Puppy For Sale
Chapter 46 - Break, But Which One?
"What's up with you?" Steven asked as I sat slumped at the kitchen table, staring out of the window.
"Don't tell me you haven't noticed?" I replied, watching max through the kitchen window hacking away at some bush ready to put the new fence in.
"Dave by any chance?"
"Fourteen days, Steven!" I said, probably sounding cryptic.
"Excuse me… fourteen days what?"
"We've been together, fourteen days, and in that time I have had to pretty much explain myself from the off. Cindy first and now Hunter, I mean Jesus Steven."
"Sounds to me like the honeymoon period is already over for you both," Steven remarked, giving me a thoughtful look.
I sighed. "Is this how it's supposed to go when you get with someone? Is this what it's like to have a partner… for them to think or suspect you are being unfaithful behind their back?"
"I did tell you Dave has an issue with trust, but Jensen, you're not helping yourself, you know that right?"
"What?" I barked. "Hang on, how have I suddenly become the one who should be changing the way I am."
"Hey, don't fly off the handle, but look, I've seen you looking at Hunter. With the way Dave is, are you sure you wanna be doing that?"
"Ok, so I looked, he's an attractive guy, why should that matter, it's just looking with my eyes, it's not as if I have my mouth round his dick."
"I'm just saying that if you are berating Dave for getting jealous then you need to make sure it really is all in his mind before you go off on one… unless you DO have something to be guilty about?"
I let my head fall back so I was staring at the ceiling. "Steven, I have not given Dave any reason not to trust me, nor have I looked at Hunter while Dave was watching so there is no way he would know. Besides I sure as hell don't think I should feel guilty about glancing at another guy if that's all it was. You need to speak to him Steven."
Steven nudged back in his seat. "Me… why me?"
"Because I have said all I can. He does these things, says he's sorry and then does them again. It's a fucking vicious cycle and it's wearing me down. Jesus, I don't even find him attractive anymore. It's like his jealousy has acted like some toxic poison to his looks."
"What are you saying?"
"I think you know Steven."
"You're gonna dump him?"
"What would you have me do? I am becoming unhappy. We don't even talk anymore Steven, not like we were. All that happens now is we come home from school and I get him asking me loads of questions about who I spoke to, who called me and why I was late for lunch. Even you must get fed up with it?"
Steven sighed and leant back in his seat. "I don't know what to suggest, yeah he does seem different lately, but don't forget, he has a lot going on with his mum and stuff, I reckon that is playing on his mind."
"Yeah I get that totally, but what's that got to do with me and him?"
"I don't know Jensen, I'm just looking for an explanation that's all."
"No, it sounds to me like you are looking to excuse him."
"Hey that's not fair, you're my brother, and he's my friend, and we all live together, you must know I can't take sides in this?"
"It's not about taking sides, It's… it's about, oh fuck I don't know!" I huffed, banging my fist on the table.
Steven and I had started this conversation after Dave had gone over to see his mum after school. Something I was pleased about after having yet another argument with him. Steven surprised me as he was the one who wanted me to sit with him in the kitchen while dad was in the yard and mum was out visiting with Dave. He said he thought we should talk about what's been going on, but alas, I didn't feel like we had got far as he was reluctant to give any sort of opinion.
The truth was, any feelings I had for Dave were fizzling out fast because of his relentless jealousy and erratic behaviour. Sometimes he could be quite nasty and childish in his questioning and I was growing tired of having to explain my every move like I was on some big chess board. What didn't help was Hunter, in respect of him being so far the other way. He was so calm, gentle and laid back which added to the attractiveness I felt for him. He would listen to me go on about Dave when we were in class together and despite him telling me he wanted more than friendship he was a real gentleman and never tried it on with me, not even when we somehow ended up needing to use the toilet at the same time at school.
"So, you and Hunter?" Steven said, breaking the momentary silence.
"What about me and Hunter?" I replied, flicking him a look that said don't you start!
"Is there anything going on?"
"Er, no, and when exactly would there have been the time to? I'm in all your classes, I spend lunch with you and Dave and then we walk home from school together."
"Ok, I'm just asking, no need to bite my head off."
"I'm sorry, I am… it's just so stressful living like this. I dread getting into bed at night because I don't know what he is going to say next. It's not so bad when we're all upstairs and talking, he tends to skip the him and me subjects, but as soon as you go to sleep, I am kept up for ages while he runs through his daily list of questions. Anyway, I don't wanna talk about this anymore, it didn't help… how come you never see that girl anymore?"
