Breeze (The Mighty Queertet: Story 3)
Chapter 18: April Showers II by Star and Victory Thru Tears
Fulton turns to me. “Charlie, truth or dare?”
I stand corrected.
“Dare.” I’m in no mood to hug and share and learn and grow like Fulton did earlier. Damn, and now I have guilt for having such a callous thought.
“Um.” He thinks it over. “Wake your boyfriend up, Sleeping Beauty style.”
I glare at him and he look understandably confused. What am I supposed to do? They don’t know we’ve broken up… and besides, it might be the last kiss I ever get.
Taz starts humming Once Upon a Dream. Disney freak. She and Maya get up and start waltzing around the room while Taz sings, much to the amusement of everybody except me.
I get up and kneel in front of him and drop a kiss on his lips. His eyes open, he blinks several times then mutters. “I told you already. No more.”
I think I’m the only one who heard it, with Taz singing and Maya occasionally joining in.
I get up and turn to Fulton. “Done.” He and Portman exchange a look, they know something’s going on. I’m probably the only person in the world who thinks the two of them think too much.
I sit on the floor again and look at the still-waltzing lesbian couple. “Taz, truth or dare.” I say.
She looks shocked that I’m talking to her. Don’t worry, Purple, this is the last time that’s going to happen.
They stop dancing and take a seat. “Truth,” she answers.
Damn, if she’d said dare I was going to dare her to go out and touch some lightning. “Are you happy now?”
She glances nervously at Maya. “Um, yeah…”
“Are you happy that you used me to get at your girlfriend for not noticing your problems? Are you happy that you’re with her again and things are fucking perfect for you? Are you happy that you’re the reason that Adam broke up with me?”
She gives me the famous puppy dog look that she gave Maya a few nights ago. Her lip trembles, and for a minute I think she’s going to cry.
Stupid me, Taz doesn’t cry. She explodes.
“Use you?” She stands up to face me. Almost a foot shorter and still she’s scary. “Use you? Charles, you’re my best friend, I wouldn’t use you.”
“No?” I yell back. “And don’t call me Charles!”
“You know I wouldn’t use you! I’m sorry that you and Adam have broken up, but it’s not my fault.”
“Yes it is!” I thunder back. “If you hadn’t taken up all of my time he wouldn’t have broken up with me!”
“Back off, Charlie!” Maya snaps at me. “You’re upset, there’s no need to take it out on Taz.”
“There’s every need! And you’re a hypocrite. You hated me and Taz being friends, now you’re pissed off that we’re not. Pick a side, Maya, and stick to it!”
“Charlie, leave the girls alone.” Portman says as he and Fulton stand up.
“This is none of your business!” I tell them.
“Just calm down,” Fulton says. “It is our business. You’re our friend and you’re obviously upset. We can talk about it, but stop yelling.”
I don’t want to talk about it. I want to be with Adam again and for things to get back to normal. Or as close to normal as it gets for us.
“Just forget it.” I mutter, aware that there are tears in my eyes.
As I walk out of the room I hear Julie say, “We should really stop playing this game.”
I collapse on my bed and cry again. I’ve lost my boyfriend and my best friend in the space of a few days. Why can’t things just go right for awhile?
“Someone wake Adam up,” I say tiredly.
They’re my friends. They haven’t been as there for me as they could in the past few months, but in all honestly, I haven’t given them the chance. We’ve all drifted since the beginning of the year, and I really want to fix that.
Maya leans over and shakes Adam a few times. He blinks a few times, and raises his hand to his head.
“What?” he groans.
“Adam, we need to talk to you for a little bit. Think you can talk?” she asks soothingly.
“A little.” He raises himself to a sitting position. He shakes his head a few times. “I had the weirdest dream, it was like I was Sleeping Beauty. There was music and everything, and I thought I saw two of those fairy things dancing when the prince kissed me.”
Portman and I exchange a glance. Under any other circumstances, hearing that would make me wet my pants with laughter. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case.
“Adam, did you break up with Charlie?” I ask softly.
His face clouds. “What happened?”
“Nothing, we just had a nice little chat,” Taz says bitterly. Maya puts a comforting arm around her.
Adam sighs. “Look, I’d love to talk about this, but I’m starting to get a little dizzy again. Ask me again later.”
With that, he passes out again.
“I think I’m going to go talk to Charlie.” I say, getting up. Portman smiles at me.
“I’m getting kind of hungry,” comments Guy. The others nod in agreement.
“I’m sure we can find something to eat in the kitchen.” Julie suggests.
“Ok, well, I’ll go talk to Charlie, you guys get stuff to eat. Someone stay and baby-sit Adam,” I say, taking charge. Someone’s gotta do it while Charlie’s indisposed.
“You’re bossy. I like it,” Portman whispers in my ear as he leaves the room.
“I’ll stay,” Taz offers. She still looks a little gloomy.
Maya kisses her forehead. “I’ll be back in a little while, ok?”
