Monday, November 26, 2012

Photographic Evidence

"He referred to her as his 'wifey,'" I made a noise somewhere between a gag, and a choke, and a dying horse.
Sarah laughed on her end of the line, "Really?"
"Really really. I told Ian he needs to find himself a girlfriend, not a wife," I said with a dark laugh, "And then he proceeded to flirt with me for the rest of the night."
"Wow, great relationship," Sarah said dryly as I pulled into the mildly-familiar apartment complex where Andrew's fiancee Gabi lived.
"Well I just pulled up to Gabi's so we'll see how today goes. Xaylia and Ian together in public, plus Amanda, this might get interesting..."
I hung up my phone thinking back to a few days ago when my gay bff, Geoff, had visited me at work. He had read my fortune, and apparently things with Ian were going to get a little hairy, but around Halloween someone better was coming my way. I wasn't afraid of things getting a little hairy, what's life without a little drama, after all? And someone better than Ian? Now I had something other than Ian and Amanda breaking up to look forward to.
"Happy Birthday Gabi!" I called to announce my arrival as I entered the apartment that was already filled with people.
"Thanks!" Gabi said as we hugged.
"I made you some cookies for your birthday," I said, holding out a plate with a bow on top, "Dark chocolate and butterscotch chip. They seemed appropriately fall-ish,"I smiled.
"Oohh thank you!" Gabi said.
"Xaylia!" I felt a strong arm wrap around me.
"Andrew!" I returned my best friend's hug.
Jen was being distant. She seemed like she was somewhere else, her mind on school, or going out to dinner with her boyfriend's parents later that night or something. I wasn't going to lie, now that she was back together with her ex, she didn't seem to need me as a best friend anymore.
Oh well. I had Andrew as my new best friend, and Andrew didn't threaten to slit my throat when I told him about me and Ian's little fling.
I turned around with a smile, "Amanda!"
We hugged like old friends.
Old friends of exactly a week.
I took a seat at the table where one of Gabi's friends was making creative pigs in a blanket to look like mummies, "Need any help?" I asked Justine.
"Yeah!" Justine was slicing up dough into strips to be wrapped around the mini hot dogs.
Amanda took the seat next to me, and the three of us set to work making the appetizers.
A hand reached over and snatched up my iPhone 5 from where it was sitting on the table.
"Hello to you too," I said to Ian.
"Your's is still the first and only I've seen," he said, admiring my phone for a few moments, even though when I had seen him earlier in the week he had been all over it.
"It's beautiful isn't it?" I said dreamily, making a mummy, "Hey try my cookies," I said, nodding to the plate that had made it to the table. Ian had a thing for my baking.
"You made these?" Amanda said, "They're awesome!"
"Thanks!" I said as she took a second one.
"You should bring these into work," Ian nodded his approval.
"So Amanda, what do you do?" I asked gingerly.
She told me briefly about her job in her hometown, which was a couple of hours away from where Ian and I lived, "...But, uh, next week I'm moving to New Zealand."
My entire body shut down for a second, "New Zealand? Next week? Oh my God!" I exclaimed.
It was like my own private fireworks show: She was moving halfway across the globe. In a week! This was so perfect, beyond perfect. It was a good thing I had the slightest bit of acting ability, or I wouldn't have been able to contain the glee that was secretly radiating from me, like the lights from the fireworks that were going off in every cell of my body.
"Do you have a job there, or is this purely spontaneous?" I asked.
"I have a job, it's with the company that got me the internship in London this summer-"
I nodded. I knew of said company; Ian had worked for them during the height of our flirtationship.
"But I don't really know where I'm going to live or anything, and I don't mind being homeless for a few days, I just want to go! I knew it was time to make a change, so I got a plane ticket and yeah!" I returned the beaming smile on her face.
"Oh Amanda, that's so great!" I could feel her enthusiasm, mixed with my own devious happiness at this news. I leaned over and hugged her, and she hugged me back, "I seriously admire your guts, seriously, that is so awesome!"
She giggled, "I'm so excited, but nervous at the same time, you know?"
We put our conversation on pause as we all gathered our coats and scarves to head to the cider mill a few blocks down the road. The grey clouds held the promise of a slight drizzle on that early October afternoon. I stayed at the back of the group, chatting with Gabi and a decently cute guy named James. Up ahead, I could see Ian and Amanda holding hands. There was only the slightest twinge of jealousy in the pit of my stomach. She was wearing jeans, and some white fleecy jacket, and a scarf. I was wearing jeans too, but they were a perfect fitting pair of bootcuts, that skimmed the ground even with the black sneaker wedges I was wearing.
The entire Davis family was ridiculously tall, I always felt the need to wear heels around them, but that hardly did me any good. Ian still had to lean down to kiss me when I was in high heels.
Instead of a no-name fleece jacket, I was rocking a black leather jacket over my green VS Pink sweatshirt, that was left unzipped to show off just the perfect amount of my black lace bralette. Topped with a tiny spiked necklace for just the right touch of edge, I looked sufficiently more fashionable than she did.
And from behind, it was obvious that I had the better ass.
But maybe Ian was more of a boobs guy, because she did have me there...
I literally told my brain to shut up, because I couldn't help that Ian had settled for second-best, and that second-best was clearly not as stylish as I am.
The sticky, sweet smell of donuts caught up with us half-a-block from the cider mill. Little children's squeals of delight could be heard from the petting zoo, and families were sitting on picnic tables underneath rose and amber leafed trees. The sugar rush from the hot apple cider sent tingles through my brain, and Andrew helped not at all when he insisted I at least split a donut with him. Consuming sugar did dangerous things to people who ate very little of it, if I had had the entire donut I was sure I would have felt like I was drunk already.
I wasn't sure how James and I ended up leading the group back to Gabi's apartment, but everyone was behind us as we talked about our favorite bands and the best concerts we had been to. I hadn't even been meaning to make sure Ian saw me giving my attention to another guy (who wasn't his brother), it just happened to work out that way. Whoops.
As soon as we all got back, it only took a few minutes for a batch of apple cider and Captain to begin warming in the croc pot. I found myself sitting across the table from Jen, but with nothing to say to her. She hadn't made an effort to be apart of my life for the past few months, and it made me sad to be so physically close to a far away friend, yet feel even more distant.
"Hey Andrew," I called over Jen's shoulder, to where her brother was standing next to the croc pot, "Pour me a drink," and I turned to Amanda, who was sitting on my other side and stuck up a conversation that I wished I could have had with Jen.
Jen and her boyfriend drifted out shortly after Gabi cut her cake, and as I finished my hot cider and Captain, Andrew drifted over to our table, where one of his buddies had taken Jen's vacated seat.
"Come sit with me," I said, sliding over to one edge of my chair.
Without a moment's hesitation he plopped down next to me, "Finished already?" he said as I took the final sip of my drink.
"Only catching up to you," I said with a laugh, and he slid his Captain and Coke over to me.
"Wanna share?"
I took a drink, having the distinct feeling that sharing drinks would be a new best-friend-tradition.
We were all talking when his buddy paused, his eyes flashing between the two of us, "Why are you guys drinking from the same cup?"
"We're best friends forever," Andrew said nonchalantly.
I also had the distinct feeling that Jen was about to be totally replaced.

