(adj) finding something nice while looking for something else
The next morning I woke up completely naked in Matt's bed. I stayed there for a little while watching him as he slept ever so peacefully before getting out of the bed and putting on my underwear. Then I grabbed his shirt from the night before and put it on, the fit being long enough on me for it to cover what needed to be covered on the way home. If he wanted it back he had to come get it, and I would be excited to see him.
So I left the apartment with all of my stuff in my bag and started walking. I felt like I needed a bit of fresh air, so I decided to not jump on a bus just yet. I just walked instead, actually enjoying how calm it was in the city at that time in the morning. There weren't a whole lot of people around yet and it was just nice. It felt easier to breathe.
The air was still a bit chilly, the cold temperature giving me goosebumps all over, and I thought about going in somewhere to grab a cup of anything but coffee, but the only thing I could see was a corner store. That would have to do.
So I walked in there and took a look around. It was pretty quiet, but what would you expect in a corner store at this time really? I just took a look around, not really knowing what I felt like getting. I heard the bell ring as somebody else entered the store, but I just continued on my quest to finding whatever would bring my slightly hungover self satisfaction. I heard muffled talking in the background and when I turned my head toward the counter for a second, I felt my heard skip a beat.
He was dressed in a navy blue t-shirt and the usual black jeans and boots combo. I could just see his tattoos too. He was standing with his back to me, but I'd recognize him any day. Hood.
The man behind the counter handed him a pack of cigarettes after he'd paid, but I was already heading for the door. I had to get out of there before he would notice me. I didn't even look back, not wanting to see his face. So, I got out of there, but I'd only just stepped out the door when I felt a hand on my upper arm. I just shook it off and continued walking.
"El, can we just-.."
"Don't call me that", I answered, my back still to him as I walked. Something told me he was following me though.
"Then stop running away, what is this?" He kept on. He didn't sound angry. Yet.
"What is this?" I repeated as I finally stopped. "It's your damn fault, Calum, that's what it is." I'd gone from zero to 100 in a matter of seconds. He did that to me a lot. Maybe it was quite petty to still be this angry because of what he did to me ages ago, but I couldn't help it. I was so in love with him and he'd just thrown me away like I never mattered. That hurt.
"Well, how many times do I have to tell you that I'm sorry?"
"Until it's true."
"No you're not."
I turned towards him. He stood a bit from me, the pack of cigarettes still in his hand. He looked small in a way. He wasn't towering over me like usual, acting all dominant. He just stood there and shrugged.
"I happen to be", he continued and sighed, running his free hand through his dark hair before shoving the pack of cigarettes in his back pocket.
I didn't know what to say really. All of this wasn't exactly planned and I felt like I'd said what I needed to say for now, but somehow I couldn't get myself to just walk away. I wanted to hear him out if he even had anything to say that he hadn't yet. I was tired of excuses, I just wanted... I didn't even know what I wanted. Maybe I was just being stubborn, but I was not going to let myself be humiliated like he'd humiliated me ever again.
"Whose shirt is that?" He then asked, changing the subject completely.
"What do you mean?" I asked and raised my right eyebrow a bit.
"It's a guy's shirt."
"Whose is it then?"
The tension was suddenly clear. None of us said anything for a while even though it wasn't exactly a complicated answer. It was Matthew's shirt. The guy I'd slept with. Because I was moving on. That's what I was doing.
"Just somebody I'm seeing's", I answered and shrugged, a short sigh leaving my lips afterwards.
Then something happened. You wouldn't be able to see it if you didn't know him like I knew him, but for a second I think I saw a glimpse of hurt in his face. This frown just briefly touched his face as he let his gaze fall to the ground just to look back a me immediately. Was he actually hurt? I wanted him to hurt. I wanted him to see me and feel how I felt. I'd felt out of breath every time a memory of the two of us had passed my mind for weeks and I was so sick of it. I was sick of hurting and missing him and doubting myself for what he'd done. Matthew was my ticket out of that dark place and Calum would have to accept that.
But maybe that glimpse had been all in my mind. Maybe he didn't care for me like that anymore. That thought hurt too. Everything hurt when it came to him. Loving him hurt, missing him hurt. It was all bad but somehow he'd been worth it when we used to be together. He wasn't anymore. I didn't want to think that anyway.
"Oh", was all he said. Nothing more.
"Are we done?" I quietly said, but then he moved closer and I just stayed where I was.
"You know we aren't," he answered equally as quiet, "and I know that none of us want us to be."
His words stunned me. How dared he say something like that? How dared he indicate that I was still in love with somebody who had been faking our entire relationship? That was just too messed up.
"You don't know anything, Calum. I'm done. With you. With us."
"Then look me in the eyes and say what you just said."
And I did. I looked him straight in the eyes, but just as I was about to open my mouth and prove my point, I felt like I was choking on my words. I couldn't get them past my lips. My heart started beating faster as I looked into his dark brown eyes, and I wanted nothing more than to be able to go back. I wanted to go back and I wanted it to be real this time around. I quickly shook off the thought though. There was no going back.
"You can't", he said, a slight smirk grazing his lips.
"That doesn't mean anything", I insisted, a frown falling upon my face. "Besides, I don't want to discuss this with you now."
"Then let me take you out for coffee or something", he suggested as he shoved his hands in his pockets.
I couldn't believe him. He actually had the nerve to ask me out like that.
"I'm seeing somebody, Cal, I don't think that's a good idea", I sighed and crossed my arms.
