It was wonderful at first. To be able to turn on the radio and hear my name on almost every broadcast station! Or to see myself in a TV interview on like EVERY channel! To have people – complete strangers, talk about me like I am the most important thing in the world. To have them come up to me and want pictures, or autographs EVERYWHERE I went. It all felt so incredible! So amazing! Yeah, it was quite addicting. I began to love the attention.
But then the e-mails started. A few at first. And I answered ALL of them. I was so amazed at having fans! So awed! But then I started getting even more e-mails. So I answered those too. Then. . . my publicists set me up with a P.O. box and I started receiving fan mail. . . so I started responding to those too. I mean, why not right? They were all loyal fans, and all they wanted was for me to recognize that. And then the dam burst; suddenly I couldn’t walk down to the store to get a snack without being stopped by someone who wanted a signature, or a picture with me. Complete strangers! And then we started receiving phone calls and messages to our house! We couldn’t understand how anyone could have gotten our number, so my mom quickly changed it. Those stopped, but at the same time I now began receiving BOXES full of fan mail – so my publicists set me up with two extra e-mail accounts and another P.O. box, and they began overflowing DAILY! I couldn’t respond to all the fan mail I was suddenly receiving. But my publicists told me I needed to respond to as many as I could.
And then came. . . the paparazzi. They had finally caught wind of the teenager that was making so much noise – Adam Turner, the ‘America’s #1 Blondie Vampire’. And they were determined to get the ‘spoof’. The first time they showed up was on an afternoon while I was helping my mom with the groceries at the supermarket parking lot. We were chatting happily, enjoying our limited time together, when I heard it. CLICK. Then two more. CLICK-CLICK. Before we knew it, there were a group of cameramen surrounding us, asking us dozens of questions a second!!
CLICK!! CLICK!!!! CLICK-CLICK!!!! CLICK!!!!
“. . . Adam! Adam! Are the rumors true?! Are you having an affair with the one of the film assistants, Donna Pertson?!” WHAT the hell?! Donna?!?! She was like 30!! She was a SHE!!!
CLICK-CLICK-CLICK!!! CLICK!!! CLICK-CLICK!!!!
“Adam! What are your plans for skydiving off the Sears Tower next week?!” HUH?!?! I HATE heights!!! I can’t even BEGIN to explain that question!
Needless to say, I didn’t go out much after that day.
And filming – while still very fun and enjoyable. . . was starting to take a toll on me; physically and mentally. It wasn’t that I hated it all of a sudden. Like I said, I loved it. But. . . it was sooo much work! I was needed EVERYWHERE all the time, AT the same time! Jim needed more time with me behind the camera – ever since we got extra budget to do an ‘on the set’ documentary, for the eventual DVD release! Donna constantly wanted time with me to do character development for shots or reads of upcoming shoots – Garrison required my undivided attention every day of the week at 5 in the morning for training! The executives were making me take lessons for voice-over work, improvisation, AND dance! My publicists wanted more time with me to please fans throughout the world, setting me up with interviews on talk shows, radio, cable. . . internet. . . and magazines! Costume department wanted measurements every single day! Makeup department wanted 5 HOURS each day to get better ‘vampire fang’ molds designed! Visual and special effects needed me to wear extremely tight suits and prance around in big blue rooms for hours at a time! Out of the entire acting cast, I was ALWAYS the first to arrive on the sets long before the sun set, and sometimes the LAST to leave. . . sometimes right before the sun rose up. I can’t remember the last time I sat down to play a video game, or even read a simple book! And WORST of ALL. . . . . . was watching helplessly as Julian suffered through all of this right alongside me. But he had it worse.
