“GOOOD MORNING, GOOOD MORNING~!”
What in the actual heck is that?
“GOOD MORNING TO YOUUU~!”
I stirred awake, turning over to see Elliot standing at the side of my bed, loudly and obnoxiously singing.
“Ughhhhhh,” I groaned as I pulled my pillow over my head, hoping that would block his God-awful singing out.
“Time to wake uppppp,”
He started rocking my body but I refused to give in.
“If you don’t wake up, I’ll get the bucket~!”
Dad would kill him if he got water over the beds again. Last time Elliot threw water over me in bed, he got an ass-whooping of a lifetime. It was enough to teach both of to never do it again.
I snuggled back into my bed, ignoring his bluff as waited for him to give up and just leave me alone.
I heard a loud sigh.
“You asked for this, O,” he said in a low tone.
Before I had a chance to react, he pulled on my sheets and wrapped it around me, trapping me in a cocoon.
“What are you-”
He grabbed my ankles and then literally dragged me out of bed, causing me to land on the carpet with a thump.
“What the hell, Elliot!?” I started to fight, trying to escape but he had the sheet wrapped tightly around me and refused to let my ankles go.
“Don’t worry, buddy, I got you!” he ignored my resistance and continued to drag me along the floor, smacking my head into the doorframe on the way out.
“OW!” I exclaimed. “Are you kidding me!?”
He laughed like it was the funniest thing he’s ever seen.
“Aw man, I’m so sorry!”
“You’re not!” I snapped, angrily wiggling around. “Let me go, you bastard!”
I had no idea what his plan was exactly. Was he going to drag me downstairs? The thought of that is enough to make me wince. I expected him to continue going straight down the hall, but he made a sudden turn, dragging me onto cold, tiled floors.
That’s when I realised.
It wasn’t the stairs I had to be worried about.
Dad would kill him if he got water on the beds.
But in the bathroom? That was an easy fix.
“Elliot, no!” I pleaded desperately. “I’m awake! I’m awake! Let me go!”
“Too late, brother,” he dropped my feet and I used that moment to try to escape, rushing to get the sheet off me and flee.
But I was too late.
Cold water splashed over me.
“ELLIOT!” I yelled, completely soaked in water.
I gaped up at him with a glare, feeling the water drip down my face.
“I warned you!” Elliot laughed, holding onto his empty bucket. “You should’ve gotten up when I first came in.”
“You’re an ass!” I shot up and went right for him, ready to smash his head over the basin. I didn’t need a brother anymore. “I was waking up!”
He caught my arms, laughing as he wrestled me and then pulled me into a headlock, giving me a noogie.
“STOP IT!” I managed to pull out of his clutches, holding onto my wet head while frowning at him. “You’re such a dickhead.”
“Aw, come on, it was funny,” he snickered. “Dad wanted me to make sure you were up by twelve.”
“What do you mean ‘by twelve’?” I asked, feeling a surge of panic, “What time is-”
“Before you have your typical meltdown,” he interjected. “Calm your shit.”
“Calm my shit?!” I dropped my arms, clenching my fists as I took another step towards him.
“Yeah, seriously, it’s all sorted,” he said as he grabbed a towel off the rack beside him and started drying his arms off. “Dad and Palmer had a talk, figured you needed a break, yadda-yadda-yadda.”
He then passed me the towel as he closed the distance between us.
“Long story short, you got a free day off,” Elliot smiled.
I made a puzzled face as I took the towel from him.
“They want me to stay home?” I questioned.
“They do care about you, you know?” he replied. “You have this tendency to run yourself dead into the ground whenever you’re stress so they’re probably trying to prevent that.”
“All this because of yesterday?” I asked, doubtfully.
“I don’t know,” he sighed. “I wasn’t expecting Daddy-o to freak out as much as he did when I told him about your spew-bucket incident.”
“Yeah, thanks for that,” I chided, “you broke the bro-code.”
“Scored you a day off though,” he winked, patting my shoulder.
I rolled my eyes at him, looking away as I tried to finish drying off. However, with my soaking wet clothes, I wasn’t getting anywhere.
“Listen, little bro,” he spoke but I didn’t look up from my wet shirt. “Take my advice here and just slow down. You got a free day off from school, no questions asked.”
“I’m not upset about the free day off,” I muttered, making a sad attempt of dabbing at my shirt. “I just don’t like being treating like a fragile mess.”
“Just because someone wants to take care of you, doesn’t mean they see you as a fragile mess,” Elliot said. “It just means they love you.”
I snorted, shaking my head as I looked up at him. “That’s gay.”
He rolled his eyes with a smile.
“Well, I’m gonna go,” Elliot said, pointing his thumb out the door. “Got a hot date with Belle today.”
Now that he mentioned it, he was looking snazzy. He had his best plain black v-neck on along with his best jeans and best pair of vans - all gifts from Belle of course.
“You taking the Jeep then?” I asked.
“Yeah, you know how she hates the motorbike,” he nodded. “Soo clean this mess up and have a Netflix binge or something.”
“But you’re the one that made this mess!” I frowned at him, but he quickly ducked out of the bathroom.
“BYEEE, HAVE FUNNN~!” he called out from the hallway, ignoring me completely.
Seriously, what did I do to deserve him for a brother?
After cleaning up his mess and performing a concert in the shower, I brushed my teeth and then pulled a wide-open smile at my reflection in the mirror while I inspected my teeth. However, the sight of my appearance caught my attention and I ended up staring at myself like I was doubting it was actually me.
