Do People Change? [BxB] โœ”๏ธ

All Rights Reserved ยฉ

Summary

Keijey and Lucius used to date. That is, until a problem occurred. Now, Lucius is given several chances to fix things. Is it possible for him to change? *Short Story* Second Book of the "Do..." Series ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ Completed: February 28, 2021

Genre:
Drama
Author:
Chloe
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
1
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
16+

๐ŸŒธ


Do people change? I'd like to find out for myself, because out of all my eighteen years of living, nothing has changed. Hi, my name is Keijey but you can call me J. This is the story of my life.

๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ

"Seriously? Again, Lucius?" I asked angrily. In front of me was my boyfriend and some damn random getting it on. "That's the second time this month. You know what? I'm done. No more chances."

"Wait, Key, no!"

I heard Lucius yell and run after me but I didn't stop walking. Me and Lucius have known each other for more than a decade and we've been dating for five years. But now, it's over. A hand grabbed my wrist and pulled me into a hug, my back against Lucius' bare chest. He rested his chin on my head.

"Stop. Let me go. I'm done with this shit. I've given you way too many chances. We're over," I scoffed, "for like, the sixteenth time."

"I'm sorry, baby, I'm really sorry. I won't do it again, I promise," Lucius begged, kissing my cheek. I sighed, letting him do what he wanted as I watched that fucking extra random guy put his clothes back on and leave.

"Who even is that?" I demanded.

"He's just a friend. I swear, I won't do it again."

Just a friend my ass. He was all over him just like he is with me. Lucius is not the ideal boyfriend. He asked me out when we were thirteen and I said yes, not even knowing what my sexuality was. We were best friends and he said he was in love with me. I couldn't bring myself to say no, and eventually caught feelings and fell hard. He was an adorable little kid and grew up to be a hot piece of crap. He always had his looks going for him. People swooned over his face and almost white eyes. He could go up to anybody in school and ask to fuck. They would probably say yes. Honestly, we were just fuck buddies for a good year or two even though we were labeled as boyfriends.

"I'm really, really sorry Keijey..." he mumbled again, burying his face in my dirty blonde hair. I rolled my eyes, hating how my heart broke at his sad voice.

"It's fine."

"You're the best. I love you so much, baby," Lucius cooed, kissing my neck. I hated how my heart fluttered at his sugar coated words. I knew he didn't mean them. He wouldn't have cheated on me if he had. I hated how I smiled at the thought that I was better than any of the other people he messed around with. I hated that I smiled at the thought that he always came back to me. I hated it because I loved him. Before he asked me out, I had wanted nothing to do with love. Thirteen year old me was a genius. Love only fucks you up.

Lucius began kissing down my neck and on my collarbones.

"Ngh... stop. I'm not in the mood," I said, lightly pushing his head away. Like always, he ignored it and kept on with what he started. Sooner or later, we were fucking.

๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ

It was past midnight and creeping into the early morning. My hips ached and I couldn't sleep. I turned my head to face the sleeping Lucius next to me. Smiling slightly, I brushed a lock of black, curly hair away from his eyes and kissed his nose. He unconsciously wrapped and arm around me and pulled me closer into his chest and snuggled into me. I breathed in his scent and closed my eyes. Times like this was what kept me going. Times like these gave me hope that he actually did love me and just had a bad way of expressing it. I hated the false hope times like these gave me. It always hurt more when I received a glimmer of hope, just for it to be crushed by another damn person.

"Goodnight, love,"I whispered, slowly drifting off to sleep.

๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ

When I woke up the next morning, my boyfriend was gone and so was that small glimmer of hope. He always left before I woke up, not even bothering to wake me up or leave a note. I was used to it, but it still hurt. Waking up alone after sex with a lover was a terrible feeling. Could I even call him a lover? Surely, everybody he's slept with could too, then.

I'm not a complete idiot. I knew I wasn't in a healthy relationship with Lucius from the first time he cheated. I knew I should break things up for good. I knew he wasn't right for me. I knew I wasn't right for him. I knew we both deserved better. So why didn't I break it off for good? Who cares if I was in love with the guy? What was the point of keeping an unhealthy relationship? Love doesn't matter, right?

I thought I believed all that. I always thought that if I ever entered an unhealthy relationship, I'd easily break up with the person immediately. I always thought I was strong enough to say 'fuck you' to whatever feelings I had towards that person and just end it. So was I always this weak?

I sighed and grabbed a change of clothes, turning on the shower and washing myself, sick of my thoughts. I ran my fingers threw my hair. When we first started dating, Lucius took me to get my hair done and I've always liked the style. It was dirty blonde with platinum blonde highlights. It only covered half of my ears, but was still long enough for me to put it up in a tiny ponytail. In fact, my whole style changed since I started dating Lucius. Instead of basketball shorts and bright colored t-shirts, I now wore jeans or cargo pants with graphic or cartoony shirts and stylish jackets. My shoe game didn't change though. Still the same old sneakers as in middle school. I was currently a senior.

I switched the water off and grabbed my towel, staying in the shower to dry off. I hated having wet floors. They were annoying and quite frankly easy to avoid. When I wasn't dripping anymore, I stepped onto the floor towel and began to dry my hair before changing.

I was a bit of a clean freak if you want to call it that. I liked to have everything in a specific place and deep cleaned the apartment once a week. My school building was just a couple blocks away, so I had a lot of time in my hands in the mornings and evenings.

๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ

"Hey man. Did you ever finish that paper you were working on?" somebody asked as I entered school on Monday morning at exactly 7:15. I didn't like sitting around and lazing out like most people I knew. I followed a strict schedule.

"Yes. Why wouldn't I have?" I asked. "Have you met me?"

The brunette boy laughed. He was a friend in my class. We met last year and got along fairly well.

"So how is your relationship with Lucius going? Still bad?" he asked.

"I just told you last night, Phoenix."

"Seriously. You should break up with him. He's not good for you, ya know," he warned, slinging an arm around my shoulders.

I rolled my eyes, even though I actually appreciated his concern. Not a lot of people were. If anything, they'd want me to break up with Lucius so they could have him all to themselves.

"Well speak of the devil," Phoenix said, glaring at somebody behind me. I sighed before turning around to face my boyfriend. He was glaring at Phoenix. More specifically, at his arm around me.

"Get off my boyfriend, Foe-E-Nix," he said, putting emphasis on the 'my' part.

"It's pronounce Fee-Nix, dumbass. Learn how to speak," Phoenix spat back. I smiled at him fondly. I always admired Phoenix. Even though he was way smaller than an average eighteen year old boy, he could still throw hands and run his mouth freely. Sometimes it could be annoying or even dangerous, but it never stopped him. Lucius stepped forwards grabbing my upper arm and pulling me towards him, towering over Phoenix who confidently stood his ground. Being a 5"2 senior sure had its challenges, but Phoenix faced them head on. I scoffed internally. As if I wasn't also a 5"2 senior.

"Let's leave this loser. Come on, baby," Lucius said, dragging me away. Phoenix held up his middle finger after Lucius. I snickered and waved to him. He smiled.

"Seriously, why do you even hang out with that loser. He's a nuisance," Lucius mumbled. I glared at him.

"Hey. That 'loser' and 'nuisance' is my best friend. Don't talk about him like that," I said, defending Phoenix. He just sighed and nodded, ruffling my hair.

"Wanna go out after school today?" I asked hopefully. My boyfriend nodded and I smiled brightly at him.

