Power to the Players

By Tori M. Pack All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Drama

Don't Change

I don’t know how long we sat there and watched Titanic but at some point, Natalie had drifted off to sleep. I glanced over my shoulder and saw her jet-black hair. I ran my left hand over her edges and felt how soft they were.

Her lips piercings were intoxicating and I quickly scolded myself. “What did you just say Beck?! You’re friends! Just friends! Don’t go over board!” I shouted inside my head.

I looked up at the screen and saw Jack and Rose shivering in the Atlantic Ocean. Rose is resting on top of a door and Jack is holding on to the edge, frozen.

I clinched and frowned at the screen. It must suck to freeze to death. All your organs just slowly shutting down until they just stop working. Apparently, due to knowledge i learned in my chemistry class, there is no such thing as cold, just loss of heat.

If I was in the Atlantic Ocean freezing to death and someone tried to tell me that there is no cold, I’d flip them off.

“I’ll never let go. I’ll never let go, Jack” Rose said, before letting him drift to the bottom of the Ocean.

Pttf! So much for never letting go huh, Rosie? I felt Natalie shuffle next to me and I looked over at her. She stretched and looked up at me with lazy eyes. “Did I fall asleep?” she asked, still slightly unconscious.

I laughed and she just arched her eyebrows at me. “I don’t know. You tell me” I replied sarcastically. She smirked and slapped my stomach. “Ow! Hey!” I groaned, grabbing her hand.

“That wouldn’t have happened if you would have just answered the question” she remarked, getting off her bed. “There was no need to answer. I’m pretty sure you know you fell asleep” I shot back, rubbing my stomach.

She smiled and looked at the time. “We’ve been here for awhile,” she said. “Yeah. Titanic is a pretty long movie. What time is it?” I asked. “6:08” she replied. “Oh…Oh shit!” I jumped off the bed and headed back upstairs.

“Beck! What’s wrong?” Natalie yelled after me. I looked down the steps and saw her standing in the hallway. She looked confused so I decided to give her a quick answer. “I’m late for work,” I exclaimed.

She walked upstairs as I opened the door and ran out. “Bye!” I yelled over my shoulder before tripping over her hedge. She burst out laughing and I got back up and dusted off my shirt. “It’s not funny!” I yelled, trying not to laugh myself.

“Yeah. It kind of is!” she yelled back. I chuckled and ran inside my house, towards the steps, and into my room. “Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap” I said over and over again as I undressed.

I pulled on my blue Wal-Mart shirt and my slacks before grabbing my work shoes and nametag. I ran back downstairs and saw Brandon eating dinner.

“Save me some?” I asked, poking my head around the corner. He thought about it for a second before nodding. “Love you!” I yelled, walking towards the door. “Bring me back something!” he yelled back.

I laughed before closing the door behind me. I ran around the driver’s side of my car and swung the door open, quickly climbing in and slamming the door shut.

I started the car up and put it in reverse, backing out the driveway and onto the street. “Patti is going to have my ass for dinner” I groaned, putting the car in drive.

I hopped out of my car and walked toward the entrance of Wal-Mart. The doors slide open and I headed towards the back. “Well, look who it is. Coming in late huh Karen?” I groaned and slowly turned around to look at the culprit.

Glen. Fucking Glen. He’s 28-years old and for some reason, can NEVER call me by the right name, even though I’ve told him a thousand times!

“Glen. I don’t have time for this,” I said between clenched teeth. “Now, now Karen. No need to be rude. Patti’s not here today so you’re getting off lucky,” he said, crossing his arms over his chest and smirked at me.

I pumped my fist in the air and almost felt like dancing…almost. “Who’s taking her shift?” I asked. Glen frowned. “Some new girl. Too young to be a manager if you ask me. I mean, I’ve been here for 10 years and nobody has ever asked me if I wanted to be manager. I’m sure I’d do a better job than half the employees in this store. I mean, I’m a pretty decent per…”

I zoned out on him and began looking around the store for somebody new. A new manager? They must have promoted Patti (God only knows why). But who could they have gotten to take her place? Glen said something about them being “young” but anybody could be young to Glen as much as he complained.

