Waiting on an Enemy

Author: OnigiriReject

Summary: Kyle is spotted working his job as a waitress by none other than Cartman. Will Cartman keep his secret? And what's with that smile of his?

Pairings: KyCart with undertones of Stendy.

~South Park and all characters belong to Matt Stone and Trey Parker, I'm just borrowing them for a little fun. ~

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Chapter Nineteen: Truths

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"So it was actually Ike that was at the office? That's weird," Stan says while flipping through the pages of his Algebra book absentmindedly. He is lying on his stomach on his bed and supposedly doing his math homework, a subject he is terrible in, and asked for me to help him. So far he's asked more about my day than actually finish any of the problems.

"Yeah," I mutter, writing down the quadratic formula at the top of my homework page. The extra bed we placed on the floor creaks underneath my weight as I try to get more comfortable. I don't particularly want to dwell on the fact that Stan was MIA the entire time I was at school today, since he was with Wendy. They deserve to be happy—it's not like he knew I was having a bad day.

"What did he want?" Stan asks. I frown. I didn't want to discuss this while we were supposed to be doing homework.

"He just wanted to see me. And… he told me I should go back home. My parents are apparently really worried, and… he says it would be best for all involved if I lived with them… at least until college."

"But not for you," Stan adds pointedly. I say nothing and keep my head down. I already feel kind of bad for just ditching my parents, but I think this break from them was needed. My grades are even improving because I can concentrate and I have less stress.

"Is that why you've barely said anything all night?" Stan asks worriedly. "Is that what you've been thinking about this entire time?"

No. No it's not. I've been switching between this stupid homework and… "Really, Stan, I've been thinking about Cartman."

There's a pause in our conversation as he thinks through what I just said. He clears his throat and says, "Wendy mentioned something about Cartman giving you a hard time yesterday—

"Yeah he was." That wasn't what I was thinking about, but okay. "Wendy took care of it though, and now it's fine. He… kind of apologized for it, actually."

"Really? He apologized?" he sounds just as surprised as I was.

"He drove me home so I wouldn't have to take the bus," I add, pretending to write on my homework but actually just doodling a bow on the corner of my notebook.

"Wow," Stan exhales loudly. "You've had a weird twenty four hours."
"Nothing weirder than what I'm used to." Understatement.

"So what are you going to do about what Ike said?" Stan swings his feet back and forth on the bed and scratches at his black hair. I really don't want to think about what Ike said…

"I don't know. I don't want to go home… and I said I'd be gone a week, and it's only been three days. I'll decide on Thursday."

"You can stay here as long as you need to, you know," my best friend adds, shooting me a smile.
"I know, Stan. Thanks," I try to smile back but I feel like it only looks like a grimace.

Our conversation appears over and I look back at my homework. Having absolutely no concentration or drive to complete it, I remain quiet for another moment. I cross my arms on the bed and lie my head down on them, inwardly sighing as all my thoughts about Cartman from today return.

Cartman… how is he getting the money? I didn't want him to be spending dirty money on me. Would he be bullying the money out of kids at school?

No. He stopped doing that in middle school. Well, more like he focused it all on me. Butters stopped giving him everything he wanted and everyone kind of stopped hanging around him, so he sort of clung to Stan, Kenny and I.

I rub my forehead and realize it's impossible to focus on my homework when I have this giant thing on my chest. The thing's name being 'Mr. Eric."

I don't know anything anymore. I have been trying to think about my relationship with Cartman in the rational sense, but the reality is nothing about our situation makes sense. Like I said before, as soon as I say I don't exactly hate him anymore, it all comes falling down.

I keep catching myself wondering what he's doing. I mean, I thought about that even when I was younger, but then it was out of fear, and now it feels like it's out of concern. And then when I think about the car ride yesterday (which I am trying desperately to avoid thinking about) I feel warm. And almost… dare I say, happy? It doesn't make sense. My body is reacting to him in weird ways. And it gets worse the more I think about him. And lately, I've been thinking about him all the time.

I remember… when I went over to Cartman's house last week, when Kenny told me he was sick and told me to deliver the homework, before that I couldn't stop thinking about Cartman. Because he kissed me. What's happening now… seems to have stemmed from that.

I don't understand Cartman's reasoning behind things, and the more I think about it, the more confused I get. If he really wants it to be believable that we're dating, why has he only kissed me twice? Well, there was that time in the car—

No I'm not thinking about that. No. He wasn't going to kiss me. Nope. I mean, there was only us there, he'd get nothing out of it. No audience, no fun to play with the Jew, I know the drill.

