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Episode No. 33 - It Must Have Been Love

written by Lady Guinevere

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About this story

Published: 09 Jul 2010 | Size: 41 KB (7300 words) | Language: english | Rating: PG-13

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Abstract:
Everyone says goodbye to something or someone in this episode; even I say goodbye, and thanks to you!

based on stories and characters created by Winnie Holzman

Angela VO: “I never thought that turning sixteen would make such a big difference in my life. I feel like I have a major hangover when I didn’t even drink that much. It’s just everything that like, happened last night, makes me feel sick. I still can’t believe Jordan is moving away. Also, I’m like, not in the mood to see either Rayanne or Brian after what they did to me, in my *own* bed. In a few days Mr Katimski will be buried and Rickie will move into the Pride House. Suddenly it’s like, life is moving fast forward and I can’t keep up anymore.”

[Chase House, Sunday morning]

Watching Jordan still sound asleep, Angela’s fingertips gently brush over his hair. She changed the sheets of her bed before she went to sleep; the thought that Brian and Rayanne had *sex* in here, revolted her. Barely shifting her body, Angela still isn’t feeling comfortable in her own bed.  

Angela VO: “Last night, Jordan kept me up with his drunkenness. I’ve never seen him like that before. When I was trying to make the bed, he kept trying to kiss me. Finally we lay down, when he started to giggle and laugh foolishly. After a while he stopped doing that but he started tossing and turning, meanwhile moaning and reaching for his stomach, telling me how nauseous he felt. At last he fell asleep, only to keep me awake again by *snoring* extremely loud. So, it feels like I haven’t slept at all. But I know why he drank too much; it’s because he’s afraid of losing me. That makes me feel so happy and sad at the same time, I’ll forgive him.”

Cuddling up to Angela, Jordan sneakily opens his eyes. “Hey.”

“Hey you, how do you feel?”

“Like crap.”

“Yeah, I know; me too.”

“But this is good, being here, with you.”

“Yeah, it’s good, it’s like, really good.”

Angela VO: “This might be like, the last time I get to spend the night with Jordan. I’m gonna stretch out this morning as long as possible.”

“So, LA…” Even though she’s afraid to spoil their time together, Angela brings up the subject anyway.

“Yeah, my mom she um, she used to live there like, most the time.”

“Okay, it makes sense then, I guess.”

“Yeah, she’s got like, relatives and friends there, you know. And it might be like, easier for me to, you know, do something with my music. It’s like, ironic that I have to start a new band now, before I can like, do anything, but, you know…” The more Jordan thinks it through, the more he realises what he’s giving up to live with his mother; his music, his friends, and maybe even his girlfriend.

“Yeah, who knows this is like, your ticket to fame, Jordan Catalano.”

“I’d settle for like, being happy.”

“Oh, I’m sure you will be happy. It’ just takes some time, you know, to adjust and make new friends and stuff.”

Angela VO: “All this time the only person I thought about was *me*, but what about Jordan? He’s like, giving up *everything* to be with his mother. It’s like, he has to start over with his life completely! In a way it’s like reliving the first day at school over and over again, only ten times worse.
God, how could I have been like, this blind? My Jordan Catalano obsession kept me from looking at things from *his* point of view. It’s like, he finally turned me into this considerate girlfriend, and then he’s like, leaving. Or maybe it’s because he’s leaving, I’m finally able to see the truth.”

“I hope so.”

Unable to find words that will show her understanding and ease his pain, Angela huddles up closer to Jordan, locking her eyes onto his. Her fingertips comb through his hair and trail over his stubbly cheeks. Very gently, their lips encounter each other in a soft kiss; before their passion takes over slowly. Expressing their love through words is abundant; their souls meet in a heavenly place they created for themselves.



[Monday morning, school girls’ restroom]

“So, Angela, what like, happened with you and Rayanne? She came up to me Saturday night, totally wasted, asking me if she could crash at my place. And the next morning, she like, told me, she’s thinking about going into rehab.” Sharon fixes a few hairs that have gone stray.

“She said that? Really?”

“Yeah, she said she was done living life by the bottle, or something like that. That’s like, a huge step for her, you know?”

“I know, wow, so she’s actually gonna turn her life around. Good for her.”

“Yeah, like, good for her. So, what made her take this desperate decision, Angela?”

“She like, really didn’t tell you what happened? I’m surprised.”

“No, she like, threw up, stumbled to the couch and then went out like a light. The next morning she was already gone when I got up, so.”

“I caught her and Krakow having sex, in *my* bed.”

“What? You’re like, kidding, right? Graff and Krakow?”

“Yeah, Graff and Krakow… having sex… in my bed.”

“Oh that’s like, totally gross, you know?”

“I know; I keep feeling filthy in my own bed; it’s like, disgusting.”

