Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Thanks to Richard and Jerrie for the edits.
I burst through the front door, making a point to slam it behind me, before going to the kitchen to find a beer. I twisted off the cap of one, and screamed in pain.
"Mother fucker." That hadn't been a twist off. I throw the cap across the room cussing loudly and then looked at my freshly cut palm and cussed at it. I chugged the whole beer down, getting mostly foam in the process. I grabbed the bottle opener from the drawer before getting another bottle.
"What the hell?" I heard Mac yelling. He came into the kitchen, a baseball bat in hand, wearing nothing but a pair of boxers. "Camble?"
"Yeah," I said, willing myself not to yell at him. I was in great need to go off on someone, even if I had spent the last hour over by the lake screaming and cussing at everyone's existence.
"What is the matter with you?" he asked. He hadn't let go of the bat, but he did let it drop to his side. "Where's Reed?"
"Where's Reed? I'll tell you where Reed is; he's at some bar making out with his fucking boyfriend, that's where Reed is." I growled, and drank the rest of my beer. I needed something harder then beer. I opened the cupboard over the frig, hoping Rhonda hadn't finished all the booze they kept at home.
"What are you talking about?" Mac asked, sitting at the table. I found an unopened bottle of Jack Daniels and brought it, and a shot glass, to the table. I took three shots, one right after the other, before Mac took the bottle away and gave me a stern look. "Cam, you have to talk to me here, okay? I don't understand a single thing coming out of your mouth."
"There we are, sitting in this bar that Reed loves right? We've been there for about a half hour, having some beers, talking, laughing, and just being us right?" Mac nodded and I take the opportunity to steal the bottle back. "So, everything up to that point had been great. His parents were wonderful, and the city really wasn't as bad as I'd always thought it would be, right?" I took another shot, and wiped the back of my hand across my lips.
"Okay," Mac said, urging me on.
"Okay. So this guy walks in. I see him when he walks in, and he's looking for someone. He's looking fucking hard. Then, I guess Reed noticed me looking at the guy and turns to see who it was, and guess what?" I asked laughing. "It's Seth." I started laughing uncontrollably. Because really, looking back, it was all so hilarious; in a not-funny-at-all kind of way.
"Who's Seth?" Mac asked, which made me laugh harder.
"I have no idea," I said, giggling, while I took two more shots. "Reed has never mentioned him, not a single fucking time. And it turns out he's known the guy for years. They were best friends, did you know that? I sure the fuck didn't. And Seth just kept going on and on about missing Reed; how he was so sad when he'd left. And Reed? Fucking Reed just swooned. Like a love sick puppy. Like a big bright eyed love sick puppy. He's never looked at me the way he was looking at Seth."
"Cam," Mac started, but I cut in because, now that I'm talking, I don't want to stop.
"So, I'm sitting there for another hour while they `catch-up', trying to get Reed's attention. Because really, I feel extremely low and he doesn't even notice that I'm just sitting there outside the conversation. Or that I don't have a single idea what they are talking about. And I mean, I could understand a little at first, because he hadn't seen his friend so long, right? But after an hour? Come on; a man doesn't ever have that much ego, or self-confidence left.
"So finally I just get tired of sitting there. I tell Reed that I'm going to go back to his parent's house, so he and Seth could talk more, right? So I don't have to sit there feeling terrible for no reason. But then, Reed just looks up at me, giving me this look. I can't even explain it; it was like he was scared, or like he was trying to tell me something, but I couldn't really get it." I rubbed the back of my hand across my eyes, willing them to stop tearing up. I took another shot, staring at the empty bottle in front of me.
"Camble?" Mac asked. I looked up at him, realizing I'd been somewhat lost in my thoughts for a minute. I smiled at him and started to peal the label off of the Jack Daniels bottle.
"Stupid me; I sat back down, thinking, well, more like knowing right then that he didn't want me to leave." I pulled a cigarette out of my pack. Usually Rhonda hated it when Mac or I smoked in the kitchen, but I think, just this once, she'd have allowed it. "So Reed and I are sitting there, kind of just staring at each other; then Seth takes it upon himself to ruin everything."
"What did he do?" Mac asked; he was on the edge of his seat.
"He kissed him; just grabbed Reed's face and pulled him to his lips and laid into him good." I took a long drag off my cigarette and brushed the tears off my cheeks again. I didn't think it would have hurt this much; I never though that I would lose Reed so easily. That he would be taken from me right in front of my eyes. "And Reed kissed him back. It was like they'd completely forgotten that I was there." I should have stayed, should've beat the crap out of Seth. I just wasn't expecting it, not from Reed.
"He couldn't; he wouldn't do that. Reed loves you."
"I think I know what my boyfriend's tongue looks like, and trust me; it was inside Seth's mouth." I bit my bottom lip. `My boyfriend'? It suddenly hurt to call him that.