Seemingly overnight, Julian had suddenly become the world’s ‘vampire dream-boy’. The last I heard, he was getting more hits online than Britney Spears on search engines. A GENERATION of young teenagers had suddenly started looking up to Julian as their ‘role model’. Suddenly, dyeing your hair a crimson tint was in. Couples used markers to draw a bracelet ‘tattoo’ on their wrists. And I even started seeing his fans wearing shirts that said “Taryn Lives”!!! And having less time in front of the camera than me, Julian was set up with more interviews, TV shows, and publicity signings than I was! Basically covering for my ‘slack’. Never had a cast become so incredibly popular and famous so fast – BEFORE the movie was even released! But Julian – he never once complained. Yet, I think only I could tell that he was exhausted beyond belief. He had never looked so tired lately. . . smiling weakly at me. But that bright light in his eyes never once dimmed. It’s what I love so much about him. It’s what gives me strength in return. But even though he always said he was alright, that he was just a little tired. . . it hurt each time to see him like that. And he told me stories about how he was beginning to lose his friends. How they said that since Julian was too ‘famous’ now to return a call or hang out anymore, that they’ll just leave him alone and not get in the way of his ‘stardom’. But only I knew how hard he tried to get some time for them – oh how he tried. . . but it was no use, they had ‘given up’ on him. And he had a bodyguard with him anytime he went outside now, ever since he literally got attacked by a mob of girls trying to get to him one afternoon. And the worst part was that there was no time for comfort for us. We NEVER had real time ‘alone’ together. It had all been limited down to small precious moments in Jackie’s limo as she drove us to and from our schedules. There, we could only enjoy each other’s company momentarily, holding hands and only briefly kissing. . . like some sort of ‘prisoners’ of our own lives. The only other time alone ‘allowed’ for us was when we were in our own homes, sleeping for a few precious and erratic hours. I missed his touch. I missed his warmth. . . and the smoothness of his skin. It felt like an ice age for me, but in reality we were STILL only two months into filming, barely scratching the surface of this epic film. Yeah, having been casted for GFD was fantastic. . . but it required so much sacrifice. . . so much commitment. And only the strongest survived.
“. . . Hon. . . honey. . . wake up Adam,” I slowly came to. My head was resting on my arms as I sat next to the kitchen table. . . math and history textbooks spread out across the surface in front of me.
“Hm. . . zw’uh. . . is it time to go?” I asked groggily as my eyes fluttered open. I don’t remember for how long I had dozed off. I slowly looked up at my mom, who was leaning over me, a hand on my shoulder. She smiled faintly at me – almost pityingly.
“It’s time for bed, Adam. You need some rest, honey.” she said softly. I looked down at my paper.
“. . . But, I gotta finish this essay for my tutor. . . it’s due in two days,” I said more to myself. Then I looked over at an open box next to my chair. “And. . . I was thinking I could answer a few of these, before bed, too. . .” I said, looking up at her. I could ‘feel’ the red in my eyes.
“You’re going to leave this stuff here – and you’re going straight to bed and sleep. Understood, young man?” A mother’s order never sounded so soothing as it did at that moment. I smiled faintly at her, as she gently rubbed my forehead.
“Yes ma’am,” I replied.
“And STOP calling me that!” she smiled and gently slapped my butt as I stood up, “Your mother’s not that old yet!” We laughed for a second, before she ushered me into my room and made sure I laid down to sleep. Sleep. Beautiful, beautiful sleep.
“Has ANYONE seen my sunglasses?” I heard the distinctly whiny voice of Landon travel through the mass of bodies on the set. I couldn’t help but turn my head toward the direction of his voice to catch Landon approaching me.
“Adam, have you seen my sunglasses?” I roll my eyes, already highly annoyed with his stupidly alluring voice-
“For the last time. . . I HAVEN’T seen your stupid sunglasses, Landon!” I almost yelled out loud. Had Julian been near me, I probably would’ve been a little less ‘harsh’ in my delivery. But Julian was currently on the other side of the set, grabbing some grub at the tables. And Landon had been going on and on AND ON about his stupid sunglasses ALL night since he got here!
