‹ Prequel: Smirt
Status: finished.



“Doli! How was I? Good? Shitty?” he asked nervously, the confident smirk wiped clean off his face as we met backstage after his show. Panic was clear in his eyes, as well as a bit of anxiety; his hand was shaking as he wiped his face with a towel. Christofer Drew Ingle was a mess. A beautiful, socially awkward mess.

I handed him a bottle of water, which he accepted gratefully as he chugged it. Some of it streaked down his chin in rivulets. I wiped it away myself with his towel. He nodded. “Thanks. Where are Ellie and the guys?” I was glad that he began to look around because I felt my face become warm. Thankful for the distraction (and the dimmed lighting backstage), I muttered something about finding the bathroom.

Once I reached an available mirror in the bathroom, I splashed cold water on my face, scrutinizing my reflection. The makeup I’d applied had faded away because I’d been dancing along to the previous performances that night. My hair was turning into a bird’s nest. The cherry on top of the sundae was my flushed cheeks. I wasn’t the blushing Betty type, not until I met Chris. Who’s the real mess, anyway? You or Chris?

“There you are! We’re going to grab something to eat,” Ellie said, linking arms with me before I could protest. I had planned to feign exhaustion and go back to the bus, maybe make a sandwich, then sleep. But I couldn’t ditch this dinner. Chris looked too happy. No, happy was an understatement. He was emanating good vibes; the smiles and laughs we shared were infectious.

“. . .then Taylor couldn’t finish his food because the waitress intimidated him. We told him she wanted to take him out on a date at the monster truck rally.”

Shut up! I wasn’t scared of the damn waitress!

“Of course you weren’t, Taylor, we believe you.”

Nathan nudged my shoulder with his, hands in the pocket of his pullover hoodie. “Why are you so quiet tonight, Lia? Tired?” When I didn’t respond, he called Carter over, who nudged my other shoulder. I was sandwiched between both guys now. Lucky me. Not. I squirmed a little in an attempt to free myself but it didn’t work out that way. Instead, Nathan and Carter pressed their bodies closer to me, causing me to be trapped.

“What are you two doing?” Chris came over to where we were standing, squinting his eyes because of the semi-darkness. The restaurant parking lot was well-lit, but some of the lamps were burnt out, and all of them were planted a few feet apart.

I indicated both guys, thumbs pointing outwards. “Help me, please? I’m not in the mood for this.” Because of that declaration, Nathan and Carter took a step to either side, freeing me. “Nevermind!”

Chris offered his hand, which I accepted. This is what friendship was about. Holding hands with no romantic feelings involved. None of that “I have butterflies in my stomach” drivel people raved and ranted about. No accelerated heart beat, turning my thoughts into mush. No promise of the night ending in tangled bed sheets and a friendship in ruins. I was in control of my feelings around Chris. Plus, it’s not as if he was interested in me that way. That’s what friends are for. They help you pick up the shattered pieces of your life and reassemble it into one big picture. They don’t destroy your life by allowing their frivolous emotions to become involved.
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Whoops. It's been two weeks since I last updated.
Sorry about that.

I wonder if anyone still cares about this story actually.
Anyway, I'm going to plan out more chapters. (:

P.S. How was April Fool's Day, for those who celebrate it?