Once again, I am back to confuse you.
Well, FFN decided to delete WFS.
And I felt bad that I wasn't writing anything for y'all, so I decided to make this!
Idk what I'd call this, it's like, a mini fanfiction.
BUt it's inspired by John Green's novel, Paper Towns, and yesh.
Hope y'all enjoy!
There's always that simple pleasure before you go to sleep.
You're tired, droopy-eyed, content, and frankly happy with everything around you because you finally get to go to sleep after a day's hard work.
But it's a whole different story, when you go to adjust your head and fall asleep, and you find one of your best friends and long term crush sliding open your screenless window, and carelessly jumping right in your room.
I shot up from the bed when I heard the window open and of course came in contact with none other than Gil Gordon's ocean blue eyes staring into mine.
His eyes were all I could see at first, but upon further inspection, I realized he was wearing black face-paint and a black hoodie.
"Were you sleeping?" he asked.
"No, I was lying on my bed, with the covers over me, doing some yoga."
"That doesn't answer my question."
I laughed awkwardly, then proceeded to pull my hair out from it's former braid, while walking up to Gil, my face inches from his.
I honestly couldn't imagine why he was here.
"To what do I owe the pleasure of you breaking into my house?" I asked.
Gil and I were best friends of course, but I'd like to think he'd choose someone else besides me to meet dead in the night wearing face paint.
"I need your car." He explained.
"I don't have a car." I said, which was something of a sore point for me.
"Well, I need your mom's car." He said, adjusting his initial request.
"You have your own car." I pointed out.
Gil puffed out his cheeks and sighed. "Right, but the thing is that my parents have taken the keys to my car and locked them inside a safe which they have put under their bed, and BP,"-who was his dog-"is sleeping inside their room tonight. And BP has a freaking aneurysm whenever he catches sight of me. I mean, I could totally sneak in there and steal the safe and crack it and get my keys out and drive away, but the thing is, that's not even worth trying because Bubble Puppy is just going to bark like crazy if I so much as crack open the door. So like I said before, I need a car. And I also need you to drive it, because I've got eleven things I want to do tonight, and at least 5 of them require a getaway driver."
When I let my sight unfocus, he became nothing but eyes, floating in the ether. And then I locked back on him, and I could see the outline of his face, the paint still wet against his face, and his mouth curved into a small smile.
"Any felonies?" I asked.
"Hmm," Gil began before looking at me, "Remind me if breaking and entering is a felony."
"No." I answered sternly, not wanting in any part of his plan that could possibly destroy my future.
"No, it's not a felony? Or no you won't help?"
"No, I won't help. Can't you enlist some of your other underlings to drive you around?" Jacob, and/or Nick, his little jock friends, were always doing his chores for him.
"They're part of the problem." Gil said.
"What's the problem?" I asked.
"There are eleven problems." He said, somewhat impatiently.
"No felonies." I said.
"I swear to god, Molly, you won't be asked to commit a felony."
I sighed, reaching for my car keys that sat on the face of my desk.
The keys were mine, but the car tragically was not.
So I could only use the car when my mom was not working, such as on the weekends.
Oh, and also the middle of the goddamned night.
"I have school tomorrow." I told him.
"Yeah I know," Gil said, "There's school tomorrow and the day after that, and just thinking about that for too long is enough to make a guy go bonkers. So yeah, it's a school night. That's why we've gotta go now, so we can make it back by morning."
"I don't know."
"Molls," He said, "Molly, my love. How long have we been friends?"
"What does that have to do with anything?" I said, knowing that answering his question would only make me feel more entitled to go with him.
"Oh christ, Molly. Would you please just suck it up and come with me? Just this once?"
I sighed, grabbing my jacket off my chair and sliding it on.
"That's my Molls." Gil said, before climbing back out the window, only this time, I followed.
And so we went.
We ran, heads down, to my mom's minivan before opening the doors and hopping in.
Gil told me not to turn on the engine just yet (too much noise) so, I first put it in neutral, pushing my foot off the cement, and then letting the car roll down the driveway slowly.
We slowly rolled past a couple houses before I turned on the engine and the headlights so that we could drive like normal, civilized people.
