Old friends abandon me, it's just the routine politics of jealousy
 
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 Chapter 40: Insight

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Kell
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Join date : 2008-10-05

PostSubject: Chapter 40: Insight   Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:25 am

Opening the door to Dade's to confront Jade's apparent flirtation with this girl made me realize that I probably should have thought this out first instead of going in with no plan.

Jade looked up to see Collin & me there.

"Hey guys," he said cheerfully.

"What's up dude?"

"Nothin'. Just working haha."

"Cool," Collin said. "Well, we came in, just wanted to say hi...soooo yeah. See ya later!" Just as Collin turned to leave, I subtly grabbed his shirt & yanked him back.

"Oh, well hi back," he laughed.

"ACTUALLY we just figured we'd hang out for a little bit. I'm kinda beat from a long day."

"Um, ok. You guys wanna hang out after I'm done working? We can sit back, watch a movie at my place..."

"I meant us just hanging out here for a little bit," I smiled.

"Oh," he said not very enthusiastically. Before he looked down, I saw his eyes quickly shoot over to the girl who was sitting at a table reading. "So you guys getting something too?"

"Sure. I'll have a strawberry smoothie & a steak & cheese sub."

"Ok. Collin?"

"...I wanna go..." he mumbled under his breath. I elbowed him in the side.

"What was that?"

"I said a mango...mango smoothie."

"All right. Gimme a sec," he said as he started to get our stuff.

I pushed Collin along with me as we made our way over to the table nearest the girl. We sat down awkwardly & just looked around the place casually. I could tell Collin was becoming nervous & so I took out my phone for a little bit and just played on it. I glanced over at the girl, who was still reading her book. When she saw me looking, she looked up & smiled warmly at me. I returned the smile.

"Hi there," she said.

"Hi. How are you?" I asked.

"I'm all right. Just reading," she said.

"Cool. What book is it?"

She showed me.

"Neat. Is it what you were expecting?" I asked her.

"Actually no. When I bought it, I thought that it'd be more of a," I looked over at Jade who was watching us intently, "romantic, cute story but actually there's some ACTION hahaha. Fine by me, I like a bit of action too."

"Well that's good," I replied. I knew Jade was listening now too. "Always nice to have a bit of unexpected change, huh?"

"Yeah."

"Are you from around here?" I asked.

"Next town over. But I come here all the time."

"Here as in Dade's?"

"Yup."

"How come?"

"Well -"

"EHHH, it's not any of our business to know, you don't have to tell us if you don't want to, that's ok," Collin blurted out.

I quickly looked over at Jade who seemed fidgety while he was making my sub.

"Collin," I stomped on his foot under the table, "don't be rude. Maybe I'm wrong but it sounded like she was about to answer us, until you interrupted."

"No that's um...that's ok," the girl said. "I like the food here, for one. But also, the uh...people," she blushed a little bit. Again I glanced over to the counter where Jaden was almost done fixing our stuff.

I looked back over to her & gave her a look that let her know I knew JUST who she was talking about.

"The people huh?"

"Yeah."

"The people around here are really...something," I said as I looked back over at Jade. I watched as his facial expression changed right in front of me, clicking in his head that I knew just who I was talking to. I turned back to the girl just as a subtle scowl came upon his face.

"I'm Nina by the way," she extended her hand to us.

"Noah."

"Nice to meet you Noah." She then offered her hand to Collin.

"I'm uh, Collin," he said dumbly, shaking her hand slowly.

"Collin..." she repeated, as if it were mystifying.

"Your guys' stuff is all set," I heard Jade say rather firmly.

As I stood up, I noticed that Collin stayed sitting with Nina. "You gonna get your stuff?"

"Are we leaving right now?" he said, sounding surprised. That was certainly a change from just a minute ago. I looked back over to the counter where Jaden was looking right at me. Right at me.

"I don't know..."

"You go on," he said, nodding for me to go up.

I walked back up to the counter.

"Let's see...I don't have anything smaller than a $20..." I said while going through my wallet.

"Can I talk to you in the back?" he said. It sounded more of an insistence rather than a request.

"Sure."

I walked around the counter & followed him to the back storage area. When we made it far enough from hearing distance, he turned around to me.

"What are you doing?" he said angrily.

"What are you talking about?" I said.

"Don't play dumb Noah."

"I don't know what you're talking about..."

"You KNOW that's the girl I told you about...I just don't know HOW you figured that out."

"Don't worry about how I figured it out," I challenged him.

"Noah," he said, "whatever it is you're here to do, stop."

"Why don't YOU stop?" I shot back.

"What?"

