Acceptance

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Chapter 16

I spent the rest of the weekend with Remmy and Tommy. I didn’t turn my phone back on the entire weekend because I knew Atlas, Matt, and Caleb had probably spammed me. I wasn’t ready to deal with the hurt I was bound to feel again once I turned it back on and read the messages.

Remmy had to leave to go back to college Sunday night but had made me promise to keep him updated on the situation. He even told me that I could call him anytime and he would answer.

I finally decided to just get it over with and turned my phone on. I would have to face them tomorrow at school, so I figured reading what they had to say would possibly prepare me for anything they had planned.

I waited until it was late at night and Tommy and I were both in our bedrooms.

I ran my fingers through my hair anxiously as I waited for it to turn on and my eyes widened at the number of notifications.

They had each called me everyday since the incident many many times.

Matt had a total of 26 missed calls.

Atlas had a total of 37 missed calls.

The amount of missed calls from Caleb surprised me. He tried calling me 53 times this weekend and I noticed that they each left a bunch of voicemails as well.

I grabbed some earphones since I was feeling overwhelmed and didn’t want to bother with holding the phone up to my ear to listen to the messages. Plus, I didn’t want to put it on speaker and risk waking up Tommy, he had an early day tomorrow and needed his sleep. I decided to start with Matt’s voicemails.

“Hey, Elliot. We are so so sorry. Please come back so we can talk about this.”

“Elliot, please answer your phone. Caleb is freaking out.”

“Dude, ignoring us like this is kind of shitty. Answer your damn phone.”

“Alright, my last voicemail was kind of shitty. Atlas and Caleb are currently yelling at me about being an ass. I’m sorry for going off, okay? Please just come back. We need to talk about this.”

A lot of Matt’s voicemails were like that. Next I listened to Atlas’s and prepared myself for the worst. A best friend’s job is to protect their friend and care for them during times like this, so I was expecting a lot of yelling.

“Elliot, you need to come back to Caleb’s house right now. You didn’t even give Caleb any time to explain. You didn’t even give him a chance to and how you are just ignoring all of us? Come on, just answer us.”

“Caleb’s been crying for an hour now and thinks he ruined your friendship. Please come back and tell him he hasn’t lost you.”

“Elliot, its been a full 24 hours and none of us have heard from you. Call us back.”

“Dude, this isn’t like you to just disappear like this. Just send at least one text to us saying you’re okay. We are all really worried.”

I had tears stinging my eyes and gave myself a moment to calm down before listening to Caleb’s.

“Elliot, please come back. I’m so sorry. Just come back and we can talk about this. I was just scared of losing you and was stupid. I don’t want you to just disappear from my life. You mean a lot to me. Please just let me explain.”

“Elli, I’ve called a ton of times already and have left a ton of voicemails and texts that you haven’t even looked at. Please call me back. I’m worried.”

“I didn’t mean what I said to them. I’m so sorry. Please come back to me.”

“Please, Elliot. Please just send me one text saying I didn’t fuck everything up. I should have just took some time to think about things instead of just immediately saying I wouldn’t even give you a chance. I’m a dumbass. I’m so sorry. Please come back.”

“It’s late Sunday afternoon now and still no response. I’m so sorry for hurting you like I did. I’m sorry for fucking everything up. You’re one of the most important people in my life and I miss you. Please come back to me.”

I was practically sobbing by the time I was finished listening to his voicemails. I could hear him trying not to cry in every single voicemail and the sadness and worry in his voice hurt me just as much as he did.

I hated myself for worrying him like this and making him hurt just as much as I was.

I read the tons of texts next and they were all very similar to the voicemails. By the end of it all, I was a sobbing mess and could feel myself on the edge of an anxiety attack and I didn’t even know why. The only thought that was running through my mind was the mess we were in and how much of a shitty person I was to not even tell him I was fine.

My heart was racing, my head was pounding, and my thoughts were running a mile a minute. I didn’t know what to do. The only thing that’s ever stopped me from having an anxiety attack was Caleb helping me through it. He had a five step trick to stopping anxiety attacks, but I just couldn’t focus.

