Disclaimers: Please see part one.
Alex and Tony had settled into the car, a comfortable silence passing between them. Tony gazed out the window, transfixed as the neon lights in the city seemed to blur into long moving streaks through his drunken eyes. Alex was playing one of her more "relaxing" c.d.'s from a band called Helium. Tony had trouble discerning what she was singing, and made a face at the c.d. player in Alex's dashboard.
"You're not going to kill it, are you?" Alex asked, partially in jest, and partially because she wasn't sure how drunk Tony really was.
"No not really," he answered shakily. "Hey Al, I'm worried."
Tony sighed heavily, "My life. I'm working all the time, not going to school my family disowned me you're the only thing I have left. You're my only family. I love you."
Tony took one of Alex's small hands in his own, kissing the top of it. He gazed out the window again and fell asleep.
"I love you too, Tony. Everything will work out."
Alex continued driving; every now and then a stray thought about Sorrow crossed her mind. She wanted to hear her voice, make sure everything was okay. She had sensed something wrong with Sorrow when they were at the kareoke bar. She didn't expect her to sing, but she thought she would have at least spoken more to her, since they had spent the day together. She furrowed her brows in confusion, and finally she realized the problem. Damn Noelle! Fucking leo's having to be the center of attention all the time I knew it was going to be bad news at the damn bar with her around should've never dated a fire sign I wonder what sign Sorrow is? Alex's thoughts began trailing off, and before she realized it, they had arrived at her home. She woke Tony up and helped him get settled into his "bed", which was an air mattress set up in the living room. Alex wished him a good night and went into her own room. She turned on the lamp on her desk and began the internal struggle over whether or not to call Sorrow. She didn't want to seem overbearing, but she certainly didn't want Sorrow to think anything was going on between her and Noelle. And why is that so important to me, she thought, if I don't want to get involved with her? God damn it. What is going on with me, I feel like I'm 12 years old when I'm around her, all giddy and nervous should I call? ARGH!!
After twenty minutes of debating to herself, she settled on an answer. She picked up the phone and dialed.
"FUCKING SHIT!" Sorrow exclaimed, kicking a tree.
"Dude, what's wrong with you, you're like totally spazzing out!!" Carl exclaimed, suddenly worried for his life.
"Nothing. Don't worry about it. Do you have the pipe?"
Carl stopped walking; Sorrow's bitter attitude was frightening him. He decided to answer her quickly, he knew she'd talk more after she smoked.
They continued walking through the forest, with Sorrow occasionally releasing a string of colorful curses under her breath. Carl and Sorrow had been coming to the woods to smoke pot since they first met, some years ago. They always went in without the aid of a flashlight, preferring to let their eyes become accustomed to the darkness. Sorrow always had been able to avoid the spider webs and large rocks that littered the path better than he. Tonight, however, there was something different. There was only a slither of a moon hanging in the sky, and the further they walked, the darker it got. Due to Sorrow's insistence, they had continued past where they usually sat, and were now walking in unfamiliar ground, through a maze of trees and vines, with no trail to guide them.
Carl could only guess at what was angering her; in fact, he rarely saw her outright angry, her disposition was to be a little grumpy and quiet, but never this bad.
"Um, Row, lets stop here, okay, dude?"
Sorrow turned suddenly, she narrowed her eyes and the blue that shined back seemed to be unearthly as she hissed, "What's the matter, you scared you little shit?"
"FUCK YOU, SORROW! WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM!?!" He screamed, and suddenly the forest grew alive as birds began squawking and flying around in the trees. Something had snapped in his friend, that much he understood. But he certainly was not going to let her treat him like that because she was pissy.
Indeed, her demeanor did calm down. She looked down, regretting that she had called him that. She felt her heartbeat slow down, realizing it was stupid to be so angry over something that she had no right to be. Quietly, she nodded and sat down.
"I'm sorry I said that," she admitted quietly.
"Yeah, I know. We're gonna talk about it, right?"
