FATHERLY LOVE


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14. • RECONCILE •

Kai

Although Russell and I were now on ostensibly good terms, I couldn't shake the inelegance that arose between us. I hadn't seen him in the past four days, yet he still seemed to embed himself into my mind daily. I couldn't shake the cerebrations in my mind of the Man, and I was growing vexed by it.

So annoyed that I'd even thought of calling Calum, but I evaded doing so. I needed some space from him, and he needed some from me as well. But our friendship had gradually dwindled within a few days, and I couldn't argue or feel bad about it.

It couldn't be a heartbreak that he suffered, for we knew each other a while. It still felt like we weren't precisely compatible either. And all noetic conceptions of a relationship with him washed away. I knew of the pain it would cost us both if we ever plunged so deep. I was astronomically frustrated with the thought of it, and I was in desperate desideratum for Alcohol. I wasn't a drinker, but I indulged myself every once in a while.

And tonight felt as if it was one of those nights.

I sat curled up in my couch, watching some Science Fiction Show that I'd yet to understand. Being too pre-occupied with mind boggling thoughts of a Man, that wasn't ever in my favor customarily did that. This was my first time developing feelings so strong, and I gradually wanted the week to culminate while not wanting it to. I felt conflicted and caught up in my own silly emotions, to even think straight. It only left me jaded and weary, with no ability to fathom why I felt so drained.

I wasn't on Nurse Call for Russell anymore, but I furtively wanted to know how he was doing. I thought about calling, but that would mean I had to call the School and ask for his number. Which was infeasible considering it was already making its way to Eight PM, on a Friday night.

The doorbell chimed noisily, and I flew up from the couch in surprise since I was not expecting any visitors. I didn't expect visitors, besides Calum who always called before he popped up.

I expeditiously unlatched the door, swinging it open to find Calum standing there. He was dressed sharply in Jeans and a simple pullover, and a pair of stylish sneakers. He wasn't all dressed up, but he looked the part. His handsome face was effulgent as always, and I couldn't help shaking my head while smiling up at him.

             'You don't call, or text. But you show up at my doorstep while I'm in my pajamas.' I rose an eyebrow and he chuckled lightly, looking past my shoulders.

             'You look great in them though.' He flirted and I rolled my eyes stepping away from the door.

             'Close my door behind you,' I pleaded and I heard the door slam shut abaft me. Followed by Calum's booted foot, thumping loudly on the floor as he tried to catch up with me.

              'You're not going out tonight?' He asked and I shook my head, betokening that I had no plans to either.              

             'Well you're in luck. I too have no life tonight so I guess I'm stuck with you.' He joked and I rolled my eyes for the millionth time since he appeared out of nowhere.

We settled back in the couch, and he found interest in the series I was watching before his arrival. 'I didn't know you watched Comics.' Calum chuckled and I rose an eyebrow.

              'I had no idea I did either.' I integrated and he gazed at me with furrowed brows, then back to the Tele.

              'So you just turn on your TV and let it watch you instead of the other way around?' He queried musingly and I groaned in frustration.

              'Precisely,' I nodded with a cheeky grin, and Calum shook his head vehemently.

              'You have got to be kidding me.' He was solemn and I simply shrugged, then he followed by groaning loudly.

              'You need to legend Legend of the New Farrakhan. Matter of fact, you should watch the whole ZETA Series.' Calum advised and I grimaced, marginally worried that he was still into comics. It was always his thing, but we mostly saw each other at school. Or whenever we just decided to meet up to grab lunch, or a Coffee.

               'Yeah, not happening.' I droned lightly and he scoffed.

               'Suit yourself.' He shrugged and I frowned at him, optically canvassing him his eyes settled on the Television Set. Engrossed in the exhibition, that had still failed to catch my interest in its whole two hours of streaming.

The doorbell rang, and I looked past Calum to the door. Wondering who was next, and I thought of Russell. I immediately brushed the memories from my head, ambulating to the door with a sudden slump and feeling of sloth. I was up and alert when I realized that I was yet again right, for it was Russell Adams, and by God.

The man was looking preponderant, and he had even shaved. My mouth fluttered open and a minute smile played upon his lips.

             'Russell,' I exclaimed a little too loudly, still surprised that he was standing at my doorstep. 'What're you doing here?' I asked swiftly.

              'I was in the neighborhood.' He offered and my eyes narrowed, speculating the only possible motives for his being here.

              'I-, well. How are you?' I asked stupidly, not able to find a better question to ask.

              'Much better thanks to you.' He offered me a smile and I shook my head vigorously, pondering the idea of this being a dream.

