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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Roommates - 11. Chapter 11

I awoke with a headache and, for the first time since my summer vacation had started, an empty side of the bed. I hadn’t slept well – as I predicted last night – but I still hadn’t come to any conclusions as to why Brett had acted the way that he did. I also thought the dinner we had had would cause the tension to die, but when we got back to my room it hadn’t. I flipped the covers down to my lap as I sat up and stretched out, trying to shake the tired feeling I had whenever I didn’t get a good sleep. I didn’t bother to put on any clothes as I left the room. It was still too early for anyone else to be wandering around, and I wanted to talk to Brett alone this morning.

When I entered the living room, I found it unoccupied and I searched for any sign of him ever being there. My suit wasn’t lying on the floor and nothing was out of place. A brief thought of him leaving – to go back to California – crossed my mind. I scratched the back of my head as I turned to go back to my room. I wasn’t brave enough to explore the Yacht further without at least a pair of shorts to cover my underwear. I had never been one to walk around in my underwear; I had always wanted to be clothed when I left my bedroom to start the day. Brett though, wouldn’t put on anything else if he wasn’t going to be out of the apartment. I knew the Yacht was something he wasn’t used to and my family was always difficult to feel comfortable around, even for the most outgoing of people. Brett had changed to fit in and all I wanted was for him to be himself.

I entered my bedroom again and saw that Brett had returned. My suit was lying folded neatly on my bed, which Brett had made. I was surprised when I realized I had just missed him, but I wondered where he had been when we didn’t cross paths in the hallway. I heard the shower start as I closed the door. I walked across the floor to the bathroom door and knocked. Brett didn’t answer me and I didn’t knock again, but I wanted to - I was starting to feel anxious and I needed to settle this today. I didn’t want to put him through another night like the last one.

An hour passed with the shower running the whole time. I had glanced at the digital clock nailed to the wall to keep track of time. Brett liked taking long showers, but the morning was catching up to us, it would be time to start our morning rituals soon. Breakfast would be strained if Brett and I didn’t talk before then, and I didn’t want another stressful meal in that room; we had had so many before. When I stood, I walked over and turned the door handle. When the door glided open, I stepped into the bathroom to see Brett sitting on the toilet seat still clothed.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, wondering why he hadn’t made it into the shower yet. The room was steamy, Brett had sweated a lot, and I noticed that his eyes looked heavy and dark.

“Nothing,” he responded, standing up. “Now if you don’t mind, I have a shower to start.”

“You’ve had the water running for an hour, Brett,” I said. “The water will be getting cold.”

“It will wake my sorry ass up then,” he replied shortly, letting out a sigh as he stood. He didn’t care that I was standing in the small bathroom barely a foot away when he started removing his undershirt and boxers. I looked at the floor until I heard the shower door slide open, then closed.

“Where were you last night?” I inquired, leaning against the wall

“What does it matter?” Brett asked; I could barely here him over the water. His voice was shaky, he had hissed a few times and I could see him shaking through the glass of the shower, even though the glass distorted his form.

“I want to know,” I answered. “You need to just stay here and sleep today.”

“Don’t tell me what to do,” Brett ordered. “Hand me a towel.”

“No,” I countered. I knew Brett had a temper, but I never have been on the receiving end of it like this before. I didn’t really know how to react.

“I’m tired of this yacht,” he said. “I’m going back home.”

“Fine,” I said, “we’ll leave. I thought this would happen anyway.”

“What?” he asked sliding the door back to look at me.

“You getting tired of this yacht and my family?”

“Yeah,” he agreed, frowning. “That’s it.”

“I’ll make the call tonight then,” I said, hoping that would settle the tension between the two of us.

“One ticket,” he clarified. “You’re staying here.”

“That would be a better idea,” I responded, feeling myself getting mad. “If you’re unwilling to fix this, then you’re just a damn distraction.”

“Yeah, I am,” he responded. I didn’t like that he was agreeing with everything I had said to him. I wanted him to argue with me now that we were getting down to it. I figured it would be the only way we could work out anything.

“You aren’t a distraction,” I acknowledged. “You’re welcome here Brett, and you know it.”

“I’m not,” Brett said. “It’s bull shit.”

“What is?” I asked as I turned and walked out of the room while he stepped completely out of the shower.

“Your parents,” he answered. “They only pretend to like me for you.”

“And why would they do that?” I asked impatiently.

