And also won
Brian was playing macho. He was playing tough. He was playing a man in the hardest and best role of his life in a play that that he never quite understood the script for. He was the play’s main character and its’ only star. For over a week now, he had been playing this part. He had been going around yelling at everyone, about anything and everything, every time he got a chance. He was making threats and barking demands. He was punching through walls and kicking down doors. Adrenaline ran through his body and powered his actions, or so he claimed. He was acting tough, simply because he wanted to be tough.
He had been acting this way for way too long. Chelsea being, the A+ Sociology student she was, could see, from a mile away, he was playing the playing masculine role. He was playing it perfectly. Not an action was out of place and he did not miss a single line. The only thing was this wasn’t his designated role. He wasn't suppose to be the type of guy who performed the masculine role, he was suppose to be the guy who broke most gender roles or at least the ones constructed by American society but here he was buying into societies interpretation of gender. Here he was acting out the masculine part with perfect precision. He was a natural.
Chelsea watched the beautiful but screwed-up boy binge on beer after beer. He had been at it for over 3 hours and did not show any signs of stopping or slowing down. In fact, he was actually putting back the drinks even faster. The more he drank, the faster and harder he drank. Chelsea was beginning to wonder if he would ever stop.
He didn’t know if or when he would stop. Truth be told, he didn’t know why he was drinking in the first place. He didn’t like beer, at all, but he was downing them like there was no tomorrow. He suspected it was because he didn’t want to think about his problems, he wanted them to disappear and he was hoping the alcohol would help. The only problem was the mass amounts of alcohol he had drank wasn’t helping one bit. He still felt like crap and his problems did not shrink any and certainly did not disappear.
“Go, go, go...,” the crowd of future frat boy, teenage boys gathered around as they cheered on Brian. He downed yet another can. He was probably on the brink of alcohol intoxication by now and then there was the many thousands of calories he had taken in. With all of that, he should have stopped then but he couldn’t. He couldn’t no matter how many times he thought of the consequences.
Yes, there were definitely more cons than pros but still he couldn’t stop. The rush of being the life of the party was getting to him. Brian liked being seen as tough, manly, and strong. He was happy to finally be seen as someone other than the weak boy with the girl disease. He was finally being seen as the person he had always wanted to be and he wasn’t ready to give that up just yet. He didn’t want lose this high just yet. he was on cloud nine and wasn’t ready to return to earth but eventually he would have to. So he kept on drinking. Every gulp putting him on a pedestal and floating him higher. He wished that the feeling could last forever but nothing lasted forever anymore.
“Pace yourself Brian. Are you trying to get alcohol poisoning? Are you trying to kill yourself?” her voice was becoming increasingly louder, “Who am I kidding, Of course you’re trying to kill yourself. You have been working on killing yourself for the last 3 years. You do have a death wish. Anyone who can continue to starve themselves when they look as sick as you do, has to have a death wish or be completely insane. At this point I don’t know which one you are.” She blew up at him because she couldn’t stand to watch him kill himself, any longer. ________________________________________________________
She dialed the number of the last person she ever thought she would need to call for help. The phone rang once. It rang twice. It rang a third time and then he answered.
“Hello,” said a tired voice.
“Hey, Nalin. It’s Chelsea,” she said holding her breath. She really needed the maroon-haired boys help.
“Hey, what’s up?” He asked, knowing full and well, she was in trouble but hoping his was wrong.
“Do you mind picking Brian up?” Now he was absolutely sure she was in trouble.
“He’s drunk as fuck and should under no circumstances be driving a car anywhere. I don’t think he is even capable of riding the train nor can I drive. You are like the only option.”
“Where are you?” The all too caring boy asked. He was tired of this. He didn’t want to have to come to Brian’s rescue yet another time. Why couldn’t Brian get some sense. He kept making mistake after mistake and made no attempt at correcting those previous mistakes or preventing new ones. Brian just kept doing the same thing over again.
“Melanie’s house,” she answered.
“Wait, you’re in Long island?” They couldn’t be. That would be way too far away? How would they have gotten there?
“No, we’re at her mother’s house. The one in jordan village. Do you really think I would have you drive 4 hours to pick Brian up? And, wait, how the hell would I have gotten there to be begin with?”
