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looking for baggage that goes with mine

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Richie are you up? Please be up!!- delivered 11:37 pm

Heartbreak scenario #2. Pleaseeee- delivered 11:37 pm

Richie pls be a good friend just this once!!!!  -delivered 11:38 pm

pLEASE ANSWER !!!! -delivered 11:39  pm

Bill and Mike are sleeping, I don't want a hurt Ben's feelings &&& I do NOT need Eddie or Stan's  judgement. PLEASE RICHIE. I LOVE YOU.- delivered 11:41

Omw ilu2- received 11:52 pm

delivered 11:52 pm- 💖💖💖💖

Ten minutes later, there was a knock on the door. Bev stirred in her bed. 

 

"Who is that?" the stranger in her bed asked, not moving his arm from around her waist.

 

"I don't know," she said with a fake yawn. She got out of bed and pulled a robe over herself. "You can wait here, I'll get it."

 

"No, I'll come with you," he said, as if she needed protection. 

 

She willed herself not to roll her eyes as she left her bedroom to the living room. She looked through the peephole in the door and opened the door slowly, asking in a tired voice, "Richie? It's the middle-"

 

Richie cut her off by throwing his arms around her, sobbing into her neck. Hyperventilating, he said, "Eddie left me! Oh Bev, we were fighting and he- he told me he was done!" 

 

He pulled away and took his glasses off, wiping them off with his shirt. Bev couldn't help but be impressed with his commitment, his face was red and blotchy, tears welled up in his eyes. 

 

When he put his glasses back on, he pretended to notice the man standing a few feet behind Bev. He looked back and forth between them and with a sniffle asked, "Am I interrupting something? I'm so sorry."

 

"Oh no, no, not at all," Bev said, hugging Richie before looking back at the man, "He was actually about to head out, right?"

 

"Oh, uh, yeah, let me go grab my shirt."

 

Bed couldn't help the relieved smile. She nodded and looked at Richie, "Go grab yourself a drink, I'll be right back."

 

Richie nodded and walked towards the kitchen slowly.

 

Bev followed the man back to her bedroom, whispering when the door closed, "I'm so, so sorry. Richie's one of my best friends, I guess his boyfriend-" 

 

"It's cool," the man cut her off. He did not sound like it was cool. He pulled the shirt over his head and said, "You have my number, call me?" 

 

"Of course, of course," She promised. She led him to the door and mouthed an apology again. She let him kiss her before closing and locking the door. 

 

She was quiet for a moment, walking over to the couch where Richie was holding two glasses of red wine, his face still a mess but his teary eyes replaced with a grin.

 

She smiled slyly and took a glass from his hand.

 

“To freedom?” he said, holding his glass towards her.

 

“To your impeccable acting,” she laughed, clicking her glass gently against his. 

 

“So what was wrong with that one?” he asked.

 

“Okay, so I may have been overreacting about it being an emergency, he was fine, I just thought he would leave after, as he just… didn't. He was very cliny," Bev shrugged.

 

Richie laughed and wrinkled his nose before putting his arm around Bev, “You should give the guy a break, you’re addictive, baby.”

 

“And you’re gross,” she said, pushing him off of her.

 

Richie laughed and exaggeratedly mimed himself saving his glass of wine from spilling. When he settled down, he asked, “Who the hell is he, anyway?”

 

“I don’t know!” Bev said, flinging her arm to cover her eyes as she reclined on the couch. “He bummed me a cigarette at this party and one thing led to another and I brought him home, I don’t even remember his name! We weren't even drunk!”

 

“God, you gotta stop it with these randos,” Richie mumbled.

 

“I called you because I was not in the mood for the judgement, I should’ve just called Eddie or Stan!” she shouted, uncovering her face.

 

“You would never have gotten such authentic acting from Eddie or Stanley!" Richie said, hand over his heart like he was shocked at the suggestion.

 

“Yeah, that was impressive.” Bev laughed and took a sip from her wine. After a beat, she said, “Interesting fake boyfriend name, too…”

 

“Oh shut up. This is a judgement free home tonight,” he hummed, turning to face straight ahead instead of at Bev.

 

“Alright, alright. Fair,” Bev sighed. 

 

“Okay, so totally judgement free…” Richie said slowly, dragging his words out, “But you would never have to set up another 911 scenario if it was big Ben in that bed with you.”

 

“Geeze Rich, sure sounds judgement free.”

 

“I’m just sayin’ Bev, his heart burns for you!” Richie said, gesticulating with his hands. “And I know you’ve got something burning for him!”

 

“Ew! Beep beep, Richie!”

 

“Don’t beep beep me like I’m a perv when your whole apartment smells like sex!”

 

Bev laughed and shook her head, “It’s different with Ben, though. I wouldn’t want to be crude when it came to Ben.”

 

“Is it ‘cause he’s fat? I mean, I know he’s losing weight like crazy, but ya know…” Richie patted his stomach. 

 

“Don’t be a dick!” Beverly said, slapping his arm. She smiled and looked away, “I actually find him very attractive, I have for a long time....”

 

“Then what?”

 

“I know he thinks he likes me,” Bev said quietly, swirling her glass of wine in her hand, like she was looking down at wine aged in a cellar instead of the $8 bottle from the corner store. “But being friends with somebody and being with somebody is different.”

 

“But it’s not like you’re just casual friends,” Richie laughed. “You guys know everything about each other, it’s not like he just knows about your bullshit, he’s been through it with you.”

 

“Yeah, but dealing with baggage as a friend and as a partner… it’s different…” Bev said quietly.

 

“How would you know? You never let any of your shit boyfriends or flings even glimpse at your baggage.”

 

Bev laughed and shook her head, “Richie, don’t get too real here. I hate it when you go and give me good advice. Do you know how humiliating it is to admit that I take advice from Trashmouth?"

 

Richie laughed and elbowed her side gently, “Well don’t come crying to me next time you need something, you know I aim to humiliate.”

 

“Whatever, if you’re hellbent on humiliating me, I’ll tell Eddie that he was your fantasy boyfriend in your scenario tonight.”

 

“And deal with Eddie’s judgement? No you wouldn’t!”

 

“You’re right I wouldn’t,” Bev sighed. They were quiet for a moment, both sipping on their wine. Bev looked at Richie with squinted eyes. He grinned, knowing she was scheming. “Do you want to impulse dye my hair for me?”

 

“There’s nothing I’d rather be doing on a Saturday night. You’ve got dye in the bathroom?”


“I always have impulse hair dye in the bathroom,” she laughed.

 

“Alright, Ima get the bottle of wine, you get set up in there,” he said with a laugh, jumping off the couch. 

 

Bev laughed and went to the bathroom. She pulled the dye and gloves out from under the cabinet. It was only a browner red, not much more of a difference, but it did come with that feeling of control. Richie came in with a bottle in his hand, music playing from the phone in his pocket. Bev danced with him, swiping the bottle from his hand to sip directly from it, ignoring her glass on the counter. 

 

She would think about what Richie said, because she knew he was right, she knew she was looking for excuses because she was scared. When she was with her friends, though, she knew there was nothing to be scared of, nothing she couldn't face with them. Everything was okay, it would be as long as they had each other. Not much else was certain in her life, but at least that much was.