"Yeah you know, the one you saw that day at lunch when I was off school. You seem to have two dates with her and then that was it."
Steven shrugged. "She's not really my type if I'm honest."
"You mean you're not her type?"
Steven tried to hide an embarrassed smile but I saw through it. "She said I had big ears… do I have big ears?"
I looked from left to right of his face and shook my head. "I think you have lovely ears, whatever was she on about… mind you, I am biased," I chuckled.
"Well, her loss not mine. Besides, you know what? I'm happy being single and free so it hasn't really bothered me."
"I just don't get it." I said, looking at him and shaking my head.
"Don't get what?"
"You're a good looking guy, probably one of the best looking in school, so far as I've seen, so how can you be single?"
"Maybe I give off the wrong vibes, but whatever it is, as long as I get sex every four to six months to stave off the urges I don't care about not having some tart on my arm. Most of them just want to spend my pocket money anyway," Steven laughed, and so did I."
Upstairs after Max had attempted to feed us, Steven and I were laying on our beds watching TV. I was lost deep in thought, mostly about how to proceed with Dave and Steven was glued, as usual to some low budget movie on SciFi. My mind was shaken back to the present with the voice of Dave talking to Max after he just walked in with mum. I couldn't hear what was being said but I guess I would find out when he came up, which I heard him do moments later.
"Hi guys, I'm back," Dave announced walking into the bedroom. I smiled at him and patted the bed. He looked to be in a good mood which was a relief as I really didn't have the energy to argue anymore with him.
Steven looked up from the TV and waved. "How was it?" I asked, as he came and sat on the bed with me.
"My mum? Yeah she was ok… sober at least."
"That's great, and your brother?"
"Oh, I didn't see him, but I hear he's doing really well with my aunt."
"Oh ok, well at least you know he's ok."
"Yeah, so what have you both been up to?"
I looked at Steven, who then looked at me. "Tell him." Steven said, a serious look forming on his face.
"Tell me what?" Dave asked, bringing his attention to me.
"Jensen was telling how you have turned into a jealous control freak and that he is thinking of ending your short lived relationship. Just for the record I think that is a fair comment seeing as the way you have been acting, but I will stay out of it."
"Stay out of it?" Dave retorted. "It sounds like you are already well into it Steven. Jensen? What's this all about?"
"I um, well, he is kinda right, we did have a discussion."
"I see, so you think I'm all those things he said?"
"I'm just tired of arguing with you Dave. You know I was so happy when we first got together, I just never knew relationships were going to be this difficult. I've tried to understand you and your reasons for getting jealous, but the more I do, the more I can't get my head round it. I haven't done anything wrong and maybe…"
"Maybe what?" Dave asked, his eyes wide.
"Well, maybe I'm just not good for you."
Dave turned his view back to Steven who was listening intently now. "Did you put him up to this?"
"Whoa Dave, I had nothing to do with any of what he said, but give Jensen some credit, he can think for himself."
"So what are you saying Jensen, you wanna end it, after two weeks?"
I didn't answer straight away. Yes, if I was honest with him, that's exactly how I felt right at this moment in time, but a chunk of me wondered if I was being too hasty.
"I want you to end the way you act around me," I said, settling for a milder alternative… for now.
"Funny, I want Hunter to do exactly the same thing," Dave said, surprising me with the comment.
"What do you mean, what's Hunter got to do with this?"
"Oh come off it Jensen, you are by far the best looking boy in the school, everyone can see it, especially Hunter who fancies the pants off you, is it any wonder I get a little uneasy."
I just looked at him in amazement. "You are unbelievable Dave, you know that? You really don't see this as your issue at all do you? It's either me leading guys on, or Hunter leading me on. For your information neither is true. Yes Hunter may like me, but it takes two to tango and if you really think I am that cheap that I would just waltz off with him while going out with you then why the hell are we a couple?"
"He has a point Dave," Steven chimed in.
Dave sat there for a moment silent. The room became so quiet the ticking of Steven's wall clock started to come into focus.
"You wanna know what I think?" Asked Dave, his voice calm. I was now hoping for something more positive.
"What's that?" I asked, equally calm.
"I think you really want to be with him and you are just searching for a way out of what you have with me… yeah, that's what I think."
