Chapter 25 - A Sober One's Thoughts
The whole day went by in a blur, or maybe I just didn't notice the time since I was too busy calculating in my head.
What was Anne doing here? How did Tops feel when he saw her come in? What was Poopy thinking about right now?
What was I supposed to do?
Sounds of chairs being moved woke me up, as well as the footsteps and chatters of the people in our class. I looked around and noticed that people were already starting to leave.
"Danny!" I heard Anne approach from behind. Before I turned to look at her, I cautiously stole a glance at Poopy.
She was currently fixing her things, not paying attention to me at all. I knew she heard Anne too. Maybe she was just pretending to not hear, maybe she just didn't care.
I shook my head. Impossible. Knowing her, she's probably thinking about a lot right now.
I didn't reply and instead waited until Anne appeared right in front of my desk. She was grinning at me silly while making facial movements towards Poopy, obviously grabbing the opportunity to tease me right now.
And it was also obviously not the right time.
"Can you do me a favor Danny?" She started, hiding her excitement behind that suspicious grin of hers. "I need some help moving my furniture in my new apartment. I could really use your help."
I eyed her with great distrust and she just smiled in turn. I couldn't even think of an answer because I was too worried at how Poopy would react, and how Tops would feel.
I just really don't wanna be in the center of another huge misunderstanding that'll drag on for another three years. The current misunderstanding wasn't even resolved completely yet.
"C'mon Danny," she pressed, her accent coating my name with annoying emphasis. "I need all the help I could get."
"We'd be happy to help!" A different voice replied, making Anne and I turn our attentions towards the approaching Ella.
She was wearing a friendly smile as usual, and she stopped by Poopy's desk. I looked at Poopy and hid my unease when she was still ignoring us. "I love moving furniture. And stuff. Hi I'm Ella!"
I wasn't surprised to see Anne already outstretching her arm to give her a handshake.
"Oh hey!" She said. The both of them shook hands and I didn't miss the sharp look in Ella's eyes as she withdrew her hand. "Call me Anne. And really? You sure you want to?"
I also didn't miss the sly smile Anne sent her in return. Ella sat on Poopy's desk and grinned widely. "Oh yeah. I have nothing better to do anyway. I'm sure it'll be fun. Right, Tina?"
My heart just throbbed when she mentioned her name. Oh no, it's not enough that Anne's trying to do something, now Ella's trying to do something too.
Somebody help me understand the minds of girls.
The startled look in Poopy's face said it all. She looked at Ella accusingly before she looked at Anne unsurely, and then made a confused smile.
"Yeah? Sure, I'd love to help."
"Fabulous!" Anne clapped her hands in excitement, glancing at me from the corner of her eye. Then she took Ella and Poopy's arms. "Thank you so much you two! After we finish the job, I'll treat you with some snacks."
"Snacks?" Another voice entered the conversation. We all looked towards the door where Sean was about to leave but didn't because the godly word caught his attention. "Where?"
I heard a groan and a sharp intake of breath, which I was sure came from Poopy and Ella respectively.
"Would you like to come over as well?" Anne inquired, sounding like her excited self. Knowing her, she just wanted to take this chance to make a lot of friends as soon as possible.
It was a pain for my part since it just increases the noise, but she was always like that.
Sean walked over our little circle, nodding his eagerly head the whole way. I'm not sure if he even knows that we'll have to help Anne with moving her furniture first before the snacks.
"I'm in." He smiled too easily. He was successfully bribed with food. An ally has fallen down with me. A moment of silence please. "By the way I'm Sean."
"Oh yes," she replied, taking his hand and shaking at. "The one with the funny laugh."
She meant the one with the very loud laugh.
"Yep." He said like he was proud. I had to prevent myself from slapping my face. How many people were there now? Five? How many more was this girl gonna invite? "Ey yo Kris!"
My eyes widened when Sean called him at the back.
"Come over here, meet the new student!"
We all watched how Tops robotically stood up from his seat and made his way towards us, his usual carefree smile twitching. What was with this situation?
"Do you recognize this guy?" Sean pointed at him with a gleeful smirk.
I know he meant well, and I can't blame him for not knowing our circumstances, but I just wanted to kick his face right now.
Anne's smile didn't waver as she held out her hand. "Of course. You're Kristopher Walls. Huge celebrity. Fellow Brit. Nice to meet you!"