Taz nods. I trudge up the stairs. I’m not sure what I’m going to talk to Charlie about, I just know that he needs to talk to someone.
I walk into the room to find him on his bed, obviously crying.
“Hey, Charlie.” I take a seat next to him and start to put a comforting hand on his back.
He pushes me away. “Leave me alone,” He croaks out.
“Charlie, you can talk to me. I’m your friend, remember? I know it’s hard for you to lose Adam and Taz, but remember that there are still people that love you.”
He looks up at me with tear filled eyes. His face is puffy, and now that I think about it, he’s looked like hell all morning. I open my arms to give him a hug, and he reluctantly moves into them.
“Just talk. I’ll listen,” I tell him.
“I don’t know what to do. I love him more than anything, and he’s helped me so much. I can’t believe that I let him down, and I don’t know what to do, Fulton. I know I’m horribly selfish and this isn’t half as bad as any of your problems, but—”
I cut him off. “Charlie, I would be devastated if Portman broke up with me.”
He sniffs, and I can tell he’s close to crying again. “It’s been two years and a half years. Three in July. Doesn’t that mean anything to him?”
“Maybe he just thought it was time for a change.”
The look on Charlie’s face lets me know that I have said the wrong thing. I quickly try to cover for myself.
“Change isn’t always bad, Charlie. Seriously. Look on the bright side… now you can go look for a new boyfriend!”
Uh-oh. Charlie’s starting to get mad. “I don’t want a new boyfriend! I want Adam!”
He pulls away from me. “Look, Fulton. You’re really not helping me. I think you should just leave.”
“Charlie, I’m sorry. I don’t know what to say. I’ve never been good at this kind of talk,” I admit. “What do you want me to do?”
He looks around for a moment, the angry look fading from his face. “Just… stay, I guess. I’m kind of lonely.”
A small smile comes onto my face. “Sure, Charlie.”
I poke his knee. He mutters, “Leave me alone,” but still doesn’t wake up.
I realize Maya’s standing over me. I think she just asked me a question.
“Are you ok, Taz?” Maya asks patiently.
I nod vigorously. “Fine. Why wouldn’t I be?”
“I thought we agreed no lies.” She takes a seat on the floor next to me. I stop tormenting Adam and turn my attention to her.
“I’m… I don’t know. I’m really pissed off at him,” I tell her. “I wasn’t using Charlie to get at you. I don’t play games, you know that, right?”
“I know.” She kisses me. “He’s just upset and can’t work out why they broke up. I’m sure he’ll be fine in a few days.” She grins at me. “After all, he is your best friend.”
I nod. I shouldn’t dwell, it’s not my style, and besides, I have Maya. I love her, I’d be devastated if I lost her. “I’m fine. Thanks for the pep-talk.”
“Right, I’m going to make sure that Portman isn’t poisoning you.” She gets up and heads for the door.
“Love you.” I haven’t told her for a few hours.
“Love you back.” She blows me a kiss and leaves.
I feel agitated from the fight. Well, it was barely a fight, it’s probably why I feel so agitated. A fight at least resolves things. This didn’t.
I want to draw something. That usually helps me calm down, which I definitely need to do because despite our vague bonding, Portman still isn’t very fond of me.
“Your ex is a real asshole.” I tell the comatose boy behind me.
I look around the room for something to do. My eye falls on someone’s makeup kit sitting on the table and I get a really fun idea. One that might get me killed.
I reach for the kit. Wow. It’s huge. There’s every color imaginable! Who would wear purple eye-shadow? It has those long brushes kinda like paintbrushes. It’s a sign. There’s a glass of water on the table from when Adam took his painkillers.
I really shouldn’t.
Someone would kill me.
Not just Adam, but the owner of the makeup kit.
I really shouldn’t do this.
I grab a brush and dip it into the water and then some purple eye-shadow and turn towards Adam.
Eye-shadow washes off, right?
“Gonna make you a butterfly, my friend.” I tell him softly.
“Feeding time!” Portman leads the others in, all carrying food and drink.
I try to look innocent.
Big mistake. Maya knows my innocent look.
“Taz, what did you do?”
I widen my eyes angelically. “Um, not much.”
She strides past me and gets a good look at Adam’s face. She tries to look annoyed but can’t hide her laugh.
I hurriedly scoot as the others walk over to investigate.
Julie laughs so hard that she drops her drink on the floor. Even the Bash brothers can’t help but laugh.
“Taz…” Maya gives me a warning look.
“At least it wasn’t a wall.” I offer in my defense.
That does it, every gives up trying not to laugh at Adam with a big purple butterfly painted across his face.
“What did you use to do that?” Guy asks me. “It’s really good.”
I wince and point to the makeup kit on the table.
“Taz!” Maya explodes. “That’s mine!”
“That’s it!” She strides over to me. “When we get back to school you’re taking photography lessons. No more painting for you!”
As punishments go, I like this one.
Adam chooses this moment to wake up. “Wass goin’ on?” He mumbles groggily.
