A man is like a cat; chase him and he will run – sit still and ignore him and he’ll come purring at your feet.Helen Rowland
Evergreen Harbor Kibo/Reed Roommates Apartment
Early one morning Everett found himself back out in Evergreen Harbor, knocking on a certain girl’s kitchen window, pointing towards her door.
She opened him, but blocked the door.
“You again. And this early? What now? Need to pee again? We’re not the local public restrooms, ya know?”
“Nope. Just couldn’t wait to stop by to say I love social media, especially other people’s timelines, certain exes in particular and their selfies with their little sisters, don’t you MAEVE?!” he told her with a satisfied smirk.
She just looked at him, then the picture on his phone he was holding up to her face, she smiled defeated and stepped aside.
“Fine, you got me. Come on in. No need to entertain the neighbors.”
“Ha, YES! I knew it! Yay me! So, Cordelia’s little sister. Dayum, you really had me going there, girl. Why didn’t you just tell me, why the charades? And what do I get for figuring it out? Didn’t even take me that long.”
“Get? You mean beyond the reassurance that you are not such an ignorant prick after all? Even though you used to be at our house a lot during high school dating my sister and should have recognized me right away?”
“I hardly ever saw you, you weren’t exactly the most outgoing type. And you seriously look different now. You were barely a teen then and looked like a little girl in your oversized hoodies and ponytail. Your hair was black then and pretty straight, so the blonde curls threw me for a loop. You gotta give me that.”
“Fine. You’re right, shame on me for not running around with a name tag all the time and for daring to change how I look from when I was like 13/14. But for what it’s worth, it was hella fun while it lasted. Your constipated face trying to figure it out all that time – priceless!”
“I want a date now.”
“May 1st what?”
“You wanted a date. That is a perfectly good date on most calendars. Unlike February 29th, which is a bit of a fickle bitch.”
“Very funny. The same old smartassery, yeah I should have recognized you sooner. But I mean a date involving two people. That kind.”
“Ah, I’ll see if Mariko is interested once she gets up.”
“My roommate. You left quite the impression on her. After you left I got grilled about you for hours, complete with hearts coming out of her eyes. Rest assured, you may have struck out with Cordelia, but you still got that Everett mojo. You should have Mariko on her back in no time, in true Everett Cameron fashion.”
“I am not like that anymore. I don’t know how much you know about why Cordelia and I broke up, but it wasn’t me, not this time. It was all her. I really tried. And I don’t want to go out with Mariko. I am asking you. Go out with me. I earned it.”
“Earned it … jeeze. Drama much? And why me all of a sudden? Back when, you barely ever noticed me and now you think I am interested in my sister’s sloppy seconds? I am not desperate for dates, Rett.”
“Sloppy seconds. Wow. And I didn’t say I want to date you or anything.”
“You said exactly that!”
“OK, fine, I misspoke. I want to go to lunch with you.”
“Already have plans.”
“Look Everett, bravo on finally recognizing me, but honestly, it’s not THAT impressive. I am not interested in you in the slightest. Plus, I am already the Reed family’s black sheep, no need to piss off Cordelia by fraternizing with you now. So, no deal, no date, no lunch, no dinner, but congrats. Guess you are not as clueless as I thought.”
“What happened? Between you and your family I mean?”
“None of your business, that’s what. All you need to know about me is that back when I was just that lil pony-tailed hoodie-wearing girl I thought you were larger than life and you even promised to teach me how to play the guitar. So I asked for one for my birthday one year and guess what? You told me it would cost me a kiss, after you made out with me you dropped me like a hot potato and just left me hanging with the guitar stuff, couldn’t be bothered. You pretty much ignored me completely afterwards. I don’t know what this is all about, but I am not helping you get back at Cordelia.”
“I have changed, Maeve. Honestly, I don’t even remember any of that, but agree, I sound like a major douche. Let me make it up to you, I can help you with music if that’s what you are still into. Teach you the guitar … keyboard, piano …. singing. Your voice is good, but you need to work on your breathing. I can help!”
