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Chapter 22

Chapter 22

"You really did take like five hours," I complain, glancing at AJ sitting beside me in the passenger seat. Granted, she does look good in the white halter shirt and black jeans she's now wearing. The heels just add to her appeal.

"An hour, Benjy," she corrects me with a glowing smile, "don't over exaggerate." 

It felt excruciatingly long.

I take my eyes off of the road for a second again to watch her watch the passing scenery. "What are you thinking about?" I ask her, wishing that I could read her mind. 

"Too many things," she says quietly, meeting my gaze. "I just wonder," she starts hesitantly, doubt clouding her blue eyes, "if you're as serious about me as I am about you." She continues when I don't say anything, "I just don't want to be the one investing more than thee other, if you get what I mean."

I invested way more in the relationship than Bex ever did, thus I lost more than she ever did.

I nod, focusing my attention on the streets again. "I get what you mean." I sigh heavily. "I'm working my way there. I just need you to be patient with me," I admit. As of right, I'm not putting my whole self into this thing, not yet.

"I'm known to be a very patient person when waiting for something that's worth it," she replies, sending me a playful wink before looking out of the window again, leaving me wondering why I'm holding back.


"Oh my freaken word, Benley!" AJ stands on her tippy-toes and shakes my shoulders in exhilaration. "This has to be the best date I've ever been on!" She yells into my ear above the noise, her eyes on the massive poster board with the Dung Beetles' faces on. "How did you even get tickets to this concert?"

I wonder how many dates she's actually been on...

"It was very easy considering that they're terrible and hardly have any fans left," I explain to her. The fact that I'm doing this should prove how much I like this girl. It's saying a lot seeing as I hate the Dung Beetles. 

Maybe I'm investing more than I realize.

AJ has no idea the trouble I've gone through to get us here -- Oog wouldn't even give me a discount on the freaken tickets that no one with normal functioning ears would want to buy. The jerk upped the price of the backstage passes just for me, on Gland's demand, so I had to skip on that one -- AJ would have loved to meet them in person. It's better I spare her the disappointment.

"That's not possible. They're brilliant!" AJ says, tugging me into the empty concert arena. There's literally only about ten, maybe twelve, other people inside -- one of them being FeeBee, the stupid blonde.

"I don't even know if they're considered famous anymore," I tell AJ, strongly disagreeing with her absurd opinions. She's gotta be tone deaf. It's the only explanation I can think of.

"Of course they are!" She argues, fiercely loyal to the trashy band.

I refuse to tell her that I know these morons. I have enough embarrassing 'friends' as is -- cough, cough, Troy. Besides, I just know that Gland will find a way to undermine me in front of her. The guy hates me for no valid reason whatsoever.


She silences me with a sharp look before I can protest. 

As if on cue, the lights dim and everyone, that being the small crowd, stops talking. I internally groan, not in the mood for this crap. The lengths AJ forces me to go to...

"Ssh! Quiet! Shut up! Shut up! Stop talking!" AJ snaps at me, her excitement getting the better of her.

I roll my eyes at her. "I wasn't even talking."

"You were breathing too loud," she replies in all seriousness before squealing in joy as the three idiots shoot up from underneath the stage. "That's them!" She states the obvious, absentmindedly pinching my arm in enthusiasm.

"Now to present to you the band all twenty of you have been waiting for..." the host makes his appearance, hyping up the small crowd, "the Dung Beetles!"  

Instead of chants and cheering, the stupid band is met with one or two claps followed by more silence. Unsurprisingly, AJ's the only shouting crazily at the top of her lungs for them. Oog makes her in the crowd and winks at her. In turn, she just about dies.

"Seriously?" I can't help but scoff when the three noobs walk in slow motion through colored stage smoke until their hideous faces are revealed to the people.

"I'm so excited!" AJ squeaks before giggling.

I have to grin down at her. "Really, 'cause I didn't notice."

"Oog is cute but Gland is my favorite," AJ tells me once she manages to calm the heck down.

Of course he is!

"How ironic," I grumble angrily, "he's my least favorite," I finish, taking in their ridiculous costumes -- dung...just balls of dung.

"He's the most talented," AJ informs me.

"Please, I can sing, dj and drum better than all of them put together, especially Gland," I argue, still bitter about past incidents.

"Give them a chance," AJ pleads with me. "Try vibing with them."

I shake my head. "That's the last thing I want to do. No vibing to be done here. No mixing of vibes. I don't want to vibe with them. No vibes. I don't want their creepy vibes. I don't want my vibes mingling with their vibes."

AJ slaps a hand over my mouth when they start their first awful song, one of many awful songs.

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