Status: A random story inspired by someone I know

The Libra Fell in Love With the Virgo

Broken Bars and Empty Shots

"Okay, so I planned the day. Someone else gets to plan our night." I glanced around at everyone. "Assuming that we all want to go out?"

"I know of this little dive bar on the otherside of town." Jake offered.

"Yeah, umm." Kyle looked at Megan who was holding his hand. "We're gonna meet up with you guys later." Megan looked at Cali for approval. Cali just smiled and nodded.

"Sounds good." Ann chimed in looking back at Jake. "Wanna grab dinner first?" She looked to me also asking for approval.

"Go, have fun! Meet up here around 8?" I offered. Everyone agreed. "I need a shower. I feel gross." Cali said something about just getting ready in the hotel and we all went our separate ways. Cali following me closely. "So? Cali. Can I tell you something?" I asked as we entered the air conditioned room.

"Of course." She said dropping the hiking gear by the door.

"Tonight? Stay with me? Please?" She laughed and shrugged. "I just don't have much time with you. And I want to spend as much time with you as I can." She smiled before kissing me softly and nodding.

"Get in the shower." I sighed and headed to the bathroom. Turning the water to the correct temperature. I peeled my clothes off and stepped under the steaming water. Letting it wash the sweat and the weight of my past down the drain. Crying softly, I closed my eyes and focused on the water on my skin. I felt cold hands on my stomach but kept my eyes closed. I felt her arms wrap around my waist, her bare skin on mine and I couldn't help it as the tears poured from my eyes. I began sobbing and my knees grew weak. Cali let me sit at the bottom of the tub. She sat with me, holding me tight. "Whatever you're holding, whatever you blame yourself for? It's okay. I'm here now." Her voice was soft. She began washing my hair. Then in a loving way she ran her hands over my body, washing my skin. Almost as if she was trying to wash the pain away. We sat there and talked about days at the river and family events. I told her about Ashley and Taylor. She told me about her siblings. When the water ran cold we stayed there I kept crying. "Come on baby." She said gently tugging me out of the shower then wrapping me in a towel. I walked to the bed and laid down.

"I don't know you. But I feel like I've known you for eternity. Like from a past life or something." I whispered as she laid down next to me, brushing my hair from my face.

"That would make sense." She glanced at the clock. "Just rest for a little bit okay? We have plenty of time." Her lips felt soft and warm when they pressed against mine. She scooted closer, I laid my head on her chest and fell asleep listening to her heart beat. "Hey Ann, can we meet at 9? Jasey fell asleep." I heard still in sleeps grasp. "She's okay. No no. She's okay. She was just having a hard time earlier." I tried to pull into awareness but couldn't. "Yeah, she was talking about Ashley earlier." Silence grew and darkness grew heavy. "Jasey is a twin? Oh my god I had no idea. What happened?" A spark of fear flared somewhere in the heaviness of sleep. "No, you're right. She should tell me. Thank you."
I woke up and stretched. Panic struck me hard when I realized Cali wasn't next to me. I sat up quickly, searching the room before my eyes fell on Cali at the window. She looked over at me. "Hey sleepy head." She smiled softly. I was trying to remember if I dreamed her conversation or not. She kissed my cheek. I got up and got dressed as she told me stories of Megan and Kyle growing up. "So, we're meeting Ann and Jake at the bar." I agreed as we walked to the car. We drove to the bar in silence as I realized she really did know about Ashley. I grabbed her hand as we drove.