"Okay. Ice cream? I'll drive us," he offered and I agreed. The two of us headed our separate ways towards our classes. I pushed my homeroom's door open at exactly 7:40 am and looked around for Phoenix who stood up and waved. I made my way over to him and sat down.

"Hey, sorry about that," I said, apologizing for Lucius' behavior. Phoenix smirked.

"It's fine. Think I can't handle it or something?" he challenged. I smiled at him as the lecture started.

๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ

"Ready to go?" I asked Lucius as we walked towards the exit. He was on his phone using one hand. He held my hand in his other. At least he never stopped doing that.

"Shit. Sorry, baby, can I take a rain check? My boss needs me at work. I'm really sorry," he said. I smiled.

"No, no. It's fine. I totally get it. It's work, it's not like you're going to a party or something. It's okay, really. We can just get ice cream some other day, okay?" I responded, trying to cover up the disappointment.

"Thanks for understanding. I love you, bye baby!" he said, running off. I watched him go and sighed before beginning to walk home. I arrived and flopped down on my couch, closing my eyes. I really didn't feel like doing anything and I finished my studies in class. Maybe I'd go to the bar. I grabbed my phone from my bag and tapped on Phoenix's contact, holding the phone up to my ear.

"Yooo," Phoenix's voice rang from the speaker. "Need sumn?"

"Wanna hit the bar with me tonight?" I asked.

"Hell yeah! I'm in! What time should we meet up?" he answered excitedly.

"You can come over to mine any time. Then we can go together," I said.

"Okay, sounds good. I'm coming over right now. Be there in five!"

"Wait doesn't it take ten minutes to-"

beep beep beep

"-get here..." I finished. "He better not be speeding," I murmured to myself, laying down. My doorbell rang and I jerked my head towards the door.

"That better not be him. It's been three fucking seconds," I grumbled, getting up and opening the door. The boy from the other day was standing there, wringing his hands nervously. I raised an eyebrow.

"Yes?"

"I-I-I'm s-s-so sorry!" he stuttered. Tears began to form in his eyes. Shit.

"Uh. Don't cry?" I tried. He just cried harder and threw himself onto me. Aw crap. I awkwardly pat him on his back as he wailed into my shoulder.

"You smell, "he sniffed, "really nice!"

"Uh. Thanks?"

"You're welcome..." he said in between cries as he wailed some more.

"Yo, yo, yoooooo- what the fuck?" Phoenix's voice echoed through the halls of the apartment complex.

"What'd you do? Hey, sh, it's okay. What'd he do? Was he being a big bad meanie?" Phoenix cooed to the crying boy who nodded.

"Wha-" I started, confused

"Aww I knew it! C'mon, man! Stop bullying people! It's a terrible habit!" Phoenix scolded.

"But- okay," I replied.

The boy stopped crying and turned to look at me, now clinging onto Phoenix. It looked hilarious having a bigger man cling onto a tiny kid. The tiny kid being Phoenix.

"I'm sorry for cheating on you!" he yelled before running away. I stared after him, lost for words.

"Ah... okay... anyways," I said, still confused, but trying to forget about the little... um event.

"Okay, let's go to the bar now!" Phoenix exclaimed, dragging me out the door.

"Wait! My shoes!"

๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ

So I ended up going to the bar without shoes. Apparently Phoenix didn't care if my feet were crushed in the bar so I only had on socks. He left me immediately and started dancing up on some random guy while ordering a drink at the same time. I followed his lead more or less, ordering a drink for myself and downing it in one go. When I was drunk enough to dance without the embarrassment, I stumbled onto the dance floor. It wasn't long before somebody was grinding on me. I moved away awkwardly and quit dancing altogether, ordering another drink while watching Phoenix hit it off with some tall, shy looking dude. Then something else caught my eye.

"Lucius?"

Suddenly I was sober. I made my way over to what looked like my boyfriend making out with some random club boy. I stormed over and grabbed Lucius' shoulder. He spun around in anger until he saw me.

"Keijey, I can explain!"

"Yeah? Well, go ahead," I urged. Not another sound came out of his mouth. I scoffed.

"Unbelievable. We're over. Goodbye Lucius," I said, turning and walking away.

"No! Keijey, wai- what are you doing, get off me bitch!" Lucius yelled. I heard his footsteps approaching me and I bolted. Because I was smaller, I was able to weave my way in between people in the crowd pretty easily. Tears formed in my eyes and spilled out, but I wiped them away before they could fall. No tears will be shed today. I can't keep letting Lucius tear up my sanity. I can't let him have control of my happiness like this. This needs to stop even if it kills me.

"Stop running! Keijey, wait!" he yelled over the music. I ignored him and kept running until I was out of the bar. I stopped to catch my breath for a couple seconds before beginning to run again. A hand clamped onto my wrist, yanking me back.

"Let me go, you prick!" I yelled, slapping at his vice like grip.

"Keijey. Stop."

"No!" I yelled, struggling harder. He grabbed my chin and kissed my lips forcefully, an attempt to get me to calm down. I bit his lip and pulled away harshly.

"You- Why did you bite me?" he growled angrily, reaching for me. Before he could touch me, I slapped him across the face.

"Leave me alone!" I yelled, running away from him. Not having shoes made it painful but I couldn't stop. Not now, not ever. I looked behind me to see him clutching his cheek, sadly gazing after me but not chasing me anymore. I slowed and pulling my phone out.

You
Phoenix. I left the bar early, sorry for not giving you a heads up.

I raised my hand and called a taxi, getting in and telling the girl my address. She smiled kindly at me.

"Are you okay? You look like you're having a rough day. The ride's on me. It's only a three minute drive anyways," she said kindly. I smiled, almost crying of gratefulness right there. We arrived and I thanked her before giving her my number and telling her that if she ever needed something I'd try to help her out. I entered my apartment building and then my apartment. My phone started ringing and I looked at the caller ID before picking up.

"Hey, are you okay?" Phoenix asked.

"Yes, I'm okay."

"You sure? Want me to come over and keep you company? Don't want you to... um get hurt..." he mumbled.

"It's probably best if you do come over then," I replied, smiling at his genuine concern.

"Okay I'm there in two," he replied. I nodded, even though he couldn't see and hung up. For a while, before I met Phoenix, I used to deal with Lucius by cooking. The thing was...

I don't know how to cook.

Every time I tried, I'd end up burning myself or cutting myself or hurting myself in some other way. Phoenix helped me stop the habit of cooking when I met him. I think it's a little ironic how I'm a clean freak, I like to be organized and on a strict schedule, and I like to do everything on my own and be dependent on only myself, yet I don't even know the simple skill of cooking. I really am pretty useless. Maybe that's the reason why I'm not enough for Lucius. My phone dinged.

Phoenix
Hey, I'm here. And I know your self hating right now. Stop it, you idiot.

Phoenix
Sorry, you're not an idiot. Love you, bitch.

Phoenix
Shit I did it again. Just lemme in already...

I smiled at the texts. Phoenix always knew how to cheer me up, even if he wasn't trying to. I buzzed him in and opened the door. He gave me a big hug when he saw me.

"No self hating okay? Come on. Instead of stopping you from cooking, I'm gonna teach you how."

I smiled and followed him into my kitchen. My phone started ringing. It was an unknown number. I answered and held the phone up to my ear.

"Hello?"

"Keijey."

"What do you want?" I demanded.

"I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to! I can explain. Please let me explain."

"I did. You didn't say anything. What are you even callings me on? Whatever. Phoenix is over, can this wait?" I asked impatiently. There was a couple seconds of silence.

