You’re one and only girl,
Never leave my side,
Let’s stay together,
Spread our wings and glide”
‘Angeleyed’, Alpha Centauri
“La-La-La-La! La-La-La-La! Elmo’s World!”
The furry, bright red monster puppet danced across the screen, clapping its hands jubilantly and bobbing its head in time to its shrill, jarring voice. I stared at the screen in horror and gripped the arms of my chair tightly. There was something about watching Elmo sing and dance on TV that made me want to jump in and strangle the thing. He or she was just so irritating. Ugh.
“Eden?” Kelsey whispered and closed the door gently behind her.
I hastily loosened my grip on the chair and folded them over my chest. The last thing I needed was Kelsey realizing that Elmo made me uneasy. She didn’t look at it, but the girl sure could talk anything out of anyone and spread it around like the plague if she wanted to. She couldn’t even keep a secret either. This, sadly, I had to learn the hard way.
She stood there, hugging her clipboard tightly against her chest, as if she were afraid that someone would come and steal it, and a slight smile on her face.
“Yeah?” I said when she hadn’t said anything. “Manager Douglass wants you in the car in ten,” she replied and lowered her gaze to the floor.
I stiffened in my chair and pinched the bridge of my nose. Maybe it was because of my young age or because of what I did and what had happened today, but why was it that every time I asked someone to do something like, say, wait for Psycho Lady’s daughter to wake up so I could apologize for the whole incident thing, they always ended up doing the exact opposite?
Was I talking through my ass or something? Kelsey continued to look at the floor. I sighed and snapped my fingers so I could have her attention.
“Could you tell Manager Douglass that I’m not leaving until Uncon- Katie wakes up? I already explained this to him.”
Instead of leaving right after to deliver my message like I expected, she just took a coy step forward and looked down at the ground again. I sighed. God, she was such a weirdo.
“Well, um, you see…” she trailed off and her cheek warmed. I frowned at her. “What is it?” I asked. “Just spit it out.”
“He said no exceptions. If you’re not in the car in ten minutes like he’s asked, then he said he’ll leave you behind.”
I burst out laughing and rolled my eyes. Drama Queen much? He couldn’t leave me; I was part of the band. He couldn’t just show up with two band members and expect not to get a hollering from his boss and everyone else that worked for NJ Productions, could he? And aside from that, I was fifteen so he was somewhat my legal guardian, right?
Kelsey frowned and raised an eyebrow at me. “I don’t get what’s so funny about it.”
“The big man’s just such a drama queen sometimes,” I said with a roll of my eyes. She was his assistant; she had to know what he wouldn’t leave me behind, right? Kelsey sighed and hung her head. “I’ll just go and, uh, tell him that.”
I waited for her to leave and close the door behind her before I fished my phone out of my pocket and texted away at Manager Douglass on my blackberry.
ME: YOU CAN’T LEAVE WITHOUT ME!
I set the phone in my lap and reluctantly turned my attention to Elmo while I waited for his reply. He was now trying to get Mr. Noodles to comb his hair right. I rolled my eyes. To think that I use to watch this irritating show and liked as a kid was just horrifying. My phone buzzed.
MANAGER: OH YES I CAN! YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES!
I rolled my eyes and replied:
ME: NO YOU CAN’T! I’M PART OF THE BAND TOO! AND I’M A MINOR!
MANAGER: THAT’S YOUR PROBLEM!
ME: YOURS TOO! YOU HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF ME!
MANAGER: FIVE MINUTES EDEN! FIVE OR I’M GONE! DEAL WITH IT!
I sighed and slipped my phone back into my pocket; I guess it was time for me to go. I looked over at Katie and couldn’t help but smile a little. She was cute. All this because she probably wanted a picture or something with me. I checked my watch and stood up. It was a shock that Psycho Lady still hadn’t shown up; she was so freaked out and edgy when we got here that Kai had to drive her home and force her to sleep. How he managed to do that and come back fifteen minutes later from a half hour drive was beyond me.
I sighed and looked around for something to write on. The least I could do was leave a note.
I spotted a pad and pencil underneath the plate of lumpy mashed potatoes and dry chicken pasta on the food tray next to Katie. I mentally rolled my eyes as I jotted down a quick note and slipped it underneath her pillow. It wouldn’t be the first time a nurse had ‘accidentally’ slipped a pad and pen underneath a food tray for us to sign.
