The lock clicked open with the turn of my key, and I stepped into the small room. At first, I had been expecting a silent, empty apartment, but I was only met by a solemn figure sitting on my neatly made bed. I flicked on the light, eyes scrunching a little with the sudden change.
"Aradia?" I questioned. It looked like her. Long, beautiful brown locks with her hands folded in her lap. Her head turned up to me; yeah, it was her. She had an expression of sadness wiped all across her face. I pulled the messenger bag that held my laptop off from around my shoulder and set it on the floor before stepping closer. "Is there something wrong?"
She didn't answer at first. She simply patted the space beside her on the bed. Then her voice came, soft and caring as always but a little regretful. "Sollux, come here... We need to talk."
Oh god, no guy ever wants to hear those words accompanied by such a face. Still, I moved over and sat beside her. Her hand returned to her lap, but she kept her eyes glued to my face.
"I don't really know how to tell you this…" Her shoulders began to shake a little. I could tell she was having difficulty with this. "I've been thinking of a good way to break it, but every way makes me feel awful, and I-"
"Aradia," I cut her off and placed a hand on her shoulder which she immediately shrugged off. My mouth pulled into a thin line. "What are you trying to tell me?"
"I can't… I can't be with you anymore Sollux." She shut her eyes and turned her head away even more.
My brows knitted and I stared back at her even if she wouldn't look at me. "So what? You mean, we're, like over?"
"We've been over for while." Her voice was weak and shaking, but once again, it made me melt. As I suspected, tears began to prick her eyes and all I wanted to do was take her in my arms and hug her until they went away.
"We have been? Says who?" I could sense my tone turning from confused to angry. "If you've been feeling this for some time, why didn't you say anything? We could've worked through this. If only you would come to me. I-"
"Just stop talking!" She shouted but quickly looked down and quieted. It was late and the neighbors would hear if she didn't stay quiet. "Shut up for a moment, and let me explain."
Her shout sure had shut me up but only for a second before the anger returned, and my eyes narrowed. "Let you explain? No, we're past the point of explanation. You just show up here and tell me that we're done." I paused. Why was I getting so angry? I took a deep breath. Calm. "Shit, fine. Explain."
I knew there was still a hint of anger in my voice. She picked up on it and continued cautiously. "Sollux, I- It's just. You're always so busy. And when you're not you don't even talk to me. It's like you put me after everything else. I can understand if you're busy, but it's all the time. All the same… Do you even care?"
"Of course I care. But, we've only been dating a few months, do you really expect me to spend all my time you?" Wrong thing to say. You're an idiot.
Her head snapped up from the floor and immediately her brows furrowed. "You don't spend any time with me! All you care about is your pathetic job! You work at a coffee shop. I don't really think you need to pick up that many extra hours. It's like you don't even want to spend time with me. And hell, even when you do, you only complain to me. You are selfish and combative about everything!" It would seem she lost all worry about disturbing the neighbors as her voice rose.
"I'm selfish?" I laughed; probably a little louder than I should have. Suddenly though, a thought pricked my mind. Aradia was never this random; she always had a reason. "There's someone else… Isn't there?" My voice had quieted, but the anger still prominent. She was silent for a moment; too long. There was no way she could cover it up now. That's what was going on. "What's his name?" I asked, clenching fists on to bed.
"He's kind to me." She whispered, but I simply stared back.
"What is his name." It was a question this time, more of a demand.
"Equius." She muttered quietly, but before I could answer, her voice rose again. "He's kind." She said louder, now staring up at me. "He cares about me and I know he loves me."
Another laugh. I stood and turned to tower over her. "Love! He loveth you?" Oh, yes, there it was. Extremely stressed out me also had a lisp. I acquired the beauty when I was young and forced into braces. Wonderfully the thing had stuck even after they were gone. I managed to get of it after months after months of speech therapy, but it still came back if I was put under pressure. I ignored it for the time being and continued to now full out yell at her. "You are thuch a child. I'm glad thith happened. I won't have to live with you anymore. Maybe I would have thpent more time with you if you weren't tho god damn annoying. Well, I'm glad thomeone loveth you because I thure ath hell don't." That was the worst thing I could have said. The tears started flowing, and she whimpered, trying to muffle her sobs with a hand.
