A/N: If you didn't see this at the end of the other chapter then
this purple-Marissa's POV
this purple-Amanda's POV
Oh and don't freak out about the shoe picture :). I'll explain that in a later chapter.
I walked out of the van with a slight push from Adrienne.
"I missed my appointment but this is sooo much better. Someone remind me to reschedule it on Tuesday," she squealed.
I ignored her, intent on seeing my little sister. The heat had finally lowered down since the sun set. I felt chilly in my summer outfit, and I yearned for a jacket.
"You cold?" Ian asked me.
I nodded. "Isn't it obvious?"
He took a jacket from his backpack and draped it over my shoulders. It was normal for boyfriends to do this type of stuff, and anyway I liked Ian. It's just I didn't love him the way he loved me. It was complicated.
"Thanks," I sighed.
"Okay what's wrong this time?"
"Nothing," I frowned.
"Well okay then. You guys go ahead and say hi to them. I'm going to tell the other driver to drop the team home."
Adrienne nodded and snatched my arm. "No prob. See ya there."
She dragged me along as we met up with the others. They weren't in the front.
"Where'd they go?" Adrienne asked, clearly exasperated.
"They probably went inside. It's cold out here."
She grabbed my hand again and tugged on it until we were through the door. Sure enough, they were waiting. Before I could even take a breath Marissa threw her arms around my neck. I hugged her back and looked over her shoulder. Michael was too busy with his own embrace to notice.
"Do you want him to know this time?"
"No," I whispered. He probably wouldn't recognize me anyway. All my baby fat from when I was younger had vanished and my hair was wavier and a deeper shade of auburn now. Plus I was much taller, though he had still managed to surpass me in heighth. I was still pale, though. It seemed as if no matter how much time I spent in the sun my skin cells refused to absorb any heat. I wasn't tan, like most other girls at my school. "Let him find out himself. But for now my name's Jane and I've never seen cleats in my life."
She grinned at me. "There's someone who wants to meet you."
Someone stood up behind her and extended his hand. We shook.
"I'm Dylan," he began. "Mike and Marissa's cousin."
I was shocked at how much he looked like Mike. He had the same curly brown hair as he did - however as I looked past his shoulder I realized that was all straightened. They also shared the same shimmering eyes and freckled nose. The only difference was in height.
"How tall is Mike?" I asked before I could stop myself.
"Only? I thought he was taller." I peered at him again. "Sorry, I'm being rude. I'm Jane."
"I thought your name was Amanda." I could tell I confused him.
"It is. My first name. But everybody's called me Jane since I was fifteen."
"Oh." He smiled. "Then, hi Jane."
"Actually, no I want you to call me Amanda. But not around Mike. Oh and it's becau-"
"I already told him the story," Marissa interupted.
"Okay? You're so complicated. Can't I just call you Dimples? Yeah I will. Hi, Dimples." I couldn't help but smile at Dylan's remark.
I grinned. "So why are you all down here in Long Beach anyway?"
"Mike and Dylan's band's gonna perform here in two weeks, and they came early to make sure reservations and the gig is all ready and set up," Marissa answered. "I'm here by force."
"Oooh where are they playing?" I asked.
"A club called Jimz Jub."
I smirked and almost laughed. "You're kidding?"
"No, I'm not. I hear it's cool, though. I think it's close from here."
"Maybe we should check it out after eating."
"Sounds good to me. How about you, Dyl?"
He nodded and said he'd been wanting to check it out for months. "Hey, guys."
I looked past his shoulder again and hadn't noticed that Adrienne and Mike had been kissing. It somehow pained me to see it, but I forced a smile instead of showing my true emotions.
"Yeah?" Mike asked.
"Do you wanna check out Jimz' later? I think it'd be fun."
Adrienne brightened up. "I'd love to! Mike would too."
But from his eyes I could tell Mike really didn't want to. I didn't say anything, though.
"Oh, I'm sorry. You guys haven't met yet." Adrienne grabbed my arm again and pushed me towards him, until our bodies only three feet apart. "Mike this is-"
"I thought your name wa-"
"I prefer Jane. Or Dimples." I smiled at Dylan.
"Oh. Hey, I'm Michael. But you could call me Mike," he introduce himself. Instead of shaking hands he asked me a question. "Have we met before?"
I swallowed. "No. Maybe I passed by you one day, but I've never known a Mike before."
"Oh. Sorry for asking. It's just I used to know this girl named Am-"
"Ready for dinner?"
Talk about a moment ruiner.
Marissa and Dylan glared at Ian who had just walked in.
"What? Did I forget to zip again?" he asked quickly.
I took a seat across from Ian and beside Marissa. Boys were on the left side and girls on the
right, across from either our boyfriends or favorite cousin. Once our orders were ordered everyone began chatting up.
