The sun was shining bright into Angela's room. She woke up in a daze rubbing her eyes.
There's those days where you're like, ready to face the world. Then, there's those days where, you like, would rather just sleep in bed for like, a hundred years. Not because you're tired, but because you like, can't even deal with your life.
She slumped her shoulders while she dragged her feet down the steps in her house. Just as she made it to the last step, her mother walked by noticing her.
Patty stopped and smiled, looking at her daughter. She noticed pretty quickly that Angela seemed out of sorts that morning, "Hi, hunny," She figured saying 'good morning' would rub Angela the wrong way.
"Hi, mom," She groaned as they both moved into the kitchen.
Patty made sure to keep a smile on her face as she went to reach into cupboards, "So what did you think of that play?" She asked like she was absolutely amazed by it.
"It was good," Angela nodded.
"Rayanne did a great job, don't you think?" She asked.
Maybe it was just because she was in a foul mood, but she didn't know how to answer that. Rayanne did do a great job, that was a fact, but whether she wanted to admit that or not was something else, "Yeah, she did pretty good," She moved to the fridge and took out an almost empty carton of milk, "What happened to all the milk?"
Patty opened her mouth as if to explain, but changed the subject, "She did wonderful," Patty gasped, "I couldn't even believe that was the same-well, you know," She laughed slightly. She looked at Angela who seemed to be playing with her cereal, "Angela, is everything alright?" She said in a serious tone.
Angela stopped touching her spoon, "No-it's just-it's just-" She sighed, "It's just that Jordan like, slept through the entire thing practically. He didn't even care."
Patty tried to hide her smirk, "Well, maybe plays just aren't his thing," Her eyes followed Angela who sat down with her bowl, "Maybe go out to dinner. He likes to eat," She knew that as a fact, considering they were now completely out of milk.
"Yeah, okay, mom," Angela snorted, "Like you would know."
Patty pretended to smile. Then a pair of arms wrapped around her, "Hey everyone."
Patty looked at Graham with a smile, "We were just talking about the play."
"You mean that snoozefest?" Danielle said while walking into the room.
Patty realized no one else was interested in talking about it. She watched Angela who was putting her bowl into the sink, "So Angela, Who was that girl Brian was with? She seemed very sweet."
She pretended she had no idea what she was talking about, "He was with a girl?"
"She has curly hair, she's a little on the shorter side. Very cute," Patty explained, "I thought you might know her."
Angela rolled her eyes, "That's Delia Fisher. She like, hates him."
Patty looked surprised, "Oh-well, it didn't seem-"
Angela interrupted, "Can we like, go to school now?"
Then Patty and Graham looked at one another with an expression only two parents would understand.
Brian and Delia walked down the hallway with their backpacks still on. He was already over what happened the previous night at the play for the most part. He was coming to the realization that being with Angela was completely hopeless-if he hadn't realized it already.
"Thanks for watching the play with me. It was a lot of fun," Delia said as they walked, "I'm really glad we can like, be friends now."
Brian smiled, "Yeah, uh, me too."
"Well, I'll see ya later!" Delia waved goodbye and turned down a hallway.
Brian said goodbye with a smile and went to his locker. He was slowly turning his combination lock when he heard a commotion. He looked down the hallway to find Rayanne being crowded around by other students. Then he saw Angela, who looked at Rayanne then at him, before completely changing direction. Then he noticed Ricky alone at this locker. He walked up behind him.
Ricky was pretending to be busy putting books away, but really he was glancing at Rayanne laughing and joking with the others, "Hey," He said calmly.
"Hey," Brian greeted, "What's going on with her?"
"Well, if you really wanna know, Rayanne has found her calling," He looked at Brian, "Acting."
Brian smirked. When he really thought about it, it didn't surprise him in the slightest. He searched for the right way to say it, then he asked him, "Why did you tell Angela about the letter?"
Ricky looked at him with almost a frown, "I thought she already figured it out. Honest."
"Yeah, well, we're like, not even on speaking terms," Brian said while shuffling his feet.
