Chapter Twenty Nine
“Blake?” I asked softly after a silence settled over us.
“I’m sorry for what I did at ‘drunks-giving’. I should have never pitied you, it was an awful thing I did.” I apologized sitting up straight and leaving the comfort and warmth that Blake provided.
He smiled heartwarmingly and showcased his dimples. It was a genuine smile too, the rare ones that I captured from him. “You don’t have to be. When people find out I’m a foster kid, pity is their initial reaction. I shouldn’t have snapped at you like that.” Blake apologized but it was unnecessary.
“I’m sorry I made you feel pitied. I can’t begin to imagine how it feels.” I mumbled sheepishly. “I complained about my lousy family to you and it wasn’t fair. I don’t feel pity for you-not anymore. I just feel ashamed of myself because I sounded so ungrateful. And if I could go back-” I rambled and if Blake hadn’t placed his hand over my mouth, I may have never shut up.
Blake raised his eybrow. “Now if I move my hand, are you going to ramble anymore?” he asked with a crooked smile. I sighed and shook my head before Blake removed his hand. “Good, because everything you said was ridiculous.”
“You can’t sit here and blame yourself. What you went through with your family and what I went through were two completely different things. But it doesn’t mean it hurt any less for either of us.” he explained wisely as I listened intently.
“But your family is gone. I still have mine.” I tried to point out but Blake quickly shut me down.
“And you can’t feel sorry for me. All I’ve ever known is the foster system.” he sighed running his hands through his hair. “My point is that you can come to me. Don’t feel like you can’t, I’ll always be here for you Vivi.” he promised.
I smiled and didn’t need to think twice when I hugged him. “And you can talk to me whenever you need me.”
Blake tightened his arms around me. It felt good, like a secure place. It didn’t feel wrong and I didn’t want to move.
“I know.” he mumbled before he released me. “So….do you have anything else you want to talk about?” he asked.
“No.” I shook my head, “Do you?” I asked.
Blake turned to me with a faraway look in his eyes. I couldn’t figure it out before he shook his head. “Nah, it’s nothing you can do anything about.” he waved me off.
I nodded in agreement. I knew exactly what was bothering him. And he was right, I couldn’t help him with that.
He probably heard about Sophia and Sawyer. I knew he really liked Sophia- scratch that. He loves Sophia. From what I had learned, he loved her since they were kids.
Then my brother and I stomped into his life. She was taken by me—how could she not though? I made a pretty hot guy.
But then she really fell for Sawyer….but I don’t see how? I got all the hot genes in the womb, obviously.
In our flawed operation, we hurt someone. I knew this would happen—but never in a million years did I expect it to be Blake. The guy who was in love with Sophia.
In a way, I did this. And I was beyond guilty for that. So I understood why Blake couldn’t talk to me about it. This hurt him too much.
“Is this about Sophia?” I asked cautiously. Blake turned to me with wide eyes as if in shock.
“N-no! Wait, didn’t I tell you before, that I was over her?” Blake raised his eyebrow. I stared at him flatly.
“Yeah but I thought you said that to make yourself feel better.” I scoffed.
“I meant it Vivian. Sophia was someone I thought I needed but I don’t. Not anymore at least.”
“You needed her?”
“I thought I did. Growing up in a foster home, it doesn’t give you a chance to be part of a family. But then I met Ty and his family. He had everything I ever wanted. I wanted to be a part of something bigger. Sophia symbolized hope for me but I think I liked her for all the wrong reasons.” he explained.
“You liked her because she was your ticket to a family.” I mumbled, fully understanding him. Blake nodded and sighed.
“It sounds ridiculous now, but yeah she was my ticket. Things are different now.” he smiled as if he was free….free from whatever was holding him back.
“I’m here to talk Orton, anytime about anything.” I promised him.
“I know, kid.” he smiled.
“What do you mean we’re on the no flight list!” Chloe snapped at the airlines managment.
“Ma’am, I mean that you and that girl are forbidden from any flights.” the woman with a permanent bitch face droned on in her nasally voice.
“You can’t be serious!” Chloe snapped.”I was never banned from a flight.” she scoffed turning away from the lady before she let her face drop.
“Weren’t you on a flight from Toronto to Norfolk Thursday?” The woman raised her eyebrow.