"Hey X, booze run, come on," Kang said, tapping me on the shoulder as our friend Marcell started pulling on his jacket as well, "Ian, you coming?"
"Yeah," I heard Ian call from the other end of the room as I slipped my leather jacket back on.
"Shotgun!" I called as Kang, Marcell, Ian, Amanda, and I trooped out of Gabi's apartment. I felt mildly buzzed from my two drinks as I slid into the front seat of Kang's car and we sped to the Meijers around the corner.
"I think they're gonna need to see everyone's id's when we buy this," Ian said in a seemingly matter-of-fact voice, but I knew him better than that.
"Don't even have mine on me, you can't prove whether I'm legal or illegal," I said in a tone that matched his as we headed into the store.
Ian and I laughed. I knew his sense of humor, of course he had to crack a joke at the fact that I was the only one underage.
Amanda and I fell back as the guys combed the liquor isle for their next poison. We were giggling when I fake coughed, "Ciroc," I coughed again; they were pondering my favorite vodka.
Amanda coughed, "Ciroc,"
"You should... probablygowiththeCiroc," I said in another cough.
"Do it," Amanda coughed.
"We hear you back there," one of them said, and Amanda and I laughed. But sure enough, we walked out with a fifth of redberry Ciroc.
We arrived back at Gabi's to see that a few of the less-close friends had left, and as soon as Amanda and I were done going to the bathroom, Ian handed us both a redberry Ciroc mixed with Sprite and we plopped down on the couch.
"So," I began, "Tell me the story: You and Ian, how did it start?" We were now on that level, we had enough in common that it took very little for us to become instabesties.
"Well, we met in London..." and she began her charming little tale that I kind of didn't care about, but when the moment was right, I asked my next question.
"What are you guys going to do when you go to New Zealand?" I asked like a concerned friend, "It really sucks that you're going so far away!"
"I know," she said, "But we're going to try and make it work, and if it does great, and if not," she shrugged.
"Well I hope it does," as hard as it was, that statement was actually genuine. Amanda was so nice, if there was someone who else who ended up with Ian, I was glad she was like me because I knew she would be good for him.
And who am I kidding? I was so glad she wasn't prettier than me.
"So what about your love life? Got a special guy?" she asked.
I laughed, "My love life is the biggest joke I've ever heard. I've got like, really high standards, and I am not the type of person to settle for anyone who doesn't exceed them," I admitted, skimming over the fact that I had a lingering crush on her boyfriend.
"That's a really good thing-" she said, of course she could relate.
When our conversation topic turned, I took the moment to pull out my iPhone, "Amanda we've got to get a picture, I pretty much document my life in my mobile uploads album on Facebook, so we need a picture of our new friendship."
"Yes!" she agreed, and I didn't even have to ask Andrew before he took my phone and snapped a picture.
"We look adorable," I said with a giggle, showing the picture to Amanda.
"It's perfect!" Amanda agreed excitedly, and Kang stole my phone to get another couple shots of our group.
"Ian, we need a picture," I said, "Us partying in public needs to make it on instagram."
Ian was even more obsessed with instagram than I was.
I perched on the edge of his chair and he put a familiar arm around me, the two of us only pausing our conversation to smile for the camera, and I even had the boldness to put my hand on his knee as we posed. Ian and I kept talking as I skipped back to where I had been sitting on the couch, sipping my Ciroc and Sprite.
Xaylia and Amanda's friendship was now official, because if I didn't take a picture of it, it never happened. And now I had photographic evidence that Ian and I were more than just coworkers, not that I needed it to remember anything except that there were other guys out there in the world who would meet my standards. In a world this large, Ian couldn't be the only one.
Everything happens for a reason, and I hope for Ian's sake, that Amanda ends up being just what he needs...
To help him wake up and realize it was really me he was looking for all long.
Just kidding.
In chemistry, molecules and atoms that have similar characteristics can react similarly with other compounds. In Amanda's case, we were so much alike, that I knew the chemistry she had with Ian had to be just as undeniable as it was with me and him. For a reaction to occur, atoms have collide, they have to collide at the right orientation, and they have to overcome activation energy. You either have all three, or you have nothing. Amanda was the lucky atom, her and Ian must have reacted perfectly. Ian and I had collided, but not at the right time, and being best friends with his sister had set our activation energy far too high. Chemistry and timing are all a relationship needs, and Amanda and Ian had them both. Maybe it was a good thing that me and her had such similar properties; I knew I could trust that Ian was dating her for the right reasons.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Losing In Style

"So which one do you think would impress a hot 24 year old more?" I asked revealing another LBD with a flourish.
"The first one," Sarah's roommate, Grecia, said as I twirled in my black lace skater dress.
"Really?" I asked, "This is one is shorter, which makes my legs supermodel long."
"It does look great, but the first is more sophisticated, and gives you a good shape with the, thingy at the waist."
"The peplum?" I said with a laugh.
"First dress," chimed in Sarah.
"Yeah, go with the first," Sarah's friend Meghan added, "You look older."
I shrugged, "First dress it is," and I slipped into the black peplum dress with the lace neckline. It was a gorgeous dress, I would admit. I had bought it when originally the plan was to go to Canada to celebrate Jen's 20th birthday back in the summer, and when those plans didn't end up working out, the dress sat in my closet and I was forced to simply admire it. I guess tonight was the night to break it out, "Sarah," I poked my head out from where I was changing to a strapless bra underneath her loft, "He had the perfect opportunity to introduce me."
"Did he really?" Sarah said from where she was combing her tiny closet for her high heels.
I had arrived on the campus of Michigan State University a half hour ago, with my best friend Andrew, his fiancee Gabi, and Andrew Kang in tow. Tonight was Ian's birthday party, titled by him as 'Ian-a-palooza.' He was expecting 50 people to cram themselves into Jen's boyfriend, David's, apartment, and was making a dangerous batch of jungle juice. It was the party he had insisted I attend, but Sarah and I had another birthday party to go to first.
"I stopped in when I dropped both Andrews and Gabi off," I said, zipping myself into the peplum dress once again, "and when I went to say hello to Jen, she introduced me to two of her friends who were there early, and six feet away, and clearly within earshot of the introduction was Ian. I went over and gave him a hug and wished him happy birthday, and out of the corner of my eye I saw Amanda sitting like two feet away, and he didn't even introduce me! And then I left," I laughed.
In a black knit miniskirt, sneaker wedges, a v-neck, and a leather jacket, I had stopped in to say my hellos before the guests started to arrive and had left in a flurry of "See you laters" all without meeting Amanda. My savage pleasure was that my daytime outfit was hotter than what most people would wear out at night, so it was essential that I look even better tonight.
Hopefully the peplum dress would do the trick.
With my black glitter slingback pumps in hand, Sarah and I led the way to our first party of the night, with the entire floor of her dorm room in tow.

