Lexus couldn’t keep the smile off of her face when he mentioned how much he loved his career. The look on his face, the bright smile he was showing off .. she could almost feel how passionate he was about it, how much he loved what he did with every ounce of his being. She could picture Christian on stage, singing his heart out and having a genuine good time. It was what he had always wanted to do, and she couldn’t have been happier for him. “I’m glad you finally made it, Chris. You really deserve it,” she said, taking a small sip of her water. “I remember how you used to talk about how much you wanted to become a big performer. Can’t say I was too surprised when I found out that it really happened.”
Not only did she remember him talking about his hopes and dreams, but she remembered the times when he sang to her. Of course, his voice was higher, sweet and childlike, and at the time she thought it was the greatest sound she had ever heard. He deserved to be famous .. and he finally got it. Perhaps things really did work out the way they were supposed to, but she had to see it happening right before her eyes to believe it.
As the appetizers came to their table, Lexus raised her eyebrows at the boy sitting across from her. “Well, I guess since you chose me, this should be amazing,” she joked, taking a bite of the dish as she listened to him speak. As she thought about it .. it was kind of true. Why did she end up in this city out of all the cities in the country? Why did she know exactly where to go to find the one person she had always been looking for? It was like something out of her control had guided her, let her know where she really wanted to go all along and how to get there. She sank a bit lower in her seat, her nerves growing inside of her as she attempted to think of what to reply back to him. She didn’t know why she had come here. She didn’t know what to say, how to explain herself. So she stayed quiet and listened because she could already tell what was coming next. The thing she had been hoping to avoid until later, after the meal, even, was going to make an appearance within a few seconds .. and she was scared.
Her eyes were locked directly on his, and with every word he said she could see the guilt wash away, and the relief come over him as he finally got out what he had been holding in for years. Lexus was finally learning what had really happened so many years ago, that Autumn afternoon where her heart was ripped into two and she was told the one thing she had never wanted to hear from Christian more than anybody else. And he had a reason .. and he regretted it .. and it was everything Lexus had wanted it to be but she didn’t seem to be as happy as she thought she would be. She could feel tears welling up in her dark brown eyes, threatening to fall at any given moment, but she refused to look away from Christian’s intense gaze. “I .. understand. Or at least I’m going to try to. It really hurt me when you told me that you didn’t want me in your life anymore, and just because you have an excuse for what you did to me doesn’t mean it’s okay. It doesn’t mean I didn’t think about you all the time after it happened, and wished that you hadn’t hurt me so badly .. that you hadn’t left scars on my heart. But that doesn’t mean I hate you, either .. so I’m going to try and understand.” She attempted to put on a smile, feeling a hot liquid falling down her cheeks. She hadn’t wanted to cry, she had always found it embarrassing, but her emotions were out of control and she just couldn’t help herself.
Like she had expected, he had a comeback for what she had said to him, and it seemed to be said with ease. Lexus leaned her head back against her seat, her head turning to look at the man sitting next to her, her eyes full of curiosity and questions she wanted to ask. Silly questions that he would probably laugh at, serious ones that might make him uncomfortable, make him think. “Do you really?” She finally responded, a playful smile laying across her lips. It was like all of her worries seemed to wash away. He couldn’t have changed too much. The light, playful atmosphere that he presented to everyone he was around was still present. The laughs he could get out of people, the smiles that seemed to come to their faces naturally was still there. The Christian she knew was still there. That was all that mattered.
“I’m guessing you’re not as big of a fan of the paparazzi as they are of you?” She questioned, her eyes glued to the restaurant before them as he drove up to the front. It was quiet, but still appeared to be mildly busy with customers coming in and out. Christian had gotten out of his car and opened Lexus’s door before the Valet had even been handed the keys, and Lexus bit down on her bottom lip as she stepped out. She readjusted the end of her dress, pulling it down just a bit due to the fact that it had ruffled up from sitting down in his car. The two were quickly ushered inside in a what seemed to be a hurried manner, like they didn’t want to cause too much of a ruckus inside of the restaurant, and the duo were brought to a quiet, isolated room where they could be alone. Everything had been set up beautifully. The menus, flowers, lighting .. it brought a smile of amazement to Lexus’s face as she examined it all.
