Chapter 34

714 50 49

A small drizzle hung in the air, plastering itself onto their skin. His hands fidgeted in his pockets, turning the box over and over again until his fingers became sore. It was a tiring effort to stay calm, every fragment in Benji's body was freaking out. But the smooth quiet night helped calm his nerves, soothing him like a mother to her child. A light breeze drifted in and out of the buildings passing Camilla and Benji respectfully, almost as if the wind even knew who they were. Even after ten minutes, Benji still beat himself up for not disguising more. The simple man behind the counter figured it out. It definitely wasn't a part of their plan.

With his mind drifting and becoming focused all at the same time, his pace picked up, practically leaving Camilla in the dust. She hummed a light groan at the sudden speed, the balls of her feet slipping in and out of the brown burgundy flats she wore. Her hair was beginning to plaster to her face, the moisture in the air not far from drenching it. She wasn't alone however, Benji's hair curled up, sticking to his forehead in all different directions. The two weren't even sure what way they were going in, just aimlessly wandering in hopes of finding a sense of direction. It wasn't as if they could ask someone on the streets, the time was ticking close to three in the morning. It was hard to believe they'd been out that long.

On a small off chance, a car would hum by, ignoring Camilla and Benji's apparent attempts to flag it down. It was no use, besides, if the universe needed Benji with Jorge that night, it would happen. He trusted that.

And perfectly on cue, a small yell sounded out from behind the two, sending a small shake up their spines that neither of them would like to admit as fear. "Benji?" They whipped around, squinting their eyes in attempt to see through the thickened fog that clouded their surroundings. But instead of it being who Benji prayed it was, Fiona emerged from the grey, her hair not as wet as theirs. "We're inside that bar, good luck." Benji tried nodding along, but the way she spoke the final two words alluded to it being more of a hassle than it should be. Was Jorge okay?

Turns out, he wasn't. A grim expression was stuck to his face, his jaw set out a bit more than usual. A firm point clung to his lips, and the glance up to Benji from the booth held no affection.

What happened? Before Benji left everything was fine, was Jorge having second thoughts? Did Jorge hate him?

"Benji." Was all he mustered, Jorge's hands hugging a cup of presumably hot chocolate. No surprise there, he never took Benji as the 'lets go down ten shots of tequila' kind of guy. The three just stood around the booth for a moment, Camilla and Fiona just watching the stare-off roll out in front of their eyes.

Benji eventually broke the eye contact, his stomach plummeting at the thought of the protruding box in his pocket. "Y-You okay?" He puzzled, an obvious shake to his voice. When Jorge looked away, Benji just slid himself into Jorge's side of the booth, fitting like a puzzle piece.

"I'm fine, Benji." The clamer of the bar couldn't make up for the intruding silence at the table. Jorge just kept his gaze out the window, not looking up to notice Camilla and Fiona share the booth across.

"You're not." He protested, trying to grab for Jorge's wrists, but his fingers just clung to the styrofoam as if it was a safety ring.

"Jesus christ..." He muttered under his breath, only loud enough for Benji to hear. "You left, okay? You took off, leaving me with Fiona, who I really only have known for a day, in god knows where. And you think it's so perfect to dilly dally and go dance off with Camilla... which I won't even ask what you two did, and then have the audacity to come back here like nothing happened." His hands were moving so fast, he almost knocked the tepid chocolate over. Words spitballed out of his mouth, his anger rising to the top and spilling out of his ears. It was difficult to control, and Jorge still couldn't believe it himself that he exploded like that. An unreadable expression danced around Benji's face, and the other boy couldn't tell if he was going to retaliate or crumble into a clump of tears.

The Gardener ~ Benjey ~Where stories live. Discover now