I was mildly drunk, and had a needle and thread in hand. Multiple shots of my favorite peach Ciroc, and a couple mixed drinks later, I was stitching up the birthday girl's dress up in the back. If I could do this while intoxicated, I obviously had to have some talent at it.
"You literally just saved my life," Cailtin, the birthday girl, said as we rejoined the party, "you have no idea!"
"Consider it a birthday present," I said with a laugh.
And then she kissed me.
And then Sarah kissed me, just because we're best friends.
It wasn't weird or anything, just friendly I suppose, and quite hilarious.
I had now kissed three guys and two girls. Something needed to change about that ratio in the guys end.
It was later than I had expected when we set off for Ian's birthday party; drunk enough so I wasn't chilled despite the late fall Michigan cold. If I hadn't already said I would come (and if I didn't have the slightest lingering crush on the birthday boy) I wouldn't have gone. Caitlin's birthday party was a blast: friends, dancing, drinks, meeting new friends; I didn't want to leave! But I had a now-25-year-old to impress, and the perfect dress to do it in.
"We kind of had a thing," I said to Kat, one of the girls who had decided to join Sarah and I on our trek halfway across the campus of Michigan State University, "He's my best friend's older brother, and we work together. We flirted forever, and then we made out, and then he went to London for the summer and apparently met this girl named Amanda who he's now dating, whom I am so excited to meet," I was giving her the quick and dirty on everything that had happened over the past eight months with Ian.
"I totally understand," Kat said quickly, tossing her now-empty bottle of wine into a bush, "I knew this guy..."
"....He was the first guy I've met who meets the new higher-standards I adopted after I broke up with my ex last Thanksgiving," Our story-telling continued as the apartment building began to loom into view.
My phone rang from inside my grey Nine Went crossbody bag, "Hello?" I answered.
"Where are you?" Gabi said impatiently, and I swear I could hear an echo.
"Gabs!" I shouted, looking up to where her familiar face was leaning over a balcony.
"Come on up!" Gabi shouted back to me, and I took the flight of stairs as fast as my black glittery slingbacks could carry me.
Gabi and I hugged as I joined her and Ian and one other girl on the balcony.
I looked at Ian, "What are you doing out here? Your party's inside," and then I raised an eyebrow when I noticed something peculiar, "No drink? I'm disappointed Davis."
"You missed it," Ian said dryly, "Girl got kicked out, cops were called."
"I punched her!" Gabi interjected.
"Gabi!" I said, shocked.
"She almost got into a fight with Jen, I had to step in," Gabi said with a smug smile.
"Well good for you," I winked at her as I leaned against the balcony railing next to Ian.
People trickled in and out, and as Gabi and I were talking about something, Amanda found her way outside. From intensive facebook stalking, I knew exactly who she was. Her dark hair framed a round face that was empty of any trace of makeup. Her skin had an amber Mexican tone, and she was wearing a velour zip up, over a cami with a pair of jeans. And it wasn't just the dim outside lighting, or my personal judgement, that made her nose look disproportionately large in comparison to the rest of her face.
"It's freezing out here," Amanda said as she crossed her arms.
"Here," I held out the silver leather jacket that was draped uselessly across my arms, "I'm drunk enough not to be cold."
"Thanks," She said, taking my jacket and draping it around her shoulders, as she was a size or two larger than I was.
I glanced at Ian, who was standing next to me, and apparently didn't have the manners to introduce his girlfriend to his favorite coworker.
"I'm Xaylia," I said to Amanda and I hope my lips curled into something that resembled more of a smile than the smirk I was trying to conceal.
"Amanda," she said, "Thanks for the jacket, this is really cute, by the way," she said, admiring the silver faux-leather.
The small talk flowed far too easily, and within a matter of minutes we even had our own inside joke. Something about yolo, but cats being exempt because they have nine lives. She returned my jacket before she headed back inside behind a skipping Gabi, leaving just Ian and I under the beams of moonlight that kept escaping from behind the patchy clouds.
"Sorry the party didn't exactly turn out as anticipated," I said honestly.
"Wish you had been there to see it at it's prime," and a small smile crept across his face. We both stared up at the sky, appreciating a moment of quiet in a night that had been full of partying for the both of us.
"I'm gonna take a walk," he sighed, and set off down the steps.
I took a deep breath, savoring having a moment to myself before pushing open the apartment door and being assaulted by the sounds of Kanye West. The party seemed slightly subdued as I squeezed onto the couch next to Andrew.
"Where's my brother?" he asked.
"On a walk," I said, uninterested.
"You look good," he said approvingly.
"Thanks," I smiled as he began to spill his side of tonight's adventures.
I meowed at Amanda as she passed by, "You only live nine lives."
She meowed back and we collapsed into laugher.
I found myself in the kitchen with Gabi, drinking water in an attempt to come back to Earth, until Kang poured us both a shot of Three Olives Birthday Cake vodka, and soon enough Gabi and I were bringing the party back to life, dancing like there was no tomorrow. Amanda and I meowed. Andrew and I shared a spiked apple cider. Jen and I were laughing.
Ian's best friend Armando threw an arm around my shoulder as I took a break from dancing. Andrew and I alternated drinks of spiked cider and water. Ian rejoined his party, that Gabi and I had turned into a party once again. Sarah and Kat had left for home. Kang danced Gangnam Style.
But as 3am rolled around, people began to tire out. Except for Kang, who decided it would be a good idea to run all the way to Sarah's dorm, where the little group I had driven up was going to crash.
"I think it's time for me to go to bed," Ian said, running a hand through his short hair. He turned to me, where I was chatting lightly with Armando, "Thanks for coming," he said, wrapping his arms around me, "I'm glad you did, it means a lot."
"Of course," I said as he held me for a few heartbeats, "Happy Birthday Ian," I said as we exchanged smiles and broke apart.
"Goodnight Xaylia."
I slipped my leather jacket on as Ian went into the bedroom he and Amanda had claimed for the night, realizing quickly I was the only one he had said goodnight to.
I smiled to myself.
That smile quickly turned to a smirk as I realized I could now officially say Amanda was just an older, and less-pretty version of me.
It wasn't an opinion; I had the proof to back up such a fact after getting to briefly getting to know her tonight.
To put it as nicely as I can: She had been wearing a velour hoodie and I was in a little black dress.
But I couldn't be shallow enough to think looks were everything as I watched Amanda retreat into the same bedroom as Ian.
They say that beauty captures attention, but personality captures the heart; I thought I had covered both bases as far as Ian was concerned, but somehow Amanda had done it without the first, even though our personalities were remarkably the same.
Beauty had been bested.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


"And guess what?" Brandy said over the phone.

"What?" I asked eagerly.

"Ianhasa-" she whispered.

"What? Speak up, I can't hear you," I said as I shoved a finger in the ear that wasn't glued to my piece of shit smartphone.

"Hold on-" she said and I knew she was hurrying to a place in the restaurant where she wouldn't be overheard. Even though Brandy and I had developed a way of discussing the most secretive things in the most discreet way when we were working together, some things just had to be said, "Ok. Ian has a hickey."

I let out a bark of mirthless laughter, "Seriously?"

"I never thought I would see that day," Brandy said, and I could tell she had rejoined the cast of characters that we worked with at our little pizzeria.

"I thought he was classier than that," I said cooly, my lips curling dangerously, "I guess Amanda isn't."

"She's probably not," Brandy laughed, "Well I've got to roll some silverware and get out of here."

"Just tell Ian to talk to me tomorrow about switching shifts, I'll see you Friday!"

"I'll text you later," Brandy said, and I hung up my phone with a shake of my head. I rolled my eyes as returned to my calculus homework, unfazed.

A few hours later, a text buzzed in from Ian (and his now questionable level-of-classiness). It began as it always did, the two of us talking about work. He needed me to take a shift. Our conversation changed to his birthday party this weekend, which I had been invited to attend by both him and his sister. When he mentioned that there would be loads of single guys and girls at the party, I countered by saying they only counted if they were hot.
To which he responded that he wouldn't be one of them.
My moment was here at last. He was trying to throw me off my game, catch me off guard. But he obviously forgot whom he was dealing with here. One of my favorite parts of being me is that I simply happen to know everything. The things I knew about Ian in particular would come as a shock to him. I didn't even let on how much I knew about him: from the failure of his last heartbreaking relationship to which one of his dogs likes to eat his boxers.
I had been keeping what I called the 'Amanda Card' in my back pocket for weeks now, and I had been dying to play it ever since I had found out. Now was my perfect moment to throw it on the table.


Ahh I was wondering when that would become official, amanda isn't it?

Nice try in attempting to put one over my head. I was one step ahead thanks to being mysteriously all-knowing.

Haha...we'll see how it goes. It's very rare I date a girl, like officially. But that's her. You'll meet her on Saturday.


Hahah I know, good luck! Can't wait to meet her

Good luck my ass.


She's got a dry sarcastic sense of humor, so you two will get along. I'll be sure to bring some single guys for you ;)


Oh I'm sure we will hahaha Make them hot and we'll be even since I'm taking your shift ;)


They won't be as hot as me, but they'll do for you ;)

And then it was guns out. Ian and I spent the entire rest of the night going at each other. Arguing over who was hotter, who was smarter, trying to out-wit the other. We were locked in battle until Ian spelled wit "whit." I won.


Me and my sassy sense of humor are going to bed, I'll see you and your "whit" tomorrow;)


*My sassy sense of humor and I


Wow I hate you. See you at work grandma. I remember my first bedtime.


Awhh and you're a bitch =) 8am calc 3 tomorrow #smartgirlproblems












#admit it #youwannakeeptalkingtome


#gotcha ;)






#whyruinallthefun #inyourdreams


Nighty night mr "whit" ;)


Night woman ;)

What were we? Friends with winky faces? Forever locked in nothing more than a flirtationship? But by the amount and the context of the winky faces in my text message inbox, I wondered how much faith he really had in this new relationship. And I couldn't help but wonder if he still had a slight thing for his little sister's best friend. 
Or was he playing me? Flirting with me because he knows I'm one of the few girls who's as good at it as he is? But he wasn't playing me, because I've known about Amanda since the return of the winky faces. Just goes to show how much he values her. If he's playing me, I was playing him right back. 
That was the thing about us: we both knew how to play the game, and we could play it well. The chemistry between us was why we were each other's biggest competition. But could either of us win? Or would victory be ending up together in the end?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Return of the ;)

You working with me tonight?

I sighed as I saw the text message buzz in on my phone, "Brandy, what am I going to do?"
"You've got to act like you don't know," my coworker and friend Brandy said as I paced around the kitchen of her apartment.
"But it's so hard! I'm dying to tell him I know, but Jen said I've got to keep its secret and ugh," I plopped down on the couch, staring at the screen of my phone and pondering a response.
"Since you pretend around Jen that you didn't hook up with her brother, you can pretend around Ian that you don't know about his almost-girlfriend," Brandy tried to reassure me.
"Easier said than done in this case," I muttered darkly.
I happened to know a lot of things about people that I shouldn't and Ian was no different. I happened to know a lot more about him in particular than I was letting on.
This was the downside to being all-knowing: sometimes I had to pretend I was just as oblivious as the average bear.

