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Chapter 2: Missing You
Louis usually waits a couple of days to get settled into school before he calls me; we end up having a conversation that lasts hours because he tries to tell me every little thing and then get me to tell him everything about what I did. It's kind of nice; we can be busy for days, can go so long without speaking, that to begin the school year with a long conversation gives us hope that the next time we speak, we'll have even more to talk about. The next conversation will be even longer, we'll see each other for longer.
So, I'm pleasantly surprised when I hear my laptop bing, telling me that Louis wants to talk to me. It's only been the first day, after all. More than a little excited, I get up, guitar and all, and sit at the little table we sometimes use to eat, though we mostly use the breakfast bar or eat in the living area. I click on the 'accept' button and Louis' smiling face immediately pops up on my screen, his arms up in the air.
"Surprised, baby?" he asks. He nods to the guitar. "Working?"
I strum the strings, just making noise, and nod back. "It's just something new I'm working on for my songwriting class. How come you're calling?"
Louis folds his arm over the desk he's sitting at and leans forward, a dreamy, yet a little sad, expression on his face. "I woke up this morning and you weren't there. It's weird and horrible after our summer together. I miss you."
I put my guitar onto the floor by my side and copy his position, hoping my smile is in reassurance as well as showing that I feel the same. "I miss you, too. But I bet your first day was good."
"Yeah, it was. We're looking at still life." Louis smirks and winks. "It's very exciting."
"Spending the day drawing deliciously naked, hot guys while I sit alone in a stuffy recording studio with Kyle across the hall?" I sigh, feigning disappointment and sorrow. "I knew I should have gone to art school."
He laughs, shaking his head at me in obvious amusement. His hair falls into his eyes briefly before he pushes it to the side, out of the way. It doesn't last, but the second time his hair doesn't fall right into his eyes and he just leaves it. "Stick to music, Key. I pity your stickmen."
"I'm not going to lie; that one hurt just a little." I even make my voice tremble a bit - it's not all that hard really. But then I remind myself that he's one terrible singer, who can't get the notes on the keyboard right let alone a chord. "And I'm okay again."
"Thinking about my music playing?" he guesses knowingly. "Don't worry, Key. We were just talking about it. No guys in sight. But I can request you when the time comes."
I scoff. "No, thank you."
"So, how was your first day?" Louis asks, chuckling. "Besides the songwriting homework."
His question totally reminds me of Morgan and the day we'd spent in school; I didn't think I'd have such a good first day after being so down about Louis leaving again. I love Lucy and I love Jack, but there will always be a place for Morgan. I'm so glad to have my best friend back.
"Do you remember when I told you about my friend? He used to live next door, then he moved to California?"
"Yeah," Louis replies, obviously confused by what sounds like a complete change in subject, even to me. And I'm the one who's talking. "Michael? No, Morgan. It's Morgan Ashford, right? What about him?"
"He's a student at my school, he transferred," I grin. "My friend is back. I can't wait for you to meet him, he's awesome. He is the reason I have the scar on my leg."
"Yeah, I remember you telling me," he says, his smile not as big as before, his tone not as sincere. It's all very... false. "You fell out of a tree. Freaked your mum out. Why is he here?"
"Is someone jealous?" Kyle calls out from behind us, clad in pajama bottoms and holding a bowl full of chocolate cereal.
I don't understand his love of cereal in the afternoon, I really don't. Every day, like clock work, I see him with a bowl and, unless he has to be somewhere with his parents or he's going out with Luka, he's always wearing his pajama bottoms to go with said cereal. Like it's morning and he's just woke up. It's the only time he doesn't completely care about his appearance.
I point at him. "You've got milk on your chest."
Kyle does shrug, continuing with the whole 'I don't care' thing, but it's quickly ruined when he rubs the milk off. It got to his abdomen, though, not too far above his belly button - a record for him.
"Are you, Louis?" he goads, pulling a chair closer to sit beside me. "Don't you like that you're not the center of Ciaran's world?"
"I'm not," he growls at Kyle, then turns to me, "I swear. Hey, would you prefer to get married in England or France? I've been thinking of venues ever since we had dinner in that restaurant just before summer ended. Remember? You liked it."
"I remember," I murmur. "But you've barely talked about the wedding."
"Jealous," Kyle sings into my ear.
"No. I haven't because we have the whole 'if we make it' agreement. But we're a year closer and still crazy about each other, so when I saw that restaurant, I started to wonder if now might be time to at least think about getting married," Louis explains sincerely. Mostly. There is a little bit of jealousy hiding in there.
I'm blind, not deaf.
