Sitting in a cab. Looking at the Palm trees and somewhat busy streets.
Yeah, I was back in California.
After a year an half of being in England, finishing, half my junior year and my full senior year, I missed the California warmth, the beach, and of course my friends.
So, a little back story. After I dumbly travel across the world for the most stupidest reason, I kinda lost contact with everyone at PCA. Don't get me wrong, we did talk our whole junior year, but when Senior year started, I decided that it was time to stop looking at the past and focus on my future. Which was that I was in England and they were in California and that's that.
Graduated Covington with honors. (Aplaude! Aplaude!) Thank you, thank you. And get this, because of my dedication, and hard work, I even had the honor of being the valedictorian for my class.
Anyways, the cab was getting close to the university I got accepted.
Yeah people, yo boy Chase got accepted to Standford university, along with my brother Charlie who should be already there... Brother? You might ask. Yeah, I have a brother, a brother that... You'll guys meet soon.
The cab driver stopped in front of the student drop off. "We're here". He opened his door and I opened mine, heading out to grab my suitcases. He unlocked his trunk and pulled one of my suitcases out while I pulled the other one.
"Thank you". I told the man, giving him a 50 dollars.
He nodded at me, walked back to his car and drove off. I looked at the school and it was huge. Just to know that I, Chase Matthews got accepted to this university is dream come true. Adding to the dream that my brother and I get to experience this! That's another major thing that let's me know that this year will be the best year ever.
I grabbed the handles of both my suitcases and started walking towards the main entrance. There was one thing that I had in mind since I arrived here in California and that was my friends. Like I said before, we lost communication, and I had no idea how we're they or if they're okay. I know partially that is my fault, but I just couldn't help wonder.
I was admiring the different apartment buildings as I was almost at the front office, where I would check in, get my apartment key and schedule information.
As I looked around, I saw a couple of students, arriving, and hanging out by the quad. When I finally got to the main office front doors, I grabbed the door handle and pulled it out, but felt the door weight, weirdly lighter, and that's when a girl stumbled forward, with a guy right behind her.
"Sorry". I apologized.
She walked by, not even looking at me. "It's fine". She mumbled.
Her boyfriend looked at me in embarrassment. "Sorry man". He apologized and I nodded as he followed the girl.
I shook my head and entered the office, heading straight to the first available lady by the counter.
"Hi, I'm Chase Matthews. I want to check in". I told the lady and she smiled at me and nodded, typing in the computer.
I looked at my phone and saw a text from my brother.
-Have you arrived yet?
I looked back at the lady who was still typing and fixing my papers.
-Yeah, I'm in the main office checking in.
"Okay Mr. Matthews". The lady spoke and I looked up at her. "Everything is all set. Here's your keys, class schedule, and a map of the school".
I grabbed all that stuff she placed on the counter. "Thanks".
"Chase?". Someone behind me asked and I quickly turned to see...
"OMG, I can't believe you're here! How are you!?". She hugged me and I hugged back.
"Quinn!? Hi? I'm fine. How about you?". I asked surprised to see her.
She stepped back from me and I noticed how different she looked.
A little bit of makeup.
Long silky curly hair.
What do you guys think? What happened to the old nerdy Quinn? No offense.
"I'm great!". I told her with a small smile.
There was a small akward silence.
I stuck my hands on my front pockets, while she nodded looking at her sides.
"In what apartment building are you going to stay?". She finally asked me and I looked through my papers and found it at the top of my class schedule.
"Shadow Apartments. Apartment number 110".
"Really? We're neighbors! I'm in 111". She said in excitement. "Lola and Michael are also in that same hallway-".
"Wait a second?". I stopped her. "They are also here?".
"Yeah. I think only Zoey, Logan and Dustin, got assigned to the Nova apartments which are across campus. James got assigned to Crystal apartments which are farther away".
My mind froze at the mention of Zoey's name. She was here TOO! I could help but feel my heart race even though I only felt hate towards her.
"You okay Chase?". Quinn asked.
"Yeah". Was all I could say.
"Anyways, besides all that, Logan is throwing a small party in his apartment tonight. You should come, and surprise all of them".
I shook my head. "Sounds great, but I think I'll pass".
"Why? I'm sure they'll be happy to see you". Quinn assured me.
"It's been a while since we last talked. I feel its going to feel akward and uncomfortable, so-".
"They are going to be happy to see you". Quinn told me in a determinated tone. "You're coming as my guest tonight, whether you like it or not. Pick you up at 8". Quinn patted my shoulder as she headed out the office.
Is Quinn taking me as her date tonight?
