Even though it wasn't something I'd admit out loud, a really big part of me wished that Tristan would've beat Tony up. It was childish and pointless and wouldn't change what happened in the past... but jesus, would it had made me feel so much better to see him walking around with a black eye.
I walked aimlessly through the maze of tour buses, not really paying attention to anything my mother said on the phone. It wasn't until she started yelling in Korean that I stopped to actually listen to what she was saying. "God, mom! What are you yelling for? I'm listening to you!" That only made it worse... at this point she was practically spouting gibberish. I stopped in front of a random bus, leaning against it as I tried my very best to decipher what she was saying. After what felt like half an hour she got tired of talking to herself, sending her best wishes and lots of love to my brother, the band, and I. With a sigh, I sank down onto the gravel, staring at the dark screen of my iPhone. I wasn't being like myself...
I was never the type to get lost in my thoughts or wander around as if i didn't have a job to do.
This was all Tony's fault. Fucking piece of shit.
Speak of the devil...
The tour bus door opened, revealing the exact person I'd give anything to avoid. I narrowed my eyes and glanced at the decal that covered the whole side of the bus. 'Pierce the Veil' was written very clearly... Why didn't I notice it before? I freaked out. I didn't know what else to do in that moment so I did what any other loser would do... I rolled underneath the bus and hid there.
It was... quite a stupid decision.
We were adults... I didn't have to hide from him or even explain myself.
Then why was I so scared of confronting him?
I sighed to myself, feeling like a complete idiot as I watched his feet (and others) walk along the side of the bus. I held my breath, eyes widening when I noticed the fact that I left my phone out... in the open.
I held my breath hoping no one would notice... but of course, luck was never EVER on my side. It started ringing and I strained my eyes to try to make out the name. I wiggled my body along the gravel to try to reach out and snatch it before any of the boys chatting around the bus noticed, but instead, a very tattooed hand reached out to grab it first.
I almost gasped out loud, covering my face as the bane of my existence crouched down on his hands and knees to peek under the bus.
He chuckled, "Aspen? What're you doing here?"
I bit down on the inside of my check, rolling out from under the bus. I got up and dusted my clothes off, avoiding his curious gaze. "I dropped my phone and.. I was, you know, I-- looking.." I ended up mumbling in Korean, snatching my phone from his grasp before turning to speed-walk towards the Up @ Night bus.
"Stupid, stupid, stupid." I muttered to myself, smacking myself on the face lightly.
I could just die in that moment. Why was I so awkward? After all those years I spent working hard to mold my 'boss bitch' demeanor. All shattered within a couple of minutes...
I grabbed at our bus' door handle, opening it and scrambling inside like a dog with my tail in between my legs. Everyone was hanging out watching something on the TV, I didn't bother joining them, I would only ruin everyone's fun.
"Mia... Iris... bunk meeting, please?" I grumbled as I waddled my way into the bunk area. The girls were quick to join me, Mia rolling in first, followed by me, and then Iris. They cuddled me from both sides, playing with my hair and rubbing at my back.
"Speak... or I WILL fart in this bunk..." Mia commanded, a mischievous gleam in her eye.
I was quick to open my mouth because truthfully I had so much to get off of my chest, not because I was scared of Mia's weak attempt at a dutch oven.
"This whole Tony situation is bumming me out, man." I began, "I'm fucking losing it! This shit happened almost a million years ago but I can't help but feel like that nerdy little girl from high school. I swear, up until today... I almost forgot all about him. This is... the absolute worst blast from the past. Never in my life had I felt as shitty as I did when he left me... That fucker was my first everything!" I buried my face into the side of Mia's neck, big tears welling up in the corners of my eyes.
I felt like a baby crying over something that happened so long ago. But seeing him all over again was like ripping the bandaid off of a wound that never quite healed.
"He's a piece of shit, end of story. Karma will hit him like a truck, trust me on that." Mia cooed, kissing the side of my head. "Even though his friend is really fucking sexy..."
"Ow, what the fuck, Iris!" Mia whined after Iris reached over to flick her on the cheek.
"We're here to comfort Aspen, not talk about dudes we want to bang..."
I peeked out of my hiding spot to catch Mia pouting like the brat she was.
"I bet..." Iris began slowly. She didn't even have to finish the train of thought for me to know that it was either going to be illegal or highly immoral.
"You bet what, Iris?"
She scoffed and pinched me in the side. "Wow, let me finish, would you?" With another scoff she continued, "I bet you'll feel sooo much better if you deck him. Just once... right in the mouth."
I didn't even bother arguing with her because I knew she was right. If I could make him feel even an ounce of pain that he made me feel... then it would all be worth it.
Nia pulled open the curtain to the bunk, "I'm not even going to address the fact that you guys had a bunk meeting without me... But Aspen, if you're going to punch him, punch him hard. But most importantly, you girls hungry?"
Almost as if on cue, Iris' stomach began rumbling. "Nooo..." She mumbled, although we knew she was lying from the sound of her voice.
"There's gonna be a kickoff barbecue later tonight. Make sure to show up, otherwise you're not eating... because I'm sure as hell not cooking."
"One last thing! Iris, get your ass out here before the band plays without you and fuck everything up."
She hesitated but listened to what Mama Nia had to say. Iris gave Mia and I kisses before slinking out of my bunk, promising she'd be back for part two. "We should take this opportunity to nap. Nia has this covered and when we wake up... we shall feast."
I nodded, wrapping my arms tightly around Mia's body. "What would I do without you, bitch?"
