It was early morning when Andy found herself awakening to the darkness of her room, unsure of what had awoken her. Perhaps it was the same thing that woke Vincent in the nights, an overwhelming feeling to get something beautiful out.
The red head haphazardly threw on her glasses, eyes struggling to adjust at the ability to see so early. She slumped over to her desk, opening her laptop.
The freckled girl was blinded by the light that was cast upon her tired face. It almost felt as if she could breathe again as she saw her background, an image encompassing all of her friends at that bonfire that lovely words were told.
The pieces which Andy was the most proud of were her compositions of various images she had captured. Her latest was the largest piece she had ever worked on.
It mainly consisted of various blues. It was the ocean, a view with a grey sea eagle. This work, however, was not one picture to create the scene. It was hundreds of photos of the sky collected together to make the expansive artwork.
She was at her work for hours, time ticking by in such gentle minutes.
There were dark circles underneath her eyelids that she had anticipated as she joined her male friends at their shared apartment, preparing to go to the nearby park for a picnic that Sloane had organised.
Though the female brunette wouldn’t admit it, she was terrified that soon, they were all going to leave one another in some way or another. She was doing her best to stop the clock with her closest friends by her side.
Vincent, in his apartment, was doing his best to entertain the small group with tales of his antics whilst they prepared the picnic basket.
“- I have huffed a pixie stick, actually. I don’t recommend it. My nose was tingly for hours!”
The male brunette’s lover merely blinked at the brown eyed boy, staring incredulously with the rest of her friends for a moment before she spoke, “I was there, Vince. We were all there. That was last week.”
Vincent pouted at the group of 3, folding his arms over his chest defensively, “All I ask is for an audience. But can any of you do that? No. Sloane would have laughed. She’s the one I should have fallen for.”
In the corner of his chocolate eyes, he felt the stare of Sloane’s lover, icy and threatening. No one dared to talk about Parker’s baby, not when there was a knife in his hand.
The red head shook her head at her partner’s antics, knowing his persistent habit of trying to piss Parker off would end in a way that was not favourable to the writer and the photographer.
Just as Andy was to find some way to distract the gentle giant from her idiot of a boyfriend, she noticed some strange antics in the way he cut the food for the picnic.
“Parker why are you cutting the apple slices into cubes?”
“It’s the only way Vincent and Mark will eat them.” Parker’s expression was unchanging as he just blinked at the girl. Andy’s jaw had mentally dropped, the thought of his selflessness only Sloane got to witness, “What?”
“How do you know this?”
Parker shrugged a shoulder at the same time there was a hearty tuned knock to the door, “I know how to make them eat their 3 and 5 a day”
The conversation was left at that blatantly un-Parker statement as he opened the door to Sloane and Bea, taking extra care to hold his beloved with his lips pressing softly against her forehead as gentle words were whispered between them.
By the door, there was a painting on the wall, one prompted by a spark. Andy recognized it immediately as Sloane’s watercolour work. A tree that had been shaken by lightning.
Andy had always known deep down that Parker cared. He just didn’t care to show it. He did all he could to make those around him happy, because she knew, at some point if a needle had dropped in the wrong room, Parker wouldn’t be alive.
Parker was a lot stronger of a man than he let anyone think. He played the cold man, but his heart was too warm to let it last.
In the lush green grass of the park, however, the apartment and the secrets of its tenants were forgotten as they ate pastries and sandwiches. Sloane did her best to try to teach Vincent how to cartwheel with very little success. His final result was similar to that of a five year old.
“Beautifully done, Vincie!” Bea cheered as Vincent committed to his final cartwheel, almost faceplanting, but catching himself just in time to pose like an Olympic gymnast with dirty hands.
He bowed ceremoniously to the group, “I truly am a talented man, I know”
Vincent found his place next to his cherry blonde girl, who took the immediate initiative to wipe his hands for him, knowing for certain that he would taunt Mark, the closeted clean-fanatic, with them later had she not done otherwise.
“How’s the apartment search, Bea?” Sloane asked as she dropped back down to the picnic blanket in the arms of her lover.
“Hard. Everything is expensive. Every place I would need a roommate for it to be remotely affordable. I just need a super hot girlfriend and I’ll be able to live great.”
“Your mother would just love that, wouldn’t she?” Mark commented with a sneer to the woman he thought of.
Mark was the only one of the Bea’s male friends to have met the blonde beauty’s mother, and to say he wasn’t a fan of her would be a massive understatement. Mark was a gentle man, but something about Bea’s mother wanted to change that.
The way she smiled to viciously to her own daughter disgusted him. It reminded him of a man he now longer related himself to.
Bea had always thought it was just her being sensitive with her mothers stare, but Mark’s guarantee really set her mind straight (or so to speak. Bea was as gay as a woman could get).
A smirk reached the girl’s lips, “She can stick her problems with it right up her arse for all I care. Get a scratch up her butthole.”
“That’s my girl” Sloane grinned to her friend who had been burned many times for her love. She was proud that Bea was leaning to be herself again.
“I wouldn’t ever want a scratch in my butt. That would hurt” Vincent murmured in misunderstanding.
“that’s the point, hon” Sloane whispered to Vincent, his eyes widening at the new information he received.
“Oh! Well, then, yes,” He took it upon himself to raise his glass, “To Bea’s mother. We hope you get a scratch up the backside naughties because you’re a bitch.”
“Cheers to that” were the words that left each of their lips, as they drank simultaneously and laughed along to the sound of Vincent gargling his drink to give it 'extra flavour'.
Both Mark and Vince were munching on the cut apples as conversation continued easily, causing a small smile to reach Parker’s face as he watched his two best friends eating healthily.
“You know what? Let’s cheers to the moments we’ve all had together. I wouldn’t be happy without you all, and for that I am forever grateful. No matter what’s to come, I’ll always have the strength of these fond memories” Parker announced, lifting his glass towards his lover, a proud smile on his lips that bloomed in the eyes of Sloane.
There was a moment of silence, all in awe at Parker’s words. All but Sloane, whose eyes sparkled with the love she had learned.
Andy was the first to raise her glass in return to the statement, slipping her fingers through Vincent's in her empty hand, “Cheers to happiness”
Mark was the one to raise an extra glass for their missing piece, Clara.
A tear slipped from Sloane’s eye as she sipped at her drink after the ceremonious clinking. She wasn't sure what the tear was for, as she watched the love she had for her friends beaming in the park. This quiet cry that slipped, however, knew much better than she did.
They would all be okay.