Chapter 18: Clark Gable

The words of her friends and family echoed in her mind as she lay in bed later. She buried her head under her pillows as if to silence the voices. The one voice that stood out the most was Markus', which had reeked of pity over the phone.

'He's just using you until he's sure April wants him back. He used you once to get to Augustana. You can't honestly believe that he won't do it again.'

"Aargh!" Blue shot out of bed and shoved her hands into her hair, pacing the length of her bed. "He wouldn't do that me. He loves me I know he does. He wouldn't do it to me again. I hope he wouldn't."

But I know that he wouldn't hesitate to go back to her.

"No! Markus is wrong this time. He's wrong. He doesn't know what he's talking about. Don't doubt him because Markus doesn't want you happy."

But no matter how you treat each other he loves you. He doesn't want you to get hurt.

She sighed and dropped to her knees in tears. She couldn't stop them and curled into a ball on her carpet. "I'm so confused."

The next thing she knew someone was lifting her and putting her in bed. They pulled her sheet and comforter up to her neck and sat down, rubbing their thumb across her forehead lightly. Back and forth, back and forth. The motion reminded her of when she was four and she would watch the windshield wipers of her parents' cars.

"Don't cry," whispered the person. She knew who it was before they spoke. Whenever she had gotten sick when she was younger or hurt herself playing, Charlie would always rub her forehead and make her feel better. "I know you love him and Jude. And I know that he loves you but right now he's not in love with you Blue. He's in love with April. Look, whatever happens between the two of you, I'll still support you."

She nodded and sat up, hugging him tightly. The door opened and Alyssa walked in. She moved to Blue's other side and began rubbing her back. Blue turned to look at her. Alyssa gave her a weak smile and moved some of her hair out of her face.

"We weren't trying to attack you. We only wanted to help me because we thought your judgment was being clouded by your feelings for him." Alyssa got up and pulled a pair of socks out of Blue's drawers and tossed them at her. "Let's go."

Blue almost dissolved to tears all over again. No matter how badly they treated each other, at the end of the day they were always there for each other. She could always go to one of them, especially after Markus went off to school.

Whenever she had trouble sleeping or woke up from a nightmare, Alyssa would take her, Charlie and Kim and take them for a ride. She would drive around for a couple of hours and then park somewhere after they bought some snacks form a convenient store. They would sit there for hours singing to songs on the radio until she fell asleep. As she got older and Alyssa went to school, Kim picked up after she gone and then Charlie.

She enjoyed the rides with Charlie the most since he was the only one who had treated her somewhat normally. Kim would always buy her more junk food than she could eat and Alyssa would let her ride shotgun and control the radio. But Charlie was the one she could talk to. He understood her.

They got dressed and Alyssa snuck into Kim's room, stepping over Blue's dog and shook her sister. Kim stirred but didn't wake so Alyssa pinched her. She received a smack in return.

"What?" Kim snapped, looking at her husband.

"We're going for a ride. Blue's not doing so hot. You in or are you too old now?" Alyssa whispered with a challenge. Kim rubbed her belly and sat up slowly.

"Let's go old lady." Kim said and she put on her slippers. Her husband turned as she left the bed but didn't wake up.

They walked downstairs and met Charlie and Blue in Blue's car. Blue was in the driver's seat and Charlie was in the passenger seat. Blue pulled out of the driveway and went to Wendy's for Kim, McDonald's for herself and Alyssa and Taco Bell for Charlie. She paid for their food and handed it to them.

She drove towards the highway and sped down Time Boulevard. She turned onto Stars Avenue and shifted gears. She paid the toll to get on the expressway and sped up. Her siblings shared a look that she didn't see.

As Blue merged onto the highway eating her burger and driving with her knee she realized that she had never driven before on their late night drives. She figured that this would probably be the last one anyway. After putting the car on control, she began searching through her CDs for a few minutes before settling on one. She skipped to track seven and backtracked to the last two plus minutes of track six then turned up the volume. She opened the all the windows halfway. The indietronic sounds of The Postal Service filled the car…

I want so badly to believe that "there is truth, that love is real"

And I want life in every word to the extent that it's absurd

I know you're wise beyond your years, but do you ever get the fear

That your perfect verse is just a lie you tell yourself to help you get by

Blue pulled over to the side of the road and shut off the car. "Am I lying to myself when I say he loves me? I'm not lying, am I?"

"No. You're not lying Blue. You just want to believe." Kim replied.

"You're a hopeless romantic albeit a cynical one. You believe in love conquering all. There's nothing wrong with that." Alyssa added.

"It's not your fault if he's stringing you along without really loving you. If he's in love with someone else while he's with you, he's a bastard." Charlie said.

