It was weird to think about moving back into my old house. It's only been five months since my mom and I moved in with Preston and Jackson, but it honestly has felt like it's been longer than that. The four of us have always been very close growing up. Preston and I were inseparable and our parents were just as close to each other as Preston and I were. The four of us were family, but now our family had been torn apart, and the pain just got worse as time led by.
It was exhausting to think about. All my energy was wasted on thinking about how shitty life was, and I no longer had the energy to do anything else. It was a struggle just to get out of bed in the morning, but I had to because I didn't want my mom to worry about me.
I was standing in Preston's driveway, watching as Jackson helped the two movers he hired to pack up our boxes into their moving van. My mom was getting the cats situated in the backseat of our car, and Preston was standing behind me on the front porch, Kodey beside him. He was wrapped up in his winter coat, his arms crossed over his chest.
I didn't look his way. His presence was overbearing enough so I didn't dare to look back at him, Instead, I just watched Jackson and the movers. They loaded up the last of our boxes into the moving van. Once they were done, the two movers closed the back doors of the van.
"Alright, that's the last of the boxes," Jackson said, wandering over to where Preston and I were standing. Mom wandered over as well, cheeks red from the cold, and as she and Jackson exchanged a quick glance, he smiled softly. I could see the faint flicker of sadness in his eyes, "call me when you get back so that I know you got there safely."
"I will don't worry," Mom smiled at him. Jackson nodded, and the two of them exchanged a quick hug. Mom pulled back with a cheeky grin and patted Jackson's chest,"I will also let you know if I hear any news from that job I applied for."
Jackson snorted, "yeah, you better."
Mom laughed. She winked Jackson's way and then pushed past me to go give Preston a big hug. I bit my lip, watching as mom pulled Preston into a hug and held him tight for a moment, and then turned my gaze back to Jackson as he opened his arms up for me.
"What, I don't get a hug goodbye?" Jackson feigned hurt. I laughed, smiling crookedly at him before I stepped over, and let him pull me into a tight hug.
"Thanks for everything," I murmured, hugging Jackson tight. He patted me on the back softly, and when we pulled apart, he smiled down at me.
"Of course," He nodded, "and whatever is going on with you and Preston, I hope you two are able to work things out."
I blinked, nodding wordlessly. Jackson ruffled my hair, and I watched as he walked over to the front porch where Preston and my mom were talking.
I was shocked that Jackson knew about what was going on between me and Preston. Did Preston tell him everything? Did he tell Jackson that I cheated on him? Did Jackson hate me now too? Is it part of the reason why he and my mom decided to break up? Fuck, what if he told my mom too?
I shook my head, rubbing my hands against my face. My heart started to pound against my chest, and I could sense a tremor creeping up through my limbs, and I had to force myself to calm down so that I didn't start having a panic attack in front of everyone. Though I found it challenging to push away the brewing anxiety, so I chose to mask it instead.
When I pulled my trembling hands away from my face, letting them fall back down at my sides, mom approached me with a soft grin on her face, "you alright Adrien?"
"Yeah," I forced a smile and a nod, "I'm okay."
Mom hummed, eyeing me for a moment before she nodded her head, "okay well, we should get going now. It's getting late and we have a lot of unpacking to do."
Mom said her final goodbyes to Preston and Jackson, waving at the two of them before she was making her way over to the car. I followed, moving over to the passenger side of the car. When I opened the door, I stopped to glance back over to the porch, seeing Jackson now making his way back inside the house, before my gaze locked onto Preston's.
Preston held my gaze, his bright blue eyes staring into my own. I don't know how long we stared for, but it felt like an eternity for what had only been a few seconds at most.
Preston broke our gaze first. There was an expression on his face that I couldn't quite read, but I didn't get the chance to fully analyze and come up with ideas, as he turned his back to me and walked inside his house, Kodey hurrying in behind him.
My heart broke just a bit more watching him leave. I was inches away from getting into my car and driving away, and Preston had just walked back inside his house without saying goodbye to me, and it only solidified that we were done. No more living together, no more laughter, no more kisses, no more memories...just nothing.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, and I forced myself to get into the passenger seat. And when my mom started the car and we drove away from Preston's house, I didn't look back.
