Chapter Seven: Twenty-Six Were From You

"Aaah!"

My phone flew across the room, hit Marshall in the shoulder, ricocheted off Nico's stomach and clipped Grady in the leg.

A chorus of ouches followed along with hard, questioning glances being thrown to the owner, cowering behind the alien prop in the corner.

The sound of a loud, now-impatient cow mooing interrupted the "what was that for," the "what was in your cereal this morning," and "I just came to tell you rehearsal's in five" being spoken.

Marshall was the one who bent down to pick up the vibrating and mooing phone. He examined it and looked at the small screen. "'Chad,'" he read from the screen.

"Don't answer it!" I shouted hurriedly, coming out from behind the little alien dude.

Marshall startled and dropped the phone to the ground. Grady reached down to retrieve it and I made a dive to get to it first, but he beat me to the punch.

"Hello?" Grady asked cheerfully.

"No!" I yelled in despair, reaching up for my phone while I was still lying on the ground by their feet.

"Oh, hi, Chad… Yeah, Sonny's right here." Grady held out my phone to me. "Here you go, Sonny."

"Thanks," I grumbled reluctantly. Cringing, I rolled over into a sitting position and cleared my throat nervously. "Um, hey, Chad."

"Hi…" Chad spoke guardedly.

"So, uh, how's New York? Had a hotdog yet? I hear they're fantastic," I tried weakly.

The sound of three retreating footsteps assured me that I would at least be able to have this awkward conversation in private. I hadn't technically called Chad or answered any of his calls since the little… mix-up at the party… three weeks ago.

"No, I haven't…"

"Well, you should, 'cause, uh… they're fantastic…" My brown eyes closed in despair at how idiotic I was sounding.

"Right…" Chad said awkwardly.

My right hand was already starting to get sweaty so I had to transfer my cell to my drier left hand. "So, was there any specific reason you called?"

"Well," he took on a new tone. "When I got back from filming in front of the green screen and checked my phone, there were twenty-six missed calls. Twenty-six were from you." There was a slight pause. "Sonny was there something on your mind or something…?"

"Umm… Funny story… hehe… you see, I was trying to call someone else, and kept hitting your name by mistake. I mean, what are the odds?" I asked, laughing nervously.

"So, let me get this straight. You hit my name by mistake, twenty-six times?" Chad checked, quite obviously not buying my horrible lie.

The truth was that I had been debating with myself on whether or not to call him and had in turn, dialed his number twenty-six times, and hung up twenty-six times as soon as it got to voice mail. Facing my fears has never really been my forte.

"Mm-hm."

"Really, Sonny? Did you really?"

"Well…" I scratched my head and thought desperately for an excuse. The first one that came to mind was lame, but all I got. "Did you know that I know another Chad?"

"Do you?" Chad asked, not convinced in the slightest.

"Yeah, I do. Funny, right? His name's Chad…" My eyes searched the room. "Clock… cake… Chad Clockake. What's funnier is I think his middle name is even Derek." I laughed feebly. "Seriously, I should introduce you sometime."

"Sonny, really? You expect me to believe that?"

"Uh… Well, it's not like it's that improbable."

"Sonny."

"No…"

"Okay then."

Another uncomfortable silence passed and all we could hear was the other's breathing.

Chad cleared his throat. "So… what happened…? You know, that one night?" he inquired hesitantly.

"Uh, what night?"

"Sonny."

"Oh, that night… Well, um. I sort of got lost with all the dancers and such and you and Randy look alike in the back and were wearing the same shirt so I thought I was kissing Randy when really I was kissing you and I'm sorry for not saying goodbye but I almost told Randy that I kissed you and ended up shoving cake in my face and rolling out of the room!" I blurted out quickly, having to take several deep breaths at the end after letting so much out in one sentence.

"He was wearing the same shirt as me? Jerk," was all Chad replied to.

"Chad."

"Right, right, well, I guess that makes sense. Except for the rolling and cake part," he clarified.

"Well… Hey, wait a minute!"

"What?"

"You kissed me back!" I said accusingly.

"…And?" Chad asked a little anxiously.

"Were you kissing me back because you realized that it was me or was it just because you thought 'oh gee, a girl's kissing me, might as well enjoy it,' in a very pigheaded way?" I interrogated.

