Generation 4, Chapter 8

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It’s been a little over a week since I’ve seen Isaiah, but every night since then, I’ve been debating on texting him or even calling him, though I haven’t been able to go through with it. What would I say? I felt terrible leaving the bar so abruptly and especially for not explaining myself to him, but I didn’t know what else to do.. It was hard enough to tell James what had happened between Jody and I, so how would I explain that to Isaiah? Maybe I assumed he wouldn’t understand or wouldn’t believe me, but he had never given me the impression that he wasn’t an understanding person, so why did I even think that? He had been nothing but accepting and kind towards me and it was obvious that he liked me, but I was too absorbed in my own problems to the point where I didn’t want to cause any more for myself when it came to something new, so.. I ran.

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I’m not proud of what I did, but then again, I haven’t really been proud of myself for a long time.. I seem to always find myself stuck in situations that seem impossible to get out of and some of the situations I’ve put myself in lately have been making me wonder if I’ve ever made the right decision.. I was scared of getting hurt again, scared of being taken advantage of, but I could see in Isaiah’s eyes before I had left that he felt bad for what he had done even though he had nothing to be sorry for.. He never pushed me and he never pried, he was as gentle as he was apologetic and I completely left him stranded.. Why did I do that? I didn’t realize until after I left that I had never given him my number to reach me and I was thankful that I had some time to think without wondering if he’d call, but then again, that meant it was all up to me to talk to him first, and that only made me feel more pressured and nervous.

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I know James has been worried about me, even sitting in class right now I can feel him looking at me every now and then, but I’ve been closed off a lot, just as much as I was after everything with Jody, and I knew he wanted to know why. But, the truth is, even I didn’t know.. I loved being with Isaiah and I loved talking to him, but I had never come across someone that I’ve been so attracted to, let alone it being a guy. I didn’t see much of a problem with it, but it still confused me and made me feel like something like that wasn’t acceptable. In this “rich people” town with their noses constantly in the air, something like this would surely get noticed, and I wasn’t sure if I was okay with that, either. I didn’t want us to become something that would get us noticed in a bad way, and I felt that being together would get us a lot of unneeded attention.. But, I also wasn’t used to this kind of thing, liking someone as much as I liked Isaiah.. I had never felt like this with someone and for some reason I couldn’t wrap my head around it being a good thing..

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The bell rang and I was the first to stand from their chair, throwing my backpack over my shoulder and heading out of the room with James already following me, “Ollie, wait up!” He called out, but I continued my pace in an attempt to avoid him asking me “what’s wrong” for the millionth time this week. He finally caught up to me and he walked at my side, “Hey, do you wanna grab a late lunch before we go home? There’s something I want to talk to you about, and I’m starving,” he added with a normal tone and I was a little skeptical about whether this was just going to be a simple lunch or if it was a way to corner me into telling him what’s been up lately.

“I don’t know.. I’m kind of tired. I was hoping to just go to the pool and relax or something before Kat’s ballet performance tonight,” I replied.

“Well.. It’s Kat that I wanted to talk to you about,” he continued and I looked to him curiously.

“Oh, uhm.. Alright.. Let’s just go to the cafeteria here, though.. It’ll be less crowded than the cafe,” I agreed, though I still wouldn’t put it passed him to still try and get me to talk about why I’ve been so secluded lately. 

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As we walked through the halls together towards the cafeteria, James kept talking to me and I’d respond with a simple ‘uh huh’ or something related to that to try and hide the fact that I wasn’t really listening. All I could think about was Isaiah and how I had ran away like a coward that night.. The more I let it consume my thoughts, the more and more I felt bad about it and I wondered what could be going through his mind right now.. He probably thinks I hate him or something and that was the last thing I wanted him to think, so maybe I should finally text him..? But.. No.. I can’t.. I don’t even know how to begin to apologize, or even if I needed to in the first place, but how else do I start a conversation with him if I don’t apologize? ..Maybe I could just call him and everything would just come to me as I talked..? ..No, I wasn’t that suave, or that lucky..

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James and I finally reached the cafeteria and it was practically empty, just like I’d hoped, and we chose a table away from everything, James then going to get something to eat for himself while I sat there alone, but I didn’t need to wait long. If we were going to talk about anything serious, or if he managed to somehow convince me to talk about what’s been going on lately, I wanted to be somewhere less crowded than the cafe, and this was as good of a place as any without going all the way home. Besides, Kat was most likely getting ready for her performance tonight and we’d only distract her if we went home.. She needs to ‘get into the zone’ and be alone before her shows so she can allow herself to get into the right mindset, and going home with James, even opening and closing the front door, would distract her, and being at the raw end of the stick in that argument was something I wanted nothing to do with..

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You’re not hungry?” He asked and I shook my head as he sat down, “That’s weird.. You didn’t even eat breakfast this morning and it’s already almost three, are you sure you don’t want anything?” He continued to bother and I sighed.

“I’m fine.. Now why did you want to talk to me about Kat?” I asked, changing the subject and he didn’t pester me about eating anymore.

“Well, uh.. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, and..” He paused briefly, staring down at his food and he looked as if he was building up the courage for something.. “I think, uhm.. I think I’m going to tell Kat tonight.. How I feel about her, I mean..” He continued and my eyes widened a little.

“Are you serious?” I asked and he chuckled nervously, but nodded with a small grin, “Wow, that’s.. That’s great. When are you doing it exactly?” I continued to question.

“After her performance.. I already asked her if she’d like to go with me to it and she said ‘yes’, so.. I know she hates being disturbed beforehand, so we’re not literally going together, but afterwards, when she’s getting congratulated and what not, I’ll be the one standing next to her,” he replied with a rather calm and pleased tone. 

“Aww..” I teased him a little and he laughed while blushing.

“Shut up.. I’m nervous enough as it is,” he replied.

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“You know that white roses are her favorite, right?” I asked and he shook his head.

“No, I didn’t remember.. How could I have forgotten that..? Thanks for telling me,” he replied with appreciation and I nodded in response. 

“Well, good luck.. I’m rooting for you. Whatever you do, don’t let her get distracted like she did at the bar a while ago, or else you won’t see her for the rest of the night and you’ll never get the chance,” I continued and he nodded, though now he looked more nervous than he already was. “Don’t worry about it, though.. I’m sure everything will work out just fine..”

“Thanks.. You’re going tonight, right?” He asked and I hesitated a moment, “I need support, man.. You have to go.. Kat will kill you if you don’t, too..”

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“Yeah, yeah.. I know.. But, I saw her first and second year performances, do you really think she’d mind if I didn’t go to this one?” I asked and he seemed offended by that question.

“You can’t be serious.. They only get better each and every year because of how much she practices and improves, I’ve never seen someone so passionate about ballet before.. This one is going to be even better than the last ones, too, I’m sure.. And you know how much us attending means to her.. Why don’t you want to go? You never complained the other years,” he pointed out and I sighed.

“You know why..” I hissed and he scoffed.

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“Look, I know Jody is in her ballet course, but she might not even be in the show,” he argued back.

“It doesn’t mean that she won’t show up to watch it.. She’s the last person I want to see tonight, anyways..”

“Well, if I’m still being honest, I know you want nothing to do with her anymore, but dude.. You gotta find out if she’s carrying around an accident with her, and if she is, even though you don’t want to, you’re going to need to talk to her about it and what you’re both going to do about it..”

“And if she’s not?”

“Then thank the heavens! I don’t know what you want me to say.. I know that you’re thinking ‘well if I talk to her and she’s not pregnant, then this will all have been for nothing, blah blah,’ but you don’t know, so just ask her and get it over with. If she’s not, then awesome, we’ll have a huge celebration and I’ll buy you a cake, but if she is, then man up and face the reality and decide what to do about it with her. Just find out, alright?”

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“Whatever..” I let out quietly, standing from the table and James put up his arms.

“Where the hell are you going?” He asked somewhat angrily and I turned around to walk away.

“To the pool to swim, like I wanted to..” I replied and I started to walk away from the table.

“Ollie, come on, did I make you mad? ..Are you going to be there tonight!?” He continued to ask questions as I walked off and I didn’t answer him, leaving the cafeteria and heading to the pool on campus.

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The entire walk to the pool was cold and brisk, but it wasn’t too far of a journey, so a coat wasn’t entirely necessary, and honestly, the cold was the last thing on my mind. I still couldn’t stop thinking of Isaiah. For whatever reasons, I didn’t care about Kat’s performance, I didn’t care about James finally confessing his love to her later, and I didn’t care that they both wanted me at the theatre tonight, at least, I didn’t care as much about those things as I did about making things right with Isaiah. I still didn’t know when or how I should contact him, but I knew that I wanted to, so hopefully relaxing in the pool will help me clear a few things up in my mind and help me be more confident when it came to finally talking to him after over a week of avoiding it..

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I got to the pool and there were a few people there, but not many, walking then towards the locker rooms and I changed into my swimsuit in one of the stalls. I locked everything up in my designated locker and walked out towards the water, sitting on the edge of the pool and dangling my legs off the side into the water, feeling how warm it was and I loved how good it felt. They usually always left the water room temperature during the spring, summer and fall seasons, but they heated the pool whenever winter came around and it was so much more worth it to swim in it when it was the cold season and the outdoor pool was closed.

