Worry Rock

Cookies, Caffiene, and Long-Awaited Confessions

---Carlie's POV---

The pool is a work of art. Well, it's just graffiti, but there's a lot, and it's in pretty colors, so it's art. Well, at least it's not a tribute to Green Day... not totally, anyway.
Okay, so there's a reference or two, but most of it is actually taken up with the word "Ashtray." Apparently, Mick wrote that. Ashlynn drew a Dead Kennedys symbol. Warren went so far as to cut out the The Living End symbol on a cardboard box and spray-paint it to the pool. Besides that, there are a few other random band names and symbols, and some other random things. Point: the pool is now very colorful.
"Nice," I say as we watch our drummer testing out his new skate ramp.
"Okay, time to go!" we hear our front man yell, coming out of the house. "Construction dude's already mad enough at Ash and the twins for vandalizing his precious pool! Let's get out of his way while he finishes off our band floor!"
"Kay!" yells our drummer, landing off of the pool with a flourish. It looks so out of place. A little piece of ghetto in the middle of a nice green lawn, surrounded by nice houses. This house is pretty much the construction foreman's baby, so when Boom asked him to tear apart most of the top floor, it was bad enough. Now the pool is (in his opinion) destroyed as well. He really doesn't like us right now.
But that doesn't make us less of the asses we are.
"Hey, Freddio! How ya doin!" smirks Jake as we go through the house.
"It's Fredrick!" says the man with the Hispanic accent.
"Right, Freddy," I say, leaning on his shoulder. "Have fun tearing out the walls of this oh so beautiful home. We know you love to."
"Please leave," he says to us and looks at the only voice of sanity - Boom - almost pleadingly.
"You know you love us, Freddykins," puts in Warren.
"Okay, everybody leave my guy alone and get in the fucking car!"
"He's your guy, Boom?" asks the little drummer boy, who is currently skating around the kitchen. Yes, further destruction. "Aww, congratulations, you've finally come out of the closet!"
"Just go," he says, and the rest of us laugh, leaving to let him apologize to Ricky for us again.
So we pile into my car. Yes, we finally get to use mine now. After all of Jakob's whining and fondness over his oh-so-wonderful-and-firey (that pyro) hearse, I can finally use mine.
Right. So Boom said sorry to his little construction dude, came back, and I drive us to the studio. That's right, we're back to the studio. None of us really have much to work with at the moment. I think they're just throwing us in a room with writing utensils, paper, instruments, and a mini-fridge, and seeing what they can get out of us. So that doesn't sound all too different from our normal song writing environment except for the probable lack of room, clothes, games, and other random things piled all over the floor. It probably will be like that at the end, so pretty much, home sweet home.
Okay, so now we're here, and for a few hours, we pretty much individually fiddle around with tunes until we hear a short but very annoying jingle coming from Mick's pocket. He takes his still old and beaten up cell phone out, flipping it open. His grin widens more and more as he looks at the small, luminescent screen. He snaps the phone shut and jumps into the air.
"Yes!" he says, running up to hug Boom, of all people. "She's coming! Yay!"
"Who's coming?" I ask, confused.
"Rene! She's coming to visit me. Yay!"
"She's coming to visit us," corrects his brother.
"Right. I don't care. She's coming!"
"Wow, you're pretty excited, huh, Mickey?" asks Jakob.
"Hell yes!"
You know, Mick can be really cute sometimes.


