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28 May 2009 @ 12:37 am
in retrospect  
title: in retrospect
author: selfdemo
rating: pg-13
genre: angst
summary/excerpt: you wish there is a blinding white noise that could muffle your ears right now. the light tapping of allison's fingers on the windowsill isn't enough, won't ever be enough
a/n: disjointed. weird. kind of. :) has a companion drabble here. i haven't checked it much so if you see any mistake, tell me? and leave a comment ♥


Part 1

 

You wish there is a blinding white noise that could muffle your ears right now. The light tapping of Allison’s fingers on the windowsill isn’t enough, won’t ever be enough.

Matt’s gone home and you can’t help but be overcome by unnamed sadness. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before. The competition is almost over and you think you should be used to this. You’re not. It’s still gut-wrenching as before. It’s still as terrifying as hell.

You stood there, at the line separating you from the idol and the rest of the world and it scared you so much. You felt your blood going cold in your veins, felt the world spinning out of your hands. Suddenly, nothing is sure anymore. You would have puked and fainted if not for the steady pressure of Adam’s hand on your back. And when you finally crossed over to the other side, you expect a gratifying joy but instead got an unbelievable nausea. It’s not until you’re all sent home, drooping eyelids and hunched shoulders that you feel sedated if not numb.

You look at Adam seating across you, face turned outside, bright eyes vaguely reflecting the city lights. Red. Blue. Yellow. Green. Red. There is a calm surface there and you can’t help but be drawn.

When he turns his head to you, looks at you. You don't find the time to try and be subtle or even give a little smile or just pretend you aren't looking, you just stare and stare and stare till something in your system clicks. You don't know what it is but it does and it makes you stare a little more. And shiver. You shiver and it’s not from the cold.

Adam smiles that lazy smile of his and you think your heart stopped and you can't breathe. When he turns back to staring at the window, you can breathe again and your heart jumpstarts and it beats thrice as fast.

You’ve already arrived.

---

It's kind of inevitable that you kiss that night; there is the pale moon on her perch and the cover of the ivy's shadows in the balcony, the soft breeze of midnight humming in your ears.

Of course you don't plan it. You don't plan spending majority of your night at the balcony. Your plan is to pack your bags and lie on your bed, watch invisible patterns on the ceiling till you end up sleep. But packing your bag ends too soon for your liking and you know you can't hole up in your bed just right now. You would explore the mansion or go to the music room but you don't want to wander around knowing you won't bump into Allison anymore. So you grab your phone and go to the balcony, the only place in the mansion that has decent reception.

You think of calling Katy, think that maybe talking to her would soothe you. But you remember her overjoyed expression after the elimination and you think you can't handle happy right now. You want sad right now. Sad because Allison isn't here anymore, because she cried and laughed and smiled even though she was probably feeling hell. Sad because you know you will miss her, is missing her. And although you will see her soon, it's not the same. The fact remains that she isn't here anymore. You are.

So you settle for reminiscing happy times brought about by games and banters and fooling around with the rest of the gang. Good old times. You were laughing then but now it just makes you miserable. It's stupid. It's self-inflicted pain. But you bear it. It’s the only thing you have of them.

Let the memories take you under.

When the reel of film in your head is exhausted and your heart is as heavy as lead, you look out to the pool, rays of the moon reflected in it, the green leaves bordering your vision.

You let the minutes pass you by, let the pale moonlight cast silhouettes on the white washed wall, let the silence ring on. And you think that this is nice and soothing and calm – the perfect backdrop for a screaming mind. So you stand there, unmoving except for the rise and fall of your shoulders as you take another breath, the warm air filling your lungs.

It's well into the night when he comes - Adam. You don't turn around. You know it's him. You could identify his footsteps from a mile away; smell his smell even with the doors closed and curtains drawn in. He stands beside you, looks out to the night as well. He doesn't speak, doesn't mind you. And you lapse into comfortable silence. And you're ok with that.

Silence gets old after a while and he hums Allison's last song. You join him.

You're three notes out when Adam speaks, his voice is reserved and it makes you kind of nostalgic and uneasy at the same time. You think that's really kind of impossible but you don't tell him that. You let him speak. You listen.

"I miss her too."

You don't try to point out that you never said you miss her. But you don't argue either because you do.

"We'll see her soon." He sidles closer to you, your shoulders bumping, sides touching. And you don't flinch. You draw closer to him, melding the sides of your body together. It’s oddly comforting, the heat Adam emanates and the strong muscles mildly moving against yours.

He’s here and that gives you consolation.

"I know." And then there’s comfortable silence again. You think this could stretch on forever, and you really, really won’t mind.

