Kiara wandered out into the garden around seven the next morning. tears were evident in her dark eyes as she took a seat on a bench by their back door. It was already beginning to heat up in Los Angeles and kiara wanted to be anywhere but with her roommates today. Bowing her head, fresh, sorrowful tears began to flow like rushing rivers. Her emotions were high and she was devastated that they had fought the way they had the previous night. Kiara hated confrontation and she did not want to face any of her roomies that morning.
Sitting up in bed, a smile crept onto Caitlin’s young, sleepy face. She rubbed sleep from her blue eyes and Callie padded to the side of her bed, clutching her pink bear in her mouth.
“Morning, callie,” Caitlin yawned and petted the blonde head of her friend. Reaching over to grab her phone, she noticed a text message. Reading it, she smiled.
‘Morning baby girl, hope all is well at your place. got some stuff to deal with, call you l8r! x!’
She text back,
‘OK, np. x”
dangling her legs over the side of her bed, she stretched and listened to the birds happy twitter from outside her bedroom window. The garden was filled with trees and flowers. It was a truly beautiful place. Standing up, she pressed the silver button on her watch and heard it was only seven thirty. yawning widely, she took Callie out to the garden to do her business and then returned to the airy kitchen and placed dried food into Callie’s pink bowl. switching the radio on, Caitlin hummed happily along to the music, happy with life. Finding some wine glasses on the table and garbage from the previous night, memories of the argument with Kiara and the others came flooding back.
“Shit,” She whispered to the empty kitchen as she fingered a paper mcDonalds cup. Clearing the kitchen, Caitlin hoped they would be able to resolve the situation. When she had been in her sorority, many of the girls fell out but none of them were as stubborn as kiara and Alexia. She was wide awake now and decided to shower, change, eat and walk Callie in the lovely Summer’s morning.
Lexie was in no mood to deal with anyone, so she got out of bed, showered, changed into comfy clothes and lay in her room, blaring her punk music as loud as she knew she’d get away with. It was eleven A.M when she lay down to think about nothing and let the music flow all over her. Thinking made her angry because she did not want to reflect on the previous night’s events. Kiara was out of line, simple as that. Nothing no one could say would change her mind on that one at all.
Taking out a sketch pad, she began drawing pictures. swirls became people and horses Sighing, she threw the pad down, not wanting to let the people take familiar faces and lay back on the bed, turning up her music a notch to hear it more clearly.
“What the fuck? It’s Sunday morning!” A voice bellowed from a room in the house. Inside the room, lay a very disgruntled Emily. “Lexie, c’mon! It’s Sunday, day of mother fucking rest!” She threw back the comforter and slammed across the room, flinging her door open. The music became instantly louder and she banged on the door hard. “lex, please, turn it down!”
There was no response. Emily sighed heavily and went to knock on Caitlin’s door. Normally, Callie would bark if she was in there but no sound from Callie and no sign of Caitlin. Kiara was most definitely out, that was predictable. Whenever there was an argument, Kiara, if involved, always made herself scarce the next few days. Wondering to the living room, Emily noticed Callie’s harness and lead where gone and so was Caitlin’s keys. Making some breakfast, Emily sat in the garden, away from the noise of her irritated roommate.
The sand was warm beneath Caitlin’s bare feet. Callie was good at wandering by the edge of the sand with Caitlin. They often walked on the beach in the mornings before work, if there was time. Standing still for a few seconds, Caitlin took in the warmth of the day, the smell of the air, and the sounds of the ocean lapping the shores. Smiling to herself, she uttered Callie’s command to keep walking and continued on her way. Keeping her cell phone close to hand, she hoped JC would text or call. But like most things in life, she knew if she waited for them to happen, they never did.
Sitting down on the already hot sand, Caitlin petted Callie gently on her head.