Sorrow nodded briefly and took out the small sack of weed she had brought. They had prepared their pipe, and stuffed the small bowl to the brim with the weed until it was almost falling out.
Sorrow looked at it and smiled. "We're going to speak to the gods tonight, my friend."
"Indeed we are," Carl said, looking at the pipe and smiling. He heard a twig snap somewhere behind him and turned around quickly.
"Ah-ah-ahhhh no fear in the presence of nature."
Carl turned around to look at Sorrow, the small flame from her lighter illuminating her face. She let out a cloud of smoke slowly through her lips, and smiled like a cheshire cat. She handed the small pipe to Carl, who took it somewhat nervously.
"Sorry dude. I'm just a little worried, is all." Carl sparked the bowl and inhaled deeply. He stifled a couple of coughs and then blew out a large cloud of smoke. Woah she must've switched dealers, this is
" good shit " he said, letting his thoughts become words.
Sorrow took three long puffs from the pipe, and quickly cupped her hands together, licking them feverishly. Carl looked at her, wondering if she had truly gone mad. He took another hit from the pipe, still watching Sorrow. He became transfixed with what she was doing, and suddenly she released the breath she was holding, letting the smoke blow through her cupped hands.
"Holy shit, it looks like a river!"
Sorrow smiled at Carl, who sat with his mouth gaping open.
"You done with that just yet?"
"Yeah, it's ashed " Carl began disassembling the pipe and putting it back into his pockets. Suddenly, he felt the effects of what they had just smoked ten-fold. He looked over to the trees, which seemed to be a glowing blue color. He was mesmerized. When he turned to look at Sorrow, she was gone. Panic engulfed him quickly. He stood up, hitting his head with a branch. He tried looking around and moving, but he felt as if he was being held back by the trees themselves. He felt frightened, like a caged animal. He heard something rustling in the trees above him, and he saw what looked like Sorrow perched on the branches over his head.
"This is a strange night, Carl. A weird vibe going through it, ya know?"
Carl was climbing the tree that Sorrow sat on. He said a quick "yeah" and, grunting, lifted himself to a higher branch, so that he sat about a foot below where Sorrow was.
"Something's going on with me, man. Have you ever met someone, and tried not to care, tried to ignore this connection you feel, and you can't? Like you can't escape it, you can't change your thoughts, it's just always there in the back of you head "
"I don't want to see Alex for a few days. I feel like I'm going crazy when I'm around her, and I barely know her. I think about her all the time, sometimes when I'm walking I'll turn to my side, expecting to see her there. And what was up with that girl at the bar? I mean, I totally wanted to kill that bitch tonight Noelle or whatever her name was the minute I saw her I felt as if we were mortal enemies. This isn't good for me."
"Why not? Why do you want to sabotage something that you obviously feel strongly about? I mean, with Alex, not killing that girl "
"Because it scares me," she answered simply. She closed her eyes and lifted her face towards the sky, letting the slight breeze blow through her hair, sending goose bumps throughout her body.
"It's always a scary thing, intimacy. You have to take a chance."
"Carl, there's a one in a million chance that I survive this. You know that. I'm not the type to just fall in love, and I feel like I feel like I am. I don't know if maybe loneliness has finally gotten to me or what. But I can't just go with this so suddenly."
Sorrow swung herself down, her knees still wrapped around the branch she was sitting on. She hung upside down, facing Carl, as she continued.
"How do I know if this is for real, and not just my neglected libido, dude?"
"I don't know, man. I wish I could help you. I know you won't, but, I say, if you feel like something is right in this, then go with it." He looked at her and couldn't help laughing a bit. She did look kind of funny upside down and all.
"Well, I need some space from her. I don't want her thinking that I'm pussy whipped or "
"Or that you actually enjoy her company?"
"Something like that."
Carl nodded, knowing that at least something was changing within his friend. He smiled to himself. It's only a matter of time before that dumb wall she built goes down. I hope everything with Alex works out, it'll be the best thing for both of them I think.
" It feels so good hanging upside down. It's like, everything is rushing to your skull and... stuff." Sorrow was rocking slightly back and forth, smiling like a child.