“Ugh, I know, but I don’t get it. I thought that Krakow was like, into you? He gave you that necklace, right? You don’t just do that to like, anyone.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought too. When I caught him with Rayanne he kept insisting that it was like, nothing, that it was just sex, you know? But the weird thing is that Rayanne said something that made me think she’s got a crush on him.”

“Rayanne’s got a crush on Krakow? Get outta here! There’s gotta be like, something wrong with the universe!”

“Trust me, there is. I never told you what Jordan gave me, did I?”

“No… So, tell me, what did he like, get you?”

“A plane ticket to LA.”

“A what? A plane ticket?”

“Yeah, it seems he’s like, moving there, with his mom. This weekend.”

“Oh Angela, you had like, a crappy birthday…” Sharon can’t resist the urge to hug her friend.

Angela VO: “Maybe it’s like, selfish of me and all, but I *hate* Jordan Catalano’s mom, I hate that she’s taking him away from me. She’s like, depriving me of oxygen, by depriving me of Jordan. I won’t be able to survive without him; I can’t and I don’t want to.”



[Tuesday, school hallways]

“Sharon, wait up!” Hastily, Kyle runs across the hallway. “Hey, I never get to see you anymore, it’s like, you disappeared from the earth or something!”

“There’s like, a reason for that, Kyle.” Lately, Sharon has been avoiding Kyle. She had a hard time dealing with her almost-pregnancy.

“Yeah? Come on, how about it; you, me and a Brad Pitt movie?”

This is exactly the reason why Sharon tries to stay away from Kyle. It’s like he knows that Brad Pitt is like, her soft spot and they’ll end up having sex again. But since she almost became a teenage-mom, having sex with someone she’s not committed to is a no-go.

Stopping dead, Sharon takes a deep breath before she continues, “Look, Kyle, I never had like, the guts to tell you this before, but we’re like, really through. I just thought, you know, your feelings for me would like, weaken, over time and I didn’t see the harm in us still, you know, having sex.”

“Look, it’s not like I didn’t see this coming, you know, but um, okay, if you don’t wanna hang out with me like, ever again, well, then I’ll stop asking you to.”

“Kyle, I…” Wondering if she should tell Kyle the whole truth to make him see *why* they can’t hang out anymore, Sharon pauses to think for a moment. “It’s not like we can’t be friends anymore?”

Even if Kyle was her first *real* boyfriend -meaning she never had to deal with these things before- Sharon realises that a boy and girl can’t be ‘just’ friends. That’s not the way it works, she experienced it herself.

“Yeah, we can still be like, friends.” Kyle thinks to himself this is really like, the end. Sharon is a great girl and when she broke up with him, it actually hurt. Hanging out with her after that gave him hope; hope that she might still have feelings for him anyway. But this is better; now they can both like, move on, instead of remaining caught in a vague and meaningless fling.

“Okay, so, goodbye friend. See you around, I guess.” Knowing that from now on, Kyle and she will only pass each other by in the school hallways like they never meant anything to each other, Sharon walks away.



[Tuesday evening, Chase House]

Sitting on her bed, Angela is doing some homework. Suddenly the door flings open and Danielle skips into the room.

“I told you to *knock*, Danielle.” Angela hates it when people come barging in unannounced.

“Oh, yeah, I’m sorry. So, I never told you about my party.” Putting her sister’s books aside Danielle hops onto Angela’s bed.

“I guess not. I hope you had a better time than I did.”

“You know how you said I would forget about Brian Krakow, and meet another boy?”

“Yeah, so?”

“Well, we did this game, you know, like, spin the bottle. You have to turn the bottle and when it points at this boy, you have to like, go into the closet and make out for five minutes.”

“I know spin the bottle, Danielle.”

“Anyway, Ryan and I we had to, you know, go into the closet.”

“You and Ryan, huh?” Wondering whether Danielle isn’t too young to be kissing guys, Angela recalls the age she had her first kiss being only one year later.

“Yep, Ryan and I kissed. It was great, Angela. He said I was a good kisser, too! I think we’re going steady now.”

Angela VO: “At that age, going steady means something entirely different. You may *think* you’re feeling mature and ready, but you’re still like, clueless. It sounds so cute when Danielle says it; it makes me want to go back to the time when it didn’t hurt so much, when a crush wasn’t answered and a kiss was just a kiss.”

Giggling, Angela eyes her little sister. “So, you kissed… When’s the wedding gonna be?”

Angela VO: “As cute and innocent as it may sound, Danielle has taken her first steps into puberty and adulthood. By kissing Ryan, she has officially said goodbye to her childhood.”

“No, we wanna take things slow. We’re not getting married, yet.”

“Don’t rush into things, Danni. Just enjoy it while it lasts, before you know it you’re obsessed with someone who’s leaving you.”



[Wednesday, at the cemetery]

Angela VO: “In my whole life, I haven’t experienced that many funerals yet. Most of the people that were buried didn’t even mean that much to me, so I didn’t really like, care, I guess. When Sharon’s dad had his heart attack I was scared he would die, and I was even scared that *my* dad would like, die too. In one measly heartbeat life can be over, and that’s really frightening if you think about it.”

