I Got A Girl - Tripping Daisy
Mike couldn’t hear himself think over the sound of the music, but that was alright with him; it also meant he couldn’t hear the sound of Denise yelling at him.
At the thought he cocked his head to the side and glanced at his girlfriend, only to find her mouth still moving in big, harsh movements. Yep, she was definitely still yelling...
Looking for an out, he glanced around the room, catching sight of an uncomfortable looking Brooks. He was standing by the newly built TV stand, sandwiched in between Bradley and Steckel.
With one last glance at the infuriated girl, Mike headed across the room, grabbing two beers off the table as he went.
He didn’t bother to look back as he became swallowed up by the group of people in his apartment, separating him even further from Denise.
“Hey man.” Mike called as he neared Brooks. Nobody heard him, so he continued closer, incidentally pushing Steckel out of the way until he was squished in between them.
Brooks wiggled his shoulders until he was free of his team-mates.
“Why the fuck is everyone getting so close to me?” He yelled, leaning into Mike and clearly directing the question at him.
Mike shrugged, nodding behind Brooks, as if the approaching Denise should be an answer to everything.
Brooks looked behind him and groaned, rolling his eyes as he turned back around and grabbed onto Mike.
He pulled Mike behind him down the hallway, pulling open his bedroom door and slamming it shut behind him; clicking the lock for good measure. “Why did you even invite her here?” Brooks sighed, his voice finally audible behind the closed door.
“I didn’t! She got home yesterday and flys out again tomorrow so… she decided to stop by.”
“Stop by so she could yell at you all night in front of your team-mates?” Brooks snapped, dropping down onto his bed beside Mike. “She’s such a bitch, seriously.”
“Fact.” Mike agreed, his eyes darting to the door-knob as someone gave it a hard twist.
They both sat in silence as the door-knob turned a few more times, before it stopped completely, and they glanced at each other. “How’d it go with Emily?” Mike asked before flopping backwards, while stretching his arms over his head.
Brooks shrugged and dropped down beside him. “I dunno. She didn’t really say anything…”
“Well that’s good, at least she didn’t scream at you… I hate when they scream…” He added, his voice trailing off as he let out a small shudder.
Rolling his eyes, Brooks turned over onto his side to glance at his room-mate. “Why don’t you just break up with her?” He asked, as quietly as he could, without being drowned out by the thumping. It wasn’t that he was afraid anyone would hear him, not at all. It had something to do with the fact that it was a sensitive subject, and they were in the dark; everyone knows that you’re suppose to whisper in the dark.
“I don’t know.” He said finally, his voice sad and resigned. “I just… it wasn’t always like this, you know? When we started dating back in the day, she was so… fun. She was my friend… and now-”
“-now she’s crazy as shit. You can’t stay with someone because of the ’what was’ Mike. You need to take a look at the 'what’s going on now'.”
Mike clicked his tongue on the roof of his mouth a few times before answering again. “It’s not so bad now, I mean, we’re getting along better…”
“We’re hiding in my bedroom. We're hiding in my bedroom, from your girlfriend.”
“That’s not the sign of a good relationship… especially not when you only see her a couple times a month as it is.”
Mike laid still for a full minute before sitting up and pushing himself off the bed, signalling that the conversation had ended. Brooks didn’t bother trying to press the issue, this wasn’t the first time they had had this conversation, and he was positive that it wouldn’t be the last.
Mike was reaching for the door when a blast of cool night air hit him from behind. When he turned around Brooks was already facing the window, the same window that Ovechkin was now hanging through. “What the fuck are you guys doing in the dark?”
“What the fuck are you doing in here? How did you even get on the fire escape?” Brooks hollered, grabbing onto his chest and trying fruitlessly to calm his now racing heart.
“Semin bet me that I couldn’t jump from the deck to the fire escape. I was gonna go back but I saw you fags in here so I thought I’d come break up the sausage fest.”
“How is adding another guy gonna stop this from being a sausage fest?” Mike asked, his voice dripping in annoyance as he glanced back and forth between Alex and Brooks.
“Dunno.” Alex grunted, using his arms to pull himself into the room. “Anyway, as fun as hanging out in the dark with you two is, there are some sexy ladies out there to be had.”
“Oh please! Everyone out there is taken Ovie, as in, not going to sleep with you.” Brooks sighed, shaking his head at the antics of his big-headed team-mate. Mike might be able to deal with his egotistical ways, but Brooks certainly had no time for anyone like that.
Shrugging off Brooks’ angry tone, Alex headed towards the door, shooing Mike out of the way and pulling it open. “I dunno man, your neighbour’s fuck-able and Mike’s woman said she’s free.”
“Emily’s here?!” Brooks and Mike yelled at the same time, both of them running away from Alex and out the opened door.
When they got into the living room, the crowd had thinned out greatly and the music had been turned down to a hushed whisper. The only explanation that Brooks could think of, was the fact that Emily was standing in the middle of the room, her arms folded across her chest; a chest that was covered only in a barely-there nightgown.