“Karen? Karen, are you listening to me?” I zoned back in on the brown haired man and nodded. “Yup. Look, I gotta go clock in so I’ll see you around”. I walked away from him and towards the back door.

When I walked in, they were in the middle of a meeting. I looked around and saw Lee in the corner. We had decided to work at the same place our freshmen year and lucky, Wal-Mart accepted us both.

“…So in the case that does happen, please notify the authorities at once! Now, I will hand things over to your new manager, Ms. Rachel Moore”. Our supervisor sat down and everyone started to clap as the women stood up.

She was pretty young. Maybe around early 20′s or mid 20′s. She had long red hair and blue eyes. She was pretty short. Probably 5′3" or 5′5". She was also pretty shapely and I noticed Lee staring at her for a while.

I smirked over at him. “Down boy” I said, laughing. He flipped me off and I just laughed harder.

“Hello. As you know, I’m Rachel Moore and I’m your new manager. Patti went on early retirement and I will be taking over for her. Please, call me Rachel. I don’t reply to Ms. Moore and when someone calls me that I look around for my mother. Other than that, just be respectful, do your job, listen, and we will get along fine,” she said, smiling at us.

I nodded in silent agreement. She seems pretty cool actually. I think my days working here will be a little better with her around. I mean, Patti was total torture. I used to hate coming to work and I was even contemplating about staying with Natalie or coming here. I would have much rather stayed with Nat.

We headed out toward our sections of the store and Lee and I walked over to the entertainment section. He sat down at his station and I walked over to the TV area.

“What do you think about Rachel?” he asked, leaning back in his seat. I chuckled and looked over at him. “Don’t start” I replied, giving him a stern look. He lifted up his arms and smiled.

“What? What am I doing?” he asked curiously. “Think about Jessie” I replied, sitting on top of the counter. “I am! I just asked a question. I love Jessie. When did I ever say anything about Rachel huh? It was just a question Beck” he defended.

I just shook my head and watched as the customers walked around the store. “Aw man. Look who’s coming over here” he groaned. I followed his direction and saw Glen walking toward us.

I sighed and tried to make it seem like I was doing something. “So Erica. Get any customers yet?” he asked me. Lee looked over at me in confusion but I just waved him off. “No. Not yet. Lee had a couple but it’s a pretty slow day today” I replied bluntly.

He nodded at me and looked around at the place. “So, I hear you two are really into games. I’m thinking about getting myself one of those X-Squares,” he said.

“It’s X-Box. X. Box” remarked Lee. “Right, right. Can you tell me any good games that I could play?” he asked. Lee and I both looked at each other and smiled. Time to get some serious pay back.

“You should get ‘Drake of the 99 Dragons’ best game I’ve ever played” I lied, smirking over at Lee.

“Drake of the 99 Dragons? I’ve never heard of that before” he said, arching his eyebrows.

“Oh, it’s good. A little too good. I don’t think you’d be able to handle it” Lee piped in.

“I’m sure I could. Where can I get it?” he asked, suddenly very interested.

“Try GameStoppers…but don’t ask them, look for it yourself,” I replied, trying to hold back my laughter.

“Yeah. You’ve gotta look for it yourself or else people will wanna try and find it before you and you probably won’t get it because it goes out of stock quick” Lee said.

“Alright. Thanks Lee, Karen”. He walked away and we burst into laughter. “God, he’s such a douche,” Lee groaned, looking up at the ceiling. I nodded my head in silent agreement and saw Melody across the aisle.

“Schmidt!” I yelled. She turned around and gave a small smile when she noticed it was me. She walked over and I groaned when I saw Sasha and her other friend, Mary.

“Hey. Hey Lee” she greeted. Lee just waved and kept his eyes on the ceiling. I glared at Sasha and she glared right back. “How’s work going?” Melody asked.

“Slow…look Melody, about this morning…”


“But I wanna apologize…”

“Beck. Don’t.”