Amidst a recently mown, green lawn, a freshly dug grave is housing the coffin entrusted to the earth moments ago. Pale rays of sun are being filtered through some clouds. Slowly, black clad students, teachers, family and friends are walking away from the dark-looking sandy spot, which is waiting to be filled up totally.

Standing on either sides of him, Rayanne and Angela are comforting a sobbing Rickie as he walks to the grave for one last time. Rickie’s fingers release a single white rose into the pit, falling onto the polished black coffin with a dimmed thud. “Gee whiz, Mr K, parting is such sweet sorrow. Thanks for everything; I’ll never forget you…”

Angela VO: “Today was the first funeral in my life that really touched me. I actually liked Mr Katimski, and it’s even harder to see Rickie in so much pain over him. He was like a father to Rickie, the father he never had but deserved anyway. And now he’s like, gone, forever. Forever is like such a strange thing; I can’t imagine never seeing someone again. I can’t like, imagine, what my life will look like without my dad, or more realistically, without Jordan Catalano.”  

Crying vigorously, Rickie is being whisked away from the grave by Angela and Rayanne. Near the red American car already waiting for them, Jordan is flicking away his almost finished cigarette stub. Rayanne and Angela huddle up to Rickie in the backseat to keep him company. Trying to calm him down by smothering his tears in hugs and kisses, Angela makes sure to avoid Rayanne as much as possible. It’s the first time this week she sees Rayanne; she never showed up at school, probably feeling ashamed after what happened.

Angela VO: “I wish there was like, something I could do to make Rickie feel better. It hurts so much to see him like this, but I can’t think of anything to say to him. Everybody keeps saying that it was like, better this way, you know? That it was like, better for Mr Katimski to die without more suffering. But they don’t know if he would have suffered, they don’t know anything. And now what, will he be going to heaven? Does heaven even exist, or is it like, this big lie, invented to keep us from behaving like sinners?”



[Friday afternoon, Chase house]

Angela VO: “I watch Red disappear from my view for the last time but one. Tomorrow, Jordan Catalano leaves for LA; tomorrow I have to say goodbye to him. But tonight, I have like, permission to spend the night at his house. Jordan will pick me up in a few hours, so we can be together one last time.”

Entering the kitchen, Angela finds Rayanne leaning against the cupboards, talking to Graham like nothing ever happened.

“What are you doing here?” Angela drops her backpack on the table and discards of her coat.

“Can I like, talk to you?”

“Whatever.” Walking into the abandoned living room, Angela is being followed by Rayanne, who apparently mistook Angela’s indifference for approval.

“I’m sorry, okay?”

“You expect me to believe that?” Angela plops down on the couch.

“I mean it this time, Angelica.” Rayanne takes a seat across from her.

“Don’t call me by that name, I hate it.”

“Listen, I’m serious. I’m going into rehab to prove to you I mean it. I’m leaving tomorrow.”

Angela locks her eyes onto Rayanne’s. “I’m glad you’re doing that, I really am.”

“Look, what more do you like, want from me?”

“I want you to stop having sex with the boys I like!”

Angelo VO: “The boys I like? I don’t like Krakow, do I? I mean, I *like* him, but not like I like Jordan. Oh no, there’s a huge difference!”

“Oh don’t tell me you like Krakow all of a sudden! Jordan’s like, leaving town and all at once you’re like, into Krakow?”

“I’m not into Krakow, okay? He’s a friend, that’s all. And why would it matter to you?”

“Just ‘cause, you know, I like him.” Rayanne’s lips have trouble forming the words her mind wants to scream out. But now they’re out in the open.

“I figured that already from your drunken I-hate-Krakow-speech. But I’m not sure he’s like, into you, I mean, besides the having-sex-thing obviously.”

“Yeah, I know. It’s pretty clear he’s like, not, I guess. Anyway, maybe rehab will help me kick the old Brian-habit too, who knows. He’s like, not worth my time anyway.”

“Yeah, maybe, who knows? Look, I’m like, still mad at you for doing what you did, but it means a lot to me you’re going into rehab.”

“Yeah well, it was like, time, I guess.”

“Look Rayanne, I hope you realise you shouldn’t be doing this for me, but for you. It’s *your* life you keep screwing up, I mean, I’ll get over this, but one day you might not. You came so close to dying already; I still don’t get that you like, didn’t wake up for good after that, you know?”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. I *am* doing this for me, believe me.”

“So, tomorrow?”

“Yeah, tomorrow morning; Amber’s gonna drop me off. Will you come and like, wish me luck, you know?”

“I can’t. Jordan’s like, leaving tomorrow, so.”

“Oh, that’s tomorrow? Like, this tomorrow?”

“Like, this tomorrow, yeah. I still can’t believe it, you know?”

“Yeah, I know what you mean. One minute you have him, the next you like, don’t. I’m sorry for you, Chase.”

