BACK OF YOUR HEAD – TEGAN AND SARA
IT’S HERE, IT’S FINALLY HERE – mainly “it’s finally here” because @mclovinn has been bugging me all week/past 2 weeks but hey, here it is! READ, HOPEFULLY ENJOY, AND LEAVE A MASSIVE COMMENT :3
hopefully it doesn’t suck and yeah, i finished this late last night because i write better really late at night, idk, i don’t get it either but i work with it so i just rollll with ittttt toooooo
enough talk, here’s effie!
(verging on 5000 words as well omg sorry it’s long)
12 Friday October 2012
“/You can’t always get what you want/”
The Rolling Stones played in the background, creating a hum throughout the condo.
I was sat in the lounge room,
books splayed all around me
but none of them were giving
me the information I needed.
Several newspapers were on my lap and the lounge
and I held a yellow highlighter, attacking the
ads that caught my eye quickly
so they couldn’t run away.
Not this time.
I was circling hopes, I was circling dreams.
I was circling futures.
But not my own.
“/but if you try sometimes, you just might find …/”
I sung lowly, swaying my head.
“/YOU GET WHAT YOU NEEeeeEED!/”
I looked over my shoulder to see Ashley had come back from class singing the next lyrics with a grin on her pink lips.
It was nice seeing her smile.
“What is this? Why’re you playing music that is oddly empowering and inspirational?”
She laughed, setting her stuff down on the kitchen bench before joining me on the lounge.
“The time for The Rolling Stones is all the time, so shut up,” I nudged her arm, smirking.
She watched me as I circled things in the paper frantically,
building up into the steady rhythm I had going before.
“What are you doing?”
“Looking for auditions.”
She was quiet.
But then the words slowly escaped her mouth.
“Hang on … what are you auditioning for? I didn’t know you could act,”
A loud Harry-like cackle of a laugh left my lips
and my hands flew up to cover my mouth,
my cheeks turning pink.
“You really think I’d audition for something?” I turned to look at her, putting down the highlighter in my lap.
“Uh, no, not really,” She laughed.
“Exactly, stupid. I’m looking at auditions for /you/.”
She fell silent and looked at me funny.
Then I felt my stomach drop and worry flashed through my mind that I was being a little too helpful in getting Ash a job.
But then she laughed lightly and flung her arms around me,
squeezing so tightly, I had to struggle to spit out the words, “Can’t. Breathe.”
Sitting back, she looked at me with a wide grin
and I relaxed again.
“There’s no way you’re doing this for me, no. way.”
She hit my arm playfully, covering her mouth slightly with one hand.
“I want to help and hey, two hands are better than one. Isn’t that what they say?”
She only laughed. “Something like that,” then she went to make us some tea.
17 Wednesday October 2012
“Listen Eff, I don’t want to talk about this over the phone, alright? Just come visit soon, we need to talk,” Oliver’s stressed voice came through the receiver and my stomach dropped, thinking of all the possible reasons why he didn’t want to tell me what was going on over the phone.
“Effie, please.” He sounded completely sincere and I squeezed my eyes shut, running a hand through my messy hair, groaning.
“Fine, whatever. I’ll see when I’ve got a free day and we’ll talk, alright?”
I sounded frustrated but I couldn’t sound any other way
when Oliver said something was going on in the family
but didn’t actually want to tell me over the phone.
“Thanks Eff, bye,”
He hung up immediately.
I pulled the phone from my ear and stared at it incredulously,
“Jesus Christ, someone’s on their period.”
I muttered, shoving it down my jeans front pocket.
“What did he want?”
Ashley asked as I walked back into the café,
taking my seat opposite her.
“I have no f ucking idea actually. He’s being real cryptic for some reason, the d ick,”
Ash chuckled, pouring some more tea from the pot carefully.
We’d found a cute little British inspired café in Brooklyn,
(there weren’t as many Gossip Girl-s luts there, also less One Direction fans)
and decided to have some tea and short bread.
Ashley fit in perfectly with the whole place
whereas I looked like a 70’s punk reject who’d tried travelled to the future
with the mixture of black, silver studs and the white floaty top I was wearing.
