Pause (Book 1)

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Chapter 41: The Anti-Jayeela Club

Jay and I stand out in the cold evening air, watching the tree house fill with colorful lights from inside as a massive party takes place, the music blaring loud for the entire neighborhood to hear. Well it’s clear that there is no way Jay and I will be able to sleep tonight with this racket. But Slobber, on the other hand, is sleeping soundlessly in Jay’s bed. The little rascal sniffed out Jay’s scent and took a liking to Jay’s bed which obviously led to Jay rubbing it in my face. Even my own puppy can’t help but not like Jay. There’s just always been something about him that draws in people, babies, animals, anything living really.

“He wasn’t kidding about the house party then?” Jay asks, well more like states, “I knew it was a mistake letting him stay here.”

“Yeah, I mean can you believe he never invited us to his party?” I pout, stomping my foot like an unhappy child. I’m still not over it.

“You still on about that? This is my property and he didn’t even ask my permission. Screw not being invited.” Jay frowns for a moment, “Stuff that, I’m going up there right now.”

“I wouldn’t if I were you. This morning he practically shoved me out his stupid tree house.” I warn Jay but my warning falls on deaf ears as Jay climbs up the ladder and barges in, banging the door to the tree house open.

I watch from the bottom, intrigued to see if he’d pull it off. There’s some arguing, some crashing sounds, more noise, until finally Jay is kicked out and the door is slammed shut in his face.

Jay mutters curses as he climbs down the ladder and approaches me with a sheepish look, “I hate Gland.” He grumbles and I giggle at this.

“Don’t take it personally. Obviously this little get together Oog has is-“

“There’s at least fifty people crammed inside there. No little get together in sight.” Jay interrupts, correcting my misconceptions of ‘little’.

I cross my arms stubbornly, “How is Oog so popular? You, I understand, but me? Why didn’t he invite me?”

“Who cares?” Jay shrugs as his thinking face comes on. He turns to me with a sly mischievous grin, “Out of ten, how good are you at breaking and entering or crashing parties?”

My specialty…

I tap my chin in mock thought before answering him, “Five hundred and sixty four.”

I like being oddly specific.

“Hey Jay, Aqueela! Do you guys maybe have glasses we can borrow for drinks up here? Oog broke all of his.” Jay and I turn around simultaneously to see that it’s Boss Man talking to us from up above in the tree house.

“He broke them again!” Jay mutters at the same time I shout, “Boss Man got invited before we did!” My mouth falls agape and my eyes widen in disbelief.

“It’s Greg, Aqueela.” Boss Man reminds me but I’m not hearing it , not now.

“Oog has the audacity to ask for glasses when he won’t even let us in in his party?” I ask, astounded by his nerve. He only has this tree house because of me.

“Don’t shoot the messenger.” Boss Man holds his hands up in surrender before returning back up the ladder and into the tree house yet again.

I believe in shooting the messenger.

I turn to Jay with a scowl, “Your boss gets invited before us. What is this? I thought Oog loved us.” I stomp my foot in aggravation. “It must be you. I can do no wrong in his eyes or anyone’s for that matter.”

Jay scoffs, “Yeah right.”

I ignore him and take out my cellphone, dial ling Max. He answers after a few rings, “Yellow!”

I’m open my mouth to greet him, but stop short when I hear all the background noise coming from his side of the line. So instead of returning the greeting, I ask skeptically, “Where are you right now?” I can vaguely hear music playing and I match it to the music I hear playing up in Oog’s tree house. “Are you at a party Max?” I prod further, putting the pieces together.

His breathing suddenly quickens from his side as if he’s panicking, “Look Aqueela, I got to go. Talk later, yeah?” He says before hanging up, leaving me hanging.

I frown, dialing him again to find that he switched off his phone. He’s up there at Oog’s party! That son of a-

“So I’m assuming all our friends are probably up there then?” Jay asks more than states, cutting me off from my thoughts.

“Nah duh.” I answer just as Boss Man steps out again, climbing down the ladder to get extra glasses from Jay’s house without Jay’s permission. Oog has a terrible habit of breaking things. Jay’s had to buy new cutlery several times this month. I begin to grin as an idea comes to mind. “Gregory!” I call over to him.