I cleared my throat to dispose of the hideous lisp following up with a sigh. "God Aradia, stop crying. I can't take your tears right now. They're pitiful." And the coldness returns. Even if I had meant for that to come out comfortingly, it didn't. Every word dripped with anger. I turn around to hide shameful face that was contorted into a deep frown. Sit back down. Grab her and pull her close. Maybe if you forget to be angry then she'll stay with you. Maybe… My thoughts told me what to do, but did I listen? Of course not. Instead, I simply left her there to wallow in her own tears. I bet Equius would take good care of her; since he loves her and all. I stalked down the hall. "Goodbye Aradia. Don't stay too long." I muttered, not looking back to see if she heard.
I made my way down the stairs and out of the old complex lobby. Upon stepping out into the cold air, I shrugged down into my jacket with a small shiver. It was cold, but it had been colder. This was actually a surprisingly mild winter. It was still early and hadn't snowed very much. Still, ice plagued the grass in a light coat of frost. I walked a little down the sidewalk and into the small parking lot before finding my old truck. The thing was painted with rust and the red had been scratched away to reveal the silver metal. I back up against it and fumbled in my pocket. Pulling out a familiar box, and smacked it against my palm and popped a cigarette in my mouth. I had continued to search for my lighter and once I found it buried in the depths of my jeans, I cupped a hand to the end and lit up casually. The smoke puffed out and floated around. I hadn't really remembered when I first started with this infernal addiction, but ever since it seemed to calm me. I pulled it out and tipped my head back, blowing the smoke high into the grey sky. It was followed by a deep sigh and I closed my eyes. A buzz in my other pocket was the only thing that snapped me back into the reality I was trying to escape. I took my phone and flipped it open. Yes, flipped. Unfortunately my job didn't pay very much. She was right again; my job was pathetic. Even so, I had only enough to pay for this piece of crap. The screen lit up with the little envelope flashing, and the name 'Karkat' underneath it. My roommate. I shoved the phone back in my pocket. Truthfully I didn't want to talk to him right now. He was more annoying and screwed up than I was. Over all a complete- my phone buzzed again and I sighed, opening it.
Hey. Where are you?
Jackass, answer me! I'm not waiting around here forever. Grab Aradia, and get over here.
My jaw clenched with the mere mention of her name. That's right. We were meeting him for dinner.
"Guess I should go meet him. Don't want him to get his panties up in a wad." I said to myself with a small laugh, climbing in my truck and starting it. It skipped a few times; the thing wasn't worth a penny. However, it finally started and I pulled out of the parking lot. The drive was long until I drove into a spot and cut the engine. It was our usual meeting place; a small diner that should probably have been shut down years ago. It was filthy and few people actually enjoyed eating here. Though, the food was good and we had learned to get over the disgusting factors. I hopped out and walked into the door. The small ring of a bell greeted me before I even saw the guy glaring at me from one of the chairs by the front door. He stood and had to tip his head back to continue staring me down with a death look. He was extremely short for a guy our age and little wasn't even enough to describe him. He wasn't as skinny as my bony ass, but still he didn't exactly meet plump. He was altogether tiny; or 'compact' as he liked to call it. I simply grinned with my hand shoved in my pockets.
"Hey bud." I said but the breath was knocked out of me as a small fist hit my gut. Another thing that may surprise someone; he was little but could definitely hold his own. His fist fell back to his side and the scowl that was permanently smeared across his face didn't lighten.
"Next time you're going to keep me waiting, at least have the courtesy to call, dumbass." His mouth was the only thing fouler than his expression. I had never heard someone so angry and so many creative insults until I met this guy. Still, he was my best friend. It'd been that way since middle school and continued even now. We were sophomores in college and he had graced me with the joyful presence of his as my roommate. And when I say joyful, I mean intolerable nuisance.
I had rubbed my stomach where he hit me and then moved over into an empty booth without another word. He followed in to the seat opposite of me and picked up a menu. Not sure why; he always ordered the same thing. I just shrugged the situation off and began looking around. A waitress soon came over and took our drink orders. We had gone ahead and ordered food along with it as she nodded and waltzed back off into the kitchen.
"So are you going to tell me why you're alone, or am I going to have to beat it out of you?" Blunt. Karkat never knew the meaning of subtlety. I looked back only to find he was staring at me with that angry look. Over the years I learned to take nothing of it; it was simply his face.
"I broke up with Aradia. Well, more like she ended it without telling me. I kind of guessed it was coming, but I never really knew it would be this early."
"Get on with it." He snapped with a disgruntled growl. "I don't really give a crap about your life, but since it's the correct thing for me to do as your friend I'll listen. Just hurry the hell up."
I blinked but followed his order none the less. "I, uh, found her sitting in our room. She told me she loves some other guy and all this shit."
