Old friends abandon me, it's just the routine politics of jealousy
 
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 Chapter 21: Cold Shoulder

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Kell
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Join date : 2008-10-05

PostSubject: Chapter 21: Cold Shoulder   Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:21 pm

"You guys shold have been there, it was awesome!" Collin exclaimed on the phone one night.

"Been where?" I asked. I had been trying to work on my homework, but clearly it wasn't working all that well.

"Lee's 18th birthday party, what do you think?" Lee was West's older brother.

"I didn't know it was his birthday at all."

"West didn't tell you the party was for his brother?"

"I never got invited."

Silence.

I wasn't TOO surprised. West hadn't really been all that friendly towards Jade & me since that concert. After I realized that he sort of shrugged us off, barely talked to us & apparently didn't invite us anywhere anymore, I assumed he didn't approve of our relationship, to put lightly.

"Oh. That's weird. Did you guys get in a fight & he was mad at you?" asked Collin.

"No, not that I know of" I said back.

"Well why do you think he didn't invite you?"

I thought for a moment.

"You know how his family goes to church like, every Sunday?"

"Yeah?"

"Maybe they're very religious & don't like gay relationships."

"West's not THAT religious though, he is? He doesn't seem like it."

"Well, maybe it's like a mask or something. I don't know. All I know is that since Jade & I kissed a while back, he hasn't been very nice to us."

"That's rough."

"I know. Oh well."

"You should talk to him."

"Why?"

"Well. Tell him that people should be allowed to love who they want & just because somebody wrote it in a book a long time ago, doesn't mean that it's wrong."

"Collin, even though I agree with that, I don't have the right to tell him what to think. He's free to think whatever he wants."

"Bull shit. He doesn't have the right to judge you like that. Real friends don't do that."

"Real friends also respect each other's opinions, no matter their personal thoughts."

"So you're just going to stay friends with a homophobe?" he snapped.

"I didn't say that dude, I'm just saying that he can think what he wants. Do I agree with what he thinks? Well obviously not. That's his decision. I think telling somebody what to think, what to believe & what to accept is worse than go against what you yourself believe in."

For a moment, Collin said nothing. All I could hear was his breathing.

"Why do you always have to be the nice guy?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, Noah, c'mon. You always feel like doing the right thing, you never just go with the flow. How come you never just take a risk at something?"

"Because...'cause it's the only person I know how to be" I said after consideration.

"I still think you should tell West off."

"Why don't you do it? You sound pretty angry about it yourself."

"Are you kidding me? West would like, murder me. But he wouldn't do anything to you."

"Get Jade to do it."

I didn't hear anything. I imagined that Collin was actually thinking about it.

"That could work..."

"Collin, just drop it ok? If West doesn't wanna be friends with us, then fine."

"Ohhhhhh...you're hopeless" I heard him chuckle.

"I guess so. I gotta go, I'll see you tomorrow, k?" I said, seeing Jade walk in.

"All right. Later" he hung up.

My dad walked into the kitchen kind of dressed up, ready to go out somewhere. Jade & him said their hello's.

"Kiddo, I have a meeting, I won't be back until about 10:00, ok?"

"Ok."

"No wild, drinking, drugs, hookers parties while I'm gone, got it?" he called on his way out.

"We don't have enough time anyway" Jade replied. Dad laughed & left.

Jade walked over to me, gave me a kiss & then went to flop down on the couch. I was in a chair at the bar.

"Jenna's arguing with our mom & dad about her moving back in for a few months because she's really upset that her boyfriend dumped her" he said, putting a mocking tone on the last several words.

"Why?"

"Because they clearly don't want her living with us anymore. They still have me to put through college. They probably just want a house without kids once I'm out."

"No, I meant why did Cam dump her?"

"How would I know?"

"Because you were just over there."

"Well I don't know. So who were you talking to on the phone?"

"Collin" I said. I grabbed a small bag of chips in the snack bowl & threw another one to him.

"What'd he want?"

"To see 'if I had fun at Lee's birthday party', that's what."

"It was Lee's birthday?" he asked me.

"Yeah."

"I guess we're not old enough to be at his, what, 18th birthday?"

"Well apparently, Collin, Alex, Dane, Randy & Jeff were old enough."

Jade stopped munching on his chips, setting them aside.

"What?"

"They were invited. We weren't."

"Why the hell not?" said Jade a little bit louder and standing up.

"I don't know, maybe he just doesn't like yours & my relationship."

"So he's a fucking bigot."

"Not necessarily. Maybe it's just the way he was raised. He goes to church with his family, who we all know are wicked strict on him."

"So his parents are the fuck-ups & now we're suffering?"

I moaned. Why couldn't anyone just agree with me?"

"He can't judge us just cause we're gay Noah."

