so don't you ever for a second get to thinkin'
It was raining again, like most days during the raining season in Albuquerque, and Gabriella couldn't help thinking how ordinary today felt.
Yet, it was anything but ordinary.
Because today, Troy Bolton was leaving the apartment they had shared over the past year for good. She- mild, timid and shy Gabriella Montez was finally kicking him out.
"To the left." She quietly said, watching as he grabbed his stuff from inside their closet. Various clothing articles were pulled out of the closet and thrown carelessly onto the bed, but Troy straightened when he heard her voice break through the uncomfortable silence that hung around them like a mist. "What?" He asked, staring straight at her with those piercing blue eyes of his. She knew, though, at the back of her head that he'd heard her clearly, but was merely asking her to repeat it so that he could hear her voice again. She felt a tug at her heart, but simply dismissed it with a shake of her head.
"I said, to the left." She cleared her throat and motioned to the cardboard containment located next to the door, saying, "There's a box over there for you to dump all your stuff. Don't throw it on my bed."
Troy didn't say anything and simply went back to taking out his stuff. A flattened basketball rolled halfway out, and they both stared at it. Gabriella heard him sigh softly, knowing that he was thinking the same thing as she. That basketball had been from his sophomore victory against the West High Knights, and it had also been the very day that they'd officially gotten together.
Somehow, that flattened ball sort of reminded her of the good old days. Where she was carefree and happy and Troy didn't cheat on her.
Yeah. Troy Bolton had cheated on her, alright. The nerve of that guy. Just because she refused to put out, too.
She'd caught him and Sharpay making out in his car only last Friday, that very same car she'd helped pay for only two months ago. Yeah, it was true. Two months ago, she'd loved him enough to take out a loan nearly twice her monthly salary, using her father's name, of course, and helped on the down payment of his Benz. He'd wanted that darn car ever since Christmas, but she hadn't been able to get the paperwork done by then, so she'd settled for his birthday.
Two months ago. That was the first time she'd ever come close to sleeping with a man.
Her chest pained a little. Troy Bolton had almost been the one for her, she was fairly certain. She'd given him almost everything she had. Everything. Except for her virginity, which she was, indeed, saving for marriage.
Lost in her thoughts for a moment, she didn't notice Troy pick up all his clothes from her bed and dump them into the box on her left, gathering the cardboard, now slightly heavier, and stood in front of her, waiting for her to move.
She did, eventually, when she found him staring back down at her. She side-stepped casually to allow him space to go through, but he'd purposely moved as closely to her as possible, brushing his forearm against her shoulder. Jerk. She thought. He knew what kind of effect his touch had on her, and it was enough to make her go crazy. Even enough to make her forget all rhyme and reason and sleep with him. Almost. But not quite nearly enough.
She crossed her arms over her chest and glanced out of the window, willing herself to stop thinking about Troy. It was harder than she had hoped for it to be when she'd initially thought it through; much, much harder. In fact, she even considered, at one point, not telling Troy that she found out about Sharpay and keeping mum for a little while longer. But she'd cracked before the weekend had passed. And so here was Troy, not nearly the sweet, gentlemanly boy she'd known him for in high school, but the grown up, more cynical version of himself, packing and moving out of her apartment. Probably to move in with Sharpay, she mused, a little bitter at the thought.
Troy walked through the door once more to probe into her closet again, this time, coming out with a small, pink journal in hand plus a couple of his rugby jackets, which he'd played in his University years (along with basketball). Before he could make off with the journal, she'd reached out and grabbed it from him, glaring at him. "That's mine." She grit out. It really was hers- she'd kept a journal about her relationship with him, just like a star-crazed fan would of her favourite star. In it, she recorded her most memorable dates, her best kisses with him, and important calendar dates that she had to keep track of. Troy knew about the journal one night, when he was rummaging through her personal stuff and couldn't help reading a few entries. He'd asked her about it, and they'd read it together by the fire place, sipping coffee and leaning against each other, laughing and tearing at the past memories.
Gabriella hadn't realised the tear that had slipped from her eye down her cheek, and she hurriedly brushed it away. Just in case Troy saw and thought that she was crying for him.
Quite essentially, she was. But she'd never let him know.
Her cell phone chose that moment to vibrate, and she picked it up and flipped it open, noticing the familiar set of numbers that she could always count on to cheer her up when she was upset and Troy wasn't around. It was Ryan Evans, and he had been the first one she'd told when she caught Troy cheating on her, though she didn't tell him it was with his sister. She knew he'd do something drastic about it; Ryan was always unpredictable like that.
