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Realizations

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I stood at the bar in the Off Ramp, slowly peeling the label off of my bottle of beer. Across the room stood Layne and his new girlfriend, who up until half an hour ago, I had no idea existed. I could feel everyone's beady eyes staring at me, probably waiting for some kind of reaction, but I definitely was not the type of person to give them any kind of satisfaction. I mean, me and Layne had just been screwing around for a while before Alice had gone on tour, it wasn't like we were in love with each other or anything. The guys had all warned me about him, but whatever body part I was thinking with the night I saw him for the first time was definitely not my brain. Layne didn't owe me anything, but I would have at least expected him not to make me look like a fucking idiot. I knocked back the rest of my beer before I slunk out of the bar. I wasn't really in the mood for a party at this point, so I started to walk home. The guys are going to have a field day with this shit, I thought to myself.

I lived in a basement apartment a couple of blocks away from the bar that I had rented from a newspaper ad, sight unseen, a couple of months ago when I decided that I had had enough of Vancouver. The two upstairs apartments were rented by a bunch of band boys, and we had all made friends quickly, even though sometimes it felt like I had surrogate big brothers policing me now. I let myself in, grabbed a new pack of smokes and a bottle of beer, then went back out to sit on the porch. It wasn't long before I heard the ruckus coming up the street, letting me know that the guys were almost home. Mike and Eddie got there first, Mike giving me a big drunken hug on his way in while loudly proclaiming that Layne was a gigantic bastard. Eddie, still kind of new to the group, shot me a shy smile before rushing inside. Jeff and Stone followed a minute later. Stone had that damn smug look on his face, and before he could open his mouth, I told him that if he was going to tell me he told me so he could shove it up his ass. Looking slightly injured, he ran inside while Jeff flopped down beside me on the porch. "Smoking's bad for you, you know" he said, plucking the lit cigarette out of my hand and taking a long drag. "Thanks Dad!" I replied, rolling my eyes before I took a drink of my beer. "You should really be nicer to Stone, he's madly in love with you." I choked on the beer, launching into a massive coughing fit, as Jeff laughed at me hysterically. "Fuck off Jeff" I managed to sputter out in between hacks. "I'm serious! His heart was broken when you hooked up with Layne. He never had the balls to tell you." I shrugged my shoulders in disbelief. "Honestly Jeff, I think the only person Stone is in love with is Stone. Stop fucking with me." I said grinning. "Dude he told me himself! I would know this shit, I'm his best friend...maybe he wouldn't seem like such an asshole if you gave him a chance. Think about it." he said, winking at me before ruffling my hair and heading inside. I sat outside for a few more minutes by myself before going downstairs to my apartment. I wasn't really sure how to digest this news. I got changed and crawled into bed, my mind going a mile a minute. Stone was a good looking guy, but he did always seem to act like kind of a smug asshole towards me. We had started out fine, and then all of the sudden things got a little weird. Right around the time you started banging Layne, a small voice told me from deep inside my head. Jesus fucking Christ, Jeff wasn't kidding. I had no idea what I was supposed to do with this realization. I suddenly felt horrible for being so shitty to him, but I had honestly thought that maybe he just didn't really like me all that much and I thought I would return the favor. It wasn't lost on me that now, here I was lying in bed, thinking about Stone of all people. Did I like him back? Oh god this is like fucking high school. I tried my best to fall asleep, telling myself this was a problem for tomorrow me to worry about.