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Do You Ship Us? - 44. Second Chances

Ryan’s phone vibrating on the floorboards wakes Jasper who rolls over on the mattress to nudge his boyfriend awake, instead he finds the bed empty and crawls across it to answer the phone himself.

“Hello?” Jasper tries not to sound like he’d just woken up, he could tell by the brightness of the suns rays blasting through the windows that it was not an acceptable time to be just waking up.

“Hi, Ryan? It’s Cathy Lewis, I’m on the production team for Dancers and Dreamers, Mark called me last week and I had filled the position but if you’re still interested one of our dancers has had to drop out last minute and we’d love to have you on the show.” Jasper sits up, excitement waking him properly.

“Oh, this is actually his boyfriend, he is out at the moment but can I get him to call you back when he gets home?” Jasper asks.

“That’d be great, thank you Jasper. We’re really excited to offer him a place on the show but we will need an answer by the end of the day if that’s possible.” Cathy replies.

“No problem, I will definitely let him know, but I’m pretty sure he’ll say yes. He was disappointed when he heard you’d had to fill the position. Thank you so much for calling!”

“My pleasure, if he says yes of course. I do hope you’re better at passing on messages than Christopher. I look forward to hearing back soon. Bye now.” Cathy hangs up and leaves Jasper in excited awe, busting with curiosity about where Ryan was and how he would react when Jasper told him about the call. Jasper takes the phone from his ear and looks at the time almost lunch time already, they’d had a late night setting up the bed and some other basic furniture that’d only just arrived the afternoon before. Something else on Ryan’s phone catches Jasper’s attention, a message left unread on the home screen.

‘I’ll be waiting at The Grind, 9pm. Can’t wait to see you! Xx – Damien' The excitement drains from him the moment he reads the message and he instantly regrets even touching Ryan’s phone. It felt as though his heart was caving in, his whole world ending in his mind as it’s flooded immediately with questions about how long this has been going on, wondering how many times Ryan had been on his phone while in bed beside Jasper, texting his ex. Whether or not he even was an ex now or if they were meeting up and getting back together. Then the other thoughts starting to hit, was it because he’d said he was ready for more, but they hadn’t acted on it yet? Was this why Ryan wasn’t interested in going there.

He hears the click of the front door in the still quite empty apartment and quickly puts Ryan’s phone down again, not wanting to be caught going through his phone, but quickly deciding he wasn’t the guitly one here. Ryan peers into the room at Jasper then smiles.

“Hey, you’re awake.”

“Where were you?” Jasper’s question comes across almost as suspicious sounding as it felt in his head.

“Getting breakfast.” Ryan shrugs and walks in, a paper bag in one hand and a coffee tray with two large drinks in the other. “We’ve definitely got to start buying food to cook because I’m going to go broke buying coffee in the city. Can you believe how much they charge? I paid the same as I would for a whole bag of coffee beans and a bottle of milk alone, you’re welcome to the next 20 people after me, who would have had their drinks made with the rest of that bag of coffee...” Ryan pauses his rant as he notices the look on Jasper’s face. “Are you still tired? You look grumpy.” He comments as he takes a seat on the bed and passes him one of the coffees. “This should help.”

“Um, you left your phone here, you missed a call.” Jasper tells him.

“Probably no one important.” Ryan shrugs.

“I answered it for you.” Jasper pauses, eyeing Ryan to see if he was worried at all about Jasper looking at his phone.

“Ok you’re being suspenseful, should I be worried?” Ryan sips at his drink innocently.

“It was that Cathy chick, she wants you to call back about that dancing show. Someone can’t do it so now she does want you.” Jasper tells him and watches and Ryan chokes on his coffee, grabbing his phone quickly and opening it, no hint of panic on his face that Jasper would have seen the message.

“Wait do you still want me to say yes?” Ryan asks. Jasper looks at him confused, he had expected at least some acknowledgement that there was a message taking up half his screen from Damien, but clearly Ryan wasn’t going to give him that. “It’s not like you’ll even miss me, right?” Ryan teases.

“Yeah. I trust you to make good decisions about your life. As long as you don’t cheat on me while you’re over there.” Jasper comments dryly, the smell of baked goods stealing his attention, obviously he wasn’t going to get anything out of Ryan about Damien without asking bluntly so he decides to eat while Ryan calls back Cathy.

“Hey, I never said I wouldn’t miss you. I’ll be dying internally every day not being able to kiss you.” Ryan smiles at him and leans over, kissing him on the lips before Jasper could even react. Jasper didn’t know how to feel about his morning now and as much as he wanted answers, he was also worried he would ruin his own life finding out. He takes out his phone as Ryan calls Cathy and sends Blake a text, asking if they could hang out.