"Nice jacket, Dimples," Dyl smirked.
I blushed. "It's Ian's."
"She was cold."
I had forgotten I was still wearing Ian's leather jacket.
And it's alright
Baby listen to th-
"Hello?" I said into the reciever.
"Hey, Amanda," Mom said through the other end. "Where are you? When Luke arrived home without you I got worried."
"Don't worry, Mom, I'm with Ian."
"Alone with Ian?"
"No, we're with some other friends."
"Okay, so where are you?"
"At a restaurant. We're eating dinner. I won't be back until midnight probably."
"Oh. Well I actually called to ask if you could just sleepover at a friends' house. Lucas is going to his friends' house tonight and so is Amy, so you might want to find someone, too. Your dad and I have some business to do."
"Ohh . . . business, huh?"
"Yes. Do you think you can find someone?"
"Sure thing, Mom."
"Good. I love you, Honey."
"Love you too, Mom."
I shut my phone and turned to Marissa. "My parents are forcing me to sleepover tonight."
"Because my mom wants at least one more child while she's still "young" so she and my step-dad have been-"
"Yeah, yeah I get the picture. You wanna sleepover with us at the hotel?"
"Would Mike agree with that?"
"Probably. Let's ask him later."
"Oh what about clothes?"
"You can borrow some of mine."
"No offence, Marissa, but you're sort of a munchkin."
She scowled. "Borrow some of Dylan's or Mike's clothes then."
The waitress returned and set our orders in front of us, but I wasn't so hungry anymore.
After dinner we headed to the club, only a short walk away.
"Are they going to let me in?" Marissa asked.
"It isn't a bar, Rissa," Adrienne explained to her as if she were dumb.
Marissa rolled her eyes and pushed the door open. Loud music filled the air and strobe lights flashed all over the place. Other than that it was dark inside, and dancing bodies moved from corner to corner, or so it seemed in the lights.
"I think I'm gonna get a head ache," Marissa complained.
"Oh, stop being a whiney baby and suck it up," Adrienne said to her, pushing her in and following right behind.
Ian and Dylan entered next, leaving me and Mike outside.
"You don't really wanna go inside, do you?" he asked.
"I was just about to ask the same thing."
"Yeah, I really need to get some sleep."
"Mhm. I forgot how chilly Long Beach could get at night. I'm used to it but in California I thought there's supposed to be sun all the time."
"Along the coast it could get really chilly."
My heart skipped a beat whenever he finished a sentence. His voice had gone so much deeper, and I wasn't used to it. Two years of no contact caught me off guard. Marissa could have at least posted some pictures of him on her FaceBook just to warm me or something. All her photos were just of her in track or her puppy. Nothing of her brother. I guessed they weren't as close as before. What had Adrienne done to my Mikey. And the hair? What had he done to the curls?
They'd only been together for two years. Could two years really be that long?
I suddenly had a head ache from the vibrations coming from the club. "I don't feel so good anymore," I choked.
"Me neither. You wanna just sit or something?" he offered. My heart fluttered, in a way I had never felt before. I thought back to a time from when we were younger and talked about love for the first time.
"Mike . . . "
"Do you think we'll ever find love?"
He looked up from his homework and cocked his eyebrow. "Since when did you care?"
"I was just wondering. What if we die of old age, alone with no one to care for us?"
"What do you mean? We'll always have each other."
"I know that . . . What do you think being in love feels like."
"What do your big sisters say?"
"That your heart flutters when you meet the one you love."
"There you have it then."
"No," I said quietly, shaking my head.
"You want to go inside then?"
I looked up. "No-no, I meant yes. I was just thinking of something."
"Oh. That happens to me all the time."
We sat down on benches that leaned on the cold walls of the club, feeling the vibrations from inside. I groaned.
"I hate it too," he laughed.
I sat back and sighed. My heart fluttered again. "So how are you and Adrienne?" I asked, finding the only thing to say.
"She's bossy, mean, selfish, bitchy, inconsiderate, flashy, picky . . . "
I raised my eyebrows at him as he listed all the other qualities she had.
" . . . and shall I even go on?"
"No, no that's enough. If she's all that then why are you two still together?"
"Because . . . I guess I love her."
"Love is a strong word, Mike," I managed to choke out.
"It is. I'm just playing with it for now, not settling down until I realize that I hate her. But we can't be seperated."
"When's your anniversary?"
"A few months from now. It isn't something I try to think about."
"If you love her then-"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah I know. I've heard it before. From Dylan, Marissa, my parents, the band, all my friends, my cousins, and everyone else I know. But I don't listen to them."
"Is that the right decision?"
"I think you're running away from something, Mikey."
He stopped walking and looked at me. "What?"
"I think you're running . . . from the fact that you made a wrong decision. But sometimes . . . A Wrong Decision Can Be a Good One." Tears were well down my face now.