They sat together in the darkness for an hour, until they agreed it was time to go home. After the less frightening trek back to their cars, Carl felt better about everything that was going on. He bid Sorrow a goodnight, and drove off, watching her form disappear in his rear-view mirror as he left.
Sorrow stood by herself, admiring the stars. She liked these few minutes of piece that she got once in a while, where she could be out in the middle of nowhere without a disruption or a sound besides the crickets and frogs and occasional birds. Her peace was broken by the shrill sound of her phone ringing. She dug into her pocket, and looked at the little caller id in the small screen.
She knew the number was Alex's. She knew that she had two options: answer, or let her voice mail answer it for her. But the most important thing in her head was not what she knew, but rather, the conclusion she had jumped to after Alex, Tony, and Noelle had left. She figured that Noelle and Alex were having a fling of some sort, and she was just being taken for a fool. She felt the cold burn of jealousy and betrayal crawl up her spine. Suddenly, the little object stopped ringing. I'll check the message tomorrow. Maybe.
*Talk * beeeep *
"Um, hey Sorrow, it's Alex. You must hate me, I'm always bothering you. Haha .. uhhh.. yeah, well, I was just calling because uh I wanted to uh talk to you. For a bit. Tony's asleep and I know you told me that you're usually awake and yeah. Well, sorry if I'm bothering you. Well ah have a good night and um, sweet dreams, then bye "
Alex hung up the phone, feeling ridiculous. Why did I leave her a message?? I should've just hung up. AUGH! What the hell is wrong with me? I'm acting like a total twit with her I wonder why she wasn't picking up the phone. Maybe she was in the bathroom? Or getting something to eat? I'll just stay awake for a little bit, in case she calls, Alex thought, trying to stifle a yawn.
After a few minutes, she drifted off to sleep, with a silent phone by her side.
"OhhhhHhHhHh, what a beautifOoooooooL MOOOOORRRNING!!!!" Tony screamed as he threw the covers off of Alex's sleeping form.
" what the.." Alex looked around her room, squinting her eyes as a bright ray of sunshine slapped her face.
"OHHHHhh, what a beautiful daAaaAAaaAAY!!! Rise and shine, chicken butt! We've got a long day ahead of us! We're gonna clean your room, our cars, we might go to the beach," Tony continued to babble as he pulled Alex out of her bed. She still hadn't opened her eyes, and her head was spinning from his incessant talking.
"Tony," she said calmly, "if you don't calm the fuck down I'm going to hit you very hard with that guitar." She pointed to the guitar that was her fathers, which she displayed proudly on her wall. She never let a soul touch it, but in this case, she would make an exception and use it as a silencing weapon if necessary.
"Ohhh okay grumpy, I see how it is. Nice p.j.'s, by the way," he said, winking and smirking at her, "oh and mom made us pancakes. I swear Alex, your mom is the best."
He left Alex standing alone in her room, her hair a mess and her eyes barely open. She examined the pajamas that she was wearing, and noticed, with some embarrassment, that the shorts were lying on the floor and she was actually in a white tank top and pink underwear with strawberries on them. She blushed, and grabbing her shorts, took off towards the kitchen.
"Good morning, Mom."
"Hey sweetie. You should eat your pancakes before Tony does."
Alex took her seat next to Tony. His hair was still messy, but his blue eyes were shining with enthusiasm. Something was totally wrong here, she could feel it. Everyone seemed to be suppressing their laughter around her. She decided to ignore it, and sipped her coffee.
"How are your pancakes, Tony?"
"Oh, they're a SCREAM, Mom," He said, and then they both broke out giggling.
Alex was fed up, she knew they were making fun of her, and she wanted to at least know why. She slammed her coffee mug down and looked fiercely from Tony to her mother, and back again.
"What's so funny?" she hissed.
Tony and her mother merely exchanged glances, and smiling broadly, looked down at their plates.
"C'mon, fess up? What's so damn funny?" Alex's temper was beginning to rise; she didn't like this one bit.
