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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.

Complications - 6. Chapter 6

Things get worse before they get better

Chapter Six

 

“Hey, how’d it go?” Greg asked as he approached Josh at the picnic table by the lake. Greg noticed his friend looked horrible, like he hadn't slept in the last couple days. He was sure the talk with his wife probably hadn't gone well.

“Kim and I are divorcing. I don’t want to hurt her anymore than I already have,” Josh blurted out.

“What?” Greg gasped.

Josh looked resigned. Even though he looked tired, he also appeared lighter as if a heavy weight had been lifted from his soul. “Listen, it’s not just me either. She told me last night that she pretty much suspected everything. Plus, she wants someone else anyway, that Dr. Bates in oncology?”

Greg’s eyes grew wide. “You’re kidding! That jerk?”

“Yup. He’s made passes at her forever, but with all of this drama, she finally took him up on it.”

“I’m sorry.”

Josh sighed. “It’s all for the best. Nati and Ben know we love them, and we’ll do everything we can to let them know this has nothing to do with them.”

"That's good then. I think you'll both be happier, eventually. I could tell something wasn't right between you two a while ago."

“Yeah. I think we will be. As long as you are still my best friend. But it still hasn't changed how I feel about you.”

Greg pulled away slightly. "What are you getting at? That since you'll be single, you think we can now hook up? Sorry, dude. I’m not into you like that, or any other guy."

Josh scowled and stood up. “Whatever. Look, I told you everything. I’m in love with you, and I’m going to be single again. My love for you isn’t something I can control.”

“I’m sorry, but I’m not in love with you, though I almost wish I could be. But as honest as I can be with you, I’m just not! I’ll be your friend and confidant, but not that!”

"I know, I know! I just--... “Josh bowed his head and looked away from his friend. He stood quickly and walked away a short distance but within two minutes he was back. Greg reached out his hand. “Josh—“

“No,” He mumbled. “Just don't, okay?"

They sat in silence as Greg fixed a lunch of hot dogs and salad. Josh stood up and walked over to a wooded area roughly fifty feet away where he sat and sobbed audibly. Greg heard him and poked a twig at the dirt angrily; wishing he could comfort his friend more, but knowing that it would make it worse. Finally, after a few minutes, Josh joined him again.

“I’m sorry…” Greg whispered.

Josh ate slowly and kept stopping to wipe his eyes. “Shhh. I know. I….just didn’t know what else to say right now. Listen, I don’t think we should hang around each other anymore after today, at least not for a while. A really long while until my broken heart mends a little.”

Greg fought tears. He'd been thinking the same thing. He knew it would be hard for Josh to be around him feeling the way he did. “I agree with that, but just know that I’ll miss you.”

Josh blubbed. “Please stop.”

Greg felt a knife in his heart. “Stop it, please.”

“Why should I? You broke my damn heart, you shit!” Josh’s temper was coming to bear.

Aghast at Josh's outburst, Greg knew he had to stand his ground. “How did I break your heart? I do love you! I’m just not in love with you. I can’t make myself be in love with someone!”

“And I can’t stop!” Josh retorted. He turned away again and buried his face in his hands.

Josh took a deep breath and took a drink of his beer. “Look, my path is set. I’m single, and still hung up on my best friend. How can I fight this?”

Greg reached for his hand, and to his surprise, Josh allowed it. “You’ll find a way.”

“Yeah. Sure I will. Single and very alone,” he scoffed.

Greg had no idea what to do right now except to leave. That’s all he wanted to do. But he couldn’t just bolt without having his say.

”How dare you make me feel like any of this is my fault?" Greg shouted.

“What?”

“You heard me! How dare you say such hurtful things to me! What the fuck right do you have?”

Josh poked his chest. “I’m in love with you! That gives me the right!”

“No it doesn’t!” Greg fired back.

“Look, I’m not apologizing for how I feel. I’ve laid my heart out to you, and you just chucked it aside. Do you have any idea how I’m feeling right now?” Josh turned in frustration.

Greg watched his friend pack up their gear and put it in the trunk. “So this is all my fucking fault? Just because I can’t sleep with you?”

Josh shook his head. “Just leave me alone, Greg.”

Greg wasn’t going to get anywhere with him like this right now. He wanted to back off, but he couldn’t bring himself to leave certain things unsaid.

“No I won’t leave you alone, not like this. Not after this huge elephant in the room is between us. Let me just sum this up so we’re speaking the same language. You took our friendship, which has been great for over a decade and stirred it up because you finally got the balls to tell me that you’re gay! Not to mention the bonus of you being in love with me.” He shook his head and held up his hands. “Hey, help me out here. What am I supposed to do? Just give in or give up? Is it that cut n’ dry?”

“It’s not that simple. I want you, or I did. You hurt me too! I never should’ve taken you out for that damn drink. Never!”

Greg caught his friend’s arm, but it was quickly thrown off. “Look, I can’t help this! It’s not part of who I am! I’m not gay or bi, and I’m not in love with you! I love my wife!”

Josh handed the keys over. “Just get us outta here.”

Greg tossed them on the ground. “No! Not until I have my say!”

“This is how I feel about your say!” Josh punched him squarely in the face, knocking him down. His hurt and anger about everything boiling up in him--the loss of his wife and family, the loss of Greg. His life was in turmoil now, and Greg's rejection threw him over the edge. The loss of everything, everyone he cared for in his life was devastating. “That’s how I feel! I hate you!” The words shocked even him as they caught their breath and felt the words on their lips. Josh fell to a whisper as he sobbed into his hands. “I hate you! I hate you for being my friend all these years, and I even hate you for turning down the chance to work with me!”

Greg scooted away and licked his lip. He tasted blood. He faced his attacker and scowled. “You bastard! You know what you can do? Go fuck yourself because I hate you too! Piss off!”

“Fuck you too!” Josh refocused his anger. He dove towards the man and straddled him angrily. The former best friends wrestled fiercely on the rocky shoreline.

Greg managed to push Josh away and returned a punch to Josh’s eye.

“Get off me! Get away from me and stay the fuck away from my family!”

Josh was about to strike him again but his emotions caught up with him as he watched blood trickle down Greg’s handsome face. Shit, what the hell was he doing? No matter how hurt he was himself, he couldn’t hurt Greg like that anymore. He was being a selfish bastard. Damn it. He released the grip on Greg’s hands and walked off into the bushes.

Free for the moment, Greg quickly gathered up the car keys.

After a half-hour, Josh reappeared. His blood was dried but his sleeve had a streak of vomit on it from where he’d wiped his mouth. Josh wordlessly climbed into the back seat of the car as Greg slipped into the driver’s seat and drove them home in complete silence.

Very short, but a go-between

SLD 2018
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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.
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Chapter Comments

I feel a bit lost. What happened in the other version of the night they got drunk? Because it's been brought up a couple of times now and I can't think of anything happening that warrants it. What did I miss? Hope they can repair their friendship sooner than later. 

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2 hours ago, tinytoes said:

I feel a bit lost. What happened in the other version of the night they got drunk? Because it's been brought up a couple of times now and I can't think of anything happening that warrants it. What did I miss? Hope they can repair their friendship sooner than later. 

 

In the other version (without giving away too much) something did happen and Greg is more the one playing push/pull  This was taken from that same version and edited; so the raw emotions are still in play.

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I’m quickly  losing patience with Josh. He’s selfish and only thinks about himself. You can’t bully someone to reciprocate your feelings.

Edited by BlindAmbition
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