Ricky shut his locker and turned to face him, "Brian, can I be like, totally honest with you?"
He shrugged, "Well, yeah."
"I was rooting for you. I mean, Jordan seems great and all-" Ricky explained, "But, after what happened with him and Rayanne," Then there was a pause, as Brian waited patiently, "I guess I sorta like, hoped she'd get it."
Brian had a surprised look on his face, "Really? You did?"
"Yeah," Ricky replied, "I mean, he like, did it with her best friend. Which is like, totally unforgivable," He said shaking his head, "But, the thing is," This was going to be the hard part he thought, "She's like, in love with Jordan Catalono and there's nothing you can do to change that," He continued, "The best thing for you to do is to like, move on."
Brian's eyes wondered, "Oh, well, thanks a lot. I feel so much better now."
Ricky slammed his locker shut, "So like, take my advice or don't, but you're going to get hurt," He gave Brian a small smile.
Brian's chest felt like it was broken in half. He already knew he had to move on. He had been telling himself that for months, if only it was as easy as saying it. His face showed a depressed look as he looked down the hall to find Sharon and Kyle smothering one another.
"Why can't we have that?" Brian muttered.
Ricky glanced down the hall at the scene. He snickered, "Uh, because we like, have morals."
Brian nodded and smirked, "If you say so."
Hallie stood in the center of the restaurant space, admiring the look, "Wow, this is really great."
Graham moved around in circles looking around, before ending up next to her, "Yeah, it is."
"It's hard to believe we'll be opening our own restaurant in two weeks," Hallie sighed with happiness.
He looked at her in shock, "Two weeks?"
"Yeah, the guys said everything should be ready by then," She replied, as she touched part of the new walls.
"The place looks great, but I mean, two weeks? There's still so much that needs to be done Hallie."
"Graham!" She shouted walking towards him, then tugged on his shirt sleeve, "Stop worrying. They love us. So what if a wall is missing a little paint? It will get done."
He couldn't believe what he was hearing, "A little paint? What about hiring staff? What about all the food?"
"Do you trust me?" Hallie asked with a devilish grin, "They'll be too busy eating the amazing food to notice a few missing things here and there!" She laughed, "Besides, we have the menu all figured out. I can get the shipments started this week, all while you are too busy worrying about chipped paint."
Graham let out a laugh like he couldn't believe what he was hearing, "It's not the chipped paint. It's huge things that make a restaurant work or not work." Then he looked at her face, which still held a grin, "Okay I mean, I guess- I trust you."
Brian sat across from Jordan, keeping his eyes focused on his book. He felt like if he said anything, he would explode. Jordan on the other hand kept playing with a pencil. He was unable to focus.
"So-Brain," Jordan spoke up.
Brian's lips turned in before saying angrily, "It's Brian. My name is Brian."
Jordan stared at him, like he was in deep thought, "Oh. Right," After a short pause, he confessed nonchalantly, "Brian, I sort of told Angela about the letter. I hope that's like, cool."
Brian shuffled in his seat looking annoyed, "Everybody knows about the letter okay?" He motioned with his arms on the desk.
"What do you mean?" He asked, sounding concerned.
"Everybody knows that I, like, wrote it," Brian admitted.
Jordan looked shocked, "So, what are you trying to say? The whole school knows that I'm stupid or something?"
Brian suddenly realized the conversation was going in a very bad direction, "No-no, that's not what I'm saying. That's not what I'm saying at all."
"Then what are you saying?"
"I-" Brian began, "I-" He paused again, then sighed, "I don't know what I'm saying."
They sat silently for what seemed like forever. Brain noticed Jordan staring at him with his piercing blue eyes. Then he saw him lean over his desk towards him. Brian couldn't look him in the face.
"Brian," Jordan began.
Brian looked back at him, looking almost afraid.
"Do you have like, a thing for Angela or something?" Jordan asked, motioning his hands.
Brian jumped up, "A thing? Like, what's a thing, like, do I have something to give her or something?" There was no way that Jordan knew. Or did he?
