to look their best and there was also a lot of flirting in the line. A guy even tried to grope me there, he was greeted with a great mother fucking slap.

“After that I can’t believe you let The Freak fight Hudson, you could have had him,” Aria commented staring at the poor bastard that tried to make a move on me now in the floor with his hand to his cheek.

I actually laughed. “Let’s just say Hudson’s hands were in me and it wasn’t nice so I was too shocked to do anything.”

“You secretly enjoyed it, don’t lie. I mean Hudson is such a stud.”

I scoffed. “Aria please don’t.”

“Fine,” she shrugged. “I was just saying. Willow really likes him and it looks like now he likes her back.”

“That’s good for them, really. They will make a great couple,” I nodded. Willow was as dumb as a tree and Hudson was well… Butt Chin Boy. I looked down at my shoes sadly.

“Hey, lighten up Maia. Tonight is for partying!” Aria hooted, wrapping her arm around my shoulders.

I smiled as we advanced further down the line. Surprisingly enough we didn’t have such a trouble accessing the place and once inside Aria even got us some beers by bribing a poor guy.

“I want to make a toast for tonight! May we party like there is no tomorrow!” Aria screamed over the loud music and took a big gulp of her beer.

“Cheers!” I seconded and took a big gulp myself almost coming up empty. The beer was raspy down my throat and it took me a moment to get used to the particular taste of it. I had to admit it wasn’t my favorite drink and its smell wasn’t so great which is why this place wasn’t all that great either; it reeked of beer and sweat.

“Prefer tequila,” Aria shrugged and winked endearingly at me. “Let’s go find some guy to hit on.”

I chuckled and followed behind her pushing people with my elbows and trying my best not to get crushed just as music stopped flowing from the speakers and someone cleared their throat up on stage. I looked up and stared at the vocalist of the band Aria had talked about. He was cute, his body shape was just like Emerson’s and he had caramel hair I think but what really made him cute was how he held himself and the guitar. Man, his guitar was awesome. “I’m a sucker for musicians,” I told Aria eyes still on stage.

She looked up and purred. “He is a looker and you should totally go for him even if he is sort of built like The Freak as good as any rebound.”

I frowned. I wasn’t looking for rebound, not at all. I wasn’t cheating on Emerson even if we weren’t speaking I was still with him.

“So we’re Thunderstorm Nights and I hope you all enjoy,” he said in a low deep voice and then he started singing and tough it was good I still preferred Emerson’s voice, any day.

Seven beers and a band break later I was thinking a little different or should I say not thinking? Just choose the one you want and do whatever the fuck you want to do with it because I don’t give a shit.

“So what’s your name handsome?” I slurred clinging unto the guy from the band with the night name thing in it.

“Ash and you lovely lady?” he asked me taking a sip of his red cup.

“Maia!”

“Cute and how can I help you Maia?” he asked me endearingly.

“God your eyes are like alien eyes! I mean dude what color are they? It’s like they are not green but neither are they blue! They are like water in Cancun or something.”

He smiled at me; he had a nice smile pre-tty neat. “You want to know the color of my eyes? Aqua or so I’ve been told and have you really been to Cancun?”

“Yup,” I popped out the p. “Cancun is great and so are mojitos! Though I’ve never had one of those but they say they are great. So Aqua, huh? That’s pretty original and hot, so hot.”

Now his smile was flirtatious. “You’re very hot yourself.”

“You bet,” I winked. “So a friend of mine told me you just underwent an ugly break up?”

He sort of cringed but I didn’t care I just wanted some of his pouty lips on mine and to be whispered lyrics in the ear and to forget fucking everything, Emerson fucking Ellegood included.

“Yeah, sort of,” he rubbed his jaw uncomfortably. “Still, you could help me forget that,” this he whispered in my ear.

I giggled and slapped his chest playfully. “Now I’ve just met you Ash.”

He looked at me with those Cancun aqua eyes of him and caressed my cheek. “We could really change that Maia.”

I smiled at him. We really could, couldn’t we? I bet my Mom would freak out had she known this guy was ten times worse than Emerson because he actually had a band and aqua eyes and probably some mad tongue skills. “You think?”

“I do think,” he replied, wrapping an arm around my waist and pushing me into him.