Not to mention my hair was looking more like a birds nest than
the perfectly manicured pot plants out front.
She took a sip, watching me and there was something glinting in her eyes.
But I looked to my own tea cup before anything
in her eyes could really take a hold of me.
“So have you found a movie you liked yet?”
I interrupted her quickly, knowing by the tone in her voice,
she was going to bring up her concern for me and how I was handling everything.
But I didn’t want to talk about that.
I didn’t want to talk about the boys,
especially not Harry who had been
rumoured to be with so many girls
I couldn’t even count them on both
I didn’t want to talk about the unhealthy feeling growing in
the pit of my stomach that just knew whatever Oliver
needed to tell me, wasn’t going to be good in the slightest.
Everything had a bad air about it,
so I changed the subject to her.
“Oh, uh, um,” She stuttered.
I sipped my tea.
“Anything caught your eye? Any gorgeous actors listed that you’d want to work with?” I winked. She laughed, shaking her head at me.
“I haven’t settled on anything yet, just … just weighing up my options, you know?”
Her clear nails tapped on the tea cup’s body and her eyes dropped to the short bread still sitting uneaten before us both.
I sighed, reaching forward to stop her tapping.
“You’ve got to find /something/ you like, right? You’re perfect for every role I’ve found for you; it’s just up to you to put yourself out there.” I smiled.
“Y-Yeah, you’re right. We’ll see what happens, don’t worry, I’ll find something,” She smiled a smile I know she didn’t mean but I let it slide because she had let whatever she wanted to say to me before, slide as well.
We knew when to stop pressing each other
but sometimes we just needed that one last push over the edge
to discover the person we really were.
Too bad we were both afraid of falling.
TO EFFIE’S CHILDHOOD, AROUND AGE 7-
“Hey! No fair! Moooom! Oli’s not playing fair!”
I sat with a humph, crossing my arms tightly across my chest,
my eyebrows pulled down so far I could feel the headache
forming from the concentration already.
“Liar! It was my turn!”
Oli grabbed the controller from the floor where I’d dropped it in a huff
and continued to play as if nothing had happened.
I was breathing incredibly fast and quickly, my chest rising and falling rapidly,
building myself up into a tantrum that surely I should have grown out of having by now.
I hit my hands on the floor around me and threw my legs in front
of me and kicked and kicked and kicked, screaming until the
warm hands of mom found themselves under my arms and
picking me up from the floor to sit on her lap on the lounge.
“What are you screaming about? I thought you were a big girl now,”
She asked in such a lovely tone that I almost giggled instead
of being in such a state of unhappiness.
“But I /am/ a big girl, it’s Oli that’s being the dumb one,”
I pointed accusingly in his direction, where he sat on the floor
enthusiastically moving the controller through the air like
it helped him get ahead of the other racers in the game.
“Hey! I’m older!”
He called back in a distracted but still angry tone.
I looked at mom with wide, watery eyes,
begging for her to be on my side.
She was always on my side.
She smiled and kissed my forehead,
the plan that had become a kind of
ritual, was brewing in her mind.
“Well, let’s go Effie dear, we’ll leave Oli by himself with the game while
we go and have some ice cream and pizza and … oh, what was your other favourite?”
“Strawberries!” I would pipe up, excitedly.
“Of course,” She laughed. “Strawberries, let’s go.”
The game noises ceased behind us as we began to walk to the kitchen, hand in hand and we both knew any second, Oli would be racing past us to the kitchen to beat us there and get the array of favourite foods first.
And he did.
And I also ran back to the game and picked up the controller, starting a new race for myself.
It was still a few minutes before Oliver caught on when neither of us arrived in the kitchen
and when the cook told him she had no idea what pizza, ice cream and strawberry special he was talking about.
“Oh, you guys suck!”
Mom and I looked at each other and smiled,
before she went back into mother mode.
“Now, now, Oliver, we don’t suck but what does suck?”
He didn’t answer at first, but mom raised her eyebrows
and he didn’t want to get in trouble.