She sat down comfortably in the seat across from Christian, lifting up the menu and letting her eyes look over every choice they offered. While Lexus didn’t know what most of the food was, she didn’t allow the confusion to show on her face. She was used to eating simple food, stuff you would buy at the super market or the corner store. Not meals prepared by professional chefs that served celebrities. It almost made her feel uncomfortable .. like she didn’t belong. Christian had years to become accustom to this life, where he was treated with respect by everyone he met because of his name. Who he was. What he was. But Lexus wasn’t what he was, it was only recently that she was even slightly like him, where everyone was able to see her .. but they saw her as a normal every day person. And that was what she was now. They were different, and Lexus wasn’t sure if she liked that.
“It’s interesting,” she said simply. “I’m not sure I like that I can’t sneak around anymore, but I’ll get used to it,” Lexus joked, sneaking him a glance over the top of her menu. Behind it, she was smiling, which became visible when she put the menu back down in front of her. “I remember when I first came back .. Someone had come up to me and asked me what the time was, and I kind of just stood there and starred at them,” she said, pausing to let out a small laugh before continuing on with her story, “and eventually they walked away. They must have thought I was a mute. But what about you, pop-star? Your life seems to have changed just as much as mine has.” Which was true. Lexus traded in her world for the real one, Christian traded in his simple life for the fast lane—flashing cameras, movie premieres, award shows and all. Both huge sacrifices, but which one was the most drastic and potentially hurtful could be argued.
Lexus smiled at their waitress and just gave a slight nod. “I’ll take your word for it. You know better than I do.” Lexus wasn’t sure if Christian was trying to be obvious or whether he was just bad at being subtle about things. She was catching his glances like they were baseballs and she was on a pro team .. not that she minded him looking. It almost made her feel like nothing had changed at all. Like they hadn’t come here to talk about what had happened between the two many years ago, but Lexus could not let herself sink into that facade. She had to stay focused. This was the real world, she had to face her real problems. At some point in time, the two were going to have to talk it out, and she didn’t know what was going to happen .. but she wan’t a little girl anymore. She couldn’t just run away from her problems, she had to face them head on and be brave. But she wasn’t used to that .. everything about this was so new, so frightening and just thinking about it gave her a migraine.
Lexus had never been one for compliments. She didn’t take them well, didn’t feel as if she deserved recognition for whatever it was the person was complimenting her on, but she still smiled and said thank you every time. It was the polite thing to do. Her parents had raised her well, and she knew better than to argue with someone over something as silly as a ‘you look great’. To be honest, hearing those words come out of his mouth caused her stomach to flutter, her heart to pound in her chest. It was something she had never truly experienced before. Sure, Lexus had been called beautiful. By family, friends, past boyfriends .. but this seemed to be different. She had wanted to look good for him, while she still tried to deny it, and felt a sense of .. accomplishment.
Before Lexus could open her mouth to tell him thank you, and that he looked great as well, she was trapped by two strong arms around her, holding her tightly against Christian’s chest. She hadn’t expected a hug, let alone him to be the one hugging her .. She could tell this night would be full of surprises, different things that would make her heart race, and right now, Lexus didn’t know what to expect to happen next. But at the same time, she wasn’t sure she wanted to. She kind of liked the feeling of being on the edge of her seat, waiting for the next surprise and knowing that it’s coming but still being as shocked as if she never had. She felt small and secure in his arms, like she was protected by any bad thing that might be out there, and it took her a moment to realize that she hadn’t yet hugged him back. Right when that thought came into her mind, her arms flew up and wrapped themselves around his neck. And she just .. hugged him. Hugged him as if nothing had ever happened and the two hugged like this all the time. Like the feeling was normal and natural and something she’d felt a million times before. And it took more than she thought it would to be able to let him go.
