Enemy Or Lover? - Chapter 37
“Sugar.” Sam laughed at me, kissing my forehead as he leaned against his car. His golden hair had a special sheen to it that I had never seen before. I never realized just how bright he looked until I saw how dark he could look.
“What?” I chuckled, weaving my fingers through his and pulling him towards the ashen and destroyed building. “Shouldn’t we pay our respects?”
“I guess, but how do you suggest we go about doing that?” Sam raised a brow, stepping away from the car and following after me.
It had been two weeks since it all came to an end. So much happened. At first, everyone wanted to know the full story. Hell, everyone still wanted to know. We never told anyone though, our lips sealed shut. There was nothing to tell.
Each one of us had our own theory about what happened to Rick and why he gave it a rest. The man was long gone, disappearing from town and any surrounding ones. His wife along with him. There was never another threat or appearance from Drake or anyone affiliated. Sam thought that they had exhausted their sources, and because the story of the two boys in the wreckage of the diner had gone viral, too much would happen if anyone found out about the cause.
Sam spent two weeks in the hospital. That was his first day out. He wore the red rose embroidered sweatshirt. I said that it didn’t smell like him anymore, so that was why he needed to start wearing it again. I remembered when I initially woke up in the hospital. Mom and Dad were losing their shit, demanding to know what happened and who did that to me. I didn’t say a word.
The first time I spoke was when Sam woke up. The first thing I said was how much I loved him. Everyone said that the reason he lived was because I did my best to slow the bleeding. I was pretty sure that they were all just looking for something to shed light on the dismal occurrence.
It turned out that Dennis was the true savior. I completely forgot about when he had tucked something into my pocket. It was his phone, a 911 call on the line. The only flaw was the fact that they couldn’t figure out where we were since we never said it. Dennis had just pressed the call button, and allowed for them to listen to what was happening.
It was thanks to that that the police were ready, just trying to figure out our location. It took a little while, but they tracked the call. There was also another call from the closest neighbors, reporting the sound of a gunshot. When they pulled up to the diner, Dennis was the first to talk to them, telling them that Sam and I were still inside. Brian was still holding a crying Caden, trying to calm him down.
We were pulled out of the collapsing building only a few moments after I passed out. Sam was immediately taken to urgent care. I was certain that his torso still ached, but he refused to admit it. Loud noises sometimes scared him more than they should have. The doctors said that he would be facing a lot of psychological damage as well, but Sam never said a word about it.
Our parents were the biggest problem. They all insisted for answers, begging each and every one of us. Sam’s and mine were the worst. They refused to just give up. It had been two weeks and they were still trying to get answers from us. We never said a word. The only parent that never seemed to bat an eye, was Caden’s father. He was only there briefly and I hardly got a look at him, then he was gone.
Sam and I came out to Millie when she came to visit us in the hospital. I told her about how much I loved him. She just smiled and hugged me tightly, telling me how she couldn’t care less, all that mattered was that I was alive. Then she proceeded to give Sam a twenty minute lecture about what was going to happen if he hurt me.
There was one particular day in the hospital where Caden and I stood outside of Sam’s room.
“Are we ever going to tell anyone about what happened?” He had asked, brows drawn together in worry.
I had rubbed my tired eyes and shook my head. I was hardly sleeping, too concerned about Sam to even attempt it. “No. Not unless they come back.”
“Okay.” He nodded. He was sat against a wall, knees drawn to his chest.
“Are you alright?” I asked him.
“Yeah.” He nodded. “I just want to make sure everyone else is. You and Sam especially. I can deal with this kind of stuff.”
“Don’t worry about me, Caden.” I told him. “You shouldn’t even be worrying about Sam. He’s going to be okay.”
“I know.” He looked up at me through his blonde lashes. “Why do you call me Caden?”
“Don’t know.” I had shrugged. “I just always have.”
“Okay.” Caden nodded. He had a chocolate bar tucked into his palm, but it remained unopened. Brian was the one who gave it to him.
“Why is Brian so quiet?” I had asked, because the curiosity distracted me from Sam’s hurt body. It was all I could see every time I closed my eyes.
At first, he appeared confused, as though he didn’t even know what I was talking about. Then finally, he shrugged. “He isn’t around me. I think he just doesn’t feel the need to talk. Somethings just don’t need to be said aloud.”