“Vacuums and black holes,”
He said in defeat, rolling his eyes slightly.
“That’s right, now come here, you can play next,”
She spread open her arms and welcomed him
into her embrace as he run to her familiar arms.
30th Tuesday October 2012
Black holes suck.
The media sucks.
Gossip and rumours suck.
Certain people in the sex industry sucked on screen.
But that’s another story. And entirely irrelevant.
All in all, everything ever in the history of everything;
“You’re coming with me, you’re the one who got me into this mess,”
Ashley’s stressed tone came from her bathroom, where she was finishing her makeup,
even though the magazine shoot would probably wipe her face clean and start again.
Oh, wouldn’t that be nice?
To just wipe away the past as simply as makeup?
To dream, to dream.
It’s a wonderful but heart achingly horrible ability.
“Oh, but c’mon, I was just being helpful! I was being the friend you needed at the time!”
I whined, lying back on her bed, staring up at the ceiling.
We’d had breakfast together and as I had managed to forget the date
of the shoot, Ashley had managed to drag me into her un-relinquishing grasp.
“Effie,” She swung her head out the open door. “You’re not getting out of this, I’m doing this for you so it’d be completely disloyal of you if you didn’t come-“
“That’s what she said,” I interrupted immediately, drawing a laugh from us both as she shook her head, returning to the bathroom mirror.
We were both silent for a time and I just waited and thought and pondered and mused.
It wasn’t my particular best choice of activity to go out to Teen Vogue, mid-week for my best friend to be interviewed and photographed, but I guess that was all part of the lifestyle of crawling out of my cave and seeing the light.
And I wasn’t sure I liked it.
Not at all.
It wasn’t fun having your life being depicted in the pages of some trashy gossip magazine,
let alone a magazine like Vogue which was read by people who actually /mattered/.
I knew she was scared, I knew she was wary.
But she did have to do this.
So I suppose, I /had/ to go with her.
For moral support at least.
I groaned, sitting up. “Fine, I’ll go.”
She walked out of the bathroom, picking up her purse, smiling that pearly white smile of hers that would be covering the newsstands by next month.
“I always knew you would.”
And I laughed because predictability sucked.
The amount of times I nearly attacked a pap on the way to the building
was laughable, but no one was laughing.
No one besides that one pap who I’d told was “chubby and could probably lose the pony tail and already be 10 pounds lighter and closer to heaven, b itch.”
Several profanities left my rosy lips
and I knew I’d be dubbed:
“Ashley Hartman’s Best Friend: The Potty Mouthed Delinquent”
by tomorrow’s magazines and if I’m lucky, Gossip Girl.
But if defending us both from the intruding cameras and sleazy old men behind them
was a bad thing, so I should be.
Society was only a b itch because everyone who forms it is one.
And it takes one to know one.
The Teen Vogue headquarters were everything I’d ever pictured it to be.
Past issues front covers lined the walls in glass frames [because you can’t move forward, without being insanely cocky and proud of the past];
large black and shiny tiles lined the floor [because you can’t head a magazine without clacking your highly overpriced 6-inch heels on the ridiculously unnecessary marble tiles];
tightly pulled buns sat atop heads everywhere we looked [because obviously, nothing creative came easily from their minds so they had to squeeze every last thought from the donut atop their heads (even though the word ‘donut’ wasn’t in their vocabulary)].
So maybe I was being a little cynical, yeah, but what was I to do when I was already associating the whole world outside with the dynamics of hell?
It was a roller coaster flat lining from the start.
The studio seemed different to the foyer but still the same.
More people were running around with odd props though
and scurrying down corridors with Starbucks.
I scoffed a little, taking the whole scene in.
A girl named Tabitha introduced herself to Ashley
and she told her to sit and to order anything from her
assistant being the more than willing Labrador puppy.
My heart hammered and I tugged on Ashley’s shirt
like a child lost in the supermarket trying to find her mother.
“I’ll uh, just be going. I told Oli I’d have lunch with him.”