“Well, they’re very expensive sunglasses. And they were a gift, and I need to find them,” he said. UGH!
“It’s the middle of the night Landon. What do you need your sunglasses for anyway!” I replied with an irritated tone. My stylist told me to stop moving my lips so much – completely oblivious to the little argument in front of her.
“Are you sure you haven’t seen them though, Adam?” he said, completely ignoring what I had just said. I was just about ready to get up and throw him a few bucks so he could buy a pair at the corner store!!!
My stylists finished and left me at peace just as one of his assistants came up to him and handed him a sandwich and a bottle of water. Landon took the sandwich but glanced at the water bottle.
“That’s Niagara. . .” he said with a tone of distaste in his voice, “I told you, I ONLY drink Fiji!” I was about to open my mouth again to tell him that if he’d like, there were restrooms with water in the toilets across the street, when Julian came skipping up to me-
“Hey, you!” he said cutely as he halted in front of my chair, “They ran out of ham, so I got you a turkey sandwich instead, is that okay?” I smiled and nodded. It was so cute, how he always wanted to bring me food, like some kind of courtship ritual! “Of course!” I replied. Julian beamed.
“. . . I don’t care! Just go! And get me my Fiji!” Julian turned his attention to Landon as he yelled at his assistant. I would’ve felt sorry for her, but she looked like she was getting paid well enough to ‘not care’ about the brat.
“I sooo can’t believe I had a crush on him! Hehehe!” Julian whispered as he turned back to me. But Landon caught sight of Julian and quickly approached us.
“Hey. . . Julian babe, have you seen my sunglasses anywhere? I can’t seem to find them,” he said – much more calmly than he had been seconds before, or even with me.
“Sunglasses? Hm, I think I saw a pair on the food tables back there. Really expensive looking. Those yours?” Julian replied. Landon smiled faintly.
“Oh! I think those are mine! Thanks a bunch, babe!” he said, and gave me one last smirking glance before he took off in the other direction. What a brat.
“Why would he leave his sunglasses at the food tables and STILL ask his assistant to grab him some food?” I wondered out loud. Julian gave me a devilish smile.
“Hehehe! He didn’t leave his sunglasses there! I just thought he’d like a bit of ‘exercise’!” Julian giggled. “So where are they then?” I asked, not bothering to contain a big smile. “Beats me!” he giggled. Oh my God! Hehehe! Julian was sooo cute when he was trying to be ‘evil’! But as we got up to get away in case Landon came back, two cameramen showed up and stopped us dead on our tracks.
“. . . And here we have the two stars of the show! Adam and Julian!” said a woman next to the cameramen. Oh no, not them again! They were the small film crew for the ‘bonus’ feature content. . . and getting stopped by them was beyond ANNOYING!
“What’re you two ‘love-bats’ up to this fine evening?” she said as she looked at the two of us stopping in mid stride.
“I uh. . . we just got called by our stylists. . . they wanna do some touch ups. . .” I lied. It wasn’t like they’d notice. They didn’t have the eye for it.
“Aw! Well, we’ll catch you two busy bats later then!” she replied as we ran off into ‘safety’!
Julian and I giggled as we ran off and found a quieter spot on the set, away from the main crowd near the street. There was a narrow alleyway between two buildings there, and it was dark enough for us to actually get some privacy there for once! We ‘hid’ in there for a while, and the moment we entered the narrow space we embraced in a tight, long hug.
“Sigh. . . Adam. . . I miss this so much,” Julian breathed out in my neck. I gently rubbed his back and squeezed him a little tighter into me. His scent. . . oh God his scent! It flared in my nostrils and gave me this indescribable high that was literally numbing my heart! We parted our embrace only far enough to look into each other’s eyes, and smile. I leaned forward slowly and watched as his emerald eyes disappeared behind his eyelids as I placed a gentle kiss to his lips. For a little while, the kiss was gentle and comforting. . . but it quickly blossomed to something much more intense – hot, and erotically wet! I could feel his hardness rubbing my own through our jeans now, and I leaned my back to the brick wall behind me as we smashed our lips together urgently – not knowing how much time we’d have left to ourselves like this.
