Keep Me a Secret: Chapter 5

Merry Christmas Dev and Clom Fans (also wellwishers, purveyors of religious literature and people who are lost)

Previously: Chapter 4 [U]

Spencer + Ashley + Jaeger bombs.

Rating: A, for utterly shocking teenage alcohol consumption

Australian for Beginners, by Dev

When I was editing this, there was a line that originally said:

For all she’s a bit of a hoon in the car, she’s a pretty fine driver.

According to Wikipedia:

Hoon is a derogatory term used in Australia and New Zealand to refer to a younger person who engages in loutish, anti-social behaviour. In particular, it is used to refer to one who drives in a manner which is anti-social by the standards of contemporary society, that is, fast, noisily or dangerously.

So, now you know…

* * * * *

Chapter 5

We don’t talk about what happened. Within minutes, she’s gone to get us food and I’m going through my clothes in my bag to see what I should wear tonight. There’s no point, because I’ll lay an outfit out and Ashley will make me wear something of hers.

I’m shaking. Is it any surprise? A few minutes ago, Ashley was so close to me I could have kissed her in a heartbeat. Ashley was close enough that, for a split second, I thought she wanted to kiss me. Now she’s downstairs and I have no idea where we stand.

“Snacks?”

Ashley sidles through the door with a bottle of Pepsi Max and a packet of pretzels.

How can she act like nothing just happened?

Because nothing did just happen. She was being playful and, of course, my twisted, perverted mind turned it into something else. Either way, it hasn’t exactly made my stomach sit still long enough to have an appetite.

“I’ll save myself for dinner.” I pat my stomach. “Don’t want to get fat.”

Ashley rolls her eyes. “Like you’d be anything but super sexy.”

God, I wish she meant that!

I watch her shove three pretzels in her mouth. I wish I could eat like her and stay thin. I have to watch what I put in me, and be careful to keep my exercise up. Ashley just looks toned, no matter what.

“I’d still rather go to dinner.” Anything to get out of here. Anything to stop myself from bursting into tears. Years of keeping my truths on the inside have made me so very good at hiding my feelings, even from Ashley, who knows me better than anyone else in the world.

“Fine.” She dumps the pretzels down and looks petulant. She’s not serious; I should know.

Instead, I coax her out of the door and into her blue convertible. She loves driving it, and I love her driving me around in it, especially in the summer and in good weather. Frankly, though, it’s mostly nice here in LA. We moved here from Ohio when I was four, so I can’t really remember what it was like there. My father assures me that it was far more snow than sun, but he’s biased. I think he misses Ohio some days, perhaps because my mother was less of a bitch there. Once again, I’m guessing because I can’t really remember.

I’m glad we left because, if we hadn’t, I’d still be in Ohio and Ashley would be here and that would be a disaster. Then I wouldn’t be able to bask in the glory of her expletives as she overtakes a Pontiac that she thinks is just a shade too slow with words that would make a sailor blush and with the hand gestures to compliment.

I just laugh: it’s Ashley.

We pull up at a place we often go to, and Ashley screams to a halt in a parking spot. I’d complain, except I can barely park and she just did that perfectly. For all she’s a bit of a street racer behind the wheel at times, she’s a pretty fine driver. Plus, she always pays for my dinner.

We decide against Mexicali on the basis that it sometimes gives us gas and, tonight, we don’t want gas. We also decide against seafood because Ashley watched Finding Nemo last night and she never eats seafood for a few weeks after she watches it. We go to the little hole-in-the-wall Indonesian place that I love.

The tables are covered with some kind of wipe-down plastic table-cloth even though the tables underneath are probably less seedy than their ancient coverings by now. The chairs are of a similarly low quality of plastic and fold up for easy storage. That’s fairly important in a store that has three tables and six chairs. I don’t imagine they ever move stuff around, though. I mean, there’s not enough room to sneeze in here. But the food… Oh, the food!

