Monday, July 20, 2009

Chapter 8

I showered and changed after working out at the gym. I grabbed my stuff and started to head out. I saw a cute top in the gym store window and couldn’t resist going in and checking it out. After deciding it was too cute to pass up, I started to walk out when I noticed a picture of a volleyball on the bulletin board. I stopped and looked at the flier advertising a co-ed summer volleyball league.

“Do you play?” a male voice asked from behind me. I turned and saw a guy I’d seen pretty often there, but had never spoken to.

“I used to in high school and college. I haven’t in about two years,” I responded.

“You should come then. It’s fun and competitive at the same time,” he explained. I smiled.

“I think I will.” He smiled back.

“I’m Aiden,” he said introducing himself. I took the hand he was offering.

“Misty. It’s nice to meet you,” I replied.

“You know, Misty, our team is actually looking to find another girl to round out our group. You need to have the same number of guys and girls on the court with a maximum of ten people per team. Right now we’re at five guys, four girls. You don’t have to, but I thought I’d offer.”

“Are you guys super good or something? I don’t want to be a downer or anything.” He laughed.

“We like to win, but we like to have fun more. Honestly half the teams are drunk by the time they get on the court,” he told me. I laughed.

“Sounds like my kind of league. Count me in.”

I gave Aiden my number and headed out of the gym. I was excited about playing again. It had been way too long. I threw my stuff in the back of the car and drove home. I spent the majority of the rest of the afternoon flipping through channels on the TV and cursing the rain that was falling. Just as I thought I was going to go stir crazy with nothing to do, my phone rang. A number I didn’t recognize popped up on the screen.

“Karaoke tonight?” a male voice asked. It sounded vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t place it.

“I think you have the wrong number,” I told the guy on the other end. There was a short pause before he responded.

“I’m pretty sure I have the right number,” he said. I furrowed my brow and tried to figure out who I was talking to.

“No, I don’t think so. No one I know would ever want to hear me sing,” I joked.

“I’ve heard it, and I didn’t think it was so bad,” he joked back. Okay, it was bugging me that I couldn’t figure out who this was.

“Well, that narrows down the list of suspects on who you are, but not enough for me to take a guess. Care to give me a hint?” I asked. The voice laughed.

“It’s Jack. I got your number from Sid’s phone.” I laughed too.

“Jacky, you sly dog you. I was pretty confused. So what’s this about karaoke?” I questioned.

“It’s at Walker and Zara’s. I guess they’re having a party and apparently karaoke ends up happening at every party they ever throw,” he explained.

“Why don’t you and Sid pick me up?” We finished making the plans and I was glad to have something to do.

Sidney rolled his eyes as he watched Jack vacate the front seat of the car to allow Misty to sit up front. He watched as she smiled up at him while thanking him, and then watched as Jack closed the door for her. He wasn’t sure he liked how their relationship was developing. Jack was a bit of a player and Misty didn’t deserve that.

“Hey, Crosby, how are you?” Misty asked when she looked over at him. He smiled back at her.

“Good, you?” he returned.

“Ready to party,” she replied.

They got to Walker and Zara’s and headed into the kitchen for drinks. As the party got going they ended up getting split up and going their separate ways. When Sidney saw Misty again he couldn’t help but smile when he saw her in an animated conversation with Zara. He wasn’t sure why he was so glad that she got along so well with his friends, but he was.

“Sidney!” he heard a female voice call. He turned around and had to fight the urge to turn and run in the other direction. There in front of him stood the blonde mistake he’d made last summer.

“Hey, Callie, how are you?” he asked. She smiled and threw her arms around him.

“Better now,” she answered. He pulled away and took a large gulp of his beer.

He spent the next hour trying to find a way to tear himself away from Callie. Everytime he thought he’d managed she found him again. It was like she was deliberately searching him out. He overheard Zara say that karaoke was starting so he made his way in there hoping for a break from the headache Callie was giving him.

He watched and laughed as person after person stepped up in front of the group. Everyone was terrible which made it even funnier. A few times he was asked to do it, but he declined. He always declined. That was until tonight.

“Hey, Siddo, I think I’d like to cash in on that bet now,” Misty said, stepping in front of him.

“What are you talking about?” he asked, not liking the look on her face.

“When we went fishing the other day we left our part of the bet open ended and I won it. I want to cash in,” she explained.

“What do you want?” he questioned, a pit forming in his stomach.

“A duet. Right now,” she told him. He started to shake his head as everyone around them began to laugh.

“No way. Not a chance,” he declined.

“You promised that I could have anything I wanted,” Misty pouted, sticking out her bottom lip.

“Come on Sid, get up there!” Caden yelled from the couch. Cheers rang out from everyone and Misty smiled down at him. She grabbed his arm and pulled him up to the front.

“I’ll get you back for this,” he whispered over to her as she handed him a microphone.

“Just make sure you actually make noise, or I’ll embarrass you even worse,” she warned. He sighed and prepared himself. He didn’t even know what she was going to choose. He just hoped it wouldn’t be anything too terrible.

