Sometimes life gives you an unexpected gift...
Whether it's perhaps a cheesy-ass rainbow after a horribly wet, stormy week. Or maybe an unexpected compliment...like your hair isn't looking as retarded as usual, or it's not so birds-nesty today!?!
“Why thank you kind Sir, I appreciate that you noticed! Today was my monthly hairbrushing!” [cheese-filled smiley faced grin]
Sometimes it's not exactly what you expect, and often it's not what you think you deserve, but you'll take it anyway! A gif'ts a gift, right?!? Haha!
Sometimes, I don't know what it is I expect of life?
Sometimes, I wish my life were different?
I know the saying, “You made your bed, now lie in it.” and I agree. My life isn't all bad...not like that crazy cat lady I saw on 20/20 the other day (Come on! 123 cats!?!?! You have got to be joking honey!?! Just stop after the first one! -Scratch that, don't even start! Dogs are waaaaayyyyy better! Haha!)
Oh wait! Where was I!?!
Oh yeah, Sometimes I wish my life were different...
It was a cold and stormy night-oh sh*t, no it wasn't! It was an effen hot, sunny day! So sunny it felt like my eyeballs were just going to shrivel up right there in their cozy little sockets. I was walking down the street, well sort of walking really fast! I was late to work- again! [Sigh]
Luckily there was a slight breeze to stop myself from spontaneously combusting. At that moment a disgustingly fluoro orange flyer moulded itself to my face.
“Eww!!” I growled, pained as I peeled it off like an old bandaid.
Glancing at it, I read,
Open Mic Night Showcase
Every Thursday 9pm
Hm... I thought. That sounds pretty dope.
It was like the heavens had just opened up and given me the right gift at the right time!!
So you're wondering what the hell am I on about!? Well it happened about three and a half weeks ago. Basically, relationship from hell ended, well exploded in my face!! I had decided to swear off men for life, maybe become a lesbian if I could figure out how!?
After locking myself inside for a week, and basically becoming a hermit lady. Never getting out of my Pajamas, eating everything in my fridge, including that year old jar of black olives I've been 'saving' for a special occasion...until I had run out of even basic staples to eat, such as baking soda, and a box of soggy Christmas crackers from the year before; re-entering the world didn't seem so bad when faced with self-imposed starvation.
Work was beckoning me back with such positive messages as: “You will be fired unless you show up tomorrow!” And “We will move your stuff to the 'back office' beside the dumpster if you don't show up on Monday” Well okay, that wasn't word for word...but that's how I interpreted it.
So that Monday I took their caring and loving advice and shoved my ass out of my nice, warm, cozy bed and jetted to work the usual fifteen minutes before I had to be there...ahh Time, your always running away from me, you little bastard!
After an awesome day back at my FAVOURITE job in the world, I decided to catch up with the real world. Instead of spending my nights Facejobbing, I mean Facebooking some of my so-called-friends, I rang my best friend Alice (who had just broken up with her bastard of a boyfriend too) and asked her to go have our traditional “Au revoir to assholes!” at our local watering hole.
As I waited outside the restaurant that she works at, I decided waiting was lame, I'll try to find a f*g in my Mary Poppins of a bag. You know the kind of bag where on the outside it's this big x this big, but when you look inside you find it can hold a small aircraft carrier...
My hand came up, instead of holding a smooth cancer-inducing cigarette, it was clutching a folded piece of paper.
Hm? I thought, as I opened it up, Oh yeah, that's right...
I was down to the last few puffs when she appeared out of nowhere,
“See you later Petey, haha! You're soooo funny”
I looked over to see her flirting with “Petey” a slimey little garbage boy, or so it looked. (Apparantly he was the sous chef!? Go figure...)
“Hey Skye! You been waiting long doll!? Sorry I got held up, if ya know what I mean...”
She giggled, like the school-girl she is. I had to roll my eyes.
“All gravy baby. So you're over ass-wipe then I take it?”
She gave me that coy grin that all the boys love. My little Barbie-doll of a best-friend. The boys looovvveee her. Pity she falls in and out of love like a schizo...
“So I was thinking how about we go somewhere different tonight!?” Holding up the tacky fluro orange flyer.
Grabbing the flyer out of my hand, she scanned it quickly,
“ohh!!,” she squealed, ”Fresh meat! I'm in!!”
And with that she looped her arm through mine, and proceeded to tell me everything that had been happening with her since I last saw her.
You probably wondering how I could be friends with such a ditzy, vapid, cliché-spouting, airhead!?! Well, it's simple, she's like the Sun to me. We have been friends since we met at an audition three years ago. (Yes, we're lame 'aspiring actresses'...don't say anything!) She was so perky and sincere in her convictions-she has an amazing outlook on life, and...um...herself.
Myself on the other hand, if she's the sun, I'm the Moon. Polar opposites. I'm moody, and dramatic. A pessimist, trying to be an optomist. I bounce off her energy, and she plays off my sanity. Yin to the Yang, and all that jazz...needless to say, neither of us got the job.
So we found the place with surprising ease, since we had never been to that part of the city before. The HUGE glowing sign kind of helped. The Basement Bar from the outside looked like...a basement. Down three steps we entered unfamiliar territory....
Sidling up to the bar, eyeing up the locals, it became apparent that we were outsiders. Everyone seemed to know everyone else and it gave the place a kind of Homey feel. Dim lighting, candles, a little stage in the back right-hand corner., with classy retro furniture, and an old looking chandelier It was old school jazz club meets dingy basement. I liked it straight away.
“Can I grab two Mojitos please!” My perky friend fluttering her lashes to the bartender.
“Coming right up.”
“Sooo Skye, anything good to nibble on tonight!?” She whispered as she surveyed the room more carefully this time.
“Oh, um..” I had got lost in the music of some chick and her guitar with a heavenly voice, “ Uh, how about over there?!” Pointing to a group of good-looking dudes, laughing and drinking.
One in particular had caught my eye. Tanned, honey-blonde, with deep blue-eyes...and a beautiful smile. He kept staring in our direction as he started talking to a waitress, shortly after patting the waitress on the butt to send her on her way.
What a pig, I thought. Oh well, it's not for me, Alice likes her men “manly”. Me, on the other hand, didn't seem to know anymore? Maybe I like my men far away, so we never have to screw up the perfect moment of catching each others eye and smiling. That, to me, is the perfect relationship.
I'm guessing I'm her 'wing-man.' I thought a little bummed. (If you've ever seen 'How I met your mother you'll know what I'm talking about!') I thought this was a 'we-hate-men' celebration, but I guess I should've figured. With Allie she bounces back easily like those squishy stress-relief balls.
“Oh my gosh! He is a fox!! And he's staring right at me!!” Looking over to see her making goo-goo eyes at him, and flicking her gorgeous blonde hair, in my face...
“Excuse me miss” A voice said to my left. It was the Butt-slapped waitress
“ oh sorry, did you want us to move?”
“Oh no, this is for you, from that guy over there.” She saids as she plops down another Mojito in front of me, and points to the foxy, butt-slapper, who's smirking at us as he raises his glass.
“Oh no, you must be mistaken. This must be for my friend.” I pick up the glass and start to slide it over to Alice.
“Ahh no, I'm pretty sure he said it was for you?!” The waitress blurts out confused now. “I'll go check shall I?!?”
“Yes, thank you.” We watch her scamper over to their table. I turn to Alice who looks a little bummed. “You know she probably got it wrong. He was totally making eyes at you.”
“It's okay Skye. You're totally hot so who can blame him.” She gave me her best 'I totally believe what I'm saying...sort of' smile.
“Yeah right Allie! I'm sure she's got it wrong. Plus I'm not out on the prowl because I've decided to become a nun.”
That made her crack up at me.
“YOU! A nun!?! That is hilarious Skye!! Hahahaa!” Laughing until she snorted, just in time for the waitress to come back.
“He said it was for you.” She said as she pushed the drink back in front of me, then stormed off.
“Sheesh! What an asshole.” I swore, not sure whether it was towards the waitress or the butt-slapper. “I'm going to go over there and talk to him. Because I totally think she was wrong, okay Allie.”
“Nah don't be silly. Just drink your free drink and forget about them.” She said quietly.