Tops just stared at her hand for a few seconds, like he was having second thoughts of whether to take it or not. I wish I knew what the both of them were thinking right now.
At the pressure of the small audience around them, he took her hand and shook it cautiously.
I don't know if that was even considered a decent handshake since the grip was so loose.
He raised his head with a refreshing smile on his face. How did he get to be such a famous actor? He's terrible at acting.
"Yes," he replied, his voice gentle or careful. "May I call you Anne as well?"
She smiled cheerfully as she politely withdrew her hand and hid it behind her back. Since I was behind her, I noticed that she had pinched her wrist and clenched her fists. "Call me Daniella."
That statement alone was enough to make Tops' face fall. He looked like he wanted to say something else but Anne quickly changed topic and averted her attention towards the girls.
After she had just deliberately forbid Tops from calling her the nickname he himself gave her, the oblivious Sean snickered.
He jokingly put an arm around his shoulder and whispered quite loudly into his ear. "Dude, she's not a fan."
Sean, I could literally slap you with my chair right now.
Tops had no reaction. His eyes were dull as he faced the floor. The girls on the other hand were busy chatting about the malls around the area. Anne and Ella were mostly bringing the conversation to life, Poopy was just agreeing to whatever they were saying.
How was I going to explain anything to her when I had no idea myself?
After those small introductions and friendly, cryptic chats, Anne decided that we all go to her apartment tomorrow after class. I'm not sure if 'we' included Tops but I'm sure he's coming along anyway. He can't avoid this too.
Everybody went home already, but Poopy and I stayed behind for a while. She was gonna go to the council room like her usual routine. Guess I'll just have to interrogate Anne tomorrow too.
For now, what the hell was I supposed to tell Poopy?
I quietly waited for her to finish the small paperwork on her desk. I wanted to help but I didn't want to disturb her. I feel like she's gonna hit me or something.
A whole fifteen minutes of uncomfortable silence passed. I anxiously kept glancing at her from time to time, and she looked too focused on her work to care about me.
Crap. I didn't even do anything wrong but why do I feel like I screwed up big time?
She abruptly stood up, causing me to subconsciously take cover behind my hands. I noticed that I even lifted my legs up to the point of hugging them against my chest.
She saw my actions but only sent me a dry stare before she stacked her papers on the side and grabbed her things.
"A-Are you done?" I cursed myself for stuttering. I slowly put my legs back on the floor and casually stood up from my seat. I'm so lame.
She replied with a brief nod.
I cleared my throat as I played with my car keys inside my pocket, not knowing what else to do. I am so screwed. "Okay, let's go."
The morning was cold and I had no intention of going to school. Just remembering the very silent car ride to Poopy's house made me want to sink in my bed. I attempted a casual conversation several times but she avoided them all so easily.
She was mad.
Maybe she was jealous?
I groaned, kicking myself for even having these thoughts. I shouldn't think so highly of myself.
Aah I really don't want to go to Anne's apartment and do her chores. But there's gonna be snacks. No, she's scheming something; maybe she wants to take revenge on Tops—I don't want to see his crushed face again. But there's gonna be snacks. Ah Poopy's coming too, and she's probably gonna ignore me again, thus making me act all pathetic and guilty again. But there's gonna be snacks.
And the internal battle continues.
"Dan!" My dad hollered from downstairs. "Aren't you up yet? I'm leaving for work now. Your breakfast's gonna get cold!"
I groaned louder, digging my head in my pillow.
Should I just sleep in for today? It was cold and my bed was very comfortable right now. But there was breakfast downstairs.
When it comes to battles like this, no matter how serious, food always, always won.
So in the end, I went to Poopy's house after eating breakfast.
After I parked and was about to go out of the car to pick her up, I saw her already approaching the vehicle, a neutral look on her face.
She got in the front seat, buckled her seat-belt and just stared in front, waiting for me to drive her to school. I cleared my throat, looking at her from the corner of my eyes.
Talk to her you idiot.
"Do you really wanna go to Anne's apartment later?" I asked, carefully. Oh God of all topics, I had to choose this one. "It's okay if you don't want to."
"I want to." She said, looking at me now. I gulped when I met her eyes. Wasn't expecting that. "I want to be friends with your best friend too."
