AN: Hi everyone, thanks so much for your wonderful reviews, thanks anonymous :) I hope you like this chapter.
There are some people that you become friends with and you're not even sure how it happens; it's just like natural or something. I know how I became friends with Cree, it just made sense, she was with Shane. But now she's not and now I guess, we can see, if we actually are friends.
Angela stood outside of Cree's room, she touched the cool of the glass sliding door and felt envious once more of where Cree lived. Her room was semi detached to the house and served like her own apartment. Angela could hear voices from the other side of the door, well one voice really; Angela recognized it as belonging to Nancy Harper. Nancy Harper, the girl with blonde hair down to her waist, who wore low cut everything and frequented detention. Angela wondered how Cree had even become friends with a girl like that.
The thing with girls like Nancy Harper is you're never sure if they really do care or if they just feel that they should like, care.
"You need to get up Cree," she heard Nancy say, "you need to shower. You haven't been to school all week. Look he was an idiot anyway you can do so much better. And stop listening to that same pathetic song."
Angela noticed the abrupt stop of the music. And then the start of it again.
"Well at least you got up to do that," Nancy sighed, "look I've gotta go, I'm meeting Phil."
The door opened and Nancy stopped short at the sight of Angela.
"Maybe you can do better," she said as she brushed past her.
Angela took a deep breath and tried to think of something to say to Cree that wouldn't sound utterly pathetic.
"Hey," Angela gave the door a knock as she entered.
Cree's room had been like, our place to go all summer. It was like we all had a home, together, or something.
The room was dark and smelled kinda stale.
Now it was like walking into an abandoned house.
The dankness was only amplified by the sound of the Smashing Pumpkins on repeat. Angela could see Cree curled up at the end of her bed. She still wasn't sure what she should say, it was like nothing she said could really matter anyway. Angela sat on the floor next to Cree's bed and hugged her knees to her chest. She listened to the music and drifted into the familiar melancholy.
When you don't know what to say to somebody, when it's like really important, and what you do say could have all this meaning. It's like you can hear the minutes tick by, of you just not saying anything.
Angela chewed thoughtfully on her bottom lip and tensed as what she should say became apparent. "When," she said after a while, "when Jordan and Rayanne," she paused trying to get the words out, "when he did that...it was like something died...and I hated him, I hated him so much." Angela could feel the emotions starting to burn her throat, "I hated that he had like this power over me, that he could just go off and do this horrible thing. And I hated that he took away my best friend." Angela stopped, unsure if Cree was listening.
"What did you do?"
"I think," Angela, said quietly, "as much as I hated him, I loved him. And after a while I loved him more than I hated him."
"So, you forgave him?"
"In a way, I guess. I think it was him finally wanting to be with me, so I had to forgive him, for that to like, happen."
"Did it stop hurting?"
"Not really, but it hurts less."
"I don't know if I can forgive him," Cree whispered.
"You don't have to."
"He's tried to call me, I think he even came over but Dad wouldn't let him in." Cree was silent for a while after that.
I don't think anybody really has all the answers; all we can do is be there and hope that's like enough, to numb the pain.
"Can I ask you something?" Angela waited for a response but none came, "how did you get to be friends with Nancy Harper?"
Cree rolled over and stared at the ceiling, "it was," she sighed but it was more of a relieved sigh, "it was when we moved here last October. I didn't know anybody and she came up to me on my first day at school. I thought it was a dare. But she was nice, kind of insane but nice. I think I was like a project for her, like fix the awkward shy girl or something."
"I can relate."
"What if he was like it for me, like, the only one?"
"I think that you're kind of insane if you think that."
Cree scowled and threw her pillow at Angela.
"I'm gonna go take a shower."
"The thing of it is Catalano," Shane said between swigs of beer, "who the hell is she? She doesn't own me."
Jordan steadied his pool cue before taking his shot. Shane cursed as Jordan sunk another ball.
"I mean, she can't tell me who I can and can't see."
Jordan took his next shot and picked up his beer, "who couldn't you see?"
"I dunno," Shane mumbled as he lined up his shot, "but that's not the point–shit," he exclaimed as the ball bounced back away from the pocket.
Jordan smirked, "well what is the point?"
"The point," Shane paused to finish his beer, "the point is that I'm not like you Catalano."
Jordan sunk two more balls, "and what am I like?"
"Like, oh Angela," Shane said mockingly, "oh how I miss her. This," he dramatically picked up his cue stick, "this reminds me of how she likes sticks and the woods, and oh we shall frolic in the woods," Shane danced around the table. Jordan shoved him into the wall as he pirouetted past; Shane dropped the stick and raised his hands in surrender.
"These guys suck," Shane, shouted over the sound of the wannabe Nirvana band. Jordan nodded and handed Shane another beer. "We shoulda gone to Let's Bolt." Shane gulped back his beer, almost finishing it in a few mouthfuls. The band announced their last song and Shane cheered obnoxiously.