Alice, on the outside is all smiles, sun and fun. But I know her better than that. I know this sucked. Not just because she was the one who usually got the boys attention, but more because every dude who dated her, broke up with her shortly after. They all claimed that they had “nothing in common”. One dude told her bluntly, “you're boring. I only dated you because you're hot.” and that sucked. She puts on a brave face, but I know better...
“No, He's a douche. I'm going over there.” And I went at it like a bull at a gate.
They were all still laughing and totally oblivious to the mad-woman who was about to disrupt the jovial atmosphere.
“Excuse me.” I cleared my throat loudly.
“Ah hi there missy. You want a piece of old Micah here do ya!?” Stupid drunk boys...
“Well, actually yeah I do, mind if you boys scamper on out of here for a moment?”
All the boys grinned like school-children, until one of them spoke up, “No problemo...”
Rolling my eyes I took the first available seat in front of me, directly opposite him. I had noticed he'd just been staring at me the whole time, not saying anything. Just quietly sipping his beer, and smirking...
He leant over the table towards me, “So, did you come over here to say thanks for the drink?” That smirk somehow got bigger.
Shocked I sat up straight, “Are you kidding me?!?”
“No, I would never kid about manners.” Man, I wanted to wipe that smile right off his chauvinistic face.
“Actually no, I came over to say I don't want it. I think you're an asshole for buying a drink for the friend of someone you were eyeing up. I basically want to pour this drink over your stupid fat head.” (Man, I am too honest sometimes)
“Well...that was refreshing?” He looked surprised.
“Well...yes, it's true though. So...I'm going to go now.” I stood up to leave, just as he put his hand on top of mine, to stop me.
“Just one second,” His eyes pleaded with me.
I yanked my hand away as if his touched had burnt me, “What then? You going to thank me for calling you an asshole?”
“Actually I was going to say, for your information Miss...”
“Okay, Miss Skye, that I wasn't eyeing up your blonde friend, I was eyeing up you.” And with that he sat back in his chair and folded his arms. He sat there looking like the cat who got the cream.
I had nothing to say for a moment...”Okay, whatever. Bye.” And with that I walked away, leaving the drink on the table.
Alice had seen the whole exchange, but obviously had not heard a thing,
“So what did he say Skye!?!” Eyes opened expectantly.
“He's a dick, Let's just go.” I dragged her to the door, only pausing once to see that smarmy face still smiling, watching me as I went out the door...
The days went on, I totally forgot about Butt-slapper. But I hadn't forgot about my ex. To tell this story properly I need to tell about the EX.
His name was Drew. He was gorgeous, to say the least. He used to make my coffee every morning at work. I didn't know whether it was because our breaks happened to be at the same time, or whether he liked me...later I found out it was because he liked me.
I have no problem meeting guys. I am a self-confessed feminist tomboy. Grew up with many brothers and the mentality that girls were just as good as boys(if not better). I like to watch/play Basketball (used to play until everyone started getting taller than me, and I stayed the same height...sad), Tennis, Ice Hockey, Tennis, Surfing, Hackey Sac, video games, blah blah, woof woof. So the point is: I know how to talk to guys.
My problem is I've always been picky. I like something about someone, then a few weeks/months into a relationship I'll find something I don't like about them. My therapist used to say I have a commitment phobia. I say, there's something wrong with men. Fullstop. Rule off.
Drew was different. On paper he was the 'perfect guy'.
We had a sh*tload in common, he was independent and didn't cramp my style. He was friendly to EVERYONE, romantic when appropriate, and also was a great “Man-friend”. Problem was he was also a liar. With a capital 'L'.
Six months into it I found out he had a four year old kid. Okay, no big dealeo. I like kids...as long as they don't come out of me anytime to soon.
A week later I found out he was married. Still married.
Okay, yes they had been separated for nearly a year. Bu they still remain close friends, and hang out. Plus they have a kid together. But that's all gravy he told me he was into me, and not her.
What put the cork in the cork stopper was, those two weeks I found out he had a kid and was still married, I found out he was going to spend Christmas and New Years with them at her house!
Hey, I'm a reasonable woman....so I was sweet with it. I was going to go see the olds, then go to a three day music festival over New Years with the girls so that's cool. The problem was when I first met his ex a month before Christmas, she had the audacity to whisper in my ear that I am a whore stealing a married man. Then I started getting crank calls and malicious notes in the mail... He reassured me it wasn't her, and told me he'll 'keep me safe', but for goodness sake we weren't even living together so how the hell was he going to keep me safe!?
In the end I broke it off with him, because he'd keep telling me one thing, then the opposite would happen. He'd make dates and then an hour before he'd cancel on me, I would find out later that he'd been spending a lot of time with his ex. And meanwhile he didn't want to commit to me, he also wasn't ready to commit to his family!!?! -what prick would say that to his girlfriend!? Talk about commitment phobe!
So asshole-x is gone...and that's that story.
So yeah, I might have a few “committment phobias”, but who the hell wouldn't after that kind of relationship. I still have to see him at work-though I changed my break-times; and he still texts me, but I can deal with that sh*t. I'm a big girl.
The problem is when you get into a relationship you spend a lot of time with one person, a chunk of your life. You get comfortable with them, with who they are, and who you are around them. You learn things that either make or break a relationship. You leave baggage with them, and in return they leave a few of their stupid ass baggage with you. No matter how much you clean out your house and spray everything with sanitizer, it still reminds you of them...
My girls had been setting up a bridal shower for one of our friends for ages, and I had forgotten it was this Friday.
“Hey Sky-sky!?! You coming tomorrow night!? Stacey's so excited! And want's you there.” My work-friend Amanda leant over my cubicle, her ginger bangs falling into her eyes.
“yeah, okay. What time is it again?” I sighed, not really in the mood to celebrate someone getting married.
“9:30pm. The limo will be outside your house at 9pm, 'kay?!” She said, giving me a stern look.
Rolling my eyes, “Okaaaayyy. I'll be waiting outside.”
“You better be! Okay, love you byebye!” And she flounced off.
Sucks when everyone knows how bad I am at timekeeping. It's not like I mean to be late...it's just I get distracted easily...
8:59pm, on the dot, I was standing outside my house, in my minidress. (I had decided that embarrassing Stacey was the aim of the night so she may as well have the sluttiest friends to help get her the most attention that night.)
“Woooohhhooooo!! Ohhh yeaaahhhh Baby!! Yeaaahhh! Mama likes!!” I saw two heads standing up through the roofwindow of the limo hooting at me.
I pasted on my smile and was determined to not be a bitch and ruin it for Stacey.
“Hey hot mama's!! Any room in that Big Boy for a lil old gal like me!?” I laughed, and it felt good. Real good. Could totally do this.
We picked up Stacey last, who feigned surprise at us turning up in the middle of dinner with her parents. (p.s. She's not a good actress.)
It was all sh*ts and giggles in the Limo. Six slightly tipsy, slutty looking 20-something year olds laughing and drinking cheap bubbles.
“So where are we going?” I whispered to Amanda, who was seated next to me.
“You'll find out...” that coy grin.
I was glad I didn't know. It was an adventure. Not just for Stacey, but for the rest of us who had no clue either!
“OMG!!” Alice squealed.
I had to look, rolling down the tinted window to see we had parked outside the hottest (and only) Male Stripclub in our city. Stoked.
After an hour of cocktails, waxed asses, abs and pecs, and one awesome lapdance for Stacey, we headed to another venue. We hit a couple of dance clubs, a caberet bar, and then ended up parked outside another bar...that looked vaguely familiar. The Basement Bar.
“Oh f*ck no, Alice!” I said pulling her aside, “We're so not going in there!”
“It's okay Skye! He's probably not in there. And I'm fine.” She patted my arm, eager to get back into the festive spirit.
“No, I-I'll wait out here.” I stammered, thinking WTF!? Why am I being such a pussy?!?
“Come ooonnn. It's all good Sky-sky! You'll see.” I allowed her to drag me in after her, hoping I wouldn't regret it. After all I did promise myself that tonight would be about Stacey and not me and my drama.
“You never did tell me what he said to you to make you storm out like that!?” She said curiously, as if an afterthought.
“I can't remember.” I lied, “He was a douche anyway, trust me on this one 'kay Allie?” I looped my arm through hers, “Let's just go get a drink!”
After we had liquored up we followed the herd, heading in the direction of a table that was starting to look oddly familiar...again.
“Ohhh!!! Baby!! I had no idea you'd be here!!??!” Stacey squealed and bear-hugged her man, delighted to see her fiance.