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Already I could feel my body relaxing, hoisting myself up a little and I then slid down slowly into the pool, letting my body sink steadily into the water and I shut my eyes and held my breath just before I was completely submersed.

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I kept my eyes shut, holding my breath for a long, relaxed minute, trying to clear my head and soon I thought of nothing. I was happy in the water every single time I was in it and it was the only place where I could completely let myself go and be relaxed.. But, I soon couldn’t hold my breath any longer and I felt my feet touch the ground of the pool, pushing myself up and I took in a deep breath when I had resurfaced. I extended my arm for the edge of the pool, kicking once to reach it and I then let my arms rest on the warm tiles, resting my chin on my arms and shutting my eyes to relax even more. 

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My entire body was warm, loose, relaxed, and now when I thought of Isaiah, it only made my body warmer in the humid room and even my heart felt a little weak. Relaxing this much really helped and it made me want to talk to him even more, but there was still the factor of what the hell was I going to say to him? I wanted to see him again, badly, actually, and I figured the sooner I made up with him, the sooner I’d get to do just that. 

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After spending roughly three hours at the pool, relaxing on the side as well as swimming laps and having contests with myself on how long I could hold my breath, I figured it was time to leave and get ready for Kat’s performance tonight. I got out of the pool and went to the locker room, getting my essentials and bringing it all into the shower with me so I didn’t need to go all the way home in order to get the smell of chlorine off of me. I kept a lot of things in my locker, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, a razor, towels, extra clothes as well as another spare swimsuit, goggles, cologne, you name it. It’s as if the locker room was another bedroom for me and the pool was my bed that I could sleep in as I float on my back. I sometimes even wished I could sleep in the pool for just one night..

I wonder if Isaiah liked swimming..? I felt my body get a little warm and my heart rate went up a little all over again when I thought of him without a shirt, wearing a bathing suit, wet.. “Tsk..” I scoffed at myself, shaking my head then and trying to rid those thoughts from my mind as I finished showering and shut off the water.

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I threw a towel on around myself and walked back out to my locker, putting away all of my stuff and beginning then to dry my hair as well as the rest of my body with another towel. I slipped on a pair of blue jeans and a random shirt, walking then over to the hand dryer by the sinks and using it to dry my hair. After completely drying myself, I slipped on a hoodie I had within my locker and packed my school clothes into my backpack, then shoving it into my locker and trying to close it with force since I already had a lot of stuff within it.

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I let out a successful sigh after I had managed to shut it and I took out my phone and went through my contacts, soon coming across Isaiah’s name and a spark of nerves filled me instantly. This would be as good of a time as any to prove to myself that I wasn’t a coward, maybe even have a chance at making me proud of myself that I managed to work up the courage to call him, but what if he didn’t answer? What if it rings but he ignores it and it goes to voicemail? What if he changed his number so I can’t even reach him anymore because I’m such an idiot for leaving that one night..? But, why do I do this to myself? James was right.. Either way, I’ll never know anything for sure unless I found out for myself, and although he meant things with Jody when saying that, it still applied in this situation, too.. I had relaxed myself enough in the pool to where it wasn’t that big of a deal, but now that I was face to face with my phone and his number stared back at me, it made me nervous all over again.

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I walked towards the opening of the locker room, seeing no one coming over this way and I was glad that I had some privacy, but it still didn’t calm me down that much.. But, I swallowed my hesitation and hit the ‘call’ button, butterflies in my stomach going wild as I listened to each ring against my ear, the build up was almost too much to bare and I even contemplated hanging up after the first ring, but somehow I managed to stay strong.. Four, five, six rings later and still nothing, no answer.. But, the ring eventually stopped and I heard his voice, but it was only the prerecorded message he had done for his voice mail.. It was.. Oddly soothing, in a way, to hear his confident, deep voice again..

Hey, you’ve reached Isaiah’s cell. If this is a supplier, please call the bar, it’s much easier to reach me there during business hours. If this is a friend, then just leave a message and I’ll call you back when I get a chance. Thanks.” -beep-

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I didn’t plan on leaving a message, but I guess it was the only thing I could do right now.. He was probably still at work and I assumed he wouldn’t get my message  until after nine when he closed.. “Hey, it’s Oliver.. Listen, uhm.. I’m really sorry for bailing on you last week and also for not calling you until now.. I can’t imagine what you’ve been thinking this whole time, but.. I just.. I needed time to think, I guess.. About us, and, uhm.. Well, if you don’t hate me by now for what I did and how I avoided you, then I was thinking maybe we could, you know.. Get together soon.. Maybe even see each other outside of your bar,” I chuckled nervously, “Anyways.. Call me back if you want to, I understand if you don’t, though.. Okay, uhm.. Bye,” I ended my message, pulling the phone from my ear and hanging up. I guess it was better and a lot easier talking to his voice mail rather than talking directly to him and probably sounding more like an idiot.. But, I hoped he would call me back..

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I left the pool and made my way back towards the road to catch a cab, noticing that I had about two hours before Kat’s ballet performance started at eight and I was hopeful in thinking that I could maybe sneak in a quick nap beforehand. I got home and noticed that no one was there but me, though I could tell that James had been here and left already from seeing his Converse sitting by the door. I was glad that I had the place to myself, no one to bug me and no one to pressure me about going to Kat’s performance tonight and I was glad that I could nap in peace. I made my way up to my room and immediately fell onto the bed, letting out a calm and relaxed sigh as I lie there, slowly shutting my eyes and drifting off to sleep.

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I awoke to my room being dark, knowing that the sun was no longer in the sky and I panicked a little at what time it could be. I looked at my phone as I stood up from the bed and it was close to eight, causing myself to go into a more panicked mode and if I didn’t leave the house right this second, I was going to be late. I went to put my phone back into my pocket and leave my room, but before I could, my phone started buzzing and someone was calling me.. Isaiah. My heart began to race a little more and I stood in the middle of my room, staring at my phone and I debated on answering it, but I knew I wanted to talk to him, so I answered instead of leaving. 

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“Hello..?”

Hey..” He answered, a sense of relief falling over me when I heard his voice, “I just listened to your message.. I was glad to hear from you,” he continued.

I smirked just slightly at his response, “I didn’t expect you to call me back while you were still at work.”

I’m closing up early tonight at eight, it’s a really slow night..”

“Oh.. Well, uhm.. I’m guessing then you might want to talk about stuff..?”

“Yeah.. I was calling to see if you wanted to talk tonight, actually..? I’d really love it if you came over so we could.. I’d rather do it in person than over the phone like this, if that’s alright,” he replied and I grew a little nervous.

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“Well, I’m going to-” I stopped, rethinking my next words. I was already going to be late to Kat’s performance and although both James and her wanted me to be there, I’d rather not go than walk in late and be a distraction. Plus, I really wanted to see Isaiah.. “I’m actually free tonight, so.. I’d like that,” I answered.

Great, do you want to come over? I should be home in about twenty minutes.”

“Yeah, I’ll come by.. I know you said you lived on Queens, but what’s the address?” I wondered, noticing his tone going happier as he recited it and although I knew Kat and James would be mad that I didn’t go to the theatre tonight, I’d rather see Isaiah and figure things out with him rather then letting this whole situation eat at me anymore.. Both of us needed some kind of closure as well as an understanding for this whole situation and I wanted to get it over with so we could maybe focus on better, more rewarding things, like maybe actually being able to spend time with one another without it being awkward.

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Before I left for Isaiah’s, I took the time to text James and tell him I wasn’t coming, lying and telling him that I was feeling a bit under the weather and to tell Kat that I’m sorry, wishing him luck as well and although I could tell he was a little mad at me through his replies, he understood in the end and when it was a few minutes to eight, I left for Isaiah’s.

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I got there around the time when he said he’d be there, but I didn’t see him yet, deciding then to take a seat on a bench that was covered in a thin layer of snow. I brushed off the snow and sat down, holding myself to keep warm, though the winter time was luckily never too cold to where I’d need a huge, thick winter coat. I could stand the cold, it also helped me hide the fact that I wasn’t only shaking from the weather.. I was nervous knowing I was about to see Isaiah after I had made a fool of myself last time we saw one another, my body trembling at the thought and I couldn’t seem to get my heart to stop beating so fast just knowing that he was going to get here any second.. I almost couldn’t wait.

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I hear a car pull up and I lifted my view from the ground, seeing Isaiah getting dropped off by a cab and walking to the door. My entire body peaked with both excitement and nervousness at the sight of him, standing to my feet as I saw him smile when he noticed me and the expression he made every time he looked at me never got old. 

“Hey, have you been waiting long?” He wondered and I shook my head.

“No, only a couple minutes.”

“Oh, good.. Well, come on up,” he replied with the same smile, unlocking the front door and I followed him inside.

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I trailed close behind him up the stairs to the second floor and waiting for him to unlock the door to his condo, following him inside and he stopped at the entrance, nearly causing me to bump into him, but I was able to stop before I did, “Hey, uhm,” his words caught in his throat when he noticed how close I was when he had turned to face me and both of us looked at one another with nerve-filled eyes. He chuckled softly, “If you’d just take your shoes off, if you don’t mind,” he continued and I then nodded, slipping my shoes off as he did the same and I then watched as he ventured into his living room where I then continued to follow him.

