Chapter Forty One
“Grandmother willow, tell me what I should do. I don’t see the colors of the wind, and I can’t see the colors of the wind. Help a sister out grandmother willow! Give me a freaking sign!” I begged at my wits end. I had exhausted every solution I had come up with. Desperate times called for desperate measures. In this case, I begged a tree, because Pocahontas did it and she picked John Smith over Kocoum. Surely this tree would help me, right?
“Vi, sweetie…” Sophia cleared her throat, looking around at the people who were enjoying the park. “First things first, that’s a sycamore tree not a willow. Second, it won’t help you, because this isn’t a Disney movie. Thirdly, you’re the only scaring people now.” I furrowed my brows and snapped my gaze to a family of five. In fact, I was pretty sure they were the same family at Bermuda burgers. They stared at me in bewilderment then slowly, they all walked backwards, as if worried I’d attack them.
As if. I have to save all that attacking energy on someone worth attacking. Like Chris Evans. Now that is someone I’d willingly kidnap.
“You are a class ’A’ psycho.” Marie snorted, relaxing on a park bench. Sophia stared at her flatly, as I got up and brushed myself off.
“Marie, you’re not helping.” Soph chastised her. Marie stared at her friend, raising her eyebrow.
“You and every other person she’s been to has given her the runaround. You guys suck at giving advice.” She put it bluntly.
“Are you saying, you can do better than the rest of us?” Sophia challenged her. Marie scoffed and flipped her hair in her friends face.
“You, just watch.” she said clearly accepting the challenge in a cocky attitude. She turned to me and smiled sweetly, “Pick one.” she said simply.
“I can’t.” I answered automatically.
“Why not?” she shot back.
“Kinda already did that.”
“What do you mean kinda?”
“Only kissed one.”
“Nice, he’s a great kisser.”
“You kissed him?” I raised my eyebrow.
“It’s a small town.” she shrugged. I stared at her flatly, “Okay so I know why it’s not working.”
“Why?” Sophia and I chorused. Sophia giggled, and pointed at me happily, “Now we have twin powers!”
“Focus!” Marie snapped, “The answer to your problem is simple.”
“What is it!” I cried out, grabbing the collars of Marie’s coat frantically, “Tell me, I’ve been going crazy for weeks now!” Marie raised her eyebrow and gently unhooked my hands from her coat.
“You have to stop expecting others opinions to suddenly become yours too. The only reason why you can’t pick between those two, is because you’re waiting for someone to pick for you. Quite the decision you have to make Vivian…or should I say Sawyer.” she smirked, my jaw dropped in shock. But why? I was pretty sure the whole world knew about operation, ‘switch-a-twin’ by now.
“How did you know!” I gasped, covering my mouth. I swear living with Antoine, made me theatrical trash.
“I suspected it at that thanksgiving party. I knew you looked like your brother but you know….twins. It didn’t really help my theory.” she scoffed, “But of course, my epic sleuthing paid off after some deep investigating-”
“I told her.” Sophia blurted out. Marie shot her friend a glare and stomped her foot, immaturely.
“You totally stole my thunder there Soph!” Marie groaned, infuriated. Sophia held her hands up, defensively.
“My bad.” she shrugged.
“But for the record, I did suspect something. You know, that first day when you wouldn’t respond to my handy work, I totally knew something was up. I just thought you-or rather your brother- was gay. But now I know…” she trailed off smirking.
“Know what?” Sophia and I asked. Sophia turned to me excited again but stopped short when I stared at her flatly.
“That I, Marie Constantine, didn’t lose my mojo! I’m still hot bitches!” She declared loudly as a group of children ran past us, giggling as they heard Marie. Real smooth.
“So, food?” I asked hopeful. Sophia stared at me flatly. Translation: ’Get your shit straight Vi.’ Sighing, I waved them goodbye and left to straighten things up.
I had to decide for myself and stop finding loopholes through other people.
I waited for him in the park. It had become sort of an instinct for us. Maybe I should have called or texted him to meet me here. But after our many late night meetings here, I was almost certain he would be here tonight too.
After I had initially left the park earlier in the day, I did decide to get food. Food never pestered me and I found comfort in the two Bermuda burgers, large fries, and large milkshake. But eventually I left and tried to sort myself in private. You know, the usual, pacing back and forth in my room, listening to Bon Iver as I cried over the pathetic sad saga that had become my life, and watching girl meets world to study how Lucas Friar solved his love triangle. You know…the usual. However I knew I would have to take action eventually and stop stalling and tonight I had decided was the night.
So I snuck out of my house at midnight and made my familiar trek to the park. There, I walked aimlessly around, hoping to catch a glimpse of Blake. It was my intention to finally set my cards on the table. To finally ‘come out’ to him, so to speak.
But I had been here three hours already, and my confidence wavered with each passing hour. Perhaps running in the dead of night in December wasn’t very healthy. Maybe I should have called him, it would have killed the last three hours I spent here, freezing my ass off.
A quarter after three, I had decided I’d rather not risk catching a cold and subsequently, pneumonia. I could only imagine all the tissues that would fall victim of my snot. I grimaced and turned to leave, hoping to avoid getting all gross and snotty in the morning. But as I got up to leave, I stopped short.
That was when I saw him. He was geared up in only a winter coat and joggers. His hair was messy, but it suited him. He could honestly pull off the ’rolled out of bed’ look. In the poorly lit park, he spotted me just about the same time I saw him. His smile didn’t send goosebumps on my arms. Instead, it set my heart off. It was a warming sensation and I craved more of it. I idly wondered if it was love, you know, if love felt like this. Or was it lust? Plain and cold, teenage angst, marred with lust.
