“I don’t like this place. Do we have to eat here?”
“There’s no other restaurant in town, Vince.”
“Billy Bob’s is open.”
“And have to see Stupid Evil Sandwich Shop Guy? No way.”
Lucy continued looking down at her burger, drowning it in more and more ketchup, as if the lack of condiments was the reason she wasn’t eating.
The wind whipped across the outdoor seating area, making their plates almost fall off the table, and nearly knocking over the sign above the door.
“We almost lost our food. Wouldn’t that have been a shame?”
“Yeah. Why haven’t you started eating, Vince?”
“I was waiting for you. Why aren’t you eating?”
“I was waiting for you.”
The two awkwardly looked down at the food, which didn’t appear to have anything wrong with it. In fact, it looked and smelled quite good.
“Should we take a bite at the same time?”
Neither made a move.
“Maybe we should just go.”
“Yeah, I wasn’t really hungry anyway,” Lucy Davis said, as her stomach growled.
“Me neither. Where do you want to go?”
“YOU SHALL GO TO UNITE THE LOST BROTHERS!”
The two of them almost leapt out of their chairs at the sudden strange voice.
“Who are you?” Lucy Davis asked the small bearded man, who was wearing a polo shirt and baseball cap with the insignia for a pizza joint embroidered on them.
“I am a man who has traveled across time and space. But more importantly, I brought you this.”
The little old man sat a pizza box on the table, which Lucy and Vince wholeheartedly tore into.
“Ok, you have our attention.”
“Excellent. Lucy Davis, you must find the brothers who have split, and reunite them once again! This is your destiny!”
And with that, the little old man turned to leave.
“Wait, what’s your name?”
“Name? I need no name! Although, I once had a name while studying under the greatest of the Greek philosophers. To them, I was known as Schizophrenes; world renowned thinker and part time pizza transportation specialist. “
“And now, I must take my leave! Goodbye, Lucy Davis, and good luck.”
And thus Lucy and Vince said goodbye to Schizophrenes, who drove away to his next delivery.
“That was weird.”
“What did you say?” asked Vince, unable to hear Lucy speaking.
“Stop eating so fast,” she told him, pulling a wad of cheese out of his ear. “The pizza isn’t even getting into your mouth.”
“Sorry. So, what did you say?”
“I asked you to tell me about the lost brothers.”
“Oh, yeah. Jed and Ted Lost run the night clubs over on third street.”
“They’re actually named Lost?”
“Yeah. Well, actually they’re Big Gay Jed and Totally Straight Ted.”
“Uhh… Why don’t you just start from the beginning and tell me what you know about them.”
“Jed and Ted Lost were twin brothers who grew up here in El Americanos. My older brother actually went to school with them, and they all joined the Army together after they graduated. From what I heard, Jed was discharged when they found out he was gay, so he came back here and started working in Thomas Jackson’s old jazz club. Mr. Jackson liked Jed so much that when the club started losing money, he let Jed turn it into a nightclub and run the place by himself.”
“That’s pretty awesome.”
“I know right? But then Ted got out of the Army and he came back into town. Jed hired him and Mr. Jackson let the two of them run the nightclub for a couple years, until he died. He left the club to the two of them in his will, but when they started arguing about how to run the club, they eventually decided to just split the whole building down the middle.”
“And one half is a gay club, and the other half is a straight club, hence the nicknames?”
“It’s not an official rule, but yeah.”
“So a time travelling pizza guy is making us go to a segregated night club to unite a pair of estranged brothers who work next door to each other?”
“I guess so.”
“Sounds like a normal Tuesday for us.”
“Oh my God, this place is awesome!” said Vince, returning from the dance floor to the table where Lucy sat quietly stirring her drink.
“This place sucks. The music is terrible, my drink is flat and everyone here is an asshole,” she said, actually upset that the bartender hadn’t accepted her fake ID and not a single guy had hit on her all night.
“… What did you say? I was too busy watching your voice!”
“This guy gave me some breath strips, and now I can totally see the sound coming out of your mouth! Hey, have you always been underwater?”
“I can’t believe this! First I get tricked into going to a gay nightclub by the pizza guy, and now my boyfriend is high.”
“That sentence looked weird!”
“It sounded weird too.”
“Is something wrong here?” asked a guy walking up to the table.