"I think that table there is requesting you," Ian said nodding to a pair of guys who had just walked into our tiny pizzeria.
I raised my eyebrows, "Its your turn," I smiled darkly. They were ugly and nerds.
"Weren't you just saying how all these tables are requesting the 'the good looking guy waiter' to be their server?" I quoted him as he returned with the drink orders from the ugly guys.
"Maybe I'll slip them your number'" Ian said teasingly.
He could have never left for two months in London. Things were as normal between us as they always were: the witty banter, the backhanded flirting, the teasing. It was another day at work with Xaylia and Ian. The days where it was just the two of us waiting tables were always the best; we could flirt without anyone else catching on and had each others' undivided attention.
"You coming up for the tailgate on Saturday?" Ian asked me as I took the seat across the table from him as he rolled silverware.
"I don't know, I was planning on going up in two weeks and I don't want to take off two Saturdays in a row, I would probably get fired," I rolled my eyes. I wouldn't get fired but this place wouldn't run nearly as smoothly without me to call the shots up front.
"Well next week is also my birthday party so you've got to come up for that," Ian said.
I already knew that of course, "I've got to ask, what is the appeal for you, now out of college, to go up to Michigan State to party?"
"Jennifer," he answered instantly, "we always try and celebrate our birthdays together."
Their family was close, it was cute, " Ahh I see. I do have another party I'm going to that night but I'll grace you with my presence," I grinned.
Amanda, the almost-girlfriend, was on the tip of my tongue as we chatted about our weekend plans for the upcoming few weeks.
"My birthday party will be the first time we party together, in public," Ian said added that last part with a sly smile that I returned.
"Us in public? What a weird concept," I added dryly.
As I drove home I recounted the events of our first shift together again to Sarah when I saw a text pop up on my screen, "Sarah he seriously never left, it's just like it always is. He just texted me, like he always would after we worked together."
Then the winky faces mysteriously worked their way back into our conversation and the last text I responded to before i drifted to sleep hours later referenced one of our past "sexy hot time meetings." I couldn't help but wonder if Jen didn't have the full story when she told me abut Amanda because guys who like someone else shouldn't be sending so many winky face to another girl. Especially one who happens to be an expert in interpreting their meanings... And who happens to know a bit more than she should...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

'Break-Ups' Kill Me

"I feel like I'm still drunk," Sarah said, blinking in the beam of sunlight that was spreading through the folds of the shades onto our lofts.
"That means it was a good night," I said with a yawn, despite the fact that I had been awake for at least the past half-hour.
I could never sleep when I drank. I don't know what it was, but I would get maybe four hours of sleep max, and be perfectly fine until 6pm when I would crash.
The sunlight streamed through the amber leaves of the trees as Sarah and I made our way down the shop lined street of her college campus, clutching iced Starbucks drinks in our hands.
"I think I overreacted," I sighed, "about kissing Steve."
"You finally came around?" Sarah said, taking a sip of her iced carmel macchiato.
"I'm over it," I shrugged, "Shit happens. He was cute. And a senior."
"That's my girl," Sarah said, holding out her drink and we clinked our plastic cups together in a toast.

"So I was talking to Ian," Jen began.
I raised one eyebrow. Jen, Sarah, Jen's boyfriend David, and I were all watching the game in David's apartment, catching up for a few moments before Sarah and I had to head home. I had to work and Sarah was going home for the night with me.
"And he says you need to talk to Andrew Kang."
"Because he's still into you, and you need to stop leading him on."
"Me? Leading him on?" I stared at her incredulously, "Jennifer, I haven't talked to him at all in like a week! He asked me out, it didn't work out, I was busy."
"Well he talks about you all the time."
"What am I supposed to say? He's a nice guy, he really is, but I just don't find him that attractive," I admitted.
"That you don't like him!"
"How am I supposed to do that?"
"Text him, just be honest!"
"Jen, that's a lot easier said than done if I want to try and be a nice person."
"Jen's right," Sarah interjected.
"Thanks Sarah," Jen said with a smile.
"Just text him," Sarah said.
I sighed, "Fine. I'll brainstorm something on the way home."

"I CAN'T DO THIS!" I shouted, once-again death gripping the wheel of my car, "This is so mean, and so insensitive, and it's like breaking up with someone I was never even with and-"
"And what?" Sarah said, re-reading the perfect text I had managed to compose.
"I've got to call Andrew."
"What?" Sarah exclaimed, "We're going to text him, it's easier!"
"Not that Andrew," I said quickly, "Andrew Davis. He's Andrew Kang's best friend, I've got to warn someone on the other side of the fence what I'm about to do."
"Fine, that's a good idea, and Xaylia, this text is really good! It's nice, but it lets him down easily."
"I wish I didn't have to text him, it's seems insensitive."
"Me and Jen both say to text him-"
"If I could do this in person, it would be perfect."
"You are so weird," Sarah said with a laugh.
"Call Andrew Davis," I commanded my car.
After a few rings, he picked up, "Xaylia, what's up girl?"
"Hey Andrew," I said, "Ok, look I'm about to do something, and I've got to warn you."
"What are you doing?"
"Ian told Jen, to tell me, to tell Andrew Kang that I don't like him," I said.
"Because apparently he's still hung up on me, and I wasn't trying to lead him on or anything, and I don't see why this is necessary, but they're convinced-"
"Hold on, how are you going to tell him this?"
"Jen and Sarah say to text him-"
"Don't text, that's so insensitive."
"My thoughts exactly-"
"Call him, be honest."
"I just thought I'd warn you, being his best friend and all."
"Yeah, thanks," Andrew said, "I just got into Tulsa, so good luck, I'll give you a call tonight or something, ok?"
"Sounds good," I smiled, "Talk to you later."

Twenty minutes later, I was pacing in circles on Sarah's driveway, waiting for an answer, "Maybe he won't pick up," I said optimistically to Sarah.
Shit, "Hey Andrew, it's Xaylia, d-did I wake you up?" his voice sounded groggy. Maybe he was out of town? He worked for an airline, he was one of those guys who it was hard to know where in the world he was...
"Um, yeah..."
"Oh my God, I'm sorry," I paced more rapidly, "I'll call you back later or something-"
"No, no it's ok, I needed to wake up," he insisted, "What's up?"
"Um, ok, listen, I just think I owe it to you to tell you this," I took a deep breath, "You are a super nice guy Andrew, but I really only see us as friends. I'm sorry, I know this is horrible of me to say, but I just don't want you to have the wrong idea here, and I'm so sorry if I've ever given you the wrong idea. And I'm still your friend, whether you want me to be or not, you're a fun guy and we have a great time together, but I just felt like I should be honest here. I'm really sorry," I added again, cringing inwardly.
"Um," Kang paused, "Wow, that was... no one's ever been that honest with me before."
"I'm sorry, this is an absolute horrible way to start your day-"
"No, thank you," Kang said, "Like you've got some serious balls to just tell me that. It's great!"
"Wait, really?"
"Yeah, anyone else would have just kept me in the dark, but you just put it all out there," he said, and I swear I detected a note of appreciation in his voice, "This doesn't change anything between us, right?"
"Oh totally not," I said quickly, "I mean, you're free to hate me once you're a bit more conscious, but it's all the same for me."
"Good," Kang said, "Thanks for telling me."
"So where are you that you're just now waking up?" I asked, and then conversation flowed as normal.
I ended the call feeling strangely good about the situation. Maybe it was my inner alpha coming out, or maybe it was just a stroke of good fortune; but I had pulled that off...flawlessly.
Even though I still thought it was as necessary as getting run over by a bus.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Enemy Territory

"You can't say anything, but Ian almost has a girlfriend!"
"What?" I spat, nearly taking out a pedestrian as I made a right turn.
"Yeah!" said Jen, excitedly, "Her name's Amanda, and he took her up to the cabin for Labor Day with all of us."
"Wait, Ian actually brought a girl home?" I asked, glancing at my GPS to get my next direction. 
"Yeah, you know how that never happens, so he must really like her," Jen said.
"Wow, well good for Ian! Really, I'm happy for him."
Thank Chanel Jen was telling me this over the phone, so I just had to make my voice seem genuine and didn't have to sincerely smile, or try not to death grip the wheel.
"They were on the phone for like two hours the other day too," Jen added.
"You have arrived," my GPS told me as I swung into a parking spot across the street from an aged physics building on the campus of Michigan State University.
"Well I just made it to Sarah's dorm, so I think we'll stop over at visit you tomorrow before I head home. Tell David I hope he feels better," I said, my heart still reeling from the Ian news.
"Sounds perfect!"
"Love you!"
"Love you too!"
And as soon as I hung up I dialed Sarah. This was my first solo trip to visit her at school, and two weeks apart was simply too much to handle, I had missed my best friend far too much.
As soon as I saw her crossing the street, I leapt from my car in excitement. We were going out for a solid night of quality college partying at her school, and I had been looking forward to this all day. After six hours of organic chemistry, four hours of work, and an hour drive, me and my best friend were reunited. 
"Sarah, I have major news," I said, beckoning her into the car.
"What? What? I just talked to you half an hour ago!"
"I just got off the phone with Jen-"
"Oh my god, what?"
"Ian almost has a girlfriend."
"WHAT?" Sarah shouted.
This was why were best friends. Because we could scream our heads off like this together.
And also why we were in the car, and not out walking down the street, or people might actually see how weird we are.
"Well, I bet she's a slut." Sarah said, bitterly and I cracked up.
I was supposed to be over Ian. I really needed to be. But there was still this tiny glimmer of hope at the very, very back corner of my heart...
Now that corner was about to become as dark as the rest of my heart and soul.
"I need to get drunk."