My heart and body sank, and I shook my head slowly. "I don't think I even know who you are anymore Dave," I said, getting up from the bed. I walked out of our room and into the bathroom where I burst into tears trying to hold in all my anger that had been building listening to Dave since he got back.
In that moment his final statement had a half truth to it. Yes I was now looking for a way out. Not to be with Hunter, but because Dave had just become too incompatible with who I could adapt to, with tonight being a classic example of why I needed to end our brief relationship.
I leant over the sink and squeezed the rim trying to hold back the tears that were flowing down my face. Just two weeks ago I had been so happy with the same boy out in my bedroom to the one who I now don't think I could even look at. I really needed a good chat with mum, she would know what to do, but getting her on her own was proving to be difficult lately.
After around twenty minutes I reappeared from the bathroom after spending the time trying to compose myself. I had wiped my eyes several times making them red, but I was not going to be that scared little kid anymore locked away in some room because I was too afraid to stand up for myself.
Defiantly I walked back into the bedroom to find Steven still lying on his bed. As I came round into view of my own bed I found it empty.
"Where did he go?"
Steven shrugged his shoulders. "Dunno, said he needed some air, I think he went for a walk."
"Don't you have anything to say?"
"Sure I do, but what's the good in me saying it. This is something you both have got to work out."
I took on a solemn pose. "What if I don't want to work it out? What if I have had enough, would you blame me?"
"Well then I am going to tell him we are over."
"Good for you, this is going to be a very nice place to live once that happens," Steven said, sarcasm in his voice.
"Oh, so you just want us to stay together so things are less awkward, but at the same time I'm miserable?"
Steven laughed. "I've already learned to ignore it, but it's funny because this seems to be the shortest relationship I have ever known anyone to enter into, and that's saying something at our age."
"Well what would you do?"
Steven shrugged. "Meh, it is what it is. Look in all seriousness I don't wanna see you unhappy Jensen, but there is no point asking me about stuff like this, after all I don't have the best track record with sticking around with girls. I just think that if you have come to a decision in your head then you need to follow through with that. Dad always said that you should go with your gut because it's usually right."
"And Hunter?" I asked.
"If you are asking me whether you should move onto him, then-"
"Moving onto him sounds so shallow, I don't want to move onto anyone… in fact I would prefer it if Dave was just normal, I like him a lot but I can't have him assert this control over me, I need my freedom Steven… too many years have people had control over me."
"Ok, look, let me put it this way then. I don't think you and Hunter should get close until Dave is a least some way to being over this."
"WHAT? Have you seen what he's like, that could take months… years even!"
"Just be subtle that's all I'm saying. Anyway, why is it so important that you are with someone? Why not just be single like me?"
I thought about his question. It was true that I really didn't need a boyfriend. I think it was just the case that two awesome looking guys had come into my life at the same time and I was just following the natural course of events, but part of me did wonder if it would just be simpler not to have anyone. Again, I thought about really trying to have that chat with mum to see what she thought. Steven was a good listener and he did offer his opinion, but right now I felt like I needed someone with a little experience in love and all that jazz to advise me on.
I was down in the dark feeding the chickens when Dave got back from his walk. I too had needed some air and was really just sitting by the coop when I heard the back door open. Blinded by the flood light that was attached to the house it took me a second to see it was him.
"Steven said you were out here, sorry I took off, I just needed some time alone," Dave said coming to sit down next to me.
"That's ok, I'm just doing the same really, sometimes we all need a bit of space I guess."
"I'm sorry about what I said, I don't mean to get these crazy thoughts in my head it's just… Oh God I don't know, I think I may be wired up wrong."
I looked at him intently. "Do you really think I am doing all these things that are going around in your mind?"
"Sometimes yeah… if you want complete honesty. Jesus Jenson, look at you, you are so good looking, perfect in fact."
"But as I have told you before Dave, I have my own mind; I can make decisions regardless of what other people want to do. Just because someone might like me that does not give them the right to assume I like them too, and in turn it does not mean I am automatically going to cheat on you just because they DO like me. Do you understand?"
"But what about Hunter?" Dave asked. I sighed.
"Hunter is a very good looking guy who happens to go to the same school as us, again, why should it matter if I talk to him or sit next to him."
"But you find him attractive yeah?"
"Of course, don't you?"
"Well then… and why is it you two never hooked up?"
