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...And you can win a 24 hour spot in the 'Magic Glory Hole Box' on the One Direction tour bus!!! (They need to relax before they go on stage)*

*(Previous Statement May Not Be True)


- Ok, so it's settled then! The people I work with are some of the coolest people I know on the planet! I feel like I've got a whole new family now! To be honest, I was looking forward to hanging out with everybody tonight, but I didn't expect it to be much more than what we do at work. You know, except...without the 'work' part. The strange thing is, everybody got even more loose and totally candid than they usually are at the store, and that's saying a lot.

Anyway, I worked tonight just before everybody got there to meet up for the show. Terrell sorta made fun of me for 'dressing up' a bit for the show, and having to work like that all day just so I could look nice afterward. Not in a mean way, of course. Terrell was a tease. He could verbally tear me down all day and it would all just come off as one big goofy joke, you know? He was totally harmless about it. He even made it fun. And even though I never took any offense, he'd end up putting an arm around me, giving me a smile, and make sure that I knew he was just poking fun. I wonder if that's what Trace meant when he said that me and my dad didn't have a mean spirited bone in our body. I think I can kind of understand it, if this is what he was getting at.

I did tell my mom that I'd be coming home late tonight. But I made sure to leave out a lot of the specifics. Just in case Jimmy came over to the house again looking for me. I didn't want him following me around in the streets. And thank God, he didn't come looking for me at work. Especially since Robin was working with me today. I'm not exactly sure how well Jimmy and Robin know each other, or if they really know each other at all. But since they're both connected to AJ, I'm pretty sure they have some idea of who the other is. That's all I need...Jimmy hounding me about 'spending time' with Robin while I'm at work. I'm sure he'd just love that. Ugh!

My mom was in her robe and slippers when I was getting ready to leave. She didn't look like she had any plans to get dressed today. I think she was drinking coffee just to keep herself awake. She's just not herself anymore. She didn't even ask me where I was going tonight...which wasn't like her at all. Maybe she didn't care.

She did, however, ask me about Jimmy coming by yesterday. She said, "You two have been really close lately. I didn't know you were such good friends." Then she says, "I think I've seen you and Jimmy together more often than you and Sam so far this Summer. That's unlikely."

I sorta frowned up a little bit, and I told her, "I talk to Sam here and there. But...he's got this new 'girlfriend', and....meh. Hanging around with the two of them just isn't my idea of a good time."

My mom gave me a weak smile, and she's like, "Well, Sam likes girls. Hehehe, he's always had an eye for the ladies. I'm sure you had to expect this to happen sooner or later. I'm actually surprised it took this long." Blechhh! Mom's and their sentiment. Then you know what she says? She says, "You never know, Billy. It's Summertime, the sun is out, soon you'll have a little cash in your might just snag some young lady yourself in the next couple of weeks."

I was like, "I wouldn't bet on that, Mom. Talk about unlikely."

I think it's the most that we've said to one another in almost a week. It almost felt like an actual connection. Even if it was short-lived.

Anyway, so it was the end of the work day today...and we're cleaning up the store, like, twenty minutes before we close so we can just lock up and get out of there to go see Taylor's band play at the cafe. And that's when my other co-workers started showing up and just hanging around the store. Calleigh was there with two of her friends, and Dizzy came in to liven up the place. Then Ollie's boyfriend, Greg, came in and I got to meet him for the first time.

You wanna know something? And I hope that I don't sound rude saying this...but Greg wasn't really the immaculate beauty that I expected him to be. He was just kinda average. Great guy, and he seemed really sweet to me...but for some odd reason, I expected Ollie to be a lot more shallow than that when it came to finding a boyfriend. I was pleasantly surprised. Seeing them together was One little kiss on the lips, and you could completely understand why those two were together. You could just feel it in your bones. They really were happy.

Just seeing them like just triggered all of these suppressed feelings that I still had lingering over Brandon. It made me miss him even more. The way he used to smile at me whenever the thought of kissing me crossed his mind in public. The way he used to blush whenever I said 'I love you' and it caught him by surprise. Hehehe, Brandon would let out this tiny little gasp, and he'd turn all pink and say, "Wha...? Why? What did I do?" Like he had to 'do' anything. Sometimes we would read the same book or magazine at my house, or look at some article online...and he would lean over my shoulder to share the page with me. His cheek would get soooo close to mine, but it was almost like he was too timid to make contact. It's almost like I can still feel his breath on the nape of my neck. I still get a vibrating flurry of tingles in my chest whenever I think about it. And then...when I just couldn't take being that close to him anymore...I'd turn my head. And Brandon would look me in the eye. That boy could always level me with his eyes alone. And I'd want to lean in for a kiss...but he always beat me to it. Every time.

Don't get me wrong, I had a LOT of fun tonight. But...there was a part of me that wished I could have shared a bit of that joy with Brandon. My night felt so incomplete without him by my side. Strange. Because Brandon hasn't been by my side in a long long time.