I giggled and ran my finger up and down his chest. “So rebound, huh? Sounds good to me.”

“Feels good to me too gorgeous,” he slurred.

“God, I’m so drunk I’m actually going to kiss you right now!”

“Shh,” he said taking a long finger to my mouth. “No talk.”

I agreed with him and soon we were smooching it out and somewhere in my peripherical vision I think I saw a flash. It was sort of sloppy in all the drunkenness and very damn wet but it was all that I needed and he was really sexy with his caramel hair and musician vibe and his aqua eyes… he was the perfect rebound and apparently so was I.

“Wow that was…wet,” I slurred giggling a little bit in the process.

He laughed. “Wet n’ wild.”

I laughed hysterically. Wet n’ wild, how freaking genius was this guy? TOTAL!

“Ash,” a platinum blonde dude appeared out of nowhere and placed a hand on Ash’s shoulder. “Well hello to you,” he said directing himself to me, “I see you’ve got a companion but we are about to go on again.”

“I’ll be there Ky, now get out of my case.”

“Well lovely meeting you lady and Ash you’ll better have your sorry ass up there or I’ll call Ashton.”

I nodded at him and giggled. “Parental unit, much?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Ash nodded looking after his friend. “Well Maia adios I’ll see you later, right?”

“Sure thing and adios to you too and arriba con los mojitos!” I screamed. A mojito, I wondered what that tasted like. Mojito. Mojito. Mojito. It was a funny word. Ash had already left when I came out of my mojito wondering. I would have to ask Mr. Sanchez why were they named mojitos in Spanish next session.

“See you’ve been having fun,” Aria giggled naughtily, wrapping her arm around my waist. “So I’m going to get us some drinks, want anything?”

“A mojito please,” I told her, losing my balance as some idiotic guy pushed me.

It sent Aria into a fit of giggles. Man, we were totally wasted.

“A mojito making its way to you bombshell,” she winked and stumbled off to get us some more beers. Next time I visited Mexico I had to try a mojito for reals.

Somehow I got lost in the crowd. Aria was nowhere to be found and I was giggling hysterically at everything. I even think I told a dude I had kissed the guy up in stage but the funniest thing was I didn’t really care. I was sort of numb… or really, really drunk.

“Who needs you Emerson?!” I screamed once. “No one does!”

“Yeah, you tell him girl,” a dude with a perverted and really sketchy smile told me.

“Sure dude,” I nodded him and went to wander off somewhere else trying to remember when was the last time I saw Aria. I really couldn’t remember. I think I had been sucking someone’s face. Well, who knows?

Stumbling, I found my way back outside and into the chilly February night. Somehow this was hilarious because I ended up sitting in the sidewalk laughing my guts out, but I was really blaming it on the alcohol.

“Maia?” I heard a concerned deep voice by my left.

I looked up and smiled, stumbling my way up. “Cameron, Cam, Came, Cammy, Cameron,” I slurred.

“Maia, how nice to see you,” he smiled at me. “Are you okay?”

“The greatest I’ve ever been!” I screamed out into the night. “Whattaboutya?”

“Huh?” he asked me, cocking his head to the side. “Never mind. Can I help you in something?”

I smirked and staggered toward him. “Yeah you can, handsome.”

He laughed nervously. “Um, Maia…”

“Yeah?” I asked him giving him my best pout and running my hand along his jaw.

“I don’t think this is…”

“Shh,” I silenced him, placing my finger over his lips. “Don’t talk and just kiss me, now could you do that for me Cameron?”

I saw him swallow and smiled to myself.

“I want to kiss you, I really do Maia, don’t think I don’t want to because I do…” he choked.

“What’s stopping you?” I murmured seductively.

“Well, for one you are drunk and you also have a boyfriend that must have done something bad because you’re drinking your problems away, but he’s still there and if I kissed you it would be a bad idea, you would regret in the morning. So I’m offering you a ride instead, okay?”

“You’re a good guy Cameron, such a good guy,” I smiled slapping his cheek softly.

“Yeah I am, now c’mon let’s go,” he told me and offered his arm for steadiness. Normally Emerson would be the one to do that…

“So whatare ya doin’ here?” I asked dragging out the e.