Gil started talking, "The thing is they don't even really care; they just feel like my exploits make them look bad. Just now, do you know what he said? He said, 'I don't care if you screw up your life, but don't embarrass us in front of the Gentilellas—they're our friends.' Ridiculous. And you have no idea how hard they've made it to get out of that goddamned house. You know how in prison escape movies they put bundled-up clothes under the blankets to make it look like there's a person in there?"
"Yeah, well, Mom put a goddamned baby monitor in my room so she could hear my sleep-breathing all night. So I just had to pay Vanessa five bucks to sleep in my room, and then I put bundled-up clothes in her room." Vanessa is Gil's little sister. "It's Mission: Impossible shit now. Used to be I could just sneak out like a regular goddamned American—just climb out the window and jump off the roof. But God, these days, it's like living in a fascist dictatorship."
"Are you going to tell me where we're going?"
"Well, first we're going to Publix. Because for reasons I'll explain later, I need you to go grocery shopping for me. And then to Wal-Mart."
"What, we're just gonna go on a grand tour of every commercial establishment in Central Florida?" I asked.
"Tonight, my love, we are going to right a lot of wrongs. And we are going to wrong some rights. The first shall be last; the last shall be first; the meek shall do some earth-inheriting. But before we can radically reshape the world, we need to shop." I pulled into the Publix then, the parking lot almost entirely empty, and parked.
"Listen," Gil started, "how much money do you have on you right now?"
"Zero dollars and zero cents." I answered, before turning off the ignition and looking over at him.
He wriggled his hand into his black jeans before pulling out several hundred dollar bills.
"Fortunately, the good lord has provided."
"What?" I stared at him in awe, coming up with no possible explanation of how he could have so much money.
"The perks of knowing your parents' bank account password. I'm not allowed to access the account, but I know my parents' password because they use 'f00disg00d' for everything. So I made a withdrawal."
I tried to blink away the awe, but he saw the way I was looking at him and smirked at me. "Basically," he said, "this is going to be the best night of your life."
The thing about Gilligan Zachary Gordon is that really all I could ever do was let him talk, and then when he stopped talking, encourage him to go on, due to the facts that 1. I liked him, was absolutely unprecedented in every way, and 3. He never really asked me any questions, so the only way to avoid silence was to keep him talking.
And so in the parking lot of Publix he said, "So, right. I made you a list. If you have any questions, just call my cell. Listen, that reminds me, I took the liberty of putting some supplies in the back of the van earlier."
"What, like, before I agreed to all this?"
"Well, yes. Technically yes. Anyway, just call me if you have any questions, but with the Vaseline, you want the one that's bigger than your fist. There's like a Baby Vaseline, and then there's a Mommy Vaseline, and then there's a big fat Daddy of a Vaseline, and that's the one you want. If they don't have that, then get, like, three of the Mommies."
He handed me the list and a hundred-dollar bill and said, "That should cover it."
3 whole Catfish, wrapped separately.
Veet (It's for shaving your legs), only you don't need a razor
Six-pack, Mountain Dew
One dozen tulips
One bottle of water
One can of blue spray paint
Now, I'm not sure what you're supposed to say to the checkout woman at twelve-thirty in the morning when you put thirteen pounds of catfish, Veet, the fat-daddy-size tub of Vaseline, a six-pack of Mountain Dew, a can of blue spray paint, and a dozen tulips on the conveyor belt.
But here's what I said: "This isn't as weird as it looks."
The woman cleared her throat but didn't look up. "Still weird," she muttered.
"I really don't want to get in any trouble," I told Gil back in the minivan as he used the bottled water to wipe the black paint off his face with the tissues.
He'd only needed the paint, apparently, to get out of the house.
"In my admission letter from Duke it actually explicitly says that they won't take me if I get arrested."
"You're a very anxious person, Molly."
"Let's just please not get in trouble," I said. "I mean, I want to have fun and everything, but not at the expense of, like, my future."
He looked up at me, his face mostly revealed now, and he smiled just the littlest bit.
"It amazes me that you can find all that shit even remotely interesting."