He raises an eyebrow before cautiously treading over to us. “Did you just call me Gregory?” He asks, “And not Boss Man?”

I nod at him, my eyes falling on his shirt next. I frown, just about to ask him when Jay does, “Greg, what the hell are you wearing?”

Greg follows our movement as he glances down to his own shirt. It’s a picture of Jay and I. There’s a big red circle around our faces with a big red cross going directly through our faces. Greg meets our eyes with a sheepish grin, “Yeah…uh…” He falters mid-sentence.

Under the circle is the words ’#AntiJayeela’ inscribed on the shirt. Is this trending on Twitter too?

I take a daring step forward as I glare at him, “Tell us Gregory…” I whisper in an intimidating voice, “What exactly is going on up there? Mhmm?” I say, grabbing hold of the collar of his shirt and threatening him as I bring him nearer to me.

He holds his hands up in surrender as I release him, backing away, “Okay.” He breathes, “Oog is hosting the ’Anti-Jayeela Club’, but you two do not wanna go up there. Trust me.”

Jay speaks my exact thoughts, “I’m not following.”

Greg sighs, “Listen, the password to get in is ’Jayeela sucky suck suck’. But you never heard it from me.” He tries to escape us, but Jay’s quick to pull him back. Oog so made up that password.

“What the hell is going on?” Jay mutters before dragging Greg and I after him, locking Greg up in his house with sleeping Slobber whilst we work on getting inside that tree house. Jay doesn’t wait for me as he begins ascending the ladder again. I assume he’s got a plan, so I climb up after him.

Gland opens the door when Jay knocks, “Password?” Gland asks, despite seeing that it’s Jay and I.

I speak up, “Jayeela sucky suck suck.” I answer, giving the password so than can give us access into the house.

Gland glances from Jay and I peculiarly as if suspicious. “You two look awfully familiar?”

“They do, don’t they?” I turn to see a second bouncer beside Gland and it just so happens to be Bells. The traitor!

They’re both dressed in black with fierce looks on their faces, taking their job as bouncers way to seriously.

“Is this really necessary? You both know it’s us. This is childish. Just let us in Gland! Bells!” Jay exclaims, exasperated by all of this as Bells and Gland keep up their façade.

“I can assure you, neither of you know us. We’re just here to enjoy the ‘Anti-Jayeela Club’ is all.” I reply, lying, whilst Jay rolls his eyes at us, choosing not to humour Gland and Bells any further in these simpleton antics like I had been doing.

I’m really not surprised that Bells is one of the bouncers. It’s in her nature. She’s probably more scary than Gland when she gets into these kinds of things.

“If you say so Eela.” Gland responds, opening the door for us, “I mean…person whom I don’t know.” Gland corrects himself quickly, allowing us entrance as he and Bells step aside.

“This is stupid.” Jay comments from beside me, but I’m not listening to him any more. Instead, I’m staring at all these people at this party and they’re all wearing the same shirt that Greg had been wearing. Jay must see it too, “Why does it feel like we just stepped into an occult? One that’s based solely on destroying us?”

I spin around on the spot, my eyes taking in all these familiar faces and they’re all having such a blast. Most are playing games. My eyes land on the dart board to see that in the center of the dartboard is a picture of me and the bulls-eye happens to be my eye within the picture.

Suddenly, a dart hits the bulls-eye, as in the picture of my eye, and I can’t help but gasp aloud. Who would play these twisted games? There’s one with Jay’s eyes too. “Awe yeah baby! Nailed it!” a voice shouts above the music, ecstatic that he’d got the bulls-eye.

I should have known…

My eyes fall on Benley as he smirks proudly at his achievement to the girl beside him, no doubt trying to impress her through his dart skills. He’s also wearing the bloody shirt! Traitor! He doesn’t notice Jay and I watching all of this take place.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so confused in my life. What the hell is going on here?

“Aqueela.” Jay calls me, nodding at a group of people playing ‘would you rather’ on the couches Jay had bought for Oog.

It’s then I see Blubber and Simo within the ‘would you rather’ group. Blubber takes his turn, “Simo, would you rather eat Jay or Aqueela or kill both?”

