Old friends abandon me, it's just the routine politics of jealousy
 
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 Chapter 23: Letting Go

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Kell
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Join date : 2008-10-05

PostSubject: Chapter 23: Letting Go   Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:35 pm

It was a slow day at work. J had the day off & Randy was sick. So the only people working were Tom & I. But thankfully, we didn't have many customers. On days where there weren't many people showing up, it was a little difficult to keep busy. Wait on people, then wipe the counters, follwed by organizing the shelves. After that, clean the floor, fill the shelves, pre-make some stuff that might be ordered later. Once all that was done, we were allowed to read a magazine behind the counter, or something.

JUST as I was picking up a magazine on the rack to look at, I heard the little bell above the door ring. As I put the mag back on the rack, I stood behind the counter. When I saw the person who came in, I felt myself tense slightly. It was West.

He didn't notice me at first, on account that he was on his phone talking to somebody. When he reached the counter & hung up, he looked up & saw that it was me in front of him. His face went from neutral to unhappy.

"Can I help you?" I asked flatly, but trying to sound professional.

He mumbled something inaudible.

"What?"

"Nothing. I want a smoothie," he ordered.

"Sure," I replied. I walked over to the blender, put in some fruit & stirred it up for a few seconds. When it was finished, I poured it in a plastic, put a straw in it & handed it to him. Just then, I decided I thought I should talk to him. Just as he took it, I walked out from the counter as he was turning to leave. I put my hand on his shoulder to stop him.

"Hey, West?"

He violently shook off my hand, like it had some sort of disease all over it.

"Don't touch me Noah," he hissed.

"Sorry. I just thought, maybe you wanna sit down & talk for a minute? I mean, it's not exactly rush hour here."

"No. I'm going home," he stated.

"West, c'mon. Can we just talk?"

He glared at me.

"Why? You don't wanna be friends with me, I don't wanna be friends with you," he snapped. For a moment, I thought maybe he sounded upset about it. But then I realized the second part of his sentence. He wasn't upset. He was disgusted.

"West, I really think we should just...talk."

He just looked at me. He gritted his teeth behind closed lips & just walked over to one of the lounger couches. I walked over & sat down next to him.

"Away," he said sharply, telling me to move. I moved to the other side of the sofa. When he scoffed, he stood up & sat down in a chair across from me.

"What do you want?" he barked.

"I was thinking...that maybe we could just let this whole thing go. I mean, you seem a little upset by what's going on between you & J, I figure we should all just take a step back & try to be friends, like old times," I explained cautiously.

"Even if I WANTED to start over, I wouldn't. I have no intentions of being friendly with people who might put the moves on me if they're also boys," he accused.

"First off, J & I are already together & I would never cheat oh him. Second, you're not my type at all."

"I thought every boy was your type," he said, crossing arms. I had no idea what he meant by that.

"What's that supossed to mean?"

"I thought gay guys liked every boy they see. That's why most pedophiles are gay men."

My jaw practically dropped.

"West, we're not talking about pedophiles. We're talking about us trying to get past differences & still be friends."

"I don't befriend sinners," he said coldly.

"Who's sinning?"

"You are."

"Me, what did I do?"

"You turned gay, that's what you did," he said loudly.

I didn't say anything. This argument was starting to turn religious. Not that I hated religious-related tings, but this wasn't where I had hoped to go with this conversation.

"West, being gay isn't a sin," I said.

"Tell that to the Bible," he told me off.

"The Bible has countless ways of interpretations dude. It was written a long time ago, no one knows specifiaclly what the people meant back then."

"A man who lies with another man shall be stoned" he said. I never bothered to study the Bible in church, so I assumed that was what it said.

"West..."

"I can't believe there aren't more people who are...frankly, disappointed with you," he said, almost apologetically, which only meant sarcasm.

"Dude, so far, you're the only person who's disappointed."

"You really think that?" he smirked.