"College: getting in or not getting in. Trouble: getting in or not getting in. School: getting A's or getting D's. Career: having or not having. House: big or small, owning or renting. Money: having or not having. It's all so boring."
I started to say something, to say that he obviously cared a little, because he had good grades and was going to the University of Florida's honors program next year, but he just said, "Walmart."
We entered Walmart together and picked up that thing from infomercials called The Club, which locks a car's steering wheel into place.
As we walked through the Juniors department, I asked Gil, "Why do we need The Club?"
Gil managed to speak in his usual manic soliloquy without answering my question.
"Did you know that for pretty much the entire history of the human species, the average lifespan was less than thirty years? You could count on ten years or so of real adulthood, right? There was no planning for retirement. There was no planning for a career. There was no planning. No time for planning. No time for a future. But then the life spans started getting longer, and people started having more and more future, and so they spent more time thinking about it. About the future. And now life has become the future. Every moment of your life is lived for the future—you go to high school so you can go to college so you can get a good job so you can get a nice house so you can afford to send your kids to college so they can get a good job so they can get a nice house so they can afford to send their kids to college."
It felt like Gil was just rambling to avoid the question at hand.
So I repeated it.
"Why do we need The Club?"
Gil patted me on the middle of my back softly.
"I mean, obviously this is all going to be revealed to you before the night is over."
And then, in boating supplies, Gil located an air horn.
He took it out of the box and held it up in the air, and I said, "No," and he said, "No what?" And I said, "No, don't blow the air horn," except when I got to about the b in blow, he squeezed on it and it let out an excruciatingly loud honk that felt in my head like the auditory equivalent of an aneurysm, and then he said, "I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you. What was that?" And I said, "Stop b—" and then he did it again.
A Wal-Mart employee just a little younger than us walked up to us then and said, "Hey, you can't use that in here," and Gil said, with seeming sincerity, "Sorry, I didn't know that," and the girl said, "Oh, it's cool. I don't mind, actually."
And then the conversation seemed over, except the girl could not stop looking at Gil, and honestly I don't blame her, because he is hard to stop looking at, and then finally she said, "What are you guys up to tonight?"
And Gil said, "Not much. You?"
And she said, "I get off at one and then I'm going out to this bar down on Orange, if you want to come. But you'd have to drop off your sister; they're really strict about ID's."
"I'm not his sister," I said, looking at the girl's sneakers.
And then Gil proceeded to lie. "She's actually my cousin," he said.
Then she sidled up to me, put his hand around my waist so that I could feel each of his fingers taut against my hip bone, and he added, "And my lover."
The girl just rolled his eyes and walked away, and Gil's hand lingered for a minute and I took the opportunity to put my arm around him.
"You really are my favorite cousin," I told him.
He smiled and bumped me softly with his hip, spinning out of my embrace.
"Don't I know it," He said.
We were driving down a blessedly empty I-4, and I was following Gil's directions.
The clock on the dashboard said it was 1:07 am.
"It's pretty, huh?" he said.
He was turned away from me, staring out the window, so I could hardly see him.
"I love driving fast under streetlights."
"Light," I said, "the visible reminder of Invisible Light."
"That's beautiful," he said.
"T. S. Eliot," I said. "You read it, too. In English last year."
I hadn't actually ever read the whole poem that line was from, but a couple of the parts I did read got stuck in my head.
"Oh, it's a quote," he said, a little disappointed.
I saw his hand on the center console.
I could have put my own hand on the center console and then our hands would have been in the same place at the same time.
But I didn't.
"Say it again," he said.
"Light, the visible reminder of Invisible Light."
"Yeah," he answered, looking out the passenger window, his hair reflecting oncoming streetlights. I thought for a second he might be crying, but he rallied quickly, pulling his hoodie up and taking The Club out of the Wal-Mart bag.
"Well, this'll be fun at any rate," he said as he ripped open The Club's packaging.
"May I ask where we're going yet?"
"Nick's," he answered.
"Uh-oh," I said as I pulled up to a stop sign.
I put the minivan in park and started to tell Gil that I was taking him home.
