The sounds of the tech crew hammering one of the balconies sets the tone of tonight. My mind seemingly won't allow me to concentrate. The magazine I brought to read in hair and makeup has gone basically untouched, and I wish I could find some way to occupy myself.
Everyone else is in their normal routines. Cat's chasing Sikowitz about the tone she's supposed to use in the scenes with me, since Beck said it could use some work. Beck's sounds asleep, using two director's chairs and a pillow I brought. Jade's furious because her scissor dartboard game is not going well. She's hit the wall four times and people have slowly avoided her area. She's never been good at hiding her anger.
Tori's got her head in her purse, looking for a locket or bracelet or something. Andre, as always is jamming in the far corner of the backstage area. Dancing right now, but soon he'll start to get in the zone and pantomime his lines.
In all this chaos, with the tech crew still hammering away, my eyes follow Cat around. I can't look away. She looks magnificent, even though she looks like a working class Roman woman that's never had a decent meal to save her life.
It's amazing to me how far we have come, so fast. It was as recent as three years ago, that I was tortured by Cat and her bouncy personality, completely oblivious to my massive and all-consuming crush.
That wasn't a fun time. Wanting her. Desiring her. Being completely unable to think of anything but how I wanted her to be mine and only mine. Looking back on it, it's no wonder Jade and the others picked up on it. That was probably my worst moments, at least as a person. Being so manipulative just to spend some time with her.
I'll never forget her horrible boyfriend, Michael, if only for how he attempted to force sex onto her, and how Andre, Beck and I beat his face in once we put the pieces together.
Cat was so scared that night. She cried and cried and apologized even though she was the victim. Nobody else was mad at her, only herself. Anyone in that position would be in survival mode, too scared to think about it changing. Which is why I'm glad we beat Michael up and freed her up to do as she pleased.
"Robbie, does this sound better?" Cat asked, right in front of me, snapping me out of my reverie. She proceeded to belt out a few lines, sounding much more middle class and beat down.
"Sounds amazing." I smiled.
"Yay! Thanks Robbie, you're the best!" She beamed, kissing me briefly before racing off somewhere.
Speaking of things I'll never forget. Our first kisses.
I wanna say it was after Colby. Funny how her boyfriend's names always started with C it seemed like. Anyway, she had a fling with him, no big deal, but she was still recovering from the Michael thing. I didn't recognize that the relationship probably wasn't serious, and since I was blinded by my crush, yelled at her since she didn't tell me. She didn't need to, not my business. She kind of knew how I felt, but she wasn't reciprocating.
I was at her house, driving carefully since my huge car accident, with Jade's warning about Cat's emotional state bouncing in my head. I remember the meeting didn't go at all how I was expecting.
"I smiled and shook my head. "Hey, when did you get that SUV?"
Apparently, that was the wrong thing to ask because her eyes locked with the floor again.
"Cat…." I said, wanting her to look up, but with no luck. "Sweetie?" Nope.
I haven't called her that since…the movie. Should I? She said she liked it…
"C'mon sunshine. What's wrong? Talk to me sweetie." I said, hoping she wouldn't freak out.
Her face popped up immediately. "I don't want to talk about it…"
"Hey, you'll feel better. Does it involve me?" I asked.
She looked at me like a little girl. "Yes, I— um, have had been having nightmares."
"Nightmares? What about?"
"Remember your accident Robbie? You said that the car that hit you was a white Cadillac SUV. The nightmares have been that I…crossed the intersection and hit you. But you didn't…didn't…." She said, starting to cry.
"Cat, that's horrible!" I said, pulling her into another hug whether she liked it or not. Apparently she wanted a hug because she wrapped her arms around me like a life preserver.
She clung to me for what seemed like forever. Not that I'm complaining or something. She just hung onto me for at least 2 whole minutes.
Finally, she started to talk again, but held onto me tighter. "You're my best friend Robbie! You are such a awesome guy, when that happened I was afraid someone had taken you away, then all the Michael stuff and you showed how much you care about me…I can't lose you Robbie…I can't…I just can't…You're too important…" She sobbed, tears falling into my shoulder more rapidly.
"You can't die Robbie, don't leave meee." She said, looking at me crying.
I am honestly speechless. I can't promise anything about not dying, but I'll do my best.
"Cat, I'm not going to die on you ok?"
"But I have almost driven you away twice in one semester…I don't want to lose you that way too…"
"Cat, you're not going to lose me. But I'm not yours exclusively. I'm a friend, but nothing more." I said, deflating myself.
"NO!" she yelled, noise muffled by the fact she had moved to my other shoulder. "You're my best friend…I trust you more than anyone else Robbie…"
I didn't know what to say. Luckily, it looks like she had one more thing to say.
"Did you mean what you said about not loving me like this?" She asked, pulling on her dark brown hair.