"WELL," Tony began, still looking down at his pancakes and smiling. "Last night you seemed to be having a uh quite a dream." He snickered when he finished and looked up at Alex, his face twisting in another bout of barely restrained laughter.
"Really? So what's so funny about that?"
"What's funny is that you screamed out, and I quote, more, please, oh god sorrow, yes'," her mother deadpanned, "and when we found you, you were dead asleep and your shorts were on the floor. So, we decided that you weren't in any immediate danger and let you sleep."
Alex could count the shades of red she was blushing at the moment. She was up to 12. Her mother and Tony had caught her in the middle of a passionate dream involving Sorrow, and there was no way she could talk her way out of it. She cradled her head in her hands and began to laugh, because really, what else was left for her to do?
"It's okay, Alex, we understand. I told Mom that Sorrow was a beautiful grumpy biker chic, she understands."
"She's not a biker chic, Tony. She doesn't even OWN a motorcycle. And she's not grumpy well, not all the time. Just most of it."
"So this is the girl we were talking about yesterday? The one that you're intrigued with?"
"Yeah, Mom," Alex felt her embarrassment ease as the conversation turned less mocking.
"You should invite her over. I'd like to meet her," her mother said, taking her daughter's hand in her own to show her she was being sincere.
"Uh I'll keep that in mind. I'll tell her the next time I see her."
Alex finished her breakfast with a new sense of peace. She and Tony had already finished cleaning her room, Tony's sleeping area, and were now working on washing their cars. She tried throughout most of the day to remember the dream she had involving Sorrow, but to no avail. She also remembered that Sorrow had never returned her call, and she couldn't really shake the feeling of rejection she felt. I guess I was coming on too strong. It's better we keep some distance. I mean, I don't want to give her the wrong impression or anything not that I know what the right impression is. It's not like my life will be over if she never calls me again. Alex stopped scrubbing down one of the wheels of her car, and realized that it would be quite devastating if she never heard from Sorrow again. She felt a tightening in her chest at the mere thought of it. She couldn't believe her own thoughts, her own feelings, would be going against what she had promised herself she would never do after one day of knowing someone. This is impossible. I can't be falling in love with every pretty girl I meet
Tony, noticing the strange expression in Alex's face as she scrubbed her car, walked over to her and sat down. She looked at him, pain and confusion showing in her green eyes.
"What's wrong, hun?"
"Nothing," she mumbled, trying to mask the tone of her voice.
"You're thinking about her, aren't you?"
Tony knew by Alex's silence that it was exactly what she had been thinking about. He momentarily weighed out his options as to whether or not he should give her his lecture, but, upon deciding it was the best thing for her, commenced.
"Look, Al, I know you're going to hate me for doing this whole I-know-best' thing, but I don't think you should be thinking about Sorrow in any way other than a friend. And a distant one at that."
"What? You're not my father, Tony!"
"I know I know, just hear me out. For one, she's like, a MAJOR drug addict. She smokes pot with Carl, but from what he's told me, she does a lot more than just drinking and a little weed. And we both know the girl can drink, right?"
"I guess," Alex agreed, "but just because I had some dream," she trailed off. She didn't like where this conversation was headed, but decided to listen regardless.
"Okay, whatever, forget about the dream. I'm just saying she's not the type of person you should be getting attached to, is all. You want to know what Carl told me about her?"
"I thought you said he doesn't mention her?"
"He doesn't, I grilled him when we were drunk at the kareoke bar. Before either of you got there. I have to take care of you, you know," he said, winking and hugging her tighter.
"Okay, well, what did you find out, what's the big secret?"