“I’ve heard that Sid doesn’t like to join in on the karaoke fun, so I’ve manipulated him to perform for the first time. I hope you guys enjoy!” Misty said into her mic.

He glared over at her and his glare only grew when the opening notes of the song came on. The room erupted in laughter and cheers all over again. He should have figured if she was going to embarrass him, she was really going to go for it.

He stumbled through the first couple lines of “Summer Nights” from Grease. He wasn’t sure if it was the alcohol, the people, or just Misty that got him into it, but somehow he managed to finish the song and actually have a good time. When it was over he couldn’t stop laughing as Misty hugged him and then gave a bow to the crowd.

Karaoke died down not long after and he lost track of where both Misty and Jack were. He was getting tired and thought it was probably time to start heading out so he began to look for them. Somehow he knew that they were together, and he really didn’t like it much.

He made his way through the house and they were nowhere in sight. The only places he hadn’t checked were the bedrooms. That thought made him angry. He’d kill Jack if he hurt Misty. He decided to walk outside where it was quieter and call them, hoping at least one would answer. When he shut the door behind him he heard voices and recognized them as Jack and Misty’s. He felt himself sigh in relief that they weren’t in any of the bedrooms.

“So why are you really here?” he heard Jack ask.

“I just needed a vacation from life,” Misty replied.

“Yeah, that’s what Sidney told me. I know there’s more to it. Tell me the real reason,” Jack pushed.

“I wasn’t happy with my life. I’d forgotten who I was,” she replied. Suddenly Sidney was envious of Jack. He’d only known Misty for a couple days and she was opening up to him more than she had to Sidney in a month.

“How so?” Jack asked me. I sighed, wondering how much I wanted to get into it.

“I’m sure if Sidney told you why I was here, he told you that Mason Raymond is my ex.” Jack nodded so I continued. “I dropped my life and my dreams so that Mason could follow his. A lot of people don’t realize the sacrifices girls make for their hockey playing boyfriends. Anyway, when we broke up I ended up back in my parents’ house with a dead end job and no clue who I was anymore.”

“So you decided to head out on your own,” he concluded.

“I’d always been a dependent person. First on my family and then on Mason. I don’t want to depend on anyone anymore. I want to be able to do things on my own. I needed to learn who I was as a person without basing it on someone else’s wants and needs,” I explained.

“I think that’s admirable,” he replied. I smiled over at him. We were quiet for a few minutes, just staring up at the night sky.

“Hey, guys, there you are,” I heard Sidney say from behind me. We both turned to look back at him.

“Here we are,” I said with a smile.

“I’m beat. Are you guys ready to go?” he asked.

“Let’s go,” Jack said getting up. I followed the two of them out to the car. The ride was quiet on the way home.

“Thanks for tonight. I’ll see you guys soon!” I called as I stepped out of the car at my house.

“See ya, Misty!” Jack said as he got out of the back seat and sat in the front. Sidney simply smiled and backed the car out of his driveway. Something was bugging him, and I didn’t know what it was. That in turn was bugging me.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Chapter 7

I woke up and smiled at Bauer, who was lying down at my feet and staring at me. His tail began to wag and I giggled as he army crawled up the bed to lick my face. I felt a slight headache, probably from dehydration due to drinking the wine the night before. I stretched and got out of bed, wishing I had a toothbrush.

As I got downstairs I noticed that if Sidney was awake, he wasn’t down there. I let Bauer out the back door and stopped to look out over the lake for a minute. I then made my way back inside where I began to search for a coffee maker and some coffee. I was successful in my quest and got it going while drinking a glass of water.

When the coffee was done I poured myself a mug, black of course, and headed outside. I walked out onto the dock, still in Sidney’s clothes, and let my toes dangle into the water. I usually hated silence, preferring there to be a TV or music going in the background, but there was something about sitting here listening to only the water lap along the shore that was comforting.

“How long have you been up?” I heard Sidney’s voice ask from behind me. I turned and smiled up at him.

“Half an hour at most. I see you found the coffee I made,” I said. He nodded and sat down next to me. I noticed that his coffee was black as well, and tried not to laugh.

“The smell woke me up.” He lifted the mug to his lips and took a sip. The sip was immediately followed by the coffee being spit out into the lake and a few gagging sounds. “What the hell is this?!”

“It’s coffee!” I exclaimed, trying to suppress any laughter. I’d seen that coming.

“No, that’s not coffee. That’s mud,” he said, making a face in disgust. I rolled my eyes and giggled as I watched him dump the rest of the mug into the lake.

“I like my coffee strong,” I told him.

“You’re crazy,” he said standing up.

“So you’ve said on numerous occasions,” I joked as I stood up and followed him inside.

“What’s your plan for the rest of the week?” Sidney asked when we got inside. I shrugged.

“I don’t really ever have a plan. I just go with the flow. How about you?” I returned.

“My friend Jack is coming in a couple days. You should hang out with us. You’d like him.” I smiled and agreed. I finished my coffee and headed home.

