The sun cast a gentle glow through the kitchen window, illuminating the room as Elias sat alone at the table, picking at his breakfast. His mind was still swirling with the events of the previous night, a cringe-worthy mishap that had left him feeling utterly embarrassed. The memory replayed in his mind like a broken record, and he couldn't shake off the lingering humiliation. His mom left a note on the fridge letting him know that she was helping Amanda buy things for her dorm, and then groceries.
Just as Elias was lost in his thoughts, the kitchen door swung open, breaking his reverie. William strolled in, his tousled hair and bleary eyes hinting at a sleepless night. Elias couldn't help but feel a pang of annoyance at the sight of his temporary roommate. After all, it was William who had been partly responsible for the embarrassing incident, if he had minded his own business, the whole thing could've been avoided.
Their eyes met briefly, and a strained silence settled between them. Elias was torn between desperately hoping that William would forget about the incident and go on about his day as if nothing happened and fearing that he would bring it up again. But before Elias could gather his thoughts, William, with a sheepish smile, broke the silence.
"Morning," William said, his voice laden with a hint of awkwardness and he tried to fix his hair a bit, not that it helped.
Elias merely nodded, his eyes fixed on his plate, as if he could disappear into the cereal if he concentrated hard enough.
"So, about last night…" William began, his voice trailing off uncertainly. His hands were all over the place, arms crossed, then hands on his pocket, fixing his clothes, shuffling his hair. All repeating and changing as the the tension grew.
Elias clenched his jaw, his fingers tightening around the spoon. He knew he couldn't avoid the conversation any longer. Reluctantly, he looked up at William, his expression a mix of irritation and vulnerability.
"Look, can we just forget about it?" Elias interjected, his tone edged with a touch of impatience.
William hesitated, a flicker of hurt crossing his face. "I mean, we can, but we should probably talk about it, you know?"
Elias sighed, frustration evident in his voice. "Why? It's over. It happened. Incidents happen, it's not that big a deal. Let's just agree on respecting our boundaries, make sure we don't go into peoples rooms without permission and move on."
William took a step closer, his voice quieter now. "I get it. It was embarrassing, but maybe if we talk about it, we can both feel better, and I want to explain why I reacted the way I did. And to know why were you doing that. You know, to clear the air and avoid misunderstandings."
Elias fidgeted in his chair, uncomfortable under William's gaze. He didn't want to start getting confortable and close to him again. He had worked so hard learning how to guarding himself, and he wasn't about to let his guard down for anyone again, specially William... again.
"I don't want to be friends, okay?" Elias blurted out, his voice laced with bitterness. "I don't need anyone to feel better about what happened. I don't want us to be close, and if anything happens" he paused for a second to cool a bit. "I can handle it myself. Or talk to my friends."
William's eyes widened, hurt and confusion etching across his face. "I wasn't trying to be your friend, Elias. I just thought we could talk, you know, since it was a scenario that seemed..." he paused, and sighed, he stayed quiet for a few seconds and shook his head. "I get it, I'll respect how you feel"
Elias bit his lip, regret mingling with his anger. Maybe he had been too harsh. William hadn't deserved his bitterness but it was for the best, for both of them. But the fear of getting close again had driven him to lash out.
"I'm sorry," Elias muttered, his voice softer now. "I didn't mean to snap at you."
William sighed, his shoulders slumping. "It's okay. I understand. I'll leave you alone."
As the kitchen door closed behind William, Elias pushed his half-eaten breakfast away and stared at his reflection in the window. The encounter had left him with a knot of conflicting emotions. He couldn't help but wonder if things would ever be the same between them, or if he even wanted them to be.
Just as Elias began to contemplate his solitary breakfast, his phone rang, startling him out of his thoughts. He glanced at the screen to see the caller ID displaying the name "Andrew ❤️"—perfect timing. A flicker of excitement tinged with nervousness coursed through him as he answered the call.
"Hi," Elias greeted, attempting to sound nonchalant.
"Hey, Elias! What's up?" Andrew's enthusiastic voice came through the phone.
"Not much, just chilling at home, how about you?" Elias replied, his mind already racing ahead, wondering what his friends had in mind.
"Well nothing much, I was just driving around town and I found a homeless person and thought about taking them with me" Elias heard a gasp and he knew Yury was with him.
"How dare you say such things about your best friend" she said pretending to cry.
"Anyways" Andrew said ignoring her " Yury and I were thinking of hanging out today. The three of us. We were wondering if you're up for a sleepover. It's been ages!" Andrew suggested, his words dripping with excitement.
Elias's heart warmed at the thought of spending time with his friends, seeking solace in their familiarity. "Sure, that sounds great. I could use some company."
