The Stale Taste of Recycled Air

Friends know best

He trotted into the kitchen a few minutes later a smirk on his face and some tight ass jeans on his legs.
"What are you so happy about?" I asked placing his pasta in front of him and sitting down opposite him.
"Nothing." He smirked again shovelling his food in his mouth.
I began to eat too, trying to ignore the look on his face that said I've seen your naked ass.
"So, last night everyone liked you," Billie swallowed.
"Oh, right that's good, they are all nice guys, crazy but nice."
Billie smirked again. I was getting a bit annoyed now.
"Say it Billie, just say it."
Billie looked up at me, mouth full of pasta.
"Say it." I frowned, "Go on, I've seen you naked."
Billie grinned, his smile spreading right across his face.
"I've...I've seen you naked," He spluttered laughing and choking on his pasta.
"Asshole." I smiled, kicking him under the table.
"Ow! Funny, though!" Billie laughed.
"Hey" He asked with raised eyebrows.
"Is that shirt from the Adeline Box?"
I nodded laughing, "I'm taking something everyday until you move that thing."
Billie rolled his eyes, "Okay yeah...but...I've seen you naked."
"SHUT up! Stop going on about it."
"Hey you brought it up and...well...I liked it that's all," He laughed making me smile.
"You best get naked next so were even," I swallowed.
"Whenever you want," He winked.
We joked for a while until the phone rang and he scooted out the kitchen to answer it while I cleaned up.
It was a while before he came back and when he did it he looked like he had been hit with a truck.
"What's wrong?" I asked handing him a beer.
"Thanks," He grumbled, "Oh by the way, thanks for lunch it was great."
"No problem...but what's wrong with you..."
He sat down and let his chin rest on his arms, his forehead plopped against the neck of his beer.
"Lisa called, Adi's sister, you know, to see if I had survived a night without the boys."
He looked at me with eyes that were almost pleading.
"I did miss them, despite being drunk."
I flopped down opposite him. "Billie, what's going on?"
I asked reaching out and touching his hand.
"It's, it's like, you know. When I'm with them, I love it but I'm scared of doing something wrong and then they'll tell Adi and she'll be like, 'see I was right you're a shit dad'. So then I'm distant and then I miss them and..."
He gabbled into the crook of his neck as I rubbed his hand. His thumb reached up and harnessed my fingers. The heat from his touch spreading up through my arm,
"Billie, you need to relax, before you can even demand the boys back you need to just try and sort you're head out."
"That's what Mike said," he breathed.
"Well, Mike's right."
"I...I don't want to be on my own... "
The phone rang again and I sighed as he jumped up to answer it, again moving out the room.
I felt slightly annoyed. I had a feeling he was going to ask me to stay with him that night and he'd just been interrupted.
He came back into the room.
"Who was it?" I asked.
"My mom, Ollie, she was checking on me, she's coming over tomorrow."
"Oh." I nodded, wondering what his mother would be like, I imagined her as a mother hen type, always fussing, maybe a bit chubby but always cheery. He sat down again and I realised that he wouldn't pluck up the courage to attempt to ask me to stay again.
"Will you be okay tonight?" I asked as I rose from my chair.
He looked at me and forced a smile,
"I think...I think so." He got up from his chair again and my hope died, he obviously wasn't going to ask me to stay after all.
"Well," I sighed, "I best go, Adele will kill me I haven't seen her for a whole NIGHT," I exaggerated as he grinned, his eyes still showing a deep misery.
"Okay" he also sighed, walking me to the door.
"Bye Billie." I turned to him on the step outside, glancing at Phil's security shed, the guy didn't seem to have a life outside of his job, in fact, neither did I right now, Billie had an effect were he just took over people's lives.
"Bye Erin." He forced smiled again leaning over the doorframe.
I turned and began walking down the path, every step I took making my brain buzz louder, turn round, don't walk away go back, he needs you.

But my feet yelled back, no, if he wanted you there he would have asked.
"ERIN!" I heard his voice yell as my hand reached for the button to open the gate.
I turned around a smile spreading on my face as I saw him bound down the path and halt an inch away from me. .

He looked uneasy at the position he had put himself in. I took in his face as the sun shone on his illuminate skin, his sharp features echoing that of a film star.
"Er...will, will you come back later Erin? know...stay?"
I smiled, my heart skidding around my chest at the prospect.
"Yeah Billie," I grinned amazed at how contained I was being, "Sure I will."
"Great." He smiled back, a relieved gasp escaping his lips.
"See you later then," I grinned at him
"Yeah bye," he mirrored my grin.