“To keep from losing you for another ten years and shit,” he responded, following me out the door with a towel around his waist. I noticed that his hair was growing back and now had a spiky look to it. The blond tips were gone as well, though I hadn’t noticed them missing until then. The shower had woken him up and his eyes looked brighter, even if he was tired with slumped shoulders.

“Why are we fighting?” I asked. “Why do you want to leave, and where have you been all night?”

“Lay the fuck off me!” He yelled, shooting me a glare. The outburst caught me off guard and, blinking a few times, I turned and walked out of the room.

I walked down the hall to Kathryn’s room. The hallways were identical, with all the same plastic plants on the corners, the same wallpaper, and the same low ceilings. I didn’t want to disturb my sister not knowing what she had done the night before. I didn’t want to walk into Carl and Kat’s nightly routine at all. It was hard enough knowing that my sister was being sexually active but knowing that the evidence could be all over the room made me apprehensive about knocking.

When the door opened, meeting her face to face caused me to I back away. She was completely dressed, but not in attire suitable for breakfast. Carl wasn’t in the room though I thought I had just caught her sneaking around to go find him.

“Sorry,” I said, “I’ll come back later.”

“No,” she responded. She put her hand on my shoulder to stop me, as I had already started to turn and leave her. “I was just on my way to look for you.”

“Alright,” I replied. “Why?”

“To talk to you, stupid.”

“About Brett?” I asked and she nodded, stepping aside and letting me enter her room. It was larger than my room and it was cleaner. I looked at her and she shrugged.

“Carl cleans afterwards,” Kat revealed shrugging, and I shook my head, causing her to laugh.

“Brett and I just had the worst fight,” I said. “He pretty much told me to fuck off for a while.”

“I told him not to go to your room,” Kat said. “I told him to go to bed.”

“So did I,” I said crossing my arms. “And he didn’t bite your head off?”

“No,” Kat said, “but I know where he was last night.”

“Are you going to tell me?” I asked, my curiosity piqued.

“You don’t need to know, Will. He’s back, and just needs to sleep, and be left alone.”

“Did he go out and get drunk?” I pushed, wondering why I didn’t need to know where he was.

“Did he look drunk to you?” Kat asked and when I shook my head she sat down on the bed. I sat down across from her on the floor.

“He left the yacht though,” I said. “He didn’t sleep in the living room.”

“He didn’t leave the yacht,” Kat said. “If you must know, to get over whatever is bothering you.”

“Thanks. It doesn’t help me too much, though.”

“Me and him had a long talk last night,” Kat disclosed “Actually, we’ve been talking a lot.”

“About what?” I asked, “Is he in some kind of trouble?”

“I’m not telling you what we talk about Will. I told you where he was last night. That’s all you need to know about Brett.”

“Damn it,” I groaned. “You two are stubborn.”

“You too,” she said, “and besides, I like knowing everything you don’t know.”

“I can see that,” I added, not liking that Brett hadn’t been coming to me to talk. It would mean that the problem was with me. I wondered if I had been annoying him, or I had done something. I didn’t want the other morning to change things between us, but it hadn’t been fine since. I just didn’t know why, or if there were other problems entirely.

“We finished?” Kat asked as she scooted out of the bed. “We’re going to be late for breakfast.”

“Brett wants to leave,” I said and she stopped moving.

“He does?” She asked, rolling her eyes. “Drama queens.”

“Fuck you,” I snapped, frowning. She laughed then patted me on the shoulder.

“He’s just fed up,” Kat replied. “He’s not going to run away, trust me.”

“I guess I’ll have to, the two of you are working against me. It’s not supposed to be like this.”

“I’m not stealing your best friend,” Kat said. “He’s completely yours.” She winked then she glanced at her watch. “Well I guess a morning quicky is out of the question.”

“Animal,” I joked. “You’re worse than a man.”

“You’re jealous,” she countered, then studied me. “I think this is the first time since you were in diapers I saw you this undressed without a pool in sight.”

“Yeah,” I said, “Brett threw my morning into shit.”

“It only shows that you care, now get out; I have to get dressed.”

“Ok,” I said, noticing that I felt better about this morning, even if things are worse. When I walked out into the hallway I met Carl. He stopped and I smiled then I noticed a blush creeping across his face.

“You look as if you stole cookies and got caught,” I said, “and Kat said it was too late for a quicky.”

“Will!” Mom gasped. I hadn’t noticed her standing behind Carl. The first time I had ever gone out of my comfort zone, acting like Brett, it backfired. I shook my head when she pushed herself past Carl to look at me.