“We’re fine, it’s just…”
“Oh my God! This is my jam!” Vince screamed as he ran back to the dance floor.
“It’s just that my boyfriend is high, and now I’ve lost him to a crowd of shirtless glitter-covered men.”
“Dammit!” Lucy thought to herself. “I can’t believe Vince is ditching me. And I can’t even make him jealous because all the guys here are… Hang on.” She thoroughly examined the slightly older man still standing at her table. “He’s wearing brown shoes with a black belt, and not one piece of rainbow clothing? JACKPOT!”
“Hi, I’m Lucy,” she said, sliding over to him.
“You’re that girl who killed the giant spider?”
“That was amazing,” he said, sitting next to her.
“Yeah, I guess I’m just an amazing girl. Tell me about yourself.”
“Well, name is Jed…”
“You’re Big Gay Jed!” Lucy Davis asked the small and very straight looking man.
“Usually, people don’t call me that to my face, but yeah. This is my club.”
Lucy put her forehead down on the table, figuring she may as well give up on life.
“Wait, were you hitting on me? I’m sorry, but I’m really bad at reading signals.”
“Also, no offense, but a dance club with a mostly gay clientele seems like a really bad place to find eligible straight men.”
“I know. I came here because some guy told me I was supposed to help get you and your brother back together.”
“Yeah. I know it’s stupid.”
“I’m up for it.”
“Sure. I haven’t spoken to my brother in a year, and he lives right next door. If you say you’re supposed to get us back together, than I’m all for that.”
“Oh… well that was easy. Let’s go.”
“Shouldn’t we go get your boyfriend?”
“Oh, he’ll be fine.”
“Now this is more like it,” Lucy Davis said after walking into the straight half of the Lost brother’s nightclub.
“I’ve never actually been in here.”
“Really?” she asked Jed.
“I haven’t had the guts to face my brother before now.”
“Well, go find out where he is. I’ll keep myself entertained.” What she really meant was that she was hoping to get hit on by the guys who had been staring at her since she walked in.
“Hey babe. You wanna have a drink and maybe talk about my biceps?”
“You’re weird. Next.”
“Hey girl. How about we go back by my truck and I let you fire off my gun?”
“You’re the reason people hate Texas. Step aside.”
“I just got this fabulous new techno dance album. Wanna listen?”
“I don’t think you should be in this club. Try next door.”
“Yo babe. Wanna do it in the bathroom?”
“I don’t think you should be on this planet. Try dying.”
Then something odd happened inside Lucy Davis’s small heart and even smaller conscience; she started to miss Vince. It was almost like getting hit on by creepy dudes made her miss her boyfriend who had been by her side despite her bitchiness and rude behavior.
This may seem obvious to you, but to her it was a pretty big revelation.
“Uh, Lucy?” asked Jed, trying to grab her attention.
“I found his office.”
Lucy Davis quickly blew off the guys lined up in front of her and followed Jed.
“Are you ready to do this?”
“As ready as I can be. What if he doesn’t want to see me?”
“He’s your twin brother. He’ll totally want to see you.”
“But what if he gets mad that I came and tells me he never wants to see me again? If I go up there and he hates me, any chance of me ever having contact with my brother will go out the window.”
“Just calm down. Everything will be fine. Take a deep breath.”
Jed did as she said. He sucked in a lungful of air and tried his best not to choke as he breathed it out.
“Alright, let’s do this.”
“I can’t believe you’re here,” said Ted, hugging his twin brother. “I was afraid I’d never see you again.”
“So was I.”
“Alright, so you’re good now, right?” asked Lucy Davis, who was anxious to leave. She actually wanted to go see Vince, though she wouldn’t admit it.
“I think so. I mean, I thought me being gay was going to keep us apart, but…”
“Wait, you thought I didn’t want to see you because you were gay?”
“That’s not it at all.”
“Well, if it’s about Mr. Jackson’s will…”
“That’s not it either.”
“Because you didn’t stand up to Adams!”
The two brothers stood in awkward silence for a moment before Lucy finally broke it by asking, “Who the hell is Adams?”
“He was our Commanding Officer over in Afghanistan,” Jed replied.
“He was a piece of shit college-boy who didn’t know what he was doing, and you abandoned us instead of standing up to him.”
“Abandoned you? I was discharged!”
