A/N: I've been signed on FicPress since '02. I used to write a lot, but so many things came up that I didn't have any more time to pursue writing. It's been about two or three years, and I'm back to my old hobby, and hopefully will stay. I've always written under the genre of fantasy, but I thought of trying something new this time. I hope someone would welcome me back into the Ficpress world with this story at hand. Oh and by the way, the title comes from Mr. Big's song, "Promise Her The Moon."
Fifty-four to be exact. In an ordinary deck, there were only fifty-two cards in a pile. Most games would set aside the two jokers while the rest of the deck was up for the game.
She held in her hand the deck of cards, shuffling it continuously as she was walking into the storage room. The night was planned last minute, but she had a feeling that this wasn't surreal. No more holding back. This was it. She embraced the rush that built inside of her and threw away the denial. With cheeks flushed red, the loud music that blared from the storage only heightened her contentment. Her heart finally gave in.
Being consumed by this dream like state was almost done. But the fact that music placed on full blast in a storage room at nightfall made her stop to think. Still holding that smile on her face, she walked past the first two shelves. The cd she left was at the very corner of the room. Past the third shelf, the intensity of the music swung her heart from ecstatic beating to erratic pounding. She could barely hear her own footsteps.
As she came to the final shelf, at the corner of her eye, she saw the cd and a player at the end of the room. But that wasn't the first thing that caught her perspective. At that moment, she would've had her ears bleed being that close to the source of the music. Instead, in her mind, she heard the deafening ring accompanied by her vision cascading to black and white. This surreal dream was now reality.
Her senses failed seeing him and that girl locked like leeches against the shelf. Sure that girl had a fancy name and a pretty face but she seemed nothing more than that. The couple didn't seem to notice her standing a few feet away. They were too busy engaging in their playful antics.
Speechless, she turned to the other side of the shelf and shuffled through the deck of cards. Tears flowed from her now pale stricken face and her hands shook uncontrollably. She chose two cards and laid them on the floor.
Ever so carefully, Razzley attempted to position the last two cards atop the pyramid. A slight draft eluded from bedroom window. Her hands were shaking knowing that any moment, their sacred tradition would crumble down. "Lane," Razzley whispered, thinking that the structure of cards would collapse from her normal tone. "Slowly...Just ever so slowly close the window."
"Gotcha." Lane replied to her request and tiptoed towards the window. She thought the breeze became stronger. Luckily, her quick reflexes acted up. Her little deed was done and she heaved a sigh of relief. "Whew. Absolutely close."
Razzley completed the pyramid of cards on the study table and backed up to see the masterpiece. She sat on the bed next to Lane and said, "We did it! Four years running!"
Every summer, Lane and Razzley built a pyramid of cards. Aside from the usual gimmicks to the mall and movies, this was number one on their summer to-do list. Tossing the box of unused cards in her hands, Lane chuckled and said, "These cards never seem to lose their kick!"
Razzley eyed her with a strange look. "Cards don't kick." She shuffled towards the side table. The camera was next to the lamp.
"Ehehe." Lane flashed an awkward smile. "Well, you know what I mean."
Razzley held the digital camera in her hands, focusing the picture so that the shot would comprise the whole pyramid. Another picture was going to be locked in memory. "Here is goes. Three. Two—"
"Helloo!" The bedroom door burst open, making way for Chase's now notoriously labeled entrance. The impact of his voice along with the door slamming against the wall didn't hesitate to cause the fall of the structure. Here it comes; the fuming rage of two fourteen year old girls about to detonate right in front of him. He knew he had to find a rock to crawl under a split second.
Time was up.
"Chase!" Lane and Razzley exploded in chorus. There was no remedy to this situation; not unless they could turn back time.
"I-am-so-sorry." Chase relayed his apologies word by word to avoid being attacked. "How was I supposed to know that you guys were doing the tradition today?"
Razzley raised an eyebrow and reminded him of the obvious. "Because I text messaged you before you got here. In huge capital letters, may I add?"
Chase went through his pocket and took out his cellular phone. Flipped it open and went straight to the inbox, he read Razzley's said text message carefully. "Right, I forgot to check." There was more to than she mentioned about the cards.
From: Razzley 10:43am
Three weeks left until you're gone.
You've got to make a move. Talk
to you later. Oh and btw,
WE'RE DOING THE PYRAMID TODAY.
Lay low on the entrance.
"Really now, Chase." Lane simply rolled off in a plain jane manner. "Not cool. Not cool at all." She proceeded to collect the cards on the table, putting a few of each into the box. "Just had to parade into the Razz's room like some prince before we could even take a picture of it huh?" Her words being bluntly said made him chuckle rather than take him on a guilt trip. She wanted that reaction.
Lane was preoccupied with collecting the cards that she didn't notice Razzley smile at Chase. He blushed. Could it be anymore awkward that the best friend of the girl he had feelings for could read his mind like a book? Not only that; Razzley was right beside her. At any moment, Razzley could divulge Chase's secret to Lane. But that wasn't the case here, as Chase has trusted her wholeheartedly for holding the truth all these years. A normal person would've cracked, but not Razzley.
Chase snapped back to reality and motioned over to the study table. "Let me help you with that." He picked up two cards on top of the pile and held it between his fingers. It was what Razzley used to complete the pyramid. "The two jokers, eh? As always."
"You've got that right." Lane continued to place cards into the box. "No one ever uses those. They're their own suits and they only come in two. Might as well make them useful."
"True to that." Chase stocked the rest of the cards on the table and placed them inside the box. "Well, that's done with."
"I guess we'd have to do this some other time." Razzley said as she placed the deck of cards inside the side table drawer. "If it weren't for someone here." She glared at Chase.