 

“Hey, what’s up!?” Blake grins as he opens the door to Jasper.

“I think Ryan is cheating on me.” Jasper states.

“Ok, I’m pretty sure I can make his death look like an accident. Flynn! How much does it cost for an accidental death?” Blake calls out to his brother who slides into the room, wearing black jeans and nothing else.

“Depends, I know some guys who owe me a favour, but they are usually more just the threatening kind. Who are we killing?” Flynn asks, looking too enthusiastic about the idea.

“No one, we’re not killing anyone. Yet.” Jasper walks inside.

“What about a castration?” Blake slams the door shut. “I don’t want to see a dick, but I’ll fucking do it if I have to.” Blake was being convincingly serious but Jasper just ignores him, sitting on the couch in a slump.

“His ex sent him a text saying he couldn’t wait to see him tonight.” Jasper states. “I don’t even know if he is cheating but that’s not ok is it?” Jasper asks.

“I’m n-ooooo-ot O-kayyyy!” Flynn starts singing, headbanging to himself.

“Flynn, not the time dude.” Blake rolls his eyes and sits beside Jasper.

“Is he high?” Jasper asks.

“I will give you a sample for free since you’re going through a break-up.” Flynn calls out, walking out of the room. Jasper drops his face into his hands and shakes his head, tears starting to fall.

“Do you want me to follow him? Go to where-ever they are meeting up and see what they do?” Blake offers.

“I don’t know. I kinda want to go myself but I have no idea what I’d even do if I caught them. This is such bullshit. I gave him a chance to tell me himself, he would know I saw the text on his phone. But he just acted like nothing was wrong. I am having all these thoughts, like from wanting to punch him in the balls, to wanting to sleep with him to see if that’ll be enough to stop him talking to his ex. How fucked is that?”

“Pretty much top of the list of things to not do when you suspect you’re being cheated on, yeah. I feel like we’ve already had the ‘don’t fuck him if you think he’s still into his ex’ conversation.” Blake nods and puts his hand on Jasper’s shoulder. “Tell me what you want me to do and I’ll do it.”

“Get drunk with me?” Jasper pouts at him. “And keep my phone away from me so I don’t do this whole fight through text while I’m drunk.”

“I really need to be more specific and not leave offers so open, when I say I’ll do whatever you ask, I don’t mean make bad decisions with you. You need to go and talk to him.” Blake suggests.

“Can I drink first?” Jasper whines.

“Jasper, it’s not even lunch time yet. This is why people keep joking that you’re an alcoholic.” Blake warns him.

“Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been drinking before midday. No one is joking that I am an alcoholic, they already think that, I’m not though. I just want to relax right now because this is stressing me out. Come on, liquid courage, don’t make me go into this without it.” He pleads.

“One drink.” Blake agrees.

 

Jasper gets home, dropping his keys on the kitchen counter and finding a drink before even attempting to talk to Ryan. His heart was racing and he’d already had this fight multiple times in his head during the drive home, to the point where he felt he had mentally prepared a come back for every single thing Ryan could say to him at this point.

“There you are. Where have you been? I thought we were putting together the rest of the furniture today, but I went for a shower and you disappeared.” Ryan smiles at him as he walks out of the bedroom and sees Jasper in the kitchen. Jasper looks at him and chugs his drink.

“With Blake.” He shrugs.

“Are you ok? You’ve been weird all day. Well I mean I haven’t see you all day but you’ve been kinda giving me the cold shoulder since you woke up.” Ryan walks over and tries to grab Jasper’s hands, but Jasper pulls back.

“We need to talk.” Jasper tells him.

“About the dance thing? Are you really worried about me going away? Because you encouraged me to do this. You’re the reason I said yes in the first place.” Ryan sighs and leans back against the bench.

“Are you still in love with Damien?” Jasper asks bluntly, his question obviously catching Ryan off guard, because he just stares back at Jasper, mouth slightly open for an uncomfortable amount of time before Jasper speaks to break the silence. “Seriously, it’s a yes of no question Ryan and I deserve to know before I waste any more time being in love with you.” The words leave his lips and he instantly regrets it. This was never how he wanted Ryan to be told. He never wanted to declare his love to him while drunk, and during a fight, a potential break up, was even more ridiculously dramatic than he had intended this to be.

“You’re in love with me?” Ryan asks shocked. It was Jasper’s turn to stare at him silently.

