“Just ask her.” My best friend, Yusai, said. He was getting annoyed by my constant refusals and excuses. He knew they were excuses, because he knew me. I knew he did, because I knew him. Eight years of friendship kind of does that to a person. You begin to keep track of every little thing you notice about them, or at least that’s what I do. “Listen, if you don’t ask her, then I’m going to ask her for you, and you know what’s going to happen if I talk to her.”
“I have to study. You and your other careless friends can go and waste the last remaining brain cells you have right before the test.” I said, rolling my eyes and turning the volume down on my computer. I’ve already closed my books long before he called me, but he doesn’t need to know that. I just don’t like parties. Making small talk with people. Those simple rules of conversation, and that will be all it is besides bringing up similar interest, complaints, or events, and I’m just not interested in playing the social role of Yusai’s friend. “Plus, you’ll have Veora there, and you won’t even be talking to me.”
“That’s bullshit.” He was rolling his eyes now, I assume. The way he let out a long breath before he even responded. He was annoyed, and it reminded me of when Yusai first got his girlfriend. He said the same thing when I said he wouldn’t be around as much, because he’d be so busy with her. Yeah, it was some bullshit. It was some shit alright. “Plus.” His voice boomed back through the phone, as he was ready to destroy me with his next argument. “If you don’t come then that poor girl from our math class is going to have to sit by herself as well.”
“No way. No way, you got her to go? She never leaves that one girl’s side.” I smiled remembering her. The girl that I’ve spent 99 percent of my class period staring at, and the other 1 percent listening to this stickler Mr. Ross. She had this tweety bird blonde hair that highlighted the extremely light blue eyes that she had. They almost seemed clear. It’s not like she’s never talked in class, or answered a question, but she didn’t seem to be social with anyone. “Now it’s my turn Yusai, that’s bullshit, and you know it.” I don’t even believe that he even invited her, and even if he did, that doesn’t mean she’ll come.
“Well you can’t really say I’m lying if you don’t show up.” I turned on my back, and stared at my ceiling thinking this over. It could be bait; it could just be bait to get me to go. I know that, but even though I know that. If I have a chance to see her I want to take it. I knew, from the quiet stir on the other side of the phone that he wasn’t bothered anymore. He had probably gone back to setting up for the party, and was no longer focusing his energy on trying to get me to go. “I mean it’s your choice. If you don’t want to. You don’t have to.” Yeah, he’s long forgotten about struggling with me. As I continued thinking my life over I could hear Reina, my sister, walking down the hallway. Her footsteps lightly pressed against the floor just hard enough to be heard. She wasn’t rushing. She surely wasn’t stressed. If I asked her if I could go, what would she say? I thought about it. I thought about going over to her, and asking her what she thought, but then I remembered what happened when I asked her things. Now I remember why I was refusing Yusai in the first place, because those little rules of conversation were just too much for me right now. “Just go.” Yusai said through the phone startling me a bit. It’s almost like he knew everything I was thinking. Well he should, he’s my best friend. “She’s your sister, not you warden. What’s she going to do if you leave? Call the cops?”
“Now you’re acting like you don’t even know Reina.” I chuckled, and he laughed with me. Even if Reina did call the police. All Yusai would have to do is call his dad and tell him it was a false alarm, and we could continue with our night. That’s the kind of privileges you get when you were born with a golden spoon in your mouth. My sister likes to joke that he’s so lucky that it’s like the world itself spoils him. “Alright, I’ll be there.” I sighed, and quickly jumped up from my bed, and then stumbling from getting up too fast. “Shit.” I hissed to myself. I said goodbye to Yusai, and reassured him again that I would be there. He better be right, and she better be there.
I looked in the mirror after I finished getting ready.I left the room, and began walking down the hall. The cream carpet that covered the hall and flowed down the stairs was going to be my path out of here. The only thing that was going to keep me from leaving is the door to the bathroom. If I can stay quite then the only one who will hear me is these ugly pastel green walls. I looked up, at the walls, and they had pictures of Reina and I from when we were little. Even though Reina was older than me she started off tall, and stayed short. In the picture on the wall she was tall, and she was smiling. Her golden hair framed her face, and her ivory green eyes shined back into the camera. I remember when that picture was taken. Everything was so much easier back then. Reina and I got along. We use to run around chasing each other, and our mom would call after us saying we were too loud, and if we wanted to play rough we’d have to play outside. While our dad would walk by and just shake his head before kissing my mom on the cheek. I guess not much has changed other than the fact that we fight, but we’re not playing and mother and father aren’t there to shake their heads at us.