I had never met her fiance, or seen a picture. As far as I knew they had met on the Net, “dated” for three months, met each other face to face, and a month later he had proposed. To me, it was a little rash; but apparantly that's what you do when it's “love at first site”- I mean “sight”. Hahaa!
He was an okay looking dude. Dark brown hair, green eyes and a lopsided smile that was infectious. He was a big burly man, that made you think in High-School he'd been a linebacker or something. It was clear that he adored his fiancee, and the feeling was mutual. I was happy to see Stacey happy.
At that thought I felt a pair of eyes on me. Looking up I saw him. Sitting closer to the corner this time, but still with those eyes and that smirk.
I sat down, and started talking to Bex and Gemz, trying to ignore the eyes I felt that were trying to drill holes in my head.
Turns out it was Open Mic Night/Karaoke Night. However the hell that worked!?
Stacey and us girls got up to sing a song for her man. We were her backing singers. It was definitely a good thing that she could sing, otherwise I'd be super embarrassed for her! Not just because she was drunk, but also because she thought she was good, sashaying around on stage, acting like a young Britney Spears, before the impregnations. It was hilarious!!
After a few other people I decided to make a polite exit. My excuse being that I am a dog-walker on Saturday's...and I was dog-gone tired! Okay, my bad. Bad joke. But that's how tired I really was.
I siddled up to Stacey and quietly said into her ear, “Hey honeybee, I gotta gaps it. I had an awesome night, and I am so stoked for you! Have a fabulous rest of night!!”
“You're going!? The night is young, young lady! It's only?” She grabbed the nearest watched hand available, and checked the time, “2am!?!”
“Whaaattt!? Are you trying to leave Skye?!?” Alice interrupted, yelling at the top of her lungs.
I felt every pair of eyes on me, and not just at our table.
“Uh, yeah. I got work early, tomorrow.” I felt like a dick. A grade A Party-pooper.
“Fuuucckkk off Skye! You're not leaving us!” Amanda chimed in standing up and pointing at Butt-slapper Man, “Micah here, was about to get up and sing us a song! You have to stay!” Her eyes pleaded with me, followed by a bunch of other eyes. I felt uncomfortable when I got to those eyes...
“uh, yeah sure. I'll stay a bit longer.” I mumbled, then reached for my drink.
“Yaaahhh!! She's staying!” Alice stood up and reached over to hug me, then Amanda, and Bex...well it ended up being a pile on, and I immediately regretted wearing a minidress...
.......................................................................................................... After we all got up off the floor, I ended up sitting in the next available chair, which just so happened to be next to Micah, the ButtSlapper. I turned my back to him and started chatting with Eva, Stacey's cousin, until Eva decided to use the ladies room. Damn not needing to go to the loo as often as the other girls!!
I remained facing away from him. Staring at the stage as often as I was staring into space...
“So...You going to ignore me all night?” a little chuckle followed after the smooth, deep voice of a man I didn't particularly want to talk to.
I turned around to give him the evils, “Who said I'm ignoring you? Just because I'm not talking to you, doesn't mean I'm ignoring you.” I didn't wait for a response, instead I just stood up and made my way to the bar.
When I got back I noticed the same seat was available. I didn't want to sit anywhere near him.
I bent down to whisper in Amanda's ear, “Hey, do you mind if I take this one? You can have that one over there.”
She looked at me perplexed, “Uh, yeah I tried sitting over there, but Micah informed me that that was your seat.”
I looked over to him, for once he wasn't looking at me. “Okay, fine. Thanks anyway.”
I sort of huffed a little as I sat down. Not really sure if it was because I wanted him to know that I was uncomfortable sitting near his skeezy face, or whether I just wanted to annoy him? Mature, I know...
Waiting sucks. It's true, I know y'all would agree with me. Time seems to go sooo slow. And you can feel yourself getting annoyed with every tick tock of the stupid clock.
I felt myself age as I waited for the two 80's mulleted old dudes to finish their rendition of some lame Poison song, so then Micah could embarrass himself.
Stupid Bret Michaels wannabe's...it's wrong on so many levels. The hair, the bandana, the “bad-ass rockstar” attitude...and seriously normal songs aren't supposed to be five minutes long...and counting!?!
I turned to look at Micah with my best wry expression, “Yes, Micah.”
“I just was wondering if we could start over, ya know? Clean slate?” Hopeful expression mingled in his smirky face.
“And why is that?” I know I can be a bitch sometimes, but seriously, what does he want from me?
“Because I like you.”
“Ahah. So you like my sparkling personality, and my delightful conversation! Or is it because I'm the only one at this table that doesn't think the sun shines out of your ass?” I smiled, widely.
Laughing he finally spat out, “ No, I think you're right! Haha! It's definitely the personality!” He sipped on his beer, probably to stop him choking on his words.
I sighed, relenting. A little.
“Okay. I guess you're right. I can try to be civil. At least for the rest of tonight, which should be however long your song is. After all we're here for Stacey and Dave.” Still smiling, I took a sip of my beer.
Nodding slowly as he looked me over. It was uncomfortable. (Yes, I use that word a lot, but there is no other word to describe the feeling...it's uncomfortable) I realised I was still watching him as he leant back in his chair, started rubbing his chin, with that devious thinking expression that villains in cartoons have.
“Okay, deal. So as long as I'm playing, you're staying?”
“Yep. I think we covered this already.”
When the hell were those stupid people going to finish their song!?!
“I think we have a deal Miss Skye...?”
I ignored the obvious attempt for more information, “Sweet. Whatever. Just don't take too long singing your damn song.”
I looked away, not sure what that look I saw on his face, meant...I figured it wasn't good, but it's not like he could chain me to the bar!?! Could he?
Finally they finished. Seven minutes, twenty-two seconds later...subtle applause. (Not a lot from me obviously) And the MC got up to announce it was Micah's turn. The crowd went wild.
Obviously they had heard him play before. I watched out of the corner of my eye, waiting for him to stand up and make his way to the stage. Instead, all the people on his side of the table got up and moved their chairs out of the way, making a clear aisle for him to walk through.-no, make that roll through...
He pushed back from the table, pausing to smirk in my face, he proceeded to roll down the clear aisle to the side of the stage. Dave followed behind him with a guitar case that must have been stashed somewhere in the corner behind him.
Oh Geez! Great! No, f*cken awesome! I internally cursed. Of course he had to be in a wheelchair! I couldn't believe it.
Firstly, he's f*cken hot. He's a sexy fox, who happens to be a right royal jackass. On top of that, he's a paraplegic! and a musician.! And the icing on the big dumb cake, is he likes me...
I know most girls would be like, WTF Skye!? That sounds primo. (Especially all those Devs out there) But I was serious when I said I had given up on men. Then the first asshole who happens to catch my eye, has to be a winner aye!? I knew this was bad. Real bad.
Maybe I did something in a past life that meant I had to have this screwy karma? Nah, f*ck it. I don't believe in that horse sh*t. All I knew was I was staying away from him. Far away...as soon as his song finished.
All this internal bullsh*t, and I missed him getting helped on stage. Snorting to myself, Ha! Some 'Dev' I turned out to be!
After adjusting the mic, he proceeded to strum a little on his gat, “So, how y'all doing this evening?”
The crowd roared, and I heard more than a few girls wolf-whistling. Ugh!
Smiling he said, “Okay this song is for the soon-to-be Newlyweds we got here tonight. Can I get an around of applause for Dave and his hot fiance, Stacey!”
The whole bar yelled, hooted, wolf-whistled, barked, and whatever animal type noise that they could get out of themselves. I was sure noise control wouldn't be far away...
“Okay, here we go...” and he started singing...
I was stunned. He had a flippen beautiful voice. Velvety, low, with a gentle husk to it. He also had a great range. Damn it Micah! With your stupid, beautiful voice!!
He sung with conviction. Like he believed every word he was singing. I'm sure all the ladies in the bar would be shedding a few, and maybe a few men...
As he was finishing I noticed that the smirk had come back, and he was looking my way. I pulled my face into a tight, 'and what?” expression, and tried to remember what the hell my face had been doing two seconds before that!?!
The crowd went nuts!! He started to hand the guitar back to Dave, who was ready and waiting. Then as if by some magical curse, the crowd started chanting “Encore!!”
