Sometime later, there's a shift in how we're all lying, and I look up to catch a clear view of Haylie drooling on Caleb's head. How attractive.
"Hey," I hiss, stifling the urge to elbow her in the forehead with the arm that's pillowing Caleb. "Don't--you're fucking drooling on him! What the hell are you dreaming about?" I mutter, glowering at her when she peeks open an eye to give me a drowsy stare.
"Food," she yawns, removing her arms from around Caleb's forearm to stretch off to the side, dangling off the bed with the lower half of her body supporting her weight. "Caleb's cooking has become my one true love," she purrs, voice muffled by her pose. "How long have we been sleeping?"
"I don't know," I grumble, moving around as slowly as I can to not wake up the brunette still sleeping. I look down at him, nestled against me, one hand resting on my chest. Instead of being embarrassed--and I probably should be--I feel...at ease. Why? Why is this guy so hellbent on being close to me? I'm...oddly not complaining--it just doesn't make sense. As gently as I can, I touch the now-mussed up fringe of his that swoops down against the bridge of his nose. It's too short to be tucked behind his ear the way the rest of his bangs are, but, somehow, it's cute.
"He was so happy after you finally spoke to him openly, you know," comes a soft whisper. Hailey's gazing at me, a mellow smile on her face. "I know we've only known each other for a little less than two semesters now, but...he really does care for you. He bandaged your arm--he freaks out around blood, you know--and he dragged you out of your little pity pit, and...I really hope you get that he's not just gonna let you go now. Neither am I," She adds, flashing a small leer, and then throws her legs around the side of the bed to stand and walk out to the hallway. "I want more food..."
Everything she said processes slowly in my head, and I look back down at Caleb. "I don't understand you," I murmur, impulsively running a finger down his cheek. "You draw me to you, get me all worked up with the thought of being hurt, and go out of your way to make me feel better... Tch, I didn't even know I needed to feel better." I scoff softly, then close my eyes momentarily. "I...really don't like how you make me feel. It's weird. I had friends before, had close family, but you..." I sigh, gazing at him again. "Fuck these emotions. They're so confusing. Sometimes I think I was better off without you--that I should get away while I still can. But hell, it's way too late for that."
He flinches in his sleep, and suddenly everything I've said feels like a heavy weight on my chest.
I lean down, brushing my lips across his forehead lightly, and let him go, running a hand through my hair as I slowly crawl out of the bed and stand to leave. It's really late by now, and I've still got some classes tomorrow. Not to mention I should probably check on my apartment to see if those damn kids didn't break in to steal anything. I shake my head, pulling the covers up to Caleb's chin, my hands lingering slightly.
There's something seriously fucked up with me.
And it's probably Caleb.
"Fuck," I spit, turning on my heel to storm out the door.
"Dante?" Haylie calls from the kitchen, following me to the front door. I snatch up my jacket, making a face. "Where are you going?"
I stiffen and pause, grabbing the doorknob. "I gotta get out of here."
"What--why? Did something happen?" She actually looks worried.
"Fuck," I snap, twisting around. "I don't get you people, okay? What the hell do you want from me? I know I made a mistake reaching out to Caleb--I don't know why the fuck I did that. I don't know why I wanted to help him, okay? I'm not a good person--so why are you two and that damn art professor hounding me?"
A fist meets my cheek, surprisingly hard enough for me to see bright lights for a moment, and I'm grabbed by the front of my shirt, then shoved against the door.
"Listen, you ungrateful little shit," She snarls, blue eyes burning, "You can pretend that you're not lonely, you can call me a bitch, but you cannot call Caleb a mistake. You used to be such a douchebag--and sometimes you still are, honestly, like now--but you seem so much more happier just being around him. You can't tell me that you feel awkward around us when you fucking let him close to you and told him what happened to you. I don't know if this is your way of trying to protect yourself, but the longer you run away from this, the longer you're gonna be a stupid prick that drowns himself in work and useless fights." She glares at me, and then the strangest thing happens.
Her eyes start to swim in tears.
Which is strange because she's cried because of losing her boyfriend, the gossip that those girls spread, wasted food, Caleb, not catching a sale, or from worry over losing her job--but not over me. Why the hell would she--
"I meant it when I said we care about you and we wanna help. Why can't you just accept that?" She whines softly, her fist trembling on my shirt.
My face must've gone as blank as my mind, because she lets me go, rubbing at her eyes, and grumbles. "Now you made my mascara run, you big jerk,"
Speechlessly, I wrap my arms around her, still somewhat dumbfounded. What the shit is all of this. Why is it such a big deal?
I didn't know I'd find out a few days later.