"Already replaced me?" Lucius asked coldly, ignoring my previous question.

"Excuse me?"

"Let me fix this. Please give me one more chance! Keijey, I love you..." he begged, changing the subject. I sighed, cursing my heart for quickening its pace at his words.

"Listen. One more chance. That's all you get. You fuck up more than that and we're done. Delete my contact. I don't want to see you again after that. Got it?" I sighed.

"Yes. I got it. I love you so much. I won't fuck up again, I promise," he said immediately. I didn't bother replying and just hung up.

"Was that..." Phoenix asked, poking his head out from the kitchen. I nodded sadly.

"Why can't I just say no?" I whimpered. Phoenix walked over and hugged me. I was the same height as him but at the moment, I felt smaller than ever in his arms.

"Why can't you just date me?" Phoenix whispered, already knowing the answer.

"You know why. I really wish I could, but it'd hurt you," I whispered back. He smiled at me. I hated it. Why couldn't I just love Phoenix? He was an amazing person and he already loved me. Why can't I just get a happy ever after? Is it so hard to grant me this one thing?

Phoenix and I are best friends. We met when he pushed me against a locker to get my attention so he could ask me out. He never was afraid of rejection. He believed rejection was just a part of life and if he couldn't handle a 'no' to a date, he couldn't handle anything. I turned him down and he just laughed, saying he knew I would say no. After that, we became inseparable friends. I knew if I dated Phoenix, I'd be treating him how Lucius treats me. I didn't want to hurt him by being in love with someone else while in a relationship with him. He understood and was content with just being friends. He said he'd wait for me for how ever long it took. Even if it never happened, he would never stop loving me. And I love him for that, but not in the way we both hoped for.

"Let's go cook something, m'kay?" he asked, pulling away. I nodded and smiled, following my best friend into my kitchen.

I flipped through the recipe book Phoenix brought and selected one that looked fairly easy. I mean, surely making spaghetti couldn't be that difficult... right?

wrong

"NO! You need to put water in the pot before you put in the pasta!" Phoenix shouted, quickly turning the fire off and grabbing the sticks of pasta out of the pot.

"Huh?! But it says to boil the pasta!"

"No it's doesn't! That says water!"

"No it- oh wait it does, oops."

"Oh my god!"

๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ

"Alright! I quit. I don't even know how you burnt spaghetti... I'm pretty sure it was impossible before you tried making it," Phoenix said, shaking his head. I rubbed the back of my neck sheepishly.

"Wanna go out and get pizza?" I offered, to which Phoenix nodded to immediately. I grabbed my keys and drove the two of us to a pizzeria that was near by.

"Yes! Now this is real food!" Phoenix said, shoving a slice of pizza into his mouth. I pouted at him.

"Hey! I'm right here ya know!"

"... yeah I know. I see you."

"How rude."

Phoenix chuckled, looking up from the pizza. His smile dropped and he glared at something behind me. I knew that glare. That glare was the glare he reserved for Lucius for when he was being... well, alive.

"Oh, don't tell me," I groaned. Phoenix nodded. My phone began ringing. I checked the caller ID. Me and Phoenix shared a telepathic, panicked exchanged glance. I nodded my head while Phoenix shook his.

"Hello?" I asked into the phone. "What do you want now?"

"Can we talk in person? I'm at a pizza place near your apartment. I'll send you the address," Lucius said into the phone. At least he wasn't lying this time.

"No need," I sighed, "just turn around."

I ended the call and turned my head in time to see Lucius's face light up, then darken when he noticed I wasn't alone. Phoenix childishly stuck his tongue out at him.

Lucius took a seat on the bench next to me and glared across the table at Phoenix who daringly glared back.

"Okay, stop. This is not why I let you sit with us, Lucius. Say what you have to say and go away. I'm still angry," I said, crossing my arms. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Lucius's face sadden and he dropped his head, nodding. My stupid heart cracked a little, but he didn't need to know that.

"Do you still love me? Did you love me at all?" he asked quietly. Phoenix sipped on his water, obviously not planning on leaving anytime soon. I clenched my jaw.

"Yes, Lucius," I answered. He smiled a little to himself.

"Me too..." he mumbled. I fought back a dumb smile and shrugged instead.

"Want to go out tomorrow after school? I took a day off work for it," he asked. I narrowed my eyes.

"Do you even have work, or was that whole thing a lie?" I asked coldly. He winced.

"I do... I'm really sorry about that. If you want me to, I can tell you exactly how and why I did it. If not, it's okay too I guess," he offered.

"It's fine. I don't really care," I lied. Of course I cared. We've been dating for five fucking years and he's probably spent more love on other people than he has on me.

He frowned a little, nodding.

"So... what's your answer?"

"To?" I asked. Of course I knew what he was talking about. My memory isn't that bad. I just wanted to make it seem like I wasn't caring.

"Going on a date with me after school tomorrow," Lucius reminded me. I thought a bit. Was going on a date with Lucius really a good idea? He literally just cheated on me. Should I ask him for space or time? It's not like I need it anyway; I've become used to this by now. I sighed.

"This pizzas really good, Phoenix commented, silently reminding Lucius and I that he was there too. I smiled at him. He noticed and shot me a dorky one back.

"Keijey?" Lucius asked, clearly getting jealous. Come on, I can't even smile at the guy? I sighed.

"... fine," I answered. I received two reactions; a supportive, but disappointed smile from Phoenix and a relieved, glad smile from Lucius.

"That- that's great! I'll text you details later, mkay?" Lucius sputtered out quickly. I nodded.

"Alright..." he said, trailing off. There was an awkward silence.

"I'll just-" Lucius said, standing up to leave. I nodded.

"Yeah."

Phoenix and I watched him leave in a hurry.

"He's probably off to fuck some stupid hoe," my best friend commented as soon as the restaurants front door closed. I laughed softly, pushing the stupid jealously down. I really shouldn't be jealous. I'm used to this and even if he did go and cheat on me right after he planned a date with me, I didn't have a right to be angry. I knew it was a possibility and yet still agreed to going out with him. It was, honestly, mostly my fault in the first place. I knew I wasn't all to blame, but still, I couldn't help feeling hurt when he hooked up with somebody else. Was I not good enough?

I felt a hand on my arm and looked up. Phoenix's copper eyes gazed at me reassuringly, as if he knew what I was thinking about.

"Hey, you know you can always talk to me, right?" he asked and I nodded with a grateful smile. He smirked.

"And you know you can always cancel on that douche and go out with me anytime as well, right?" he added and I laughed, nodding again. Phoenix laughed with me, scrunching up his nose and bringing a hand up to cover his mouth like he always did. It wasn't so much of an insecurity as a habit. His phone began ringing, indicating a call. He picked it up and checked the caller ID before frowning.

"Ugh, I've gotta take this. I'll be right back," he said, getting up and making his way outside. I watched him curiously, wondering who it was. His face contorted in a scowl as he spoke with whoever was in the other line. He angrily spat something out before hanging up immediately after. I finished off the last slice of pizza and stood up, heading outside to where Phoenix was standing, trying to calm down.

"Wanna come to mine?" I offered. Phoenix opened his eyes, annoyance flashing in his eyes before shaking his head.

"No. My brother wants me to come home," he mumbled. I nodded in understanding. Phoenix didn't have parents; they died in a fire when he was only a kid. His older brother took on the role of parenting in his life immediately after, despite being only three years older than Phoenix. He was always very protective of his little brother and refused to let him move out. They weren't perfect, but I could tell they were close. I wonder what happened. Did they fight?

