‹ Prequel: Smirt
Status: finished.



I never expected to be that couple. I think you know at least one that fits this description or at least is somewhat relatable. It was as if people viewed Carter and I as that couple. The one that doesn’t always have public displays of affection other than hand holding. The one that others envied because of the simplicity of the relationship. The one that people presumed “never fought.” The one that, as a single girl, I had loathed and could never imagine myself being involved in. I guess you could say that I’m narcissistic for thinking I’d be single for as long as possible after seeing those types of couples. I wouldn’t deny it. It’s an entirely new experience though, being on the other side of the spectrum. But the truth was, that was us. I hated to admit it to myself but I noticed it after I put on the ring Carter had bought for me. The following day, we had almost gotten into a fight over something stupid and I was ready to start an impromptu game. The game? Well, it’s called Who Can Yell Louder at the Other Person. Before I could initiate that, Carter promptly apologized, said I was right, and that we should just drop the subject.

It was at that point that I knew this wasn’t “meant to be” as others may have thought. My past relationships had been comprised of little arguments and some serious disagreements. Not once had any of my ex-boyfriends given in and said I was right two minutes into the fight. This wasn’t what I expected. I wanted my significant other to keep me grounded and humble, as well as keeping up with my tendency to try and control every situation. I noticed after that incident that Carter was agreeable. Whenever I would want to take a smoke break or I said I didn’t like listening to a certain band, he’d accommodate me. I knew he didn’t like the fact that I smoked because of the way his face contorted as I walked back into the lounge, the smell clinging to my whole body. But he never voiced his opinion. He’d change the song on his playlist if I mentioned I didn’t like the band. Those little things made me question the relationship. It was nitpicky of me to do but I couldn’t imagine myself with someone like that.

I wanted someone who was willing to try new things, not someone who would let me be the same person forever. I wanted someone who would help me grow and change because of their ideas, their hopes for the future, their energy. I wrestled with the inner voice that said this was who I could be with long term; someone who I could be myself around and not worry about anything. Yet something else within me said the exact opposite and yearned for another.

“Ellie and Chris want to go on a double date with us.” Carter eyed me with curiosity as I rummaged through the laundry basket. I needed to find my wallet because the bus had made a stop; I wanted coffee and another pack of cigarettes.

I finally found it in the pocket of one of my skinny jeans, along with a few crumpled dollar bills and loose change. I smoothed out the bills and put them in my wallet with the coins. “Are you sure you don’t want to go with me?” I glanced at Carter, silently daring him to prove me wrong.

The conviction in his eyes was subtle but I knew it was there. He wanted to be there as The Caring Boyfriend. The one that opened doors and ordered coffee for me. The one that practically smothered me with his affection. “No,” he replied earnestly, leaning back into the pillows on the bunk. “I’ll be fine. I’m still tired from yesterday’s show.”

That was my cue to get out of there immediately.

As soon as I left the bus, I was very much aware of Gavin and Chris walking behind me. They were joking around and I felt like I should’ve waited for them. They ambushed me easily, one arm from each of them draping around me. I felt relieved as I realized Ellie wasn't tagging along. I rolled my eyes and settled my arms around Gavin’s and Chris’s waists. It felt strange, especially since I hadn’t been in close proximity with Chris in awhile, but somehow we all fit together nicely. Our footsteps were in sync and we didn’t talk much as we went to the combination bookstore and café. This was what I went on tour for---the moments where you don’t have to make it complicated or capture it on film. It was a memory you just remembered.

We walked in one by one as we reached the door and it was as if the spell had been broken. “I want caffeine. I’m hooked,” Chris murmured with a look of pure determination on his face.

“Easy there, Chris Toffee,” Gavin said with a laugh, rubbing his hands together because of the dramatic change in temperature. The café had the heater on and outside it was a bit cooler than most nights.

“Did you just call him Chris Toffee?” I looked at Gavin then the menu that was on the wall.

“Yes, yes I did,” Gavin replied with a nod.

After ordering coffee, Gavin decided that we should play hide and seek in the bookstore. I hesitated, thinking of how I wanted to go back to the bus and sleep. But the sly grin on Chris’s face convinced me otherwise. He was hoping that I’d back down and go back to the bus. Well, fuck that. I’m not going to be predictable right now. Not going to happen.

“I think that Gavin should be the seeker.” I took one final swig of coffee and tossed it in the trash can. “And let’s make this interesting. If you don’t find us in thirty minutes, you have to be a merch bitch all of next week. No help from anyone else.”

Gavin’s jaw dropped. “Are you fucking kidding me? Well, be prepared to raise the stakes a little higher.”

“If you don’t find us in thirty minutes, we’ll be your little fan club and make sure to cater to almost all of your needs. But it can’t infringe on our rights. We’re not going to be your servants.” Chris shot me a satisfactory smile as Gavin’s eyes lit up.

“Alright. I’ll count to. . .one hundred.” Gavin pointed at both of us in turn. “No cheating. You have to stay in this building.”

“Prepare to lose, Gav,” I said with a smirk, linking arms with Chris. “Start counting.”
♠ ♠ ♠
Senior year really takes up my time.
But I finally have this chapter up so don't hate me too much I guess?

Anyway, it was only a matter of time before they started acting
like a bunch of kiddies again. Couldn't resist. Especially since
everyone's being all "serious" and it's just plain bass ackwards.