Here’s a very small collection of RCM outtakes from Sacha’s point of view.
I hadn’t spoken to Gaby in nearly a week.
I’m not sure what exactly I’d done to piss her off. One minute we were laughing our asses off about everything, and the next, she was ignoring me. Turning away when she caught me looking at her. Smiling and shrugging when I cracked a joke about her. She walked away when she saw me coming toward her. Gaby Barreto was ignoring me and it bothered me. A lot.
There was never a snappy comeback. No eye-rolling. No loud laugh. It was like my buddy was abducted and a shell of her skin left behind.
Gordo had cracked a joke about her being on her period and turning into Hitler, but something about that didn’t settle right with me. She seemed more quiet than normal, hiding out in the back room with Carter most of the time, but when she came out to the front area, she always sat with her brother. Or Mason. Or Gordo. Or Carter. Always blocked off from everyone else.
And that was fine. It should’ve been fine.
But it fucking annoyed me.
After nearly ten years of traveling with the same group of guys, we’d gotten our travel routine down. Most of the time we didn’t even talk to each other for nearly twenty-four hours. We were seasoned professionals.
But I missed my new buddy a lot more than I should have.
How does one miss being emasculated daily? Or miss a laugh? Miss eye-rolling green irises?
It made me feel itchy. Restless. And I didn’t exactly understand why.
“Dip shit,” Gaby laughed from her spot next to Mason on the long couch.
He said something to her that made her snort and the moment he looked away she licked the tip of her index finger and shoved it into his ear. He cried out, and then turned to say God knows what back.
What the fuck had I done to make her ignore me?
I think the reason that I didn’t know is what bothered me the most. Gaby was pretty. Really pretty. But pretty girls were a dime a dozen. I saw thousands of them while on tour. Had hundreds of them scream at me. It was just the way it was. So it shouldn’t mess with me that one out of so many just shut me off.
But it did.
A snicker from across the tiny table I was sitting at, made me look away. Isaiah was smirking, sipping his tea slowly while he glanced at me. “When did it happen?” he asked quietly.
He shook his head before taking another sip. “When did you start liking her?”
Was that what this shit was? I knew I liked her as a friend. And she was hot. A blind man could see her tight ass and those things her bras were always hiding. Even Mason, who I think cared about her the same way her brother did, was always making comments about her when she dressed up. It wasn’t like I looked at her the way I looked at my sisters. I knew those crazy bitches weren’t goblins, but that was where my appreciation for their looks started and ended. A man could appreciate a woman that he wasn’t related to, and that he got to see all the time. And laugh with all the time.
“I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.”
Isaiah snickered. “Please.”
I looked over at Gaby again to see her bickering with Mason. She had the goofiest look on her face, eyes so wide they were cartoonish while her mouth was wide fucking open.
“Not your usual type,” he commented with a raised eyebrow.
I nodded. She wasn’t. It wasn’t her hair color or the fact that Gaby wore sweats on days that ended in the letter y that made the difference, but…
He smiled slowly, finishing off the liquid in his cup. “Tell Liz again?” he asked in that cryptic way that only I seemed to understand. Isaiah could say two words and I always knew what he meant. Years of friendship had cemented that almost psychic bond between us.
“Yup,” I sighed, remembering the tedious conversations I’d had with my ex-girlfriend over the last week. When she’d suggested that we get back together, I’d been on the fence about it. Once upon a time, Liz had been the person that I could have, at some point considered a future with. But then she asked me to give up a piece of myself that I couldn’t part with. That I wouldn’t part with. Not ever. We broke up. It’d been almost a year later that she asked me if I wanted to get back together with her.
Liz was beautiful and smart. But a year is a long time to spend apart from someone who wasn’t the love of my life. I’d grown to know her pretty well, and dealing with rejection of any sort was not on her list of things she could handle well. Bringing her down was not easy, and there was an art to telling her that I didn’t want to get back together with her.
Isaiah chuckled. “Good luck with that.”
He knew her well enough from the time he’d spent with her back home. Liz was Elmer’s School Glue on my hands. I could wash it off, but it would take time.
Mason laughed really loudly, making me look in their direction again. Gaby was swatting his hand away from her face while pointing at Eli, who was sitting across from her. It only reminded me of how we picked on each other.
Back when she was talking to me. A week ago.
“You need to make sure to cut all those strings before you do anything,” Isaiah gestured behind him. “I’m pretty positive Eli will rip your nut sack off if you do anything stupid.”
I almost told him I was more scared of Gaby than I was of her brother.
When I glanced over my friend’s shoulder, she was touching her chin. Right in the same spot where I’d bruised her face when I kicked the ball at her—by accident, not on purpose. She looked at me for all of a second before looking away and I scratched my arm.
Looking at Isaiah’s smirking face, I rolled my eyes.
“Some things are inevitable, my man,” he muttered before getting up.
“Mom said you have a girlfriend,” my older sister gushed, batting her eyelashes through Skype at me. “She said she’s cute, too, Sasquatch.”
I wanted to groan, but I didn’t. Instead, I rolled my eyes at her. We didn’t talk often and I suddenly remembered why. Next to some other girl I knew that relished knocking me down five or ten pegs at a time, Dina was the biggest bully I’d ever met. “She’s not my girlfriend.”
Dina raised an eyebrow. “Yet.”
I groaned then. “Stop.”
“Sacha, I don’t know why you’re being shy about it. There’s nothing wrong with having a love interest,” she cooed.
Her husband, who I could see out of the corner of the computer screen sitting next to her on what I could assume was their couch, had absolutely no decency. He laughed.
“Details,” Dina huffed. “Don’t be a poor sport. Tell me all about her.”
I sighed and looked around the green room to make sure no one had snuck in when I wasn’t looking. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
But I did.
I didn’t have anyone else to talk to about Gaby Barreto. Without even admitting anything to Isaiah, he’d give me this I-told-you-so look the moment I mentioned her name. God forbid I said it in front of Julian or Eli, they’d start laughing like pre-pubescent girls. The problem was that this was all so confusing for me. I’d always liked Gaby. As a friend. Then a pretty friend. Then a really pretty friend that made me laugh more than anyone. And then as the prettiest friend who made me happier than anyone else I’d met. Ever.
It wasn’t until I woke up one morning early on in our trip to Australia that I caught her switching bowls of cereal with Mason because he complained it tasted stale, that I realized I was in love with her. My Streetfighter. The only girl I’d ever met with enough balls and stealth to actually punch someone in the fucking throat for being an idiot. Because that’s what her ex-boyfriend was: a complete idiot.
Like Isaiah had told me, it was inevitable. It was like she was meant to be mine. Everything about Gaby Barreto sucked me in. Her big laugh, her laid-back attitude, her sense of humor, and her heart. She wasn’t selfish or self-conscious. She just was who she was. And she was the best thing to ever come into my life. At least that’s what I thought, not that I would ever say that aloud. Much less to my sister.
Dina sighed loudly, letting go of my arm when we sat at a table in the back of the restaurant. “You’re no fun, Sasquatch. Come on, give me something.”
She rolled her eyes. “It’s fine. It’s fine. You’ve already said enough by not saying anything. I already know you’re in love with the girl,” she murmured with a snort. “Don’t be an idiot though. If you like her that much, keep her, you rodent. I don’t ever want to see that clown called It ever again.”
It wasn’t until we hung up that I realized who she was calling It. Liz.