To Fight Back (gxg)

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Chapter 18

Me and Emory sat together on the couch, talking. She had her back against the armrest, knees pulled up to her chest, meanwhile I had one foot tucked underneath me and the other hanging over the side.

"So I guess I should start at the beginning," Emory says, wearing a slightly guilty expression which confused me, but I just nodded and waited for her to continue.

After a long sigh, she did. "Well for starters, I'm gay." I raise my eyebrows at that, but stay silent. "When I first met you, I thought you were cute, but I hadn't planned on doing anything about it, seeing no reason to. However, spending more time together and learning more about you gradually transitioned that attraction into a crush. I still wasn't going to pursue you though, because I wasn't sure if you'd like me back, but honestly I was worried because I got major player vibes from you."

I did end up laughing at that. "Then I learned you had a girlfriend, but that was only short-lived because... you know. But after seeing you all heartbroken, all I could think about was that I wanted to cheer you up, and that I'd do anything to accomplish that. It wasn't until I held you while you cried and told me your life story that I realized I liked you more than I thought I did."

She paused for a moment, resting her chin on her knees and looking down at her feet. "Even then, I didn't want to push myself on you because you're still recovering from a fresh relationship. But as I was looking up at you I was so lost in my thoughts I didn't even comprehend what I had asked and by the time you kissed me I didn't care."

She looked up at me with such sad, regretful eyes I almost teared up. Almost. "I'm so sorry for doing that. It was wrong of me to put you in that position, and I wasn't thinking straight when I did it. I just want you to know that you don't have to reciprocate my feelings and I'll never do anything like that again. I don't want things to be awkward between us because I really care about you and I don't want to lose you as a friend, so if you can just overlook th-"

I cut her off by placing a hand on her knee and looking her straight in the eyes. "Emory," I say softly. "Don't feel bad about what happened. I'm just as much at fault as you are."

She grabs my hand with hers and straightens her back. "But it's not, you did nothing wrong! It was me who-"

"Emory! Let me speak," I chide in a sterner voice. She relaxes again and frowns at me. "I kissed you back as well, you didn't do anything against my will so stop acting like you did. Yes, I have open wounds from my recent breakup, but you helped heal them considerably. And in case it isn't obvious, I like you too. I think I have for a while now. That's why I acted like I did when you came into the bathroom earlier."

Her eyes widen as she attempts to unsuccessfully hide a smile. "You like me too?"

I give her a small smile and a nod, "Yeah, I do."

She lets her grin get the best of her as she looks down at my hand while playing with my fingers in a rather childish, but cute way.

"Can I just ask one thing?" I query after a moment.

"Hmm?" She hums, looking up again.

"Since it's been settled that we both have romantic feelings for each other, I'd rather us not just ignore them and stay purely platonic friends. But if we do take the road to being something more, I'd like to take it slow. I don't think I'm ready to be official quite yet."

"Oh, no no. Of course. I don't want to pressure you in any way. Even if you don't want a relationship at all, I'm okay with anything you feel comfortable with," she quickly reassures me.

Now it's my turn to look down at our hands. "I think I do. Want a relationship, that is. Eventually."

I glance up to see her smiling warmly at me. "I'm okay with that. Take your time, there's no need to rush things."

With that, I pull her into a hug, holding onto her tightly. "How did I get so lucky with you. You're too sweet," I comment but she only laughs as she peacefully rests her head on my shoulder.

I know it's not going to be easy to completely get over Layla. I mean, she was the love of my life. I still have love for her. It's going to be very difficult to see her in school and around my friends.

Not to mention because of her I beat up my brother, which means I have to deal with the wrath of my parents for harming their precious little angel. Knowing them, they'll probably pick me up from school tomorrow to give me my punishment. I couldn't even go to the diner today because they all know where I work.

But there's no use continuing to avoid the inevitable, so whatever happens, happens. I'm still not going home though because that'll just ensure my demise. But if they find me, I'll deal with them then.

Though I'm considerably less scared of them now than I was this morning, because now I have Emory by my side. I know I'll be able to get through anything as long as she's with me, so I'm prepared. Well, mostly. I'm still very worried but who wouldn't be.

At least I have Emory to turn to when things get rough, just as she has me.

Actually, that reminds me of something.

"Hey," I whisper. Emory hums in response, eyes closed as she comfortably rests in my arms. "Last night, when I mentioned Blaire. You got all restless and ditched me. Why?"

She tenses up. "I-I... You really wanna know?" She stammers, probably hoping I'll let it go.

"Yeah. I want to know why it makes you so sad. Just like how you wanted to know why I was so tore up about Layla. I care about you." I squeeze her tighter, trying to telepathically reassure her that my intentions are true and she can trust me with this bit of information.

Apparently it works, because she starts mumbling against my shoulder, but loud enough that I can hear. "It's not Blaire that makes me sad, but the memories the school brings when it's mentioned. When I found out I was accepted into the school I was so happy, and my family was so proud of me. It was amazing. Until I actually started classes there.

As a kid, I was always a little overweight, but at public school it wasn't too uncommon so no one really said anything about it. But the standards at Blaire were so high because everyone was supposed to be perfect, that I was immediately judged for it. I started getting bullied. They would call me names, push me around, play pranks on me. I never told anyone because I was too embarrassed.

Once I graduated, I made a resolution that I would get fit and I wouldn't let anyone bother me again, because what they thought didn't matter to me anymore. And I did. I started working out, eating healthier and I stopped caring about what people said about me. It made a world of a difference, now I'm cheerful and not depressed and I can actually live how I want to.

My life now is great, not to boast, but I really don't have any complaints. But every time someone mentions Blaire or my high school years, it brings me back and I usually don't handle it well, hence me needing some space last night. I took a breather outside for a while, but when I came back in I couldn't find you. Until I saw you in the backyard of course. I'm sorry for that, by the way."

I gently draw circles on her back to comfort her. "No need to be sorry. If anything, I'm sorry for not realizing it was a sore topic at the time. I'm glad you're happy now, but even so, I just want to say that you're perfect the way you are, and those bullies were small minded idiots who were too blind to see the wonderful person that you are."

She giggles and pulls away to make eye contact. "Thank you. That means a lot," she says before cuddling into me again.

I catch the time on the microwave out of the corner of my eye, and raise my eyebrows in surprise. It's a quarter till twelve. Come to think of it, I am getting a little drowsy.

"We should head to bed. It's pretty late, and I have school tomorrow," I say.

Emory sighs against me, but gets up, taking my hand to help me as well. "Yeah."

We walk hand in hand back to her bedroom. She changes out of her clothes and into an oversized t-shirt, while I just abandon my outfit altogether. I feel no shame when I ogle her gorgeous body and apparently neither does she because she stares me down until we finish brushing our teeth and get in bed.

We wrap our arms and legs around each other, and I fall asleep to the notion that everything will be okay. Maybe not now, or soon, but it will.

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Author's Note: Sorry for the short update, but I hope you guys like it!

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