With one last look back, I slipped my cardigan on and left the hospital room, leaving behind a hysterically squealing group of nurses.
I sat upright in my bed and gingerly touched my forehead. I could feel the tender pain residing underneath the white bandage there; it hurt, making my head throb a little, but I’d had worse. For some odd reason, most of the injuries I’d received throughout my life were always on the head or in the face. This wasn’t a surprise to me. Just another incident to add to my mental list of ‘Head/Face Traumas’.
“Hello?” I asked and looked around the secluded room.
Elmo was playing on the TV; he was now talking to Dorothy the goldfish and asking her what her favorite color was. I cringed when the furry, red puppet let out a loud, shrill laugh. And I use to like this show back when I was little? Oh. My. God. What was wrong with me anyway? I sighed and bowed my head in disappointment.
I’d missed him; Eden wasn’t here. Why did mom have to come and ruin everything? Screaming and running around like some crazy psycho and attacking the poor guy. What if she damaged his face? I frowned at the thought of my mom’s claw marks on his beautiful baby face. I’d take her to court myself if that were ever to happen. A fan girl must always protect her idol at all times and against whoever dared to challenge his perfection.
It was an ironclad rule of a completely dedicated fan girl; at least it was on Love Bucket.
Love Bucket was a website for completely committed Alpha Centauri fan girls like me; a place where we could go online and express our true feelings to the band. We squashed hateful rumors, we dissed haters on the ‘Smack Attack’ portion of the website, and we made polls and even held an annual contest to see who among the millions of worldwide fans in the world was the biggest A.C fan of all time.
I punched my thigh in frustration; I could’ve been at school right now with my best friend and Alpha Centauri fan Hayden bragging about how I’d run into Eden Sioux and had my picture taken with him. I would’ve been parading down the hall with my autographed picture on my hand, the envy of all fan girls at school. But instead, I sat in an empty hospital room with Elmo as company and no proof that I’d even so much as walked on the same sidewalk as him.
“Dang it,” I grumbled and buried my face in my hands.
A shower of hot tears overflowed the rims of my eyes and trickled down my face while sobs ripped from my throat and shook my body uncontrollably. It just wasn’t fair. I was so close! I had him in my reach. We talked to each other. He touched my face and wanted to help me. But then mom had to come in and mess everything up. I sniffled again and grabbed my pillow.
And I started punching it with all the anger and sadness I had welled up in me. “Not fair!” I growled and slammed another fist into the soft cushion. “It’s not fair!”
I swung my legs over the side of the bed and buried my face into the pillow. It just wasn’t fair. What had I done to deserve such a fate? It just wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair at all. He couldn’t at least say something in person? Did mom chase him away before he could?
I let out a slow, shaky breath and turned to put the pillow back in its place when I saw it; a crisp, lined note folded neatly on the bed.
I blinked back my tears and stared at it; my heart began to race in my chest and my hands were suddenly too heavy to move. Was it from him? What could it possibly say? I closed me eyes and wiped the back of my hand over my wet eyes and nose.
Slowly, I plucked the folded note off the bed and opened it. I gasped and read it:
I don’t know what to say to you, but I’m sorry that I can’t stick around to apologize in person. I know that what happened today was my fault and I hope your face gets better. Ha! I guess I do know what to say. Anyway, I hope you fell better and despite everything that happened, it still turned out to be a pretty great day. You and Psycho Lady were the highlight of my day. Get well and see ya later!
-Eden Sioux, Alpha Centauri.
I sat there, heart racing a million miles a minute inside my chest and my hands shaking terribly. My eyes watered again and the lump in my throat had just doubled in size. Oh my god! Could this day just get any better? I had proof. I had proof that I knew Eden Sioux. He wrote me an apology note!
I screamed his name out jubilantly and started dancing in my bed, arms flailing outrageously over my head and legs thrashing wildly underneath the white sheets. The door swung open and a curious, ruddy-faced nurse stuck her head inside. I screamed his name out again and hugged the note to my chest; at that point, I didn’t care who was watching me dance like some kind of tasered psycho. I had what I wanted and I should probably go and thank my mother for her almost beating him black and blue with her purse.
