Old friends abandon me, it's just the routine politics of jealousy
 
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 Chapter 26: Out

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Kell
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Join date : 2008-10-05

PostSubject: Chapter 26: Out   Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:03 am

The past couple months were some of the most tense in my life. The fighting between J & I had ceased, but there was still tension. We were at peace with each other & actually managed small smiles towards each other now & then. It wasn't much. But it was better than a couple months back, that was for sure.

It was a hot summer day when I decided to take a trip. I went down to my backyard towards the dock to the water. Lake Annabessacook was at it's prime beauty on the warmest days. The bright light from the sun shone off the surface of the water, which reflected onto the trees & land surrounding. This only made everything seem to have a glow to it. It was beautiful.

When I reached the dock, I removed my t-shirt & stepped into the small rowboat bobbing gently up & down. I grabbed the oars & placed them in the holsters. Just as I started rowing, I hadn't gotten more than a foot when I suddenly stopped short. I looked up & saw him standing there. He gave me a weak smile.

"Hi."

"Hey."

"Want some company?"

"Sure."

He climbed in & sat across from me.

I started rowing to the area of the lake directly across from my backyard. It was fairly swampy, but it was nice. Small rivers & creeks made their way deep through the woods before spilling into the lake. They were small enough to not be seen from anywhere, but large enough to move a small boat through.

When we were about in the middle of the lake, he spoke.

"So...I've been thinking..." he started.

"Yeah?" Uh oh.

"And...um," he struggled.

I looked at him.

"I'm sorry," he said.

I nodded for no particular reason.

He looked down.

"The last couple months, I feel like I pretty much attacked you Noah. I thought that it was truly because you just...ya know. Didn't want what I wanted. But I started realizing a little while ago that it wasn't you at all. I have some things that I need to figure out on my own."

"Ok," I nodded.

He sighed. I didn't know if he had more to say.

"And um...I...don't know...if I'm able to do that if we're, ya know...together..." he stuttered.

I blinked.

"So...are we..." I breathed in.

Oh God. This was what I had feared for months. I hoped he didn't say what I was thinking. But whether he would or not, I couldn't change his mind. Even if I could, I wouldn't have. He was doing what he thought was right.

"Yeah..." he ended.

I sighed.

I wasn't shocked at all. In fact, what shocked me the most was that I wasn't shocked. I mean, what could you expect after months of fighting? I couldn't believe I didn't feel worse. I WANTED to feel horrible. I felt like I NEEDED to feel horrible. Here I was with my boyfriend of almost two years & we were breaking up so it seemed.

"It's just temporary though, ok? We'll be back together sooner than you know it Noahy," he tried to convinve me. It worked a little, but not enough to satisfy me.

"So...it's a break, not a breakup?" I asked.

He pulled off a slight smile.

By now, we had entered the marshy backwoods of the swamps. As we went deeper into the woods, I became aware that not having a shirt where thousands of biting insects flying around was...stupid. The direct sun from rowing across the water had made my back sweaty, which brought countless horseflies & mosquitos to my skin.

I was barely rowing anymore. I used one oar to push the boat along from the ground.

"So...now what?" I said, unsure of what to say.

"We still friends?" he asked.

That had come out of nowhere. To be honest, from bad-news-to-good-news, that was the best thing I had heard all my life practically. The fighting was over & he had promised to work out his personal problems until we could get back together. So I didn't see a reason to stay apart, let alone not be pals.

"Yeah. We are," I smiled warmly.

He smiled back. Then, for the first time in months, he leaned over & kissed me. It was only a peck on the mouth, but it filled me with joy anyway. I guess time DOES heal all wounds.

A sharp bit on my left arm caused me to drop the oar into the water in order to smack the insect. Before I could reach it, it started to float into an unreachable location a few feet away.

"Nice," my friend laughed.

"Oh shut up," I punched him lightly in the arm.

I used the other oar to start steering us out of the marsh. It was tricky getting out due to all the branches in the way from the small trees, but we made out with only a few scrapes & bites. Needless to say, it would take much longer to reach the other side of the lake now with only one oar.

As we made our way towards the other side, I started up some small talk.

"So...we're not together anymore...huh."

He rolled his eyes & smiled.

"Kinda slow there."

