I had quickly come to discover that life in the Mari-hom residence wasn't nearly as bizarre as I had preconceived.
Once one got used to the array of strange décor, the occasional "artist" that shuffled in the house to smoke pot with Marius and talk about the pain and suffering in the world, the late night screaming matches and dinners that consisted only of mixed drinks, it was quite relaxing.
Marius had catered to me my first week living in Thom's room like he always did- with plenty of care but the brutal honesty that seemed to get through to me. Thom had hardly jumped at the chance to play Nurse to me. He did offer up his room for a few weeks on the couch (although, in the morning, I never saw any evidence of someone sleeping there, he's very tidy, I suppose), but he had a bias on Davey's part. He eventually gave me a bit of pity and after a few days, we became some sort of twisted family.
My grades dropped a little bit, but I was less concerned than I should've been. What did it matter? Part of me wondered what did anything matter anymore, but I had to keep thoughts like that out.
After not talking to Davey for two weeks, it was apparent my situation was not getting any better. For the longest time I had thought Davey was the only thing that made my life liveable. And isn't that true? Isn't everyone just empty space, a face in the crowd, discarnate until we find love in someone else? Until we meet someone that makes our life valid? We'd all disappear if it weren't for one person who's going to still care when we're gone. And I lost mine. Game over.
I can't blame Davey. I would do the same thing if I were him. I was so selfish. I deserve all this bad karma and all the bad things that will happen to me, but Davey's going through it, too. Of course, it's also selfish to think Davey won't move on and that he's completely alone right now. The idea of him with someone else makes me physically ill, but so does the image of him completely wrecked. I guess I'd rather have him happy.
Staying with Thom and Marius is wonderful; they've truly opened their door to me. But I can't help but feel lonely in their big apartment when they're out together at a party every night and I'm all alone Photoshopping pictures of Davey and I in Thom's room.
Marius saunters into the apartment at around ten a.m. on a Tuesday morning. He's wearing the same clothes as he did when he left at ten p.m. on Monday evening. I'm used to this scene, it's happened at least three times since I've been living here, but Thom always looks annoyed. The first two times he just glared at Marius behind his cup of tea, but this morning he decides to leave the breakfast table, abandoning his cereal and his copy of the Arts and Leisure section of the paper. He shuffles past Marius and I hear a door slam.
'I'm hung over.' Marius announces, still staring at Thom's recently vacated seat.
'Good job.' I muttered, trying to eat some more toast before taking my newly prescribed medication. Fun.
'Thom's such a little bitch today,' Marius whines, fumbling through the cupboards. 'He left me last night, you know.' I didn't want to get involved in their business so I kept quiet instead, knowing Marius would just tell me anyway. 'I mean, it was like, one a.m. and Thom got all mad at me and left the party.'
'YOU WERE MAKING OUT WITH MICHAEL THE WHOLE TIME, MARIUS!' Thom screamed from the other room.
'GOD DAMN IT, I'M HUNG OVER, STOP YELLING!' Marius shrieked back, banging his head on the cabinet.
'I'M IN YOUR ROOM BREAKING THINGS!' Thom replied and a vase smashed.
I took this as my cue to leave and decided to lock myself into Thom's room for another day.
Christmas was approaching rather slowly, it had seemed. Thom's birthday was in the beginning of December, and every day went by like a year. Thom was employed by Marius to do his Christmas shopping for him, so every night Thom would come back with several bags from different stores. Usually, only one bag was containing a present for one of Marius' family members, because Thom would abuse the privilege of having Marius' credit card.
One day, when I didn't have class, Thom decided it would be a good idea to ask me to come along with him. I looked like a mess, my hair was pretty faded and flat, I wasn't too into the idea of changing out of my too-big jeans and ratty sweatshirt, and I hadn't worn contacts in quite a while. But, whatever, I went.
Thom was not in a good mood, either. He was sick of Marius serving Cosmopolitans and popcorn for dinner and he was sick of Marius hanging all over someone new every night, and damn it, he was sick of Marius constantly being mean to him. I smiled and nodded while Thom told me for two hours how much he hated Marius.
