( A night with my best friend 🛌)
✍️ Chapter Ten✍️
“What? Really? How?” I asked, genuinely interested at that moment.
At this point we had reached the superstore and we were trudging up the drinks isle.
“Well, a few months ago, I found myself in a sticky situation. It was messy—I’ll just spare you the gory details. Anyway, so I’m laying half unconscious on the ground, at this point I’m ready to welcome death when I feel a weight being lifted off me.” He frowns at the branded alcohol in front of him, but I could tell he was frowning at the memory.
“I look up, and I see this kid, fighting my attackers, for a moment everything is hazy but I could tell by the way this kid was going, my attackers seemed to hesitate. It was after he beaten down one of them unconscious that they finally retreated and left…” He continued.
The usual Goosebumps appeared in the surface of my skin whenever I hear about Kyle’s uncanny habit. Stories of how deadly he was whenever provoked always found their way to my ears and every time a shudder would consume me. It was hard to believe that my best friend—the sweet boy who would hold me and compose me whenever one
I frown at the drinks in front of me too.
“…it was before I became unconscious and before the ambulance took me to the hospital, when I learned the kid’s identity,” James continued, he took a few bottles in the process.
“Kyle Reyes…I saw him again in the morning and we talked about the situation. He joked about it, made it seem it wasn’t a big deal that he practically saved me from death. He made me laugh and since then I vowed that whatever I could do to repay him for saving my life, I will gladly do it for him.” James stared at me for a moment, but I could tell that he was deep in his own thoughts.
Little did he know that I was deep in my own thoughts too.
Kyle saved James’s life? I was thinking. Typical of him.
A proud wave washed over me at the thought. That was Kyle for you, although I fully disapproved of his tendency to get involved in fights, I knew that whatever he did, it was for his own purpose. I’ve learned to live with it, part being ignorant of that side of Kyle.
“I’m not surprised,” I tell him. “It’s something that Kyle would do.”
He was blinking vivaciously at that moment as if remembering I
“Yeah,” He laughed, shaking his head as if remembering something. “He’s a genius too and damn, can he hold his drink. He’s sort of a walking legend amongst the parties I’ve invited him over to.”
I frowned at that. The thought of Kyle being friends with other people and not telling me about it sort of hurt. But then again he was friends with quite a lot of people so I needed not to know the list. However this was different. Here was James, whom he saved his life and he failed to tell me about it.
I shook my head at the thought and concentrated on filling the basket in my hands with drinks. When it was enough, James led the way to cashier.
“So is he coming?” James asked five minutes later whilst packing the drinks.
I stared at him confused by his question.
“Kyle?” he was hiding his amusement. “Is he coming to the party tomorrow?”
For that moment I wanted to comment on why he was asking me, since he mentioned that Kyle was a walking legend in the parties they attended. However, I figured since he now perceived Kyle and I as “Best Buds” he would assume I would invite him.
I shrugged. “I don’t know. I mean I told him about it, but it’s not in my power in initiate the invite.”
James only chuckled, shaking his head. “I’ll ask him…unless you don’t want him there.” he hesitated as he said the last part.
I frowned. “Why would I not want him there?” I asked, trying to hide my vexed tone.
James looked at me warily as he brought out his cash to pay for the drinks. “Right-right.” He shook his head and a small smile was forming in his delicate but manly features again.
I was starting to think “Right-right” was his favourite phrase.
Taking the purchased goods in our hands, we then surged forward to the exit of the superstore where we started following the path to his car.
It was starting to get late and the time suggested that maybe everyone was back to the apartment with their own purchased goods.
When we got to the car, I could feel James’s eyes on me as I helped him pack the stuff in the backseat but I ignored his suggestive stares and got inside the passenger seat.
This time the journey was slightly silent, only the music blaring on the radio seemed to save the awkwardness. I couldn’t ignore that there was a thick tension lying between the air. It was obvious—to me—I found him attractive but like a great actress that I was not, I managed to conceal this attraction from him. He did not help, however, as he continued gazing at me back and forth throughout the ride.
But as I was assessing this situation with him, I couldn’t help but get lost in my own thoughts. I was digesting what he had revealed to me about Kyle and as much as I tried, I couldn’t help but compare the feelings I felt for my best friend and James.
Whilst my attraction to Kyle was sudden, unexpected and unwanted, considering our friendship. With James it felt kindled, soft and safe. It was the same feeling I had felt for my ex-boyfriend, Max. Although I tried not to rehash that relationship because of his infidelity, I couldn’t help it because Max had been part of my life. He was first ever boyfriend and while I did share my first make-out session with him, I hadn’t really love him. I was yet to experience true love.
