Hello. Wow well. This chapter… I don't know. There was a lot of contemplating and backspacing in this chapter because a lot of what I originally wrote was on the verge of Dead Baby Comedy. So basically I don't know how I feel about this but I hope you all like it. Now it's just sort of angsty idek. Wow. Okay.

I had fallen asleep. I woke up to the sound of Devon's voice, a familiar tone that he possessed when he was trying his absolute hardest not to lose his temper. He was on the phone. "I don't know, it's just something you could have told me about. You know. I'm just saying."

"Yeah, I know you're just saying, Devon."

Speakerphone. Score.

"Yeah, well. I mean, the hiatus went down without any type of fuss, so I figured that things were going to be okay in a few months or so. Now I'm stuck here. I'm stuck here. My mom is insane and my sister… I don't even know, I just… don't know. It was selfish of you, though."

Wow. Well. That was great. I'd spent all this time being stoked over the fact that Devon was home just to find out that he was completely unhappy. Totally cool. I covered my ears in an attempt to avoid hearing anything that was going to really upset me. It didn't do anything besides block out the other end of the conversation. I could still hear Devon perfectly.

"Because you just can't go around and make decisions like this, that's why. Goddammit, Rob, do you realize how severely you've fucked everyone over? N-no, that is not it at all. I didn't plan on staying here forever. And now you've got me yelling and I'm going to wake up my sister. So I'm going to go. Yes, she's in the room with me …Wow. You are an absolute chode. Okay, whatever. Bye."

There was an awkward silence.

"Regan, you're awake, aren't you."

It wasn't even a question. I sat up. "You're not happy," I said. Devon was sitting at his computer desk and he most certainly looked unhappy. "You're really not happy here."

He shrugged, tossing his phone back and forth between his hands. "I was just going to leave once the band started back up anyway. What's the big deal?"

"The big deal is that you're not happy, Devon. You fucking asshole, you should just leave if you hate it here so much."

And it was one of those moments where I wished that I had a filter of some sort, something that blocked out all of those things that I decided to say when I knew I should have just tried to be reasonable and nice.

"You really think that?" Devon asked, seemingly caught off guard by what I had said.

"W-well, yeah! Why wouldn't I think that?" I crossed my arms and turned away from him, locking my eyes on wall. That side of the room was dimly lit; it was dark outside and the only light source came from the lamp on Devon's desk. "I mean, what's the point of you staying here if you're not happy?"

"Because I thought you were happy," he replied simply.

"But you were going to leave!"

"And I thought maybe you'd be better at that point! Regan, seriously, what kind of a brother do you think I am? Yeah, it's weird being here, but you're my little sister, you know? And sometimes you're exhausting because you're just so mean, but I love you. I was going to leave as soon as this stupid hiatus was over, but I thought I could just pay attention to you and give you someone to talk to until then."

"Okay, so, not only are you unhappy, you're just feeling sorry for me and that's the only reason you even talk to me. Right? Am I right?"

"No, you're completely wrong! Holy fuck, when did you get this difficult? Regan, you… There are so many things wrong with you that I don't even know where to begin. I just wanted to do whatever I could while I was here."

"Okay… Well," I muttered. Devon had won this argument. I had nothing to say besides maybe an apology that I wasn't quite willing to give.

"Just don't worry about it. The band's finished. I'm here for who knows how long. I'll get over it. I can get over things easily… unlike you."

I wanted to smile, but it would have been one of those really bratty smiles that you see on a kid's face when they've fussed and whined until they've gotten what they wanted. I stopped myself. This still wasn't fair for Devon, but I couldn't stop myself from being happy that he was going to stay.

He stood up and turned on the overhead light. "Rob's the one that called," he explained, leaning against the wall and staring at the ceiling. "He wanted to apologize. I got mad. I'm sorry I woke you up. I know how much you like to sleep."

I shrugged.

"You thrash around a lot when you sleep. And you never seem rested when you wake up. Have you considered taking a year off before going to college? You know. Maybe just chilling out for a year or so?"

"Yeah, that's a great idea. All of my motivation to go would be gone by the time I applied. I'm fine. Everything is alright." I still wasn't smiling. I didn't want the conversation to end. "Will you play guitar for the show?" I asked.

An look of pure annoyance swept over Devon's face, but only instinctively. It was soon replaced with a softer expression, one that I wasn't used to seeing. "Yeah. Sure. I'm going to go crazy if I keep sitting here all day. But you shouldn't worry about me. I'd even go as far as to say that you should try to look happy now. I'm going to be a part of that little musical. I'm sure it'll be great for, uhm… brother-sister bonding, or whatever. You should really be thankful for the fact that I'm your brother."

"And why is that?" I finally decided that I was ready to stand up, pushing away the traces of my ten-year-old self, the way I would always find myself falling asleep in Devon's bed when I was upset, and standing up.

"Because anyone else would be weirded out by your completely unhealthy emotional attachment. But there's nothing wrong with being emotionally attached to me. If I were you… Wow. I wouldn't be able to handle a moment away from me."

"Oh my God!" I grabbed a pillow and tossed it at him, but he blocked it with his arm. I was chuckling, almost fully laughing. "You're such a creep!"

"And you're smiling. You should go to bed now. If you go to sleep in a good mood, you'll wake up in a good mood."

"Yeah, I highly doubt that," I scoffed.

