'Breathe Brie, breathe.'
Deep breath. Inhale...exhale.
'You can do this. You have to do this...for him.
I shot up off my bed like lightening.
"Okay. So you guys play what? Once, twice a week max? And most games are on weekends right?"
"Uh...yeah...something like that," Kris said, quite confused by my sudden attitude change.
"So here's what we do. I know you're not going to be able to cope with me not there to walk you or drive you to school every day, so I will call you every morning before school, and you'll call me every day after school; even it's only for five minutes on your way to practice, and then we'll talk every night. You're going to need me to help you with your homework anyways, it will just have to be over the phone now," I said as quickly as I could, mostly to avoid crying. "And I will drive to every game I can, besides, not all your games are going to be up there. You'll be playing around here too right?"
"Brie," he started quietly, "it's a good plan but..."
"NO!" I yelled. Deep breath. "No. No buts. You will not argue with me Coconut."
"Coconut. You haven't called me that since we were little," he smiled.
"Well, it still applies."
He walked over to me and took both my hands in his. "So...this is actually going to happen?"
"Sure looks that way superstar. You're on your way babe!"
"And none of it would have happened without you. I don't know how I can ever thank you for everything you've done for me...everything you still do for me. You gave up everything you love to support me Brie. You don't know how grateful I am..."
"Kris stop," I cut him off. I couldn't stand the seriousness his chocolate eyes were casting upon me. "Seriously, it's not the end of the world. Now get out of here so I can get ready for the party tonight. We can celebrate your good news."
"Do we have to go to this thing tonight? You don't even like parties and I sure don't want to hang out with a bunch of drunk football guys, sitting around trying to see how tall they can stack their beer cans. Can we just stay in tonight, maybe get a movie...just you and me?"
"That my friend, is why you don't have any other friends," I said pushing him towards the door. "You never put yourself out there. What are you going to do up in Val-d'Or without me to make friends for you? Get out of here and I'll see you at 8."
As I shut my bedroom door behind him, I couldn't hold it in anymore. I sobbed uncontrollably for what seemed like an eternity. I finally made my way to the bathroom and turned on the shower. I got in and prayed for the scalding hot water to wash the pain away.
The walk back to my house seemed like the longest walk I had ever taken. My heart was pounding in my chest...or was it breaking? I thought Brie would have taken the news that I was moving 7 hours away a little harder than she did. She actually seemed excited about it, like she was happy for me. Of course she was happy for me you idiot! She's my best friend and I'm about to start living my dream; taking the first step towards it anyways. There was one thing she was right about though. How exactly was I going to cope without her there? She was my life. I needed her just as much as I needed the blood flowing through my veins.
I turned on the shower and got ready to climb in. I was miserable. I just wanted to be alone with her. I'm not going to get much more time with her and the last thing I wanted to do was go to some party with people I don't even like so I can watch the cheerleaders try and get on the football players, and the football players try and get on Brie. Yeah, that's what I want! Other guys crawling all over my...best friend. I let the scalding hot water flow over my body hoping it would wash everything away.
I knocked on her bedroom door at exactly 8:00 and when I walked in, my breath caught in my throat and my chest felt like it was caught in a vice grip. She looked stunning. Beautiful. Amazing. Gorgeous.
"Earth to Coconut! Helloooooo?"
"I asked if you were ready to go."
"Oh, yeah sure."
She held out her hand for me to take in mine and I obliged.
"Let's go friend," she said pulling me out of the bedroom.
----At the Party----
"Lookin' goo ood Brie baby," Rob slurred as we walked by him. "See you have your little tag a long. Dude, don't you ever get tired of following her around like a puppy?"
"The name is Brielle, only my friends call me Brie, and you Rob are not my friend."
"Oh come on baby, you know we'd be great together. How could you not want some of this?" he called with all his goons egging him on.
I let go of Kris' hand and walked back towards Rob and saw the excitement and anticipation growing in his eyes. I reached up and grabbed his shirt to pull his face close to mine.
In the sexiest voice I could muster I whispered in his ear, "Rob, I want you to savour this moment because this is the only time you will ever be this close to me. I do not now, nor will I ever have any interest in being with you because you disgust me. You are not even good enough to say my name, so please, in the future if you even think about saying my name, don't," and I started to walk away.
"You are such a bitch Brie," he yelled after me. "That's right! Go run back to your little puppy dog."
As I reached Kris his eyes had a fire in them that I'd never seen before. He turned around and was about to head in Rob's direction when I grabbed his hand.
"Don't. He's not worth it."
"But he just called you..."
"I don't care, he's an ass and you are better than that. Now let's go, I need a drink."
"Brie, you don't drink."
"I do tonight."
Two hours and a countless number of beers later, Kris was watching his best friend hang all over the very guy that two hours ago disgusted her. Now it was his turn to be disgusted.
"Dude, Rob is like crawling all over your girl. Are you gonna put up with that shit?" Jesse asked.
"If that was my girl, his ass would be flat on the floor," another guy named Dave said.
Kris didn't know the group of guys he was standing with very well, they were mostly acquaintances; the boyfriends of Brie's friends.
"She's not my girl," Kris said through a clenched jaw, "we're just friends."
"Really? But you guys are like ALWAYS together and always holding hands and shit, we just assumed."
"It's okay," Kris replied. "We get that a lot."
"I thought she hated that guy?"
"She does, she's just drunk."
"Umm, I'm not sure, but if you don't stop her, I think she's going to do something she might regret," Jesse said pointing towards the stairs.
Kris turned and looked to see Brie being led upstairs by that barbarian and he saw red. He dropped his glass of coke on the floor and headed for the stairs only to be headed off by Jeanette.
"They're cute together aren't they? It's about time they hooked up don't ya think?"
"Not now Jeanette. I gotta stop her."
"Why would you stop her?"
"She hates him Jeanette, and she's drunk for the first time in her life. I have to stop her before she does something she's going to regret."
"News flash ice monkey; she doesn't need you to stop her. You're not her boyfriend remember? Did you ever think that maybe she really does like him and just never told you?"
"I'm her best friend, she tells me everything."
"Not everything. She didn't tell you that she likes Rob because she knows how much you despise him and she didn't want to hurt you."
Kris felt the bile rise in his throat. "I don't believe you."
"Believe it Kris. Look, the girl has done everything for you, given up everything...for you. You two have this bizarre relationship that nobody understands but what have you done for her? From what I hear, you're leaving. Maybe you should stop being a selfish bastard and let her have this. Just let her have this one thing...for her."
Jeanette walked away leaving Kris to drown in his own thoughts. He felt like he was suffocating; like the walls were closing in on him. Was she right? Did Brie really lie to him? He couldn't fathom the thought of his best friend betraying him like that. Just as he was about to run out the door, he heard her voice.
"Stay the hell away from me! Don't you ever touch me again! Kris? Kris? Kristopher!"
"I'm right here," he said running over to her. Her face was tear stained and her make up was running down her cheeks.
"I need to go home," she cried. "I need you..."
She collapsed in Kris' arms. He picked her up and with all eyes on them, carried her out of the house.
"Coconut," she mumbled.
"I'm here baby. I'm right here," he said putting her quivering body into the car.