Phoenix chuckled.

"It's fine, J. Just a little sibling quarrel," he assured. I looked into his eyes and nodded.

"Sorry... I didn't mean to-"

"Nah you're good. I'll be taking you up on that offer to come over tomorrow though. Well, after your date or whatever. I'll be there so you can rant to me about how crappy it was," he said with a wink. I playfully slapped his arm. We said our goodbyes and parted ways.

๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ

Today was the first day. I wonder if he even lasted a day. It's not like I had a reason not to trust him. He's never deliberately lied to me before.

"Hey, J!" Lucius greeted happily, waving me over. I smiled out of habit and made my way over, being enveloped into a tight hug. Lucius kissed my cheek.

"So I have the whole day planned out, but it's a surprise, alright?" he informed me. I nodded, feeling a little excited for what he had planned. We'd had plenty of dates before this, but this was probably the first time he's looked so excited for it. Was he actually going to change? Was I finally going to be enough to satisfy him?

Lucius put a hand under my chin and angled my head so he could plant a sweet kiss on my lips. I closed my eyes and leaned into the kiss. It was times like these that made us feel like a perfect couple. Our lips fit like a puzzle. I never wanted to stop. I got drunk off his lips, yearning for more when he pulled away. He smiled at me and I smiled back. I was most definitely going to yell at myself for being so careless with letting false hope blur my vision later on, but I'd save that for later on. I pecked him one more time and waved, making my way towards my home room. The bell rang through the halls, warning the students to hurry the fuck up.

I burst through the door at the last second and looked around for Phoenix, a regular thing I did. He was snickering in his seat near the back, waving me over.

"Keijey! Why are you late?" somebody demanded to know before I got the chance to slip into class unnoticed.

"Sorry, I got a little lost on my way," I lied. The teacher out her hands on her hips, obviously not buying the lie. I mean, I couldn't blame her. After all, I was a senior and I've been here since ninth grade. She probably knew I'd memorized the building's blueprints. Despite that, she sighed and gestured for me to sit down.

"Thank you," I said, bustling up to Phoenix who was turning red, trying not to laugh. I glared at him and punched his shoulder.

"Sorry, sorry!" he gasped in between laughs. I ignored him and turned my attention back to the teacher in the front, Phoenix doing the same.

Halfway through the lecture, my phone vibrated in my pocket. I ignored it, like always, until it started continuously vibrating. Who the fuck was calling me in the middle of class. I carefully slipped the device out of my pocket and checked the ID, before hanging up. I received a text from the same person right after.

Lucius
Hey.

You
What do you want?! I'm in a class!

Lucius
Oh, sorry. Meet me in the bathrooms? I miss you...

You
Serious, Lu? I'm in class, remember?

Lucius
Oh...

I sighed, before giving in. I raised my hand and waited to be called on.

"May I use the restroom?" I questioned when my name was called. The teacher nodded and continued with her lecture.

"You going to Lucius?" Phoenix whispered as I stood up. I guiltily nodded. He nodded, obviously disappointed, but didn't try to stop me.

"Okay, just, be careful," was all he said before I nodded and left the room. I walked through the hallways towards the bathrooms on my floor. I entered the room and immediately spotted Lucius. He was sitting on the sink counter, sleeping peacefully. I smiled unconsciously, slowly walking up to the sleeping boy. He was leaning against the mirror, mouth slightly agape, and hands intertwined in his lap.

I put my hand up to his face, gently stroking his cheek. Times like these made me want to treasure Lucius; to never give him up, to never let him go. His eyes fluttered open, his almost white eyes gazing at me. He smiled sleepily, leaning forwards into me instead of the mirror.

"Hey," he greeted, groggily. I smiled, running my hand through his hair, gently. He leaned into the touch and wrapped his arms around my waist, hugging me tightly.

"I missed you..." he mumbled, pulling me closer until my stomach was pressed against the sink counter he was still sitting on.

"Hi, I missed you too," I said, smiling like an idiot. I couldn't stay upset at Lucius for longer than a day. It's never happened and I doubt it would ever happen. He was just too lovable. I knew I would regret this later. I knew I would regret the feeling of hope burning in my chest. The hope that maybe, just maybe, Lucius was changing for me. That maybe he would love me and only me.

"I love you," he grumbled into my chest. I chuckled softly, patting his head.

"Yeah, yeah, me too, ya big idiot."

We stayed like that for a couple more seconds before I decided we had to get back to class. My teacher was probably getting pissed at this exact moment.

"Hey, I've gotta get back to class. I'll see you in between classes and after school, remember?" I asked, pulling away from the clinging boy.

"... mhm..." he agreed, hesitantly. I smiled and he smiled back, loosening his grip enough for me to slip away. He kissed my lips softly, soft enough to melt somebody, and stood up. I smiled at him lovingly and he smiled back, before waving and leaving the bathroom. I followed suit and headed back to my own class, my thoughts filled with Lucius and my heart filled with a new excitement for school to be over.

๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ

"So where are we going first?" I asked, laughing as Lucius eagerly pulled me to his car. He unlocked the vehicle and we both got inside.

"It's a surprise, silly! I can't tell you yet, you'll have to wait and see!" he said in a 'duh' tone excitedly. I smiled at him, even though he was too busy starting the car to pay any attention to it. I laughed softy as he fumbled with his keys and reached over, putting my hand over his. He finally took the time to look at me.

"Hey, hey. Calm down. I'm not the president, just your boyfriend," I reminded. He smiled.

"Y-you're right. Sorry," he apologized, taking a deep breath and slotting the key into the keyhole. He started his car and back out of his parking space, pulling onto the main road. I flicked the radio on, quiet music filling the silence between us.

"So..." I started.

"I'm not telling you!" Lucius chuckled, already knowing exactly what I was going to ask. I sighed, trying to suppress the giant smile I couldn't seem to wipe off my face.

"Can I at least get a hint?" I tried. Lucius seemed deep in thought before coming to a conclusions and nodding.

"Alright, this is place where I'm taking you is really pretty," he said. I stared at him in disbelief.

"That's the vaguest hint I've ever been given," I commented. He rolled his eyes playfully, refusing to give me a refund on the hint.

"No more hints!" he insisted. I crossed my arms, pouting and hoping to guilt trip him into revealing more about the location. Obviously, it didn't work. There were so many pretty places. Maybe a park? Or a garden? What about a lake? I'd never guess it with that vague ass hint I received.

I've spent all of the love I've saved
We were always a losing game
Small town boy in a big arcade
I got addicted to a losing game

I hummed along with the song, eventually joined by Lucius. We both sang terribly off key, but that didn't stop us from rolling the windows down and disturbing everybody else on the road. We laughed our heads off for probably more than half and hours before arriving at our destination.

"Woah..." I murmured, looking around. Lucius had pulled up to a park with a playground, hiking trails, and waterfalls. Lucius grabbed hold of my hand and tugged me towards the beginning of the hiking trail.

"This trail is pretty. The ending view is amazing and you get pretty good sights throughout the whole hike," Lucius informed excitedly. I nodded 'okay' and followed him through the trees, our entangled hands swung back and forth between us. Lucius pointed at pretty animals and cool plants and I walked happily beside him, content with how the date was going so far.

"Oh, J, look!" Lucius whispered suddenly. I turned my attention to what Lucius was pointing at. It was a beautiful colored bird. One I've never seen before, not even online.

