11. 10

Chapter Ten


                Since Michael and I have kind of sorted out our problem, Kate had picked up on it. Instead of the usual eye roll from me, I give him a smile. And rather than the sad, confused look he’d give me, he’d smile right back. I tried not to give anything away to Kate, but with the constant looks and gazes thrown my way, not harsh but simply curious, it was piling onto the guilt in the pit of my stomach.

                I didn’t like lying to my best friend. Of course I didn’t, but Michael promised he was going to tell her. That was four days ago. Now, not only does Kate not know, but Michael is growing more and more doubtful that she won’t get angry.

                “The longer you wait, the more it will eat at you. You need to tell her when she gets home.” I told him one day while we sat on the couch. Kate was at work, another night shift, and Michael had just told me that he doesn’t think she’d ever stay with him if he tells her.

                “She’s going to be so pissed,” Michael groaned, flinging his body backward on the couch, his arm draping itself over his face.

                “Yeah, she is.” I couldn’t help but agree because yeah, she’s going to be pissed; at me and Michael, but she at least deserves to know. “Do you—do you still want to be with her?”

                Michael lifted his head, confusion clouded his eyes. I hurried on before he could say something.

                “Like, do you still want to be in a relationship with her even though you don’t exactly, ya know, feel that way? About her?” God, this was awkward. I shifted in my spot on the couch uncomfortably, picking at the fraying ends of one of the throw pillows. I felt Michael shift, scooting closer.

                “I-its not like I don’t feel anything for her. I just—uh, just because I love you,” I cringed slightly, not use to the words flowing so freely out of his mouth, “doesn’t mean that I don’t have feelings for her. Like, I do like Kate. I really do. She’s smart and nice and certainly beautiful and funny; everything that I’m looking for in someone, but she’s not you.” Michael kept his bright eyes locked on my hands, watching as my fingers pulled at a loose string.

                “Did you ever love her?” I asked, voice soft and quiet. I didn’t even know if I wanted to know the answer, honestly. He paused for a moment.

                “I thought I did, Brigh. I-I don’t know,” he sighed deeply, reaching forward to play with the bottom of my plaid pajama pants, twisting and pulling with his long, pale fingers. I froze slightly, willing this not to get any further. Hesitantly, I placed my hand on top of his, in a friendly gesture.  I didn’t miss the way his breath hitched in his throat, so softly, so quietly, I barely heard it. But I caught it.

                “Ya know, I was in a relationship like this before,” I said, a small smiling playing on my lips.

                “Really? What happened?” He asked, now pulling on my pant leg gently.

                “I thought I loved him, but I think I was more in love with the thought of him than him. You know what I’m saying? Like, he was great, but there were times when I thought that he wasn’t even putting forth any effort in our relationship. I had these ideas in my head, like, I would think of all the things I would like him to do or what I’d think he’d do, but was kinda disappointed each time that didn’t happen.” I sighed softly, wrapping my fingers around Michael’s thumb.

                “Did you end it?” Michael asked quietly, somehow closer than he was a few seconds ago. I straightened my spine to create a few more inches of space between us.

                “No. Not at first. I was scared because he was all I had. I didn’t have Kate at that time, I barely had friends, my parents were living in a different city. In a way, he was all I had. So I stuck with him,” I shrugged. “But I remember one night, I came home late from the job I had at the time and you know what I saw when I walked into the living room?”


                “I found him snogging his best mate, Jaxx. It was quite the sight,” I giggled. Michael gasped.

                “No. Really? That’s…wow. What’d you do?”

                “Just stood there! I was so shocked, I mean, he was my boyfriend and kissing another guy! What was I supposed to do?” We shared a laugh. “Seriously though, I just stood there. Then they finally noticed and I remember he jumped up with this super surprised look on his face. He began to, like, apologize like mad.”

                “Then what?” Michael asked eagerly, his bright eyes holding amusement. I shook my head fondly.

                “Of course I wasn’t mad. Just because, ya know, he was gay. I was kind of mad that he was gay and he was dating me. Like, what did that do for him? I told him that and we sorted everything out like adults. We are still kind of good friends, but I haven’t spoken to him in ages,” I sighed.

                “Okay, point is; you need to tell her what happened and how you really feel, Michael. If you don’t, you’re just going to be miserable and she’s not going to know. I hate lying to her more than anything, and I can only imagine what you think.” I continued. The thumb I was holding slide out of my fingers and lightly trace the outline of my palm. I know I shouldn’t let him do it, but I couldn’t help the bubble of pity in the pit of my stomach.

                “I hate lying to her too. You have no idea, but it’s hard, okay?” he mumbled. I held in my sigh and kept quiet, thinking of a way to convince him to tell her without forcing it on him.

                “Fine. How about…you tell her when you’re ready. I want to say suck it up and fucking tell her, but I won’t.” I gave him a small, reassuring smile.

                He nodded meekly, avoiding my eyes.


We stopped talking after that, not knowing what we could possibly talk about. I was still aware of his finger tracing my palm softly, but didn’t say anything about it. It did feel nice, admittedly.

“Want to watch TV?” I asked a while later of perfect silence. Michael, still brooding, perked up slightly.

“Sure,” It was only six, meaning Kate should be home in an hour or so, maybe later. I had a feeling Michael realized the same thing because his fingers wrapped around my hand tightly before letting go. For the next few hours, we watched some random shows on the TV then once I heard Kate’s tires rolling into the driveway, I jumped up.

“Hi Kate,” I greeted, opening the door for her before she could get to it. She gave me a dazzling smile.

“Brigh! Hi!” She gave me a kiss on the cheek and closed the door behind her, shrugging out of her jacket and placing her keys and purse on the little table by the door. I stayed behind while Kate went into the living room. I heard Michael greet her like nothing was out of the ordinary. Deciding to give them space, I headed upstairs to my room for the night, wondering when Michael will tell her.

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