That was how we all felt about not telling anyone about what happened. We just didn’t feel the need to. Everyone had to give up eventually and no moves could have been made if we didn’t give them anything to go by. All they had was that 911 call. And listening to it out of context, was extremely confusing on top of the audio being muffled by my jeans.
“I can’t believe this place is gone.” Sam sighed. He had his arms wrapped around my neck, resting his head against my shoulder. We were both stood where the doorway had once been. It was now just a pile of ash. The police hadn’t known that there was fire going on, so it took them even extra time to get the firefighters there. The place was too far gone.
“Me either.” I whispered. “Millie and I used to go here all the time. Kiera would take us. It’s just sad that I never even got to eat here one last time.”
“My mom and grandparents would always take me here. We did it when dad was working, before mom started working so much too. When my grandparents died, it was kind of the catalyst.” Sam said. His blonde hair tickled my cheek as he spoke.
“I haven’t even seen Jack and Dee in the longest time.” I replied.
“Neither have I.” He told me. “But I hope they’re doing okay. I hope they’re not too devastated by what happened. They didn’t deserve this.”
“I know.” I mumbled, placing my hands on his arms. We both stood like that for awhile, just staring at the burnt down building, silently paying our respects.
If someone were to have told me that I was going to be where I was in about two months time, I would have thought that they were insane. That was one crazy fucking rollercoaster that I never thought I would ride. I was just grateful that I still had Sam by my side. And his friends. Dennis, Caden, and Brian. The last two weeks had been spent conversing with them and having fun despite everything that happened. I was pretty sure that I could finally call them my friends, too.
Our story went viral. People were talking about the two boys found in the fire, one shot. There were clips from the phone call that were leaked. Everyone had a different guess as to what really happened that night. No one even came close. Even though it hadn’t been long enough for the thrill of the unexpected occurrence to die yet, I knew one day it was going to and we were finally going to be able to focus on the future and not the past.
“Let’s go to the park.” Sam suddenly spoke up, snapping me out of my thoughts.
“The park?” I laughed, turning my head at an odd angle to look into his eyes. They were shining brightly.
“Yeah, come on!” He unwrapped his arms from my neck and laced our fingers together. We didn’t bother with the car, instead just walking. The park was just around the block anyway. He used one crutch as he walked as to keep pressure off of his back.
As we walked, we talked about pointless things. For the first time in a while, I felt like a normal teenage boy just having fun with his boyfriend. There wasn’t any reason for us to be fearful anymore. Sure, there were probably homophobes – but fuck them. It wasn’t like we were making out in the middle of the road. We were simply holding hands and walking side by side.
The sun was shining, glinting off of our hair. Sam had gotten a lot paler after the last few weeks of not being able to go outside, so I was glad that he could finally get some of his usual color back. The air was chilly, since winter was on its way, but the warm sun made up for it.
We entered the park, walking for a little while longer before finding a nice bench to sit on. I helped him down, Sam leaning the crutch against his thigh. Some more time passed wherein we just sat and held a meaningless conversation. But it didn’t feel meaningless at all. It felt so important, just the idea of being by his side.
That was when I spotted someone in the distance. It was a kid, wearing plain clothing and it was seemingly a normal sight. I wouldn’t have taken any interest in him, if I hadn’t seen him somewhere before.
“Sam.” I nudged him quietly, trying to not be too obvious.
“What?” He looked at me, raising an eyebrow. I subtly pointed in the boy’s direction, hoping that Sam would see what I was talking about. He had a surprised expression on his face. “Isn’t that the kid from the bowling alley?”
“Yeah.” I whispered. “The one who stood up for gays.”
Why was I so bad with names? Wasn’t it Ryder? Oh, wait, no. That was the other one. It started with a W, didn’t it? He had curly black hair, brown eyes, and dark skin, looking nothing out of the ordinary. However, his head was hung low and his posture was slumped.
“Is he okay?” Sam asked.
“I don’t know.” I shrugged. “Do I look like him?”
“Maybe we should go ask.” Sam suggested.
“Well, what if he’s sad?”
“Then he’s sad…?”
“Oh, my god. I’m going to ask.” Sam rolled his eyes, standing up with the help of his crutch. I was sure that it didn’t feel good to be getting up and down like that, but I allowed him to go over there anyway.
