A lot of things can happen in a short amount of time, so it was safe to say that a lot more can happen if the time line is expanded, even if only by a little bit. One long year had passed since that Berrymas eve. The changing seasons had come and gone another cycle more, and I found myself alone on a cold January morning. Life was a funny and fickle friend. Just about the time I thought I had a hold on it, things would shift in a total different direction, and it felt like I had to start all over from scratch. I truly hated it and resented it. As an overemotional being, it wasn’t hard for me to tap into what I was feeling, but at the same time I hated to feel like I walked around all the time whining or moping. That just wasn’t who I was, I much preferred to be happy, and to make others happy.
But there are some people in this world who won’t care what you want, or what their son wants. No, there is a chance you will come across someone who only worries about themselves, or what other might think. Bubble never received my gift from that night, or any other night. In fact we only saw each other once more after that and it wasn’t something I cared to relive again. After a “to school and back” restriction and a new “not being able to take his truck anywhere but church” rule, Bubble caved under the pressure.
The next dance, was nothing like the first. A cold empty hallway and a couple of casual glances, let me know that things between us were over. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t crushed, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it. His parents obviously thought I was a threat. I couldn’t help but be frustrated, when I thought about the fact that they never even gave me a chance. I was good person, I put my heart and soul into almost everything that I did, but I guess the fact that I didn’t share the right beliefs was enough. I didn’t have the heart to throw the box away, so there it sat,lurking in the dark shadows at the far corner beneath my desk.
It almost seemed like an ironic blessing that I found Dreamer only weeks before our inevitable break up. Perhaps I knew it was all too good to be true. Happy endings were only a part of the fictional magic that was regaled to me every night through my fathers bed time stories. I was only fooling myself if I was to believe that sort of thing happened in real life, and the Bubble thing was only my poignant reminder of the fact. I was no pessimist though, I knew love would find me one day, it just wasn’t going to take the shape of knight in shining armor. Dreamer though, Dreamer was probably the closest thing to my knight, he was always there for me, completely in tune with my moods. When ever I was feeling down, it wouldn’t be too long before a sweet bob-tailed ball of love was in my lap, purring his little heart away.
As cruel as life can be, it also has the ability to be just as kind. Berrymas eve was a huge night for Taffy in a completely different light. I think after all the hardship she had endured in her short life, it was only fair that things finally started to turn around. Just like the rest of the family, my uncle Chessie and Uncle Mulberry fell in love with her instantly. None of us wanted to send her back to the home after that night, and thankfully when we did, it was only for a very short time.
My uncles started the paperwork straight away, and by the time Valentines day rolled around. Taffy was able to spend it with a loving family, something she had never done before. I couldn’t get over how she fit right in with them.
If you saw the three of them together, you never would have guessed she wasn’t born into their little family. Personalty wise they were three peas in a pod. Living only a mile down the road meant we got to hang out more as well. Taffy had already found her way into my heart that night, I was so grateful that I wouldn’t have to lose her. She was definitely my favorite Berrymas gift.
There are a lot of things we may sometimes take for granted, and kiss goodnight, a good morning hug, or maybe just the sound of laughter ringing through the house, emanating just outside your bedroom door. Little things that our sweet Taffy was finally having the chance to experience. She couldn’t have found a better home, and knowing that I had just a little bit do with it, filled me a satisfaction unlike all of my other good deeds combined.
Seeing her so happy, made it a lot easier to go through what I had been dealt. Bubble and I obviously weren’t meant to be, and I knew it. I decided after that, to just leave relationships alone for a while. School was enough worry, I didn’t need to add a boyfriend to the mix. It took a lot of effrort to be the support network in our group of eight very different friends. It never failed that someone was coming to me for some sort of advice, or help and although I loved it, it was a tad exhausting, and that was without any sort of outside factors. Yup, I was not meant for a boyfriend, I had a much higher calling.
I loved my niche in life, no one in our group would have ever been able to fill it quite like me. I don’t mean that in an arrogant way, it was just a common fact that out of all of us, I had the most patience, as well as the keen ability to actually listen. Great for them right? Not so much for me, of course I did have Cerese and Seance, they would always listen, but it would have been nice, just once, if I could unload on someone else for a change, sadly that was not the things worked around our little corner.