“Nothing, love,” I tell him quickly. “Just admiring your new look.”
He grins and starts singing, “She’s got the look, she’s got the look… What in the world can make a brown-eyed girl turn blue… When everything I’ll ever do, I do for you…”
I interrupt, while everyone else starts giggling again.
“Listen, Ads,” I take a seat on the floor next to him. “I’m a big fan of Roxette too, but your voice just doesn’t suit their songs. What other songs do you know?”
He looks at me quizzically. It’s so hard to keep a straight face when every time he makes a new expression that butterfly on his face seems to flutter.
“We are the champions, my friends…”
“That’s the stuff!” I yell encouragingly and join in with him. I grab a lighter off the table and flick it. I start swaying like I’m at a concert.
The others don’t share my glee.
“TAZ! PUT THE LIGHTER DOWN!”
If only those damn oompa lumpas would stop running at me with their stupid claws! I didn’t know that oompa lumpas even had claws!
There’s a butterfly on my face. I don’t know what it’s doing there, either… it’s just sitting on my nose. It kind of tickles. Every once in awhile it’ll move, and that really tickles!
Charlie’s somewhere around. He was dressed up like a prince before, and he kissed me. I woke up, and was a little pissed off at him. He’s not supposed to kiss me, we’re broken up.
I start to wander around, looking for something to do. I turn as I hear noise behind me. The oompa lumpas are coming, and they’re armed with torches of fire!
“Sing, Ads, Sing!” They chant, surrounding me.
I croak a little, then finally come out with “We are the champions, my friend…”
They sway in a circle around me like they’re at a concert. A big giant comes and blows out the torches. The oompa lumpas jump on him, biting his ankles and scratching his shins. The giant falls, screaming. I run out of the way—I don’t want to be trampled!
I run to the other side of the beach. A huge cat is sitting on the beach, and it’s purring. It stretches out its paws and I almost get caught by one of the claws. What is with this place? It is so lethal!
I turn and see a hut. It looks like a place where I can hide out. I walk inside, and am greeted a room filled with beautiful flowers. I hear sneezing in the corner, and I turn to see Charlie. Poor thing, he’s really allergic to pollen.
“Hi,” I say quietly. This is going to be awkward, I think.
He stands up without saying a word. I try to cover my surprise. He’s wearing a loincloth made out of leaves!
“Why are you wearing that, Charlie?” I ask him.
“My name’s not Charlie, it’s Evan. They wanted to call me Eve, but I refused. I’m too manly,” He tells me.
“I don’t get it.” I’m sure my face portrays this.
“Oh, come on, Adam! I’m your Eve!” He grins. “And don’t be shocked about the loincloth. It’s better than what you’re wearing!”
I look down at myself to see that I’m completely naked. I gasp and look around for something to cover myself with. Charlie—Evan—giggles. He leads me to a bed, which seems to be made of clouds. I quickly get under the covers in an attempt to conceal myself. He puts an arm around me. There’s a window across from us, and outside I can see the oompa lumpas attempting to recuperate themselves. The cat has apparently eaten a few of them.
“So, what are you thinking about?” Charlie/Evan asks me.
“I don’t know.” I answer. And I really don’t. I’m not really thinking, just observing the events around me.
“You don’t miss me?” He asks, sticking his lower lip out.
“Well, yeah, I do.” I admit.
“Especially this?” Charlie/Evan leans towards me and gives me a soft kiss. My arms wrap around him, and he slowly moves on top of me. He starts to kiss down my body, finally stopping at my—
“Adam! Adam, wake up!” The female voice is really loud.
I groan. “Stop it, Evan… I’m awake!”
“Who the hell is Evan?” a second voice asks.
I blink, and open my eyes. Taz is sitting on my chest, trying to wake me up. Her claws… I mean, nails, are digging into me. Portman is peering down at me with interest. He looks like a giant.
“Oh, hey. I just had a weird dream.” I tell him, trying to shake my head clear of those last few images. “What time is it?”
“About five. You’ve been sleeping all day.” Julie tells me. I turn to look at her, and for a minute she looks like a gigantic cat.
“Hey, you guys, Matthew’s home!” Maya calls from the hallway.
“Why the hell is it so dark?” I can hear my cousin’s voice.
“The power went out this morning, and we’ve been in darkness all day!” Maya tells him excitedly.
“What? Why didn’t you just turn on the emergency generator?” Matthew comes into the room that I’m in, giving me a confused look. “Adam knows where it is…”
Everyone gives me a dumbfounded look. I groan, and smack my forehead.
“I completely forgot! I’m sorry… but I hurt my wrist, and then I had to take some painkillers, and I… I just forgot!” I try to explain.
“Adam, we’re going to kill you.” Taz exclaims happily.
“Oh, it’s ok. You can’t say it wasn’t an interesting day!” Julie grins.
I’ll have to agree.
They lyrics are shamelessly stolen from Roxette’s “The Look” and Queen’s “We Are The Champions”.