He'd taken her out for a coffee and she sat there, sipping the hot liquid and not saying a word. Ryan, who was perfectly comfortable with silence, just sat with her, occasionally looking at her while pretending to be grossly interested in the golf magazine he was holding out in front of him. But it was a dead give-away that he wasn't paying any attention to said magazine, because if there was one thing to note about Ryan, it was that he hated golf. With a feral passion. But Gabriella didn't mind. At least, Ryan didn't force a story or an explanation out of her when he'd offered to take her out. She was so grateful; she controlled all her emotions and willed herself not to cry in front of him. It was the least she could do; not to worry him by crying or doing something equally as stupid as that.
He'd sent her home in his sleek silver Peugeot and when he'd walked her to her door and made sure she was alright, he allowed her to go back inside the house. She'd leaned against the door until it closed with a soft 'click', and sunk down against it, crying. She could smell Troy's lingering scent as soon as she'd walked in, and it had reminded her too much.
She stood up after a while, wiping away her tears with the back of her hand. That was when she heard the door open and, on reflex, she turned to look. It was Ryan. He'd heard her cry.
He frowned at her and closed the door. "I thought you said you were alright." He muttered, moving toward her and holding one arm out, offering his embrace. She took it almost too willingly; too vulnerable at this stage to refuse any comfort- in whatever means and shapes it came in. Into his old grey hoodie that he'd gotten during their senior year in high school, that he still had and could fit into (she'd outgrown most of her clothes already), she let her tears flow freely. She mumbled her fears and her hurts into the soft polyester, while Ryan's fingers drew across her back in a comforting rub. Eventually, her crying ceased, and she looked up at Ryan, kissed his cheek and thanked him. He insisted on staying the night to look after her, but she'd told him that Troy would be coming back soon. He's scowled at the name, but left after she promised (and he made sure, this time) that she was alright.
Gab. Has he left, yet?
She replied a short, no. But she knew Ryan wouldn't take just 'no' for a reply. No, she knew Ryan better- he'd probably come out and throw Troy out himself.
In fact, his next text would've probably worried her a little, but she chose to ignore it (again). She was starting to get good at being completely ignorant toward problems until they disappeared on their own. Damn, she thought. Whoever said ignorance was bliss was probably the happiest darn idiot in the whole world.
I'm coming over. He's been here far too long.
She didn't reply him to change his mind or encourage him. Instead, she moved to the kitchen where Troy was taking out a couple of trinkets he'd bought for her (and that she'd kept hung above the stove) as well as a few magnets from their fridge. She was a very magnet-loving person, always bringing back a couple when she returned from a trip overseas. Their whole fridge was covered in magnets ranging from ones from Australia (which she'd gotten to go to last June) to ones from Beijing, which she'd stayed for a month doing a scientific research on chemical imbalance of the earth.
Troy took down her favourite pink magnet that had the words, 'Obnoxious Slut', written on it (a joke from a colleague), and she said, "Don't take that. Carrie gave it to me, remember?"
"Oh." He mumbled, faintly caressing the grooves between letters before putting it back. He took the Australian one, and she let him (for a reason unknown to her) and also the one from Sea World that they visited last summer.
She let him pass out of the kitchen, staring at her feet the whole while.
She heard Troy unlock her door, a familiar two turns and one audible 'click', and the door was yanked open.
She almost wanted to run to him and take him back, but she remembered her pride. She was not throwing away her dignity among all that she'd ever lost to Troy. No, she simply wouldn't allow herself to it.
She did follow out though, to see him off. She figured it was only polite. They'd been together for so long, formalities had been set, and habits were hard to break. She gave him an uneasy smile as he loaded the last of his things into the cab she'd called for him, and he turned to her and took her hand. His blue eyes glinted, and for a second there, she thought she almost saw a glimpse of the Troy Bolton she knew and loved back in high school. But that glimmer of hope had faded away as fast as it came, and whatever hope she had left- of loving Troy, of taking him back, vanished along with it.
"Gabriella." She heard him murmur softly, and he traced circles with his thumb along the back of her hand. For a moment, he paused as though he wasn't quite sure what to say to her, but then, he started, "I know you're still upset about her-"
She withdrew her hand suddenly. "Let's not talk about it, okay?" She nodded her head in his taxi's direction, "You gotta go."