I didn’t realise we already made it to the apartment until the car stopped, parking right behind my car.
“We possibly can’t get the drinks in all at once.” I commented as we both got out to open the boot of his car.
“I’ll call Ryland to tell them we’re outside and need all the hands to help us carry this shitload.” He smirked.
I shrugged and watched him as he proceeded into doing just that.
Five minutes later, Ryland and Sav stepped out of the apartment and headed over to us.
Nothing looked amiss, amongst them, no dishevelled appearance to indicate what they’ve been doing for the last hour but as Sav got closer. The look and grin on her face told me everything.
I narrowed my eyes at her as she approached me.
“Oh look at a whore right here!” I hissed for her ears only.
“Oh, c’mon you’d have done the same too.” She grinned at me.
“No Sav, that’s where you’re wrong,” I told her, my disapproving stare still on my face.
She rolled her eyes. “Stop looking at me like that.”
“I really can’t believe you.” I folded my arms to my chest.
“Girls, less chat more lifting please.” Ryland commented in a grunt as he grabbed hold of some beer packs and sodas.
Sav moved to get some few bottles and I followed her with my unrelenting disapproval look.
“Keya! Stop it!” She hissed. “I hate to break that look on your face but nothing happened okay! We didn’t do what you thought we did.”
Taking some few packs and bottles, eight hands still wasn’t enough to carry everything but at this point, Sally and Sam were back, so Sam got the rest whilst Sally carried the easy plastic plates and cups.
I walked in step with Sav whilst the guys were in front of us.
“Explain.” I commanded her because I didn’t get what she meant.
“We didn’t have sex contrary to what you thought we did.” She told me.
The relieved sigh I let out was evident.
“What did you do then?” I asked.
“Other things.” A blush surfaced upon her cheeks and I fought to gag at the dreamy look she gave to Ryland’s back.
“Ugh, that’s even worse.”
“For a virgin, Key, you sometime have a dirty mind. That’s not what I meant,” She laughed. “We simply just talked, made out here and there and talked some more.”
I narrowed my eyes at her. “I am not dirty minded, your insinuations lead me to think the worse of you. Plus, I know you Sav, and quite frankly I’m finding it hard to believe you’ve been all innocent while we were gone.”
I knew she wasn’t going to elaborate more on the matter, I could tell by her secretive smile, so I let the issue slide away for that moment.
Once inside the apartment, all the purchased stuff where deposited in the kitchen. Whilst the rest of the crew assembled to the living area, Sav held me behind for a moment.
“Okay, you have to tell me what happened between you and James.” She inquired with curiosity.
I frowned. “Nothing happened. Why do you ask?”
“I’m not an idiot Key, why does he keep on staring at you? And why do you tense up whenever he approaches or talk, you weren’t like that before you left.”
I shrugged. I bit my lip as I contemplated whether to tell her I liked him. But knowing how she will react, I decided against it.
She frowned at my reaction. “Did he…” She hesitated. “Did he do somethi—?”
“No! God, no!” I cut her off because I knew where she was headed.
Sav was tenacious, that I knew of. She wasn’t going to rest until I told her.
“Nothing.” I insisted, because to tell Sav that I did find him attractive, she would not rest until she made sure advances towards him were made, whether inappropriate or embarrassing, it didn’t matter, unless in the end I got what I wanted or what she thought I wanted…a relationship with James.
She narrowed her eyes suspiciously and I could tell she was contemplating whether to let the issue go or keep questioning me, but, before she could open her mouth for her next sentence, I was saved from whatever it was she was going to inquire from me when my phone blasted beneath the pockets of my jeans.
The ringtone was familiar and I dug my phone out instantly, using the opportunity to get rid of Sav.
Kyle’s face popped up in my screen before I answered.
“Hey, what’s up?”
My greeting was followed by heavy breathing on the other line and from his next breathless word I could tell he’d been running.
“Keya?” Kyle answered me. It was that one breathless word that tore me up into shattering pieces. The tone itself was that I knew well. It was a voice of a broken record, sharp and tearing. The disparity and desperation was evident too. The voice wrought me to my sense. It beckoned me, it was seeking me, troubled as it was, I’ve heard that tone of voice from him before and like before I knew very well that I had to leave immediately. I knew I had to find him because he needed me.
Wherever he was, he was breaking.
✍️ Chapter Eleven✍️
“Where are you?” I asked him immediately after answering the phone, at this point I was already moving away from the kitchen to the hallway.
“Home.” Kyle spoke again in that lost tone. I was concentrating on him and leaving the apartment that I didn’t realise Sav had took grab hold of my hand to slow me down.