“Thanks. I’ll be fine, I hope. Maybe we’ll see each other again, who knows.”

“Yeah, who knows, right? Look, I um, gotta split. Take care, and if you’re like, in the neighbourhood, come visit me, you know.” Rayanne leaps up from the seat, moving towards the door.

“I will, I promise. Good luck, Rayanne. Hang in there.” Angela follows Rayanne to the door, hugging the always restless girl one last time.

“Bye.” Running across the street, Rayanne looks back at Angela once more.

“Goodbye, Rayanne Marie Graff.” Leaning her head against the doorpost, Angela watches her odd friend bolt away. Closing the door, Angela puts a strand of red hair behind her ear. “I’m gonna miss you, I guess.”



[Krakow’s place, Friday afternoon]

Simply strolling through the backdoor like she does it all the time, Rayanne totally surprises Brian.

“Graff? What are you doing here? Oh wait, don’t tell me, you came to eat my food again.”

“What’s up with the sarcasm, Krakow?”

“You know, all you like, ever wanted from me was like, food and sex and pictures, so.”

“That’s not true. So, got any then?”

“Got like, what?”

“Duh, food!”

“You’re like, impossible, you know that?”

“I’m kidding, Krakow, relax.”

“Oh, yeah, I knew that.”

“Yeah, right.” Rayanne smirks. “Besides, maybe I like, wanted more, you know?”

“Yeah? Like, more what?”

“Look, if you weren’t like, so busy chasing Chase all the time, you could have like, known.”

“Actually, I know it, I think. But it doesn’t matter anyway. This thing between us, it would like, never work, you know? We’re like, two different species; we’re not meant to like, breed.”

“Believe me, I know. It’s not like I can picture us like, holding hands in school, and like, going to the movies and stuff.” Disgust takes over Rayanne’s features and looking at Brian is like staring into a mirror with the same expression. It makes her smirk and eases her heart.

Laughing, Brian continues, “No, we look like, ridiculous together, I guess. So, why are you like, really here?”

“I’m going into rehab tomorrow, I just thought, you know, I’d stop by and let you know.”

Falling silent, Brian isn’t quite sure what to say. “Oh.”

“Yeah, I know, it’s, like, you know…”

“So, good luck then, I guess.” Sticking out his hand, Brian wants to wish Rayanne the best of luck.

Their eyes lock onto each other’s and before either of them knows what’s happening; their lips have crashed into each other’s in a violent kiss. Powerless to stop their bodies, they surrender to their feelings one last time. Pushing Brian up the stairs, Rayanne leaves a trail of clothes behind her on the staircase. Obliging willingly, Brian follows her example and when they reach the top of the stairs, they’re both fully naked. Enjoying each other right then and there, their limbs entangle into sort of a sex-spaghetti; unable to tell where one person ends and the other begins. Sighing and moaning fill in the silence until they reach their climax abruptly. Relaxed laughter is the result of celebrating their animalistic feelings.



[Jordan’s place, Friday night]

Angela VO: “This is like, *really* the last night I’m gonna be with Jordan. His room is like, depressingly empty, and it’s like, mocking me with its hollowness. The packed boxes and bare walls keep reminding me things will change like, for ever. The first time I was in here I felt practically the same; trapped in a place where I desperately wanted to be, but at the same time scared to death because of all the feelings that like, washed over me.”

“God, this place looks so, empty.” Walking around the room, Angela is actually surprised the bed is still there.

“Yeah, I know. It’s like, unreal, you know?”

“Yeah, I know.”

“I um, here, I made this for you.” Jordan hands Angela a cassette-tape.

“What’s this?” Looking at the cassette, the gloomy feelings that housed inside Angela are being taken over by bliss. A smile spreads over her face when she sees the text Jordan wrote.  

‘To Angella,
With love from Jordan.’

“I um, I know how to spell your name and all, but I thought this would be like, um, funny I guess. So you won’t forget like, who gave it to you.” Jordan tucks his hair behind his ears.

Angela laughs. “That’s so sweet of you, Jordan. But I don’t think I’ll ever forget you, you know.”

“Yeah? So um, last night, the guys from the band like, threw me kind of a going-away party. We um, played together like, for the last time. Well, you know, with me in the band, anyway. So, I um, I taped the songs for you. ‘Set Me Free’ is like, the first one on it, so.”

“Thank you, this is like, the best gift anyone’s ever given me.”

Angela VO: “Jordan Catalano taped the songs from his band for me, the song he wrote especially for me, too. That’s the sweetest thing anyone’s ever done for me! It makes my heart like, fill up with *so* much love for him, I’m afraid it’ll explode or something. And you know, I think I’m gonna cry now.”

Trying very hard to hold back the tears, Angela swallows away the lump that’s clogging up her throat. Instead of thinking about tomorrow, she wants to try to enjoy the evening with Jordan.

“You okay?” Wrapping his arms around her waist, Jordan plants a tender kiss on Angela’s lips.