"Because I don't think he knows about me… my sexuality I mean."
"Well everyone does now after your little outburst," I replied, giggling lightly. "I think he is a very hunky lad, and yes I am attracted to him… there, I am being completely honest with you."
"Thanks, but it doesn't really make me feel better."
"Well I don't know what you want Dave. Would you like me to lie to you, which will be wrong and breed distrust, or do you want me to be honest, so you know where you stand. I can't do both, and I am sure as hell not going to keep explaining myself every time I talk to someone."
Dave let his head drop down and he rested on his knees. "I'm surprised you want to continue this relationship," he said, quietly.
"Back to being honest, I don't," I said, not looking at him, preferring to stair straight ahead towards the house. I could feel Dave's head slowly rotating to look at me.
"Are… are you ending it with me?"
I paused for a moment and puffed air through my lips. "I don't know, Dave, I'm not happy like this, that much I know."
"But we've only been together two weeks."
"I know, and that's what is scary. If we are like this after two weeks how are we supposed to survive after two months… two years, etcetera."
"I've caused all this I know." He stated. I didn't agree, but stayed silent instead, which he knew meant I agreed, but it was more diplomatic.
"Just please don't hate me Dave for feeling the way I do. Maybe we are just not meant to be together. Perhaps you will find someone else who doesn't make you feel so insecure, but I just don't think you and me can survive like this."
"You know, for someone who has never been in a relationship, you sure seem to know what you want and how they work."
"Not at all Dave, I'm learning all the time, but there are things that are obvious to see that are not right."
I sniggered. "Well, two weeks in and we are having conversations like this is a good start."
"Just tell me something, and be honest. If you end things with me are you going to go straight to Hunter?"
"Why must you keep bringing him up Dave, it's like you are obsessed with him and I being a couple."
"Because I know he is somehow influencing the way you are going about this," Dave snapped.
"No Dave, you are influencing the way I am going about things, you and your damn jealousy! Dave, relationships are built on trust. If we don't have trust we don't HAVE a relationship. . . Look, I really don't want to argue. We all have to live here and if things don't work out between us I want us to stay friends, ok?"
"Friends? Are you serious?"
"What do you mean?" I asked, innocently and meant it.
"Jensen, you don't go from being romantically involved with someone to friends just like that. For a start, if we do break up then I am going back home no matter how miserable I am there. I don't think I would be able to bear being around you knowing that I can't hold you or be with you intimately."
"I don't want you to do that, look what about we have a break then, you see it on TV all the time, people have breaks, right? Maybe then we can see what we are missing and maybe start again." I suggested.
"A break? And Jensen, this is not TV."
"Well what do you suggest? Unless the green eyed monster in you quits then what's the point of us trying to make this work?"
"Fine, a break then. I don't want to lose you Jensen, and I'll try my hardest to control myself, just don't give up on me, please."
"That's the last thing I want to do, but I can't do things like this anymore, its making me really unhappy."
"So how long will this break last?"
I shrugged. "I don't know, maybe until we realise we have passed this little phase and you are ready to accept I am not the unfaithful person you think I am," I replied bluntly. "C'mon, let's get inside, I'm getting cold now."
We both got up and Dave wrapped his arm round my waist and we both walked up the yard back to the house, under the watchful eye of mum, who looked to have been watching us from the kitchen window.
I wanted to feel like this talk had done us good and that we had put to bed a lot of the issues, but it was now dawning on me that my brain was more screwed up now than before we spoke. Partly because my idea of ending it with Dave to save both of us had not quite gone to plan. I now found myself in limbo by the suggestion of giving him… us, another chance. Were we together still, or was this break just an intermission for the final split? The truth was I didn't know. I liked Dave a lot, but as I had mentioned, this jealous streak in him was a real turn off. We had been together two weeks and were arguing already. Steven had mentioned that at this period in our relationship we should have been having sex every free minute of the day, but instead we hadn't been intimate for ten days now because of the way things were. If left me to wonder if there was anything to salvage. Could I get those feelings back I had for him? Would Dave ever be the Adonis I saw every time I looked at him? Right now I didn't see that. Sure I saw a really good looking guy, but I was quickly starting to understand that personality went a long way with me, and how I felt. Dave used to have the whole package, but now it was like half of what I liked was gone, and for me, one half without the other was as bad as having nothing.
Take a break, or break up? We'll see.
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