FOB... original drool over band for me. My head is like exploding.
“/You’ve always had a choice. I hope tonight finally proved it./“ I read the text out loud, once again. The car quickly filled with silence as soon as the words left my lips. Benjamin’s text would stick in my mind, and as soon as I’d dropped Anna off and read it… it all made sense. I knew what he was trying to prove tonight. I knew what he was doing. He was cold, and calculating. I stood no chance against him. When he wanted something he got it, and tonight he wanted me to make the choice I’d made… and so I did, just as I had before.
I was getting milk.
I was at the store, getting milk.
It was a stupid cover story.
It was a stupid lie.
Benjamin was right, wasn’t I done lying? My lies had done enough damage, and I wanted it to end with Jon… but here I was.
The store seemed huge.
The aisles were longer than expected, longer than they seemed. Checking out was painful. I was grateful I had cash in my pocket. I had forgotten my wallet. It was a lucky break. Too bad I didn’t get lucky earlier.
As I held the milk my arm was pulled down, causing tension in my back. My back hurt. It hurt a lot. Someone said something behind me, and I jumped in surprise when a hand landed on my shoulder. It was gentle. Still a surprise. “Yeah?” My mouth was dry.
“Are you okay?” It was a young girl, about my age. She looked worried. Why?
“Yeah, yeah. I’m fine, thanks.” I guess I looked distraught.
I made it to Brendon’s car without any other problems. I bet I looked weird driving around a trashed car. Luckily I wasn’t stopped. I wonder how pissed Brendon was. Soon I’d find out.
The drive to Jon’s was unbearably short and I was pulling up in to his driveway before I was ready. How long had I been gone?
Stop thinking. Why couldn’t I stop thinking?
The knob turned easily. I wasn’t locked out. Spencer’s car was out front, where it had been when I showed up. So was Jon’s. So everyone was still here, since Ryan had come with Spencer. Or so I was guessing.
I stepped inside, shutting the door behind me. I didn’t even try to be quiet about it. Why bother? I couldn’t stop the inevitable. Could I lie? I didn’t really want to, and I wasn’t ready for it.
There was a moment of silence.
“Christian?” Jon called out my name, and a lump grew in my throat.
Tears filled my eyes but I fought them away, attempting to pull the ‘strong’ card. That had never really gotten much done for me before, but I’d never been strong before. I was strong now. I was strong because Jon made me strong, but without him I felt weak.
That wasn’t good.
Maybe Anna was a little right. Maybe I needed to slow down. I needed to stop thinking, that was for sure.
I heard footsteps. I was still standing next to the door? Why couldn’t I move? The milk felt heavy, and cold.
So did I.
Jon appeared in the hallway, all of his friends trailing behind him. I felt so heavy, and so cold, and so confused… and so broken.
He didn’t reach me before I collapsed.
Something wet was pressing down on my forehead, dripping down my face.
“Mmm.” I moaned out something.
“You okay?” Jon’s gentle voice prompted me to open my eyes.
“Jon.” I whispered his name, as the pain in my back grew. I just wanted to be alone, with Jon. I just wanted to be with him, and now that I was… somehow tonight seemed worse. I was hiding a secret from him, one that could wreck everything I had, and I couldn’t lose him. “Hi.”
Jon smiled, “Hi.”
I continued to stare at him, as I felt myself sinking in to a deep place of safety. That happened around him. It was a feeling I was growing used to. It was a feeling that failed tonight, because of my stupid choice. “Brendon… I’m sorry.” I didn’t look at anyone but Jon as I spoke.
“It’s okay.” Brendon’s overexcited voice broke the moment I was enjoying with Jon, and I looked away from him. “I mean, you brought milk. We needed milk.”
“No, we didn’t.” Ryan confusedly cut in.
“Yeah, we did. I just forgot.” Brendon commented.
“Yeah.” Jon murmured.
“I think you should… look outside before you forgive me.” I started sitting up, nearly crying out as pain exploded in my back once again. I needed to get off of it.
