Chapter 25 – Healing
Monday, January 30th, 2017
We stayed with my aunt and uncle for about a week since I was suspended anyway and Pyper was under my grandparents’ care and doing well. She insisted on us helping out our aunt and uncle and support Milan.
I spoke to Calo over the phone and explained what had happened to Milan and why I wouldn’t be able to visit him as long as I would be there.
I didn’t really tell him much, other than the fact my cousin got in an accident during skiing and that he was now awaiting a long and hard recovery, still uncertain about his future in general.
I saw him awake a handful of times, but he isn’t capable of remembering anything that happens while he is awake, let alone what happened in the past couple of weeks. He lost memories of about six months and every time he hears what happened and what’s wrong with him, he breaks down crying, realising he probably won’t be able to pursue any of his dreams.
It was heart-breaking, and I was exhausted when we came home on Sunday again. Not to even begin about the fact I had trouble to execute my compulsions because all of my cousins came home out of worry and to help out around the house while aunt Chantel and uncle Ricardo focussed on Milan.
It was crowded and taking a shower right after getting out of bed proved to be impossible with that much people in a house.
How did they do it before four of my cousins moved out?
So, I was slow in the mornings, but none of them said anything about my compulsions or the fact I stayed in bed until all of them were long ready.
Mom picked up outfits for every day of the week that had been picked by Pyper, so I could dress without panicking.
But all in all, I was exhausted and all I wanted was to sleep for days.
So, I slept since yesterday noon, until this morning, forced to get out of bed and go to school.
Dad is bringing grandma and grandpa over to my aunt and uncle because they’re going to stay there for a while, and mom is in charge of Pyper and me and going to school.
And that’s where I think my exhaustion hits me most.
Because I simply don’t know how to respond to the first change presented to me; Luke, seated on top of my desk, nervously fiddling with his backpack. Jimmy is nowhere to be found.
I’m hesitant about walking towards him, but since I overpowered him in a fight, I find myself no long afraid of him, physically.
“What do you want?” I grumble as I reach my desk, gesturing for him to get off.
“Hey, eh…” he drawls, lolling his head from left to right, scratching his head right afterwards. “Can we talk?”
“I think we are already.”
“Yeah, okay, right…” He clears his throat while I frown, wondering if he’s actually afraid of me after I broke his nose – which still hasn’t completely healed by the looks of it – and his jaw, which still shows a bruise. “I wanted to say I’m sorry.”
I think I chocked on my breath, shocked by the words that I thought I heard him pronounce. “Excuse me?”
“I’m sorry, for everything.” He mutters, ashamed and insecure. “I ehm… What I did was wrong, really wrong. Sick even.”
“Did you grow a brain over night?” I frown again, again gesturing for him to get off my desk. “Did I knock some sense into your mind?”
He chuckles, though it sounds forced. “Mom made me read tons of articles about kids that committed suicide because of bullying.”
“And you needed to read that in order to understand what bullying can lead up to?” I again point sideways, wanting him to move. “Get off my desk.”
“I really am sorry, Neo,” he calls out in frustration. “I know sorry doesn’t just solve things, but I just want you to know I won’t bother you anymore.”
“And your sidekick?” I sigh in relief since he stood up from the desk to allow me to sit behind it. “Will you put him on a leash?”
Again, Luke chuckles, less forced this time. “Jimmy won’t bother you. Some things happened in the past two weeks and his parents had it with him bullying people and constantly getting detention for getting in trouble.”
“He was sent to a boarding school.”
“Is that why you’re apologizing? Because you are now alone?”
“No!” His eyes widen as he seems to realize his timing is really off.
“Get lost, Luke.” I groan. “I’ve had a rough week and I’m not in the mood for jokes.”
“It ain’t a joke, Nee…”
“Neo… I promise. I won’t bother you any longer.”
“Would be great if you would keep up that promise as from now.” I deadpan, slumping in my seat tiredly.
“Right.” Luke nods and walks towards his own desk while his head hangs low.
But I don’t feel bad because he does. I felt bad for years and just like he said, a sorry isn’t good enough. But I truly hope he will leave me alone from now on. I just want to get through the last months in highschool and go off to college. Get a fresh start and maybe even some new friends.
I should apply to a college or university soon too. My mind has been completely taken by other stuff and I completely forgot to do so.
Maybe I should stop focussing on unimportant things and start focussing on my future a bit more.
But then again, I know I haven’t focussed on my future so far, because I didn’t really feel like having a future to begin with.
Until recently, I thought I would always live at home, alone and depressed.
But thinking about it, I can picture myself living with Calo, having a job and who knows, maybe even kids.
Would it happen to be that I’d end up with Calo, or a guy in general, kids could definitely be an option as adoption would be the only option to get kids in the first place.
No chance of passing on my faulty genes.
No chance of me screwing them up with giving them OCD or an anxiety disorder. Though I could screw them up in my upbringing.
So, maybe no kids in the future.
Why am I even thinking about this? I just got a boyfriend only recently, and I know the chances of staying with a high school lover are slim.
But then again, Calo is the first person I ever fell for, so maybe my heart just waited until the right person came along.
And said person just brought a smile onto my face by sending a simple text to greet me with a ‘good morning, handsome’.
