A Little Help From My Friends
Granted they didn’t leave in the best of terms, he couldn’t help but smile to himself as he heard her bite back, a faint nostalgia crawling over his body once again. He leaned back against his seat as he waited for her to get settled in, his thoughts quiet as his eyes stayed on her when she moved, taking in every detail, every shape and noticing the slight change on how she looked compared to a year ago. He pursed his lips into a line as he noticed how pale she looked, wondering if whether or not he should point it out or let Poppy tell him herself if there was something going on.”I could,” he said as he heard the click of the seatbelt locking. “I’m sure you’ll survive.”
Brad was quiet when she spoke, his eyes softening as he stared at the hand that was on the gear shift before putting it on drive. Furrowing his eyebrows, he let out a breath and turned down the volume of the radio, doing the best he can to avoid looking at her. As familiar as it was to have Poppy inside of his truck again, she also felt like a stranger to him. And it wasn’t because of how their last moments together before this panned out, it was more so because of the events that had led to where he was today,— the accident that involved Robert which led to his death, the days and months he spent making sure Mandy was okay only to send her across the ocean to London and him slowly getting back to his parents after knowing that he was adopted— the moments that happened after they stopped talking that made him feel as if he, not Poppy, was the stranger.
Glancing sideways towards the passenger side of the truck, he quickly offered her a smile but it didn’t reach his eyes, she wasn’t looking any better and this bothered him. Clearing his throat, he darted his eyes between the road and his rear-view mirror before taking a detour and getting out the nearest exit.
He knew it was awkward, especially since he hadn’t said anything else since she got into the car, and he knew that Poppy feels that it’s a bit awkward too. Rubbing the back of his neck, he put the car to a stop as the light went red. Glancing at the light, he turned his body around to face her, his eyebrows furrowed once again. “I know, I’m very attractive,” he said, only to regret it as soon as it came out of his mouth. A dry chuckle escaped his lips as he shook his head and brought his attention to her again. “Like I said, I know I’m very attractive,” he said, “But more often than not, that’s not really the reason why a girl loses her color and suddenly looks like an albino.”
Before Poppy said anything, the light went green and Brad had to go back driving. He drove to the nearest Pharmacy, parking immediately and shutting the car off before unclicking the seat belt and turning his body around to face her. Offering her a smile, he nodded his head at her. “It has,” he stated calmly. “It has been a long time. I know I could’ve answered that question earlier. It’s just… this,” he said as he gestured his hands between the both of them. “This. You texting me out of nowhere, me threatening to kick you out if you farted, you actually sitting there on the passenger seat while we listen to fucking what’s his face on the radio… you…. you.. looking like you’re about to throw up.”
He went silent as the expression on his face suddenly turned into worry as he noticed how pale she was actually getting. Stepping out of the car, he jogged his way to the passenger door and opened her door. Unlocking the seatbelt, he turned her around to face him by his shoulders and bent down so that his eyes were leveled to hers. Questions. There were so many questions Brad wanted to ask Poppy but at that moment, the only question he wanted an answer too was “Are you okay?” he asked. “Pops, are you okay?”
Poppy had smiled at Brad, giving him a little eye roll before she settled into her seat and watched the road ahead of them, the headlights creating a triangle on the road as the truck moved down the familiar streets that seemed desolate and unlike what she recalled. She wasn’t exactly sure what to say, but she knew she had the desire to say something. How her wit had taken a back seat while in jail those six months, she grinned to herself at the realization, knowing talking back to prison guards caused you to get into trouble and talking back to inmates meant a fight.
Out of practice or not, she honestly had no idea what to say to the man who had come to her rescue without so much as asking why, just simply where she was at. It was so like him, she had thought silently, and she was glad to see he hadn’t changed much. Licking her lips, her eyes darted this way and that, not once finding the driver out of fear of what her stomach might do, after all she was already having a hard time with it and seeing his face so close to her own and recalling the fondest of memories, it might make her upchuck all over his dashboard.
Swallowing the feeling, she just tried to relax and think of something else, something unimportant like how Elysium had slightly expanded, how there were more things here and there where there once was a nice field. Breathing in deeply, she raised her eyebrows as they slowed to a stop, the sound of the engine running being the only sound that filled her ears. What was she going to say? What could she say? What was something new she could discuss? It had been a year, or more, and she couldn’t think of anything new to talk about? Had they separated on such shit terms that she couldn’t even think of something to bullshit about?
Suddenly, without warning, Brad’s voice filled the truck and she frowned, looking over at him quickly. For a moment, she wasn’t sure what the hell he said, or what she heard, so all she could do was stare at him with a confused look on her face, with a hint of amusement. The man was quick to recover, talking about how her face looked like an albino’s. Swallowing, she realized she was doing that too much, her stomach was churning and her body was wanting to quake from the withdrawal that was coming fast and loose.
"I-I’m fine." She had absentmindedly stated, so low that she couldn’t even hear it herself, but with how she kept feeling her mouth water, she knew it was coming. The vomit was right there at the base of her throat and it was gonna come out, but when and where was the big question of the moment.
Brad had drove into a pharmacy parking lot, that much she could tell by the blinding neon lights that were making her head hurt, her stomach more nauseous than it already was. Threading her brow together, she grabbed her thighs with her hands, squeezing gently as she squirmed in her seat, especially the moment her old friend shifted in his own seat to glare at her, going on about the obvious things, stating how there was this thing between them, the silence, the radio, the communication out of nowhere…it was making her sick and she was gonna blow.
He had said something as he jumped out of the car and over to her door, pulling it open and unbuckling her seatbelt, grabbing her shoulders in a way that was firm, yet gentle and caring. Her eyes bounced in between his own as she finally opened her mouth, lifting her own hands to his firm upper arms.
"Dick," Poppy had said to him, nodding her head, "so many questions!" As she tried to laugh off the discomfort she felt inside her body, along with how he had brought up things she honestly didn’t want to think about right then, she couldn’t. Her eyes got big and she was quick to push him back as she felt the bile creep up her throat, burning along the way, as she jumped down next to his truck and gripped the side of the truck bed and bent forward, expelling all contents that were in her stomach all over his wheels.
The noise echoed throughout the night as she heard the disgusting splash of…whatever was in her stomach, onto the ground, splattering against her shoes and the pristine tires of Brad’s lovely automobile. After a few seconds of gasping for air, she finally stood up, pushing her hair out of her face, spitting the nasty taste out of mouth before placing her hands on her hips and glared over at Brad.
"You…you’re so ugly that when you got too close to my face…I was overcome with this urge to vomit." Poppy gave a light laugh, but she knew that this was only the beginning of her sickness.