“I don’t know…maybe….I mean it was soo long ago.” Chloe rolled her eyes refusing to face the woman.
“That was three days ago Chloe.” Antoine cut in.
“Shut up, I got this!” Chloe hissed jabbing him in the side before putting on a straight face. “So I was on a flight, what about it?”
“You were banned from flying—that’s my point.” the woman droned on in a bored tone.
“I don’t seem to recall.” Chloe waved her off.
“You smuggled in a suitcase full of contraband. Then you punched security guards in the throat when they tried to restrain you.” the woman explained.
“Chloe you tried to smuggle in drugs!” Dom chatised her.
“No…” Chloe trailed off.
“Oh my god you smuggled in drugs!” Lewiza gasped.
“Of course not!” Chloe snorted crossing her arms. But if we’re being honest, I expected this from Chloe. She had proven enough to us that she is not as innocent as she may seem.
“Was it the devil’s lettuce?” Lewiza asked.
“Oh god it was the devil’s lettuce!” Antoine cried out fanning himself.
“What? No!” Chloe scoffed evidently offended. “It was kinder eggs and a fuck ton of it!” She growled glaring at the receptionist woman.
“Why would you smuggle in candy?” I asked curiously finally contributing to the conversation. Chloe sighed and rubbed the bridge of her nose.
“They’re illegal in the U.S, and I have a kinder egg addiction.” she confessed.
“So you were banned from flying because you have a kinder egg addiction?” I raised my eyebrow.
“It’s been months since I’ve had any and I wasn’t thinking!” Chloe defended herself.
“You two girls still aren’t on the flight list. You’ll have to leave.” the woman demanded going back to her computer.
“Wait!” Chloe cried out lunging for the woman when Antoine reeled her back from her waist.
“Oh no little red, this is a battle you’re going to have to lose.” Antoine shook his head.
I was tapped on the shoulder when I turned to find Sawyer and Sophia with Ty and Blake. My eyes nearly fell out of their sockets.
Since my talk with Blake, I had avoided Ty. Not because I wanted to, because I didn’t. I was just nervous around him. So to ensure I didn’t further humiliate myself, I said all my goodbyes at home.
But was that good enough for these people? Of course not.
How am I supposed to act around him? He wasn’t just my best friend anymore….I actually liked him.
“You guys-here-why?” I asked butchering the whole sentence. Sawyer frowned and narrowed his eyes, scrutinizing me. I winced because if Sawyer read into my behavior too much, he may figure out I like Ty.
God that was still weird to say.
“Say goodbye come we.” Sawyer replied making fun of me. I glared at him and smacked his chest.
“Idiot you are.” I rolled my eyes.
“Are you guys going to talk like that for long? It’s annoying.” Sophia said raising her eyebrow.
“No.” Sawyer and I said together before glaring at each other.
“Ahh!” we yelled at each other before giving up.
“Love when they do that.” Sophia hissed nudging Ty.
“You almost forget they’re twins sometimes.” Ty chuckled before attacking me in a bear hug. “I’m gonna miss you Vivo.”
I wrapped my arm’s around him and held him tight. Leaving this time around was going to be harder. I had made real connections. I finally befriended Blake and Sophia was my real friend again.
But most of all, Ty had become more to me. I actually liked him and a big part of me didn’t want to leave.
“Me too Ty, I’m really going to miss you.” I mumbled into his shoulder. My eyes looked up and I met Blake’s eyes. They seemed so distant and lost, something that didn’t go unnoticed by me.
Blake quickly smiled but it was out of place. I wish I could help him through whatever he’s dealing with. All I want is for him to be happy…I hope he finds what he’s looking for. I hope he gains the family he wants. I hope and hurt for the boy who had been my enemy. The boy who had become my friend. And in some weird way, his presence in my dire hours of need, he had become home to me.
I just wished I could help him find his home—his forever home.
Realizing my hug with Ty lasted too long, I pulled away and blushed.
“How are you going to get back to school? You can’t get on a plane.” Ty reminded me smirking. Of course he had warned me this would happen because he too got kicked off our flight.
Ahh, good times.
“I’ll rent a car or something. I’m sure it’s no hassle at all.” I waved him off.
“We’re going to drive all the way back to Boston?” Chloe whined. “But that’s soo long!” she groaned stomping her foot.