"Uh, no, I mean do you like her or something?"
"No, I mean-no way, why would I like Angela?" He laughed, "She's like your girlfriend."
Jordan leaned back staring at him, "My girlfriend," He looked like he was having one of his revelations, "Right."
Brian was still having a hard time looking him in the face, he almost made the biggest mistake of his life. He noticed Brian seemed to be deep in thought, "I mean, she is your girlfriend, right?"
Jordan slowly began to nod, "Yeah, I guess she is. I mean, I never really liked the word girlfriend, you know? It's so like, factual-or something."
Factual. Brian didn't reply, he just wanted to let Jordan dig himself a hole so that he could continue to hate him.
"But I mean, I guess if I wanted to call anyone, you know, my girlfriend," He paused, "It'd be Angela. Because you know," He looked at Brian, "I like her, like, a lot."
Brian looked right at him, trying to hide the disdain of what he was saying. He opened his book and continued to read, "Yeah."
"Can you believe I have like, been going to every class today?" Rayanne smiled brightly as she walked down the hall with Ricky, "I swear, it's like, nobody even cares about algebra or whatever, it's like, they just wanna know how I learned to act."
Ricky rolled his eyes, "Yeah, you mentioned that," He said as he followed her to her locker.
"You are so lucky," She gleamed, "You're best friend is like, practically a household name. I mean, the whole slut thing," She looked at him, "Totally out the window. It's like a new me."
"Listen, Rayanne," He said sounding concerned, "I know you're like, really excited and all, and that's great, but don't like, let it get to your head or something."
She slammed her locker, "Ricky, Ricky, Ricky, would I ever let something get to my head? I'm just taking it all in," She motioned with her arms, "I mean, why not, right? I deserve it."
"I know, but-" Ricky was interrupted when Angela walked between them.
"Hey," Angela greeted, while Rayanne stared blankly at her, "Can I talk to you for a minute?" She asked Rayanne.
"See you guys later," Ricky smirked.
"I have to go to the bathroom," Rayanne commented and ran into the bathroom, but Angela followed her.
Angela flew open the bathroom doors, "What is your problem?" Rayanne was looking in the mirror playing with her hair manically.
"I don't know Rayanne, like the fact that you pretended you were like, drunk when I came to wish you good luck, and I was worried you were going to make a complete fool out of yourself!" She shouted, "The fact that you like, run away when I'm around. When I'm the one who should run away, because like, you're the one that did something completely wrong," She rambled.
"I know I did something wrong okay?" Rayanne yelled and looked back at her.
"Then why can't you just say you're sorry?" Angela screamed.
"I am sorry!" Rayanne yelled back tearfully, "I made a mistake and I'm sorry. If I could take it back I would, but I can't."
"Do you like him or something?" Angela asked, honestly.
"No!" Rayanne said seriously, "We were drunk and that's the only reason it happened."
Angela felt even more uncomfortable when there was silence for what seemed entirely too long.
"Did you know that I like, always wanted to be like you?" Rayanne asked, smiling as she wiped away a few tears, "Maybe that's why I did it."
"I don't understand, that doesn't make any sense."
"I know," Rayanne nodded, "But I want what you have, because I mean, you have everything," She said while staring at herself in the mirror.
"I don't have everything," Angela shook her head.
"Yes you do," Rayanne said sternly, "You don't even realize it. You act like your life is so hard or whatever, but it isn't."
"Oh yeah, your life is so much harder than mine. Your mom lets you do like, whatever you want."
"Yeah, and maybe that's why the only thing I have going for me is being the lead in the school play." She grabbed her bag and put it over her shoulder, then leaned against the sink.
Angela turned to look in the mirror at herself. She was probably right, she thought, but she hated to admit it to herself.
After a few seconds of silence, Rayanne asked, "Nothing can ever be the same between us, can it?"
Angela shook her head, "No," She said calmly.
"Do you hate me?" She asked, folding her arms, asking seriously.