**With the sleepover plan set, Elias bid his farewell to Andrew and Yury, promising to see them later that afternoon since they had to buy some things for the sleepover. As the hours ticked by, his anticipation grew, momentarily pushing the awkward encounter with William to the back of his mind.
Later that evening, Andrew and Yury arrived at Elias's house, their smiles infectious as they bounded through the front door. However, their cheerful entrance quickly turned sour when they spotted William sitting on the couch, engrossed in a book.
"What's he doing here?" Andrew whispered to Elias, his voice tinged with disapproval.
Elias hesitated, his gaze flitting between his friends and William. "He's staying with us for a while. My mom insisted."
Andrew's face hardened, his brows furrowing. "But you know we don't like him, Elias. He's caused enough trouble already."
Elias sighed, torn between his loyalty to his friends and the complicated situation at hand. "I know, Andrew, but let's try to make the best of it, okay?"
Reluctantly, Andrew nodded, though his displeasure was evident. The four boys spent the evening together, attempting to engage in lighthearted conversation and playful banter. However, an unspoken tension hung in the air, casting a pall over their interactions.
As night fell and the time for bed drew near, Elias's heart sank as he realized there weren't enough beds for everyone. It seemed the only option was for him to share his bed with Andrew, a situation that had become a familiar routine during past sleepovers.
With trepidation, Elias glanced at Andrew, silently asking for his consent. Andrew's gaze softened, and he nodded, understanding the unspoken request. Relieved yet anxious, Elias led Andrew to his room, leaving William and Yury to sort out their sleeping arrangements.
As Elias and Andrew settled into bed, the room was awash in a dim, comforting glow from the nightlight. The air crackled with the weight of unspoken emotions. Elias's heart beat a little faster, unsure of what the night might bring.
"I've missed this," Andrew murmured, his voice barely audible.
Elias felt a rush of warmth at Andrew's words, his own longing echoing in his heart. He wanted to reach out, to close the gap between them and let his feelings be known. But before he could gather the courage, the bedroom door creaked open, and Yury peered inside.
"I couldn't find anywhere else to sleep, so I guess I'll just take the inflatable mattress on the floor," Yury announced with a hint of sheepishness.
Elias and Andrew sprang apart, their faces flushing with embarrassment. They exchanged a quick glance, and Elias could see the same confusion mirrored in Andrew's eyes.
"Oh, um... Yeah, that's fine," Elias stammered, his voice betraying his flustered state.
Yury set up the mattress and settled herself on the floor, casting a curious look at Elias and Andrew. "Did I interrupt something?"
Elias cleared his throat, his cheeks still tinged with red. "No, it's nothing. Just... talking."
Yury raised an eyebrow, a knowing smile playing at her lips. "Sure, just talking. Well, goodnight, you two."
As Yury settled down on the mattress, Elias and Andrew exchanged a final awkward glance. The charged atmosphere had dissipated, leaving them both feeling unsure and questioning the whirlwind of emotions that had stirred between them.
Silence settled over the room, broken only by the soft sounds of Yury's breathing. Elias lay there, his thoughts a jumble of conflicting feelings. He couldn't shake the warmth that had spread through him during his conversation with Andrew, the unspoken connection that had danced between them.
But amidst the confusion, one thing remained clear in Elias's mind: his fear of getting hurt, of risking the precious bond he had with Andrew. They had been friends for years, and Elias cherished their friendship above all else. The fear of losing that, of making things complicated and irreparable, held him back from exploring the unspoken romantic possibilities.
As the night wore on, Elias's mind grew heavy with exhaustion. Sleep finally claimed him, but not before he wondered what the future held, and whether the fragile thread that connected him and Andrew would ever be tugged upon again.
In the dimly lit room, with their breaths slowing and intertwining in the quietness, Elias and Andrew drifted into the realm of dreams, carrying the uncertainty of their unspoken feelings with them. It would take time, patience, and the courage to face their own hearts before they could uncover the truth hidden beneath the surface of their friendship.
And so, as the night deepened, the room was filled with whispered questions and unspoken desires, leaving Elias and Andrew to navigate the uncharted territory of their feelings in the days to come.
"I don't know what is happening to you - I pushed him but being shorter than him he just moved only a few centimeters - since we returned from the camp you are all weird, and the least I want is to have you near me"
William pulled me closer to him
"Do you think I know why? - he said cradling my face in his hands- I don't even understand it myself, the only thing I know is that every moment I spend away from you fills me with an emptiness and loneliness that I don't understand - I saw how the shine in his eyes intensified- and that you are so close to that bastard fills me with immense jealousy and I hate him"
he leaned closer to my face "What have you done to me?"