“So y'all want more, do ya!?” He started chuckling. When he caught my eye, he winked.
I groaned. I could see what was about to happen...
After about three more upbeat songs, including the encores, he finally mellowed and started playing a soft, melancholy sort of tune on his guitar.
“This song goes out to a girl I met recently.”
And then he proceeded to sing the entire song staring at me. (Okay, not the entire song, but a large chunk of it)
The song was all about boy meets girl, and pursues girl, who runs away but secretly likes said boy. In the end they get together blahblah woofwoof...yeah, so what if he sounded sincere...
I had to go.
Trying to be discreet I got up, kissed all the girls on the cheek, and whispered my goodbyes, lastly I got to Stacey. Her eyes were shining with, I guess, un-shed tears? I don't know? I'm not really a girly girl.
“Have a great night Stace. I'll catch up with you at brunch on Sunday!?” I whispered to her. Giving her an awkward half-hug.
She touched my hand, “Do you know who he's singing about?”
“No idea.” I pulled a tight smile.
“Whoever it is, she's really lucky!” She smiled a genuine smile at me before hugging me back. “Thanks for coming babe. Had a really great night! Thank you.”
With one last smile at everyone, I gave a little wave. As I was walking out the door I heard the last sentence of his song...
“I just wanna be with you.”
The next day I got up early to go to work. Gathering up all of my energy reserves I could muster, to top up the dangerously low supplies, I left the house. (plus the triple shot of espresso kind of helped!)
Walking dogs is the next best thing to owning them. I mean, I love dogs but it's just not feasible to have one where I live, and my lifestyle. So that's why I figured, hey! Being a dogwalker sounds like fun! I get to play with them, feed them, and of course, walk them; and pick up the occasional poopy with my pooper scooper...and then I get to give them back! annnddd I get paid to do it!! Perfect.
I arrived five minutes early for once in my life! walking into the pet center I saw Taylor behind the desk, stressed to the max.
“Hey Tay!” I said brightly, hoping that I was about to ease some of his anguish.
Frazzled he looked up, “Oh, Hey Skye! So glad to see you!” picking up a sheet of paper, he scanned it fast, “Here, this is for you. Looks like you got a new addition today? So that'll be five dogs instead of...five, oh I see. Mrs Plowman didn't bring in Snowy this morning. So you're all set.” Smiling he handed me the paper and my timesheet.
Glancing at it quickly I noticed the new dogs name was Husky. A Siberian Husky dog.
That's an original name, I thought sarcastically.
After returning the paperwork, I went out back to the dog-holding area. Clipping on all the leads, I bent down and said hello to all my regulars. After lavishing enough attention I turned to the Newbie.
“Hey there Husky! Okay, I know it's your first time, but there's nothing to be scared of. We'll take it slow. Get to know one another, and see what happens from there. Maybe we can make this a regular occurrence?” I smiled to myself at how stupid I sounded.
Bending down I gave him a pat, as he started licking my face. Sighing, “if only people were this easy to get along with.” standing up, “Come on then guys.”
Walking them out the side entrance I paused, admiring the warming sun, the gentle breeze as it blew through my tangled mass of hair. Nice.
We walked our usual eight blocks to the park. Had a run around, a ball game, some treats, and (UGH!) a couple of doggy 'accidents', and by nearly two hours I was pooped! No, not literally!
After putting them back in the dog-holding area, I walked through the double doors back to the main reception.
“I'm all done! Thank God!” laughing, as I let my hair fall loosely around my shoulders.
I was about to tell Taylor about my night out (we always have a little gossip before I leave) stopping short to see he was busy with a customer. But not just any customer, Micah-to be exact!
Groaning I said, “What are you doing here!?!”
Why the fudgeknuckle was he everywhere I went!?!
Firstly, the debacle with the drink, then he just happened to be friends with some of my friends, and now he was at my workplace, doing only God knows what!?!!
Laughing he took in my facials, “Hi, to you too! I'm actually here to pick up my dog,. In case you didn't know this is a dog-walking business, and I just had my dog walked.” Mr Smarmy-face, with his smarmy legitimate reasons...
Hands on hips, I counter-attacked, “Why this place?”
Hands on his wheel rims, he looked down, thinking of a good reason I suppose?
All of a sudden he looked up at me, mischievous eyes, and those dimples popping out of nowhere, “Well...to be honest, a 'friend' told me about this place. Said that the Saturday Dog-walker was the best in town.”
I suppose he wanted me to laugh about it with him, “Well your friend was wrong. There's a great place up the road called “Gone to the Dogs”, they're cheaper by $4, and there's customer parking.” I pointed down to the new Pet Center that opened up a couple of months back. At first we were worried, but turns out we had some pretty loyal customers.
“Skye!!?!” Taylor hissed at me, pulling me back behind the counter he hissed again, “What the f*ck are you doing!? Are you trying to make us go bust or were you just wanting to be unemployed!?!?”
“No, of course not Tay! I just know this guy and he's-he's, really unreliable with paying.” I lied through my teeth.
“Well, he's paid today, how about you leave it to me with the judgments. You just stick to what you're hired to do.” he let my arm go then, turning back to Micah he smiled, “There you go Sir.” Handing him a receipt, “I'll just go get your dog.”
“I got it Taylor., Let me, since I'm the dog-walker after all.” I smiled my best cheese of a smile.
As I stormed out the back I recalled seeing Mr Smarmy-face's face light up. Just loving the drama that me and Taylor were having in front of him. What the f*ck!? Now he was getting in between me and Taylor!?!
Taylor and I had been friends since I walked past the center two years ago. He was the flyer-boy at that time. He had a nifty little catchphrase that for the life of me, I can't remember today? But it was awesome. I would walk past with my friends and yell it back to him, while smiling of course!
He was really cute. Dark brown curly locks, hazel eyes, and a killer smile. He was tanned, tall and nicely built. At first I thought he might be gay-seriously he was that good looking. He had a soft voice, and was just lovely to look at.
One day I walked past by myself, when I double-backed and asked “Do you guys have any job-openings?”
He was stunned that someone had actually stopped to talk to him. “Uh, oh, yeah!? I think so? I can go and asked my dad if you want?” (Family business)
“Awesome! Let's go!” I looped my arm through his and we made small talk along the way.
Sometimes life isn't easy and decisions get complicated by grey areas.
I felt like I was in a big, bad, fuzzy grey area right this instance. My head warred with my nether regions, my nether regions warred with my morals, my morals warred with my head... and all this in the space of the time it took to go out back, get Husky, and come back through the double-doors. The moment I walked through the doors my head and morals had won out.
“Here you go Sir. Your dog Husky, the Siberian Husky.” I smiled a smarmy tight smile and as soon as leash was out of hand, did an about face and started marching back through the double-doors, past an open-mouthed Taylor, who looked like he wanted to kill me.
I signed out quickly, picked up my things and headed for the side door. Fishing out a cigarette to calm my frazzled nerves. As I was lighting it, contemplating the reason why my nerves should be frazzled and why I let this man frazzle them; I heard a loud throat clearing to my left,
My eyes flew up, well, flew up to half way which is roughly how 'tall' he is. Groaning, “What now!?”
He wheeled closer to me, but not so close that he was in my space. I guess he preferred the timid approach this time, as to not get his head bitten off. Permanently. Good choice.
“I've been trying to figure it out--”
“--What?” I interjected flatly. I didn't have time for bullsh*t games.
Obviously not taking the hint he continued, “Why it is that we always seem to fight? Why you seem to just get pissed at me just being near you? and why I keep wanting to be near you, when it's clear you don't like me. At all.” His blue eyes crinkled at the corners, until his mouth caught up in a half-smile.
“So you admit you like pissing me off?” I stood there. Feet planted firmly, hand on hip. Ready for battle.
Laughing a little, “No, I didn't mean it like that. I meant I like you, and it just seems like no matter what I do or say I keep putting my foot in it-not literally of course!” He dimple-smirked at me, as his eyes followed mine, up and down his body...
sh*t Skye! What the fudgeknuckle are you doing!?! I yelled at myself-internally of course.
Eyes up front, “I-I don't know.” I managed to stammer out. Deep breath. Exhale. “Maybe it's because you’re a dick, and I've never cared much for dicks-oh wait, That came out wrong!?!” Cheeks turning bright red... “Oh sh*t. You know what I mean.” I looked away, embarrassed.