"Woah..." I whispered back, not able to take my eyes of the beautiful bird. Its back was a light brown with streaks of dark brown amongst the feathers and it had a belly full of light blues and reds, swirling together into a lavender purple. It didn't look real. The two of us watched the little bird hop around before spreading its wings and flying away.

"Reminds me of you," Lucius said. I peered over at him.

"Really? How so?" I questioned curiously. He smiled.

"Because it's beautiful," was his answer. Simple and sweet. A light blush washed over my cheeks and I turned away, hiding it from his view. He let out a short, breathy laugh.

"Hey, come on, don't hide!" he teased, gently grabbing hold of my chin and angling my face towards him, granting him the chance to place a kiss on my lips. I didn't hesitate to kiss him back. I sighed into the warm feeling of his lips on mine. I missed it and I hated that I did. But maybe he loved me back. Me and only me. Maybe he's become reserved for me alone; for my eyes to see, for my lips to kiss, for my hands to touch.

Lucius gripped my waist tightly, pulling our chests into each other's. I pulled away for air, resting my forehead against him.

"I love you, Keijey."

"I love... you, too," I replied breathlessly, barely even thinking. He connected our lips again and again. Each kiss awoke buried memories and emotions. Ones I thought I'd locked away forever, never to be seen again. Ones I'd pushed down due to the pain they caused me. Ones only Lucius made me feel.

It was as if I'd fallen in love with the black haired boy again and again with each and every kiss. I couldn't stop. I was addicted. I was obsessed.

"Lucius..." I groaned when my back hit a tree. He hummed a response before going back to attacking neck. I wove my fingers into his curls, tugging at the soft strands. I loved how silky his hair was. I loved how beautiful his eyes were. He peered up at me through his lashes.

"Sorry, I got a little carried away..." he muttered, backing up a little. I raised an eyebrow and felt for the hickey he'd just made.

"A little? It's okay, it's not like I didn't enjoy it..." I admitted. "Let's head back."

Lucius smiled brightly and nodded, taking my hand in his yet again. My phone vibrated in my pocket and I pulled it out. It was a call from Phoenix.

"... you can take it if you wanna," Lucius mumbled. I looked at him, the sad look on his face causing me to hang up and shoot my friend a quick text instead.

You
Hey. I'll call you later, okay? On a hike with Lu atm.

Phoenix
Ah, okay. Ttyl!

I slipped the phone into my pocket, catching Lucius' beaming smile out of the corner of my eye. I narrowed my own eyes at the tall boy.

"What are you smiling about?" I asked suspiciously. He chuckled.

"It's nothing. Just that you've never chosen hanging with me over a call from Phoenix before. I like it," he said. His eyes widened, "No! Not in the way that I like when you ignore Phoenix, but just that-"

I laughed, cutting him off.

"It's fine Lucius! Jeez, you're a mess!" I giggled, jamming my head into his arm. He chuckled, leaning into me. The two of us talked about random subjects on our walk back and I began to believe that maybe there was a chance that we were becoming a normal couple.

๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ

"Where are off to next?" I asked, shutting my car door.

"You're apartment?" Lucius asked.

"Okay," I agreed. Lucius came to my apartment pretty often and it wasn't unusual for him to randomly appear at my door uninvited.

We arrived and bustled inside. Lucius decided on watching a movie, so I let him pick one out while I put the popcorn in the microwave. I heard Lucius' ringtone from the living room. Then I heard it stop.

"Hello?"

I heard him answer.

"Scoot? Yo, what's up?"

Who's Scoot?

"I know, I know! What, no? Really? Well, congratulations, buddy! If he does anything I'll throw him down that one hollow tree, okay?" Lucius laughed. I smiled, loving the sound. The microwave beeped, covering over what Lucius said the the boy on the phone. I grabbed a bowl and emptied the popcorn into it, adding extra butter. I brought the popcorn out to where Lucius was waiting, Cars 2 in his hand.

"What? He has? No, I just didn't expect you to- ohh. Okay. Bye, see you soon. No. Oh. Well, tell your mom I said hi! Bye bye Scoot," Lucius paused. "Yeah. Okay, bye."

He hung up on 'Scoot' and placed his phone on the coffee table.

"Oh, popcorn!" he exclaimed, grabbing a piece and popping it in his mouth. "Come on!"

I smiled.

"Who's Scoot?" I asked. Was he already cheating? No way, he would have the nerve to call a hook up right in his boyfriend's living room, right?

"Oh, my cousin, Scott. You've never met, have you? I'll have to introduce you two. You'd get along. He just told me he has a crush on somebody who works in the same building as he does. I always knew that kid liked boys," he explained. I nodded. Okay, at least he was cheating.

I pushed the dvd in the player and grabbed the remote. We had shifted from the living room to my bedroom. I snuggled close to Lucius who put his arm around me and the movie started.

๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ

He left. Of course he left. Did I expect him to stay? Maybe. Was it stupid? Definitely. He's never stayed before, why would he started now? Because you thought he'd change for you.

"No I didn't!" I yelled at my ceiling. "Great, I'm going crazy."

I got up and stretched, grabbing the popcorn bowl and walking to the kitchen, placing it in the sink. I toasted a slice of bread and spread some jam on it before putting it in my mouth and grabbing my bag for school. I sent Phoenix a text and began walking in the crisp morning air.

You
Hey ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿค. I'm on my way.

Phoenix
Hey ๐Ÿ”‘ ๐Ÿฆ. I'm already here.

You
Haha very funny, copycat. That's not a blue jay though, nice try.

Phoenix
Yeah, well, that chick isn't a bird.

You
Yes it is, dumbass. Stop distracting me, I'm gonna get run over by a car.

Phoenix
DISTRACTION

Phoenix
DISTRACTION

I laughed and muted our conversation while Phoenix spammed me and continued on my way to school. I arrived and Phoenix slung an arm around my shoulders.

"Did I distract you?" he asked.

"Nope. I muted you," I said, grinning triumphantly.

"Hey! You better unmute me. What if I'm being kidnapped and you're the only one I can text? Then I'll be on mute and I'll be killed because you didn't get my text," he said dramatically. I rolled my eyes, pushing the unmute button on our conversation and scrolling through all the spam he sent me.

"Holy shit! It's like you trying to get me killed, Phoenix!" I said, still scrolling.

"What if I was?" he replied. I scoffed.

"'What if I was' my ass! You'd die without me," I pointed out.

"Whatever man," he said, not denying it, "So how'd your date go?"

"Great. I woke up to an empty bed, but other than that I had fun," I said. He made a face.

"Ew! Did you two frick frack?"

"No!" I laughed. "Shut up, like you haven't!"

"Damn, can't make a comeback from that one," he said, dramatically gripping his chest where his heart would be and making a pained facial expression. I laughed.

"Keijey!"

The two of us turned our heads to face Lucius.

"Hey, Lucius," I greeted, smiling.

"Hey, potty pants," Phoenix greeted, glaring.

"Hey, baby!" Lucius smiled back before glaring at Phoenix, "Hey, burnt chicken nugget."

I smiled fondly at the nicknames.

"Aw, they fit you two so well!" I gushed. Both of them glared at me. The bell exploded above our heads and we each went to class.

"Wait, Key," Lucius started, "Do you want to hang out today, too?"

I nodded, surprised that he wanted to hang out twice in a row. Normally, he'd wait a couple days to ask again. It was inconsistent and frustrating but I would put up with it because I loved him so much. I agreed and Lucius beamed at me before waving and strolling away. Phoenix grabbed my hand.