Simo doesn’t even think about it before answering, “Simo eat Sprinkle. She delicious.” Simo waggles his eyebrows suggestively as Blubber agrees, nodding.

I glance sideways back to Jay, “Please tell me that you’re just as lost as I am?”

Jay shrugs carelessly, “I never really know what’s happening when I’m with you. You’re an insanity magnet. I’m used to weird things happening when you’re close by.”

I would feel offended if he weren’t right.

I tug Jay and pull him toward the pool table. All the pool balls have pictures of Jay and I on. I watch in horror as someone sinks the ball with Jay’s face on. The guy turns with a boastful grin, running a hand through his short blonde hair. “You ladies check that? I sunk the hard head.” The guy says, winking at the girls surrounding the pool table to watch him play. He’d just insulted Jay purposely.

Xavier?!

Upon seeing him, Jay loses it, “That’s it. I’m gonna kill him.” Jay says through clenched teeth before taking a bold courageous step forward, his hate for Xavier evident.

I’m quick to yank him back, “Not yet. Don’t blow our cover just yet.”

“What cover? We’re not disguised. They’re all bound to notice us eventually.” Jay grumbles, grumpy as always. However, he does have a valid pint.

Then there’s Feebee and Jam playing pin the tail on the Aqueela’s face. They’re also supporting this ‘Anti-Jayeela Campaign’. Even Dylan and Bex are here, playing spin the bottle on Jay’s face. Melinda, Mason and Lai playing twister on our faces. But the worst is Emma and her brother Landon. How does Oog even know them? Anyways, they’re just talking, gulping down Jayeela shots. I thought those two would at least be on my side.

What is a Jayeela shot in any case?

But it’s when my eyes land on bloody Max Mills that I begin to lose it. I mean Max, really? Max is suppose to be on my side. Yes, Bells is my best friend, but she’s that crazy friend that will betray you (jokingly of course) in a heart beat. I expected more from Max though. He’s suppose to be loyal.

He, himself, is eating cookies with my face on. He’s also downing a Jayeela shot from a small glass with the same logo as on his shirt. My eyes find a name tag around his neck. The idiot works here, as in he’s in on all of this with Oog.

There are countless people supporting this campaign, people who I know and people who I’ve never seen in my life.

That’s the last straw, I lose it. I march straight up to Max with a scowl that can kill and whack the shot he’d been about to drink right out of his hands. The drink goes spilling everywhere. Max, frightened, looks up to finally meet my eyes and Jay’s too. He offers us a scared yet sheepish smile as he greets us, “Well hey there guys. Last place I was expecting to see you two.”

“Has everyone forgotten that this is my property? This…” Jay motions to the tree house as a whole, “is literally my backyard.” Jay reminds Max.

I don’t even bother to wait to hear Max’s reply before I stalk off, gathering Benley, Simo and Blubber. I pull Blubber by the ear as he complains the entire way that he’d been winning the game.

I bring them back to Max and Jay before hitting Benley upside the head hard, “I expected more from you.” I then turn to Simo and Bubber, “I can’t say the same for you two.”

I thought Benley and I had bonded from our mall trip. Guess he’s still angry that I got us taken into custody. Can’t blame the guy.

Benley shrugs, his expression morphing into an innocent one, “I like parties. Never miss them.”

I glower at him and Max too, “You two are suppose to be above this.”

Benley, clearly ashamed, adverts his eyes with a low mumble, “I am.” He insists as he places his hand deep in his pockets, seemingly shy as he rocks on the heels of his shoes, “Sometimes.”

My gaze leaves Benley and flickers over to Max to see that he’s not even paying attention to my lecture. Instead he absentmindedly takes another bite out of the biscuit with my face on. “Max Mills!” I scold him, “Did you not just listen to what I said. Put it down!” I eye the rest of the cookie in his hands.

Max pouts and shakes his head like a little tot with wide eyes, “But it’s so good. Can’t resist. Too powerful.” He moans as he quickly takes another bite, crumbs flaying everywhere.

