Chapter 1: Check Yes or No...or not...
It started way back in third grade
I used to sit beside Emmylou Hayes
A pink dress, a matching bow and her ponytail
She kissed me on the schoolbus, but told me not to tell
Next day I chased her ‘round the playground
Across the monkey bars, to the merry-go-round
And Emmylou got caught passing me a note
Before the teacher took it, I read what she wrote
Do you love me? Do you wanna be my friend?
And if you do
Well then don’t be afraid to take me by the hand
If you want to
I think this is how love goes
Check yes or no
Beca was doodling in her notebook when an excited girl plopped down beside her. She felt the girl staring, so she looked over to see a pair of bright blue eyes boring into her. The girl doesn’t seem to be embarrassed that Beca caught her - in fact, her small smile turns into an earsplitting grin.
“Um...hi,” Beca mumbled shyly. Her attention was suddenly captured by the flaming red hair framing the girl’s face.
“Hi!” Beca’s eyes snapped back to the girl’s face. “I’m Chloe! I’m new; Mrs. Brown told me to sit here.” That explains why I didn’t recognize her.
She felt a pang of disappointment. The redhead hadn’t sat there because she wanted to be next to Beca. She didn’t have a choice. That’s what you get for being such a weird nine-year-old, Beca.
Her face must have reflected her thoughts, because Chloe continued talking animatedly. “What’s your name?”
Why is she so excited? “...Uh, I’m Beca.”
Chloe was positively beaming at this point. “Well, Beca, I think we’re gonna be really fast friends.”
Beca was thrown completely offguard at that. It wasn’t that Beca didn’t want friends, it’s just, no one wanted to be her friend. She was pretty lonely for a third grader.
Before she could respond, the teacher began class. Instead, she gave the redhead a small smile of approval and turned to listen to Mrs. Brown, who was introducing Chloe to the class. Chloe stood and everyone greeted her. When she sat back down, she immediately rested her head on Beca’s shoulder, hugging Beca’s arm, and Beca felt a pleasant warmth spread through her body. Friends.
A few weeks passed, and Chloe had proven herself right. She had become Beca’s only friend, and although she got along well with everyone, she stuck to Beca like glue.
They were riding home on the schoolbus, sitting together in a seat near the front. Chloe was abnormally quiet, and Beca was slightly terrified. Is she getting tired of my awkwardness already?
“What’s wrong, Chloe?” She asked her friend softly.
Chloe turned to look at her for the first time in the entire bus ride. The usually bright and bubbly redhead looked...scared? Nervous? Anxious? “Beca...if I do something weird, do you promise you won’t freak out?” Beca nodded. “Or tell anyone?” Beca nodded again, and she looked relieved. “Good. Pinky swear.”
The second their pinkies locked, the ginger swooped in and pecked Beca on the lips, like Beca’s dad did to her mom before leaving for work every morning.
Beca’s was totally shell-shocked, but Chloe seemed happier, leaning on Beca’s shoulder and rambling on about their new science project.
The next day at recess, Chloe decided to see how well her new pout would work on Beca.
“Hey, Becs?” She asked, smoothing out her pink dress.
“Yeah, Chlo?” Beca asked, standing from her position at the bottom of the slide.
Chloe looked into Beca’s eyes, jutting out her bottom lip and making her eyes water. “Can we play tag?”
Beca sighed, looking uncomfortable. “Come on, Chloe, you know I hate tag.”
The redhead put everything she had into the pout and watched as Beca caved in front of her.
Eventually, Beca rolled her eyes before grinning mischievously. “You better run.”
Eyes widening in surprise, Chloe took off, dashing for the monkey bars. She climbed the ladder and crossed them effortlessly, looking behind her to make sure Beca had followed before sprinting as fast as her ten-year-old legs could carry her to the merry-go-round.
She knew the pout would work.
I won’t be on the bus today. Mom’s picking me up. She wants to talk to me about something.
Beca carefully slid the note to Chloe while Mrs. Brown was writing on the board. The redhead frowned but nodded subtly. She pulled out another piece of paper, scribbling out a long message, folding it up and preparing to pass it.
Chloe jumped in surprise. “Yes, Mrs. Brown?”
Mrs. Brown walked over. “Is that a note?”
Chloe looked down, ashamed. “Um, yes.”
“Hm.” With that, Mrs. Brown took the note and tossed it in the trash can next to her desk. Beca waited for Chloe to try again, but the girl seemed to have given up.