“Yeah, I’m fine. So um, what did you have in mind?” Looking at Jordan with played innocence, Angela knows exactly how they will be spending their last evening together.

Angela VO: “I can’t like, stop gazing into the most amazing blue eyes I have ever seen. I don’t think I’ll ever meet anyone else with so much depth, openness and emotion in his eyes. Jordan’s eyes keep drawing me in, and cloud my head up with the most intense blue colour like, known to mankind. For the rest of my life, I’ll be reminded of him when I see like, a deep blue ocean, or a bright, cloudless summer sky. Even a star clad sky at night reminds me of Jordan’s eyes. It’s like, all the elements of the sky come together in these two eyes, promising me heaven on earth, and mystical nights to remember forever.”



[At the cemetery, Saturday morning]

“I knew you’d be here.” Rayanne walks up to Mr Katimski’s grave.

“Yeah, just, you know. I miss talking to him, I guess.” Squatting, Rickie adjusts some floral arrangements on the big patch of sand that harbours Mr Katimski’s body.

“Yeah, that like, makes sense.”

“So, you’re really like, going through with it?” Getting up, Rickie walks away from the grave alongside Rayanne.

“Yup, it’s like, time, I guess. If I like, ever wanna go to acting-school, I’d better start sorting out my life, you know?”

“You have no idea how happy I am you’re actually like, giving this a try.”

“Yeah, well, maybe I’ll get used to living like, a sober existence. You know, without actually trying to kill myself because of like, complete and utter boredom, who knows.”

“I hope so, ‘cause it’s a shame, you know?”

“Yeah, yeah. So, will you like, come visit me?”

“Definitely!” Rickie and Rayanne embrace each other tightly. Backing out of their hug, Rickie’s fingers brush over Rayanne’s blond strand of hair. “Good luck, Rayanne Graff.”

“Thanks and like, take care, Rickie. See you around.” Getting in Amber’s car, Rayanne keeps her eyes fixated on Rickie until he’s nothing more than a tiny black dot in the dreary landscape.

Watching Rayanne and Amber fade away, Rickie feels even more alone and deserted. Yet another person is being taken from his life. But if Rayanne succeeds, she’ll be back better than ever. It would be nice to hang out with her without worrying all the time. She’s a handful, but he can’t blame her. She’s the product of a messed up family-life, just like he.     



[Outside Jordan’s place, Saturday morning]

Angela VO: “As I watch Jordan Catalano pack the last few things in his car, I can’t help but feel like he’s packed my heart in there too, somewhere. He’s taking it with him and I’m unable to retrieve it.”

“So, you all set?” Leaning against Jordan’s car, Angela watches him.

“Yeah, I guess. The movers will like, pack up the rest of my stuff.” Jordan tucks his hair behind his ears and opens up the door for Angela.

Angela VO: “I don’t want to get in Jordan’s car, because if I do it’s like I’m voluntarily slashing up my wrists. Allowing him to drop me off at home, is like allowing him to walk out of my life, like, forever. The pain I feel burning inside is probably worst than the pain you feel when you’re cutting your wrists, but it has the same result: ending my life; messy, and too soon.”

Sitting in silence for the duration of the drive, they pull up to Angela’s place.

“So, I um, I’m gonna go and like, say goodbye to your parents and um, Danielle. You coming?” Jordan gets up and lingers near the car.

“No, I’ll wait here.” Stepping out of the car, Angela leans into the side wall of their house.

Angela VO: “Jordan Catalano’s father barely spoke two words to him this morning; he didn’t even wish him luck or anything. God, it must be such a relieve to get away from someone like that, I guess. Right now, Jordan’s saying goodbye to my family and when he gets back, I have to do the same thing. I don’t know if I can though; I’d rather hold on to him like, forever. But it wouldn’t be fair to hold him back, so I have to let him go. No matter how much my heart is going to break, I’ve gotta do it to let him know how much I love him.”

After a short while, Jordan returns. Wrapping his arms around her waist, his eyes meet hers. “So, come and see me in LA, okay?”

“I will.” While pressing her nose onto his, Angela’s hands wander over Jordan’s body.

Angela VO: “I will? How can I go and see him, when I know it will only break my heart all over again? It would be like, crazy, you know? It’s like waking up from a severe heart surgery and then allowing someone to pull out the stitches again, slowly. Without being sedated. Seeing him will only make things worst. I can’t see him without wanting him; in my arms, my dreams and my life.

Looking up at him, Angela says, “Jordan, I’m setting you free.”

“What? What do you um, mean?”

“I’m breaking up with you, I guess.”

“What? No, you um, you can’t. You said you would like, come and see me, so.”

“I know, and maybe I will. But it’s for the best, trust me. I don’t want to hold you back, and don’t want you to feel like, guilty because you left me behind here.”

“I won’t. Angela, I um, I *need* you, you know?” Panicking slightly, Jordan never expected Angela to really break up with him. He needs to know he’ll see her again, like, soon. He can’t go away without knowing they’re okay.

