Easter break, it was autumn now, three months and two weeks since I came back to Sydney from New York City. I’d been studying my music, dancing and art. I was so organised and happy, so lucky to have made good friends with Wren and Landon.
“Oh my god!” Wren screamed as I squealed, seeing her walk through the airline border doors for the baggage pickup. She threw her carryon backpack at Landon and met me halfway across the room before we devoured each other in a much-needed embrace.
“I can’t believe you’re here!”
“Me either!” She jumped with me and laughed before we hugged again just as Landon and Caleb met with us.
“It’s good to finally meet you both,” Caleb greeted, smiled and gave Landon a handshake.
“Oh my god! Your accent’s even better in person,” Wren squealed, hugging him as I chuckled. He hugged her loosely in response as Landon and I hugged big time.
“I missed you, babe.”
“I missed you too,” I smirked, punched his stomach a little as I took in his dark eyes and light brown hair, thick in rough locks and curls that stopped just under his ears. His nose was big and wonky while his eyebrows were bushy and his jaw was round, his neck skinny like the rest of him but he was tall, very tall.
Wren, on the other hand, was short with long, thin and straight black hair and olive skin, her eyes big and green-grey as her nose was little, her eyebrows waxed thin but her jaw sharp as her body was naturally extremely skinny because she never put on weight.
“You’re so little,” Caleb chuckled, making her gasp softly and look at me.
“Your brother’s so rude!”
“Sometimes,” I smirked, shrugged while Landon and Caleb laughed it off. “How was the flight anyway?”
“Fine,” she answered, pulling me towards the bags that rolled in on the baggage carousel. “A bumpy landing but that’s all. The food was good too. So were the movies,” she said as we stopped to wait for her bags. “How are you?”
“Fine. There’s so much I have to tell you though,” I sighed.
“And I get to meet this Chase finally. Can’t wait,” she smiled widely, moved in to pull off a big dark red suitcase with daisies all over it. “Landy! Yours is coming,” she shouted, pointing off to the other side excitedly like I child, making me laugh softly.
“Oh. My. God. This is your house!” Wren exclaimed as Caleb pulled into the courtyard where James and Gray were sitting on the steps, smoking.
They could have gone anywhere, I thought bitterly as Caleb came to a halt.
“Who are they?” Landon asked.
“James and his boyfriend, Grayson,” I answered, sighed a little and got out but Wren already knew James from the videocalls and half knew Gray from me and what I’ve told her.
“G’day!” Wren greeted, waving over and cutting into their conversation. They looked up together, blank expressions which made me roll my eyes.
“Get off your ass and say hi,” I told James, walking over as the boys got the luggage.
“It’s fine. You two are so cute, my god.”
“We’re not cute,” James replied, getting up to offer his hand. “Good to see you in person finally.”
“You too,” she smiled, shaking his hand before she held hers to Gray, who shook it. “Heard so much about you.”
“Really?” He glanced at me, “all good I hope.”
“It’s a fifty, fifty,” she replied, still smiling before Caleb and Landon came to us. “This is Landon, my superb boyfriend.”
“Superb, hey?” I smirked while Landon shook their hands and Wren shrugged and grinned back at me. “Come on, Joe’s dying to see you I reckon,” I said and she held in an excited laugh, grabbed my hand so I could pull her up the steps and inside.
“That was such a dog move!” Wren laughed when I told her how Chase threw my phone into the fireplace. I nodded in agreement and watched her continue to snoop around my room as I stayed on my bed.
“Oh my god, who’s this?” She asked, pointing to an old photo of Chase and I back in primary school.
“Chase and I,” I smiled, getting up because I hadn’t seen many of my photos for so long.
“Aww, you two are so cute! He’s adorable. What’s he like now?” She asked eagerly as I smiled at the old photos of us and my brothers suck over my cupboards.
“He’s beautiful,” I said softly. “He’s the best boyfriend I could have ever asked for,” I smiled but it quickly faded when things were different now.
I kissed Kaden. I betrayed Chase.
How am I supposed to get over that?
“O’oh, I know that look,” she murmured, turning to me. “Did you two have a fight?”
“No, nothing like that. Apart from when he threw my phone into the fire,” I muttered and she laughed softly at that but then looked at me sadly.
“What is it then?” She asked and I averted my eyes, swallowed.
“Do you remember the guy called Kaden? I was telling you about him a while ago.”
“Yeah, you got a tattoo with him,” she nodded and walked with me back to my bed, sat down with me. “What about him, C?”
“About a week ago, something happened and I was at his place. He was in a fight and so he was hurt. I tried helping him but things got out of control and he said he loved me, that he was in love with me,” I whispered and she brushed her hand over mine, let me continue. “When things got out of control, I went to leave but he pulled me back-.”
“Did he hurt you? You told me how he was big and bad. If he hurt you, I swear to god-.”