“Please, Maeve. I am sorry I had my head up my ass back then, I realized that a while back. I am trying to do better, but not getting a lot of chances here from anyone. Most of my friends seem to have given up on me and feel more like strangers these days, I am about to graduate and work on my career, just got a lot on my plate right now and no time to run after each one of them, lips pursed for all the ass-kissing, trying to make them see I changed for the better. Can’t you be different than everyone else and actually cut me some slack? I am really trying to make up for past mistakes, just not as easy as you’d think.”
“Fine, consider the slack cut. No judgement beyond personal experience. I gotta get ready for work soon, so if you don’t mind …”
“Where do you work? I can drop you off?”
“Look Everett, I didn’t want to be mean or anything, since you were just recently broken up with but you are not getting it. I am not interested in going out with you, dating you, hanging with you, learning music from you, practicing for your finals with you, kumbaya-ing around some fire with you, none of that. Honestly, I do not like you all that much and I also do not like redheads. No offense but you could not be further from my type and I am good on friends, at capacity there, so thanks, but no thanks.”
“Ouch! Dayum girl!”
“Yeah, truth hurts.”
“Can’t we just grab a coffee together at some point?!”
“What is it with you and coffee? No.”
Everett left after that without any more of a fight. Rejection wasn’t something he was used to and it stung.
Soon his finals came up and had him firmly in their grip, but he graduated with excellent grades.
His parents, grandparents and Declan with Rory came to the graduation, they stood outside celebrating when his attention was captivated by something. Or rather, someone.
“Excuse me guys, I’ll be right back.” he said, smiling.
He had spotted a flood of blonde curls in the distance.
“Hey … what are you doing here? You didn’t come for me, did you?”
“Was in the area and remembered graduation was today and thought I’d sneak a peak at you and the other lucky graduates. Oh, and congrats. You actually did it. Nice! My grandpa always used to put on some fake hillbilly teeth and say “dumb fucks good”. Guess if I trust your street cred about one and seeing how you graduated top of your class, even made the Dean’s List, you are the exception then.”
“Nice quote, could’ve come from my grandpa, may need to get that made into a banner for the dining room wall at home. Oh, and if you ever want to find out for yourself … I would be happy to demonstrate the other part too.”
“Pass. Still can’t stand redheads. Surprised you are not drowning in debt from child support payments already anyway, as much as you and your little friend got around since – I don’t even know – I’ve only ever known you like that.”
“Oh no, my grandpa also always had sayings about … that. I have always been a very careful smart dumb lay, I guess.”
“Well, I better head out and you need to get back to your family. Congrats again. Major milestone.”
“Hey, my grandparents are taking all of us out for lunch afterwards. My grandpa used to be a musician too. Maybe you and he could … talk?”
“Oh, I know who your grandpa is! To be perfectly honest, I was hoping he’d be here and I was totally rubbernecking. He’s my idol. You should see my room. Blaine Cameron paraphernalia all over. All his CDs… the actual thing, not just electronically.”
“I would love to see your room.”
“Yeah, but you’re not gonna. That was purely hypothetical. You know what, Rett, do you mind asking your family if it’s okay? I kinda would LOVE my chance to hang with Blaine Cameron … that would be awesomeness! Major fangirl moment here. If they all think it’s okay. And if it’s okay with you.”
“And by all that you of course mean you also would love to help me celebrate my awesomeness today, right? I can ask, but it’s my day today, so I can tell you now they won’t mind. And I wouldn’t mind you fangirling grandpa, that should be funny to watch you not being so aloof for a change.”
Of course she was welcome and the lunch turned out to be fun, Blaine had Maeve in stitches with his Blainisms and anecdotes, she visibly loved every minute of it. Everett felt on top of the world anyway.
When the lunch was over, Maeve was very appreciative, thanked all of them vicariously, so Everett was even more disappointed when she vehemently declined letting him drive her home. After that he found nothing had changed. She still kept him at bay, never answered a single text he sent her, never accepted his friend requests on social media and avoided him for the most part. Yet, he saw her in the back of the audience more than once whenever he performed somewhere, but once he got off stage she never was anywhere to be found.
Then after he went to her home once more and once more found nothing but closed doors, and once more his call went straight to her voicemail Everett just lowered his phone, smiling.
“All right, challenge accepted. Chased ya down once, I can do it again. Just you wait, little Maeve … Rett’s comin’ for ya now. All that playing hard to get isn’t gonna get you anywhere.”