I looked at my sides, grabbing my suitcases, headed out the office and to my shadow Apartments. It was like a ten minute walk and fortunately for me, I didn't see any of the rest of my friends around.
I looked at my smart watch and saw it was my brother.
-What Apartments did you get assigned too?
"Shadow apartments. Number 110". I spoke at my watch which directly send the message to him.
-I'm close. I'll be right there soon".
I entered the apartment building and like most apartments, they had a lobby or lounge. It wasn't packed like I expected, but there were some people siting by the couches, reading a book and some just looking at their phone.
My apartment was on the second floor, so I headed straight to the elevators pressing the up button. The doors opened and I entered pressing the number 2. When I got to my floor I walked through a bunch of hallways, and after a while, I finally got to the place I was going to call home for the next 4 years. I took my keys out and unlocked it.
I entered and closed the door behind me as I admired my surroundings.
"This is great!". I walked up to my couch and flopped down, extending my arms behind the cushions and giving out a sight of relief.
I glanced behind me. "Come in?".
The door slightly opened and in came my brother. Ready to meet him? You're going to love him, I promise. You might even find some "Similar" things we both might have.
"Chase?". He asked peaking in.
"By the couch". I said standing up, ready to give my bro a proper greeting.
"Hey!". We both said as we colided in a hug.
"It's been so long, since we been together. In the same room". My brother said and I separated from him placing my hand on his shoulder.
"Yeah, I missed seeing your freakish face". I told him with a smile and he frowned.
"I don't see how. We literally have the same face".
You heard him. And by that you guys might get the hint that my brother Charlie, is my twin brother. I know that many questions might be running in your head like, What!? Why did you never mentioned this before? Two Chase's? How did we get so lucky?
I know, I know and I promise I'll answer these questions along my journey here.
"I know, but you're more grumpier than me and I don't get to see that everyday". I told him and his frown didn't change.
"I'm kidding". I told him and he shook his head, making it clear he didn't like my joke.
"Changing the subject". He began. "I was wondering if we could get some coffee-".
Knock! Knock! Knock! Knock!
"Chase? it's me Quinn".
Charlie turned to look at me with a suprised look on his face. "You never told me your friends were going to be here? Or at least one of them!?".
"They are actually all here, but that's something I didn't know as well. Why does it matter? It's time everyone gets to meet my brother". I said as I walked by pass him, but he pulled my arm back.
"Not now. They might think seeing two of you might be weird. I'll just hide in your room". He said as he walked to a hallway, and entered a room.
I looked back at the door and quickly went to answer it.
"Hey?". Quinn said with a smile.
"Oh hey? Sorry for making you wait, come in". I told her and stepped away from the doorway, so she could enter.
She walked inside.
"Wow? Your place looks incredible". She commented and I nodded agreeing with her. "Anywho, I just came to tell you were leaving in 5 minutes to Logan's welcome party. I'm just waiting for Lola and Michael to leave first, since they are right next door".
"Right, yes I completely forgot about that". I chuckled nervously.
"Okay? I guess that was it. I'll come back in five minutes". She said as he lead herself out of my apartment, closing the door behind her.
My heart began to race again. Just to think I'll be seeing everyone in couple of minutes. I'll be seeing the least person I never thought in seeing again.
"Welcome back party? That's nice". Charlie's voice startled me as he came back to the living room. "You excited?".
I shrugged. "It's whatever".
"What about Zoey? Excited to see her again?". He asked.
"You know whatever me and her had it's done and over with. So seeing her would be like meeting some random stranger". I told him.
"What about the friendship you guys had? Is that still standing strong?".
I swallowed hard but quickly responded. "It's over. So over".
"So what are you going to say when you see her tonight? You're not going to be this cold with her?".
"I'm just going to nicely greet her and that's it. I'll catch up with the rest and then after an hour or so, I'll come back here. Simple as that". I told him and he nodded.
"Okay... You have fun. Don't stress. I'll see you tomorrow". He said as he patted my shoulder and headed to the door.
"Charlie?". I asked him and he turned around, hand on the door knob.
"I'm glad you're here".
He smiled at me. "I'm glad you're here too. Have fun Chase". He opened the door and closed behind him.
No joke. I love having Charlie here, and while he's here, I know he's going to be there to listen to me and give me good advice on stuff that I might need advice on. I turned to look outside the glass door that lead to the balcony and saw it was dark outside.
It's going to be hard to get comfortable with the California hours.
I looked behind me. "Come in, Quinn".
"You ready?". She asked entering.
I looked down at my outfit and back at Quinn. "I didn't had a chance to change". I told her with a half smile.