Her words trailed off as she stared at her feet, and my unease slow melted into curiosity. But I was still careful, of course.
"What do you mean?" I shifted from my seat to face her better. She took a deep breath and released it slowly before she replied.
"I want to know what sort of people you've been with in London," she said, sincerely. "I want to know what your life was like there. If you were the same as you are now, or if you changed. I just want to know those stuff about you."
My uneasiness easily faded away when she said these, and I honestly had nothing to say. I'm not even sure what I was feeling right now. I mean, maybe I feel a little embarrassed... Touched, maybe?
Wait. She wasn't changing the subject was she?
"So you're not mad at me?" I asked, to be sure. She looked at me again.
"Why would I be mad at you?"
I wanted to leap for joy.
"You kept ignoring me yesterday."
"I wasn't." She said. "You were acting weird. What was I supposed to say?"
"That's because I thought you were mad at me."
She rolled her eyes before her mouth twitched up into a pretty smile. She shifted from her seat and then leaned forward, cupping my cheeks before looking at me as if I was a baby. Did she find this funny right now? "Were you that worried?"
I nodded, resisting a pout. She was definitely taking advantage of my situation right now.
She tilted her head and laughed, breaking eye-contact. After that, she let go and sat comfortably in her seat, looking pleased. I scoffed and held the wheel as I started the engines. I worried for nothing.
"I thought you were jealous," I mumbled under my breath disappointedly. I didn't expect she'd hear me. I slightly jumped from my seat when she scoffed.
Classes took longer than usual. Maybe because I kept staring at the clock the whole time.
It was just half an hour before the bell rings, then we'll go to Anne's apartment. The first time I saw her enter the room, I was star-struck. She was beautiful, and her sense of fashion had a ten out of ten rating in my book.
But when she introduced herself as Daniel's childhood friend and fiancée, it caught my complete attention.
I know it was meant as a joke but I felt like that joke was meant to spite somebody, though I'm not sure who.
My intuitions were mostly accurate so I trust my intuition in this particular situation too. I have to protect Tina and Daniel's progressing relationship.
I had no idea we'd end up like this though. Sean was tagging along, Kristopher too. There's no telling what's gonna happen later.
Kristopher's expression earlier though. Did he know her? Anne seemed like it was the first time they've met, but why did she tell him to call her Daniella, whereas she told everybody to call her Anne?
Putting the pieces together... Daniel came from London, Kristopher came from London, Anne came from London... These three new students all had a huge impact on their first days too.
I wouldn't be surprised if they secretly knew each other.
I felt like there was a whole lot more going on, that's why I'm getting so anxious, and strangely excited. Sean coming along didn't help ease my emotions in the slightest.
He should be the least of my worries.
I was more worried about Tina. I'm sure she must be confused, and is trying her best to hide it. I hope Daniel would explain it to her so she'd understand. I really don't want her to feel sad about something like this.
But I don't think Anne's a bad person. But she's a potential threat to my ship.
A few more agonizing minutes passed and it was dismissal. I quickly stuffed my things in my bag before I ran to her desk. She was just texting her council officers to take over her work for today.
I could tell she was pretty eager to know this new girl too, and what she's really up to.
"Alright!" Anne stood up excitedly. It was like a signal for us to assemble. Sean practically skipped towards us, and Kristopher looked like he was dragging his feet as he approached. Daniel had a weary expression and Tina a determined one. Me, I was wearing my usual cheery smile.
I had a feeling Anne and I had a similar personality.
"Now that we're all here, let's go!"
She smiled at me and I in turn did the same. I can't wait to get to know her.
"Oh my goodness!" I gasped as I scanned her whole apartment. High ceilings, spacious rooms, brand new kitchen equipment, big windows, glossy floors, warm lights... "It's huge! Are you sure you're the only one living here?"
She nodded with a smile. "Nice, isn't it? I got a pretty good deal with this one."
I nodded as I started gawking at the bathroom. She even had her own Jacuzzi. This kind of luxury... was she actually a really rich girl? Was she an heiress to a big business? Was she the daughter of a mafia boss or something?
When this place gets fully furnished, I'm sure it'll be on par with a celebrity's house. The building itself looked so expensive.
"So unethical." I heard Daniel say from behind. I hid a laugh. That's so like him to say that.