Ashley pulls out a chair and flops in it. It’s an order at the orange Formica counter but I know she wants gado gado and satay chicken so I’ll order. I order, she pays. That’s the way it is and the way it will always stay. I think I’ll be ordering her food at the old person’s home. I think. I hope.

The food is good and Ashley starts talking. Ashley doesn’t need help with conversation: she can hold one up all by herself. If there was an Olympics for having conversations that were one-sided, Ashley would represent the USA all by herself. Hell, she’d never lose.

So when she finally looks up at me and frowns, I’m surprised at what comes out of her mouth: “What’s up, Spence? You’ve been totally weird for days.”

“Huh?”

“You’re all quiet and I’m doing all the talking.”

Hey, like that’s anything new!

“I’m fine,” I say guardedly. I’m worried that if she thinks about it too hard, she’ll realise that our little episode in her room might be to blame. Well, it might be indicative of what’s really to blame. But if I protest too much and don’t come up with an excuse soon, she’ll think harder. I can’t have that. “Just pissed off at Glen,” I add quickly.

“Geez, when aren’t you?”

“Well, he’s annoying.” I fork some noodles into my mouth.

“True dat.”

And then she goes back to talking. I seem to have averted that particular disaster. I let her words flow over me, while I quietly ignore what she’s saying about Blake Lively. I don’t really watch television, let alone that kind of television, and I don’t actually care if Ashley knows her. I’m sure she really does know her. I just don’t care.

All I care about is that the feelings that I had in her house haven’t ebbed. I’ve been waiting, hoping, expecting them to wind down but I’m just as tense as I was. And soon I have to go to the pre-party party and watch her cavort around with Aiden. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to handle that, especially not the way I’m feeling right now.

“Okay, let’s go pretty up and show the world what they wish they could have,” Ashley says, standing up and stretching.

I look at her.

I know what I wish I had.

* * *

We’d planned on dressing and then eating, but I dragged her out of the house so fast we weren’t ready for the party. I wore my own clothes, although Ashley wasn’t happy about it. For some reason, I just couldn’t put her clothes on. I had to be in my own skin, no matter what she wanted. I was already covered in her and I could barely cope. Any more would have been too much.

If Ashley notices my extra levels of quiet on the way to the party, she doesn’t comment again. In fact, she spends most of the time fiddling, trying to get her iPod on to the right song. I try to help, but she thinks my music taste sucks so won’t let me.

She pulls up her shiny blue car and swings it in to Aiden’s driveway. The pre-party is clearly already in swing. I think there are more people here than I expected and even in the dark I can see Ashley’s eyes light up. She absolutely loves a good party, and the one inside looks like it’s bigger than we thought.

I’m nervous.

I must have been to a million parties since the first time Ashley dragged me to one way back in the sixth grade. I’m always with Ashley, of course; I never go on my own. I don’t think there’s been a single party which lives on in high school renown that she hasn’t taken me to. Like I keep saying, she’s loyal.

“Come on, Spence. It’s time to par-tee!” Only Ashley could say that and not have it be lame.

The party is, in fact, pumping. It’s a good testament to how well-insulated Aiden’s house is because, as soon as the door opens, the noise is deafening. From the street, it had been a mere pulse. I blink. There’s a distinct smell of beer in the air.

“Babe! Spence!” Aiden’s obnoxious voice booms through the hall as I close the door behind us. I grimace as he picks up my Ashley and kisses her, deeply, on the mouth.

I can only smile when Ashley pushes him off.

“Ugh, Aiden, you taste like stale beer. And you need to shave.”

“No, baby, I’m doin’ the – whassit? – six o’clock thing.”

I blink again. “Huh?”

“He means five o’clock shadow.” Ashley rolls her eyes. “You know, the ‘designer stubble’.”

“Oh.” I’m not quite sure how to respond to that. As far as I’m concerned, Aiden is a douche-bag all the time and his woeful attempts at shaving don’t really sway my beliefs one way or the other. Of course, given that he’s dating Ashley, not much is ever going to change my believe in his total douche-bag-ness.

