Chapter Twenty Six: Only Two
"And now I, I look at the night
And it don't seem so lonely
We fill it up with only two
And when I hurt
Hurting runs off my shoulder
How can I hurt when holding you?"
- Sweet Caroline, Neil Diamond
That weekend was pretty long all things considered. I ended up walking Cameron home when Gethin came to meet me, because Cameron was drunk to the point he'd be a danger to himself on the streets. But apart from that, I didn't hear anything else from Cameron all weekend – not one word, apart from John telling me that Cameron was "grateful" for what I'd done.
At first I was annoyed, my reasoning being why didn't he just tell me that himself? But I got over it; it almost wasn't worth bothering with.
The Monday that followed went pretty much the same; no one mentioned Cameron's antics at all, and Cameron stubbornly refused to meet my gaze all morning.
At break, though, Liam appeared. He said he was there to pick up some artwork and this was the only time he could fit in, considering college, but I later deduced that to be complete rubbish as he made a beeline straight for me, sat with my friends in the quad.
"Siân," he said brightly. "Hey."
"Hey," I said, glancing up at him. "Why are you here?"
He explained, and I resisted the urge to snort.
"So, I was wondering," he said eagerly. "Do you want to go out this weekend? I thought –"
I cocked my head to one side. "What?"
"Me. You. Out. This weekend." He laughed. "You know, like a date?"
I stared at him. I couldn't help but feel incredulous, and I knew my friends were feeling the same way.
"Sorry," I spluttered. "What?"
For the first time, I saw Liam being nervous. "A date," he repeated.
My nostrils flared. I tried not to laugh. "Liam…" I said slowly. "We're not – you know – together."
Now he looked confused. "But…"
"I said I'd think about it," I said gently. "That doesn't mean 'I want you back'."
"We're just…gonna go," Ann said, ushering everyone else away from us, to stand a few feet away, just out of earshot. I stood up, hitching my bag up my shoulder.
"Liam," I said, "I think you're great. Seriously. I mean, obviously you're gorgeous, and I really enjoyed myself when we were together. You made me laugh and you were really nice, proper boyfriend material but…I'm not interested in you like that anymore. If you'd apologised a few months ago during the summer I'd have fallen over myself to say yes, but things have changed."
His mouth was set in a thin line. "It's Cameron, isn't it?"
I nodded. "I really like him, Liam."
He sighed. "I kind of figured," he said grumpily. "But I had to try, right?" Liam raked a hand through his hair, tousling it in a way that used to drive me crazy. I still felt the same although now it wasn't a 'let's jump in bed' kind of crazy, it was more… 'sort your hair out'.
"I am sorry Liam." I tried another smile, and this time I think it was genuine. "Really, I am. And you're going to make some girl really happy, I know it." I held out my hand for him to shake, a weird kind of reconciliatory gesture.
He ignored it, instead pulling me into a tight hug. "Cameron would be an idiot not to want you," he whispered in my ear. "And I'm sorry for telling him that you only wanted…you know."
I squeezed him a little tighter and fought the urge to knee him in the balls for messing up my relationship with Cameron.
"It's okay," I lied. "I'll get over it."
I pulled away. "Friends?" I said.
"Friends," he agreed. "Anyway. I'd best be off."
He began to walk away, in the complete opposite directions of the art rooms.
I couldn't help but burst out laughing when I saw him wink at some poor Year 9 girl who looked like she was about to faint.
That dinner, we sat in the quad again after we'd eaten, and laughed and joked about Liam's arrival at school.
"I'm so glad you didn't take him back," Elisha giggled. "God, he annoyed me."
I smiled. "He can be pretty annoying," I said truthfully. "I said this to him, though, if he'd asked me a few months ago I would have said yes, but…"
We all went quiet for a moment, before Adam said, "Did you see the look on his face, though?" Which set them all off again.
Me – I sat there and stared at a spot in the sky, thinking about everything. I completely zoned out, so I was incredibly surprised when Nerys kicked me on the shin.
"What?" I growled, and she widened her eyes at me in a pointed manner.
"Listen!" she hissed. I looked around: Ann was looking at her phone, nodding.
"Yeah, it's time," she said.
"Time?" I repeated, confused. And then I realised.
"Now, most of you will have noticed that I gained a new partner at the radio," Cameron was saying over the intercom. "And I bet a lot of you know why John's been doing the radio with me. You see, I was an idiot. I upset the first girl I've genuinely liked in years, and just because I was scared. Yes, scared – scared of taking a risk."
There were a few moments of silence. "But I'm not going to take that risk anymore," he continued, after clearing his throat. "There's just no point. I want to give it a go, Siân, and I'm really sorry for the way I behaved. I was a dick, pure and simple, and you didn't deserve any of it."
There were a few more moments of silence, and then I realised that the whole quad was just as quiet. No one was speaking, and I had the awful feeling that a lot of people were staring at me.
"Please," Cameron carried on. "Let's put this behind us and give it a go. I really like you, Siân."
I heard him sigh over the intercom. "This one's for you, Siân."
I heard the opening notes of a very familiar song.
"Where it began, I can't begin to know when
But then I know it's growing strong…"
I smiled, thinking back, wondering about the point of playing that song, but it didn't matter. I could already remember.
I laughed at him, and then my mind tuned into the song that was playing on his iPod. "Sweet Caroline?" I asked, raising my eyebrows. "Didn't peg you as a Neil Diamond fan, Cameron."
"Music is music," he shrugged. "If you like it then you like it, that's all I have to say."
I stood up from the bench, swinging my bag over my shoulder. "I'm off," I said, a grin spreading across my face.
And then I ran, across the quad to the nearest doors. I barged through, not even waiting to tell the prefects on duty where I was going (not that it mattered, because I'm a prefect too so no one's telling me I can't go upstairs).
I trotted quickly up the stairs, and ran into John on the way.
"Hey," he grinned. "Thought I might see you."
I pranced down the corridor to the radio room, and I burst inside. Cameron was sat in his normal chair, resting his hand on his chin and spinning a pen around on the desk. When I came in, his head shot up, a slightly surprised look on his face.
"Siân," he said, standing up slowly.
I grinned. "Hi," I said, stepping towards him. "How did you know I liked this song?"
He let out a shaky breath. "A lucky guess."
I took another step. So did he. We met halfway, me rising onto my tiptoes and circling my arms around his neck, pulling his head down to mine so I could kiss him on the mouth.
A few minutes later, and we were still kissing. We were interrupted by the sound of a clicking on the window, and as we looked up we saw a small pebble flying towards the window. It found its mark and bounced off.
I extracted myself from Cameron's grip, stalking towards the window and throwing it open.
Adam was stood near it, arm poised to throw another stone. When he saw me, he lowered his arm and gave me a sheepish grin. "The music stopped," he said. "Just thought we'd let you know that the rest of us are still out here."
I leaned out of the window. "Fuck off!" I shouted down with a friendly grin and a giggle. Adam and my friends matched both, and then I slammed the window down and whirled around, falling back into the arms of Cameron, happier than I'd been in ages.
A/N: Well, it's done. I'll admit, I've struggled with this story, and towards the end I really struggled. It just didn't want to be written. But now it's done, I'm still pretty pleased.
I've news, though. To be honest, it's belated news, but here goes: I'm having a baby (: The baby's due in December, so although I planned a third sequel, it's unlikely to happen now because I'm sure my life is going to become very hectic within the next few months, more so than it currently is. I will do an epilogue eventually, though. Just give me a few weeks.
Please, please, please review. I'd love to know what you all think (: