Chapter Thirty Two
“Chloe don’t you dare run away! Face me like the evil genius I know you are!” I yelled down the corridor of the dormitory.
“Vivian don’t you hurt her! She didn’t mean it!” Dom called out trying to defuse the assassin in me.
I stopped in my tracks and turned my glare to Dom. Dom raised her eyebrow at me, expectantly. I sighed in defeat though. No matter what Chloe did, I couldn’t stay mad at her.
She was twisted….but she probably did it out of the goodness of her heart.
“That’s right, girl. Just deep breaths in and out.” Dom ordered softly. I followed her head as we breathed in and out until I cooled down.
Lewiza burst out of her room with her nightly green mask on, and her blonde hair in a towel wrap. She looked ready for bed in her silk nightgown. “What the hell is all this yelling? Don’t you know finals start tomorrow? I need to rest before my recital tomorrow and I can’t do that if you and Chloe are playing tag in the middle of the night!” she growled angrily.
My eye twitched but I caught Dom’s eye. Together we breathed in and out before even acknowledging Lewiza.
“If you must know, Vivian and Chloe are just having a little spat.” Dom explained maturely before she turned to me. “One that can be resolved with words and not fists.” she said pointedly.
“What the hell is this problem?” Lewiza asked.
“Do you have time?” I asked. Lewiza looked back at her bed longingly before turning back to me.
“I could use a nice distraction from finals tomorrow.” she shrugged.
“Well it all started this morning…..”
Earlier That Day
Antoine and I were drained from the night before. For two weekends in a row, we had went out and about the Boston night life. Since winning against mouse our first night, we had became kings!
We were living legends amongst the occupants of Brad Pitt. We were the two boys who slayed mouse. In our awesomeness, we have basked in free drinks for life.
We obviously took advantage of that perk…much to Daphne’s dismay.
The only downside to our secret night lives, were the horrible hangovers. We woke up every morning with raging headaches and weak stomachs. It was a horrible feeling, but we didn’t care because the night before was always worth it. The night before we always reigned over the common folk as kings. The night before we didn’t look like…walking corpses.
“Antoine….Antoine….” I hissed into the darkness of our room. Antoine’s head shot up before he winced and rubbed his temples.
“Wh-what?” he whined, sitting up.
“There’s someone knocking on the door.” I mumbled sleepily. “Answer it….I’m too busy being dead.”
“But I feel so sick Vi!” he groaned throwing himself against his pillows.
The pest on the other side kept knocking. I tried to ignore them and go back to sleep, but they weren’t having it. They demanded we acknowledged their presence. Near death’s door, I answered the unwanted guest.
“What?” I snapped opening the door a crack. Chloe waved at me enthusiastically, the perfect image of health.
I hated it.
“Hey, I brought you and Antoine some lunch.” she beamed, producing two bags of Bermuda burgers.
My stomach pleaded me not to. But it betrayed itself when I opened the door all the way. Who was I to turn down Bermuda burgers?
No one, that’s who.
Chloe wasted no time in shoving me out of the way. She switched on the light and both Antoine and I cried out in pain.
“My eyes are burning!” Antoine cried throwing the covers over his head.
“Who put the fucking sun in our room! Turn it off! I beg of you!”
Chloe didn’t mind us one bit. She plopped herself on my bed and began to pull out the food. I grabbed a pair of sunglasses and slipped them. I tossed a pair to Antoine and he too put them on. It wasn’t instant relief, but it was better than burning out our eyeballs.
“What is the she-devil doing in our room?” Antoine groaned, sitting up in his head.
“Heck if I know.” I shrugged.
“I’m here because you two have gone off the deep end.” she said whilst chewing her burger. Antoine and I instantly cringed and looked away.
“What are you talking about?” I asked, trying not to gag.
“You and Antoine have been living like Hannah Montana. Except that you guys suck at keeping a double a life.” Chloe raised her eyebrow, pointing at my head. My eyes widened in shock and I snatched the wig off.
I had gotten used to dressing like my brother. Was it healthy? Some psychologists may say no. But it really helped me get away from myself.
I didn’t want to be Vivian King. She was too problematic and weak. I needed to be Sawyer because he was confident in his life. He was calm, cool, and collected. There was no need to over think when I havs the Sawyer disguise.