You break it anyway.

"I don't know if I could go out these walls and live like a normal human being. I don't think I'm ready to go yet."

You're voice is so soft it twines with the cool wind, lost among the whooshes and hums of the night. But he hears you. You know he hears you.

It’s out of the blue. But it’s already out there and you don’t try to get it back.

"Aren't we all?"

And that's the last thing you expect from him. If anything, you think Adam is the only one born and bred to bask in the limelight, to live the life of a rockstar. The knowledge that he’s just as afraid and uncertain as you are gives you comfort. You aren’t alone after all.

When you look at him, you see yourself reflected in his eyes, vulnerable and open. All your balled-up feelings painted across his pupils. And you stare. You stare in wonderment and understanding and something. You share the same sentiment. There is a bond between you, something only both of you can understand.

Deep. Intoxicating.

And you’re pulled under, somewhere where time doesn’t exist anymore. All blurred edges and languid tones.

When you take a step towards him, you're sure you didn't see that coming. When you place your calloused hands on his cheek, you hear your mind screaming for you to stop, reverse, take back. When you kiss him softly, you feel a thousand fluttering wings in your chest bursting and burning. You close your eyes.

It's over as soon as it began.

When you feel the world under your feet again, you realize there are hands on your chest. They keep you from taking anymore steps and kissing anymore lips.

You’re almost frustrated and hurt you reach out. Blind. Desperate. Adam keeps his hand there, over your beating heart.

“Kris.”

His voice wakes you from your reverie. Cogwheels start working again and snap, your mind processes everything too fast you feel dizzy and lost.

Adam doesn’t speak and you realize he has tucked his hands on the pockets of his faded jeans, eyes staring nowhere near you. Your heart clenches and unclenches too fast.

You know you’ve crossed the line and you can’t hide under the guise of friendship anymore.

You’re an emotional wreckage right now.

You turn and leave.

---

You're not really sure if you love him, you know you don't want to. But you're a grown man. You know that things happen even without your consent. You believe you never choose your friends or your family or your lover. Fate is powerful like that.

You close your eyes, taking comfort in the darkness and the silence of your room. There's a mild buzz in your ear, blurred and mellow, probably the mute sound of cars zooming past the mansion, and you let it wash over you, let it be the center of your thoughts - that blurred and mellow buzz.

Minutes pass by, you don't count, don't pay attention, but soon enough you hear the door open, creaking noises filling the gaps. Yellow light filters through your closed eyelids and you hear the tip-tap of foot padding on the gray carpet floor. You don't need to open your eyes to know it's Adam, the scent of his soap wafts in the air and it makes the nerves under your skin tingle in a funny sort of way.

"Kris?"

His voice is soft, a low register. And the nerves under your skin don't tingle in a funny sort of way anymore, they're in overdrive. It makes you want to open your eyes and look at Adam and his blue eyes and listen to his low voice and whisper and maybe touch. Maybe. Kiss. Maybe. But you don't.

You keep your eyes closed. You're sleeping. Feigning. Pretending. Whatever.

Control Kris. Control. You pride yourself in control.

"Kris."

He knows your lying, knows your trying to ignore him. But you try anyway. You think you should practice on lying someday. Your lack of lying skill will get you killed one day. Or worse, brokenhearted.

"Kris."

There's no impatience really, you think. Maybe a bit of helplessness. Maybe. You're not really sure anymore. Does listening to blurred and mellow buzz do this to your brain? You settle for helplessness, it’s better than anything your mind is offering right now, like confrontation for instance.

"Kris."

It's not that you don't want to talk to him, its that you want to. So very much. And that, that scares you.

Everyone would probably call you a coward for what you're doing right now, but right now, you can't handle it. And right now, you don't care.

You try not to count the seconds, try not to listen to the ticking of the blue clock on your bare wall. You try to focus on even breathing and closed eyes.

Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven.

And Adam sighs. A defeated sigh, whispers 'goodnight'.

You die a little.

Eight. Nine. Ten. Eleven. Twelve.

You hear him walking, slow tip-taps on your carpeted floor. He takes the yellow light with him when he closes the door.

You keep your eyes closed. Too many thoughts rush in your brain, too many emotions swimming under. The ticking of the clock is louder and the buzz isn't blurred or mellow anymore. They're so loud, you think they're swallowing you, eating you alive, screwing your head and making you deaf.

Still, you try to pretend you're mind isn't going haywire; pretend you're still sleeping although you probably won't fool anyone with the rate you're going. It's the thought that counts.

Even breathings and closed eyes.