"Camble," Mac said and took my hand in his. I look up at him, and the look on his face told me how sad he was for me. I wished that he would have tried to convince me more; tell me that there had to be some reason why it happened. But he didn't. He knew, as well as I did, that the whole situation sucked.
"I hate that I was just this side trip for him. I hate that it was just fun and games for him. I love him so much, and I thought he loved me too, but now? It feels like everything was a lie between us. This entire time I've been walking around on cloud nine, knowing in my head and in my heart that, without a doubt, Reed loved me just as much as I love him. But, really, he didn't, and it hurts so much to look back and think about all the times we shared." I was rambling. I knew it, but the alcohol had finally gotten to me. "Why am I always part of a one-sided love? Why do I always have to deal with shit like this? Haven't I already had enough? I mean, like my fair share?"
"Camble, I don't really know what to say. But Reed does love you. I think you are taking this too far, and thinking things we both know aren't true."
"I don't know." I dropped my head to the table and felt comfort in the rush of pain to my forehead. I'd been almost completely numb for the last three hours.
"Get some sleep okay? And call him in the morning. I'm sure there is a reason for all of this, and it would be better if you found out now, rather then later." Mac stood and left me there in the kitchen, alone, where I'd drunk the last of their alcohol.
"You have got to be kidding me," Wes said, pacing in front of me. I was sitting at the end of my bed in my parent's house, watching his feet, Camble's shirt in my hands. "Do you even realize what you've done?"
"Yes," I mumbled and closed my eyes.
"You have no idea what you've done, you stupid little boy." Wes continued on like I hadn't said a thing. "Camble is probably a wreck, and still you just sit here, staring at the floor. You don't deserve him."
"How could you do that? How could you kiss Seth? I mean, how? Do you still have feelings for him? Is that why you did it? Because you thought you might have a chance with him now?"
"He never wanted you before; what makes you think he would want you now? I mean, Camble loves you; Seth just wants a play thing. This is the craziest thing you've ever done."
"You find this great guy, who actually happens to be truly great in a very real way, and what do you do? Make out with someone else, and in front of him. Oh my God, you can't be my brother."
Wes grabbed both of my shoulders and shook me. I look up at him, and smiled faintly. Everything he was telling me, I'd been saying to myself, over and over. And I had no real excuse for why I'd kissed Seth. I know why I did it. But it wasn't a good reason, not one that would make Camble ever come back to me.
And that reason? To confirm to myself, once and for all, that I didn't want Seth anymore. It had been nice, talking to Seth, like we used to when we were friends. I had really missed our friendship. But he kissed me, and though my first reaction was to pull away, I didn't. I let him kiss me; and I guess I kissed him back. I could see Camble, even though my eyes were closed. I could see his face, his reaction, his pain, and I knew I'd broken his heart. It was selfish of me to try and finally get closure on something that should have been long gone from my head.
All I'd really thought, in the three seconds it took me to make the decision to kiss him back, that, if I could be absolutely sure that I had no more feelings for Seth, then I really could give everything in me to Camble. I know; it was fucking stupid because everything was already Camble's; and it had been since the first time he'd called me baby.
I didn't give a second thought to the matter though, and I really should have. And I knew I'd fucked up badly. But I had no feelings for Seth what so ever. Well, except for the wanting to kill him feelings. Kissing him was what I'd thought kissing Wes would have been like: totally disgusting.
So now, here I sit, listening to Wes bitch about things I already knew. That I had fucked up; that I was horrible; and that I'd lost Camble. This fucking bites.
"Reed, are you listening to me?"
"No," I said, but Wes continued on anyway.
"You have to go to him and tell him that you're sorry, and that you love him; do something." I shook my head no.
"He doesn't want to talk to me. I've been calling his cell phone all night and most of today; he just doesn't want to see me anymore. And that's okay. It's okay if he stops loving me; I understand." I said, and looked up at Wes, trying to smile, but it was becoming harder and harder.
"You're a fucking bastard. I'm telling Mom," Wes said, and rushed out of the room.
I couldn't get Wes to drive me home. He wouldn't hear of it, saying he didn't want to be stuck in an enclosed space with me. Dad drove me instead, but he didn't seem to have as big a problem with it as I thought he might.
"We're going to have to see about getting you a car, son. Mom never uses hers anymore; it's been sitting in the garage for over a year." I nodded. It might be a good idea to finally get a car, and a driver's license. I needed to stop being scared of everything, and I guess that might be a good first step.
"You know Wes doesn't mean what he says." I nod again. I knew it; no one had to explain the way Wes was to me. This was how he'd always dealt with me. He'd push me around, yell at me and call me names; hoping that it would jump start something in me. It had always worked in the past, but not this time. I didn't think I needed his help. Every mean and hurtful thing that came out of his mouth was true; I couldn't stand up and defend myself. I really didn't deserve Camble; I never had.
"Did you like Camble better then Seth?" The last time Dad and I had had a real conversation had been four months earlier. We'd spoken since; I called my parents a lot, but we hadn't really talked, not about anything truly important.