“You came out to the rest of the platoon, and the next month you just so happen to fail a drug test? It was complete bullshit, and you know it!”
“There was nothing I could do!”
“Any of us would have stood up and testified for you! We could have gotten a real test and proved Adams was full of shit.”
“No, he wasn’t. It was true.”
“You’ve never smoked pot in your life.”
“Yeah I have.”
“How did you smoke it?”
“… With fire.”
“You’re so full of shit.”
The both of them took a beat to think, exhausted from fighting.
“Two months after you left, Ryan lost half his leg to an infected wound and James got killed by an IED. You should have been there.”
“I know. I’m sorry.”
“You’re my brother. I needed you.”
“…I took my discharge because I didn’t want to fight the charges. When I realized he had a problem with me being gay, I just wanted to leave and never see him again. I’m sorry.”
“That doesn’t make up for it.”
“I know, but can we at least keep talking? That way, maybe someday I will be able to make it up to you.”
The twins hugged again, finally starting to heal the wounds that had begun festering two continents away.
“But don’t you breathe in the paper as it burns?”
“Yeah, but you would with a normal cigarette too. I can’t believe you’ve never tried it before.”
“I was a pretty sheltered kid. Ted was the crazy one.”
“That sounds hard to believe from the guy who goes by Big Gay Jed.”
“I didn’t come up with it.”
Big Gay Jed and Lucy Davis stepped back into Jed’s half of the club, but only after he took a moment to wipe the tears from his eyes. He couldn’t have been any happier about reuniting with his brother.
“I suck at being gay,” Jed blurted out once they were inside the doors.
“Is it really something you can be good or bad at?”
“You see that guy?” he said as he pointed to a guy on roller skates, making his way around the dance floor in a pair of rainbow bellbottom pants.
“I’m pretty sure I could see him from space.”
“That’s Steven, my boyfriend.”
Lucy Davis turned to look at Jed, the man who didn’t even know how to match his shoes to his belt.
“I don’t quite know. We’re like ying and yang. Opposite personalities and opposite experiences, but somehow we fit together. I’ve been out of the closet most of my life, but I was never so…”
“Yeah. He’s everything I’m not. What about your date? Didn’t you come here with someone?”
As if on cue, Lucy Davis saw Vince out on the dance floor, having the time of his life.
“We only started dating because I hate his ex, but I like him a lot. Maybe more than I’ve liked anybody else.”
“Have you told him that?”
“Do I seem like the touchy-feely type?”
“Heck no, but it can’t hurt to tell him.”
As Jed left to go rejoin his boyfriend, Lucy’s boyfriend came to find her.
“Where’ve you been? I haven’t seen you all night.”
“I was helping the Lost Brothers. It’s all taken care of.”
“They’re back together? That’s awesome!”
“I guess so.”
“Come with me. I have to show you something!”
“Hey Vince?” said Lucy Davis, stopping him for just a moment. “I really like you.”
Vince Mahone smiled, planted a kiss on her lips and lingered there. Neither of them were in a hurry to pull away.
“I really like you too… but I feel like this would be more romantic if we weren’t in a gay club.”
“And if you weren’t covered in glitter.”
“Yeah, we’ll do this again later, but there’s something I still need you to try.”
Vince took Lucy’s hand and led her across the dance floor and up to the stage where the DJ was playing.
“Who knows how to party?” Vince shouted at the top of his lungs.
“VINCE DOES!” the crowd shouted back.
“Don’t get mad at me for this.”
“For what?” Lucy asked just before Vince shoved her into the crowd. He jumped in after her, and while the music pounded in their ears, Vince Mahone and Lucy Davis crowd surfed across the dance floor of the nightclub, while Jed and Steven looked at them and smiled.
This is a story all about a girl who must conquer the past to move forward with her life. Lucy Davis is 20 years old and has moved in with her father in Texas, after her mother threw her out of her home. She's headstrong and confident, but her vivid imagination is making her new quirky environment even quirkier. However, the friends she makes in this small town will help her to come to terms with who she is, and maybe even help her hate reality a little bit less. Lucy Davis Hates Reality is a story that I wrote using my own experience with self-harm, depression and generally being a young adult. It's weird, it's crazy and sometimes it's hard to know exactly what's going on, but that's how it is being young; fumbling around in the dark and trying to find something to latch onto.