---

When the morning light wakes you from your light sleep the next day, guilt consumes you. What you did wasn’t fair. It was way out of line.

You brood in retrospect.

You’re not sure what to do. It was just a kiss. It doesn’t mean anything. Does it? But a kiss always means something right? You lock those thoughts and hide them at the deepest darkest corner of your mind.

You walk to the bathroom and lock the door.

The cold beads of water slide on your skin, shrugs your restlessness to the drain. Your brain starts to paint scenarios behind your eyes, possible questions and possible answers.

When you step out of the bathroom, blue shirt and faded jeans on, you’re determined to make this right.

---

He smiles at you over breakfast. You try to smile back. Fails.

You sit across him, three chairs away from Danny, a few inches from the pancakes and bacon and eggs.

The pancakes are fluffy and they kind of melt in your mouth. It’s consoling your troubled soul. You eat five.

When Danny stands up and tells you he’ll take a quick nap at the living room, you feel red tension radiating from you. It’s so tangible you can taste it.

“Kris.”

You look up at Adam. He smiles. You’re caught between curious, smile and guilt. You take smile. You get guilt.

“You don’t have to smile back.”

Then you smile.

Breathe.

“About last night-“ you start.

“Forget it.” He finishes it for you. You stare at him.

“It’s cool. You were feeling like crap and I was there. You don’t have to explain.”

“Oh.” Very intelligent Allen. Way, way intelligent.

“Don’t mull over it. Okay.”

And you would like to tell him that you’re mulling because you don’t want to lose his friendship because that’s way important for you to lose. You’d like to tell him that it wasn’t just last night but that you’ve been drawn into him way too many times that the kiss last night was kind of just inevitable. You would tell him that you don’t want to forget it because it’s too much perfect. But then, you also don’t want to acknowledge it because then there’s something, stupid something you can’t explain, won’t explain, won’t ever try to explain. You’d really like to tell him. But you don’t.

Adam is good with words so you let his words be the last. You can live with forgetting and blaming it all on the moon’s gravity.

You smile. He smiles.

Back to normal.

---

When she sees you, you think she knows. There is something in her eyes you can’t tell what it is but it makes you shudder even under the blazing sun.

Maybe Adam’s lips has imprinted itself on the curve of your lips or maybe the whiff of his cologne stayed on your skin, or maybe – maybe you’re just exuding guilt. Then again, maybe she just knows something’s wrong, woman’s intuition they call it. You never really believed. Maybe you should.

“Hey.”

You greet her in false cheer.

She draws her lips in a straight line. And you think she’s about to tell you she knows and maybe she’ll yell and slap you and cry and hate you forever. The thought alone make you weak. You can’t live without her; that much you know.

“I love you.”

It comes out and you don’t expect it to. And if she doesn’t already know, she probably does now. You’re gonna hate your brain later. Or maybe not, maybe she’ll see the sincerity shinning in your eyes.

“I know.”

She doesn’t smile but she reaches out her hand to take yours. You hold on to her for dear life.

---

You return to Arkansas and you’re palm is as sweaty as the sweaty shirt you changed from. There’s a voice telling you to put on your seat belt because you’re about to land. You’re palms grow cold.

Loud cheers erupt everywhere and people try to swarm you like bees. You have three seconds to be overwhelmed, the rest to try and act all cool and polite.

You sing your heart out. And again. And again. You do interviews. And again. And again. You sign autographs. And again. And again.

The in betweens, you spend looking at Katy, basking in her yellow sunshine and feather-light kisses. You missed her. So much. And now, you’re making up for it.

You hold her close, ghost your lips on her ears. I love you, I love you, I love you.

---

You’re bent on seeing now and feeling now and enjoying now, but everyone keeps popping Adam somewhere. So you think about him more than you want to. More than you would care to admit.

It’s not like you miss him every second of your day, you don’t miss him when Katy’s around, just when you remember him and his dark black locks.

He’s not your lover, not a best friend but somewhere almost there and then not. And it baffles you that you miss him twice as much as both combined. And then it scares you. It scares you because it’s not normal and it’s not you and it’s not what you want, what you think you want.

But you’re aware that you miss him enough to encourage the popping of his name in conversation. You prolong talks concerning him. That’s the closest you’re gonna get to feeling his presence.

---

You’re no way near normal. You, not him, not we, not both, just you.

The problem with memories, you think, is you never really forget them. You spend your whole life trying to, but you never really do.

You told Adam you’re cool with forgetting but when the lights are off and not even the pale shade of moon can reach you, thoughts wander there. And you let it. You let it go to forbidden grounds. Let it take you and consume you, morphing you into something you would never want under the steady light.

