Southern Constellations

Romany Fitzgerald wishes one day to lead a frivolous and harmonic life pursuing her dreams, but first, she must complete the exhausting challenge of being an actual teenager. Romany believes her vicinity is filled with people who just do not understand, in fact, nobody understands. Most of all, there's a person she would give her left arm to avoid.

Austin Orion.

Hell-bent on bringing beautiful chaos into Romany's life, can Austin and Romany build a steady friendship on the ruins of a lifetime of hatred? This seems far too surreal for Romany, but she is unknowing of the hell and torment waiting for her around the corner; she was yet to lose possibly the most important thing she had in the world; music.
But she still has the constellations for guidance; looking for answers in a world that doesn't know the question, can Romany delve deeper into what is meant to be and follow her heart?

Did fate fall short this time?

A/N: Rated red for bad language and trauma.

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6. Six

 

That very same night, I was lying down on my bed, facing the ceiling. That very moment was when my train of thought was perilously invading any kind of sane image I had projecting in my brain. It was the moment, before you fall asleep, but you can’t, no matter how hard you try. Your mind is buzzing with thoughts, like a static television when it won't turn off, and it's amplified by the silence and darkness surrounding you.

It feels like the air around you has drawn out any thoughts in your mind, the most important and least useful ones, and throwing them whizzing around your brain. And you just cannot seem to settle no matter how hopelessly you try.

Only, the thing I couldn’t get out of my head was Austin. He was just there. He was taking up more and more space in my conscious mind it was starting to cause some issues with my daily thinking. I’d find myself thinking about him more often than not, and I couldn’t afford to think of him that way.

The next morning I woke up tired and unable to function properly. It was a Tuesday, which meant I had music tech and fine art today. I’d not been in music tech for a couple of weeks because I’d been able to use that time to focus on the fine art/music project we were doing. But today normal routine continued.

I reached music tech class and took my seat, I pondered about further ideas for the fine art project. But not for long; Mr. O’Neal called my name and brought me out of my daydream.

“Yes?” I asked, my voice slightly hoarse, it was still early.

“You’re an able student, and have a keen interest in instruments, could you help the students in music base four with their instruments and their amps, I’m a little busy and they're having some trouble.”

I nodded; anything to get out of this lesson.

“Thank you, Romany.” I left the classroom and made my way towards wherever it was I was supposed to be going.

I entered the classroom. I wasn’t expecting that. Vic, John, Austin and Parker were all huddling around two guitars and an amp looking slightly lost.

“You ordered assistance?” I said assertively, they all turned to face me.

“No offence, Romany, but we need someone who actually understands how these things work.” Austin said calmly, but I don’t think he realized that it sounded ruder than he anticipated. I scoffed and my eyes widened slightly.

“Always so quick to judge,” I muttered under my breath. I started walking over to them, I ushered them out of the way and they eyed me skeptically. I fiddled with the amp and readjusted the guitar lead so it connected to the amp properly. It was fairly standard technology if you asked me, I could do it with my eyes closed.

“We just tried that.” Vic stated, as if it were obvious.

I placed my hand on my hip and looked at Parker who was poised with an electric guitar on his knee. He looked at Vic, and to me.

“Try it.” I told him. He strummed a chord and oh! Would you look at that? It worked!

They all looked between themselves with astonished expressions.

“You’re welcome,” I mumbled sarcastically, directed towards Austin mainly, and then left.

 

The day dragged on forever, but Grace told me later on that she’d got us invited to Katy Solomon’s 17th birthday party on Friday. Odd, I thought, why is she inviting us?

“Romany is getting close with Austin and Vic so I was wondering if she wanted to come, oh, and you guys can come too if you like,” was what she said to Grace during history apparently. I didn’t really understand this. So what if I was – Which I’m not, just for clarification – that means they only want me at their party because they think I’m close with popular people? 

I wouldn’t want to be close with them anyway, they’re assholes. But they’re nice assholes. No, they’re rude and arrogant and useless. But Austin can be nice, you've seen so yourself. But he's just him, it won't last. But you could change him… I was arguing with my own conscience, this was a new level of insanity.

 

 “Sure,” I said, after I realized I’d been zoned out from the conversation for about a million years.

“Great, come round mine on Friday and we’ll get ready together.” She informed me, and we continued with our lessons.

 

After that day involving the paint situation, my relationship with Austin had been rocky. He had returned to conceited, self-centered, arrogant Austin. I was back to being that same outcast, freak-show that I’d grown so used to being. I was really doubting that this party would be a good idea.

It was Friday evening, and I was at Grace’s house deliberating what to wear for the party. I was never any good at coordinating dresses and cardigans and shoes and lipstick shade and jewelry, given the choice I would have turned up in jeans, a knitted sweater and Converse, but I wasn’t given a choice, funnily enough.

“Wear this.” Grace said, handing me a ripped up denim dungaree playsuit and a checked shirt. I smiled at her and she rolled her eyes.

“I know you hate wearing dresses.”

“And can I wear Converse?” I asked, eager to be able to wear something I’d choose for once.