The smile on her lips was something Lexus knew she couldn’t hide. Whether or not she was getting too happy too soon, she didn’t know, but her feelings were wide out in the open for him to see. What she was feeling right at that moment was written in large, bold letters across her face. She scolded herself in her head .. Could you be any more obvious? She restrained herself from sighing as the pair walked over to the elevator that would bring them down to the main level, and then they were off.
It was an odd feeling knowing that everyone was staring directly at you.
They didn’t even try to hide their looks of confusion and interest, they just .. stared. Eyes locked on eyes. Lexus knew exactly what they were thinking. Why is he with her? Who is she? Are they together? And not only would those questions be flying through their brain, but they were also judging. Judging if they thought Lexus was good enough for Christian. Good enough for someone of his status and his worth, and because she was just .. Lexus, she doubted their answer was yes. But when Christian glanced at her from the corner of his eyes and she could see the way he licked his lips to hide his smile, she suddenly knew that she didn’t care. She would go anywhere and do anything with him in that moment. “I’m here .. I think it’s to stay,” she responded, her voice quiet as she looked straight ahead.
But this wasn’t a date, and Lexus was getting in over her head. And she knew for a fact that what she was doing was dangerous. It put her in a position that made it easy for her to get hurt. She was holding her heart on a dartboard, waiting for the moment when Christian will throw his dart and hit the same spot he hit before years ago.
The two walked over to his car, Lexus’s eyes scanning over every visible inch of it. She was impressed. Obviously, his career was doing well if he could afford a car like this. Not just anybody can afford to buy a Lexus .. Not even Lexus herself. She tried her hardest not to laugh at the fact she had the same name as the car. She debated whether or not it was on purpose .. did Christian know his car was named the same thing as she was? Did he get it for that reason, or because he liked the car itself? She didn’t know. But she wasn’t going to let this piece of information go. Lexus shot Christian a quick, soft smile as she slid into the passenger seat of his car. He shut the door after she was securely in, seat belt and all, and walked over the driver’s seat. Christian put the key into the ignition and the car responded in a quite purr, the sound almost causing Lexus to giggle.
He was glad to be here. Glad he came. Glad Lexus agreed to meet up with him. Lexus smiled, leaning over to turn the music up just a bit more. She adored Drake. Every word he said in his songs, she ate up and was able to relate to. She would find comfort in that, and well .. it was hard for her to not want to turn the volume up a little more. “I’m glad I did, too,” she said, not being able to restrain herself much after, her giggles making their way out of her mouth at his use of the world ‘stuff’. “I guess we do, don’t we?” Lexus tapped her fingertips on the dashboard, her nails making a soft tapping noise. “Nice Lexus you’ve got here,” she commented, not meeting the boy’s eyes. She wanted to see his reaction, see if the old Christian was still in there somewhere. The one who could take a joke, give a witty comeback, and laugh at himself. She just hoped the cameras didn’t blind him from who he once was. She didn’t know if she could take that.
Then time was up. She could hear the loud ting ring throughout her medium sized room, and reality hit her like a ton of bricks. She’d never been faced with reality before .. before, there had always been a way out. She could always run away, she could always run home to a world that wasn’t real and where things were never permanent. She could fix her mistakes. But now, she didn’t have any time left to ponder what she was going to do or what she was going to say back to him, there wasn’t any time left to think about the possibilities. It was up to him, and he was standing outside of her door, and it was like Lexus had felt a weight lifted off of her shoulders while another one was put down upon her.
Worry about making a complete fool out of yourself? Check. Freak out over the entire thing moments before it actually happens? Check. Have Christian actually show up? Check. Get through the evening without making the situation worse than it previously was? To be decided.