"Burnett's? Really?" I cringed as the guy behind the frat house's makeshift bar mixed my drink, "At least this is the second drink of the night," I said to Sarah.
The perks of living at home: better alcohol. Going from Ciroc to Burnett's was a bit of a shock.
Sarah, her two friends, and I stepped out into a cool corner of the hallway to finish our drinks.
People were friendly up at Michigan State, or maybe, it was better put that drunk people at Michigan State were friendly.
"-I'm Steve," the blonde guy standing next to me held out the hand that wasn't holding a Bud Lite Platinum.
"Xaylia," I smiled back. The guy was decently cute. No Ian, but cute.  I shook that thought out of my mind as fast as it had come.
"You might not want to talk to her when you find out where she's going to school," Sarah said, slightly giddily.
"Sarah! You tell everyone and you're gonna get me shot," I laughed.
"Where do you go?" asked cute Steve.
"Community college," I smiled.
"And she's transferring to UofM!" Sarah cut in.
"Really?" said Steve, a teasing smile playing on his lips.
Michigan State and University of Michigan was the rivalry that divided the entire state of which I lived. And this was not the place to be admitting my future school plans, or risk getting dumped in the river or something.
"-Come up to my room, it's got a killer sound system," Steve was saying.
He was playing my current favorite song as we did a shot of tequila. People seemed to come and go. Sarah kept slipping in and out to call the guy she was currently interested in. Hannah and Meghan, Sarah's friends who had come along with us, kept drinking after I gratefully ditched the Burnett's. Steve kept playing my favorite songs. One guy was drinking tequila straight from the bottle. It all seemed to blur together with the content smile on my face. This was the college life I sometimes wished I lived. Here I was, wearing a cute outfit, with a cute senior guy's arm around me and my best friend on my other side.
Only thing that could be better?
Maybe the alcohol, but you can't have it all.
"You really want to go see him, don't you?" I said, taking Sarah's hands in mine.
"Yes," Sarah sighed, her eyes glinting excitedly.
"Alright, let's go," I concluded.
"Really?" Sarah said excitedly, "You want to go?"
"Why the hell not? The night is still young!" I said, twirling in place as Sarah clapped in excitement.
I felt a hand on my waist and Steve pulled me over to him, "Going so soon?"
"We're popular girls," I said. We had been here a while, and Sarah wanted to go see Caleb, the guy she was interested in.
"I can tell," he said, and I swear my heart stopped when his lips touched mine.
It didn't feel right. I couldn't just kiss a random guy like this. His kiss was greedy, his enchantment with me was just as obvious. But I couldn't do this.
I pulled away after just a moment, and waved a flirty goodbye before following my new friends out of the room.
"Oh my God," I said as Sarah and I spilled out with some of the party onto the lawn, "Ugh, Sarah, I've never done that before!"
"Kissed a random guy?"
"I've kissed two guys ever in my life!"
"Well now you've kissed a third, you've got to kiss a random guy every once in a while, college experience and all that," Sarah tried to assure me, as I doubted my life choices.
Three guys ever. What a wild life I lived. But the other two all had meaning to them, but this... this was weird...
Sarah and I left Hannah and Megan to head to a house party on the other end of campus to meet Caleb. It began to drizzle as Sarah and I held hands and wandered to the mysterious house that Caleb was at. His drunken directions were no help to us, and by the time we had gotten there, the party was winding down and we had ended up going completely out of our way to get to the house.
My buzz was wearing off as a friend of Caleb's, who was badly in need of Proactiv and contacts, kept trying to talk to me. Sarah was off flirting with a very drunk Caleb in the bathroom. The house was quiet, until the arrival of the guys who actually lived there a while later. But it was only so long that I could keep trying to make conversation with these guys and Sarah and I were back walking in the rain and holding hands.
"I'm trying not to judge Caleb on how drunk he was," I said to Sarah.
"He was really drunk," she laughed.
"But he seems to like you, and he is cuter than he looked in his pictures," I said in his defense.
When we crawled into bed a while later, my thoughts turned back to earlier this evening, "I hear that Ian almost has a girlfriend, and a random guy ends up kissing me, what is my life?"
"I really want to know more about this Amanda girl," Sarah said darkly.
"Me too! But I can't find out any more from Jen without looking suspicious," I said. Jen had no idea Ian and I had a thing once upon a time.
"Andrew!" Sarah said at once.
"What about Andrew?" I said, "Oh!" I realized a moment later.
"Andrew would know! He's Ian's brother-"
"They're close, he would tell him!"
"Let's call Andrew!"
"It's 3am!"
"And it's a Friday night, Andrew probably just got back from the bar or something!"
"But, but, Andrew's at his parent's house, which means him and Ian are probably a room apart right now-"
"We've got to find out more about her!"
"Tomorrow, we'll call him tomorrow at a normal hour of the day."
"Ok, deal," Sarah agreed.
"Tonight was super fun," I said, smiling up at the ceiling from the loft.
"I'm so glad you had a good time!" Sarah said.
"Getting drunk with my best friend? How could I not?"

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Past Kisses

I yawned, cat-like, as I poured a coke. I was slightly zoned out as I dumped some water from a pitcher into another glass.
"Hey hey, what's goin' on? Is Dan here?"
Oh fuck. I knew that voice.
I glanced over my shoulder as I placed the two cups on my finger tips and grabbed straws with my other, now-free, hand, "Hey," I said cooly as Ian appeared behind me.
He smiled at me as my manager said something to him and I took that opportunity to slip away and deliver my drinks.
I took the seat I always took when the little pizza place I worked at wasn't busy, in the very corner of the table nearest the entrance to the kitchen. My organic chemistry book was already propped open and I put my feet up on the chair next to me, as the two girls who were working carryout were chatting lightly across the table.
"Is that Ian?" One of them said, suddenly catching sight of him.
"Mmm," I muttered in confirmation, flipping to another page of my textbook.
"Oh my god, it's Ian!" The other girl perked up
"Ian!" called the first girl, waving to him.
I kept on reading about orbital hybridization.
He came over and I pulled my head out of my textbook, "I'm surprised," I said, raising my eyebrows cooly.
"Gotta do it, just need a little extra cash," Ian shrugged.
We shared a look for a fraction of a second before the younger carryout girls began talking to Ian. I found myself transported to back to a bar several months ago...

"That place is like a black hole, no one can get away," Ian said with a voice that would have been considered dramatic, if he wasn't spot on with his description of the restaurant we worked at.
"I'm here until I go to UofM," I shrugged, "and then I'm out. I stay out of the drama, I come to work, do my job, take my money, and go home."
"You're probably the only one that does," Ian said darkly, "I'm never coming back. I'm putting in my two weeks and then that'll be the end of it."

"So Elektricity, pretty intense, huh?" Ian said, turning his attention back to me.
"Good party, not so sold on the neon theme, it's a little trashy, but aside from that, it was pretty legit," I smiled.
"Yeah, it's awesome-"
Our conversation flowed as natural as ever, as if he had never left for London a few weeks after that fated night at the bar. We began telling stories, the two other girls chiming in occasionally as Ian and I caught up on each other's lives for a few moments.
It wasn't until he left that I realized what was odd. When we had been around Jen and Kang, Ian had acted as if I wasn't anything more than his little sister's best friend. When they weren't around, we were... friends. It was like we were two chemicals who were only reactive in the presence of the other, throw any other certain chemicals in the mix and the reaction couldn't progress.
The idea that Ian wanted his job back was one I pondered as my shift continued: would things go back to the way they were before he left for London? Once upon another time at a bar, Ian had told me he didn't date girls he worked with. Not that that stopped him from kissing me later that night, but would I go back to simply being a coworker? Did I want either possibility to open up again? Did I just want to close the chapter of my life that was my hopeless idea that things would work out with Ian? Or was I just in love with the intrigue of the entire situation?
"What the-?" I stared at my phone, the text message on my screen was sent from a person I hadn't spoken to in months. I was in shock at the sight of it. Maybe it was a drunk text... But it was just after 6pm...
And my ex-boyfriend didn't exactly strike me as the day-drinking type.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Being The Hottest Girl In The Room Doesn't Really Mean That Much

