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Spinning, spinning, the whole world was turning and tumbling and rolling around and around, faster and faster until he could have just screamed. Swirling colors and sounds filled his mind, packing it full. She was laughing at him, wasn’t she? He could hear the little squeaking sounds coming from her rosy lips. Louder and louder it got, the more he wanted to bash his head in the white washed walls all around him. That little girl needed to stop it; stop it right now. Then, as he leaned his head back on the wall and shut his eyes, he felt a gentle touch along his neck. The boy jumped and practically flew off the soft, fluffy mattress he was resting on. They were trying to get him too now? Jet black, flowing locks, much like his own, hung down over her face, hiding her features; she was climbing through his wall, looking up at him through her hair, dead eyes locking on his ice blue, all the while, the little girl in the corner of the room was still giggling. It was maddening, simply maddening, all of this around him.
This is ridiculous. In no possible way could this be happening to him. People can’t climb walls, and it doesn’t make sense why a small child would be standing in his room. It’s not like he has any siblings. The boy wanted to scream, yell and cry at the top of his lungs. He got up swiftly, grabbing his messenger bag from the floor swinging the strap over his shoulder as he stormed out of his bedroom, eyes squeezed shut. His walls rattled in wake of him slamming his door closed behind him.
Not even bothering to look to see where his parents were, it’s not like they would care; he passed through the oak door to his home as quickly as he came padding down the stairs, the air outside brisk and cool. Before leaving, he pivoted back on an after though, and dug out his car keys. The golden key fit snuggly in the lock as he turned it counterclockwise until he heard a soft click. Honestly, he wasn’t trying to have someone break into his house if either of his parents weren’t home right now. Not looking back, he strode out to his car, bings pulsing through his ears when he popped the door. The worn faux leather seats creaked under his weight, making him feel a slight pang of self-consciousness for his size.
‘I need to stop it. I’m 138 pounds, the proper weight for my height.’
The loud hum of the motor being fired up purred out, ringing in his ears as he shifted gears into reverse and backed out of the rocky dive way. The boy pressed the gas once he put the car in drive and just went, unsure as to where he was really going.
After about a half hour of driving around aimlessly, the boy ended up in the parking lot of the Starbucks around the corner from his high school. He shut the motor off and was about to open to door when the cell phone in his pocket started to vibrate. The dark haired boy sighed and dug the phone out of his pocket with some difficultly, the denim on his legs extremely tight. His eyebrows raised in curiosity at the caller id.
‘It must be lying. She never calls me. We’ve only been supposedly dating for 9 months.’
He flipped the cell open anyway and mumbled his usual hello.
“I hate you. I hate you so ********* much, you worthless son of a *****!” A shrill cry echoed from the other side of the line.
“Cathy, sweetie, what are you talking about.” The boy replied, tone so calm and expecting of this kind of out burst.
“LIAM! Don’t give me that ****. Don’t even. I hate you. You never call, ever never ever…” She trailed off, angry.
“You never want to talk when I call, so I just wait for you to talk to me anymore.”
“You are such…a **** eating boyfriend. Never calling me…never helping me out with any money and ****…”
“Any time I give you money, you spend it on more whisky and I hate seeing you drunk; like you are right now.” Liam added the last part bitterly.
“I AM NOT DRUNK! I don’t do that anymore.” Cathy bit back sharply, words slurring. Liam sighed softly, exasperated. Why did he put up with this?
“Of course you’re not, honey, what was I thinking. Although I really think you should go lie down for a little while, you sound very tired.”
“Don’t patronize me, Liam Francis James. I hate you. Goodbyye...” She slurred again, anger still lacing his drunken voice.
“Bye?” Liam said, more like a question because Cathy didn’t always hang up when she said she was going to, even more so when she was like this. Liam never really said goodbye to Cathy anyway.
‘When isn’t she like this ever?’
Liam sighed loudly again, resting his head back on the ratty seat, eyes slipping closed and phone slipping, now closed, into the cup holder in the center console. All Cathy wanted to do was yell at him for know reason on the phone because she was drunk. Or she wants to have sex with him when he gets to see her in person because she’s drunk. Drunk. She’s always ******* drunk. Now those little monsters where dancing behind his eye lids again. Laughing and cackling like the little girl does. God*****, this always happens after Cathy talks to hi—
Tap. Liam jumped, surprised, and sharply averted his eyes to the window on the passenger side of his car. Bright hazel pools with swirls of gold around the edges, held on a pale face, which was framed by short, choppy chestnut hair, starred at him through the glass, smile on the other boys face. His eyes were doing that sparkling thing they only did when he looked it Liam, the darker haired boy noticed. Liam smiled back and reached down on his door, hitting the button with the little key with the slash through it, door locks clicking open.
“You were just kinda sitting out here for a while, so I figured if you weren’t coming inside, I’d bring you a present,” The other boy stated once he opened the passenger side door. The skinny boy, body covered with a thick, black hoodie, slipped inside the vehicle, door closing behind him. He wiggled himself to get more comfortable on the worn seats before offering one of the two cups in his hands to Liam. “Looks like you kind of need it.”
Liam smiled, taking the steaming cup, rich coffee filling his nostrils and warming his senses. “Thank you, Cyle.” He took a short sip, ignoring the heat on his lips and appreciating the burn trickling down his throat slowly. After a few more moments of comfortable silence, both parties sipping their coffee, Cyle spoke up again softly;
“Was that Cathy again?”
“Yeah.” Liam answered, sighing at the thought of his girlfriend.