As the gates shut behind me and I caught the last sight of him waving frantically I finally let loose and did a happy skip down the street only to receive a weird look from an old woman walking a terrier, but I didn't care. I was staying with him tonight, just me and him and no one could take this feeling away form me, this feeling, this bizarre feeling were just by looking at him I wanted to cry, laugh and rage all at once. Was this love?

'No one could take this feeling away from me' pfft that was a joke. I walked into the apartment to see Adele sobbing into a cup of tea on the table.
"Jesus!" I cried thrashing my coat off and diving on her, "What's happened? Are you okay?"

"Its...Johnny... " she sobbed, "He...he...he... "
"He what, what?" I asked, dreading what her stupid boyfriend had done now.
"He...DUMPED ME!" She wailed into my arms. I rocked her back and fourth feeling my t-shirt becoming damp. Johnny was Adele's boyfriend of two years and he was a right tosser. He was a marine and away half the time anyway.

"Sssh. Come on Delly, he's a right dick anyway, he was just tying you down."
She sobbed harder into my arm and I realised that I had been so caught up in my obsession for Billie that I hadn't even asked Adele how she was all week.
"I'm sorry I wasn't here for you Delly." I rocked her harder.

"He... he... he said that our relationship was pointless and he liked someone else."
"That Michelle?" I snapped, remembering how he'd visit and be on the phone to his 'friend' half the time.
"NO!" she yelled, "His roommate Chris."
"Chris a guy?"
"YES!" She screeched down my ear sobbing harder and harder.
"Look, come on now sweetie, please calm down, he wasn't even worth it, he was a fucking twat, come on, he's a queer really for god's sake." I laughed as she smiled, wiping tears from her eyes.

Sniffing, she sat up and reached over for the Kleenex box.
"Do, you think I turned him gay?" she asked looking terrified.
"No I think the marines turned him gay" I giggled as she slapped my arm.
"Come on I'll order a pizza," I sighed picking up the phone,
"Extra cheese?" I asked her as she blew her nose.
"Yes please," she snotted into her hanky.
By the time the pizza had arrived we were already snuggled up on the couch with a bottle of wine and Pretty in Pink playing on Sky Movies.

Adele opened the lid of the box and inhaled the deep cheesy aroma.
"Mmmm 6,000 calories here we come." She laughed, grabbing a piece and stuffing it in her mouth.

"Feeling better then?" I asked picking up a slice of my own
"Hell yeah," she muffled, "I've got one over on the tosser."
"How's that then?" I asked mouth equally as full as hers
"I've sat next to Tre Cool from Green Day in my own apartment, just wait till I tell him," she giggled
"And exaggerate it to me and Tre 'made out'in my apartment"
"Yep" she swallowed, cheese hanging from her bottom lip.
"You loser" I laughed as she tried to take the string from her face.
My phone suddenly beeped and I flipped it open to reveal a text message...

Red or white wine?
Billie xx

Who's that? Adele asked flicking the string of cheese into the pizza box.
"No one" I snapped, intent on not blowing my heartbroken friend off for a boy, not even Billie Joe, who had given me two kisses, text kisses but still... no... I couldn't... could I?

"Yeah right" Adele cackled grabbing my phone and reading the message. Her eyes grew wide as she read the words on the text.
"Holy Shit, are you going down there tonight?"
"No," I shook my head harshly.
"But the text? I don't understand..."
"He asked me if I'd stay tonight...BUT," I continued as she tried to interrupt, "I'm staying here with you."
Adele rose from the couch, "No you're not, Erin, I'm fine, you've cheered me up loads you really have. Please go to him."
I stood up too, taking the empty bottle of wine to the kitchen.
"No Adele, you shouldn't be alone tonight after what Johnny... "
"Fuck Johnny, don't let him prevent you from having fun with Billie Fucking Joe Armstrong. Christ if I were you I'd be there now."
I frowned at her, "I'm trying to do the right thing here... "
"Yeah and you did, you cheered me up, so get changed and get ya ass down there, the hottest guy on the planet is waiting for you."
"Yeah, who is married?" I snapped.
"If you don't go I'm not speaking to you," she snapped back folding her arms defensively.