The cheerful sounds of everyone chatting managed to fill my ears, even over the moderately loud music booming from the main room. A little quieter than most days though, we were down three people that day. Viola was off buying some sort of congratulatory nick knack for our science teacher, who had just announced the arrival of his first baby girl, during third period that day. Cerese was at home in bed with a cast on her right leg that ran all the way up to her thigh. A battle of wits with a vehicle in the parking lot and funny that, Cerese lost… And then Rhapsody… well no one knew exactly where Requiem was, not even Harmony his sister.
I set myself next to Matrix in the only vacant seat and then proceeded to play catch up. A fun game of “lets see if I can figure out what the heck is going on”. Luckily it was a rather easy topic that day, so it took me little to no time to hop right in.
“I think I am going to ask Cinnamon to the dance. He seems really sweet and suuuuuper funny!” Harmony giggled to Matrix. Matrix who didn’t seem to have an opinion on the subject what so ever continued to watch the football match on the large television screen across the way. Unfazed by his lack of interest, she pushed on. “How about you Rixy? You gonna take your girly girl?” Harmony’s voiced tinkled with excitement.
Matrix finally turned to look Harmony’s direction, the expression on his face, highlighting just how annoyed he was by the current topic. I couldn’t help but giggle as I took in another sip of my tea.
“I don’t know. Maybe.” He growled. “ I already said I would go to hers, and that is already getting expensive enough, so honestly, I am not even gonna bring it up and maybe she won’t hear about it.
“Awww! I was hoping to meet her this time.”
“Ya, I don’t think that is gonna happen this time sorry.”
Winter formal was almost upon us and everyone was clambering about what they were planning to do for the evening. Everyone except for me… and Tapestry. I had no plans, I had already gone to one formal with the girls and once was enough. It’s easy to pretend it was the best night ever, and that going with a guy would have been not nearly as cool, but that only lasted until the first slow dance, when you either shuffled off to the corner to sip on punch, or drag one of the other girls to the floor and mock the whole thing. Been there, done that, so this time I was planning on just staying home. Tapestry might have had plans, but it was hard for any of us tell, most of the time he was so engrossed in his computer screen, he never dropped a word in edgewise. Even worse now that Requiem was no where to be found.
“What about you Sandy? Did Rhapsody ask you yet?” I inquired taking another sip of my herbal yumminess.
“Not yet, but I think we will discuss it over dinner tonight.” Sandy grinned.
“No way! Rhapsody gets to come over and not me!” This was news to Harmony and apparently the lack of invitation was distressing to say the least. “I never get to go anywhere.” She pouted, folding her arms over her chest.
“Well, it was kind of a special dinner, and besides we are having salmon, you hate fish.”
“Yuck. Never mind…”
The discussion ended abruptly when a message came in on Sandy’s bPhone. It was an apology text from Rhapsody. Seems he wasn’t going to make it to their little dinner party. Sandy dropped the phone back into her purse. “Well Harm, would you like to come over for some mashed potatoes and gravy?”
From there we gathered all of our things and headed for the front exit. Tapestry packed his things and walked over by me, obviously ready for our walk home. It had always been a part of our daily routine but with one small difference. No Cerese to act as a buffer. The boy barely talked under our normal circumstances, I could only imagine the awkwardness I was about to endure.
Color me surprised when just outside the exit, Tapestry placed a hand on my shoulder.
“Wisteria? Can I ask you something?” I was more than a little shocked that he even knew my name in all honesty, but that was my cue, so I went straight to it. “Of course. What’s up Tap?”
“I need your advice on something. Actually I need your help with something.”
“Oh? Well I can try. What’s on your mind?”
“Well it has to do with the formal.” My heart started to race, oh no, was he going to ask me to the dance? I swallowed hard. “Uh huh.”
“Do you know Honeydew? She works here at the buzz?”
I thought about it for a minute. “I think so, does she have green hair?”
I nodded. “Yup, I know her.”
“Well she kinda asked me to the dance, and I don’t know what to say.”
I breathed a sigh of relief and chuckled.
“Is that funny?” Tapestry’s cheeks flushed an adorable shade of pink.
“No! I’m sorry, I just thought you were trying to ask me to the dance.”
“OHHHH! Hahaha! No, no way, I would never do that.” He laughed again.