“Is there something wrong?” the nurse asked and raised a thin, black eyebrow at me; she looked to be in her late twenties with a flat, broad nose and boring dark eyes to match the shade of her long, disheveled hair. I shook my head and smiled happily. I crushed the note tighter to my chest and started dancing again.
“Not anymore!” I said and screamed again. “Eden wrote me a note! He wrote me a note! Can you believe it?”
My life was officially the best life ever; what fan girl didn’t want to be in my shoes right now? Life was great- I couldn’t wait to post this note on my Love Bucket account.
The hospital released me to my mom about an hour later; she looked pale and shaken upon seeing me with bandages on my face and with dried blood on the front of my sweater.
“Hi mother!” I shouted and leaped into her arms. She seemed befuddled by my mood, but returned my hug anyway. “Hi, Kitty-Kat.”
Under normal circumstances, I normally would’ve wanted to crawl under a bus and hoped to get run over whenever she called me by that dreaded name in public. But today was a special day; Eden Sioux had written me an apology note. I would’ve preferred a note bearing his love to me and asking for my hand in marriage, but that was a bit of a stretch.
“How are you feeling?” she asked when we pulled out of the hospital parking lot and onto the street.
“Awesome!” I replied blissfully. Could you blame me? One of the hottest guy singers in the world wrote plain old me a letter. Mom smiled at me and pulled in behind a black SUV at a red light.
“Really?” she asked with one of her smirks. I suddenly loved that smirk.
“Eden wrote me a note!” I said and pointed to the left pocket of my mini skirt. Mom frowned. “The boy that attacked you? Which reminds me, I think I should-”
“Mom!” I groaned and rolled my eyes. “He didn’t attack me! I caught him off guard and when I grabbed him, he turned around and I tripped and ran into a wall. That’s all that happened.”
Mom nodded slowly, absorbing the information like the sponge does water. “Well what does the note say?” she asked and I pulled it out to read out loud. I cleared my throat loudly and read it to her.
“Although,” I sad and scratched my forehead, “I can’t figure who this ‘Psycho Lady’ that he’s talking about is.”
Mom smiled and shot me one of her knowing looks; the one that said ‘I know something you don’t’. “What?” I asked. She just shook her head.
“Nothing.” Then her eyebrows shot up and reached into her purse without turning her eyes away from the road.
“Hayden called,” she said and tossed me my phone. I caught and hurriedly checked through the twelve text messages in my inbox. I mentally rolled my eyes; she didn’t have to send so many messages in such a short time. Smiling, I dialed her numbed and held the phone to my ear while I waited for her to answer.
“Katie?” she chirped after a single ring. “Where the heck have you been? I missed you!”
“I’ve noticed,” I said, referring to the texts. “I’m on my way home- you’re not going to believe what happened to me today!”
“Oh?” Hayden gasped and squealed into my ear. “What? What happened?”
“I met Eden Sioux today!” I said and we both screamed merrily. Mom chuckled next to me and made a right.
“No way!” Hayden replied gleefully and screamed again. “Where? When? How? Did you get a picture or an autograph? Oh my god, Katie!”
“I saw him heading downtown by himself when I was waiting for my mom in the car to go to school. He looked so hot in his dark blue cardigan-”
“The one he wore that one time on George Lopez tonight?” Hayden injected contentedly. “Yes!” shrieked. “I ran up to him and grabbed his jacket, but then he turned around really fast, I tripped and ran into a wall!”
“What happened next?” she asked and screamed again. “Do you know how lucky you are?” I laughed. You’d think that my best friend of eight years would be concerned about my health.
“I passed out ’cause I was so excited and when I woke up in the hospital, he was gone! I was so mad, but then I saw his apology note!” I screamed again and mom chuckled again.
Hayden joined in and screamed with me; we screamed until our throats hurt, but that didn’t stop us from squealing. “Did he leave a number?” she asked. “An address? A place where you guys can meet? Did he-”
“It’s an apology note, Hay,” I said with a laugh. She could get so carried away sometimes. “Not a party invitation.”
“Tell everyone on Love Bucket!” she urged and I agreed. I couldn’t wait to hear what they’d have to say about this!