33. CONFRONTATIONAL CHAOS
My mind continues to wander endlessly as I lay in my bed with the window open. I try to tell myself that I’m not bothered about the current situation but I soon realise that my own thoughts are betraying me and my emotions are the only honest factor. And once again, I remind myself that Ace doesn’t owe me an explanation and if anything, it’s my own fault for having these feelings when I’ve been warned not to.
Occasionally, the chilly breeze drifts through my window and I inhale the fresh air, trying to clear my mind but it’s not working. After what feels like hours of lying on my bed, staring into the distance, I finally switch my lamp on that’s beside my bed and pull out my journal.
It’s been so long since I have written a journal entry. Years.
I put pen to paper and it feels like I’ve never stopped. My thoughts flowing out of me like tears that have been held back until their breaking point. I try to be honest as possible with myself but I can’t seem to admit how deep my feelings for Ace go, because when I do, I will be vulnerable and we can’t have that. I can’t be weak.
Sometime in the early hours of the morning when I’m in the darkness again, I assume it’s around three, but I don’t bother checking my phone, I hear Ace’s bike pull up. I find myself pathetically hoping he would come to my room and explain everything but I know it’s only wishful thinking.
I hear footsteps on the steps, but after a few minutes the silence creeps in and I swear I’m hallucinating.
I don’t sleep for the rest of the morning, I lay awake for hours. I hear Liv get up and get ready for her classes and then I hear Zach singing in the shower, something he does regularly I noticed.
I finally get out of bed when I’m sure everyone has gone, especially Ace. I spend the day doing chores and catching up on class readings. The last thing I want to do is attend my classes when I can’t even think properly.
In the afternoon I’m watching a movie, more like staring at the screen letting my mind skim over the last couple of months when I hear a knock at the front door.
“Hey! I looked for you on campus, but you weren’t there,” Asher says when I open the door.
“Yeah, I wasn’t feeling too well this morning,” I tell him and he nods, giving me a glance over, taking in my appearance, “I’m fine, just a headache,” I quickly add not wanting him to worry about me.
“I’ve been getting things ready for the camping trip,” he finally says, excitement peeking through his voice. “Come, I want to show you something,” he motions me outside and I follow him.
When I step out onto the porch, I realise he drove here because his ute is on the grass. On the roof of his car is a large tent and my eyes widen. I don’t think he drove here with the tent on the roof so how long has he been out the front setting this up just to show me?
There’s a ladder from the ground that leads up to the top and Asher eagerly climbs up. He shoves his head through the small window opening of the tent on the side, “What do you think?” he asks, looking down at me, grinning.
What I think? Well, Asher, I thought you were going to have a separate tent but here you are. I don’t say that though because he looks too happy and I don’t want to ruin that.
“It looks big enough for the three of us,” I tell him, giving him a small smile. I do appreciate his efforts.
“The three of us?” he asks, his eyebrows furrowing in confusion.
“Oh… yeah,” he says, his face sinking a little.
“Did you ask any of your friends if they wanted to come?”
“Yeah, they’re coming.”
He steps on the ladder and begins descending. Everything happens too quickly, he misses a step and tumbles down on the ground, hitting his head on a rock that’s protruding from the grass.
“Asher!” I cry out, rushing to his side, “Oh my god!! Are you alright?!” I kneel beside him and my eyes travel to the gash on his head.
“Fuck,” he grumbles, his hand shoots up to his head and he rubs it. The blood transferring onto his hand.
“Let’s get you inside,” I tell him and help him up.
I lead him to the couch, “Sit, don’t move. I’ll get you something to clean it up so we can see how bad it is.”
He groans and I go get a washcloth from the kitchen, dampening it under lukewarm water.
I stand in front of Asher and very lightly place the washcloth to his forehead where the blood is pouring out from. I’ve never been affected by the sight of blood, but this is too much, I can’t get it to stop to see how deep the cut is and that’s a very good indicator that he needs stitches.
He seems to be going a little pale too. I open my mouth to tell Asher that I’m taking him to the hospital, but I freeze when his hands are on my waist. Before I even have the time to assess the situation, I hear an angry voice behind me.
“What the fuck is this?”
My head snaps to the door. Of course, who else could it be? Perfect timing.
“Ace,” I sigh. His eyes are on Asher’s hands which by the way, are still on my waist. Does he have a death wish because it sure seems like it, I quickly move them off me and step back a little, still managing to hold the washcloth to his forehead.
“Calla,” Ace almost growls my name and walks closer towards me, “What the fuck is this?” he repeats his question. He can’t be serious, I don’t owe him an explanation just like he doesn’t owe me one.