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“I like your place.. It’s very.. Cozy,” I pointed out after taking a quick look around and he faced me with a smile.

“Thanks,” he answered, “Give me a minute, I’m going to change out of my work clothes,” he mentioned and I nodded.

“Alright,” I replied, watching him walk away and into his bedroom down a short hallway, shutting the door behind him.

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As I waited for him to change, I took the time to admire his place a little more. Even though he had just moved here not that long ago and even with his place seemingly still a little empty in a few areas, he made due and like I had told him before, it really was cozy. The smell of his place still had the lingering scent of fresh paint and new leather furniture, but there was still a little hint of him everywhere and I really enjoyed being here, even though I was still shaking a little in my socks from being so nervous. 

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Isaiah came back within a few minutes wearing much more comfortable looking clothes and I admit that I may have stared at him longer than I should have, averting my eyes then to the ground as he approached me. “Do you want anything to drink? Water, coffee, a beer?” He wondered and I shook my head.

“I’m fine, thanks..” I replied and I noticed him nod from the corner of my eye. There was a short silence between us, both of us standing in the quiet living room and I don’t think either of us knew where to begin, but eventually he spoke up first.

“Well.. Let me just start by apologizing for the other night.. I got a little ahead of myself and I know I made you uncomfortable.. You have nothing to be sorry for, too, like you said in your message.. It was all my fault,” he brought up and I sighed softly.

“No, it’s okay.. It wasn’t your fault, either..” I replied, looking up to him and he nodded in understanding.

“So, uh.. Is there any particular reason why you left so quick the other night, or was it just from what I did..?” He asked with a smirk but his eyes held remorse, but I wasn’t even sure if I should tell him the truth.

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I hesitated for far too long, no doubt probably giving him the impression that it all was his fault, but I still couldn’t decide if I should tell him about Jody.. “It’s, uh.. It’s complicated,” I resorted to a shitty answer that I knew wouldn’t be good enough.

“Do you want to talk about it? I’m a pretty good listener,” he joked slightly to maybe bring some of the awkward tension down a notch and I smirked, but it quickly left my lips.

“It’s just.. I like you,” I admitted, “I like you a lot, more than I can even understand and I feel that if I tell you some things that are going on in my life right now, you won’t want to see me anymore,” I replied, letting my eyes drop from his.

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“I’m relieved to hear that, because I like you, too,” he replied, my eyes going back up to his and he still held the smile that I loved, “But, I don’t think that you could tell me anything that would change that,” he continued and a sense of relief consumed me, yet I still didn’t think he knew what he was in for.

“..Can I sit down?” I asked and he nodded.

“Of course, please,” he answered and I walked passed him over to one of his sofas, taking a seat and he joined me.

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“I know it’s probably obvious, but.. I’ve never been with a guy before and it’s weird and confusing and I don’t really know what to make of it,” I began and he chuckled softly.

“Yeah, I assumed that.. But, it’s always hard at first to accept it. I knew I liked men at a really young age but I didn’t come out until I was in my twenties. My parents weren’t thrilled about it, but I think I’m better because of it. It really feels good knowing that I can just be myself now, you know?” He replied and I nodded.

“Yeah.. But, that’s, uhm.. That’s only part of it,” I admitted, letting my gaze meet the floor.

“Oh? What’s the other part?” Isaiah asked curiously and although it was surprisingly easy for me to talk to him, the subject of Jody was never something easy to come to terms with. 

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“There’s this.. This girl..”

“..Oh.. You’re seeing someone..?” He asked with disappointment.

“No, no, I’m not..” I corrected myself, “Uhm.. About a month ago, my cousin and my roommate set me up on a blind date kind of thing. I hadn’t been with someone in a really long time and they thought that I needed to get back out there in the dating world or whatever, but..” I stopped, sighing heavily as I held myself tighter, trying to work up the nerve to tell him everything.

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“Oliver, it’s alright, really.. I don’t care if you had sex recently with a woman, that doesn’t bother me,” he replied and I shook my head.

“N-No.. That’s not it.. Exactly..”

“..Then what is it?” He asked, curiosity as well as a slight sense of worry in his tone and I took a deep breath before continuing.

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“She, uhm.. She made me..” I finally admitted, running my hand through my hair in an attempt to maybe hide my face a little more from him.

“..She made you do what?”

“She knew how long it had been for me and I told her I wanted to take things slow, but.. Apparently she didn’t want to. She tricked me.. She made it seem like she was doing something nice for me and then she, well.. Had her way with me,” I spoke quietly, trying to hold back any crack my voice might let out, “I couldn’t stop her and she even hit me.. Slapped me so hard that I was dazed and the next thing I knew-” I stopped, unable to say any more and I was even too embarrassed to look at him. A silence fell over the room and I didn’t know what to think, I didn’t know what he was thinking either and I wanted the silence to just go away. 

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“I.. I don’t really know what to say..” He answered just to break the silence, “I guess that really does explain a lot, though.. I’m really sorry that happened to you.. But, Oliver,” he continued, feeling his hand touch my arm and he pulled it gently until his hand had slid up and into my own, my eyes going to him and he held a warm expression, “I’d never do anything like that, I’d never put you into a position that you’re not comfortable to be in, and I’d never lie to you like that. I understand that you’re scared and you probably feel betrayed or used and you probably feel like, too, that it might be hard to trust people now, especially ones that show interest in you, but.. You know I’d never do that to you, right?” He asked, his expression serious now and I felt this is the most truthful he could’ve possibly been with me. “We can take things slow, as slow as you want.. I’m really glad you told me all of this and now I completely understand. I’m so sorry again for scaring you the other night.. Had I known what you had been put through recently, then I would’ve never done what I did.. I’m truly sorry,” he finished, and oddly enough, the only thing I wanted now was for him to touch me.. All of my fears earlier now dissipated and I knew now that I was thinking too much earlier.. I assumed that he’d want nothing to do with me, but why? Why the hell did I think that? It was just the opposite, he still wanted nothing more than to be with me and it was obvious. 

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I was finally able to come to terms with myself and the whole time that we haven’t been together, I couldn’t stop thinking about kissing him again. As much as I wanted to see him and as much I wanted to make things right and to be able to kiss him again, I needed time.. Now, with him right in front of me, his lips calling to me and wanting to fulfill the thing I’ve missed most, I decided to go for it. I scooted closer to him, my heart still racing from both the conversation and just being in his presence, but I removed my hand from his, leaning in slowly and I met his lips with my own. I knew he was a little surprised from my actions, I knew that he was hesitant on touching me and I knew I’ve been giving him so many mixed signals, but as long as I do things first, he’d feel okay about it, right? But, how was I going to get over this..? I wanted him to be comfortable with me, but now after telling him everything, I felt as if he might take even more precaution with me and I wanted to say that I wouldn’t flinch if he ever touched me without me knowing first, but I couldn’t predict such a thing. I hated that Jody had made me scared of a relationship, I hated that I couldn’t enjoy my time with him to its fullest potential, and I hated that it would take a long time before we would be fully comfortable with one another.. 

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I pulled away slowly and he smiled towards me, but I hung my head and my eyes met the ground, “What’s the matter?” He asked, but quickly corrected himself, “Sorry, that was a stupid question.. But, it seems like something else is bothering you, too,” he continued, and although it felt comforting to be so close to him again, it was hard to truly enjoy his presence when I had so much on my mind.

“It’s just.. I don’t think I’m right for anyone.. You’re too good to me already and I don’t deserve it, and you don’t deserve to deal with such a hassle so early into this.. I’m nothing but a burden..”

“Oliver, stop.. Don’t degrade and punish yourself for how you feel, for how some girl made you feel. You’re worth more than that and you deserve to be happy. I know now what you’re dealing with and I’m more than willing to help you see that you’re important.. Don’t let what she did to you make you feel as if you’re not to be cherished.. I know she made you feel used and abused, but that doesn’t change how I feel about you and it doesn’t change the fact that I want to prove to you that you deserve to find some happiness. Even though you may think you’re not worth it, you are worth it.. You’re already important to me and I hate to see you beat yourself up about something you couldn’t prevent,” he replied and I could feel my bottom lip beginning to quiver.

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A few tears gathered in my eyes that he couldn’t see due to my hair hiding my face and I pulled away from him, using my hands to bury my face into and I tried my hardest to hide a quiet sob, but it was no use. It was obvious I was crying and it made me feel even weaker than before.. This is so pathetic to do in front of someone that I don’t want to think less of me..

I know what you’re thinking,” he spoke quietly by my ear, feeling his hand touch my back in a comforting manner, “You’re not weak or inadequate.. This is the first time you’re letting it all sink in, isn’t it?” He asked and I nodded softly as I felt my palms getting wet with salty tears. “It’s okay, really.. Take as long as you need,” he continued and I still couldn’t grasp it all. 

“You’re too good for me,” I managed to say through the frog in my throat.

“No, I’m doing what any decent person would and I’m comforting someone who deserves it, who needs it. You need to realize you’re better than this, you’re worth it, Oliver.. You truly are,” he continued and that only made me more emotional than I intended on being when I first came here. I knew we would talk about things and get everything sorted out, but I never expected I would tell him as much as I did, and so easily at that. Well, it wasn’t easy, but I was glad I said it. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted and I could even breathe a little easier, and it was all thanks to him.