Ouch… Not that I liked him like that, but the fact that I wasn’t even an option kind of stung. Of course compared to Honeydew hotpants I was like the troll under the sugarblossom bridge. I forced another laugh. “Hah! Of course you wouldn’t.”
“Oh man, I didn’t mean it like that. I’m sorry Wisteria.” He shook his head. “That came out all wrong.”
“It’s fine.” I rubbed my hands together and did my best to get the topic back on track. “So do you like this Honeydew?”
“Well, she seems really nice and she smells good.”
“Well that is a start.” I giggled.
“I just don’t have any sort of experience with this sort of thing, that’s why I thought I would ask you. Since your never busy, I thought you would be the best person to ask.”
Double ouch, what the heck was that supposed to mean? This kid knew just how to push all the wrong buttons. I forced a larger smile. “I guess so.”
“I did it again didn’t I?”
I patted his shoulder. “Lets… just start walking shall we?”
We started our trek towards Tapestry’s house. The quiet walk I was expecting turned out to be anything but. We were only a block from the Buzz when it finally dawned on him, what he had said. “I didn’t mean to offend you, I hope I didn’t hut your feelings.”
I gave him a sideways glance. “No, I’m fine. I take it you haven’t talked to many girls.”
“Only Cerese and now you.”
“Ah I see. Well the first thing you should remember is, girls like to feel special. Try not insult her, she probably won’t like that. ”
“Ya, probably not.”
“Tell you what. Why don’t you take my number and we can discuss this a little more. I can’t promise that I will make it over before the dance, but if you have any questions you can call me okay?”
“That works. Thank you.”
“One other question?”
“What should I wear?”
I had a feeling there was going to be a lot of calls coming my way very shortly….
“Yes. This is she.”
“Oh hey Tap! Whats’ up?”
“So I said yes… Now what do I do?”
“Great! Are you going to pick her up?”
“Yes. No. I mean, yes and no.”
“You’re losing me here.”
“Well my mom is going to drive us.”
“Oh. Well that works.”
“Ya, is that wrong?”
“Not exactly. Did she seem okay with the idea.”
“She seemed fine.”
“Then you should be good.”
“Great! So what do you think I should wear again?
There were quite a few more phone calls just like that, all the way up to the actual day of the formal. In fact the last was only like an hour before he and his mother were about to leave to go pick Honeydew up. By this time I had his number in my phone, so I was fully aware of who was waiting on the other line.
“Hi Tap. Ready for the big night?”
“I- Uh I think so.”
“This is like a date isn’t it?”
“Sort of. I mean most likely she thinks it is.”
“What if she wants a goodnight kiss?”
“Sweety I don’t think you have anything to worry about with your mom in the car.”
“Oh. Right. I forgot about that.”
“Just go and have a good time. Try not to stress.”
“Okay, I will.”
“You ready now.”
“Okay then good luck! Bye bye.”
“No problem! Now you go have fun!”
I hung up the phone and shook my head. What a goof…
Well the night went swimmingly. They both looked amazing and they even managed to finish the night without one incident. Tap managed to keep his mouth in check and Honeydew managed to toe the line and not scare him off. All in all it was another job well done. If only all of my pleas for help were handled with such ease.
But as luck would have it, they were not. My next challenge would prove to be much much harder than Tap and his cutey little friend who happened to be a girl. His label for her… not mine.
Anyways, it was an early Saturday, I was busy keeping my hands occupied as well as keeping my stomach distracted. It was a lot easier to do when I was doing something artistic or creative. That particular morning I was happily sketching away at the drafting table when the doorbell rang.
I looked around the room, no one was heading for the door, so I dropped my pencil. “I got it!”
The doorbell rang again, and again. “I’m coming! Just a second please!” I quickened my pace the last few steps and pulled the door open.
Before I even had a chance to register who was standing on the other side, a blur of magenta flew straight at me. Sandy dove her tear-streaked face, smudgey mascara and all right into my shoulder.
“Oh Wist!!!! WAHHHHHHHHH”
My eyes shot open wide. I had never seen Sandy dressed down before, not even the few times I had stayed the night at her house. She started to sob, unintelligible. “whhuuuu mhhuuu giiii waahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!.”
“Whoa whoa, slow down there. What’s wrong love?”
Again she tried to speak but if it was words she was speaking, it was news to me. I took hold of her shoulders. “Sweety you gotta slow down, I can’t understand you.” I explained again.