I snatch the last bit of his cookie out of his hands. I squish it in the pal of my hands and chuck the crumbs aside on Benley by accident.

Max is still chewing on his last bite. I watch him with an intense glare as he stiffens and chews more slowly, feeling awkward with my gaze struck upon him. I raise a ‘don’t you dare’ eyebrow at him. He stops chewing altogether, afraid of my wrath, his cheeks full with cookie that he resembles a hamster.

“Swallow that and I’m never speaking to you again.” I warn him, testing his loyalty. Max hesitates before he starts to chew again. I give him a look, “Don’t you dare swallow it Max! I will end you.”

Max pauses before reluctantly spewing the last of the chewed cookie out onto the floor.

Jay groans aloud at the disgusting sight, “You just had to force him not throw it up, didn’t you?”

But I’m pleased. Max obeyed me.

“I think I’m going to puke.” Blubber comments as he runs for Oog’s bathroom.

I stop paying attention when I scan the tree house again, my eyes falling on his face from his usual dark corners.

Grey.

Of course he’d be here.

I grab Jay’s hand and drag him to the table where Grey and a few others I don’t recognize are sitting at. “Even your best friend is here.” I tell Jay, Grey’s head snapping in terror up at hearing my voice.

Grey smirks as his dark eyes find me, “Wondering when you’d find a way in here. But the rules state that you two…” Grey grins at Jay in greeting, “are restricted from this club seeing as you two are the sole reason it even exists.”

“Hey man, what is going on? Please enlighten me.” Jay asks Grey, completely confused.

“Oog started it with Max, Bella and Gland’s help. People are sick of you two dragging them all down with you. Whenever you two are together, something bad happens to one of those you know. You two together equals bad omen, a disaster waiting to happen. People are against the both of you ever being together. Hence the ‘Anti-Jayeela Club’. They don’t hate you necessarily as individuals, but they hate you when together. Me, I’m just here for the hating Aqueela part only.” Grey explains to Jay before flashing me a sinister glare.

I roll my eyes at him, “Are you still on about that whole hating me thing? Not over it yet?”

Grey retorts back, “Are you over being crazy yet?” I shake my head, “Then no, I’m not over it.” He finalizes.

“Your move Grey.” The other guy sitting at the table breaks us from our conversation.

My eyes land on the table to see that they’re both gambling and with ‘Anti-Aqueela’ tokens only. Grey makes a move. His opponent sighs before handing Grey all the cash sitting in the center of the table.

Grey won.

Grey turns to me with a cunning grin, “Thanks to your hate club, I just scored money. Perhaps I’ll thank you for it one day. But I wouldn’t hold your breath.”

I glare at him just as a small band starts playing from the center of the room. Oog is in the band. I listen to the lyrics as they sing, “If you hate Jayeela, Jaqueela, Jay with Aqueela, wave your hands up in the air-“

I’m shocked when everyone actually begins to wave their hands back and forth through the air.

Oog takes over from the singer and begins to rap terrible lyrics about Jay. Grey frowns at this, but when Oog raps terrible lyrics about me, then he grins and says that it’s his favourite part to the song.

I go up and ask Oog what his problem is. Shocked to see that I got in, he growls at me before the bouncers, Bells and Gland try to escort me back out. I put up a fight until they give in and all explain how Jay and I have made their lives hell at some point or another.

“Oog sick of Eela and Jay fighting or loving. Oog confused. Eela and Jay hot and cold with each other all time. Oog get no attention no more. Oog mad. Oog want Jay and Eela to leave lone each other.”

This leads to a massive intervention in the name of Aqueela and Jay’s misdoings. They’re all actually holding an intervention for us.

Bells starts us off as Jay and I listen tentatively, “I was kidnapped. My boyfriend broke up with me. I like you two together, but you’re both not suited for each other. We all keep getting dragged into insane plot twists when you two are together. I think it’s just best you two call quits on each other once and for all.”

Mason’s goes next, “I just don’t like you two together.” Laiken backs his best friend Mason up.

Figures as much Mason would say that.

Laiken backs his best friend Mason up with no valid reasoning, but none the less, he doesn’t like Jayeela either. So that’s our ship name now huh?