Lexus took a deep breath, slowly taking a step forward and opening the door, revealing a nervous looking Christian who was waiting patiently outside of her room. It was obvious how hard Christian was trying to come off as though he didn’t care. He wanted her to think that he did not think of this as a big deal at all, that all the worries he should be having went right over his head, and that he thought this was going to be as easy as passing the third grade. But Lexus could see right through him .. she always could. She knew that he had spent every minute worrying and over-thinking just as she had ever since he had brought up the question of whether she wanted to join him for dinner. What was he going to say? How was she going to react? They both had the same questions, and they both didn’t have sure answers. One thing Lexus did know, however, was that the look of someone being nervous and shaking beneath their skin is something that never changes. Once you catch what it looks like, it’s unmistakable. Christian was one of those people where she didn’t even have to hesitate to be able to read them like an open book.
Lexus looked at the expression on Christian’s face, almost appearing like he was emotionless. “Are you okay?” She had asked. Silence. She repeated her question again, only to get the same answer in return. She could hear the rustle of the leafs in the trees and the sound of a dog barking off in the distance. She knew something wasn’t okay. He was never this silent .. Christian always had something to say, something to share with Lexus about how his day went. What he learned that day. Which kid got in trouble at recess and what they served for lunch that day. He gave her every detail down to the last second of the bell, and Lexus had always listened like it was the greatest story she had ever been told. So this silence .. it was most definitely not normal.
“You know you can tell me anything,” she said to him, her voice then turning into a quiet whisper, “I don’t tell secrets.” He then looked up at her, his expression still the same, but she could see the worry in his eyes. “My parents are back in town. I don’t think they’re leaving for a few days.” He had told her, his voice neutral and still revealing nothing. She shrugged it off. “That’s great!” Her voice was full of cheer. He never got to spend time with his parents, that she knew for a fact. They were always out working, traveling places they had told Christian he wasn’t allowed to go. Someone had to stay home. Christian was first in line. “I guess so.” That’s when she got it. She finally understand why he was acting this way, why the atmosphere seemed to be so calm yet it was like he was on the edge of his seat. Christian was nervous. Why he was as nervous as he was, Lexus did not know.
She was almost taken back by how much he had changed since the last time she saw him. Sure, she had seen his face on the t-shirts from the day before, wondering the streets hopelessly in search of a place to stay, and on the billboard, but to see him right in front of her. When she was seven, Christian Reeves was cute. He was adorable, every little girl’s dream. But now that she’s nineteen, matured, and guys weren’t full of cooties, they weren’t just cute. Christian Reeves especially was not of the cute type. She almost couldn’t control herself, the urge to reach over and tackle him in a hug like she used to every time the two saw each other was hard to fight, but she forced a smile onto her lips and stepped outside of her suite. “It’s great to see you again, Chris,” she said, quickly locking the door to her hotel room. Her voice was as calm as she could keep it. She didn’t want to give anything away, any emotions she might be feeling. She was going to play it safe, see what happened .. She wasn’t ready for surprises. Especially not another one from him. The brunette turned on her heel to face the dark haired boy, her smile transitioning from plastic, forced, and fake, to genuine and natural. She wanted to be here. She wanted him to be here.
They say that you never truly forget anyone who meant something to you in your life. The memories may not be as crystal clear as they once were, you might forget the little things that you used to think of as the most important of them all, but they will always be there in the back of your mind reminding you of what you once were. What you both used to be. However, that was not the case for these two. Lexus and Christian’s relationship was anything but ordinary, so the fact that it did not fit into any type of category wasn’t to much surprise. Thoughts of the other had never left their minds. Lexus still remembered every little detail about their time together like it had just happened, like she was back in her bright pink dresses and purple skirts with matching bows. Like Christian was still her best friend in the whole entire world—or rather, in both worlds—and he had never hurt her, never would have even let the idea cross his mind. They were inseparable .. or so she thought. But that was Lexus’s foolish mistake. Anything is breakable if it’s pulled apart hard enough, you just need the right pair of hands and the right assertive position to do it.
