Holding on to Nothing
Whenever Whitney had a question for me, I knew there was about to be a huge discussion upon my answer - considering Zahra was sitting right next to her. It was impossible to come out unscathed when it came to them.
“What do you mean?”
Zahra was next to show me her look of concern, folding her arms on top of the table as she leaned against it. She hated men, and for her to see me so involved with one probably wasn’t the best sight at the moment.
“We’re not idiots, Lucia. Who is he, and why the fuck are you so giddy all of a sudden when he comes around? I thought you weren’t interested in finding love?” She lectured, giving a solid huff through her nostrils.
“What, so I meet this guy a few days ago and you make it out like I’m trying to get with him? We haven’t even established a friendship yet! We just so happened to make plans to see each other at some point, since the visit at work got cut short. I’m not about to say no to him when he was polite about it.” I snipped, my words probably a little more defensive then I had planned them to be.
The two looked at each other for a minute or two, with Whitney finally shrugging it off altogether. She wasn’t as adamant about the subject as Zahra was, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t concerned about it. I knew that they were just trying to look out of me and keep me safe from having my heart broken twice, but for Zahra to get on my case about it? I didn’t understand that.
“Hey, I was just trying to figure out if there was something more to it than what we just saw. I’ll take your word for it though, Lu. If it’s nothing, then I’ll treat it like it’s nothing. I’d stay alert about it though. That group looks a little suspicious when it comes to their habits. Last thing you want to do is get caught up in something you can’t get out of.” Whitney chimed in as she picked up her drink to finish what was left, setting it towards the center of the table.
“Believe me, I know. All I have are plans to make up for the lost time, and that’s about it. Wouldn’t mind being his friend and all. He doesn’t seem that bad.”
Part of me felt like I was lying about what I had just said. Okay, so maybe I wasn’t wanting anything serious with Jimmy. That didn’t mean I couldn’t talk to him or look at him, right? Everything about him intrigued me, and all I wanted was to know more. Call it curiosity, rather than infatuation - at least in my perspective.
“Well, we’re about done for the night. Whit has work tomorrow, and I’ve got some cleaning to do at home. Will you be okay by yourself, or am I going to have to pose as a bodyguard to beat his drunk ass if he fucks up?”
All I could do was roll my eyes, pinching my skin with a hint of annoyance. I understood though, with the amount of history that I was told.
”I’ll be okay, Z. If anything, he may not even want to stay out long. It also depends on how long they’ll be bar hopping tonight.”
She looked as if she wanted to something more, but a simple nod was all I got in response. Probably best.
“Alright then. It’s probably going to be a while before he shows his face again, so hopefully, you don’t get too bored out here. It’s the beach, so I doubt you will. If he stands you up, or if you change your mind - call me.”
“I will, but I’m sure everything will be fine.”
At that point, we all got up to push in our chairs to give each other a hug before going separate ways. Both of them retreated to their cars, while I headed off the pier to take my rightful spot on a bench just before the sands on the beach itself. I managed to find a book at the bottom of my bag, which would be a perfect way to pass the time while I waited for Jimmy to make an appearance for the second time today.
I checked the time on my phone when I felt like a decent amount of time had passed, to find that it only had been about an hour and a half. If bar hopping was going to be an all-day event for those guys, I truly wasn’t sure how I’d be able to keep myself occupied when I hadn’t packed much for my outing. Patience was something I knew to a degree, but it wasn’t in my favor when it came to waiting on someone who hadn’t given me a timeframe.
The sun was moving across the sky, temperatures changing as well as the sky. My book had gone back into my bag, and I had resorted to drawing designs into the sand with a nearby stick. Just as I was about to set the stick down, I felt the bench get a little bit heavier. With a small glance, I tried my best to get a good look at my new bench partner.
There he was.
He looked a little looser compared to when I had spoken to him earlier. His hair was much more unkempt, and his skin looked incredibly flushed. There was a smile on his face, which told me that he was more than happy to be where he was. It wasn’t late, and he was alone - something that I wasn’t expecting.
“So I guess the beach day has ended early for the gang. Our bassist just puked all over the counter in the bar and had to be escorted home. We told him to chill on the long island iced teas, but that kid doesn’t listen for shit. Everyone felt it was better to go home, but the party never ends early for me so that leads me to a very important question. Would you like to partake in some day drinking with me? Could be a cool way to get to know you!” He chirped, turning his body to face me entirely.
I was used to going out for drinks with my two best friends, but with someone I didn’t know? I had to admit that the idea of it made me anxious, for I didn’t know what to expect with Jimmy...but he wanted to get to know me. The longer I was around him, the more curious I got. I wanted to get to know him too.
