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Buzz.

Buzz.

Buzz.

“What the fuck is she doing?”

Buzz.

Buzz.

Buzz.

“Rachel, I swear to god, I’ll-”

Buzz.

Buzz.

Buzz.

“Answer your goddamn phone, bitch!”

Chloe, the epitome of rage, began screaming into her phone’s poor speaker as loud as her lungs would let her. She cried out various curses, rageful insults she truly knew she didn’t mean, hell, even a few secrets that she’d sworn to never repeat were yelled as loud as possible.

If Rachel wouldn’t answer the phone, then maybe she’d answer a yell. If only Chloe could yell loud enough.

She couldn’t.

With tears in her eyes, she heard that same damn voicemail message that she and Rachel had recorded together just months ago. The sounds of Rachel’s laughter while Chloe imitated her step father, telling the caller in a forceful tone to never call back as Rachel was “preoccupied”.

Oh, she must be suuuper preoccupied to ignore Chloe like this.

Buzz.

Buzz.

Buzz.

And honestly, Jefferson was starting to grow tired of the faint noise that he heard in the background as it rang. As a photographer, his vision was far superior to his hearing, but even he could hear a buzz buzz buzz from the counter just yards away. The noise was starting to grate on his ears, like nails against a chalkboard, but he would endure just long enough to get the perfect photographs.

Click.

Buzz.

Click.

Buzz.

The rhythm of unknowing desolation echoed through Jefferson’s room, eliciting another groan from the self-proclaimed hipster. It was annoying if nothing else. Who would even care to call Rachel all this much? If she hadn’t answered already, maybe the caller should take the hint.

Buzz.

Buzz.

Buzz.

Chloe had enough of the calls and decided to leave the first voicemail. It was something she never really liked to do, as having evidence of her breakdowns on someone else’s phone is scarier than she was comfortable with, but if the situation was this odd and dire, of course, she’d sacrifice her own happiness for a moment.

“Rachel, it’s Chloe, obviously… Look, I know you said that you planned on leaving here one day without telling me, but this is…” Chloe turned away from the phone, looking to her wall where she had a collage of photos of the two girls hanging. God. Were those times gone? “This is too much, Rach. You need to call me back. Pick up the phone, answer my texts, anything- hell, I’d rather you leave me on read than this!”

She hung up the phone, instantly dialing again.

Buzz.

Voicemail.

“Rachel, come on. I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings, I’m sorry if I messed up- shit-” Chloe tried to hold back her sobs from being too audible and slow down her speech, but the stream of consciousness in her head wouldn’t stop spewing, even by her own willpower. “I’m always the one to ruin everything, I ruined something, didn’t I?” Chloe tugged at her hair slightly, both out of stress and self-loathing. “Did I hurt you? Did I make you sad? Did I- I didn’t mean to do anything- are you mad that we’re kissing more or- God, what the fuck did I do, Rachel?”

She pressed the red button, hanging up the call. Instantly, Chloe turned to her nearest pillow, clenching it against her chest in both a rageful outburst from this perceived betrayal and the wave of despondency sinking her like an anchor.

Buzz.

Voicemail.

“Okay, I know we aren’t exclusive, but I- are you with some guy? Is that what’s happening? Look, if that’s the case, I’m sorry for, like, totally ruining this night for you, but like… agh… that isn’t like you, Rach- NONE of this is like you!” Chloe tugged at her hair more, the damaged blue strands starting to come undone from her scalp. “You’re not the kind of girl to leave me like this- so please, just… anything?”

Click.

Buzz.

Voicemail.

“Are you serious right now? Are you, like, really leaving me? I mean, I’ve called you… what… 30, 40 times? At least? Why haven’t you answered? Do you need more?” Chloe groaned again, feeling more unbridled rage come undone at the thought of Rachel leaving her too.

It was only a thought that lasted but a second, but it told her all she needed to know. The simple phrase of ‘Max and Dad left, too’.

It’d danced in her mind for mere seconds before its solo became a full ensemble, screaming screamless screams in her poor mind until she couldn’t take it anymore.

“You know what, bitch? You want to leave me like this, just leave like I’m nothing? Do you want to treat me like I did nothing for you? I-” She coughed, the sobs in her voice instantly becoming evident. Oh fucking well. “You want me to care about- What the hell will you do without a car and money, dumbass? The money that I got! The car that I fixed! All of our plans, every last fucking one of them, all were finalized by me! I did it! I’m not the useless one or the burnout- I’m not your fucking shadow, Rachel Amber!”

She knew deep down that these words weren’t true for Rachel, but rather for Max.

But she didn’t care.
Now, they’re the same, as far as she is concerned.

“And another thing? You may be good at acting, but that doesn’t make you a good person. You can’t act yourself to being perfect, you can’t pretend to be a good person until you just magically shift. Like, be me! I’m an awful, horrible person, but I’m proud of it! I’ll fuckin’ wear that with a badge of honor!”

Joyce and David had definitely heard her by now.

So what.

“YOU’RE NOTHING TO ME, RACHEL! YOU’RE NOTHING!”

And with a press of the red button, a wave of regret flew over her.

What if Rachel never spoke to her again because of that message?

Shit.

Buzz.

A voice came through, but it sure as hell wasn’t Rachel’s.

“I’m sorry, but the person you have called has a voice mailbox that is full. Goodbye.”

Goodbye indeed.

Chloe sunk into her bed.

The texts weren’t going through.

Nothing was working.

She ran Rachel’s phone dead.

Goddamn it.

Click.

Click.

Click.

Click.