After what seemed an eternity, we parted our lips with a gentle and wet ‘smack’. It sounded so sexy and so erotic! It made me smile. Julian looked at me with dreamy eyes. So in love, as we hid in that dark narrow alley with two hundred other people only feet away, making a film about two boys in love. . . SIGH. . . Julian just sent SHIVERS through my body!
“. . . Are you excited about next week?” Julian said softly, after we spent a moment basking in our embrace. He was gently rubbing small circles with his finger on my shoulder as he spoke. Next week we’d be flying to New York City to do some on location filming there. Particularly the biggest was the ‘fight’ between Justin and Comicality. We needed the space for that, and we’d be using a part of Central Park to recreate a graveyard there for the epic fight sequence.
“Yeah I’m excited. . . and – hehehe. . . um. . . maybe. . . I might sneak into your hotel room and we can like. . .hang out for a while, while we’re there. . .” I said half jokingly. I tickled his neck with my lips and he giggled out loud. But HOW I meant what I said!
But then Julian smiled up at me, as he blushed a furious red. Then he quickly got serious and looked at me carefully, and ever so shyly added, “. . . I wouldn’t. . . I wouldn’t mind that, actually. . . if we hung out,” just hearing him say those words made me almost faint! It was the hottest thing in the world! It was as if he was still too incredibly shy to admit and express what his body so very wanted, what it so desired. We looked into each other’s eyes again, and pressed our lips together once more-
“I. . . . . . found my sunglasses. . .”
My heart stopped. Julian quickly pulled away from me and almost fell to the ground as he took two giant steps back. As if I had suddenly become as hot as coal. Breathing loudly, we turned and saw Landon standing at the entrance to the alleyway, sunglasses in one hand. . . Fiji bottle in the other.
“I-we. . . I. . . Landon we. . . we. . . we were just getting into. . . character!” I panted heavily. I felt my chest heaving, as if I just jumped across two buildings. Julian didn’t say anything, but he was breathing just as hard. I cringed on the inside. ‘Getting into character’?!?! That had to be the STUPIDEST thing to say EVER!!! What the hell was I thinking?!?! And what the hell was I thinking letting my hormones get the best of me and start making out with Julian literally feet away from two hundred other people?!?!
Landon slowly dropped the hand that was holding his sunglasses down to his side. He gave a weird ‘nod’, as he repeatedly looked from me to Julian. I think it was the most awkward moment in my entire life. And the silence stretched on FOREVER!
“. . . -Getting into character, uh. . . yeah. Well. . . that’s. . . good because, we’re um. . . starting again soon, so. . .” he spoke erratically. I think he didn’t want to believe what he just saw, from the look on his face. He had the kind of look you would expect out of someone being stabbed with a sharp knife.
“Landon. . . I-” Julian took a slow step forward, but Landon stopped him quickly.
“Julian. . . they need you in your trailer. . . like, right away,” he said more like ‘himself’ again. Julian only glanced back at me before nodding, and quickly left that little ‘scene’. It was the first time I had heard Landon use Julian’s name in a sentence without including the word ‘babe’.
“Landon. . .” I began but again he cut off any further communication.
“We should go. . . Jim doesn’t like it when we’re late,” he replied. Somehow, the tone of his voice sent shivers down my spine. It was calm, with the threat of anger and even fear behind every quivering vibration of his vocals.
We quickly made it back to the set, as everything had been set up once again for our shot. Everyone was already in place, and Jim just about ready to start the shot.