"Yes, yes I do."

"What about your mom?" he said.

I glared at him. He had no right to tell me what my mom would or wouldn't have thought about me. I didn't know why he brought her up. She had nothing to do witht his. I could slightly tolerate his homophobia, but this was different.

"This doesn't concern her. So don't tell me what my mother would have thought," I warned him.

"I can say what I want. Freedom of Speech. Plus, I think it would definitely concern her. After all, her son is GAY," he said.

"She died West."

"Yeah, probably because of you."

WHAT?!?! What did I have to do with her death?! She died in a car crash six years ago. A drunk driver hit her from the side by running a red light. There's no way I had anything to do with that.

"What are you talking about?"

"You had a fight with her, right? That night, you & her were arguing about homework?" he interrogated.

"Yeah, so?"

"So, you told me that whenever your mom got really mad, she would drive off for a few hours & then come back later, right?"

"Get to the point," I said angrily.

"Well what if you hadn't made her mad? Then she wouldn't have driven off & get killed," he said calmly.

"Are you...are you saying it's MY fault that my mom died?" I said, on the verge on flipping out.

He shrugged. That didn't help.

"Well...I guess so, yeah," he said.

My eyes widened. I felt my fists clench & I gritted my teeth. I felt nothing but anger coursing throughout my entire body. I almost thought about slamming my fist right into his face. But I was able to keep my cool. Barely.

"Get out," I ordered.

"Make me," he sneered.

"West, get out of here. I'm not in the mood to argue."

"You were in the mood to argue with your mom that night," he laughed coldly. He had gone from disgusted to just plain cold-hearted throughout this talk.

I stood up & walked over to him. I leaned in towards him, getting very close to his face.

"Get out or I'll show you the way out myself," I said in a low voice. I had never been so mad before in my life.

"You just love making people leave don't you? You made your mom leave, you're making me leave..." he choked on the last word as I grabbed the collar of his shirt & yanked him up off his feet. I started dragging him by the shirt towards the door.

"Let me go you fag," he yelled.

I let go. I opened the door & shoved him out. That's how I let go. In more ways than one...

"I made an attempt to make peace with you & all you do is accuse me of killing my own mom. You're not allowed here anymore," I said.

"It's a public place, I can come here when I want," West shot back.

"Public place, privately owned. We reserve the right to keep certain persons out of here," I said. Two could play at the quoting-things game.

"Just like you kept your mom out of your house?" he asked. I had to run all the consequences through my head to make sure I didn't do anything worth getting arrested.

"Go away," I said quietly.

"You gotta quit keeping people away."

I said nothing.

"Noah, if it weren't for you, who knows? Maybe she'd still be here. Thank God she's not though," he chuckled, my eyes seeing red. I hated him. "I don't think she'd want a son who's gay. You did the right thing, getting rid of her."

I went numb.

"What happened to you? We used to be friends West..."

"You went against God, & now I'm just helping him out. You got what you deserved. I mean seriously; who needs a mom when you got a boyfriend, am I right?" he smiled.

I wasn't angry. I wasn't sad. I wasn't upset. I wasn't anything. I was empty. I was alone. I was numb. I was deprived of feeling.

"Just stay away from me," he said, walking away.

When he was out of sight, I walked back to the counter. I finished my work day with barely speaking to anybody.

My mom & dad had always told me that even though it's not good to hate somebody, it was even worse to not care about them at all.

I didn't hate West.

Nor did I care about him.

**********

That night I had trouble falling asleep. It was around 2:30 in the morning. The entire day, everything what West had said was disturbing me & I couldn't seem to get it out of my head.

My heart told me that it wasn't my fault; that it had just been an argument & that my mom would never have blamed me for it. My heart told me that it was just an accident.

My brain. My brain unfortunately told me logical things that I was scared of believing. Logically, my brain saw it as my fault. If she & myself HADN'T fought, she wouldn't have driven off to cool down, thus, she wouldn't have been hit.