“No you don’t. You’ll do fine without me. You’ll forget about me soon enough. Besides, you have other things on your mind that you need to focus on.”

“I can’t believe you’re like, dumping me. I thought, you know, you liked me?”

“I do, Jordan. I love you.” Her stomach ties in a knot when the words slip from her mouth.

“Oh…” Flicking his tongue over his lips, Jordan blurts out, “Me too.”
Having wanted to tell her a thousand times before, he was never able to do so. He waited for Angela to say the words first, because he wasn’t gonna open himself up, just to get hurt. She’s not dumping him because she doesn’t love him, and that knowledge will have to suffice for now.

Angela VO: “I never told Jordan Catalano that I love him, I guess I was afraid of his reaction or something. It’s like, strange when you think about it, you know? I’ve loved him all along; it was like my whole being knew it, breathed it even. Every thought I have is about him, everything I do is for him. So why did I wait until like, the last second, to tell him that? Why did I wait until the last second to find out Jordan Catalano loves me back?”

A teardrop trickles down Angela’s cheek. After brushing it away with his thumb, Jordan presses his lips onto hers. Mixed emotions take them over; feelings of passion, love, fear and grief battle inside of them. Their lips gently taste and suckle each other’s, their tongues explore for the last time; leaving behind the bittersweet taste of farewell.

Tightening his embrace, Jordan slowly retracts his lips from Angela’s to gaze into her eyes. “So… Goodbye, I guess.” His voice sound hoarse.

“Yeah… Goodbye; and good luck. I hope you’re happy, you know?”

“You too. So, maybe I’ll um, see you around?”

“Maybe… You just get settled over there, and who knows?”

Kissing him one last time, Angela takes hold of his hands. “You should go.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“Have a safe trip, and say hi to your mom for me, okay?”

“I will; thanks.” Letting go of Angela’s hands, Jordan gets in the car.

Angela walks up to the driver’s side window and sticks her head inside once more. A final kiss is followed by, “I’ll miss you.”

“Me too. Bye Chase.” Starting the engine, Jordan checks his mirrors.

“Bye, Jordan Catalano.” Taking a few steps back, Angela watches Jordan drive out of her life; taking with him everything that she knows, owns and loves.  

Angela VO: “Is it possible to see a heart actually like, break? Right now, it feels like my heart is being ripped from my chest, leaving me nothing but an empty gap filled with pain. The tears I feel coming up; won’t be able to ease that pain. It’s like my heart is bleeding and it’s coming through my eyes in the shape of salty teardrops.”

After Jordan has become nothing more than a little, black dot, barely to be seen inside of Red, Angela watches Red turn into a small glitch on the concrete. Long after both Jordan and Red have disappeared from sight, Angela’s eyes keep being glued in that direction anyway.

***********************************************************************

Unaware to the world surrounding her, Angela doesn’t seem to notice Brian Krakow cycling circles in front of his house. As the circles draw nearer to her, she startles from her thoughts.

“So, Catalano left, I guess?”

“Yeah...” Lacking the energy to squabble with Brian, Angela answers him without thinking. A feeling of paralysis has numbed her limbs; it’s like all the life is drained from her.

“Bummer, I guess.” Realising he somewhat understated Angela’s feelings, Brian continues hastily, “Here, you can have them.” Coming to a halt right before Angela, Brian hands her an envelope.

Looking up at him, Angela answers with a hint of sarcasm, “Let me guess, another plane ticket?”

“What? No, it’s um, it’s the negatives and some prints of the pictures of you and Catalano. I don’t need them anymore… I mean, I want you to have them, you know, before they fall into the wrong hands again.” Hoping Angela will be able to trust him again by this gesture, Brian eyes her tear-stained face without knowing what to say.

“Oh, thanks, I guess. Look, I um, I’m gonna go inside now.” Scrambling to her feet, Angela walks towards the door.

“You’re welcome. Look, I never meant to…” Brian watches Angela move away from him.

“I know, Krakow. You never meant for like, anything to happen. It’s just *you*, I guess.”

Both of them think the same thing; how it’s like, nothing has changed between them, no matter what happened. Jordan Catalano came, and left, but their awkward relationship is still the same.



[Pride House, Saturday afternoon]

While Rickie, Corey and Delia are unpacking a few boxes; Graham and Patty come walking in. Slumping in after them is Angela. Dropping the contents of his hands into a box, Rickie greets them enthusiastically. “Hey!”

“Hey, Rickie. Wow, this is a great room, well, a great house too!” Graham takes in the environment.

“Yeah, I know. Thanks, Mr C.” Looking a bit past Graham, Rickie catches the sight of Angela.

Walking up to her, he whisks her away into the hallway for a moment. “So, did Jordan like, really leave?”

“Yeah, I mean, what’d you expect him to do? Stay?” Angela leans against the wall.

