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“I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to disobey Nick and get him furious for some God-known reason but Corey used to be one of my best friends. It would be so great just to catch up with an old friend. I just don’t want Nick to be mad at me. They’re both my best friends yet I have to choose between the two of them. This is so wrong.” I rambled furiously.

“Kibbs, calm down. What exactly did Nick say about Corey?” Carly asked as she propped her legs on my bed.

“He was talking about this burning sensation then how he couldn’t tell me the entire reason in the restaurant but he did something really bad and he left the two of us. He didn’t want to see me get hurt and he said he loved me like he always says. Then we stopped talking about it, end of story.” I paced across my messy room and kicked random clothing items to leave me a way.

“What did Corey say?”

“He said that he wanted to hang out. It was pretty much a guilt trip to why I wasn’t calling him.” I sighed.

“Okay, well do you have any idea why Nick hates Corey?” She tilted her head to the side.

I looked Carly straight in the eyes. “No, not really. I mean that was such a long time ago and I was really young.”

“Then why does all of this have anything to do with you if you don’t even know what’s going on between the two of them? Nick doesn’t have authority over you. You have authority over yourself and if you want to meet up with one of your friends, then go ahead. He shouldn’t stop you just because you felt like hanging out. I mean it’s not like the two of you are going to have sex.”

I rolled my eyes. “Fine. You have a point. I’m going to call him.” I nodded to myself, very confident.

“Okay, call him.”

“I will.”

“Right now.”


“No, right now.”

“Shut up.”

“Not going to.”

“You suck.”

“You know you love me.”

“Stop it. Only Gossip Girl can say that.”

Carly picked up my house phone and pelted it at me. I sighed and began to dial his number. I picked up the phone and to my ear. The dial began to ring. Carly smiled widely. Don’t pick up. Don’t pick up. Don’t pick up. It was already the seventh dial tone and I initiate that as no one there. I put the phone down and smiled at Carly. “See? He didn’t answer.”

I was about to hang up the phone but suddenly I heard a voice yell. “Hello?”

My eyes widened itself to the point where they were about to fall out of its sockets. “Answer it, stupid!” Carly mouthed.

I panted it as I forgot everything that I was supposed to tell Corey. “I… uh… um… hi?” That was all that came out of my mouth. I had no idea what I was doing right now. My heart was beating so fast that the thumping was pounding loud in my ears.

“Maya?” It was ironic that that was the first thing he responded. “Is that you?”

“Mhm.” I mumbled.

“Wow, it’s about time you called me. I thought I was being seriously rejected.” He joked. I smiled and giggled a little bit nervously. “Are you okay? You sound a bit jumpy.”

“I’m fine.” I reassured through a lie even though I was sure that my mind was calming down a bit. “Anyway, I apologize for not calling any sooner. The craziest thing happened. I couldn’t find your number on my phone.” I held my arms up in a questioning look at Carly. She reacted as if I was the stupidest person in the world. I most certainly felt that way.

“Oh, really? I could have sworn when I gave you my number, you put it in your cell phone. That’s weird. And don’t you have a blackberry? I mean they hardly make that mistake of losing numbers.” He said in a matter of fact tone. He didn’t fall for my excuses and knew me a bit too well.

I smiled and laughed into the phone. “You got me. So as an absolution of my lack of lying, would you like to maybe get lunch together? It would be great if maybe we could catch up a little more.”

I could his hear his smile widen on the phone. “That would be as you said great. What time should I pick you up?”

“Um, how about 12-ish?”

“Sounds good. See you later.”

“Bye, Corey.”

“Bye, Maya.”

I shut the phone and threw it back at Carly who gladly caught it. “So how do you feel?” She said with a hopeful grin. I shook my head and sat down next too my plush pillow and onto my mixed pile of dirty and clean clothes on the floor. I diminished myself within them. I didn’t feel very well; almost sick to my stomach. I had never gone against my word, especially to Nick. Even though the feeling was intended to make me feel like a rebel, I truly felt like a scum.

“Like a traitor.”

“Don’t say that.” Carly said. I threw her a painstaking look and her eyes drifted away from mine. “All I’m telling you is that when you grow up no matter what circumstance you’ll be under with him, you can’t have him controlling what you do. You’re in love with your best friend, okay sure that sucks for you but if anything seeing and meeting up with other guys will help you see that other fish in the sea.”

