by rugal b.
Peyton is now a senior. What's emerged after the end?
|“There’s going to be a party tonight out at Holly’s. You coming?”
“Pfft, yeah right Pey,” my sister said as she rolled her eyes and lounged in her office chair. Well, the office chair that used to be part of Dad’s office anyway. “When was the last time I went to some surface dweller party?”
“Right, right I forgot you’re Queen of the Morlocks now,” I answered sarcastically. “And you went to Leah’s party last month.”
“Well yeah, because that was the same weekend as her birthday. Like a pre-birthday party. I couldn’t not show up. That’d make me a bad friend.”
“So what, are you going to just stay here and be a nerd all night?”
“When was the last time I did that either?” she asked. “I’m going out to a show with Robbie tonight, then we’re coming back here and making beautiful lesbian love in your bed.”
“Do it and I’ll be an only child.”
“You and Jason can do it in my bed if you want.”
I threw a pillow at her big, dumb, grinning face. “I liked it better when you couldn’t talk back to me. Robbie’s been a bad influence,” I joked. “Anyway, you didn’t say anything about having a show tonight.”
“I don’t. Yell and Sienna’s bands are playing out at The Estate so we’re going to watch them and then,” she shrugs, “I dunno. We’ll wing it. Oh, I’ve got a show tomorrow out at the Warehouse. You gonna be out there?”
“Maybe? Me and some of the other cheerleaders were going out to the Montie with Jason and some guys. Then I was kind of hoping to spend a night in with him.”
“Gross, hetero sex,” Paris replied making an exaggerated disgusted face. “For real he’s a good guy, for a jock, so I’m happy for you Pey. But still, come out? You haven’t been to a show in a while.”
“Ugh, I know; I’m sorry. It’s just… I didn’t realize you had, like, all of this stuff you had to do once you were a cheerleader.”
“It’s not easy for me either,” she sighs. “I mean Yell’s band is getting popular and we’re all kind of leeching off of it so there’s just so many obligations you know? I think we’re going to outgrow the Warehouse before the end of the school year. Yell’s already said that they’ve got some bookings lined up outside of Saratoga Falls and they want us to play with them.”
“That’s great though! I mean that’s what you’ve been wanting right?”
“I know but it still make me nervous.” She hopped up out of the chair and began to make shooing motions. “Anyway, I have to get ready. You probably should too.”
“Uh huh,” I replied as I hopped up and headed towards the door. “Remember: do anything weird in my bed and they’ll be saying you had a bright future.”
“Yeah yeah,” she muttered. She gave me one last look. “Seriously though, please come out.”
My reply was non-committal. It feels so weird to think about how much has changed since the same time last year, early in our junior year. That was the Paris who was still coming to terms with her sexuality and who kept insisting she was bisexual. She was just starting to come out of her shell, still finding herself. I remember her getting these little crushes that would come and go and she’d be so scared about anyone finding out. She’d get so jittery talking to anybody so everyone thought she was just this meek, studious girl.
I knew better of course and now I think everyone else does too. But I guess when you’re running around the underground scene, playing music and being friends with the Bohemian Queen herself and her cool older sister, you can also be a dork and everyone’s cool with it.
Not like the world I run in. I’ve heard it’s better than it was last year when Chelsea and all of them were at the top but still, you have to keep up appearances and you have to make appearances. If there’s a big party coming up then you totally have to be there and if there’s multiple ones then you have to decide which is going to be the better one or which gets the host a boost in popularity when you grace it with your presence.
Don’t get me wrong of course, I love being a cheerleader. I’d dreamed about it since I was a little girl, even did it in middle school. But there was no JV team and Chelsea had this dumb unofficial “seniors only” policy for the squad last year – two mistakes that have been corrected – so I didn’t get the chance. Instead I got to play viola which, don’t get me wrong, I love too and I wouldn’t be trying to make this whole cheerleader/orchestra thing work if I didn’t. But cheerleader? That was always my goal.
I’m glad I persevered and that I get to be on the squad with a bunch of my friends – Courtney and Dallas and Cara and Leah – that’s fun; Stacey Stahl can piss up a rope though. But there are times where I sometimes wonder if I shouldn’t have pursued being a cheerleader. It’s opened up so many doors for me of course. I don’t think I would’ve had the courage to actually ask Jason Rowe out if I wasn’t one and oh my god he is just so handsome and he’s like a football throwing god and so sweet and attentive and ooh, I love him! He’s perfect!