Of course I hadn't meant it in that way, but when you say it and your looking at a hot guy, your mind begins to give other meanings for the word 'Dick'...
He didn't laugh, or at least I didn't hear him laugh.
“Well...that was refreshing, again. I'm sorry you think of me that way. I'll leave you alone then.”
I didn't look...
...until he started rolling away.
After that, I was in a foul mood. I didn't notice until twenty-five minutes into brunch on Sunday, Alice pointed it out, in her Alice way.
“Why are you being such a bitch, Skye!?”
Everyone looked at me, as though she'd just announced I was pregnant.
My cheeks flamed at the unwanted attention. “Wh-what are you talking about?”
“You've been biting everyone's head off and being all moany and sh*t. This is not the normal 'Skye', this is some weird alien, man-hating, lesbian-wannabe, emo 'Skye'. And quite frankly I miss the old Skye.” She smiled half her sunshine smile at me.
“Yeah hun, what's up? We've been worried about you.” Stacey added a little more subtly.
Sighing, “I don't know. Everything, nothing, blah blah. I'm probably just PMS-ing...” I looked at the remains of my eggs benedict as I stabbed it round my plate.
I missed the silent exchange of knowing around the table. “Man troubles.” The all said in unison a moment later.
Startled I looked up, “Out of everything you could think of, you came up with that?!?” I grumbled.
“So who is it? As far as we know you're not seeing anyone. Are you?” a knowing twinkle-eyed Amanda eyed me up.
“Ohhh! Do tell!” Alice chimed in.
Shaking my head to all the probing eyes, “No, I'm not seeing anyone.”
“Oh sh*t Skye! Is that it? Are we going to have to force it out of you?” exasperated, Amanda rolled her eyes at me.
“No. sh*t. Okay!” a deep breath, “I met a guy who's into me, but I don't think he's right for me, and now he's annoying the sh*t out of me. The end.” I put down my fork, and took a gulp out of my OJ.
It's not like I was lying, because I think it's true...just left a few details out. Like the fact that they all know the guy, and think he's the bees-knees. I just think it would end badly, given the personality clash, and the um...other thing. [nervous laugh]
“Okaaayy...if that's all you want to tell us, we'll respect that. Won't we girls?” Stacey put on her best matronly authoritative tone. Stern, but still caring. Nice.
Sighs and rolled eyes followed. But hey, I can handle that over the raking over the coals 'discussions'.
“Anyway, I hate to eat and run ladies. But I've got a mani and pedi with Edwardo in twenty. Got to look good for my wedding! A month to go!!” Stacey rounded off her speech with a squeal of excitement.
With the gossip all but forgotten, momentarily; we got up and hugged and kissed the Bride-to-be.
It figures, with the whirlwind get-together, followed by the blink-and-you'll-miss-it Engagement, of course they would be sprinting down the aisle. Waiting just wasn't their style. But I guess when you're 'in love'... No, I'm not jealous. At all.
When it got to my turn she whispered in my ear, “Make sure you've sorted out this debacle before the wedding, so you can bring him along! I want to meet the man that's got under your skin! He most be something!” Giggling, she looked me in the eye one last time, before waving goodbye to everyone.
I rolled my eyes as she left.
Yeah, I have weird, perky friends, and no, I wasn't always this sarcastic. I like to think of it more as a realistic approach to life, with a squeeze of a 'slightly dry' sense of humor. Haha! I used to be like these girls, once upon a time--or so they tell me.
Perky, positive, flirty, thinking I could conquer the world with my two bare hands; but life deals you hard blows. I'm not saying that should be the reason you change, but it sure makes you more cautious and wary of what's around the corner!
I'm also definitely not saying that I'm some sort of old nana with every decision that I make, because I've definitely done some crazy things in my life-time. Bungee-jumped off a bridge, ran down the street naked, stage-dived into a huge crowd, gone round and round a roundabout until you nearly puke, mooned passing cars--you know the sh*t that all young people are supposed to do in order to say they've lived. I'm just more cautious when it comes to relationships and huge decisions.
I've learnt people can be mean. They can fool you, manipulate, abuse and basically annhilate you. That is what I'm cautious about.
After we had all paid, and were walking back to our cars, Amanda sidled up to me, “I think I know who it is.”
I tried my best not to react, “Oh, okay. Cool.”
“Hey guys! This way to the car!” Alice called out, waving us over.
“Be there in a second, just bumming a smoke!” Amanda called back.
Out of hearing distance from the others she continued in her quietest voice, “I couldn't figure it out, until! I remembered on Stacey's Hens Night, after you left, Micah came over to me and asked where you'd gone—he tried to make it sound casual, asking other questions too, but he kind of wanted to know the answer to this one the most...” Amanda went on...
Of all the girls to ask he chose Amanda! As lovely as she was, she was nosey as heck, and loved a good gossip.
“...so just before I left, when we were outside, he asked me where you worked because he said he needed to find a good dog-walker. I figured it was legit ya know, cos he can't walk and all...”
Snorting to myself, Man she was a ditz. A prize-winner right there.
“...and so I hope you don't mind I gave him your work address, I didn't know he'd turn out to be a stalker!? I mean I figured he's in a wheelchair...” she trailed off. I didn't know whether the look on her face was embarrassment or remorse or shame.
“Okay, for starters Amanda, he's not a stalker. And I'm guessing he's also pretty capable of 'walking' his dog. Otherwise I don't think he'd bother having one. And lastly, it's not really any of your business, but I appreciate the headsup. I would also appreciate, if you can, keeping it to yourself. I don't want to embarrass myself or him, if ya know what I'm saying?!?” I gave her a knowing look.
“Oh, yeah. I totally understand. I really am sorry Skye. I swear I won't breathe a word!” She whispered, eyes wide in 'understanding'.
“Thanks Amanda, you're a good friend.” I gave her a quick hug, before she walked ahead of me.
I wasn't sure if she'd keep her word. This gossip might be too juicy for her. But I also knew playing on her ignorance for disabled people, and generally her being a bit of a dick about it, meant I had a good sporting chance of keeping it a secret.
So life went on as usual for a while. Work was killer. I mean my job is okay, but not exactly mentally stimulating. It pays the bills, and I have a lot of friends who work there, so it's not too much of a chore. I didn't see Husky after that either. Which was a relief, but also kind of sad because he really was a lovely dog. Beautiful, energetic, friendly, but also calm. Everything you'd want in a dog—or in a man! Haha! Shame about the owner—No, I'm not thinking about him anymore. Yeah right!
I did think about Micah off and on. I managed to avoid any outings where I thought he might be. (Luckily I had someone on the 'Inside' who could tip me off if she heard he was showing up) I even went on a 'date' one night. With a guy I went to High School with.
His name was Josh, and he was, in my opinion, one of the hottest guys in school. We used to flirt a lot. But thanks to low-self esteem, and all the sh*t that went on at home I never had the balls to ask him out.
I ran into Josh a week after that 'great' Brunch with the girls. I was waiting for Alice to show up so we could have coffee and a catchup (mostly about Petey, who she was now 'seeing' casually. Which basically means f*cking), but she was late...
Sitting there, while texting her, I got interrupted by a text from Amanda.
Jst wondrn if u'd b mad
if I went on a d8 wit Micah?
If so I totally undastnd!
Let me knw asap
OMG!? Was she serious!? I could not believe it!?! After spouting off about him as though he was a stalker and not to mention almost retarded, she now wanted to date him!?! WTF?
I was pretty pissed, but realised I had no right to be. I hadn't exactly dated him, or even said I liked him to her. As far as anyone was concerned he was fair game.
I just didn't think she'd be into him!? It's not like he didn't have some good attributes, well, some awesome attributes; but I just thought...maybe I'm more of a bigot or something, than I thought? It's not like it was impossible for anyone to like Micah, even though he was in a wheelchair...I mean, he was pretty hot! In spite of the chair, and because of it... seriously what the hell was I thinking?
Anyway, while this crap was swirling in my head, I luckily got interrupted,
“Skye? Is that you? Oh wow, it is!”
Looking up to see a slightly older, but still hot, Josh Cranshaw staring at me as though I had grown two heads (which I probably had with all this back and forth in my head)
“Uh, Hi Josh!” I smiled, and stood up to hug him. “Wow, it's been ages! How have you been? What brings you to these parts?”