It would be too painful to look back.
When mom and I pulled into the driveway of our house, it was a surreal feeling. It almost felt weird to be back home, but it was also nice to be back. It was my childhood home after all.
But now, standing in my bedroom with unpacked boxes scattered around, I didn't know what to feel. It honestly felt weird standing in my bedroom. It was quiet, bare, and cold. The only things that were still in my bedroom were my bed, desk, dresser, and closet, all of which were empty. And usually, I would have my paintings and other pictures hanging on the white walls, but they were bare.
Instant loneliness crept in and hugged me, its arms squeezing me tight. All my emotions hit me at once, and before I could even react, my eyes were blinded by tears.
I slowly sunk to the ground, leaning back against a pile of boxes with my knees pulled to my chest, tears cascading down my face. I cried alone in my quiet room, burying my face into my knees as to muffle the cries. I didn't want my mom to hear me and come walking in to demand what was wrong because I didn't want her involved in this mess. A mess that I made and couldn't get out of, but I deserved it anyways. There was no point in trying to get me out of this mess when there was no way out in the first place.
"Adrien? You in there?" My mom knocked on my bedroom door. I held my breath, choking back the rest of my sobs and pulled myself to my feet, quickly wiping at my face.
"Yeah, mom?" I called out to her, hoping that she didn't hear the waver in my voice.
"Are you alright? I just wanted to know what you wanted for dinner. I could make lasagna? I know it's your favourite!"
"Ah yeah, lasagna sounds good to me," I replied, inhaling another deep breath to calm myself, "I'll just be in here unpacking in the meantime."
"Of course hun, I'll come get you when dinner is ready," Mom said on the other side of the door. After I replied to her with an 'okay', she shouted I love you's to me and she walked away, her footsteps disappearing down the hallway. I released a heavy sigh once she was gone with a hand on my chest. I was glad that she didn't come in, otherwise, I would have had to come up with some kind of excuse as to why I was crying, and I definitely didn't want to do that.
I wiped off the remaining tears on my face, and spent the next hour and a half unpacking the boxes in my room, and putting my things away. I unpacked all my clothes first, hanging them up in my closet as well as tucking them away in my dresser. Then I was setting my jewelry and other things on top of my dresser, frowning briefly when my eyes wandered over the necklace Preston had given me.
After we broke up I tucked the necklace away into my jewelry box, and never bothered to look at it again. The necklace had meant a lot to me and just looking at it brought back the painful memories. I had to force myself not to cry all over again just thinking about the time he gave it to me, and all the memories before.
By the time my mom called me out of my room for dinner, I managed to put away all of my clothes and set up my art supplies in the corner of my room by my window. As I walked into the kitchen, the smell of freshly baked lasagna filled my senses as I watched my mom set the lasagna dish down onto the center of the kitchen island.
"Ugh, it smells so good and I'm so hungry," I groaned, grabbed a plate and a fork from the kitchen cabinets. Mom laughed, pulling off her oven mitts and set them aside on the kitchen island.
"Well, you better be! Just be careful, it's still hot so I don't want you burning your mouth," She said. I chuckled but nodded. Mom cut up the lasagna into smaller squares, and after putting scooping up a piece onto my plate with a fork, the two of us took our plates and sat down on the couch in front of the TV. While the two of us ate, mom and I decided to put on a tv show about vampires and other supernatural creatures. It was my current favourite show at the moment. Mom and I have been watching it together whenever we could, and right now we were currently on season three.
"I've been wanting to ask...is everything alright with you and Preston?" Mom asked twenty minutes into the episode. I was eating my second serving of lasagna when she asked, and I had to stop mid-bite to look at her, slightly caught off guard.
"Uh, yeah...everything is fine," I nodded. She looked at me skeptically.
"Are you sure? You two didn't even say goodbye to each other before we left. You two barely acknowledged each other."
"Yes, I'm sure mom. We said goodbye earlier today. Everything is fine."