"It's not a date, would you relax?"
"Fine, let's go then", I finally gave in after a second of thinking.
So we walked for a bit in total silence but it wasn't really awkward. It was never awkward around Calum, that was one of the nice things about him. Not saying anything was okay too. He was still a complete idiot, though. That wouldn't change anytime soon.
We found this small place to sit down after about five minutes of walking. It was just this typical café that had only just opened. He got black coffee as usual, I got a cup of tea which he thought was weird, but I refused to drink more coffee than absolutely necessary. After a matter of minutes our orders arrived since we were the only people in there.
"Tell me about the guy you're seeing", Calum suddenly requested before blowing ever so slightly at his coffee to make it cool down.
"Why do you want to hear about him?" I asked as I held the cup of tee between both of my hands.
"I want to know what he's like."
"He's incredible", I answered quietly before carefully taking a sip of tea, feeling the hot liquid burn my tongue just a little bit.
"Oh really?" Calum exclaimed. He sounded pretty sarcastic.
"Yes really. His name is Matthew and he's a journalist", I kept on, a slight smile making its way to my lips by the thought of him. "He's from New York too, he'll be moving back sometime."
"That's such a shame."
"Don't be an asshole."
"I'm being serious."
"No you're not."
Then that specific silence followed once again. It was just the two of us looking at each other, eventually drinking a bit of tea or coffee. I tried figuring out what was going on in that pretty head of his, and I felt like he was doing the same thing to me. I had no idea though. He'd always been hard to read.
"What have you been up to then?" I silently asked just to say something. Also because I wanted to know, simple as that.
I didn't really know what that meant, but I also felt like it didn't matter. I barely ever knew what he was doing when we were together, so I didn't need to know now. I guess it wasn't any of my business anyway.
"How are the others?" I continued, referring to his friends.
"I think Will misses you", he answered and chuckled a bit, "Chloe's Chloe."
"Is she still in love with you?" I asked and tilted my head a bit to the side.
"Nah, I don't think so. We've stopped hooking up anyway."
He rolled his eyes at me.
"What about that Skye-chick then? Were you a thing? Are you a thing?" I suddenly felt my heart beat faster for no apparent reason. When I'd seen the two together in the mall that day with Parker, it had hurt like never before. It shouldn't matter anymore, though, and it didn't. It wouldn't make any difference if they were together, I wasn't going to start seeing him again. We were over.
"Good," I quickly answered, but then realized what I'd just said, "I mean, uh, I don't know. Whatever." Dammit.
He just looked at me for a while with this look in his eyes and this smirk on his lips, only breaking eye-contact when he took a sip of his coffee. I felt awkward all of a sudden, but this time it was my own fault, so I just drank a bit of tea and tried to act like nothing had happened. He didn't comment on it anyways and I was more than thankful for that.
"How's your dad doing, Calum?" I silently asked when it crossed my mind. I actually felt worried about David. Genuinely. He'd let down Calum big time, but he was letting himself down too. He was missing out on life. Missing out on his son.
Calum's face seemed to harden as he suddenly looked down and frowned, making me feel bad for even asking such a personal question when it wasn't any of my business anymore.
"I-I'm sorry, I shouldn't have-.."
"He's in the hospital at the moment", he said, cutting me off.
Calum didn't say anything for a long while, but if I weren't completely wrong, I think I saw his eyes tearing up. He was still looking down though, so it was hard to tell. I didn't think I'd ever seen him cry. It wasn't something he did.
"He tried to kill himself, El. Overdosing on some shit he'd gotten somewhere, I don't even know." His voice was low and slightly raspy, but he finally looked at me and his eyes were definitely teary, making me feel like my heart was actually tearing in half.
He'd told me how he'd lost his mother a little while before we met as kids. I couldn't imagine having to loose your father prematurely as well. Nobody deserved to go through something quite as terrible as that.
"How's he doing now?" I whispered, my voice shaking.
"He's resting. They won't let him go home right now but we'll see."
"Fuck", I sighed and looked down a bit. I suddenly didn't want any more of my tea.
"You're right about that", he answered and leaned back in his chair, running his fingers through his hair once again.
We got out of there after that but I still felt in chock by what he'd told me. David had tried to kill himself and I didn't know how to feel. Calum must've felt like hell as well.
We just walked along the pavement, our hands gracing each other every once in a while but never touching more than that. We were both deep in our own thoughts until this huge truck drove just by us, making me jump. Calum grabbed my wrist and I quickly turned towards him.
"Sorry, it just took me by surprise", I mumbled and pulled my hand free from his hold on it. He quickly grabbed it once again though, this time letting his hand slide down my arm until his fingers were intertwined with mine. I looked down on our hands and frowned a bit, but I couldn't get myself to let go once again.
We were just standing there on the pavement looking at each other. More people had showed up in the streets as time passed, but I only noticed the two of us. It was like that with him.
"What are you doing?" I mumbled as we started walking once again, my hand still in his.
He didn't answer.
"Cat took your tongue?"
"Can we go somewhere?" he asked and looked at me as we walked.
"Like where?" I answered and frowned once again. We'd just gone to get coffee like he'd requested, I guess it was time to part ways.
"Like my place", he answered and shrugged.
What was he on about? What was going to happen if I went back home with him? Nothing. Nothing would happen. That's for sure. Of course. I was still dressed in Matthew's shirt and I kind of wanted to go home, but an equally as big part of me wanted to go with Calum. So that's what I decided to go with even though I knew that I shouldn't.