The Buzz

Chapter 8

Dumb Ass

Tori didn't answer Andre's calls on Saturday, or Sunday for that matter. Not understanding why Tori was avoiding his call, Andre brushed it off. Assuming she was busy, Andre spent every evening after dinner with Jade on the weekend. Andre saw moderate improvements by Sunday night. He knew it wasn't natural. Regardless, training was just as it sounded. A dog never wanted to sit or roll over. A dog wanted the treat that ensued. Social acceptance and falling back into Beck's good graces was the proverbial dog treat to Jade.

The time she had spent with Andre served Jade well after the third student in a row bumped into her on Monday morning. Jade let out a low growl before she turned her head away from her locker.

"Oh…sorry," squealed a girl a few year younger than Jade, clearly scared.

"It's okay…just be careful." Jade managed to keep anger and aggression off her face as the younger girl nodded her head. Regardless, it was obvious she was less than thrilled.

The young girl replied, "Yeah…sorry again" as she quickly turned around and headed towards her first period class. Jade didn't return the gesture until the girl had turned her back, and by that time her normal scowl had appeared on the young female's face.

Jade quickly returned to retrieving her books from her locker's top compartment. A soft, "Hey," that sounded familiar gained Jade's attention. Taking Andre's advice, Jade literally bit the tip of her tongue as she turned her head. Jade did her best to fight back the small amounts of anger that boiled up in her. It was the same girl. At least she didn't elbow her in the ribs this time.

"Yes?" Jade questioned as evenly toned as possible.

"I-I just wanted to say that my name is Jen…" The young girl muttered as she attempted to avoid Jade's eye contact.

"Uhhh…" Jade couldn't think of a valid reply. "…Okay?"

The young girl finally gained the courage to look Jade in the eyes. "I've just seen you around a lot…but I've never gotten the chance to say hello."

"Ohhh…" Jade replied, feeling a small amount of happiness mixed with uncomfortableness. She wasn't used to making friends. "My…name is Jade."

"Yeah, I know," The younger girl replied with a small smile on her face. "But ummm…I got to get to class. I'll see you around okay?"

Jade's only reply was a muffled, "Sure…" as the girl shot her another smile and walked away. She wasn't sure if the question was rhetorical or actually required an answer.

Turning her attention back towards her locker for a third time, Jade allowed a small smirk to appear on her face. She didn't want to admit it, but Andre was right. This whole "kindness" thing did…Jade wasn't able to finish her though.

THE BUZZ

Tori rarely left her room since she got home on Friday night. Excluding bathroom breaks and retrieving food from the kitchen a few times a day, Tori stayed within the four walls of her spacious bedroom all weekend. Trina attempted to get her to go to the mall. She refused. Her parents asked her if she was alright on multiple occasions. She lied. Andre and other friends called and texted. She never answered or replied. When Tori wasn't on an emotional roller coaster thinking about Andre, Jade, or both of them at the same time, she did her best to block it all out. Needless to say, most of her time was spent thinking about Andre and Jade.

She had the whole speech planned out as she stormed through Hollywood Art's hallways on Monday morning. The hurtful things she would say, the counter arguments she had planned to what Jade would retaliate with, and the list went on. Tori was going to publicly embarrass, humiliate, and ridicule Jade West until she was no more. If it was physically possible to kill with words, Tori would soon be facing at least second degree murder.

Tori quickly went over her opening argument as she turned the last corner. The hallway wasn't as crowded as normal and Tori quickly spotted Jade. Within an instant, her entire speech was forgotten. Jade was actually talking to another student. This was perfect. Jade was defenseless. Halfway across the hallway, the younger girl left. Tori's window of opportunity was closing. Regardless, she closed the remaining distance quickly as she jogged the last few steps. When she was within a few feet of Jade, Tori reached out with both hands. Grabbing as much black hair as her petite hands would allow, Tori attempted to throw Jade to the ground with no avail.