“I’m sorry,” I said and her stern glare went away. She shook her head then it looked like she remembered why she was down here to begin with.

“Since you’re down here,” Mom said, “I will tell you too.” She knocked on Kat’s door and when Kat came opened it wearing nothing but a bath robe and a red top, it was Kat’s turn to turn red. She tried to hide herself behind the door, but Mom’s sudden gasp let everyone know she had been caught as well.

“What else has been going on underneath my nose?” Mom asked. “Don’t either of you answer that either. It will probably be my death.”

“I wouldn’t dare,” Kat said as she opened the door with the bathrobe covering her completely. “What’s wrong though?”

“There are some intense storms coming, and with the anniversary party being outside, your father and I decided to have it tomorrow evening,” Mom informed us.

“That’s fine with us Mom,” Kat said, “I think we’re all tired of the yacht anyway.”

“Yeah, so we’ll be heading back to the house today,” Mom said. “The water will be getting rough tonight.”

“I’ll go tell Brett,” I said as I started to feel rushed. I hadn’t planned on bad weather; I wanted to have a long talk with my parents. Tonight would have to be tonight and I needed Brett to help me with that, if he even would.

“Carl, you’ll be returning with me to the dock. Kat, put some clothes on.”

“Sure will Mom,” Kat said. “You’re as effective as a cold shower.”

“I had to trick your father out of coming with me,” Mom said. “You owe me big time if he finds out about that.” We all laughed, then Mom dragged Carl by the arm with me following them. The anniversary party was supposed to be a week or so away and was meant to be the highlight of my summer vacation.

When we got to the stairs Carl and Mom went up to the top flight while I headed towards the room Brett and I shared. When I entered the room, Brett looked up from where he was lying on the bed. He was still wearing a towel and he looked like he was about to fall asleep. I was hoping he was still awake, but I lost my nerve when I saw him there. I opened my mouth to say something, but I couldn’t think of what to say.

“I’m sorry,” he said, breaking the silence. He sat up in the bed and patted the spot beside him. I walked over and sat looking at him.

“I’m sorry too,” I responded. “For a lot of things.”

“Yeah,” he said. “You were an ass.”

“A bigger one, but you aren’t an angel.”

“Because angels are boring,” he said, laughing slightly.

“Are you still leaving?” I asked, “Because you’ll have to leave tonight if you are.”

“Why would I have to leave tonight?” He asked crossing his arms. “Want rid of me?”

“No,” I assured him. “Not at all, the anniversary has been bumped up to tomorrow evening. Storms are coming in.”

“Oh shit,” he said, standing up. His towel fell, but he didn’t care as he rushed over to the drawer, fumbling around with his boxer briefs.

“Those are mine,” I said, when I saw his confused look.

“They’re in my drawer,” he responded. “You have ugly underwear.” I laughed when he pulled out Scooby Doo boxer shorts and tugged them on. Then he quickly slid into a pair of basketball shorts and a t-shirt.

“Why are you in a hurry?” I asked, standing to get dressed as well. We would have to pack and leave soon so we could get the Yacht docked. I didn’t know how bad the storms were, but the yacht had begun to sway and rock; I could feel my stomach beginning to churn.

“You’ll know sooner than I expected,” he said. “I have a lot to do.” When he reached into the closet and grabbed the bags, the surprise rushed back into my mind. I had forgotten about the prank he was going to pull on me and I sighed.

“Wait,” I called before he left the room. I took my eyes off the bags and he seemed impatient when I studied him. “Since tomorrow is the big day now, I’ll have to have the talk tonight.”

“What talk?” He asked, then looked surprised. “Oh, with your parents?”

“Yeah,” I answered and he sat the bags down by the door and walked to where I was standing.

“Are you ready for that talk?” He asked. “I mean, after the morning we had and stuff.”

“It’s now or I lose my nerve and it doesn’t happen at all,” I said. “Then I’ll be stuck.”

“Your sex life is suffering. That should be motivation enough.”

“Shut up,” I said. “You will be around, won’t you?”

“Of course. But I do need to get certain things done before we leave the yacht though.”

“Ok,” I said. He turned away quickly and left me alone to pack up our things. Part of me knew things were still strained between Brett and I, but the anger wasn’t there anymore. I was confused and I didn’t want to figure it out right away either. I had more pressing thoughts rushing through my mind now. I realized I was about to possibly ruin my Mom and Dad’s anniversary party with what I had to tell them. It was enough to make me not want to do it, but I knew if I didn’t this summer then it was likely that I would never do it at all. It was why I hadn’t visited, and the anniversary party was something I couldn’t really avoid. I wouldn’t be back if I didn’t tell them; I would rather avoid the issue altogether. At least, if they took it the wrong way, it would give me another reason – other than fear – to stay out of their lives.

