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Chance Encounters of the Bubblegum Kind
So it's one of the nicest spring days they've had in a long time, and Gabe decides to celebrate by lying on the soccer field and listening to Midtown records on repeat. And see, he's in this state of bliss, because today he managed to avoid the obnoxious jocks (although he'll need to move soon if he wants to keep it up) and the worst of the cheerleaders.
And then, not ten minutes into Living Well Is The Best Revenge, his bliss is irreversibly f-ed up by a group of girls walking by and giggling at him. He can hear the whispers over his music, the 'what does Cortez think he's doing?', and normally, this wouldn't bother him. This kind of treatment is standard, but what is unusual is that one of them stops, and leans over his body, directly blocking the sun. Gabe, his eyes hidden behind giant Wayfarers, is able to pretend he doesn't see the girl, and hopes to God she'll leave him alone. This turns out to be wishful thinking, as the girl (he thinks her name is Brittany) pokes him in the chest, and yanks out one of his earbuds. Gabe sits abruptly upright. This is war, and maybe-Brittany hasn't even said anything yet.
And then she opens her mouth, and Gabe is just given more ammunition. “Hey, Cortez?” she says, and Gabe lowers his shades and glares.
He snaps back, “What, girl whose name I don’t know?” and OK, maybe that was kind of rude, but Gabe is totally justified here.
The girl, in an abnormally cheerful tone (honestly, she sounds like a chipmunk or something), “Katie says you’re a good person to talk to about music, yeah? And by the way, it’s Bianca.”
Gabe props his sunglasses on top of his head and narrows his eyes. “How the hell do you know Katie?” he asks, because there’s no way that this bubblegum-pop-princess would ever associate herself with a punk scenester chick like Katie.
Bianca (he knew it started with a B) giggles again. “My best friend is Kyle York’s ex,” and OK, this explains a little more; Kyle had an unhealthy period of time in which he thought that the trust-fund babies might actually be worthwhile. Gabe was proven right, in the end. But anyway, if she knows Katie through Kyle, then she must have a little something more than fluff between her ears.
So he sullenly responds, “What did you want to know?” He’s expecting some question about a top-forty album (he pegs her as a Christina kind of girl), but he’s totally blown off his feet as she asks, “If you had to choose between The Maine and Mayday Parade to play at your birthday, which would you pick?”
Gabe’s eyes widen dramatically. Now he’s the one who looks like some kind of Disney woodland creature, he’s sure. “Did you just ask me to debate the intricacies of one semi-punk band over another?” he says. And here he can’t rein back the sarcasm: “For your f-ing birthday? I thought Daddy’s girls only listened to the Pussycat Dolls.” Christ, he totally forgot that he lives in LA (well, ’burbs, actually, but who cares?) and that people actually have the money to make this kind of stuff feasible, let alone that some people would actually consider Mayday Parade for their birthday.
But apparently, Bianca is not as much of an airhead as he thought, and says to him (still cheerfully, what the actual f***) “Just because I’m blonde does not make me stupid, Gabriel Cortez. Or have ridiculously bad taste in music.” And OK, maybe he underestimated her a little (a lot, the inner voice in his head oh-so-unhelpfully narrates), but seriously? This is way out of left field, and Gabe doesn’t even use sports metaphors, ever. The paradigms of his entire world have just collapsed! And Gabe is fully willing to admit he’s being slightly melodramatic here, but really.
Bianca snaps her fingers in Gabe’s face and it matches the snap in her voice when she says, “Cortez! Come on. I need an answer here,” and Gabe must have drifted off, thinking about the Apocalypse that she had unceremoniously dumped on his shoulders. He lifts his head up and pushes his sunglasses down, and says, "For you, I'd pick The Maine. Easier for people to rock out to right away." Bianca nods solemnly, then bounces away with a flounce of her skirt and a, "Thanks! Talk to you later!" Gabe sighs, and lays back down with Midtown once again blasting in his ears. Five minutes later, the soccer team trickles onto the field. Gabe's life is so hard.