      Isaiah’s POV     

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No wonder he had been acting so skittish whenever I touched him.. I couldn’t even begin to fathom what he had been through and I felt extremely sorry for him, but I tried my hardest the whole time not to show him too much pity, I didn’t want to make him feel worse. It made me immensely angry, too, knowing someone had treated such a sweet and gentle person with such an uncaring and horrific goal in mind.. I had never been subjected to doing something I didn’t want to, but then again, maybe I was just a lot stronger to the point that I wouldn’t let anything like that happen to me, but.. He had said she had tricked him, made him feel comfortable and wanted, he let his guard down, so who was to say that even I couldn’t be tricked, as well? I definitely felt for him, and I hoped for this girl’s sake I never find out exactly who she is or I might just have a few choice words to say to her.

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Oliver managed to calm down a lot more after a while and I’d like to think that I helped him tonight, watching as he wiped his eyes and his face with the sleeve of his hoodie from the tears I knew he had shed but I never saw, “I’m sorry.. I didn’t expect that to happen,” he said with a quiet, embarrassed chuckle.

“Don’t apologize, I’m just glad you told me the truth. It helps me understand you a lot more,” I replied, “Do you feel a little better now?” I asked, seeing him look over towards me and nod and I always smiled towards him. How could I not? His blue eyes were glossy and a little red from shedding tears, but I still loved looking into them. No matter what, they still always held a sense of a sweet nature and he truly did have the puppy dog eyes that I remembered seeing the first time I had met him.

I wanted him to stay longer and I wanted to spend some actual time with him outside of my bar, and also some time with him that we could just relax and enjoy together, “Do you want to stay for a little while? We could watch a movie or something..?” I offered and I watched him thinking for a moment, then nodding.

“Yeah.. Let’s do that,” he answered and I couldn’t help but smile more.

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I got up from the couch and stepped over towards my movie collection, looking through them and I didn’t know what to pick.. Maybe a comedy to bring his spirits up? Or a story driven action and drama to maybe help him focus on something else than what he had to deal with..? I looked over my shoulder towards him and he was already looking at me, seeing a tiny smirk on his lips and I needed to avert my eyes from him for a moment to hide my undoubtedly smitten expression that I couldn’t contain. “What are you in the mood for..?” I asked, my eyes then meeting his again and I watched him shrug as he looked to me.

“Anything’s fine.. I just want to sit here with you,” he replied and I felt my chest tighten a bit, almost sure that I couldn’t like him any more than I already did, but he managed to prove me wrong.

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“Can I ask you something?” I inquired, watching him nod as he sat there and I continued, “So, are we dating, or..?” I asked, watching his expression grow somewhat surprised from my occasional bluntness, though it was easy to see in this lighting the pink glow on his cheeks.

“I-I mean.. I guess we are.. Yeah. If you want to be..?” He answered and I chuckled softly.

“Do you want to be? Because I think you already know my answer,” I replied and I watched him look away from me briefly with a nervous smirk.

“..Then, yeah..” He confirmed, keeping my smile as he looked to me again and that was a good enough answer for me. 

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I quickly picked a random action movie and put it in, letting the movie play and I got up from the floor to go to the couch and join Oliver once again. I sat a few inches away from him at first, wanting to put my arm around him or at least have my side touching his, but of course I didn’t want to do anything that would make him nervous or uneasy, so I held back from doing so. But, to my surprise, as the movie rolled through the opening credits, Oliver looked over towards me and I watched as his eyes looked at my arm that was closest to him, as if telling me to do exactly what I wanted to and I couldn’t help but smile as I lifted my arm to invite him in. 

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I watched him smirk and he moved closer towards me, leaning back against my chest and the back of his head rested against the front of my shoulder. I let my arm dangle over the front of him and he then reached up to hold my hand with his own, feeling him relax against me and I couldn’t have asked for more than this. I was so glad earlier to have gotten a call from him and I was more than happy to close the bar early just so I could spend as much time with him as I could and to hopefully figure out exactly where we stood as far as a relationship. But, tonight had gone better than I had hoped and I was confident now that we could possibly get through anything that stood in our way.

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I rested the side of my face against his head and I couldn’t help but notice the scent of his hair, the smell of a clean shampoo as well as a hint of something else, but what was it? ..It was only after a few minutes of pondering that I knew what it was. He had mentioned before that he loved swimming and chlorine was the smell that was hard for me to detect at first, but oddly enough, I actually liked how the two smells went together and it was a unique scent I’d only associate with him. I admit that I didn’t watch much of the beginning of the movie, I was too content and relaxed just sitting here with him and in his company, but eventually I started watching and enjoying the movie with him when I had fully relaxed with Oliver under my arm.

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Almost towards the end of the movie, I felt my eyelids growing heavy and I must’ve nodded off because the next thing I knew, I opened my eyes to Oliver sitting on the floor going through my movie collection and I was lying down on the couch without my glasses.

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I sat up slowly, rubbing my eyes for a moment and I noticed Oliver look towards me, “Hey.. Sorry, I didn’t want to wake you and I didn’t want to leave without saying anything.. I took your glasses off, too, so they wouldn’t bend while you slept,” he brought up and I smirked. He was truly too sweet.

“It’s alright.. Thanks,” I replied.

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“I tend to be up more during the night, too, so I figured I’d just watch another movie.. I hope that’s okay?” He inquired and I nodded.

“Yeah, that’s fine.. Wait, you’d watch another movie?” I asked with confusion.

“Well, yeah.. You fell asleep towards the end of the first one and I let you lie down and took your glasses off.. Then I watched another, and now I guess I was going to watch a third..” He replied and I was surprised he had stayed this long.. I honestly expected him to leave, but I was glad that he didn’t.

“What time is it..?”

“Almost one thirty,” he hesitated a moment, “Sorry, I should probably actually go home now that you’re awake and can go to bed.. I didn’t mean to stay this late..” He mentioned with a somewhat defeated tone.

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“No, it’s fine, really.. You can, uhm.. You can stay, if you want.. I know this might be asking too much, but.. You can always sleep in my bed, or of course, if you feel more comfortable sleeping on the couch, you can do that, too..” I offered and I was relieved to see him become a little more chipper now that he knew I wasn’t mad that he had possibly overstayed his welcome. “I won’t try anything, too, I swear,” I continued with a smirk and I noticed his cheeks blush slightly.

I noticed him thinking for a moment, looking blankly at the DVD’s I had as if pondering my offer and for a moment I thought I may have come off a little strong again, but his reply was a little unexpected, I’d admit. “Would you want to lay with me on the couch and watch this movie with me..?” He asked.

“Yeah.. I’d love that,” I answered, seeing him smile as well and he chose another movie, putting it into the player and he stood to his feet.

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I watched him come back over towards the couch and I laid back down first so he could follow in suit. He sat down at first by my hips, then lying down on his side in front of me and I didn’t really know what to do at first. I rest my head against my arm, extending my other arm along my side casually as the back of him touched my entire front, wanting to wrap my arm around him to get fully comfortable, but I didn’t. I didn’t do a lot of things I wanted to, but I thought the sacrifice of not being able to touch him was worth it and I felt the reward later whenever he was comfortable enough was worth the potentially long wait, too.

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At first, he lie on his side through the beginning of the movie, but he eventually turned his body so he lie on his back and his head turned towards me so his eyes could meet mine. “Thanks for letting me stay,” he said quietly and I smiled.

“I’m glad you stayed. Thank you for not leaving while I was asleep,” I replied and he smirked slightly, noticing his eyes look to my lips briefly and then back up to my eyes, knowing he wanted to kiss me, but I wasn’t going to do anything without him doing it first.. I knew better now. But, surprisingly he had been doing things first a lot tonight, and just like before, he leaned in slowly and kissed me, shutting my eyes and our lips massaged against each other’s for a sensual minute as we laid together.

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I sat up slightly, propping myself up on my elbow and I leaned over him, introducing my tongue like I had done at the bar over a week ago, but I was careful as to not touch his body like I had done before. I merely propped myself up with my hand on the other side of him, gripping the couch instead of him and I noticed both of us grew a little more excited and passionate during the newly-turned-intense kiss. I knew not to expect much from this, but kissing him for this long was for sure making me feel a lot of things that I knew weren’t going to be fulfilled, but I tried to keep myself as calm as I could for his sake. It was a little obvious I had more experience than him, and not just with men, but being with someone in general and I knew I’d be able to keep myself from getting too excited as I lie next to him. Ultimately, it made me wonder if he’d be able to ignore it as well as I could.

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After a few long minutes of enjoying his lips, he pulled away somewhat suddenly, shying his eyes away from me and I was curious as to why he had stopped so abruptly as I then watched him face away from me. He turned to his side like he was before and faced the television, paying attention to the movie and I also felt him squirm a little very briefly before getting comfortable. I couldn’t help but let a sly grin spread across my lips as I looked at the back of his head, knowing just by his body language that he had gotten excited and flushed from our kiss that he was forced to turn away from me in hopes of hiding how he felt and from what might be quite visually obvious.