I stood up as well, walking towards the boy. There was no way he was any older than thirteen or fourteen with that baby face. He didn’t look like the rest of the family that we had seen back at the bowling alley, so I had assumed that he might have only been friends.
“Hello.” Sam greeted gently, walking up to him. He was clearly doing his best to appear nonchalant. “Wyatt, right?”
Oh! That was his name.
“Huh?” His eyes were wide, clearly startled by our sudden appearance. Then after a second, he nodded. “You’re from the bowling alley.”
“Yeah.” Sam bit his lip. “I’m Sam and that’s Sawyer.” I waved with a small smile. “Are you alright?”
“Oh… yeah, I’m fine.” Wyatt said quietly, averting his gaze. I didn’t think that even a blind person could have missed his dejected expression. He was itching his wrist.
“Are you sure?” Sam tried. He was very good at dealing with kids. It never failed to impress me.
“…yeah.” Wyatt swallowed. He was definitely lying. Then after a pause, he murmured, “Can I ask you guys something?”
“What is it?” Sam smiled.
“How… how did you guys know that you were gay?” Wyatt touched his face as he asked it, as though to gauge how warm it was. I felt bad for the poor kid.
“When he kissed me.” I couldn’t stop myself from saying. It earned me a curious look from Sam. “Didn’t even know I liked him until he kissed me.”
“Oh…” Wyatt trailed off.
“I don’t really think either of us are technically gay.” Sam told him. “I mean, sure, we’re in a gay relationship. But I’m not gay, and as far as I know, Sawyer’s not either. We just like each other.” Wyatt blinked. “What I’m trying to say is that you don’t have to be gay or bi or whatever. You can just like who you like when you like them.”
There was a moment in which Wyatt just stared at the two of us, as though he was trying to process Sam’s words. Then finally he said, “What if the person you like doesn’t like you back? Then what does that make me?”
I thought for a second before replying. “I guess that depends on who you decide to be. No one picks who they like or not, but you can pick which label you prefer. Or none. Maybe the person you like just hasn’t figured it out for themselves.”
That was when Wyatt shocked both Sam and I. He mumbled beneath his breath, “Rylee is an asshole.”
The other one’s name wasn’t Ryder, it was Rylee. Wait, so Rylee definitely wasn’t his brother, right? God, I hoped not. We weren’t living in the best place on earth, but I didn’t think that it was fucking Alabama!
“Do you like Rylee?” Sam asked. We both exchanged a confused glance.
Wyatt’s face drained of color. “What? No! I don’t like Rylee! He just…” He got quiet. “He’s so, ugh! He always rips on everything I do and never gets in trouble for it! And he’s always making fun of everything I like! How could I like a guy like him? He’s impossible!”
Sam nodded slowly, clearly not believing a word that came out of his mouth. I agreed with him on that one. There was no way in hell that Wyatt didn’t like Rylee.
“Are you two brothers?” He voiced the question that was leaving me beyond concerned.
“What?” Wyatt seemed baffled, as though the notion was impossible. “No way! We just live together.”
I wanted to ask why, but I refrained. That wasn’t my question to ask. Instead, I told him something that immediately peaked his interest. “Sam and I used to despise each other.”
His eyes went wide and his mouth hung open. “Really?”
I couldn’t help but chuckle softly. “Yeah. We hated each for a total of three years before we finally got together. Hate and love are both passions. They stand on the same level, but aren’t necessarily touching. I think that most hate is usually just there to cover up love. Love is so scary, that it’s way easier to just pretend that it’s a form of hatred than to accept it.”
His brown eyes glittered with a million emotions as he listened to my words. Then finally, his head turned back towards the direction that he had come from. With a smile that I hadn’t been expecting, he said, “Thank you! I need to get going.”
I was still beyond confused. My words were encouraging, but they weren’t that great. I was pretty sure that he just needed to hear something positive, no matter how little it was. He thanked the both of us before running off. I had no clue what the hell he was planning on doing, but I wished him good luck anyway.
“What the hell was that about?” Sam chuckled, still every bit as confused as I was.
“No idea.” I told him.
“Come on, lets head to my house.” Sam reached his hand out to me. “My parents want you over for dinner.”
“Why didn’t you tell me that beforehand?” I groaned.
“Because I knew that you would overthink it like the drama queen that you are.” He pressed a chaste kiss to my lips.
“As long as you’re the drama king.”