She smiled at me. "You look great". She said walking up to me and interlocking arms. "Now let's go Matthews".
She leaded the way out and we were off to meet my other friends.
We took the elevator down.
We walked through the lounge and out of our complex and made out way to the NOVA apartments.
We did all of that with her hanging from my arm.
"You nervous?". She asked.
I looked down at her. "Is it noticeable?".
"Well, I am dragging you". She said looking back at me. "I thought you were going to be a little more excited".
"I am". I assured her. "I can't wait to see everyone again".
"I want to believe that, but I sense just bit of doubt on that statement". She replied. "Is it because of Zoey?".
First Charlie. Now Quinn! The world doesn't revolve around Zoey you know!
I took a deep breath. "Zoey? She has nothing do to with me being nervous. It's just that, even though saying a year and half doesn't sound like a long time, for me it was and seeing everyone again, and just imagining what they would want to say to me when they first see me, THAT makes me nervous".
Which was a half TRUTH half LIE, but she seemed to believe me.
"You're worried about that!? Don't worry about that. They are going to be excited to see you. Everyone. I assure you". She said as we got to the entrance of NOVA apartments and entered the lounge.
This lounge was completely empty. We walked to the elevator and Quinn pressed the 8 floor button.
We went up and when the doors opened we got out and walked a long hallway. "Logan's apartment is number 734, Dustin's is 735 and I think Zoey is in 733".
It seemed that the hallway had made itself even longer as we walked and walked. I guess that's how bad I didn't wanted to...
"Where here". Quinn said as we stood outside apartment 734.
This was it.
Quinn looked at me. "Stay there and lean on the wall, out of sight. Kay?".
Logan had planned a big welcome party for all of us, since we all made it to the same university.
I was in the kitchen with Lola preparing plates of food, while, Logan, Dustin, Michael and my boyfriend James talked about sports stuff.
"Where did Logan catered this food from?". Lola asked as she placed a piece of chicken on her plate, along with the mashed potatoes, and corn.
"James told me he ordered this from Babes chicken and dinner house". I told her, placing two tenders on my plate and James plate.
"Oh, Well it looks and smells so good". Lola sniffed her food as we both nodded and made out way back to the guys.
I sat next to James while handing him his plate. He smiled at me and we shared a quick kiss. Lola sat next to Dustin and began eating some mashed potatoes.
"So?". Michael said, looking at Logan who was on his phone. "Where is Quinn? She's the only one were waiting for right?".
"Yeah". Logan replied looking back at him. "I just send her a text. She should be here any-".
Knock! knock! Knock!
Logan looked at the rest of us. "There she is". He said as he stood up and walked towards his front door, opening it.
"Hey hey hey!". Quinn greeted Logan happily than normal.
"Why are you so happy?". Logan asked her.
"What? I can't come here happy. I'm excited that we get to have this small reunion and that we get to experience this new phase of our lives together".
Logan shrugged and nodded. "Okay, come in please".
"Before I do that though, I have a little surprised for you guys". She suddenly said as she disappeared from our sight. Logan turned to see us and gave us a confused look.
"Are you ready?". Quinn poke her head out of the side of the door.
Logan startled turned back around.
I was pulled by Quinn and now I was face to face with Logan Resse. It took him a couple of seconds to recognize it was me since, I've clearly changed a lot.
"Matthews? Matthews!". He hugged me tightly and I hugged him back.
He separated from me and took another good look at me. "I almost didn't recognize you dude!".
I didn't say anything because I didn't know what to say. I just smiled at him as he looked back at the rest who were sitting on his living room couch.
"Come in, come in". Logan leaded me inside and closed the door behind him. I looked back and saw Quinn reopen the door with an annoyed expression on her face.
I guess things never change.
"Look who's here everyone". Logan announced and everyone stood up. There were gasps and they all greeted me and welcomed me back to California. From the corner of my eye I saw Zoey, who was still sitting down besides a guy, who I think was her boyfriend.
"When did you came back?". Michael asked me.
"I arrived a couple of hours ago". I told him.
"Why didn't you call us? We would gladly had gone to get you at the airport". Dustin told me.
"Yea, I didn't think about that, but that would of sound great". I sincerely told him and he nodded.
"Well". Lola began as she wrapped her arm around my shoulders. "We're glad that you're here Chase".
I wrapped my arm around her shoulders telling her a friendly. "Love you" and she blew me a friendly kiss.
"Zoey, aren't you going to say hi to Chase?". Dustin asked and we all turned to see Zoey who was intensely looking at me.