My head laid down on the pillow. “Okay, I get where you’re going. But I don’t think you’re grasping my concept. I’m in love with Nick. He is the fish for me. Corey is in an entire different part of the sea. As I am swimming for Nick, I obey what he tells me because as his best friend and the chick who’s in love with him. It’s just how it works. I think Corey just swam like Dory and showed up in the wrong sea and the wrong time.”

“No, Corey has perfect swimming timing. I think you’re just afraid of going to a different part of the sea. All I’m trying to tell you is that you shouldn’t be scared of having different options when this entire genius plan of yours to win over your engaged best friend’s heart. It’s nice to know that you have someone that you can always lay back on.”

“But that’s leading him on.”

“Don’t think of it that way. You just need variety.”

As nice as Carly was, I wasn’t sure if I should believe the b.s. she was trying to serve me. I wasn’t going to lead Corey on. He’s a nice guy and he seems to deserve a girl who isn’t in love with someone else. He deserves a girl who will provide the unconditional attention that she would give back to him.

But on the other hand, I did want to explore my options. What was I going to do if all this was to shatter? Clearly, it’s taking a lot out of me to conjure up the strength to say anything to Nick. I’m scared of change. I’m scared of the change that’s occurring right now. But is there honestly anything I can do about it? It seems to be forming all by its own.

“Come on, get your lazy ass up and get ready.” Carly smiled. I offered back a smiled and we both walked back to my closet.

It was 12:03 and still no knock or ring on my door. Great. Variety seemed to be running late today. Everyone knew that I couldn’t stand having late appointments, though I tend to be late all the time. Carly kept on reassuring that he was going to show up or she would personally call him and give him the earful he deserved. “I hate it when people are late.”

“Maya, give it a rest. He’ll be here.”

I sighed and leaned up against my wall. I tugged against my short white dress incessantly to the point where the thread could have just popped off. I was more nervous than when I was taking with him on the phone. I had no idea how was I going to get through this date. I might have brain aneurism in the middle of ordering.

My heart was about to rip out of my chest. I couldn’t control it. Then the door suddenly rang. Oh crap. I may have just peed myself silly. “Okay, you can do this, Maya.” Carly started chanting. “You are the ship. Sail the sea, baby girl.” I nodded and began to perform lengthy punches and extreme stretching from head to toe. I’m sure I looked ridiculous as usual.

I nodded constantly to myself all the way to the door. I opened it with a smile while Carly was probably lurking from behind. Corey smiled back in jeans, converse, and an old Beatles hand t-shirt. He looked very cute. “Hi.” He said shyly as he rubbed the back of his neck nervously. I blushed a little bit. Behind his back he pulled out a red rose. Red was seeping into my cheeks a little bit more. I could hear Carly giggling behind me. I almost forgot she was there. I politely took the flower and settled it on the counter. “Shall we go?” I nodded and he took his arm and I wrapped my arm through his.

“Have fun, you kids!” I heard Carly chant from the doorway as we left. I rolled my eyes and ignored her.

The procession to the restaurant was just like any other date; the dates that I hardly have time to experience. He opened the door for me. He held out my chair for me. He left me order first. I never get to go on an actually date. It was surreal.

We were through with ordering and I’ll be honest to say that it was all really awkward at first. “So have you been lately?” I asked.

He shrugged. “I’ve been recording a bit. I’ve been auditioning for a few musicals too.”

Musicals? I soon became jealous. I wish I could do Broadway again. It was my secret obsession to one day sing, dance, and act again. I doubted myself that I would never get to do such a thing in my future. “That’s amazing. What roles for what plays?”

“There are a few new plays in the making. I auditioned for the major roles all the way down to the minor roles.” He said.

I smiled. “Seems like someone’s desperate.”

His smiled mirrored mine. “I suppose so. Broadway is something I always crave. Ever since we were little, it was my life. I mean it was awkward telling people while I was growing up that I was into singing and dancing. It annoys me more than anything to get that whole “Wow, you’re so gay” monologue I get every time. That’s why I’m mostly excited to talk to you. You know what I mean.”

I nodded in agreement. “Of course, I know what you mean. I’ve wanted to go back into Broadway since the day we left. Although all four of us have done shows, they don’t feel the way I feel. They get to perform at much bigger auditoriums every night. It’s a much better feeling. Even though I could probably never end up becoming as famous as the Jonas Brothers, Broadway is the closest thing to it. Just like you, it’s something I crave internally.”

