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Enduring

By theindigojackalope All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Drama

4

What if he doesn’t come back? What if he’s just made his escape? I sit on the edge of my couch, staring at the empty spaces in my bookshelf. I bet I was horrid and he was just too nice to say anything. I bet he just left. God, I’m stupid. A salty drop of a tear plops onto the rug.

“Oh, for the love of fuck, Seymour. Pull yourself together,” I mutter, swiping at my eyes. “God. So dumb. It was just sex. Let it go.”

But a small part of my soul still grasps at the notion that maybe Cal will come back, maybe he’ll return, arms full of coffee and donuts and love, all ready to hold me again. I close my eyes.

But what if he doesn’t? What if he’s gone? What if- Oh, God. What if he has a boyfriend, or a girlfriend? What if he has a wife? A husband? You don’t know him, you don’t know him at all! God. So dumb. He’s gone.

He probably didn’t even like you.

I scrub my face. A nauseating mold is growing in my stomach; I try to ignore it. Not that it even matters. It was one night. He did say that would be all he needed. It meant nothing.

I feels my eyes tear up, my chest tighten. He’s just like everyone else. A lump grows in my throat, and I try to swallow it. Instead, a tear slips down my face.

Oh, wonderful. You’re crying. What a show, Seymour. Fabulous job. How pathetic. I swipe at my eye and the other lets out a stream of salt water. Ugh. I press the heels of my palms against my eyes and will myself to pull it together.

A polite knock at the door. My head whips up. A postman? Cal? Probably a postman. I try to make sure the spaces around my eyes aren’t too red, then pad across the room to the door and pull it open. My knees feel weak.

Cal, all beaming sunshine and unruly hair stands there with a tray holding two cups of coffee and a bag of donuts. I hold in a gasp, and an ugly helium fills my chest. I hate that I feel so relieved. I can’t believe I got so out of control in the first place. “I’m back...” Cal’s smile drops. “What happened, love?”

“Nothing!” I smile, likely unconvincingly, and shake my head. “Everything’s fine!” I was just being an overdramatic spaz as usual, don’t mind me.

“Sey...” He shuts the door behind him with his foot and steps forward. “I know we aren’t that close yet, but you can talk to me.”

I avoid his eyes. “No, it’s okay. I’m okay. Everything’s fine.” You dolt. You’ve made him worry. Stop it. “What’d you get?” I try to peek in the bag, subject change evident.

“Seymour.” His tone is the most serious I’ve heard it, and I glance up at him through my eyelashes. “Are you sure you don’t need to talk about it?” I nod.

“I’m sure. Feed me.”

Cal smirks at me, setting the bag on the coffee table. “Oh, I have something you’d love to eat-”

“Don’t you say it. Don’t you do it, Cal.” He throws his head back, laughing, and his teeth shine in the sunlight. Wow. “So, you said we’d get to know one another, right?” He sits on the sofa, and I join him just afterwards.

“Sure.” Cal sips from a crinkly insulated cup and passes me the other. “It’s coffee, black. Didn’t know what you liked. There’s sugar and cream in the bag.” He takes another drink. “So, first thing I wanna ask: how do you like your coffee?”

I sift through the bag and pick out the hazelnut creamers. “Black.”

“Like your men?” Cal winks, and I laugh before I can help it.

“Yeah, I guess so.” A gulp of coffee sets my stomach blazing, and I already feel more awake. “But I do like drinking the creamers on the side.” Before Cal can make a lewd comment, I rush ahead. “How do you take your coffee?”

Cal opens his cup and leans it towards me. That is definitely not coffee. “Coffee makes me jittery and anxious. Don’t really drink it, unless I need to pull an all nighter. I like chai with milk.” He settles back into the couch and I nod.

A silence clings to my ears like seran wrap. This is awkward. This is so awkward. Is this the morning after thing that I’ve heard about? No. No, stop being weird. Maybe it’s a comfortable silence.

I glance at him, turn my head sharply away. No, not comfortable. Awkward. Say something, c’mon. Think of a question. I pull at my fingers, trying to find something to say.

“I-”

“Um-” Our words clash in between us and leave more quiet in their wake. Great. I gulp at my coffee like it’s my last cup. “What’s in the bag?”

“Oh!” Cal grabs the bag and leans it towards me. “Doughnuts. Glazed and chocolate.”

I nod, grab a chocolate frosted doughnut, and take a small bite. Why are we both so quiet? I mean, I’m always quiet. But him? I look over at Cal, who’s drumming his fingers against his cup, mouthing something to himself under his breath. Is he nervous? “Cal.”

He looks up at me, smiling reflexively. “Yeah?”

Are you nervous? Is your stomach doing cartwheels and rolling around and jumping up and down? Mine sure is. “Can we cuddle?” Oh, cringe. Abort mission! This is a mess.

Cal’s eyes widen in surprise, then he grins, opens his arms. “Yeah, sure! C’mere.”

I scoot close to him and rest my head against his collarbone. He rests his fingertips against the spot where my shirt has ridden up over my waist; his hands are rough but their touch is gentle. “This is weird.” Can you please think before you speak, Seymour? Cal raises an eyebrow at me. “I m-mean... I don’t know wh-what to say. I’m not sure what to ask.”

“Just ask whatever comes to mind. Anything at all.”

“Okay. Um. What’s your family like?”

Cal looks back at his lap. “Well, it’s me, Mama, Kim my sister, and my dad. But we don’t see him much.” He rolls the paper cup lightly between his hands, inhaling the steam from his drink. Hm. Thinking face acquired. Cute. “If you were a fruit, which one would you be, you think?”

What fruit? Weirdo. “I don’t know, a plum I guess.”

“No, you’d be... A fineapple!” Cal winks, tightening his arm around me. A snort escapes my throat, and I blush bright red. Man, what a dork... A cute dork with really strong arms and a real solid, warm chest, but a dork all the same.

“Shut up.” I bite my lip. “How old are you?”

“Twenty-three.” Whew! “You?”

“Twenty.” Oh, no. More silence. I hate silences like this.

Right as I open my mouth to speak, Cal mumbles, “Hey, Seymour?”

“Hm?” I roll over his his arms so I’m resting on my stomach. What I see is surprising.

Cal is... Blushing? His ears are flaming red, and he can’t seem to meet my eyes. Added to the list of things I like: Embarrassed Cal. “Um. Well.” His fingers brush lightly over my skin while he tries to put his words together. “I know this is sort of... Sudden. But, will you- Would you maybe like to, you know, date? Me. Would you like to date me?”

What a cutie. How can I say no to that? I can’t. A stronger man might, but I, Seymour Kim, am a sucker. I bite the insides of my lips to subdue a smile. “You’re asking me to be your boyfriend?”

“Y-yeah. You don’t have to, I just-”

I cut him off with a fast kiss, pull away before it can get any deeper. “I would very much like to date you, Cal.”

“Oh, really?” He grins, tongue poking out from between his teeth a bit. “Wow. I thought I’d have to beg or something.”

I shake my head, then put it down on top of his chest. Wowie. What a couple of days. A boyfriend. I have a boyfriend. A smile worms its way onto my lips.

“I have another question.”

“Yeah?” My head is floating three feet above my body, tied to me with a streamer.

A pause. “Favorite sex position?”

“Cal!” I wish I could say I was stern, but I definitely laughed a little (a lot).

A/N:

Gah! This took me a while to write, guys. I’m sorry. I don’t know if I really like it all that much, but I tried.

So, this is new! Weird. I guess y’all can leave any comments on the chapter with the link? And any feedback on this format: Do you like it, is it convenient, is it horrible, how’s the UI, all that.

Thank you guys!

AJ

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