Melinda’s next in the circle that had formed to speak her mind, “Jay can do better than Drowned Rat.”

Grey adds his input, “I must concur with this intelligent hypothesis.”

Okay, so at least we all know why Grey is here: To make his hate for me known to the entire world.

“Plus, Drowned Rat threw a stapler at my head once.” Melinda adds, shooting Grey a flirty smile to which he purposely turns a blind eye too.

People gasp at this. It was an accident. I had been aiming to hit Max. Speaking of which, he goes next, “It’s just back and forth with you two. Going in circles all the time. It’s bloody exhausting. I mean just today I had to bail Aqueela out of mall prison-“

Jay and Bells begin to lecture me after hearing this.

Thanks Max! Thanks!

Max sends me an apologetic look before zipping his mouth closed.

Xavier goes next, using an argument similar to Melinda, “Kitten can do better than Jay.”

Grey scoffs aloud at this, “Doubt it. I’m just here because I hate Lawson and she needs to be euthanized.”

So mean!

“Sprinkle do better with Simo.” Simo adds as he grins at me.

“Nah uh. With me. I know she digs me.” Blubber winks at me suggestively. This kid can’t catch a hint.

“My brother and I aren’t part of this. We were just told to attend so the club looks like it has more people.” Emma explains just as others begin to pipe in and agree with her, saying that they didn’t even know who Jay and I were.

Dylan speaks next, “Bex and I just came out my ice-cream store before black sacks were thrown over our heads. Next thing we know, we’re up in this tree house.” Oog really went the entire mile with them. “I’d like to point out that we were kidnapped because of you two, defeating the purpose of this damn club.” Dylan gestures to Jay and I as if it’s all our fault Oog ransacked them both.

FeeBee stands up and waves at all of us, “Hi, my name is FeeBee and I’m an alcoholic-“

“It’s not a support group FeeBee. It’s an intervention.” Bells forces Feebs back down into her seat.

“Has anyone seen my man Greg?” Gland pipes up. “He went for glasses and just never came back.”

Jay and I have seen him indeed.

We gagged Greg and tied his hands before stuffing him into the kitchen cupboard. I tap my chin in mock thought, “Um…no.” I lie to Gland. “Haven’t seen him.”

Benley shakes his head at me, “Liar.” He can read me.

“I hate you two.” A random guy in the crowd points an accusing finger at Jay and I.

“Do we know you?” Jay asks.

The guy seems offended at Jay’s question, “That’s why I hate you two. You don’t even remember what you both did.”

I roll my eyes at him and shush him, “Yeah whatever random guy. No one cares. Cry us an ocean.”

Jay stands up all of a sudden with a frown laced on his perfect lips, “I’m outta here.” Jay states before turning to me, “You coming Aqueela?”

I nod, quickly scrambling to my feet. “It seems we’re not welcome here.”

“Don’t be like that Aqueela. That’s not what we meant.” Max says, but I ignore him as I follow Jay out the hate tree house.

I hadn’t realized that Jay and I being together cause so much problems for everyone else. I mean we’re not even together together and we’re already causing issues.

“Can you believe those people?!” I huff, frustrated with my so called friends as Jay and I stand outside his house and below Oog’s tree house. “But maybe they’re right. Maybe we’re not good for each-“

“We are.” Jay cuts me off in a fierce voice.

Taken aback by his answer, I freeze in place, “What did you say?”

“Never mind.” Jay answers, brushing it aside as if what he said doesn’t matter.

“Okay.” I sigh, dropping it.

There’s a few moments of silence as Jay watches me carefully as if studying me, “Aqueela?” He finally breaks the silence.

“Mhmmm.” I answer absentmindedly as I stare up at the dark sky.

“I think it’s time we go out.” Jay suggests softly.

I nod, “Yeah. I agree. I’m tired of being indoors and it’s been forever since I’ve left this house for something other than school-“

“On a date.” Jay clarifies nonchalantly, his bottomless blue eyes straying from me as he walks on ahead as if without a care in the world.

I stiffen. “Wait what?” I ask, confused and flustered at the same time.

Jay turns back and gives me one final lingering blue stare that has me blushing, “You heard me.

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