3 Doyle O'Connor

110 8 2
                                                  

Theme: "Mistakes Like This" by Prelow

https://play.spotify.com/track/4telT9zZWgv4d8gD4WZrlA

 

Doyle stands opposite Candra on stage. He's the lead, but not in the Romeo way. At six feet tall with a full, scruffy beard Doyle plays the father to Candra's five-two childish frame. It doesn't seem to matter that Doyle is a pasty, red-headed Irish descendent and Candra a soft-eyed, natural hair loving African-American. He is tall and she is short and that's enough.

Candra's deep in character already, dumbing down her language and giggling often. The rest of them need a bit more push at 3:30 after a long day of classes. Especially with opening night still three months away. They're in a false state of calm, believing to still have plenty of time to get everything right. This irritates Candra to no end. Emil and Theo are more concerned with holding hands, play fighting, and running fingers through each other's hair than with the play that they wrote. Bridget is constantly sings show tunes to other plays that are "not this one," as Candra often says. And Doyle is often caught "daydreaming" or, rather, eyeing Bridget. 

"Focus, people! Come on. We haven't even gotten one scene down yet. Theo, you keep saying 'penis' instead of 'pens' and you freaking wrote the script!" Candra shouts in her silky, musical voice.

"But I like penis. I can't help it if my Freudian slip messes you up," Theo says, running his finger down Emil's arm.

"Except it's not a slip when you do it on purpose," Candra snaps. She throws her arms up in a dramatic huff and stomps towards the dressing room, aka the little partitioned off corner backstage next to a stack of gymnastic mats and a bench press.

"Someone forgot to eat their cookie at lunch," Bridget says, hand on her hip, script in a roll.

"She is playing a twelve year old," Doyle says.

"She's gone too deep this time," Bridget says, then realizes her mistake. "That's not how it sounds..."

They both laugh.

Emil nibbles the top of Theo's ear then they disappear behind the curtains. 

~~

Bridget and Doyle walk home together after rehearsals. Luckily the sun is shining bright today and the wind is a gentle breeze. Some days, especially recently, it's too cold to linger or the rain beats down and they'd run quickly, ducking under any available awnings, thick trees, or apartment decks. But they are free to walk slow today, soaking in the sun's warmth, and Doyle is grateful for it.

"Did you get a chance to listen to that song I sent you?" Bridget asks.

"I did. It was pretty good. Very...animalistic," he says, not sure exactly how to describe it.

"It's tribal-punk. I can't stop listening to it. There's just something about the chaotic, aggressive nature of punk that blends perfectly with the tribal drums and chanting. It makes it so...primitive," Bridget says, staring up at the sky and clenching her fingers, searching for the best way to describe it. 

"Tribal-punk...I didn't even know that was a thing. And here I am listening to my Muse and Modest Mouse. How very basic of me," he teases.

Bridget punches his arm lightly, knowing full well that seemingly self-deprecating statement is actually a jab at herself.

"So what if I like to branch out and discover new things," she says. "It's fun: finding something unexpected. It's like being a modern day Christopher Columbus, only instead of exploring new lands I'm exploring uncharted interwebs." 

They stop in front of Bridget's house and pause for a moment. She brushes some of her thick black hair behind her ear, only to have it pop back out again seconds later thanks to it's bob length. She wears a navy tank, revealing the entirety of her sleeve tattoo: a black ink intricate flower spanning from her shoulder down to just above her elbow. Doyle can't stop staring at it, noticing the little leaves and curly-cues twisting their way down her smooth, sun-kissed arm. Her short fingernails are painted bright blue. Doyle imagines them scratching lightly on his skin. 

"Well, I'm gonna go inside now. See you tomorrow," she says, breaking his focus.

He smiles then she turns around and walks down the cracked walk and into her house.

~~

Doyle stares at the ceiling under forest green covers. His mind is full of Bridget: her amber eyes, pursed peach lips, wavy bob, perfect round...shit. He's so freaking horny. He tries to force the blood everywhere, anywhere else, but it's way too late. To jerk or not to jerk? That is the question. On the one hand...oh, God, hand...ugh...in the "pros" column: she'll never know if I don't tell her, I'm sure plenty of guys have jerked off with their friends in mind, at least it would get her out of my freaking head...but...ugh...she's my friend and it's just wrong. It's gotta be some mentally disturbed, messed up violation of all that is sacred right? But then again wasn't it all? At least according to Father Nick...what kind of priest name was "Father Nick"? Seems like they should all be super Latin-y or Roman like...Father Dante or Father Francis or Father Constantinople...Okay, this is a shit distraction. Maybe...

He reaches for his phone and Google's pictures of hot girls, finds a good one, and grabs himself, but then he notices the girl in the picture has the same amber eyes as Bridget and his mind is brought full-circle back to her. 

He sighs, dims his phone, rolls over on his side, and tries to fall asleep. 

~~ 

Candra moves across the stage towards Doyle. He vaguely remembers he's got a line coming up soon. Bridget is wearing a white t-shirt with the sleeves cut off and a black lace bra on underneath, peeking out just enough to drive him crazy. 

"Doyle!" Candra yells. "Are you forgetting something?" 

"Oh, crap...uh...Why, yes, Abigail, the sun is oftly bright today," Doyle says, trying to focus.

"It's 'The sun is VERY bright today,'" Candra corrects. 

"So close," Bridget says. 

~~

"Hey, do you want to come in for pizza? My mom's gonna be home late tonight. I'd order the pizza by myself, but I don't think it's very ladylike to crush an entire pizza alone," Bridget offers once they reach her house.

Doyle watches her for a second, not sure how to read this. He's only ever gotten friend vibes from her and even now she doesn't sound flirty. It's more like she just asked him to come in for bro-time.

"You know, I really need to get home and start studying for Monday's Chemistry test," he says, trying out a lame excuse.

"Nope, unacceptable," she says simply and starts walking towards her house. 

He follows. 

~~

Bridget takes another bite of her pizza. Tribal-punk plays low in the background. The random, aggressive patterns make him anxious. He keeps catching his finger tapping his thigh. 

God, she's so hot, even with pizza grease on her cheek.

"Hello," she sings, snapping her fingers. She sets her plate down. "You're not trying to pull one of those daydreams on me like you do Candra are you?"

He looks at her. What if I mess this up? Maybe she does just want to be friends. Maybe I should just let it be. Screw it. Doyle tosses his greasy paper plate on the coffee table and leans into Bridget, eyes closed, simple kiss, testing the waters. Her lips are warm, soft, perfect, but unresponsive. 

She pulls back. "Uh, what the hell are you doing?"

Shit.

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