"I was 13 when I started cutting. And 14 when I started doing drugs and drinking. Ashley was or.. Is my twin." I paused. "We had it rough growing up. But she handled it way better than I did. When they say twins balance each other out they aren't kidding. Between that and us being libras? Yeah balance was her thing." I swallowed hard. "I hit rock bottom around 17 and stayed there for a long time. Ash was the perfect teenager. We played soccer, basketball and softball. She did debate and was a president of our class. Prom queen. Scholarships both athletic and academic. All of that and she still took care of me. Dragging me home from parties, holding my hair, running off bad girlfriends. I mean she drank sometimes. But she was dating Alex. He was from my crowd. He's actually the person who got me into drugs. I hated him. And one night. Maria and I wanted to go to the bridge. So a bunch of us got high and drunk and went out there. Well we were all standing there and I saw Alex hit on a girl while Ash was talking to someone. And I was so twacked out I got in his face screaming at him about it. He shoved me. So I slugged in him I'm the face. And kept hitting him. Ashley was trying to pull me off of him and I accidentally elbowed her in the face. Knocking her backwards. She fell off the bridge. I mean everyone jumps off the bridge all the time. But what we didn't know is a log jam came loose that day. And a few logs got stuck under the bridge. She hit one. I can't swim. But I climbed down the bridge as Alex and another friend jumped in on the other end and swam to her. They pulled her out and I did CPR. She had a huge gash on her head and leg and was bleeding really bad. But she was breathing. The last thing she said was that she loved me and I needed to be strong for her." I was crying again. "I told the cops everything. Even though everyone else told me to leave the scene. I couldn't leave her. We were a month from graduating. I got worse for six months. Right after my 19th birthday I killed myself and got locked up in a mental hospital. I got clean and I've been clean ever since then. Next month is three years." She was silent. "Maria ended up cheating on me with Alex while I was in the hospital. So that's why I hate them. Neither one of them respected Ashley. Nor did they care about her memory." I parked the car and stared at the building in front of me before Cali reached over to make me look at her. With tears streaming down her face.

"It's not your fault. You tried to save her. It was an accident." Her voice shakey. She kissed me. "It's okay. I'm here." We got out of the car and headed inside. Finding Ann and the others at the bar. We all exchanged hugs and bought beer as the band set up. We danced and laughed as the night went on, only half paying attention to the things around me. I was absorbed in Cali, her sadness written in her eyes but she made sure no one but I noticed.

"Hello everyone, this is our final song for the night." Chills ran down my spin as I turned to the stage in horror. Making direct eye contact with the guy at the mic. "This is for an old friend of ours that left far too soon. We miss you." The band did a solid acoustic cover of Ashley by escape the fate. At the end the singer took the mic again. "I still love you Ashley." Anger tore through my like a hurricane. Ann grabbed my arm warning me to calm down. I turned to face her just as Cali took my hand. Two people walked up holding beers. "Long time no talk Jasey." Alex said slyly. "Looks like you find another play thing." Maria glared at Cali as Alex spoke.

"Shut up." I warned through clenched teeth.

"Still living the good life?" Maria asked still glaring down Cali.

"I'm still sober if that's what you're asking. Not that it's your business." I hissed.

"If I would have known you were in town we would have had you play with us like old times." Alex chimed in.

"I don't want anything to do with either of you." I turned to walk away.

"I'm not the one that killed your sister." Alex yelled. I dropped Cali's hand and spun on my heels.

"What did you say?" I asked stepping closer.

"You heard me. I'm not the one who killed Ashley." Alex laughed right before I shoved him.

"Don't even say her name you fucking piece of shit." He laughed again. I threw a punched and felt something crunch on impact. "Fuck you." Jake and Ann grabbed me and pulled me towards the door. Shoving me backwards once we stepped outside.

"Jasey. Compose yourself. It's okay." Ann tried to comfort me. I shook my head and began pacing. Cali stepped in front of me, taking my face in her hands.

"Hey, hey listen." I tried to pull away. "Jasey, listen to me. It's okay. Look at me. I'm here. It's not your fault. Okay?" I looked in her eyes, tears forming as I saw the worry written on her face. Guilt hurt my nerves, I didn't want her upset. I kissed her hard before hugging her. "You okay?" I nodded slowly.

"Well, something good came from that." Megan said loudly before pulling a bottle from under her shirt. "I grabbed this when y'all had everyone watching you." She smiled, causing all of us to laugh. "Let's go sit at fire rock." We agreed. "I have blankets in the trunk." We all got in our cars and drove to a hidden trail. Walking up the path we got to a rock that over looked a huge lake. Jake made a fire. Then we made our beds. Splitting into our couples, we passed the bottle. Everyone took turns telling stories about friends or family that passed away too soon. At the end of each story we all took a shot. Each of us holding a shot waiting for Cali to share another story.

"I want to thank Ashley for taking care of you. Even after she passed. Thank you for leading Ann and Jasey to Texas. This ones for Ashley." She raised her glass to the sky and we all copied. "To Ashley." She said before throwing back her shot. "Broken bars and empty shots. This is where we're all supposed to be. Right here in this moment." Cali said over the cracklings of the fire.
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