Warm sunlight poured through the window. Normally I had my curtains drawn shut, but this felt nice. I smiled, opened my eyes, and froze in mid-yawn. I wasn't in my room on my four-poster bed with my red blanket! I tried to fling off the blanket, but my cast was tangled in the green blanket. I stared quizzically at the thing on my arm. When did I...oh yeah. With my panic session over, I stood up and stumbled out of the room. My stomach was growling, so I headed downstairs to make some breakfast.
Everyone stopped and stared at me when I stepped into the kitchen.
"What are you doing in my house?" I asked. Jake had a spoon of Cocoa Puffs halfway to his mouth, Andy was slurping the chocolate milk from his bowl, CC was in the process of pouring himself more cereal, and Jinxx, well Jinxx was nowhere to be seen. Which kind of made me feel relieved.
"Better eat before Andy finishes all the cereal." CC said, holding up the box of chocolaty goodness and shaking it in the air.
Knowing full well that CC wasn't joking, I grabbed myself a bowl and a spoon and plopped myself between Andy and Jake.
"So what are we doing today?" CC asked from across the table.
"Well..." I tapped my chin. "I guess I'm going to need new furniture and have the carpet replaced. So yeah."
"Fine by me." Andy said and poured himself and poured himself some more cereal.
"Where's Jinxx anyways?" I tried to sound nonchalant, but I don't think it worked.
Jake quirked an eyebrow. "He's with Sammi. Said he might join us later."
I nodded and focused on my cereal.
After breakfast I called a cleaning crew to come in and throw anything broken away. Then we piled into Andy's black Range Rover, can you guess its name? If you guessed The Batmobile, then ding ding ding! You guessed correctly. Anyways, we went to this carpet store to look at the carpets (obviously), I decided on black for my bedroom. There wasn't any carpet downstairs except in the game-room so I didn't have to worry about it. Then we drove to a furniture store and we walked around looking for replacement furniture. I decided on another four-poster bed made of dark wood, with black see through curtains and a king size mattress. I replaced my old drawers as well, with matching dark wood. Lastly, I let the guys decide on the furniture for my living-room.
While waiting for everything to be setup at home, we went to the drive-thru at In-'N-Out and picked up like ten burgers and decided to head down to the beach. Which was fine by me, I needed a distraction, so Andy drove us to some "exclusive" beach where we wouldn't be mobbed by fans. It was pretty nice, it wasn't crowded, the water was cerulean blue, and the sun was bright. I picked a spot under a shady palm tree and stripped down into my boxers, then I laid down with my left hand tucked under my head. I closed my eyes and tried not to think of anything, to just enjoy the sound of the gulls squawking overhead, the sound of the waves crashing onshore, and the smell of sea salt and seaweed.
All the guys wanted to go check out the tide-pools look at the starfish, it seemed like too much of a mundane thing to do, and I wasn't in the mood to put on a fake smile, so I declined and stayed behind. I watched as the guys shoved themselves playfully on the way to the slippery rocks on the far side of the beach. Chuckling, I drew my knees up to my chest and rested my head on them as I gazed out to the ocean. The crashing waves lulled me into a stupor, so I didn't notice when the figure walked up to me.
"Hey Ash?" The voice asked timidly.
I gave a jump as my trance was broken, I looked up and was surprised to see Jinxx towering above me. "What?" I said at last.
Jinxx took this as an invitation to sit down next to me "Seriously though, why did you call me instead of an ambulance?"
I sighed inwardly, Not this again. After I just decided to get my life together and move on... "Seriously Jinxx, I don't know. I wasn't really thinking, I could have called any of the other guys too you know. It was just a reflex I guess..." I let my sentence drift off. Jinxx sat staring at me with those piercing blue eyes and it was all I could do to not kiss him right then and there, but I bit my tongue and contained myself.
"Hmm..." Was his response.
"Besides, why does it matter so much? You're my friend, why wouldn't I call a friend in my time of need?"
"So that's what you think of me?" He seemed a bit annoyed. "A friend?"
Where was he going with this? What did he expect me to say? "Well yeah, what else did you think I was going to say?"
"I don't know, something different I guess." He looked out into the ocean. Even from this angle I could see his gaze was sad and melancholy.
"Hey Jinxx is everything okay?"
Hey laughed bitterly. "Maybe not." I noticed him twisting his wedding ring again.
"Are things between you and Sammi...you know, okay?" He did that thing where he looked at me, but kind of tilted his head to the right making him look like an innocent child, after a long pause he finally answered.
"I don't know. Sometimes things are good, and other times...I just don't know
Well this caught me off guard. I hadn't expected him to say anything, and I felt a little guilty that this new piece of information made me a teeny bit happy.
"Hey man" I said and placed my left hand on his shoulder. "If you ever need a place to crash, you're welcome at my place."
He gave me that crooked smile that I loved so much. Fighting back a blush, I smiled back.