We closed up the store, and that boy, Garrett, was there too. Being all quiet and mousey as usual. A few of us even asked him to come along, but he just whispered, "No thank you." And dashed out of there before we could make him any, I guess. I don't know. I'm sure most people would have written him off and stopped trying. But there was something about him that I found intriguing. Maybe it's all in my head. Who knows?

So all of us had to get out to the café, and we only had two cars! Which meant a whole lot of piling up and squeezing in to the point of looking like some sort of crowded college phone booth challenge! Not that I was complaining. I haven't been smashed this tightly against Robin's body since...well...hehehe, you know.

The only thing more fun than strategically cramming ourselves into those two little cars was trying to find a somewhat dignified to spill back out onto the street again once we parked the car! Yeah, that was...interesting.

We get in, and the café is pretty intimate, but it's bigger than I thought it would be. And there was actually a pretty decent amount of people there too. Especially since there were only three bands playing tonight. Still, I liked it. Right away, Terrell is, like...getting me stuff to drink and everybody is talking and joking was easy to get swept up in it. Robin and I were both brand new to the store, but they treated us like we had been there for years. They practically pampered us, to be honest.

And Taylor's band, 'Liquor On Sunday'? They were actually REALLY good! I was shocked. For somebody who hates 95% of everything at the store...Taylor and his band played a really fun set. We all rushed up to the stage to put our hands up and cheer them on the whole time. Dizzy put her arm on my shoulder and before I knew what I was even doing, we were all jumping up and down and screaming like it was the first concert we had ever been to. Hahaha! But, was just a surreal experience all around.

What was even cooler was the part when Taylor's band finished up, and everybody in the café was shaking their hands and telling them how awesome they were. So the band was handing out business cards and free CDs and stuff, and then they come to sit and party with us. I don't know what it was, but like I said, I got swept up in everything so fast that it was actually being a part of some celebrity entourage or something. And we were all deemed awesome by association alone. Hehehe! Even while the other bands were playing, people kept coming over to our table and patting them on the back. I've never seen anything like that before. I made up my mind to go to every show 'Liquor On Sunday' that comes around from now on! That was just too cool!

Plus....Taylor's drummer is really cute! Hehehe!

Afterwards, Terrell and Dizzy asked if I wanted to come over and hang out for a bit longer, but it was already pretty late. I didn't exactly tell my mom where I was, so she might have expected me home a few hours ago. In fact, I half expected to see my home number pop up on my phone or something. Instead...what I saw was SIX messages from Jimmy LaPlane. Each one sounding sadder than the last one.

I really am trying not to be mean, but I think it's even more cruel to let Jimmy think that I'm just...'busy' or something. This is just getting out of hand faster than I expected it to. And I wanted to tell him before now, but...tonight was so AWESOME! I just wanted to live a little without feeling so attached to someone else's plans. I mean, is that selfish? Whether Jimmy is happy, or sad, or horny, or hurting...whether he's madly in love or hopelessly's all resting on my shoulders. And...

...I just wanted to put the weight down for a while.

Maybe that's a lame excuse. One of many. But I still need to find the words to tell him that we're not....together. Not the way the he thinks, anyway. And I don't want to screw it up the way I did with Lee. I'm gonna grow a pair and do this the right way for once.

I just dread seeing the hurt in his eyes when I tell him. That's going to break both of our hearts.

My mom said hello when I came home, but that was it. And just as I expected...she was still in her robe and slippers. She went to bed really early tonight. But not before I made sure to give her a long hug before giving her a kiss on the cheek. A part of me wanted to talk about what a blast I had and what I was doing, but it seemed inappropriate at the moment. I guess she knew that I was safe, and that was all she was waiting for.

So, yeah...that was my evening. If that's what it's like to hang out with people from work, I'm going to be doing that as often as humanly possible! I LOVE those guys!

Still...through it all, my ache for Brandon's love and sweet little glances...those innocent kisses on my lips...the tender touches of his had been simmering all week long. And I just...I decided not to wait for him to write me first this time. I didn't want to make Brandon come looking for me. That could take forever. And I don't have forever. Hehehe, none of us do.

So...I kinda sent him a quick note. Just to say, "I miss you, Brandon. Just wanted to let you know that I was thinking about you. K? G'night." And there was a moment of hesitation before hitting the send button. A moment where I wondered what he would think about while reading that. My thoughts started spinning around in my head, and I just had to hurry up and get rid of it before I changed my mind. I hit send and, well...he has it now.

I guess the ball is in his court now.

I can't believe that I'm smiling right now...just from writing that. Hehehe!

I'm a bit worn out. Plus, I'm a little hoarse from shouting over the music and cheering for Taylor all night. So I'm going to drink some juice and go to bed. At least I was smart enough to get my schedule this week. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday morning. Which is perfect! Because Jamie Cross invited me to that party on Saturday, and I totally want to go! I wonder how many people from school will be there. It feels like I haven't seen them in ages! That's going to feel weird. I've gotta tell Sam to come with me. Hopefully he'll leave his 'baggage' behind and let her stay at home by herself for a change. Ugh!

I'll write more later.


- Billy

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