He looked shocked, but only for a moment. "Oh, I'm sorry. Though, I saw it coming." The waitress brought the drinks we had ordered and I watched him begin to chew on his straw like a child.
"What do you mean?" I asked after taking a sip of my coke.
"She's been pretty dodgy lately. Even to me. Whenever I'd see her and make some crack about how you weren't with her, she'd get this look on her face that made me want to punch her."
I ignored the latter comment and instead focused on the first. "First, why would make a comment about that, and second, what do you mean by look?"
Apparently this annoyed him because he sighed and slumped down into the booth. "Do I have to spell it out for you?" Anyone else would have posed this as a rhetorical question, but no, not him. He actually stared at me and waited for answer. But seeing that I obviously wasn't going to give one, he just scowled harder and curled his hand into a fist. "I make comments because I want to. Who cares about others' pointless emotions? And furthermore, her look was just annoying. It looked sad and depressing like she had done something wrong."
I sat up a little and frowned at him. I had been doing too much of that lately. "Really? You choose now to tell me that my girl—no, ex-girlfriend looked depressed? Gee, thanks friend."
"I shouldn't have to be the one to tell you, asswipe. Maybe you would have noticed it if you spent one minute with her." He was right. I hadn't even paid mind to her the past few weeks. "Fuck Sollux, don't make me get all serious."
"Fine." I mumbled before drinking more and sitting back to glance around. The question still pricked my mind and I soon opened my mouth; wishing I could close it. "Was it really that obvious she was sad?"
His eyes stared at me and flashed with anger. He obviously did not want to talk about this, but I didn't care at this point. "Yes. It was like someone kicked a puppy and then yelled at it. That enough for you, or would you like for me to go into more in depth detail and fill you in on all the wondrous knowledge I have about the pathetic excuse of a relationship you just screwed up?"
"God Karkat I was just asking." I replied harshly trying to keep my voice under a shout.
His retort came out without even a second thought. I was always amazed how he could spit things out without even thinking, and yet, they still sounded coherent. "Well excuse me for not giving a shit about your life. It's depressing and your self-loathing attitude only makes it worse. Hell, I even had to sit and listen to that girl blab on the phone to me about how big a jerk you are. And-"
My eyes shot up from my glass and I narrowed them quickly. "Hold on. She called you? When?"
He shrugged like it was nothing. "I don't remember really. About a week ago I guess' maybe a little less."
"Are you fucking kidding me? She called you, and you didn't tell me! And you say I'm a worthless friend." My tone had completely risen. I was blaring. A few waitresses shot us a look and I sunk back down into the booth.
He stared at me only for a split second before multiplying the intensity of his scowl ten-fold. "Again. I don't give a rat's ass about your life. It annoyed me to even think about your 'relationship', so I didn't. And even if I was going to tell you, you spent that entire night at some club. And when you came home smelling like smoke and cheap beer I decided it was best not to disgruntle you with the emotional instability of your girlfriend."
My reply was cut short by our waitress walking over with the plate of foods. Apparently she had overheard some of our conversation, probably my shouting, because she was both tentative and cautious when coming by. It was okay though; I really didn't want to talk about it anymore. Thankfully, the food preoccupied both me and Karkat, and we soon found ourselves stuffing our faces.
The rest of the meal was eaten in silence; two burgers and a large basket of fries. Every once and awhile I sent a glance up to him but was only rejected by his eyes staying glued to the table. Though I couldn't say I wasn't use to this. We fought a lot. This is how it usually ended. Within the hour I'm sure we'd be right back making jokes and teasing each other.
I was wrong. This one had hit us both in a way that wouldn't be passed easily.
Still, we finished our food and split the check. After, we walked outside and I tossed my keys to him in which he caught out of reflex.
"Go ahead. I've got some business to take care of." I said, only half lying.
He raised a brow but shrugged and unlocked my truck. "Fine, fuckass. Have fun walking home."
"I will." I replied curtly, but he slammed the door before it could be heard. I was a little surprised he was even tall enough to drive my truck, but somehow he managed. I then turned and walked down the sidewalk in the opposite direction. I pulled out my phone and dialed a familiar number. It rang a few times before a voice picked up.
"Hey Fef, can I drop by for a bit?" She replied in the affirmative and I nodded. "Alright. Be there soon." I continued before slipping the phone back in my pocket.