“No, I mean… Come on, you know what I mean. I’m sorry for you.”

“Yeah well, sorry won’t bring him back.”

“I know. Being sorry has never brought anyone back.”

Angela VO: “Oh God, I like, forgot that Rickie knows almost exactly how I feel. Mr Katimski’s not coming back either. At least Jordan is alive and well, I *could* go and see him if I like, wanted to, I guess.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, Rickie. It’s just…”

“Hey, I know, Angela.” Embracing her, Rickie says, “As a great man once said: “it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,” or something like that anyway. But hey, what does he know? He’s not like, the one who’s left behind to deal with the pain and face the emptiness, like day in and out.”

While Angela sobs into Rickie’s shirt, he grabs her by the shoulders and fixes his eyes onto hers. “You’ll live, I promise.”

“So will you, I guess. We gotta stick together, Enrique.”

“Yeah, you, me and the other ones whose names I can’t like, come up with right now.”

Laughing through her tears, Angela asks Rickie, “So… Corey’s helping you out, is he?”

“Yeah, he um, we um…” A blush creeps up Rickie’s cheeks. “We had a very good talk, you know, at your party.”

“Yeah? Like, what kinda talk?”

“You know, he asked me like, where Rayanne was, so I said he should like, stop asking me. He asked me why and I um, I said I didn’t like his interest in her. So, he just gave me this, like, really intense look before he continued. He said something like he didn’t feel at ease around me, without Rayanne there. So, I told him I like, felt the same way.”

Rickie takes a deep breath before he continues, “So, we had this talk about, you know, being gay and when you like, knew for sure. And he asked me how I handled it and how everybody felt about it. I told him it took some time for me to like, accept it and how I actually hadn’t really come out to the entire world, you know. So, he like, asked me if I like, wanted to help him, because he was feeling the same way.”

“Oh my God! So, Corey’s like, gay too? But how does he feel about you, I mean…?”

“Not only is he gay, I think he likes me too.” A smile curls up Rickie’s face before he leans in to whisper to Angela. “He like, kissed me, the other day.”

“What? Oh Rickie, that’s like, so great! I’m so happy for you!”  

Angela VO: “I really am happy Rickie finally found someone; he deserves to be happy, or should I say; gay? But God, it’s like, confronting, you know? Everybody seems to be with someone, even Danielle’s got a boyfriend! And I just dumped the most sweet and gorgeous boy that ever roamed the planet.”


[Chase House, Monday, one week later]

Lying face-up on her bed, Angela stares at a picture of Jordan and her. As her fingertips brush over Jordan’s features, tears well up in her eyes again.

Angela VO: “It’s like it never happened, you know? Like Jordan Catalano never existed, and he never even kissed me or had sex with me. Maybe it was all just like this big dream. It’s like this photograph of him and I, is the only evidence that proves it. But I want more than just some fading memory; left wondering here what might have been.”

Looking at her alarm-clock tells Angela she has to get out of bed soon, but she doesn’t feel the urge to do anything all day, besides looking at Jordan’s picture and crying.

Angela VO: “I’m relating to Anne Frank in a different way now, finally understanding what it feels like to be trapped. I’m watching the world happen right outside my window, but I’m unable to participate. My imprisoned heart keeps me like, locked inside the walls of my tormented soul.”

Turning over to her other side, Angela curls up into a little ball. Her eyes remain fixated to the picture clutched in her hands. There’s no one she wants to see, no one she want to be with. Nobody can understand what she’s going through anyway.

Angela VO: “Besides, even if I like, wanted to, I can’t go out into the world anymore; it’s like I have no business there. And I don’t want the world to see me anyway, ‘cause I don’t think that they’d understand.”

Closing her eyes, Angela tries to reproduce the feeling of Jordan’s lips onto hers. Nuzzling her nose into the covers, she sniffs up the scent that reminds her of Jordan. It’s a good thing her mother doesn’t wash anything she doesn’t throw into the hamper anymore. She wants to be embraced by Jordan’s scent for as long as possible. Maybe she’ll never wash the sheets again, who knows.

Angela VO: “I want to hide away under my covers, cry myself into a deep sleep and never wake up again. What’s the point of getting up, getting dressed and going to school? What’s the point of living without Jordan Catalano? If it weren’t for my mom dragging me out of bed every single morning and making sure Sharon rides the bus to school with me, I wouldn’t do it. I’d just, stop, I guess. Stop breathing, stop living.”

Stomping up the stairs, Patty opens up the door. “Angela, please, get up. You have to go to school. A broken heart isn’t worth flunking school over, believe me.”

Ever since last week, it’s been the same ritual, every single day. Huffing, Angela turns her back on her mother. Walking up to the bed, Patty sits down next to her.

“Come on, honey. I know it hurts, I really do, but you can’t spend the rest of your life in here.” While stroking Angela’s hair, Patty’s heart breaks. It grieves her to see her eldest daughter in so much pain. “And what’s that disgusting smell?”

