Crackhead in Confusion

Chapter Nine: whatever's gonna make you want me

A/N: Suzanne is an original character. So, I'm thinking that this will be the last "Michael's-POV-throughout-the-PD-books" story I'm going to be writing. Unless, you know, I feel like the material isn't too stale to do the fourth and fifth book. So, happy reading…and please review!

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Friday, October 31, 2:50 p.m.

When I woke up this morning, I felt a strange sense of awareness. Fat raindrops hit my window as I lay in bed at six a.m., thinking about Rocky Horror tonight. That's pretty much all I've been thinking about lately, along with Mia. Things got weirder throughout the day. Then, lunch came and I guess all I have to say is Boris is as weak as he looks. I mean, he's okay, I guess…He's nice and all. But he'd probably get hurt lifting up a kitten or something. Well, you know, if the kitten wasn't afraid of the whole tucking-the-sweater-in-the-pants thing.

I was sitting at the Computer Club table, as usual, and Judith and Kenny were heatedly discussing yesterday's meeting as well as Rocky Horror. Rocky Horror is excellent and all but you can only talk about it for so long. I'm serious. They cannot stop talking about tonight. "Oh, we should totally to do the Robot during 'Dammit Janet'!" Judith squealed excitedly, shoving Caesar salad into her mouth.

I was busy typing away on my laptop when I heard a collective gasp throughout the cafeteria. Curious as to what was so amazing, I looked up and saw some guy dressed all in black with oddly perfect, groomed hair. Well, it seemed perfect compared to mine. Most days, I just get up, brush my teeth, put on the AEHS uniform, and grab some breakfast. Barely any maintenance at all.

He stood, looking at Mia, and finally began talking. I couldn't hear him too well and I was really curious as to who he was. For a fraction of a second, I felt alarmed. I mean, What if that guy was Mia's boyfriend? But, as I looked closer, I noticed his similarity to…Hank? It turns out that the guy was Hank. He had lost the overalls and Southern drawl.

Hank started talking quickly (well, by the way his lips were moving so rapidly, I assumed he was speaking quickly) and then he did something that I don't think any of us in the cafeteria—not even Lilly—thought would happen. Hank sort of grabbed my sister and pulled her up to a standing position. Then, he just started making out with her. Seriously. Hank just grabbed my sister and they started sucking face.

I really didn't need to see that. Neither, I noticed, did Boris because the next thing I knew, Boris stood up and said in a pretty menacing voice, "Not so fast, hot shot," as Hank started walking away. Hank just kept on walking, either ignoring the virtuoso or just not having heard him. Either way, Boris reached out, grabbed Hank's arm as he was walking, and said in the same scary voice, "That's my girl you had your lips all over, pretty boy."

Hank looked confused (which, really, made him look like he was posing for an underwear commercial or something…Oh, God, I did not just think that) and was all, "Huh?" Then, Boris's fist went straight into Hank's face. There was a loud, crunching sound. I think the cheerleaders were more worried about Hank's face than anything else. Well, luckily for them, it turned out that Boris's hand caused the crunch. He's getting his knuckled splinted.

Then, after not speaking to Mia all day, I had a sort-of conversation with both her and Lilly during Gifted and Talented. I finally found out why Hank was looking so different (turns out that he kissed her because she helped him get signed to some big modeling agency or something). I found this extremely contradicting, seeing as how Lilly's last episode of her show had a segment called, "Yes, You as an Individual Can Bring Down to Sexist, Racist, Ageist, and Sizest Modeling Industry."

Okay, so it wasn't so much as a conversation with me as me interrupting in the middle of their talking.

I've recorded the conversation to the best of my knowledge. I'll skip to the part where I interrupted.

Mia: Well, why did it have to be such a big secret?

Lilly: Do you have any idea how fragile the male ego is?

Me: Hey!

Lilly: I'm sorry, but it's true. Hank's self-esteem had already been reduced to nothing thanks to Amber, Corn Queen of Versailles County. I couldn't allow any negative comments to ruin what little self-confidence he had left. You know how fatalistic boys can be.

Me: Hey!

That was all I really contributed to the conversation then.

Lilly: It was vital that Hank be allowed to pursue his dream without the slightest fatalistic influence. Otherwise, I knew, he didn't stand a chance. And so I kept our plan a secret even from those I most care about. Any one of you, without consciously meaning to, might have torpedoed Hank's chances with the most casual of comments.

Mia: Come on. We'd have been supportive.

Lilly: Mia, think about it. If Hank had said to you, 'Mia, I want to be a model,' what would you have done? Come on. You would have laughed.