Feferi, she was a friend of sorts. Sure, there was a small fling in high school, but that had simmered down into nothing in no time. It wasn't that she was a bad friend or anything, but I never really had an urge to become close to her. We had both become emotional dummies for each other. Anytime anything was off or lacking, she would come to me; and I to her. This was one of those times. I felt terrible after yelling at Aradia, and now at Karkat. She was one of the few friends I hadn't yelled at yet. And so, I made my way to her small apartment before knocking on the door. She opened it with an ever present smile that went well with her giddy nature. She was always happy and it showed; she didn't try to hide it.
"Hey Sollux! What's up?" Her voice was cheery and set me into a better mood almost immediately.
"Nothing. Can I come in?" I asked, trying to cover any distress my expression might hold.
"Sure!" She exclaimed and stepped to the side. I walked in before turning around. She had shut the door and looked to me with somewhat curious eyes. "So what are you doing here?" I guess it was a plausible question. We never really visited each other unless something was wrong. It was only right for her to suspect something. But instead of answering, I simply backed her up against the door. Not wanting to wait any longer to let out my anger in a different way, I crashed my lips into hers with a hand cupped to her cheek. Almost taken aback, she gave a light push to my chest which caused me to pull away.
"Sollux, don't you have a girlfriend?" She asked, and I stared back.
"Had." I said with a small grunt. "We're over." My answers were short and I leaned in to close the gap, but she turned her head away.
"I can't do this." This made me slide my hand from her cheek and back up with a small frown.
"What do you mean?" It had never really occurred to me that could easily be an outcome. This never happened. In any usual situation, a session of ridiculously childish kissing would occur before sitting on the couch and regretting what just happened. It was normal; it was what neither of us liked, but also what neither of us tried to stop. However, once again I was thrown for another loop out of the norm.
She had a small hint of regret in her eyes and she stepped away from the door. I have come to hate that look of extreme pity. No one needed to see it, and I was really getting sick of it.
"You know that guy I told you about a little while ago? Yeah, well, we're kind of together now…" And the pity continued with every word.
My eyes and tone were both disinterested as a stared back at her. "That fruity little hipster?"
She curled her hands into fists at her sides and gave a small stomp with a pout. I had never known someone so overly girly and primped. A spoiled daddy's girl. That's all she was. "Eridan's not a hipster. And he's not fruity! He's just fashionable. Just…"
"Gay." I finished for her with a snort. "He's got a god damn purple stripe through his hair and his lavished, lavishly pushed Scottish accent only presses the whole 'hey world look at how queer I am' vibe he has going on all the time."
Her eyes narrowed, and I could see I'd pushed her a little too much. It seems all I could do that night was make people angry. "He's not gay, Sollux. I'm sorry if you're pissed off right now. And I'm sorry that things between you and Aradia didn't work out, but you don't have to insult my boyfriend." Oh god the word sounded even worse when she said it. "I can't do this kind of stuff anymore. I have a relationship now."
I gave a slight tug to my jacket and opened the door enough to make her step behind me in order to not get hit. "Sollux, wait."
I flicked a hand up over my shoulder. Even she was annoying me right now. "Bye, Feferi. Let me know if you ever find your boyfriend lying in bed with another man. I'll be happy to come console you then. Otherwise, leave me alone." A small whimper came out to me. I had somehow managed to screw one more friendship over. Three in one night; that has to be a new record.
I shut the door behind me and let out a sigh as I shoved my hands deep in my pockets. I didn't really want to walk back out in the cold. It would only lead me back to my own home and an always angry roommate I had already made angrier than usual. A migraine brewed behind my forehead, and I raised a hand to rub my temple. It didn't help much, but it was enough for the moment.
I made my way back outside. It was completely dark now, and if not for the occasional flickering streetlight, I would have been stuck in pitch black. Another sigh; I stopping counting the amount of times I sighed a long time ago. Too many to count. My breath escaped and became visible in the air. I turned every corner until I finally reached my building. I stared up at the tall structure with a small grimace. Hopefully Karkat would be asleep by now, but who am I kidding? He never sleeps. Somehow I, an insomnia stricken guy, was somehow stuck with someone who also didn't sleep. And worse, he seemed to only get angrier by the hour. I could see him sitting there, staring at the TV, and watching one of his idiotic romantic comedies. Another thing, my roommate was addicted to those things. Every since I met him, he's forced me to watch them. Awful, but there he would be waiting for me to return, his mouth at the ready to spit more insults at my face.
"Fuck that." I hissed and turned on my heels. Looks like it was another wonderful night to get hammered and forget everything for a few hours; sounded good to me. And so, I began another walk.