"Hey, come on, lover boy, we're going to be late!" he said, pulling me in the direction of our class. I felt a little guilty that Phoenix had waited for me. And on top of that, he had to watch me get asked out and agree. That had to hurt.

"Hurry up, you slowpoke," he said, giggling a little. My worries left automatically at that and I smiled, jokingly stopping in the middle of the hallway so he'd be forced to be even more late.

"I'm going to leave you!" he warned, but I was too busy laughing to care. He ran over and yanked me to my feet, quite literally dragging me to our class. We threw the doors open and stumbled into class. The teacher jumped in surprise, putting a hand over her heart, eyes wide. Then she gasped and shrieked,

"Are you two drunk?!"

๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ

"She actually thought we were drunk!" Phoenix panted, still giggling. Our teacher had sent us both to the office after mistakingly thinking we were drunk, but we got off the hook. Being best friends with the principle's son had it's perks, although Phoenix did get yelled at. I snickered, leaning against the boy's bathroom walls.

"I know! It's a good thing you're the principle's son. We'd be dead for being 'drunk' in school," I said. Footsteps sounded outside the door and we both panicked, pushing each other into a stall. We jumped up on the stall walls so the person entering wouldn't be able to see our feet. The door creaked open and Phoenix and I exchanged nervous, but curious, glances.

"Over here!" the person whispered. I heard giggling after that and guessed there was also a girl, unless the dude was talking to another guy. A guy with a girly laugh.

"You're so impatient, you bad boy!" the girl said in a hushed voice. "Taking me into the boy's bathroom like this. Naughty, naughty..."

I cringed and looked over at Phoenix who was trying his hardest to hold back a laugh. His face was turning red. He say me looking at him and make a gagging face, covering his mouth to hide his giggles again. I shook my head, smiling.

"Yeah, you like it," the boy said huskily. I could hear the two more clearly now. I turned to Phoenix, signing something to him. We both took the time to learn sign language when we were freshmen because we thought we were cool. It ended up being pretty helpful in situations like these.

I don't wanna be here when they fuck.

I nodded and asked when. My foot almost slipped as I took my hands off the stall's walls, but luckily Phoenix caught my arm and held me up.

... which led to his feet almost slipping. I reached out and caught his arm, but this time, my foot did slip and I dropped to the floor with a thud. Phoenix barely kept his laugh in, slapping his hands to his mouth, which caused him to fall on top of me.

"Who's there?" the boy called. No. Lucius called.

"Lucius?" I asked, opening the stall door and rising to my feet. Lucius was holding a girl up against the wall by her thighs. Her hands were around his neck and her lips were attached to his neck. His eyes widened and he dropped the girl. I stared at him in shock. Tears filled my eyes but they didn't fall. I blinked them away.

"Why?" I asked. Phoenix stood up beside me and grabbed my hand, squeezed it, and let it go again. Lucius glared at him and opened his mouth to speak.

"No. Don't even start," I said before he could get a word out. "Explain. Right here, right now. And it better be a damn good explanation because you've hit my last fucking nerve, Lucius."

He shrunk as I bitterly spat out the harsh words. The girl stood up, apologizing quickly before scurrying out of the bathroom. I glared at her as she left.

"Go on," I said through gritted teeth.

"Want me to leave you two alone?" Phoenix whispered to me. I nodded and gave him a small smile.

"Yes, you can go if you'd like to. Wait for me somewhere okay? Just text me," I said. He nodded, giving me a thumbs up and leaving.

"Listen, Keijey, I can explain, really!" he started. I glared stonily.

"Okay, great. Then do it."

"We were both in class and the girl kept touching me. Her name is-"

"I couldn't give one flying fuck about her name. Why did you do it? Am I not enough for you?" I asked.

"No! No, it's not like that, I swear baby!"

"Don't call me that, I'm mad at you," I said. My heart fluttered at the pet name and I wanted to stab it.

"Okay, I'm sorry. It won't ever happen again, I swear to god! Give me one more chance. Please, just one more!" he pleaded. I glared at him, even though my heart told me to forgive him and kiss his adorable face.

"No, Lucius! We're done. I can't do this. My heart can't take this. I-I'm done... I'm-" I stuttered, beginning to tear up. A couple droplets rolled down my cheeks and Lucius was by my side in seconds.

"Sh, sh. It's okay. I'm so so sorry, baby. I love you, okay? Don't cry..." he said in a hushed voice. We both fell to the floor and Lucius cradled me in his arms. I weakly threw my fist at his shoulder in a poor attempt to push Lucius away.

"Go away... I-I don't need you..." I said in between sniffles. Tears were steadily rolling down my face. Lucius hugged me tighter.

"I'm so so sorry. I need you. I love you," he cooed. I just cried harder at that, but this time in frustration at my own self. Why couldn't I hate him? Why couldn't I say no? Why couldn't I leave him? Why couldn't I just end this; end all the pain? Because I was weak. Because I still loved him. I roughly wiped my tears away and stood up, pushing Lucius away.

"I'm giving you one last chance. This is your final chance, and I swear if you blow it, I will move on and find somebody else. I will stop loving you. I will hate you. So do it right this time," I said finally, making up my mind. Some of those words were not going to be a lie this time. I would move on and I would find another. I couldn't help but doubt that I would stop loving Lucius and that I would hate him. I'd always love Lucius. I didn't have it in me to stop or to hate him. But still, I couldn't stop thoughts of doubt from creeping into my head. Thoughts that he would cheat again. Thoughts that he didn't love me.

Lucius face lit up like the sun.

"You're really the best boyfriend in the world. I won't do this again, I'll fight temptation. I'll stay loyal to you, I promise! I love you so much, Keijey," he said. I let him engulf me in a hug. I wanted to, but I couldn't bring myself to fully believe him. Did he mean it when he said he'd say loyal to me? Did he mean it when he said he wouldn't do this again? Did he really? I nodded.

"I'm gonna have to cancel plans after school today. Sorry, Lucius. Tomorrow, okay?" I said. Lucius frowned, but nodded in understanding anyways. I nodded as well before quickly taking my leave. I reached into my pocket and took my phone out, checking my text messages. There were a couple new ones from Phoenix that were sent only a minute ago.

Phoenix
Hope everything is going well. Text back if you need me to beat a man.

Phoenix
I'll be waiting outside the school's front doors.

Phoenix
Miss you already. Are you okay?

You
Hey I'm on my way.

Phoenix
Okay hurry up already

The response was almost immediate. I smiled at his impatient text and quickened my pace. He was obviously going to pester me with questions once he saw me, so I prepared. I took a deep breath, before pushing the metal doors open. Immediately, a hand wrapped itself around my wrist and Phoenix pulled me to the side of the school building.

"Okay, so I wanna know the details, but first," he said, pulling me into a tight hug. I smiled and hugged him back.

"Wow, I totally expected you to bomb me with questions as soon as you saw me," I teased. Phoenix wasn't smiling anymore, but had a serious expression of his face instead.

"Oh, I am. So how'd it go? Did he ask for another chance again? You said no right? Because you're single, do you wanna go out with me? I know you said no, but I'm cooler than him. Are you okay? Did he hurt you? Do I need to beat him up? Are you okay? Do you nee-"

"Phoenix! I'm fine!" I laughed, stopping his rant. "I'll tell you all about it, alright, just calm down."

"Okay! Okay! I'm calm!" he laughed. I proceeded to tell him about our conversation, not leaving any of the details out. I felt like a girl who just got asked out and was now telling her friend all about it.

"You gave him another chance?" Phoenix exclaimed when I finished talking. I nodded, sheepishly.