'Why don't you just move out?' I ventured, holding Thom's bags before were turned into a restaurant for lunch.
Thom looked at me very steadily for a moment before quietly sliding into a seat at in table by the window. I looked at him after I struggled putting down all the shopping bags on the floor. He opted to not answer me, but instead, look out the window at the street. I joined him in the silent staring until the cheerful voice of our waiter distracted us.
'Can I get you two anything to drink?' He asked, and I turned around to look at him, automatically wishing I hadn't.
Thom had a sunken look on his face, when he saw Davey standing in front of us, holding a small notepad and a pencil. 'Oh. I'm… Sorry. I didn't know you worked here now, Davey.'
'I got, um, fired last week, so…' Davey responded, the little colour he had was drained from his face and he was making an effort not to look at me. He didn't look too much better than I did, but Davey always looked great to me. This job required less of a uniform than his old one did, so he was just wearing a pair of jeans and loose black dress shirt. For the first time in forever, he wasn't wearing any make-up at all.
'We can leave.' Thom told him, motioning for me to get up.
'No, it's fine.' Davey muttered. 'Um, tea for Thom and Pepsi for Katashi then, right?' He stared at his notepad, already knowing what we'd be drinking before we even replied. 'I'll be back.'
Thom and I stared at the back of Davey's head as he retreated to the kitchen before speaking.
'I am so sorry, I promise I had no idea,' Thom gushed.
'It's fine.' I muttered, staring at the door to the kitchen. 'I'm not really hungry, can we just get like… something small or an appetizer or something?'
Thom smiled before nodding evenly. 'Sure.'
Davey came back a few seconds later, nearly tripping over and old lady's shopping bag and placing our drinks on the table. Thom and I both ordered cups of soup, hoping it would cut down on Davey-Katashi time.
'He looks different.' I finally said, waiting for my soup to cool.
'What?' Thom asked, after quickly swallowing a bite of bread. 'Oh, yeah, he's… different looking.'
'Is he okay?'
Thom hesitated before sighing and shrugging his thin shoulders, the fabric on his black pea coat shifting. 'He's getting better.' He continued to look at me for a moment, as if he was done, and then decided, he wasn't. 'You know, you really hurt him.' I looked down at the table, knowing the long awaited lecture I was going to get from Thom, as he looked around and lowered his voice. 'And I don't blame him, and as much as I love you, and Marius… asked me to be nicer to you, I still side with him on this one. I know what it feels like to be depressed, Katashi. It's like you're drowning but every time you reach the surface you just sink down more and more and you can't really get out of it. But I also know that Davey was with me when I went through that, and I am absolutely sure he would've been for you. What you did was foolish on so many levels. Of course you hurt him, and of course he's not okay right now. I mean, you constantly act like you are in such a perfect relationship with him, and how sickeningly in love you two are, but you just violated his trust.' Thom took a break to sip his tea.
'I'm sorry.' I finally said, stirring my spoon around my cold vegetable soup.
'I'm not the one you should be saying that to,' Thom replied, staring at Davey from the corner of his eye.
'THOM, DAMN IT, COME OUT OF MY ROOM RIGHT NOW.' Marius bellowed, kicking the locked door several times, his Italian boots making a clicking noise every time.
It was somewhere near two in the morning, and I was awaken by a sobbing Thom running into the apartment, and, about five minutes later, Marius running in after him. I tried my best to stay in bed and not interrupt them, but it was very hard to sleep when Marius was screaming for the past ten minutes. I'm surprised our neighbours don't call the cops on them.
'NOT UNTIL YOU APOLOGISE!' Thom screeched back, throwing something against the wall. It wasn't glass or expensive sounding, so that was always nice.
'I CAN'T… I CAN'T… THOM, COME ON.'
I heard Marius speaking quietly in the room next to mine. Because it was so early, I thought my ears had deceived me, but I thought I heard an apology and a mumbled 'let me in.'
