Status: R.I.P. Jimmy Sullivan. FoREVer in our hearts<33

Break Apart My Heart

Chapter Twenty-One

I had effectively wasted all of 5 minutes picking out an outfit for tonight before I was entirely bored again. I wasn't good alone; I have no idea how to keep myself occupied without going into my own head for too long. I wandered around the house a bit, picked up after the boys and put a few dishes in the washer. I looked up at the clock, hoping I had managed to kill a few hours doing minutes worth of work, but nope! Still 3 hours left, and I was out of things to do. I sighed and threw on my shoes, deciding that a cup of coffee sounded nice.

The coffee shop was a few blocks from my house so the walk wasn't terrible. I stopped a few times to watch families walking together, or playing with their children outside. I always wondered if their families were as happy as they seemed or if it was just a facade, some kind of show to put on for the neighbors. Part of me hoped for the first, and the other for the last; I was always slightly jealous that I never got something like that.

Sighing, I opened the door to the coffee shop. I kept twenty dollars from what I gave the boys but that was it; I would have to get another job soon. Dancing is great money, but did I really want to keep doing that?

I was interrupted from my train of thought when the coffee guy cleared his throat. I laughed slightly.

“Sorry, I go off into my head sometimes. Um, can I just have a medium Hazelnut coffee? Light and sweet?” I asked, looking at some of the desserts they had on display. I wanted one, but I also wanted to save what money I had left.
“Do I know you?” He asked, handing me my coffee.
I raised an eyebrow. “I don't think so? I grew up here, but I just moved back recently.”
“What's your name, if you don't mind me asking?”
“Nicollette Haner, but everyone just calls me Nikki.” I answered, smiling.

He wasn't a bad looking guy; probably about my age. He had dark, shaggy hair, tanned skin, bright blue eyes and dimples like Matt's. If he wanted to flirt, hey! I'm technically single. Maybe I'll get a free cookie out of it.

“This is going to sound so stalker-ish, but did you have Ms. Anderson in 4th grade?”
I nodded. “Did we have class together? I'm sorry, my memories not great.”
“Yea! My names Ryan Adams, we were kind of friends?” He smiled.
I thought for a few minutes. “Metallica shirt?”
“Yes!” He laughed. “How have you been?”
My eyed widened a bit, I'm surprised he even remembered me. I wasn't exactly popular here, and that was 8 years ago.
“I've been okay, I actually just moved back here.”
“In with your brother, right?” He asked.
My head snapped back a little. How did he know I have a brother?
“Uh, yea, actually.” I nodded, starting to feel a little awkward. People started lining up behind us. “Well, I guess you should get back to work.”
“Yea, hey, would you wanna give me your number? Maybe we can hang out some time?” He asked.

I hesitated before giving it to him and walking outside to the outdoor seating. Once the guys went on tour and Bella and Andy headed back home, it wouldn't hurt to have someone else to hang out with. I would just have to make sure he knew it would be nothing more than friends. I was interrupted from my thoughts AGAIN when someone poked my shoulder. I looked up and, to my surprise, there stood a still slightly black and blue Valary and … a not black and blue Valary? Why are there two of her? Oh, great.

“Um, hi?” I asked, my tone annoyed.
“Hi.” She smiled at me.

I sat there awkwardly for a minute while dumb and dumber stood there staring at me.

“Oh! I'm sorry, I don't think you ever met my sister. This is Michelle.” Valary introduced. Michelle smiled warmly and waved. I did the same and she walked inside. “Can we talk?”

“I guess.” I shrugged, setting my coffee down. Honestly, I thought they were going to try and jump me, but I guess this works, too.
“So, I just want to start out by apologizing to you. I've been a serious bitch the last week, and I'm not usually like that.” I went to talk, but she put her hand up. “Just, I feel like I need to finish before you say anything. I'm really not like this, and I feel really bad about the things I said about you and your friend. It's just … Matt and I have been together for a long time, and we're both still very young. Sometimes I worry he wants to experience someone new, and I know you two used to be close, so when you came back gorgeous I went into jealous Valary world.” She rattled on.
“I guess I can understand that.” Considering she's completely right …
“It's not only the Matt thing. I mean, Beli's been around for a while, but I've always kind of been the center of the group. It sounds so conceited, but I always felt like all the guys came to me when they needed something or to just hang out, and now they go to you.”

And here's where the guilt starts to sink in, folks!

“It's only because they've all known me since I was born, and I've been gone a long time. I'm sure they all still think the same of you, but it's just going to be a little different now. The newness of me being here will wear off soon and I'm sure you'll have more time with everyone again.” I couldn't help it, I started feeling bad for her. She started to seem … human, like she was when I was younger.

“I guess you're right, but it still was wrong of me to act like that. I feel terrible about the things I said, and the fight … I'm just really sorry. I don't know how to even make it up to you.” Her eyes started to water.