"I couldn't help it! I didn't lie when I said it would be the last time, though. If he cheats again, I'll have you keep me to my promise, okay?"

"Fine, fine! I'll just wait until the next time this happens because I already know it will..." he grumbled. I smiled in gratitude and hugged him.

"Yeah, yeah, hug it all out," he said, hugging me back. "I want sushi."

๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ

"You seriously dragged me out of school so we could eat sushi? Phoenix, there's still half a day of school left! We're skipping so much!" I said, stuffing another California Roll into my mouth. I didn't usually eat the raw fish. It kinda grossed me out. Lucius like it a lot though. We ate sushi and other Japanese foods with his family a lot because his dad was Japanese.

"Hey! Don't say that like it's a bad thing!" Phoenix said, stealing one of my pieces.

"It is a bad thing, Phoenix," I said. "And quit stealing my food! Eat yours!"

"I finished mine! Gimme."

I slapped his grabby hands away and pulled the dish closer to me and snapping at him to just order another plate. We stopped bickering after a minute.

"How long do you think it'll take for him to give in to temptation?" Phoenix asked. I sighed.

"Hopefully never. I really want him to change. Nobody's going to stay with him if this becomes a habit. If it isn't one already..." I answered. Phoenix gave me a small smile.

"You're way to nice to the guy. He's cheated on you, how many times? Probably more than you can count on your fingers. I've told you this before but you need to move on from him. No more chances. Three chances ago should have been his last. I know you've already made up your mind, though, and I respect it. You deserve somebody better," he said. It was my turn to smile.

"Thanks Phoenix. Man, why couldn't I have fallen in love with you!" I said and Phoenix chuckled.

"Tell me about it. I've been wondering that ever since he first cheated on you," he said softly.

"I-I'm sorry, that was insensitive of me," I said apologetically. He shook his head.

"Nah you're good. I'm also trying to move on, so now we can be moving on buddies," he said, trying to make light of the situation. I appreciated him. He had to watch me chase after some cheater while he, a really good guy, stood on the sidelines. I couldn't imagine what this was like for Phoenix. He was strong; way stronger than me.

"Yeah... thanks Phoenix. For, you know, everything I guess. I don't know where I'd be without you and I'm glad you decided to ask me out that one day in ninth grade."

"If you say sappy stuff like that, I might cry," he responded with a smile.I returned the smile and popped the last piece of sushi into my mouth, chewing and swallowing.

"We should go back to school," I said, standing up. He agreed and we split the bill before leaving. We walked back to the school building together, talking about our our grades and other random things. We arrived soon and were immediately scolded by Phoenix's dad.

"We're sorry!" the two of us said at the same time. He sighed and kicked us out of his office, telling us to get our asses to class. Phoenix's copper eyes met my brown ones and we shared a thought before both racing off to our second to last period.

"I win!" I shouted, slamming my hand on the door. Phoenix's hand slammed on the door a mere second after mine did.

"Damn it!" he said, panting. We both bent over to catch our breaths when the door swung open.

"Stop slamming your hands on my door!" the teacher said loudly. He looked disapprovingly at us before stepping aside and ushering us in. We both sat down next to each other and the lecture started up again.

When school was over, I walked home. I had invited Phoenix to come over but his brother asked him to come home again. Phoenix might act like he hated his brother's affection towards him, but he would listen to whatever his brother asked if it meant he wouldn't lose him too. Honestly, I was a little jealous of them. I'd always wanted a sibling, but I ended up as a single child. My mom always told me I had a big brother personality and that I'd always treat people I met as my younger sibling, even if they were older than me. To be completely honest, I probably still did it sometimes. I loved Phoenix as a little brother and treated him like one too.

I took my keys out and unlocked my apartment's door, letting myself in. I plopped down at the dining table and started on my homework. Because I skipped out on school, I had to do a little catch up work so I decided to knock it all out and then relax for the rest of the night. On normal days, I'd get all my work done in school so I would be free to do whatever I wanted when I got home. It was a good schedule and I liked to stick to it. It stressed me out whenever I didn't follow a specific order of things, so I was pretty stressed out at the moment. To be honest, I had been a bit stressed the whole day.

I sighed and turned my attention on the worksheet in front of me. I needed to focus on this right now so that I could be finished with all my work sooner than later. My phone dinged.

Phoenix
I don't know how to homework

You
Me neither, buddy. Me neither.

Phoenix
Wow, didn't expect you to actually reply. You're usually stupid adamant about doing homework on time.

You
Well, I can't homework this time.

Phoenix
Wanna call and do it together?

You
Sure

As soon as the message went through, a FaceTime call from Phoenix popped up on my screen. I tapped the answer button and his face appeared.

"Heyo bitchacho," he greeted. I laughed.

"What's with that? Bitchacho?" I questioned. He shrugged, laughing quietly.

"Help me! I can't do this!" he whined, I shot him a look.

"You're smarter than me! Why do you think I'm able to help you?" I pointed out. He went silent for a little.

"Oh yeah, I am. Dumb bitch."

I shot him a look through the camera and he childishly stuck his tongue out at me.

"I'm hanging up because this is going nowhere and I need to focus," I decided, hovering my finger over the red 'end call' button. Phoenix's face turned disappointed, but he sighed and nodded anyways, hanging up before I got the chance. I felt a little bad, but figured I'd make it up to him some way or another. Now for this worksheet.

๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ

"Finally!" I groaned, standing up from my chair and stretching. Having completed all my homework and catch up work, I glanced at the time. The clock read six-thirty. My stomach groaned, letting me know it was time to eat. I dragged my feet over to where my fridge was and opened the door, peering in to see the contents.

"Great. I have to go grocery shopping," I mumbled to myself, picking up the almost empty carton of milk that stood alone in my fridge. I guess I could call Phoenix and see if he wanted to come to the store with me. Maybe I'd buy him something. Decided the idea was a good one, I picked my phone up from the kitchen counter and tapped a couple buttons until the line was buzzing in my ear.

"Yuhlo?" Phoenix answer, picking up the call.

"Hey Phoenix. I'm going shopping at the store. Wanna come with me?" I asked, smiling at the greeting he chose.

"Yeah, bro! The you finish the homework yet?" he asked. I nodded, even though he wasn't able to see it.

"Yeah, you?" I asked back.

"Yup! What time should I head over? You know what, I'll just come over right now," he announced into the phone. I chuckled and agreed. He hung up and I placed my phone back down on the counter. Phoenix would probably be in in around five minutes and I should probably shower before we go, so I should hop in now. I shuffled to my room and grabbed a change of clothes before heading to the bathroom and starting up a warm shower. I stripped and got in once the water was a nice temperature.

When I finished, I got out and changed after I was dry enough. I walked out of the bathroom and saw Phoenix on his phone lounging on my couch.

"Hey," I greeted, a little confused. He looked up and smiled.

"Hey. Ready?"

"Uh, yeah. How'd you get in here?" I asked.

"Oh, that? Totally didn't have a key made. Okay let's go!" he said, grabbing my hand and pulling me out the door. It automatically locked itself behind us. I let Phoenix pull me out of the apartment complex. He unlocked his car and he both climbed in. The engine started up and we were off.

"Where're we going?" the other boy asked. I shrugged.

"I don't know, just drive around. I'm sure we'll find something," I answered vaguely. He nodded and followed my instructions. I hooked my phone up to his car's radio and selected a song.