“It’s nothing! Leave me alone! And *don’t* touch anything in my room, not the sheets or anything else.”

Angela VO: “Doesn’t she get it? I don’t wanna change a thing in here, ‘cause it might change my memory.”

“You know, I think it’ll be good to clean out your room. Wallowing in self-pity is allowed to some point, but you’re causing most the pain yourself, by surrounding yourself with memories of Jordan.”

“I like to wallow in self-pity, so just leave me alone. I’ll come out when my heart stops breaking.”

“You’ll come out now, like every other morning. Honey, I wish there was some kind of medicine against being love-sick, but there isn’t. Facing the world and being around friends is the only remedy for now.”

“I don’t want any remedy; I want to rest in peace.”

“Come on Angela, you’re starting to scare me. Get up, now, before I summon the police over here to drag you into school.”

Grumbling, Angela stretches out. “I’m up, happy now?” Reluctantly, she slumps up. With a frowned face she slouches onto the hallway, to take a shower in the bathroom.

“It’s a start, honey.”



[School hallways]

Angela VO: “I keep expecting to see Jordan Catalano’s car parked in its usual spot, just like I keep expecting to see him leaning against some wall or locker. Closing my eyes, the image of Jordan Catalano smiling shyly at me, appears; like he never left. I think that only now I fully understand why he used to close his eyes like, almost all the time. What’s on the inside really *is* better. I wonder though if he pictured *me* inside his head, or maybe the life he’s living now. I hope both, because I wish that I made him just as happy as the thought of a loving mother did.”

Angela VO: “Like nothing has changed, life has taken its course again. The only thing that’s like different; is that every morning I drag myself out of bed, after crying myself to sleep once more. Apart from that, it’s like all the previous events never even happened. Rayanne isn’t around ‘cause she’s in rehab, and every trace of Jordan Catalano's existence seems like, erased, or something. The only person still standing from my so-called new and improved life, is Rickie. Always around, no matter how life treats him. I guess I should follow his example, you know; like still being able to believe in fairytales after life has happened to you anyway. But I just can’t.”   

Angela VO: “God, it’s like, my life is back to the way it always was. Or, back to what it never was, somehow. Sharon is still Sharon; chatting to everyone endlessly. Brian is still around, watching from a distance, but never really brave enough to participate. I guess when you bumped into trouble (for finding out things you never were supposed to) as many times as he has, that makes sense. He still hangs around me, like my personal, but clumsy guardian-angel, or something.”

Angela VO: “So, basically my life is back to being one big monotonous experience again. I waited for my life to happen until Jordan Catalano came along and made it happen. By leaving, he undid all of it again. I wonder if he’s as miserable as I am, left wondering if it was a dream. I hope he misses me like I miss him, even if that’s selfish. It’s not like I don’t want him to be happy, of course I do.”

Angela VO: “I just hope I made a difference in his life, you know. I hope one day he’ll look back and say: “Angela Chase, she like, changed my life by loving me.” Because for a brief moment in time, that’s what Jordan Catalano did. He changed my so-called life into a genuine life, actually worth living.”


The End

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  • loonie gave this story a 5.0/5 5.0/5 rating and commented on 22 Jul 2010:
    Your story is absolutely beautiful. My eyes were filled up with tears as I read the end.I wish I could hug Angela, Jordan, Rickie and everyone else to make them feel better. I feel the exact same way than when I watched the last episode of the show, like a hole in the heart. Thank you so much for writing this, your talent is beyond.
  • MonnyUK2 gave this story a 5.0/5 5.0/5 rating and commented on 16 Aug 2010:
    I have really enjoyed all of your stories. You have captred the true spirit of MSCL and I love what you did with Angela, Jordan and Brian scenario. I am sad that this is your last one but I would love it if you would write some more. Thank you very much.
  • shaddoe gave this story a 5.0/5 5.0/5 rating and commented on 09 Jun 2011:
    oh my freakin' god. I absolutely love the show, and what you have done with these stories is amazing, because you captured the essence of what made the show so wonderful. I loved reading every single story, and I love how what you have done has brought a better sense of closure to the characters, because you brought Angela and Jordan together, and then created circumstances that forced them apart, but you also left the door open for the possibility that they might get back together in the future, but just not now, and all of the emotional angst that comes with being a teenager, all the confusion all the turmoil, so beautifully written, and brilliant.
  • Lucy Paige gave this story a 5.0/5 5.0/5 rating and commented on 01 Oct 2013:
    Couldn't agree more with the comments above -- amazing stories that captured the characters, situations, narrative, and beauty of the show. Viewers were so cheated when the show was cancelled after only one season - evidenced by Claire Danes and Jared Leto's continuing successful careers. Thanks for bringing closure to the story. I'd recommend this read to anyone who was a fan of the show. Have you been published anywhere? You've made me a fan of yours.
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“Do we have to keep talking about religion? It's Christmas.”

Danielle Chase, Episode 15: "So-Called Angels"