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Pretty Little Lady With Your Swollen Eyes, Would You Show Them to Me?

I sat on my couch with a bucket of Cookies and Cream ice cream mindlessly watching Adventure Time when my phone rang. I still hadn't completely gotten over Shayley. I thought he and I were going to get married. It had been about 3 years since Austin and I last talked. He was supposed to be my best friend, but after he divorced Gielle, he hasn't been the same.

"Hello?" I tried to sound cheery.

"Hi. Is this Adeline Presley?" Asked a female voice.

"It is. How can I help you?" I asked, letting my "good girl voice" take over.

"Well, we have a band that is going on tour soon, and they specifically asked for you to be their manager. I understand that you might not be ready to head out on the road just yet, what with everything that's happened, but-"

"No. I'm fine. I'd love to do it," I interrupted her before someone else threw me a pity party.

"Great!" The woman exclaimed. "Be in the Rise Records Ohio office no later than 2 o'clock tomorrow. They'll fill you in on everything there."

The line went dead and I smiled at myself. This is exactly what I needed. I needed to get out of this God forsaken apartment. I need to get away from all these awful memories of Shayley.

*2:00 NEXT DAY*

I walked out of the blasting Ohio heat into the cool, air-conditioned office of Rise Records and walked confidently up to the front desk. I was wearing skinny jeans, a blazer, and my best friend's old Slipknot shirt. It made me feel a lot better that I still had something of his to keep me calm. I had my hair curled under a red beanie and I felt like I was laid-back, but professional.

"Hello, Ms. Presley," greeted a man in his mid-40's as I entered the room.

I looked at the faces gathered around the table and I froze. All the color I had in my face left and I felt like I had seen a ghost.

"Ms. Presley?" The man asked a bit impatiently.

"Oh, sorry. Hello. You can call me Adeline, though," I shook his hand and he smiled politely.

"This is the band Of Mice & Men. They're going on an Australian tour with Bring Me the Horizon and Crossfaith. I assume you've already met them, since I hear they specifically asked for you by name," he gestured to the boys staring at me.

"Hi, Ur Boi," I smiled at Tino. His face went from staring at me in amazement to a warm smile. He got up and hugged me.

"I missed you," he whispered in my ear.

"Me, too, Tino," I felt tears burn the backs of my eyes. I didn't think I'd ever see these guys again. "Hi, Ginger princess," I smiled at Alan, trying not to cry.

"Hi, Addie," he hugged me. I smiled as he pulled away. Phil was standing in front of me with that huge, stupid grin that I loved.

"Phil," I grinned.

"Addie," he grinned back. We embraced for a few short moments, and then I was faced with the last person I thought I'd ever see.

"Kept the shirt, huh?" He smirked.

"It's a cool shirt, Carlile," I grinned. My eyes started to tear up a bit. He pulled me into his chest and held me there for a minute.

"I really missed you, babe," he whispered in my ear and then released me.

"Me, too," I smiled.

I swiped my index fingers under my eyes, trying to keep the tears from spilling over. I noticed someone kind of awkwardly standing there.

"What's your name?" I asked.

"Aaron Pauley," he stuck out his hand.

"Nice to meet you, Aaron," I pulled him into a hug. "I don't do handshakes."

We all sat back down and I managed to regain my composure. The man went on and on to the boys and I about the schedules and bus rules, but I couldn't focus. Austin and I kept glancing at each other out of the corners of out eyes, and all I wanted to do was get up and hug my best friend and never let go.

"Thank you, everyone. Have a safe tour, and good luck," the an smiled, handing me a packet as I walked out the door.

I walked back out to my car, finding Austin leaning against it.

"So... uh... do you maybe wanna go get coffee or something?" He asked nervously. "We haven't talked in a while and I think we have some catching up to do."

"Who's fault is that? It's sure as hell not mine. It's been 3 years, and I finally had to fucking accept you didn't want anything to do with me after Gielle. It's not my fault my fiance cheated on me. Okay? So, why don't you get the fuck out of the way and just let me go home!" I was angry. He hadn't answered an of my calls or texts. I needed someone, too. He wasn't the only one who was heartbroken.

"Please! Just let me explain. Can we please go get some coffee and I'll explain everything?" He pleaded. "You're wearing the shirt I gave you. If that isn't a sign that you still care about me I don't know what is."

"Fine, Carlile," I grumbled. "This better be good."

He led me to his car. It was a big, black suburban with the necklace I had given him our freshman year hanging on the mirror. I bit back a smile, knowing he hadn't forgotten about me.

We walked into Starbucks and he ordered for us, still remembering that I liked the java chip frapuccino. We sat down at a tall table, which made Austin look normal-sized and me look tiny.

"Okay. I know I fucked up. But, after Gielle and I divorced, I was really depressed. I didn't take phone calls from anyone. I just, I couldn't face you knowing that I'd abandoned you. I've thought about you every day for the past three years and I can't help but wish I'd done it differently. I should've stayed by your side. You were hurting as bad as I was, and I'll never forgive myself for that," he looked me straight in the eyes.

"Why did you call me to be your manager?" I looked down.

"I wanted to fix my mistakes, and this way, you can't get away from me," he winked.

I gave him a small smile. "Yeah, well, you have a shitload of sucking up to do, Carlile. I get a middle bunk and you have to tuck me in and kiss me goodnight every night," I winked.

He chuckled and looked at me. "Okay."

I smiled and the rest of the night, we just talked about everything that had been going on. Austin did most of the talking, though, because I hadn't been doing much. I loved how his eyes sparkled when he talked about the band, and I smiled, remembering how he used to complain about the freckled that covered every inch of him. I had always thought freckles were cute, but whatever.

He drove me home, promising we could get my car in the morning. He walked me up to the doorstep and kissed my forehead, smiling.

"Goodnight, Addie."

"Goodnight, Austin."


Song Credit: When You Can't Sleep At Night - Of Mice & Men
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