"Owww! What the-…Tori?!" Jade screamed as she managed to pull her head up enough to see her attacker. instinctively, Jade grabbed onto Tori's wrists and tried to pry her hands off her hair. Unfortunately, Tori's hands seemed to be surgically attached.

Unable to come up with words, Jade went a few more seconds struggling against Tori's deathtrap. Jade was no longer attempting to remove Tori's hand. She was only trying to keep the entirety of her hair intact. She could feel the strain and knew that within seconds Tori's hands would come off. Unfortunately, Jade wasn't willing to give up one-fourth of the hair on her head that would come with them. Finally, Jade managed to formulate words.

"TORI!" Jade screamed again, "LET GO!"

For reasons unknown to Jade, Tori listened. Jade stumbled back a few feet as Tori returned her hands to her sides. Staring into eyes that seemed glazed over with hate for her, Jade's anger barely beat out her fear.

"What the hell is wrong with you Tori?!"

Tori surprised herself as the heartbreak immediately overpowered the rage she felt only seconds before. Breaking down into sobs, Tori managed to reply in an equally loud tone, "What…the hell is wrong with you?!"

"YOU'RE THE ONE THAT JUST ASSAULTED ME!" Jade boomed, gaining the attention of any student in the hallway who hadn't seen the physicality between Tori and herself. "I COULD HAVE YOU EXPELLED!"

"You…" Tori started, fighting back a few sob before continuing. "You would like that…wouldn't you?"

"YEAH, I WO-" Jade's train of thought changed in unison with Tori's body language in emotions. Enough pity crept into Jade's emotional state that it allowed her to think somewhat clearly. "Tori, what is wrong with you?"

"I get it okay," Tori said in a low tone, no longer wanting the rest of the hallway to hear. "I get it."

Hoping it wasn't a foolish decision, Jade took a step closer to Tori. The brunette didn't seem like she would attack again. Well, unless she was the type to break down crying and sobbing to get her prey to let their guard down. Matching Tori's soft tone, Jade replied, "What are you talking about?"

"Congratulations…you know I wrote that letter about Andre," Tori stopped speaking as she sniffled and wiped a few tears from her face. "I know you hate me…but you've reached a new low."

Jade did her best not to raise her voice, but the anger mixed with confusion made it difficult. "WHAT ARE-" Jade exhaled before she lowered her voice back down. "What are you talking about Tori?"

The lack of volume in Tori's words were more than made up for in anger. "You know what I'm talking about?"

"If your talking about why you just attempted to rip my entire head of hair…off my body…then no Tori…i don't!"

All that Tori could manage was, "Friday night…" as she fought against another wave of emotion.

Before replying, Jade quickly looked around the hallway. Thankfully, most of the students that saw the hair pulling were already out of the hallway or on their way towards class. "Tori, what about-"

"Andre was over your house." Tori said in an angry voice, cutting Jade off.

Jade didn't have a reply as her eyes grew slightly larger.

"Don't even try to lie," Tori continued as she swallowed back hard. "I know he was."

"Look," Jade said in a sympathetic tone. "It's not what you think T-"

"Yes it is," Tori spat back in Jade's direction, "Because I know you…and you hate me."

"I don't hate-" Once again, Jade was unable to finish her statement.

"I understand, I really do." Tori said doing her best to quickly wipe her face again. "The first day of school I embarrass you…and I kiss your boyfriend…so I understand…"

"Ex-boyfriend…" Jade replied in a sad voice. Regardless, it went unheard by Tori.

Tori stared into Jade's eyes as she wanted to get her point across more than ever. "I mean you already hate EVERYBODY!" Tori threw her hands to her sides for added effect. "And that includes people that are nice too you…so you must really hate me…"

"I don't…" Jade stopped as she let out a frustrated sigh and played with her hands in front of her body. After a second, she slowly extended them towards Tori. "I don't understand what you're talking about…or…what you THINK I'm doing."

"I know Andre used to have feelings for you…and I know you think of him as just a friend." Tori replied.

"He is just a-Wait…Andre does not have feeling for me." Jade replied as the entire room felt like it was spinning. Hopefully, Tori would start to make some sense. Otherwise, her head might explode.