Mia: No, I wouldn't have.

I wanted to say, "Yes, you would have," but I figured that it probably wasn't the best way to get into good graces with Mia. But Lilly ended up saying it for me anyway.

Lilly: Yes, you would have. Because to you, Hank is your whiny, allergy-prone cousin from the boondocks who doesn't even know what a bagel is. But I, you see, was able to look beyond that, to the man Hank had the potential to become…

Well, at least she wasn't having sex with him.

Me: Yeah, a man who is destined to have his own pin-up calendar.

Lilly: You, Michael, are just jealous.

Ha ha ha.

Me: Oh, yeah, I've always wanted a big picture of myself in my underwear hanging up in Times Square.

I accompanied this with a roll of my eyes and a small snort.

Me: You know, Lil, I highly doubt Mom and Dad are going to be so impressed by your tremendous act of charity that they're going to overlook the fact that you skipped school to do it. Especially when they find out you've got detention next week because of it.

Lilly: (looking highly disdainful) The most eleemosynary are often martyred.

The hours are slowly going by until Rocky Horror but that seems to be the least on my mind. The film starts at midnight and I still don't even know if Mia is coming. It seems surreal that her mom and Mr. G are actually getting married. The freshman algebra teacher of AEHS and an eclectic artist uniting. Yeah, so I'm still weirded out.

Friday, October 31, 5 p.m.

The following four-way call ended five minutes ago:

Me: Hello?

Judith, Suzanne, and Kenny: Hi!

Me: Uh…who is this?

Judith: This is Judith. And Suzanne. And, uh, Kenny.

Me: Oh. Hey. What's up?

Judith, Suzanne, and Kenny: (in unison) Nothing much, you?

Me: Same here. Just researching online.

Suzanne: Michael, I am not responsible for anything that may come out of the other two's mouths.

Me: Um. Okay.

Judith: I am so excited for tonight! Or, rather, tomorrow morning!

Kenny: Yeah! Rocky Horror is going to rock!

I heard Suzanne mumble something inaudibly.

Me: Care to comment, Suzanne?

I figured that she was just like me: Cornered into this call with no way out without being rude.

Suzanne: Is Paul coming?

Judith: Yeah! He's bringing this girl named Jane from Chemistry class.

Suzanne: Oh, really?

Judith: Yeah, she's nice and all but kind of ditzy.

Me: (changing the subject for the better) So, what about that Mrs. Weinstein?

Suzanne: I think that there's a law or something that says that AEHS cannot have a normal English teacher. I mean, she brings some magazine like Cosmo or Vogue to school everyday. Like we don't notice.

Judith: Yeah, but she's really intelligent. She knew everything about Issac Asimov when I asked her about him.

Kenny: Whoa, there's going to be this big anime convention on the 21st of next month!

Suzanne, Judith, and Me: What?

(Background: "Judith! Come out here! There's a documentary about genetics on the Discovery Channel!)

Judith: Oh, hey, I'm going to go. See you all later?

Me: Yeah. I should get going too. Later.

Suzanne: Eh, I don't have to go but I might as well. Bye.

Kenny: They're showing a rerun of my favorite Josie and the Pussycats episode on Cartoon Network! Bye!

(Click)

(Click)

Suzanne: Michael? Are you still there?

Me: Yeah.

Suzanne: Paul has a new girlfriend already? How come no one told me?

Me: Uh, you guys aren't together anymore. Suze, I thought it was a mutual decision…I mean, it's not like you like him anymore, right?

Suzanne: Yeah. Right. Well, bye.

Me: Bye.

(Click)

Me: Suzanne?

(Click)

How is it that I'm always the last one on the phone, whether the call is with three people or just one person? And I never really have to go. That's how completely pathetic my social life has turned out to be at age sixteen. As a senior in high school, shouldn't I be out every Friday and Saturday night at keggers, getting drunk off my ass and hooking up with random girls?

But, if I did that, I wouldn't be me, would I?

Saturday, November 1

Just when you think your life can't get any worse, a night at Rocky Horror changes everything.

Suzanne, Lilly, Boris, and I got dinner at Number One Noodle Son at eight. We were decked out in our costumes of course. I had dressed up like the rest of the guys in the Computer Club had planned to dress up like: soldiers from World War II covered in fake blood and all. Lilly was dressed as a Freudian slip (or, rather, she was dressed in a black slip and a fake beard hung from her face. I made sure to take many pictures for future blackmail. Suzanne was dressed as Marilyn Monroe, occasionally throwing up her flowy white dress. Okay, not in the way you would imagine. Boris was dressed as an extremely unthreatening Al Capone (the violin case and the fact that Boris is…Boris really took away from the whole Mafioso thing).

