For Everything You Were

by James Matthews

Chapter 11

Different Emotions to take

I awoke in the morning to find I was alone with only the bright sun to fill my heart with barely an ounce of joy. As my mind came too I was vividly reminded of my behaviour the previous night and shook my head as if trying to shake away the cringing thoughts.

I leaned over the bed and grasped my jeans pulling them up onto the bed before searching in the left pocket for my phone. Two missed calls and three text messages were on the screen making me wonder why I had not heard them. That's until I realised I have put my phone on silent to avoid any awkward questions from Cody should Ethen try to contact me. Surely enough, looking at the texts and missed calls it seemed Ethen had tried to do exactly just that.

"You got up early," I said as cheerfully as I could to Cody who was watching TV in the lounge.

"Yeah," came the one worded response, his eyes remaining fixed on the screen.

"Everything ok? Where's mum?"

"Out, and yeah, I'm fine!"

His sulky tone did little to convince me as I sat down on the sofa to pull a pair of socks on. Then again, there I was trying to kid myself that last night had somehow been erased from his brain.

"Look, um, about last night, I-"

"Don't bother Jake, but just for the record? If you were trying to screw my head up even more than you have these past couple of days then congratulations you win the gold star."

I got up and went and sat down on the same sofa as Cody and turned my head sideways looking at him. I then placed my hand on his which he tried to pull away but I held on tight until his resistance subsided.

Twisting my lips to the side I began to speak. "I know I have hurt you in a way that to most people is beyond comprehension, but-"

"Well I'm glad we agree on something," he interrupted.

"Cody, I have tried to look at this from all angles, honestly I have. I don't want to hurt anyone least of all you. You have been there for me when I needed you and have shown to me how irreplaceable you are in so many ways. But Cody, I can't, and should not have to live a lie in regards to the way I feel, you get me?"

"No I don't Jake, because before he turned up on the scene again things were fine between us."

I gently sighed and squeezed his hand tighter. "Were they? Really?"

"I thought so," he replied, finally pulling his hand from my grip, I let him this time.

"There were cracks Cody, surely you saw the cracks?"

"Maybe sometimes, but that's what normal couples go through right, I mean we aint gonna get on all of the time."

"No, but-"

"So tell me then, tell me why 2 years ago you were falling at my feet to get into bed with me and for us to be together and now you feel like this?"

"Nice to see what order you put that in Cody, and how I feel is because if I'm honest, I think I just grew up and had different feelings towards you as time went on.

"What, so now after all this time you are just pondering whether I was a school boy crush, sorry Jake I don't buy it!"

I got up and walked over to the window and let out a deep and slightly irritated sigh. "How long are we going to do this Cody, I am trying to treat this situation with as much delicacy as I can and you remain insistent on turning it into something hostile."

Cody got up from his seat and marched over to the window grabbing me by the wrist, his eyes full of anger. "Did you just seriously just fucking say that sentence… why am I turning it into… are you fucking… I mean you have got to be kidding me right?"

I pulled my arm away from him and rubbed it. "What do you mean?" I asked, genuinely shocked at his reaction.

"What do I… Jake, you are leaving me for another guy, I am still sleeping in your bed and-"

"Our bed!" I cut him off.

"Yeah and saying that almost makes it worse. Our bed then, and you trying to have sex with me, then come down stairs on the morning and ask HOW I AM? Fuck off!"

"So how do you want me to be Cody? Would you like me to be angry? Would you like it if I blamed you for all this? Would it help if I just ignored you… what do you want me to do, how should I act around you?"

"I don't know!" he hissed, walking away from me again.

"Well nor do I Cody. I can't help the way I feel about him, I cant help the way I feel about you. I'm trying to work through my feelings as best I can. I wish life was more fucking simple. Perhaps I should have just been a robot with no feelings and not have to make any decisions because right now that feels like it might be bliss."

"What's all the raised voices about? I can hear you two up the road?" mum asked, rushing into the lounge from the back door.

"What do you think mum? Basically, I'm still the asshole!"

"Jake!!" mum cried. "Cody honey, why don't you let me talk to Jake, go for walk and cool off. Jake, you go and do your sugars and meet me in the kitchen."

"Mum, I'm not fifteen anymore and how do you know I haven't done my sugars yet?"

Mum just gave me a look as if to ask why I was insulting her intelligence. Meh, she was right, I hadn't done them.

Hearing Cody go out I came back downstairs having completed my sugars and handed mum the machine.

"You know mum, this really is getting to be a little tedious," I said as she took it from my hand.

