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Lee

I wasn't the type to hate or to hold a grudge, but seeing Claude's face before me now only brought back the memories. A boiling disdain was beginning to grow inside me, but I dialed it down and cast him a disdained look. Trying my best not to not allow his rugged, handsome features to distract me. Claude Varic was always handsome, even in his state of disarray that bothered me. I knew I was foolish to be worried, or to even have been this affected by him but I was and that couldn't be denied. There was closure that I needed and he had neglected me of my right to know and understand.

Perhaps I wouldn't detest the very thought of him, but I felt there was just some margin of need inside me. A need to find a reason to hate him, despite having stayed away from him for months on end with no such rancor.

He stood there, with a shadowed look masking his features. His blue eyes cloudy, and his body language spoke numbers of his frustration. Yet what worried me was his reason for calling after so long. It was quite unexpected of him and like the fool I was, I came running back to hear what he had to say. To know why he needed my help, after all that had transpired between us.

After all the pain he put me through.

He looked a hot mess and his attire spoke for itself. He was always put together, but now I could tell that he was facing something that I couldn't fathom. At one point in our lives, I could understand his every look and know on hand that something was wrong with him. Now it was unlike any of those times. He wore a tank top, crushed beyond measure, over a pair of blue and white, checkered Pajama bottoms. Rumpled and stained by food, and almost giving away the fact  that he'd somehow given up on himself.

"Thanks for coming," his voice was low and filled with dread.

"You called, Claude. When have I ever not came when you called?" I asked in a bored voice, ready to turn around and walk away from him.

"Lee, I'm sorry for-"

"Look I'm not here to talk about you and me, you said you needed my help, and I was kinda busy before you called. So get to the that before anything else." I griped out, trying my best not to sound harsh.

I didn't hate Claude nor did I understand his motives, but something about the situation made me angry. Only I was more angry at myself that I couldn't admit I was forever in denial. Telling myself daily, that I didn't do anything wrong. Trying my best not to let anything change the way I behaved before. Yet it couldn't ever be the same with me and Claude, whether we both tried hard to or not.

"Come in, I have something you need to see." He spoke making me frown at him, pondering what it could be that he wanted to show me. He sounded desperate and almost out of air, like he'd ran a marathon. I had never witnessed him so distraught before but every man had their vulnerabilities.

He stepped aside and widened the front door, beckoning me into his Studio. I stepped inside feeling the awkwardness begin to settle but I shook it off, and let him lead the way. I was still confused with him and myself. Burdened by my blinding loyalty that betrayed my need to be away from him.

As soon as I was inside, Claude closed the door and brushed past me, while I took my Jacket off to hang it on the Coat hanger. Seconds later, I was curious why his apartment seemed so...dirty. For the longest I'd known Claude, he kept his Studio clean. Yet today it was a bit of a mess, but nothing that a vacuüm and a duster couldn't fix.

"You look good," Claude expressed with a forced smile and I peered at him, uncertain of how to reply.

After having my heart torn from my chest, all because of his cowardice. I didn't expect seeing him again and a lot of time had passed to let me know that he was beating himself up. I pitied him, felt some sort of remorse for walking away. Not allowing myself the pain of understanding why he had done what he did. Yet I thought myself smart to have done what I did. I prided myself on my rationality, even when it had made me into a coward myself. Consequently, that level of discernment had faded when he broke me down and I feared that he didn't realize it. I was trepidatious of facing a harrowing truth, that was at the tip of my tongue. Clawing at my wavering sanity that needed a boost to remain intact. It was my poison and oh how I basked in that bittersweet resentment like an impetuous harlot.

I frowned at him, then said, "Wish I could say the same about you." I grimaced at how harsh my words sounded, but he nodded as if accepting that he deserved it.

"It's been a rough couple of weeks." He shrugged, still gazing at me deeply with the eyes I'd fell for. Deep blue orbs like the ocean, with the glint of sunlight on the brushing waves.

"What do you want to show me?" I asked stuffing my hands in the pocket of my jeans whilst eyeing him with slight uncertainty. A state of unsure befuddlement displaying my current annoyance all too well.

"I don't know how to explain it, so you're gonna have to see for yourself." He expressed with a languid sigh. I nodded, still confused at his sudden urgency but I remained passive.

I found myself gazing at him like I'd have done four months ago. Chestnut, shoulder-length hair, cut and styled to perfection, though it was a tad messy. telling me that he had not been sleeping well for days. His glinting blue eyes, were sunken into deep holes, and devoid of anything cheerful. Dark circles surrounded his piercing blue eyes. His mustache and goatee seductive and complementing of his eyes and hair. Leaving a fascinating memory of his past, yet I still couldn't shake the fact that he was in need of a shave.

He spun away and ducked into the narrow hallway,, while I followed behind him. As we neared his bedroom, I heard a small sputtering that sounded—almost like a baby's. My brows furrowed as I searched his room for the sound but my eyes rested on A basket. Laying on his bed, unmoving as I got closer to the woven bushel.

"Holy shi-," my eyes widened as the contents of the basket was now in full display to my vision.

"Holy shi-," my eyes widened as the contents of the basket was now in full display to my vision

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