“Don’t what?”

“Just…leave it alone.”


Lee, Sasha, and Mary looked between the both of us and Melody just looked at the ground. I arched my eyebrows at her. What was going on with her?

“Well Mel, we should go. They have to work obviously. Besides, I need some new booty shorts and I need them now” Mary said, walking away with Sasha behind her.

Melody’s eyes lingered on me for a second before she walked away with them. Lee looked at me and I looked back at him.

“What?” I said, jumping down from the counter. “Nothing. Just wondering when she’s gonna tell you” he replied bluntly. My eyes widened and I spun around to look at him.

“Tell me what?” I exclaimed. “Well, isn’t it obvious? When she’ll tell you that she loves you,” he said, sitting up. I frowned at him. “She doesn’t love me. Well, I mean she loves me like a friend but nothing serious” I said, staring at him.

He chuckled to himself and leaned back in his chair again. “Whatever you say Beck. I may act stupid but, I can still tell when something’s up” he said. I arched my eyebrows at him.

“Like what?” I asked, smirking at him. He glanced over at me before looking back at the ceiling. “Like the fact that you’ve got a thing for Natalie” he replied. My jaw dropped and he just chuckled again.

“Don’t worry. Your secret’s safe with me” he said. I stared at him for another second and then looked at the ground. “Thanks Lee” I mumbled.

“No problem Beck” he mumbled back. I laughed and looked back at him. “Play some X-box live after work?” I asked. His smile broadened and he sat up.

“No doubt!” he exclaimed.

“I’m starving” I moaned, walking into my house. I sat down at the kitchen table and pulled off my work shirt.

“Now, I’m sure we could get some pizza if you want. Brandon ate most of the food today. I swear, that boy eats like a grown man” I heard my mother say.

I looked over at her and saw her talking to some tall woman in the other room. She had brown curly hair and was wearing an expensive blouse and dress pants along with some heels. She had diamond earrings on and her nails were perfectly manicured.

My mother noticed me and smiled. “Beck, when did you get in? Where’s your shirt?” she asked, walking toward the kitchen.

“Just now and in my hand. Who’s this?” I asked, motioning tomorrow the woman. “This is our new neighbor, Elizabeth Hudson. They moved here last week but I’m just meeting her today. Apparently, Brandon always comes over and plays with her little girl, Kylie” she replied.

“Oh um…hello. I’m Becca, Brandon’s older sister and her first born,” I said smartly. My slapped my arm and I laughed. Mrs. Hudson chuckled and shook my hand.

“Hi Beck. Can I call you Beck?” she asked. “Everybody calls her Beck already” my mother replied for me. “Oh! Ok then. Beck it is” she said smiling.

“Hey mom. Are you ordering pizza?” I asked, looking over at her. “Yes since your brother ate all the food. What kind do you want?” she asked, walking toward the house phone.

“Uh…ham and pineapple would be fine with me” I replied. She frowned and so did Mrs. Hudson. “Pepperoni on half?” she asked, looking over at her.

“Yes please” she replied. I left them to their conversation and walked upstairs to my room. I heard laughter and it took me by slight surprise. Brandon better not be hiding under my bed to scare me again.

I opened the door and saw my dad and Natalie looking over pictures of me on my bed. My eyebrows arched and I dropped my workbag on the ground.

Dad looked up at me and smiled. “Hey little foot!” he greeted. I groaned at the embarrassing name and Natalie giggled. “What are you doing dad?” I asked, walking toward him.

“Well, Elizabeth came over with her two daughters to introduce herself and Natalie looked pretty lost. So I decided to entertain her with some old photos and stories of you that I remembered” he replied.

“Photos?!” I picked up the book and saw the picture of baby me covered in mud. “First, this is embarrassing and secondly, why am I covered in mud?” I groaned.

“Because you went flying out the door in the middle of a rain storm when you were three and fell in some mud. You looked funny so I just had to take a picture” he said, smirking.

“Dad! Please. Go bother and embarrass Brandon,” I said in embarrassment. Dad laughed and stood up. “It was nice meeting you, Natalie,” he said. “It was nice meeting you too,” she said smiling.