This time it was full fledged sobs, no words. “Okay. Come with me.” I started to lead her to my room, she definitely needed to sit down.”
Mom called out from the kitchen. “Sweet berry what is going on in there?!”
“It’s okay mom! Sandy is having a bit of crisis. We’re going to my room!”
I carefully guided my sobbing mess of a friend all the way to my room. She didn’t let up the whole time we were walking. Her cries were so heartbroken, I could feel my own heart clench every time she stopped to take a ragged breath. I shut the door behind us and gestured for her to sit.
Finally she was able to at least stop long enough to speak.
“Oh Wisteria, I don’t know what to do.”
Her bottom lip began to quiver, and her next revelation came out in one long string. “IthinkRequiemisboredwithmeandisgonnabreakupwithmeeeeeeee wahhhhhhhhhh.” And she started in again.
It took me a second to compute it all, but once it had, I will admit I was a tiny bit shocked. Requiem had been infatuated with Sandy for years, I always thought it would be the other way around.
“Oh, I’ sure he isn’t bored.”
“Yes- he- is! He- hasn’t- called- me-in- two-weeks wahhhhhhhhhhh.”
“I’m sure there is a reason.”
“Ya. He hates me. *sniff sniff*”
“I doubt that he hates you. Have you tried calling him?”
*sniff* “Yes. He just picks up and then hangs up! Buhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”
*Sniff sniff* “Will you call him please?”
“You want me to call him?”
“But why? What in the world would I say?”
“Ask him why he is ignoring me? Ask him to call me?”
“Gosh Sandy, I don’t know…”
“Please please please.”
Ughhhh I had a horrible time saying no to anyone, and her broken hearted face, solidified the fact, that this was not to be my first time to try it. I picked my phone up from the desk. *sigh* “What’s his number?”
After getting his number, I dialed my phone. “I can’t believe I am doing this.” The second the phone started to ring, Sandy started sobbing again. And the award for best actress in a drama goes to Sandy Hazel…
The phone rang seven times. I held my hand over the mouth piece. “He’s not picking up.”
“Hello?” Spoke too soon…
“Uh hi. Requiem?”
“Heeeeeey! It’s Wisteria.”
“Oh. Hi Wisteria. Did Sandy put you up to this?”
I wanted to say no, but it was hard to ignore the wailing cries from behind me.
“She may have had something to do with this, yes.”
“Well tell her that I don’t want to talk to her right now. She is being way too clingy and I need a little space.”
“Oh, I see.”
“What?” Sandy whined.
“He says… that he is just reeeeeeally busy. He will call you in a few days.”
“Tell her to stop dragging you into this.” Requiem added.
“And he says he misses you very much.”
“I didn’t say that!”
“Okay then. Bye bye.”
I hung up the phone and attempted to console my friend once again. The sobbing had subsided drastically, but she was still sniffling and breathing funny.
“Why don’t you lay down for a little while.” I offered leading her over to my bed. “I will go get us something to drink? Okay?”
“Okay.” *sniff* “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. You rest up.”
When I stepped out of my room, I almost ran face first into my womb-mate (hah! get it).
“Yes. She is going to be fine.”
“Doesn’t sound good. Her and Requiem.”
I shot him an evil glare. “Se how long have you been out here eavesdropping?”
“What? Me? I don’t eavesdrop.”
“Well what would you call it then?.”
“I know just the thing to cheer her up.”
“I seriously doubt that…”
“Will you just let me try. I can’t do any worse than you.”
“Excuse me? I don’t know what more I could have done. I called him for crying out loud!”
“Shhhh she is going to hear you.”
I threw my hands in the air, with exasperation. “Fine. Try. I’m gonna go get us something to drink.” I knew full well he would be kicked out before I returned anyways.
I watched carefully as he sat down next to her on the bed, and then with a smirk I headed downstairs to the kitchen. “I know just the thing to cheer her up.” I mocked coming down the stairs. “Ughhhhh. Idiot.”
I don’t know what happened in there, but the sounds coming from my room, were much more pleasant than when I had left. There was laughing from both parties. I stopped at the door, with both teas in my hand. I couldn’t believe it.
“So then he was like, that’s not hat, it’s my tupe.!!”
“OMB! Now way!!”
“I know right!”
Huh… looks like my brother was less of an idiot than I thought.”