I saw the new episode and this just kind of popped into my head.
The break up was horrific.
"Lets play some cards." Beck's words filter through the stunned silence of the room. His gaze lingers on Tori's front door before he rakes a hand through his brown locks and turns away. I release Trina and haul myself to my feet, feeling like the rooms upside down with Jade at Beck's side. The harsh squeal of Jade's tires spinning as she leaves blows through the window. It's the sound of finality, the end of Beck and Jade.
"I'll pick up the cards." Cat's voice lacks it's usual vigor, no matter how hard she tries to plaster fake enthusiasm to her face. The little redhead is a hell of an actress, but not even she can hide how shaken up she is after what we just saw.
"Make sure you get all 52." Andre mumbles, brushing a stray dreadlock into place and trailing behind her. Tori lingers in the background, her deep brown eye swimming with concern. I know that right now, she's probably trying to formulate a plot to reunite Beck and Jade, it's one of the things I've always loved about her.
"Kay, kay." The sound of Cat's voice as she replies to Andre wrenches my gaze from Tori. My eyes follow Cat as she flits around the room, bending at the waste and counting as she picks up each of the cards.
The sound of Cat's counting is the only respite from the unbearable tension that comes with sitting at the same table as Beck. A black cloud hangs above his head, he's just barely holding himself together. His eyebrows dig into his nose and he screws his eyes shut. I can't tell if it's from tears or anger.
We play through a few hands of poker and it's all incredibly awkward. Beck sits stiffly in his seat, a storm raging within his eyes. Tori tries to stitch together conversation a few times, but it inevitably seems to fall apart. I feel like I'm suffocating from the tension, so when I look down at my watch and see then time, relief washes over me.
"Well I'm gunna go. Rex is expecting a ride home." I state, disguising the relief that threatens to break through my words. I feel bad to abandoning Tori, Cat and Andre with the brooding mess that is Beck, but I can't handle this sort of tension. All it does is conjure bad memories of my childhood.
"See you at school." Tori replies, plastering a smile to her lips as she watches me push out of my seat. Meeting her gaze, I wonder if that's jealousy that I just saw flash through her eyes. Beck's malignant form seeps into the corner of my vision and I'm certain that it was.
"Bye!" The sound of Cat's enthusiastic voice wrenches me from my thoughts. She's smiling widely and waving goodbye, lifting my arm, I return the gesture. The smile on the edge of my lips fades away as I wave goodbye to Andre and Beck. His sour mood is enough to burst whatever sense of happiness Cat had gifted me. Turning on my heel and pushing the front door open, it's almost refreshing to be blasted by the cold wind as I walk into the night's air.
I pull out of Tori's driveway, intent on retrieving Rex from the girl that I had lent him to. Usually I'd be annoyed about driving all the way out to Northridge, but as the trees race past me and music fills the interior of my car, it doesn't seem so bad. I'm starting to think that maybe this drive is just this thing I need to relax after a stressful night. No sooner has the thought passed through my mind when a familiar blue car emerges from the darkness, engulfed in the glow of my headlights. I know exactly whose car it is, but I race past it, not even daring to watch it disappear into the blackness as I race forward. I flick my indicator on and take the next turn into Northridge.
All through the drive into Northridge and through reclaiming Rex, there's a sickness within me. A gnawing deep within my gut and a small voice in the back of my mind that's calling me a coward. I throw my car into gear and take off in the wrong direction, in the direction of a blue car that's haunted my thoughts since I passed it originally.
My car comes to a stop on the opposite side of the road to Jade's car and I feel my heart begin to race within my chest. It's not the good type of hammering either; it's not the type that I get around Cat or Tori sometimes. This is more like the kind of hammering somebody that's about to be thrown to the lions might get in their chest.
I force myself to step through the driver's door and brace myself for the worst as I pump my wobbly legs across the road. I call out Jade's name, but her head is buried in her knees, the tresses of her raven hair falling over her face and cocooning her from the world. From the bass coming from her car, I realize she probably can't even hear me.
I round the front of her car, coming to a halt in front of where she's slumped over. I throw my arms into the arm, sending them hurtling back and forth in a futile attempt to catch her attention. Her name spills from my throat for what feels like the thousandth time and it's beginning to feel like gargling razorblades. I'm on the verge losing my voice and giving up when her head shoots up and her eyes fall on me. Jade's eyebrows dig into her nose and her lips tighten into a thin line. Her piercing blue eyes seem to slice through me and as I step towards her, my heart is seemingly trying to shatter my ribcage.
"What the fuck do you want?" Jade throws the words like daggers and her eyes narrow into slits. I swallow nervously, withering under the intense scrutiny of her gaze. I have to question whether this was a good idea or not, right now it's seeming on par with allowing Trina to beat me up to try and earn some brownie points with Tori. Either way, I'm going to end up with an injury to my internal organs.
