Worry Rock

Talk now.

"Hi, Joe. I-I'm gonna go now."
Yeah, I'm still an idiot. I start walking towards the door, and for a moment, he looks as if he's going to stop me; but I step around him without him moving and reach the door handle. I jiggle it but find it won't move.
"You're going to talk to him whether you like it or not! I don't care if you tell him you fucking hate his guts, but tell him something!"
"Ash, come on."
"Talk now."
I sigh and turn around to look Joey in the eye, something that only a week ago would've been a simple task.
"I guess we have to talk now, huh?"
"Yeah, I guess so," he replies. "I wanted to talk to you sooner, but you kept avoiding me. Why?"
"I don't know. I guess I was just kind of scared."
He nods. "I was scared when I figured it out too. Kind of like, she's my best friend. So why the fuck do I feel like this? It freaked me out too."
"Out of curiosity, how long has it been since you, um, you know." I can't really say it.
"Fell in love with you? I don't really know. It was kind of gradual. I always cared about you, but I never really was sure about the whole 'love' thing. I mean, I'll admit, I had a crush on you when I was like, seventeen, but that I have attributed to hormones."
"What? You liked me then? Damn!"
"Yeah, I know, crazy, right? But then I was kind of over the crush and just loved you like I've always loved you. I'm not even going to try to pinpoint it though, because you know, if I keep thinking about it, I'll eventually convince myself I was always in love with you, and we both know that's not right."
I stay quiet for a moment, then go sit down on the bed, and he sits next to me. I hug my legs, resting my chin on my knees, and stare down at the floor. "I'm so confused," I confess.
"I'm sorry," he says, and I know he means it. "I shouldn't have said anything."
"Forget that. If I was not in any way involved in this, I'd say you'd be an idiot not to tell me."
"And since you're involved?"
"Like I said, I'm really confused. I'm glad you told me, because I hate being left in the dark, and I hate that you'd probably be miserable if I never knew. But the thing is, I'm probably more scared than you are to find out what my answer will be. I just really don't know." I feel his arm around me and, out of habit, lean into him, resting my head on his shoulder.
"Yeah. I know you must be feeling pretty overwhelmed right now."
I nod, and he gives a sigh. We just sit there for a while before he says, "What are you thinking?"
"Same thing as I was thinking earlier. I'm going insane."
"You're not going insane, Carlie."
"Joey, please, just stop calling me Carlie."
"Carlie's your name. And I don't know, Charlie just didn't feel right."
I sit up and look at him.
"You've always called me Charlie."
"Exactly." He pauses. "You know I always loved you. Ever since I held that little red baby on the day you were born, I just loved you, but now it's different."
"That's what scares me."
He smiles a little, and I return it with a weak grin.
I'm finding it strange that it's really not so hard to talk to him. He seems to understand why I feel the way I do, but I guess he sort of went through a "What the fuck?" stage as well. I reach out and hold his hand saying, "I'm sorry. For avoiding you and everything. I'm an idiot."
"Yeah. But you're not mad at me, right?"
"If I were mad at you, I would have been yelling at you. I'm not mad. My brain's just on overload right now. I can't seem to figure it out."
"Well," he starts tentatively. "How about you give me a chance? I'll show you, I mean it, and maybe you can get your head straight along the way. Please. One chance."
I close my eyes and lean my forehead on my knees. I knew this would happen. I knew he'd ask me to go out with him. But he's right. I don't really know if I love him or not. So what if? I look up at him. He's looking at me as well, his expression pleading. "Alright, Joey. I'll try it."
His face lights up into a grin, and I can't help but smile a little. He pulls me into a warm hug, and I return it. I'm still not sure what kind of hug this is to me, but I push my doubts aside for the moment.
"Thank you, Carlie. Thanks so much."
"One condition," I say, pulling away. His face falls a little.
I smile a little. "Call me Charlie."
He grins back. "I can do that," he replies.
"Come on, let's go."
We both stand up and walk to the door, him grasping my hand, and he opens the door to reveal Ashlynn and Jakob standing there, obviously having just been listening to us. I'm not mad at them. I knew Ashlynn would stay and listen, and I would have told Jakob everything anyways. Him listening in on my "private" conversations just saves me the time of having to tell him. So now he's just giving us both a warm smile, and Ashlynn is grinning like an idiot.
"You two are so damn cute!" she says excitedly.
"Shut up, Ashlynn," I mutter, a little embarrassed. I glance up to Joey to see him absolutely glowing. Like my word choice? It's really accurate. Ash and Jake look at each other, and then both take off running down the hall.
I realize what they're going to do and yell after them, "Don't you even-" but it's no use. They've already descending the stairs. I look up at Joey, who's just wearing a small, amused smile, and we start walking down the hall. When we go downstairs, side by side, we're greeted-just as I predicted-with a round of applause.
"Fucking finally, God-dammit!" yells out Billie Joe from the crowd, and a lot of people laugh. "I've been trying to get you to fucking talk to that boy for four fucking days now!"
I smile a little. "Ashlynn locked us in a room together."
"Really?" I nod, and he runs over to Ash and hugs her tightly. Wow, Ashlynn's getting a lot of hugs today, isn't she?
"Meow," I hear, and look around in excitement. After a moment, I see Boom holding him. Of course. Adie's been taking care of him while we were on tour.
"Demon!" I yell, and leave Joey to run to Boom. He sees me, though, and starts running, Demon in his arms.
"He's my cat!" he yells.
"No, he's mine! Get your ass back here with my cat!"
I'm chasing him all over the house now, him going around people, through doors, and all that jazz, and me following him as best I can. Damn him for being tall! Why am I so short anyways? Was my mom a midget or something? Because my dad's a pretty tall guy.
"He's mine!" Boom yells. This is as childish as Boom can get.
"I got him from the animal shelter!"
"I take care of him!"
"That's because you made me let him stay at the band-house!"
"He's still mine!"
"Would you two shut up and stop running around!?" yells Adie as I try to jump over a sofa. Hearing her makes me lose my concentration and fall on my side. "Demon's been with me for the months that you all have been touring. He's been at my house, and I've taken care of him, so he's my cat!" With that, she goes up to Boom and takes Demon from him, much to the singer's dismay, walking away with the cat in her arms.
"Ow," I say, rubbing my side. I see Joey trotting over and smiling at me.
"You alright?" he says, holding his hand out to help me up.
I push myself up without accepting the help and rub my arm a little, saying, "Yeah, I'm fine." I pout. "I wanted Demon back."
Joey smiles, saying, "Mom won't give him up now."
I nod. While Jake and I were on tour, and Billie and Joey came with us, I guess Adie must've become pretty close to my cat. I see Jake walking up to me saying, "She took Demon, huh?"
"I knew it."
I pout. "I wanted Demon."
"I wanted Demon too," says Boom, walking up to us.
"We'll leave you two to want Demon together. Come on, Joe," says Jake and starts walking away. Joey looks to me sort of sadly for a moment, then reluctantly follows Jakob. I shrug, and Boom and I jump over the sofa again (no, I didn't fall this time) and sit down.
"So, Charlie. You're going out with Joey now?"
"Yeah," I say a little uncomfortably, looking down into my lap.
"What's wrong?" he asks.
"I don't really know. I'm just confused."
"Yeah, I guess so." He smiles. "I just always thought you and Joey would end up together."
"I don't know about end up," I say quietly.
"What do you mean?"
"I don't even know if I love him or anything. I just thought if I give him a chance, maybe I'll be able to figure it out."
Boom stays quiet for a little bit. "Charlie, don't mess with Joey's feelings, alright?"
"Don't lead him on. He might start thinking you feel more than you do, and it'll really hurt to find out the truth."
"Boom, does this by chance have anything to do with past experience?"
"And let me guess. You're not going to tell me."
I nod. "Boom, when are you ever going to tell us about your life before you moved out here?"
He stays quiet for a while and says, "I don't want to talk about that, okay? My past sucks. That's all there is to it."
"It might help if your best friends knew, though."
"I don't want to talk about it," he repeats.
"Fine, Boom."
"I'm gonna go." He gets up and starts walking off.
"Boom." He looks at me. "What's your real name?"
He pauses before saying, "James Rome. But call me that, and I'll have to personally gouge your eyes out with a screwdriver."
He smirks a little, and I say, "Got it." With that, he turns away, and I smile to myself a bit and walk over to hang out with Ashlynn again.