I could feel the uncertainty that passed through each boy, before footsteps went by, and the door opened. Jon was the only one who stayed. “Are you okay Christian?”
“I should go out there.” I didn’t answer. It was intentional. I was done lying, but I couldn’t just stop. Lies spiraled. They didn’t just stop. Even when the truth came out, they didn’t stop. They just kept going, and going. “He’s probably mad.” Because his car is all smashed up. The car I took without permission.
“Here.” Jon extended his hand. I took hold and was easily pulled to my feet.
I just wanted to hug him. I wanted things to be okay. But I did something wrong, and I wasn’t sure that things were okay anymore. I wasn’t sure they ever had been.
“Brendon, I am so sorry. I’ll pay for it, I swear. My first check… it’s yours.” I was going to owe my first few checks from the look of it, because I still owed Jon something for living with him. Suddenly it was all so overwhelming and I didn’t even want to be here. Was that Benjamin’s plan?
Brendon had gone silent, which was fairly frightening.
Ryan and Spencer were standing beside him. Ryan’s hand was on Brendon’s shoulder. They just stared. Jon stopped behind me. He was the first to say something. “What happened?”
“Yeah.” Brendon swallowed hard. “The grocery store seems to have gotten a lot more dangerous since my last visit.”
I felt dizzy.
I shouldn’t have gotten up yet. The hallway floor seemed a lot more cozy at the moment. “I’m sorry.” It was all I could think of saying, but I’d already said it.
“Christian?” Jon’s hand landed on my back, though gently. I jumped.
“Christian… there is blood on the back of your shirt.” Jon sounded so confused, and a little scared, and now everyone was staring and I just wanted this to all just go away.
“I am so sorry.” I sounded like a broken record, but what else could I say?
Brendon was suddenly standing in front of me, when did that happen? It was a good thing because my body tried to give up again. Brendon caught me easily. Jon sounded worried. “Something is wrong.” His voice sounded far away though.
Ryan’s voice sounded a million miles further away than Jon’s had. “Want me to call an ambulance?”
“No.” I spoke up, but my voice sounded different. “Please don’t. I don’t want to go to the hospital. I just need to be down, to sit down, to lay down… I just need to, I’m sorry.”
Brendon shifted, pulling me closer to him. “I’m taking her inside.” He sounded upset. Was he upset over his car? His car, that I broke pieces off… the car, and the hood… and I hated that car now.
Earlier with Benjamin I felt removed from the situation. It was something I had to do, something for Anna… but now it was a mistake that was hitting me, and my body couldn’t handle it and my mind couldn’t either.
I couldn’t do it anymore.
I felt like a rag doll as Brendon helped me inside. I could hear the other voices, but they stopped and faded once we passed the door.
“I’m sorry.” I repeated, in to Brendon’s shoulder.
“I’m not mad.” Brendon murmured.
“But I’m sorry.” Like that made a difference. I’d learned being sorry meant nothing. It still hurt. And nothing ever changed.
Suddenly I didn’t want to be in Brendon’s arms. I didn’t want to touch him. I didn’t want him touching me. I needed to calm down. Brendon reached the living room, and gently lowered me on to the couch. I cried out as my back hit the comfortable cushions. Brendon immediately lifted me again.
I pushed him away, “It’s okay. I’m sorry.”
Brendon let go, backing off. His eyes remained on me though, as he sat on the ground next to the couch. I was sitting up, but I still felt dizzy.
“I really screwed up. I’m sorry.” I shook my head.
Brendon looked concerned. Where was everyone else? I looked past him, and he seemed to pick up on the question I‘d yet to voice. “They are outside. I think you need to be alone, but not completely alone.”
Brendon cut me off. “Not with Jon, with me. You’re with me. There is no pressure here Christian. There is no romantic pressure. It’s just us. I’m just a friend. That’s what you need right now, or am I wrong? Jon is right outside. He isn’t going to leave.”
“I’m sorry.” I shook my head.
“I’m not mad. I’m really not. I just need to know what happened. Where were you?”
“I got a call from Anna…” I softly replied, fighting my way in to my pocket for my cell phone. This seemed easier. I pressed a few buttons. The voicemail played out loud.