But I ignore it; I'm more than used to Louis' issues with trust and the weird possessive streak that comes with it. He'll get over it once he meets Morgan and realizes that he's okay.
"I think an actual venue would decide that, until then I'm not picking the country," I shiver just thinking about. "People will tag team for either country."
"Really? Because I think they'll choose France," Louis says. "Because it'd be during the summer, so nicer weather, and your house has a pool."
"My house?" I cry out suddenly. "Why is my house involved in this?"
"Because you know that if we got married in France, your grandmother would makes us stay there, which is fine, but it'll be you or her that tells the rest of my family to piss off." He pauses to think then, rolling his eyes for good measure. "Though, you'd probably let Hugo stay."
Kyle clears his throat, silently acknowledging his presence and thinking he'd be invited, too.
I clap his back. "You're my friend and I hope you're alright, but don't spread your germs, dude. It's disgusting. Get it checked."
"I hate you," he says quietly. "And, just so you know, when I get my Malibu beach house, you ain't invited."
I smile at his retreating back, not believing a word he says. Oh, he can try to keep me away.
"Anyway, think about it, yeah?" Louis asks. "I'll look here, you look there, and we'll find the prefect venue." I promise, secretly more happy about this than I'm allowing him to see. I mean, the very thought of marriage scares the crap out of me, even if I will be twenty one by the time we do it. But him talking about it, thinking about it and wanting it, even now, reminds me that we're officially stuck together. Nothing will change that, not school or Ellis or anything.
"Oh, crap," Louis curses, ending my thoughts on the matter of marriage. "I have to meet up for this art group thing my roommate made me join. I have to go. I'll see you soon, baby. I love you."
"I love you, too."
His face disappears as soon as the words leave my mouth. I shut down my laptop and close the top, grab my guitar and go back to the couch. But instead of continuing with my piece of music, I let it down onto the floor and slouch, sinking into the slightly hard back of the couch. I throw off my glasses, hearing the soft thump of them hitting the seat beside me, and sit in the dark.
I miss him again.
I was first to show my song in my class - apparently my little bit of 'fame' means that a few people here, mainly my teachers because the other students don't care as much, are telling me that I've set the bar for people to reach. I'm starting to think they're just feeding my ego to get me to join in with school projects more (I've already been asked to join a club - I've never even spoken to the guy before today). But I don't really care because playing the new songs is all my teacher planned and they were for her to hear, so I got to leave instead of listening to everyone else's.
And, no, I'm not joining the club.
Instead, I find my way over to the drama studios and look through every window until I find the class that Morgan is in. When he lived in Essex with me, we only saw each other in the afternoons, weekends and holidays because he went to a public school while I went to a school that specialized in helping kids with disabilities. Then he moved, so he didn't come to Hogwarts with me. So I've never had a chance to see my friend in a learning environment before and I'm glad that it's here, that I get to actually watch him in his element. Even when we were kids and I made him sing the songs I played, I could tell that he enjoyed it. Now that he's here out of choice, because he wants to sing and act, he doesn't enjoy what he does, he loves it.
I'm proud that it was me who got him here.
Again, that's the ego talking. It's so hard not to listen and agree.
I let myself fall to the floor at the back of the studio and watch. I don't know what the song is or even the musical, I didn't get to watch a whole lot of them, though I obviously know the really famous ones, but I don't care; it's just nice to sit and listen to him sing again. And the musical seems interesting; I'll have to ask him what it is and if we can watch it one day.
The class ends just before the hour is actually up, giving them time to get their things ready before they head to their next class or wherever it is they have to go, and Morgan grabs his back and jogs the short distance to me, hand out to help me up.
"Why are you here?" he asks, though smiling. I assume he doesn't completely hate that I came here.
I lead the way out and we walk to one of the social rooms we have. It's where students go to eat and drink, practice and just generally hang out. Music is always playing here, it's pretty much a constant. You get covers and originals and songs you didn't even want to listen to stuck in your head sometimes. That's the consequence of choosing to study at a performing arts school rather than a school that has performing arts courses; you're stuck with it. It literally becomes your life here.
"I've never been to the same school as you before. I just wanted to know what it's like to see you study," I answer him honestly. "It was award worthy."
Morgan nudges me in the arm, laughing at what I'm sure was me only partly joking, and finds a table for us to sit. It's not as full as it can be - I imagine that students who don't have class until the afternoon are either still in bed or just getting up and the rest are in class - but the music is still playing, the dancers are still practicing and the actors are still rehearsing. It's just that little bit quieter.
Thank God for that.
"So, how are you liking it so far?"
"Well," Morgan breathes dramatically, as though he's preparing for some long speech, and folds his arms over the table like he means business. "Carly is an Aquarius, she loves power ballads and she's definitely single."