              'I-,' I paused as my legs began shaking, from the nerves rushing through my entirety.

             'Are you ok?' Russell asked suddenly out of concern. He took a step forward, and my body jerked slightly as I backed away.

             'Yes!' I answered in questionable haste, cursing mentally as I tried gathering my thoughts. 'Never better,' I squeaked, smiling like a complete idiot.

             'Well I wanted to thank you for the Chicken.' He mused with smoggy chuckle and my cheeks became heated.

              'It's an old Family recipe. Maybe I could give it to you one day. Timothy seemed to enjoy it.' I spoke with a little more confidence, finally calming my scattered wits.

              'Well maybe you could tell me over a cup of Coffee? I-.' Russell ceased speaking, and I could see his eyes settling behind me.

I frowned spinning around to see Calum sitting there, watching me and Russell to his own entertainment. He sported a goofy smile, and I grew worried about his present amused gaze. 'I didn't know you had a Guest. I'll come back another time then.' Russell announced apologetically and my eyes widened.

              'Don't be silly,' I laughed nervously. 'You look good-. I mean you're umm, good.' I sputtered heavily, feeling the blood rush to my cheeks.

              'Oh,' he huffed and I stepped away from the door, beckoning him inside.

              'Calum. This is Russell Adams. His son is in my class.' I introduced Russell as Calum turned to me, he peered at Russell intensely and his eyes narrowed as he rose from the couch. Calum extended his palm to Russell and they shook hands vigorously.

                'Russell this is my friend Calum. He's a Teacher at the school.' There was an awkward tension between both men, and I tried not to let it bother me.

                'Russell Adams isn't it?' Calum asked and I rose an eyebrow, optically canvassing the exchange between both men.

                'Yes. Nice to meet you Calum.' Russell stated deeply, but Calum only nodded. He flashed me a blank look, and I digressed. Smiling at Russell shyly, feeling the tension thicken. 'I must get going though. I'll see you on Monday?' Russell nodded down at me, and I smiled. The heat in my cheeks had subsided, and I felt saddened that he had opted to leave at that time.

              'Sure,' I nodded up at Russell, who spun around to leave.

But I didn't want him to leave.

Though admittedly it was for the better. For both men seemed to be at odds with each other. Much to my chagrin, they didn't seem to be two guys that would share a beer and talk about sports. For they were both so different, it kinda left no room to even think such a thing possible.

             'How does Russell Adams know where you live?' Calum asked after we settled back in the Couch.

I spun around to gaze at him, pondering the need for such a question coming from him.

              'I gave him my address and number.' I answered honestly and simply, deciding that it made no sense to lie. 'Why is that so important?' I asked suddenly and Calum gazed at me, with a hint of surprise in his eyes.

               'The guy is bad news Kai. I don't think you should hear him coming around where you live. Much less having Coffee with him,' Calum warned with a cold voice, causing my temper to go off balance.

               'I don't see how spending my time with Russell Adams is an issue. Nor do I think it's anyone's business but mine.' I snapped and Calum's lips clamped shut.

His jawline hardened, and I could sense the inner battle he had with himself. Pondering if he should press on, or just leave me to it.

It was obviously none of his business, nor did he have the right to be jealous. There was nothing going on between me and Russell, so there was no need for him to be concerned by it.

           'Is he the reason you won't Date me?' Claim asked after a long awkward pause.

I glared at him in surprise, but had no answer to give. Since I was unsure if Russell's presence in my life did something. Something that rendered me crazy, with hope. Hope that made me refrain from pursuing a relationship with Calum. It was a ridiculous fact, yet I couldn't shake the odd feeling that seeped into my heart.

              'That's ridiculous Calum, I-'

              'You know Kai,' he interrupted my bout of denial, shaking his head with a look of disappointment. 'I always expected you to keep it real with me. No lies or corners, but I guess I was wrong.' He finished as he rose from the Couch, shooting me a look of deep pity. 'The least you could do is be honest with me. You owe me that much,'

             'Calum-,' I started but I didn't know what to say to appease him. Maybe I could've apologized and told him the truth, but I honestly had no qualms as to what the truth was anymore.

With that said, I was left feeling equally bad and hurt. Not knowing where the next day would take me, or where I would wander. Calum was my only Friend. He just wanted more than what we already shared. I didn't understand why he wanted to complicate the already solid relationship we had. Or why I didn't want more than just a Friend out of him.

But some questions were best left unasked.

Some answers were best left hidden.

Some things were best left unsaid.

•••••

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