All I could hear was the sound of my teeth biting through my nail. He’s looking at me again. I looked over at the time displayed on the dvd player underneath the TV. Sam said she would be right back, and I guess it hasn’t been that long, but these five minutes have managed to feel like forever with her brother just… standing there and staring at me from the kitchen.
“Do you want something to drink?” I jumped in my seat and dropped my phone onto the ground with a ‘clack’. I could practically feel the beads of sweat forming on my forehead.
“I- Uh- Yeah-” What? Why did I say yes? Now he’s going to come over here. I’m an idiot. I picked my phone back up off the ground. It wasn’t cracked at least. I cautiously glanced over to him from the corner of my eye. His back was facing me as he stood in front of the open fridge.
“What do you want?”
“Um, anything… is fine…” This guy… makes me uneasy. Ever since me and Sam started dating, when I see him he’s always just giving me these looks and I can’t figure it out. Maybe he really dislikes me and is just trying to be polite for Sam’s sake. I put my face to my palm and let out a breathy groan. Hurry up Sam, being alone with your brother like this is going to be the end of me. Every muscle in my body is tense. As if they couldn't tese up any further I felt the couch cushion next to me sink with weight. I didn’t have to look up to know that wasn’t Sam, she’s tiny. I heard the sound of a glass being placed down on the coffee table in front of me.
“I hope apple juice is fine, I just got you what I was having.” He’s… way to close.
“Um… yeah… thanks…” I looked up and went to reach for it, but my hand was shaking, so I pulled it back. I hope he didn’t notice. “Um, you know, I think I’m not as thirsty as I thought I was, I might just… drink it later…” Ah, this silence again. All I can hear is the buzz of the refrigerator. I found myself curling and uncurling my toes into the fluffy carpet beneath us. I glanced at the display again. What the hell, how had it only been another three minutes?
“Do you like my sister?” My eyes darted to him as a frown was quickly displayed on my brow.
“Yeah? Of course I do? We wouldn't be dating if I didn’t.” What the hell was up with that question all of the sudden? He just stared at me, his expression unchanging and took a sip of his drink. Why would he ask something like that and then just go quiet? What the hell is he thinking?
“You know, I’ve dated girls before.” Well that’s not surprising the guy is built as hell and even a blind man could tell this dude is good looking. “I thought I liked them, because, well, I was friends with them.” Ok? Why is he talking about this all of the sudden? “The difference between a best friend, and someone you’re interested in romantically, if I’m being honest, I didn’t know what it was.” What the hell is he on about, he doesn't even know me but it sounds like he’s trying to insinuate I don’t actually like Sam. His eyes then met mine and I suddenly felt nervous again.
“What?” I managed to say.
“I don’t know what your family is like, but if you have some stuff you want to talk about…” He took my phone from my hand, I wasn’t exactly holding it tightly, and then tossed it back to me after doing something on it. “You have my number now, so you can just call me.” I blinked at him a few times.
“Hey what are you guys chatting about? Connar, did you scare him again? You always do that whenever I’m dating someone geez.” Sam came in from outside and suddenly this weird atmosphere was gone. Connar got up and brought his glass with him.
“I didn’t scare him, just gave him some advice.” He went down the hall and shut the door to his room behind him. Sam came around and sat down where he had just been sitting, she barely made the couch shift at all with her weight. She turned to me with a smile and held up the games she had found.
“So, which one? It’s been a while since I’ve beat you at a first person shooter, so it’s your pic.” I smiled a little and just pointed to a random one.
“Hmm good choice, you might actually last slightly longer since I haven't played this one as much, in the end though, you’ll still lose.” She laughed and got up to go place the game in the console. As I sat there I couldn’t help finding my self picking at the controller before my glance wandered to Sam, and then to Connors room. Why was I dwelling on what he had said? He was wrong right? I do like Sam, we like the same games, the same TV shows, we go on runs together. She’s funny, and just generally enjoyable to be around. We’ve been friends since we were kids… So, if I know all that, why the hell am I… “Hello, earth to Percy, you know if you space out before the game even starts I’m going to feel guilty when I beat you.” I blinked a few times and looked up at her, straightening my back.
“Right, yeah, sorry, I’m ok.” She frowned and sat down next to me, taking my hand into hers.
“Hey, what’s up? You can talk to me, you know?” Why am I… feeling so… guilty? I placed the controller down onto the table, right next to the glace Connar had placed onto the table.