“Don’t see why not. We did make a promise for a part two, and both of us were there in the flesh. You’ll have to show me the ropes, though. Of course I go out, but I’m not as accustomed to Huntington as you are.” I answered, adjusting my position to sit up straight.
The tall boy giggled at me, standing up from the bench and using his head to beckon me for the sake of me following him.
“Well the bar I just came from probably has a putrid vomit smell, so we won’t hit up that one. There’s a really nice place up the path if you don’t mind a bit of a walk.” He explained.
“Walking is really nice actually, so I think we should go there.” That made him light up, and it didn’t take me looking straight at him to see it. It was obvious, and I couldn’t help but feel pleased that I was making him feel as good as he was feeling. “I’m surprised you’re not staggering around yet.”
That led to very hearty laughter, followed by an arm resting on my shoulder as we reached the path. Jimmy seemed like a really touchy person.
“I’m not drunk, not even close! It’s funny, most people can’t keep up with me. When it comes to life, I don’t slow down for those who want to stay in the back. No time for those who want to spend their whole existence on earth doing the same shit every damn day. We’re not here forever, and I know I’m not going to be here as long as most will be. You have to make the best of it because you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”
Jimmy’s life sounded like one continuous party, and knew that he would be the only one to know when to quit. He didn’t look like he enjoyed being told what to do, and liked to pave his own roads. It left me wondering just how intense he truly had it, and if anyone was ever able to keep up with him. My guesses pointed towards it being impossible, though I didn’t want to dismiss it that quickly. Could his best friends even keep him under control?
“You've really set the score for being unique, and I think that’s a good thing to be that way.” I replied, my eyes fixating on his arm that was still resting upon my shoulder.
“The whole thing with people in society wanting to be another person is pretty redundant if I must be completely honest. Why follow a trend, when you can be the trend? You know what I mean?” Jimmy remarked.
“It's a shame that most people don’t have a great mindset like yours.”
Shit, that wasn’t flirtatious was it?
“I don’t think anyone has a mind like mine. There’s shit up there that I myself, don’t even understand. Just when I think I’ve got myself figured out, it changes on me. Almost like those Rubik’s cube puzzles. Some days I wish it was as easy as ripping off the stickers to make it right, but then I’d be normal and I hate normality. It bores the absolute fuck out of me.” Glancing up at him, I noticed that his expression was incredibly serious. Something I wasn’t used to at all.
“Don’t see why anyone would want to be normal. Having a fixed routine outside of work just seems like it would be too much. Just rip off all of the stickers and be a mystery. No one will know what to expect.”
As soon as I said that, Jimmy stopped dead in his tracks. He grabbed my arms to make me face him, practically throwing them around me shortly after.
“Finally! Someone who understands! Perhaps you’re my long lost doppelgänger who has traveled on a quest to see me, and you just don’t realize that you’ve found your match!” Jimmy chimed, his words coming out in a much higher pitch.
“Believe me, if that were the case I would have noticed who you were at the aquarium, don’t you think?”
“You just don’t know...yet. It’ll hit you one day, and you’ll be glad that Jimmy Sullivan was your person of interest!”
Jimmy had continued to grow on me, and it was only the second time seeing him. Being with him was a real switch around compared to most people. My best friends were the exception of course, but there was just something about Jimmy that kept me wanting more. He was a very interesting individual, who wasn’t afraid to be himself. Nothing got in the way of his dreams, and he’d stop at nothing to reach the stars. He himself was a star, which reminded me of something.
Eyes were on me. They were sparkling - big pools of innocence reflecting back at me.
“Has anyone told you that you are made of stardust?”
He looked puzzled, eyebrows furrowed as he pulled away from me. I already felt deprived of his embrace. The amount of emptiness in my chest was apparent, despite everything I made myself promise.
Not to get attached.
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that.” He responded, shifting his weight onto one leg.
“You’ll think it’s something out of a fairytale, but I promise you it’s not. Anyway, every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. The elements that make you up are the same as a star, so everyone is made up of stardust. So think of it this way, the stars died so you could live today.”
He didn’t answer me, so I continued.
“You’re a cool fucking star if I must say, and you need to continue to shine brighter than anyone else.”
There came that smile again, wrapping an arm around my shoulder as our destination was coming into view.
“I’ll outshine the rest and do some really super cosmic type shit, thus becoming a topic of astronomy in school! Just you wait!”
Right after his little epiphany, he ran ahead of me to pull the door open to the pub that we ventured to, holding it for me with a huge grin. His fucking face was haunting me with how perfectly imperfect it was. There was no way that I knew what I was getting into, so as I walked through that door two things happened. I entered the bar...and the life of Jimmy Sullivan.
Longer as promised.
Oh, and Jimmy's fucking adorable.