"No felonies. Promise. We need to find Nick's car. His girlfriend's street is the next one up on the right, but he wouldn't park his car on her street, because her parents are home. Try the one after. That's the first thing."
"Okay," I said, "but then we go home."
"No, then we move on to Part Two of Eleven."
"Gil, this is a bad idea."
"Well he deserves it."
"What did he even do?"
"Oh honey," Gil started, smirking slightly, "He's done a lot of things."
"Spread rumors. Since he's got the power and is practically the second most popular guy in high school, he used it to his advantage."
"What rumors?" I said before almost immediately regretting it because I had been asking too many questions.
"Molls, my love, that's personal business that you may just find out later. Now let's find his damn car."
We found Nick's Lexus two blocks down from Gaby's street (His girlfriend), parked in a cul-de-sac.
Before I'd even come to a complete stop, Gil jumped out of the minivan with The Club in hand. He pulled open the Lexus's driver-side door, sat down in the seat, and proceeded to attach The Club to Nick's steering wheel. Then he softly closed the door to the Lexus.
"Dumb bastard never locks that car," he mumbled as he climbed back into the minivan.
He pocketed the key to The Club before reaching over patting my hair.
"Done. Now, to Gaby's house."
As I drove, Gil explained the next few parts to me.
"That's quite brilliant," I said, even though inside I was bursting with a shimmering nervousness. I turned onto Gaby's street and parked two houses down from her McMansion.
Gil crawled into the wayback of the minivan and returned with a pair of binoculars and a digital camera.
He looked through the binoculars first, and then handed them to me.
I could see a light on in the house's basement, but no movement.
I was mostly surprised that the house even had a basement—you can't dig very deep before hitting water in most of Orlando.
I reached into my pocket, grabbed my cell phone, and dialed the number that Gil recited to me. The phone rang once, twice, and then a groggy male voice answered, "Hello?"
"Mr. Bernards?" I asked.
Gil wanted me to call because no one would ever recognize my voice.
"Who is this? God, what time is it?"
"Sir, I think you should know that your daughter is currently having sex with Nicholas Walter in your basement."
And then I hung up.
Part Two: accompli.
Gil and I threw open the doors of the minivan and charged down the street, diving onto our stomachs just behind the hedge ringing Gaby's yard.
Gil handed me the camera, and I watched as an upstairs bedroom light came on, and then a stairway light, and then the kitchen light. And finally, the stairway down to the basement.
"Here he comes," Gil whispered, and I didn't know what he meant until, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a shirtless Nick Walter wiggling out of the basement window.
He took off sprinting across the lawn, naked but for his boxer shorts, and as he approached I jumped up and took a picture of him, completing Part Three.
The flash surprised both of us, I think, and he blinked at me through the darkness for a white-hot moment before running off into the night.
Gil tugged on my jeans leg; I looked down at him, and he was smiling goofily.
I reached my hand down, helped him up, and then we raced back to the car.
I was putting the key in the ignition when he said, "Let me see the picture."
I handed him the camera, and we watched it come up on the screen together, our heads almost touching.
Upon seeing the stunned, pale face of Nick Walter, I couldn't help but laugh.
"Oh, God," he said, and pointed.
In the rush of the moment, it seemed that Nick had been unable to get Little Nick inside his boxers, and so there it was, hanging out, digitally captured for posterity.
"Well that's small," Gil said, "in the same sense that Rhode Island is a state: it may have an illustrious history, but it sure isn't big."
I looked back at the house and noticed that the basement light was now off.
I found myself feeling slightly bad for Nick—it wasn't his fault he had a brilliantly vindictive "best friend".
When I looked over at Gil, he was staring at the house through his binoculars.
"We have to go," Gil said. "Into the basement."
"Part Four. Get his clothes in case he tries to sneak back into her house. Part Five. Leave fish for Gaby."
"Yes. Now," he said. "She's upstairs getting yelled at by her parents. But, like, how long does that lecture last? I mean, what do you say? So we have to hustle."
He got out of the car with the spray paint in one hand and one of the catfish in the other.
I whispered, "This is a bad idea," but I followed behind him, crouched down as he was, until we were standing in front of the still-open basement window.