Oh jeeze. “It's fine, don't worry about it.”
“So we're okay?” She asked, looking hopeful.
I sighed. “Yea, we're cool.”
She smiled wide and stood up, engulfing me in a hug.
“I'm so happy! I still need to apologize to your friends. Are you going to be home tonight?”
“No, I'm going by Zacky's. Maybe drop by tomorrow?” I asked.
She nodded and ran inside to catch up with her sister.

Does this now put me in the wrong for still wanting her boyfriend? Before it seemed like it was okay to go along with whatever the hell is happening because she was a bitch, but since she's not really a bitch I feel a little guilty now. And then there's Zacky … I should feel much guiltier about all of this, but it's not like we're an official couple … right? Right. At least, that's what I'm going to tell myself for now.

After showering, taming the birds nest that is my hair, and getting ready, I was standing at Zacky's door waiting for him to answer. The lights were off, did he forget about our dinner? The door opened and there stood Zacky, in black slacks, a white button up, black bow tie with his hair slicked back.

“You look beautiful.” He smiled, pecking my lips.
“You don't look so bad yourself, Baker.” I teased. “Why are all your lights off?”
“Come in, mademoiselle.” He guided me through the dark living room into the dining room, which was completely illuminated with candles.

“Zack, this is beautiful!” I gushed. “You really didn't have to do all this, you know. I'm definitely a Wendy's kinda girl.” I joked.
“I know, but I wanted to do something nice. Are you hungry?” He smiled, pulling my chair out for me.
“Starving!” I laughed.

He brought out two plates full of salad, a plate of garlic bread, and a giant bowl of spaghetti,

“Very swanky, Baker.” I teased.
“I tried making something else, but it didn't come out very well ...” He frowned.
“I'm sorry Zacky, I was just teasing.” I apologized, leaning in to kiss him. “I love spaghetti.”
“Really. Let's eat!” I smiled, piling some pasta onto my plate.

Conversation came easy with Zacky, it never felt awkward or forced. We joked through dinner, and I told him about running into Valary. He said he was glad we “made up” and that things could be somewhat normal between everyone now, but I wasn't too sure.

“That was delicious, Zacky. Thank you.” I smiled, wiping sauce from my face.
“Not too shabby, huh?” He beamed. “I made the sauce from scratch.”
“I'm impressed, a man who can cook is a huge turn on.” I smirked, crawling onto his lap.
“I used garlic and parsley.” He stated in a sexy voice.
“Oh baby,” I joked. “Talk dirty to me.”
We both fell into a fit of giggles.

“There is something I wanted to ask you.” He said as we finally stopped laughing.
“What's that?” I asked grabbing our plates off the table.
“Be my girlfriend?”

I dropped both of the plates in my hand and they shattered against the floor.
“Shit!” I cursed, trying to pick up pieces. Zack ran over.
“It's okay, don't worry about it, I'll get it.” He picked up the remainder of the big pieces and tossed them into the trash.
“Well, what do you say?”
“I-I …. I think I need to get home.” I said lamely, rushing out the front door and basically sprinting back to my own house.

I slammed the door and ran straight up to my room, ripping off my dress and jewelry and throwing on more comfortable cloths. Why did I just do that? What's wrong with me? Why didn't I just say yes, or even no, just something? I like Zacky, but do I want to be his girlfriend?

“Babydoll, what the fuck?” Bella asked, scaring the shit out of me.
“Holy fuck you scared me, when did you get back?” I asked, putting a hand to my chest.
“About a half hour ago, what's wrong?” She asked, giving me a knowing look.
I sighed. “Zack asked me to be his girlfriend.”
“That's great!” She yelled, but stopped abruptly. “Wait, then why are upset?”
“I kind of didn't answer him?”
“What did you say to him?” She asked, searching my bedroom. Probably for a blunt.
“I kind of broke two of his dishes and said I should probably go home, then ran, more or less, out of his house.” I grabbed a rolled blunt from my ash-tray and lit it, taking a few pulls and handing it to her.
“Damn, that's harsh baby doll.” She inhaled a large puff of smoke. “I thought you liked him?” Exhale.
“I thought so too.” I took the blunt, inhaling the smoke sharply and holding it in.
“I think it's because you love a certain man downstairs.” Bella smirked.
I frowned. “Of course I love Brian, but what the fuck does he have to do with me and Zacky?”
Bella rolled her eyes. “Not your brother, dummy! Dimples down there.”
“Matt's here?” I asked, taking another hit and passing it to her.
“Mhmm, been downstairs since we got back.”
I rolled my eyes and she looked at me questioningly.
“We kind of got into it earlier today.”
“Like, into it in to it” She smirked, making obscene gestures with her hands.
I giggled. “Nothing like that, I kind of just flared his temper a little and he punched some holes in his wall.” I stated nonchalantly.
“Babygirl, you've got one serious little love triangle going on. Now, I think you should go talk to him.” She took one last hit of the blunt and handed it back to me.
I took a pull. “Him who?”
“Whichever him you choose, but damn girl, choose one!” With that, I heard her make her way downstairs.

How am I supposed to choose?