a/n : Here are the songs, just add ''youtube'' to the beginning of the link
you can also download and/or listen to all the songs on my Tumblr page.
Chapter 27 : The Other Day
I wasn't really sure if I had everything. I think I did. I had a litter box and the litter that went inside of it. I was buying a lot of extra litter. I wasn't sure how much litter was necessary and I didn't want to not have enough. I guess if I didn't have enough then I could just use grass. Lord Tubbington pees on grass. Maybe I should just use grass. Litter costs money and I need money especially after what some of the girls were talking about last night.
"Do we even need this?" I looked to Rachel and nodded down to the two bags of litter I was hugging to my chest.
"Yes." Rachel cocked her eyebrow. "I think out of all the things you're buying right now, that would be the most important."
"I just don't want to waste money. Is this a waste of money?" I turned to Santana. I hadn't noticed her hand was on my back until it rubbed and bumped my arm as I had spun. "We're keeping him inside your house right, for now? He's used to peeing outside so maybe we should just put grass in the litter box." I looked at the litter box Santana was holding under her other arm. The one that wasn't touching my back. It was filled with little canned cat foods and non-canned cat food. It also had tiny toy mice and a new cat brush.
Her eyes were wide, but she answered. "You should get whatever you think you need."
I turned and faced the front of the line where Finn was ringing up customers. We were at the store. I even think we were in the same check-out line as the last time I had been here. I hugged the litter tighter to my chest. I didn't want to drop it.
Today was about getting stuff we needed. That was what Santana had said. I liked that she had said we. I hadn't even realized it until now.
Her hand moved back and rested between my shoulder blades.
She was so sweet. I knew she was having a hard time with what had happened. Ever since the other day she had been right by my side. I knew she wasn't going anywhere, but that wasn't what I was worried about. It was hard to watch someone be so unsure of what to do. Santana told me that she had never had this happen to her before, so she wasn't sure what exactly to do. She said that she would help me with whatever I wanted though.
After we had left my house the other day Santana took me to her house. I didn't cry. I wasn't really sure it was okay to cry. Well, I guess it was okay to cry, because people cried in these types of situations all the time. It just felt like I had been holding it in so long, that my body decided that I would permanently not be able to cry.
I was fine with that. But I wasn't fine with watching Santana walk on eggshells. Maybe I should tell her that I wasn't going to cry.
I turned back to face her. "I'm not going to cry." The words sounded kind of odd. Like they were true, but said from so far away that it wasn't even me saying them.
Santana visibly gulped. Subtly, but visibly. "Uh, I, uh." She pulled her hand to herself. I could see her face grow that reddish color it got when red was mixed with the most beautiful color of her skin. The guy in line in front of us peeked over his shoulder, looked from Santana, to me, to Rachel, and then looked forward.
I knew I shouldn't have said it that loud. And that wasn't really what I had meant. I didn't want her to stop touching my back, because having her hand on me was the one thing that was keeping me from thinking that this was some crazy nightmare where nothing seemed to connect. Everything was jumpy and erratic, except her hand on my back.
"You can touch me," I told Santana. My voice still sounded a bit distant, but not as far as it had sounded before.
The guy turned back around, his eyes locking with mine.
"Mind your own fucking business you perv," Santana hissed at him. "Obviously she wasn't talking to you, because I can see your back hair sticking out from the top of your shirt. Now maybe if you took some of that and put it on your thinning bald-"
"Santana…" I whispered, so so so softly. I was surprised she had even heard me.
But she stopped and had gave the guy in front of us the dirtiest look I had ever seen.
"Sorry," she looked to me and her eyes fell down my body and ran back up to my eyes. They looked so soft and gentle. Like she was looking at the most fragile thing in the entire world. That was how she had been looking at me since the other day. "I just don't understand why Nasty needs to look. Some people fucking think shit that isn't related to them is their business…"
She stopped when the guy left. He didn't look at us. Just walked out of line and went to stand in the back of another line a few cash registers away.
Santana put her hand back on my back. And as bad as I felt for what she had said, it felt good to hear her talk. The past few days when she had talked it had been so stuttered and cautious. Right now I liked hearing her say words like shit and fuck. Even if I knew she was reacting as if someone had been pounding on the walls she kept up, it was still so comforting to hear.