Brett didn’t return until it was time to leave the yacht. He looked nervous, but he sighed and sat down on the bed. I noticed that he had returned empty handed though, and I couldn’t wait for Brett’s perfect planning to be on display, even if it could mean my embarrassment. We watched as our luggage was taken out of the room to the back of yacht. The captain took the yacht as close to the docks as possible, but since it was a large boat we still had to take a small motorboat to reach the shore.

“Where’s Carl?” Kat asked when he didn’t meet us at the back of the boat to be taken to shore.

“He’ll be getting some work done,” Mom replied, “since his duties have been neglected.”

“Mother,” Kat whined. “You’re going to work him to death aren’t you?”

“Until he’s too tired to do anything else,” Mom said with Dad’s arm around her shoulders. She glanced in his direction before the crew man arrived and lowered the boat into the water. We all filed onto the small boat and then we were taken the short distance to the shore.

“He is coming to the anniversary though, right?” Dad asked. “And not to work either, we’ll have enough staff. He can come as Kathryn’s date.”

“Yes,” Mom responded, “but he does have a pay check to earn.”

“Brett you’re being unusually calm,” Dad observed. “Are you sea sick or something?”

“No, Mr. Carolton,” Brett answered politely. “I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night is all.”

“Dad, how bad are the storms supposed to be?” I asked, hoping they didn’t get here early and ruin all the decorations being set up at home.

“Some are going to be strong, with a lot of rain as well.”

“Are the guests going to be able to make it?” Brett asked. “Since it’s such short notice.”

“Yes, their friends are just like them,” Kat said slyly. “Rich bums.”

“Kathryn!” Mom hissed, cocking an eyebrow. “You may be an adult, but I can still torture you.”

“Where in hell is that limo driver?” Dad asked glancing at his watch. Dad had been missing all morning, and I wondered if he figured out Mother had tricked him. He didn’t seem to be in a bad mood though, but he was most of the time emotionless. It was always hard to tell what mood Dad was in until he opened his mouth to speak. When the limo did arrive we got in and drove the short ride back home. It was nice to see the house again, but it was busy around with the planner barking orders through a loud speaker. She was directing the florists around back to set up the flowers.

“This was supposed to be a surprise,” Mom said. “But now we can override what looks bad.”

“Which is what you wanted to do anyway,” Dad responded. “If I didn’t see those weather reports myself I would have thought this was some huge plot.”

“Completely untrusting,” Mom said, playfully smacking Dad on the arm before we got out of the limo. Dad had to use a little force to get Mom into the house, but it wouldn’t be long before she came back out to inspect everything. Mom was a perfectionist and the yacht was more for her than anyone else. Dad wanted the planning to go smoothly, without any stress put on Mom, but now that we were all back on dry land with more freedom, it would be impossible to stop her.

“Honey, promise me thirty minutes before you go out and make life hell for everyone else,” Dad said as we all stood in the doorway. The stairs leading to Kat’s and my own room were just ahead of us and they had been decorated with pink and yellow roses. The entire house smelled of roses and it looked nice.

“I promise,” Mom agreed. “As I see a hundred things to do in here first.” With that she left the room, Dad following close behind her.

“They had better stay out of my room,” Kat said as she left us to go up the stairs.

“You need a nap,” I said to Brett. “And so do I.”

“Yeah, I feel like shit. Like I’ve not slept for a year.”

“Well, you are well behind on your naps,” I said. “But if you don’t want to have that talk later we don’t have to.”

“We’re not leaving Florida until we finish this,” Brett said. “You said you were going to, so we’re going to do it.”

“Fine,” I whined. We started walking up the stairs and when we got to the top we walked the long hallway to my room.

“It would’ve rocked living here,” Brett commented. “I’d slide down the stair railing at least five times a day.”

“I can see you doing that,” I said. “Maybe when the flowers are removed you can sneak away and have your fun.”

“Really?” Brett asked, “because every time I see them I just want to.”

“Yeah,” I answered. “I might even do it too.”

“Fuck yeah, Will has started living,” Brett said as he plopped down on the bed and covered up his head with my pillow. I walked around to the other side and by the time I was down to my underwear Brett was already lightly snoring.

Copyright © 2010 Krista; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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