‹ Prequel: Zoned
Status: Part Two

Zoned: Waking Up

The Awkward Encounter

"Hi, Victoria." I tried my best to be nice. Richi barely looked at her but she was still smiling.

"I'm just here to freshen up a bit. Jordon got me really warn out with all the dancing and such." She started to touch up her powder and lipstick. My tolerance level began to deplete at a rapid pace. I tried to not get too upset, mustered up enough will to not punch her in the face, and said, "He can get pretty excited."

She turned to me and asked, "Are you and George together?"

"No, why?" my curiosity got the best of me, and I jumped to the conclusion that she'd try and flirt with him, too.

"I saw him and this other lass together. She's not as cute as you two, though." Victoria winked at us. "Besides, you could get any guy you wanted. The both of you. Who are you girls dating, anyway? I thought you were with George, but it seems like emo Esmeralda has him wrapped around her finger." she said to me. Richi and I shared glances, and then returned to looking at Victoria. We were silent until the bathroom door opened.

"Speak of the devil." Rich mumbled. Asia walked to the mirror and opened her clutch purse. She looked quite ravishing, actually. She had really pretty black eye makeup and her hair was straight, as usual. She was also wearing a red and black dress with black heels.

"Oh, hello. Didn't think the party was in here." Asia chuckled to herself and fixed her makeup in the mirror.

I awkwardly chuckled along to her "humorous" comment, and said, "Well we're just freshening up."

She politely smiled and continued to re-do her mascara. We were all quiet, and she noticed. She turned around and looked at all 3 of us, "Did I interrupt something?"

"We were just talking about how cute you and George are." Victoria said.

"Sorry, do I know you?" Asia put her mascara down and turned around to face Vic.

"We're friends with him and his mates. They're closer to him than I am, but we're more or less acquaintances." she said motioning her hand towards us. Asia nodded and faked a smile at us.

"Right, right. Why were you talking about us, if I may ask?"

"She was kidding....We weren't talking about that." I said. It wasn't a lie, but I felt as if her thinking we were talking about her would be creepy since we never formally met her. She faked another smile and nodded again. I felt awkward and introduced us, "I'm A-Rad. This is Richi and that's Victoria."

"Nice to meet you...You clearly know who I am." She awkwardly chuckled. I smiled and nodded. "So how do you know George, if you don't mind me asking?"

We all glanced at each other for a brief moment before I answered, "Richi and I met him through a...a contest." It was quiet and awkward.

"That radio thing from like 6 years ago? George missed my grandmother's funeral because of that." Asia glared at us and gave us a fake smile.

"Oh." Richi said. The silence was unbearable. Asia looked at Victoria and said, "And you?"

Vic widened her eyes and sighed. "Through...work." she avoided a straight answer.

"And that would be?"


"This cute little, uh, club. I stamp hands, hang up coats, etc. Nothing too fancy. I met George when him and the guys were hanging out."

Nice save, I thought.

"Which club? My friend has worked at all of the dance clubs in Los Angeles." She said casually.

"Oh just a place called Circles....It's not a well known club, so I doubt-" "Oh that strip club, then?" Asia interrupted in a bold manner. Victoria didn't say anything; she only nodded.

"Good to know. Well, this has been sufficiently awkward. I will see you girls later, then." Asia smiled and left the bathroom.

"That was very awkward." Victoria said."I hope that never happens again."

"Agreed." I said. I began to walk out, and saw that they followed. I still wasn't too fond of Victoria and Jordon, but she tried her best to get us out of trouble with Asia. Asia was intimidating in an unexplainable way. Her arms were no bigger than a freshman in high-school, and she wasn't very loud. She was very firm with her words, though. That's probably what it was.

"Ladies and gentlemen, if I may have your attention, I will ask you all to please take your seats in the banquet room, and we will start the ceremony after dinner. The V.I.P section will be seated first. EVeryone else, please sit where ever you'd like." the voice said from the front of the room on a microphone. Richi, Victoria, and I were standing behind the crowd as everyone shuffled to find their dates and friends.

"This is unnecessarily complicated." I said to Richi. She nodded in agreement. The room slowly got less crowded and a bit quieter than before. All three of us were going in and out of small talk about the dinner and the house. Richi and I were actually enjoying ourselves for a moment until Victoria asked a question that scared me shitless; "So how long have you guys been working at Neverland? Before you met the guys or did you get the jobs after?"

"How did you know about that?" I said. There was no point in trying to deny it. She wouldn't've said anything if she wasn't certain.

"I worked there a few years back. I got one of you water once."

"Um after we met them." I said awkwardly.

"Do they know about it?"

"No!" Richi and I said quickly.

"And they're not going to." Richi said.

"If you're hinting that I shouldn't tell them, then I got it. I've known for a while. Dylan said something about it, as a joke of course, when I drove him to the bus after we met. I made sure to change the subject."

Richi and I shared a quick look, and then focused our attention to Victoria once more.

"If you two are worried about it, I completely understand, but just know that I'll keep my trap shut. I'm not that heartless." She was trying really hard to win our trust, it seemed.

"Thanks. It's not like we're embarrassed to be dancing or anythin-"
"Then why keep it a secret?" Victoria interrupted Richi.

"We just don't want them to get the wrong idea..." I made some random bullshit up. It was somewhat true, but we knew they'd get mad. We weren't sure why they would get mad, but we knew they wouldn't be too thrilled.

"And that idea would be?"

Before one of us could answer, a staff member walked up to us and said, "Excuse me, ladies, but the dinner is about to begin. Will you please follow me to take your seats? Which section are you; VIP or Guest?"

"VIP with Wes's friends. We'll find our seats, thank you." Victoria answered. The lady smiled and nodded and walked away. Victoria looked back at us and then started walking to the banquet room.

"Can this dinner just end already." Richi mumbled to me.

"I never thought I'd hear you say those words, Rich." We both giggled.

"Me either...."