Ditch the Whole Scene

(Note: Hey there! This is a story that was written by a friend and I just absolutely adored it! So, I wanted to share it. All credit goes out to Roe Gibson. Hope you like it! –Shanzida 🙂 )

Ditch the Whole Scene

By Roe Gibson

Eponine thunks her head against the window of Cosette’s car. How did she end up here, in this too-clean, too-new, “papa-insisted-on-paying-for-all-of-it”, cutie-mobile? Rain pitter-patters against the car, and the blonde hops into driver’s seat next to Eponine with a bright smile.

“Sorry about that!” she chirps, still grinning. She’s referring to how long it took her to shake off her dad’s overprotective checklists and reminders. “I’m so glad you agreed to come with me- he’d never let me go otherwise.” Eponine leans to look out the window at Cosette’s classy apartment building. Sure enough, her father is standing outside as the doorman holds the door open for him with a sort of grimace. He waves eagerly, and Eponine returns the gesture awkwardly.

She shrugs, shifting in her chair. “It’s whatever,” she mumbles, crossing her arms against her chest, suddenly more uncomfortable. Frankly, Eponine doesn’t know why she’s here. The rest of their friends are guys, or those guys’ girlfriends. That’s what Cosette is, really, just a girl Marius has a crush on. However, her tenacity precedes her, and she’s insistent on making friends, which Eponine finds entirely useless. She breaks Cosette’s cheerful gaze and looks out the window again.

Cosette puts the key in the ignition and pulls forward into the street (finally), waving one last (thankfully) goodbye to her father and the shiny doors of her apartment building. The city passes by in greys and muted tones. The steel of bridges is slickened by the rain, and everything gives off a shine that’s unlike the shine of Cosette’s new luxury vehicle, which is bright by the light of wealth. The rest of the world is shiny in the damp, unfortunate way.

Once they hit a red light, Cosette claps her hands. “We need music,” she says, and Eponine nearly jumps out of her skin. Cosette presses a few buttons on the sound system and suddenly Taylor Swift is blasting out of the speakers, promising Eponine that they are never, ever getting back together (like ever).

Cosette turns it down a little after giggling at Eponine’s wide-eyed distaste. “Sorry,” she says brightly. Everything about her is bright, from her floral print blouse to her long blonde hair. Eponine grumbles something to herself, and they drive on, Taylor Swift filling the silence between them.

Eponine resorts to staring out the window again. Cosette and her father live in the upper-class side of town. To get out of Cosette’s neighborhood, they have to drive through the heart of the city. Skyscrapers pass by, metallic and geometric. Men in suits power through the streets with briefcases, and girls with headphones in and hoodies up weave in between them. The rain lets up a little. The sun shines briefly, only to disappear behind puffy gray clouds again.

Gradually, the buildings get shorter and the sky opens up. Skyscrapers turn into little shops and apartments, and soon Cosette takes them onto the highway, and Eponine cranes her neck to watch the city disappear. When it’s futile, and the buildings she loves have turned into little peaks on the horizon, she turns back around in her seat with a huff.

“What are we doing, again?” she asks, crossing her legs just because she’s restless. She’s suddenly annoyed with how spacious the interior of the car is. It’s a lot of legroom. Eponine doesn’t even have a car.

“We’re driving out to the country so I can take pictures of you!” Cosette says. To explain, she adds, “For my photography class. Papa wouldn’t let me go with one of the boys.”

Eponine grimaces. That doesn’t sound fun. She turns to the back seat to see a camera bag Cosette often has with her.  It’s floral print, with brown leather around the edge and for the strap and buckle. It still looks new, though Eponine knows it must be at least a year old.

“And we have to do that out of town?” Eponine asks, wincing as Cosette speeds past a semi.

“I have a spot in mind,” is all she says in return, and Eponine sinks into the leather seat.