He laughed and his smile was such a simple radiance. “Well, I understand your jealousy towards them but they just sing. I mean I hate to sound terribly mean about it when you think about it do they really pour out their feelings like Broadways stars? I don’t think so. It’s a misconception. But you know, I think you should come to one of my auditions some time.”

I shook my head, doubting myself once again. “I don’t know about that, Corey. I haven’t done Broadway in such a long time…”

“Then start now.”

I sighed. “I mean what if I totally screw up the entire audition? I will be mortified and probably be the laughing stalk of all musical scouts out there. I don’t think so.”

He rolled his eyes. “Who cares if you screw up? Besides, what the scouts really look at how a person picks up after a mistake. So technically screwing up is adding up points.”

I laughed loudly and took a sip of my water.

“Besides, I remember you on Broadway. You’re the entire package. You act impeccably. Your dancing is crisp and clean. Your singing…“ He stopped and smiled to himself. “Your singing puts the biggest of stars to shame.” The redness was beginning to form again. “Besides all that, you’re extremely beautiful so that doesn’t hurt either.”

My cheeks were burning from the red by now.

“So what is the lovely Maya Kibble doing lately?” He said smoothly while leaning back in his chair with a smile. “Well besides being the most renowned assistant to the most renowned band, of course.”

I smiled. “Pretty much that and all this wedding stuff to deal with.”
Minutes past quickly and laughter was far from retiring itself. “So she runs up to me in my dress and tells me that I looked so much pretty than ‘Whiney’.” He laughed hard at Kimmy’s mistake of mispronouncing Miley’s name.

“She seems like a cute kid. How old is she?”

“She’s seven. Kevin and Ellie had her when they were twenty-one.” I nodded slowly. I didn’t want to expose that story more than I needed to be exposed.

He could tell that I didn’t want to talk about. He nodded. “So tell me because I’m really intrigued. What is it like to have to work with Miley Cyrus and her minions on this wedding? It must be great to live in pink paradise.”

I sighed and rolled my eyes. “Oh gosh, Nick and I were talking about that recently. We both can’t stand the color pink anymore. There’s just this line that you cross when you are really obsessed with that color. Miley and her friends are miles across that line.” He chuckled. “I mean Miley’s such a sweet girl. Granted, she doesn’t always think before she acts on something but she’s young. When you’re young, you make mistakes.”

He nodded slowly. He began to speak softly. I wasn’t all too sure what he said but I could hear a mild, “You have no idea…”

I leaned in. “What did you say something?”

His eyes shot up quickly. He shook his head. “No, I didn’t say anything.”

I narrowed my eyes at him and became unsure.

He looked at his watch. “What time is it? Geez, it’s already three o’clock.”

I smiled softly. “Time flies, huh?”

“Yeah, well I guess it’s easy to talk to you. Everything that’s stressful and tightening, it’s just loosens itself.” He said with a small smile. I looked down and tried to hide the red again. I’ve never blushed this much in my life. “Let’s get you home.”

We both got up and walked back to the car. “Actually instead of driving back to my apartment, could you drop me off at Paul and Denise’s house? It’s a few minutes away. I’m so sorry if that’s inconvenient for you but I have to help Nick and Miley with the final guest list.” I asked.

“Oh no, it’s fine.” I smiled and thanked him again. In the car we began to talk about the olden days. The days of just hanging out in the old auditorium that was down the street. Always pulling pranks on the prima donnas of the shows. Running through the aisles and stealing candy from the concession booth during rehearsal.

“Remember while Bobby Howard was going over lines, you, Nick, and I would go behind his back and mock him? Oh man, that was great. I wonder how he is? I mean I remember he was one of the meanest bullies I’ve ever encounter in my young life.” I sighed and shook my head.

“Yeah.” Corey mumbled. He soon grew quiet after I brought up Bobby Howard, so did I. Bobby would always pick on Nick and Corey saying that they were gay and then he told me that I was probably really a man. I used to cry over the hurtful things he told me.

“I think this is it.” I pointed the house. He came to a stop and pulled into park. I unbuckled and turned to look at Corey. “You should come in. I’m sure my mom and Nick’s parents would be happy to see you. Then you could finally meet Miley and Mandy.” I smiled.

