"So... they're lesbians. She's a lesbian. They're lesbians."

"Yes, Pat, I believe that is what we would call them."

"I just..." He stiffened. "Whoa."

I mirrored his expression of mild shock. "Whoa is right."

"I mean, so many things make sense now."

"Yup," I said, drawing out the 'p' and popping my lips.

We stared at each other, not really seeing, not registering anything beyond our shared thoughts. Or lack thereof. I could see the gears turning in his head, figuring things out, one by one. I would have to tread carefully from here.

He stared emptily at the wall behind my head.

"She told me she loved me."

It was a statement, and his tone was completely void of emotion. I wasn't sure how to respond. I bristled slightly. After all he had told me about how he felt, I didn't see how this mattered. 

"I guess the word meant something different for her," I replied, and then, because I couldn't stop myself, I blurted the question on my mind. "Did you say it back?"

He glanced sideways at me, not revealing any specific reaction. "No."

Alice and Jazmin had quietly left the same way they snuck in, leaving Patrick and I alone once again in the closet. We were too stunned at first to move or say anything about it, but now, as we walked out to the driveway together, we discussed what we had just witnessed in hushed tones.

"Nice of you to finally join us," Uriah said as we approached. "No worries, we've only been waiting for approximately half of a lifetime."

I shot him a look, but he just flashed his signature happy grin.

"Alright, people, come on. Each to your cars." Veronica was standing on the front steps, looking as terrifying as ever, an immovable force in the heavy wind. I scanned the driveway and found the car with my last name on it, along with Andrew's. As I approached it, I paused for a minute before realizing that he was no longer to get out of the car to open the door for me. I guess I deserved that. I probably deserved worse.

I got in and closed the door behind me, waiting for my eyesight to adjust to the dim light filtering through the tinted back windows. I looked over quickly at Andrew, who was decked out in his staple red and black flannel. He was wearing his glasses today, which he never did, and he also wore jeans and hiking boots. After the fight, I believe that the producers had had a medical crew check both Patrick and Andrew out for anything amiss, and aside from some major bruising and a broken nose on Andrew's part, they would be all right. He wore a bandage over his nose and on the corner of his forehead, and deep purple and blue bruises dotted his face. They only brought out his eyes and his red-brown hair all the more. I noticed that he was also wearing a bandanna tied around his neck, which was an interesting fashion choice for him that I would have made fun of in normal circumstances. I felt a smile twitching at the corner of my mouth.

"Hey," I said, devoid of any emotion. He looked at me across the seat and nodded in acknowledgement, not saying anything.

I nodded to myself, this being the response I had expected from him. As the mansion and its driveway shrunk back outside the window, I pressed my forehead against the relatively cold glass and watched the palm trees and buildings flash by. I think we were going to a nearby National Park, which excited me. I loved nature and being outside in the fresh air would probably do a little bit to help me calm down and clear my mind.

My thoughts- not to mention my eyes- kept accidentally wandering towards the man sitting a seat away from me. I couldn't help myself; maybe it was the guilt, but I had to know what was happening with him.

As Seen On TV | [2018 Wattys Winner]Read this story for FREE!