“So, Anna went to confront Benjamin?” Brendon asked, as he tried to follow. I don’t think he had ever even met Anna. Maybe I should explain more. But I couldn’t explain. I could barely even follow what I was saying already. This was all so overwhelming. I really just wanted to sleep.
I nodded. “I left. I took your keys. I didn’t think about it. Anna had called an hour before I left. That was a long time. She didn’t answer her phone on the way over. Neither did Benjamin, not at first.” That seemed like a lot of words. I was out of breath now.
“So, you were worried.” Brendon nodded. I was breathing better now. I still didn’t want to say it though. What all was I supposed to say? I didn’t want to lie anymore. “Did you meet him at his place?”
“No.” I softly replied.
“You didn’t meet him anywhere?”
“I met him somewhere else.” I answered.
“And Anna was there?” Brendon asked. “You weren’t alone with him?”
“She was there. She was in a room. She was scared. He detained her because she broke in to his house… He terrified her, but he knew better than to actually hurt her.” He was so damn clever. “But I was alone with Benjamin.”
“Where is Anna now?” Brendon asked.
“I dropped her off at home.”
“What happened?” Brendon’s voice was gentle. There was a friendly smile on his face, but it was like his teasing happiness had melted away. I wanted that back. I didn’t want to talk about this. I didn’t want to.
I shook my head.
“What happened between you and Benjamin?” Brendon asked. “You look as pale as a ghost.”
“Seen many ghosts lately?” It was supposed to be a joke. I didn’t deliver well.
Brendon chuckled. “You’d be surprised what I see.” We didn’t say anything for a few seconds. “This is important Christian. Tell me what happened. This is a safe place. I’m a safe person. You’re safe now.”
“I don’t want Jon to know.” I confessed.
“He’s going to have questions when he comes back in.” Brendon replied softly. “You had to know there would be questions.”
“I feel like I’m going to pass out.” I admitted.
“What happened?” Brendon asked.
“I can’t.” I shook my head. “I can’t tell you Brendon. I’m sorry, and I’m so sorry for your car. I’m so sorry. It was stupid. I shouldn’t have taken it, but I can’t take it back and if I could… I’d still do the same thing. I did what I had to do.” I had to keep thinking that, and keep saying that… because if there had been a way around my experience… then this was all for nothing, and it was all my fault, again and again.
And Benjamin kept winning.
“Can you tell Jon?” Brendon asked, softly. “I know you don’t want to, but can you? Because you need to talk to someone.”
I understood what he was trying to do. He was the least intimidating. He did feel safe. Everything about him… so safe, but this wasn’t a safe situation and I just needed to be honest. I had to tell Jon. I had no choice.
“Yeah.” I mumbled.
Brendon nodded, and quickly stood.
I was finally alone.
I didn’t really know where I was headed, but I ended up in Jon’s room. My back was an explosion of pain, and my bra straps were digging in. I needed it off. I needed it off, and Jon would have to see. He would have to see because I couldn’t hide anything from him.
I pulled my shirt off, letting it fall to the ground. It was wet. Wet from my blood. The thought was morbid.
My bra was different. I had trouble getting it off. Every time I moved to attempt to unclasp it my back muscles strained and moved, and that hurt.
I felt cool fingers gently brush against my back and I stopped. “Everyone went home.” Jon’s voice was just a whisper. My bra fell to the ground.
“I’m sorry.” I turned my head to the side, though I wasn’t really looking at anything. I could feel Jon’s presence, and I felt okay… at least a little.
Jon took a deep breath. “It’s over.”
“Over?” I whispered, thinking he meant us. Were we over?
Jon’s walked past me, and I stared at his back as he walked in to the bathroom. The sink flipped on and I listened to the water run. Over?
I felt resigned as I walked to his bed, and laid down on my stomach. I wondered if this would be the last time I laid in the comfort of his bed, inhaling his scent. He smelled good. He did. His smell wasn’t obnoxious or over the top. He just smelled… good, fresh, manly. Safe. He smelled safe.