He sighed with a smile. “Yeah I’m sure Nick’s parents would be happy, but I’m not too sure about Nick. And as tempting as that last offer was, I probably should get going. I actually have to baby sit for my sister’s baby.”

I laughed. “You baby sit?”

“Hey, don’t make fun. I need the money to put in my savings, Kibble.” He joked. “I happen to be a great baby sitter, thank you very much.”

I laughed. “That’s man-tastic.”

He rolled his eyes and smiled again. “Okay, get out. Before you get in trouble.” I nodded gave him a quick hug and got out of the car. I stood in front of the open window and bent down. “We should do this again.”

He nodded. “Why, of course. Maybe some day when I’m not babysitting.”

I nodded as well with a sly smile. “Yes, we shouldn’t intrude on that.” He waved and drove off. I smiled widely as the car grew farther and farther away. The satisfaction of hanging out by myself and actually enjoying myself was long over due. I earned it through all this drama with the wedding. I never really had my own reason to be proud of myself or happy that I was just able to be me. That’s what Corey made me feel; not Nick Jonas’s best friend but just Maya.

With my own set of keys, I walked into the big house and set my things down by the staircase. I could hear the quarrelling voices in the dining room. One higher pitched voice, one less annoying higher pitched voice, and then a lower voice out of the three filled my ears as I walked closer. They seemed to be bickering about the invitation list. I wasn’t too surprised.

“Hey guys.” I said. The three of them turned their heads and smiled at me. Well not everyone smiled at me but do we really need to say who? “How are the invitations going?”

Miley sighed sadly. “Nick and I are negotiating whether or not to invite Aly and AJ Michalka.” She turned to Nick and said, “I mean you invite Selena Gomez but I can’t invite Aly and AJ?” I knew where this was going any day.

Miley was still jealous about the fact that ‘til this day, Nick hangs out with Selena Gomez only because they both knew they would be better off as friends. Selena hangs out with us, especially me, all the time but Miley over thinks it and forces her to believe that Nick may be cheating on her. As everyone knew, Nick wouldn’t ever do that to anyone.

“Miley, Selena has been one of my friends from the very start. I don’t think of her as one of my ex-girlfriends but as one of my best friends. Don’t stress because you might be jealous -- .”

She interrupted him swiftly. “Nicholas Jerry Jonas, I am not jealous. I just not grasping your concept of not inviting Aly and AJ just because your brother is holding a bad rep with them but Selena has been on my nerves for years. It’s almost the same thing. So it’s either let me invite Aly and AJ and everything will be honky dory or no Aly and AJ and no Selena.”

It just wasn’t right that Miley was running her mind into misconceptions. Nick didn’t have much of a choice at this point. He knew that if he didn’t invite Selena, their entire friendship would be shatter and so would the rest of ours with her. He sighed and nodded slowly. Miley smiled widely and kissed him lightly on the cheek. I turned my head away from them and rolled my eyes.

I just showed up and I was already tired of all of this. I walked over to the kitchen. “I’m going to get something to drink. Anyone want anything?” I asked.

Miley turned around. “Yeah, could you get me and Mandy two diet cokes? Nick, you want one?”

Nick nodded. “Yeah, I’ll get them with Maya. I don’t think we put any in our refrigerator yet. They’re probably in the cooler out back.” We walked to the back door. I turned to Mandy who was intently staring at me walking back with Nick. She hadn’t forgotten anything of the dress shopping fiasco. She still held something big and strong against me. I looked down sadly and proceeded with walking.

“So has it been like that the entire time?” I asked. I turned to look at him and he rolled his eyes. “Wow, that bad.”

“Terrible. She’s so different when Mandy’s around. I feel like Mandy’s telling her to be bossy to me so she could get her away. It annoys the crap out of me because it’ll make me feel like I have no say in any of it. Thank God you’re here, Maya.” His arms stretched open for enough space for me to fit in them. I smiled and hugged him tightly. I could feel his weariness in the hug and I didn’t have much of an intention to let go any time soon. One last tight squeeze then he kissed me on the cheek. We both let go and smiled at each other. “So how was your appointment today?”

A lie. The first lie I’ve ever told him. “Oh it was great. I’m sorry I was running a little late. I see that you need my help more than ever now.” He laughed.

His eyes looked deep in mine. “Maya, I’m really happy that you’re my best friend. You would never do anything to hurt me, ever.”

I smiled weakly.

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