"Yeah; I liked him a whole lot more." I put my face in my hands and started to cry. It was weird, but I hadn't been able to cry until then. The night before, I lay awake replaying everything in my mind while I tried calling Camble.
"Hey, you've got Camble, call back later Catherine."
Watching Camble walk out.
"Hey, you've got Cam-"
Punching Seth in the face.
Running after Camble.
"Hey, you've got Camble, call back later Catherine."
Finding his truck gone.
I was devastated by what had happened, but I couldn't cry. Even after hearing his voice mail answering message for the millionth time, which Wes paid him to record as a joke. Of course, it took my father, who'd only talked to Camble for the first time two days ago, to start the crying.
"Oh my God," I whispered.
"Reed, it will get better. You have just got to talk to him; make him see how sorry you are. I mean, it was only a kiss. Granted it was a fucked up thing to do to a guy, but he'll take your apology." I shook my head no. I honestly didn't believe that Camble would. I'd hurt him way too much.
"Wes called for you again," Rhonda said when I walked into the kitchen. I groaned; I didn't want to deal with him so early in the morning, let alone ever.
"Reed didn't call though, huh?" I asked, in a way that showed I didn't need an answer, but that I wouldn't mind getting one. I winced inwardly; I was fucking desperate to hear from him. Rhonda just shook her head no.
I wanted him to call; I missed him. I just wanted for him to come to me, begging my forgiveness, declaring his undying love with ring in hand, and saying that I was allowed to kill Seth.
Okay; maybe not the ring part. I'd always figured that, if a ring came into the mix, I'd be the one giving it. Because Reed seemed more of the type who would like something like that. But it helped to expect extremes; like I could justify wanting him back so badly if he did those things.
Reed hadn't called though, not once, and it was starting to hurt a lot more not talking to him then it had watching him with his tongue down some other guy's throat. I wished I would have stayed in the city, just so I could have gotten some kind of explanation. Like whether or not we were still a We. I guess him not calling proves that we aren't.
"Bye," I said to Rhonda as I walked out the door. She pulled me back and gave me a tight hug.
"It'll be okay buddy; I know it will be." I shook my head at her and smiled. She was a silly old woman, always striving to find that silver lining. I loved her for it.
I decided to walk to work that day. It was sunny and bright, and it made me feel much better than I'd felt in awhile. I passed by people I'd known all my life, each giving me a friendly nod or wave. I smiled and waved back, but it was hard to do; pretending like I was okay to everyone, when really I was dead inside because Reed wasn't there to walk beside to me.
"Maybe I should just swallow my pride and call him," I said to Mac later that night, when we were closing the bar.
"You should have done that four days ago. We both know that Reed is weird; he is probably thinking you hate him, and doesn't want to bother you with phone calls." That was really the problem for me, though. If he loved me, wouldn't he make every attempt at trying to get me back? I don't know.
"I don't understand how you haven't seen him once. I mean there are all of two hundred people living here. You have to have run into him at least once over the last few weeks." Wes was storming around my Grandparent's house. Again, I was just sitting there, trying to ignore him.
"I don't leave the house except to go to work. They put me on the late shift, so I'm there from seven at night until like three in the morning," I said, though I'm sure he wasn't listening to me.
"Have you tried calling him?"
"I've called him about a million times."
"Then call him a million more times," Wes yelled, and that's when I snapped. I'd listened to him, over and over, for the past three weeks. Listened to him call me names; tell me how terrible I am; and I'd finally had it-fucking-enough.
"Wes, stop," I said standing up. "Don't you get it? He doesn't want to talk to me; he doesn't want to see me. Camble wants nothing to do with me. What do you want me to do? What else do you want from me? I hurt him, and there isn't anything I can do to fix it." I was screaming; I knew I was, but I couldn't help it.
"I just can't believe that you two are over. Not because of a stupid kiss."
"Well, hurry up and start believing. The sooner you do, the sooner I can get on with my life."
"You're going to go back to Seth aren't you?" he said, pointed a finger in my face. Again, I couldn't help it. I punched him. I punched my older brother right in the face.
"How dare you accuse me of that; how fucking dare you," I yelled. Then I ran up the stairs and locked myself in my room, leaving Wes on the floor. I threw myself on to the bed and wept into my pillow. It still smelled like Camble.
"Mr. York?" I turned when my name was called and followed the man in uniform into a room. "Number six," he said, before turning and walking back out the door we'd came through.
I walked slowly down the line of booths, looking at the people sitting on either side. Most of them were in deep conversation, but a few smiled at me as I passed. I found the number six booth and sat in the chair provided. I looked up and into the eyes of a man I'd once hoped I'd never see again.
"Hey kid." He was smiling, like he was truly happy to see me. Oddly, that made me feel better.
Sorry it took so long, hopfully the next chapters won't. Thank you for all the great feedback, it was really helpful. You guys rock.