Suzanne and I were deep in conversation about the trip to Europe she was taking starting December 1st and how she wouldn't be coming back until after winter break when in walked Paul and Jane, of all people. I saw them first and quickly looked away, hoping Suzanne wouldn't notice me…noticing them. I had almost succeeded when Paul called out our names.

"Hey, Michael! Suzanne!" Paul yelled from the entrance, waving his hands furiously. Suzanne, I noticed, turned oddly pale and looked down at her fried rice. Why didn't I figure it out before? I must be pretty fucking dense, seeing as I didn't look past the "Oh, we're better as friends…The breakup was completely mutual" thing.

But Paul is a good guy. I couldn't throw a drink in his face or something for breaking Suzanne's heart. And now this whole situation, as I write about it, is looking like something straight out of a Lifetime movie.

"Hey, Paul," I said as Paul and Jane approached our table. Lilly and Boris were too busy to notice, seeing as they were talking about the issues discussed on the latest Lilly Tells it Like it Is.

"Hey, Suzanne," Paul said, smiling brightly at Suze, who by this point was looking oddly fascinated by her chopsticks. I waved my hand in front of her face and that seemed to make her snap out of whatever she was thinking about.

"Hi, Paul," Suze said in an eerily casual voice. "What's up?" He smiled, well, brilliantly and said, "Nothing much. Jane's really excited about going to Rocky Horror, seeing how she's never gone before. This followed with ten minutes of complete awkwardness. Then, Paul and Jane finally left and things got a bit more normal.

"So, that must've been awkward," I said, stating the obvious.

"She doesn't seem his type, does she?" Suze said in a rather bright voice. All she would talk about for the next fifteen minutes was Paul…and Jane. Suze knew Jane from her chemistry and drama classes. Jane had apparently gotten one of the lead roles in the spring play, West Side Story. But, I reminded her, she (Suze) got the part of Maria. Some junior had gotten the role of Tony. Suze had made me promise that I wouldn't laugh at her throughout the whole play.

We all left about thirty minutes later and headed back to our apartment (well, the Moscovitz apartment, anyway). We watched part of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the original) and then at 10:45, we all left for the Village Cinema. I guess I didn't expect that there would be such a long line but we had come early so the line soon grew longer and worse. I had already bought tickets beforehand so all we had to do was wait in line to get in.

The traffic was absolutely heinous. The parade didn't exactly help matters either. The rest of the Computer Club, all of which, except Judith, was also dressed in WWII dead soldier garb, soon joined us. Paul and Shaun had the Looking for Private Ryan sign that we had made at our meeting on Tuesday.

It was so annoyingly loud at the Village Cinema last night. Everyone was anxious to finally get inside and do the Pelvis Thrust or whip out their…umbrellas. I looked over at Suzanne and I was surprised to see her and Paul talking, while Jane looked highly disgruntled in the background. And I swear that Paul and Suze were beaming at each other. I have a feeling that Jane won't be in the picture much longer.

So, I spent most of the time waiting for Mia to show up. I mean, she didn't exactly say that she was going to but she didn't say she wasn't going to either. It took me a few minutes to recognize that long, black limo amidst the horrendous traffic as hers. But when I saw a tall, beautiful girl dressed in a magnificent light pink dress get out of the limo, followed by a tall, burly bodyguard in black, I knew it was her…Mia. She looked amazing. It took me only about a minute to realize that she was dressed as Glinda the Good Witch, of Wizard of Oz fame.

"Oh, my god! You came! You came!" Lilly exclaimed gleefully. I got over the shock of seeing Mia pretty quickly.

"Quick," I said, to Mia and Lars. "Get in line. I got two extra tickets just in case you ended up making it after all." How I must've sounded was in no comparison to how I felt. There was a slew of grumbles as Mia and Lars joined us in the line but Lars showed them all his Glock so they shut up almost immediately.

"Where's Hank?" Lilly asked curiously. I noticed that Boris scowled when she asked that.

"He couldn't make it," Mia said mellifluously.

"He cannot come. Good," Boris said in a firm, even voice.

Lilly proceeded to give Boris a warning look and then pointed at Mia. "What are you supposed to be?"

"Duh," Mia said. "I'm Glinda the Good Witch."

"I knew that," I said. "You look really…You look really…" God, I'm pathetic. I couldn't even get over my nerves enough to tell her how good she looked. Not that she never looks good. But tonight…I mean…Wow.