"You know what Ash?" He said, and playfully ruffled my hair. "For a manwhore, you're alright. And I might just have to take you up on that offer sometime soon"
The rest of the time we spent eating burgers and laying out in the sun. Overall it had been a good day, and I was sad when we got a call from the carpet and furniture people saying everything was ready. We packed up our things, got into The Batmobile, and drove home. Though I did "fall asleep" on Jinxx's shoulder on the way back. I tried super hard, but I couldn't help but smile when I felt him wrap his arm around my shoulder. Friends did this all the time, right? It wasn't like he was making a move on me or anything, right?
Well I loved the new furniture. I love, love, loved it! It was fresh, it was new, it was colorful! Not like the hospital white I had before. I went up to my room and grinned when I saw how it looked. I sat down on the bare mattress and looked up at the canopy of black fabric draped elegantly over my bed, I sighed happily. I wanted to get my room set up, but because of the cast, obviously I couldn't do it on my own. So I called Jake to help me. Together, we put some fresh white sheets on it, and my red blanket and pillows. Lastly, we put away my clothes in my new drawers. It wasn't long before the guys had to leave, Jake had Ella, Andy had Juliet, and Jinxx, reluctantly had Sammi. I was feeling kind of lonely now, I wandered the house looking for something to do, it seemed so vast and empty without everyone here. I needed to get like a dog or a cat, or some goldfish. It was too quiet. I went back up to my room, changed into my usual sleeping wear.
I crawled under the red blanket. Tomorrow I'd need to go buy a new phone, maybe stop by an animal shelter. It bugged me that I couldn't do any of this on my own though, I hated being dependent on someone else! Luckily, two more days and the cast would come off, it would be a bit sore at first, but at least I could drive myself. Who knows, maybe I'd even call Jinxx to help me out since he looked like he needed time away from Sammi...friends did that right? They could spend the day together doing random things? One thing was for sure. If I was going to get my life together, Jinxx would still be a huge part of it.
"Ash...Hey Ash..Ashley...ASHLEY GET THE FUCK UP!"
Still half asleep, I vaulted over the bed (which mind you, is no easy feat) and slammed myself back against the wall, my heart pounding in my throat. "WHO, WHAT! HOLY CRAP WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING!!" I shouted at Jinxx who was kneeling ON my bed, next to the spot where I had been sleeping.
"I figured you needed someone to help you today." He replied innocently.
"You don't just go into someone's house and scare them half to death!" I shouted, clutching my head, all this shouting was making it throb painfully. "That kind of ruins the motive of 'helping' you know."
"Well it's past noon and I was getting tired of waiting."
"Whatever." I walked away from the wall towards my closet, then I noticed Jinxx staring at me with huge eyes. "What?"
"Um...nothing!" He turned away and tried to hide his blush.
I shrugged, got some new clothes and walked into the bathroom. As I looked at myself in the mirror I saw what he'd been staring at. I groaned loudly and thumped my head on the wall. You know what sucks about being a guy with a big package? Morning wood, that's what! For fucks sake it looked like I had a shampoo bottle stuffed in my boxers! I took my time in the bathroom since I had to wait for it to go down.
Thirty minutes later, I emerged from the bathroom, embarrassed, grumpy, and ashamed. I grabbed my keys from a hook on my wall and threw them at Jinxx who was sprawled on my bed with his eyes closed. "Let's go."
First on the agenda was a new phone. So we stopped at the Apple Store to get me the newest version of the iPhone, the iPhone 5s. We left the Apple Store and I told Jinxx my plan about getting a pet. He thought it was a great idea and drove us to the nearest animal shelter. It made me sad to see all the animals waiting for someone to take them home. I wanted to take them all with me, but sadly I couldn't. We spent a good hour looking through the dogs, and though they were all great, they just didn't have what I was looking for. So Jinxx took me to the cat side of the building, and that's where I fell in love with Chrome.
Chrome was a gorgeous mutt. Her fur was a grayish silver, she had one green eye and one blue, and she had a long feathery tail. She was perfect. I walked out of the building with her in a cardboard box. Jinxx drove us to a PetSmart so I could stock up on supplies. Here, I took Chrome out and let her aid me in choosing her food and toys. We walked out of the store with three other people who helped us load everything into my car.
"Tomorrow I get my cast off." I told Jinxx, we were both sitting on the rug at my house. Chrome was swatting at a windup mouse.
"Yeah?" He asked.
"Yup, can you take me?"
"Sure, hey Ash?"
"I think...I think Sammi and I are getting divorced."
"Oh..." I didn't know what to say, so I just put my left arm on his shoulder and looked at him. To any other person, his eyes would have been sad, but I knew him so well. Behind that fake sorrow was spark of excitement. Where things that bad between Jinxx and Sammi that he was happy to be getting divorced? The silence stretched out between us, Chrome padded over and curled up in my lap. I looked down at her and stroked her soft fur. When I looked back to Jinxx, he was an inch away from my face. So close I could count his eyelashes, close enough to see that his blue eyes were streaked with green. So close, that I could smell his cologne, like apples and cinnamon.
"Jinxx..?" I whispered.