Snapped Guitar Strings and Broken Hearts

Malls and Kisses

Robby and I walked to his house after I ran to mine and taped a note to the door that was scrawled in poor handwriting.

At Rob’s. Will be back around midnight. ~Gwin.

“ The gang coming over today?” I asked, as Robby retrieved a worn key chain from his pocket. He tried almost all the keys before getting it right. You would think he would label them or something, but not Robby. He was strange. Liked to take his time and exaggerate things.
“ Yeah, they should be here any minute now. The guys get out around 20 minutes before us, plus Jake has a car….”
“ That would explain why they’re always here early…” I nodded in understanding now.
We walked—Robby fell—down the stairs to the basement and plopped onto the couch. Well, I was on the couch. I kicked Robby off before he could begin attacking me.

“ I wanna get the bell….” I complained as Robby jumped up from his spot when the annoying doorbell when off. He strode up the stairs, so I was far from getting it.
“ Next time.” He assured me once him and the rest of the guys came back down.
“ Craig, what did you do to Robby’s neck?” I asked, poking the bassist in the stomach.
“ I was biting it…” He mumbled. At first I was shocked, and noticed how pale Craig was. He looked almost like Brent in a way. Then I realized that a lot of times that was a gesture. Deep breathes, Gwin… Deep breathes…
“ Nasty…” I muttered, unable to recall Craig biting his neck. Maybe he’d come back later or something…
“ I’ve gotten used to it, though, I think you will too,” Caleb spoke. He almost never did, so it was weird. His voice was soft, almost child-like in a way, which fit his body, which was smaller than the others. He was so energetic, yet never said a word.
“ Let’s hope so,” I shrugged and Robby grinned, smuggling a laugh. I could tell. He laughed about everything.
“ What’s the plan for today?” Jake asked, removing himself from the shadows. Now, he wasn’t pale. There was a difference between them. Craig and Caleb were unnaturally pale, more than I was. Robby and Jake were normal. What a strange world we live in.
“ Well, we can’t play.” Robby said, nodding to me. Oh, yeah. I forgot my guitar.
Jake nodded, understanding. “ Well… We can go to the mall, crash Macy’s, waste our money in Hot Topic, and mess around in general!”
“ I second that!” I said, automatically excited. Maybe we could get some skateboards and run over pedestrians…Ha.
“ I’m fine with it.” Caleb nodded, an evil grin playing of the edge of his lips. There were defiantly schemes going through his brain at the moment.
“ Okay, four say go, which includes me. Craig?” Robby looked towards him
“ Yup. I wanna scare the preps.” He smiled, but it was like Brent’s. Not the whole thing…
“ OKAY! LET’S GO! PILE IN JAKE’S CAR!” Caleb announced, being the loudest I’d ever heard. Maybe this was normal Caleb. I didn’t know.
But soon enough we were all clambering up the stairs, running over each other. Robby’s stairs are quite narrow, which would explain this a bit more. Five people trying to run up these stairs. Not a good idea.
So we all piled into Jake’s Suburban, me squished in between a door and Craig, since he insisted on being next to Robby. I was going to be squished to death. Oh, dang.
When we got to the mall—I was extremely happy to be out of the car—we all jumped out. It seemed like the drive was hours long, but it was only around an hour and a half.
“ Where to first?” I asked Jake. He was the leader today. For two reasons: first, he was the oldest, second, it was his idea.
“ Let’s go scare the preps… That’s the funniest.” Jake nodded happily, as if at peace. I loved his shirt… It was black and had Jack Skellington’s head on it, while he had a white long-sleeve shirt underneath.
“ Yay!” Craig jumped up and Robby just watched him. Craig’s hair was almost as long as mine and got in his face. It was a hilarious ordeal to watch. He was pulling the dyed hair from his mouth and out of his eyes like a girl…
“ Um. Craig…” Caleb poked him.
“ Oh, yeah. Let’s go.” Craig was smiling again. That odd, intriguing smile that made me rack my brain.
“ We’re off to see the wizard!” Robby sang, linking his arms with Craig, Caleb and I. Jake’s eyes were kind of bulging as he watched us act like total morons. We were so childlike.
“ So, are we crashing Abercrombie or Hollister or what?” I asked Jake, breaking away from the chain.
“ I say we go to Abercrombie, then American Eagle. Then we go to Hot Topic.” Jake laughed as Craig tripped over his own feet. Robby quickly helped him up and I chuckled.
“ Those two are inseparable. How long have they been together?” I wondered out loud, talking obviously of Robby and Craig.
“ About 3 months. Robby has his lines because Craig is too hyper, though. That upsets Craig a bit, but he’s just glad he has Robby.”
I nodded in agreement. Craig was hyper. More than Robby. I wondered how it would be to have him on the bus. That wouldn’t end up so well….