“Alright guys. . . start rolling the cameras and let’s get the extras going!” the extras started walking around, and began improvising conversations and ‘every day’ life actions in the plaza square. ‘Parent’s’ lifted their kids into strollers. ‘Teenagers’ strolled by on skateboards, ‘girlfriends’ walked around with shopping bags in hand. It was like watching some simulated experiment on life. “Okay. . . quiet for the crew!” He looked around at the cast. . . it was then that I noticed Julian wasn’t there.
“Waitaminute. . . where’s Julian?” Jim called out. I quickly looked around before it hit me. I spun around and spotted Landon who was looking directly at me. But he didn’t have his usual smirk plastered on his face. Instead I was greeted with a blank, emotionless stare. What the hell did he do?!
“Goddammit! WHERE’S Julian?! Anyone?!” Jim was starting to get pissed. He HATED people not being on time! Like. . . HATED it!! Suddenly, stage hands and assistants started running frantically before I spoke up.
“I. . . h-he’s in his trailer!” I said. Everyone turned to look at me.
“What the hell is he doing in his trailer?! We’ve got a scene to shoot!” yelled Jim. I felt incredibly terrible. . . having said that. . . basically pointing a finger to where the ‘bad boy’ was. But deeper still, a fury was beginning to boil inside my heart as I looked back at Landon.
After a few minutes, Donna came rushing with Julian in toll, who looked utterly confused.
“Where the hell have you been Julian!! Thanks to YOUwe’re now we’re running late! And we just wasted five minutes of film, thinking everything was ready to go! We NEED to run on schedule here! Every minute wasted is a thousand dollars wasted Julian!” said Jim angrily. I watched with horror in my eyes as Julian cowered in front of everyone. No. . . he was just too fragile for this! He wasn’t used to the pressure!!
And he started to tear up. . . as he said he was sorry. . . and then tears started falling down his rosy cheeks and he covered his face. He looked around at everyone, then at me, and finally broke down to a fit of sobs.
“Oh great. . . alright. . . listen. . . listen. . . take a moment to relax Julian. . . but you need to hurry up, we’re on a tight schedule here,” said Jim, after seeing Julian’s delicate reaction. But Julian, having been embarrassed enough in front of everyone in the cast and crew, took off running back into his trailer – closely followed by Donna.
“What was that all about?” I heard Scott say out loud to everyone. But they all shrugged and rubbed their necks in a confused fashion. But I stomped my way furiously up to Landon.
“That was VERY classy of you, Landon! Real funny!” I spat out loud as I pointed a threatening finger to his face, not caring who heard me anymore. Everyone turned their attention to me and Landon now, seemingly egged on by this on-going situation.
“What ever are you talking about, Adam?” he said with a sweet smile, “he must’ve had a. . . bad reaction to something earlier,” he finished. I narrowed my eyes threateningly.
“FUCK YOU!!!” I yelled. This caught the attention of more people now. And I suddenly lunged myself to literally attack Landon before Terry and Paul quickly grabbed me by the arms to stop me.
“Sorry babe, you’re not my type,” Landon quickly replied.
“Wow wow hey! What the hell is going on here tonight!” said Jim as he ran over to us.
“YOU told him to go to his trailer!!” I growled as I struggled with Terry and Paul. Even little Ralphie had come up to me and started pushing me back by my stomach.
“Well maybe if you two weren’t so ‘busy‘ back there you would have heard the call earlier!” he threatened with a smile. And THAT bought a few glances MY way!
“SHUT UP, DICK!!!” I yelled back furiously!
“Ah-ah-ah! That’s not part of the script for tonight, now is it, Justy boy?” he grinned as he cocked his head to the side.
“ALRIGHT! That’s enough you two! I don’t know what the hell is going on but all of you need to stop this right now! We’re shooting a MOVIE for Christ’s sake!” said Jim suddenly. And I was sent to my trailer to ‘cool’ off.