Staring at the picture, I didn’t notice my sister come out of the bathroom. “Sage?” She called. Her towel was draped over her body. Her golden blonde hair that slunk down her sides. Her hair that use to spring and coil at the very touch was now lanky and limp. Her blue eyes that use to shine through like the bright light through my windows, have now been clouded by fog. Her smile wearily smirks like the other side of her lip is struggling on a cane to get up. If I wasn’t there while she changed into what she is today. I would have never recognized her. I would have passed her in the hall as she called my name. As she called out to something that reminded her of her past. Our past. “What are you doing out of your room? Is the house on fire or something?”
“Har. Har.” I mocked and continued walking by. “I’m going to Yusai’s house.” I said, and she stood in front of me, and wouldn’t let me pass. Her arms were crossed over the light pink towel. “Why aren’t you wearing clothes.” I asked, ignoring her annoyed behavior.
“Sage, I know you’re not planning to go out when you have finals tomorrow.” She said. Her tone was that stern kind that my mom used to do when dad came home late from work, or forgot to take the trash out. “You know your grades have been slipping a lot lately, and this is not the time to be slacking.” I told her I had, and she shook her head at me. “Then go to bed.” She said. “You need to get your sleep if you’re going to do well. Take a shower before you go to bed, and make sure you brush your teeth.”
"I'll take one in the morning." I said, obviously trying to leave out the annoyance in my voice, as I was slightly clenching my teeth trying not to yell at her. I slipped my hands in the pocket, and sighed. This is what I was trying to avoid. “Yusai needs me to go. So, I’m going.”
“Is Yusai going to take your test for you? Is Yusai going to take care of you when you don’t do well in school? Is Yusai going to stay with you if you’re not as successful as him? Do you think he’s always going to hold himself back for you? Sage, your grades are important. More than any party, or any night. Take one tonight, and go to bed.”
"I SAID. I'll take one in the morning!" She stood quietly as she stared at me. Her lip bitten. Her eyes quickly shifted to the picture on the wall. The picture I had been staring at, and that got me caught in this mess. The picture that makes me remember why we never got along. Ever since our mom got sick, she became this way, and then when it was our dad, she just got even worse. I'm not a little kid anymore. I can make decisions for myself. “Why don’t you worry about yourself for once. “I walked past her and she pulled at my jacket, and I instantly slipped it off. She called for me again, and I ran down the stairs, and through the door. I broke the rules of conversation, and I ended it.
The nights had been getting warmer lately with the approach of summer coming. It was late out, and I could see all the stars shining across the sky, or as many as I could with everyone keeping all their lights on. Yusai’s got some nerve dragging me out of the house at this hour. I could be finishing a season of this anime that I recently found that’s good, but no, I have to walk myself all the way to his house for a party. That I’m only going to, because I really want to see that girl in my math class.
My phone started to vibrated, and I dug into my pocket fishing it out. “Yello.” I answered, and it was Yusai asking me if I was almost here. “Yeah, I’m on my way.” I replied. “Just had to escape the warden first.” I slightly chuckled, and I could almost hear him smile. He told me to hurry up, or he wasn’t going to save a single beer for me, and I told him I didn’t care. He ended with a we’ll see about that, and hung up. I was left to continue my way to Yusai’s house, but luckily he was only a few blocks away. I walked this next couple blocks down. The music the only thing that can keep me company. After a few moments of walking I made it to Yusai’s house. I knocked, and I heard him knock on the door back. “I know you’re here Yusai, open the door.”
“What’s the password?” He said in a goofy voice. “How do I know this is Sage, and not just someone who’s mad that they didn’t get invited.” He said.
“You have got to be kidding me.” I rolled my eyes, and then laughed that he couldn’t see it. Then he told me he saw me from the whole in his door. “I don’t know; how would I know a password that you’ve never told me about?”
“I think you know all too well.” He said. “Just guess.”
I thought about it. I thought about the last few times I had seen him, and what we had been talking about, and I couldn’t think of anything that would be relevant to this. I decided to bow to him, and crossed my arm over my stomach. “Please Sir Yusai, let me in your god forsaken house before I kick your jaw in.”
He laughed as he opened the door, and was holding his head in disbelief. “It’s King Yusai, but close enough.” He said, and calmed down his laughter enough to wave to me to come in. I did, not bothering to take off my shoes, because whatever was clean now, wouldn’t be clean after tonight.