"I came to see if you're ok?" The truth spills from my lips before I can think of a lie. Jade's eyes scan me for any trace of a lie and the words catch in my throat as she analyses me. I feel like she's either trying to burn a hole through me or simply set me ablaze with her eyes.
"I'm just peachy. Leave now." Jade's poisonous reply lacks it's usual sting once her eyes fall away from me, like she's given up on her fearsome act. I shift my weight from one foot to the other, unsure of what to do. I know leaving would be the easiest option, but I can't bear the thought of something happening to a…well, a friend I guess.
"Uh…" My tongue flails limply in the bottom of my mouth as I search for the words to justify my continued presence. Jade's eyes find me again, her lips flickering as what I suspect to be a torrent of insults threaten to spill out. Sucking in a lungful of air, Jade composes herself, the urge to verbally massacre subsiding.
"Just leave." The lack of force is more startling than any shriek that could have passed Jade's lips. The eerily calm within her voice swirls around me, pushed through the air by the chilled February wind. Before my eyes, a pane of glass rises from the door of Jade's car, ending the possibility of any further conversation. I back away from her car, spinning around and beating a hasty retreat.
I shift my car into gear and hurtle down the highway and I feel like a coward. I stare at the road ahead to avoid seeing Jade sink into the distance in my rear vision mirror and once again, I feel like a coward. I'm dimly aware of the music that filters through my speakers, but it no longer offers any catharsis as I replay the night's events in my mind. Ahead of me, a neon sign comes into view. Memories of Jade's desire to eat just before everything had fallen apart assault my senses and before I know what I'm doing, my car is pulling in into the Good Burger drive thru.
The aroma of fast food fills the interior of my car as I shoot out of the Good Burger drive thru. The road twists in front of me as I hurtle towards an uncertain fate. As the spaces between buildings widen and the crushing depths of the ocean come into view, I realize that I'm drawing nearer to my final destination. Veering around the final bend, my pulse quickens and I pull over to the side of the road. Knowing Jade is only a few feet away and probably in a worse mood than when I left her, I wish I had a suit of armor, or at least some kind of protection. Drawing as much lungs as I can, I reach over the center console and wraps to fingers around the bag containing my order. Heaving a sigh, I throw myself through the door and towards an uncertain fate.
"What do you want?" There's irritation, but no real malice in her words. Jade peers up at me through her eyelashes as the streetlights project my silhouette onto her. Her fingers slide away from her lap and the sound of screaming and galloping guitars assaults my ears as her window rolls down. Threats brew on her lips before her gaze dips and the words dying in her throat as she sees the crumpled bag that my gnarled fingers are clutching.
"I brought food." I mumble, shoving a brown paper bag in her direction and hurling my gaze to the ground. I've never really paid attention to what Jade eats, so I just ordered a wide variety of things for us to share. It strikes me as odd that I'm standing on the side of a road anticipating a beating from the girl that I just bought food for. I guess it's kind of pathetic really.
"Why?" The sound of her voice draws my eyes back to her face. Her eyebrows lay heavily above her piercing blue eyes. Even with the trails of mascara running down her cheeks, she's still an intimidating prospect, maybe even more than usual. I search my mind for answers; even I'm not entirely sure what keeps dragging me back here. I guess it's just that I know how it is to be alone, to have your heart ripped out and stomped on.
"You said you were hungry earlier so…" With a stutter, the words creak forth nervously, deserting me as Jade begins to shuffle from her seat. I don't think I've ever felt more uncertain while speaking to somebody and my voice deserts me as Jade leans forward, her long curls spilling out of the window. Her arm slices through the air, fluttering in the direction of what's in my hand.
"I'm more hungry now, gimme." She demands with a whine creeping through her tone. With a step forward, bag disappears from my grip and the sound of rustling paper fills the nights air. Jade's face actually softens as she looks through the bag, her usual mask of irritation giving way to something softer. I wouldn't call it gratitude, but it's definitely not the open hostility that I'm used to. Biting the inside of my cheek, I suppress the urge to laugh as a small plastic toy is wrenched from the bag and thrown into Jade's passenger seat.
"Here you go." Without a second though, I hand the bag to Jade. The mind fogs as I try and figure out what to do next. I wonder whether or not I should stay, whether she'll tear me to shreds or offer her thanks.
With a shrug, I turn on my heel, ready to go home. I figure that I've pressed my luck enough; if I stay any longer I'll probably end up wearing the one burger that doesn't meet her requirements. Hopefully if I leave it like this, Jade will walk straight past me on her path of destruction at school on Monday.