Yes, Oh boy, did he look good! He was tall and, built like the surfer he was, tanned, tousled bronze hair, and aqua eyes, with a killer smile.
“Good, I've been good. Started up my own clothing label, not doing too bad. Living not far from the beach, so that's always good. How about you? You haven't changed a bit. Still as cute as ever.” He turned up the wattage in his smile.
Okay, I've never been that good at recognising when someone is flirting with me, but with Josh I knew from day one. And I'm glad to see that here, on day two-million, trillion; nothing had changed.
“Uh thanks Josh! You look pretty decent yourself...” I tried my 'killer' smile. It must have worked because he kept smiling, then pulled up a chair. “Well, I've been just ya know, working, and stuff. Ya know, life...” I trailed off lamely.
Considering in High School I had always told everyone I wanted to be an actress, or working somewhere, anywhere on films. My next career aspiration was being a full-time artist or musician...but it was becoming as unlikely as world peace in the Middle East...I didn't want to admit what a failure I had turned into.
“Well, that's great! I have been thinking about you on and off over the years. Wondering how you are.”
He was such a sweety. We really should have tried to get together, since we obviously were quite into each other. Who knows how my life would have turned out then?!
“Really, cool. Yeah, I've thought about you too. Did you end up marrying Diane after High School? You guys were really cute.” I had noooo idea where the hell that came from!?!
“Nah, we dated for six months after that, but I broke it off when I did my O.E for two years. I'm single currently.” He blinded me with another smile. “How about you? Married? Any little tykes to run around after?”
“Oh God no!” I laughed at how far from the truth he was. “No, currently also single, ready to mingle. Ya know all that jazz” I laughed awkwardly.
“Good. I'd like to take you out for a bite sometime.” he stood up and retrieved a business card from his wallet, then put it in my hand. “ I better go, or I'll be late for my meeting. Please give me a call Skye. Was really great to see you.” He gave me a hug, and a kiss on my cheek, before he said see ya and walked away.
Alice running in, nearly bowled into him, “Oh sorry Mister!?” Giggling, and slightly breathless; the whirlwind sat down. “OMG! Have I got some gossip for you!”
“Please no more intimate details of you and Petey! My ears and morals can't stand it!” I groaned, half serious.
“Ha-ha. Very funny. No this is about a love triangle!! You know Stacey is marrying Dave?”
“Oh really? Is that who that chap was at the Hens night?” I giggled.
“Yes, Ha-ha. No, seriously. You know Dave is like best mates with Micah? That hot guy in the wheelchair, who we met at—“
“--Yes. I know who Micah is.” I said flatly.
“Oh sh*t. Yeah that's right, you do. Um, so anyway. We've been hanging around with them for a while now. You know, organising things for the wedding, blah blah... Well, I had noticed that Stacey had been very careful not to be around Micah by herself. And every time she was, Dave would come over and sit down, or drag Stacey away—nicely of course, or Dave would ask one of us to go over and help her. Anyway! I asked Stacey about it one night, when we'd had a bit too much to drink, and she told me, her and Micah used to date!?!! Can you believe that!? Like serious dating. For two years or something?” Her eyes were wide, as she unloaded this crateload of gossip on me.
I gulped back, maybe a little bile? I don't know. I suddenly didn't feel so good.
I mean, it's one thing getting pissed at Amanda for wanting to date this guy I had never been out with, it's a WHOLE other thing when I might want to date a guy one of my good friends dated for a long time. The whole 'don't eat your friends leftovers' thing, or however the saying goes.
“O-okay, I don't get it? Where's the love triangle?” I stammered out. Hoping to gosh she hadn't found out...
“Yes, yes. I'm getting to it! Well, so yeah, where was I? Oh yeah, so Stacey was sooo in love with Micah, and then they broke up. I don't know why; she didn't say. So because of the tension, Micah keeps getting pawned off to Amanda, or maybe she went after him? I don't know. Anyway, they've been spending a lot of time together...” she droned on.
I felt physically sick.
“...so Amanda just texted me saying, she just asked him out! And he said yes!!” She squealed.
“Okay, so that doesn't explain a love triangle, Alice. Stacey is happily marrying Dave, and Micah and Amanda are single...so it makes sense.” I half-lied as best as I could.
“Your soo behind Skye!” She rolled her eyes at me, “Yes, Stacey is happy to be marrying Dave. BUT Dave is Micah's good friend, though luckily because they met over the net it isn't as big of an issue; to Micah at least. And Stacey was pretty torn up about Micah, she told me. So it's awkward knowing, now, that she's marrying one of Micah's best friends...” she gave me that look that means 'join the dots, Skye'...
“Okay. And now that Amanda is into him, it's going to be uber awkward for Stacey.” I finished off.
“Exactly.” She then proceeded to apply the cherry lipgloss she had been holding in her hands, the entire time, on her lips; Satisfied she'd told me everything she felt I needed to know.
“Wow. That is...awkward...” I trailed off, not knowing what else to say. “So...how's Petey?”
Yeah lame. Anything to get Alice talking about something else.
I half-listened to her gush about slimey little Petey; all the time thinking, what the f*ck am I going to do?
On one hand, I could let things run there natural course with Amanda and Micah. Of course that meant not ever seeing Amanda until, or if, they broke up or died.
On the other hand I could man up and maybe see what happens between me and Micah – that is, if he was still interested.
Or I could just ignore the situation and be a grown-up. Stop avoiding everyone and see what happens...or I could just go on this date with Josh and rub it in their faces!?
Who knows, maybe Josh is the man for me!?
So I have to admit, my date with Josh was pretty awesome. He was charming, and flirty, a gentleman and a great conversationalist. I'm pretty sure there was no awkward pauses? I thought, maybe I should invite him as my date to Stacey's wedding then there'd be no questions in her mind about any other guy she might think I like...
So a couple of dates later, after a great action movie; we were walking back to his car. He had been talking a lot about some special effect they'd used.
“Hey, earth to Skye!? Are you okay?” He smiled at me, as he caught my hand.
“Oh yeah, sorry. Was just thinking.” I smiled back at him.
“Yeah, so I hope it was some good thinking, if you know what I mean?!” he laughed, and winked at me. (On most other guys I find that really sleezy, but on him it seemed cute.)
Laughing I admitted, “Yeah, it was.” I took a deep breath, stopped and faced him serious faced.
“Oh sh*t, it looks like you're about to break up with me!? Memo to Skye, that is not good thinking.” He laughed at me.
I had to laugh at how easy-going he was, “No, quite the opposite actually. I was going to ask you if you'd be my date to my friends wedding on Saturday?”
“Definitely. Sounds like fun.” He took my hand in his properly, and we kept walking.
“Well, I wouldn't call it 'fun'. Maybe as 'fun' as getting your teeth drilled...” I trailed off with a smile.
“Oh okay, I see.” He rubbed his jaw in thought, “so I'm going to get a grilling from your friends, aren't I?” He seemed amused at this thought.
“You hit the nail on the head, Mister” I smiled mischievously
“ – oh sh*t. Is it the 12th on Saturday?” he stopped suddenly.
“Yeah...” I said slowly, knowing what was about to happen.
“I'm sorry Skye. I can't make it. I have a huge meeting with one of my major distributors that day.” He looked genuinely sorry.
“On a Saturday?” I said a little doubtful of his story.
“Yeah, the big boss of the company is leaving for Japan on Sunday, and that's the only time we can meet for another month; and I really need to close this deal asap.”
“Oh, okay, that's sweet as. I'm sure there'll be other weddings we can be embarrassed at.” I said smiling tightly.
He tried making it up to me in the car after that. A good make-out session is what I needed. Though it didn't cure what ailed me...
Later that night, at home by myself (Josh had to catch an early flight the next morning for a two day business trip) I just couldn't sleep.
Oh man. Now I was going to have to go to the wedding alone. Great.
Stacey was marrying Dave, Alice would be with Petey, Amanda and Micah [shudder] would be all cozy, Bex had been in a long-term relationship for six years now, and Gemz loved playing the field, and I had heard that Stacey's cousin, Eva, had come out of the closet recently, and introduced everyone to her new girlfriend, Simmone.
So I'd be Skye, no-mates...Well, that's not entirely true. Gemz, when she wasn't trying to score, would be a heap of fun, especially on the dancefloor! And Bex was pretty independent from her man – after all they'd been together six years and still no ring... Also Alice liked to dance as much as I did. So I wouldn't be totally alone.