"All right, for one, Sorrow is 24. Carl met her when they were freshmen in college, except she was 20 and he was only 18. We both know the story of her parents being hippies and her getting the crazy name, BUT, her hippie dad decided he was done being broke and stoned, so when she was three, he left her and her mom. He took care of them somewhat, sending them money and stuff occasionally, but it was never enough. Her mom always stayed in this like, hippie mode, and they like, lived in a hippie commune until Sorrow turned 7. Then her mom sent her to live with her grandparents. Then, the day before Sorrow turned 18, her dad died. Turns out he became an attorney, and he left her the apartment she has, and loads of money. Her mom went to live in a Buddhist monastery that's about an hour from here, and I think by this time her grandparents were getting to old or something, so, she moved into the apartment, bought a car, did a lot of shady things, and then finally went to college. That's all he knows about her past. What he knows about her now, in the present, is that he's never seen her in a steady relationship; she gets bored of people quickly and throws them out of her life, and apparently, she's becoming so withdrawn that it's becoming harder and harder for HIM to be able to get through to her. Apparently her mom filled her head with some crazy shit about people only being out to hurt you and stuff, cause of how her dad left her and her mom when she was so young. So basically, she's fucked in the head, and you my dear, should not be trying to start some weird relationship. ESPECIALLY since you don't like to admit you love people, even though you really do," Tony finished his tangent, taking a deep breath. Alex still sat in wonder, trying to process out all the information. For some reason, now more than ever, she knew Tony was right.
"Thanks, Tony. For looking out for me. I have no intention of pursuing any type of relationship with Miss Sorrow, other than friendship," but she only half believed her words.
Sorrow hung up her cell phone after she listened to the message Alex had left. She was still feeling light headed from the weed she had smoked the night before. Stretching out her long form, she leaned against a wall in her bedroom, staring out the window into the city. Her thoughts roamed exactly to Alex. She wanted more than anything, she realized, to talk to her. She missed her. If it was humanly possible to miss someone when you had last seen them only a few hours ago. She suddenly cursed herself for being so nervous about calling people. She couldn't remember the last time she actually made a phone call. Carl always called her. It wasn't that she was stuck up about it, but rather, she just felt as if she'd be a bother. She stared at the small cell phone she still held in her hand, willing it to ring. After a few minutes she gave up, and went back to her bed, grabbing her guitar. She sat down and plucked a few strings. She positioned her audience, which consisted of her phone and the small stuffed owl she had won in the Claw Machine not long ago. She felt a strange connection to the damned thing. She suddenly thought about giving it to Alex, saying she won it for her. She smiled fondly at the thought of telling something like that to Alex, knowing the blonde girl would smile and blush, and her green eyes would sparkle up at her, and there would be that overwhelming sense of awkwardness about them that's usually followed by a hug, or a quick kiss on the cheek. Sorrow realized she liked the small steps of intimacy that she was taking with Alex.
Closing her eyes, Sorrow began her song, and felt herself carried away by the music.
The next few weeks passed by in a blur. Sorrow and Alex spoke more and more to each other everyday, and although neither would admit it, the pain they both felt when they were apart was unbearable. Sorrow would blush when Alex asked to see her tattoos; the scorpion on one arm, and the raven on the other. Alex would marvel at how vivid they looked, tracing her fingers along the dark lines, and watching with quiet amusement as Sorrow's skin reacted to her touch. They began setting up their easels next to each other in their painting class, occasionally sneaking peeks at each others' works, and one time Sorrow had initiated a small paint-fight. They both left the studio that night with far more paint on themselves than on their canvases. Alex and Sorrow, along with Tony and Carl, frequented the kareoke bar more and more. Despite everyone's bribery and pressure, Sorrow had still not joined them in a song.
Although Sorrow had been trying to stifle her growing feelings for Alex, the realization that she really truly loved her came to her one day unexpectedly. It was dusk, and Sorrow was sitting under the shade of a tree, reading something for a class. Across from her was one of the many small ponds that littered the campus, and this particular pond was most noted for its family of ducks. It was also a well known rule that the feeding of the ducks was strictly prohibited, and if caught, someone could face a fine of $500.00. Needless to say, the ducks didn't get very many people scraps. However, Sorrow looked up, for no reason other than she felt as if Alex were nearby. Looking across the pond, she spotted her, happily sitting in the midst of 2 grown ducks and about a dozen ducklings, happily feeding them bread from her hand. The sight made Sorrow genuinely smile, and her heart called out for Alex more than ever. She knew, at that moment, and probably for the first time in her life, that Alex wasn't going to use her, or mistreat her. Of course, despite all this knowledge, Sorrow was, at heart, petrified of rejection. Especially rejection from Alex. She stayed in her secret spot, watching Alex feeding the ducks happily. She closed her book and closed her eyes, and smiling rolled over on her back, an idea suddenly striking her.