“He didn’t. Don’t worry,” I told her, stopping her. Her eyes widened but then she nodded and stayed quiet. “He kissed me,” I struggled and looked down at the ground sadly. “And I kissed him back,” I whispered and leaned into her as she gasped softly. “I couldn’t-I couldn’t stop myself but I regret it so much now. I shouldn’t have. I should have pulled away but-.”
“You didn’t,” she finished, brushed a hand through my hair softly. “What do you think that means?”
“That I love him,” I answered slowly, looked back at her. “But not as much as Chase. Never as much. H-He’s just something else and he means something to me, a lot so I’ve found out. There are feelings there and I’ve tried fighting them back, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”
“Have you kissed him a second or third time?”
“No,” I shook my head, looked to the ground.
“Have you wanted to?”
“Not really,” I replied, shaking my head a little as she crossed her legs together. “I just feel bad, you know? It was an in the moment kind of kiss, aggressive and so different, I’m ashamed of it because I liked it. But I’ve been focusing more on Chase now, stayed away from Kaden as much as I can but there’s been times when we’ve had to talk.”
“About the kiss?”
“No, actually,” I frowned a little. “About other things. We haven’t talked about the kiss, I don’t really want to though either. It was the past, it happened and I feel bad but there’s nothing I can do about it now,” I sighed a little, looked at her when she nodded softly. “What do you think?”
“I think you kissed him back because of some stupid little crush but you’re getting over it because you don’t want it to pull you down. You love Chase, I know,” she paused for a moment, making me look up at her. “But you can’t be in love with two people, C. If you truly loved, were in love with Chase, you would have never felt attracted to Kaden, you wouldn’t have kissed him back-.”
“But I am in love with Chase,” I stopped myself, rubbed my eyes when they started to water up. At least, I was, I thought and looked back at her.
“You were but now that Kaden’s come in and showed you something different, something you want-.”
“Fucking affection,” I muttered and she nodded softly.
“No one can help it, Chels. You’re not alone. When someone shows us or gives us something we truly want, we can’t help but want more and realise other people can’t do the same. You loved Chase with all your heart until you took some of that love and put it into Kaden because you wanted his love in return,” she explained while I felt my eyes cloud in tears.
I leaned forward to put my face into my hands as she moved her hand to my back, rubbed it soothingly.
“You may not love him as much as Chase but if you’re not careful, the tables can turn and soon, you’ll be loving him more than Chase-.”
“I won’t let that happen,” I shook my head and stood up, hugged my arms around my stomach. “I won’t let that happen,” I told her and she nodded gently, glanced out of the window. “Kaden is many things but he’s not Chase. I could never love him more than Chase.”
“Okay,” she whispered, nodding again so I sat back down. “What other drama’s happened that I can help with?”
“Have you heard from Ethan?”
“God, when haven’t I?” She muttered and I looked back at her. “Chelsea this, Chelsea that. She doesn’t love me anymore. She had her jackass boyfriend tell me off. How could she? You have to tell her what she’s done, tell her that I need her more.” She mimicked before we both erupted in laughter.
“He seriously didn’t say that, right?” I said and she nodded, smirking a little.
“Your affection, honey.”
“My affection needs a fucking off button,” I muttered, gripping the end of my bed a little as she hummed a cackle. I glanced back at her when her phone started ringing and she got it, laughed when she showed me and it was Ethan.
“He can’t quit,” I shook my head, rolling my eyes as she answered.
“Heya, E,” she answered, glanced at me and gave me a look, to which I smirked at. “Yes, I landed about three hours ago. I’m pretty exhausted,” she faked a yawn. “So, talk to you later,” she finished and hung up before she groaned and laid back on my bed. “You know, he was wanting to come with us but I saved you.”
“Thank you,” I said, shook my head in disbelief. “I actually can’t believe he’s still trying. Even after Chase told him to stop.”
“That’s Ethan for you. So, when do I get to meet Chase anyway?”
“Tonight,” I smirked, leaning back on my elbows too. “We’re going to a party if you’re not too tired.”
“I’ll have a sleep soon,” she shrugged but then yawned, making me smile softly at that. “I slept a lot on the plane, got that gift, unlike Landon who can’t sleep on planes.”
“Poor boy. That’s like Caleb though, he can’t sleep on them.”
“So, what’s the party gonna be like?”
“Pretty close to the ones you’re used to. The boys won their football game this morning, last game for the term so the party’s gonna be quite big. The last one I went to, that was when I got drugged and had to go to hospital.”
“Oh, shit,” she muttered. “They’re that bad, hey?”
“No, that was just that one. We’ll stick to the good boys and play a few games, hang out,” I told her and she nodded a little, got up though.
“I’m going to go sleep now though. See you later.”
“Have a good sleep,” I replied and she waved bye as she made her way out.