“Don’t worry girl, we won’t be here long,” She reassured her. Her stomach knotted as she let her mind wander back to JC and the last few days. Had he been letting her down gently with the text he had sent her that morning? Had he been scared off by her outrageous roommates and their stupid fight? What did he think of them all? Sighing heavily, she lay her face on her lap and just listened to the sounds around her, waves, children’s laughter, people chatting. She’d be glad when the weekend was over and work began again. At least she knew where she stood with work.
The library was quiet and the courtyard outside was even more so as Kiara stepped out of the cool library into the shaded courtyard. She had studied hard and was now not only avoiding her roommates but Jasmine too. She didn’t want any confrontation and if she didn’t speak to another human being until finals were over, that would make Kiara so happy. Sitting on a bench by the fountain beneath a palm tree, she pulled out a text book and read through a case study she hoped would not come up in her psych exam. Scanning the black and white pages quickly with her eyes, she felt distracted, the way she preferred to feel when things were not going quite smoothly. She could not afford to distract her mind from her school work right now. Way too much was depending on her success for her to let one silly argument get in her way.
Lexie strolled out of her room and right into the war path of Emily who was on her mac in the living room.
“What the fuck was that all about at eleven this morning?” Emily asked severely as she swung around to face Lexie who was on her way to see the horses.
“What?” Lexie was still in a bad mood and even though it wasn’t originally directed at Em, she was going to get it now because she dared question Lexie’s need to blast her music.
“That noise you call music, lex. It woke me up!” Emily followed her to the kitchen area as Lexie poured some water.
“Sorry, was letting off steam, or is that not allowed anymore?” Lexie turned on Emily and the look between the two girls was one of pure rage and anger. “I mean, is it OK for Kiara to virtually fuck a chick on our couch but I’m not allowed to listen to music in my own fucking room, now, or what?” Lexie’s eyes were wide with anger and her cheeks pink with yelling. “O for God’s sake, Lexie,” Emily slapped her thighs with frustration. “No, of course you can listen, but the occasional consideration wouldn’t go amiss,” Emily raised her eyes to the ceiling in despair.
“Me be considerate?” Lexie roared. “As apposed to Kiara, making out full whack on the couch?”
“Forget what Kiara did!” Emily yelled now. Her temper was flared to its maximum height now. Why did Lexie have to dwell on the simplest of facts? “This is about you and your lack of consideration to me! I was sleeping, you blared your music to full whack and kept it there for the last two hours and have only just turned it off. What if Caitlin and callie had been there, you would have scared the poor dog to death!”
“O please,” Lexie cajoled. “Caitlin plays that crazy rap shit as loud as hell and the dog doesn’t mind. You’re just pissed that you got woke up! Simple as!”
The door opened and Caitlin walked in with Callie.
“What the hell is all the shouting about? i can hear you guys halfway down the street! What’s up?”
“Ask her!” Both girls yelled. Caitlin jumped back at the sheer animosity streaming from both girls. It was like beams of electric static were bursting from each girl and Caitlin petted Callie gently to reassure her.
“Ok, quietly, and calmly, so we don’t burst my dog’s eardrums, if you please. why are you fighting? Caitlin really didn’t feel like dealing with her arguing roommates, she was not having a great day herself but if she didn’t try, Lexie, Emily and Kiara would be at each other’s throats for the remainder of the month and somehow she would get involved, either by someone else or her own influence. Caitlin couldn’t help but get involved sometimes, even if she knew it wasn’t a good idea.”
“Emily’s pissed because I woke her!” lexie explained in a strained tone.
“That isn’t the only reason!” Emily burst.
“Wait, quietly,” Caitlin hushed as though she was talking to a couple of five year olds in the middle of a play ground battle.
And it sure felt like that. “quietly, what was it about, Em?”
“Well, just her lack of consideration toward others! Leaving lights and the A.C on all of the time, we all have to pay the bills. Not cleaning up properly and leaving stuff everywhere! Slamming doors at stupid O’clock when she’s been to Hollywood, and the fact that she just can’t let it go about what happened with Kiara last night!”
“I do fucking clean up!” Lexie burst viciously now. “How fucking dare you complain about slamming doors as well Emily Andrews! You’re as bad on a weekend when your drunken ass comes home from parties and leaves food all over the place and then blames other people when Callie gets hold of it!”
