Cowardice. The word collided against my ribcage and settled within the pit of my stomach as the underground tube of London sped along the tracks.
It had been a long day of mundane business meetings for Jackamo and I that began at the crack of dawn. Though I suppose I would have been awake at 5 am regardless. Nonetheless, my craving for the comfort of home and perhaps a cup of tea surpassed eveything at this point.
Well, almost everything…
The IPhone screen rested in my palm was brilliantly lit, to the point where it strained my eyes immensely. But should I lower the brightness setting, it would require navigating away from the drafted text message my thumb was currently hovered over. It twitched and fidgeted, but never dared to make even the slightest contact with the touch screen.
A soft sigh left my lips as I continued to stare at the familiar name in the recipient’s box. I’d like to say that Tessa and I simply haven’t spoken in exactly a week. However, the truth was that I was completely clueless to any essence of her being at this point. Despite living in the same floor of the same building, I had not caught even a glimpse of those dark toffee colored waves. Though it was only 7 days, the atmosphere was as strange as ever without her company.
I recall her bit of panicking from that morning before she ran for it, not giving any chance at explanations. She depended only on her thoughts, that were no doubt just as jumbled as mine. And that was the root of my worry. Each time I brought myself to seek her out, I succumb to the mere fear that she may at once dismiss me from her life. Stubborness was one quality she did not lack.
A light chuckle beside me pulled me out of my stream of pessimistic scrutiny. Jack was deep in conversation, text conversation that was, with somebody. The possibility of Ella being on the other end was too great. After almost two years, these kind of things don’t bother me anymore. Though the gnawing sensation inside was gradually increasing. It was poisonous in a sense, to anticipate a jealousy that may one day overwhelm my self control.
It was irritating, really. Seeing his variety of amused and cheerful expressions out of the corner of my eyes every couple of seconds. As if he was purposely flaunting, or perhaps it was just my bitter mood.
"Wait a second.." I suddenly drawled out, causing Jack to spare a glance in my direction before averting his eyes back to his phone. "… Doesn’t Ella have class right now?"
"Not talking to Ella." He responded. Quick. Simple. Too effortless.
Call it whatever you want, twin telepathy even. But it was all too evident that something was off.
"Then who are you talking to?" I questioned once more, eyebrows slightly furrowed.
"Nobody." The one word was almost unintelligible with the speed it tumbled out with. His tongue failed him as it fumbled with the next couple of words that most definitely composed a lie. "…Just, uh, Marcus."
Right. I gave a nod that was as convincing as his reply. Though I didn’t push any further for the truth. Not when it wasn’t meant for me to obtain. And I returned to my pathetic state of staring at a name in a phone, unknown and conflicted and afraid of making a next move.
Laughters of pure amusement resonated from my lips as Jack raced to the bathroom the second I unlocked the front door to our flat. I shouted an apology in between breaths for the fact I purposely took my time searching for keys while in the hallway, purely so I could watch him jump up and down in frustration and lack of bladder control. He’s done it to me enough times after all.
Curses muffled through the distance of the walls within the apartment flat sent me into another round of hilarity. I struggled to regain composure as Jack’s phone that was tossed onto the counter went beserk from about several rounds of generic incoming text alert and vibrations.
"Jesus…" I muttered under my breath as my curiosity got the best of me.
I expected the unexpected, but what I saw still caught me off guard.
5 new messages from Tessa Calidan.
My eyes double and tripled checked, praying it was a trick of the light. But the fact of the matter was that Jack had been conversing with her, when my pathetic self couldn’t even compose as much as a simple greeting on a blank drafted text.
My brain was unresponsive, yet infiltrated and overwhelmed. My mental state was conflicted as to what to feel. Though there was a distinct unnerving knot forming in my gut.
My frame of distraught was suddenly cut short with a holler of my name from Jack’s room. A quick glance at the time of 8:58pm told me why; live broadcast time. That was the problem with this job- although it was beyond my wildest expectations at times, it was also impossible to escape during others.
I sighed, throwing aside the dusty air clouding my lungs as I made my way through the compacted flat.
“Alright let’s do th-” I shouted as I bounced into the room, blindly tossing a bag of ‘broadcast maoams’ towards Jack’s general direction as my fingers tapped away on my own phone, only to be halted by a rather unusual sight as I glanced up.
“Why don’t have trousers on?…” I questioned, stiffling a laugh as I observed the scene of him scrambling around the room in a pair of boxers.
“Because I legitimently peed myself thank you very much.” He responded, over dramatic hand gestures and eye rolls accompanying his words. “I should just stay in my boxers.This will be a fun little story to tell the internet.”
And the hour went by quickly, witty banter carring us all the way through. Jack retold some cheeky anecdotes, I struggled to find appropriate questions for us to answer on twitter, all the while slighty suggestive jokes were thrown into the air. The number of viewers were never fail to amaze me. It was astonishing how we were able connect with people all over the world, too many of whom we’ll never meet, or even know the existance of. Although I suppose there was another angle of unknown, for anybody could have watched it without our knowledge.