He nodded with a faint smile. "Alright, Gabby." Gabby was his affectionate name for her. "But listen," He bent down and whispered, "I will always love you."
Gabriella pushed him away and shot him a pointed look. He sighed and said, "I'm sorry. It just happened, okay?"
"It happened three times before," Gabriella said, her voice surprisingly calm. "You were completely unshakable with her."
"I was." He admitted, placing his hands in his pockets.
She turned to leave, thinking he had nothing to say. But then he grabbed her arm and pulled her roughly to him and kissed her on the lips, letting his tongue slip into the warm carven of her mouth in her surprise. She shoved him away instantly, her insides almost cracking under the intensity of his kiss and her hurt. She was still raw, she realised. The wound was still far too raw.
God, had it always hurt this way?
She almost slapped him, but then she heard a familiar beep that sounded from a silver Peugeot that had just pulled into her driveway. Ryan Evans got out, his face dark with (what she guessed to be) rage and he stepped between her and Troy and held her behind him protectively.
"You bastard." She heard Ryan Evan's voice reverberate through her ears, and shock briefly registered in her mind as she heard the sound of a fist connecting with a cheek, almost hard enough to send one reeling back from the force and cracking a cheekbone. She closed her eyes, held deep even breaths, before stepping out to view the damage done. She saw Troy, staggering and holding his right cheek in his hand. Ryan shook, and she could hear his ragged breathing as they both watched Troy regain his composure.
Troy glared at Ryan, then stood back to his full height and shoved Ryan in the chest, hard. Ryan, caught off guard, stumbled back a little, bumping into Gabriella in the process. He held her arm, managing a quick apology before turning back to Troy.
"She'd never love you." Troy spat in Ryan's face. "Because she loves me, and only me."
Ryan's eyes never waived. "Get lost, Bolton."
When Troy didn't move, Ryan said, a little louder, "I said, get lost."
Troy sneered at the two, and before turning to go, he added, "Just remember, Gabby, you always loved me. You're a fool to think you can find love with him. You're wrong. I'm the one you want."
Gabriella ignored him, and then released the death grip she'd had on Ryan's shirt, smoothing out the wrinkled parts. She'd just realised that she'd been holding onto it because she was scared- so scared that Troy Bolton would eventually end up being right, like he always was.
Together, she and Ryan watched as the taxi made off for the end of the road on which she lived, turned a corner, and disappeared for good. Unknowingly, she had slipped her hand into Ryan's and they were both standing a little too closely to each other for comfort.
He offered her a sad smile. "I'm sorry about Troy."
She braced herself for the pain she knew would pierce her heart, but it never came. It had all gone, leaving just a dull ache that she knew she'd get over in the morning. Just like that, she'd gone and given up Troy, who had seemed almost irreplaceable in her heart less that a week ago.
She giggled, trying to get over the feeling for a moment, then looked to the sky and said, "It's stopped raining."
Ryan chuckled, and they made their way into her house, their arms slung over each other's waists.
When she woke up the next morning, Gabriella was delighted to find that it was raining again. It always rained in Albuquerque around this time of the year, anyway. It wasn't as though it was a very special day, but Gabriella was surprised at how ordinary the day felt.
Yet, it was anything but ordinary.
Because today, she was helping Ryan Evans move into the apartment she'd previously shared with Troy for a year.
Only this time, unlike Troy, Ryan was moving in for good.
A/N: Eh, Not very happy with this. Stupid FF won't let me DO MY SPACING! Troy is super OOC man, I know. And it all seems very cliche. And I forwent my promise to myself NEVER to write something like this (where Gabriella breaks up with Troy and gets Ryan- uhhh). Lol. I just heard Beyonce's song, Irreplaceable, and I fell in love with it. Seriously. It's really nice. Actually wrote this to get back in the mood of writing. Sorry if it seems very PWPish (if you didn't know, PWP means, Plot-What-Plot). lol. also, apologies for grammar and spelling mistakes (if any), I didn't run this through spell-check or use Word that automatically corrects my mistakes.
This fic would have to be dedicated to er, Abby who got my hooked on Paris' Nothing In This World (yeah, you can expect a fanfic on that soon) andeveryone who has reviewed Precettore and is wondering what the heck I am doing with it. Well, suffice to say, Chapter 8 is a tenth done and is rotting at the backside of my computer hard drive. Yup.
My god, my Os are here. I'm so dead for everything. BIO AND ENGLISH PAPERS NEXT. (:
Wish me luck, ok? REVIEW! (: