The False House Ch. 04

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When I’d told Mother about me moving in with Jesse, she didn’t ask why or beg me to stay. I got a congratulatory smile and a promise that she’d pay my share of the rent. Fine with me—I quit being sore weeks ago. She offered to pay Jesse’s share, as well, since she liked him so much. But he respectfully declined, saying that the work keeps him grounded. What an amazing guy. We’ve only been living together two days now, and I can admit that I didn’t think this through.

Oh, no, there is nothing wrong. Only having to be around the man I love but cannot have all hours of the day. Gets tiresome, if you can imagine. Ever get that way about someone? Their very presence makes you ache something awful. Hard to breathe. Want to die—that sort-of thing. Then there was the whole issue about the drugs, but I refuse to worry about that right now.

As I stand in my finally-finished room, I can’t help but feel triumphant. Unpacking all these boxes was the first real thing I ever did on my own. Jess, and even Troy, offered to help but I was insistent on handling it alone. My room is nice, I think. Jesse and I share the same carpet, but my walls were a dark gray color. My furniture is also nicer and more abundant, cluttering my room. The TV in my old room is bigger than the one the boys have in the living room, so we happily reached the agreement of a switch. I don’t mind it, though, because now that I have a real friend, I don’t feel the need to stay in my room because I’m scared of an empty house.

I know I said I was stressed about the Jesse issue, but when I look at the big picture it’s hard to be anything less than elated. Ironic though it may be coming from an addict, I’ve been a pretty sheltered person most of my life. When my dad died, everything changed. That’s when Mom was gone a lot, so I never really got to go out and experience the world. And naturally I grew to fear the unknown, so when I got older it was something I avoided. I have never had any real experiences, and this is my first one. Although there are larger things at stake here, I am still grateful that this can be shared with Jesse.

“The room looks great.”

I snap my head in the direction of the doorway and see his stunning grin of innocence. You know who he is. “It does,” I say, more to myself.

Jesse, who had been leaning against the doorframe, walks in and sits on the edge of my bed. “You know . . .” he trails off. “I know this must have been hard for you. It was for me when I left home. I—I uh, viewed it as accepting defeat; I hated myself for doing it, and have continued to up until this very moment. But do not look at it in a negative way. You did the right thing and, for what it’s worth, I am so proud of you.”

Too happy to speak, I smile at him and take the computer chair to his left. “Why did you hate yourself until now?” Because, Roman, I am in love with you.

He laughs to himself before looking me in the eye. “Because the way I viewed myself for leaving is not the way I view you for leaving. You are doing nothing wrong here, and neither did I.” When he stands to go, I want to grab him by his sexy hands and beg for him to stay. Yeah, I know I could just follow him into the living room and hang out there. But we were so close here—physically as well as mentally. It was a moment, if you will. We were having a moment. I didn’t want it to leave. But. I let him get up anyway. “Yeah, the room looks nice,” he finishes softly.

He looks around again with a sad look in his eye, forces a fake-ass smile to me for not even two seconds, then starts to walk out. The true nature of his words begin sinking in, and I realize that I had been angry. No, I doubt it was self-hatred. But there was a lot of anger and hurt within myself over my decision. I had been viewing my move as selfish and thinking why can’t you stay and make it work with her? Jess made me realize she was the reason I was leaving, and I was doing it for myself not in a selfish way, but in sex hikayeleri a way that makes me a strong person. After all, it wasn’t easy accepting that she and I are a lost cause. I mean, she is my mother.

I have to tell him that. “It means everything, by the way.” He stops in the doorway and gives me a confused look, so I continue. “Your pride in me—it means everything. Thank you for talking to me, Jesse. It helped more than you know.” Saying his name aloud set me ablaze inside.

A genuine, warm, modest smile is not only on his lips but in his eyes, as well. He gives me a polite nod and walks out, leaving me smiling to myself. Sometimes I have to wonder if he knows I am in love with him. I hide it well, but moments like these I feel give me away and leave me naked to him. They also make me think he loves me, too.

. . . .

When I wasn’t living with Jesse it was only natural for me to be ignorant about his withdrawals. When we would be hanging out everything seemed fine to me—part of the reason I could only assume he was still using. But after a few weeks of living with him I have finally begun to see when he is having symptoms of withdrawal. The withdrawal symptoms of Klonopin aren’t as lethal and hard to deal with as, let’s say, heroin. Not even close. But as with any type of withdrawal, K-Pin comes with its fair share of symptoms and is a bitch to deal with.

Some nights I can hear him in his room cursing to himself and moving around constantly. I can fall asleep and wake up at 5 AM to piss, and he will be doing the same thing he was six hours ago. The day that follows is full of depression and him being slightly aggravated by small things we do. Luckily, Troy and I know to take his attitude with a grain of salt, something that was especially important for me to do. I can’t be taking every little bad thing to heart, especially when I know it is more or less out of his control.

Another thing about Klonopin withdrawals, thankfully, is that they last only around three months. They should be gone soon, and I am so excited. Not for myself, but for him. It hurts me to the point of tears having to watch him suffer in any way. If I could trade places I would, but I would never tell him that. Not only would it be really corny, but his symptoms are so sporadic sometimes that I never know what he’ll look into and what he’ll just let go through one ear and out the other.

I talked to a doctor for him—too impatient for the side-effects to naturally go away. It was recommended that instead of him quitting cold turkey, we wean him off. Naturally, Jesse was all for the idea of getting back on those pills so long as he hid behind the idea that it was to make him better. A few days ago he got fucked up on pills, and his entire demeanor was different. Seeing how happy he was after being high was a huge contrast to what I was beginning to view as his normal attitude. I guess sinking into depression was so gradual of a thing for him that I didn’t even notice how unhappy he seemed.

Back to his normal, outgoing self we goof off and stuff, and it is good to have him back. Tonight we are going to Outback just for the sake of getting out the house (his idea). This is something I guess I am pretty stoked about; I haven’t eaten out in such a long time. The girl sits us down, and I sit next to Troy—Jesse opposite us. Seemed only fair since he is the only connection we have to one another. The waiter that comes is extremely cute with pretty-boy looks. He asks me and Troy for our drink orders and then when he looks at Jesse he smiles.

Jesse, looking at his menu, says he wants a Sprite. The waiter—who offered his name as Ryan—continues to smile at Jesse even though he isn’t even paying attention. “I’ll get you those right away,” he says to Jesse, and walks off.

I laugh to myself and roll my eyes—what a tool. Jesse clearly wasn’t interested, yet Ryan still laid it on pretty thick. Still . . . it made my blood porno hikayeleri boil. I wanted to tell this asshole to fuck off because Jesse was mine. He made my skin crawl.

Troy busts out laughing. “Jesse, that guy was so into you. Wasn’t he, Roman?”

I cut him eyes that could kill. “I didn’t see anything.” Then I smile at Jesse, who looks amused.

But Troy just keeps on. “Oh, come on! He was staring you down and smiling like a googley-eyed freak.”

Thankfully, Jesse laughs it off with a “whatever” and we look at our menus, talking about food rather than fucking Ryan—who makes his appearance yet again. Naturally, Troy and I get our drinks first. He places Jess’s down with precision, slow enough to make Jesse look up at him. To my shock and complete outrage, it’s Jesse who smiles at him and gives him a playful wink. He wasn’t trying to be sexy. He was just being himself, I know. That is his sense of humor—and apparently how he flirts. I could kick a kitten and all her kitten friends off a building right now I’m so mad.

He takes our orders, easing up on the flirting. He gives no coy smiles, but still looks Jesse right in the eye as he orders rather than the impersonal way he writes down what Troy and I say as we say it. I hate this guy, but fuck he is smart. Letting Jesse know he’s interested, then laying off so that Jesse becomes interested. Once this was all fucking over with, I will have to get tips from this douche because his little technique is working.

When he walks away, Jesse’s eyes linger on him before quickly flashing us a sexy grin. “He’s hot.”

I laugh aloud, deliberately harsh and sarcastic. “Yeah, if you like snobby boys who haven’t even hit puberty.” My comment rolls off him.

The next fifteen minutes or so are pleasant. We talk about anything really. It’s mostly consisting of Troy and I getting to know one another. He’s a computer engineering major at Nebraska University, and loves video games and anything else having to do with technology.

Then guess who comes back with our food and an endearing smile of bullshit. You guessed it! He further brushes Jesse off, giving him his food first, then me and then Troy. He smiles at us all and asks if we need anything else. We say no and thank you, and I hope he just leaves us the fuck alone forever and ever. But no. He feels compelled to smile at Jesse and say, “Let me know if you need anything,” and walks away.