“Does Dom and Lewiza know?” I asked. Chloe nodded much to my mortification. “How did you guys find out?”
“Well you see….” Chloe trailed off with a meager shrug.
“What did you guys do?” Antoine asked suspiciously, lowering the glasses to narrow his eyes at Chloe.
“It’s not bad!” Chloe defended herself. “It’s just one night, we saw Antoine and a guy come out of your room. So we were curious about this new guy, and we followed you guys.”
“You guys spied on me!” Antoine snapped.
“Well you just had a bad break up and you’re very impulsive when you’re hurt.” Chloe explained. Antoine scoffed and crossed his arms over his chest.
“Name one time.” he rolled his eyes.
“Sophomore year,” Chloe pointed out, “You and Lewiza got into this big fight and she hurt your feelings. What happened after that, hmmm?”
Antoine narrowed his eyes before he slipped on the glasses again. “It slips my mind.” he drawled out slowly.
“You cried and packed your bags. Dom, Lewiza, and I had to go all the way to New York to bring you back to school. Then you said you were quitting acting for a practical job in real estate since that was the realest thing you could be.”
“I would have been the sexiest real estate agent in Manhattan if it weren’t for you meddling kids….and you’re stupid cross dresser too!” Antoine hissed turning his anger towards me.
“Dude, I just met you guys a couple months ago.” I retorted, feeling very victimized by Antoine.
“Do you see what I mean!” Chloe shouted. I winced as the loud noise had rattled my headache. “Antoine is impulsive when he’s hurt. So after we followed him, we discovered that the guy he was with looked awfully familiar.” she smirked at me.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I mumbled, looking anywhere but at Chloe.
“Unless your brother has a double secret gay life, It was you with Antoine. We know that you guys are local celebrities at the fight club place.” Chloe raised her eyebrow.
“Fine you guys know. So what?” Antoine snorted, still bitter about the girls spying on us.
“It’s not healthy.” Chloe shook her head. “You’re giving Vivian bad advice about the-”
“One’s that shall remain nameless!” Antoine and I cried out. Chloe furrowed her brows and gestured to us as if proving her point.
“That’s not healthy!” she shouted…..cue the killer migraine.
“Inside voice please!” Antoine whimpered, rubbing the temples of his head.
“Antoine you are a hazard when you’re hurt. Your boyfriend cheated on you and he’s a prick for that-”
“You got that right.” Antoine scoffed.
“But that doesn’t mean you should drag Vivian into your nightlife. She needs to figure out her feelings and not hide behind her brother’s disguise. It’s unhealthy being something you’re not.” Chloe said, wisely. I see she still consults with her sensei.
“It’s easier than dealing with my issues though.” I smiled cheekily
“No it’s not, ignoring the problem is never a solution. You’re a smart girl-you’re no genius like me- but you’re smart enough to know you have to face your problems.” Chloe raised her eyebrow.
“Well my problem is far away and it’s not helping that you’re judging Antoine and I.” I shrugged her off.
“I’m just trying to help out Vi.” Chloe frowned. My heart dropped when I looked at her, I knew she just wanted to help. But what could she say that would fix this?
I had to let it go. Those boys were my friends and falling for them now was just ludicrous. They didn’t even know how felt, and that was for the best. They were both older and desirable guys. They had that whole town in the palm of their hands.
Why would they want to bother with a junior who lived ten hours away?
“I know Chlo.” I sighed, apologetically. “But seriously, it’s no big deal.”
“Yes it is.” Chloe insisted.
“Chloe, I’m just trying to have fun and forget everything that stresses me out. I can’t and I won’t dwell on things that I can’t change.” I argued, a little frustrated.
“But you can change things Vi! Can’t you see that? It’s 2016, the world is more accepting and there’s so many options now Vivian.” Chloe declared passionately, standing on my bed.
Antoine and I exchanged looks, as we were both completely lost. What the hell was little firecracker genius, talking about?
“I lost you…?” I furrowed my brows in confusion.
“No Vivian, you lost yourself.” Chloe said in a poor attempt at sympathy. “You don’t have to hide behind that wig and tape. You can be your true self finally.”