“It doesn’t matter. Anyway, I’ll be there in like 40 minutes,” he then hung up the phone. Brian was lucky as hell that he had a friend like Nalin. If he didn’t Chelsea had no doubt in her mind that he would have been dead a long time ago. Actually that wasn’t completely true. Without Maya, Nalin or her, he would have been dead a long time ago. Hell, he probably wouldn’t have made it past 13. Luckily he did have his great friends who tried to keep him out of harms way. Although most of the time they didn’t succeed.
“Hey Chelsea,” said a familiar voice, “Where’s Brian?” Chelsea turned around to see who the person and to her surprise it was Olivia.
“Why do you care?” She said gratingly. Chelsea simply didn’t understand. Olivia broke up with Brian, no less than a month ago, by text, and now she was asking where he was. It didn’t add up
“Why wouldn’t I care? Brian’s my friend, I’ve known him since 4th grade,” said Olivia. She was trying to apologize but Chelsea wasn’t making it easy. Not that Chelsea every really liked her but at least when she was going out with Brian, Chelsea had a reason to act civil towards her, now that was gone.
“You didn’t seem to care too much when you broke up with him, by text, of all thing,” she said bitingly.
“Yeah, I’m sorry about that.”
“You don’t need to apologize to me. I am not the one that you were a cold-hearted bitch to. You didn’t break my heart.” Chelsea couldn’t help but be mad with Olivia. Olivia felt like she could do whatever she wanted, and hurt as many people as she pleased because she was beautiful and Chelsea absolutely hated that.
“It wasn’t that simple. I broke up with him because I couldn’t stand to watch him kill himself. I was tired of taking care of him. I’m 17, I want to live. I don’t want to have to spend my life babysitting my boyfriend.” What she said made sense but still Chelsea was angry with Olivia. Now it wasn’t because she broke up with Brian but because she was free of him. Chelsea wanted to be free of Brian. She had her own problems to deal with and having Brian’s problems piled on top wasn’t helping. “Anyway, you should be happy. We all know perfectly well that Brian’s into you and you’re probably into him too.”
“Okay, but still,” she was interrupted.
“Chelsea, just leave it alone. Speaking of Brian where is he anyway?”
“First, you just asked that and second, he’s knocked out on the couch.”
“He decided it was a good idea to get very drunk, as if he could actually handle it in his current state. I don’t know what the hell got into him.” She was lying. She knew exactly why he did it.
“He has a habit of trying to kill himself. He keeps on finding new ways to do it but he never succeeds. This is not anything new.” A truer statement had never been spoken. “Hey, you want a ride?” asked the blond girl. Chelsea seriously considered saying yes. It was a win-win for everyone. Nalin wouldn’t have to drive 40 minutes to pick them up and Brian would get home safely. It worked out well for everyone but Chelsea.
“No, it’s alright,” she said sincerely.
“How are you getting home then?”
“I don’t know. I have Nalin coming to take Brian’s drunk ass home. I guess I’ll get a ride home with Nalin but baring that option there is always public transportation.”
“Chels” she said familiarly, as if the two girls were friends, which they weren’t, “It’s after 1 am. I’m not letting take public transportation this early in the morning, you might get raped. I’ll give you a ride home.” It was obvious that she was trying to amends.
“I have to stay here until Nalin gets here and that might not be for a while. Are you really willing to wait that long because it is probably more practical for me to get a ride from Nalin,” she made another excuse but this time a more reasonable one.
“I know you probably don’t want to talk to me, let alone get a ride from me but come on, I can wait until Nalin gets here. Chelsea, for once, just hang up your pride and let me give you ride,” the blond girl said.
Honestly Chelsea didn’t have anything against Olivia. She just thought it would be insanely awkward being in a car with her. She had nothing to say to her and she didn’t want to say anything to her. She had buried the hatchet and she was on good terms with her after the conversation they just had but she wasn’t about to try her luck so soon. She knew she would never be friends with Olivia but to even try for acquaintances was something that needed to be taken slowly and with caution.
“Fine,” she said conceding.