"All right, I get it already." Chase nodded several times and took out his wallet. "How 'bout I make it up to you guys? Latte's on me."
Lane snagged the wallet from his hand and said. "Shotgun on the choices. Hah." She stuck her tongue out at him in a perky manner. "Two caramel mochas for me and Razz."
"Sure." Chase went frankly.
"Medium." Lane demanded and grinned.
"Hey! No fai—"
"Cards." Razzley and Lane retaliated and cut him off—straight down to the point.
"Right." Chase was triumphed over the two. The guilt finally got to him.
Kaphee was the name of the local café in the neighborhood. Serenading the customers in the coffee shop with his guitar and vocals was eighteen-year-old Jared. A familiar face to everyone in the neighborhood and was known to swoon the customers, especially the teenage girls, with his music and looks. As soon as Razzley, Lane and Chase walked into the shop, they took the nearest vacant table to the platform. It was Razzley's choice. She was drenched in a part of his spotlight. The thought of it made her heart skip a beat.
Lane looked at her strangely and whispered to her. "Uh, what exactly is so special about him? There are plenty of musicians in this world, and for a fact, have a better track record that this man in front of us."
Jared was a heart breaker. Literally one. He may have swept girls off their feet, but crushed their hearts one too many.
"Are you listening to me?" Lane waved her hand in front of Razzley's face.
Trying to catch her attention as well, Chase snapped his fingers two inches away from her eyes. "No use. She's already caught in his trance."
"So is every other teenage girl in this shack." Lane turned her head around to discover a sea of young ladies with eyes fixed upon Jared. It seemed she was the only sane girl in the audience. She rolled her eyes. "Forget it. I'll just get our lattes. I'll grab a caramel mocha for you too, Chase."
"Sure thing." He nodded and smiled.
Behind the cashier was the coffee shop's owner, Mister Rodrigo, who always managed to offer warm welcome Lane being a frequent customer. "Lane, so nice of you to drop by again."
"Well, you know me." Lane casually said. "As long as your caramel mochas exist, I'm living up for it over here."
"As usual. Hahaha."
"Make it three orders and medium."
"That's a bit new. Stepping up a size."
"Chase's cash." Lane waved the bills in the air.
"That explains it." Mister Rodrigo chuckled and took down her orders. "Anyway, your lattes would be taking longer than usual. We've got a lot of kids in today."
"I hear you." Lane turned around and viewed the sea of teenage girls still in a trance; Razzley being one of them. Chase was sitting on their table with a blank expression. "Thanks, I'll wait for my order to be called."
Waves of applauses rushed through the audience at the same time Lane went back to her seat. Jared had just finished playing and left his acoustic guitar on the stand. "He was awesome!" Razzley burst into happiness and finally snapped back to reality. Her fan girl personality took a rest.
"Sure, he was." Lane sarcastically said. "I mean, come on, his guitar looks better than him." And she took a moment to look at that simple six stringed instrument atop the platform. Maybe, or even, unconsciously, the melodic rhythms moments ago that were strummed swayed into her ears. Is a song more than an array of notes?
"How admirable." Razzley stated. "And speaking of which, I have to talk to Chase."
"O-kay?" Lane's face grew to puzzlement. "What's this about that you guys can't even share with me?"
"It's personal." Razzley replied with a serious look.
Lane stopped to think. "Admiration. Personal...Oh my gosh, Razz, you're confessing your love to Chase?! You could've even told me you liked him!"
Chase and Razzley looked at each other in surprise and roared in chorus. "NO!"
Lane shrunk down in her seat. "Okay then...Don't get all creepy."
"You know what this is about." Razzley nodded.
"She does?!" Chase's eyes widened. His throat tightened the moment he thought his secret had been exposed; behind his back as well.
"I do?" Lane tilted her head to the side in confusion.
"Three weeks left." Razzley went to the point.
"Oh." Chase and Lane said simultaneously unexpected.
And to think that Chase's secret was unveiled long before he knew was just a false alarm came as a big relief to him. Lane, on the other hand, became glued to the fact that Razzley was just going to say significant words because he was moving. There was surely a gap in her knowledge.
Razzley pulled Chase outside the café and took a stroll along the sidewalk. There they were, deepening in conversation by the step.
Jared, aside from playing at Kaphee, worked part time as well. He prepared the three caramel mochas on the tray. The names of their designated owners were written on each of the cups. Razzley, Chase and Lane. To him, that last name clicked in his mind. "Hey Rodrigo, where do these lattes belong?"
"You're serving them up front?" Mister Rodrigo questioned thinking it would've been automatic to call out their names from behind the counter.
"Yeah," Jared replied. "I feel like it."
Mister Rodrigo scouted the customers and pointed to the table where Lane was sitting. "Over there."
Near or far, Lane was one to turn heads at least a couple of times. When Jared was playing up on stage, she was one of the girls he had glanced at least twice at. When he was walking towards her, he started to pay more attention to her details. Her elegance in simplicity sporting an ordinary printed shirt and pants complimented her pretty face. Her green eyes glistened from the bright platform lights. Her dark brown her nestled perfectly past her shoulders.
Lane turned her head to see that the three caramel mocha lattes were being set down at her table. "I thought I come for the coffee, not the other way around?"
"Consider this a favor." Jared sat down beside her. "I'll take a guess here. You must be Lane."
"I can't tell her." Chase said as both him and Razzley were nearing the coffee shop, back from their walk.
"Do yourself a favor, okay?" Razzley spoke to him with a concerned tone. "Time's almost up. You wouldn't want any regrets, would you?"
Chase shook his head.
Time was definitely ticking. Three weeks left until he moved. Unfortunately, by the time he looked through the café's windows, he knew his time was already up.