“Stay right there. I’ll be there in ten minutes.” I told him.
I was reluctant to cut the call but I knew I had to.
“Who was that?” Sav asked me. “What happened? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.”
I shook my head, desperately trying to free myself from her hold.
“I gotta go. I’m sorry, I’ll call or text you later.” I promised.
The worried look on her face was going to haunt me until I called or texted her but with a grudging effort she let me go. I was glad at that moment that the kitchen wasn’t connected with the living area so I didn’t have to pass by it to say my farewells to everyone.
“Just tell the others that I had an emergency.” I called out to her before opening the main door and exiting the apartment.
I couldn’t think of anything but Kyle at that moment as I dashed down the stairs and practically hauled myself into my car as I reached it.
The fact that this had happened before prepared me for the outcome. In fact, it seemed to be forming a pattern; every three or four months and each time Kyle was unpredictable with the actions he took.
So with that in mind, I stepped on the gas, getting hooted off by angry drivers as I swerved past them to the direction of Kyle’s house.
In precisely ten minutes I was pulling over Kyle’s father’s house, I managed to park behind Kyle’s own car—he had managed to buy without the help of that pompous ãss.
I dashed out of my car, locking it briefly before sauntering to the direction of the entrance. Just as I turned around the corner, I stopped suddenly at the heart-wrenching sight before me.
Kyle was sitting on front porch; he had his head between his knees, one hand fisted on his mass of sandy brown hair as the other hand scribbled vigorously on the porch. If you didn’t know him, you’d think that he was just mindlessly doodling on the pavement but I knew him. I knew what had happened.
I ran up to him and sat before him. I took hold of his hands and tried to pry his distant eyes away from his thoughts so that he would look at me.
He took one moment to see me and when those lost and broken eyes caught mines, my heart literally felt like breaking.
I did the only think I could think of. I pulled him up and wrapped my arms around him. The fact that his body was stiff as a statue told me how serious it was this time. I tightened my arms around him, pressing my head against his chest until he felt me. He wrapped his arms around me, buried his head between the crook of my neck. I felt his body shaking as a response and I knew I had to get him out of there as soon as possible.
No words where shared between us as I simply broke from the hug, took his hand and dragged him to my car.
Once safely inside, I began cruising away from his house. He sat in the passenger seat with his eyes shut close and his head pressed against the window.
“What did he do this time?” I asked him. His only response to my inquiry was a frown marring his features and the shake of his head.
I wanted to console him, to tell him whatever it was this time; he will get through it like he always did. But I knew these words at this right moment had to be kept to myself. He didn’t want to speak because he was battling with himself inside.
I drove in absolute silence for twenty minutes and at every traffic stop I’d look at how he was doing and each time his scowl seemed to deepen. It was difficult to watch because he was scowling at nowhere in particular, and this told me whatever he was thinking, he hated himself for it. He was brooding and I needed to get him out of it.
Once I pulled at my driveway and parked in my spot, I got out, expecting him to be trailing behind. I was about to lock the car when I realised Kyle was still inside. He looked lost in thought as he stared fixated at the windshield.
I walked to the passenger side and opened the door to lean on it.
“Kyle.” I touched his shoulder. He flinched and I retreated my hand instantly.
His glaring eyes found my eyes and for a moment he looked like he was searching for something in them. The fact that he looked so lost and desolate made me wonder what that narcissistic bastârd did to him this time.
With hesitant movements I tried touching him again and this time he accepted my touch. “C’mon, Let’s go inside.” I told him.
His eyes were searching mine, the crystal emeralds searing my own as if looking for consultancy. It was getting quite uncomfortable for me to have him look at me like that. I was feeling things I know I shouldn’t have felt because this was Kyle—my best friend—not someone who I should be lusting over. To lust over Kyle wasn’t safe, and at this moment I had to put these feelings and thoughts aside because they were selfish. Right now, Kyle needed me to be his friend not one of those swooning girls at school.
When finally he got out of the car, I took his hand and led him to the house.
I announced our arrival as soon as we were inside and this was followed by singing voices at the kitchen. I lead Kyle there.
I found both of my parents busy dancing to music, Teddy was cooking at the stove whilst Kelly chopped some vegetables wiggling her body to the music in the process. The sight would have been welcoming and funny if Kyle wasn’t in this situation at the moment.
I looked at him and he had a small expressionless smile as he watched my parents.
I cleared my throat to announce our presences and they both whipped around to face us with their jubilant glee. However, I watched their smiling faces take an nosedive as they saw the sight of Kyle.