I scoff. "I could have told you that. I meant in your classes."
"Oh," Morgan mumbles, looking disheartened. "What was I thinking choosing a potential love life over my acting dreams? I must be about as crazy now as moving here in the first place made me."
I should have waited for him to finish speaking instead of taking the bottle of water out of my bag while he speaks and taking a drink, because as soon as he says it I understand why and make this really weird snorting sound, which was supposed to be a laugh, and I feel like water has gone up into my nose. My God, it burns.
"You know that Kyle is behind you, don't you?" I choke out.
He nods, a not-so-comforting mix of concern and amusement on his face. "I saw him as we walked over, figured he'd join us eventually."
"You figured right." Kyle claps me in the back; hopefully, it's to help with my coughing. "I still think he's crazy, but after yesterday, I like him."
"Why? What happened yesterday?"
"Nothing," I say, just as Kyle leans forward. He shushes me.
"Louis got a little bit jealous when Ciaran here told him you were back," he answers, clearly enjoying this. I want to hit him. In fact, I do hit him. I think it hurts me more than him; I shake my hand while he laughs. "He likes to be the only one who makes his little boy smile."
"I'm not little," I protest. It's not my fault Kyle is abnormally tall - well, he's six three. "Louis is just under six foot and I'm, like, an inch shorter than he is."
"Why is he jealous of me?" Morgan asks, confused. I'm glad he decided to ignore the stuff about me being short, because he used to tease me about it when I was a kid and I'm not afraid to punch him in the arm either; I've grown a lot since he last saw me. I regret letting Kyle into my parents' house. My mother never would have shown him the childhood pictures then.
"Louis has personal issues with -"
"He was cheated on, now he gets insecure and jealous," Kyle interrupts. I also want to regret Louis finally telling his friends everything that happened with Ellis, but that one was ultimately his decision.
"Oh," Morgan says gently. "But he knows that there's nothing to really worry about, right? Oh, tell him about Carly."
Kyle frowns. "What about Carly?"
"She's my future wife," he winks. He sighs, feigning a dreamy expression. I think. "We'll be together forever."
"Yeah, right. I've never even seen Carly go on a date while here. She lives and breathes her work." I have to agree with all of that. "What makes you so special? You've got nothing but a primary school crush."
"That may be," Morgan nods along, digging into his pocket. "But this primary school crush got her number. And I know it's really hers because I called her as she walked away from me and asked her out. We have a date this Saturday."
"No way." Kyle tries to snatch the piece of paper he's waving in his hand, but Morgan is just that little bit quicker, that and he's far enough away that the time it took for Kyle to stretch over helped, and he puts it back into his pocket, grinning like he's won something. "You got Carly Jenkins to give you her number on the first day?"
"Please. I got Carly's number before our first class ended," Morgan scoffs.
Kyle leans over, whispers into my ear, "Crazy-For-Moving might just be my new idol."
"You have a boyfriend," I feel I have to remind him.
"I can still be appreciative," he mumbles back. Oh, the woes of being Kyle Raven - it must be such a burden to see the guy he's supposedly in love with every day. "I'm being selfish again, I can tell and I apologize."
"It's weird how you can tell what he's thinking. I've obviously been away for too long; I'm not sure what's happening," Morgan joins the new conversation hesitantly.
"Ciaran gets snappy when I act like an idiot, making jokes about appreciating other people even though I'm in a happy, long term relationship," Kyle tells him, being serious for once. "I don't take it to heart; he only does it because he misses Louis and wishes he was here."
"I should learn to stop that," I muse guiltily.
"The day you stop snapping at me will be the day I start to worry about your feelings for my best friend," Kyle replies, still very serious. The way he stresses 'best' is clear; he's been Louis' friend since they were eleven years old and if anything happened between us, Kyle would join his side almost every time. Louis would have to do something really bad to lose Kyle and Luka.
"That'll never happen," I promise. And I hope it's true, though I'm very sure of my feelings. So far anyway. I place my hand on Kyle's shoulder and pat him twice. "Face it, Kyle. You're stuck with me. And Lucy. And Jack," I add, trying to hide my smirk.
Pulling a face, he pulls away. "You just had to ruin the moment, didn't you? And we were having a nice friendship moment, too."
"People who seem make Kyle Raven uncomfortable and nauseous? I can't wait to meet these people," Morgan says, excited. "What did they do to you?"
Kyle sums it up in two words - two rather mean words. "They exist."
Ouch. It's bad luck being my friends.
A/N: So, it's been a little while, but I finally got a new chapter posted. I hope you enjoyed, please let me know what you think. :)