"So where are the snacks?" Sean just had to say. I hid a sigh. That's so like him to say that too.
I returned to my best friend's side and sent her an encouraging look, squeezing her hand as well before we walked towards Anne. Tina smiled at her and asked where all the furniture were.
"Oh, it's in the other room," she said, leading the way.
So for about two hours, all of us lifted sofas, mattresses, tables, chairs, closets, dressers and some other stuff to various rooms. Anne instructed the boys on where to place them, and we girls gave opinions on where certain things should be put to look pretty.
The boys were too lazy to give their own opinions and said they would just help with the moving.
Tina unrolled the carpet and Daniel was about to help her when Anne suddenly called him for help in the kitchen.
"Where should I put this?" Sean suddenly appeared in front of me, holding two vases in his hands. I stopped myself from looking too surprised that he talked to me.
I'm still surprised he even came along knowing I was gonna be here too.
He nodded and put the vases where I told him to.
I released a quiet sigh when he left. Snap out of it Ella.
I heard giggling in the kitchen and saw that Anne was pinching Daniel's cheek, and Daniel looking all too unpleased. Tina wasn't looking at the scene like I was, but I was sure she was aware.
I also noticed Kristopher getting all stiff. Come to think of it, Anne didn't speak to him the whole time we were here.
When everything was finally done, all of us collapsed in the living room. I sat on the sofa with Tina and placed my head on her shoulder heavily.
She playfully complained but I knew she didn't mind. Daniel was on the other side of the sofa, and he was looking at us secretly. I snorted.
Maybe he wanted to do the same thing as me and get spoiled by Tina. Hehe.
"Where are the snacks?" Sean was the first one to say something. Seriously, is food the only thing in his mind all day? He should just marry his fridge or something.
And soon as he said that, the doorbell rang. Anne quickly got up to get it.
She returned with a couple of boxes of pizza, two buckets of chicken and a lot of fries. All of us gasped and cheered as she tried to balance loads of food in her arms.
We helped prepare the snacks on the table and in the middle of doing that, she groaned as if she had just remembered something. "I forgot to order drinks."
Before we could say anything else, Sean's snicker caught our attention. His expression looked extremely suspicious and I knew more than anyone that he was up to no good again.
He grabbed his bag and pulled out two bottles of tequila out of it.
Tina was the first one to smack his head. Good job, best friend.
"How did you--?!" She was too surprised to form a coherent sentence. He actually brought those to school so he could bring them here?
"Why didn't they catch you?" Kristopher snickered, taking one bottle from his hand. Then he made an impressed face. "Interesting choice."
"Where'd you get those?" Anne asked, looking both excited and relieved. I was already having a bad feeling about this.
Sean smirked proudly as he pulled another bottle out of his bag—vodka. How many more bottles of alcohol were in there? And how. Just how did he smuggle these stuff in school? How did he hide it so well?
"My bro's an aspiring bartender," he said. I hid a smile. Oh right, his older brother, Mark. That guy was so nice and playful. And oh right again, that guy was my sister's current boyfriend.
What an amazingly small world, huh? Note the sarcasm.
"Do you have any orange juice? And some Sprite?" He asked Anne. She quickly nodded and stood up to prepare it. Sean then followed after her to grab a few glasses. He smirked at all of us. "I'll be in charge of the mixing."
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?" Daniel asked, sitting up straight now, looking at the bottle that Kristopher handed over to him.
Sean nodded confidently. "I watched my bro practice mixing shit up and flaring bottles. I can make decent stuff."
When Anne arrived with three pitchers of orange juice, Sean asked for more stuff, and Anne went to get it all. She hurried to the nearest convenience store to get everything and came back in a flash. This girl could move.
We all watched in fascination as he began pouring and mixing and shaking. The colors of the drinks he made were pretty.
He gave the first glasses to us ladies and as soon as we got them, we grabbed some food and chugged it down as we ate. The orange flavor completely hid the taste of tequila and it was easy to drink. I was afraid I'd get drunk so I only took small sips.
Tina on the other hand thought that since she couldn't taste the alcohol, it was harmless. She had a couple of glasses but she looked fine. Maybe I was just getting too worried for her.
When Sean refilled her glass, Daniel took it from her hand and drank it himself.
"Hey!" She hit his shoulder. "That was mine!"