We finally declared it safe to return to Billie's. We had to give him and Adie some time to cool down. Joey's downstairs now, on the phone with his real estate agent again. He seems dead set on getting that particular house. I don't know what's so special about it, but apparently, he wants that particular house, and he wants it soon. Jakob will be out by the end of the week, moving in with Jen. It seems I'll probably be the last to leave the house. Which sucks.
"I am awesome!" I hear and look around to see Ash walk into my room, where I currently sit with a pen and notebook in my hand.
I smirk. "Yes, we already knew that, oh egotistical one. What's the reason for your awesomeness this time?"
"I found a house!"
"Yes, I am badass and have found us a kick ass house to stay in, so that means you get to pay for it, Char." I raise an eyebrow at her in amusement, looking at her silently for a moment. "I love you," she says feebly, smiling.
I laugh. "Yeah, Ash, I know. What's the house look like?"
"Uh, I have pictures and stuff in my bag downstairs. Want me to go get it?"
"Nah, that's okay. We'll look at it later."
"Okies," she says, closing the door and sitting down on my bed. "Whatcha doin?" she asked in a sing-song voice.
"Trying to write something. Just because I'm in a band and know my way around a guitar doesn't mean I'm any good with words."
"Well, whatcha writing about?" she asked in the same singsong voice.
"Uh, nothing really," I say uncomfortably, unwilling to reveal my crappy way of trying to be poetic to anyone. I was actually just going to burn it when I was done.
"Well, you having said it's nothing definitely means that there's not nothing, and seeing as there's something on that page, that means it's something that you want me to see, so pass over that nothing. That way, it'll give me something to do."
Wait. Huh? Oh. Okay, I get it now. "How many cups of coffee today?"
"Well, The Dirnt came over, so like, six?"
"Right," I say, smirking and nodding to her.
"Okay, so can I read it or what?"
"I'll give you a cookie."
"I don't want a damn cookie!"
"How could you not want a cookie?"
"Like this. I don't want a cookie."
"That's insane!"
"Yeah. Well it fits then."
"Come on! Please, can I read it?"
"Fine, god dammit!" I take the notebook up, and somehow, it finds its way through the air running towards her head. But she ducks out of the way. Damn it.
"Ha!" she says, pointing to me. "Smoothness brought on by the coffee!" I roll my eyes, and she leans over the edge of the bed to pick up the notebook. Perfect. A pleasing high pitched yell emits from her as my foot contacts with her ass, making her fall headfirst to the floor. "You bitch!"
"I know," I say with a happy smile.
She climbs back up on the bed - far away from the edge, mind you - and reopens the notebook, beginning to read its contents. She seems to sober up as her eyes scan the page. "This is about Joey, huh?"
I bite my nail nervously. "Yeah. It is."
"Yeah, I thought so. It's really sad," she says.
"I guess everybody feels like that sometimes," I say, leaning over, to try taking the notebook away from her.
"No, I'm reading it," she whines.
"How old are you?"
"Eleventy-seven, thank you very much!"
I moan. "Come on. Just give me my notebook back so I can burn it and get it over with."
"Don't burn it. This is good stuff."
"Oh, cut the crap."
"I'm serious. And if you want to destroy this work of art, then I will be forced to make it locally public."
"Locally public meaning?"
"I'll show Joey."
"No. No, do not! You can't show him that! That's not fucking fair."
"Well it wouldn't be destroyed would it?" I lunge at her, trying to take the notebook from her hands, but she blocks it from me. "Hey, I won't tell him if you promise not to get rid of it."
"Not fair."
"Fine, I promise. Just give it to me."
She hands the notebook over, and I tuck it safely away in a drawer, sitting back on the bed. It's safe to say, this is a personal song. One of those things so personal you don't even realize you're thinking that way until you write it down.
"Come on. Let's go downstairs," says my oh-so-cheery friend, heading for the door.
"You won't tell anybody, right?"
"I won't. I promise. Now let's go."
We walk down the stairs, down into the living room, which contains Jakob, Boom, and Billie Joe, my band mates on the floor playing a motorcycle video game and getting into it. In contrast, Billie is on the sofa. I guess Mike left then. Of course, Ashtray decides to go sit next to her idol.
"Hey, Billie. You want a cookie?" she asks, pulling a random bag of cookies from her pocket.
"What did you do to it?" he says looking nervous.
"Why would I do anything to it? You're God."
"Oh, yeah," he says, as if he'd forgotten. He takes a bite of the chocolate chip cookie being held out but Ashlynn, chews for a moment, and then uses the cookie to gesture at her. "I like you."
"What does that mean?"
"Exclamation of complete happiness."
On cue, my best friend since birth sits down next to my best non-band friend since nearly a year ago. "I want a cookie," he says, pouting.
She hands him what he asked for, and he instantly throws his arms around her in a crushing hug. "Squee!" they both say, causing me to roll my eyes and Boom to grin. I sit down next to him.
"I love you!" says Jake.
"I love you too!"
I bow my head down, running my fingers through my hair in exasperation. Oh my god.