It was barely 8am as I strode onto the campus of my local community college. There was a steady drizzle on this particular Monday morning. The second semester of my Sophomore year had begun the past Friday with an exciting filled with organic chemistry, and now I was about to start my week off with calc III.
I couldn't have possibly pictured a worse way to start my week.
A pair of yellow knee socks peeked out from the tops of my black rain boots, and I was wearing a grey skater skirt over a coral leotard. I could have just as easily been on my way to a ballet class as opposed to math class. If I had to describe my style, I would call it 'edgy ballerina.' I took girly pieces to a glam rockstar level with dark accessories and accents.
Fashion was my first love in life. I had a fatal obsession with looking good for the sake of looking good. I don't believe in dressing to impress, I believe in dressing for confidence. I don't dress for anyone but myself and for fashion, if you happen to catch me on a day when I look particularly fabulous, consider it your lucky day, don't take it personally.
I hate where I live. Suburban Michigan lacks any real sense of style. I would dress so differently if I lived in, say, New York City. I would be able to take my style to the level it deserves, I have to remember to keep it a little toned down sometimes, because high fashion doesn't exactly come off as fashionable in this small town.
I daydreamed about going to my dream special-effects makeup school in NYC, and that dream is what forces me to apply myself during the mundane days of college. As soon as I get that degree with my name embossed upon it, I'm out of this small town.
That would be why I was about to suffer through 8am calc III.
I pushed open the door to the classroom to see a majority of the seats filled with familiar faces from my previous calculus classes.
"Xaylia's here!" Two voice chimed in unison, as I heard several hellos called in my direction from across the room.
I smiled around as I spotted my partner from last semester waving at me, and I slid into the seat next to him at the end of the long row of seats. Not to sound stuck up, but for that split second, I knew I had to be the most popular person in the room.
Most popular person in calc III, what an accomplishment.
"Missed me, Mr. Quail?" I said cheerily as my teacher came to the end of my row to pass out the syllabus.
"Oh terribly, I had dreams about you," he said, mirroring my joking tone as we both laughed.
"Nightmares actually," he added as he made his way past me again.
I flipped to the back page of the syllabus, and there was the same information sheet I had filled out last semester when I had Mr. Quail for calc II. Under the question "Why are you taking this class?" I had answered, "Because I have to," and when Mr. Quail had come around to collect the papers, he asked to elaborate. I told him to that I wouldn't be here if I didn't absolutely have to, because I completely hate math, but I have to take far too many match classes to complete my chemistry major. I explained that I was majoring in chemistry because I like science, but I really just want to go to special-effects makeup school and do makeup for a living.
For some odd reason that I don't understand, me and Mr. Quail became very good friends over the semester.
Under "Why are you taking this class?" I wrote down, "Because I still have to." There's another space to tell something interesting about yourself, and last semester I explained my makeup artist plan. I wrote down that I was planning on transferring to the University of Michigan in the winter this semester.
When Mr. Quail came around again to check out our info sheets, I was pleasantly surprised when he offered to write me a letter of recommendation.
"You're the perfect student to write one for," he said sincerely.

There are moments when I think I made the wrong choice in my college career. I had gone a route very a-typical for someone who graduated high school with a very high gpa. I went the community college route, with plans to transfer to get a degree to confirm my intelligence. In the world of effects makeup, having a degree just said you were smart and people were more likely to hire you. My college experience was so different from all of my smart friends'. Literally, every single friend I had went away for school, and this semester, every single friend I made was transferring. They all had exciting stories to tell, and had made great friends, and all I had to boast about was the amount of money I made at my job, and how easy my classes were. I had money and smarts, but I did feel like I've missed out on the college experience. Sometimes this made me sad, but mostly I was ok with it. It was all for the greater good of going to makeup school, after all. I had been born middle aged, I didn't really need the college experience, I could just go straight into the real world and I'd be fine.
All last week, I had been in a bit of a funk. My friends had all moved back up to school and I found myself a friendless loser again. Monday night, my two best friends, Sarah and Ceileigh, and I had had our last sleepover, complete with a touch of shopping, our favorite movies, Applebees, and one perfect new inside joke:
"It doesn't count as a hookup," Ceileigh declared, as I made a reference to my little rendezvous with Ian earlier in the year, "because you didn't have sex."
"Then what do you call it?" I asked.
"A... sexy hot time meeting!"
A few days later, Jen and I had said our temporary good-byes, and she had given me back my hair curler that she had had for months, and then accessories she had borrowed of mine when we had gone out clubbing earlier in the week. It was strange knowing she was going to be an hour away, as opposed to that current 15 minutes. It would be weird not popping over to her house to go get a book or for a quick visit. I would miss the quirks of her house: the great conversations I would have with her mom, or running into Andrew changing his pants in the hallway. I would miss not only my best friend, but her entire quirky family.
Naturally, I was missing my friends far too much, and it had only been a few days, so as soon as calculus ended, I found myself on my way to the mall. Retail therapy was the best medicine after all.

You Only Live Once

I could feel my pulse throbbing through the fingers that were wrapped around the H&M bag like my life depended on it. Adrenaline fueled my power walk across the mall and I had to work to keep the smile from spreading across my face.
This was what falling in love felt like.
I finally owned the knit miniskirt of my dreams. I had fallen unconditionally in love when I spotted it on the rack and I could hardly get to the dressing room fast enough to try it on. It was yellow with black lace over top. Black and yellow were my signature colors, and half of my clothes included some kind of lace embellishment. It was perfect. There was a reason I hadn't owned a knit miniskirt, a college girl closet staple, before I had found this gem: this was the one that was waiting for me, and it was flawless.
I had allotted myself exactly an hour at the mall, from the time I sped into the parking lot to the moment I had to exit whatever store I was in so I could make it to work on time. My time was quickly ticking away as I combed through the racks of Forever 21 with lightning speed. I was 3/4 of the way through the store when I pulled out my phone to do a time check, and I saw a missed call on the screen and a voicemail waiting for me. Andrew Kang.
I sighed, and quickly snatched a navy knit empire dress that had caught my eye, and I bolted to the dressing room. Voicemails made me nervous, if someone really really had something to say they left a voicemail, and if it wasn't important people don't bother. I was running through worst-case scenarios as I started to try on a scarf-print skirt: someone's in the hospital, the truth about Ian came out, plane crash...
The skirt was too short, I needed a medium for the length but I didn't have time to grab another size. I yanked on the navy dress and, my worry getting the best of me, I checked the voicemail.
"Hey Kaitlyn, it's Andrew, give me a call back when you get this."
I don't know if it was possible to leave a more specific voicemail as to the nature of one's call.
I sighed again, and redialed. This dress wasn't working for me, I thought as the phone rang.
"Hey, what's up?" I said instantly.
"How are you?"
I rolled my eyes. Obviously everyone was alive if he wasn't cutting right to the chase.
"Want to go out tonight?"
"What are you planning on doing?" I said, trying to keep the sarcasm out of my tone.
"Well it's Jen's last weekend in Livonia-"
That's right. My best friend was leaving later in the week to go away to school.
"So we were thinking of going out to that club, Elektricity, where Ian works on Sundays-"
I had heard far too much about Elektricity. Ian worked there on Sunday nights for the radio station he worked for, and either he was telling me to come out or texting me while on the job telling me that I needed to come out sometime. It was 18 and up, so I could get in, but a Sunday night party isn't conducive to someone who had an 8:30am Monday chemistry lecture. But this was my one last weekend of summer before I had to embrace 8:00am Monday calc III...
"Who's going?" I asked, checking the time quickly.
"You, if you can, me, Jen, and Marcell."
"Solid, I'm in," I said quickly, "I'm working until close, and we close at 9 so I'll be done by 10pm hopefully, 10:30 at the latest," I began swapping the empire dress for the floral skater dress I had come here in. My time was up.
Kang was giving me some not-set-in-stone details as I began to rush backwards through the store. I didn't fall in love with anything enough to buy it, but I still had the amazing skirt and my earlier Sephora purchases to keep me happy.
As soon as I was on the highway I dialed Jen.
"Jen, I'm freaking out."
"Wait, what? Why?"
"Clubbing tonight?" I anxiously looked at the clock, "I'm on my way back from the mall and I was going to go straight to work, but now I've got to stop home and grab stuff for after work, can I come over to your house and get ready?"
"Yeah, I was just about to tell you to, I'll be done with work by 8."
"And I'm closing so maybe like 10? I seriously can not become aware of these plans at a little after 3pm when I have to work at 4. I haven't touched my hair since I got out of the shower before church and I'm just wearing foundation, you know that when I go out after work I come to work prepared! I'm not at all prepared!" I ranted.
"I'm on my lunch break, so I'm eating, but I'm still listening," Jen said through a mouthful of something.
"That's fine, I just need to vent for a second. Kang left me that dumb 'call me when you get this' voicemail, which could mean someone's dying, or hey, let's go get tacos! I hate that voicemail! I was worrying something was wrong so I called back when I was in the dressing room and now I'm racing home like a mad person, and I don't even know what I'm going to wear! Isn't Elektricity all glow-y and shit? I don't own anything glow-y for going out! Everything is black! Black dresses, black skirts, black tops..." I was having a minor fashion panic attack.
Even Jen couldn't call me down. This was a crisis.