Right to the heart of the matter…
"Cat…I love you…but not like I did last week. I'm not sure about that right now." I confessed. She lifted herself from my shoulder only to collapse against her pillows. She looked miserable.
"I did drive you away…"
"Cat. It wasn't anybody's fault. It just happened to work that way ok? Please don't beat yourself up about it."
Silence. All she did was look up at the ceiling.
"Cat, c'mon…you have to—umm!"
All thought was wiped right off my mind by Cat hugging me and crushing her lips onto mine.
Finally, she broke apart from me, in what was a very hot and heavy kiss.
"I—oh—ummm…" was all that came out.
"All the pain I've caused you…I thought you should get some sort of reward Robbie."
After a moment I gather some semblance of my thoughts and said "You didn't have to do that…"
"I know…I'm sorry about what you've gone through just for me though." Was her response.
I ran my fingers through my hair. "I'm glad I came by…are we ok?" I asked hopefully.
She looked up at me hopefully. "Yeah…can I ask you something?"
"Will you go to the movies this weekend with me?" She asked.
"Sure, are you asking me out?" I wondered aloud.
"Not if you don't want to think of it like that…" She responded, looking at her pillow.
I sat on the edge of her bed. "Cat…I'd love to go." Her face perked up with unabashed joy.
Oh god, this is going to kill her inside.
"But as your friend. Even as your best friend, if you'll let me." I finished. Her face fell and she slowly put her head back into her pillow.
I heard what sounded like her sob, then respond by saying "Ok…"
Ok, I can't take it anymore.
"Cat, can you sit up and close your eyes?" I asked, and she obliged, wiping her eyes like a small child.
Here goes nothing…
I closed the gap between us, gently kissing her, as opposed to her kiss, which was passion filled and rough. I felt her gasp slightly and link her hands around my neck. She fell back into me, knocking me onto her pillows. I wrapped my arms around her petite waist and we stayed like that for a moment. Then, I decided I had to break it off because she sure wasn't going to.
I opened my eyes to find hers still shut in simple enjoyment of the moment. She slowly opened her eyes and looked at me, still having her arms around my neck.
"Can you give me some time Cat? I'm not sure what I feel right now." I started. She kept looking at me, her face saying one thing only.
I just want you Robbie. I don't want to wait. Please?
She looked miserable, but kept eye contact with me.
"I think I might still feel that way, I just don't want to go into something then not feel the same way. Do you know what I'm saying?" I finished. Her expression changed from misery to understanding.
"Ok…thank you Robbie. Nobody's ever said that before…they either rushed on ahead or said no." She mumbled.
I rested my head against hers. I saw her eyes shut and she sighed deeply, snuggling into me.
"I think too much of you to do that…" I told her, caking her to hug me tightly and a few tears to come out. I wiped them away before they hit her adorable cheeks, made even more adorable by her tiny freckles.
Oh yeah! Forgot about how amazing her freckles were to me at first! Now, I'm kind of used to them, since I see them basically daily. But then…they were the most beautiful thing in the world, it was something I had told her that nobody else had ever told her before.
Honestly, I don't remember much of the rest of that year or that summer. Then came senior year, with Cat and I love drunk, basically. The wake up call came when Michael and Colton reappeared and started threatening us, even sending me to the hospital once. But we cruised thru senior year, picking up record deals for Tori, Jade, Cat and Andre while I released a bestselling book about Cat and I's love.
I need to red that book again. I forget too many details. It wasn't that long ago!
It was all good, except for Beck and Tori violently breaking up on the last day at Hollywood Arts, accompanying Cat and I fighting about random stuff that really wasn't worth fighting over. But it was the first big relationship either of us had ever had, so I guess I should give us some slack.
Then Michael and Colton decided to go out with a bang, I don't know what on earth they aimed to accomplish by suddenly attacking us, along with the rest of the HA gang, but they sent everyone to the hospital, and—
"Are you ok?" I asked her.
"Yeah, don't worry about me Robbie. I'm fine. Are you feeling ok?"
"Yeah, just sore."
"No, seriously. How are you feeling Robbie?" She said insistently.
"I'm ok sweetie, I told you." I said, slightly annoyed at her insistence.
"Robbie, you better not be just saying you're ok, you better BE ok." She said heatedly.
"I'm FINE Cat. Jeez, quit be so paranoid. I'm sorry for hiding that stuff and it came back to bite me. I kind of deserved this."
"Do NOT say that! They are psycho! You just defended me, and I am NOT paranoid! I just love you!" She said loudly.
"Cat, you worry too much. I told you I'm FINE! That means I am fine!Can you just take that for what it is?" I asked, quickly getting very mad.
"I would, except for that you lied to me about this kind of thing before!"
"How about you just TRUST me?" I asked her.