My other concern was Josh. What were we doing? We hadn't exactly made it 'official' – do you still do that when you’re an adult? And heck, I didn't know whether I was the only one he was dating...I didn't want to ask, since we'd only been on a few dates, and I still didn't know whether I even wanted to commit to him?!?
In the end I wore myself out, and had a fitful, unrelaxing 'sleep'. Dreaming about dogs, and weddings, and men. Too many men...
The day of the wedding came and I had stayed the night at one of the hotel rooms that Stacey had rented out for her big day.
I had to admit I'd been a pretty useless friend the last month. It had taken up too much energy and time avoiding Micah and Amanda, and had almost cost me my friendship with Stacey. But luckily she forgave me when I explained I had been having problems with my 'new guy friend'.
I was Stacey's photographer for the wedding, and I admit I was pretty stoked that she asked me. I'd always loved taking photographs, and every now and then I thought, 'that's a really great photo!' , but I'd never done it 'professionally' (she was paying me, but I charged her 'mates-rates' considering that we were friends, and if I f*cked up the 'Biggest Day of her Life', she'd probably be less pissed if she knew she'd gotten a cheap photographer...) [Gulp!]
So it was pretty hectic, I had a few moments to sip some Champagne, but not really a lot to do anything else. My whole idea was, that if I took as many photo's I could, then at least a few's got to turn out good, right?!? [nervous laughter]
Eventually I had to go to the loo. All the bubbles on an empty stomach, not good. As I was washing my hands Amanda came through the door.
“Oh, there you are Skye!” She sighed in relief.
“What?! Did something happen!?” I asked anxiously. Thinking maybe Stacey had ripped her dress, or Alice was too drunk and puked on Stacey's dress, or maybe they'd broken my camera...
“Oh, no. Nothing's happened. I just wanted to talk to you, privately.” She said quietly.
“Oh.” I looked down at the sink. “There's nothing to talk about. I'm happy for you and Micah.”
“Well, that's what I was going to talk to you about.”
I walked over to the paper towel dispenser and ripped off a couple, “It's okay Amanda. I'm fine with it. The real question is, how is Stacey?” I know that was a bitchy answer, but I couldn't help it.
“She doesn't know...”
I looked at her angrily, about to say something.
“ – Because! There's nothing to tell her.” She finished quickly. “We went on one date, I felt bad the whole time. Even though you said you weren't into him, I still felt like I was betraying you, and Stacey...”
“Oh. You didn't have to stop seeing him, Amanda.” I said softly. Finally, realising that happiness is hard to come by, and me trying to take away what could be happiness for Amanda, was selfish. Great timing, that realisation. Really great.
“No, it wasn't just that. He didn't seem too into it. And heaps of time it was awkward. Do you know that he can't get into certain places if the doorways are too narrow, or there are stairs and other stuff like that?” She asked me, as though she'd never thought about the logistics of dating someone in a chair.
“Actually, yeah. I kind of figured that out.” I said with a tiny smile.
“Oh...well, yeah. I booked a restaurant that was on the first floor, that had like, a huge flight of stairs!” She giggled, then groaned at the memory, “He also couldn't get through the doorway on the groundfloor!”
We both cracked up at that.
It was suddenly hilarious Amanda going out with Micah. Only because she was such a ditz! And obviously hadn't thought about the pre-requisites for dating a para. I mean, I'm not too familiar with them myself, but I figured checking if the restaurant had stairs, and small doorways would be on the top on the list! Haha!
We hugged, and made up. And it felt like some of the weight I'd been carrying was taken off. As we were walking out of the bathroom, she turned to me and said,
“He asked about you.”
“Oh. Did he?” I said casually as I could.
“Yeah, he wanted to know how you were...” She smiled mischievously. Letting herself trail off...
I knew this game.
“Oh, really. Anything else?” I tried to sound flippant.
“Well, let's see...?” She mocked me. “Oh yes! He was interested to know if you were dating someone else.” She smirked at me.
“Aha...what did you tell him?”
“Well, I told him, no. As far as I know you're not dating anyone else. Are you?”
She was such a tease. “No, not 'officially'.”
“Ohhh!!” She squealed. “Do tell!!”
We stopped outside the hotel-room door for a moment.
“It's just this guy from High School. He's really great. Easy-going. Hot. He's...really great...” I trailed off, thinking that I should sound more excited because he really was great.
“But....” she waited.
“But...what!?” I retorted impatiently.
“He's no Micah, is he?” She resolved.
“Yeah, so what? Maybe that's a good thing? Micah and I just piss each other off, and with all that's happened and the whole Stacey thing, it's still probably not a good idea. With Josh it's easy. Like breathing. Isn't that how it should be?” I let all my frustrations out at Amanda. All the sh*t that's been back in forth in my head just came tumbling out.
“Well, only you can decide Skye. But it seems to me, if you don't mind me saying, that if you're still thinking about dating Micah, then it probably means there's more to it than you want to let on...and settling for someone else because you think it might be too hard with Micah is kind of dumb; because relationships are hard work. But worth it, if you think the guy is worth it...” She looked at me kindly. No jealousy in her expression, just open honesty.
“I don't know Amanda!?” I sighed angrily, and half-defeated.
It seemed to me she was right. I mean I was still thinking about this dude, even though I was dating another guy. And it seemed to me, that my brain wasn't going to give me a moments peace until I sorted it out.
The ceremony itself was beautiful. Big, extravagant, formal, but still beautiful –Though personally, I would have had it outside, in a garden, or over-looking a beach or something, but to each her own(or whatever the saying is).
Inside was cozy with the hundreds of people taking up all the oxygen. Huge white flowers and ribbons hung or sat, everywhere, and anywhere there was a space. I guessed either Dave earns a lot (because I know Stacey earns about the same as me), or they were going to have HUGE creditcard bills, or probably the more likely option, their parents helped pay for the extravaganza that was their wedding.
My idea of the perfect wedding would be a small, intimate gathering. Then more of a backyard BBQ-style party, with a live band. Easy, cozy, and romantic. Getting drunk with your nearest and dearest. The honeymoon is where I'd spend the big bucks! Haha!
After taking hundreds of pictures before the ceremony, during the ceremony, then after the ceremony, at the various locations they wanted pictures at; we made it back to the reception on time. I was pooped.
I managed to squeeze in dinner, and dessert. Then took some photos of their first dance. I let myself take a break after that. Since I'd been working for more than nine hours with minimal down-time. Plus each table had a disposable camera, so they could do some of my job for me, thank you very much!
I was sitting at my assigned table, watching all the couples slow-dancing. It was pretty romantic, I had to admit.
“Hey Skye.” A sheepish voice interrupted my day-dreaming.
It was Micah.
“Uh, hi Micah.” I smiled at him.
“I come in peace!” He offered me a flower he must of stole from one of the table center-pieces.
I had to smile.
“You mind if I sit here? Well you know, park here.” He grinned at me, gesturing to the empty space next to me.
“Sure, why not.” I laughed. It felt good to not be so defensive all the time with him.
After settling, and putting on his break; he leaned over the table and looked me in the eyes, “So. How have you been?”
Thinking for a moment, I answered, “Good, I guess. How about you?”
I took in a deep breath. It was time to clear the air, “Micah?” I said turning to look at him properly. “I just wanted to say, Sorry, for acting like a bitch these past couple of months. You seem like a pretty decent guy, from what I've heard; and you didn't deserve me taking my sh*t out on you.”
Wow that was hard.
“Wow, okay. Didn't expect that.” He blew out a breath, sat back in his chair and crossed his arms.
“Well, what were you expecting then!?” I couldn't help but get annoyed at him.
“Don't get sh*tty.” He held up his palms to me, in surrender, or maybe peace? “I just meant, I didn't really expect anything when I came over here. I was just hoping we could sort out our sh*t.” He looked sincerely at me.
“O-oh. Okay.” I stammered slightly.
It was weird he was on the same wave-length as me. Maybe there was 'something' there, in that alone. Not that I believe in 'signs'...
“Thanks, though. I appreciate that” He said, while playing with a fork on the table.
“You're welcome.” I said, suddenly also interested in the unused cutlery on the table.
“So it's an open bar...”
“So you wanna get drunk with me?” He looked up at me, smiling impishly.