Hours later, I was unloading the contents of my Victoria's Secret tote onto Jen's bed, "So I brought the peplum dress," I unfolded a black dress, "I brought my shorts, a couple tops," I set out my favorite black high-waisted short shorts, a grey sequin tank, a black lace trapeze tank, and a white tank with the names of cities printed in black, and a black peplum top, "Plus I've got my beauty of a new skirt," I unfolded the lace skirt from its' bag, "and two pairs of flats, and heels."
Most of Jen's clothes were packed for school, so she was going in a cheetah-printed day dress. If she wasn't doing neon, I sure as hell wasn't.
"You look good," Jen's brother Andrew nodded his approval as I poked my head out of Jen's room, wearing my new skirt with my black peplum top and black glittery platforms.
With my hair in a messy, rockstar ponytail, I looked mildly hot.
Then Ian called.
And cue the costume change. He said we had to wear neon.
So my black shorts were paired with the white tank. The white tank was slightly sheer and I wore a hot pink bra underneath. In elegant hot pink letters, the shirt said 'I Love' and below in black 'New York, Paris, London, Tokyo." I had already worn this outfit out once already, and with so many awesome going-out outfits, I hated being a repeat offender. But this was as close to neon as my going-out wardrobe got. I favored the dark and the dramatic.
As we parked across the street from the club, we spotted Ian waiting for us outside. I was instantly glad I was wearing my heels. They were a confidence boost in addition to a couple extra inches.
Ian got us in for free and as soon was I entered I cringed. Neon and glow-y was code for trashy in far too many girl's minds. I found myself instantly thankful for my Audrey Hepburn-esq wardrobe.
But I was dancing either way. It was a Sunday night and I was clubbing. Yolo.
As the night came to a close, there was something weighing on my mind. Ian had hardly seemed to acknowledge my existence, short of buying me and Jen shots, and nearly getting us on the radio. I wasn't sure how I felt about that, but there was a tiny part of me that almost didn't care.
I had just danced my ass off, with several hot guys, plus Jen, and Kang, and Marcell. I couldn't recall a Sunday night that had ever been that much fun.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

You're Nobody Until You're Talked About

"We should probably stop talking in British accents or people might think we're a tad strange," I said in the British accent I had perfected years ago.
"Probably a wise idea," Sarah agreed, sounding straight out of Harry Potter as we stepped out of my car that was parked halfway down the block from the final destination of the night. We had already had a proper get-concert-glam hair and makeup session, followed by a delicious Panera bread dinner before we went to one of the best concerts either of us had gone to, and now we were making an appearance at my best friend Jen's birthday party. It was supposed to be a pool party, but the evening had grown unseasonably chilly and damp. The only plus to this was that I had my trusty leather jacket thrown over my shoulders.
My black leather jacket had been with me through everything major that has happened in my life over the past year. I had worn it to my second-ever college party (which had been a lot more legit than the first-ever college party), I had worn it all weekend when I visited Sarah at college with Jen, I had worn it the first time Jen and I ever went out together, and I believe it's the only piece of clothing that a grand total of two guys have taken off of me. It felt good to be reunited after a summer apart.
As we approached Jen's house, I saw her familiar form standing in the doorway, hugging someone who appeared to be leaving. We were a little more than fashionably late, the party had started two hours ago, but I had a feeling there were a few people there who were waiting on my arrival.
"Happy Birthday!" I called as I threw the door open.
"Shhh! My mom's sleeping!" Jen said with a smile as she turned to hug me.
"Happy Birthday, Jen!" Sarah echoed, at a much more appropriate volume.
"Thanks!" Jen said, hugging her as well. Sarah and Jen had met at the Coldplay concert exactly nine days ago, and I had told Jen as soon as she announced her birthday plans that I was bringing Sarah as my date. I was glad my best friends knew each other now, it would make a lot more sense when I told the stories of my adventures with one, to the other.
"Hey stranger," I turned to see Jon, one of Jen's friends, smiling in my direction as Sarah slipped into the bathroom.
"Xaylia!" called the voice of another friend as Jen and I leaned our heads together in hushed discussion. Some things are for best friends' ears only, not the entire party.
"See that guy over there, in the plaid shirt?" Jen said in a hushed tone.
"Yeah," I said, glancing out of the corner of my eye.
"He thinks you're really hot," Jen said.
I blatantly turned and stared at him, "I don't think I've ever seen him before."
"He stalked you on Facebook-"
"What?" my face contorted into an expression that wasn't exactly attractive.
"Yeah, kinda weird, I know, but do you think he's cute?"
I turned and blatantly stared again, "No."
"Who do you think's cuter, him or Kang?"
I bit my tongue to repress the 'neither' response at the tip of my lips and at the exact moment, Sarah returned from the bathroom.
"I've still got to do my birthday shot!" Jen said, heading toward the breakfast nook as Sarah joined us. "You've got to do one with me!"
I glanced at the clock, I would be driving in less than an hour again, but one shot couldn't hurt.
"Hey, its Xaylia, right?" said the guy holding a bottle of Three Olives.
"Yeah! How are you?" I asked conversationally, forgetting the guy's name. He worked with Jen, and one night the two of us had hung out with him.
"I'm good, hey, have you met Bryce?"
Plaid shirt guy was standing right besides him. Why did I have the feeling Bryce's facebook stalking of me wasn't exactly a secret?
"Hey Bryce," I said, smiling politely. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Ian standing casually in between the kitchen and the breakfast nook. He was still wearing the neon green 98.7 staff shirt he had been wearing when I saw him earlier in the evening after the concert.
Jen handed me a shot glass and we exchanged smiles, mine and the one in her hand matched. I showed the "I heart LA" shot glass to Sarah, "Ian got us these," I said, motioning to Jen's, "Jen got us matching shot glasses when she was in Florida, and then Ian broke them, but he got us replacements when he was in Los Angeles," I explained.
I found myself in the kitchen next, giving hugs to Kang, Marcell, and Andrew, and introducing Sarah to the friend's who hadn't met her yet.
"Ring, ring!" Andrew said, leaning over to me and holding his hand to his ear like a phone, "The cheetah just called, he wants his skin back!" Andrew had his I'm-so-clevar smile on as he looked at my pants.
"These are not cheetah!" I said to a rousing laugh from the people near enough to hear, "This is python skin," I said with the air of explaining that 2+2=4 to a small child, as I pointed to my pants.
The topic turned to Andrew's wedding, and he began pointing out the various people that were in the wedding party around the room.
"Sarah," he said, throwing an arm around my best friend, "this is my best man, Ian,"
Ian waved a hello.
"Xaylia," Andrew said, drunkenly motioning to me, "this is Ian, he's my best man.
I laughed and Ian and I caught each other's eye for a fraction of heartbeat, "We kinda know each other," I said just as Ian also said something along the same lines.
Sarah giggled.
"Jen, you've got to open your present!" I said, swinging the Victoria's Secret bag tantalizingly from my fingers. Jen, Sarah, and I slipped quietly back into Jen's bedroom. I never thought it would be such an ordeal to open a present, Jen and I both ended up getting emotional before she even opened the lavender VS Pink zip-up. And the second she actually did open it, she ditched her white lace top for the new sweatshirt and spritzed on the shimmering body mist I had included as well.
"Smell me!" Jen declared, running over to Ian as the three of us rejoined the rest of the party, "And isn't this is coolest hoodie?"
"She looks gorgeous," I chirped from behind Jen's shoulder, and Jen and I exchanged a smile.
"Ian, how was London?" I asked when Jen skipped off to show her sweatshirt off to Gabi, "Glad to be back?"
"It was awesome," he said, "Yes, and no, it's a bit of a reality check being back home-"
We made small talk for a few minutes, I hadn't expected his sister's birthday party to be the best place for cozy catch-up. Before I knew it, Sarah and I had to depart. We made our way around the party, saying our goodbyes before taking our last journey in my car for the night.
"I would say that was decently successful," I concluded thoughtfully when the two of us were alone, "For a first time that Ian really gets to see me in a social situation, I'll take it."
"I give the best birthday present, walk right in and do a shot with Jen, he saw me chatting with Andrew, and had to see how everyone got excited when I walked in," I said with a slightly-sarcastic laugh.
A moment later, my phone buzzed and Sarah checked the text message from Jen, "Apparently Kang and Bryce were fighting over you after we left."
I really laughed, "Perfect! Conclude my evening with guys fighting over me!"
These things are all about making the right impression, and if they're still talking about me, or fighting over me, after I leave then I would say I succeeded. Mission indirectly-impress-Ian accomplished.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dancing in A Downpour