The line moved forward.
"I have a few options I want to run through with you. For tomorrow." Rachel spoke to me, but I didn't look at her. I just nodded. "Everything is organized and I found some pictures in an old photo album. I set up a slide show. I think your…well I think it'll be sweet. I just need your final approval for a song to play while it's running."
I just nodded my head. I didn't want to pick a song. I didn't know how to pick things like that. God, I still hadn't picked a song I wanted to sing to Santana. I guess I hadn't had much time to think about it lately, but I still needed to pick one for her because I was going to sing for her eventually.
I felt my body sink. Not at the thought of singing, but at the lack of anxiety I got from the thought of singing. I wasn't even nervous. I had nearly passed out being on stage with Sam that one time and right now I knew for a fact I would feel nothing if I were to get on a stage. No nerves, no nausea. Nothing. Maybe, because I had to beg Will to let me come to work and rehearse tonight with Rachel. Maybe when someone begged they weren't not supposed to be nervous.
I wasn't going to sing any time soon. But I wanted it to be absolutely perfect when I did get the chance to sing to Santana. So even if I wasn't going to sing for a few weeks, I would start practicing now.
I dropped the cat litter on the counter when we reached Finn. He smiled at all three of us.
"Hey girls. Rachel." He smiled at her the longest. He scanned the first bag of cat litter. "Who's buying a cat?"
"I already have a cat," I answered him. I felt my lips pull into a thin straight line as I tried to smile. It frustrated me that I couldn't even smile. Why the fuck couldn't I smile? It wasn't that hard to smile. Finn was nice and it was easy to smile at him. I didn't want to be stuck like this forever. I didn't even know what I felt right now. I tried to think and think about what I felt, but I couldn't figure it out.
I looked at Finn. His eyes shifted from Rachel to Santana. He looked confused.
"She's just getting it a litter box and some toys," Rachel looked to me and then to Finn. I think she was answering a question he had asked me and I hadn't heard.
Finn raised an eyebrow at me. But it wasn't a confused eyebrow, or a look that made me feel stupid for not hearing. He just looked concerned.
Santana stepped closer to me, so that her chest bumped into my arm. Her hand made a small circle in between my shoulder blades. Finn flicked his eyes to glance at us, but then went back to talking to Rachel.
I knew what Santana had just done would have made my heart explode with heat at any other time. I knew I should have been so happy and so giddy at her standing this close to me in front of someone who didn't know. It wasn't like I wanted everyone to know about us. I would prefer if they didn't. I wanted me and Santana to know more things first so we could figure it out, but that didn't mean I shouldn't have gotten the most amazing feeling in the world when she treated me the way she was treating me right now. I knew it took a lot of courage on her part to do what she was doing.
So why wasn't I smiling. I still had that straight-lipped stupid smile. It wasn't even a smile.
I watched Finn ring up and bag all the stuff. I handed him my card when he was done. I hadn't even heard the price, but it didn't matter because I would have bought this stuff if it had cost a million dollars. Lord Tubbington needed things, like treats.
"Wait," I stepped forward right before Finn swiped my card. "I think I forgot something. Can I look?"
"Uh, sure…" His forehead creased. He picked up one of the grocery bags he had been filling with cat food and set it on the counter for me.
I shuffled through the bag. All I saw was cat food. Where were the treats? "I think I forgot treats. He won't come out of the cat carrier if I don't have treats. The ones with chicken because I think he's allergic to the other flavor."
"There's another bag." Finn set a second bag on the counter.
I darted to the other bag and let out a sigh when I saw the cat treats. Good.
Rachel peeked over and into the bag. "I'm sure we got the right kind Brittany. We spent nearly an hour reading the ingredients on everything."
I wasn't sure if I heard frustration in her voice. I doubted I did. But just in case… "Sorry," I looked to Rachel, and then back up to Finn. I stepped back towards Santana. "Sorry, you can swipe the card now," I told Finn.
When Finn handed me my card, Rachel grabbed the litter box and one bag, and Santana grabbed the other bag. I could carry a bag...