"I don't believe that. You two surely would have said something to each other. This is not like you two to act like complete strangers in front of each other," She said, "what are you keeping from me? I told you that you need to tell me when--"
"When something is wrong, I know," I finished for her, shaking my head, "and I'm saying nothing is wrong, so can we stop talking about this? You don't need to stick your nose into every part of my life!"
"Don't raise your tone at me, young man," Mom scolded me, her brows furrowed in concern, "I don't stick my nose into every part of your life. I only ask when I can clearly tell something is wrong, and when you aren't telling me about it. As I have said, I worry about your wellbeing and I want to make sure that you are okay. I'm your mother."
"And I am telling you everything is fine. Why can't you just take my word for it?"
"Because I know you are only saying it for the sake of keeping me off your back about it. Something is wrong, and you won't tell me."
I rolled my eyes. I put down my plate of lasagna onto the coffee table and stood up in annoyance, "nothing is wrong, end of story. Just leave me alone and stay off my back about it, okay?"
"Adrien--" My mom called out to me, but I ignored her and walked out of the living room and down the hall to my bedroom, slamming my door shut behind me.
The house was silent once Adrien and Meghan left. The house suddenly felt empty, like there was something missing. Back before they moved in and it was just my dad and me, it had always been quiet. For the eighteen years that I have lived in this house, I had been accustomed to silence. But I hated being alone; that was something I could never get used to. Because my dad was always so busy with work, I would often come home to a silent and empty house, and that always bugged me.
But when Adrien moved in with his mom, the silence and loneliness of coming home to an empty house every day vanished into thin air. Suddenly, Adrien and I were walking home together every day, and every day, we would be greeted by Meghan. She always made sure to say goodbye to us before we headed to school for the day, and she always greeted us the moment we got home. It had been nice to come home to a full house. Adrien and Meghan made living here all the brighter.
Now they were gone, and the house was lonely once again.
I loved my dad, I really did. He was the one who took care of me all these years when mom left us. He worked hard to make sure that I was cared for, and I would always admire that about him. Being a single dad was hard, and he was doing the best he could in our circumstance, but sometimes I wished he didn't have to work so much so that he could be home to greet me after a long day at school. So that he could attend my sports games. So that we could spend quality father-son time together. I just wanted him to be here more often.
I rested my cheek against the palm of my hand, elbow resting on the kitchen table. Meghan had left a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies for us, and they were sitting on the kitchen table. I snacked on a couple of them, while dad made us pizza for dinner. Well, it was a frozen pizza so all he had to do was put it in the oven.
"You alright, Preston?" Dad asked, his voice pulling me from my thoughts. I came back to my senses and instantly the smell of pizza assaulted my nose, and I realized that I had been fiddling with an uneaten cookie in my hand.
I released a heavy sigh, nodding my head as I removed my hand from my cheek, "yeah, just thinking."
"About what?" Dad hummed, looking at me curiously as he leaned against the kitchen counter. I shrugged.
"Nothing really," I said, dodging his question as I shifted the conversation, "Do you think I could invite over Joseph to hang out?"
"Hm? Oh, yeah, he can come over if he wants," Dad nodded, "are you sure you're okay? Wanna talk about it?"
"I'm fine dad, just missing Meghan and Adrien," I admitted with a sigh. Dad looked at me with an understanding look on his face.
"Yeah, I miss them too," He agreed, "are you and Adrien still not talking?"
I nodded my head, glancing down at the cookie in my hands. I broke it in half and ate one of the pieces as Dad spoke up again.
"Perhaps you should talk to him. If you miss him that much, it would be beneficial if you two talked it out," He said.
"Mmm...yeah, maybe," I sighed, nodding my head as I pulled out my phone to text Joseph. Dad smiled softly at me, and without another word, he walked over and patted me on the shoulder, before he went to feed Kodey.
Maybe Dad was right, that I should talk to Adrien about this, but a part of me was worried of the answer he might give me. Shutting the people out that hurt you just seemed easier because then there was less of a chance that they could hurt you even more. Cutting him out then and there when it all happened, made it easier to avoid any further heartbreak he might have given me.
