‹ Prequel: Zoned
Status: Part Two

Zoned: Waking Up

Harper's Super Cool Goth Party

"Richi, wait!" I called as I walked after her.

"I don't wanna hear it, A! Take me home!" Richi said without looking back. She kept walking towards the car.

"Just listen to m-"

"What could you possibly have to say that can change any of this!?" Richi yelled as she turned around and stopped walking. "I was worried about people seeing us dancing and figuring out it was us, and that was when we danced with masks! Now we have to dance without them!? NO! No, I can't do it! I trusted you for, God knows why, and yet I'm let down again! I can't seem to get into situations without you! I can't deal with this stress anymore! I don't even wanna go home to the guys.....I don't wanna go to this party. I don't want to dance, I don't wanna do anything. I just want to go home. My real home. In Oklahoma."

We were silent. We stared at each other. I could tell she was about to cry.

"Don't cry, Rich....you'll mess up your makeup." I said gently.

She sniffled and wiped under her right eye with her index finger, "I know..."

The silence we shared felt like an eternity. I was so tired from the confusion, from the headaches. After years of this experience with these guys, I felt a sense of defeat and shame.

"How pathetic are we," Richi chuckled. ", worrying about boys and what they'll think of us. It's like we've been stuck with this high-school mentality for all these years."
I didn't say anything. Neither did Richi. We looked at each other for a moment before she laughed again and said, "Let's do the dance."

I wasn't really expecting that, honestly. "Really? We don't have to. I mean honestly, either way, people are going to find out. Just like you said before, it's going to all crumble eventually. We don't have to degrade ourselves just because we think it'll save us from ridicule."

Richi laughed a little and said, " 'Degrade'? Man, what makes you think we haven't already painted ourselves in a bad light? If you think we haven't embarrassed ourselves yet, then I don't know where you've been all these years."
She was right, and I didn't really have any sort of rebuttal. The past few years had been fun. Months, busy. Weeks, exciting. Days? Rough. But maybe it was worth it, I thought. Whatever.

"Let's go back in there and tell Tammy we can do the dance. I may not even actually commit to quitting, who knows. I just don't think I feel like being this upset anymore," Richi pulled out a pack of Turkish Royals from her little purse.

"Since when did you start smoking?" I smirked.

"Since the day I found out the man I love is a total jack-ass," she said putting the cigarette between her teeth.

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{FRIDAY NIGHT, HARPER'S PARTY, 8:13PM}

We walked in to the giant ballroom together, hands held. Nothing was going to stop us from getting through the night in one piece. Richi and I's outfits were thrown together, of course. Nothing as over the top as some of the people we saw in the room. Sure, there was a goth theme, and sure neither Richi or myself really stuck with the theme, but we looked like two of the most eligible, yet unattainable women in the joint. Feeling like shit never looked so good.

I honestly wasn't quite sure where to go after walking in. Harper was mingling with a handful of people, and Richi was wanting a shot. "Jameson and a pickleback, my dear," she said to the bartender. "Wine and beer are complimentary, but you will be charged for liquor," said the lady behind the bar. "Mya," read her name tag.

"What time does the event end?" I asked Mya.

"Supposed to end around midnight, I think. I'm here until 2 no matter what so, I don't keep up with those things really," she responded as she made us some shots. "Here, take one of these, it'll keep you light," Mya slid Richi and I a couple of lemondrops. "On the house."

We continued talking to the bartender, laughing and drinking. We had actually been having a good time until we heard a familiar voice come from behind us.

"Oh wow it really is a small world after all."

Richi and I looked over and saw Asia standing there with a very apparent look of annoyance being hidden by a smile.

"What are you two ladies doing here? What was it, again? Richi, and..A..Dog?" she asked.

"A-Rad," I corrected.

"Oh, well, it's nice to see you keeping your childlike imagination going, I personally thought I grew out of little nicknames after middle school, but some people aren't like that so...What are you guys doing here! Does Harper know you're here?" Asia really embodied the term, "passive" with how she managed to slip in little backhanded comments with such ease. Definitely didn't miss that.

"Yeah, Harper actually invited us. Called us earlier and told us to come since we were like her 'sisters'," I replied. Asia had the same reaction Richi and I did when Harper told us that, too. She made the same facial expression and clearly knew something we didn't by the way she responded.

"Well, I guess all is forgiven, then, huh!" Asia pretended to laugh it off as Richi and I also pretended to think she was funny. She wasn't. "So, shall we toast to the new house and accomplishment of moving in with 6 men?"

I rolled my eyes.

"Only if you're buying," Richi scoffed as she took her lemondrop shot.

Asia whipped out her little clutch purse and pulled out a credit card. She stood at the bar and ordered us all a glass of wine. "Listen, girls, I gotta mingle, but it was super interesting seeing you here. Get yourselves another glass and put it on my tab. Ciao!" She flipped her hair as she walked away, but not before giving us a wink. "Tamera! Tamera, who let you out of the house!" was the last thing we heard from Asia as she left us. How tragic we get to miss her company, I thought.