Tori let out a scoff. "He said so in the letter…the letter I wrote him for the newspaper…" Tori stopped to allow Jade to reply.

Jade shook her head. God, it really was hard NOT to hate Tori at times. She was a stellar student at Hollywood Arts but sometimes she really was dumb. In fact, Andre was dumb as a box of rocks himself. How could Andre honestly not realize it was Tori that wrote the letter about him? How the hell could Tori honestly think Andre had a crush on anyone but her?

After a few seconds passed without a reply, Tori continued. "The same newspaper that you wrote a letter…saying you loved Robbie? You don't love Robbie!"

"I know t-"

"He's just someone that you could walk all over…unlike Beck. Am I right?" Not even realizing how frequently she was interrupting, Tori finally gave Jade a chance to speak.

Jade bit her tongue again. She wasn't the typical girl. She was glad about that. However, when in a heated argument she felt more like a teenage boy trying to get a word in edgewise with his teenager girlfriend. Apparently, Tori was her lesbian lover. Either way, Jade honestly felt she might slap Tori if she interrupted her one more time.

Unfortunately, Tori had basically hit the nail on the head. She had already realized she never wanted Robbie. She wanted someone weak willed though. It was getting irritating and aggravating when Beck continuously attempted to get her to open up. Looking back now, she was a bigger idiot than Andre or Tori. If only she had started this internal makeover with Robbie about three months ago instead of three days.

"It's more complicated than that…" Jade let out a low sigh after replying to Tori's question. With everything that was running through her head, was that really the best she could come up with?

Tori shook her head, dropping her eyes to the floor before looking back at Jade. With as much venom in her words as possible, Tori replied, "When you want Beck back this time…don't come looking for help."

Jade dropped her head. Part of her wanted to slap Tori across the face for saying that. However, a larger part of her wanted to never talk to Tori again, walk away upset, or slap her in the face and then start crying. She was starting to think like a girl. She was starting to FEEL like a girl. Jade was feeling sick to her stomach. Andre said this change would help her improve her relationships, friendships, get Beck back, and keep Beck. Andre said NOTHING about this change making her susceptible to teenage girl emotions.

Again, Jade's reply didn't reflect the amount of thoughts running through her head. In a voice holding hints of sadness, all Jade managed was, "Tori…"

"You love Beck..." Tori's tone was nothing but serious as she looked at Jade.

"I do…" Jade managed as she swallowed back a little harder than normal.

Maintaining the serious tone, Tori continued her statement. "Beck loves you…"

"I…" Jade wasn't able to formulate words.

"So…rather than be happy…" Tori paused as tears and the sobs that slowly disappeared came back in full force. "You would rather break Beck's heart….and break Andre's heart…just to break mine…"

"Tori," Jade replied quickly trying to squash her thoughts. Tori couldn't honestly think she was being physical with Andre or leading him on to hurt everyone involved. However, she knew that's exactly how Tori felt and she didn't really blame her. "It's not like that…listen…"

Tori honored Jade's request. However, the look on Tori's face didn't make Jade feel at ease telling her story. Trying to come up with the best way to explain it, and not give away why Andre was actually there, Jade paused for a second. The best idea Jade had was to tell only truth, just leave out the private lessons Andre was giving her on how to be a normal member of society.

"I called him…I missed Beck…and I didn't know what to do…" Jade paused for a second. Fighting against stinging at the corners of both eyes, Jade swallowed back hard. She didn't cry. She was NOT going to cry, and she was definitely NOT going to cry in front of Tori Vega. "And we both know I don't…exactly…have friends."

The tone in Jade's voice struck a chord in Tori. Tori felt the slightest bit of guilt for the way she approached Jade. Regardless, it was too late to change that now.

"I push them away…" Jade continued with her head spinning. Not even realizing it, Jade's voice was shaking enough Tori could tell she was attempting not to cry. "So I needed his help…he's the only one besides Cat that would come help me out…and Cat wouldn't know what to do."

