What Kind Of Pop star Are You?
Oh my gosh, I thought and wiped my profoundly sweating hands on the front of my jeans. I blinked and swallowed the saliva pooling in my mouth. How could one ordinary girl get so lucky so many times? Suddenly my chest felt tight and my breaths came out in slow, shallow pants. Thump-thump. Thump-thump. Thump-thump. I blinked again and rubbed at my eyes. Is this real? Eden’s grin faded and his eyebrows drew together in concern.
“Are you…okay?” he asked.
He crumbled his empty McDonald’s fast food bag into a small ball. Say something you idiot! I scolded myself. Don’t just stand there like a moron! I opened my mouth to speak, but no words came out. Is this was it felt like to be star-struck? Eden took a small, hesitant step toward me, as if afraid that I’d lung at him and drag him all the way back to my home. Not that I was opposed to the idea either. I nodded and closed my mouth before any saliva could drizzle out of my mouth. I wish Hayden had been there with me. She wouldn’t have just stood there staring at him like a brainless zombie. She would of slapped me outside the head and pushed into this pinnacle of perfection and urged me to say something.
“Um…maybe I should go-”
“NO!” I shouted and motioned for him to stop in his tracks.
Eden froze like a statue with his eyes so wide that I was sure they would’ve popped out of his head. He swallowed loudly and lowered his eyes to the floor. What was I doing? Here I was standing five feet away from one of the most famous teenage pop stars alive on the planet in a secluded playground and I was here trying to figure out what to do? I had the luck of the gods on my side! How many Alpha Centauri fans could say that they spend more then ten seconds alone with the Eden Sioux?
I took a deep breath and cleared my throat loudly. Here we go.
“I-I’m alright,” I said and almost cringed at the high, shrill tone my voice had taken. Get it together, I thought and cleared my throat again.
Eden seem to relax; he raked a hand through his wavy hair and shot me a coy smirk. I mentally squealed with joy. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell Hayden.
“No stitches,” he said and pointed at my head. I blushed and reached up to touch my forehead. “Yep,” I squeaked and mentally kicked myself. “It wasn’t that serious. It just looked bad. It was actually just a scratch.”
“A scratch huh?” he said in that sexy voice. I nodded and tangled my fingers together tightly.
“So….why are you out here by yourself?” I stage-whispered.
My question seemed to make Eden tense again. His grin faded again and a reluctant expression took over his face, like a kid trying to decide whether or not to tattle on someone. He looked away, then at me, and away again. My stomach dropped to my knees. I upset him! I quickly racked my brain for something else to say. What could I possible say that would cheer him up? How do you cheer up a pop star?
“I…I just had some thinking to do,” Eden replied softly.
“You were crying,” I chimed before I could stop myself.
Eden frowned at me. Oh God…why couldn’t I ever shut up sometimes? I shifted my weight uncomfortably from one foot to the other. Think idiot! Think idiot, I chanted in my head. Change the subject. What was something that I could say that wouldn’t sound stupid or childish or childishly stupid?
“Yeah… I get like that sometimes,” Eden said finally and crumpled the fast food bag into an even smaller bag.
“Oh- I’ll throw that away for you!” I offered eagerly and rushed over to him.
Eden blinked at me and took a step back. I stopped short and stared at him.
“Eden.” The voice was strong and deep, like thunder during a storm, but with a hint of impatience and annoyance in his voice. I whipped around on the ball of my heel….and almost fainted on the spot.
Oh. My. Freaking. Gosh. It was Kai Fioralia! Ohmygosh! My heart slammed violently in my chest a million miles a minute. Double score for the fan girl!
“K-Kai?” Eden sounded as stunned at I must’ve looked.
“Let’s go. We have to get home,” he said and jerked his chin in the direction he’d just emerged from.
My breath caught in my throat and my knees started trembling. There was no way this could’ve been happening. A girl like me didn’t get this lucky in one day. Dixie girls like me normally never had a shot of meeting a celebrity in this boring old town. This place wasn’t like New York or Los Angeles; there wasn’t anything special to see here. The Empire State Building didn’t stand tall downtown and there weren’t any film directors running around with their film crews, expensive cameras, and well-paid actors filming the next Indiana Jones movie. Taxis weren’t racing up and down these streets and there weren’t any flawless blue skies and bright yellow-rays all year-around.
Eden sighed and tossed the bag aside. “Fine,” he grumbled and stocked past me toward his band mate.
“Wait-” I piped up and padded my pockets for a pen and paper. I came up empty.
“It was nice seeing you again,” Eden said and gave me a little wave. “I’m glad that you’re alright. Tell Psycho Lady I say hi.”
Oh no! I patted my pockets again. Where was a pen and paper when I needed one?
“No-wait! I just need you to sign-”
“Enough!” Kai shot me a murderous glare.