“A friend invited me,” he shrugged. “What are you doing here? Aside from getting totally drunk.”

I giggled. “Living my life.”

He sighed and made me lean against a brown van, it looked like a Volkswagen combi but different.

“Nice ride,” I told him, knocking on the van.

“Thanks,” he smiled softly and opened the door for me, even helping me inside and walking around to get in. “So where am I taking you?”

“You can take the highway to hell for all I’m concerned!”

He sighed. “Fine, let’s drive around for a while.”

Five seconds later I hurled my guts out and then fell asleep.

*

“I know you’re awake,” a guy’s voice sounded off to my right.

I sat up in the stranger’s bed startled the fuck out and looked down. I still had all of my clothes on and the only searing pain I felt was my head so I guessed I hadn’t been drunk enough to lose my V-card last night. Slowly, some of the night’s even came crashing back to me. Aria and I at the barn loft thing and then something about partying and a hot band boy and then Cameron. Oh Cameron!

“I know that look,” he commented. “It’s the Last Night Remembrance Look, classic.”

I frowned at him. He was wearing a Green Lantern T-shirt and he was also smiling at me. How much of an idiot had I been last night? “Hey.”

“Hey yourself. So coffee and an aspirin for starters?” he suggested.

“Sound great, thanks,” I rubbed my head. Oh man, that thing hurt and I was so thirsty! Like the alcohol had drained me or something. “So how much of a fool did I make of myself?”

He chuckled. “You don’t really want to know but it was bad. I don’t know what had you’ve been up to until I found you but it looked bad. Also you own me a new carpet for my van.”

I cringed. “I hurled in your van? I’m so sorry Cameron I will make it up to you, I promise.”

He sighed. “No problem Maia, really. What are friends for but to save their friend’s drunk ass and having them hurl at their cars?”

I smiled. “Well, thanks for giving me a ride and bringing me… here.”

“Well it was here or a Dumpster, so I think this place totally rocks it out,” he told me and went out of the room.

Truth is, I had seen better. The walls were all dirty and the paint really needed …well a repainting and it sort of smelled like dirty clothes here and everything was just really messy and well… unclean. My mother would go crazy in here.

“Here,” he told me making space in the bedside table shoving a lot of magazines around and placing the coffee there and handing me the aspirin.

I swallowed and stretched for the coffee. “So what did I do after I hurled?”

“You fell asleep, like a baby,” he shrugged. “I had to carry you in here not before getting a lot of whistles from my dorky roommates who had been playing on their X-Box.”

“Again, sorry,” I apologized. “I’ll drink this up and head home and stop molesting you and causing you trouble.”

“Sure after you tell me why did you go out and get drunk off your face,” he told me comfortably stretching in bed beside me.

“Um, I rather not talk about it,” I mumbled.

I could feel him analizing me as I took sip after sip of coffee until finally he shrugged and said, “Fine, so can I take you home?”

I bit my lip. “Let me make a call first. Where is my purse?” I told him looking around frantically for it.

“Uh,” he scratched his head, “it’s over by my front door. I’ll go get it.”

“Thanks Cameron, you really are a friend,” I told him truthfully.

“You have no idea,” he mumbled and went off to bring me my purse.

When he got back I instantly went for my phone. I had two missed calls, one from Beth and the other from Aria. I dialed Beth first and waited.

“Maia where are you?” she demanded. “You and Emerson didn’t go out and had a wild night, did you? Because I told him not to do that ever again!”

“No, Beth we didn’t. Matter-of-fact we aren’t even speaking right now so no I did not have a wild night out with Emerson,” I snapped and heard as she mumbled ‘grouchy’. “I’m at a friend’s. Are Mom and Dad home?”

“No, they are not. Had some club meeting biz and left knowing you were probably at piano lesson since you’ve been such good girl lately and Aria would be under no means a bad influence,” she recited.

“Okay, great. I’ll be there in,” I paused, not really knowing where the heck I was, “well I’ll be there soon.”

“Sure thing sis. I’ll be out shopping,” she told me as a goodbye and then disconnected.

“So home, right?” Cameron asked toying with a Rubik cube.

“If you would be so kind to do my that favor.”

“Sure thing, let’s get going.”

*

“Whoa! You are loaded,” was the first thing Cameron said when my house came into view.