Small bags had lined themselves under my olive eyes and I tried wiping them away but as expected, it did nothing. I moved my attention to my hair, sighing heavily upon the sight of it. The pastel pink was washing out faster than I would like and my auburn regrowth was starting to make itself known loud and clear.
Seems like I’ll need to pop in to see Max’s mum soon then.
I headed back to my room, picking up my phone while I grabbed a t-shirt. I pulled the shirt over my head as I checked my messages, finding a few missed calls from Max and Oscar, along with a few messages. They seemed concerned with why I wasn’t at school.
I went to send a reply but I noticed a message from Cole and it instantly took all my attention.
- Fall asleep on me, Evern? -
I felt my stomach twist with guilt, thinking back to last night, where I messaged him right when I said I wasn’t going to. I even stayed up late texting with him back and forth, humouring him as he made countless flirtatious remarks. I probably would’ve ended talk with him until morning if I hadn’t fallen asleep.
I sent a reply.
‘You’re not worth losing sleep over, Peters.’
I put my phone down and finished getting dress, but I couldn’t help but stare at my phone, waiting for it to notify me that Cole had replied. It started to frustrate me so I distracted myself by making my bed. I stood at the end of my bed, admiring my work of art with my hands on my hips. Then once my phone buzzed, I ruined that work of art by jumping straight onto my bed, opening up Cole’s new message.
- Past you would’ve cried at that -
I scoffed, rolling my eyes.
‘Past me is dead’
- Edgy much? -
He then followed up with another text right after.
- Kinda digging this edgy you -
I smiled at his text but then realised what I just did. I shot up, slapping my cheeks.
“No, Oliver, no!” I snapped at myself. “Do not give in, he is not worth it.”
My door suddenly barged wide open, with Elliot yelling, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!", causing me to jump so high that I swear I nearly hit my head on the ceiling.
“Jesus Christ!" I cried, rushing to hide my phone as I looked up at Elliot. He stood at the entrance of my room, kneeling over with his hands on his knees as he pissed himself laughing.
“Aw, man, you should’ve seen your face!”
“What the hell, Elliot?!” I snapped, trying to steady my racing heart. “You’ve been an absolute dick to me all morning!”
“Aw, O, really,” he stood, wiping his tears. “Could you be any more obvious with your porn?”
I shook my head at him, ignoring his comment.
“Aren’t you supposed to be with Belle?” I asked, trying to remain cool and collected.
Honestly, I rather him thinking I was looking at porn than to know who I was talking to.
“I forgot my wallet and then I heard you talking to yourself so I figured I should come to say hey,” he explained. “Hey."
I rolled my eyes at him.
“You didn’t need to be an ass and barge in!” I frowned at him. “Just leave me alone.”
“Yeah, yeah,” he chuckled. “Have fun with whatever you were doing.”
He winked and then left as quick as he came in, closing the door behind him. I let out a heavy exhale, resting my hand on my chest as I focused on my breathing.
“That was close,” I muttered to myself.
Clearly, this was a huge neon sign that I knew what I was doing was wrong. I knew that and I thought about that while I pulled my phone back out, and then thought about it some more while I opened the new message Cole had sent.
- You skipping school? -
I didn’t think about it while I texted him back.
‘Authorised day off’
- any chance youre home alone? -
‘I got homework to finish’
- you didnt answer my question -
I was facing a battle with myself, constantly going back and forth. I kept going against my better judgement. I knew if I told him the truth, that I was home alone, he would come right over. I didn’t want that and I most definitely did not what to see him.
At least that’s what I was trying to convince myself.
I texted him back,
I held my breath as I stared down at our text messages, waiting for his reply. I waited a minute, and then five. I started to play a game on my phone while constantly checking my messages over and over, waiting for him to give me a goddamn reply.
But more time passed and I started to realise that I probably wasn’t going to get one anytime soon and the next text would be an excuse full of lies. I got mad at myself, for actually expecting something.
I put my phone aside and went to focus on something more productive - like homework. After sitting at my desk for a while, I actually managed to block out any thoughts of Cole. All I had to do was torture my brain with questions I didn’t have information for.
Then out of the blue, my phone buzzed. I hated how quick I dropped everything and jumped for my phone. I hated it how my heart soared with relief once I saw it was a reply from Cole.
- Knock knock -
- Cute delivery boy with your favourite coffee -
“He didn’t,” I stared at his message for a second longer and then jumped up, dashing out of my room. I ran downstairs and then threw myself at my front door, opening it wide.
“Hey,” Cole said with a wink, holding out a coffee to me. “Happy to see me?”
I was shocked more than anything. Cole Peters, my ex-scumbag of a boyfriend, standing at my door like an idol with a sparkling smile and eyes to match.
“You gonna keep staring or are you gonna let me in?” he smirked.
Realising that I was staring, I cleared my throat and crossed my arms over my chest, looking away from him.
“Why are you here, Cole?” I asked. “You shouldn’t be here.”
“Come on, Oliver,” he chuckled, sending goosebumps across my skin. “What’s the harm?”
I scoffed, looking back at him.
“Well, for starters, you didn’t know for certain that my dad wasn’t home,” I replied, frowning at him. “If guns were legal, you know he would get one just so he could shoot you with it.”
Cole made this cocky look with eyes, squinting them for a second as he took a step closer.
“If you didn’t want me to come here,” he took another step. “You would’ve said so.”
I clenched my jaw and slowly shook my head.
“No, you can’t be here,” I said. “Leave, Cole, please.”
He let out another chuckle, rolling his eyes,
“I rather not,” he stepped closer to me, making me take a step back. “Let me in, Oliver.”
I was so going to regret this.