I was fuming, as I slammed my trailer door with a loud smack and paced back and forth inside! But I was also scared. . . VERY scared! Because of what Landon saw, because of the information he now held. But as luck would have it, I wasn’t given much time to think about anything as there was a knock on the door, before it suddenly opened without my permission. It was Donna followed by Landon, and she brought him inside.
“Okay sweeties, you two need to work out whatever the heck is going on, and fast. Jim’s over with Julian and talking to him. Apparently, he doesn’t want to leave his trailer now. Don’t fret though, these things usually happen in film. . . in fact, with all the teenagers and hormones running around, I’m surprised it took this long!” said Donna. I eyed Landon loathingly, not wanting him in my presence. She left us alone, and I did all I could to not jump on him and start pounding on him!
“Alright, alright. . . so. . . what I did was pretty fucked up. I’ll admit it,” Landon spoke suddenly. There wasn’t much silence from the time Donna left to the time he spoke, which made me half believe that he wasn’t being honest. But I looked at him anyway, and gave him a curt nod. I think he got the message.
“Look, seriously. I’m sorry. Okay? I’m not just saying it. Really. . . I. . . I didn’t expect Julian to ‘react’ like that. . . . . . that kinda backfired. I thought at most he’d like, get upset or something,” he said. It was the first time I had heard Landon speak with a tone that was other than bratty. I sighed heavily and nodded again, still not really accepting his apology. Even if it sounded more believable this time. But as the silence grew, I decided against my logic to bring up that very delicate subject, hoping to get some sense of ‘security’ out of the whole situation.
“Are you. . . are you going to tell anyone. . . about what you, saw?” I asked surprisingly shakily despite my anger. Landon eyed me carefully.
“Are you two like, ‘hooking up’ or something?” he asked. The way he said it! As if Julian and me were some sort of movie fuck-buddies and that’s it!
“Just because you think you can ‘hook up’ with anyone just because you’re this ‘teeny-booper heartthrob’ doesn’t mean everyone else is the same way! What – what Julian and I have. . . we, love each other! Alright? What we share is something special! And you’re always trying to ruin it and I don’t know why!!” I said. Landon’s expression changed quickly, going from serious to angry to downright depressed. He had opened his mouth a few times as if to say something downright nasty but quickly stopped and thought for a second. But what he said next completely threw me off.
“Heh. You don’t get it. You wouldn’t understand,” he said slowly. I had expected him to yell back at me.
“Don’t understand what, Landon?” But then I saw it. . . tears. Welling up in his eyes. Not sad tears. . . but angry ones. . . tears of frustration. I was confused, to say the least.
“What it’s like to be this ‘heartthrob’ you’re talking about. I-I never meant to come out as this complete jerk to you, Adam. But. . . I couldn’t help it! I CAN’T help it! I just. . . you. . . you wouldn’t understand,” he said shakily, but with an angry quiver behind his voice. I was silent. Not understanding what was going on. He took the silence as an opportunity to continue.
“Do you know what it’s like Adam? To have people treat you like this expensive piece of ‘product’?! Because. . . THAT’S what I am to everyone! A face to show off to the world! Something to make money off of! All anyone has ever cared about is that I always have a sexy smile, and I don’t have a scar on my face!” I looked at him utterly confused, “Wouldn’t want to damage the ‘product’, now would we?” he said wryly before continuing, “I’m always being flaunted more like a Ferrari than a person. ‘Let’s take photos of his pretty face for the magazines’, nothing else has ever mattered about me but my face! I’m always being casted to play the little teen heartthrob in the background, aren’t I?! Just show your ‘pretty face’ and let the camera do the rest, huh? Jamie Cross in that Billy Chase TV show! Or Taylor for that New Kid in School series! No one ever cares to listen to what I have to say, what I think, or what I want! I’m not THAT important! I’m just a pretty face that everyone can use!” I stood there, dumbfounded and not knowing how to respond.