Swallowing back hard, Jade did her best to stay in control of her emotions.

Taking most of the anger out of her voice, Tori replied, "He lied to me…he was at your house…and…" After wiping tears from her face, Tori looked around the hallway. She just realized that the bell was probably going to be ringing for class any minute. A small amount of panic set in. "…He said he was…in bed relaxing…"

Jade's voice was barely above a whisper. "Listen…"

Some of the anger in Tori's words. "Was he in bed relaxing…was he in…your bed relaxing?" The special emphasis on the last word didn't go unnoticed by Jade.

"No," Jade said in a matter of fact tone. Seeing an opportunity to actually talk, Jade tried to provide more clarity. "He lied…because I told him too…"

Tori managed to squeak out, "Why…"

"Because…I didn't want people knowing I was upset about Beck." Jade blinked her eyes a few times, trying not to notice the burning sensation, as she tried to think of how to explain it. "You…you know how I am…AND…because of this…I didn't want you thinking anything bad…"

Tori's felt held nothing but skepticism at Jade's answers.

"Then again," Jade said as her voice stopped wavering. "If you make someone lie about being at your house…so other the person doesn't think anything…and they find out….it's kind of pointless."

"I can't believe you…" Tori maintained eye contact "You aren't even acting like yourself…that's how I know you're lying."

Jade's jaw literally dropped. Shaking her head slowly, Jade internally laughed at the irony of Tori's statement.

"You might be capable of love…" Tori started, "But you are not capable of compassion Jade."

Jade's eyes continued to dart around as she let out a deep sigh. This was completely pointless. About the same time she was about to walk away, Jade remembered the dumbest thing of all that Tori had said.

"Do you really think Andre's reply," Jade said slowly, as she fought back the urge to smack her palm off her forehead. "Talking about that girl…that he USED to like…that was a friend…is me?" Jade twisted her face up at the end of her statement. "Because…it's not me…"

Tori felt her heartbeat immediately quicken as Jade's words sunk in. Trying to maintain composure, Tori replied as calmly as possible. "Yeah okay…then who is it?"

Jade's forehead immediately met up with her hand. Preemptively rubbing away a headache she could feel starting to come on, Jade got lost in thought. It wasn't her place. Tori is stupid. They were going to be late for class. She just remembered she forgot to do her homework for History of Theatre. The list was long and mind-numbing.

Finally dropping her hand from her face, Jade gave Tori a irritated expression. "Think about it…it's not hard."

Worry and panic overtook Tori. Quickly rehashing everything that had happened over the last week or so, Tori felt nauseous. She knew Andre. He wouldn't date Jade. He would date Cat. Hell, she even knew Cat went over there sometimes and they were alone. Who knows how many times Andre broke plans, which he didn't do frequently, and it was because Cat was over…relaxing on HIS bed.

"He's i-"

Tori's words went unheard as the bell signifying the start of first period rang.

Wanting confirmation from Jade, Tori repeated her question. "He's in love with Cat."

"You dumb ass," Jade immediately spat back towards Tori without even attempting to use her filter. Needless to say, Andre would be displeased.

"Why am I dumb?" Tori questioned with as slight bit of hurt in her voice.

Clearly, Tori took Jade's words the wrong way. Throwing her hands to her side, Jade exclaimed, "Oh my God!"

Tori wasn't processing what she was saying. Jade had tried so hard. Really, she did great. She would have probably punched Tori twice by now, or at least grabbed and tugged on her hair as payback.

"He's in love with YOU," Jade said sounding out every word. To prevent confusion, Jade paused for about two seconds before completing her statement. "Dumb ass."

Tori immediately froze. Jade shook her head as Tori stared at her. She really, really needed one of those stress balls you squeeze. Otherwise, she might be nice to Tori 99 times…then break her legs on the 100th. Either way, it was a morale victory.

After about five seconds, Tori replied barely above a whisper. "He…he was talking about me?"

"Yep," Jade replied. Without another word, she turned around and headed towards class.