Which was true. In half. I decided I couldn’t stay in my most cynical mind set
of the week and had conveniently remembered that Oli wanted to talk about something.
“And you must be Effie,” Tabitha tucked her pen behind her ear and smiled, “Nice to meet you.”
I looked at her quizzically, wondering as to how she knew my name but
thought best not to ask.
“… Yeah, you too,”
I didn’t look at the blazing red hair as I shook her hand.
I only stared at Ashley. I made sure she could see I wanted her to be safe.
She must have understood my suddenly apparent telepathy skills,
because she nodded. “I’ll call you when it’s over, ‘kay?”
I looked between Ashley and Tabitha,
wary but trying to relax, feeling like I was leaving
my child in day care for the first time and was
irrationally worried I’d never get her back.
Then I left,
making sure my Dr Martins made as loud a bang on the black marble with each step as I could.
I called Oli in the taxi on the way to a random café
just down a few blocks from Ashley and told him
I’d found my free day. At 2pm in the afternoon.
I sat out the front and waited, sunnies blocking the outside world.
“Well, hey there movie star, can I take a seat?”
I sat up, moving my sunglasses to the top of my head
and found Oliver standing before me. I smiled.
“Of course you can, just no photos, alright?”
We laughed and I stood up to hug him before sitting down once more.
We didn’t speak for a moment.
And that only reinforced my fear that something bad had happened.
“You first,” He said, sitting back, his hands twisting together across his chest
in an attempt to look nonchalant and indifferent but failing.
“I was gonna say, I ordered you a salad because it’s what /all/ the movie stars are eating these days,” I sat back, as I spoke sarcastically, waving my fingers around as I slid my sunglasses back down my nose.
He laughed and shook his head at me, grinning.
“You’re an oddball aren’t you?”
I nudged him, chuckling.
“No, I’m a movie star, start treating me like one,” He smirked at my sarcastic words.
But then he sighed,
licking his lips.
My heart dropped to my stomach which had dropped even further.
My ribcage should have felt empty but it
was more like a sea of tar sticking
and making it hard to breathe.
And I didn’t know if there was anything even particularly wrong in the first place.
He cleared his throat and sat forward a little, cautious.
I took my sunglasses off completely, staring at him with serious and concerned eyes.
He fiddled with his fingers and seemed to just forget he was going to speak.
That is before I kicked him under the table.
“Get on with it, you t wat! If it’s bad news just spill, waiting around for you to gather your bloody courage is killing me,” I was exasperated.
His eyes stared back at me steadily
and the solidity of his gaze made
me feel queasy and worried.
“Okay, Effie, there’s nothing to be worried about, it might not even be anything serious-“
“What the f uck are you talking about?”
He rubbed the back of his neck and his eyes darted elsewhere.
I wasn’t making this easy on him. Clearly.
“Oli, don’t keep me in the dark. Is everything okay? Are you alright? Is mum and dad okay-?”
His wandering eyes which had stayed on the table
now flickered up to meet mine again and my heart hammered.
“Wha-“ My voice raised.
“Just wait! Breathe!” Oli held up his hands to stop me from completely exploding.
I pursed my lips and tried to breathe through my nose,
but instead of calming me down, it only made my chest rise and fall more quickly.
“I don’t want you to worry, none of us want you to stress over this on top of college, okay? Just breathe and let me explain what’s been going on …”
Ashley called me during the dozenth game of Mariokart Oli and I were playing.
I looked at the clock; she’d finished early.
“What? Are you doing something?” She sounded a little flustered but well nonetheless.
“Yeah, Oli wanted us to call our parents together. Plus I gotta beat him at Mariokart or I’m gonna feel like s hit for the rest of my life,” And just as I said this, Oli had driven over my last dropped banana, spinning him out of control.
“You remember where his apartment is though, right?”
She’d been here once and even that was a while ago.
I was making a long shot with that question, I knew.
“No, not really,”
I smiled because I saw that answer coming.
I was about to tell her the directions, but instead she made plans for pizza when I had defeated my brother at my own champion-league game.