I grimaced. “Yeah, sort of.”

His eyes were all wide. “Really, really loaded.”

“Um, yeah, well Cameron thanks for the ride and I’m sorry about your van,” I told him scrunching up my nose. All the way here I had tried to block out the vomit inducing vomit scent courtesy of me but it was really hard even with the carpet gone and the windows down letting all the chilli air in.

“It’s okay, nothing says cool like a vomit scented van,” he assured, his easy-going expression back into place. “Well I hope you have a fine day and you and that Emerson dude can put things back into place.”

I smiled. “Thanks and you’re awesome.”

He nodded as a goodbye and I left his van quickly offering him a smile as he sped off.

That Emerson dude can put things back into place. I hoped so to…

*

“Score for Maia,” Aria told me Monday morning with a big wide smile.

I frowned. “What are you talking about?”

She made a face like I had to remember something and I didn’t. “I’m talking you and that cute vocalist of the band at the party. You two totally made out and enjoyed it too. Does that mean you and The Freak are off?”

I almost choked on my own saliva. “I made out with a total stranger?! Really?!”

She laughed. “I can’t believe you don’t remember! Were you that drunk? And where the hell did you after the party?”

“I was that drunk! A friend gave me a ride home.”

“Ah, a friend so was that friend the vocalist?” she winked.

“NO! He was just that a friend, a really nice friend that wouldn’t let me make out with a total stranger!” I hissed.

She chuckled like this was in some way remotely amusing. “Chill Maia I was pretty drunk too.”

I stared at her. I had kissed a stranger. One whose name I couldn’t even remember. I had cheated. I was a cheating bitch. I had been drunk, yes, but I still cheated. Oh God, oh God, oh no. No. No. No. No…

“Why do you have that look?” she asked, waving a hand in my face.

“I have something to do,” I told her quickly, snapped my locker shut and ran as fast as I could to the second floor one place clear in my mind: Emerson’s locker.

When I got there I was out of breath and Emerson was nowhere to be found but he had to be found. I had to tell him…

“Looking for me?” a hard angry voice that sounded like Emerson’s asked behind my back.

I turned slowly back and flinched as I saw the look of pure hurt in his eyes and an envelope on his hand. “Yes, I was.”

“Something you want to tell me?” he asked through grinded teeth, his fists clenched by his side.

“Yeah,” I mumbled, looking down to my shoes. “I went to this party.”

“What else?” he asked waiting patiently to drive me somewhere.

“I was really drunk…” I muttered.

“And what else Maia? Please just tell me,” he hissed.

“You already know, why do you want to hear it from me?” I choked looking up at him and regretting it. His blue eyes showed so much pain.

“Because I want to believe it isn’t truth. I want to believe you’re better than that,” he replied honestly. “I want to believe you at least have the guts to tell it to my face.”

I felt hot tears prickle at the corner of my eyes. “I…” in the end I couldn’t say it. I could admit it to him and he did deserve so much better.

“That’s what I thought so,” he said, his voice cold as ice. “You are no different from any of them Maia, you claim you are and that you want to be, but in the end you’re no better than any of them. Not in one sense.”

“You can’t say that,” I sobbed. “You know me Emerson.”

“I thought I did, but maybe you were right and I don’t. You are right Maia, I don’t know you, I thought I did but I don’t. You are just like them.”

Hearing this from him broke my heart because I knew that deep down I wasn’t and he had always believed it and somehow it made me believe it too. So now what mattered didn’t even matter because in Emerson’s eyes I was just one fake replica of everyone else.

“I can’t believe you Maia. I can’t believe you gave up without putting up a real fight. I can’t believe you Maia, I can’t,” he spoke clearly and sadly and I heard the thud of an envelope, sure enough there it was by my feet. The thing that had so badly convinced Emerson that I was no different.

They say curiosity killed the cat and so I opened the enveloped and peeked inside. Photos of the party, photos of me flirting with that guy, photos of me screaming and drinking and giggling and finally the most devastating of them all my lips attached to the guy with caramel brown hair.

This shattered everything that mattered and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it…
I had lost Emerson, the one person that would have stood for me, the real me, and I had thrown it away. I really wasn’t any better than Aria or Mom or anyone here. I was just like them.


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