"Oh please Sonny, I knew it was you," Chad scoffed.

"So you kissed me back because you knew it was me?" Goodness it certainly was hard to get a straight answer out of him!

"Er… no."

"But that doesn't make any sense."

"Alright fine, I kissed you back because I knew it was you," Chad finally admitted. "But if you ask why then-"

"Then what?" I challenged, sitting up straighter on the floor.

"Then I might just have to kiss you again."

I blinked and must've stopped breathing for a second there because I had to let out a shaky breath before I could talk again. "Um, I'm sorry, what did you just say?"

"I said I might just have to kick you when I get back."

I shook my head to clear it up a little. Stupid brain, playing tricks on me!

"That's lame. Just kick me, huh? I think I just might have to ask," I said before looking up at the ceiling in disappointment. Then, of course, I was hit with a wave of guilt because, newsflash: I still had a boyfriend! Ugh… To think I actually thought I was over this guy.

"Well just because you ask doesn't mean you'll get an answer. At least not a truthful one," Chad answered back cockily.

"Why'd you kiss me back?" I asked, sounding equally cocky.

"I told you I'm not telling."

"No, you just said I wouldn't get a truthful answer."

"Well, you're not getting either."

"Fine."

"Fine."

"Good."

"Good."

"When are you coming back?" I asked suddenly.

"Four more weeks," Chad said, sounding a little less enthusiastic than I'd expected him to.

"Chad, come on! Our scene is next!" I heard a girl complain to Chad through the phone.

"Uh, sorry, I've got to go. I'll talk to you later…?" Chad said.

"Um, sure, yeah… If you get a chance…" Great… Awkwardness once again… Why'd I have to kiss him? When will I ever learn that spontaneity only works for other people?

"…'Kay, bye."

"Bye." I pressed the end button and stared at the screen for a minute before rolling my eyes and letting myself fall onto my back on the floor again.

--One Week Later--

"Okay, this thing must weigh like eighty-six tons, what the heck is in here, Tawni?" I questioned while having to lug "Princess Tawni's" pink duffel bag across the parking lot. "And more importantly, why am I the one carrying this, again?"

"You offered," Tawni stated simply, flouncing ahead of me to where her car was parked. "Just set it down in the backseat."

Making a face at Tawni, I readjusted the bag and slung it over my shoulder for the rest of the walk. When I got to her car, I opened the backseat's door myself and tossed it onto the seat. I didn't consider asking her what the bag was for, offering to help her carry the bag.

"And nothing much was in there. Just shoes and books," Tawni said with a "no big deal" shrug for emphasis.

"Shoes and books?" I asked incredulously. That would explain the weight issue for me. That duffel bag must've been absolutely stuffed with shoes and books.

Tawni stiffened. "Tawni Hart reads too," she excused, walking around the side to close up her full trunk as well. "And… thank… you… for helping," she managed to choke out.

"You're welcome. So where are you going for your break anyway, Tawni?"

Mr. Condor recently acquired a whole truckload of money from a smart business move and was therefore in a fantastic mood. Thus giving every single worker in the studio the week off to do what they pleased.

Everyone I knew already had plans to go do something fantastic or go somewhere exotic. Me? I was staying home pretty much by myself with Randy and Sarah. Good thing? …No. I'd been trying to avoid him ever since the party because every time I was around him, something had to be shoved in my mouth because I didn't know how to tell him about the kiss. I knew I'd eventually have to tell him, but… just not yet. Not when my lousy conscience was the one making me blurt it out.

"I'm going away to Hawaii with my family for the week," Tawni said, grinning. "What are you doing?"

"I'm staying here for the week doing… nothing," I offered blandly.

"Oh." Tawni frowned for half a second before replacing it with a bright smile. "Have fun." And with that, she hopped into her car and drove off with me still standing in the parking space next to where she used to be.

"Oh yeah," I muttered to myself. "This should be great fun."


--UPDATE - April 29, 2010--
I'm sorry, but this story is now on permanent hiatus.
If you're desperate to know how it ends (I doubt it, but whatever), PM me and I'll tell you.
Thank you for reading this far. :-)