Alex, for her part, was also feeling the intense bond she was forming with Sorrow. She could feel her heart beat faster, and the swarm of butterflies in her stomach always acted up when she knew she would be seeing Sorrow, or calling her, or anything of the sort. Despite the very obnoxious and overbearing flirtations she received from Noelle, on those occasions she saw her, Alex still refused her, her heart silently calling out Sorrow's name to her own deaf ears. She knew it, deep inside. She knew she loved her, that she had fallen in love with her, but she insisted to Tony, to her Mother, that it was nothing of the sort. She was still frightened of her feelings, and usually thanked the heavens that Sorrow liked to have her space; a few days of separation helped her to better deal with the intensity of what she felt. However, as all things go, there was only so much denying Alex could do until one day, silently and to herself, she realized that she was madly, truly, deeply in love with Sorrow.
It took place this one day when Sorrow had come to her house to watch some movies they had rented. It was the first time Sorrow had ever been there, and upon walking into Alex's room, she spotted the Les Paul guitar that hung on the wall, the one that belonged to Alex's father. She seemed amazed by it, marveling at the instrument, and giving Alex a quick history on its superior quality. Alex smiled, and stroked the strings, emitting from the guitar six horrid, out of tune notes. She didn't really mind; she had been used to hearing it out of tune since her father had died some years ago. Upon looking at Sorrow, she realized Sorrow's faced was scrunched up and tense in what seemed like agony.
"Please," she said, "let me tune it for you. A guitar like that should sound the way it was meant to."
Alex, in a momentary lapse of judgment, didn't move or say a word as Sorrow lifted the guitar off the wall mount. Noelle had pleaded with her a million times to let her play it, and she refused. When her father was alive, he would play her a song every night, a lullaby to help her sleep. He was the world's most amazing guitar player, with a smooth, calming voice. It was sacred to her; it was the last thing that was both her and her fathers.
But, she didn't flinch as Sorrow took it gently, admiring the neck and fret board, the knobs and even the strings. In seconds she had tuned it, and to Alex's surprise, it sounded just like it did when she was younger, when her father was alive.
"Do you know how to play?"
"No, I don't," she had replied, in a daze.
Sorrow audibly gasped. She handed Alex the guitar, mumbling something about a quick lesson, and began instructing her gently and patiently about finger placement and chord progression. Alex smiled in wonder at how cute Sorrow looked when she was focused on something. She knew she should be paying attention to her words, to where she put her fingers, but she couldn't help but admire her friends beauty, especially so up close.
"Like this?" She had asked, not lifting her eyes from Sorrow's face.
"No, almost. You have to stretch your pinkie down a bit. Or no, wait is it shit, hang on," and with that Sorrow had gotten up so suddenly Alex didn't realize what was happening.
As suddenly as the visage of the concentrating Sorrow had vanished, the feeling of warmth against her back and two strong arms going over her smaller ones appeared. Sorrow placed her own hands over Alex's, explaining to her gently which fingers plucked which strings, which fingers went on what frets, and so on. Alex couldn't help the feeling of intoxication at having her friend so close. She felt Sorrow's hot breath on her neck, the low sound of her voice seemed to course through her. She tried to concentrate, feeling silly and damning herself for letting her mind wander to distant realms of unulfilled libidos, when her friend obviously had platonic, teacher-student like feelings for her.
"So, show me an A' chord, open," Sorrow had demanded.
Alex turned herself slowly around, realizing the slight blush creep up her chest as she felt Sorrow's breasts against her back. Their faces were mere inches apart, the intensity of the moment capturing both their tongues for a moment. Finally, Alex had gulped, and said softly, "I forgot it."