"YOU know what. Flirting with this girl. You're GAY Jaden, remember that? Remember US? Remember how you've sucked my DICK dozens of times & how many times we FUCKED? What is so special about this girl that now you're saying you might be straight?"

He was shocked to hear what I was saying.

"I never said that at all. And just because you & me have a history doesn't mean I can't like someone else."

"True, but it's the fact that we were TOGETHER..." I lowered my voice, "together, that you liked her. 'Her'. Another thing that I don't get."

"I don't get it either Noah. And I TOLD you, I don't know what I feel about her. She just...stands out somehow."

"All right, so what, you wanna date her now? You wanna be boyfriend & girlfriend now?" I sneered.

I could tell that he was starting to get upset. I was hurting him & I knew it. But I couldn't stop.

"I don't know what your problem is Noah, but I wish you'd stop. I really wish you would."

"I'm not the one with a problem. You're the one starting to fall for a girl."

"What about this Jared guy? Huh? What about him? You like him now don't you?"

"That's different. I met him recently, AFTER you & I broke up. Plus, he's a GUY."

"You still flirted with him at that club, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME."

"Still not a girl," I shrugged. He was pissed off now.

"You're sounding awfully heterophobic right now..."

"Yeah well you're the one who I feel practically cheated on me," I said through gritted teeth.

That did something. I heard him inhaled a sharp breath at my accusation. I watched as he struggled to possibly fathom what I had just said. To be honest, even I don't know if I really believed what had just come out of my mouth. Did I...did I really think he would've cheated on me while we were boyfriends? Did I really believe that my best friend since we were two years old & then lovers for some time, would CHEAT on me with someone? Honestly...I think I was starting to regret what I had just said...oh GOD how I regretted it.

"I...I can't believe you would think that..." he said shakily.

"Wait, I didn't mean -" but he stopped me.

He shook his head slowly & backed up away from me. "I can't believe any of this. I know you went through something horrible Noah...and who knows, maybe that's why you hate girls now, I don't know. But what I DO know...is that you've changed. Out of all the time I've known you, I've NEVER taken you to be selfish, jealous, hypocritical or spiteful. But now..." he sniffed back, "you're ALL of that. You've changed Noah."

"Wait, Jade..."

"And NOW, for you to actually believe that I would...that I could...do that to you..." he said sadly. "I thought you knew me better than that. I thought we knew each other better than that. You know I'll always love you. But you're not the Noah I fell in love with. And sure as hell aren't the same fucking Noah that was my best friend."

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean for that to come out..." I reached out to hold his arm. But just then, he violently yanked his arm away from me.

"Get out," he hissed.

Stunned, I didn't move.

"Wha...what?"

"I said get out. I want you & Collin to leave. Now," he said as he wiped his puffy eyes with the back of his hand.

"Jaden, please, I'm sorry..."

"Get out before I call someone who I REALLY don't wanna call," he threatened.

I stared at him in disbelief for another moment before I turned around & made my way out slowly, still not believing what had happened. As we walked out of the storage area & back into the store, I saw Collin & Nina now sitting next to each other & talking about something that was making them each giggle. When they heard us come out, they both looked up to see us.

"Heyyyy," Collin said cheerfully, "we were just talking about how -"

"C'mon Collin, we gotta go," I said as calmly as I could.

"Go? What...I thought...?" he looked back & forth between Jade & I. Jade had his arms crossed & was looking down at the floor.

There was an awkard silence while Collin took a moment to figure out what to do. Just then, Nina spoke up, clearly having noticed something was wrong. "Well, I think I'm get going now. Hopefully I'll see you guys around soon." Collin nodded.

As she got up to walk by me, she gave me a farewell smile that I couldn't bring myself to return.

"Have a good day," I heard Jade say, his voice off.

She walked out.

"Guys, what happened?" Collin asked.

"C'mon, we have to leave," I said, turning around to leave. With one last look over at Jade, Collin sighed & followed me outside. As we started to walk up the street across Dade's, Collin started asking me what happened.

"Just...not now," I said quietly.

As we made our way up the hill, I couldn't help but feel more ashamed of myself than I ever had in my entire life. I knew our relationship had ended, but for a while afterwards, Jade & I had managed to keep up our friendship. And although awkward & tense at first...we eventually made it work out. But now...now I was terrified that I had just ruined the best friendship I could ever hope to have, all because of jealousy. He was right... I had changed.

As Collin & I continued walking in silence, I looked behind my back to see down the hill & into the store through the front windows.

I didn't need binoculars to see that Jade was sobbing into his hands & leaning against a wall.

What had I done...

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Chapter 40: Insight
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