"Hey, hey, what's wrong?"he asked me.
"I think you're just running from the fact that you love her, and that you think loving her was one of the worst decisions of your life. That's why you don't write me . . . I mean her back. It's because you think she will never love you back, and that her dicisions are always right. And that to love you is a wrong one. Decisions, decisions. That's what your whole life is about, Mike. Decisions."
"What do you mean by that?"
I looked down and frowned, wanting to bad to soc him in the face. "Nevermind." The flutters came back, making me almost want to laugh.
"I mean I haven't known her since childhood but I know her pretty well."
"Childhood. One of the worst stages of my life." I shook my head and fought tears.
"It couldn't have been that bad."
I turned to him. "My dad died, my hamster passed, my dog ran away, I was forced to play with Barbies, all my friends were dudes, my mom remarried, and my best friend moved away."
"Okay, that's bad."
"You would think."
"Hey my childhood wasn't so bright either."
"I doubt it."
"It wasn't as bad as yours but I've had a pretty suckish life so far."
"My old best friend probably hates me."
"I doubt that." I really did.
"I moved away from her and didn't tell her I was leaving, even if I promised my little sister I would. And she wrote, but I didn't write back. And the next time I was back in town I didn't even think to visit her. We saw each other, anyway. But I was stupid enough not to recognize her and she gave this locket back.
He reached under his shirt and brought out a gold locket that hung from his neck. "I gave to to her as a present, a long time ago. She gave it back two years ago."
I held the locket and eyed it carefully. I opened it and stared at the picture inside of it. It was still there.
"That's a nice picture," I murmered.
"It is? We took it ages ago."
"You look better with your hair curly."
"Oh that." He held a lock of his hair in his hand and stared at it. "That's just because of four years of being made fun of for it. No big deal."
He shrugged it off, and I clenched my fist.
"So how about you, Miss Nosy? How are you and your boyfriend?" he asked.
"I don't love him the way I love this other guy."
"Then why are you guys together?"
"He asked me out, and I guessed why not."
"Do you guys share anything in common?"
"I cheerlead, he plays football. And basketball. And soccer. And he wrestles."
"So you're a cheerleader, like Adrienne."
"I didn't say I like it, though. I just joined because everybody convinced me to. If not I would've been playing soccer."
"You play soccer?"
"I used to. I quit for cheerleading. It ruined my life." I said it so drmatically he chuckled.
"I play soccer. And I swim. And run track. And play basketball. And I skateboard. And I ride the bike if that counts."
I laughed. "I run, secretly. I sing a little. I play guitar. And violin. And a little of the keyboard. Oh and I'm a computer geek. But no one knows that."
"So you have a secret side?"
"Yeah. Only my brother knows about it."
"Oh you have a brother?"
"Is it that guy you were with when you came here?"
"Yeah. His name's Lucas. He's older than me, and he drives me everywhere."
"Same thing Rissa does to take advantage of me."
I wondered if this was a good time to finally tell him. He was at least a little innocent, and he deserved to know. My only concern was his reaction.
"Mike," I began. "I have to tell you something."
"Well . . . you know how-"
The door suddenly flew open and Adrienne pushed herself out.
"I'M NEVER TALKING TO MY COUSIN AGAIN!" she screeched before strutting off towards the car. Ian came out a few seconds later, out of breath.
"I'll explain later. I'm taking Adrienne to the hotel. I'll send the driver back later." With that, he left.
"So you wanna dance or not?" Mike asked me.
I nodded and held myself in a position. "One more thing about me. I dance. As a pro."
"Oh," he smirked. "So do I."
From the corner of my eye I saw Marissa mouth, 'You're on a roll. Keep going.'
I ignored her and began the dance . . .
. . . It all finished quickly. Marissa went off towards the bathroom and Mike and I slipped
outside again. We were waiting for Ian's driver to return for us.
"Told you," I laughed.
"Okay, I tripped. But it was an accident."
"Uh huh." I flipped my hair over to hit him in the face. "Liar."
He laughed and pulled at my hair before it could reach my other shoulder. I yelped, though he only held it lightly. "Stop," I demanded, turning towards him.
I hadn't realized our bodies were so close. They were only an penny's width away, my height only barely reaching his lips. It was a silly sight, me the munchkin and him the giant that towered over me. Our eyes locked on with each other.
"S-sorry," I apologized as I stepped away, our eyes still holding onto each other's. He still clutched my hair. "Can you let go, please?"
He hesitated, but let go anyway.
"Amanda?" I suddenly heard behind us. I ripped my eyes away from him and darted them around the parking lot, until it landed on a group of girls, looking mysterious and out of place in the dim lighting from the moon and electric lights. As they neared the brighter lights I identified them. "Are you cheating on your boyfriend?"
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