"Don't call him that please. You know…I think we're going home now. Please don't take this personally but you guys can't really help." Blue started the car and drove across fours lanes and through the median to get back to the house. "Thanks for coming. Sorry it wasn't longer."

The ride back was silent. Blue got out of her car, leaving her siblings in the car and walked into the house straight to her room. She crawled into bed and cried herself to sleep. The next morning, when she woke up she knew what she had to do.

Rolling out of bed she took a shower and got dressed. Grabbing her keys, she ran out of the house only pausing briefly to tell her parents where she was going. She drove to the Young residence and pulled into the driveway next to a red Mazda. She knew it was April's car.

As she walked to the door, it opened and April walked out wiping her eyes. When she saw Blue, April smirked but quickly masked it when Hawthorne walked up behind her. Upon seeing Blue, he froze guiltily and Blue turned to go back to her car. He caught her arm and wouldn't let her go.

"We'll work out a visitation schedule for Jude later." Hawthorne told April and he pulled Blue into his house before closing the door. "It's not what it looked like."

"Just let me go." Blue said softly but Hawthorne shook his head. "Please, just let me go."

"We didn't do anything. She felt bad about Jude not knowing her and wanted to work something out." Hawthorne told her and she wanted to smack him for being so trusting. "I think something was happening at home though. I'm worried about her."

Blue stared at him incredulously and he realized his mistake. He opened his mouth to correct himself but Blue freed herself from him and stalked towards the door. "Goodbye Kristoffer, have a nice life with April."

"Wait. What's the matter, nothing happened." Hawthorne insisted.

Blue whirled around, angry with him and herself at the same time. "You're still in love with her."

"What? No I'm not. She's…I mean, I'll always care for her but I'm not in love with her. I love you. I do."

"Stop trying to talk yourself into loving me Kris. It won't work. Either you love me or you don't and you just don't." Blue said sadly. She watched as his face flushed. "What?"

"Why are you still here?" he demanded and she looked at him, taken aback. "You've already assumed the worse so why are you still hanging around?"

"Hawthorne—"

"No. You know what, fine, I'll admit it. I still am in love with April a little bit and I didn't want to think about it. I have been trying to convince myself that I love you and it's not working. She's my son's mother and you're not. You can't even hold a candle to her physically or personality wise. She's perfect.

"So she left me for a little bit, I understand. We just had a son and it was hard but she came back and that means something. She is Jude's mother and nothing will ever change that. Not even you. No matter how hard you try, no matter how many times he calls you 'mom' you're not his mother. And I wouldn't want you to be." Hawthorne said viciously and Blue flinched. They stared at each other for a moment. "Why are you still here?"

Tears filled Blue's eyes as she through the bear in her hand at him. "That's for Jude, it's his birthday present. You can decide whether to give it to him or not." She turned and ran from the house without another word and jumped into her van.

Peeling out of the driveway, Blue headed towards the city limits. She wanted to get as far away from Hawthorne as she possibly could. Nearly six hours later, she finally realized where she was going. She was going to see Markus.

Another two hours and a food and restroom break later she pulled into his driveway and looked at the clock. It was nearly ten o'clock but she didn't care as she climbed out of her van. She walked up the door and raised her fist. She wasn't sure what was going to happen or what she wanted to happen as she knocked.

When no one answered she knocked again. And again. She knocked until she heard someone coming down the stairs. She frowned when the porch light came on and the door was yanked open. She looked at her brother and how tired he looked but pushed that aside.

"Can I come in?" she asked and Markus frowned at her.

"What are you doing here?" he countered and she looked away.

"I…I don't want to talk about that. Look, can I just stay here for the night?" she asked impatiently.

"No, not until you tell me what the hell is going on! Why are you banging down my door at ten at night?" Markus demanded and Blue turned away. "Zoe, what are you doing here?"

"You were right, alright!? You're always right! He doesn't love me and he never did. It was all one-sided! He thinks that I was trying to take April's place is Jude's life when I wasn't and he told me that I never would be Jude's mother! I wasn't…I didn't mean to…I just love them both and I…" she trailed off as she dissolved into tears. She felt Markus pull her to him and wrapped his arms around her in a hug. "I'm sorry I'm here. I just can't be near him right now. Please just let me stay here."

"Alright. Come in. We'll have to tell mom and dad but it'll be just fine." Markus told her and he led her inside. He closed the door behind her and showed her to the guest room.

As Blue laid down in the bed, she thought back on everything that had happened and cried herself to sleep. While she slept, she thought only of being a family with Jude and Hawthorne but knew it wouldn't happen as April appeared in the picture. She woke up the next morning knowing exactly what she was going to do with her life, her life without Hawthorne and without Jude.

The End


Author's Note: there will be a sequel but i'm not quite sure when i'll actually get around to starting it