You don’t normally hear people telling their grandchild of stories about how their imaginary friend from when they were younger, or how that person magically came back into their life when they were least expecting it. Perhaps also at the peak of their fame, where all eyes were on them and everyone was watching closely and waiting for them to make a mistake that would cause their career to go down the drain. Having an imaginary friend that brings back young, foolish memories and emotions doesn’t help your stress levels or help make you less nervous for interviews. It only seems to make things worse .. and that’s not a story you’re going to want to tell your grandchildren about when you’re huddled up with hot cocoa by the fireplace on a cold winter evening.
The fact that Lexus was magically back into the world she had only looked upon through her memories was mind-rattling. She had so many questions, so many things she wanted to do, but only one person she really cared about seeing. Christian Reeves, former childhood sweetheart, now teen-pop sensation that had teenage girls all over the world wearing his cheesy perfume and kissing his posters over and over again. Never would she have even guessed that this would happen to Christian of all people .. she had known he was talented, and she had known he had dreams of making it big, but the chances were low and the fact that he had even been approached was something that took a while for Lexus to let sink in. While she hadn’t heard of his fame directly through Christian himself, it wasn’t hard to figure out. She had seen girls wearing his t-shirts and his face plastered on a billboard endorsing some kind of company that obviously would not sell a single product without an eye-catching face next to it. Lexus was a smart girl, smart enough to put the pieces together and figure out that he had finally made it. Good for him, she had told herself. Bad for me. Seeing his face everywhere wasn’t exactly what she had been looking for when she came back for the first time.
And now the two were going out to dinner .. What had Lexus been thinking? Why would she agree to something like that when she knew that she was full of regret and anger and hidden emotions that she had refused to adress, why would she agree to come face to face with someone who broke her heart when she knew very well it was only a matter of time before she exploded? There was only so much one girl can take. Years of pretending that you’re okay and that your childhood scars healed will eventually catch up to you, and while Lexus fears that moment and how close it might really be, she refuses to let it hold her back.
She has to see him. She just has to. She wants to hear his side of the story and know what reason and right he thinks he had to do that to her .. she had dreamed of his apology. Dreamed of being able to tell him to fuck off and get out of her life just like he had done to her, but she had also dreamed of her being able to take him back and them finally being close again. Once again, so many options. So many questions.
Lexus stood in the middle of her hotel room where she had chosen to stay, her suitcase sitting on the middle of her bed, lock closed, secure. She didn’t know what she could possibly wear .. She didn’t want to overthink it. She didn’t want to look like she cared too much, like she spent hours thinking about what was going to happen when it finally came. She opened the suitcase’s look in one swift motion, the cover flying open and leaving the inside of the suitcase exposed. Clothes, clothes, clothes. Lexus groaned, her hands delicately searching through her belongings and losing an ounce of hope more each time she came across something she didn’t like. But then she found the perfect dress. It wasn’t too casual, but at the same time, it wasn’t too fancy. This wasn’t a date, she had made that clear to herself from the second she said yes. This was a get together where she was allowing someone to explain what had really happened to her. That was all, and this dress was perfect.
The dress was a soft shade of purple that ended above her knee, lace covered the sides of the dress, outlining her well developed curves. It slid on easily over her head, falling down onto her body like a perfect fit. Her reflection in the mirror smiled back at her, pleased, and she moved on to quickly finish her hair and make up. Nothing special, really, just light curls that fell down the length of her slightly exposed back, and her make up stopping before it became a little too much. She always went for the more natural look .. The feeling of being coated in layers of gunk made her skin crawl.
Her eyes darted over to the clock, her teeth biting down onto her bottom lip when she realized that it was time. He would be here soon, and she couldn’t turn back now. She was ready .. or at least she hoped she was.