Through Thick And Through Thin

Chapter Fourteen

Linz felt like she was dead as she lay on her back on her bed. Alone. She had cried all of the tears that she had to cry, and a few more besides. She had paced around the house until her feet started to hurt. And then she had collapsed onto the bed in the hopes of falling asleep. No such luck.

The phone rang, and Linz jumped to answer. It was Kevin, it had to be Kevin. She picked up the phone. "Hello?"

"Hey, Linz."

Damn it, wrong Richardson. It was Katie. "Hey, Katie," she replied dejectedly.

"Listen, I was--A.J., control yourself!--sorry, I was just wondering why you and Kevin left early last night?" Katie asked through giggles, as A.J. was obviously very close to her at the moment.

Linz had thought that she was out of tears. She had been wrong. "Because we broke up," she said miserably as she started to cry again.

"What?!" Katie exclaimed, pushing A.J. away. "Why? What happened?"

"You can ask him. I don't want to talk about it," Linz said glumly.

"Linz, I am so sorry. Do you want me to come over there?"

"No, I need to be alone right now," she said.

"Okay, well...if you change your mind then you know who to call, right?"

"Mm-hm," she mumbled.

"All right. I love you. Talk to you later."

"Okay, bye." Linz slammed down the phone. She didn't deserve friends like Katie any more than she deserved a boyfriend like Kevin. But that couldn't stop her from wanting him. She groaned softly as she rolled out of bed and trudged downstairs to the kitchen, only to find a stack of magazines on the counter, all with the Boys on their covers. She sighed. She and Kevin always liked to look through all of the old articles where he had been interviewed and basically make fun of them. She sighed wistfully when she saw his picture. G-d, she really loved him. She traced the outline of his face with her finger and then turned away, blinking away tears. He had said "I don't know." That meant that there was a chance of yes, right? Right?

Linz grabbed a box of cookies and collapsed into a chair. She needed him back, and she needed him back now.

* * *

"A.J., no, you're not smoking that!" Katie commanded, yanking a cigarette from her boyfriend's mouth.

"Come on, Katie, just one more," A.J. begged, getting out another. They were eating lunch at an outdoor cafe. Big mistake. There was, obviously, no non-smoking section.

"No, A.J. You've already had one today, and we agreed that we were gonna do this cold turkey," Katie reminded him as she took that one too.

"Katie, you don't understand. I hafta have it!" A.J. argued, getting out the pack.

Katie grabbed the pack and tossed it over her shoulder. "No. And here come some fans. Be nice," she ordered under her breath.

Three twelve-year-old girls walked up to the two of them and started to talk excitedly. As Katie talked to them, she could see A.J. squirming impatiently in his seat, and one of the girls was starting to look at him funny. Katie kicked his shin under the table. He looked at her and then tried to sit still...without success. Katie sighed as he excused himself and got up from the table, grabbing the box of cigarettes from the ground as he went. It was going to be a long two months.

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