Chapter 13 (Part 2)

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*Note: Click the Youtube link above to listen to the Audiobook Version of this chapter voiced by kaelking12 (Kristen Maglonzo) featuring music by Smallpools, Saint Raymond, and Young The Giant.

Alex

"Hey, where you guys going? The party's just getting started! I didn't even get to sing Justin Bieber's 'Sorry' yet and that's like the highlight of my show. Hold up!"

Elias shouts out to the crowd but the smell's too strong and his pleas are too late to stop them. Within minutes almost no one's left standing in the Covel Courtyard area aside from me, Indigio, and Elias with his coke bottle microphone.

Back when I was still seeing shrinks for my problems, the only cool therapist I had used to say that I spent too much time feeling sorry for other people. I'd walk down the street on the way to her sessions, see a homeless man, and then spend the entirety of our appointment talking about how unjust the world had been to a total stranger instead of focusing on my own problems.

Ever since she pointed that out, I've tried my best not to pity other people to the point where it eclipses my issues. But seeing Elias standing there alone, half-naked, watching his crowd of adoring fans leave him surrounded by stinky fruit pieces, I couldn't help but feel kinda bad for him.

Not to mention guilty.

The thing is, I thought that when his whole concert came to an end that he'd just laugh it off or act indifferent like he normally does.

But now he looks so down that I--

Crap.

I should apologize.

Genuinely apologize.

If someone ruined my concert with flying pieces of stinky durian I'd probably want them to apologize to me too.

"Well, we did it, Alex. The courtyard's gonna be a ghost town for a good few hours with this much fruit on the ground. Now what? Should we start a riot?"

Indigo wipes the blade of her knife on the edge of her knit tank top. I hope eau de durian comes out in the wash, otherwise that shirt's gonna spend the rest of the semester quarantined in a plastic bag somewhere in our room. Fact.

"Actually, I think we should apologize," I say.

Indigo cocks her head to the side and narrows her cat-like eyes at me.

"Oh. Okay. Why the sudden change in your chakra?" She asks.

"I don't know. I thought the whole clearing out the concert thing was gonna be a good idea, but once people started leaving, Elias looked so bummed about it that I-"

"I'm not bummed about anything 'cause you're still here."

Suddenly I'm surrounded by arms, and not just any arms but arms that are warm, and strong, and pulling me closer to a body that's barely clothed.

My blood pressure spikes, my heart races, and my face catches fire the second he touches me.

He's touching me.

Holding me like he did on our last day at Belmar.

And in the space between those few seconds some broken part of me misses it.

Some ugly, repressed, unfaithful part of me misses the illusion of who we used to be.

Or what I thought we used to be.

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