Taylor Swift croons on about lost love and whatever else she sings about, and Eponine finds solace in the way the sun peeks out from behind the clouds. By the time “I Knew You Were Trouble” loops around for the third time, she’s practically memorized it. Cosette’s singing along isn’t helping Eponine ignore the whole thing, but it’s hard to ignore Cosette’s voice. It’s almost infectious. Cosette sings at the top of her lungs beautifully, bright and full of life. She looks over at Eponine every so often, and Eponine just stares in amazement.

Cosette’s not sheepish at all as she belts out how she’s “feelin’ twenty-two!” She dances in the driver’s seat as they speed down the highway. By the time Eponine snaps out of staring at Cosette like a creep, she finds out they’re practically out in the country. Suddenly, Cosette swerves onto a gravel road, singing “It seems like one of those nights!” as her only warning.

Eponine shrieks, feeling flung around the car even though she’s safely buckled in, and Cosette just laughs. She flies down the gravel road with alarming speed, and Eponine holds onto the car door as they bounce up and down. Unceremoniously, Cosette parks the car in a field.

“We’re here!” she says, beaming at Cosette. She unbuckles and twists around to grab her camera from the backseat, then hops out of the car, all while Eponine tries to catch her breath. She slowly unbuckles and wobbles out of the car.

The field Eponine finds herself in is admittedly beautiful. Even a city girl like her can appreciate the way wild flowers brush against her legs and how the clouds have cleared to make way for a sunset. Pinks and oranges fill the sky, edged by purple clouds. The shutter to Cosette’s camera clicks shut, as if to keep Eponine from gaping for too long. She whips around to see the photographer snapping another picture.

“Ooh, that one looks nice,” she says, grinning at her camera.

Eponine flushes and looks at the ground. “What am I supposed to do?” she grumbles.

Cosette shrugs and snaps another picture. “I’ll think of something. For now, just be yourself! Or I could turn the music back on.”

“That’s fine,” Eponine adds hastily, and Cosette’s grin broadens.

“I think I should turn on the music again,” she says, heading back to her car. Eponine tries to protest, but it’s useless, and soon Taylor Swift’s voice fills the clearing.

Cosette walks over to Eponine with the rhythm of the song, singing along with the opening to “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

Cosette gets a lot of pictures of Eponine saying “No,” and shrugging, milling around the clearing with a “Come on,” look. But Cosette works some sort of magic, and soon Eponine is smiling and laughing. Cosette pulls her into a dance, much to Eponine’s dismay. Still, Cosette’s infectious, and they literally frolic around the field with wildflowers in their hair, like fairies or something. It gets Eponine wondering if maybe Cosette is a fairy because there’s no way someone could be this perfect.

Twilight sets in, and the two sit in the grass among the flowers to look through Cosette’s pictures. Eponine demands she deletes some of them and pushes the camera away when Cosette shows her a particularly hilarious wherin Eponine looks like a puffer fish.

“Listen,” Cosette says, touching Eponine’s arm, “I know you don’t really like me.” Eponine makes a face and looks down sheepishly. “It’s fine! No hard feelings, really, but I like you, and you’re super cool, and I wanna be your friend really bad, so thanks for coming out with me!” She says the rest in a rush, turning pink.

“I like you,” comes out of Eponine’s mouth before she can think.

Cosette looks up with big eyes and smiles brightly, lighting up the whole clearing. “Great,” she says.

“Great,” Eponine agrees, dumbly.

Cosette stands up and pulls Eponine up with her. “If you like me so much, let’s go get some dinner! I’m starving. First one to the car gets to pick where!”

“What?” Eponine says as Cosette blows past her to the car. She catches up and trips over herself in her haste to get to the car. Cosette laughs and pushes Eponine’s hair back behind her ear.

“Let’s call it a tie,” she says, “officially. Off the record, I totally won.”

Eponine sticks her tongue out at her and gets in the car. They pick a place to eat from Cosette’s phone. The ride to the restaurant is spent with Taylor Swift, but this time, as the moon is coming up, Eponine sings just as loud as Cosette.

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