It was dark when I woke up and I was all alone. I sat up as best as I could without bumping my head on the top of the bunk. I kicked my legs out, trying to find the trace of one human in the otherwise empty tour bus. I jumped out and stretched my hands out above my head. I didn't hesitate to make my way into the tiny bathroom, jumping in before anyone else had a chance to take this small piece of happiness from me.
The hot water only lasted a total of five minutes before I was made to run out of the below zero temperature water. I glanced around the cramped bathroom before remembering the fact that I didn't bring a towel with me. I slid the door open and took a peek out into the bus before deciding to make a run for it. I didn't make it more than a couple of steps before Gavin exited the back room, giving me a subtle once over before reaching to his left to grab a towel off of the shelf.
He tossed it to me as he walked past me, chuckling under his breath. "Shower must've been super cold. I can tell from how hard your nips are."
I practically screamed at the top of my lungs, more so out of dramatics, we'd all seen each other naked dozens of times... it wasn't anything new. "Just wait, Gav! I'm going to get you back!"
I rolled my eyes and glanced inside of my bunk, reading the time on my digital clock. It was just a little bit past nine PM, which meant that the shows were done for the night. I hurriedly threw on whatever was sitting at the top of my suitcase, slipping my feet into the nearest pair of shoes (which just so happened to be mine).
I grabbed my phone and my keys and took off into the night. It wasn't hard for me to figure out where the barbecue was, I just followed the loud noises of everyone having a good ol' jolly time. I waited in the shadows as I tried to find somebody I knew in the massive crowd. I spotted my brother, surrounded by most of his band, but I didn't make it far before Mia jumped on my back.
"Who are you looking for?" She asked.
She gave me the biggest of grins, holding out a red solo cup that was filled with... I took it out of her hands, not really caring what was poured inside.
"Are you hungry?"
I shook my head, "nah, not yet."
She linked arms with me and laid her head on my shoulder. "I started drinking early and I super regret it 'cause..." She paused to take a sip of her drink. "Well, 'cause... I don't actually know..."
I laughed and rolled my eyes at the same time, "classic Mia."
I was trying to get as intoxicated as her, downing the entirety of my drink in one chug.
"Whoa, whoa! Slow it down, big sis. Wouldn't want to drag you back to the bus if you get absolutely shitfaced." I just shrugged and shoved Tristan as he floated past me to mingle with his other band friends.
"Do your big sis a favor and grab her another drink, will you?"
He waved me off, but made sure to head over to the table that held the drinks.
"So, Aspen." Mia spoke up suddenly.
I immediately recognized her tone of voice, "the answer is no."
She smacked her teeth, "you don't even know what I was going to ask, Aspennnn."
"You're right... but I know you and the answer's no..."
Mia draped herself on me, "but his friend..."
I grabbed her by the shoulders, holding her out in front of me as I raised an eyebrow at her. "Whose friend?"
"Tony's." She answered with a whine.
I rolled my eyes, "what about him?"
"He's so hot and he asked me to," she stopped mid-sentence.
"Asked you to... what?"
"Hang out and stuff."
I already knew where she was headed with this. "And I'm not going to be the one to keep you, go get some." I shoved her lightly in a random direction and made my way over to where my brother was seated.
"Where's my drink, dickhead?"
He looked up at me, "oh, yeah. Your drink."
If you want something done, then you need to do it yourself. I grabbed a clean solo cup and poured myself some beer from the keg that sat on the corner. The smell of carne asada made its way into my nostrils and I couldn't stop my mouth from watering. I turned to head towards the grill and see what exactly was cooking, when I walked right into someone's chest.
Judging from the way my life was going, I didn't even have to check to know who it was. I didn't hesitate to try to push my way past Tony, but he was quick to grab my wrist, stopping me in place.
"Let me go!" I exclaimed, trying to tug my wrist out of his grasp.
Out of the corners of my eyes I could see everyone tensing up, my brother shooting up from his seat.
"Can I please talk to you, Aspen?"
"Let. Me. Go." I told him one last time.
I dropped my solo cup and with all the strength I could muster, I punched him right in the center of his face. He released the hold he hand on my hand and took a few steps back. I felt accomplished until I saw the blood gushing from his nose. "Holy shit... what have I done?" I muttered to myself, the sound of my brother cheering in the distance drowned out by my rapid heartbeating.
Someone tossed a t-shirt towards Tony, checking up on him before he ran off in between the maze of buses. I don't know why I decided to follow him, but it wasn't like I could stop myself anyways.
I found him leaning against a tour bus as he tended to his bloody nose. He looked up at me and removed the t-shirt from his face. "You throw a mean punch." He said with a chuckle.
"You deserved it."
He nodded, "I know."
I went to stand in front of him, arms crossed over my chest. "Why won't you just leave me alone? I just want to lick my wounds and be done with it."
"I just want you to know I'm sorry."
"You look sorry."
He laughed even though he probably didn't want to. "I mean it though."
It was silent as I tried to think of something to say. All those years ago when he first left me, there was so much I wanted to say, but now... I couldn't think of a damn thing.
"Aspen, did you hear me? I mean it."
I clenched my jaw, staring up at him with absolute disdain. "So? Am I just supposed to forgive you?"
He sighed, "I guess you're right."
"I hope I don't see you around anymore, Tony." I turned to walk away but he grabbed my wrist again.
I expected him to go on some corny spiel about how he regrets it every day, blah blah blah. "I don't want to hear anythi-"
But instead, he kissed me.
It felt just like the first time.
give me opinions and predictions, maybeeee???