I jumped as something damp brushed against my back. Jon chuckled. “It’s just a wet rag. I’m going to wipe the… blood off.” Oh yeah. I was bleeding.
“I’m sorry.” How many times would I say that tonight?
“I would never try to make a decision for you.” Jon commented softly. “But I don’t think I can do this. It needs to be over Christian.” I loved the way he said my name, like he cared. He did care. I could feel it. He didn’t hide it.
“What?” The rag was gentle, and cool. It felt good against my skin, but it also hurt. It was a good pain. I needed good pain now. I so tired of hurting. So tired of losing against Benjamin.
“This.” Jon cleared his throat. “This thing with Benjamin… him texting you, and showing up, and you going to him. You went to him, didn’t you?”
“Did Brendon tell you?”
“No, he didn’t.” Jon answered. “But this is no regular grocery shopping accident.”
“You’re right.” I winced as he brushed over a particularly sensitive spot. “I went to see Benjamin. I’m sorry.” I was sorry. That’s why I kept saying it. I couldn’t say it enough. I was so sorry.
“Was it what I did?” Jon asked, sounding upset. “The stupid proposal? I’m just so worried… that you’ll just go, just leave, because I won’t be doing something for you or making this relationship memorable. I feel like our life should be something more together, to make you happy.”
“Are you not happy with what we have?” I whispered, as tears built in my eyes. My back was on fire, and the damp rag could only do so much. Jon could only do so much. When I fucked up… I fucked up.
“I am.” Jon quietly responded, as he dabbed at certain spots. He stood again, disappearing for a few seconds. “This is just some cream. It’ll help.” The cold cream dropped down on to several spots on my back, before he started gently rubbing it in. “I am happy Christian. I am so happy, but I’m afraid… of this, and of losing you. Why did you leave? Why did you go to Benjamin?”
“Anna went to see Benjamin.” I admitted.
“Her Dad got the website down. She just wanted to confront Benjamin. She can be a hot head. She just wants to help. I get that. But he’s dangerous Jon. He’s so dangerous, and so scary…” I didn’t want to talk about this anymore.
“I know.” Jon whispered, as he stopped touching me. “What happened?”
“He hit me… with his belt.”
“Why didn’t you ask me to go with you?” Jon asked softly.
“Because Jon.” I shook my head, as tears fell free. I was so grateful that I wasn’t facing him. “Because you wouldn’t have let this happen.”
“Isn’t that a good thing?” I could hear his confusion.
“I let him.” I admitted. The admission was painful, but it wasn’t my only one. “I’m not a victim Jon, not like you think.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Jon…” I couldn’t stop crying. I was so afraid he would leave me. I didn’t want to talk about this. I didn’t want to. “Please, don’t make me talk about it right now.”
Jon breathed in sharply. “Christian, this is me. I’m Jon. I’m not Benjamin. You don’t have to do a damn thing that you don’t want to. You need to stop confusing us.” He didn’t sound angry, and he didn’t raise his voice. “Because there is a huge difference between the two of us. I love you; he never did.”
Jon loved me?
Benjamin didn’t. He really didn’t. Benjamin wasn’t capable of love. What he did was something much more sinister, and cold. It wasn’t love though.
But Jon… did I love Jon? I was afraid of losing him, and I was happy with him… and I wanted to be with him. I couldn’t imagine not being with him. What else was there to love? I think I loved him, as far as I understood love… but it seemed too easy, and what was too easy… usually wasn’t real, or right. So I didn’t say it. I didn’t say it back.
I don’t think he expected me to.
Jon couldn’t sleep.
He tossed, and turned… and then stopped when he realized he ran the risk of hitting Christian. Her back hurt to look at. He didn’t want to cause her any unnecessary pain and so he got up.
His footsteps were gentle until he reached the hallway.
Brendon was in the living room, like the creepy motherfucker that he was.
“I can’t sleep.” Jon fell in to his chair. Brendon was thrown across the couch, lazily. “What are you watching?”