Call me crazy, but the way he says the word ‘need’ had a sense of allure and seduction in it. I look at the boys, who are already scarfing down food, so they must have not even noticed it. I scoff to myself. I am being silly here. I think I am just looking into the details way too much. I decide to forget about it and enjoy my food like everyone else that is normal at this table. We joke and make small talk, mostly. I’m starting to really like Troy; he’s hilarious and painfully blunt almost to a fault. The fact that he is so consumed by video games and school make him entirely uninterested in women, and he has no issue joking about how much of a virgin he is. The guy can really take a joke and is shockingly witty. We probably spend an hour at the table having an absolute blast. When Ryan comes by to give us the bill we pay no attention to him. I am glad to enjoy myself as much as I do so I can take my mind off of the tool. It also fills me to the brim with relief. I can’t tell you how scared I was that I would be disliked and it would just be an unbearably awkward situation that would leave me feeling unwanted and unwelcome.

As we are about to walk out of the large double-doors, Troy gives an exasperated sigh and grabs my arm to stop me from leaving. I turn around, lost, and then realize Jesse isn’t with us. “Where’d he go!” Troy looks at me, rolling his eyes, then points to the opposite end of the room.

If life were a movie, time would be slowed to nearly a halt and you would hear Why can’t you ever see seks hikayeleri what’s in front of you? playing in the background ever so softly. Jesse leans against the wall, a smirk on his face as he nods and talks to Ryan. I can’t read his lips, and I don’t want to. Because I can clearly see the dickhead likes whatever he’s saying, smiling and blushing. Good God Jesse is smooth. I can see his confidence from across the room. He glows.

I hear nothing in the room, and everything around the two is blurry. Have you ever been in a situation where it really does go in slow motion? Your heart just fucking stops, and the air is sucked right from your body? That is how this feels, magnified by a billion. Then time catches up with itself so suddenly; noises are amplified to the point my head hurts, and before I know it we are all in the car. I don’t speak to them out of the fear that opening my mouth will open a door I cannot close. Jesse got his number, and it feels like the end of my world.

Fuck being realistic. I’m not stupid—I know things aren’t guaranteed to work out. Do you think I’m worried about some slut from Outback? No! Jesse can and will do better than him because he is only a speck of dust floating in the great Milky Way. That isn’t what this is about at all. Watching Jesse so suavely hit on this other man was like watching him cheat on me. Of course that’s absurd, and I know we aren’t together. But in my fucking head we are, and he is mine and I love him. I love him. The desire to be the only man in the room to him is stronger now than it ever has been. Jealousy: that’s what this is. I am mad with jealousy, and mad with myself for not having the balls to fucking tell him how I feel.

We get home and I immediately go to my room, not even bothering to change or shower. My body feels too heavy to hold itself up any longer, and I don’t have the mental stability to force it. I’m too numb. Tell me what Sarah said—did she swallow it?

Jesse comes in without knocking, quiet as a mouse. My back is turned to him, and I so badly wish for him to fit his body to mine and hold me. But he doesn’t, and I don’t ask him to. I don’t even acknowledge his presence. “Hey . . . you okay?” he asks in a soft voice, inching closer until I feel him above me. No response. “You were acting weird on the way home. I . . . I didn’t want to say anything in front of Troy. So don’t think I was just ignoring you or something.”

Oh fuck, just my luck. My eyes well up with tears, and I bite my lower lip to gain composure. In a worn whisper I croak, “Go away.”

The issue is not pressed, and he says not another word. Before walking out of my room he rests a large hand on my shoulder and gives it a soft squeeze, unaware of the fact that his gesture only hurts me more. Why can’t you ever see what’s in front of you? I shut my eyes and bury my face in my pillow—the one that doesn’t smell like him. Yearning and broken, I cry myself to sleep.

. . . .

The next morning I dread coming out of my room, but the smell of coffee takes control of me. Groggy-eyed and stretching, I enter the living room to see a pill of Klonopin and what looks like an untouched cup of Joe on the coffee table. Just then, Jesse comes from the bathroom with an inviting smile on his face. “I made coffee.” He pops the pill and has a seat, inviting me in with his golden eyes.

I prepare a glass and then join him, trying not to sit too close. I’m positive my eyes were tomato red from crying and lack of sleep from the night before. The thought of being cornered petrifies me. But my goodness, he looks beautiful in the mornings. Hair messy and eyes still trying to close themselves, and let me not forget how his mouth is extra pouty.

“Troy in class?” I ask.

Jesse picks up his coffee. “Yeah, he’s been gone for a while. Will prob’ly be—”

“I love you.” Horror now rules my every thought. What the fuck just happened. What did I fucking do? Just go with it, I kept telling myself.

He gives me a confused smile and a laugh. “Love you too, Rom—”

“I love you,” I repeat, staring him hard in the eye, followed by a big, dry swallow of nothing.

Realization dawns on him, and the smile disappears.

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