“And who’s fault is that?” Dom tsked, shaking her head.
“The U.S government, obviously.” she rolled her eyes defiantly. “If there wasn’t a ban, I wouldn’t have smuggled them in, now would I?”
“She’s got a point.” Lewiza shrugged. “You Americans ban delicious candy but yet you can’t create better gun control policies. I just don’t get you guys.” she shook her head.
“Trust us, most Americans don’t agree with the government.” Ty cut in.
“All I wanted was candy—but now I’m banned from flying in the sky. I should write a song for this.” Chloe sighed mimicking the keys she would play. “I could sell the song to Miley Cyrus or something. She’ll get me, she always gets me.”
“So driving it is!” Antoine clapped happily. “I love road trips! They always bring people together.”
“Or drive them apart.” I mumbled under my breath. I loved my friends, I do. But being in a car for ten hours with Chloe the evil nut, Lewiza the wild card, Antoine the unpredictable, and Dom the fearless leader—I wasn’t sure if I could make it.
But school was waiting. Finals was waiting. My new life in Boston was waiting. This time around, leaving didn’t seem so appealing.
I looked over at Ty who held my hand. He looked at it then back at me before softly smiling.
“I wish I could go with you Vivo.” he mumbled so only I could hear.
“I do too.” I wished quietly.
My eyes met Blake again. This time he didn’t smile. He just looked at me and it was the oddest thing because it was so captivating.
I let go of Tyson’s hand and nudged Blake in the side. He gave me a lopsided smile.
“Anytime you need me Orton, I’m a phone call and ten hours away….I’ll figure out the whole flying deal later.” I waved off. “I got you.” I assured him.
Blake nodded and smiled, his eyes lighting up with humor. “Don’t be a stranger.”
“I won’t.” I recited and unlike last time we said our goodbye in an airport, I had faith. Faith that I would come back and that Blake was someone I would never let go.
I wrapped my arms around Blake and pecked his cheek. Blake quickly jerked back with wide eyes before quickly composing himself. “What was that for?” he asked.
“That was for being a great friend. You brought me home Blake, no one could have done that but you.” I said honestly and it baffled me how a perfect stranger had did that.
“I’m just happy you’re happy.” he smiled warmly.
“I am—almost.” I shrugged.
“What’s stopping you?” he asked. I turned away from him and gazed at Ty. He was helping Sawyer and Sophia with all our bags.
His eyes connected to mine and I felt warm inside. Ty smiled charmingly at me and then turned to Blake flatly. I furrowed my eyebrows but quickly let it go. I couldn’t salvage their friendship, it was one of the many lessons I learned this week.
“When are you going to tell him?” Blake asked snapping me back into reality.
“I’m not sure I should.” I admitted, “I don’t want to ruin our friendship. Everything is so much easier the way it is.”
“Word of advice kid, if it’s too easy it’s not worth living.” Blake said wisely.
“You’ll make someone a very happy fortune cookie someday.” I chuckled patting Blake’s shoulder.
“Take my advice—i’ve lived it. The risks are worth taking.” he swore confidently.
“When was the last time you took a risk Orton?” I raised my eyebrow skeptically. Blake remained silent and gazed at me. I stood rooted to my spot as Blake inched closer and closer. My heart raced and jumped about in my chest. It felt like falling out of a plane, my heart stuck on adrenaline.
Finally he stopped just an inch away from my face. His face remained emotionless and he spoke.
“It’s been a long time Vivian.” he said and I could feel his breath brush against my lips. I gulped and pulled away.
“I think I hear Chloe harrasing people. I-I should go and make sure.” I rambled stumbling over my words. Blake watched in confusion as I sprinted away from him.
When I finally reached the bathroom in the airport, I slid to the floor. My heart was pounding so loudly, I could hear it in my ears and feel it at my throat.
You like Orton. A small voice teased me.
How could I have been so stupid? The signs were obvious. I felt jealously whenever I thought of Sophia and Blake. When he looked at me, I couldn’t think of anyone else. I went to him and felt comfortable talking to him more so than anyone. When we danced, I liked the way he held me. I liked the smell of his hoodie and when leaned in closer to me, I really wanted him to kiss me.
What the hell is my problem?
“My heart is such a slut.” I growled to myself.