It’s hard to forget about what Gary had said, only because all of my wondering thoughts are now somehow a reality. He’s brought them to life ever since he told me he misses us, in a sense. I’ve been listening to Taylor Swift’s “Never Ever Getting Back Together” on repeat for the past half hour. It’s a problem. And Ted being away is only making matters worse. The longer he’s away, the more apparent it becomes that I am alone and missing the old days with Gary and I.
Last night at another one of Sally’s parties, shit went down when Jared treated Sally disrespectfully. It made me so angry because Jared just wasn’t getting the message about how much of an ass hole he was being. Everyone always cuts him so much slack and lets him off the hook. Although I still can’t exactly get my head around why this is so, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I was not that drunk. Not drunk enough for my actions to be blamed on my alcohol consumption. I finally decided I’ve had enough. Sally was crying to him and arguing in the other room. I took my beer and marched in there as my friend, Cheryl, raced after me in an effort to stop me from doing something stupid I would regret. Little did she know I would never ever regret anything so much LESS than I did that night. I flung her easily off my arm (she weighs probably all of 90 pounds) and swung open the door.
I saw Sally sitting on the window seat as Jared towered over her. Something sort of symbolic now that I think about it; he always seems to have power over her and although I hate how sometimes I feel like she is a different person, I know that she’s still the best friend I know and love and she still needs me to be there for her when she’s in trouble.
Their heads turned to me as I barged in, Cheryl close behind. I stared at the back of the wall with an angry glare, just so that I could catch them both off guard so they couldn’t anticipate what I was going to do or stop me in any way.
“Lacey, don’t!” I heard Cheryl shout as I lifted the beer can over his head and, without thinking twice, with a flick of the wrist, the natty light was pouring through his short, spiky hair and assumabley down his face and onto his shirt. I wouldn’t know though because as soon as I saw the beer come out of the can and make contact with his head I sprinted in the other direction.
“Are you kidding me?!” His voice was deep and filled with rage. I felt something just skim my back, probably a beer can, as he screamed on a rant and I heard Cheryl try to hold him back.
“Jared! Stop! Please!” The screams were faint as I ran further and further away, up the stairs and into Sally’s room where I shut the door and sat on her bed, beer in my lap, heart racing. I heard a huge bang from downstairs and more screaming. I later find out that he was so angry he flipped the beer pong table over.
The tears came naturally, streaming down my cheeks. They wouldn’t stop. After a couple minutes of sitting by myself and staring at the design of Sally’s comforter, I heard footsteps up the stairs. Sally walked in.
“Why did you do that?!” she said through drunken tears.
“He spit on you, pushed you, and called you fat.” The words that came out of my mouth were slow and solemn.
“But why would you pour a beer on him?!” I was speechless out of pure disbelief. What didn’t she understand?
“That’s funny,” I said as the frustration built up inside of me. I spoke even louder this time as the tears swelled up, blurring my vision. “Did you hear my last sentence?! He treats you like shit; never talk to him again!” That last sentence came from somewhere deep inside me and has been begging to come out for quite some time now. She walked out in a storm of tears and slammed the door as she made her way back downstairs. I was hysterical. How could she defend him after everything he’s done to her? How could she not appreciate all of the things that I do for her as a friend? I was only trying to help her, to protect her, to be a good friend. But she wouldn’t hear it.
Brain came upstairs to comfort me and then said to come in her room to talk some more. I told her to give me a couple minutes. I opened a sticky note on Sally’s laptop and started writing a poem to her in an effort to try and communicate my feelings in a different light that maybe she could understand. Cheryl came up. She sat on the bed in front of me and explained what happened, then praised me for having the balls she never had.
“I just hate him so much,” she continued to explain as the rage once again built up inside of me. “Like you don’t understand.” That’s it. She just crossed the line.
“YOU HATE HIM?! Oh, trust me! I understand!” She tried to interrupt me but I kept going. “I don’t even understand how you let him set foot on your property anymore! After everything he puts Sally through I would never even let him inside my house!” She was nervously ripping a receipt she found laying on Sally’s bed, not making eye contact.
“I only invite him over for her-” she went on but I cut off her next sentence before she could begin it.
“I would NEVER allow him over my house for her!” She was quiet and continued to rip the thin paper to shreds. I could tell my point came across, and maybe a little too strong. “I’m not trying to yell at you like don’t get me wrong, but just understand that when you say you hate him I think I’m the only one who understands.” I was crying pretty hard at this point and when she spoke it was comforting.
“I’m sorry, you’re right.” She looked up from the shreds. We talked for a little bit longer and then I headed off to Brain’s room as she went to find Sally and comfort her. Everyone left and Sally was probably outside on the driveway with Jared or maybe talking to him on the phone. I didn’t know, but I also didn’t know how to approach her that night. I left the sticky note up on her computer and signed it “I love you so much Sally. Please don’t be mad at me. -Lacey”.
That night, as I laid in bed next to Brain, Gary came up in conversation. I remembered earlier how Phoebe and I visited Brain at work at the burger shack in town and Phoebe suggested that she invite Gary and his friends again. I agreed and Brain started telling me how pathetic I was being. She was right, I knew it. But regardless, I think Gary and I have a friendship to work on and it would be good practice to hang out in a party setting again. Almost healthy, you could say.