“Why did you Invite me here so early, and then rush me like I was going to be late?” I asked. I looked around at the house that was cleaned and decorated. His house, that had at least 3 stories to it not counting the basement and the attic. His house that had been painted white on the outside, but red and brown on the inside. With brown being the color of his carpet. The kind of soft carpet that made you want to walk around without your shoes on. It’s the kind of carpet that Yusai demanded that they have when he was five, and like the spoiled child he was, that’s what he got. “Nobody’s even here. You losing your popularity or something.” I teased pulling his ear.
He cringed pulling away from me, and I chuckled. “I wish.” He muttered. “I wanted to spend some time with you, and talk to you before everyone got here. Not that I’m planning to ignore you, but you know how people like to drag me away with their needs.” He said, and I shook my head at him. “What?” He said eyeing me suspiciously, and I muttered back at him telling him that it was nothing.
Dragged away by people he claims. He means people as in Veora. “Yeah, I know.” I told him. I wanted to be understanding with him, but my tone was as unconvinced as he was that I was. He didn’t pressure me with talking about it. He never did. There was always that unspoken truth between our friendship. That Reina was right. He was going to get so caught up in himself that he’d end up leaving me behind. I know that, and yet, I don’t care.
We walked until we got to the kitchen, and Yusai handed me a beer. I reached for it, and he pulled his hand back. “Are you sure you can have this? You sure Reina isn’t going to drug and alcohol test you when you get back?” He smirked, and I snatched it from his hand. “Oh, don’t care huh? She catches you it’ll be a punishment worse than jail.”
“Shut up already.” I said opening my beer with the can opener, and nudging him in the process. “If she gave me any kind of test she would have actually caught on that I’m drinking.”
“I don’t know, man.” He shook his head. “She probably already knows, and is just humoring you, and letting you think you’re slick.” He laughed.
“Then either way, she’ll deal with it.” I shrugged, and took a sip of the beer. The stinging liquid ran down my throat as the thought of my fight with Reina was already running out of my mind. It was quiet as we drank our beers, and Yusai started searching through his fridge for snacks to set out. “Why are you even having a party? It’s the day before finals. How many people are actually going to show?”
“There’s a lot of people that would jump off a bridge if I invited them to come with me.” He smiled to himself. “You’re here aren’t you.” I stopped taking a sip of my beer to glare at him, and he laughed.
“You know I’m not here for you.” I rolled my eyes. “You told me she’d be here.”
“Yeah, about that.” His voice mumbled, and I moved closer, and asked him to explain himself, because if this was going where I think it’s going. He never invited her, as I thought. “Well,” He began, scratching the back of his head. “I did ask her; I swear on my dog- "
“You don’t have a dog.” I interrupted.
“Well, then I’ll get a dog, and then I’ll swear on it.” He said, “Now listen. I invited her sister, and she told me that she didn’t think her parents would be letting her out tonight, but she’d try to sneak out if she could, but that’s only because I told her some guy she liked would be here. I didn’t say he would be here. She asked if he was going, and I said ‘Why wouldn’t he? Everyone was going to be here.’ I told her to bring her sister, and she looked almost pissed off with me.”
“They’re sisters?” I asked, and he rolled his eyes at me, and asked how I didn’t notice. “What do you mean? They look nothing alike.”
“Because they’re adopted siblings.” He breathed out, as he continued fiddling with things around his house. “Not everyone can be twins like you and Reina.” He huffed pushing a table out of the way. “If someone breaks this, I might actually have some consequences to face for this.” I couldn’t even be mad at Yusai for, whatever he considered it, lying to me. I had expected and accepted this possibility long before I had gotten here, but to say that I wasn’t a little upset; that would also be lying. “Can’t you help me with this.” He struggled through his teeth pulling at the table. I stood there for a second. Why should I help him? He’s lied to me, caused me to have a fight with my sister, and is going to leave me walking around his party aimlessly, because he only wanted to be comfortable knowing I had also listened to him, and came to his party. Why should I even stay here the rest of the night. “Sage, are you gonna help me or not?”
I placed my beer down on the kitchen counter, and walked over to the other side of the table. “On three.” I started, and we both stared at each other. Waiting for the motion that the other one would start. Why would I help him even after all he’s ever done? “One.” Because he’s my friend “Two.” My best friend. “Three.” And that’s that.
Authors note: Thank you so much for reading. Subscribe for more updates. like if you liked it so I know you did, and comment if you want to be tagged in later updates! Bella will post her picture sometime later today. She wasn't ready but I wanted to get this chapter out, because I've been bursting to all week! Let me know what you guys thought! I hope you will continue reading. Until next week!