“Can I leave my arm around you?” I asked, giving him a moment to ponder my question and he soon nodded.

“Okay..” He replied and I kept my grin, keeping my arm where it was and I enjoyed getting to hold him as we fell asleep together.

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I dropped my head back down onto my arm like I had done before, still looking at his long, dark hair instead of the movie. I hoped he didn’t regret lying on the couch together, seeing as he had become so bashful after a deep kiss, but, he was still just as cute as I remember him being back at the bar the last time we were together.. Now that we had gotten passed an obstacle and passed any slight awkwardness, we were back to how we were, back to how I liked us. After many hard, sleepless nights that I went without hearing from him, I could actually go to sleep happy knowing that he had come back to me, and especially knowing that he was all mine now. 

 

Next Chapter |

Generation 4, Chapter 7

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Finally, I had gotten around to buying a nice suit for myself and I didn’t need to borrow anything from James. It was a Tuesday evening after class and tomorrow Camilla was going back to France to finish the rest of her year abroad there. We were having dinner together tonight like she had wanted to and I was glad that I was going out with her.. I needed something to take my mind off of the whole situation with Jody. Ever since James and I had that talk at the park, I haven’t really been able to focus on a lot of things, but then again, I haven’t really been able to focus on anything ever since I met her..

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“Stop, Oliver.. Just stop thinking about it..” I told myself as I looked at my reflection in the bathroom. I adjusted my tie, buttoning up the few buttons that needed to be done and although I couldn’t see my whole body and how I looked overall, I assumed I looked okay enough.. “Just have fun tonight.. Nothing to worry about, you’re not going to run into her, and you’re not going to think about her anymore,” I told myself as I looked at my own eyes in the reflection. “She doesn’t deserve to be on your mind. Don’t give her the satisfaction of even thinking about her..” I continued, though most of what I was saying were things that James had told me earlier today when he came with and helped me pick out a suit after class. 

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I left the bathroom and went to Camilla’s door next to mine, knocking on it and I heard her say I could come in and I did so. I opened her door and looked at her, seeing her doing her hair and I smiled at what she was wearing, “Wow, you look really nice,” I said genuinely and she smiled.

“Thank you, Oliver,” she took a moment to look at me, too, “I can’t even remember the last time I saw you in a suit like that. You look great,” she complimented in return and I smiled.

“The last time I wore a suit was for Grandpa’s funeral. I figured I would buy a new one for a ‘Party Suit’ instead of wearing the one that makes me think of death,” I joked and Camilla laughed.

“Good call,” she replied and I chuckled. 

“Did you decide where you wanted to go?” I asked, watching as she continued to try a few things with her hair, but in the end, she just went with the style she usually goes with.

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“Hmm, well.. I’ve been to everything here already, none of the restaurants are that great, anyways, and I didn’t really want to go out of town.. I guess I can’t decide,” she replied, looking to me again from the mirror, “Can you think of anywhere?”  She asked.

I stood there and thought for a moment, leaning my back against the door and all that I could really think of was Isaiah’s bar since she had never been there before, but did I want to go there and face him? I’m sure he’s been expecting my call, so would it be weird if I showed up there when I haven’t done that yet..? It wasn’t as if I was avoiding it, and I supposed that it would be okay since I didn’t have all of his number anymore and couldn’t call him even if I wanted to, so maybe showing up there wouldn’t be all that bad..? I had to show up there eventually to tell him why I haven’t called him, so doing it now couldn’t hurt, right? But, why was I worrying about it, anyways? I barely knew the guy, and it wouldn’t be terrible or weird if I never saw him again, would it..? I guess I should be asking myself do I even want to see him again? ..But, I had to admit that I did.. There was something about him that I liked, how nice and welcoming he was, and how never once did I notice him seem bored when talking with me. 

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“Oliver?” Camilla pulled me out of my own head and I looked up to her.

“Hmm?”

She laughed softly, “I asked if you could think of anywhere to go and you spaced out for, like, four straight minutes,” she said with another laugh and I let out a nervous chuckle.

“Oh, uhm.. Sorry..” I replied, “Well, there’s one place I know you haven’t been to.. It’s new, only a few weeks old. It’s the place I went to on Thanksgiving to get a drink.. It’s a really nice place, there’s a dress code and such.. I met the owner, he was really nice and he didn’t even make me pay for the drinks I got.. He gave me his number, too, since he’s new in town.. He wanted me to show him around, but I uh.. I lost it..” I lied with a soft sigh, not wanting to explain the whole situation to her.

“And what a coincidence that you bought a nice, new suit to go there in, too, since there’s a dress code,” she hinted a little, “What’s his name?” She wondered and I was a little thrown off by her implication, but I ignored it anyways.

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“Isaiah..”

“No last name?”

“I didn’t get it,” I replied.

“Well, I guess we’re going there, then. Gotta put a full name to the face that treated you so nice, right?” She questioned and I shrugged.

“Yeah, I guess so..”

“Okay, well, I think I’m ready.. Let’s go,” she said with a smile and I smirked in return, though my heart stared to beat a little faster in nervousness when I knew where we were headed.

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I helped Camilla with her coat and we left the house around six, taking a cab there like we did everywhere and when we arrived, I noticed it was a lot more lively than it was on Thanksgiving, but that didn’t really surprise me. I could already hear music playing from the inside and I looked to Camilla who had a large smile on her face, “I’m excited already. It sounds like live music.. Is it?” She asked and I remembered seeing a small stage with a piano and a few other instruments when I was last here.

“Yeah, I think it’s live.. I was the only one here on Thanksgiving so I didn’t see anyone play, but I’m guessing so,” I answered.

“We should dance then, too! This is going to be so much fun!” She said cheerfully and I hated the idea of dancing, but I liked seeing her so happy.. It had been too long since I had hung out with her, and I’ll do whatever she wants just to see her smile. I missed it. Camilla then put her hand to my back and pushed me forward, eagerly walking towards the bar and I grew even more nervous as we walked through the front door.

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We stopped at the coat-check and I waited for Camilla to hand in her coat and get a ticket, looking to my right and the music was louder and I confirmed to myself that there was actually live music playing. The place wasn’t packed, but it had a decent amount of people here. When she was ready, I walked in with her and the first thing I did was look to the bar instinctively, looking to see if Isaiah was bar-tending and I smirked just slightly when I saw him. He was tending to a couple at the bar and I wondered if he’d recognize me, “Is that him?” Camilla wondered and I looked to her, nodding ‘yes’ and I watched her smile, “He’s handsome, I can see why you like him,” she hinted and I scoffed.

“It’s not even like that..”

“Then why are you blushing?” She asked and I hadn’t even noticed how warm my cheeks were.

“I-I’m not.. He probably doesn’t even remember me..” I replied and she laughed, watching as her eyes went to the bar.

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“He definitely remembers you,” she pointed out and I raised my brow, looking over towards the bar and Isaiah was already looking at me with a grin on his lips. Go talk to him, I’ll get us a table,” she insisted and she pushed at my back a little to help encourage me to walk over. I let out a gentle breath and watched as Camilla walked off to get us a table and I looked back to the bar, seeing Isaiah walk to the end where no one was sitting and I slowly walked up to the chair I remembered sitting in last time.

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“Well, hey, stranger,” he began and I smirked.

“Hey..” I replied quietly, taking the seat I had walked up to and I sat down.

“You look sharp, you clean up a lot better than I thought you would,” he said with a chuckle and I returned one as well.

“Thanks,” I replied with the same smirk I held.

“I didn’t expect to see your face tonight, can’t say that I’m mad about it, though,” he said with a pleased tone.

“I-I, uhm.. I wanted to say sorry for not calling, I lost your number, so..”

“Lost it, or threw it out?” He teased and I made a remorseful expression, “Relax, I’m just messing with you. It was kind of stupid of me to give it to you on something that could be easily lost, anyways,” he corrected himself and I let out a relieved sigh.

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“It’s, uh.. A long story, actually..”

“And I’d love to hear it, but it seems that you’ve already got prior engagements,” he hinted, watching his eyes look somewhere else and I looked to where he did, seeing Camilla sitting at a table watching the band playing.

“Oh, no, she’s not.. Uhm.. She’s my little sister, so..”

“Ahh, I see.. Now that I look at her more, she does look like you.. I thought you were on a date,” he replied with a chuckle and I shook my head.

“No, quite the opposite, actually.. She’s a first year student here at the college, but she’s an exchange student who studies in France. She’s just here for a visit, she’s leaving tomorrow, so we’re spending some time together before she goes back,” I replied and he nodded in understanding.

“Well, don’t let me keep you. Go enjoy your time with her, we’ll talk more later,” he encouraged and I smiled.

“Alright.. I’ll see you later then,” I replied and he nodded, watching him walk away to tend to his other customers and I rose from the chair, going to where Camilla had chosen to sit and I joined her.

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“Soooo..” She teased and I sighed.

“What?”

“Was he mad that you lost his number or anything?” She wondered.

“No.. Why would he be?”

“I don’t know.. Just wondering,” she replied, though I wasn’t sure quite what she was getting at, but I chose to ignore it.

“Do you know what you want to eat?” I asked and Camilla laughed softly.

“I haven’t even gotten a menu yet.”