"You are way too glam for Halloween," Lilly said defiantly.

"Um. What, exactly, are you?" Well, if you were to spot Lilly on the street by random and weren't informed that she was dressed as a Freudian slip, you might mistake her as a cross-dresser with overly feminine, slightly bulldog-like features. Well, that's what I thought, anyway.

"Hello," Lilly said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. "I'm a Freudian slip."

"And I am Al Capone," Boris said in a voice that he probably thought sounded tough. "Chicago gangster."

"Good for you, Boris," Mia said, looking like she was about ready to laugh.

Suddenly, Kenny appeared behind Mia and sort of tugged on her.

"You made it!" he cried. That's when I should've known things were suspicious.

"I did," Mia said, positively glowing. The line finally started moving and the Computer Club (minus Suzanne and Judith, who wanted no part in the bloody platoon thing) started marching, going, "Hut, two, three four. Hut, two, three, four." It wasn't my idea, thank you very much.

When we finally got into the theater, I tried not to show my downright happiness when Mia managed to sit next to me. But, on her other side was not Lars but Kenny. I found that odd, because Lars always has to be extra close to Mia. Ah, not in the way. I mean, he needs to protect her from danger and stuff. Instead, Lars just sat behind Mia while Kenny tried to chat her up about Biology or something.

Rocky Horror was as amazing as ever. Everyone was acting completely psychotic, but in a predominantly good way. People threw food (usually bread or carrots) at the screen, put up their umbrellas when it rained in the movie (Suzanne nearly poked Judith's eye out), and danced the Robot or did the Pelvic Thrust. Great, great times.

Whenever I laughed, I looked over at Mia to see if she was laughing too. And she was, which I found excellent. It meant that we both could laugh at the same kind of things. I couldn't help but notice that Kenny was doing the same thing as I was. Checking to see if she was laughing when he was, I mean. But I still didn't seem to get it, though I was rather suspicious by then.

After the movie ended (to my utmost disappointment), we all went to Round the Clock for some breakfast. It may have been 2 a.m. by that point but I don't think any of us were really all that tired anyway. Mia sat in between Kenny and me once again. Lars, I noticed, kept downing cup after cup of black coffee. Everyone was talking really loudly and simultaneously, so it was hard to get a word in. Suzanne and Paul, by this point, were making out and Jane was gone. Well, actually, she had left by the middle of the movie after she saw Paul nuzzling Suzanne's neck.

Okay, so I won't get into the details there. But I'm happy for them.

I could hear Kenny's voice but he wasn't exactly audible above all of the noise. He was talking to Mia though. I concentrated on cutting my pancakes when I felt something sort of jostle me. I looked over…and Kenny's arm was around Mia's shoulder.

And that's when I knew that I should have figured it out before. I had reason to be suspicious.

Yeah, Kenny and Mia? They're a couple.

So, I looked at them then looked at Lars quickly after that, but he didn't notice, as he was pouring sugar into what must have been his fifth cup of coffee. So, I stood up and said, "Well, I'm beat. What do you say we call it a night?" Everyone looked at me like I was truly demented. Not demented so much as having my heart broken on Halloween.

"What's with you, Michael? Gotta catch up on your beauty sleep?" Lilly said cattily. I ignored her and took out my wallet, counting out how much it would all cost.

"I'm tired, too," Mia said, standing up next to me. "Lars, could you call the car?" It seemed that there was nothing more that he would rather do.

"It's a shame you have to go," Kenny said, sounding disappointed. "Mia, can I call you?" Kenny totally paid for Mia's pancakes and Lars's cups of coffee. Then, Lars tried to give me a twenty and said, "For the movie tickets." Only though I was definitely not going to take it. I mean, Kenny paid for Mia's food. I could at least fork out enough money to cover the movie tickets.

"Oh, no. My treat," I said, well aware of how red my face was turning.

The limo soon came and we all waited to get in. I ended up standing next to Mia and I finally felt I had the courage to say what I couldn't say when I first saw her.

"What I meant to say before, Mia, was that you look…you look really…" She blinked up at me with her amazing gray eyes and I suddenly felt like I couldn't breathe.

"You look really nice in that dress," I said, quickly but clearly. She smiled so brightly at me that I felt my heart beating faster and faster. Kenny ruined the mood by calling out from the limo, "Are you guys coming, or what?" But, I think, it doesn't really matter.

Because I was able to bask in those few moments of knowing that Mia was smiling at me and only me.

Pathetic? Yes, probably.

But I meant every word.

And she knew it.

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A/N: Well, this story is now complete. Please review!