A/N: So it's been a while since I've posted anything on here. I hope you guys like this little thing, because I've got the first chapter already done.
"What Friends Do"
I sat up in the bed, keeping the mild green sheet covering my chest. I lazily scanned the area around me for my bra and shirt. Avery sighed through his nose and pulled the former of those items out from between the sheets. I took it and put it on, thankful I had been wearing one with a front clasp. Now searching solely for my shirt, I felt a tap at my shoulder, and turned to see Avery picking up the purple fabric off of the ground on his side of the bed. It took me a minute to turn the shirt outside in.
"You're out of it today," he noted tiredly. I shrugged.
"I'm working on a project," I said. He huffed, amused.
"You're always working on a project," he returned, smiling with his eyes closed. I smiled too, because yeah, I was.
"I'm getting paid for this one. And I'm not the only one who's out of it. You're ready to pass out. Normally you're more chatty," I commented. He shrugged.
"Long week," he said. I nodded. That wasn't the full story, and I knew it, and he knew that I knew it. But he was tired and he'd probably tell me later. I pulled on my underwear and stood up. I walked to the other side of the room to get my jeans.
"Gonna hang out with Franklin this weekend?" he asked. Franklin was his best friend, and I considered him family, given how close our moms were and how involved with him I was.
"Sunday, yeah. You can come too if you want, we'll just be working on school stuff," I said, glancing at him. He shrugged. There was a lot of shrugging going on.
I shuffled into my jeans and there wasn't any more talking. I felt like there was something in the air that I couldn't put my finger on, and I'm sure it was coming from him. It didn't matter because we weren't together, and he didn't owe me any intimate talk. We did this when we felt like it, and we didn't spend much time together otherwise. I'm not even sure my best friends knew that Avery and I even "hung out" at all. Franklin only knew that Avery and I had some sort of behind-the-scenes connection. My parents probably wouldn't recognize Avery's name without some prompting of memory, though his parents certainly knew that we were "friends." I still couldn't believe that they didn't realize what we were actually doing in his bedroom with the door shut. Maybe they did, but given what I knew about them I didn't expect that to be the truth.
"'Rora." I heard, right as I was wrapping my hand around the door knob. I turned around, not bothering to walk back to him. He was sleepily looking at me, a small smile on his face.
"Can you lock the door when you leave?" I rolled my eyes and I heard him laugh. It was hard to believe that he was in the top twenty in our class.
I pulled into Franklin's driveway, parked, and shut down the engine. I pulled my laptop bag and got out, walking down the sidewalk and up the steps to the door. Franklin's mom must have heard my car pull up and opened the door before I even stepped onto the welcome mat.
"Hello Aurora," Lynn Becker said with a loving smile. I smiled back because I had to, she was like family.
"Hello, Aunt Lynn," I responded. She further opened the door and I stepped in, and she gestured to the left.
"The boys are downstairs," she told me, and I paused. Boys? Avery.
"Thanks," I said quietly, and I slipped away. She closed the door behind me and went back to wherever in the house she came from. I opened the door to the basement stairs and walked down, staring carefully at my feet each step down. I wasn't sure what it was about stairs, but I had such an issue going down them- my legs even wobbled. It was the only downside of hanging out in Franklin's basement, because it was a great basement.
"You're late," Avery quipped once he saw me. Franklin looked up, not really wearing an expression I could read.
"Shut up, you're early and you know it," I laughed. I sat down in the comfy sofa across the long couch. I pulled out my laptop, and put the headphones into my phone. It was time to start working.
This was at least a weekly thing, given Franklin's "condition". I was the one who suggested it, so I was the one that visited him. Franklin didn't have anything that demanded quarantine, no, but who knows, maybe sometimes he felt that way. I was able to get a grip on my anxiety and depression, something having to do with emotional intelligence and a supposed high IQ. Franklin's was more severe, debilitating. The best way to get Franklin to do his school work was to just sit in the room with him as he did it. No necessary conversation, just the company. I enjoyed it. It was like the perfect version of a study group- you were together, but you didn't talk to each other.
Five minutes in, I got a text from Franklin.
You guys seem oddly friendly. I pursed my lips to the side.
We literally said one thing to each other. I put my phone down, wishing against hope that he'd see my point and let it go. I needed to finish my writing project. I predictably got another text.
You said something that meant you recently talked about both of you showing up here. Damn, that was a good point.
I mentioned it when we were leaving school Friday. Lies, all lies, yet somehow that convinced him because he didn't send anything back. I looked at him with the corner of my eye, and he was scribbling on an English worksheet. Phew. I spared a glance at a busy Avery, and then back on the blinking cursor on my laptop. I had to work.
The more time passed, the more I felt guilty keeping Franklin out of the loop like that. His best friend, and… whatever he thought of me as, were sneaking around behind his back. I wasn't too confident to ask how he felt about me, but I was hopeful that he too thought of us as family. After he shared such a deep part of his life with me, all of the anxiety and depression, and I felt paralyzed at the thought of telling him that I was having casual sex with his best friend every week. It was getting ridiculous, and I couldn't help but beat myself up about it. Because of this, I made a decision.
It was time to let Franklin in on what was going on. (Not right at that moment, obviously, I needed to talk to Avery about it.)
A/N: So, this is a prologue of sorts. Let me know if you like it!
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