“Oh.. Right.. Sorry,” I replied with a nervous chuckle, seeing her give me a particular smile that I didn’t know how to interpret, but if I were to guess, it’d be joyfully suspicious.

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A waiter came over to us eventually and before he even offered to get us anything to drink, he brought over a glass of whiskey on the rocks, “One whiskey on the rocks for the gentleman,” he said humbly.

Oh, uhm.. I didn’t order this..” I said with a nervous chuckle and the waiter smiled at me.

“I know. Compliments of the owner,” he said warmly.

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“Aww, that’s so nice!” Camilla said with a cheery tone and I smiled softly when I looked to the drink I had ordered the last time I was here. I liked that he remembered. I glanced over towards the bar and Isaiah already had a smirk on his lips when he made eye contact with me. I felt my cheeks grow warm again and I smiled, watching him then go back to what he was doing and I turned back towards Camilla. The waiter then gave us menus and said he’d be back in a little bit and I looked it over to try and make a decision.

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“I think someone likes you,” Camilla said with a devious smile and I looked to her in slight confusion.

“W-What?”

“Oh, come on, Ollie.. You’re really smart, but don’t tell me you’re this stupid to not have noticed,” she continued.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about..” I brushed off.

“Ooohhh-kayyy,” she exaggerated and I rolled my eyes, then going back to the menu and trying to decide what to order.

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I tried to pay attention to the menu, looking over the seafood section as well as the pasta and steak specials, but honestly, I was a little distracted. I wasn’t even looking to drink tonight, but as I looked to the glass on the table holding three fingers of whiskey and a few ice cubes, I started thinking about Isaiah again and I felt my lips smirk a little on their own. I picked up the glass and stirred it a little by circling the ice around, remembering back when I was last here and I noticed that he still looked at me the same as he did today as he did then, but how would I describe it? I thought about Camilla’s words more and I didn’t think the same as her, but what if she was right? 

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I took a sip of my drink and set it down, my mouth burning just a little from the taste and I remember the flavor being a lot worse when I had it last time. I looked towards the stairs and around the room a little, taking in more of the scenery since the place was more brightly lit than on Thanksgiving. My eyes then couldn’t help but glance towards the bar and I looked to Isaiah, conversing with someone and after what I assumed was a joke, I could even hear his laugh over the crowd and the music.

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I turned my attention back to the table and I noticed Camilla already looking at me with a raised brow and a smile, “You done staring at your boyfriend?” She teased and I felt my face get hot.

“W-What? Shut up..” I brushed off, turning my attention back to the menu and I heard her laugh.

“Speaking of couples.. I met your girlfriend on Thanksgiving.. Why’d you lie?” She wondered and I looking back up to her in confusion.

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“I didn’t lie to you. She’s not my girlfriend.. We went on one date and I never talked to her again because I didn’t like her, I don’t know why she was there that night or even why Kat invited her.. Well, I do know, it was to distract me from Uncle Gareth, but a lot of fucking good that did. Besides, I left before she got there and if I actually liked her and knew she was there, don’t you think I would’ve came back? She’s not- My girlfriend..” I stressed and Camilla gave me a rather shocked expression.

“Wow, uhm.. Alright. I wasn’t expecting you to go on a rant like that, but..” She answered and I was a little embarrassed.. I guess I had kind of snapped at Camilla when she asked me that question..

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“Sorry.. I didn’t lie, though.. She’s not my girlfriend,” I repeated.

“Alright, I get it.. Forget I even said anything, okay?” She said sweetly and I nodded, calming down a little more and I smirked slightly towards her. “So, since you’re single, are you and Romeo over there going to go on a date?” She asked with a soft giggle and I felt my face get warm again.

“Stop saying stuff like that.. It’s not what you think,” I said with slight irritation.

“Then what do I call it?”

“Call it nothing, because that’s what it is..”

“Then why does he keep looking at you like he wishes he was sitting here, too?”

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“..He’s been looking over here?” I asked and Camilla smiled.

“No, but that got your attention, didn’t it?” She pointed out and I frowned, looking down to the menu and I ignored her.

“..I think I want steak.. What about you?” I asked, changing the subject and I looked up to see her smiling, but she shook her head at me in disappointment.

“Unbelievable..” She said with a laugh, then turning her attention to the menu, as well.

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Thankfully, Camilla didn’t mention Isaiah any more during dinner and I wasn’t as distracted as I was when we had first gotten here. We sat at our table, eating our meals and talking for about two hours all together and it was nice to have finally caught up with her since the last time we were together. “I’m way too full to dance anymore.. Why did I think that would be a good idea earlier?” She asked and I laughed.

“Well, you know how I suck at dancing, I’m glad you don’t want to do it now,” I replied and she laughed in return. 

“This was a great dinner, Ollie, I’m really glad we caught up. I’ve really missed you,” she said with a sincere smile and I returned one as well.

“I know.. I’m glad we went out, too, before you went back.. But, at least you’ll be here for a few months when summer comes,” I replied and she smiled.

“Yeah, it’ll be nice to be home for a while.”

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We received the check and I paid it, Camilla looking as if she was ready to leave, “Well, I think I’m going to head out.. I had fun, Ollie, thanks,” she said with a sweet smile and she rose from her chair.

I rose from mine as well and she came to me for a hug and I obliged, hugging her in return and she pulled away with a smile, “Wait, I can get a cab home with you,” I suggested, but she shook her head.

“No, no, it’s fine.. I’m a big girl,” she said with a giggle, “Besides, it doesn’t seem like your admirer wants you to leave yet,” she hinted as she looked over my shoulder towards the bar.

“W-What?” I asked and she smiled.

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“I lied before about him staring at you, but now that we’ve stood up, he knows you’re leaving and I can tell he doesn’t want you to,” she continued and my cheeks grew warm for what felt like the millionth time tonight. “It’s fine, go talk to him. I’ll get my own cab, okay?” She said reassuringly.

“Are you sure? I can go with you if you want, just say the word,” I insisted but she shook her head.

“No, just go. I’ll see you at home,” she insisted in return and I nodded.

“Alright.. Get home safe,” I encouraged and she smiled, walking off then to collect her coat and I watched as she waved to Isaiah and he waved back. 

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I noticed Isaiah then look towards me with the same smile he’s held whenever I look at him and I thought that Camilla could be right.. He seemed happy that I had stayed behind.. I walked over towards the bar and took the seat I had sat in last time and he walked over to stand in front of me behind the counter. “She seems like a really nice girl,” he began, assuming he was referring to Camilla and I nodded with a smile.

“She really is, it was nice to catch up with her..” I agreed and he seemed pleased.

“How was dinner?” He asked next.

“Great, I really liked it. You have a good cook,” I replied and he chuckled.

“Well, thank you. I take pride in finding the best for my establishment,” he answered with a grin, “Why’d you stay?” He wondered and I froze for a moment.

“Oh, uhm.. You said you wanted to talk more later, and it’s later, so..” I implied and he let out a soft laugh.

“Touche,” he replied with a grin, “So, you came back here to tell me you lost my number, does that mean you want it again?” He asked and my face went hot, looking down at the counter momentarily with a smirk.

“Maybe.. It was also to see if you even wanted to give it to me again, too,” I replied, looking back up to him and he continued his grin.

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“I suppose I could.. Just as long as you promise to take care of it so this doesn’t happen again,” he joked and I chuckled softly.

“Deal.”

“Then take your phone out, you can’t lose it if it’s already in there,” he implied and I nodded, taking out my phone like he had instructed and he recited it for me, typing it into my contacts and I was glad that I didn’t have to worry about this anymore.. It seemed to have really worked out coming here in the end.

“Hey.. I close at nine on the weekdays, you willing to hang out here for a half hour until then?” He wondered and I nodded.

“Yeah, sure.”

“Great. You want a beer or anything while you wait? Whiskey?” He teased with a grin and I smiled.

“No, I’m fine..” I replied with warm cheeks and an accompanied smirk, seeing him nod and he walked off to finish up the rest of the time he had left. 

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I didn’t mind waiting for him, I actually kind of liked watching him work and interact with his customers, you could tell he really enjoyed what he did.  He talked and joked around with his customers, he also did a few tricks for people that tipped well, like throwing bottles from behind his back and catching them in front of him. With his twelve years of experience, I assumed he had picked up a few tricks, it was just kind of neat to see them in action since I’ve never witnessed something like that before. 

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As time passed and the place cleared out more and more, the last of the stragglers left and it was just Isaiah and I once again, just like last time. I watched as he cleaned up the bar, clearing it of all the empty bottles and glasses and he put them all in the sink to soak a little. “Thanks for sticking around,” he announced from across the bar and I could hear him perfectly now that all the chatter and music was gone.

“No problem.. I figured I owed you. I didn’t want you to think that I was ignoring you or anything by not calling, and I guess it’s a good chance to talk a little,” I replied and I watched him smile.

“Oh, it’s alright.. I admit, I didn’t think you’d call and I didn’t think I’d see you again, but I’m glad I was wrong,” he answered and I was warmed by his response.

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“So, you’ve been a bartender for twelve years, and I’m guessing you started when you were twenty one.. So you’re thirty three?” I asked and he chuckled.

“Does my age bother you?” He wondered.