"I know, but it's not our place to tell him what he should or shouldn't think."

"I'm not gonna be friends with a homophobe, neither should you."

"First off, West has been our friend for four or five years. You can't just disown someone after that long of a friendship. Plus, I don't see it that way. I see it as him maybe not wanting to be friends with two guys who are gay, not what you said."

He had a disgusted look on his face.

"You make it sound like we're the bad guys" he accused.

"And you're making it sound like he's the bad guy" I shot back.

"But Noah-!" he started

"No, not 'but's' J! I don't care what you think right now, I'm letting him think what he wants."

He nodded his head in mockery.

"So you're just gonna abandon what you & me stand for?"

"If I have to suffer a little bit to let him think freely, then so be it."

"Masochist" he hissed.

"I'm not a masochist. If I were, then our little sex games would be a little different" I tried a sexy smile, hoping to at least make him smile a little. But it failed.

"I can't believe him" Jade said, shaking his head "after five years of friendship."

"Which is why we can't just toss him as a friend J."

Neither of us said anything for a while. I figured we didn't have to. I was exhausted from fighting two wars. My boyfriend was here & I didn't want to spend our time together arguing over what somebody else should or shouldn't think.

I stood up from the bar, walked over to Jade & sat down next to him, laying my head on his shoulder. He felt hot, probably from the conversation. I kissed his neck, putting my arm across his chest. I could notice a slight change in his breathing, which I was grateful for. He was cooling down. We almost never fought & I didn't want to start now.

"I don't wanna do this" I said to him.

"I wanna fight for what I want" Jade said firmly.

I sighed.

"So do I."

**********

The next day at school, I was anxious to see what would happen in the morning before homeroom began. We all hung out together by the cafeteria. Everybody had their own get-together spaces.

Jade & I were always first there because we had the earliest bus. Our friends came in after us depending on when their buses or when their parents dropped them off.

West was usually last to come beacuse him & his family lived on the other side of town. When he arrived, I kept quiet, praying that nothing would happen.

Randy, Dane, Jeff & Alex talked like it was just a regular day. Collin, Jade & I waited to see what would happen.

When West walked up to all of us, Collin & Jade were the only ones who didn't say hi.

"Why didn't you invite us to Lee's party?" Jade said sharply just as West put his stuff down. He froze, glaring at Collin, who only stared back. When he looked over at me, I lowered my head.

"Maybe I just felt that you & Noah were closer than I previously thought & didn't really wanna be around us" he lied, right through his teeth.

"Or maybe you're a digger, & you just didn't want some gay kids at your house, or wherever you went" Jade tore into him.

"J, that's not fair..." I cut in.

"Shut up Noah" Collin said.

I gritted my teeth.

"I don't need any help from you or any other queer floating around." West said.

"You're a bigot" Collin said.

"Forgive me for feeling the way I want!"

"No, your mommy & daddy made you feel this way when they shoved the Bible down your throat since you were a kid" said Jade.

"Fuck off faggot."

Jade stepped right up into West's face & shoved him hard against the wall.

This is exactly what I didn't want to happen. I realized that a couple conversations around us, including our friends', were now silenced.

"Guys, just stop."

"I agree, screw off" West said.

"No, that's not what I said" I pointed out.

"What I said was for them to stop beating you up because you're thinking what you want to think. Do I agree with them that you shouldn't hate Jade & I just for being gay? Yeah, I do. But do I also feel that you should feel, even if it's different from how I feel, the way you want? Yeah. But West, stop twisting little things I'm saying & making me sound like I'm on your side, cause I'm not."

"Good" said Collin.

"I'm not on your guys' side either" I snapped at him & Jade.

"I'm on my own side, where nobody should be homophobic, racist, sexist, ageist or anything like that. But also for the people who are those, they should be given they're own choice of mind."

From then on, it was silent. The three of them looked at each other. Even though it couldn't have been more obvious they were still ticked, at least they weren't fighting now. Why DID I always have to be the good guy? I should have just let them beat each other up & save myself the trouble. But I didn't.

At lunch, West wasn't there. He wouldn't spend time in the morning with us anymore after that. I assumed that he felt outnumbered & decided to go some place else in the future. For lunch, we found out that he would eventually sneak his lunch into the library upstairs alone. I wish he felt differently, but I didn't have the right to force what I thought on him.

When I got home later that day, Jade followed me. We dropped our stuff by the door & headed up to my bedroom.

We walked over to my bed & just plopped down on it. He wrapped an arm around me, his hand resting on my chest. It had been a long day & I just wasn't in the mood for anything right now. I turned into Jade, closed my eyes & just let my exhaustion get the better of me. I was out in a few minutes.

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Chapter 21: Cold Shoulder
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