I mean, that was the whole purpose of just hooking up with people rather than forming any kind of romantic relationship. It was just easier that way, because then I could avoid the heartbreak of romantic relationships altogether. What happened between Adrien and I was the reason I liked to avoid relationships. Anything was better than being alone, than having people leave you, so if I had to resort to hook-ups in order to prevent forming attachments, then I would do that.
It was just easier that way.
By the time Joseph came around, the two of us hung around in the living room, eating pizza and talking while my dad disappeared upstairs to his room, either to watch tv or paint. I sat on the couch, eating away at my two slices of pizza while listening to Joseph talk about his sister's wedding that he'll be attending this weekend.
I've met his older sister, Jordyn several times, as well as her fiancée Lacey. I remember them taking Joseph and I out once to the amusement park for his birthday one year when we were younger, and it was one of my favourite memories. They were definitely nice people and fun to hang around.
"I'm going to be so bored out of my mind," Joseph sighed, shaking his head as he took a bite of his pizza, eyes fixated on the video-game we were currently playing, "I mean, I love my sister don't get me wrong, but I'm not looking forward to attending a wedding all day."
"I'm sure it won't be that bad," I chuckled, "I don't think your sister would be the type to have a boring wedding."
"Maybe, but most of the people she invited are her friends and coworkers, so who the hell am I supposed to talk to the entire time?" He groaned.
I laughed, "it's only one day, you'll survive."
"Ugh, you're no help."
I smirked and nudged him in the arm with my elbow, "what can I say? I only speak the truth."
Joseph scoffed, shaking his head. He got his revenge on me by allowing me to get eaten alive by the zombies in our game, and when I turned to give him a dead stare, he was still fixated on the screen, but now with an amused smirk and a slice of pizza hanging from his mouth. I rolled my eyes with a chuckle and snatched the controller out of his hands, allowing him to successfully get killed by zombies as well.
"HEY! I almost complete the level you ass!" Joseph exclaimed, the pizza slice falling from his mouth and onto the plate on his lap. I laughed.
"Yeah? Should have thought about that when you decided to let me die."
"Not my fault you were being an ass."
"Righhhhhht," I chuckled. Joseph shook his head in feign disbelief, slumping back against the couch with a defeated sigh.
"You know...I've been thinking," Joseph trailed off, propping his legs up on the coffee table as he remained slumped against the couch. I set our controllers onto the coffee table by his feet, and then turned to him with a raised brow, noticing the sudden serious look on his face.
"Thinking about what?"
"About this whole thing with Adrien," Joseph said, making me tense up, "I just...when you first told me about Adrien kissing Carter, it angered me, because I couldn't believe Adrien would do something like that. It just didn't seem like something he would do so it caught me off guard. But now that I honestly think about it more...something doesn't seem right to me. You're miserable and when I see Adrien in the hall sometimes, he looks just as miserable. And do you know how many times I have to shut people up for gossiping about him? I just...I think maybe it would be beneficial if you talked to him."
I blinked, slightly taken aback by Joseph's sudden suggestion. I was honestly at a loss of words, not knowing how to reply. But maybe he was right. If my dad is telling me to talk to Adrien, and if Joseph is thinking the same thing, then maybe I should? I don't know...just thinking about facing him makes anxiety bubble in my chest.
"I don't know...it's hard to face him, ya know? I'm honestly a bit nervous to what he would even say," I murmured, frowning. Joseph released a heavy sigh, pulling himself up as he turned to face me.
"It's something to think about. I just think that you should. Our friend group has been torn apart and I dislike that everyone is on separate sides. Asher and Daniel completely avoid us now, Kourtney is on the fence cause she doesn't even know who's side to take, and Phoebe, well, I've never seen her so bitter before. Everyone is miserable and I don't like seeing our friend group torn apart like this. We were all so close," Joseph frowned.
"Yeah...you're right, I don't like that our friend group has been torn apart either," I sighed, nodding my head, "okay...at school on Monday, I'll talk to Adrien about this."
"Okay, great," Joseph nodded, "and you know that no matter what happens Preston, you know I'm always going to be here for you."
"I know," I smiled at him. Joseph returned the smile, and with that, the conversation was dropped and we got back to playing video-games, and enjoyed each other's company for the rest of the evening.