"Until you can convince me that you will still have all your limbs when you are seventy years old I will be doing this until I die! You want me to Google those pictures again, show you what happens to people who ignore their body?"

"I'll pass thanks!" I replied through gritted teeth.

"Right, well sit."

I did as I was asked, heaving myself up on to the breakfast stools while mum went to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of mineral water and poured me a glass.

"He just won't listen," I said, taking a healthy sip.

"And what is he listening to? You telling him that your relationship is over and that you are going off with another boy?"

"You know, it could almost be him standing there the way you sound."

"Jake, maybe it will take some experience to work this out, but what you have announced is not something that happens every day and more to the fact it's not something a rational person can take in as fast as I fear you are expecting Cody to."

"So what should I say?"

"There is no manual Jake on things like this, you have to go with what your heart is telling you, and I totally get that right now you are trying to handle it the best you can." She stopped and looked to go into deep thought.

"I feel a but coming," I said, before downing the rest of my water.

Mum stood silent for a moment before continuing. "Look Jake, I don't know what sort of conversations you have had with Cody since this all happened but from the ones I have heard and what you have said to me it's almost as if you expect him to be thinking exactly the same as you about this."

"I don't understand," I replied, raising a brow.

Mum sighed. "Well, let's look at your emotions in comparison to Cody's for a start. You are probably feeling excitement, apprehension and guilt I should imagine yes?"

"I guess."

"Ok, so how many of those three do you think Cody is feeling?"

I rubbed the side of my head and thought for a moment.

"I'd be surprised is he is feeling any of those right now if I think about it," I replied, not really knowing where mum was going with this.

"Well, I'm guessing Cody is feeling betrayal, anger, denial and possibly jealousy."

"That would make sense," I said, turning my lips down and tilting my head.

"So from that I'm sure you will understand that since you are both feelings different emotions then it's going to be the case you are dealing with this situation in different ways, right?"

"Hmm, I think I get what your saying."

"Right, so as you agreed, its unlikely Cody is going to be feeling excited by what's happening, nor apprehension because that is masked by the anger. Plus he has no reason to feel guilt because in his eyes, and quite rightly too, he has done nothing wrong here as he?"

"So I'm the bad guy and he's the victim, yeah?"

"Jake, don't twist my words, I am trying to help you see it from a different angle, not point the blame."

"I'm sorry; I just feel like the Villain that's all."

"Jake, as your mother I love you and will support you in whatever you do as I have said, but as an outsider, if you want me to be completely honest, I think you are making a bad call here. There I said it, but that does not mean I won't back you and love you any less."

"I know, mum, I know you all think I am making horrible mistake, you, dad and Cody. And you know what? That is the part I feel I understand so clearly. The confusing bit is why I feel so compelled that I must do this or risk regretting it, do you get what I mean?"

"Jake, it's a huge gamble, and I am not going to start trying to talk you out of it, but are you sure… are you really sure this is what you want to do?"

"It's funny; I had some texts from Ethen this morning asking me exactly the same thing. It's as if he is even trying to stop me."

"He obviously cares for you very deeply, and I am so surprised at how mature he has become… even more than he already was. You know you said to me that I could have stopped you going, or something along those lines, and I think had it been anyone else but Ethen who you were going to, I think I would have done everything I could to do just that."

I went into a brief daydream pose. "Yeah, I certainly feel safe when I'm with him."

"I just really hope he knows what's he's doing Jake. Mature or not, he is still so young just like you and I worry that he is not fully aware of the dangers that might face him when he returns to America, and in turn I fear that you will be involved should it go wrong."

"Hmm," I replied, thinking about what she was saying. "So, about Cody."

"Give him some space honey; don't talk about stuff unless he wants to. This is gonna hurt for a while longer yet for him, but eventually he will learn to accept how you feel and hopefully he will make a start on moving on."

"When I leave, will he have to leave too?"

Mum looked at me and frowned. "Sweetie of course not, he has a place here as long as he needs it, he is practically my son as well, and besides, I think your dad likes him being here."

"That's good to know. I feel sad that his family are who they are."

"Speaking of people Cody knows, Whatever happened to his friend Kit?"

I scratched my head. "Uh, good question, it felt like as soon as we left for America their friendship ended or at least Cody didn't seem to bothered about getting back in touch with him. Mind you, we were spending lots of time together then because of how I was feeling about Ethen dying."

"Aww, he's a good lad our Cody. You'll miss him won't you?"

"Like you wouldn't believe, I just wish he knew that."

"I'm sure he does Jake, now go find him and explain."

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