“I was just showing Calla our tent,” Asher says proudly and I want to slap him. I don’t want to deal with this right now.
Ace’s jaw stiffens and if that’s not enough Asher adds, “For the camping trip that we’re going on this weekend.”
I quickly take Asher’s hand and place it on his forehead so he is keeping the pressure on his wound before turning around to face Ace.
“The fuck you are,” Ace says and he’s directly in front of Asher now.
Asher stands up and sways a little to the side, I really need to take him to the hospital before he passes out from the blood loss, “Ash-,” I begin but he interrupts.
“What’s your problem?” Asher asks Ace, stepping closer towards him. This can’t be happening right now.
“Asher, we need to go to the hospital,” I say placing a hand on his chest to move him back, away from Ace.
“No, Calla. I’m getting real sick of this dickhead thinking he owns you or something.”
“You want to know my problem? You’re my problem,” Ace says, towering over Asher, his hands balling into fists at his side. Shit. This is not good. Where are Zach and Liv when you need them?
“Ace stop,” I tell him and his eyes flicker to me for a second before glaring back at Asher. “You have no right to tell me who I can and can’t spend my time with.”
This gets his attention, “Calla,” he says, his eyes softening, obviously remembering last night.
“No, don’t Calla me. I don’t tell you who you can spend ungodly hours of the night with,” I snap.
“I can explain,” he says frustrated.
“I’m sure you can but I don’t have time for it. I need to take Asher to the hospital.”
“I’m fine,” Asher objects, clearly wanting to hear what’s going on between us.
“He’s fine, it’s just a scratch. If he wants something to go to the hospital about, I’ll give him a broken fucking nose,” Ace says smirking.
“You want to sort this out right now?” Asher asks him, throwing the bloody washcloth onto the ground.
“Asher let’s go,” I tell him, looking at his head which still hasn’t stopped bleeding. I’m desperately trying to diffuse the situation but neither of them is making this easy for me. They are both acting like children.
“No, Calla. I’m a little rusty but I’m sure I can handle this fuckwit,” his eyes on Ace and I realise he doesn’t know that Ace could reconstruct his whole face with one hit. It wouldn’t even be a fight. Ace knows this too and he laughs.
“Asher! That’s enough, let’s go,” I raise my voice and he looks at me wide-eyed with blood running down his face.
I have never raised my voice at him before but he’s really starting to do my head in. This whole scene has given me a piercing headache and I rub my temple trying to soothe the pain.
“Can you help me? I think I’m feeling a little light-headed,” Asher finally tells me and he does look pale. I sigh and place my arm around his waist and he throws a hand over my shoulders.
“You can’t be fucking serious?” Ace asks in disbelief.
“Ace, don’t,” I say with finality ringing through my voice and I swear Asher turns to grin at him. I quickly rush him outside and towards my car before something bad happens. I’m surprised Ace managed to keep his temper intact for the last five minutes.
“What the hell was that? Are you trying to cause a fight?” I ask Asher when I get into the driver’s seat and start my car.
“Calla, I really don’t like him. There’s something off about him,” Asher tells me, looking straight ahead.
“I’m sure he thinks the same about you.”
He goes quiet for a while and I’m grateful for the silence. It’s not until I pull up at the old hospital building when he speaks again.
“So what? Are you two fucking or something?”
I shoot him a look, narrowing my eyes, knowing that I’m not going to be having this conversation with Asher, my ex, “No.”
Only if he knew.
Asher does end up having to get stitches and I sit with him. He takes my hand in his when the doctor begins and I let him. He runs his thumb over the back of my hand but doesn’t flinch when the needle goes into his flesh.
The doctor says that Asher might be a little delirious from the injury and the medication but he should be back to his usual self tomorrow.
Luckily, he lives with roommates so he has someone to keep an eye on him tonight. He gives me directions to the house and I end up taking a few wrong turns because Asher is a little high on medication.
When I finally pull up in front of the small building, Asher turns to me, “I love you, Calla.”
Oh please no. I can’t take anything else tonight and my head is spinning knowing that Ace will be waiting for me when I get back.
“I think you hit your head pretty hard, we will talk about this tomorrow when you’re feeling better,” I tell him, hoping that he forgets this conversation by tomorrow.
“I’m serious. I’m in love you with you. I’m a fucking idiot for breaking up with you.”
I stare at him, his eyes are filled with sincerity but I really hope it’s the drugs. I’m unsure what to say. If he told me this two months ago then things may have turned out differently but the truth is, I don’t feel anything for Asher anymore. I care about him but that’s not the same, far from it.
“Asher, please. Can we just talk about this tomorrow?” I ask and place my head in my hand.
“Please, Asher. Tomorrow.”