I knew that it wouldn't hurt to try, though.

The twins weren't at school the next day. Things felt sort of disjointed and weird without them. The auditorium almost felt empty, even though everyone else was present. Courtlyn was smiling as she usually did, but I could tell that she was a nervous wreck. Blaine apparently found it to be nearly impossible to hide how worried he was and didn't offer a single smile to anyone, spending most of his time letting out heavy sighs and flipping his cellphone open over and over again.

"You need to calm down," Lucas said, scrolling aimlessly through the songs on his iPod. "Everything's going to be fine, you know."

I found myself saying that a lot, but it always sounded fake coming out of my mouth. When Lucas said it, it sounded like nothing but the absolute truth. I really wanted to believe him.

"I guess I just feel bad that I haven't really tried to talk to them this time around." Blaine shrugged and fiddled with the bottom button on his shirt. "It's just hard to sometimes."

"I know."

I could see Julia glance at Lucas out of the corner of her eye, an inquisitive look replacing the scorn that usually occupied her features. It lasted for a brief second and she looked back towards her book. "The recital."

All eyes went towards her. Courtlyn, who had been sitting silently in the row ahead of us, turned around and asked, "Did you say something, Julia?"

"I was just wondering if one of you asked the twins if they wanted to go to the recital," Julia explained, speaking calmly, as if she was completely unattached from this conversation.

Lucas tilted his head slightly, chewing on his thumb. "I didn't," he was the first to admit.

"Me neither," Blaine sighed.

I didn't feel the need to answer this.

"Well," Julia said.


Julia shrugged.

We waited for her to speak again, but it became obvious that she wasn't going to.

"I assumed they would just want to go with each other," Blaine said. He turned to me and smiled nervously. I knew what was about to happen. "Maybe I could take our tickets back and then buy a set of four tickets."

What exactly was I supposed to say? "No, Blaine, don't do that. I wanted to spend the evening with you and completely disregard the feelings of the domestic abuse victims. Let Lucas take them instead." So I said, "Oh, that's fine."

"Regan's sweet!" Lucas flung himself over Blaine and pinched my cheeks.

"Stop that!" I groaned, swatting his hands away.

He was still leaning across Blaine's lap, balancing his weight with his elbows on the arm of my seat. "I would take them, see, but I'm going with my mom. They would have more fun with you two!"

I really didn't mind. The thing I was concerned the most about was actually getting them to agree to going. They didn't feel like talking to anyone and they'd declined Courtlyn's offer to hang out yesterday. There was no way they were going to easily accept the tickets. I was beginning to get annoyed at how much effort and energy I was putting into making other people happy.

"I'm leaving now," I said, standing up and giving Lucas's hand another swat as he attempted to flip my skirt up. "I'll see you all later, I guess."

"Are you going to see Tyler?" Blaine asked me, grabbing Lucas by the shoulder and pushing him back over to his own seat.

"No," I responded sharply. I grabbed my bag and left quickly, feeling very irritated with all of them for some reason. Courtlyn's inability to let anyone see how upset she was, Blaine's stupid, sweet wide-eyed concern, Julia's bitchiness, and Lucas's… everything.

I ended up going to the student council clubroom anyway, since Mr. Whit's office was sort of crowded.

"I can't help but sense that something is amiss in the darling little drama club, especially with those equally darling little twins!" Tyler said as soon as her eyes locked on me. "I am just honored that you've chosen my company in such a stressful time, Regan."

"Whatever," I mumbled, choosing not to sit down.

"Are you suggesting that there's another reason you're here?" Tyler asked.


"If you're here to see Gideon, then I will gladly leave and give the two of you some time alone."

"That's not necessary."

"Really now?"

"It's probably the most unnecessary thing you could possibly do." I finally sat down and wondered if this would get her to stop teasing me. Gideon seemed unaware of the fact that he was being spoken of, completely focused on the book he was reading. "I just thought I'd stop by," I said.

"You're cute. Like, ah… the annoying characters in movies and books that are moody towards the people they're fond of."

"Annoying," I said.

"But cute," she added. "Regan, do you ever tell yourself that you'll be fine as long as you can get through the rest of the week?"

"No, because that's not true. It doesn't work that way." I didn't really know what she was getting at. I didn't talk to Tyler because I wanted profound advice or because I even expected her to care about whatever was bothering me. The fact of the matter was that she was just always there. It was sort of comforting—despite how much she annoyed me at times, she was always willing to talk. I sort of liked that.

"Well, perhaps you should adopt that way of thinking. Right now, you're moody, cranky, and you absolutely cannot take a joke. Just blame it all on this particular week and tell yourself that things will be better next week."

"This is just about as helpful as a meeting with Mr. Whit."

Tyler was smiling sweetly. She sort of reminded me of a normal human being.

"Just try to get through this week, Regan."

I didn't want sound advice from Tyler. Or Julia, for that matter, but for some reason both of these things had happened right before my eyes. It was too early for this weirdness. I said, "Whatever," and shrugged as she probably expected of me. I didn't even really know what to say to that at all.

"You don't need to worry about anything, really. You'll try to comfort your friends and when things get hard for you to handle, I'll be ready to comfort you." And just like that she seemed creepy again.

"You seem like you're looking forward to it," I pointed out.

"I guess you could say I am."

I decided that it would probably be a very long time before I would be able to figure out exactly how her mind worked.