I follow Ashley through the familiar layout of Aiden’s house until we reach the kitchen. There’s drink everywhere, with empty plastic cups lying around. Half of them are on their sides, and had obviously gotten that way with some of their contents inside.

Ashley waltzes over to a cupboard and pulls out a bottle of Jaegermeister.

“Jaeger bombs!”

“Oh, Ash, no, not to start with,” I wail plaintively. I’ve promised to match her drink-for-drink but I’d anticipated beer or, at the worst, mixers. This… This, I had not considered.

Ashley, however, clearly had, because she pulls four cans of Red Bull out of the fridge and yells, “AIDEN! Bomb time!” She’s loud enough to be heard over the music and I wince.

It’s not long before there are four glasses of ice-cold Red Bull waiting, with four shots of Jaeger sitting ominously in front. I pick mine up and wrinkle my nose. The glass is sticky. Aiden appears, punching his hand in the air and yelling, “Hell, yeah, party on!”

He really is a complete dick sometimes.

With him is a tall, blond boy. I think his name is Greg. He’s another member of the jock elite at school. I’ve seen him many times, but I’ve never really spoken to him. For a boy, he’s not bad looking but, since he’s a friend of Aiden’s, I immediately regard him with some suspicion, especially since he’s now eyeing me with open admiration. Well, at least he’s checking out the parts of me that are between my neck and my navel.

I am distracted from my dislike of this tool by Ashley tugging on my wrist.

“C’mon, Spence, you promised!”

The terrible thing is that I am always completely useless in the face of Ashley’s persuasion. She doesn’t even have to try and I know I’ll never say ‘no’ to her. Picking up my shot glass once again, I hover it over the Red Bull.

Greg elbows his way in next to me, pushing up far too close for comfort. “Bottoms up?” he grins at me. He has blindingly white teeth.

I shrug. “That’s what it’s for.”

I look at Ashley, while simultaneously letting my shot glass fall. The drink goes ends-up while my eyes stay trained on my best friend.

Unfortunately, Ashley is looking at Aiden in the same way at the same time.

* * * * *

Next up: Chapter 6 [X]

9 Comments

  1. Posted 25 December 2009 at 8.27am | Permalink

    Oh Teenage parties..

    Thanks for the read! =)

  2. Fishtosea
    Posted 25 December 2009 at 8.29am | Permalink

    Oh boy. This aint good. Clommy, why? Why must you terrorize our poor Spencer like this? Whhhyyyyy??????? But, really, why?

  3. kpd
    Posted 25 December 2009 at 2.19pm | Permalink

    Merry Christmas Clom and Dev! I am one of your many fans. An update is a fantastic gift Clom. Thank you.

    I feel for you Spence. Trying to hide your true feelings from someone is really hard because its scary if that someone doesn’t feel the same way. On another note, Aiden’s a douche, that’s never going to change.

  4. LyricalHarmony
    Posted 25 December 2009 at 8.14pm | Permalink

    Poor Spencer :/ I’ve been there and done that. It sucks. :) Hopefully you make this happier soon haha. Merry Christmas!

  5. chelle5432
    Posted 25 December 2009 at 8.37pm | Permalink

    Spencer is already finding it very difficult not to show her feelings for Ashley. Add alcohol to that equation and trouble is bound to happen!

    Can’t wait to find out if it does or not. Great update Clom!

    Oh and Aiden? Ick! He’s an ass!

  6. dev0347
    Posted 26 December 2009 at 9.16pm | Permalink

    Alcohol + teenage hormones = not made of win
    Sezje update + Spashley = totally made of win

  7. BG
    Posted 27 December 2009 at 5.06am | Permalink

    I have never been a fan of Jaeger, but I just might be if it makes Ashley and Spencer open up and let the hormones loose on each other. Can’t wait to find out what happens!

  8. Deb
    Posted 31 December 2009 at 4.14am | Permalink

    I love this story :)

  9. imaferrari
    Posted 19 April 2011 at 9.15pm | Permalink

    So, so authentic. Pains me, really.

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