---Joey's Point of View---

Why did he take me away? I was with Carlie. My girlfriend. Wow, that's amazing to think. She's my girlfriend. I've been waiting an entire year for this, and finally, we're together.
"What's up, man?" I ask.
"Joey, we should talk alone. Come on."
I'm getting a lot of alone talks with people today. I follow my brother out of the door, and we sit down on the front porch.
"So, what is it?"
I grin. "Yeah. I feel amazing. I mean, finally, you know? I've been waiting so long."
"Joey, maybe you should calm down."
"What do you mean?"
"I just mean, maybe you should take it slow. Charlie isn't quite ready for anything serious now."
"She said yes," I reply, trying to fool myself into thinking that life is a fairy tale with a happy ending in which Carlie and I spend the rest of our lives together, where she loves me nearly as much as I love her. But who am I kidding, anyway?
"She's still really confused. She's trying to sort things out in her head, and she's going out with you in hopes that it'll help her. Trust me, Joe. I know how Charlie thinks."
I stay silent for a while. At first, I feel hurt. I trust Jakob with this. I mean, he knows her better than anyone, probably better than she knows herself, and he's my brother. So when he tells me that Carlie doesn't love me, it hurts. Badly. As in getting repeatedly run over by a train but never dying kind of hurt.
But thinking about it, I understand where she's coming from. We've known each other since the day she was born. Always gotten along. Always been friends. Until I was about thirteen and started to break away from my kid brother and his best friend, withdrawing into my own little world of adolescence. Sure, I was friends with her then, but it wasn't that big of a deal. You know the drill. Just my younger brother's best friend. But when I turned sixteen, I started hanging out with them more, and by the time I was seventeen, I had such a crush on her. That went away a little later, and we were back into "best friends" mode, like when we were little, until about a year ago when I realized I was in love with her. Carlie Spencer. Not my brother's best friend. Not that pretty girl at school. My best friend, Carlie Wren Spencer. But her? No, her friend who she'd known her whole life out of the blue says something that would change it, and now she has to bounce back. Trouble is, she can't. She doesn't know where to bounce to.
"I guess you're right, man. I just. I don't even know." I turn to look at him. "I really care about her, Jake."
He smiles warmly. "I know. And she cares about you. She's just a little off course right now. Give her some time, you'll see."
"Yeah, I hope so."
"Don't let it get you down, bro. Come on, let's go back in."
We get up and walk inside, and Jakob immediately goes to his girlfriend, putting his arms around her from the back and kissing her shoulder. At least he's happy.
"Hey, everybody! Guess what!?" I hear, and look over to see Tre standing on the coffee table. "I'm getting married!" he yells excitedly, pulling Ariel up to the table with him. She looks like she's crying from happiness as he grins widely, obviously excited that she accepted. I guess this is what he was so excited about earlier today. We hear applause and wolf whistles everywhere as Tre holds Ariel close to him, embracing her lovingly. Looks like he's happy too.
Now there's just me.