Part 4. May help you decide who you want to slap, who you want to hug and who you want to throw down a well...
Ok so I know I said that Part 1 had been edited last time I updated but it screwed up and didn’t actually change and then I had to get off the comp. BUT it has actually been updated now so you know… go read the changes at some point if you wish to =)
Amy’s POV- ‘He’s so beautiful, such a beautiful disaster’
I’m just plucking up the courage to make an appearance downstairs when Frank’s sobbing dies down and is replaced by muted muttering from both him and my brother. Next thing I know there’s a knock on my bedroom door and Bob is stood there looking drawn out and worried. “Come down and talk?” he asks tiredly. I swallow and nod, suddenly nervous of what may be waiting for me downstairs. Shy despite the fact that I’d known the boy, now silent, sat in my Living room for most of my life. I follow Bob down the stairs silently and can’t help hesitating in the doorway to the Living room. My thoughts are beyond jumbled.
I walk forward with jaggedly movements and only risk taking a glance at Frank once I am safely seated next to Bob on the sofa. Everything that used to make Frank beautiful seem muted and distorted making him appear repulsive and even more tragically appealing at the same time. His olive green eyes are red and raw with the earlier tears and the even earlier drug use. His delicate yet already calloused hands are shaking and raw. His hair is flat and unstyled. If I hadn’t heard the raw emotion pouring out of him 10 minutes before I would bet on him being a zombie. He’s also wearing one of Bob’s shirts. When our eyes meet the bottom falls out of my word and I understand in one sickening moment that this is all because of me. This wreck of a life is my fault.
“I’m sorry.” He chokes out. His voice sounds rough though I don’t know whether to put it down to copious amounts of alcohol, drugs and cigarettes or body wrenching sobs.
“I know.” I reply. I feel like I should say something else but no words miraculously spring to my tongue to make the situation any better.
“I’ve always liked you.” Frank says to him feet. Bob is looking distractedly at the photos on the wall but I’m glad of his presence. “Even before the bet. Way before the bet. I just never had the guts to tell you or do anything about it. Then we were hanging out more and I think Gerard must have realised how I felt because he made the bet, after we watching ’10 things I hate about you’, and I agreed but not because it was a game but because it was the perfect motivation to act on everything I’ve been hiding for so long.” Now that the answers to all my unasked questions are here I’m not sure I ever really wanted them.
“Why did you need a stupid bet o admit your feelings towards me?”
“I’m a guy?” I turn away from his gaze at his pathetic answer. He returns to examining his shoes.
“I’m just in the kitchen. Don’t kill each other alright?” Bob says and walks out the room. Frank immediately looks up into my eyes. “Did you have to say that to Tom?”
“Say what to Tom?”
“‘You say sorry too much’ he mimics Tom, ‘Sorry.’ He mimics me.”
“Is that what this is all about?” I ask in exasperation wondering when he gets so over sensitive.
“No. This is all about me loving you and you playing cheap mind games on me to make me jealous. What you don’t seem to have noticed is that you can’t make me feel any worse than I already do.” His voice is week from the crying and I can feel a painful lump rising in my own throat. It thickens my words as I take my turn to speak, “I’m not trying to hurt you.” And then I’m crying, sobs to match Frank’s earlier ones, and he’s crossing the room to comfort me and something stops me from fighting him off as he wraps his arms around my body and rocks me back and forth comfortingly.
“I really missed you Amy.” He mutters once I’ve stopped crying. He still has his arms around me.
“Me too.” I say before I can stop myself.
“Then why are we doing this?”
“Because it’s easier to hate you than like you right now.”
“But I love you.” He says desperately and even though I once thought I had loved him too I just shake my head and whisper my newest mantra, “Love is just a lie.”
“Please, let us be friends?”
“I don’t know…” It was dangerous and I’d loose Tom again for sure.
“Please?” I leave his question hanging in the air and lapse into silent thoughts.
I could understand where he was coming from about why he took up the bet; motivation and protection if he got rejected, who wouldn’t jump on an opportunity like that? What I couldn’t get my head around was why he needed that opportunity. I also couldn’t get my head around what was real and what wasn’t, and that two people I’ve admired and even looked up to did something like that. To me.
“Is it true that you’ve already slept with Tom?”
“Is it true that you’ve slept with half our year?”
“Point taken.” We lapse into silence again.
“Why did you let what I said earlier bother you so much?”
“Because you only did it to p*ss me off.”
“Why did you give me what I wanted then if you knew that?”
“Because there’s nothing else I can do.”
“You came dangerously close to quoting The Spill Canvas there.”
“You know that song?” His eyes light up at the normalcy of this conversation so that I hesitate over saying what I wanted to say next.
“… Yeah. I listened to it 3 days straight after I found out.” He closes his eyes and lowers his head.
“Look Amy I am really sorry and I’ll do anything you want to make it up to you just please don’t let me ruin our friendship. We had so many amazing times before and after the bet and even the ones after the bet had nothing to do with the bet what so ever.” He scrambles over the words with such speed and an urgency to make me understand that for some reason my eyes start filling up with tears again.
“I want to forgive you. I really do, but I’m so scared of being hurt. I just want to be loved without any complications.”
“And Tom can give you that?”
“Despite all the arguments about me?” I must look shocked at his inside knowledge as he hurries to explain. “Bob. I’m not stalking you.”
“Good.” I state, holding back a sh*tty comment about how he’d have no time to stalk me between sleeping with nearly everyone I know.
After spending all this time with him my self discipline has fallen to pieces and I can’t help but feel sorry for Frank. He looks so lost. Even though I know that the drinking and drugs are more to do with self-loathing of the image he’s created of himself, than anything to do with me, I can’t help but feel guilty. I was the foot that kicked the snowball.
“I think we need to take our time.” I begin slowly, still trying to disentangle my thoughts, “and just see where time takes us. I won’t fight liking you but I’m not going to suddenly be your best friends again.” I finish hoping I made some form of sense. He beams at me and then at Bob as he walks back through the door.
“Glad to see you’re both alive.”
“Barely.” Frank mutters and I see the glimmer of regret and depression dance behind his eyes. It’s gone as soon as it appears thought and I’m left to wonder if I imagined it. Frank stands up and turns to Bob, “I think I’m good to go home now.”
“Yeah.” He says with a slight sigh as if he doesn’t really want to go but would rather leave now of his own accord than wait to be kicked out later.
“I’ll see you later Frank.” I say, making my way past the too boys to go up to my room.
“Hang on.” Frank follows me into the hall. “Am I allowed to say hello before exams and stuff.”
“I suppose, just make sure Tom isn’t around.” I reply, wondering what ‘and stuff’ meant.
“Can I have a good-bye hug?”
“Go for it.”
It should have been awkward but it wasn’t. It should have been uncomfortable and suffocating but it wasn’t. “I still hate you.” I say to his shoulder as I hold him close. The words lack conviction and we both know I’m just saying it to reassure myself. Eventually we let go and he follows Bob out of the door to go him.
I go back into the Living room and sit in Frank’s vacated seat. I curl into the slight warmth left from his body and fall asleep. My dreams are full of Tom and Frank and fights and dreadful situations where my emotions get the better of me and I can’t do a thing about it.