Sure enough, the door squeaked open.
I was woken up again a few hours later at the sound of something banging into the wall. I decided, that enough was enough, and I was going to go into the kitchen and fix something to eat, because I sure as hell wasn't going to get any sleep.
Of course, to my surprise, Thom was not sleeping on the couch. The couch was completely vacant of any blankets, pillows or any sign of Thom whatsoever. That was very fishy, indeed. Perhaps he went back out? I asked, but unless Thom went home with someone else (a disturbing thought for me, because I still see him as my younger brother), he was usually home by five.
Maybe Thom was kidnapped. Maybe Thom was raped. Maybe Thom was murdered. Maybe Thom was sold into Prostitution. Maybe Thom was murdered.
In the five-o'clock-I-haven't-slept-all-night haze I was in, I thought it was necessary for me to alert Marius of this new development.
Which was clearly a bad idea.
I don't know what's worse, imagining my "younger brother" having sex with a stranger, or seeing him having sex with your best friend.
Either way, I walked in the room, stared at Thom on top of Marius for a moment, and immediately walked back out, pretending that maybe, if I went to sleep, I would wake up, and it would have never happened.
There was no such luck, I learned at breakfast the next morning, when Thom kept avoiding eye contact with Marius and me. After Marius left for class, Thom and I remained sitting at the breakfast table. I didn't have anywhere to be and neither did Thom, so I figured I'd let him start off.
'Have a nice evening?' I asked, eating my cereal and giving Thom a sarcastic look.
'Well, all I can say is, this… mortifying affair is at least making you happy for once, you sick bastard.' Thom replied, turning as red as the wool sweater he was wearing.
'Look, please don't tell anyone.' Thom begged, pouring some soymilk into his cup.
'Was it just a last night thing?' I ventured, enjoying every last minute of this.
'No.' Thom answered, still not looking directly at me. 'It started when I moved in last month. I figured when you start sleeping with someone who lives with you, you still don't go out picking up other people every night.'
'Are you two, you know, a couple?' I asked. Thom gave me a confused look, asking me to elaborate. 'Are you doing anything else besides screwing?'
'Not really.' Thom sighed.
'Well, that's why.' I figured if Thom was going to give me the insight into Davey's brain, I might as well return the favour. 'Marius likes structure; he's just not willing to admit it. If you don't want him running around on you, you're going to have to tell him, none of this bitchy girly stuff. He doesn't consider it cheating because you haven't made it clear what your relationship is. Marius isn't as loose and tough as he tries to be, because if he was, he wouldn't keep going back to you.'
'But how am I supposed to do that? I don't even know if he's worth that.'
'Well, the guy seems to really hate you, Thom.' I replied shortly.
'Thanks, Katty, you really know what to say to a guy.' He snorted, bending over in his seat to tie the laces of his sneakers and then resting his head on the table.
'No, that's good. If he actually hated you, he would ignore you. But he puts too much effort into hating you. It's Marius' way of showing affection. He's kind of a hard book to read.' Thom still looked confused, but I smiled a little bit, hoping it would prompt a smile in him. 'Here, I'll talk to him.'
'No, I will… if you'll do something for me.'
Don't look at me that way
It was an honest mistake
I forget I'm still awake
I fuck up and say these things out loud
My old friend
I swear I never meant for this
I never meant
Sorry it took so long. I forgot these kids existed. But I love them so much. I think next chapter might be the last. :/ Makes me so sad. Maybe it won't be, though, you never know with me.
The song is by the Bravery, and I am seeing them in October and I am happy about that.
And really, no one guessed about Marius and Thom? I've been hinting at it hardcore (if I was more professional, I'd use the term "foreshadowing", but whom am I kidding? XD) since Thom came back
I would be happy to talk to people, but kids from school are on FP and I don't want them knowing it's me. If you tell me your screen name on MSN or AIM, I'd message you back really quickly and happily
Also, thanks to everyone who has held out and stuck by me all these months.
31/7/05 (technically, it's August 1st now. WEIRD.)