“Oh, no, no.. Just.. Making conversation, I guess..”

“Interesting start,” he teased and I felt bad for saying it now.

“I’m sorry.. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable or anything,” I replied and he brushed it off.

“I was just surprised by the conversation starter being about how good you are at math,” he teased again and I grew embarrassed. 

“S-Sorry, just.. Forget I said anything..” I replied, looking down at the counter top and I heard him walking over towards me.

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Isaiah leaned onto the counter in front of me and I looked up at him, seeing him smirking just slightly and I knew I didn’t offend him, though I still felt bad.. I’m terrible at small talk.. “You’re like a puppy that’s just been scolded. These big blue eyes and your pouty lips.. It’s actually kind of cute,” he complimented and my entire face grew hot. I turned my attention away and I heard him laugh warmly, “I’m sorry, I didn’t make you uncomfortable, did I? ..Now we’re even,” he continued and I looked up to him with a shy smirk.

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“Can I.. Can I ask you something..?” I asked, watching as he grabbed a sponge and be begun wiping down the counters.

“Of course,” he replied.

“Were you, uhm..” I stopped, wanting to know if ever some of the things he’s said to me have been advances, but I didn’t even know how to begin asking that.. “N-Nah.. Never mind,” I corrected myself and I could see that he grew even more curious to my question when he stopped wiping the counters.

“Come on, that’s rule number one for questions.. Once you start to ask it, you have to, you can’t take it back,” he warned with a smile and I regretted even saying anything now.

“W-Well.. Did you ever, uh.. I don’t know.. Why did you really give me your number?” I asked, watching him keep his smile and he looked down to the sponge he was using.

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“Am I that easy to see through?” He wondered, looking back up to me, “I guess you could say I was interested in you..” He continued and I raised my brow as I grew a little disappointed from his choice of words.

“Was..?” I asked softly.

..Am..” He corrected himself and I couldn’t help but smile as I looked away from him, “Is that the answer you were looking for?” He inquired curiously and I didn’t know what to say. It was odd.. I had never felt like this before, but I liked how different it was. It wasn’t like anything with my first girlfriend, nor was it even close to being anything like with Jody, and I was thankful for that.. 

“..Well.. Maybe.. I don’t know,” I admitted, my eyes looking over to Isaiah and I could tell he liked my answer.

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“Come with me, I want to show you the upstairs,” he said with a smile, walking out from behind the counter and I watched him with surprise, standing from the chair I sat in and I slowly followed behind him, watching him go up the stairs and I looked up to see a door that led to a different part of the bar entirely. Hesitantly, I walked up the stairs and met him at the top, my expression blank and he furrowed his brows when he looked to me. 

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“Stop looking like such a puppy again.. What are you afraid of? It’s just the VIP section. This is where all the old guys come to smoke their cigars and such, a good way to keep all the smoke away from everyone downstairs,, too,” he assured me and I smirked briefly, seeing him pull out a card from his pocket and he slid it over a spot on the wall that blended in perfectly, as if it wasn’t even there and the door clicked unlocked. “Gotta need one of these to get in.. Maybe I’ll give you one eventually,” he hinted, but even though I didn’t know quite what he meant by it, I watched him walk in and I slowly followed behind him.

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I was greeted by the strong scent of what I could assume would be Cuban cigars and it wasn’t as unpleasant as I thought it’d be.. The scent was actually oddly inviting and high-class. I looked around the room and it was a lot nicer than the downstairs, something that I was surprised of. I thought the downstairs was nice and I didn’t think his bar could look nicer, but I could see why the lounge was a much better place to be and how it was only meant for certain people.. This is probably where he makes most of his tips.

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People come up here to get away from all the noise downstairs,” Isaiah began, “Granted, there aren’t that many people with a card yet to come up here, they have to request one, but once I’m here a little longer and word gets around more, I counting on this room to retire with,” he continued, surprised by his words. 

“You plan on retiring soon?”

“Well, not soon.. But a hell of a lot sooner than sixty-five,” he said with a chuckle and I smiled.

“You seem really well off. Is this where you thought you’d be? Like.. When you were younger?” I asked, seeing him look to me and he lost his smile for the first time tonight.

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Sorry.. I didn’t mean to-”

“No, no.. I uh.. I’ve just never been asked that before.. Well, at least not from someone who weren’t my condescending parents,” he replied, watching him look around the room, “I, uh.. I originally wanted to be a lot of things.. You know how we all go through phases and such, wanting to be an astronaut when you were seven, or a firefighter when you were twelve.. Let’s just say I never imagined I’d turn out to be a bartender, but I came to love it.. I guess it doesn’t really matter what I originally wanted in my youth.. This is doing me just fine, and despite what my parents think, I couldn’t be happier with my career,” he replied, looking back to me and I saw him smile again, which made me relieved that he wasn’t troubled by the question I had asked.. I liked that I could assume I was the only one outside of his family that he’s shared that with.

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“How long do you plan on staying? We could have a few drinks together if you want..?” He suggested, “I can understand if you want to go home, though, if you have class or something tomorrow,” he continued, sounding as if he wished his second remark wasn’t the one I would choose and I smiled.

“I can stay for a while, if you’d like me to,” I answered and I watched as he looked away from me with a smirk.

“I’ll get us a few beers then,” he answered and I watched as he went behind the bar. “Please.. Relax a little, make yourself at home,” he insisted and I nodded.

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I walked around the lounge a little, removing my jacket and throwing it over one of the chairs casually and I stepped over towards the windows. I looked out to the calm snowfall, wondering if it was ever going to stop.. It seemed that ever since the first snowfall this year, it hasn’t let up even once. It was nice to look at, it was relaxing and it helped me keep my cool about being alone with Isaiah now that I knew were we stood.. I wondered if this was a date..? Was this our first? I didn’t mind being here for it, though I wished we could be somewhere else.. I could imagine that he might not like being at work all the time, and the fact that we were still here, I felt as if he was still ‘on the job’.. I felt bad that he was still serving drinks, even though he was officially closed for the night.. 

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“What are you thinking about?” Isaiah wondered, being startled a little by his voice being right behind me and I looked over my shoulder, seeing him handing me a bottle and I turned around so I could take it. 

“T-Thank you..” I answered quietly, looking down at the bottle and I took a quick sip of it, “And I’m not really thinking of anything..”

“Oh, come on.. Now I know that’s not true,” he challenged with a smirk.

I chuckled nervously, “I just, uhm.. I was thinking how I felt a little bad that we’re not drinking somewhere else.. We’ve only ever drank together here, and it’s.. Where you work, so.. I guess I feel bad that when you said that one night that all you’ve been doing is working since you moved here, don’t you get a little tired of being here, off the clock at least..?”

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“Well, it’s not a weird question.. You could say that this place is still pretty new to me, so I’m not exactly tired of being here yet. Plus, it’s my job. What would be the point of opening a bar if I don’t love what I do and didn’t love being here? ..It’s nice to have a place where I can spend time with someone that I like alone, too,” he hinted with a smirk and I felt my ears get warmer, averting my eyes from his momentarily and I heard him laugh, “You always make this certain expression when you’re flattered, I like it,” he continued and I couldn’t hold back a smile as well as a nervous laugh.

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“S-Stop..” I replied, taking another sip from the bottle and I set it down on a table near me, reaching up and rubbing the back of my neck.

“Why?” He challenged.

“Because.. I’m already nervous as it is.. You’re making it worse,” I answered shyly, turning my back to him to hopefully hide my warm cheeks.

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“Oooh, what’s this?” He wondered and I then felt his fingertips gently touching the back of my neck, pulling the back of my shirt down just slightly and all of my hairs stood on end. 

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I quickly turned around and he pulled his hand back abruptly, “Sorry.. I didn’t mean to startle you,” he apologized and I shied my eyes away once more.

“N-No.. I’ve just been, uhm.. A little jumpy lately, I guess..”

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“Oh..? Why’s that?” He asked and I didn’t feel like talking about anything negative at a time like this.. I wanted to enjoy tonight, and if that meant ignoring my troubles for a while, I was going to try my best to avoid talking about them.

“J-Just, uh.. We almost, uhm.. Got into a car accident on the way here tonight, I guess I’m just still a little rattled,” I lied, brushing off my jumpy behavior with a smirk.

“Oh, wow.. Yeah, I noticed the cab driver’s here are a little reckless.. Are you alright?” He wondered with concern and nodded with the same smirk I’ve held. “Good.. Next time I’ll make sure you’re facing me before I touch you.. I don’t want to startle you anymore,” he hinted and I felt my face ignite all over again. I turned back towards the windows and continued to rub the back f my neck again, unsure what to do with my hands and I heard him chuckle softly behind me.. I wanted to know so badly what he was thinking.. Even though he was flirting with me like crazy, I hated not being able to read him and prep myself for his advances. I constantly tried to keep my distance, but the more he complimented me, the harder I found it to avoid. But, I didn’t want to avoid it.. So why was I?

