This doesn't mean that I forgive you.
I just had to keep telling myself that it wasn’t my fault. It became a mantra of sorts, and I was clinging to it for dear life.
Then Jon, Ryan, and I all piled in to Spencer’s car. Ryan was quiet. Jon was fuming. Spencer was calm, and I had the feeling that he was thinking something over- he wouldn’t let any of us in on his plans though.
When we pulled up to Ryan’s I jumped out before Jon could.
Jon looked disgruntled but he waved at us and left with Spencer without a word.
Ryan didn’t say anything and neither did I.
It wasn’t until we reached his bedroom that he spoke, breaking the silence.
“I think I like Jon.”
“I think that’s a little obvious.” I replied.
Ryan smiled shyly, “He’s straight, or so he says.”
“He’s lying.” I replied, confused. “I mean, he has to be… the way he looks at you-“
Ryan shook his head, “He just wants to be friends but I confuse him. I think I’m the first gay friend he’s ever had, and it probably doesn’t help that I have feelings for him…”
Ryan sat on his bed, sighing heavily. It was the sigh of someone who’d given up.
I joined him, sighing as loudly as I could.
Ryan’s bed was comfortable- I’d never before laid down on it.
Ryan used a handy remote next to his bed to turn on his music.
The room was filled with over emotional lyrics that really didn’t help either of us, given the state we were in. “I think I really hate Brendon because I really like him.” I admitted, staring up at the ceiling.
“That doesn’t make sense Juliet.” Ryan laughed but the laugh was without humor.
“He drugged me, but you already knew that.” I sounded bitter. I was bitter, just a little.
Okay, a lot.
“Oh.” Ryan sounded guilty.
I moved to get comfortable and somehow my head ended up on Ryan’s chest. Maybe because I wanted to lay my head on Brendon’s chest- but I was too mad. It still felt nice when Ryan ran his fingers through my hair though. I relaxed, letting the warm tears bite at my eyelids.
The room was silent as our problems struggled to suffocate us.
As much as I tried to be angry with Brendon… I found my anger subsiding. What was the point in being angry? I could hold a grudge against him forever but that wouldn’t make what he did hurt any less. I could at least hear him out. I could try.
Unfortunately it was a lot easier saying I’d try in my head than it was to say to Brendon.
“I think he really did feel bad.” Ryan suddenly said.
“I don’t think Jon is straight.” I blurted, thinking of the way Jon looked at Ryan. He looked so protective at lunch earlier. Jon couldn’t be straight. If Jon was straight then I was gay, and I didn’t think I was gay. I was pretty stuck on Brendon.
“Being angry with him won’t make you feel better, especially now that you care for him.” It was like Ryan had been reading my mind.
“You won’t know for sure until you ask him.” Jon had to at least be a little gay for Ryan. What was that called? Oh yeah, bi-sexual. Jon had to be bi-sexual at the very least.
“Are you sad because Brendon lied to you, or because you feel like you should be mad at him?”
“Both.” I answered, “Have you even actually talked to Jon about your feelings?”
“No.” Ryan admitted, “Why don’t you call Brendon?”
“Why don’t you call Jon?”
We both pulled out our cell phones.
I could feel Ryan’s heart beat furiously against his chest, and I wondered if my heart was going just as fast. It felt like it. Boys were going to be the death of us.
Jon picked up first. I was still too nervous to actually call Brendon. Ryan put his phone on speaker phone by accident and then was too nervous to take his phone off speaker phone. I remained as quiet as I could, as Ryan nervously played with my hair.
“Hey Jon.” Ryan attempted to start the conversation in a casual tone but his voice cracked, betraying him.
“Ry!” Jon sounded happy to hear from Ryan, “I was worried you’d be mad at me about earlier. Look, I’m sorry… I just can’t stand that asshole picking on you.”
I could imagine the blush on Ryan’s face and I didn’t have to look up to see that he was nervously closing his eyes. It was like he thought if he couldn’t see then the situation couldn’t hurt him, and Jon couldn’t see him- even though Jon really couldn’t see him at the moment since they were talking over the phone. I didn’t get it but I was an offender of the nail and lip biting variety so I had no room to talk. We all had our habits, good and bad.
“I’m not mad.” Ryan finally responded.
“You sound nervous. What’s wrong?” Jon was incredibly sweet.
I was just praying that this conversation would go Ryan’s way.
Jon liked him. I knew it. The entire world knew it. I just hoped Jon was smart enough to know it too.
“M-maybe we should have this conversation in person.” Ryan stuttered out, but then he immediately took it back, “No, wait! No, I can’t do this face to face. I can’t. I’m a coward.”
“What?” Jon sounded genuinely confused, “What are you talking about Ryan?”
Ryan’s fingers tightened and he accidently pulled on my hair a little but I remained silent, closing my eyes as I waited for Ryan to tell Jon how he felt.
“Can you just tell me something?” Ryan asked in a small voice. “And be honest?”
“Course.” Jon replied.
“Are you straight?” Ryan held his breath.
It was silent for way too long.
“Yeah, I am.” Jon finally answered.
Ryan let out the air he’d been holding in. It came out in the form of a squeak.
I couldn’t stand to listen to the conversation for any longer. I moved quickly, grabbing Ryan’s cell phone from him. “I was just wondering.” I spoke in to the phone, “Ryan told me you were straight, and I just thought that maybe you weren’t.”
“Juliet?” Jon sounded so confused.
“Yeah.” Oh no. I realized my terrible mistake too late.
Jon probably wouldn’t trust Ryan over the phone again.
Ryan looked crushed, too upset to even care about the potential break in trust.
“Oh well, yeah… I’m straight.” Jon said, “I- wha- er, what are you and Ryan doing?”
“We’re just hanging out.”
“Can I come over?” Jon asked.
Ryan’s eyes widened and he shook his head violently. I was afraid he would break his neck.
“Yeah, of course.” I replied, shrugging at Ryan.
“I’ll be over in twenty minutes.” Jon said, hanging up.
“He’s coming over!’ Ryan looked lost, “Call him back and tell him we aren’t here anymore. Tell him that my house exploded, or that it like… fell apart, and just tell him I’m dead!”
I rolled my eyes, “He’s your friend above all else Ryan. Don’t let your feelings for him scare you away.”
“Hypocrite.” Ryan muttered.
The word stung, but it was true. “You’re right.” I nodded, “It’s my turn.” I nervously found Brendon’s number and waited.
“Brendon, can I come over?” I blurted the words out quickly, worried that I would lose my nerve if I waited.
“Please do.” Brendon replied just as quickly.
“Be there soon.” I hung up before I could change my mind.
Ryan shrugged, “Looks like we’re both going to be having a pretty awkward afternoon.”
I nodded, “Let’s save the tears though.”
Ryan agreed immediately, “Deal.”
Spencer grinned as his phone vibrated.
It was Chelsea.
“Hello?” He was good at sounding calm, the plan in his mind quickly coming to life.