“But then I heard about this movie. I had read the books – I mean. . . who hasn’t?” he continued through small sobs, “But here finally I thought. . . I could ‘prove’ myself. . . REALLY prove myself as an actor! As a somebody! Not just some pretty face that they could just print a million times on a magazine and sell it to the world! This Justin character wasn’t just a ‘pretty face’, he had character, life, and a reason to exist! I thought I could prove that by playing Justin. . . before you took that away from me. ‘You’re not what we’re looking for in Justin’ they said,” he continued as a few hot tears rolling down his cheeks.
“I. . . I didn’t know,” was all I could say.
“No. . . no, heh! But THAT wasn’t the end of it, was it? I was able to get a part, sure. . . easy for me, Landon Delani with all the ‘connections’, right? I mean, they didn’t want me for Justin, but they thought I’d be PERFECT for the little heartthrob that is only capable of breaking hearts! Because that’s all I’m good at, apparently. But then I saw Julian. And. . . I fell in love, Adam. I really did. He was the sweetest boy I had ever known. . . that first night at the club. He was the first person to actually listen to me. I felt so special around him. Something ten thousand fans screaming my name could never do. And I thought that it wouldn’t be the LEAST of things if I at least ended up with him in my arms! But THAT didn’t happen, either. Now did it, Adam?” he said, looking at me through swollen eyes. Hearing his story. . . it felt like I was living his life, as he spoke. . . and I couldn’t help but get teary myself. I couldn’t help it – I actually felt sorry for him.
“And NOW I stand here telling you all this, and I see you. . . with tears in your own eyes because you’re this – this amazing person yourself! And I don’t want to believe it!! I want to hate you!!! Because you took the only chances I had to prove myself! To stop this stupid cycle of ‘celebrity’ life! You just – you came out of nowhere and took it away. . . and I want to hate you for it. . . but I can’t. . .” he sobbed, and leaned his back to the wall and slid down to his knees and began sobbing harder.
“I’m sorry, I just didn’t know,” I said.
“No, you didn’t. No one does. No one cares. So why should I care about anyone else?” he replied.
“Landon-” but a knock on the door interrupted me. It was a stage hand.
“Adam, we’re starting up again in two minutes. Let’s get going,” said the voice. Heh. He was right. . . film didn’t care about you. All they wanted to was to make as much money as they could, it didn’t matter who was hurting in the process. But I looked back at Landon, and he was already standing up – already sucking back all those emotions inside. He wiped his face ‘clean’ quickly.
Going back outside, it was very odd watching Landon interacting with other people again. You really couldn’t have been able to tell that he had such strong emotions welling inside him. . . ready to burst again. He acted so ‘normal’. And no one noticed anything different. Only I did. But, maybe it wasn’t that I noticed anything different exactly. . . but more like I was noticing what had always been there to begin with. But what could I do? I mean, it wasn’t like all this was exactly my fault. If he hadn’t spoken up, I would never have known what he was thinking, what he was feeling. But that still didn’t erase the fact that it was because of me that had caused all these conflicts within him. And. . . he loved Julian, too? I just, I didn’t understand it. How could he love him? He barely even knew him. But his voice kept ringing in my head, “. . . he was the first person to actually listen to me,” the sentence kept repeating in my head over and over. Yeah. . . Julian did have that kind of effect on people, he listened to people. He could make you fall in love with him without even trying. . .
“Hey. . .” said a shy voice behind me. Julian was back outside, giving me a shy smile. He looked a little embarrassed about the whole situation, but otherwise fine now.
“Are you okay?” I asked him.
“Yeah. . . I’m cool. . . Jim and I talked. He said he was sorry for putting me on the spot like that. But well, you know how he gets about being late. He said he’s gonna talk to Landon, though.” he replied softly. But I looked over at Landon again, and caught him silently watching us. Was it jealousy I saw in that glance? Envy? Resentment? . . . Longing? Sigh. . . I’ll no longer be able to see Landon in the same light again. And THAT indeed, was not part of the script.