         Isaiah’s POV         

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I knew he was lying, it was obvious, but I didn’t pry any more because I knew it was something he didn’t want to talk about. I loved how hard he tried to hide things, it only made him more mysterious and I loved how he tried so hard to keep me from seeing his blushing face. But, I also loved looking at him and him constantly trying to hide himself wasn’t something I’d be able to stand for much longer. I wanted to look at his blue eyes and his cute freckles more, I wanted to make him blush more, too, but I found it hard to enjoy fully when he’s been turning away or covering himself with his long hair. I felt a little bad that I may have overstepped my boundaries when I touched his neck in an attempt to see his tattoo, but of course it only made me want to know more on why he had lied about why it startled him.. He seemed interested in me from what we had talked about earlier at the other bar, the questions he’s asked downstairs and up here so far made me believe he wanted to get to know me as much as I wanted to know him and I liked how that felt, but trying to get him to open up and stop being so shy was proving to be a difficult task.

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Was I coming on too strong? If there was a deeper reason as to why he was a little skittish, I didn’t want to pry, but.. With him now facing away from me, I didn’t want to touch him because I was nervous about making him jump again, but I wanted him to face me.. What should I say to get him to look at me again..? I looked down to the beer he had barely touched upon the table by the windows, assuming he didn’t want to drink it, but.. I sighed heavily, unsure of what I should even do. I felt as if I was always supposed to be on my toes around him, and as far as how I’ve been quickly and fluently responding to his questions with subtle flirtation or even blatant obviousness, he reacted just the same.. Shy.. Introverted.. “Cute..” I said softly with a smirk I couldn’t hold back.

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I watched as Oliver turned over his shoulder a little and looked to me with the same blushing face that I loved seeing, “W-What?” He asked.. Did I say what I was thinking out loud?

“Nothing..” I tried to recover, “Do you like watching the snow fall?” I wondered, noticing him looking outside a lot since he’s been upstairs with me and I watched as he shrugged.

“I guess.. It’s a little relaxing, isn’t it? Watching it fall..?” He wondered and I smiled as I looked to the side of his face as his view went out the window.

“Yeah..” I replied, watching him still face away from me, but I noticed the smirk on his plump lips, “Very relaxing..” I continued, still looking at him and I watched as he glanced over towards me again, feeling my heart weaken a little each and every time he made eye contact with me. 

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I couldn’t describe why I liked him.. When he had first came into my bar, he seemed as if he was a lost kitten coming out from the rain looking for a home, and I gave him a temporary one while he sulked about his Thanksgiving night.. I housed him for fifteen minutes, but even in that short amount of time, I really liked him..

The moment he looked at me when he had came in, both last time and also earlier tonight, I loved the look in his eyes. I loved his initial desperation.. The first time I met him, he looked hopeless, like he wanted company other than the company he had only minutes before he had arrived and I loved providing it to him.. Tonight, he came in with that same look.. Like he needed something, and he seemed happy to see me.. He told me he lost my number, but I didn’t believe that lie, either.. I’d ask about it later since obviously now was not the time, but I thought that despite how much he’s lied to me tonight, it oddly made me more curious about him. For how shy and quiet he seemed, it also seemed as if he had a lot of baggage.. But, if I wanted to be honest with myself, the threat of his baggage didn’t bother me. I wanted to know what it was. I wanted to know more about him..

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I didn’t know what to say to him next.. This was the first time tonight that all I wanted to do next was fill the silence with the feeling of his lips against mine, but based on his jumpy reaction, I worried that a kiss wouldn’t happen any time soon.. All that I could think of to ask was if he wanted another beer, which I knew he didn’t since he had barely touched the one he had now, or if I could touch him again, which I already knew, too, would be too much.. So, what do I do?

“You know..” He began first, to my surprise, “I.. I mentioned coming here to my sister because she was bored of the other restaurants.. I mentioned this place was new, and nice, and.. I, uhm..” He stopped, watching as the side of his face was no longer visible to me since he had turned away again, and with what I could assume he was going to say, I wish he was facing me.. “I wanted to come here to tell you why I hadn’t called.. So, I brought it up to her..” He admitted and I smiled softly.

“Is that the only reason..? I told you why I really gave you my number, so why did you mention my bar to her?” I asked, seeing the side of his face once more as he wanted to look at me, but still couldn’t.

B-Because, uhm..” Again with his studdering.. I loved it.. “I.. I wanted to see you again..” He confessed quietly and I was glad that he had admitted it finally.

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I stepped towards the windows a little more, setting my beer down next to his upon the table and I faced him, standing in front of him to block the view he had out the window. I could tell I made him more nervous now, almost forcing him to look at me when I knew he wasn’t ready to himself, but after his confession that I had been waiting to hear, I couldn’t let him keep up this wall of his anymore that stood between us. “Can I touch you?” I wondered innocently, watching as his demeanor went even more nervous than I thought was possible, “Please?” I continued, and eventually, after a long few seconds, I watched him nod and I smiled with excitement. He was finally getting more comfortable with me and I was relieved at the fact, even growing the tiniest bit nervous myself.

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I reached up slowly and put my right hand to his jawline, feeling the stubble under my fingertips and I drew my hand back a little more, letting my hand stop just under his earlobe and my thumb grazed over it a little. I loved the feel of his hair on my fingertips, seeing his eyes go less shocked and more relaxed and I felt as if he could maybe hear how hard my heart was beating.. I continued to watch his eyes, seeing them go to my lips and then down to my tie, trying to avoid eye contact with me like he usually did and I smiled.

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I couldn’t help myself.. I slid my hand passed his ear more to the nape of his neck, feeling his hair between my fingers and pulling him towards me, shutting my eyes when I had met his lips with my own. They were just as supple as I had hoped they’d be and I felt a cold rush of air on my upper lip from him inhaling so hard, no doubt in surprise from what I had done. I had been waiting to do this since I had first met him and I had to admit that I fell in love with his face instantly.. His shy behavior the whole time only made me want to kiss him more, he was too cute for words and I couldn’t stand holding myself back any longer, but somehow I knew that kissing him so abruptly would soon come back to bite me in the ass.

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After letting him get somewhat used to what was happening, I deepened the kiss a little, massaging my lips against his a little harder and I knew he liked it.. I knew already that if he didn’t, be would’ve pulled away, but I was relived that he hadn’t yet. I wasn’t done.. I could tell this was the first time he had done something like this, with another man, at least.. His trembling was completely obvious and I thought it was even more adorable that I knew he didn’t know how obvious it actually was.. The moment I attempted to push my tongue in his mouth, I felt his lips separate and it was an open invitation to invade passed his lips a lot more like I wanted. He seemed inexperienced, at least in physical relationships based on how stiff his entire body was, but I wondered how he felt about doing this with a guy. I had been with other men before, but I could proudly admit that none of them made me feel like I did about Oliver. I loved how fragile he was, how closed off and shy he was, even though it might seem odd.. I loved it. 

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I slipped my hand around his waist and he flinched, tensing up more than I was comfortable with.. I pulled away and so did he quickly, remorse consuming me and I was disappointed in myself. I was being way too quick with him and I knew he wasn’t ready, but I stupidly forced myself on him anyways. I hated seeing the confused and even slightly scared expression on his face.. Absolutely hated it, and I was the one that caused it.. “I’m sorry, Oliver.. I-”

“I-I, uhm..” He began, watching as he then began stepping backwards away from me. Shit.. I knew this was going to happen.. I was being too selfish and eager.. “Sorry, I-I gotta go..” He continued in a slight panic and I watched as he quickly grabbed his suit jacket he had laid over the back of one of the chairs and he headed for the door.

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“Oliver, wait! I’m sorry..” I tried to stop him but I watched then as he threw his jacket on quickly and left the lounge faster than I could say ‘I’m sorry’ again.

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I sighed heavily to myself as I sat down on the closest armrest, my anger building dramatically at my own actions and I knew that I was getting ahead of myself when it came to how I acted around him, but why couldn’t I stop? He was obviously uncomfortable by me touching his neck earlier, yet I still pressured him to eventually let me touch him again and now look where it got me. “I’m such a fucking idiot,” I said softly to myself, shutting my eyes and shaking my head in disgust by how I had acted tonight. I wasn’t sure whether to label tonight our first date or not, but even if it was, I did a great job ruining it, as well as maybe ruining another chance to see him again..

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I eventually took out my phone and I went to text him or even call him to apologize even more, but my eyes then widened in panic when I realized I had given him my number earlier, but I didn’t get his. “Fuck!” I let out angrily, shoving my phone back within my pocket and I rushed to the door, flinging it open quickly and I ran down the stairs, “Oliver!” I called out, hoping he hadn’t left yet as I then raced through the bar and I whipped open the front door.

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I ran out into the calm snowfall of the night, seeing his fresh footsteps in the snow, but when I looked to the sidewalk and towards the street as I ran, the footsteps didn’t lead to him and I slowed my pace as I approached the road.

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A sense of depression fell over me as I finally came to a stop and I looked left, then right, seeing the taillights of a cab pulling away and I assumed he was in it, but it was too far now to do anything about it. I stared at the cab’s red lights until I couldn’t see them anymore, putting my hands into my pockets to keep them warm and I couldn’t get passed how heavy and constricted my chest felt, my own guilt and remorse weighing hard down on me and I hated that there was nothing else I could do.. I didn’t know where he lived, I didn’t know what days or what times he went to class, and I didn’t get his number like I should’ve.. I really screwed up tonight.. Big time. 

 

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