The champion-league consisting of only two people, yes,
but I was still the champion in the league. Maybe not respected,
but still champion. And I reminded Oli every minute I could.
“Call me if you need me, yeah?”
I felt bad but she insisted she was fine
and pizza was sounding like the perfect prize for beating Oli.
I heard a taxi honk and the line went dead.
I threw my phone quickly on the place next to me on the lounge;
Oli was seated on the floor, back to the lounge and leaning
forward like a child.
Twisting the controller up higher and higher and leaning
further left than was really rationally necessary to help me drive,
I was soon standing on the lounge and screaming at Princess Peach to
press her “mother’effing, Mario teasing, pink high-heeled foot harder to the ‘effing accelerator!”
I won the race and Oli threw his controller.
We sat at the breakfast bar, the telephone sitting in the
middle, almost staring back at us like a bomb.
But it wasn’t going to go off,
it wasn’t going to ring, but the words
going in and out may just set one off.
I sat back, slamming my hands down.
“Nope, Oli, I can’t do this, I-I’m not, you can’t make me-“
“Effie, breathe. Stop,” I squeezed my eyes shut, concentrating on my breathing.
And not like those people who sucked for a living.
But it seemed my life sucked anyway.
Just not in that way.
“I’m breathing. I’m fine, I swear,”
He nodded but knew those words were half filled with lies.
He picked up the phone and punched in our parent’s home number.
Holding it to his ear, he waited.
He listened to the rings, he waited.
But the waiting was taking too long.
The phone rang out and he placed the phone back down slowly, his eyebrows furrowed.
I stared at the phone and couldn’t stop the queasy feeling from arising again.
“What if she’s forgotten-“
“Effie, stop it. Everything’s fine.”
But the tone change at the end of his voice told me otherwise.
When he stood up and went to his room, I spun around on the stool and watched,
knowing that no, everything wasn’t fine.
And not just vacuums and black holes anymore.
I wasn’t crying as I walked to the pizza place,
but the blurry vision I was seeing the world through
definitely wasn’t there because of the non-existent mist hanging around.
Because, duh, there wasn’t any.
But I shook my head, I got rid of my thoughts,
I got rid of my concerns and my worries
and put it to the back of my mind.
I didn’t want to be burdening anyone with this.
I could handle this, just me and Oli.
We /can/ handle this.
Fine, we’re fine.
Everything’s … fine.
I screamed the highest pitched scream I’d emitted since high school when a boy had snuck into the girls change room but now instead of all the girls screaming with me,
the occupants of the pizza place were incredibly startled and just stared incredulously back.
“What’s got your underwear in a bunch Hartman?” I managed to squeeze out after she’d jumped me at the door.
“I want to be on Broadway, Eff,”
No sound escaped me now, only my noiselessly moving lips
could show that I tried to react but was shaken into a silent shock.
“C’mon,” We went and sat in a booth with red leather seats
Cheese pizza seemed like the only thing I could stomach
and by the looks of Ash, she seemed too excited to want to eat anyway.
“Now what is this you were saying when you attacked me?” I laughed.
“I went for a walk while I waited for you. And somehow, I ended
up in a theatre on Broadway – it was empty,” she mentioned almost as
an afterthought as she knew what I was thinking already;
how the f uck did she get on stage on Broadway within half an hour
of deciding on this new career track?
“I sat on the stage and … and I just felt so … me,”
Oh how corny but absolutely and completely adoring she sounded.
It was incredibly cute and her cheeks were filled with a light pink
that just matched her lit up wide eyes completely.
I suddenly thought of my own appearance and wondered
if I looked as dry and scratchy as I felt. But I didn’t want to bring that up,
not when Ash was retelling her epiphany anyway.
“Maybe that’s my deal. Maybe that’s why I’m such a screw up,
I’m not meant to be /me/ all the time … you know?
So I do crazy stupid things that aren’t like me,
just so I can run away from myself.
Up there, on that stage … I don’t have to be Ashley Hartman,
I don’t have to be anybody,”
I didn’t want to be anybody.
Could I just float away?
What Oli had told me wasn’t
going to stay quiet forever.
