All in Time Chapter 11
All in Time
A Life is Strange Story by OuTsYdeR
I’m No Angel
“Max, wake up!”
Max awoke, thankful to be pulled out of the dream, to see a smiling, fully-clothed Victoria standing over her.
“Huh? Victoria? What’s wrong?” She asked, blearily.
“Nothing’s wrong, Max! Something is actually right!” Victoria exclaimed as Max sat up and rubbed her eyes.
“I just got off the phone with my mom,” Victoria continued. “Apparently, she’s done being a raging snatch basket, and wants me to come home!”
“Wow! That’s great, Victoria!” Max chirped, happily. Some part of her would actually miss having Victoria around, but she also valued her privacy.
“She also unfroze my credit cards,” Victoria went on. “So, I say, if you’re up for it, we should have a party tonight!”
“You’re throwing yourself a going-away party?” Max asked, tilting her head in confusion.
“No, silly! You’re throwing me a going-away party. I’m just paying for it.” Victoria replied with a laugh. “C’mon, I’ve got a fake ID and a two-thousand dollar credit limit. Let’s get fucked up!”
“Okay, Victoria.” Max said, also laughing now. “But, who is gonna come to this party?”
“Well, you’re the hostess, so obviously you. I am the guest of honor, and… I suppose Warren can come, too.” She stood there thinking for a moment, tapping a fingernail to her chin. “Come to think of it, I don’t have any other friends left in Arcadia Bay… Anyone else you want to invite?”
Max shook her head. The only other friend she had who was their age was Kate, and she couldn’t imagine her coming to another party that Victoria was attending, after the Vortex Club fiasco.
After Warren had arrived and given the two young women a ride to and from the liquor store, they walked back into the apartment with three different kinds of wine, a fifth of Jack Daniel’s, a 2 liter of Coke, and bottle of Jägermeister. All the makings of a good time. Or, at the very least, a time no one would remember.
As Victoria and Warren sat on the couch, arguing over what kind of music to put on, Max quietly slipped into the bedroom. After rummaging through the closet for a few moments, she found her old Polaroid. By the time she returned, the two had stopped arguing and were just sitting there, both looking just thoroughly bummed out. Grinning, Max snapped a picture of the morose looking pair. As she stood there, shaking the instant photo back and forth, she said “Come on, you two. We’re supposed to be having fun tonight! Warren, this is Victoria’s party. Let her pick the music. I’ll go make us some drinks.”
As Warren nursed a Jack & Coke, and Victoria finished off her first glass of pink moscato, Max began to realize exactly why Warren had been arguing. Victoria’s taste in music was questionable, at best. Still, it was her party, so Max said nothing.
As the evening wore on, Max got several more pictures, including a nice selfie with all three of them in frame. This is probably the first photograph ever taken of Warren and Victoria together, She thought to herself. It was definitely going into her journal, which she promised herself she would start keeping again.
About halfway through his second drink, Warren stood up and declared “Well, sorry, ladies, but I have to get up early in the morning. I should be going home.”
“Oh, Warren. I’m sorry! I didn’t know you had an early day tomorrow.” Max said, suddenly saddened by the temporary loss of her best guy friend. “Let me walk you out.”
Warren nodded as Max stood up and walked with him to the front door, and out into the hallway.
“I guess, as far as parties go, this was an epic fail, huh?” Max said, more than slightly dejected.
“Well, it could’ve done with more people,” Warren replied with a chuckle. “But, considering Victoria Chase was involved, it wasn’t that bad. I just really do have to be up early.”
“Okay.” Max relented, accepting his excuse. “Again, I’m sorry. I hope you don’t feel like I forced you to come.”
“No way, Max. You know me, any excuse to come over to your place…”
Max smiled and threw her arms around him, hugging him tightly. “You sure you’re okay to drive?”
“Yeah. That’s why I had so little to drink, and why I drank so slowly. I’ll be fine.”
“Okay. You’d better be! I won’t stand for losing any more friends this year.” She said, sternly.
“I know, Max.” Warren replied in a whisper. “I would never do that to you.”
Back inside, Victoria was looking rather bored on the couch, as she finished her third glass of wine. Max picked up Warren’s cup and Victoria’s glass and headed into the kitchen. Impulsively, she finished the half drink that Warren had left. It tasted pretty good, so she made another Jack & Coke for herself, then poured Victoria another glass of wine.
Handing Victoria her glass, Max took a seat next to her. “I’m sorry it’s such a shitty party.” She said, sadly. “Here it is barely eleven o’clock, and it’s just you and me.”
“It’s okay, Max. You tried.” Victoria said, with a little smirk. “Besides, I’m used to being abandoned lately.”
“That’s not making me feel any better, Victoria.” Max said, before taking a big gulp of her drink.
“Well, it’s not like you’ve abandoned me. I never would’ve imagined that Max Caulfield would be my only friend in town, the only person I could depend on.”
“Yeah,” Max said, with a chuckle. “Who would’ve thought?”
“Well, I know one thing that would make this party better.” Victoria said.
After their third (Or was it fourth? Who can keep up, at this point?) round of Jäger shots, the two girls lie on Max’s bed, both staring up at the ceiling, thoroughly wasted, talking about life.
“So, you fell pretty hard for Chloe Price, and then Nathan shot her?” Victoria asked, incredulously.
“Uh huh.” Max Responded. “Life fucking sucks.”
“To be honest, I never really trusted Nathan. He was a little too squirrelly for me.”
“Yeah.” Max said, seemingly too drunk to form words of more than two syllables.
