Chapter 22

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I'm going to start off with a brief A/N rather than end with it. Thank you everyone for all your support. I feel really dissapointed that I DID think of all the ideas I've written but I can't take pride in it because someone else might have had similar ideas that I never even read or knew about. I've put a lot of thought and work into this fic so I've decided not to drop it. I'm so grateful to everyone who commented that they knew I didn't steal it, it makes my day to know that you guys trust me.

- Caspar's POV-

Disney - Day 1

"So who's rooming with who?" Alfie asked, as we walked up the steps to the hotel.

"I call Alfie. Obviously." Zoe said, intertwining her fingers with his.

My true self is hidden deep within my body. Cowardly hiding in a corner, afraid to be seen. My outside self is always smiling and happy. Making stupid jokes, but he was always entertaining. Perhaps my true self is smiling, or maybe he's sad. I don't visit him enough to know. The only person they all see is a lie, so why bother show them something fabricated at this point? Joe had unlocked my true self for a while. The cowardly side, as I stood not being able to save him. The loving side, where all my mind could think of was him as I spent hours setting up a dinner. The hateful side as I broke everything at the dinner. The weak side as I broke down during the video. It was scary, knowing that he had so much power. I never wanted my full true self to be released ever. My true self held many dark secrets. Letting it out would also mean letting out all the flaws and hidden things I've worked hard to push away. But I had to keep my true self alive, just make sure it doesn't get out. My true self was still limping, not able to walk yet, still broken and trying to fix itself. It was scared. It longed to be with Joe, but it was too scared. I let the scared side of myself peek through when I told Joe I wanted to stay friends. But I knew one more blow might have completely killed my true self. And when my true self dies, I'll die with it.

"I call Troye." I knew how risky it was to claim Troye. Not because I was scared something between us might happen, he was just my close friend. It was risky because Tyler and Troye always roomed together. Troye was Tyler's property. But if anyone knew exactly what to say, it was Troye. Well, actually, it was Zoe. But she was with Alfie. Inside, I wanted more than anything to room with Joe, but I had to play it safe. I had to fix myself first.

There was one thing that always gave me hope. Kept me going. The future. The future that will be the present that will be the past. Of course, I didn't know the future. But I always took joy in thinking about it. Imagining it. One thing that kept me going when I was losing hope with Joe, was thinking about us together, in the future, married possibly. Maybe with kids- I stopped myself before my daydreaming got too sappy. I was seriously like a high school girl.

"Uh. Okay." Troye said, glancing at Tyler. Tyler's lips were pressed into a straight angry line. Oops.

I snuck a glance at Joe, he was looking down, but the despairing look on his face was unmistakeable. Every time I pushed Joe away to give myself more time to fix itself, I knew Joe was losing more and more hope. Please don't give up, Joe. Please stay strong. I begged, internally. I tried to stop looking at Joe, but I couldn't help myself. He was so entirely enthralling that I couldn't stop my eyes from gazing at his face.

"Roomies?" I saw Joe ask Tyler, a phony smile molded onto his face.

Tyler only nooded, his eyes still fixated on Troye.

Troye flashed an apologetic smile at Tyler.

"Well then," Zoe said, breaking the tension, "We should drop our suitcases up and crash for the night. I think we're all tired."

I was the first to leave. I never handled awkward tension well. I unlocked the hotel room door with a swipe of the card key, rushed in and threw my body onto the bed.

"Caspar?" Troye's voice was serious. I knew I was going to be in for a long talk. Which is what I wanted, but a big part of me wasn't ready for it yet.

"Yeah?" I answered, not moving my body off the bed.

"What the fuck is going on between you and Joe? You're relationship is all over the place."

I took a deep breath and explained how I wanted to fix myself first. I went on and on, and Troye wordlessly took a seat on the bed next to me. The sheets crinkled under the newly added weight.

"You may think you're saving yourself... But what about Joe? He's getting worse and worse. I agree with the whole letting yourself heal first before jumping back into a relationship, but you should explain that to him. He thinks he did something wrong. He thinks he's not good enough for you, that he's ruined everything and that you no longer like him. Just explain things before its too late, Casp." Troye placed his hand soothingly on my shoulder, a content look in his eyes.

"I'm scared." I said, quietly.

"Whatever you're scared of now, is it really worth the risk of ruining yours and Joe's friendship?"

Yes. No. Maybe. I don't know. If my true self got out, Joe probably wouldn't love me anymore. But if I held back for him maybe he'd fall out of love. I was so confused and I didn't know what to do.

"I wish you could just take control of my body and tell Joe for me." I said to Troye.

"You're fighting a war between your head and your heart. If I were to take over your body, if that were even possible, the war wouldn't get solved."

"I wouldn't go so far as to call it a war." I mumbled.

"No, it's undeniably a war. I can see it behind your eyes Caspar."

"Just be honest with Joe." Troye said, giving me a wide toothy smile.

I nodded. But I knew it wasn't only Joe I had to be honest with. For the war to end, I was going to have to be honest with everyone. I wasn't ready to expose myself just yet, but maybe talking about it could ease the pain.

"Welllll then," Troye's voice turned upbeat, "I'm going to go see if they have any good snacks at the vending machine. The last hotel I stayed at had mini Nutella packages in the machine. The world is becoming a wonderful place."

I laughed, and waved goodbye as he walked out the door.

I sat on the bed for a few minutes, just thinking. Trying to remember the last time I was truly and completely honest with myself. I was tired of living a lie.

I heard a knock at the door, and got up to answer it. I surmised that Troye had gotten himself locked out. But when I opened the door, it wasn't Troye who stood before me.

I was at a loss for words as I stared into his eyes. His eyes that had once been exuberant and lively were now dull. Lifeless. Mundane.

"Hello, Joe." I murmured, pulling my eyes away from his and directing my gaze downwards. I couldn't stand to see him like this for a moment longer.

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