We reached the entrance to Abercrombie and Fitch in about 20 minutes. It took that long because Craig kept tripping over his new etnies. Dang, oversized skating shoes.... I flinched at the sight of the clothing and pictures in there. They burned my eyes.
“ My eyes are gonna fall out of their sockets, Jake. Let’s hurry.” I said, dragging him into the store. We all quickly split apart—with the obvious exception—and began to tip over racks of clothing, throwing random hangers everywhere and just basically reeking havoc in the two minutes we had before security came.
“ OUT!” I heard Jake scream and I scrambled out of the store, running to where we were meeting, a few paces from Hollister.
Caleb was the next one to be there, and then Jake. Robby and Craig were last; apparently they had to go downstairs and then come back up to get away ‘cause some preps were following them.
I doubted their story.

After we’d finished destroying Hollister, the 5 of us wandered into Hot Topic, actually feeling comfortable for once.
“ Feels normal…” Caleb sighed, his figure relaxing a bit. He ran his hand over a belt. It was pretty cool, you have to admit. A three-row studded. The studs were red and black, fading into each color.
“ Oh My God!” I heard Robby on the other side of the store and rushed to see him. It was the new MCR shirt. So…. Cool…
“ Awesome! I’m getting one,” I pulled one in an adult medium out and held the black shirt to my body.
“ Fit, Rob?”
“ I think it will.”

So, we walked out of our store, wondering what to do next. I had my My Chemical Romance shirt—Robby got one too—Craig with a bandanna, Caleb with a belt and Jake—I found this awkward—bought some black eye smudge.

“ Jake, what are we doing?” I whined, punching him in the arm.
“ I dunno… It’s about dinner time, do you want to eat?”
“ No.” Craig and Caleb answered flatly, almost at the same time. I agreed with them, but wondered why. Maybe deep inside I knew what was up with these guys.

So, we randomly wandered the mall, tripping preps here, ‘accidentally’ shoving a jock there.
Then I saw him, leaning up against a closed store’s window. Brent. Not now…
“ Hey, Gwin!” I heard him acknowledge me as we passed. Robby giggled and I kicked him.
I tried to duck my head and act like I wasn’t here, but it didn’t work. Robby pulled my head up.
“ I knew it was you,” Brent caught up with us. Caleb and Craig ignored him, while Jake gave him weird looks, almost furious.
“ Y-yes…” I mumbled, not looking up. He put an arm around my shoulders and this alarmed me. It was too much. I pulled away, trying not to offend him.
I almost heard Brent nod, as if he understood and he continued to walk beside me. I wished the faint blush out of my cheeks.
“ What are you doing here?” He asked, trying to make eye contact. I wouldn’t let him though, and kept my face down, hair covering my eyes.
“ We destroyed Abercrombie and Hollister and then went into Hot Topic.” I nodded, trying to sound normal. But, it wasn’t working.
“ So that was you guys?” Brent laughed softly. It was a very melodic laugh and it made something inside me pop. I felt like fireworks were going off in my stomach.
“ Yeah.” I heard Jake’s voice. It was cold and hard. The fireworks stopped. “ Now, I think we have to be somewhere.” His voice was almost a hiss now.
“ Alright.” Brent said flatly. I looked up and his face was blank again. Dang. He gracefully turned around and strode off.

So, we all loaded into the car again. I got the very back all to myself while Robby and Craig shared the middle. Jake was fuming in the front with Caleb, who was muttering something I couldn’t here to him.
I didn’t understand. The three seemed to know Brent. Robby and I were pretty clueless… And that didn’t seem fair. Especially to me. I was going to IM Brent as soon as I got home.