"I'll go first," he said.
He went in feet first and was standing on Gaby's computer desk, half in the house and half out of it, when I asked him, "Can't I just be lookout?"
"Get your skinny ass in here," he answered, and so I did.
Quickly, I grabbed all the boy-type clothes I saw on Gaby's lavender-carpeted floor.
A pair of jeans with a leather belt, a pair of flipflops, a Winter Park High School Wildcats baseball cap, and a baby blue polo shirt.
I turned back to Gil, who handed me the paper-wrapped catfish, before deciding to take it back from some unknown reason.
Gil hid the fish between folded pairs of shorts in Gaby's closet.
I could hear footsteps upstairs, and tapped Gil on the shoulder and looked at her, my eyes bulging.
He just smiled and leisurely pulled out the spray paint. I scrambled out the window, and then turned back to watch as Gil leaned over the desk and calmly shook the spray paint.
In an elegant motion—the kind you associate with calligraphy or Zorro—he spray-painted the letter G onto the wall above the desk.
He reached his hands up to me, and I pulled him through the window.
He was just starting to stand when we heard a high-pitched voice shout, "DWIGHT!"
I grabbed the clothes and took off running, Gil behind me.
I heard, but did not see, the front door of Gaby's house swing open, but I didn't stop or turn around, not when a booming voice shouted "HALT!" and not even when I heard the unmistakable sound of a shotgun being pumped.
I heard Gil mumble "gun" behind me—he didn't sound upset about it exactly; he was just making an observation—and then rather than walk around Gaby's hedge, I dove over it headfirst. I'm not sure how I intended to land—maybe an artful somersault or something—but at any rate, I spilled onto the asphalt of the road, landing on my left shoulder.
Fortunately, Nick's bundle of clothes hit the ground first, softening the blow.
I swore, and before I could even start to stand, I felt Gil's hands pulling me up, and then we were in the car and I was driving in reverse with the lights off, which is how I nearly came to run over the mostly naked starting shortstop of the Winter Park High School Wildcats baseball team.
Nick was running very fast, but he didn't seem to be running anyplace in particular.
I felt another stab of regret as we backed up past him, so I rolled the window halfway down and threw his polo in his general direction.
Fortunately, I don't think he saw either Gil or me, and he had no reason to recognize the minivan since—and I don't want to sound bitter or anything by dwelling on this—I can't drive it to school. "Why the hell would you do that?" Gil asked as I turned on the lights and, driving forward now, began to navigate the suburban labyrinth back toward the interstate.
"I felt bad for him." I said.
"Whatever. We're going to Karin's house. It's on Pennsylvania, by the ABC Liquors."
"Don't be pissed at me," I said. "I just had a guy point a freaking shotgun at me for helping you, so don't be pissed at me."
"I'M NOT PISSED AT YOU!" Gil shouted, and then punched the dashboard.
"Well, you're screaming."
"I thought maybe—whatever."
"My heart is really pounding," I said.
"That's how you know you're having fun," Gil said. But it didn't feel like fun; it felt like a heart attack.
I pulled over into a 7-Eleven parking lot and held my finger to my jugular vein while watching the : in the digital clock blink every second. When I turned to Gil, he was rolling his eyes at me.
"My pulse is dangerously high," I explained. "I don't even remember the last time I got excited about something like that. The adrenaline in the throat and the lungs expanding."
"All your little anxieties. It's just so . . ."
"Is that what they're calling childish these days?" He smiled.
Gil crawled into the backseat and came back with a bag.
How much shit did he put back there?
He opened up the bag and pulled out his iPad
"I'm going to watch a movie while you calm yourself. You just take your time."
And so we sat there, he with his iPad balanced on the dash, and me with a shaky finger on the pulse of myself.
My heartbeat slowed. And I tried to tell myself: Gilly's right.
There's nothing out here to be afraid of, not in this little city on this quiet night.
OKay so what'd you guys think?
I personally loved this "chapter" but idk I'm weird so I don't trust my own opinions.
But remember to R&R!
Oh, and shoutout to squad because I've been sending you guys previews of this for a while and it'S FINALLY HERE.