"I could ask the same thing! You don't tell me everything, how CAN I trust you?"
"You love me! Is that a good enough reason?" I snapped, pulling into a random parking lot.
"It is if you trust me!" Cat replied flippantly.
"I do trust you Cat, I just think you worry too much!"
"Well stop worrying about my worrying!" Cat replied.
"No! You can't ask me to do that!"
"Why not?" Cat asked, hitting the dash in fury.
"I care about you too much! I can't just not worry about you!"
"Well neither can I!"
"Did I ask you?"
"Why do you care?"
"Why? Why do you ask?"
"I love you! You are the most important thing to me!" I snapped.
"I'm not perfect Robbie, WHY do you say that!"
"Because to me, you are!" I said heatedly.
"Well you are wrong! I don't know why you love me so much!"
"Because I love everything about you, I wish you would see that!"
"Are you calling me psycho?" She shrieked, kicking…something.
"No! I just wish you wouldn't worry as much!"
"What if that is natural to me?"
"Well, I'll snap you out of it."
"Says Mr. Perfect himself." She snapped.
My blood chilled and my temper flared.
"What the HELL does that mean?"
"You aren't perfect Robbie! You constantly fawning on me makes me sick, and sometimes I wish WE weren't together!"
I froze. Those words just rattled in my head.
I wish WE weren't together!
I laid my head on the steering wheel and took several deep breaths. I think I'm going to throw up.
It was quiet for a minute, and I realize what is going to happen next.
"This isn't going to work…is it?" I asked quietly, looking at Cat.
Tears were streaking down her cheeks. She looked the worst I've ever seen her.
She just nodded as tears silently fell.
I can't suppress a shudder just remembering that. Probably the worst moment of my life. Breaking up with my dream girl, over little stuff that wasn't worth breaking up over.
I take a deep breath and try to calm myself. This isn't helping me get into character. The 20 minute to show time announcement was a few minutes ago. I hope my trek down memory lane and Misery Ave. wasn't noticeable.
"Hey, you ok?" Jade asked quietly behind me, scaring me to the point I yell in fright and run a few steps before realizing it's her.
"Jeez Jade! A little warning?" I gasped, trying to slow my heart down.
"Sorry, you were over here by yourself, getting pale as everyone else is darting around. I just care." She smiled coyly at me.
"I know, thanks. I'm trying to psyche myself up for the yelling scene with Beck." I lie effortlessly.
"Oh yeah, that's the third scene up right?"
"I'll let you finish getting in character. You heard about Lola's friends coming right?"
"Yeah, I heard Lizzie is here too."
Jade couldn't suppress a smile. The little demon has grown on her. She's Travis and Leyla's primary babysitter for her.
"Awesome. See you on stage Robert." She stuck her tongue at me, walking away
"Sounds good Jadelynn!" I replied, smiling.
I still feel wonky after remembering the breakup. I don't even want to think about Cat and Beck's…fling, for lack of a better word. That might be the part Cat and I have never talked about. I don't recall talking about that, while we've gone over the breakup, and the most recent events with Alex thoroughly. I don't think either of them regrets it…kind of like how I don't regret sleeping with Jade during that same time period.
We probably need to talk about that at some point. It'll be healthy. Then…we can eat or go to sleep or…whatever. I think you get my drift. Her psychologist will probably like that.
Cat's even made me go a few times under the guise of "Fixing Me". I didn't feel broken, but the closest to feeling like the world was caving in on us both was when Jade and everyone told me about her meltdown in Christianson and Finch's, and the months she was in Methodist.
Concentrate Robbie, people are getting in their positions.
I tried to gather my thoughts as Jade and a couple of people I don't know started things off. Cat got my attention not by her suddenly appearing by me, but by applying the intoxicating perfume that I love.
"Smells delectable." I whispered, as Jade roughly and unintentionally blocked Beck's advances.
She smiled and hugged me. "C'mon…we're next."
Our scene was a rush. It wasn't long, just establishing the fact that Cat and I have known each other for a long time.
The moment we got off stage Cat hopped into my arsm and gave me a glowing review of how convincing our "friendship" was, then bounced off to change for her next scene. I've got a small break, Tori's drama is the main focus, and is next.
"I don't know what to do anymore." Tori sighed to a guy I don't know. "He doesn't show me the love he used to anymore. I feel like I have to go out and grab his attention just to mke him love me once!"
Sounds like my mentality while Cat was in Methodist.
I…I don't really know what happened the months she was in there. I was kind of on auto pilot. Kind of like I was the summer after the breakup. That's probably why Laken and I don't speak anymore. I…I don't know what I didn't do, but she probably has a good reason for avoiding me. I hope I didn't break her heart. I…I loved Cat. Still do. There was no changing that, despite all our troubles. In the game of love, the game itself was over, before she could even become a player.