I got your picture, I'm coming with you, dear Maria, count me in
There's a story at the bottom of this bottle, and I'm the pen

"Yes!" Phoenix said, immediately singing along. All Time Low was a shared favorite between us. Their songs were just really good.

"'CAUSE I GOT YOUR PICTURE! I'M COMING WITH YOU! DEAR MARIA, COUNT ME IN!" we both yelled, taking a laughing break every line or two.

"Oh, right there!" I yelled over the loud music, pointing at a Costco on our left. Phoenix nodded, too busy singing to answer me, and pulled into the parking lot. He parked at we both got out. I linked my arm with his and we skipped into the store.

"So what'd you need to buy?" Phoenix asked, grabbing a shopping cart and scootering it over to me.

"Gosh, you're like a child," I said, raising my eyebrows at him. He scoffed.

"Says the one who dragged me into skipping to the store with him."

"It's not like you didn't wanna," I retorted. He opened his mouth to say something back, but didn't have a comeback and shut it again.

"That's what I thought," I said, shooting his a triumphant smile. He pouted at me.

"What'd you need?" he asked again.

"Uh. Normal things? I don't know. Pancake mix? Cookies?" I replied, unsure. Phoenix sighed.

"You're hopeless. Come on, son," he said and I happily obliged. I liked the things Phoenix cooked so he must know what to buy, right?

๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ

Thankfully, I was right. I set a couple plastic bags into the trunk of Phoenix's car, closing the door and hopping in the passenger seat. We had gotten enough to live off of for a week, according to Phoenix. That included a new carton of milk, two boxes of cereal, three bagels, pizza bites, a loaf of pre-cut bread, butter, and cream cheese. We also bought cookies and juice. I got Phoenix a pint of ice cream as well.

"Hurry, the milks gonna melt!" I ordered. Phoenix glared at me.

"I'm going as fast as I can Lightning McQueen. And milk doesn't melt dipshit!" he said. I was eager to get home. Apparently, a new episode of the anime I was watching had come out and if I don't watch it in the next three seconds, I'm going to lose my mind.

"Phoenix, move your ass slowpoke!" I urged, ignoring him.

"Hey. Find your chill, okay?" he said seriously. I sighed.

"Sorry. A new episode of Sk8 the Infinity came out and I need to watch it. Hey, don't you-"

"What!? Seriously? Are you fucking with me?" he interrupted. I shook my head honestly. His eyes snapped to the road and he honked his car horn.

"Move outta the way Mr. Truck!" he yelled, speeding past the car when he got the chance.

"Phoenix, slow down! I said faster, but not so fast that we kill ourselves!" I yelled. He slowed a little.

"Hey! Put more faith in me; I'm a great driver! Plus I'm used to this. After all, this is how I drive to your place," he reasoned. I looked at him incredulously.

"You what?"

"Oops."

๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ

"Come oooon! Lemme see!" Phoenix whined, banging on my door. I huffed. He's been knocking for the past half hour. He took it upon himself to come in to watch the new episode with me, but I had planned to watch alone.

"Go home, Phoenix," I called. I expected to hear more knocking and yelling, but there was only silence. I was going to let him in eventually, if he stayed, but he might have left already. It wasn't like Phoenix to leave without any notice, so I was a little suspicious. Getting off my couch, I crept over to the door. Had he used his key? I heard muffled talking on the other side and opened the door to see what was going on.

"Get away! Don't come here anymore!" Lucius yelled, shoving Phoenix to the floor. The latter had a bloody lip and scared eyes. It was the first time I'd seen him like that.

"Lucius! What the hell?" I exclaimed, rushing over to Phoenix. "Are you okay?"

"Y-yeah," he stuttered out, still shocked from whatever had happened before I got here.

"Keijey!" Lucius said, grabbing my hand. I yanked it away from him.

"What the hell did you do?" I demanded to know, glaring at my boyfriend. He stared wide eyed at me. Then his face comforted into confused anger.

"Wha- me? What did I do? He started it!" he said, pointing at Phoenix.

"Lucius, he's the one with a bloody lip while you're untouched. What. Happened."

"J, you can't be serious! You're choosing him over me again? You do this so mu-"

I scoffed, "Me? I do that all the time? Lucius, you do that all the time. Do you even know how many times I've seen you with somebody other than me? Twenty-seven times, Lucius. Twenty fucking seven! Yes, I've been keeping track because I'm pathetic like that. Lucius, do you know how much you mean to me? Do you have any idea how much I love you?"

"Keijey... I-"

"No! You don't! I hate it so fucking much! Do you know how many times I wished I'd fallen in love with somebody else? Despite all that, I've never, not once, regretted all that time we spent together. I loved every day with you. I loved all those dates we went on. The ones you didn't cancel, at least."

"Kei-"

"No. I'm not done yet," I said interrupting my boyfriend again, "Then you go and hit my friend? What the fuck, Lucius? As of you hadn't hurt me enough, now you've gotta go and hurt my friends."

A tear slipped out of my eyes that had been unknowingly watering.

"Why can't you just love me the way I love you?" I whispered, voice hoarse from yelling. "We're over, Lucius. Get out of here."

"No, no, no, no, no. Keijey, Keijey, no. Look, I'm so sorry. I won't hurt any of your friends or you anymore! I promise! I-I know you hate me and everything, but I can't live without you! I-I-I took you for granted and I'm really sorry! If you could just,-"

"I don't hate you. I hate that I love you. I'm sorry, Lucius. This... whatever this is... is over. Goodbye, Lucius," I said, standing firm. I turned around to leave, but Lucius grabbed me, spinning me around to face him. He planted a firm kiss on my lips and I let him. He could have this last kiss, I could give him that. It was the first kiss that I didn't close my eyes to. He pulled away after kissing the air out of me.

"Please don't leave me..." he whispered, crying silently. "I-I'll get help, I swear, just... please. I can't do this without you. I need you."

I sighed and pulled the big guy into a hug. He immediately wrapped his arms around me and buried his face into my neck, wetting my shirt with his tears.

"This isn't me giving you another chance. I broke up with you and it's final. We're still friends if you're okay with that. You don't need me, you need somebody who can set you on the right path. I'm not that somebody. I'm not that strong. You're a really great guy, Lucius and I'll never stop loving you, but this needs to end. You'll find somebody better, I promise. We're not right for each other. We're just toxic to the each other and we'll always end up hurting one another," I said. Phoenix gave me a supportive smile, going into my apartment to give us space. A little too late for it, but it's the effort that counts I suppose.

"Okay..." Lucius sniffled, pulling away. "Friends, then?"

I smiled.

"Friends."

๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒธ

(12107 words)

Holy shit that took a while to write. I hope you enjoyed! Check out my other books if you haven't already! Comments
and shares are much appreciated. โค๏ธ
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Roxy: You are definitely a talented writer and this story has such an important message to it. Addictions and mental health aren't taken as seriously as they should be. Thank you for writing something that showed there is light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to work through the pain.

Nsikelelo Dlamini: I like the way Dani is so blunt about her sex life and I wish she could start dating her uncle so she could be a straight woman

Deign Pen: Thumbs up! Expand your audience! You can publish it on Novelstar. Just submitYour story to [email protected] or [email protected]

KatD: Thank you! Loved this one just like the others. Amazing writing and storyline's ๐Ÿฅฐ

jltrahan1: Iโ€™m so glad there is another book to follow and not a books that leaves you hanging on.

KatD: Amazing writing and storyline! Thank you again ๐Ÿฅฐ

BlueIvydoll: A really good story, but it needs a lot of work.

Leila Mic: Great story, very interesting

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