I knew that …
But I wanted to keep it to myself for as long as possible.
“And I’m so …/sick/ of the media. All this time I thought I wanted to be famous. The kind of famous that everyone knows worldwide, more than just a socialite. And I got that, and it sucks. I have my face on all these s.hit papers and ... and all I’m known as is ‘the girl that screwed Louis Tomlinson over’,”
I watched her passion; I watched her overwhelming emotions almost take over.
A tear or two dropped and I handed her a napkin.
She had been so lost, she hadn’t felt right looking at the movie auditions, no wonder; the type of famous she had been dubbed had ruined her but also made her see the light.
And boy, was that light shining brightly down on her.
Centre stage and everything.
“I want to be known because I’ve done something good. I want to be respected. I want to do this,” She dabbed her eyes with the napkin, before just opting to wipe because, in my words,
“f uck it.”
I stood from my seat to sit next to her and I pulled her into me,
holding her close and rubbing my hand into her back.
I tried to soothe her all of a sudden heavy crying and
in the process, tears built in my own eyes,
blurring my vision once more.
And the terrible thing was,
I knew they were tearing up
not just because I was
happy for Ashley.
“You can do this, I believe in you. And you’ll be f ucking amazing too,” I whispered to her, the grin clearly sounding in my voice.
I wiped away a few tears from her almost blood shot eyes
and smiled as she sat up again.
“I’m sorry,” I looked at her funny. “I’m sorry for everything I’ve ever done to you. I know things are s hit but … but they’re gonna get better,” She looked at me so sincerely, the tears in my own eyes seemed to get worse.
“And I forgive you.”
I blinked a few tears down my cheeks and my hands shook with hers in my grip. “Really?”
“Yeah,” She nodded, half-laughing. “They don’t really matter anymore, do they?”
I didn’t reply immediately. I felt a little winded, of course, but-
“No, I … suppose they don’t.”
“Medium cheese pizza, right ‘ere ladies, enjoy,”
We thanked the waiter and I stood up to go back to my seat
but Ash grabbed my arm, stopping me.
“I missed the f uck out of you Effie,”
I laughed loudly.
“You sound like me,” to which she only nodded and smiled. “Yeah, I know.”
And for some reason my heart sunk. Not because I was sad that she sounded like me, but maybe because Ashley was practically the only person I had besides Oli and my parents and even then, I wasn’t sure if I had them.
That made my heart travel even further down my internal elevator to the basement.
I looked at the pizza and Ashley was already getting into her first slice,
the cheese pulling in a long string between her mouth and the slice,
a grin plastered to her face which was already losing its blotchiness.
I eventually started eating, although the cheese tasted like plastic in my mouth
as my stomach was squirming around uncomfortably, which was only made worse
when Oli texted me just as we were leaving the pizza place.
“eff, mum can’t remember where the vacuum is …”
I said goodnight to Ashley quickly and abruptly that night
and excused myself as soon as we got back to Verona,
running off to my room, locking the door behind me,
to cry all the way into the morning.
OKAY YEAH I KNOW IT KINDA SOUNDS SILLY TO BE CRYING OVER BUT IT WILL ALL MAKE SENSE AND IF YOU’VE GOT A GOOD IDEA OF WHAT’S GOING ON, THEN PLEASE SHH, KEEP YOUR TRAP SHUT AND JUST WATCH IT PLAY OUT OKAY I’VE BEEN PLANNING THIS SINCE I GOT ACCEPTED INTO THIS GROUP SO YEAH
IMPORTANT STUFF RIGHT HERE
THIS IS THE BEGINNING
and yeah, i hope you guys liked this and that it made sense and was yeah, alright.
it took me a while to get into it because it’s been so long but yeah, i’m pretty happy with the result :’3
i’ll be catching up on everyone’s stories soon,
but i’ve got all these assignments coming up
and then it’s the holidays so i’ll read and comment then!
i go on my six week holiday starting on the 19th of December! yew!
so please leave me feedback and i’ll leave y’all feedback sooooon enough
love you guys, mwah!