During the next hour, I learn that our own personal wonder twins are currently in the kitchen with Adrienne... coloring. Joey's there too, looking over legal crap. Besides that and joking about the maturity the twins possess of a pair of seven year olds, nothing interesting really happens. I didn't say anything about after that hour though.
"Hey, everybody!" we hear and look to the door to see - of all people - Rene.
"Uh, hi, Rene," Jake says. "What are you doing here?"
"Mick told me to come here," she says with a shrug. As if on cue, the kitchen door bursts open.
"Rene!" It only takes the mass of green-haired immaturity moments to have tackled our visitor to the ground. Warren and Adie walk out of the kitchen, laughing at Mick.
"Damn, Mickey. I missed you too."
"Really?" he says while on top of her, his face inches from hers. Talk about awkward for the rest of us.
"Yes, Mick, I did. Now, will you get off of me?"
He obliges, helping her to stand and then pulling her into a gentler and less bruising hug, which she returns. "Oh yeah. Billie, this is Rene! She's, uh, well, actually, I don't know. I guess she's my friend. Uh, yeah."
Rene grins, coming up to Billie, shaking his hand. "Rene," she says, introducing herself.
"Billie. So you're the one Mick's been gushing about?"
She smiles, and I can almost hear her thoughts of how cute and sweet our drummer is as she turns to him. "You gush about me?"
"I... talk about you."
"About me or about the sex?" she asks with a smirk.
"I don't know, babe. Why don't you refresh my memory about that last one?"
"Because, Mick, sweetheart, I have a my own personal posse of sexy male strippers at my service. I don't need you."
"Yeah, but I'm free," he says with a wink.
Thankfully, Rene decides to end this particular conversation now, rolling her eyes and grinning.
"Yeah, I can tell why you like her, Mick," remarks Billie, earning a huge grin from the drummer.
They go on to start talking about all kinds of random things, and I get bored and decide to walk into the kitchen - I'm thirsty.
"Hey, Char," I hear and turn to see Joey sitting at the table and looking at some papers. Damn, I forgot he was in here.
"Hi, Joe. How's it going?"
"Buying a house is not fun."
I laugh. "Yeah, well I'm next. I'll probably be paying for most, if not all, of our place, so I get to go through all of that crap too. Lucky me."
He smiles, and I turn back to the cabinet where I pull a glass out and fill it with ice, looking back just in time to see him avert his eyes in a very suspicious manner.
I try to ignore the fact that he was just staring at me, feeling awkward as I head for the refrigerator. Let's see, what do we have here? Beer, Hawaiian Punch, more beer... here it is. The magical taste of caffeinated beverages.
And no, you Mike-whores, I wasn't talking about coffee. It's root beer. Duh.
Okay, so the drink is poured into the cup and returned to the fridge, the fridge door closed, and my eyes turned to Joey, who is pretending to read those boring as hell legal papers. I'm about to leave when he calls me back.
I stop and look back at him. "Yeah, Joe?"
"I've been wanting to talk to you."
Oh, no. Those seven words can never be followed by a happy conversation. Ever. Unless we were both madly in love and he was about to confess his need to be with me for the rest of his life. But he's obviously not, so those words remain a bad thing. "Sure," I say, taking a seat across from him. I have no choice, really. What else are you entitled to do at this moment? Say 'No. I don't want to talk to you,' and walk out? There is virtually no way to weasel out of it unaided without looking like a complete asshole.
"I..." he sighs, looking for a moment to be composing himself. "I know it's only been a week and a half, but you said you'd tell me after a while apart. It's been a while. I just wanted to know."
I know what he means, but this is a buying time tactic. "Just ask me straight out what you want me to know."
"Do you love me?" Damn. I bow my head down, running my fingers through my hair. It's time for an answer.
"I - Joey, I - " Say it, Charlie. Say something now. Anything. Whatever it is, just spit it out. "I don't love you. I'm sorry." Wait, what?
Joey sighs, looking away. "I guess I expected that." I feel myself melting as I see the hurt look in his eyes.
"I really am sorry. I mean, I don't know. Can things just go back to being like they were?"
He sighs. "I guess I'll have to try."
"Just - I don't know, try to get over me, I guess. Get a new girlfriend. I do want you to be happy, Joe. I care about you." I reach out, putting my hand on top of his, but he pulls his own away. I have this horrible feeling now in my chest, like I want to cry so badly. I have no idea why, but I just feel like breaking down.
"I know, Charlie," he says sadly, looking like he feels even worse than I do. Okay, so he has a perfect reason to, but still, I'm not feeling quite peachy at the moment either. "You're completely sure, right?"
No. "Yes."
He sighs, and there's an awkward moment of silence before he stands, gathering the papers together in a pile. "I guess I'd better go get these signed then, huh?"
"I guess."
I look up at him, and the tears he's blinking away makes me want to get up and hug him so hard. He leans close, and I close my eyes as I feel his lips on my cheek and then the whisper in my ear. "I love you, Carlie Spencer." I turn my head to look at him. He's close enough for me to feel his hot breath on my face, and a strange feeling is coming over me. I don't know why. I don't love him. "Goodbye," he says, and with that, he's out of the door.
I know he's only been gone for a few moments, but right now, I really miss Joey.