“Fall out boy’s new music video. Those bastards. No one knew they were coming back… and now they are all just like, back!” Brendon rolled his eyes. “You can’t do that shit.”
“But they did.” Jon replied.
Brendon glared. “Fucking fall out boy.”
“Just admit you have a hard on for Patrick Stump and get over it.” Jon rolled his eyes.
“Light ‘em up, light ‘em up, up, up!” Brendon sang along, ignoring Jon.
Jon threw a magazine that was beside his chair at Brendon. “Shut up. Christian is asleep.”
“But she needs to know-” Brendon started.
Jon sighed heavily. “She doesn’t need to know. They will still be back when she wakes up.”
“You don’t know that.” Brendon replied. “What they gave… they can take away. The bastards.”
“I’m pretty sure all the fan girls in the world wouldn’t allow that. They are kind of powerful when they put all of their powers together.” Jon commented.
Brendon grinned evilly, “Oh yes, yes we are.”
Jon couldn’t stop himself from laughing.
I woke up alone, but warm. I was still on my stomach, and the fluffy blanket wrapped around me wasn’t irritating my back at all. I just wanted to stay in bed forever, but where was Jon?
I found him out in the living room with Brendon.
Brendon’s first words were, “Fall Out Boy is back!”
“Back?” I muttered. “Where did they go?”
Jon pulled me out of the way before Brendon killed me.
With a chuckle I started pouring some cereal in to a bowl. “Do you want some?”
“You’re in a better mood.” Jon commented.
“I needed the sleep.” I admitted.
“So, you really don’t know about Fall Out Boy?”
“Oh, I totally do… and I didn’t know they were back. I’m psyched but I’m more psyched about working Brendon up. That was fun. Though I guess I shouldn’t have. I’m the cause of his car’s current state after all. I should be super nice, not the opposite.”
“Really good mood.” Jon commented, chuckling. “I want whatever you took. I’m exhausted.”
“Why’d you get up so early then?”
“Couldn’t sleep.” Jon answered.
“I’m sorry about last night.” I took a bite of my cereal, hoping he’d forgotten all about it. He couldn’t though, and I couldn’t. It was a stupid hope.
“Do you think we could talk about it? Maybe tonight, over dinner?” Jon asked. “I mean, you aren’t scheduled to work yet, are you?”
“Not yet… and um, sure.”
“You don’t want to talk about it.” Jon commented.
“Do you blame me?”
“No, and you don’t have to talk about it… if you don’t want to, but I think it might help.”
“I don’t think it will help.” I replied. “What if it hurts? Dragging up stuff… it’s just not good.” Suddenly the cereal tasted like poison. I stopped eating it.
“Let’s just… figure it out when we figure it out, okay? I have band practice today, so I won’t be home until later. I’ll have my phone on me though.” Jon leaned down, pressing his lips against mine.
It was sweet.
Brendon wiped beads of sweat from his forehead. “I can’t think of anything other than FOB.”
Spencer hit his drums to emphasize Brendon’s words.
Jon took a deep breath. “Well, I have a dinner date with Christian tonight so I should be heading out then.”
“I have a date too.” Ryan replied.
“What? With who?” Brendon’s interest was immediate.
Ryan grinned devilishly. “None of your damn business kid!”
Spencer hit his drums one last time before pulling himself to his feet. “He has a date with me.”
Ryan picked his keys up from a table by the door. “He’s taking me to a fancy restaurant too.”
Spencer rolled his eyes. “He’s so fucking expensive. Damn diva.”
Brendon’s mouth fell open, but Jon spoke first. “Like together? You guys are dating, each other?”
Spencer threw a drum stick. Jon dodged it. It hit Brendon. “Hey!” He yelled.
“We aren’t gay.” Ryan spoke up. “Just hungry and bored.”
“He’s a good wingman.” Spencer commented.
Jon rolled his eyes as he left the room, hearing Brendon yell something right before the door fell closed, cutting him off.
(Sorry I haven’t responded to any reviews. I’ve been busy lately. I will respond once I have the time! I barely even had time to update this. My computer time? Nonexistent nowadays!)