"Who's on tonight anyway?" Shane asked as the band walked off stage.
"Was supposed to be Polvo but I heard they pulled out."
"They probably heard who was supportin' them." Shane picked up a flyer from one of the tables, "Agh," he exclaimed, "who the hell is Reminesses? This requires more beer," he stated walking back towards the bar.
Jordan and Shane sat at the bar in silence, the sound of Reminesses droned on in the background. Jordan absentmindedly tore up coasters while Shane nursed his drink.
"God I miss her," Shane said staring at his beer, "just even the sound of her... I shoulda told her," he slurred, "just said fuck it I love you."
"But do you?" Jordan didn't look up, keeping his focus on the bar.
"I dunno, probably," Shane mumbled.
"Why didn't you tell her?"
Shane picked at the label on the bottle, "it's like she expected too much from me or something, I'd just wreak it all anyway."
Jordan finished his beer and looked at his friend, he had no idea what to tell him. It was obvious to Jordan that Shane did love her but maybe he just didn't want to admit it.
Shane got off his stool, stumbled and held onto the bar for support. "I'm gonna call Cree."
"No, you're not," Jordan said getting up, "I'll take you home."
"No," Shane shoved him.
Jordan grabbed Shane's arm and pulled him out of the bar and to his car. Shane slumped into the seat and kicked the dash with his foot. Jordan gave him a warning look but there wasn't much behind it. He hated seeing his friend like this, he remembered how awful he felt when he'd hurt Angela like that, and he never wanted to feel like that again.
Angela sat on the front steps of her house and stared at her boots. She hadn't been prepared for all of her old scars to be opened up. But she thought it was worth it, if it helped Cree to cope. She looked back up at the street as the red car pulled into view. She wished Jordan would get a new car, or maybe just get a bike, something that he couldn't screw other girls in anyway.
Angela turned her attention back to her boots and didn't look up as he sat down beside her.
"Hey," Jordan said touching her hand softly, Angela abruptly moved her hand.
"You knew didn't you?" she hugged her knees to her chest, still not looking at him.
"I dunno, I guess I did."
"And you didn't stop him?"
"Can we talk about something else?"
Angela glared at him, "you didn't think it was worth your time to say hey Shane maybe don't screw that chick you have a girlfriend?"
"Change the subject Angela."
"I don't believe you," she rolled her eyes.
"What, what do you want me to say? I'm not his babysitter," Jordan snapped.
"So you think that's acceptable behaviour?"
Jordan didn't answer.
"Of course you do," Angela muttered.
"Do you really think that?" Angela could hear the hurt in his voice.
"You just don't get it do you?" She said softly, "It's like you don't care what happens, to you or anybody else. It always feels like you're ten seconds away from leaving and it scares me to death."
"But I haven't gone anywhere," Jordan mumbled.
"But you do, every time you don't talk to me, or I don't see you. You take up so much of me and I feel like you can just dismiss me whenever you want."
"It's not like that."
"Then what's it like?"
"It's like there's all this pressure, to be like, who you want me to be, to act a certain way or something. So, I dunno, you can prove to everyone that you're not wasting you're time with a loser."
"Jordan," Angela touched his hand, she could feel the tension in his fingers, "you're not, I'm not... I just want you," she spoke softly, "all of you."
Jordan didn't look at her; Angela let go of his hand and pulled her fingers through her hair. "Look," she said focusing on the street, "I'm the one that told you, I mean I said it, didn't I?"
"You can take it back if you want," Jordan muttered.
Angela stood up; she couldn't believe what she was hearing. Anger coursed through her veins and she tensed her fists. She turned to face him, the boy with the shaggy hair, blue eyes and ridiculous reasoning. She wanted to yell at him, to force him to understand, force him to tell her anything, anything about how he felt. But there was something about the way he stared at the pavement and picked at the edge of the step, the way he rubbed his eyes before he cautioned a glance at her. He looked so defeated, slumped over in a beautiful mess of flannel. Angela couldn't yell, she wanted to cry but she fought it back. She stood in front of him, Jordan rested hi head against her thigh and she ran her fingers through his hair.
"I–" she started to say but Jordan pulled her back down to the pavement.
"Don't say anything," he whispered.
"But–" Jordan silenced her, putting his index finger over her lips.
"Just... Wait," Angela could see the seriousness in his eyes and she mentally braced herself for what he was about to say. "I've been running this over in my mind, since you know, the thing. Trying to get the right words, to tell you what you deserve to hear." Jordan reached up and tucked her hair behind her ear, "But the thing is," he whispered, "that there are no words, it's not just something you say. It's something that you feel– it's something that I feel… Angela..."
"Yeah?" she murmured.
Jordan smiled, "I love you too."
AN: BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE!
Cree was listening to The Smashing Pumpkins: Pisces Iscariot album.
Reminesses: I totally made them up, they'd like to sound like Portishead, only they're not very good.
Polvo: An indie noise band from north Carolina, Shane & Jordan would've really liked to have seen them play.