Okay, so anyone who started reading All Will Be Well - sorry. I really wasn't liking it, and I think I've got an idea of how I want to play with this now. For anyone interested in the Seth/Sarah/Mark storyline, enjoy my little rambling ride, and please give me feedback and thoughts. I plan to combine a mixture of flashbacks based on how I imagine the Seth/Sarah relationship along with some stuff that would technically be happening present day. Enjoy!
When I was sixteen I snuck out of my bedroom window, shimmied down a tree, and sprinted silently toward the car waiting for me with it's lights off. I remember that so clearly, the way the air was cool and my skin was flushed, the way the heels of my shoes sunk in the dirty and muddied the cuffs of my jeans, the way the jangling of my earrings sounded thunderously loud. It was exhilarating, intoxicating – not as intoxicating as the beer I would shortly consume, but dizzying still. I felt free. Invincible. Alive.
If I had stayed home that night, if my parents had woken up and caught me, if my friend hadn't managed to get to my house...any small change in that night, and my life would be completely different. I hadn't even heard of the band, wasn't familiar with the bar...but she was. She kept telling me how amazing it would be, how much fun we'd have. Of course, she was right.
I can't remember what kind of beer we were drinking – Pabst? Something cheap and terrible, anyway, but to us it was wonderful. There weren't that many people there, though considering it was a dive bar featuring an unknown band, I guess it was a pretty good crowd.
Then he took the stage.
The second he stepped out, my eyes locked on him. He was wearing jeans and a leather jacket. His hair was already disheveled and appeared damp, reaching almost to his shoulders, and his chin was scruffy and unshaven. A glass of liquor sat on the stool beside his microphone.
He looked out into the crowd, and our eyes locked. I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true. We talked about that, even years later. His eyes hit mine, and we stopped. I know it must have only lasted a few moments, because no one else took notice of it, but to me it was forever. Then he started to play.
By the end of the show the friend I'd come with was no where to be found – I guess she told me where she was going, or who with, but I don't remember now. What I do remember is weaving my way through the dissipating crowd toward the stage. What I do remember is the tall, thin guitarist in the leather jacket smiling and stepping toward me.
"What did ya think?"
I shrugged and smiled. "Eh."
"Eh," I confirmed.
His laugh came from somewhere deep in his chest and he cocked his head slightly to the side as he looked at me. "I'm Seth," he said.
"Can I get you a drink, Sarah?"
"You came." Wasted, and sitting in waste. Covered in grit, filth, blood. How did we get here? How is this what we became? My head dropped. This is so screwed up...
I raised my head and looked into his eyes. "Of course I came, Seth. I always come."
He smiled, or at least I think he did – the swelling obscured his features, hiding his emotions from me. His voice gave him away. "What did I do to deserve you?" He said it wistfully, completely out of sync with the situation we were in.
"Seth..." He tilted his face toward me. The bruises on his face were steadily darkening. "Come on," I said, reaching out my hands to pull him up.
He unsteadily dropped his cold hands into mine and started struggling to stand. He was virtually dead weight as I tried to right him on his feet. He stumbled through the empty bottles and forgotten food wrappers. As soon as he was standing he sagged against me, his breath heavy with liquor and cigarettes.
I half lead, half dragged him to my waiting car and dumped him into the passenger seat. I slammed the door shut and watched as his head sagged forward. I felt a strong urge to cry.
How familiar was this sight? How many times had we been in this exact situation? Too many times. Far, far too many times. I walked to my side, climbed in, and started the car.
He rolled his window down and pulled out a cigarette. "Don't smoke in my car." My voice was steady and cool.
He gave no reaction as to whether he heard me, but he lowered his lighter and looked out the window. "So. Are you mad at me?" He speech was slurred and thick.
He chuckled. "You're made at me."
You're damn right I'm mad at you. Look at you! "Go to sleep, Seth."
We road in silence after that. Once we were parked outside my parent's house I pulled him from the car and steered him into the guest house. His shoes sounded like they were echoing against the stairs as I mentally willed them to be quiet.
"Haven't slept here in a while!" Seth exclaimed after we had entered. "I wonder what you're dad would say if he knew I was here. Would probably try to kick my ass."
Seth flopped onto the bed. I grabbed a towel to lay on the pillow, and he slowly rolled to his side, gathering the terrycloth material under his bloody and broken face. I surveyed him for a moment and then proceeded to pull off his shoes.
He gave no resistance. "You always...take care of me," he mumbled. He then dropped off into sleep. I wondered for a second whether I should wake him – he could have a concussion – but I decided against it.
I took a deep breath and felt the weight of the evening settling in my limbs. The ache started in my neck and flowed down through my shoulders, arms, lower back, and legs. Exhausted, I walked to the opposite side of the bed and slid in without changing my clothes, willing sleep to find me, even as it eluded my grasp.