“What?” Caitlin was shocked about this. “Callie’s been eating food?”She couldn’t afford for her dog to put on weight and if her roommates were being irresponsible with their leftovers, drunk or not, she wasn’t happy about that.
“It was once!” Emily yelled at Lexie now and Caitlin didn’t even try and calm anyone down now.
“You left food for my dog?” She said, angry at Emily. she knew better than most how hard Caitlin worked to keep Callie away from food she wasn’t meant to be eating. “not on purpose,” Emily turned to Caitlin and spoke frustratedly then. Lexie always had to pull everyone down with her. Emily was tired of it. “She didn’t eat anything, I got it off of her!”
“And you never thought to mention it?” Caitlin was furious now. Her heart raced with fury.
“Seemed pointless when she didn’t actually eat anything, Cait,” Emily glared at Lexie who stared insolently back. “You always do this!” Em turned on her now. “You always have to turn the heat off of yourself. God, you can be so fucking selfish at times!”
“Right? Yeah, that’s me! Who’s the one who picks you up in Hollywood?” Alexia screamed and Caitlin took her dog’s harness and lead off and led the dog into her room, closing the door so Callie didn’t get too upset. Walking back to the living room area, she sighed.
“Guys! Stop!” She yelled over their bickering. “We’re friends! why the hell are we arguing?”
“Because Lexie’s so wound up that she walked in on a gay pash last night and she’s so embarrassed by it that she’s taking it out on us!”
“No, I’m not!’ Alexia retaliated hard now and Caitlin heard the door close behind her and knew it was about to get ten times worse.
“What’s wrong?” Kiara asked quietly, afraid to move and wishing she could run back out of the house and not return until dark.
“Nothing!” Lexie roared at her. “Not that you’d care! You’re just a roommate right? Not a friend!” Kiara’s face dropped with hurt.
“Lexie!” Emily said in shock.
“What? Thought I was letting her off the hook,” Lexie turned and glared at Emily with her sharp, green eyes. “At least if she’s just a roommate, then we won’t have any rights to her goddamn sacred personal life, right?”
“Lex,” Caitlin tried now, her head throbbing with a stress headache. “She is still my friend. Whether she chooses to keep her personal life secret or not!”
“Oh, you’ve changed your fucking tune!” Alexia roared at Caitlin. “What happened to, ‘”I thought we were friends, kiara?”‘” She imitated Caitlin. “You were all wanting to know about her last night!”
“Yeah, I was,” Caitlin said fiercely now. “because that’s what I do as a friend but if she’s uncomfortable telling us things, that’s her choice!”
“Caitlin’s right,” Emily agreed.
“By God, wondered how long it would take before you agreed with your best fucking bud!” Lexie hung her head in disdain and glared at the three other girls.
“What is that meant to mean?” It was Caitlin’s turn to explode now. She was lviid with Alexia and hurt by Kiara and disappointed with Emily.
“You and Em, so fucking tight all of the time. It used to be the three of us, and now its just you two!” Lexie explained with tears in her emerald coloured eyes. She had never truly accepted Kiara into their group, or maybe Kiara had never fully let herself into their group. None of them truly knew but as much as Caitlin and Emily liked Kiara, she wasn’t as close to them as they were to each other. All three girls shared laughs, tears, anguish and fun times. And Kiara just simply did not fit in.
“Lexie, that’s crazy,” Emily laughed and knew it was a mistake by the look on Lexie’s face. “Caitlin and I hang out because we’re into the same things but doesn’t mean that you are any less of a friend than she is. And, who was I hanging with last night?”
“Me, but only because she was with some guy,” Lexie was forcing back tears fiercely now. Kiara looked lost and didn’t know where to look. She didn’t belong in this friendship fight. She was, just a roommate afterall. That’s all she ever felt she could ever be with these girls.