Angela shook her head once again, trying to hold back tears and replied softly, "No."
Graham walked inside his house, realizing somebody else was home, "Hello?" He called out.
"Graham you're home early," Patty said shuffling towards him to give him a kiss on the cheek. She was wearing a long robe and looked a little pale.
"Have you been crying?" He asked.
She laughed, "No. I'm starting to feel under the weather. What did you do today?" She asked, while going to sit on the couch.
"Well, I found out we're opening in two weeks."
Patty looked at him surprised, "You're opening in two weeks?" She repeated.
"Yeah and that's what I said, but Hallie seems to have things under control," He said, sitting down on another couch, he leaned on his legs and laughed as he thought of something, "She asked me if I trusted her."
Patty looked at him curiously, "Well, do you?"
Graham looked over at her, noticing her interest, "Well," He paused, "Yeah. I mean, I trust her. I have too right?"
Patty let out a small laugh, "No, you don't have to do anything. You're opening in two weeks and you have nothing done management wise," She stood up quickly, and headed for the kitchen, "Maybe we should all sit down and talk about this, I mean, you, me, Hallie, Brad. Does he even know about this? I mean, it's not like it's just about her. There's us-families involved here. She can't just keep taking risks."
Graham followed her to the kitchen, "About Brad-they aren't together anymore, they broke up."
Patty quickly turned around, "They what?"
"Yeah-I know," Graham put his hands in his pockets, "It's going to be okay. Everything is going to work out. She's actually better at this then we thought."
Patty looked at him in disbelief, "I don't get this. When did they break up?"
He shrugged, "Oh, I don't remember. I probably just forgot to mention it."
"Forgot to mention it?" Patty repeated, "Does this have something to do with the restaurant? Or does it have something to do with you?"
"With me?" He huffed, "Why would it have to do with me? Who cares why they broke up?"
Patty folded her arms, "I really can't believe you didn't tell me. What else aren't you telling me?"
"What's there to tell?" He shrugged again, "Listen, if you think there's something going on between us, you've never been more wrong. Half the time the woman drives me insane."
"I never said that," She shook her head.
"Then what are you saying?"
Patty stood wondering what she was trying to say, and maybe that was exactly it.
Patty closed her eyes as she tried to relax, "She doesn't have to worry about anybody else if this thing doesn't work out. We have everything to worry about."
"Don't you think I know that?" Graham asked.
"Then why don't you stand up to her? Tell her if this thing is going to happen, she needs to do it the right way. Not be impulsive with every decision," Patty complained.
"Patty," Graham began, "I trust her."
She stared at him from across the kitchen, and said sarcastically before leaving the room, "Well, that's good to know."
Ricky was at his locker getting his things to leave, while Angela waited for him.
"So where's Rayanne?" She asked.
"I don't know," Ricky sighed, "Probably with her newly-found drama groupies."
Angela knew he was trying to joke, but it was actually bothering him. She looked down the hall and saw Brian, who noticed her. She quickly turned her eyes away.
"Ricky, do you know what's going on with Brian and Delia?"
Ricky looked at her confused, "Um, yeah, they like, hate each other," He laughed.
"I saw them holding hands last night, after the play," She admitted.
"That's impossible, she like, always looks at him like she wants to severely hurt him or something. Maybe you thought you saw something you didn't actually see. But why does it matter?"
"It doesn't," She quickly replied, "It's just, I don't know, weird. Isn't it?"
Angela turned her eyes back across the hall to Brian, who was now standing talking to Delia. Then Ricky joined in the staring.
"Maybe they made up. They could just be like, friends or something," He shrugged, "It's not that weird."
"I don't think they're just friends." Angela snarled, as she continued staring. Then she felt a hand on her shoulder.
"Angela. Hey," Sharon said sheepishly.
"Hi," Angela greeted cheerfully.
"Um, can I talk to you for a minute?" She asked while taking a glance at Ricky, "Alone?"
Angela was ready to say yes, when she saw Jordan coming in her direction.
"Hey, are you ready?" He asked walking between them.