I send a quick message back, also reminding him I’m back home, and in school again, so that he knows I won’t be able to answer his texts during class.
And it’s all that I need to get through another day in this hell-hole; Calo texting me all day to sort of keep me company.
* * * * *
I messed up a test in Maths, though I always used to ace those tests without studying. But missing two weeks of class and focussing on Milan and the rest of the family, completely forgetting about homework isn’t really helpful when presented with an unexpected test.
But, looking at the bright side, I did not completely panic over the unexpected, which I normally tend to do.
I just had to write with slight trembling hands and a nervous feeling eating me alive, but I kept my breathing steady and I managed to full in ever blank line with what to me seemed like logical answers.
But, it did make me a bit grumpy because I want to keep my grades up to enrol into a good college or university.
Which is my priority right now; apply to get into said universities or colleges.
I’m waiting for mom to pick me up and for Calo to answer my last text. I know Lorenzo and Seino went to visit him this afternoon so he’s probably a bit occupied with them.
And since I expect mom to pick me up and them to be in hospital, I’m surprised when Lorenzo’s car stops in front of me.
My eyes widen as Calo gets out, causing me to jump up from my seat.
“Hi, handsome.” He smirks as I hurry over to him – completely forgetting about being in public – attacking him in a hug. “Someone is happy to see me.”
“Off course I’m happy to see you!” I chuckle for a bit, staring into his beautiful eyes, feeling some butterflies messing with my lunch. “ I haven’t seen you for over a week.”
“Yeah, I got a bit impatient and they allowed me to leave the ward for a while. Thought I might a well use my time to visit my boyfriend.” His voice is a husky whisper, right before he pulls me closer to connect our lips in a sweet kiss.
I do wonder if he realizes Lorenzo is on the other side of the car, watching us. I mean, Seino is there too, but he already knows about Calo being gay.
And as he pulls back, I send Lorenzo a quick look. He is surprised, and that’s a bit of an understatement.
“Ehm, Cay?” I ask him in a whisper, leaning closer. “You do realize Lorenzo is here?”
“I do, and he knows…” Cay lolls his head from left to right. “I’m not entirely happy about my sexuality yet. But seeing the fact I found myself a pretty cute boyfriend makes it a whole lot easier to accept.”
I smile widely right from the moment he called me cute, blushing a bit because let’s face it, I’m not used to being called cute. Or handsome, or whatever he comes up with.
“So, how are you doing? Are you allowed to go home?”
“They want to observe me for a little longer. But I have permission to leave the premises if someone is there to watch me.” Cay intertwines our hands, pulling me towards the car. “And that includes you and taking you out to get an ice cream.”
“Ice cream?” I frown, scooting onto the backseat after him, Seino and Lorenzo getting in too. “It’s January, Cay. It’s not the season for ice cream.”
“Oh, it’s always the right time to eat ice cream. But okay, it’s not exactly that. It’s crepes with caramel flavoured ice-cream, sauce and whipped cream and it’s heavenly. And I’m craving it for a while now, so we’re going to get us that delicious desert.”
“I have to let mom know I’m out with you right now…” I grab my phone, but Calo puts his hand over it. “Seino already spoke to your mom. She knows she has the night to herself because we’ll drop you off after dinner.”
“Oh, I think she likes that for a change…” I chuckle. “I can be a handful. And last week was stressful.”
“How is your cousin doing?”
“Milan is doing mwah… He’s in a lot of pain and he’s not able to walk right now. He keeps crying whenever he realises his dreams are crushed and he won’t be able to ski and make it into the Olympics like he wanted to. He might not even be able to ever walk again so… yeah… It was terrible to see him like that.”
“Wait, Milan? Olympics? Skiing?” Calo’s eyes widen. “Don’t tell me your cousin is Milan Lohmann?”
“Eh, yeah… he is. Why?”
“Eh, only because I’m his biggest fan ever?” Calo sends me a look full of disbelieve. “That sure sucks a lot for him to be in that situation. I loved his video’s…”
“Well, I don’t think he’s going to do any more video’s.” I sigh. “I keep forgetting my cousin is sort of a B-celebrity with his very own fanbase. And I didn’t know you where into skiing like that. Milan promised to teach me but that’s never going to happen.”
“I’ll teach you. Not that I’m nearly as good as he was, but I can teach you the basics.”
“Can we do it on a date?” I wiggle my eyebrows. “Go skiing, après skiing, you know?”
“Sounds like a plan. As soon as I’m out of that ward, I’m taking you on a date in the mountains.” Calo nods and sighs. “But Neo? Now that we’re going home for the evening, you need to know that I only told Lorenzo and Harper about us. Mom and dad still don’t know and I’d like to keep it that way for now.”
“They know, believe me…”
“But I’m not ready to have that conversation and openly admit it. I already feel like their worst son and well…”
“They love you, Cay.” Seino grumbles. “Even though you don’t really get along, they still love you endlessly.”
“But I’m still not ready, and I think it’s only fair I get to decide where and when to come out to them.”
I lean towards him, pecking a quick kiss on his cheek. “For what it’s worth, I’m really proud you came out to Enzo and Harper,” I whisper to him.
He smiles, turns his head and catches my lips with his.
And for once, I feel completely comfortable despite the physical contact. I feel completely happy, relaxed and even like a normal person.
All because of Calo.