I told Dad I wouldn’t be back until midnight, so I wouldn’t. It’s 8 o’clock, so I got some time on my hands.
“ I have to leave at 11:30… and we can’t play,” I announced, officially bored. I went to the couch to lie down but thought better of it and sat, so Robby wouldn’t attack me.
Jake came to sit on one side and Caleb sat on the other. I leaned my head on Jake’s shoulder, because he was taller than me. No, I didn’t like him—well, I do, but who doesn’t—it was a normal thing to us. We lay over each other all the time.
“ What was up with you today?” I asked him. He was a bit alarmed and shook a bit.
“ Hm?”
“ You were all…. Different when Brent was around.” I noted. It wasn’t really a question.
“ Yes… What’s it to you?” Jake got that attitude and I lifted my head, trying to catch his eye.
“ Well, I…Brent is a…friend.” I stuttered, trying to explain, but looking like a babbling idiot. Oh, shoot…
“ I figured that. But he thinks of you differently,” his breathing had changed to a snarl almost. I was alarmed and thought about it, putting my head on his shoulder again.
What does he mean differently? As an acquaintance? More maybe? Like a girlfriend? Wait, how would Jake know?
The thoughts jumbled in my brain and I groaned, rolling my eyes at myself. Weird, huh?
“ What’s up with her?” Caleb asked, poking Jake in the arm. I could vaguely hear him. Dang, I was going to fall asleep.
“ She was wondering why I was acting weird to Brent,” Jake said. Maybe he thought I was asleep. I mumbled something incoherent to myself and shifted lightly. Jake set my head on his thigh, and I heard Caleb get up and stand next to Jake.
“ Well, you were a bit too obvious. I mean… he’s gotten Craig and I…” His voice was upset. “ But, you didn’t have to be that obvious…”
Got them? What did that mean?
“ Yeah, but he’s ruined your guys’ lives…”
What? I didn’t understand this… It was too confusing.
“ But we’ve gotten used to it. It’s almost normal now.” Caleb was trying to convince Jake.
“ I doubt it. How could you get used to that? I mean, no sunlight…” I wondered why they always pulled up their hoods outside. “ You can’t even have regular food anymore!”
Wait. That was why they didn’t want to eat. I knew enough, and shifted again, actually falling asleep.

I woke up an hour or two later, to Robby launching a drum stick to my stomach.
“OW!” I shouted, coiling into a ball and then laying down again. “ I’m tired Robby…” I whined, throwing it back. Apparently it hit Craig, because I heard him swearing.
“ You’ve slept for an hour or so, get up.”
“ Nu.”
“ Yes!” The voice was closer and he rolled me off the couch. I fell on the floor with a soft thud.
“ Ow…” I whined again,
He kicked me in the back and I was up on my feet. “ Darn you, Robby.” I hissed, swinging a lazily punch at him. I clipped him in the chin and in an instant, Jake had pulled me back onto the couch.
“ No more fighting for the day, you two.”
“ Well, rawr, /dad/” I rolled my eyes and hit him in the head with a pillow, receiving a growl. He hit me back, being Jake.
“ Abusssee!!” I yelled, struggling in his grip.
“ Aww…You know I luff you, Gwinny.” Jake used my pet name and I growled as he put his chin on top of my head.
“ Get owf, Jakey!” I used his pet name and he cringed, letting go of my wrists, but that was it.
“ MY HEAD.” I fumed, about to hit him again.
“ Nope. I get to have my chin on your head because you hit me,” He huffed, set on this decision.
“ I’ll hit you again if you don’t get off my head.”
“ I’ll tackle you if you do…” He sung, and I could hear him grinning now, lip ring making a weird noise.
“ Nooo…” I whined, pouting. I hit him and he did tackle me. Like he said.
“ Get off, Jake!” I shouted, as he hovered over me.
“ Nah. I feel like being Robby for a day.” He snickered, and dropped him self so he was lying on top of me.
“ Then you’d have to kiss Craig.” I scoffed, trying to shove him off. He wouldn’t budge.
“ Ew. Minus that.” Jake flicked me in the nose and brought his face dangerously close to mine. Just like Robby.
“ JAKE!” I shouted, trying to shy away.
“ I’ll kiss you if you dun shut up.”
And immediately I was quiet.
“ LOOK, IT’S GERARD!” Robby shouted.
“ Where?!” I asked. Robby burst out in a fit of laughter as Jake leaned in on me. I sort of tried to get away, but not really. How can you resist?
So, Jake ended up kissing my cheek and the guys were bursting in laughter while I blushed.

For the rest of my hour there, Jake teased me on the awkward kiss he’d given me; Craig, who was tackled by Robby, had tackled me. Then Caleb was playing my head as a drum. Abuse.
“ Bye, Gwinny.” Jake kissed my forehead and wiggled his eyebrows. I hit him in the cheek.
“ Bye, Jakey,” I hissed and kicked his tire before the three sped off, tires squealing.