"Don't drink too much, idiot." He simply replied.
After that, we decided to drink shots of tequila. Sean prepared a bowl of salt and some slices of lemon. I glanced at the huge window beside us and just noticed how dark it was already. But I was having fun, so I didn't actually care at the moment.
Kristopher and Daniel could hold their drinks, I was sure of that. Were they probably used to it? Were they just blessed with strong tolerances for alcohol?
Or were they just showing off?
Tina on the other hand gagged as soon as she drank one shot. After that, Daniel forbade her from taking another one. I just giggled at the annoyed look in his face.
Anne looked like she didn't like it very much. When she stared at the shot glass in her hand, her expression was horrible. But still, she was a good sport. She licked the salt, slammed the drink in one go and then desperately sucked the lemon dry.
I didn't even finish my own drink. I couldn't take the smell of alcohol and someone had to be sober in here in case everybody got drunk right? But I doubt all of them would get wasted.
I mean, my very good, very disciplined council president best friend was here with us. What could possible go wrong?
"Guys," Sean grabbed one empty bottle and put it on his eye as if he were using a telescope. Then with sluggish movements, he looked through the bottle. "Guys, Anne's apartment is broken."
"Silly!" Anne giggled uncontrollably. She was currently sprawled on the floor, sucking a chicken bone. "Anne's not broken. Just barely fixed"
They were all wasted.
I took my phone out and started recording everything, and though I knew we might get in trouble for this, I was still looking forward to what funny drunk things these guys will do.
I wasn't the only sober one though. Daniel and Tina were too. Well, maybe? Daniel looked the same as usual, and he was even trying to take the bottle out of Sean's hand. After a pointless tug of war, Sean put his finger inside the bottle and got it stuck.
Daniel sighed heavily.
Tina was still munching on some fries, and she was just staring at Daniel and Sean with a look of annoyance in her eyes.
Kristopher, well, Kristopher was passed out. It was his fault for not knowing his own limits. The boys just had to have a drinking competition.
"Danny!" Anne slurred, holding her chicken bone up and pointing it at Tina. "I miss you so much! How's LA?"
"Anne, sober up," he replied, sighing again. Tina suddenly tugged his shirt and motioned that she wanted to whisper in his ear. Daniel lowered his head as Tina began.
"Poopy needs to pee."
She's drunk. My very good, very disciplined council president best friend, was drunk.
It really wasn't a whisper in any way since everyone could hear her. Daniel quickly looked at me and I laughed before I stood up and guided my best friend to the bathroom.
She was walking funny and I had to hold her in case she fell down.
After that, we went back to the living room, where I was not so surprised to see Sean now passed out on the floor. Kristopher was up now, but he had a weary look on his face.
When Tina and I returned to our seats, I proceeded on recording everything.
"Hey Anne," Kristopher called, his words barely coherent. He was sitting across her on the table, so he made it impossible for her to ignore him now. Ooh what's gonna happen here... "Anne."
She was wincing as she scratched her head and dropped the chicken bone. She groaned as she attempted to stand up.
I was ready to help her any time but in the end she crawled on the floor to Sean's side, to avoid Kristopher probably. She forcefully took the bottle off his finger, making Sean groan in pain, and cleared her throat.
"Mic test," she said, her eyes half-open. "Can you guys hear me? Hellooooo."
I was refraining myself from giggling. Oh gosh was she gonna sing?
"And if shu like the way yoww... shit you are such an idiot... you look that much, then maybe you should go and fffuuuu shurself!" She screamed, using the empty bottle of vodka as a mic. I chuckled, pressing my hand over my mouth.
Well that was a very unique version of Love Yourself.
"Anne," Kristopher kept calling, his voice pitiful now. She just kept singing, purposely ignoring him. Or maybe she just couldn't hear him?
I heard a loud slap. I turned, with my phone, to where that sound came from and saw that Tina had actually hit Daniel's arm. His skin slowly turned red from the impact.
"Butthead!" She said, grabbing his shirt. "Stop reading your comic books in class and pay attention damn it!"
Daniel laughed as he took her hands off his shirt. He was laughing, but he looked pretty exhausted already. His hair was a mess too. Just what was Tina doing?
Then she slammed her head to his chest. "Oww why'd you hit me?!"