Another 30 minutes went by and Nalin had yet to come. Chelsea was tired of waiting. She wanted to get home, take a shower and sleep for the next couple days but she knew she wouldn’t be able to. She would instead spend the whole night worrying: worrying about Brian. That’s all she did, lately. She was either working on starving herself to death or she was worrying that Brian might do the same. It was so disfunction but ironically it was only way she managed to function.
“Where the hell is he?” She whispered to herself. She was getting even more antsy. She wanted to go home. She wanted to go to sleep. She wanted to relax. But most of all, she wanted to be done. She wanted to be done like Olivia was. She wished she was able to live her life without having take care of someone else’s. Hell, she wanted to be selfish.
Nonetheless, that was all stuff for another day. Right now, she had to watch out for Nalin. She had to make sure Brian wasn’t dead and he didn’t kill himself and on top of that she had to keep Olivia away from Brian. Luckily, she was good at multitasking. She looked over at Olivia, who was starring at her short, stubby nails, then she looked over at Brian, who still lay fast asleep. She felt her phone vibrate. She checked the caller-id. It was Nalin. She answered the phone.
“Hey, Nalin,” she said in a low tone.
“I’m here. Where are you?”
“We’re in the living room. Brian’s on the couch.”
“Okay,”he said apathetically. Nalin maneuvered his way through the crowd of drunk, loud, horny teenagers. He spotted Olivia first and then he saw Chelsea.
“Chels,” he called out. He continued to make his way through the crowd until he got to Chelsea.
“Brian’s right there.” She pointed to pointed to the boy passed out on the couch.
“What happened?” He asked, as though she had not told him already.
“I told you. He got drunk.”
“Yeah but why is he drunk?”
“Because he decide to drink a crap load of beer.”
“Why’d you let him?” he asked angrily.
“I can’t control him.”
“You are suppose to be his fucking friend. And friends keep other friends from doing stupid things like drinking to the point of almost dying. Do even give a damn about him? Do you care about anyone but yourself?” He had hit a nerve. How dare he accuse her of being selfish. She wasn’t selfish. She cared about Brian more than anyone else. She gave up most of her freedom for him.
“Go to hell. Just go to hell,” she yelled. She was angry, very angry. She was angry at Nalin for all of what he just said. All the blame he placed on her and the rage he had unleashed. It didn’t matter how much the gorgeous boy was in love with her or she was in love with him, and she was definitely starting to fall back in love with him, she was still angry at him.
“It’s not my fault you’re such a screw up as a best friend,” he said maliciously. He wasn’t trying to hurt her he was just trying to snap some sense into her. Lately, she had been very self-absorbed and that wasn’t like her. She was normally incredibly caring. Honestly, she hadn’t really been acting like herself in months and he didn’t know why. That wasn’t true, he had an idea why. He figured her change in personality had something to do with her eating disorder.
“Nalin, I’m telling you this as the kindhearted person you claim I’m not, just take Brian home and leave me alone. If you say another word to me I very well may, and probably will, go off on you. Neither of us wants that,” she warned. He did exactly as she demanded. He got Brian and he took him home without uttering another word to Chelsea.
“I guess I have no choice but to take that ride you offered,” said Chelsea.
“You ready?” Olivia asked.
“Yeah, sure.” Chelsea’s mind was on her recent conversation with Nalin.
“I know this isn’t really my business but what’s going with you two?”
“You and Nalin, what’s going on with you guys?”
“I don’t even know and right now I don’t care,” she said simply.
“Wait do you two still go out?” Olivia asked surprised.
“No,” Chelsea was quick to say. It sounded a little too suspicious for Olivia’s liking.
“Do you still have a thing for him?” Olivia was way too enthusiastic. It put Chelsea on edge.
“I think were done with this conversation.” She was starting to get shy because truth be told, she might have been falling for Nalin again.
“come on, tell me,” Olivia nagged.
“I’m not telling you.”
“Please,” the pretty girl batted her eyelashes.
“Olive, I’m not telling you. I don’t know if you have noticed but we aren’t really friends.”
“Yeah but we should be. Honestly, we share a lot in common.”
“We’re both hopelessly in love with Brian,” she enunciated. Chelsea agreed because it was the truth.