“Do you know… what the difference is, between like… really liking someone as a person, and, I don’t know, like, feeling… romantic stuff… for them…?” She looked, really sad, hearing my question. My stomach was all in knots and it felt like there was a bolder in my chest.
“Yeah…” She fiddled with my fingers in her hand. “It’s not really something you can explain well but, when I went from just seeing you as my best friend to seeing you in a romantic way, I just know that suddenly things you said made me embarrassed or shy in ways they had never done so before.” Her voice sounded off but her face was covered by her hair. “You know, the worst part is that I had a feeling that that’s not how things were for you but, when I asked you out and you said yes I just got so caught up in it.” I felt a droplet hit my hand and suddenly I wanted to cry too.
“Percy, it’s ok. It was selfish of me, I’ve known you for so long, and I think subconsciously I felt a time like this would come eventually when you would realize that what you feel for me probably isn't what you thought it was but... I wanted to enjoy it for as long as it could last.” My chest felt so tight, it was painful. Why did she never talk to me about this? Didn’t we tell eachother everything? I couldn't figure out what this turmoil of feeling ment. “I um… I think maybe you should go for tonight, maybe I can beat you at this game another time.” She wiped her eyes and sniffled a bit before looking up at me with a smile. Her eyes were puffy and red and all I wanted to do was hug her. She let go of my hand a little slowly. “Hey don’t look at me like that you dork, I don’t need you pitying me.” It… it’s not pity… though… “I’m ah, I’m gonna take a shower, I’ll text you tomorrow… or something…” She got up and walked over to the bathroom, shutting the door behind her. Then here I was again, left alone in her house, but now I’m just wondering… how did things end up like this?
I buried my face into the palms of my hand. What the hell. Did I really not like her that way? I didn’t even try to correct her. Do I really think she’s not wrong? But wait, she said she had a feeling this is how it was? How did she know? Ug fuck. But… what she said about suddenly feeling different… I never felt that way but… I thought maybe that was normal… maybe I just liked her for so long that there was no different way to feel cuz that was already how I had been feeling. That’s… what I thought… anyway…
I heard a door open and I looked up suddenly. Connar was shutting his door behind him as he looked towards me. I could hear the faint sound of the shower water still running down the hall. He had his now empty glass in hand.
“You look like shit.” I frowned and put my face in my hands again.
“Yeah whatever.” I mumbled under my breath. I’m allowed to look like shit aren't I? This is… this was… my first serious relationship. This is his fault, what the hell. If he had just… if he had just fucking… I sighed. Who the hell am I kidding, even Sam said she knew this was going to happen eventually. Was I really the only one that had no idea about my own feelings? Am I really that stupid? I bit my bottom lip remembering what expression she just had. I’m really… the worst. I heard the sound of water being slurped and turned suddenly to Connar who was just standing in the kitchen drinking like nothing was wrong. Fucking- irritating bastard. I got up and went over to the front door, slipping on my shoes. As I did so though I could have sworn I felt a presence behind me. I got up to get my coat and Conner was there, standing to close again. The hell does he want? He didn’t say anything and took his own coat from the rack and slipped in on.
“You’re going home right? I’ll walk you.” What? Fucking- this bastard, whatever.
“You can do what you want I guess.” I walked out and he followed. My breath only just barely showed up in the air. It wasn’t that cold but it definitely wasn’t hot either. I looked down as I walked, Connar just kind of followed next to me. The buzz of the streetlamps and the sounds of our shoes hitting against the sidewalk was all there was. It was pretty late. My eyes wandered to Connars feet, he was wearing flip flops and shorts. I’d be surprised but he’s the type of guy that wears that kind of thing even when it snows. He’s got nice legs though, mine are still nicer though since I’m a runner. I smiled at my own smugness.
“For someone who was dumped not long ago you sure don’t look that upset.” Well now my bad mood was back.
“Shut up what do you know, I am upset I just started thinking of other things.”
“While looking at my legs?” Goddamn it… he noticed.
“Yeah so? I just noticed that my legs are nicer than yours. What about it?” He laughed. Why do I feel like the idiot here?
“Well you’re a runner, it’s not exactly fair to compare now is it?”
“Yeah well you’re better built than me in every other way so it’s the only fair thing I can compare.” I grumbled under my breath. I heard a chuckle followed by the sound of a lighter being lit. I turned my head to see Connar with a cigarette between his lips, bringing the flame to it’s tip. He inhaled, held it, and blew it out in ribbons. “You smoke?” He smirked.