I did the only thing I could think of to do and called him. I wasn’t ready to talk to him yet, but I didn’t want to pass out from not breathing. I was already feeling kind of lightheaded.

I could hear the phone ringing through my headphones and waited for him to answer. I wasn’t sure what time it was, but I knew it was late and I hoped he was either still awake or would hear my call and wake up.

Unfortunately the call went to voicemail after awhile. Not even more than about twenty seconds passed and I felt my phone vibrating on the bed beside me. I could barely hear the ringtone from how lightheaded I was getting from not breathing properly.

I managed to accept the call and heard Caleb say, “Elliot, what’s going on? Are you okay?” He sounded really worried and I could hear him start worrying even more when he asked me again.

“Anxiety... attack... can’t... breathe,” I managed to say between small breaths.

“Oh fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck,” he said, “Okay Elliot, listen to me. Can you do that?”

“Yes,” I quietly muttered since that seemed to be as loud as I could get.

He began walking me through his five step process calmly and after what seemed like the longest five to ten minutes of my life, I had finally calmed down. Tears still slid down my cheeks, but I was breathing now and didn’t feel like passing out. I did feel exhausted and drained though.

I looked at my phone, not knowing what to say. He said my name a couple times but I didn’t respond. I heard him sigh and my heart rate picked up when I saw the FaceTime call he was trying to do. I only stared at the screen and it ended.

“Come on, Elliot. Please answer it,” he said and I heard him sniffle. Another FaceTime call appeared on the screen and I sighed. As the call connected, I flipped the camera so it wouldn’t show me and the screen turned black because it was facing the blanket. It was also dark in my room.

“You ass. I want to see you, not a black screen,” he said in his sassy tone and I smiled a small smile.

I moved the camera up and it showed part of my room instead.

“Alright, now flip the camera,” he said and I bit my lip nervously. I hesitated and be muttered, “Please.”

I sighed and flipped the camera. Luckily, since it was dark in my room, it was hard to see my face.

“Can you please just turn on a light so we can talk?,” he asked impatiently.

I knew it was time. I didn’t really want to have this talk right now, but I would feel bad if I made him feel terrible for another night.

“Alright, just... just give me a minute. I’ll be right back,” I said with a sigh and hurried to the bathroom. I really didn’t want him to see how red and puffy my eyes probably were.

I splashed cold water on my face a few times until my eyes weren’t as red and puffy and went back to my room.

I sat back down on the bed and turned the lamp on the end table on. I looked at Caleb for the first time since Friday and frowned at how hurt and exhausted he looked. I know he hurt me a lot, but I couldn’t stop myself from hating how sad he looked. I wanted to see him smile again.

I saw tears begin falling down his face as he began speaking.

“Elliot, I’m so fucking sorry for what happened. I was stupid and should have thought before speaking,” he wiped his tears away and continued, “I was scared that if we started dating that if we broke up, I would lose you forever and I don’t want to lose you. Now I realize how stupid that thought was. I should have talked to you about it. I’m so sorry.”

“Caleb, even if we did break up, that doesn’t mean you would lose me. Plus, we don’t know what the future holds. I’m sorry for just ignoring you like that. I was really hurt and should have talked to you. I’m sorry, Caleb,” I looked away from the screen.

“I forgive you,” he said and bit his lip. It looked like he had more to say so I didn’t say anything. “Um, since you confessed how you feel, I think it’s only fair that I confess how I feel,” he paused. “Elliot, I like you too. I was just stupid and let my fear get in the way of that.”

He... He likes me?

A smile stretched across my face and he smiled back when he noticed.

“Caleb, will you go on a date with me?,” I asked and he smiled bigger.

“Of course! When?,” he asked.

“It’s a surprise,” I responded.

He rolled his eyes, “How cliche,” he muttered, “Fine. Will you at least show me your new room then? From the little that I’ve seen, it looks really nice.”

I showed him my room and we talked for an hour before we both fell asleep with the call still going.

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