When the bell rang signaling the end of the school day, Chloe hugged Beca before leaving to get on the bus. Once all the bussers had left, Beca snuck to Mrs. Brown’s desk. Making sure Mrs. Brown was still helping one of the kids tie his shoe (Really? Who can’t tie their shoe in third grade?), she slipped her hand into the trash and pulled out the note the teacher had intercepted earlier. She slid it into her pocket, figuring she would read it when she got home.
Of course it wasn't that easy.
The moment she got in the car, she could sense that her mom was sad. Therefore, she didn't question the fact that they were going the wrong way - she figured they were visiting her aunt Allyson, who lived a mile in the opposite direction of Beca's home. It wasn't until they passed her aunt's street that she realized the car was full of boxes.
"Uh, mama? Where are we going?"
Her mother clenched her hands on the steering wheel and pulled into a parking lot, turning to Beca with a forced smile. "Sweetie...your father and I...we're getting divorced. Grandma's letting us stay with her until I can find us an apartment. I can't afford to keep the house on just my income."
Beca's heart shattered. Not for herself - her dad never had time for her, anyway. No, her heart broke for her mother. Her mother, who had gotten a job at Barnes and Noble just to make things easier for her dad, even though she wanted to stay at home and take care of Beca. Her mother, who was so loving and kind that she never had the heart to ground Beca, not even that time when Beca punched Joey Moore in the gut on the playground. Her mother, who didn't deserve to be put through this kind of pain.
She reached over and hugged her mom tight, whispering, "I love you, mommy," into the woman's shoulder.
Her mother returned the sentiment and got back on the road. Suddenly, Beca was hit with another thought. Her grandma lived in the next town over. She'd have to switch schools.
She pulled Chloe's note from her pocket and gasped, a tear rolling down her cheek.
She'd have to leave Chloe.
Chapter 2: Any More Questions?
She was sitting cross legged on the hood of a Ford
Filing down her nails with an Emory board
Talking to her friends about people they knew
And all of the things that young girls do
When she said, "You see that guy in the baseball cap?
I'd like to spend some time with a boy like that,"
Betty said, "I seen him at the hardware store
I think his name is Billy, I'm not sure."
As they talked a little while he passed by
She smiled at him, he just said hi
He was thinking to himself as he walked away
Man I'd like to find a girl like her someday
Young love, strong love, true love, it's a new love
They're gonna make it through the hard times
Walk those lines, ya these times go by
10 years later...
"Come on, Bree, auditions weren't that bad...we only need four new girls this year!"
The blond scoffed. "Chloe! For serious? There were hardly any girls to choose from!"
Chloe sighed. Sure, maybe Aubrey was right, but they only needed enough girls to do their routine - they still had Amy, Stacie, Cynthia Rose, and Mary Elise from last year. She looked up from filing her nails, preparing to calm her best friend down, when her attention was captured by a beautiful brunette sitting against a tree across the quad. The girl wore heavy eyeliner and ear spikes, but this just increased Chloe's attraction to the girl, giving her that added air of bad assery.
"You see that girl with the headphones around her neck?"
Aubrey raised her eyebrows, but glanced over anyway. Her lip immediately curled when she saw who the redhead was talking about. "Oh, she was at the activities fair. She came to our booth when you were in the bathroom. Horrible attitude."
Chloe was determined. "Did you get her name?"
"Um, Beca, I think. Not totally sure." At that, Chloe frowned. Beca. Where do I know a Beca from? Wait...nah, no way that's her. It's been years. "But forget her, check out her friend!"
Chloe cringed. How did I not see him before? "You don't think they're...together, do you, Aub?"
Aubrey chuckled. "No way. Look at them! That's totally platonic. I know you don't swing that way, Chlo, but you have to admit he's pretty cute."
With a roll of her eyes, Chloe managed to tear her eyes away from the brunette, who was starting to stand up.
They went back to conversing about the Bellas for a couple of minutes, but when Chloe heard a voice, she froze. "No way, Jess! Not happening!"
Chloe searched hopefully for the source of the voice, her eyes finally landing on the brunette she had seen earlier. She seemed to be in an argument with her friend. As they walked by, the girl's eyes met Chloe's. Chloe smiled shyly but said nothing - a first for her.
"Hi," the girl said, giving a crooked smile back before glaring at Aubrey and walking away faster than before.
Beca dragged Jesse away from the girls in an attempt to escape the blond's piercing eyes. "There, you happy? I talked to her!"
"Right," Jesse huffed. "I don't think saying one word and then speed walking away counts as talking."