“Why do you sound so surprised? You don’t know me that well you know.” Hm, I guess he’s right, this is the first time we’ve really talked without the pretense of me waiting for his sister. Ah, that lump in my chest is back.
“I’m… really an idiot huh?” Connar let out a hum before taking another drag of his cigarette.
“I think you’re just figuring stuff out still.” My eyes landed on him again.
“How did you know anyway? Like you said, we don’t really know each other that well, we’ve just known each other a long time.” He let out another hum, tapping the ash off his cigarette.
“I went through the same thing, it’s easier to see in others when you’ve already gone through it yourself.” There was a pause. “Then again though, I figured it out much younger than you so maybe you are an idiot. How old are you again? Twenty? Twenty one?”
“Oh fuck off.” I tisked and stomped ahead of him. I just heard him laugh. He caught up with me and placed his free hand on my shoulder.
“I’m just messing with you.” Yeah yeah. “I did know much younger than you though.” I tisked again, less irritated about it this time though.
“Yeah ok I get it shut up.” His hand slipped off my shoulder and went back into his pocket, it was cold there now. It went quiet for a bit again and I found myself wallowing again. “Man… I’m never going to find a girlfriend like Sam again though. She’s just, really great.” I kept walking but Connar had stopped. I stopped and looked behind me, and he had an expression I couldn't quite place. For some reason though, he looked almost surprised.
“What is it…?” He didn’t say anything and looked off, taking another drag of his cigarette.
“You still don’t get it huh?” Would he just spit it out already, why’s he being so irritating and talking in circles like this? “Have you ever noticed how often you stare at guys?” I felt my fingertips go numb. When did the wind pick up like this?
“Hah… what? Shut up…” What is this… sense of dread?
“I can’t tell you how you feel, I’m just telling you what I’ve noticed.” Why do I… want to cry? Ah, shit. I felt it well up inside me as I just stood there silently, tears flowing freely.
“I’m- I’m- I’m not I- I’m-” My voice was shaky and my breath was uneven.
“Hey sorry I didn’t mean to-”
“What the hell do you know!? You don’t know anything!” He stopped in his tracks, a pained smile on his lips.
“Yeah, you’re right, I’m sorry.” Fuck… don’t apologize… now I feel like the bad guy… It’s quiet again. “We don’t have to talk, but at least let me walk you the rest of the way.” I turned around and started walking forward again.
“Whatever…” The breathy word being all I could say. He didn’t come walk next to me this time and just followed from a distance behind. I could hear it every time he took in a drag of his cigarette, held it in, and then breathed it back out. It had a steady rhythm. The trees tussled with the wind, it sent a wave of goosebumps racing up me. The tears had dried on my face and made the skin tight and itchy. I scrubbed it off with the sleeve of my sweater. Fuck. I crouched down onto the sidewalk, burying my face into my hands, letting out a muffled scream into my sleeves.
“Fuck.” The word was muffled by my hands. I felt the warmth of a big hand on the top of my head.
“Sorry. I shouldn't have said anything.” I let out a sigh.
“It’s… it’s fine…” I kept my face in my hands. “Maybe… maybe I do… look at guys… sometimes… or something…” I felt him kneel down beside me, his hand still on my head.
“You don’t think that’s… weird… or something?” I heard him stifle a snort.
“No.” He got up and his hand left my head, leaving a cold spot again. “What makes you think that would be my opinion?” I grumbled a bit and got up.
“I don’t know… it’s not like it would be an unpopular opinion…” He raised a brow at me and took what looked like might be the last drag of that cigarette.
“Did you think I was straight this whole time?” I took a step back and almost tripped over myself.
“Wait what?” Suddenly so many thoughts went through my head. “Is that why you were trying to be nice to me this whole time?!” He rolled his eyes and flicked away the bud of his cigarette.
“Ug shut the fuck up what a boring ass predictable reaction. If I had a penny for everytime someone asked me something like that when I told them… geez.” Yeah that was stupid, even if he’s gay that doesn’t mean I’m his type. “Granted this is the first time anyone was even a little right with their guess, so, I’ll give you that.” Hm? What? “Anyway, I can see your house from here so, night.” He just gave me a half wave and turned around, walking away. And now I’m left here with my mouth half ajar wondering what the hell just happened.