"I can carry something," I reached for the litter box in Rachel's hand. She let me take it. I hugged it to my chest.
We walked out of the store.
"Are you hungry Britt?" Santana asked.
I thought about it. I wasn't really hungry. I wasn't full though. I shrugged.
"Do you want to get something to eat? We could stop and get food?" She asked.
I shrugged again.
She asked another question.
I shrugged again.
I felt awful. Each time she asked a new question it made me feel worse. They weren't even hard questions, I just didn't have an opinion. I would do whatever she wanted. I would eat if she wanted, I would sleep if she wanted, I would go buy more cat stuff at a different store if she wanted. I didn't care.
I just wanted this to stop. The questions, because I didn't have answers. I had this feeling that I couldn't even describe. It hurt in the worst possible way. It hurt in a way that I couldn't even figure out. Maybe it didn't even hurt.
I hadn't noticed we had reached Rachel's car until she was grabbing the litter box from me and putting it in the trunk. Santana waited with me outside of the car as Rachel rounded to get into the driver side.
"Britt…" She started, but I could tell she didn't have a question or a sentence or anything to say.
Now she looked fragile and maybe I was wrong when I had said that she was looking at me like I was fragile. Maybe I had made a mistake and she looked like this at me, because she was so unsure of herself.
"We can eat food," I blurted the first thing that had come to my mind.
It made Santana jump. But she didn't believe me or accept what I had said. Of course she didn't.
She pursed her lips into the same exact straight-lipped smile I had had plastered on my face just moments before. "U-u-uh," her lips shook when she spoke. She had to stop herself. It wasn't a nervous shake, or a confused shake, or a timid shake. It was a shake that looked like she had stopped herself from crying.
That feeling that had been buried deeply inside of me dug deeper and twisted. It made me nauseous.
I remembered puke climbing up my throat the other day. It had been hot, and had burned. And when it had fallen out of my mouth I had never felt so out of control of absolutely everything. I remembered trying to remember how to talk on a phone, while I was trying to make myself stop from throwing up. That nauseous feeling wasn't the same feeling I had gotten before when I had eaten something wrong or when I had been drunk. It was more of a sick feeling. It was gross.
Her face changed. Her eyebrows pinched together and she stepped closer to me. "Are you okay?"
I nodded and took the deepest breath I could through my nose. I filled my chest with air and I held it until I couldn't keep it in any longer.
That sick feeling was still lingering.
"I feel kind of sick," I admitted.
Santana nodded. "Okay, we don't have to eat," she eyed me. Every inch of me. It felt like she saw everything.
Half of me wanted her to see everything. It would be so much easier that way. It was always easier when someone saw things so you didn't need to explain. And half of me already knew she saw just about everything.
I was about to shrug when I stopped myself. Instead I nodded.
Santana opened the passenger door of Rachel's car and let me sit up front. I wasn't sure if she let me sit up front because she was being nice or because she didn't like Rachel. Either way. I was going to say something about how it was better that I sat up front right now anyway, because sometimes I get car sick in the back seat, but it didn't seem that important to say. So I just sat down next to Rachel and pulled the door shut.
Santana climbed in the back and Rachel started the car.
"Did you guys want to do anymore shopping?" I watched Rachel look at Santana in the rear view mirror even though I knew the question was directed at me.
I didn't answer and I let Santana answer for me. Like I said, I would do what she wanted to do.
"I don't think we need anything else right now," Santana spoke.
Rachel nodded and put her car into reverse. "I agree. I think Lord Tubbington is going to be one of the happiest animals ever." She backed her car up and then started to drive through the parking lot. "We can get something to eat."
I watched Rachel peek up to look in the rearview mirror and Santana must have shook her head no. "Or I can drop you guys off. It's been a long day. Maybe we can meet later for dinner or meet for drinks at work before Brittany and I rehearse."
I had been humming the same song since yesterday. I didn't think it would ever get unstuck from my brain. I hummed and tapped the counter and blew air through my straw to make bubbles in my soda. I could only remember part of the lyrics. So I just kept repeating that part over and over and over inside of my head.
…Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly…
I tapped along with what I remembered of the song and hummed the rest.
There were some other lyrics about trouble melting like lemon drops, but I wasn't exactly sure.
"Brittany," Will took a seat next to me on the bar stool. He kind of startled me. Not much though. Not enough to make me jump. "You really don't need to be here. The funeral was yesterday."
Finally I remembered why that song was stuck in my head. Rachel picked it and I knew it had to do with the Wizard of Oz movie nights we had at my house when we were little.
"You should go home," he put his hand on my shoulder.
I shook my head no so quickly. I didn't want to go home.
Nobody was there.
I heard Will sigh. I didn't want him to worry. He had the bar and all the other girls to worry about.
"It's fine," I spoke to him, but spoke into the straw of my soda. I was trying to think of something else to say to him, but I couldn't. I didn't know what else to say. So I just took another sip of my soda.
He stood up from the stool. "You don't have to come back to work until you're ready."
I nodded. "I'm ready."
He left and then Tina walked up to me. She was working behind the bar today, which was a good thing, because besides Santana, she made the best sodas. Quinn made pretty good sodas too. But Quinn wasn't working today.
I slid my glass to Tina.
"Do you want something to eat?" Tina took the glass and set it under the bar. She grabbed a clean cup and started to fill it with lime syrup.
"No thanks." I said. I had just eaten pancakes with Santana, her aunt, her mom , and Marcus.
Tina didn't say anything else. Tina was easy. Not that anybody else was hard, just, Tina was incredibly easy. I was in love with Santana, I loved Quinn, Rachel was my best friend and almost like a sister, Sam was a brother, and Mercedes was a sweetheart.
Tina made another soda for me and slid it back across the bar. "So," she started, "I still can't believe Quinn agreed to this."
I nodded, because I still couldn't believe everyone agreed to it. But they all still had a month to change their minds.
I wanted to sing. I had been planning on it for a long time. Everyone had been. Rachel, Will…
I had rehearsed a whole bunch of times. And the song Rachel had helped me pick was one of the first ones she had shown me. I still couldn't believe she had made a list of songs for me, even before I had said anything about wanting to sing to someone special. That felt like so long ago, but I guess it really wasn't.
Rachel said I didn't have to do it. More than once. More than a million times. But I wanted to. I had spent all that time picking out the song and making sure it was perfect and so had Rachel. And it was. It was something I had wanted to tell Santana for the longest time. Now, more than ever, I wanted to tell her that it would be okay.
I saw her heart break every time she looked at me. And even if I had no clue if things would get better any time soon, I knew I wanted her to take all that weight she was trying to carry for me and just let it go.
After knowing me for such a short time she had given me everything I could have ever asked for. She was the only person in the entire world that I could have fallen in love with. She climbed her walls and she held her hand down and she helped me up them. Or she left a door open for me to sneak in. Or I busted through a door. I still wasn't sure why we fit together, or how it had happened.
Santana had told me that I could ask her any questions that I wanted and she had told me that she wanted me to tell her everything and anything. It didn't sound like much, but having that kind of freedom with someone was supposed to be incredible, and yet I couldn't even talk to her properly.
The only thing I had been thinking about was when she had sung to me. She hadn't known me very long, but she knew exactly what she wanted to say to me. She had sung her heart out to me in front of so many people and it had been so beautiful.
I wanted to tell her that there would be an answer for me. She didn't need to worry. Eventually I would find my answer.
Both of us had questions. So many of them.
Now, more than ever, I felt so lost. And I felt so heavy. Everything felt like it was stuck inside of me and I couldn't figure out how to get it out.
Before, I had not known how to be around my mom, how to talk to her, what to say, if the things I said were what I meant…now I couldn't be anything around her or for her.
She was gone.
I wanted her back so bad.
God, I wanted her back.
Not having your mom was the scariest thing in the world.
The song was coming to an end. I knew Santana was standing right behind me. I had felt her hand on my back for the last twenty minutes. I had been standing here the entire time, just waiting for my turn and thinking. She had been standing here with me the entire time.