It was all she ever had been. Kiara had met Emily in a GE class during their second year and Emily had introduced her to Caitlin and Lexie who had been roommates. The girls tried to include Kiara but she never partied, hardly shopped for fun and was extremely shy. How she ended up living with the three of them, she would never know herself.
“That’s not why I hung with you, Lex,” Emily was saying. “You’re my friend, I wanted too.”
“Only because you wanted to hear the gossip about what had gone down here. You and Caitlin are always interested when I have gossip but rarely any other time. You hardly party with me anymore or even want to hang out!”
“Lex, we’re into different scenes,” Caitlin interjected now. “Em and I do the whole hip hop clubs while you hang out in the punk clubs. We can’t help that but I seem to remember us inviting you to Tonios the other night.”
“When you knew I’d be working,” Lexie argued but she knew herself she was pushing this point for her own satisfaction rather than just believing it to be true. She knew she would not be caught dead in the clubs Emily and Caitlin went too, and she was more than aware of their feelings on the punk club scene. Sighing, she grabbed her keys and headed for the front door.
“Lexie!” Emily called desperate for her not to leave.
“Oh, c’mon, Alexia,” Caitlin hollered. “Don’t run away from this, talk to us!”
“What’s the point?” She slammed out of the house and they heard the door slam to her truck, closely followed by the engine revving down the street. Emily looked at Kiara and saw the detracted look upon her face.
“Look, I know you think we were gossiping about what happened last night, Kiara, but we’re interested in you. You make it a gossip subject because you keep things so close to your chest. And that’s fine but you have to understand that living in a house with three other girls, well, it’s not that easy to not take an interest.”
“What Em’s trying to say,” Caitlin smiled the best she could despite how crap she felt at that very moment. “Is that we’re all nosy bitches and like to know stuff about each other. And we hardly know much about you except you love studying and are very smart and determined. But your personal stuff, we know virtually nothing. Kiara, we care, that’s why we were excited to learn about your thing with your friend. I mean, if you like girls, makes no difference to me. Lexie was embarrassed, overreacted and blew things out of control.”
“Ever think there was a reason I didn’t feel comfortable telling you guys?” Kiara’s voice was stern and filled with vex now. “I don’t do things the way you three do. you might be happy with the whole of Hollywood knowing your shit but I ain’t, OK?” And with that she marched off to her room, slamming the door behind her.
Caitlin sank onto the couch and Emily poured them both some coolade.
“Man, I hate fighting!” Caitlin rested her face on her hands and looked distraught.
“Me too,” Emily sat beside her and placed Caitlin’s drink on the table. “Got a coolade there, girl!” She told her and Caitlin nodded, rubbing her head to relieve the pounding.
“Wish there was some way to fix this,” Emily said to the room in general and Caitlin remained quiet. It hadn’t been the happy, fun-filled weekend she had hoped it would be. Emily sighed. Cory hadn’t text or rang her and she had been thoroughly disappointed with the weekend’s events. Lexie and Kiara’s run in had affected them all and a noise made both girls come out of their quiet reflections.
“Callie,” Caitlin jumped and ran down the hallway and opened her door. The dog came flying out and nuzzled her owner’s legs. “Sorry, girl! See, this can’t keep happening, Em! They’re making us all jumpy, not to mention Callie-Cals!” She wandered back to the couch and sat down, sipping her coolade. Emily petted callie who was relieved to be out of the room. She hated being shut away but Caitlin didn’t want her getting upset by all of the shouting.
“Aw, Callie-Cals!” Emily scratched behind the dog’s ears and looked at Caitlin. “I’m sorry I never told you about the food.”
“Forget it,” Caitlin raised her hands to prevent her friend from continuing. “Just let it go! Too much hassle has gone on this weekend. I need a lie down!” and Caitlin took callie to the bathroom and both returned to their room and napped for most of the afternoon, while Emily tapped away on her computer, doing some work in hope it would distract her from all the messed up things that had happened. Kiara studied hard in her room and Lexie was nuzzling against Blackmist in his stable.
All four friends felt terrible and for so many different reasons.