It seemed William was right. He’d already begun to latch on to Oliver Emerson again. Idiot. He was a total idiot. Dinner on Friday? Really? Was he that determined to fall gullible to Oliver’s incessant pleads for forgiveness? Was he that eager to simply spend time with the kid again? His head was screaming at him, incessantly, asking him the same question over and over again, wondering why the hell he’d said okay, why the hell he’d agreed to a good, old-fashioned dinner, a sit down, with Oliver Emerson and his religiously immoral parents. What the literal fuck had he gotten himself into?
He’d let his heart get the better of him.
Why had he allowed that to happen? He despised it.
And by “it” he meant everything.
He hated that Oliver’s presence in his life again was like a punch to the gut one minute, and a gentle embrace the next. He hated that whenever Oliver spoke to him, Will just wanted to slap him, shove him away, knock him down, make him fall roughly onto the harsh, tile floor of the school’s hallways - but he also wanted to lean forward and place a palm on one of his smooth cheeks, caress small circles into the back of his hand as it grasped his own, look into his eyes and then slowly allow his line of sight to drop to Oliver’s lips before he would lean forward and – fuck! He was ridiculous!
What, was he twelve? Daydreaming about kissing Oliver, holding his hand, smiling up into those adorably green eyes – shit. It had to stop.
William couldn’t. He knew what would happen if he did. His heart would split into more tiny fragments, and it would be impossible to glue it back together again.
Get it together Will, he told himself, because the truth of the matter is: you can’t be crushing on a heterosexual boy, with overbearingly religious parents. You can’t.
William growled quietly to himself as he stomped his feet against the concrete sidewalk, angrily heading home, ignoring the fact that his heart didn’t seem to be listening.
“Uncle Stan, I’m home,” Will called out, exhausted after a day of rather ridiculous group projects at school, ones that included doubling up with a buddy for fun “brain breaks” and “mind-relaxing activities”.
Luckily, there was an odd number of students in the class, and Will got to be the only individual without another moronic human glued to his side. In the end, it didn’t matter anyway, as William just decided to ask for a bathroom pass, of which he took full advantage, sprinting from the noisy room and towards the toilets, yanking his phone out along the way and spending the rest of his final period playing Tetris whilst sitting atop one of the bathroom sinks.
“Twink!” His uncle shouted back as a greeting before Will heard an erratic movement of couch cushions, “Bring me a beer, wouldya?”
William sighed, dropped his backpack where he left his shoes, and padded his way across the carpet of the inhumanly small, dining room, and onto the cold tile floor of the kitchen.
As he yanked open the refrigerator, he could hear Stan in the living room, placing his feet atop the small coffee table in front of their old television set and flipping through each channel with scoffs of disgust and groans of dismissal. Will swallowed nervously, grasping a cold beer in his hand before shutting the small fridge with his foot, clicking the bottle open on the side of the counter, and slowly striding across the kitchen and into the living room, glancing briefly at his uncle as he held out the beverage for him.
Just as William went to turn away, Stan cleared his throat distractedly, “Look at ’em, Liam.”
Will hadn’t heard that nickname from him in a long time. It was a name Stan had always called him, back when his wife was still alive, and before he had become an alcoholic drug addict.
“Look at those fuckers,” Stan spat, dropping his feet from the table and slamming them loudly on the floor beneath him, “So stupid. So blind, so naive. Complete dumbasses.”
Stan was pointing to a couple on the TV screen, a brown haired woman passionately kissing a blonde man, their eyes shut tight, their bodies craving each other’s touch.
“Why?” William managed to murmur, softly and without enthusiasm, though he was genuinely eager as to what his uncle was on about.
“Chasing love is a pointless endeavor. It ain’t never gonna get you nowhere,” William’s uncle snapped, standing from the couch as quickly as he could in his tipsy state, and snatching the beer bottle from Will’s hand, “It always ends in fucking pieces. Every time.”
Will stared at Stan with narrowed eyes, watching as his uncle’s harsh scowl dropped into a state of bland, careless emotion. With one rather wonky motion, the older man turned to his nephew, features firm and unforgiving, and placed a rough hand on Will’s bony shoulder. “Word to the wise, William,” Stanley warned in a low voice, his eyes flaring with caution, “you’d better destroy love before it destroys you. Understand?”
William couldn’t move; the hand on his shoulder had begun to grip him tighter, and soon his arm fell numb, his skin burning under his uncle’s violent touch.
“I-” He swallowed, unable to get his confirmation out to the man glaring at him, of whom was expecting a quick and satisfying answer, expression dark, like a predator hidden in the depths of the forest, just waiting for the right moment to pounce.
And pounce he did, as William felt a strong hand come slamming down across the side of his cheek, slapping the entirety of his head to the side, causing him to stumble over his own two feet.
“Do you understand, Twink?” Stan snarled, angrily holding his palm up beside him, the threat of another strike tainting the air, and the entirety of William’s body quickly took note of such a warning.
He nodded his head, “Yes.”
“What?” His uncle spat, stepping closer.
Will stumbled backwards, palms raised in self-preservation, before he hurriedly snapped back, voice louder this time, stronger, “Yes, I understand!”
That seemed to satisfy the horrid man standing before him, and soon Stan was smirking, taking a sip of the sickening liquid in his hand, and making his way back to his favorite spot on the couch.
“Good, Twink. Good,” He chuckled, leaning forward to yank a cigarette out of its cardboard casing, lighting it with the lighter he always kept close to him, tucked in the back pocket of the blue jeans he wore daily. “Thanks for the beer.”
William scoffed, Oliver’s words on replay in his head.
You and your family. Well, he wouldn’t be inviting Stan.