"Where are you going?" my heat begins to race again as Jade's voice cuts through the night's air and freezes me in my steps. I really hope she's not brandishing a pair of scissors of something. Despite my apprehensions, I notice that her voice wavers, something more than anger bubbling beneath the surface, something less intimidating. The flicker of vulnerability disappears from her eyes and her face rearranges into its usual angry glare as my gaze meets hers though.
"I was gunna…go." The words dribble from with lips pathetically as I point towards my battered red convertible. Jade hurls herself backwards and disappears into the night before the door of her car flies open and she stomps forth. She shoves the door closed behind her, using more force than was probably necessary and slumps against the cool metal. Her hands hang limply at her sides and I feel my throat tighten and it feels as though her eyes are paralyzing me.
"I don't eat hamburgers alone." Her words are succinct, cutting straight to the point without hesitation. I open and close my mouth, feeling like a fish out of water as I attempt to summon to courage to refuse her request. One sharp glare later and I'm watching Jade slip into the darkness as she stomps past her car.
"Hurry up." Jade's flicks her words carelessly over her shoulder as she disappears from sight. A sigh of defeat rattles from my throat and I push my feet towards the ground, racing after her. As the night's air stings my cheeks, I feel like an idiot, like a lamb to the slaughter. In no world is this a good idea, but I follow her anyway.
We amble along the side of the highway and the only sound is the rattling of a can. I almost feel pity for the inanimate object as it skitters down the road, pummeled forward by Jade's foot. Each second seems to cling onto the last, time seemingly locked in place before we finally veer left and something emerges from the night.
Jade comes to a halt, peering over at an ominous looking skeleton of twisted metal before pressing on once again. I trail behind Jade, echoing her footsteps in the hope of avoiding a grim fate at the hands of her idea of the perfect place to eat Good Burgers. The unease within my gut builds as we make our way past the rusty slide. Well, it's actually more rust than slide. Only the basic framework remains, blanketed in a cobweb of rust.
My eyes dart throughout the gnarled metal surrounding me as Jade trudges towards the only safe looking structure in the entire playground, the swings. Gracefully, she spins on her heel and lands on one of the swings. I wince as she makes contact with the worn rubber, expecting the whole structure to collapse even under her miniscule weight. I lower myself into the swing next to her with meticulous car; I'm still half expecting everything to come crash down around us. Beside me, Jade seems to share none of my concerns as she rummages through the Good Burger bag again.
"Here." Jade mumbles gruffly, hurling the bag and the remaining food at me once she's stripped the bag of what she wants. Shoving a hand into the bag and cradling it against me with the other, I draw a cheeseburger forth. Placing the bag on the ground below me, I peer down at the burger in my hands and realize just how surreal this scene is. I'm sitting in a dilapidated playground eating burgers with Jade West, right after Beck and her broke up.
Jade throws a wrapper into the distance, signaling that she's finished eating. Even in the moonlight, I can see that her eyes are still red and that they're probably still burning from her tears. I debate whether or not I should offer her something to clean away the make up that's bled down her cheeks. In spite of the turmoil written within her face, there's a sense of calm swimming within Jade's eyes, something that had been missing before we came to this playground. I wonder how long things have been bad between Beck and her, how far away she saw this coming.
"Shapiro, why are you here?" Jade's voice tears me away from my contemplation, for once there's no malice in her voice. It's not a loaded question, but the shock of silence shattering is enough to see me flinch. It's also enough to see me hurtling backwards, lose my balance and almost tumbling to the durst below. Thankfully I manage to grope through the air and take hold of the chains either side of me in time to right my position again. Jade's lips curve in a vague sense of amusement, but her cruel laughter is absent as I mull over her question.
"Are you mad?" Her silence is unnerving and I'm not sure if there's a right answer to her question. I'm not sure I even have an answer to her question either. Jade pushes her lips forward, not committing to an answer either way as she runs her fingers over the rusted chains supporting her.
"Of course I am. Not at you, just life. You know. Don't think I like you or anything though, I just tolerate you." I know her words are meant to wound, but the sharpness seems to have disappeared. I think Jade realizes that too, before another word can pass my lips, she throws herself forward, landing on her feet in one graceful movement. I know it's my cue to leave unless I want to be stuck here alone.
My eyes trail around the tall shadows that seem to be advancing on me and a shiver runs up my spine. I trail Jade without a word of complaint, leaving my remaining food where it lays. Maybe some rats will eat it. I have no doubt that they're lurking in the shadows.
Jade's footsteps aren't as heavy when we return in the direction of her car. It no longer seems like she's trying to stomp a whole through the earth with every step. She even speaks to me once or twice, nothing to indicate that we're friends. It's just the kind of small talk that two strangers would make in an elevator, but it's a world away from the suffocating silence of the walk to the playground. Time seems to crawl faster than before and we're standing in front of Jade's car before I know it. When she looks back at me she's not trying to will me to spontaneously combust like usual, I could even swear she's not just merely tolerating me.