“You’ll love her,” Sidney said to Jack as they pulled into Misty’s driveway.

“You’ve told me that about a hundred times in the last twenty minutes. You’ve also told me that she’s funny and a bit crazy,” Jack responded. Sidney shot him a glare.

“I was just reiterating,” he told him as he shut the car off.

He hadn’t told Misty they were stopping by. He hadn’t planned on it even. He and Jack were just headed into town to grab an early lunch before doing some fishing and he found himself talking about her. Jack then insisted on meeting her so Sidney obliged. He didn’t think she’d care that he just showed up.

He noticed her front door was open as they got out of the car. He could hear music playing clearly. It only took him a second to recognize “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot. He chuckled to himself as Jack shot him a strange look. For them to hear it that clearly at the car meant Misty had to be blaring it inside. He knocked on the door but there was no response.

“Misty!” he called through the screen in the door. He waited for a minute but there was still no sign of her. He looked over at Jack who shrugged. He pulled open the door and they both walked in. “Misty!”

There was still no response so Sidney continued to make his way into the house, hoping he wasn’t going to walk in on anything awkward. He froze when he saw her and Jack’s jaw nearly hit the floor. Misty had her back to them both, dancing in the hallway. She was singing along with the song and shaking her ass.

“Okay, I was wrong. Misty’s not crazy. She’s insane,” Sidney said to Jack as he choked back laughter. They stood in stunned silence watching Misty dance her ass off. She was really going to work with her moves and Sidney just couldn’t take his eyes off of her.

She began to dance down the hallway and into the living room where they were standing. Suddenly Bauer walked out of a room in the hallway, immediately spotting Sidney and Jack. He was startled and began to bark. Misty spun around at Bauer’s outburst and let out a yell when she saw them standing there. In her shock, she took a step back and went right over the top of the ottoman that was behind her, landing on her ass with a thud.

“Misty!” Sidney called rushing over to see if she was okay.

He found her laying on her back, legs still over the ottoman laughing. He cracked a smile and began to laugh too. He held out a hand that she took and helped her up. She moved over to the dock for her iPod and turned the music off.

“For fuck’s sake, Crosby, why am I always on my ass around you?” she asked, still laughing.

“I can’t answer that for you. No wine this time. Sorry about scaring you. I tried to knock and call for you, but the music was too loud,” he explained.

“Nice moves,” Jack cracked from behind him. Misty turned to him and grinned.

“You must be Jack. Sidney’s told me a lot about you,” she said walking over to Jack and holding out her hand. He took it and instead of just shaking it, he brought it up to his lips and placed a kiss on the back of her hand. “I like him,” she said, a giant grin on her face.

“He’s told me a lot about you too. We were actually going to grab some lunch and go fishing after. Would you want to come?” Jack invited her, turning on the charm. Sidney wanted to gag.

“I’d love to!” Misty exclaimed. She was eating it up. Typical, Sidney thought. Jack’s charm worked on every girl.

“I won’t even make you touch the worms we’ll use as bait,” he said giving her a wink. Sidney started to get annoyed.

“I thought you said Sidney told you a lot about me?” she asked glancing over at Sidney for the first time since Jack had spoken to her.

“He did,” Jack said in confusion, but still keeping the charm in place.

“Obviously not if you think I’m too prissy to put my own worm on a hook,” she shot at him. Sidney laughed as Jack’s cool demeanor fell.

“I-I wasn’t trying-I didn’t mean to imply that you couldn’t,” he stuttered. She grinned back up at him.

“Relax, Jacky, I’m just messing with you.” She turned to look at Sidney. “Are you leaving Sam at home?”

“That was the plan,” Sidney replied.

“Think she’d like company?”

Sidney nodded as he looked down at Bauer who was currently sitting at his feet, practically begging for attention. He obliged and gave him a pat on the head before they piled into the car, grabbing lunch to take with them and heading back to Sidney’s.

“Winner, right here!” I called pointing at myself as I beamed down at the fish I’d caught.

“It figures we’d lose to a chick,” Jack lamented. He handed over the $20 he owed me. Sidney laughed and continued to drive the boat back home. We’d made a bet over who would catch the biggest fish. To their amazement, it had been me.

“I used to fish all the time,” I told them, taking a sip of my beer.

“When?” Sidney asked from his seat.

“From the time I was old enough until I was 11. My grandparents lived on a lake and my grandfather always took me fishing. It was kind of like our thing. He died when I was 11 and I haven’t been fishing since. Until today.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Sidney said. I shrugged.

“It’s okay. It was a long time ago. I’m glad I came today. It made me remember all those good times.”

“What? Did you kick his ass in fishing competitions too?” Jack joked. I laughed and smacked him lightly on the arm.

We headed back to Sidney’s where we hung out a bit longer before I got tired and decided to head home. Sid and Jack dropped me off at home and I collapsed on the couch as soon as I got inside. Bauer curled up at my feet, exhausted from playing with Sam all day. I’d liked Jack a lot and he and Sidney were hilarious together. They’d promised that we’d hang out again soon and I was really looking forward to it.