"Yeah," He replied, "I thought I'd drive you home."
Angela looked at Sharon and Ricky who both stared back with serious faces, while she tried to hide a smile.
"Um, I gotta go, but I'll like, see you guys tomorrow," She smiled brightly. She gave Ricky a peck on the cheek and smiled at Sharon.
They watched her walk away happily, "She is like, so doomed," She shook her head, "Does she even realize tomorrow is the weekend?"
Ricky watched them leave together holding hands, then he searched around the hall for Rayanne, who was nowhere in sight.
Sharon stated with a bit of an attitude, "If you're looking for Rayanne you won't find her. She left with a group of people."
"Oh," Ricky replied, surprised and hurt.
"See ya," She sighed. After Sharon left, he stood alone at his locker. Brian and Delia walked by laughing, he waited for them to say something, but they never did. It was as if nobody could even see him.
Jordan pulled up outside Angela's house. He parked and then looked down at his hands, which were moving around nervously. Meanwhile, Angela stared outside the car windows.
"Angela," Jordan began.
"Yeah?" She turned to look at him. She wasn't sure why things seemed so weird.
"Everything that happened, you know, with Rayanne," He hesitated, "Is that like, behind us?"
"Yeah," Angela said sternly. It wasn't as if she could ever forget, but she knew if she ever wanted things to work, she'd need to move on, "Do you want to like, start over or something?"
"Yeah," He nodded, "So, now what? Are you like, my official girlfriend? Like, officially?" He couldn't help but laugh at himself.
Angela laughed back, "I'd love to be your girlfriend like, officially."
"Can I ask you something first?"
"Does that Brain kid like you or something?" Jordan asked.
Angela's eyes widened in horror, "What? Brian Krakow? No," She laughed, "He would never like me. No. We grew up together, so it's just like, we're friends," She continued talking fast, "When you saw us the other night, I mean, that was completely normal for us. Like, he's always riding his bike at strange hours.."
"Angela," He interrupted, "You don't have to tell me your life story. He's cool and all-I mean he wrote that letter for me. It's just that I talked to him today, and he was acting kind of funny."
Angela made a nervous laugh, "Funny? Why?"
Jordan shook his head and smiled brightly, "Forget about it."
"Can we stop talking about Brian Krakow?" She asked politely.
Jordan leaned in and kissed her passionately, before she even had a chance to wait for an answer.
She smiled, "I guess that was a yes,"
"I'll see ya tomorrow?"
Angela walked into her house to hear her mom in the kitchen slamming cabinets. Her parents trying to maneuver around each other, while not even looking at one another.
Her parents looked back, "Oh, hi hunny."
"I didn't even hear you come in. Who brought you home?" Her mom asked.
Her mom smiled, "Did you guys work things out?"
"Yeah, I guess so," Angela nodded, "What's going on here? Why are you guys acting weird?"
"We're not acting weird. Are we acting weird?" Graham said and looked at Patty.
"No. Why do you think we're acting weird?"
Angela grinned suspiciously.
Patty changed the subject, "I'm home sick today. I'm feeling a little under the weather."
"Oh," Angela replied carelessly. She preceded to sit down at the counter, surprising her parents, "So, dad, how's the restaurant coming?"
Her parents looked at one another awkwardly; they couldn't believe she even cared, and because it was the last thing they wanted to talk about.
"It's, uh, going," Graham nodded.
Angela smiled, taking a bite of an apple and then left the room. She walked happily upstairs to her room, repeating Jordan's words in her head. She thought they were official before, but now it was officially official-or something.
She walked to her window to open it. The air from outside blew in the first smell of the oncoming spring. She could feel it in her bones. When she casually looked about, she noticed there was no sign of Brian. Usually, he'd be riding his bike up and down the street, or rollerblading or even skateboarding badly. Part of her wished she did see him out there, but she quickly knocked it out of her mind. He was finally out of her hair.
That day brought on the possibility of starting new and she finally felt some comfort in believing everything was going to be okay.