“Why not!” I laughed back.
So we drank like it was going out of fashion. Having a great laugh recounting embarrassing stories of our youth, and our friends, in the past, and in the present. He told me funny stories of how the wedding came to be...(i.e. Stacey seemed to be in the running to be Bridezilla, 2010)
In between convo's I had a few boogeys. Each of the girls dragging me to the dancefloor. But I always came back to Micah to talk.
“Phew! I'm pooped.” I plopped back into my seat, “ I totally think I'm drunker than I originally thought?” I laughed.
“Yes, I did see you fall into that bunch of old people, over there.” He nodded to where the old folk were trying to dance, safely, in the corner. Away from all the crazy, drunk young 'uns.
Groaning, and laying my head on the table, I said, “Oh man! You saw that!? UGH!”
Laughing at me, he touched my hand to get my attention, I looked up at him from the table.
Seriously he said, “Yes, I didn't take my eyes off you.” he combed back some of the hair off my face, while looking into my eyes. It was an intense moment.
Laughing, he released me from the 'Stare of intense-full-on-moment-ness' that I'd been frozen in, “You don't have to look at me like that!” He sat back a little, but kept his hand over mine.
I pulled away, “What look!?” I retorted a little rudely.
“You know. The horrified look. That saids, OMG! He said something crazy, I better run now.” He sat back in his chair again, “I just wanted to be clear, that I like you. A lot. And I needed you to know I want to be more than friends, or 'enemies'!?” He said it in a joking way, but I knew that he meant it; as he swept his hand through his hair, and looked away, casually scanning the room.
Yeah, I'm a bitch. Way to ruin a nice moment. A moment that could have been our first kiss.
“Well, I think we should break this awkward moment by having another drink. This bottle of wine looks pretty full to me.” I said casually, as though I hadn't ruined anything.
“Yes Ma'am!” He joined in, and poured us each a glass.
Things got a little blurry after that. The jovial atmosphere came back in full force, and there definitely was some making out in there somewhere?
I remembered the next morning when I woke up, alone; that I had brought up Amanda and Stacey, somewhere in the night.
“So Mikey!” I said while sitting on his lap, with a half-empty bottle of wine in one hand, the other hand was around his neck, “You went on a date with Amanda. How was that!?” I giggled, knowing full well how that went! Though I was intrigued to hear his version.
Groaning, he rolled his eyes then took the bottle of wine from me, “It was a nightmare!” He took a swig.
Laughing, I managed to choke out, “Oh do tell, kind Sir!”
“Well, where do I start? Okay, so you weren't talking to me, and I had spent a lot of time with Amanda, because she kept getting pawned off to me –some weird Stacey bullsh*t; and she seemed nice, and was extremely flirty. She suggested to go grab a bite after we delivered the invites to the post office. So I said, sure, why not. I had nooo idea that she didn't know that I was in a wheelchair!” He said eyes wide open as if it was a shock to him.
“OMG!” I squealed, eyes openly innocent, “You're in a wheelchair!?” I lifted the tablecloth to look under the table. The whole time he was laughing at me.
“Very funny.” He said as he put the tablecloth back down to get my attention back. “Anyway, so we get there...and there's this little tiny doorway, which is up one step. Then when I managed to get helped inside, we noticed a huge flight of stairs!”
I snorted, then started cracking up. I nearly fell off his lap. He seemed to enjoy my reaction.
“Yes, so let's say it wasn't a good start. We ended up down the road, at a place I had suggested earlier –but she'd already reserved a table at that restaurant. So anyway, she talked a lot. And I got the feeling she really wants to get married...”
I looked at him seriously this time. “Really?” That was news to me.
“Yeah, so it was pretty awkward. So I asked how you were to change the subject blah blah.” he said flippantly, then took another scull.
I grabbed the bottle from him to get his attention this time, “Oh so am I 'blah blah' now!?” I demanded.
“Whoa, sheesh girl! You never let up, do you?” He looked at me, and sighed.
“Nope.” I said as I shook my head, and smirked at him.
“Fine. Yes, I wanted to know how you are, if you were seeing anyone. That kind of stalkery thing.” He dimple-smirked at me knowingly.
“Oh sh*t! She didn't!?!” I hit him in the arm.
“Ouch! Why are you hitting me?” He rubbed his barely bruised arm, before yanking the bottle out of my hands. “Yes, she told me everything, I believe.” He took a drink, to let me digest the information I guess?
“sh*t.” was all I had to say.
“Including the part where she said that you thought it would be too hard, and we wouldn't work out.”
“So, tell me Skye-skye, how would you know that if you never talked to me?” He was totally raking me over the coals.
“Oh for f*cks sake Micah! Aren't we over this?” I groaned, as I got off his lap and was ready to walk away. Hey, it's what I do best, okay!
He grabbed my hand pulling me back, before I was more than one step away, “Hey, not so fast girly! We are going to talk about this. So sit your ass back down.”
“Well, I'm not sitting on your lap then.” I pouted. I hated being told what to do.
“Fine. Sit there.” I did. “I don't understand why you didn't want to talk to me about it? You seemed
to talk to everyone else!?” He said frustrated. “Then we could of skipped these months of bullshi t.”
“Everyone else?” I picked out the words that interested me.
Sighing, he said, “Yes. Amanda, Alice, Stacey, Dave, and even Petey had something to say!”
“Stacey?” I picked out the most important person.
“Yeah. She overheard me talking to Amanda, and cornered me. Asking me if it was true and if we were dating.”
“What was true?” Man, I totally felt out of the loop.
I could tell this story didn't interest him. He was a guy after all. But he humored me none the less, “Whether you liked me, and I liked you. Obviously you hadn't told her. She seemed to piece things together after that.”
“W-what did she say?” I stammered out. Knowing this was make or break.
“Nothing at first. Then she said that she was okay with it –not that I had asked her 'permission'. Since I figured she was marrying Dave, what should it matter who I see.”
“Micah, you're a boy.” He looked at me as though he thought I'd just realised that. I continued, “and us girls have a code. You don't date your friend's ex's, and she still has feelings for you.” I let that bomb sit there for a while to marinate.
He was silent for a moment, “Really? No, I think it's more nostalgia than anything.” his brow was furrowed.
“Well, did she break up with you?” I was feeling slightly jealous and a tad nosey now.
“No, I broke up with her.” He noticed I had that look on my face again, “because I wasn't ready for marriage, neither was she; but I still wanted to know that one day she could be thinking that way. She basically told me she couldn't see us getting married. It ended in a huge fight, until she finally admitted it was because I was disabled.”
My eyes opened in astonishment.
I knew it would be a dealbreaker with a lot of girls. But I figured Stacey was one of the nicest, open-minded girls I knew!? And I figured she wouldn't have been in a two year relationship with Micah if she didn't think it was going somewhere –it just wasn't her style. Wowy...
“Yeah, exactly. It was pretty full-on...” he took in my expression with ease, “But I'm totally over it now. I'm really stoked she married Dave. He's a good dude.” he seemed genuinely happy for them.
“Yeah, they seem perfect for each other...” I trailed off lamely, still thinking.
“Stop it.” He took my hand and pulled me to his lap.
“Stop what?” I snapped. Irritated that he seemed to be in my thoughts all the time.
“Stop analyzing everything, and worrying what everyone will think!” He seemed to need to let off a little steam too... “I'm sick of all the drama and sh*t. Let's make it simple, okay?” He looked at me seriously.
“Okay...” I was perplexed as to where he was going with this.
“Do you like me?”
“Do you want to see where this could go? In other words, date me.”
“Uh, yes.” This quiz was going too fast! I didn't want to say the wrong answer!?!
“Good. Skye I am interested in dating you too.”
This felt like a weird, robotic conversation?!?
“Do you mind that I'm disabled?”
My eyes flew up at that one. “Uh, no...not at all.” I gulped. It was a slight understatement...
“Good. Because I don't want you to freak out and suddenly realise I'm in a wheelchair!” He laughed awkwardly, as we both remembered what happened with Amanda, and Stacey...and probably others he hadn't told me about; but I could see it in his expression that this was a hard conversation for him to have.
“I won't.” I said softly, as I picked up his hand, and looked at him smiling.
He let out a huge breath, that I didn't notice he'd been holding, smirking he said, “Good, I'm glad we cleared that up. Now let's have a drink!”
And we did...
To be continued....