“What the hell-”
“Oh and I found this and decided this was safer than taping down. Don’t thank me, just know I’m always in your corner.” Chloe smiled, handing me a pale colored binder. I took it, and found myself mystified by what she was implying.
“You think that I’m transitioning?” from beside me, Antoine was chuckling. I elbowed him in the ribs hard before he stopped and winced in pain.
“Well duh?” she scoffed, “Dom and Lewiza don’t think so. They think you’re just having guy problems but that’s just far fetched. I know my friend, and you are in the midst of an identity crisis.” she sighed shooting me another look of sympathy.
“But I’m not-”
“Now I know this can be a sensitive topic, but have you chosen your new name?” she asked before adding, “Ooh you look like a Vernon or a Mercutio!”
“What the—No!” I cried out.
“I don’t know, Vi’s always struck me as a Vincent. It’s very posh like Vivian, but it can be cut down to Vinny. I vote Vinny!” Antoine chimed in, not defusing the issue at all.
“Would you stop!” I snapped giving myself the migraine now. I rubbed my head and prayed I didn’t die by the end of this conversation. “I am not transitioning! I am not having an identity crisis! And I will not change my name to Vinny! Dom and Lewiza hit it right on the nail, actually.”
“What do you mean?” Chloe asked, tilting her head to the side like a lost puppy.
“I mean that Antoine convinced me to go out and be somebody different because I needed to let loose. I needed to keep my mind off of Tyson and Blake….because I like them….I may even love them.” I confessed, feeling my chest constrict as I had finally said what was true. Since my revelation, I had kept my mind far from the boys. However, I was coming to the conclusion that I had to stop brushing off my feelings.
I needed to get my shit together and figure some stuff out. Dressing up as Sawyer and becoming an alcoholic in training wasn’t going to help. It only made things worse.
“Whoa, you love both of them?” Chloe asked cutting through my reverie. I nodded silently, and flopped back on the bed. “Your heart is a slut….for love.” she added quietly. I sat up and shot her a glare—she wasn’t helping.
“It’s not my fault! Have you met them? They’re both….”
“Hot?” Chloe and Antoine chorused together. I shook my head and cracked a smile.
“Amazing guys with something special about them. It’s not just their looks…it’s their everything.” I said as images of their smiles, their eyes, and their unrelenting charm and kindness flooded my mind.
“Go on….” Chloe gestured for me to go on. I rolled my eyes and laughed softly.
“Ty is my best friend. When I’m with him, all we do is laugh. It’s like he’s been there from the beginning. He was my rock and with a family like mine, that’s exactly what I needed. He’s an amazing guy and when I look at him, I know I don’t deserve him. His love was slow but sort of….anticipated. Like I knew in the back of my head, falling for him was inevitable.”
“And Blake?” Antoine asked.
“Blake was unexpected. It was love grown from scratch. I hated him and I never expected to feel this way about him. As Sawyer, I couldn’t fall for him. But once I was myself again, it started this chain reaction. Somehow he was there when all else seemed gone. He was the moonlight in my darkest hours and it amazes me how quickly I trusted him. Blake is this enigma, and I never wanted to solve something more than I wanted to solve him. His love was unexpected and I can only describe it as a freight train.” I said when I heard a small ding go off.
My eyes widened in alert as Chloe held my phone in her hands. She smiled at me sheepishly as she put the phone away in her bra.
“Chloe!” I growled, lunging for her. But the monster was faster than hungover Vivian.
She took advantage of my lack of energy. She threw the bag of Bermuda burgers at me and fled the scene with my phone.
“That was this morning and I’ve been on a manhunt ever since.” I growled narrowing my eyes and searching the corridor.
“I’m sure she’s not going to do anything.” Dom said in attempt to reaasure me. But it fell short of comfort. I was still on edge about the video and what Chloe had planned.
“Do you know where she is Lew? She’s your roommate.” I asked holding out a small sliver of hope that I could carry out my murder.
Lewiza shook her head. “Sorry Vi, I haven’t seen her all day. She texted me earlier and said she wasn’t going to be in the dorms.”
My eyes widened in alert. What the hell did that red headed she-devil have planned?
“I’m scared.” I breathed out. Lewiza frowned sympathetically and gave me a small pat.
“As you should.” she nodded solemly.