But it also feels like I’m starting to get separated from my sister. Obviously we still live together and we have mutual friends but we’ve really started moving in different circles over the last year and more and more we find ourselves unable to go to this party or watch that performance because of prior obligations. I guess that’s normal, even for sisters and maybe even twin sisters, but there are still times where I start to worry that the gulf between us is going to widen.
I know that she worries about it too because, well, I know her. No matter how much she’s changed over the last year, Paris is still Paris and I know that she’s still a neurotic little worrywart who frets about this, that and the other.
Or maybe that’s what I want her to be. Not because I want her to be weak or anything but because I want things to stay as they are for just a little bit longer.
At the same time, though, I’m really proud of her. She’s come a long way in just about every way possible. I remember that few weeks right after Halloween last year where she started dating Aria Giordano which was a disaster. I’m friends with Aria, she’s a great girl and really she’s totally nice. But she’s… Aria; she’s commanding and Paris was still meek. It was a definite case of oil and water; I don’t even remember how they met in the first place.
But that did give her a little more confidence and she built up enough to talk to Jelena Petrovic. That’s when things really took off for her because Jelena is… she’s cool. None of what she does is my thing but some people just have that aura around them and Jelena is definitely of them. She invited Paris to play keyboards in her band and I watched her get so much more confident, so much more outgoing. She even got the courage to come out to Mom and Dad which is what got them to realize that we were growing up too and to stop doting on us so much, I think.
I think she was even dating Jelena for a little bit there. Well, I guess officially they weren’t or something but they always came off as real coupley.
But Paris left after a little while and was able to put together her own band and they’ve been doing really well. Paris is smart and she’s really dedicated and she’s with Jelena whose band had some video of theirs get some buzz so things are really looking up for her.
So she’s got her band and she’s got Robbie too; well Roberta actually but she has to be unique. Paris told her once that my ex was named Robby and her girlfriend thought that was totally hilarious. Nice girl but a total wise-ass like that. But they seem genuine with each other and she’s really helped build my sister’s confidence so I’m happy for Paris. She deserves it.
I still have trouble wrapping my head around it. Paris is basically one of the big shots of the underground scene, I’m a cheerleader. Both of us have active love lives with people that we’re really into. But I can’t help but feel a little inferior to her now as well, not that I’d ever admit it to her of course. She has something that she can do and that she’s good at and that seems to be carrying her to success. But what do I have?
I can’t really make a living off of being a cheerleader and my chances of doing it with my viola are only marginally better because there’s only so many spots around the country. So I’ll go to school and hover around for four years and what then? And the thought of having to do it without my sister right next to me… It’s tough to admit but I feel like our roles have really reversed.
Now I’m the one who’s starting to get nervous or isn’t feeling as confident while Paris has all of that covered and I’m feeling like I may need her more than she’ll need me.
I guess I shouldn’t stress too much over it though. The future is, well, in the future. Right now I’m exactly where I want to be, where I’ve always wanted to be. Putting in an appearance at Holly’s (who knew she’d be so good at taking up Catherine’s mantle? I’ve heard the stories about Catherine’s parties) for instance, enjoying the mingling, the dancing and drinks. This is what I wanted so I don’t regret it.
I know I definitely enjoy it when Jason decides to leave a little bit early so we can make our way back to his place for a little bit of the intimate time that we haven’t been able to get all week. But more than… you know, I enjoy just laying there with him. I enjoy my head laying against his strong chest while he strokes my hair and occasionally cranes over for a quick kiss.
Have I mentioned how perfect he is because he is so perfect!
I guess that’s something I should really appreciate. That even if my sister and I aren’t able to do everything together anymore the way that we used to, that I still have people I can share myself with whether platonically or romantically. Just stop worrying and find contentment in what I have instead of fretting over what I might lose. Even with Paris, I know deep down that even if we’re running in different social circles, even if we move to different cities or states we’ll still have each other.
I’ll content myself with the present and everything I have right now. And maybe I’ll go see my sister play after all.
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