“How do you feel?” He finally asks.

“I don’t know.” Ryan answers quietly.

“Great. This is great. I tell you I’m in love with you and ask you, and you don’t know. My god I feel like a moron.” Jasper storms away from him.

“I’m just surprised, I wasn’t expecting that. What did you want me to say?” Ryan asks exhausted by the fight already, he could tell there was no right way to correct the situation judging by Jasper’s negative mood. Anything he said now would be seen as trying to talk his way out of it.

“I want you to stop being in love with your ex.” Jasper snaps then starts crying. “I am trying so hard here, but I feel like I’m trying to fulfill a part of your heart that is still taken over by someone who treated you like crap! If you aren’t ready to let yourself fall in love, then don’t waste my time. I didn’t open myself up to this, just for you to shut down. If you’re struggling to be a part of this relationship then maybe you’re not over your old one.” Jasper snaps and walks out of the room angrily, leaving Ryan behind to stress about his relationship on his own. Ryan hesitates on chasing Jasper out but by the time he gets to the door Blake is walking in.

“Where did Jasper go?” Ryan asks.

“Obviously away from you.” Blake rolls his eyes.

“I think he’s upset with me.” Ryan shakes his head and runs his fingers through his hair.

“Oh you think? What gave it away? The way Jasper just walked out of here all teary and looking like if you owned a car, he would be on his way to slash it’s tires?” Blake barely even looks at him, clearly not impressed either.

“You don’t think he’s going to do something like that do you?” Ryan frowns, sitting on the couch a safe distance from Blake.

“Why, do you own a car?” Blake asks then shrugs.

“He said he loved me.” Ryan tells him, seeming still a little shocked.

“Oh shit really? What’d you say?”

“I said I don’t know how I feel.” Ryan answers and Blake gives an annoyed scoff.

“Look. For all the bitchiness Jasper comes out with, he does wear his heart on his sleeve. I mean, realistically, you can rely on him telling you exactly how he feels when he is emotional about something. He says he’s in love with you and you hit back with an ‘I don’t know’. About as unclear as you can get. From what I’ve heard, you pursued him for this relationship. Now that he has feelings, which is kinda the whole point of dating someone, you’ve suddenly got cold feet about it all.”

“The thing is, the last person who said it to me, only said it to be a manipulative asshole.”

“So? That’s not Jasper is it? How did you feel when you heard him say it?” Blake asks him, finally looking over at him. “Did it feel like a manipulation? He told me weeks ago he was falling in love with you and when he told me it was pretty heartfelt.”

“It’s not about him...”

“It should be about him. And if it’s not, if you’re more worried about your ex, when your boyfriend is telling you he is falling in love with you, then you should probably think about what means more to you, moving forwards with someone who’s actually good to you, or obsessing over your ex. Who deserves your time and attention more right now?”

“I really need to find him before he gets the wrong idea.” Ryan nods, pulling out his phone and calling him.

“Ah.” Blake takes his phone out of his pocket. “Yeah, he gave me his phone so he wouldn’t get drunk and text you.” Blake explains.

“Great. Where would he have gone?”

“My guess, judging by his assumption he’d send inappropriate drunk texts to you, probably somewhere where there is alcohol and a packed dancefloor to flail around like he has no cares in the world before I get a 4am phone call from a payphone saying he is wasted and has lost his shoes or something.” Blake laughs as he puts the phone away. “Maybe wait until he’s sober to talk to him. Let him cool off.”

Claire Rosalind
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God, we want instant everything...Jadper needs to chill...Ryan needs to chill...Blake needs to chill...communication is what they all need...talking to each other instead of talking at each other!!!

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I’m guessing the text was blown out of proportion but at the same time it’s hard to imagine that it didn’t exist at all as whatever the context it seems weird/wrong. I mean maybe it was an innocent text yet regardless in Jasper’s position I wouldn’t be happy if my boyfriend was talking to his ex especially one who’s known to be manipulative not to mention talk of meeting up. Perhaps...it’s a different Damien? Seems unlikely that it’s someone with the same name and while Ryan is doing nothing outright wrong by simply talking to Damien and may be somehow oblivious to Jasper’s possibly seeing the text I still feel there needs to be some definite closure on this whole Damien thing. I mean I believe people deserve their privacy yet at the same time considering who it is I think Ryan should have told Jasper he was talking to Damien regardless of the reason for their communication if he truly wants a relationship with Jasper. 🤦🏻‍♂️ So much drama over failure to communicate.

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