She sighed. "I know." Man, I wanna find a girl like her someday. "At least it's more than you said to that blond bitch you're crushing on."
Jesse huffed. "Don't call her a bitch."
Beca rolled her eyes. "If she can call me a bitch, I can call her whatever the fuck I want."
"Fine!" Jesse exclaimed as they entered Beca's dorm. "Let's make a bet. I have to get the blond to go out with me, and you have to get the redhead to go out with you. Whoever gets a kiss on the lips first wins, but neither of us can initiate it. Loser does the winner's stacking for three shifts. Deal?"
Beca swallowed. Jesse, if this ends badly, I'll kill you. "Deal."
Well she just couldn't stop herself from thinking about him
At a store downtown she saw him again
She had both hands full, he held open the door
He said, "My name is Billy, I've seen you before,
Can I help you with these? Can I give you a ride?
Can I take you out on a Saturday night?"
She didn't have to say what she was feeling inside
He could see the answer shining in her eyes
Chloe sighed into the phone. "I know, Bree, I just can't help it. Okay. Yeah, I got the food. Bye." It had been a week since she had seen the brunette on the quad, and Chloe hadn't stopped thinking about her since. She didn't know why, but she felt drawn to the Aubrey-dubbed "alt girl".
She was trying to figure out where she'd seen the brunette before when the hostess brought out six bags of food. She sighed heavily, regretting her decision to walk to the restaurant, but thanked the woman regardless and headed for the door. She stood in front of the pull-door for a long moment, tossing her options around in her head, when a hand reached from behind her and pulled it open.
"Thanks," she sighed in relief.
"You're welcome," the person said. Chloe's eyes widened. She'd heard that voice before.
She spun around quickly and was ecstatic whe she saw the brunette from the quad holding the door open with a smirk.
They stared into each other's eyes - blue - before the brunette cleared her throat. "Uh, can I, um, help you with those?"
Chloe grinned, but on the inside she was slapping herself. Way to go, Beale. The one day you decide to walk instead of driving. "Thanks, but I walked here."
The brunette grinned back. "Well, it's a good thing I drove then, huh? Can I give you a ride? You're going back to Barden, right?"
Chloe's eyes went wide, her heart pounding in her chest. "Really?! I mean, uh, sure, thanks!"
The girl chuckled and took the majority of Chloe's bags from her. "I'm Beca, by the way. I'm sure your friend already mentioned it when she was ranting about me, but just in case."
"Chloe," Chloe said. "She did, but she said she wasn't sure, so I just assumed she was wrong. She thinks you have a bad attitude."
"Me? I'm not the one with a stick up my ass."
Chloe tried to hide her smirk. "She's a little uptight, but she means well."
Beca started leading Chloe toward her car. "Did you know she called me a bitch?"
"I definitely don't doubt that she did," Chloe chuckled. "Too bad I was in the bathroom. We could've met sooner."
"I really wish we would've." Chloe internally swooned at the alt girl's sweet words.
They reached the car and Beca threw all the food in the backseat before rushing to the passenger side and opening the door for Chloe.
"Thanks," Chloe blushed, not used to the chivalry. Bonus points for Beca.
Beca walked back to her own side, grinning. "Who ever said chivalry was dead?"
Chloe bit her lip as the fastened their seatbelts and Beca started the car. "Thanks so much for doing this."
"Don't sweat it. We're basically going to the same place," Beca pointed out, keeping her eyes on the road. "Besides, it's not every day I get the opportunity to help out such a gorgeous redhead." Chloe blushed again, the butterflies in her stomach going crazy. "So why do you have so much food, anyway?"
"Bellas bonding night," Chloe answered. "We're down to nine girls 'cause three girls broke the oath so Aubrey decided we needed to get to know each other a little better. She figures if we're all friends, we'll be 'less likely to cave in to the temptation' of breaking the oath." She probably told Beca more than the girl cared to know, but she couldn't help it. She was oddly nervous.
Beca just grinned. "Ahh, wonderful."
They pulled into Barden and Chloe directed Beca to the apartment she shared with Aubrey. Not wanting to part from the girl just yet, she decided to tease her a little.
"You sure ask a lot of questions. You sure you don't have any more before I go?"
Beca only gave a small, nervous smile. "Just one. Can I take you out next Saturday night?"
Chloe's eyes shined and she couldn't keep the grin from forming on her face. "Only if I can ask a question of my own."
Beca furrowed her eyebrows. "Uh, sure, shoot."
"Come in and help us eat all this food?"