“Gary is just annoying we like aren’t friends anymore,” she began, as the aroma of grease filled the air around us. She’s been telling me for the past couple of weeks now how he hasn’t been the friend he used to be. I would agree with her and listen to her vent about how she misses being best friends like they were in high school, but I didn’t know she was this serious about not being friends with him anymore. “Why would I invite him to get drunk at my house when we don’t even hang out sober?” Although that sounded like a valid argument (which she always seems to win), I could have argued more. I could have made a bunch of arguments and begged her to invite him- but although that may have gotten her to consider and cause me to lose my dignity, I refrained. I decided to let fate take it’s course. I sat quietly next to Phoebe as she went on about what an ass hole Gary is. I didn’t disagree.
Brain continued to talk about him while we laid in the darkness of her room. She said how she ended up inviting him after all while she was drunk, but he never answered until a while later. He does that a lot I have come to realize over the summer of experience. But when he answered apparently he told her he was visiting Rider to spend the night with his girlfriend. Sucks that only a couple minutes before that conversation I texted him and told him to kill Jordan… I mean, what’s the harm in that, right? We were friends! We could casually talk and laugh and have a harmless conversation, couldn’t we?
All of a sudden there was a creak as Brain’s bedroom door opened. Sally.
“Goodnight I love you Laur,” she said quickly as she stumbled back out and shut the door.
“Love you too Sal.”
As I laid there waiting for a response, I decided to check Instagram. It’s been a while, I thought. Too long. As I tapped the little, brown, Polaroid on the second page of my iPhone screen, I scrolled down the news feed. I saw how Cheryl posted a picture of her, Ronald and Maddie. I scrolled through the comments after liking it and saw that Sadie commented. “Ha” was all she said. This sent me into a rage of hysterics because it was obvious she was sarcastically laughing because of some sort of jealousy over Ronald, so I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show her what real laughter looked like. I commented back at her and said, “Hahahahaha ikr this is just so funny”. Hey, let’s face it, I already poured a beer on Jared and texted Gary. What was stopping me from publicly bitching at Sadie? I figured what the hell, and posted it. I laughed as Cheryl came into the room and told me how Sadie just texted her and asked if my comment was supposed to be bitchy. I wondered why she couldn’t have just asked me herself, but then stopped wondering when I realized that just wasn’t something she would do. She’s not the type to be too forward with people. She commented back at me with, “I don’t get it” and I just responded and said, “me neither”. Like really though… I don’t get why she commented “ha”… was that seriously necessary?
So Gary didn’t end up answering until the next morning, but I mean I did send the text at 1 AM so he was probably already sleeping. Or maybe just up with his gf so when his phone vibrated with a text from me he tried to hide it from her, and ignored it. Orrr maybe they were just too busy fucking. Either way, I hoped my text set his heart racing like his did when he answered me the following morning. Wait- what? Who said that?
Gary: Sorry I fell asleep what’d he do
Me: He spat on Sally and called her fat..
Gary: Wow that’s a little extreme
Me: I know so I poured my beer on his head and he almost killed me hahaha whoops
I figured we could laugh about it and continue the casual conversation. Guess he didn’t feel the same because he never responded. Now I’m the one who last sent the text, and that is somehow unsettling to me.
After waking up at 10:30 (which is exceptionally late for me), I went into Sally’s room. We sat there for a little and I asked her if she was okay. She started saying how it’s just really hard because no one understands her and Jared’s relationship. She started to tear up and I wanted to badly to hug her and tell her that it’s okay and that I did understand, but I didn’t. I don’t. We let the topic drop after a little bit of disagreeing and then Brain joined the room. She plopped down on the bed beside me as Sally relocated to the chair in the corner. It got brought up again.
The argument got heated but Sally would always come back with another point she had to make, and when I tried to fight her back she would either get quiet or just shake it off and tell me I didn’t understand.
“Phoebe understands, she’s the only one who understands.” Her voice was breaking up, like a bad, emotional signal. It was frustrating. The heat building inside of me felt strong enough to burn down a whole entire forest to ashes.
“Well then talk to Phoebe about it because I’m done.” I sat there and let the sting of the last comment hang there in the silence. I grabbed my phone and unlocked it. Skimmed through the app pages a couple of times, along with Brain and Sally just to avoid eye contact. Realizing how pathetic this generation had become, I suddenly got up and and picked up my bag.
“When are you going to lunch?” I asked Brain, breaking the silence. Her eyes were still locked on her phone.
“I don’t know, in a little while.” I stood there in front of her with my things and didn’t want to be rude by asking her to drive me home, but at the same time didn’t know where else I had planned on going if she didn’t. “I can drive you home now if you want.”
“Yeah thanks,” I said coldly as we both left the room. I didn’t say good bye to Sally. I didn’t want to. I just wanted to go home.
The car ride was serious. The mood was discouraged. Only a few more words were shared between Brain and I, and it was mostly just about how I was going to confront Sally. I told her my feelings.
“You should tell her that, just message her later or something.” But before I got a chance to, Sally texted me when I got home. The more we discussed, the more I argued; and the more I became so filled with that same fire that could light a forest in flames. I eventually realized I had to just accept what she was telling me even though I didn’t agree with it. If this is what she wants I couldn’t keep butting heads with her over it, or nothing would get solved. I was not about to put up an ultimatum for her to pick from – me or Jared – but I also couldn’t ignore what he did to her. It was so hard and still is hard for me to not fight for what I want and what I think is the best for her, but I realize now that maybe what I think is best is not actually what would make her the happiest. I just hope that she makes the right decision and knows that I am here for her in the end of it all.