Without words spoken, Teddy instantly sprang into emotion as he took off his apron and handed it to me. Kelly turned the radio off instantly, her motherly concerned expression playing in her features as she stared at Kyle.
Like me, my parents knew Kyle’s situation. They’ve known since last year, when they witnessed how that imbecile treated Kyle.
“Can you finish the rest of the cooking, Keya? ” Teddy asked me.
I gave him a nod in response as I took the apron from him and draped it on. Teddy went over to the fridge to take two beers out. He then proceeded to nod at Kyle and without words spoken they left the kitchen. I knew my father was taking him outside for a breath of fresh air. It was a ritual, like always when Kyle was in this state.
Kelly was holding me from behind and although we were the same height I leaned back onto her for support.
“What happened?” She asked me in a whisper.
I shrugged. “I guess the usual. He didn’t speak when I asked him.”
I turned around to face her and that worried look on her face as she stared at me almost released the tears I’ve been holding all throughout.
“It’s getting worse.” It’s a poignant statement, both her and I know the truth of it.
Kelly took me into a hug, soothing me. “Its going to be fine. Soon he’ll be gone to college. He won’t ever see that âsshole.”
“Mom.” I scold at her use of language.
My mother released me, stroking my cheek. She had her lips pressed as if to repress some emotion.
“Right now he needs you the most, Key. I completely respect his decision of not letting us report him but if its getting worse, Key, I’m afraid—”
I shook my head to cut her off. “No, mom. We just have to respect his decision. I will be there for him, I’ll try my hardest to distract him off it for a while. We have only two months anyway. He’ll be fine.”
Kelly sighed, shaking her head as if I didn’t understand the whole concept of it. She proceeded to chopping vegetables and I followed her example as I continued where Teddy had left.
We cooked—well, I cooked—for about thirty minutes until everything was ready and at that exact moment when we were preparing the tables. Teddy and Kyle decided to make an appearance. They entered the kitchen laughing merrily and my eyes instantly darted towards Kyle’s. He seemed slightly better, save the distant look that was still in his eyes.
My eyes were questioning if he was okay and his response was a small smile and a slight nod of head. I knew that he wasn’t. It was still there, that hurt, he bore it in his eyes.
They both sat at the dining table whilst Kelly and I finished setting the food on the table. Once that was done, we all commenced into blessing the food and digging in afterwards.
The conversation was light and somewhat cheery. We all strayed away from the pregnant topic that was brimming in our thoughts. We knew Kyle wouldn’t want to hear it, as well as be involved. So we frantically kept the conversation on other things. It was then that I foolishly brought up the party arrangements tomorrow.
“Party? What party?” Teddy already had his frown.
“It’s one of our friends, Sav and I are attending it, tomorrow.” I told them.
Kyle caught my lie at the friend part and he was giving a snide smirk. I ignored him.
“You didn’t tell me about this.” Kelly said.
“What sort of party is it?” Teddy began his over protective interrogation. “What time does it finish? What sort of people are these friends of yours?”
“It’s a house party, dad. I’m not sure when it finishes, I was gonna stay over at Sav’s after it and they’re nice people.” I defended.
“Is there’s going to be drinking?” He asked.
When I didn’t reply, he had his breath hitching. I could tell he was in battle with the decision.
“I don’t want—”
“She’s going, Ted. Remember she’s seventeen. What were we doing when we were seventeen?” Kelly cut him off. I knew he was going to say that he didn’t want me to go.
The glaring look Teddy gave Kelly when she mentioned about their glory days had Kyle almost snickering in his seat.
I glanced over at him and I knew he was finding our banter entertaining. I was quite glad because it kept his mind off unwanted thoughts.
Teddy sighed. “Okay, but I want you to call when you’re going to Sav’s house. I will call her parents too to check if you guys made it.”
I glared at him, ready to protest but my mother was warning me not to with her small shake of her head. I sighed, it was better this way. I made a mental note to myself to call Sav about these change of plans. I was sure she wouldn’t have minded.
“Are you going Kyle?” Kelly asked him.
Kyle’s only response was a shrug. “I might.”With that last resort of conversation, dinner was soon over and I was glad that I cooked because it meant I wouldn’t do the dishes. Kelly offered to do them and so whilst she was washing, the boys and I went over to the living area to catch up on some TV.
I had no control over the remote and I regretted it as soon as Teddy put on the sports channel. Both of them were engrossed on what was happening. I took my phone and texted Sav about the issue of tomorrow and because I promised that I would.
She agreed with me and her reply was in an excited manner. I knew that she now was planning to deceive her parents so she will end up sleeping over at Ryland’s place.