Adam’s lips are chapped from the wind that blew that night. His cheeks are warm where sweat had dried. There is a whiff of cologne under the smell of soap and water.

When you land on him, it’s not soft as you wondered, it was rough. All lines and dips you will forever remember. It’s not something out of a fairy tale, definitely not what you imaged it to be. But it’s real, a little out of your grasp, but still there. Living. Breathing. So you kiss him again.

---

The morning light wakes you and you feel guilt washing you over the shore. You say a prayer that you’ll get over these feelings. And pray. And pray some more.

You’re normal. You know you are. The universe is playing tricks on you again.

---

When Danny is sent home, you’re given a few moments of relief and happiness, a tinge of sadness for Danny before you’re herded off. The rest of the evening is filled with so many things happening so very fast you can’t keep up.

The train has left the station and it’s chugging down the tracks, not slowing down, not going back.

It’s an unfamiliar rush and you try to take it all in stride.

At the sea of people, you lose Adam on your side. You bite back the sudden urge to call out his name and try to keep him next to you, always next to you.

Adam isn’t yours.

You let him go. You watch him saunter to his friends and family, bestowing hugs and kisses and laughter all the way.

You steer yourself in search of your family. When you see them, just a few paces from where Adam’s family is, you’re kind of relieved.

Katy smiles at you, brilliant and enlightening. The toll of pretending and brooding is suddenly lifted from your back. Breathe easy. She’s your ray of sunshine.

When she whispers I knew you could do it. I’m so proud of you. You’re suddenly reminded of every kiss every touch every hug you shared with her. She’s the constant good in your life. And you love her. You lover her so much.

Everything’s gonna be alright.

---

You’re not sure when being a friend ended and being in-love started. It must have been between performances or rehearsals or the late-night talk under the warmth of your blankets.

You’re backtracking your steps, finding hints of when you started feeling all queasy and giddy and high about him. As you do, you realize, it’s inevitable. The first time you saw him, curiosity reeled you in. That was the end.

The little things pulled you closer and closer until you’re dangling at the edge. There was probably a sign telling you to stop and pull back. But you’re kind of blind in the dark. So you edged out till there’s no footing anymore. So you made the leap, unconsciously, you think. Gravity made the choice for you when you kissed him. And the moon taunted you. And Adam, well he stood there. That was a dead give-away.

Adam smiles at you from across the hall and you smile back.

---

The place is huge, so huge and with so many people you think you could drown. Compared with the whole thing, you’re like a small, lost boy crying in the corner. You have a few second to take it all in, hiding behind the shadow that separates the stage from backstage and everything else.

You’re in a moment of panic. As much as you like performing for people, you’re not sure you have the guns to perform in front of these many people. People with talents much bigger than yours, people who can sing their heads off way better than you. And then, there’s the looming end. You’ve talked to Adam about this, about how you’re both winners no matter whose name is called, but that doesn’t change it being the end. When the credits roll, everything is over. Where would you be then?

“We can do this.” There is a hand on your shoulder and a hint of whisper on your ear. The scent of Adam’s cologne, cool and edgy, goes under your system and you think you can bask in it and breathe in it until kingdom come. But he’s gone before you can turn and thank him.

Someone runs to your side and tells you you’re on.

You step into the light.

When the music starts, everything goes faster and faster and you ride the current to the end.

When you sing, you sing with all your heart, every emotion poured into each word.

---

You and Adam go out for dinner with your families. It’s pleasant company and good food so you stay in your happy place longer; the adrenalin rush coursing even after the aftermath.

The knots on your shoulder give way around all the happy faces and telling of stories. You hear your mom talking to Adam’s mom, telling her about childhood stories and teenage mishaps. You should be embarrassed but you’re not. It’s too comforting a sight to mull over.

You eat another broccoli and gulp the pineapple juice. You’re borderline full and you cannot be more contented with your life.

Katy and Adam seat across you, there are smiles across their faces and they’re talking. You think they’re sharing stories and trivia and stuff you don’t know about. Then there’s the subject of you. In the pit of your stomach you wonder if they bring your name up in between their intake of breaths and their let out of laughter.

And you look at them and feel your heart swell. They’re the closest thing to your heart, the people you will forever treasure and love albeit in very different ways.

You used to think love is all about the little things, the time when she smiles her open smile when she thinks no one is looking, the way her hair flows on her shoulder, the way her hands flutter on you arm while you kiss her goodnight. Those things, little things that made you love Katy more and more and more. She fills your heart with so much joy you think there’s no place for anyone to fit in.