“I kinda remember Chloe,” Victoria said. “Totally not my style, but she was cute. So, I know this is probably really uncool to ask, but did you guys… Y’know…?”
“What?!” Max was completely taken aback by the question, but for some reason felt compelled to answer it. “No…”
Victoria rolled onto her side, propping herself up on an elbow, facing Max. “Now, that is just fucking sad. You loved her, and she was snuffed out before you even had a chance to…be intimate?”
Max could only close her eyes and nod. If she weren’t drunk, she would probably be crying just thinking about it. If Victoria weren’t drunk, she probably wouldn’t keep asking these questions, she thought.
“Well, I know you and Warren have done it…” Victoria said, seeming to take great pleasure in Max’s shocked expression following her statement. “What? The walls in this place are paper-thin!”
“Christ…” Max said, releasing a heavy sigh.
Victoria laughed. “It’s alright, Max. But, the question I was setting up is, have you ever even been with a girl?”
Max shook her head, still not wanting to speak for fear of breaking down into tears.
Victoria’s voice softened to a whisper as she leaned in closer, “We could change that, you know…”
Max lie in a motionless state of shock, like a deer in headlights. The only thing she could hear was the sound of her heart pounding in her chest, and Victoria’s breath mere inches away from her ear. She had once described Victoria as “rich and beautiful” in her journal, but she’d never harbored any sexual interest in her, at least not consciously. Still, here was her former arch-enemy, lying next to her, on her bed, apparently wanting to have sex with her. The moment was made even more surreal by the fact that the room was spinning from the alcohol ingested previously in the night.
“W-why?” Max managed to get out. “I mean, why would you want to change that?”
Victoria shrugged. “Well, you’re pretty. I’ve always thought so. And, even though I was always mean to you, I knew you were a good person. And, what can I say, I’m fucking drunk. Inhibitions are almost non-existent right now.”
Okay, good answer, I guess. Max thought to herself. She gasped as Victoria leaned in closer to kiss her neck.
They both lie on the bed, completely nude, each smoking their own cigarette, sharing the ash tray that lie on the bed between them. Neither woman spoke, but conversation was not really needed. They had just shared what Max thought was a beautiful physical connection, made even more special by the fact that they used to be bitter rivals.
After they had finished their smokes and stamped out the butts, Max moved the ash tray back to the night stand and scooted herself closer to Victoria. She loved the feel of the other girl’s soft skin against her own. Resting a hand on Victoria’s belly, she finally spoke; “I think you should sleep in here tonight. No couch for you.”
“Thanks, Max,” Victoria laughed loudly. “If I’d known it would get me off that lumpy couch, I would’ve tried to fuck you the first night.”
Max smiled as she watched Victoria drift off to sleep. She tried not to let herself get emotional, knowing that there was a decent chance that she would never see Victoria again after tonight. Still, she wanted to remember the evening as clearly as possible, for as long as she could. As she began to doze off, herself, she became vaguely aware that she had neglected to take any of her meds. She felt so relaxed that she probably didn’t need a Xanax, but missing her Lexapro, she thought, might have consequences. But, at this point, she decided, she was too tired to get back up and take one.
Max found herself on a busy interstate highway. She was sitting in the passenger seat of Chloe’s truck. Looking to her left, she saw her blue-haired love, looking as pissed off as she’d ever seen her. Her cheeks burned bright red, not with embarrassment, but with pure rage. The haze that had appeared in most of her dreams, except the last one when she had fallen asleep accidentally, was not present in this one, either.
The anger on Chloe’s face made Max afraid to speak. Unfortunately, Chloe decided to break the silence herself, after several moments of simmering. “How could you, Max? Victoria? Really?!”
“Oh, god, Chloe… I’m so sorry. It just happened! I never would’ve touched her if you were still alive.”
“Uh huh… And whose fault is it that I’m fucking dead, Max?” Her rage seemed to increase, despite the fact that she was no longer raising her voice.
“I’m sorry, Chloe…” Tears began to roll down Max’s cheeks as she sobbed uncontrollably. “I wanted it to be you… So badly…”
“Riiiight. That’s why you kept looking at her body like a hungry dog, right? You do realize that she and I look nothing alike, right?”
Seeing that sincere apologies were getting her nowhere, Max decided to try logical reasoning instead. “Chloe, I love you. With all my heart! But, you’ve been gone for so long… You said you’d loved me since we were kids, but you still had a thing with Rachel after I left.”
“That’s different, Max!” She spat. “You had a fucking choice! You chose not to contact me for five fucking years! I’ve been dead for nine months, and I still keep in touch, even if it’s just in your dreams!”
Max began to sob even harder, feeling the crushing weight of guilt upon her chest.
“Y’know what? Fuck it!” Chloe said, as she floored the accelerator. Looking over, Max saw that they were now travelling well over one hundred miles per hour. Suddenly, Chloe yanked the steering wheel to the right, veering right toward the concrete column of an overpass.
Max awoke with a gasp and sat bolt upright. Sweat was pouring out of her. Looking toward the window, she judged that it was early afternoon by the way the sun backlit the blinds. Turning the opposite direction, she found her camera, resting atop a piece of paper, where Victoria should have been. Moving the camera, she found a note that read; “Off to the airport. I’ll send you a post car from Seattle. Let me know if you ever get back there. Also, I left you a little something to remember me by. 😉 XOXO”
She would write ‘XOXO’… Max thought, wryly. Beneath the piece of paper was a picture from her instant camera, lying face down. Max picked it up and flipped it over. Her jaw dropped in disbelief.