“You can wear Converse to your heart’s desire.” She laughed lightly and I fist-pumped the air in appreciation.

 

We made our way to the party in Grace’s older brother’s car. He kindly dropped us off right outside the door and I thanked him before he drove off into the black of night.

I almost instantly felt like I didn’t fit in, everyone was ludicrously popular, and the girls were wearing dresses so tight I was surprised they could even breathe. Not to mention I felt super self-conscious next to Grace; her mousey-brown hair was curled into ringlets, sitting just below her ribcage, over her pink sundress. Grace and I found Felicity, Jade and Kaye huddled in the kitchen speaking to a few other of the girls there. We joined them and got introduced to the other girls; there was a girl called Joanne, who was there with her friend Lucy, who was there with her friend Caitlyn, who was Katy’s cousin, or something, I wasn’t really listening. Joanne was perfectly tanned, and had gorgeous long black hair, that was dead straight, and she was enviously pretty, much like every other girl in the room.

Later that evening, while the drinks were flowing – not for me obviously, I decided getting drunk at a stranger’s party with a load of people I didn’t like or know wasn’t a great idea, you couldn’t trust anyone these days – Katy approached me around two hours into the party – I think it was Katy, I was presuming it was – and told me that the DJ she had was ill, and that she needed somebody to cover and play some songs for the meantime.

I shrugged, it was better than standing there like a lemon. I took a seat in front of the synthesizers and various laptops and record players set up in a ‘U’ formation in the corner of the room. I resisted all temptation to play everything that I would listen to, but I remembered I was at a high societal status party and not in my bedroom on my own with a hair brush-microphone.

I started off by playing some Fall Out Boy; you couldn’t go wrong with that. I followed with some Blink and Paramore. The people seemed to like it when I played some classics, like Gives You Hell by The All-American Rejects; people seemed to dance to that one a lot. Not long into playing Teenage Dirtbag, a guy came up to the table-desk-counter that I was using and smiled at me. His hair was black and shaggy and in his eyes, which when he brushed to one side, revealed they were an intense blue.

“Hello, pretty lady, may I just say your music taste is impeccable?” He gave me a bright smile.

I blushed slightly, but it was so dark that it went unnoticed, “why, I’m glad you think so.”

“My name’s Grayson.”

“Romany Fitzgerald,” I smiled at him as he offered his hand to shake.

After that I played some Green Day and some Nirvana, much to everybody’s liking. Grayson offered to get me a drink, seeing as I was tied up pressing buttons and shuffling songs.

“Sure, thanks.” To which he asked me what I wanted, “surprise me," was my reply.

And off he went. Before he returned, Felicity came to greet me with a limp one armed hug; she was more than a bit tipsy.

“Hey! Who was that?!” She yelled wide-eyed, pointing to the direction Grayson just went in.

“Grayson, I just met him.” I said, not knowing any more than she did about this mysterious boy.

“He was gorgeous!” She was slurring heavily, which made me giggle.

“You’re telling me!” She had to steady herself on the table and I suppressed a chuckle, “why don’t you find Kaye and Grace, I think you have had a little bit too much to drink, don’t you?”

Never!” She denied, before rushing off to get another drink, lucky she did though, because Grayson was back, and I didn’t want to share him.

He handed me a cup of what I guessed was tequila. I thanked him and he joined me, sitting on the bookshelf behind the makeshift DJ counter.

“So how come you’re up here by your pretty little self?” He asked, looking a little sad.

I shrugged, “I don’t mind, I don’t even know half of the people here.” I laughed lightly, looking at the crowds of unknown faces.

“Well if you like I’m going to help you for the rest of the night; I can’t let you stay here all on your own.”

I smiled at his kindness, “you really don’t have to do that.”

“Well, I’d like to. Besides, I don't know anyone here either; I'm looking after my sister.” He paused and looked at the people, pointing to a girl in a blue dress, then turned to me with a cheeky smile on his face, “but I bet I can get more people up dancing than you can.”

I raised my eyebrows and held out my hand for him to shake, “you’re on.”

 

It was nearing the end of the night and so far Grayson had gotten more people up dancing than I had, he played The Great Escape by Boys Like Girls, but I was assured I could get more people dancing than that.

He soon lost out when I put on All The Small Things by Blink-182, everybody was up dancing and I turned to him, a smug smile on my face.

“Ah, what’s that?” I said, holding my hand to my ear, as if listening to a distant sound, “it’s the sound of victory.”

He sighed, defeated. I smiled and he slung an arm around my shoulder.

“For winning, Romany Fitzgerald, how about I take you out to dinner some time?” I looked at his face for any signs of humor. Nothing. He was being completely serious.

“I’d love that.” I smiled and he pulled out his phone from his pocket and handed it to me, ensuring I put in my number. I handed him back his phone and he smiled, saluting me with two fingers before heading for the door.

“I’ll call you,” he shouted behind him. And I just hoped that he was telling the truth and not pulling my arm. I hoped for once that I wasn’t being made a mockery of in front of crowds of people. I hoped he was being genuine when he said he’d call me. I decided to hope for the worst.

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