Then there’s Adam, the whirl-of-a-man Adam. With him there’s is only grand and huge and humungous. There is truckload of creativity, a ton of talent, a pool of sex appeal. And when he starts to move, you know every pair of eyes is trained on him and the way his eyes glint and the way his hips move. Everyone, including you, is sucked to his little orbit.

Katy is like the sun, bright and light and promising, everlasting rays warming you all over. She’s safe and fun and youth all rolled in one.

Adam is like the moon, stark against the dark clouds, imploring and begging to be looked and touched. He’s mystery and danger personified.

You don’t compare them, seems unfair to even try. But you love them, in some way. In another.

You don’t know how long it’s going to take you to choose side but right now, it’s an eclipse, and you’re here and that’s ok.

---

The light is caught in Adam’s hair as you stand beside him, you watch it dance and flitter at the corner of your eyes. The warmth on your side is a steady reminder that your feet is still on the ground and that you’re still breathing oxygen. Inhale. Exhale. You’d forget you’re here waiting for the  verdict if people don’t keep screaming for your names.

Shouts and shouts ring in your ears as Ryan keeps the suspense under his breath.

You would feel nervous, shit-faced even, but the low drone of the background music and the held breaths under the audience is too loud in your ears. You would shout and scream for it to stop, but you’d rather have numb than despair.

Kris Allen.

Your name never sounded so surreal before, you don’t want to believe it. There are shouts and cheers in the background. But you look at Adam and there is only you and him. And you shouldn’t feel like home because Adam isn’t your home, but you do. And you’re ok with that. Somehow. Somewhat. Ok.

When he hugs you, he tells you I’m happy for you. You tell him I’m happy I met you. He tells you I’m just as happy. You tell him you’ll always be in my heart. Always. He hugs you impossibly tighter. You rest your forehead on his shoulder.

He whispers, thank you in your ear, and you’d shudder but you’re already trembling all over. Somehow, you expect something more from him. But he doesn't say anything, just pulls out from your tight embrace and looks you in the eye. Everything you wish he would say written there.

You whisper thank you before Ryan whisks you away.

You don’t really know what to feel, what to do. You’re body does. Too much practice. Lyrics tumble out of you and the rest goes on. You’re proud of yourself; you don’t think you could actually do that. You did. And the crowd is cheering and the rest of the world is a whirlwind of happiness and you’re caught in the middle.

It’s a happy place you’re in. You forget everything, just you and the music coursing your veins. Hugs and kisses and congratulations are thrown your way. You accept them with all eagerness.

Katy hugs you tight and you cry on her shoulder.

You’re out of the world.

---

You’re kind of scared when things get a little clear. The light in your hotel room is pale and cool, tinkering in this side of cosy.

You’re the American Idol, and it should be more gratifying than this. But it’s not. It’s a flurry of movements and an avenue of words and everywhere you turn there’s another intersection and you have to make your choice. Fast. One. Two. Three. You’re out.

The limelight is yours and you’re not sure you want it, not anymore. The empty space beside you is left with Adam’s footprints and you think this is wrong. He should be there, eyes lined with black kohl, hair shinning with streak of blue, presence sucking the very life out of you. But he’s not and you’re alone. And you’re about to go over and jump.

The possibility of never seeing him again, never talking, never sharing whispered secrets daunting you to doom.

But then he’s there, just outside their line of vision, smiling, waving, mouthing a you can do it. And somehow you can.

---

Too many interviews, too many pictures, questions here and there. It’s tiring and draining to answer the same thing over and over again. You’re amazed at how Adam can say the same thing in a very different way each time.

You smile. He smiles.

In between photo shoots and interviews, you talk to Adam, try to catch up. It’s stupid you haven’t been away for too long but Adam has many stories and you’re more eager to listen. It’s something to look forward to when the rest of your life seems to dim.

---

Your fingers stroke the tiny hands of Katy on your lap and it’s a strange sort of calm.

Her head is on your shoulder and your other hand is on her waist, keeping her closer. She hums a tune under her breath and that breath is hot against your neck. You place your chin on her top of her head and smell the jasmine in her hair. This is home. This is where I belong.

---

When you tell her it’s best not to come travelling with the tour, there is a shadow on her face. But it clears before fear comes crawling back on your skin.

“Ok.” She kisses you on the lips and its with fervour you’ve never felt before. And you think this is alright, you’re alright. You’re good to go. You hug her close and smell her hair and touch the small of her back and memorize this moment. You need something to remind you when you’re caught up.

You let her go and kiss her on the forehead.

You almost say goodbye but she looks at you with those eyes, ever knowing and then falling in love and despaired at the same time.

“Just come back to me ok.”

---

Part 2


 
 
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