Paths - Chapter 14

But when the judgment covered Mr. and Mrs. McCreed’s, my heart sunk.

"It was so awkward!" Libby moaned loudly, collapsing on her bed.

"How so?" I watch her through the mirror while putting on mascara.

"Henry texted me, asking me to come over to talk." Libby sat up to tell, "So of course I did. When I got there we just sat there, sipping our tea. You could feel the uncomfortable feelings in the air. And he says ‘So about the premiere-’ and I just quickly clarified I was really wasted that night and he was just like ‘Oh...’ before getting up and leaving."

"He just left?" I turn to face her in my chair.

"Yeah, he just stood up and went up to his room," she shrugged.

"Did you follow him?" I asked.

"No! I didn’t want to make things worse."



"Well, do you like him or not!" My question makes her stop and bite her nail. "Libby!"

"YES!" She finally spills.

"Then there you go." I turn back to the mirror.

"But, if he doesn’t like me then that would make all those years of friendship go awkward."

"Let me explain, he asked you to the premiere. You said yes. You guys made out. You were wasted. He wasn’t. He was disappointed when he figured out you were. Libby, he likes you," I tell her plainly.

"We need to get going." She says suddenly standing to search for her purse.

"Why?" I ask, "The concert doesn’t start for an hour and we are VIP."

"I need to talk to Henry. Now." She tells making me smile. A half an hour later we were found bursting into the boys dressing room. Both of us out of breath and out of sorts, the boys gave us a suspicious look.

"Hello Libby. Hello Taylor." Charlie even had his book set down.

"What are you girls up to?" Timothy ask strangely.

"Henry," Libby said disregarding Timothy. "I need to talk to you."

"Uh," obviously taken by surprise Henry set down his water bottle. "Okay," he followed her out to the empty hallway.

"What’s that about?" Timothy questioned.

"We’ll just have to wait and see." I sighed, sitting next to him on the couch. A couple of seconds later Elliot walked into the room with a slightly disturbed face.

"Someone wants to explain why Libby and Henry are practically jumping each other's bones in the hallway?" He asked.

"Thanks for the mental image." Timothy pretended he was going to throw up before getting up to grab some water. Elliot took his spot on the couch next to me.

"I don’t have the stomach for this anymore," he held up the apple he had in hand.

"I’ll take it," I grab the fruit, taking a bite out of it.

"You’ve been looking awfully thin lately," Elliot gave me a concerned expression. I went over the last couple of weeks in my head, thinking of meals and eating habits.

"I guess I’m so busy anymore I don’t really have time to eat." I shrug.

"Well, you need to eat more or you’ll collapse." Timothy passed me a water.

"Thanks," I take another bite of the apple. Henry came into the room with Libby behind him, hair was slightly messing and breathing heavily were two very obvious problems in this picture.

"We need to get going you guys," Henry told the band mates.

"Then you should spiff up," Charlie says what we all were thinking, making a laugh escape from everyone's lips. Henry and Libby blushed bright red before we moved on to our jobs. Libby and I watched the concert from our regular VIP section. The boys had a huge audience, like normal, and performed their very best. When Elliot had his big solo in one of their slow ballads, he came over to sing it to me. Whoever was in charge of technology thought it would be a good idea to put my blushing face on the big screen. The whole audience aw’ed making me self-conscious. But, of course all the boys did an amazing job.

They waited for us backstage to walk to the dressing room. Timothy was making us laugh with his story about the girl who threw her phone number on stage when we came into the dressing room. Everyone fell silent but me, however when I saw them I was the last to stop. A man, wearing a gray tailored suit and a woman wearing a white blouse with a black pencil skirt, both sat on the couch, consumed in their Blackberry phones. When they looked up and saw us, the mother beamed.

"ELLIE!" She squealed.

"Mother, Father." Elliot looked surprised.

"We thought we would surprise you after your big concert." The woman said.

"Well thanks but-"

"Elliot we thought it would be nice to treat you and your girlfriend, Tessa, to dinner," his father interrupted.

"It’s Taylor." Elliot corrects.

"Yeah, anyway, we better get going. We don’t want to lose our reservations," his mother rushed.

"Uh," Elliot looked stuck. "Okay. We will see you guys later." Grabbing his bag and my hand, we turn to leave.

"See you, Elliot", "Bye Taylor", and "Nice seeing you again Mr. and Mrs. McCreed," were all exchanged as we left. After a very long, quite car ride, we finally arrived to the fancy Italian restaurant. We were quickly seated and began to skim through the menus, but every time I looked at Mr. and Mrs. McCreed, I caught at least one of them looking at their phones.

"So, Tiffany," Mrs. McCreed looked me in the eye for the first time after we ordered.

"It’s Taylor," Elliot snapped.

"Taylor, of course. Where are you from again?" She ignores her son’s behavior.

"Louisiana." I answer.

"And what do your parents do?" Mr. McCreed asked.

"My mother is a waitress at a local diner," I said, watching his face as it slightly fell in a disapproving way.

"And your father?" Mrs. McCreed pushed.

"Mother." Elliot hissed.

"No, it’s okay." I smile at him, slipping my hand in his, under the table. "My father didn’t stay around after my mother knew she was expecting me." The couple looks at each other before Mr. McCreed said.


"Not really. My brother, mother and I have gotten by well without him. I’m just lucky to have them two," I tell them.

"You have a brother?" Mr. McCreed took interest. "How old?"

"19," I tell proudly.

"So does he go to university?" He curiously asks taking a sip of wine.

"No." I say weakly.

"Oh so he’s in the army?"

"No." I shake my head.

"Then what does he do?" Mr. McCreed’s confusion was enhanced in his eyes.

"Father." Elliot clenched his teeth.

"I think I’m asking a fair question. So what does he do, Tracey?" He finally got my name right, when he put me on the spot.

"It’s Taylor and he mostly farms on our land we have at the house but does some mechanic work at the body shop in town." I tell them, trying to stay optimistic. But when the judgment covered Mr. and Mrs. McCreed’s, my heart sunk.

"So you had no hope for a bright future to begin with," Mrs. McCreed acts like she’s finally understanding this. The comment stings immensely.

"You know what." Elliot stood suddenly. "I think we are done here."

"But, we haven’t even gotten the food, sweetheart" Mrs. McCreed’s sickeningly sweet voice makes my stomach turn. Elliot put his hand up.

"Don’t, Mother. Just don’t." He told her.

"Do not behave that way, young man." Mr. McCreed sternly told Elliot.

"Sorry, Father, but I’m 18 years old. I’ve been on my own for a quite some time now. You lost your authority over me a long time ago, so don’t act like we are best friends. Mother, I am not your baby boy anymore, so stop acting like I’m five. Until you guys learn to respect me and respect the girl I love, I don’t think we should speak." Elliot tells them off, surprising me by staying quite calm through the whole thing. "Come on, Taylor. Let’s go." He pulled me out of the restaurant.

"Elliot!" I gasp in shock.

"I know, I know. I was horrible, but you don’t know how they are-"

"No." I tell him. "I’m glad you got me out of there. I don’t think I could have taken another question without punching them."

"I was afraid of this." He murmured, unable to walk anymore. So we stood on the empty street.

"No, it’s fine. I’m fine, Elliot." I put my hands on his cheeks. I giggle a little.

"What’s so funny?" He asked, wrapping his arms around my waist.

"Why can’t anyone get my name right?! I think it’s a pretty common name." I say making him laugh.

"Well, I love your name." He moved closer. "Taylor." Before kissing me in the middle of the dark street.
Published: 6/15/2012
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