Sorrow's crystal blue eyes were a mixture of fear, want, love, passion, terror Her hands were still over Alex's, and had she been brave enough, she would have let their hands intertwine and taken Alex to her bed, consummating the passion that so obviously was between them. Instead, she whimpered, "It's okay," and resumed the struggle between her raging hormones and her annoying conscience.
And so, that was when she realized it. Despite Tony's constant warnings of her and Sorrow being a bad match, Alex couldn't deny her feelings, to herself, anyway.
"So you're going to move in with Carl," Alex quizzed Tony as she made herself sphagetti-o's.
"Yeah, he just got this really great and cheap 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment thingie. He knew my situation and off we go. So I'll be out of you your mom's hair by this weekend."
"Shit, Tony, you know you could've stayed here as long as you want. Mom loves you."
"And I love her, but I don't want to be a bother."
"And living in the same house with Carl isn't too bad, either."
"Nope, that it is not," Tony smiled at her.
"Now Tony," Alex said, trying to get her best motherly voice, "you know I hate to do this I-know-best' thing, but I don't think you should be thinking about Carl in anyway other than a friend," she said, winking at him and mocking him for the stern speech he had given her weeks ago about Sorrow.
"Yeah, yeah yeah well, there's no misunderstandings. He's straight. I'm gay. He's cool, I'm cool. We both get along. There's been no weirdness or anything. And since I'm not planning on getting romantically involved with him, it doesn't matter to me that he's a budding alcoholic and pothead.
But it does matter to me when it's you we're talking about. No professions of love yet from either side, I presume?"
"No, none. I told you not to worry about me, Tony. I'm a big girl."
"Al, big girl or not, love does strange things to people. I just want to see you happy, I know the perfect girl for you is out there! There's no reason you should settle-
"I'm NOT settling', Tony," Alex quickly interjected, "Sorrow is a beautiful person, despite what stigma you've attached to her. I know she doesn't open up to many people, but what can I say, I've been blessed. And I'm happy that she trusts me enough to let me get my toe in to her life, and frankly, I don't blame her, people can be jerks," she finished flatly.
"Uh, okay, grumpy bear. Don't friggin cut my head off. Are you on P.M.S.?"
"Probably," Alex sighed.
"Well, when was the last time you talked to her, anyway? I hope she's not pulling a disappearing trick on you."
"No, actually, I haven't called her in a few days. I've been busy with midterms and stuff."
Tony merely nodded in agreement. They sat down at the small table in Alex's house and ate their sphagetti-o's in amiable silence.
"So," Sorrow said through a mouthful of sandwich, "Tony's moving in with you?"
Carl mutely nodded, his mouth filled to capacity with a huge bite he had taken from his sandwich.
They were both in Sorrow's living room, recently stoned, zoning out and eating munchies. Carl turned on the television, settling on the cartoon network.
"Thif if fum craffee fit," he said, now able to move his mouth around the chunk of food.
"I don't know why, but I have this feeling that Tony doesn't like me. Like, he tells Alex not to be involved with me or something."
Carl swallowed his huge bite and looked at Sorrow, a note of sadness in her eyes.
"Nah man, he likes you. Hey, what's the deal with you and her, anyways? You guys get it on yet?"
Sorrow looked down at her lap, smiling mischievously. Carl started laughing and clapping, but Sorrow silenced him quickly.
"No man, nothing physical or anything but um look, I gotta level with ya," she said, "I think, no, I know I'm totally in love with her."
Carl's eyes went wide at basketballs. There was a suspended moment of shock, happiness, disbelief, and giddiness that mixed together with an Italian sub, nachos and beer, didn't work well.
"Wait, what? Has hell frozen over? Did you just say you're in love'??"
Sorrow blushed and looked away, feeling like an awkward child. Carl put his food aside and hugged his friend tightly, threatening to squeeze all the food she had just eaten right back up.
"So, when you gonna tell her?"