It's so fun being the sober one in a group full of intoxicated people.
"Annnnneee..." Kristopher slurred.
"Ever since shu left the shitty shuuuu!" Anne continued her rock concert, her body swaying in awkward directions. "Got a reputation for your freakin' self now you damn moron shuu!"
I couldn't control my giggles. Sing or rant, just choose one, woman.
"What the hell are you doing?!" Tina exclaimed. I turned around to record that too. Her face was currently buried in Daniel's chest. "I can't see anything! Where is everybody!"
"You are hopeless." Daniel mumbled as he patted the back of her head gently.
Aw, even when they were drunk he was so sweet.
"People fall in love in sadistic waaysss..."
Kristopher was attempting to go to the singer's side but his whole body was limp. He ended up hitting his leg on the table every time he tried to stand up. Eventually he gave up and just whined her name a couple more time.
"Alcohol has blinded me!" Tina cried against Daniel's chest. He was holding her wrists in case she started hitting him again. Her eyes were tightly closed. Wow, her world must be so dark right now. Find the light, Tina. "Noooo!"
"That shushh be me!" Anne continued with her little remix. "Kicking your ass damn shuu!"
"ANNE STOP IGNORING ME!"
After Kristopher's loud outburst, everyone (except the blinded Tina) shut up and stared at him. Even Anne. She slowly dropped the bottle to look at him with half-open eyes.
"Anne," he repeated, looking at her sadly. "Anne."
"Don't. Don't call me... that." She replied, pointing her microphone bottle at him. "Shuu... Sh--you're the only person not allowed to call me that."
A heavy silence fell. Okay, what was going on? Kristopher's expression when she said that broke my heart, but I had no right to side with any drunken person right now.
He quickly shook his head and forced a dry laugh.
"You really hate me now... huh..." he was smiling sadly at the table. I forgot I was still recording everything. "Of course you'd hate me... You said you loved Danny. I'm just getting in the way between you two... I'm sorry..."
Both my brows raised as I quickly looked at Anne, who was currently on the verge of passing out. His words didn't reach her at all.
Another heavy silence fell, and it went on longer. It lasted for about three minutes. Yes, I kept count.
Anne loved Daniel? Was that true? He was drunk, so he must be telling the truth. Or maybe? What? I looked over at Tina and saw that she had completely stopped moving. Did she pass out as well? Did she just hear that?
In the midst of that heavy silence, Sean suddenly stood up, his eyes still closed.
I wondered if he was okay now, or if he wanted to throw up or something. He seemed to walk straight... straight into the wall. I tried to warn him but I was a second too late.
After he hit his head, he jumped back from the shock and made a weird stance. "You! You want a fight?!"
I slapped myself. He was challenging the wall. Oh God way to shift all the attention to himself.
I left my phone on the table and walked over to Sean to help him in case he hurt himself. Lucky he was drunk, otherwise I wouldn't do this. Hopefully he won't remember this.
He pushed the wall once and scoffed. He pushed the wall twice and got mad. He pushed the wall thrice and was impressed.
"So you work out eh?" He pointed at the wall accusingly. After standing still for a few seconds, he charged and attacked the wall by jumping at it, and then he started wrestling with it. Dear Lord help this boy.
I held his waist and peeled him away from his lifeless opponent. He was so persistent though.
Daniel came to the rescue and helped me get Sean to the sofa next to Tina. I sighed as I saw Kristopher passed out again, and Anne getting up to throw up in her bathroom.
How the heck were we going to school tomorrow?
"I'll call Peyton to get this guy's brother to come pick him up." I told Daniel, pointing at Sean. "Can you drive Kristopher and Tina back? You're not drunk right?"
Daniel shook his head. I sighed in relief. Always dependable, my best friend's fiancé. But still, he was under the influence. I was still worried.
"I'm fine. I'll just call his bodyguards to come pick him up too. I'll drive Poopy back. I'll have to explain this to her parents as well."
I gave him a grateful smile. "Thanks. Be careful."
I grabbed my phone from the table and stopped the recording. I laughed to myself and felt satisfied; a lot of interesting things were recorded in this phone tonight.
After we get everybody's drunk butts back home, I'll have to review this video in my laptop.
I'll have to show them this video tomorrow and see their reactions to uncover the truth. That is if they manage to go to school tomorrow.