I still think about that occasionally, when my minds drifts like it is now. It bugs me. I understand if she hates me on some level. I just wanted to be friends, and I hope she's ok.
I…don't know. Her sad texts she sent me for awhile lead one to think she liked me.
I need to stop think about her. The last few scenes are coming up.
"Hey! Nice job! Can't wait till we get back out there!" Cat bounced, kissing me swiftly and standing in front of me.
"Thanks sunshine." I smiled at her.
I swear, she's vibrating in my arms. Maybe that's because she's so happy. Maybe I'm nervous about our next scene. Don't know why I would be, this play is going off seamlessly, and we're almost done.
I hope everyone has liked it so far.
Cat seems so content when we're relaxing. I have gotten better at enjoying her company, especially since she's hell bent on starting a family with me it seems like. It's not like I don't want kids…but we need more time to enjoy each other. Moments like this, just the two of us, will be rare with kids, and I want to enjoy Cat. She's worth everything.
She's worth the world.
Right on cue, the curtains closed, as the crowd applauded our performance.
"Ok Ok! Everyone convene here!" Sikowitz yelled, waving towards himself. Quickly, he had everyone's attention.
"OK! That was a magnificiant job by everyone! Tech crew, the sets looked spectacular! Stage talent, you crushed it. Be ready for tomorrow! I'll see you at 5!" Sikowitz said, hopping off his barstool and heading for the door.
I followed Beck and Jade out to the theater, where surely everyone was waiting.
Cat grabbed my arm about halfway thru and kep with me until my parents separated us with their hugs.
"You did amazing!" Mom gushed. "You feel ok Robbie?"
"Yeah mom, I feel great."
"When did you start getting better?"
"Yesterday afternoon." I answered.
The noise level, which was already loud, got even louder, causing Cat and I to turn and see the PCA crew mobbing Lola and Tori.
"We'll be right back." I smiled at my parents, who simply shook their heads and smiled.
"Robbie! Cat!" Chase said loudly, moving forward and scooping Cat right off her feet and twirling her around.
"Hehe! Hi Chase!" Cat smiled, as he put her down and kissed her cheek.
"Robbie!" Zoey popped out of nowhere. "Nice job! You now know how to juggle three women simultaneously!"
"Don't give him any ideas." Jade quipped, as Cat hugged Michael.
"Where is Quinn and Logan?" I asked.
"Oh! We didn't tell you? Quinn had a baby yesterday!"
"WHAT?" Cat yelped.
"Yeah! A nice, healthy baby boy named Matt." Chase smiled fondly.
I barely had time to think "Oh, Matt's a nice name" before I was again tackled, this time from behind.
"Easy! I don't play football!" I teased the unknown tackler.
"Haha, very funny."
"Carls? Is that you?" I asked, turning around.
"Yeah it's me!" She said, smiling. Beside me, Freddie had Cat in a big hug.
"How'd you…why are you here?" I asked, mind reeling.
"How do you think? We keep up with you guys, and Tori said something about this being your triumphant return to the stage, so we wanted to come and see you guys!" Sam smiled at me.
Behind her, Lizzie and Maddie were gawking at Carly, her and Freddie.
Sometimes I forget they're big celebrities. They are just people…amazing people at that.
"Who knew all these people would come?" Cat said, voice ecstatic as Beck and Jade entered the fold.
"Uh guys, you have two gawking girls behind you." I smiled.
All three turned around and immediately struck up conversation with the two girls.
I watched happily as the PCA bunch, talked to Hollywood Arts, and parents that never met talked happily, while their children celebrated a job, or play, well done.
After a while, I looked at Cat. She was staring at me, eyes shining.
"Hey. You ok?"
"Yeah. I'm great. Amazing. It's so cool that the important people in our lives can get along and like each other." She said quietly.
"I know. We're so lucky."
"Not as lucky as I am. I have the best boyfriend in the world."
I blinked several times to prevent myself from welling up.
"Aww. You're gonna cry." She giggled, dimple popping out.
"Am not." I said, ruffling her hair.
"I love you Robbie."
"I love you too Cat."
(A/N: I…I honestly don't know what to say, other than thank you. To all the amazing reviewers, to each and every person who clicked on one of these stories…you have made this possible. I've grown as a writer with these stories and that's thnks to every one of you guys. I went thru all the reviews before writing this, and I did tear up. I can't believe it's over. I am going to keep writing Cabbie, and I'm going to carry over some aspects of this story that were too good to let fade. Cat'll still be sunshine, and Jade will still be Jadelynn. Beyond that…I don't know. I love the new format I'm going with for my Cabbie 2.0. Speaking of that, the title will be Emerge. You'll find out why. I'll just say that it is Cabbie, and is different style wise from these stories. Again…I cannot say thank you enough. I'll catch you guys later. :) – James)