"Tell her? What do you think I am, suicidal??"
"Well, cause cause," Sorrow looked around searching her dizzy mind for a reasonable answer.
"Tell her tonight."
"What?!? No way, homeboy, ain't gonna happen."
"Okay well, don't tell her you're madly in love with her, but just tell her something sweet, give her a flower or something. Tell her you were thinking about her. Ask her out for dinner. You know, start the process!"
Carl was making elaborate hand gestures, which always made Sorrow nervous. She looked down at her phone suddenly, realizing she hadn't heard from Alex in four days.
"Dude, I haven't talked to her in like, a million years."
"Well, like a week or something "
"She hasn't called me."
Carl locked his brown eyes with Sorrow's blue, and taking her face in his hands, told her sternly, "Then CALL HER."
Sorrow managed to rip herself loose from Carl's grip.
"NO WAY! You know my policies on making and receiving phone calls, mainly, I don't make them, I receive them."
"DUDE, YOU ARE SUCH A PUSSY!!
Just call her, maybe she feels like she's always bothering you and she wants
you to take a step now!"
Sorrow turned away, a worried look on her face. She began biting her lip, clearly distraught over what to do.
"Well what do I say? I want it to come out perfect."
"For what to come out perfect?"
"You know it' when I tell her uhm.. something nice."
"Well, tell her that in person. First, you gotta make the arrangement to MEET, stupid."
"Okay okay so what you're proposing is, I get this phone," she said, picking up the phone for emphasis, and pacing her apartment in nervousness, "and find her number and hit this little talk button right here, and talk to her?"
Sorrow looked at the phone, first
with hope on her face, then terror.
"DUDE I CAN'T!!!" She screamed, throwing her hands in the air in defeat.
"Look, just call her and pretend like it's all good, see how she's doing, ask her if she's doing anything tonight, you know, something neutral like that."
"Yeah! C'mon, gimme that,"
Carl said as he grabbed Sorrow's phone. He pressed the talk button and tossed
it back to Sorrow, screaming, "TALK TO HER!!"
Sorrow caught the phone, and realizing it was actually ringing, threw it back to Carl, her stomach in so tight a knot she felt like she was going to faint. Carl, of course, hearing Alex's voice pick up, tossed the phone back to Sorrow, and mouthing the words, "she's on the phone". Sorrow picked up the phone silently, and before Alex had a chance to hang up, she took the biggest step in her life and spoke.
"Yeah? Sorrow, is that you?"
"Uh, yeah. How uh how are you?" Sorrow squeaked, and promptly slapped her forehead, cursing her stupidness.
Alex merely giggled a bit, clearly hearing the nervous tone in Sorrow's voice, "I'm all right, and you?"
"Oh, good good I hadn't heard from you in a few days, I was getting worried that I might end up winning that dumb bet we made I really don't need a toaster, you know."
The sound of Alex's laughter filled the phone and Sorrow's soul, encouraging her to go on. "And uhm, I was wondering if you uh, if you had any plans tonight?"
Carl looked to Sorrow and gave her an enthusiastic thumbs up, which she returned excitedly jumping up and down and pacing her apartment.
"Oh, I can't. I have to watch Angela's Ashes' and write a paper about it for my English class."
"Oh " Sorrow's glee had quickly turned to feeling ridiculous and stupid and incredibly disappointed. Alex however, hearing the tone of sadness, and realizing that this was the first time Sorrow had ever called her, and wanting so badly to see her, came up with a quick solution.
"Well, you can come over and keep me company while I watch it. I'll make some popcorn and everything."
"REALLY?" Sorrow exclaimed, feeling a second wind go through her.
"Yeah, really. Be here around 5:30 or so, sound good?"
"Perfect, I'll see you then," Sorrow was smiling broadly in the phone, biting her thumb in excitement.
"Well, bye," Alex chuckled as she hung up, happier than she had been in days. She had a feeling something quite amazing was going to happen, and couldn't contain her heart as it seemed to scream out her love for Sorrow.
Continued in Part Four