"Right. So uh…bye. I'll pay you back sometime." Jade's words filter awkwardly through her lips as she screws her hands together, I don't think she's used to having friends. Not that I'm a master of social relationships, but even I know this is unnecessarily awkward. Jade chews on her lower lip before stepping forward and clapping me on the shoulder. I wince as her hand comes in contact with me, rattling my bones. Jade's eyebrows dig into her nose and she rolls her eyes at me before whirling around and unlocking her car. Stepping back as she climbs in, I wait for her to hit the gas pedal and fly down the road. The sound of her engine spluttering and dying catches me off guard, wasn't in the script.
Curse words hurtle forth from Jade's car, slicing through the night's air like daggers. Hearing the shimmering of her keys and the spluttering of her engine, I know that despite the obscenities tumbling from her mouth, Jade hasn't given up yet. The vague parallels between Jade's voice when her car won't start and her taste in music jumpstarts something in my mind. Of course her batteries dead, who knows how long she had been blaring music with the engine off before I arrived?
Before me, Jade has moved into the next phase of trying to start her car. She's abandoned trying to start it the conventional way, and her fists and raining down blows onto her steering wheel. Jade's raven locks whip throughout the air, as if they have some form of consciousness and are lashing out at the world. Pushing toward the whirling madness before me, I screw my eyes shut and hope for the best as my trembling hand reaches for the hand of Jade's door and wrenches it open.
"Stop freaking out." The command spills from my lips before I realize what I've done. My eyes widen as the torrent of rage before me subsides and Jade whips her gaze toward me. Terror grips me, not just the kind of terror when you realize you've forgotten to study for an exam, but the bone jarring, heart clenching terror when you know death is a mere formality. I'm so preoccupied that the quiver of Jade's lips barely registers in my mind. It's not until I feel her body slam against me and feel two arms link around my back, that I realize Jade's not going to kill me…
Jade's shoulder shake up and down as sobs quake through her. Her hair pools against my chest as she crumbles in front of me. I've never seen Jade like this, never seen her lose complete control before. Even when I had first arrived at her car, she hadn't been like this. Feeling her tears soak through my shirt, I know that her bleeding mascara has probably ruined it, but that doesn't seem important at the moment. I stand rooted to the spot, lost in though for some time before it occurs to me that I should probably hug her back. I raise my arms mechanically, and stiffly wrap them around her. Everything about this is bizarre.
"I need a ride." Jade croaks, the words just barely hold themselves together as the stumble through her tears. I nod stupidly, I'm not even sure if she can tell that I've heard her. I stroke her shoulder, like I'm trying to hold a wild animal at bay. I guess that's not so very far from the truth though, in a way, Jade is like a wounded animal right now. She jolts upright without warning; I guess I had been too invasive, because she pushes me away.
My arms dangle limply at my sides as Jade tries to piece herself together back in her car. She's sitting on the edge of her seat and her legs a dangling over the edge, swaying slightly. Her dark hair coils around the sides of her face and between the streaks of mascara and the glare she's plastered to her face, I see something else, something unfamiliar. Jade West is uncertain. It occurs to me that she probably didn't feel me nodding and assumed I was trying to make a move, and not just trying to avoid having my eyes clawed out.
"Lock your car, lets go." My lips quirk upwards into what I hope is a reassuring smile. The concern vanishes from Jade's eyes a weak smirk hitches itself to her lips as snatches her keys from the ignition and climbs out of her seat. As she locks her car, I can't help but wonder what I've gotten myself into. Jade tosses her keys into the Gear Of War bag that she's rarely seen without and pushes forth, once again leaving me to chase her.
"So, where to?" I ask, tumbling into the driver seat as Jade reaches back and clicks her seatbelt into place. She bites down and catches her bottom lip between her teeth, slumping forwards slightly and attempting to shadow the pained look in her eyes. With every passing second that she's silent, I feel like her seams are growing ever closer to unraveling, she's growing ever closer to another breakdown. After all of the cruel words she's said in past, it's strange to say, but I kind of hate to see her cry.
"I don't have anywhere to go." She mumbles, flattening her palms on her lap and continuing to avoid my gaze. Locks of raven hair tumble over her face as she throws my glove box open and begins to rummage though it. I'd be more concerned, but there's nothing interesting in there and Jade's always going through other peoples stuff, I'm just used to it. A heavy silence falls over us as I contemplate my next words, screwing my eyes shut, I desperately try to think of something else to say, but I can't. I keep coming back to the same words.
"We could go to my house?"
And there you have it, the first chapter. Kind of a slow start, but I doubt Jade would react too well if Robbie tried hitting on her straight away. Leave some reviews why don't ya? I'll probably get discouraged and give up if nobody is interested lol.