I felt guilty for feeling so sad. I knew people could see it and feel it. I just didn't know how to stop feeling this. It was stuck. I felt stuck and almost like I was drowning. I was drowning in water that wasn't there anymore and I didn't think I would ever be able to stop or find the water and be able to swim out.
I hadn't said much to anyone. I stayed with Santana and I worked a lot. It was easier to be around people than be by myself. That was what I had told Santana. So I had stayed with her for the past month and always stopped by the house on my way to work to say hi to Hailey. Hailey was only there some times. She stayed the night at a friend's house too. Probably because my dad wasn't around much either. He worked, stayed out late, and if he was home he was in his room.
Santana's nails scratched against my back. I felt numb.
Maybe if I sang then I would feel nervous. It would be better than this feeling of nothing. But I still wasn't nervous or anxious. By now I should have been going crazy.
I turned to look at Santana. "Thanks." I smiled at her. My smile wasn't forced, because I was so thankful for her. And it was the first real smile I could remember having in the longest time. She was perfect. It was like she had come into my life at the exact right time. She fit into everything that was me and we fit together.
She smiled back. "You'll be great."
I nodded as the song ended and then walked up to the stage leaving Santana by the stairs.
Tina followed me up. She was going to play the piano. I pulled up a stool and set it next to the microphone. And then I looked out off the stage. The bar wasn't too busy, since it was early still. Only eight. But a few customers were watching me with the most curious eyes. It was like they knew that I had never sung before.
I took a seat on the stool and pulled the microphone closer to me. And then I sat on my hands, because that was what Santana had done when she had sung that scientist song. I looked at Santana. She was standing right by the stage, where I had left her, and her eyes were locked to me. She smiled and waved.
I smiled and waved back. Another real smile. It was a half-smile, and not as big as hers, but it was still real. And then I looked back out to the audience. They were all still at their booths or tables and just casually waiting and watching.
"Hi." My voice was heavy and didn't shake an inch. I still wasn't nervous, scared, worried. I just wanted to sing and I wanted to tell Santana what I haven't been able to say. I wanted her to know what I felt, because I haven't been able to communicate it
I took a breath.
I had lost my mom before I could figure out how to talk to her. So I would be damned if I didn't say every single thing I wanted to say to Santana. I would spill my heart to her and I would let her have everything.
The thought startled me. I think it was the word mom. That had startled me. I hadn't even said, let alone thought it since … awhile.
"This song is called Let it Be. My friend Rachel helped me practice." I looked to the bar and saw Rachel standing there. She looked terrified. I saw Quinn standing right by her. I couldn't read her expression. Not completely. But she watched me. "I'm singing it to someone special." That's all I wanted. To sing to Santana. She was my special someone and even if it wasn't ideal how everyone found out about that, that was okay. It didn't make her any less special. "Be ready to push those white buttons Tina." I tried to help lighten myself, because I knew I sounded so sad.
Tina smiled and nodded.
I took a breath. I knew the words. I wasn't going to forget them. I was going to sing them. It was hard to forget things this important. Impossible actually.
I took another deep breath. The first part of the song started without music. Just me singing.
"When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me…speaking words of wisdom, let it be." I took another breath. "And in my hour of dark-," my voice shook. I stopped singing. I took a weak breath, sniveled, and started that line over. "And in my hour of darkness, she is standing right in front of me," my voice was barely hanging on, "speaking words of wisdom. Let it be..." I took a heavy gulp and prayed that Tina started the piano.
When she didn't I looked at her and nodded for her to start. She creased her forehead and eyed me. It was the first time she had questioned something I said or did since what had happened.
"Please," I whispered.
She sighed, turned back to the piano, and started playing.
"Let it be," my voice was so shaky and I knew I wasn't singing on key at all, "let it be, let it be, let it be…let it be." I looked to Santana.
It was hard to find her at first. She was crying. Her eyes were so red and her tears were pulling her makeup down her cheeks.
I snapped my eyes away from her. It made my chest crack and a sob break through.
Tina stopped playing.
I twisted and jerked my attention to her. "Please. Tina." I whispered. "Keep going, please."
I couldn't stop now.
She clenched her jaw, but she went back to looking at her sheet music and started again.
"Whisper words of wisdom, let it be." I whispered into the mic because it was the only way I was able to get my voice out.