He walked out the room and closed the door. I collapsed on my bed and covered my head with a pillow. Natalie laughed and laid next to me.

“I can’t believe he did that,” I mumbled against the pillow. “It was cute. Besides, I heard a lot of stories about you. Like when you were 5, you used to walk around in this little baseball outfit and…” she leaned over and whispered the rest in my ear.

My blood boiled and I sat up quick. “That doesn’t leave this room!” I exclaimed, tackling her. She laughed and hit me with another pillow on my head. “But it’s so cute!” she groaned.

“He also told me about the time when you…” she leaned up to whisper in my ear again and I groaned and rolled off of her. “So embarrassing!” I moaned. She laughed and looked over at me.

“How was work?” she asked. “Got a new manager. I think Lee’s attracted to her but I don’t wanna assume things. Do you have a job?” I asked, rolling over to look at her.

She shook her head. “I’ve only been here for a week, remember?” she said. “Oh yeah! Forgot about that. You should work at Wal-Mart with me” I replied. She arched her brows at me and I just shrugged.

“Come on. It’ll be fun. I’ll buy you free coffee everyday” I sang, poking at her. “Everyday?” she repeated. “Everyday” I said, smiling at her.

She looked up at the ceiling and thought about it for a second. “Um….Ok. But only if you add sugar and cream to that offer” she said, pointing a finger at me.

“Yes!” I exclaimed, tickling her. “Stop! Beck!” she shrieked, trying to squirm out of my reach. I grabbed her and pulled her back towards me.

“Um…Beck?” she said, a slight blush creeping over her cheeks. “Yeah?” I asked, smiling at her. “If we’re gonna do this…can you at least put a shirt on?” she asked timidly.

I looked down and sure enough, I was still wearing my sports bra. I jumped off my bed and over to my closet, pulling out a red ‘Paramore’ shirt and pulling it over my head.

I grabbed my black slouched down beanie out of my closet and jammed it on my head.

“Better?” I asked, motioning towards my body. “Much. Thanks” she replied. I jumped on the bed and she laughed.

“Beck, can we go somewhere tomorrow?” she asked, picking up my tennis ball from my bedside drawer and throwing it up in the air.

“Yeah, where do you wanna go?” I asked, trying to catch the ball when she threw it. “It doesn’t matter to me. I just wanna get out the house” she replied.

I thought about it for a minute and then smiled. “I know the perfect place,” I said, grabbing the ball from her. “Hey!” she groaned, trying to take the ball back. I laughed and handed it back to her when she pouted, her lip piercings sticking out. She stuck her tongue out at me and I did the same.

“Where?” she asked, leaning her head on my shoulder and grabbing my camera. “The arcade” I replied, smiling. She groaned and held my camera up in the air.

“You’re such a nerd,” she said. “Yeah but that’s why you love me right?” I chuckled. “Yeah…” she groaned. “Say cheese” she added, looking up at the camera.

I smiled and she took the picture, showing it back to us. “That turned out good. Let’s take another,” she said happily. I laughed and leaned back against the headboard, trying to get comfortable.

She laid next to me and relaxed, lifting the camera back up in the air. “Beck?” she said softly.


“Don’t change,” she said, looking up at me. I arched my eyebrows at her. “I’m not planning on it” I replied.

She smiled and took the picture. She brought the camera back down and we looked at it. I was staring at her eyes and she was smiling at me.

“Oh, that’s totally my profile picture now” I laughed. She gasped. “Don’t you dare!” she said, trying to erase it. “Why not?” I asked, pulling the camera away from her.

“It’s embarrassing!” she replied, trying to reach for the camera again. “No it isn’t. You should make it yours too,” I said.

“…Are you sure?” she asked softly. “Natalie, I’m positive. You don’t have to always seem so skittish around me. I’m not going to get upset and push you away. You’re my gir…you’re my friend” I replied.

She smiled at me and I gave her the camera, smiling when she pushed ‘save’.

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