“I would say I’m surprised to see you, but I think we both know this is the only way we really see each other.” he greeted me, as soon as he was in earshot. I laughed and gestured for him to sit. “I heard you were back in town. I ran into Sawyer a few days ago.”
“Yeah.” I cleared my throat awkwardly, “H-he told me.”
“So what’s new with you? Any inner conflicts you have to come to terms with. Because i’m all ears, you know.” He smiled, showcasing his aww worthy smile. It was one of those smile you’d remember even after old age had come to succumb you. It was a synonymous trait of his. His smile is what I’ll think of first when I hear his name. It was a given.
“Vivi?” Blake chuckled waving his hand in front of my face. I blinked and looked up at him. It didn’t occur to me that I had been wistfully staring at his dimpled smile. Thank god it wasn’t his butt I was staring at. That would have been cringe-worthy. “You still there?”
“Actually I do have an inner conflict. But I really don’t want to talk about it.” I admitted wearily. I saw only one outcome to all of this and ended with him leaving and never coming back.
“It helps if you do, Vivi.” He coaxed me softly, taking a seat next to me on the swing-set. The warmth his body gave out as he brushed against my thigh, lingered there. It was a slight warmth to the otherwise bitter evening.
“I don’t think I should tell you because it’ll change everything.” I murmured, turning to look at Blake. His eyes trained on me softly, as if reassuring me that I could talk to him.
“How about you tell me…in the hypothetical sense. You know, without names or anything so that way you can still things off your chest, but you don’t have to give anything away.” He suggest, with a smile, nudging my shoulder encouragingly.
“Hypothetically speaking…” I began unsurely, “If a friend of yours lied to you, would you still like them? You know, even though their intentions weren’t to hurt anybody.” I glanced at Blake who furrowed his brows in deep thought.
“Well if this friend kept something from me, I would forgive them. You know, if their intention wasn’t to hurt anybody. S-say this person only kept that secret because said friend had feelings for someone else and didn’t want to get in the middle. Then I say the friend should go easy on the guy keeping the secret because he just didn’t want his friend to get hurt, then yeah I say forgive him and don’t let it socially scar him.” he rambled nervously confusing me a bit.
“What?” I asked lost. Blake took a deep breath and stared at me nervously.
“Sawyer told you, didn’t he? He told you that I like you.”
“I know you told me that you liked Ty and I get that. Really I do. But I like you too and you may not like me in that way…and that’s fine. Actually, not really, it kinda sucks. But I do understand because you’re a beautiful girl and I bet you have options. Why limit yourself to someone like me? I mean, I don’t have anything to offer. I’m just some dumb jock who had to repeat eleventh grade English. By the way—not my best subject. But you don’t care about that either. See? This is what I mean, you won’t like me but you make it so hard not to like you. Trust me, I’ve only felt this way about one girl and that was doomed from the start. You on the other hand are a natural disaster on your own and yet, I can’t help but look at you and feel at home. It’s home.” He rambled nervously again. Blake stared at me as if I held something for him. Something better, something like hope.
“Sawyer didn’t tell me you liked me Blake.” I spoke softly and cautiously. “I knew already.”
“Who told you?” he breathed out nervously. I bit my lip and gazed into those ice cold eyes that had conflicted me for weeks. The same eyes that I had unknowingly fallen victim to, next to his smile, they were one of his best features. But looks aside, I had really fallen in love with how we talked. How we came to be two strangers in a park, to two people who found a home in our late nigh conversations.
“You told me….because it was me not my brother who you told.” Blake froze and openly scrutinized me as if I had grown an extra head. “I’m Sawyer…well occasionally i’m Sawyer.” I confessed earnestly.
Blake narrowed his eyes at me in disbelief. The blues in eyes grew distant and lost. It hurt to acknowledge that I had caused that. I had caused the confusion, the hurt, the betrayal.
“Blake-” I attempted to explain myself, but he just shook his head slowly and backed away from me.
“D-don’t, don’t say anything.” He warned me, stumbling over his words. His eyes downcasted towards the ground as he paced back and forth, drinking in what I had just revealed. I silently watched him as he tore himself up over what I had confessed. “How long have you been dressing like your brother?”
“Sporadically, since we moved here. My brother needed my help and I filled in for him his first few weeks at school.” I said quietly. I lifted my gaze and our eyes locked onto each other. He stared at me like he didn’t know who I was. Maybe he thought he didn’t, but I so desperately wanted him to know that he of all people knew me best. My authentic self, the one who couldn’t straighten out her life without a push from him. “Football tryouts, the double date, the football pact, it was all me. It was me as Sawyer.”
“Are you serious?” He glared at me, “I almost killed you in the locker room. I-I almost seriously hurt you Vivian!” he snapped.
“I know…” I trailed off, “I know Blake, and I wish I would have told you a long time ago. But I-I couldn’t bring myself to tell you truth because I thought you’d be so angry that you’d never talk to me again. And because I like you, I really—really like you. So much so that I didn’t want to hurt you.” I cried out, tears streaming down my face. Blake’s glare softened at he heard my sobbing but he didn’t make a move to comfort me. “Please?” I begged him.
“You lied to me.” He mumbled to himself, before his eyes met mine again. Inside his blue irises I read them clearly, I had betrayed him and that was an almost unredeemable act. “You were right, you shouldn’t have told me.”
“Blake please…” I begged as my voice cracked.
“I don’t know who you are.” He shook his head, then he turned on his heels and ran back.
“Blake!” I called out desperately but he didn’t come back. Then just like that…I was in a park by myself and I felt like the worst person in the world. I did the thing I had hoped wouldn’t happen. I hurt Blake.