"Alright, let's fucking do this, let's go dance," Richi said after chugging her glass of wine. "Another 2 shot of Jameson and picklebacks. Put it on the lady that just left's tab, please."

"Rich, she said to get wine, not shots."

"The wine is fucking free, Mya just told us that a minute ago. You know what, I'm tired of people being mean and I'm tired of caring if people are mean. I just wanna have a good time, I don't wanna worry about shit anymore." She had a point. We could either sit at this giant, beautiful party all sad about whatever fucking thing we decided to be upset about, or we could actually engage and do something fun for a couple of hours. Mya handed us 2 more shots and 2 more glasses of wine.

"Do you ladies wanna do some ye?" Mya asked.

"Uh what?" "Excuse me?" Richi and I laughed a little.

Mya said, "yeah man," as she pulled out a tiny baggie from her back pocket. She looked around so no one saw us, and poured some of the white powder onto her hand. She brought it up to her nose and inhaled quickly and harshly. We watched in shock, as we had never done anything like that before. A couple of party guests walked up to the other side of the bar in that moment. "Hey, take this to the bathroom and get yourself a little more pumped for the night. I'm gonna take care of these fools," she said as she handed us a tiny little bag with cocaine in it.

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It was close to midnight, Richi and I had been there for almost 4 hours. We started to crash from the coke since we were about to run out. Mya got super busy towards 9:45, so we couldn't sit and chit chat with her anymore.

"I think I'm ready to head out. This party is dying, and I still look too cute to be in bed without a boy," Richi said. We sat in a booth just off the dancefloor, drinking some mixed drinks a couple of guys bought us.

"Agreed, let's go do something fun. We could go dancing and see if we can find ecstasy," I laughed. Richi got this inspired look in her eye. "Why are you looking at me like that?" I asked.

" What if we did our mask-less dance tonight? I mean fuck it, it's already late, we're drunk enough, we're hot enough. And we just did a bunch of cocaine for no reason at all, we might as well say 'fuck it' and do it since Tammy wants to be a cunt about me quitting."

I was a little surprised to hear that, but I wasn't going to decline such a tasty idea. " Should I call Tammy? Tell him we're on our way?" I said half jokingly. Richi chugged the rest of her vodka-cran and said ,"Do it, bitch."

We managed to psych ourselves up enough to walk through the front doors of Neverland. Drunk and geeked out of our minds. It was honestly a wonderful night we were having. Stumbling around being all beautiful and drunk. Just cause. It was a good Friday night.
As we made our way to the bar where Tammy usually lurks, he waved us over with a smile on his face.

"Ladies! Ah, my girls! My A+ girls, my superstar gals, you have no idea how happy I am to see you two. Look, I know things were rough the other day, but Lizzy, baby, honey, those kinda things aren't something to worry about, okay? I personally have no problem kicking bad guys outta this joint if you two are bothered, alright? So long as you two continue working here and making me some money, eh? Look, you've only been gone a week and the numbers are already dropping like flies, here, Liz. Liz, Maria. My giiiirls. How bout you come back and work with ole Tammy, eh? I'll make sure to keep buzzballs out of your faces and you can get a raise each, how's that sound?" Tammy also did cocaine, and we realized that as soon as we knew what it felt like to be on it.

"Well, Tamms, I think you owe us a pretty big apology for what happened. On behalf of the company and all strip club owners everywhere," I joked.

"Oh, baby, I swear on my son's grave that I will do everything in my power to keep you ladies here for as long as I can. I don't think you understand just how badly I need you here. Apparently the masks work for a niche group of folks, people say it adds mystery and some kinkiness or something, I don't know. I'm a plain jane missionary kinda fella myself, but hey, to each his own. Hey, look, if you guys wanna skip out on doing that dance without your masks, that's fine. I was just being a cock." Tammy was being warmer than he ever had been before. Seemed almost too good to be true, but that didn't matter since we were high. "Ladies, I love you, you're a part of this family. I gotta go call a guy about some things, so I'm leaving, but you two ladies feel free to get in the back, put on a uniform and dance around. make some money tonight. If not, I'll see you on your originally scheduled days, eh?" He motioned us to the bar, telling the bartender to serve us whatever drink we wanted and that it was on him.

Richi and I got 2 shots of Jameson, a glass of wine for me, and a vodka-cran for her.

"Cheers to us not letting things bother us, and for us growing into new women," Richi raised her Jameson.

We tinked our glasses together after a well deserved, "Cheers, mate."
♠ ♠ ♠
This is the first time updating this story in about 6 or so years. I re-read everything I have written, and man, I am a little embarrassed. I'm glad there were people who liked the story growing up, and I'm glad that I'm still friends with "Richi" irl. She and I got inspired to write again after reading our old stories, so here I am. Updating a Hollywood Undead fan-fic I started when I was 14. Maybe I'll swallow my pride and finish this long winded tale.

Here's the outfits A-Rad and Richi wore.