My breath caught in my throat and I automatically took a few steps back. Eden shot Kai a stern look. Kai didn’t seem to notice. Instead, he kept his dark eyes trained on my face and a scowl etched onto his.
“We’re. Not. Signing. Anything!” he growled and grabbed Eden’s arm so tightly that he winced in pain. I swallowed the lump in my throat and nodded. If this were a cartoon, then a hole would of opened up out of nowhere beneath me and swallowed me up. I knotted my fingers together to keep them from trembling. Kai turned around sharply and stalked off into the night with an iron grip on Eden’s arm, leaving me behind with tears in my eyes.
I buried my face in my hands and began to cry.
“Ow! Kai- let me go! Stop, hey! I said stop!” I yelped and attempted to wrench my arm out of his bone crushing grip.
That only made him tighten his grasp on my arm and drag me toward the streets again. I looked up at him and struggled some more. What was with him tonight anyway? He was a lot more aggressive than he usually was; his insults were colder and he’d tried on more than one occasion to beat me up. You’d think after so much time together that we’d have a brotherly bond in the group. I guess some dreams just stay that way. Dreams, I mean.
“You’re such an idiot,” Kai snapped and jerked me along.
“Let me go!” I cried and tried to pry his fingers off my arm before he broke it.
Finally, Kai shoved me forward and released me. I held my throbbing arm against my body and glared at him. We stood there for what seemed like hours, eyes fixed on one another and frozen in the tense silence that hovered all around us like an invisible fog. Why the hell was he always so damn mean against me? What the hell had I done to make him treat me like this? And if I had done something to him, why couldn’t he just build a bridge and get the hell over it? I sucked in my breath and closed my eyes to keep from crying again. I wasn’t big on shedding tears. I rarely ever cried, but somehow Kai always managed to make me weep like a newborn baby.
“You moron,” Kai said hotly with a roll of his eyes.
I breathed out slowly again and held my arm tighter to suppress the pain. it hurt really bad now, as if I’d been hit with a baseball bat or something. My body shook violently and my head was starting to hurt, as if a thousand sharp knives were stabbing it.
“Just what the hell were you doing talking to that girl? Do you know how dangerous it is if she-”
“So. What?” I croaked and quickly cleared my throat again. I took a deep breath and kept my eyes closed again. Great. I was getting choked up again. Why did he always make me feel this way? Kai scowled at me and took a step forward. I already know what was coming. This wasn’t the first time Kai was planning on hitting me.
“So what?” he mimicked with a loud snort. I took another deep breath. “You damn moron. Do you know what could happen if she’s in the picture? Secret meetings with obsessed fan girls like that will-”
“Don’t even go there,” I snapped and opened my eyes.
By now I’d forced the tears downs and my anger was starting to simmer on my tongue. Just who the hell did he honestly think he was to treat me like a dog? I let out another shaky breath and stared him right in the eyes as I talked.
“Don’t lecture me like you’re my father or something,” I growled and balled my hands into tight fists. “You don’t own me to treat me like an animal. You can’t hit me nor can you tell me what to do. So get your damn head out of your ass and take a look around. You think you have problems? You think you’re the only one that feels low in the world? Be a man. When you have a problem, you suck it up, put your game face on, and deal with like a man. Not like some scared little girl. Grow up-”
With two quick strides, Kai was in my face with his hand wrapped around my throat.
“Shut your mouth,” he hissed and narrowed his eyes at me.
I froze in place and closed my eyes again. Here we were again. Just the two of us alone and with me about to get my face pounded in. Again. As much as I pretended, I knew for sure that Kai knew that I was scared of him. I guess we’d always be like this with each other. Things would never get better between us. He was the predator and I would always be the prey. Slowly, Kai unwrapped his fingers from my throat and looked around. I let out a shaky breath and opened my eyes again.
“We’re going. Now,” he said in a harsh whisper. He pushed me aside and walked in the direction of our hotel.
I wiped the last of my tears against the back of my hand and stood up to brush the bits of woodchips I’d been sitting on off the back of my jeans. I replayed it again in my head, his words: ‘Enough. We’re not signing again.’ I shivered at the coldness laced within the words. They echoed in my head again and seemed to ricochet off the inside of my skull like a pinball in a pinball machine.
I sniffled and dried my face again. Just what kind of pop star was rude to a fan? That didn’t make sense to me. Pop stars were suppose to smile and be happy that a fellow devoted fan had popped up and recognized them. They were suppose to sign something for you or even take a pictures. Pop stars wanted to be famous and have their fame continue to grow, didn’t they? I sighed and pulled my cell phone out.
Hayden answered on the third ring.
“He-llo?” she asked and giggled. I sniffled and dried my eyes with the sleeve of my shirt.
“Katie?” she asked and I burst into tears again. “Kitty-Kat? What’s wrong?”