Anybody. Anywhere. Was there any chance the girl with irises inconstant as the ocean were watching?
The melodic voice that captured my attention was a different haunt, one that I could not escape from. One that bruises and scars while it constantly echoes within my head. One that often causes me to question my belief of fate, and ‘everything happens for a reason’.
"Hey Elle, when’d you get here?" I acknowledged with a weak smile from my place, still sat upon the couch in Jack’s room even though the broadcast had ended quite a while ago.
"Just a minute ago. Can I ask you something?" Her eyes cautious as she sat down next to me. It was quite frightening really.
"About…?" I wondered, curiosity and confusion settling across my face.
"Tessa." The name was crisp in her mouth. "And what exactly happened between you two."
"What do you mean?" I asked before I could allow myself to jump to any irrational conclusions, careful to keep a straight face; although my pulse was noticeably increasing. "Did she say something to you?"
"No, that’s the thing. I’ve barely talked to her this whole week." Her brow creased as she explained.
"What makes you think I have anything to do with that?" My response perhaps came a little too quick, too defensive.
"Because she freaked out and ran for it when I mentioned you last time I saw her." Her tone leaked annoyance. It was evident her patience was running thin.
But so was mine, especially when she wouldn’t take ‘nothing’ as an answer. We stood and paced around the room as the heated responses flew back and forth. The tension in the atmosphere built, along with the force behind our voices.
The breaking point was near.
“You can’t just do to her what you do to every other girl Finn.” Her voice venomous as she spat out my name. “This is Tessa we’re talking about, NOT one your whores you just cast aside when you’re bored!”
And that, I suppose, was it.
As her sentence resonated through the room, my expression was wiped clean, for it no longer showed any trace of anger or irritation, only blank eyes and flatlined lips. And I don’t dare show any sign of hurt. Still each word took its turn, striking and punching.
"Is that what you think I do? What you think of me?" My words came out lower than I meant it to, just above a whisper, but there were barely any air left in my lungs.
Ella was already shaking her head as she stepped closer. Apology and disbelief already set within her hazel eyes, as she stuttered a string of disagreeing no’s and I’m sorry’s.
Though most, and probably myself as well on any other day, would have left it at that, and allow the situation to resolve, I didn’t. I pushed it further. Not caring for what disastrous consequence it could ensue.
"So what do you think of me? How do you think of me?" I remained emotionless as my voice raised, only slightly as it was still soft.
"A-as Jack’s twin" She replied without pause, gaze flickering between her feet and my face.
"That’s it?" I questioned once more.
"You’re one of my best friends Finny, you know this." Her voice was shaky, but this time she held the eye contact. "And…"
I stayed silent, waiting for her faltering voice to resume, holding her eyes. The golden tint within them were the color of autumn leaves, while the green and brown scattered around the pupils, creating a work of art. Her lashes fluttered nervously while mine stayed calm. In fact, my whole being was calm. It was strange. But at this point, everything was.
She breathed in again as a couple seconds passed, pink lips twitching as she glanced at the little distance between as at the point, before returning to my eyes.
"You’re Jack’s brother." She exhaled, barely audible, pushing past me to escape the room as she does so. Wisps of blonde hair flying behind her.
So that was that. Deep breaths. Clenched Jaw. Eyes squeezed shut. Whatever it took to fight off every bit of agitation, shame, and/or despair. I refused to appear as weak. Though my quivering lip could argue otherwise.
Screw it. I took my phone out of my back pocket and made a call.
I needed Tessa.
A/N: I’m so so so sorry for not updating sooner like I promised. I’m so sorry I disappointed you guys :( Basically, what happened was that the whole week last week I had like no time to write so I planned to finish the chapter Friday night. But when that came around, I ended up going to a 3 hour training session for badminton cause I had a tournament on Saturday (yesterday). And when I got back I was completely drained so I decided to crash at around 1 or 2 cause I wanted some rest before competing and said I’d write once the tournament was done. But it ended up finishing at like 10:30pm and I didn’t get home until 11. And I was kinda upset cause I let this one match slip out of my hands when I could have won it. And then when I woke up this morning, I had a massive headache, and sore muscles, and really bad cold. So I slept like half the day and finally finished the chapter. I know I promised this chapter two nights ago and I probably lost some of your confidence and I’m so sorry. Please just know I really do appreciate each and every one of you.
Anyways, I hope you liked this chapter, I made it extra long to hopefully make up for not keeping my word. And as always, I’d love to hear some feedback, comments, or suggestions!
I really do love you all!
P.S- I’ll try my best to not disappear on you guys again and keep you updated on when a chapter’s coming out and stuff. I usually tag everything with ‘forgetandregret’ so if you wanna track that, you can.