The next few hours went by slow but progressively got faster and more blurry. I soon found my head with another empty glass in my hand and hunched over the bar, chin in hand. I glanced down only to spot two gals about my age.
I stood and walked over to them draping my arm over the shoulder of a brunette. It was mainly because I had half fallen onto her, I was too drunk to even stand for more than a few feet. An immediate look of disgust fell on her face and she glared at me.
"What do you think you're doing?" She said to me, her brows hunched down.
The response came out long and groggy with a hiccup. "What am I doing? What're- hu, you pretty ladieth doing alone? Ethpecially when you mutht be hurting. You know, after falling from heaven and everything. Or are you just tired from the long drive from Tennethee? Cauthe', again, you're the only ten I see. " Yes, it seems even when I'm loose and drunk, my tongue couldn't handle that infernal 's' sound; the lisp triumphantly returned.
"Get off." She attempted desperately to push me off, but failed as I only wrapped my other arm around her side and grinned.
"Ah, you can't ethcape now." That's when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked behind me and there stood the epitome of cliché muscle men.
"Hey, mind letting go of my girl?" His voice bellowed down to me, and before I could answer, he had pulled me off my feet by the collar.
I grabbed onto his hand with my own, trying to pry him off. Even if my mind was completely clouded over with the warm feeling of whiskey I could still manage a little perception. "Eh man. You're kind of thcrewing up my chantheth here."
His eyes narrowed, pulling me up even further. "What was that, skinny?"
"You know what I mean. A little boom-boom, roll in the hay, hanky panky." I grinned and was met with a fist to my jaw before being dropping. Unfortunately, my knees had decided not to work and thus I slammed my head against the stool behind me before landing face to the ground. A deep groan escaped as I scrabbled to stand. The guy had already led his companion and the girl with them out the door on the bartender's consent. I stood to wipe the already running blood from my lip before looking around. A faint voice offered to call a cab for me, but I simply waved a wand and stumbled out the door.
Somehow in a blur of streetlights and passing cars, I made my way home. Up the stairs I went, stopping only when my forehead smacked against the gold painted numbers of my apartment. I fumbled in my pocket to find the keys and thankfully obtained them, unlocked the door, and wobbled in, shutting it behind me. Almost instantly, the lights were flicked on and my eyes struggled to focus on anything. I heard footsteps that were close to the stomp of a child. Glancing down, I was presented with the brown eyed scowl of Karkat. He had his head tipped up and painfully more angry than usual.
"What'th up Karkleth?" A nickname he hated, but personally I could barely spit that out without a hiccup.
Face, meet fist number two of the night.
I stumbled back and raised a hand to my now tingling chin. He just stepped forward and shoved me hard against the door. "Do you know what time it is?"
"No, pleathe enlighten me good thir." I replied wiping more blood from my mouth.
His face contorted more and his eyes flashed with furry. "Douchbag it's fucking three in the morning, and that lisp is practically frying my think pan. Please, try to control yourself. If a mess like you even can. I have been sitting around waiting for your sorry ass to get home, but it seems you were too busy getting hammered and apparently punched in the face."
"That wath you athhole." I snapped back, pushing off the door and looming over him.
He simply glared back. "No, the first time. There was already blood smeared all over your face. I just added to it."
I prepared a retort, but suddenly something came to mind. "Why did you even thtay up thith late? I mean, theriouthly Kar, you could have gone to bed."
Apparently I hit something that he didn't want to talk about because a flash of embarrassed red rose to his cheeks before he turned around quickly and crossed his arms. "Shut up. I wasn't- it's just… God, I couldn't sleep thinking you might be dead out there. Excuse me for worrying a little fucking bit about you shit head."
I reached out a hand to pat his shoulder, but on contact, he turned and surprisingly pulled me into a tight hug. Even if he wasn't pleasant when he spoke, Karkat made up for it in actions. He would reluctantly show you how he felt instead of being in any way nice. I ruffled his hair lightly before a pang hit my stomach. I let out a small grumble, and he backed up. He was less flushed than before; his cheeks now only lightly pink.
"Just don't throw up on any of my shit." He mumbled before he turned and started walking away. I tried to reach out a hand to pull him back, but another pain made me retreat and wrap my arm around my stomach. It was time to spend another glorious night, head shoved in my cold, porcelain mistress.
Yup, product of my boredom... I kind of got into it after a little bit of writing and pestering from my friend. So, should I write more? As always, I'd love any comments :)
Well, I have to go to a party now. Bye!
Oh! Happy New Years everyone! :D