"So how are we gonna tell our friends & folks?" I asked.

"Well," he said, "I figure we can tell them later or if they ask about us. No sense in going right up to them & stating it."

"I guess."

"What about Collin?"

"What about him?"

"Well, he's helped us. So has Mark. We owe it to them to tell them."

He shrugged.

"I guess you're right."

"You know I'm right."

From then on we talked about nothing in particular. We talked about different experiences at work. Our shifts had been changed by the owner about a month ago so we longer saw each other at work as employees. We discussed vacations with family. We conversed about anything that could be talked about in an hour.

We finally made it close enough for me to jump in & swim to the dock to bring in the small raft.

"You're pretty sexy lookin' when you're dripping," he grinned.

I laughed.

"We just split & you're already hitting on me? You're unbelievable," I teased.

"What about if it's my ultimate apology for everything I've put you through lately?" he asked seriously, yet with an unmistakable grin.

"Then my ultimate way of forgiveness would be to invite you over tonight for dinner," I told him as I leaned against the dock.

He beamed.

"Sounds great."

"We cool?"

He extended a hand for help.

"We are if you help me up."

"You don't have a suit on. If I pull you out you'll be in the water."

"Don't care."

I extended a hand of my own, helping him out of the rowboat.

"We're cool."

I laughed.

He stared into my eyes.

"You know I love you, right? I always will Noah. Boyfriends or just friends."

I looked down, blushing.

"Yeah. I do."

"Hey."

I looked back up at him.

"C'mere," he said, offering a hug. I wrapped my arms around him.

I had almost forgot how warm & embracing his hugs were. How safe I felt when his arms covered me from both sides. Too bad we weren't together at the moment. It wouldn't have hurt.

"There is...one more thing to make total peace," I grinned wickedly.

"Yeah? What's that?" he asked.

"This!" I exclaimed as I shoved him hard backwards. He fell back like a wall into the water with a big splash. I started laughing & moved away from him. I climbed up onto the dock & watched him thrash around under the disturbed surface of the lake.

I was still laughing when he emerged, drenched from head to toe. What made it funnier was that he was in regular clothes, including socks & shoes. He started coughing & gagging for air desparately, which even though sounds scary, I could see he was smiling underneath. I kept laughing.

"Change of mind. NOW we're cool. Hahaha," I said.

"You are such an ass, ya know that?" he said.

"Uh huh."

"I'm totally soaked."

"Yeah, I can see that," I giggled.

He glared at me.

"Would you shut up?"

"Make me."

"I will!" he said, reaching for my ankle. He was going to pull me off the dock into the water to join him. Nu uh.

"Oh, I don't think so buddy," I said as I ran away from the dock.

**********

Later that night, after dinner, when dad & I were alone, he came upstairs to me as I was climbing into bed.

"So you two are back together or something?" he asked me.

"Actually...we're taking a break for a little while. Not sure how long. Or even if it's temporary."

"When did you guys talk about it?"

"Earlier today. We took the rowboat to the other side of the lake."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah. He said that he has some personal issues to work out before he can clear his head."

"Are you gonna help him?" dad asked me.

I gave him a puzzling look.

"Are you gonna help him work out his problems, whatever they are?"

"Dad...they're not my issues. I don't wanna intrude & butt into his personal affairs."

"I didn't say intrude, I said just to help."

"Where do you draw the line between butt in & help?" I asked.

He laughed.

"Noah, you're a smart kid. You'll figure something. You always do," dad said, giving me a pat on the leg & standing up to leave.

I lay down in my bed. I planted my face in my pillow & then started to cry.

I didn't cry out of sadness. I cried out of relief. If I had to choose between being friends & in a stressful relationship, I choose friendship. I was just glad the fighting had stopped. That's what I cried for. Resolution.

As far as the break went, I stayed hopeful. But I made sure to not get my hopes up. But what I was most touched by was that him & I had decided to stay good, strong friends. The split had finally brought out our happier sides.

After all; we HAD decided early on that our relationship would never get in the way of our friendship. I planned to keep it that way for now. I'd make sure Jaden Parker stayed my best friend for a long time.

No matter what was thrown our way.

_________________
I'd pick bacon over a bj any day.
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Chapter 26: Out
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