As the phone rings on, I can only stare down at it, silently willing it to hush. When it finally does silence, I let out the breath I had been holding. The tension seems to roll off me. I stand up from the bed and walk to my dresser, Slipping on underclothing. There was no point in hiding when he'd already seen me naked, but I hated feeling his eyes follow my every move, seeming to never miss a beat. When I turn back to the bed, I see him leaning on his side facing me, smirking. "So, why a penguin?"
"Your, uh, tattoo..."
"I appreciate you trying to make small talk, Luke, but don't you think you should maybe, I don't know, leave?" My phone starts buzzing again. Luke picks it up, checking it. He rolls his eyes, tossing it to the side.
"How are you even friends with that sleep-around sleazeball?"
That snapped me back to the conversation, hitting home. "Wh-what do you mean?"
"Damn, the dude parties hard, not to mention sleeps around every chance he gets, practically several times a night! He's like, a legend! Or, in my opinion, a total sicko. He does music practically just so he can get laid!"
"I...didn't...know..." I felt like I was drowning, flailing around trying to swim back to the surface to no avail. "Luke, we weren't...just friends. Last night wasn't just about you."
"He was your b---I mean, you two were...And he cheated?!" I looked over at Luke. His head shot straight up, looking over at me the second my words registered to him, jaw clenched, look fierce.
My relationship troubles have nothing to do with Luke. As for him and I? I just want to put it as behind us as possible.
"Not that it's any of your business..." I muttered hollowly.
"I'm sorry, how did you two getting together even happen?"
I sigh sadly, seeing he wasn't going to just let the topic slide..." He asked me out, maybe three months ago. The first person who's ever showed interest in me like that, who made me feel...worth something. First boyfriend...first kiss...Just my best friend...I thought I could trust him!"
"But, I mean...What the hell did you even see in him? Why him?!"
"We...have a lot more in common than you'd think..."
He laughed miserably, shaking his head in disbelief, "Like what?"
"I first noticed him, because, I mean, he just...attracted me. Not sexually or anything, just...his looks...his style intrigued me. I like the whole rugged bad boy, tattooed and pierced thing..."
He scoffed, "You would."
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"Have you even seen yourself lately? The second your parents hand you a little bit of freedom, you turn around and die your damn hair purple! Dress in clothes you've never worn before, I mean, classy does not turn into bad girl wears black over night!"
"Why are you still even here! Why is it so important you make fun of me, ruin my life even more, skyrocketing my stress levels?"
"I'm just trying to understand...You mean everything to me, Ali, and lately, you've been the total opposite of yourself, I'm just trying to grasp it all here."
"Do you remember the first day we met? If that day told you anything, it was foreshadowing exactly the kind of girl I was on the inside..."
It was four years ago. My brother was downstairs, I had come down to ask him something. He'd just stepped out of the room, but his friend was left sitting on our couch. One look, and I wanted to know who we has. He turned and looked at me. Dressed in a backwards baseball cap, sunglasses, black skinny jeans, and black T-shirt. I recognized the band logo. "I like your shirt," I stammered.
He lowered his sunglasses, scowling at me. "A girl like you," he snorts, "Yeah, sure."
"What, because I'm a girl, I can't know who Nirvana is?"
He tried to mask the fact that he was impressed, but his blue eyes said it all. "Not bad," is all he said after that, sunglasses slid back into place. Ashton entered the room, looking from the boy, to me.
"Oh good, I was hoping you two could meet. Luke Hemmings, my sister Alisha."
"Hemmings," I whispered to myself. The name sounded so familiar...
It was definitely a name I would never forget. As the boy was someone I'd never forget...
"So, why a penguin?"
"My God, Lucas, enough with the freaking penguin! I don't know, they're inspiring. They're unique, different, the outcasts of their breed, yet make living their own, because they've evolved to take their own path."
"They're my favorite animals."
I knew that. But I really wanted to make that smile slide off those pretty lips. "Makes sense, I mean, they're cold, and so are you."
"Ha ha babe, very funny."
"I've been thinking of getting another one, too."
He gapes at me, "But Ali, you already have two!" I give him a questionable look. He blushes, pointing to the rose tattoo I have.
I look away, blushing, too. "Oh yeah, that one..." He's seen me naked. Now that makes him an expert on every aspect of my body? I shake my head, clearing it. "Actually, I could use your opinion on something." That earns me another raising of his eyebrows. I roll my eyes. "I've been thinking for quite awhile now, maybe getting something pierced? I definitely want my septum pierced, and maybe my lip? Snakebites perhaps?"
"I think you'd look hot, but you're hot without them---"
"I'm not finished. You'd look great, but why on Earth would you want to? Babe, don't let some punk drummer asshole make you think or feel like you need to change into something you're not---"
"You just don't understand," I scowl.
"You're right, I don't. Would you mind explaining to me---"
"Okay, read my lips. I don't need you, Hemmings. Why don't you just leave? And just, stay out of my life..."
Next thing I know, the door's slamming and I'm left alone, feeling nothing but hollow.
A knocking on my door flows to my ears, waking me. Guess I'd fallen asleep. "Ali?"
I was too groggy from sleep to hear who the voice belonged to, but I sit up, rubbing sleep from my eyes. "Hmmm...?"
"When you can, come downstairs." They pause, and you can hear the scowl in their voice, "Jake's here."
That woke me up! "Give me a minute, I'll be right down." The door squeals shut and I fling the quilt away, jumping to my feet and pulling on the first clothes I grab from my closet. Fixing my appearance quickly in the mirror, I trudge my way down. Luke was the first person my eyes find, sitting in the lounge chair. To the right, the rest of the boys were on the couch, and Jake leaning on the couch's back. He smiles at me, arms open wide for me. "I tried calling you, sleepy head."
I force a laugh, making my way, as slowly as I can, to his arms, where I wiggle into as believable as I can. But my eyes stay on Luke's glare. I pull back, fighting to control my voice. "Speaking of calling, I, uh...didn't hear from you last night. Everything alright...?"
He visibly thinks for a moment, before laughing, "Oh right, sorry about that babe. We had...last minute practice...took us all night. I crashed at Drew's, slept well passed noon. I wasn't the only one."
Right..."Well, did you need something now, or...?"
"Just missed you, princess. Hey, I was hoping we could go out tonight? I promise, this time will be just the two of us...?"
I didn't want to say yes, but wouldn't it be obvious something was up if I told him no? He'd lied, not last night, but to my face, just now. I can't break up with him, though. He's my best friend, and I can't lose him. Maybe, if he broke up with me, then we'd have a better chance of ending smoothly. I'd be making an accusation if I broke up with him on account of last night, because he had lied about it. If he had told the truth, it would be a different story. But he hadn't...
"Yeah, sure. Of course babe, anything."
He pulls me into a hug, "Sweet, I'll pick you up later. Call you in a few hours?" He leaves and all I see is Luke's pissed, hurt, disappointed face I'll probably never unsee...