I felt feeling coming back to my body for the first time in hours. But none of it was good feeling. I felt hurt, guilty, ashamed & angry. I felt my eyes start to water. I tried telling myself that I couldn't have done anything. It wasn't working.

I wanted to go to my dad. I didn't know why, I just thought it would help. But I couldn't. An old highschool friend of his had moved in the town next to us & had invited my dad to sleep over that night to catch up on the good old days. I was alone that night.

I felt alone in my own home.

I got up, put on a t-shirt & pajama pants & went over to my window. I opened it up & climbed out of it. There was about a threet foot drop to the rest of the roof. I walked on the roof of my house until I got to the edge where there was a wall that I could climb down, just like in Airbud where the dog could climb up the side.

When I got down, I made my way to J's house, found the spare key & let myself in. I locked the door behind me & felt my way through the pitch-black house. I knew the house front & back. When I found the door I wa slooking for, I opened it & walked down into J's room. There was a little bit of light from the moon shining through the small windows. When I came down the stairs, it must have woken him up. When I saw his body sit up, I could barely see his eyes. Must have been some deep sleep. Lucky.

I was starting to tear up while he was adjusting to the darkness. I was inhaling & exhaling in short, rapid breaths. It looked like once J's eyes were fixed, he recognized me.

"Hey you. What, you came over so you & me could...Noah? Noah, what's wrong?" he said, sounding concerned. He got up & walked quickly over to me. He must have heard me sobbing. He quickly wrapped his arms around me. I started to openly, but quietly, cry into his shoulder, my tears running down his skin.

"Noah, what's the matter? What happened?"

When I was able to pull myself together after about five minutes, I tried to sound as coherent as possible.

"I killed her," I sobbed into his shoulder. I painfully brought my arms around his waist, holding on to him as tightly but as comfortably as possible.

"Who? What are you talking about?" he asked, his hand slowly going through my hair.

"My mom," I sniffled.

He said nothing at first. He then brought me over to his bed/couch. We lay down together. J was on his back, me curled up at his side. He had an arm slipped under & around me, to hold me close to him. I cried into his chest.

"You didn't kill her Noah. Why are you thinking about her anyway?" he said.

"She's my mom J, how can I not think about her!" I sobbed, a little bit too loudly. He was quiet.

"I'm sorry," I breathed out sadly.

"Don't be. When did you start thinking 'bout this anyway?"

"At work, West came in & I tried making up with him. But then he started talking about how my mom would have been disappointed with me and..." I started to tear up again, I couldn't even finish my thoughts.

"Don't listen to him, you & I both know she loved you to death," he said. I completely broke down just then.

"That's the point! Whenever her & me fought badly enough, she drove off for a few hours. If we hadn't argued, she wouldn't have left & she would still be here."

"Noah, listen to yourself! You didn't do anything wrong. The only person to blame is the guy who hit her, not you. Ok? You didn't do anything wrong. It wasn't your fault. You're letting what happened fit his theory, not the other way around."

My eyes were pouring onto his bare shoulder & chest, tears running down his sides & falling onto the couch. I KNEW he was right. It WASN'T my fault. It was just taking a long time for those thoughts to set in.

As I turned into him more, I felt his hand on my back. He gently started rubbing my back, trying to help me calm down a little bit. It didn't make me feel all the way better, but it helped a little bit.

"I'm sorry J," I said, weeping.

"Don't be, Noah. I'm always here, ok?" he said soothingly.

I smiled weakly.

I kissed him on the collar bone & tried to get cozy with him. I felt his arm move & the next thing I knew, there was a blanket on top of us. But that didn't stop him from gently massaging my back.

I eventually fell asleep, but J didn't. He stayed up all night, holding me close to him. When I woke up the next morning, his hand was still going.

I had let West go. I wasn't about to let J go.

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Chapter 23: Letting Go
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