I looked up and back at the bar. Rachel was gone. And then I looked to Quinn. She was standing there with her hand covering her mouth and her body was shaking with those soft and silent cries that hurt more than the loud cries.
I couldn't sing anymore. I couldn't. I couldn't keep myself together. I tried to look for Santana, but my eyes slammed shut and I started to sob. Tears were falling from my eyes and my nose was running. I coughed up the tears caught in my throat.
Not two sobs later, Santana was right by me. She wrapped her arms around me, helped me stand off the stool and walked me off the stage.
She took me to the back. I kept my head down. I didn't like crying in front of people, but it wasn't like I wanted to stop. I wanted to cry. I wanted this. I wanted it.
I heard the swinging door behind the bar creak open. And then when we stopped walking, Santana wrapped her arms around me again and I buried my head into her chest. "Can, w-we sit down?" I forced through my cries. My body was shaking so bad. I felt like everything was falling out and I wasn't sure how much longer I could hold myself up.
We sat right there on the floor. She sat cross-legged and laid my ear against her chest.
I could hear my sobs echo through the back.
Someone else's hand touched my back.
I opened my eyes and peeked up from Santana.
Quinn was crouching right next to us. She smiled through her dried tears.
Rachel walked over sat on her knees right by Santana and she wrapped her arms around everyone and hugged us. I laughed through a cry, because the thought of Santana letting Rachel hug her was kind of funny. And the thought of Quinn letting Rachel hug her was even funnier.
They let me cry forever it felt like. Rachel didn't stand up even though I'm sure her legs were cramping. And neither Santana nor Quinn made Rachel stop hugging. Even Mercedes and Tina had sat down close to us and Mercedes grabbed my hand and I think she was praying for a second.
Praying was nice of her. It was about asking and wishing and hoping that someone gets what they need. That simple.
My tears stopped. And everything stopped. That feeling was gone. The one that I couldn't get rid of and that had kept digging at me. It was gone. I had them. I had friends. And I had Santana. I had people and even though I had lost one of the most important people in my life I still had a whole bunch of other people who were important too.
"Look at us…" I spoke and my voice scratched.
All the girls giggled.
I lifted off of Santana and everyone slowly stirred and stood their way up.
"I for one am not looking forward to serving the customers the rest of the night, cause we just looked like a total crazy-mess." Mercedes joked and rubbed my back and it made us all giggle again. "Girl, you have one hell of a heart. I was in tears before you even started singing."
"You sure do." Rachel reached over and grabbed my hand.
Another tear fell, but it wasn't a sad one. It was a good one. Finally. I wiped it away with the back of my hand and before my hand was even down at my side, Santana grabbed it and linked her fingers through mine.
"I'm still worried about moving in with you girls," Santana spoke and helped me stand up. "But I guess since we all just hugged it won't be as bad as I think it will be. And I still can't believe you agreed to this Quinn."
The girls laughed again and Quinn rolled her eyes. Santana was joking. She knew, and I knew that being around these people was the best thing in the entire world.
The End of Part I
a/n : So, I just wanted to thank everyone who's been reading! I love the reviews you have left me. They mean so much! And yes…This is the end of Part I, meaning that there will be a Part II. I just felt that it was necessary to finish this part of the story here.
The sequel is posted "A View From The Fire" - Check it out :)
Also, you can follow me on my tumblr: www . frogsrcool . tumblr . com
Feel free to ask me questions there and that's probably the best way to know the status on the sequel. : )
And more than ever I would love to hear your feedback on this chapter.
Thank you all again. Thank you Stephanie for beta'ing ! : ) You're amazing!
And thank you lingeringlilies for helping me get through this chapter. Thank you a million times.
This has been an AMAZING story to write and share. Incredibly amazing. At times I've struggled to get through chapters and I'm so glad that I got through them. The feedback I get, the private messages I've gotten, the stories, the things people say…it's incredible and I really do truly thank you. So please, if you want to share anything, leave a review for others to read, send me a message if it's private, anything, because this story is more personal to me than you could ever imagine. For people to connect with it and send me such sweet things is like a dream come true.