“STOP!” Liam shouted from the back of Jordan’s car. He pulled on the brakes immediately and everyone jolted forward as the wheels screeched against the floor and the car came to an abrupt stop. Other cars honked their horns as they passed by with angry faces and one of them even flipped Jordan the bird.
“What the fuck Liam?” Jordan shouted.
Liam opened the door and stepped onto the side of the road, he placed two hands behind his head and turned away from the car. I could only speak for myself but my heart rate had increased to dangerous standards. First of all, Liam had startled me just as I was drifting asleep. Second, Jordan slamming on the breaks made me think we were in a car accident.
“What the fuck?” Jordan repeated.
I rubbed my tired eyes and glanced out of the window. Liam was still facing away from us.
“I think he was asleep.” I informed the car. I unbuckled my belt and stepped out, approaching Liam with carefulness.
“Liam?” I asked timidly.
“I’m fine.” He replied, I could see now that his chest was heaving up and down as he tried to steady his breaths. “I fell asleep.” He added, confirming my suspicion. Slowly I reached up and took hold of his hand.
“It wasn’t real.” I told him and he nodded his head. “Come on.” Gently I took him back to the car, I slipped in first next to Lola and Liam sat on the end. Jordan didn’t say anything, he just started the car back up and focused on the road ahead.
It wasn’t long before Jordan had parked up at some cliff side grassy verge, it had beautiful views but there was literally nothing here. Zak who had been following behind us pulled up along side the car and the guys looked happy with the spot chosen for this years camping trip, the girls however looked around in dismay.
“Uhh... there’s nothing here.” Tia pointed out.
“Exactly Tia, camping is all about getting lost. Now hand over your phones.” Jordan held his hand out and the guys all started handing over their phones. Tia, Lola and I screwed our faces up even worse, making no attempts to abide by Jordan’s order.
“So where we do we use the bathroom?” I asked, Liam laughed behind his hand and it was the sweetest sound that truly melted me like butter.
“I’m gonna need an outlet for my straighteners.” Lola informed everyone. “and my phone will need charging, it’s only on eight percent.” She looked down at her phone longingly as if she knew there was no hope of getting electric for her appliances.
“Why did we invite them again?” Zak teased.
Jordan yanked Lola’s phone right out of her hand and then waved his hand in front of Tia and I, reluctantly we handed them over. It took us about an hour to set the tents up and get the fire going, I sat around the campfire telling myself that I didn’t need the toilet, that my full bladder was all in my mind psychologically because I knew I would have to squat somewhere in a bush and that didn’t appeal to me in the slightest.
“Hey you warm enough?” Liam sat beside me and cuddled into me, moving his hand up and down my arm to give me some of his warmth. I smiled at him sweetly.
“Yeah the fire gives off a lot of heat.” I was sweating from the pelvic floor exercises that I was currently doing but I wasn’t going to tell him that. Holding onto your pee certainly was living on the dangerous side of life.
“Right! I need the toilet.” Lola spoke my secret thoughts.
“Me too” Tia chimed in.
“You’re going to pee together?” Ben asked pulling a disgusted face.
“It’s dark in the woods now, I’m not going alone. Liv you coming?” Tia asked. I shook my head firmly.
“I can hold on for another hour.” I said confidently although I had my doubts. I watched them walk into the distance and I felt jealous that they were confident enough to empty their bladder.
“Why didn’t you invite your girl Zak, not hiding her away from us are you?” Jordan teased.
There was an orange glow on Zaks face from the fire and for some reason the smile dropped from lips and he looked incredibly nervous.
“No.” He said with a fake smile. “I didn’t ask her to come because...” He exhaled the air from his lungs and gulped “her name is Noah and she is... not a she.” He bit down into his lower lip and waited.
Jordan, Ben and Liam all burst out laughing uncontrollably and Zaks eyebrow frowned. I could see that they thought he was joking, they just didn’t assess the nervousness on his face or feel the tense atmosphere. I needed to say something.
“That’s great Zak, I’m really pleased you found someone that makes you happy.” I interrupted, hoping my words would pull them out of the laughter and make them notice this wasn’t a joke. Except they only laughed harder believing I had fallen for one of Zaks pranks.
Zaks eyes flicked over to me for one second and he offered me the smallest of smiles. “Thanks Olivia.” He said coyly. It was clear he wasn’t really interested in my reaction, in this situation he only cared about the opinions of his life long friends, that’s all that mattered to him.
I swatted Liam on the chest and he looked at me with confusion. I nodded my head towards Zak and Liam followed the direction with his own eyes, within seconds his laughter stopped.
“Wait, you’re not joking?” Liam asked, causing Ben and Jordan to stop laughing too.
Zak shook his head, all eyes were pointed at him now.
“I think... no... I know... that uhm... I’m... gay.” He breathed, like all of this time he was holding his breath. His friends just stared at him with mega confused faces. Trying to absorb his news. Their lips all soundlessly moved as if attempting to piece together some words but nothing came out. Minutes past by without anybody saying a word and I could see by the expression on zaks face that he was starting to lose hope. Then finally Liam spoke up.
“I realize that we just reacted to that really badly.” he admitted. “I’m so sorry, we literally had no clue, we thought you were joking. But you know whoever makes you happy...makes us happy, right?”
“Wait, so how long have you known? Because besides Liam who obviously had his reasons, you’re the biggest womanizer of the group!” Jordan asked, he seemed very intrigued by this.
“You don’t look gay.” Ben pointed out, earning so many disproving stares.
“Ben, gay doesn’t have a look. I don’t know how long. I think a part of me has always known and that’s why I was never content with girls. Or that’s why I went with so many of them, because I was trying to deny to myself who I was. It was only really when I started college I couldn’t deny it anymore. I tried to, so badly but then I met Noah and I fell in love. Me accepting myself is all very recent.” Zak opened up.
“Shit man, proud of you.” Jordan said.
“Me too.” Liam and Ben said in unison.
“I actually tried to tell you all so many times. Olivia, you were the first one I tried to tell. In the closet during that seven minutes in heaven game but I just thought that was too corny coming out of the closet while I was standing in the closet. Anyway, I’m glad I didn’t do that since you went ahead and told everyone my other secret.”
“I wouldn’t have told anyone that!” I defended.
“I almost told Liam and Ben on the beach the night of Liams celebration party and then I tried to tell you all when we were at Jordan’s but I just couldn’t.”
Tia and Lola came stumbling back with flashlights pointed in our direction, they took their seats around the campfire and then assessed the atmosphere.
“What did we miss?” Lola asked carefully.
“Zaks gay.” Jordan announced.
“Fuck sake! That’s disappointing.” Lola complained.
“Oh that’s great Zak, good for you.” Tia said nonchalantly.
A pleasant quietness fell around the circle, Zak smiled sweetly to himself like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders, the other guys looked to be deep in thought, still processing his news and I was still clutching onto my bladder with every ounce of strength I possessed.
“So out of interest, if you had to pick - and you do... which one of us would you rather fuck?”
“Jordan!” The whole group shouted.
Zak rolled his eyes and laughed “I would rather cut off my left testicle and eat it than fuck any of you.