“Was she that bad, again?” Cyle asked, resting his free hand on his best friend’s shoulder in support. The older boy scoffed.
“Pretty much; it was basically like all of our conversations on the phone. She hates me because I never call, and because I don’t give her any money, that of course everyone knows she’ll blow on buying more alcohol. When also, anytime I try to call her myself, she doesn’t feel like talking because she’s too busy getting smashed or too busy throwing her guts up. Just the usual kind of **** in paradise.” The raven haired boy sighed, running his snow white hand through his short tresses. The other boy sighed softly himself, smiling gently in support, thumb rubbing circles along the back of Liam’s neck.
“…You wanna take a drive somewhere?” Cyle asked in his typical quite tone, no monsters or children bother him when Cyle’s around. Liam nodded, resting his coffee cup in the holder that did not have his cell sitting in it already before starting the ignition again.
Hours of driving, with no stop in sight, led them far out of town. The horizon of the city was fading in the rear view mirror now. Eventually, Liam finally pulled the car off the road and into this little open field. Puffs of white and ice were coming down now, but that didn’t matter, the pair got out anyway, both pulling their hoods over their heads. They walked out into the snow covered grass, arms grazing each other, neither saying a word, just enjoying the silence the snow brought.
Liam suddenly stopped, in the middle of the valley of pasty ice puffs. Cyle stopped too, standing in front of him now. The taller boy followed Liam’s gaze to the sky, gray haze producing all those little fluffs of ice.
“The little girl was being really annoying today too,” Said Liam, voice very quiet, almost a whisper, but still seemed too loud for the serenity of the valley. “And that long haired chick was creepin’ through my wall again today as well.”
“Don’t worry, the twins came to see me laughing at me ‘cause I tripped going up the stairs this morning.”
“We’re crazy, aren’t we?” Liam asked, almost rhetorically.
“Crazy people don’t know they’re crazy, so I don’t think we can judge.” Cyle replied in a whisper, eyes still watching the snow fall.
“But you can tell me if I’m nuts, right? And I can tell you if you are?”
“But if I’m crazy, and you’re crazy and crazy people not only don’t know they’re crazy, how can they honestly tell another crazy person if they are or not?” Liam was about to respond, when he felt his side vibrate again. He glanced down and just flipped his phone open, Cyle now watching him, eyes still doing that glittering thing.
“Hello?” The dark haired boy asked.
“You know, I think we should be through.” Cathy. Again. Liam sighed.
“Is that what you want?” He asked her, not taking her seriously because this is only the billionth time she’s made this suggestion.
“Then why don’t you take her up on the offer?” Cyle’s voice broke in, out of context from Liam’s usual. The typical, whatever you want Cathy, yes dear, hang up, I’m sorry I didn’t mean it Liam, I’m gonna get help I promise; do you wanna start over? Sure. Then repeat.
“Quite very much so, maybe. Do you wanna be over, cause I might wanna be..” She slurred unintelligent ably. What she said really didn’t register in Liam’s mind, it was the same thing she would always say anyway, and his eyes were locked with Cyle’s, realization drawing over Liam’s features.
“You know Cathy,” Liam started, without a stutter of hesitation. “I really do want to be over.” The other end of the phone was silent for a few uncharacteristic moments.
“W-Wait are you…no way. You can’t!” Cathy stuttered out brashly.
“Yes, I can actually. I’m done with the neglected and the monsters and this pointless thing we have that’s not even a real relationship. If I’m gonna be crazy and see things, they minas well not be because of you.”
“LIAM! WAIT! I NEED YOU!”
“Maybe you do,” Liam said, calmly, still staring at Cyle. “But did you ever think that maybe, just maybe I needed you. That I needed someone, too? That maybe I needed to yell at someone that I hate them and take out all my frustrations on them? That I might have needed some one who would at least have pretended to care or understand my problems; like how I pretended to give a **** about yours?”
“You don’t need someone to pretend they understand or care; because I do.” Cyle whispered again, a light smile forming, silver lip ring catching the light. “I always have.”
“LIAM! I LOVE YOU! LIA—”
“Cathy.” The boy said firmly, silencing her slurred speech. “You don’t get it. You never will. You don’t love me, and I don’t love you. We never loved each other.” For the first time, he was smiling while on the phone with Cathy; while talking her at all. “Goodbye.”
It felt so good to finally say. It felt like a barbell had been lifted off his chest finally, not crushing his ribs and his heart. Liam ended the call and let his phone turn off.
“Cyle?” Liam whispered, after a few minutes, diverting his icy eyes back to the gray sky. “Will you keep the monsters and those people away? I don’t know if I can do it alone anymore.”
Calloused finger tips gently brushed his jaw line, bringing his eyes back down, only to meet bright green.
“Liam, I always have, and always will. The monsters torment me too.”
The little girl was laughing again, sitting up in a tree near by. The twins where standing on the branch next to her, giggling. Usually, this would drive bother boys insane, more insane then they already were, but not this time. Today wasn’t a day for the usual. So maybe tomorrow wouldn’t be either, and the next and the next.
‘Am I free?’
It didn’t seem plausible, but right now, Liam could believe it. Liam could believe that the monkeys were falling from the sky and that birds were barking at cats while chasing them down the street. When Cyle’s hand cupped the side of his face, and the other boy shifted closer, nothing else mattered but the warm lips presses against his own in a gentle, long awaited caress and the arms slipping around his thin waist.
‘I am free.’