Two steaming bows of broccoli cheddar soup and two bows of salad sat opposite of each other on the smallest circle table in Panera Bread. With a cup of tea and a coffee, it could have easily been mistaken for a cozy date, but instead of a couple, my best friend Sarah sat opposite me. We were both too well-dressed for Panera: Sarah was in a pair of bright lilac cropped jeans with  black sequin tank, and I was wearing snakeskin print jeggings with a burnt orange racerback tank. Where would be headed to all dressed up? A concert of course.
Thick dark clouds kept cutting off the sunlight that was inconsistently pouring through the window right by our table made me wish I had waterproofed my makeup.
Tonight was The Fray and Kelly Clarkson. We were mostly going for The Fray. Sarah had lived on their new album all year, and had gotten me hooked on their newest songs in the process. We had gotten these tickets only a few weeks after we had gotten our Coldplay tickets many months ago, and had spent the past three days hyping The Fray.
We took our time eating our dinner, out of the three concerts this was the only one where it was just the two of us and it felt good to slow down and move at our own pace. We had pavilion seats, so there was no rush to go and get a good spot on the lawn like we did for Train, and we didn't need to add in an extra hour to drink and preparty like we did for Coldplay. By the time we got on the road and the highway took us north, a steady rain had started. From the warmth inside of the car, I was glad I had ditched my original corset dress for pants and my leather jacket. This was Michigan: I had worn shorts in March and broke out the leather in August.
When we arrived at the theatre, I regretted not throwing an umbrella in the back of my new Ford escape.
"I don't even want to get out of the car," I sighed, watching everyone else walk up in sweatshirts and those disgusting plastic ponchos.
"Thank God we don't have lawn seats," Sarah said, "I'm putting my jacket over my head."
"So much for curling my hair," I said, taking one last look at the loose curls.
Jackets over our heads, we hurried to the entrance.
"Hey look, its 93.9, we used to listen to them all the time at work before we got evicted," Sarah said, pointing out a red booth.
"I do find it rather funny that you guys got evicted, I mean it sucks you're out of a job, but to pay absolutely no rent for over a year, what was your boss thinking?" I mused as my eyes slid across the radio station booths set up near the entrance. The thought crossed my mind for a fraction of a second, but no, it was impossible, it was-
"-If I wasn't going up to school-"
The green tent. 98.7, the radio station Ian worked for-
"-I would be pissed-"
No way.
Tall, short cropped dark hair, there was no mistake.
"Ian!" I hissed suddenly, cutting off Sarah mid sentence, and without further explanation I tore off across the entrance, "Ian!" I called louder as I neared the lime green tent, my leather jacket keeping the total downpour of rain from drenching me.
The tall guy turned from where he was standing outside the tent, "Hey!" he threw an arm around me in a hug as I reached him, "What are you doing here? Are you going to the concert."
No, I'm actually stalking you, what else would I be doing an hour away from home all dressed up? "Of course, I love The Fray, suckish night for it though," I ducked back under the cover of my jacket.
"Yeah, we're packing up," he nodded to where he was untying something on the tent, "You got lawn seats?"
"Pavillion, I wouldn't actually be here if I had lawn seats," I scrunched up my nose at the thought.
"Nice," he smiled, "You going to Jennifer's thing later?"
"Yeah, I'm making an appearance after the concert," Other than the concert of another favorite band, tonight was my other best friend Jen's birthday party, "So, I'll see you later tonight then?"
"Let me know how the concert is," Ian said.
"I'm getting out of this rain, I'll talk to you later," I replied, my heart pounding in pure shock.
"See you tonight!"
I turned and caught up with Sarah, who was staring at me from near the entrance, "Was that...?"
"What is my luck?" I cried out loud as soon as we were out of earshot, "Ian comes back from his summer in London and I run into him in the pouring rain totally on accident? Sarah, I had the perfect entrance to Jen's party planned: We would be more than fashionably late, I was bringing a hot friend," I motioned to her, "My hair would be windswept and I would have that post-concert glow. It was going to be the first time Ian saw me in a social situation, and I would make a brilliant impression, but this? No!"
"I can't believe it!" Sarah echoed.
"I'm in complete and total shock right now! Of course, its pouring rain, and my hair is gross, and I've got my leather jacket over my head for Chanel's sake!"
"Ok calm down!" Sarah said with a laugh.
"Can my luck ever get any worse!" I moaned as we found our seats under the pavilion, "I will actually introduce you to him when we get to Jen's, it's slightly important that my best friend meets the only guy I've ever hooked up with," I said with a dark laugh.
The opening band was shit. It gave me perfectly enough time to get my shock in check before Kelly Clarkson took the stage. I felt like I was 12 years old again, dancing around my room to my 'Breakaway' cd, as Sarah and I danced around and sang the lyrics at the tops of our lungs like total fools. I hadn't expected her part of the concert to be as fun as it was, but by the time she finished, Sarah and I both concluded that Kelly and the two of us could actually be good friends. We would be friends mostly on the account of the 'orange creamsicle' drinks Kelly was enjoying during her performance.
And then The Fray came out.
They played my favorite song, 'Turn Me On' and I danced like I had never danced before.
And then they plated Sarah's favorite song, 'Rainy Zurich' and she screamed so loudly when it began I thought my hearing would never recover.
And when they played one of their old hits, Sarah and I were screaming the lyrics so passionately that the middle school girl in front of us turned and blatantly stared at us.
Like we actually gave a fuck.
Then they began some ballad from their newest album, and Issac, the lead singer, came into the crowd to sing it, and he sang RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR ROW. We were literally less than a foot from him, I thought Sarah and I were both going to pass out. It was incredible, we both even touched him!

I never wanted it to end, but we had another party to get to, and the excitement didn't end when the lights turned back on.
To be continued...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Strawberry Hill

"Three concerts in ten days, I'd say this is a good start to my summer," I beamed. Yes, it was the 7th of August and my summer had literally just begun with the Coldplay concert six nights previous. Now was the time to blow off some serious post-summer-classes steam.
I leaned back on my elbows on the picnic blanket we had laid out on the sprawling lawn and admired the pile of shoes that belonged to me and two of my closest friends. There were Ceileigh's cobalt blue platforms, my neutral wedges, and Sarah's gold strappy sandals. Ceileigh and Sarah had come out of the womb as best friends; Sarah and I had been friends since our freshman year of high school, and had grown closer with every passing year; and Ceileigh and I known of each other since freshman year, but we didn't become close until our senior year. The three of us were an inseparable trio, even with going to colleges at three different corners of the state of Michigan. The fourth addition to our group had his grey Converse still on his feet. Joey was Sarah's neighbor, her long-time crush, and my favorite person to secretly stalk in a very Pretty-Little-Liars-esq way. We're talking creepy, perfectly timed, anonymous texts.
"And we get to do this all over again in three days," said Sarah with a smile. Tonight was concert 2 of 3, and as the lawn began to fill up, I had a feeling we had made the right choice in adding one more to our line up.
Train was performing in Detroit tonight, and we had made a last minute call to get lawn seats. It was a warm night as the sun sank over the top of the pavilion, and I found myself on my feet as soon as Train opened with "50 Ways to Say Goodbye." The show was more fun than I even anticipated. I had worried the crowd would be a lot of middle-aged fans, but there was actually a good younger mix that kept the atmosphere electric.
"...She likes babies and surprises..."
"Sarah that's so you!" Ceileigh said as the classic "Meet Virginia" began.
"...She wears high heels as she exercises..."
"And that's so you Ceileigh!" Sarah exclaimed, catching on quickly.
Sarah has this natural motherly-instinct, and Ceileigh has a serious problem when it comes to her shoes.
"...She drinks coffee at midnight..."
"Xaylia!" Both Ceileigh and Sarah exclaimed at the line that followed in the next verse.
I do have a tendency to drink coffee at what most people would consider the wrong time, but when life could be this fun, why would I not want to stay awake to appreciate every small moment?