He came to a complete stop in front of her and sucked in his breath; afraid but mildly surprised. Her long black hair was messy, and splayed out around her shoulders and down her back; startlingly different than her usual tight bun.
Emily’s eyes narrowed in on Brooks and he gulped, audibly. He reached out for Mike, trying to pull him up beside him, but he was gone.
Brooks spun around, watching hopelessly as Denise dragged Mike away down the hall towards certain doom; leaving him alone with the beast. “Uh… hey Emily, what’s up?”
“Do you have any idea what time it is?” She snapped, and Brooks felt his face redden, casting his eyes downward like a scolded dog.
He could feel everyone watching them, even if they were looking at everything but him. The people around him were all deathly quiet and he was sure that they were watching him through their peripheral vision.
“We were just having a team thing… like… one last hoopla before the season…” He explained lamely. “A shindig…” He added when she didn’t say anything.
He felt like an idiot. Here was a girl, yelling at him in his own house, in front of his friends… in reality he could just tell her to get out and shut up. The owner knew who Brooks and Mike were, as did the rest of the neighbours, all of whom didn’t care what they did in their apartment, as long as they could tell everyone that they lived with NHL players.
Emily didn’t fit into that category, she honestly couldn’t care who they were or how much money they made; all she wanted was quiet neighbours.
Part of Brooks wanted to mention that to her, to just ignore her and kick her out, but the other part of him remembered the look on her face earlier that day when he brought back the busted screw driver. “We’ll wrap it up, Em.” He said finally, giving her a weak smile, and waiting for her to smile back.
Her face never changed, if only to drop into a slightly darker scowl. “Don’t call me Em, my name is EMILY!” She snapped, spinning quickly on her feet, her dark hair fanning out behind her as she headed out the door.
When Brooks woke up the next morning, it was with the greatest of difficulty that he put the events and embarrassment from last night, out of his mind. With that thought, he gave his head a literal shake and rolled out of bed, swinging his feet down onto the floor.
He padded across the room, pulling the bedroom door open and stepping out into the hall; not bothering to don anything other than the boxers he fell asleep in.
He absent-mindedly continued into the hallway towards the kitchen, stopping only when he heard the middle of a hushed, heated conversation. “It’s not that I don’t love you! It’s just… Brooks gets me! He’s always there for me… I’m just not ready to move out yet. You can understand that, can’t you?” Mike’s voice sounded strained and tired, his tone allowing the repetitive nature in.
Judging by the compliance he was hearing, Mike and Denise had been having this conversation all night.
Her voice cracked out into the still morning air, the opposite of his; sharp and snaky. “No! You’re being an idiot!”
“Hey! Don’t call him an idiot!” Brooks couldn’t help but reply loudly, coming around the corner and dropping into the empty chair beside Mike.
“Oh right, sorry…” Denise grimaced sarcastically, “you’re the idiot.”
“Oh it’s on now! You can’t come in here and call us idiots… I think you should
go.” Brooks said, smiling as he folded his arms over his chest and laid back in his chair.
He knew she wouldn’t leave, but he didn’t care. He enjoyed pushing her buttons.
“He’s my boyfriend!” She snapped back, her eyes darting towards Mike, daring him to deny it.
“He’s my bestfriend!” Brooks answered before Mike could say anything else.
Denise and Brooks stared at each other for a full minute, both of them trying to find a way to get the last word in, but it was Mike who spoke next.
“Aw, I feel so wanted.” He grinned, too use to their bickering to take it to heart. He grabbed onto his mug of coffee and finished it off before getting up and carrying it towards the kitchen sink.
Sighing, Brooks turned back towards Denise. “Whatever… anyway, Dennis, why are you here?”
Denise threw her head back and pushed herself away from the table, crossing the tiled floor towards Mike. “My name is DENISE, not DENNIS… you retard!”
“That’s what I said Dennis, now why are you still here?”
“Are you gonna let him talk to me like that?” She shouted at Mike, pointing her finger behind her at Brooks.
She stared intently at Mike, waiting for him to champion her, but he only shrugged.
“You’re more of a hard ass then I am, if you got a problem with it, you say something.” He said, his confidence regained with the sudden appearance of Brooks; who snorted at the comment.
Rolling her eyes, Denise turned around and headed for the front door. “Anyway, I’m gone for the rest of the weekend with the mayor. I’ll call you when I get off the plane in Florida, and you better answer.” She called to Mike, over her shoulder as she grabbed her briefcase off the floor.
They both watched her go, waiting until the door closed behind her and the telltale click-click of her heels could be heard descending the stairs. “Lock that fucking door before another set of tits comes through it.” Brooks groaned, giving Mike the only amount of prompting he needed to cross the room and set the deadbolt. “Fuckin’ women.” He sighed as Mike returned and dropped down onto the chair next to him.
Mike had nothing more to offer than a nod of his head, before dropping his forehead down onto the table and closing his eyes; his head still pounding with the sound of Denise’s voice.