I frown and roll onto my back, lying sprawled across the bed; I let out a long sigh.

Why do I care? Why do I care? WHY DO I CARE? It's fucking Cartman. God. Why should I care what his motives are, at this point, no one can find out that it's me working at Angel Morte because not only would I be fired and completely humiliated, but everyone would think Cartman is gay. So it's not like he's telling anyone… my secret is safe.

But there's a hole in that logic. If Cartman now can't tell anyone, then why would he pretend to date me? Yeah, I know he wants to brag about having a girlfriend, but ever since the first kiss, he hasn't really done another public spectacle like that, and everyone stopped talking about it. Sure, there's the occasional slight about how someone like Cartman managed to bag one of the Angel Morte workers, but other than that, no mention of it. Isn't the reason he wanted to date me to get the guys riled up? Why hasn't he tried something else.

And, what is he getting out of pretending to date me? Maybe no one else wanted to date him, so this was his desperate attempt to get people to stop saying he was unattractive and no girl wanted him.

Well, that's not even true because Porsche has shown plenty of interest. So okay—Cartman can date girls. It's been confirmed. But he's never really shown an interest… in any. Ever. The first real straight thing he did was go to Angel Morte, where people obviously don't come for the food.

Wait. Does this mean he could be… my cheeks heat up immensely and I grab my pillow and put it over my head.

There's no way in hell Cartman is gay. No. No way. He doesn't want anyone to think he's a fag for kissing me, hence why he's keeping the secret. Well… he could be gay but in denial… no. That's just stupid. He's never dated a boy or a girl to the extent of my knowledge.

Cartman is definitely not gay.

Wait. Why do I care about his sexuality? Am I just curious or am I thinking of prospects for myself? I almost laugh aloud. Cartman and I can't date. Just no. That would be the worst relationship ever…

Aren't we already sort of in a relationship? I am kind of dating him. In a weird way. It's not the worst. I mean, he's nicer to me now than he used to be…

No. Not good thoughts. I am not going to continue thinking this way. It's distracting. I have an Algebra test coming up.

/\/\/\

I lie in bed and listen to Stan's muffled snores. I can't sleep. It's probably midnight.

I can't stop thinking about him. I can't. Why is this happening? Is this because of what Kenny asked me? I mean, I don't know where he's getting the money…
/\/\/\

Tuesday, everything is the same, if not just slightly more awkward. I go to school, get harassed by Cartman, I go to work and I'm kept company by Cartman and earn even more money. All the while, I can't stop thinking about him. Nothing makes sense anymore.

Every time he even addresses me my heart beats faster. I could be sick. It could be out of fear. Although, usually when I'm scared, I feel ice form in my chest. This is the opposite of ice—it's warmth.

Wednesday: I continue to stare at him through class, all the unanswered questions running through my head. The bell rings and everyone begins to head out of the class for lunch, but I tap on Cartman's shoulder.

He looks over at me and asks plainly, "What do you want, Jew?"

I ignore the fact he didn't call me by my actual name and I say, "Can you and I talk before lunch?"

He rolls his eyes, "You know lunch is my favorite subject of the day—

"Come on Cartman," I say exasperatedly, feeling a headache about to set in above my ears. "It won't take long. You're not even at lunch much anymore."

Partially true. The days he did come to lunch, he only sat with us half the time, the other half he spent with Butters. It's not like I missed him or anything. I just wondered what was going on…

"Fine. But make it fast."

Am I worried about him or something? I mean, his mom did just up and leave him…

Why am I thinking like this? God, things were so much easier when we just fought.

I put my right hand to my temple and try to massage my headache away. Cartman is just watching me as I wait for everyone to leave the room.

Finally, Token is the last to exit and I stand up and walk in front of Cartman's desk, frowning down at him.

Which question do I start with? I have so many. Now that I'm actually thinking about the things he's done recently, I'm quite curious.

"Where'd you get the car you picked me up in on Sunday?"

He seems vaguely amused by my question. "It was Stan's Uncle Jimbo's before he got a hybrid. He gave it to my mom after they fucked for a bit, then she gave it to me as a practice car to learn to drive."

"Do you have a driver's license?"

"No. Are we playing twenty questions or something?"

I roll my eyes. "No, there's just a lot of questions you like to leave unanswered, and I'd like some answers."

Pause. Silence. We meet each other's gaze and he looks down at his hands. He begins to strum his fingers on the desk. I watch his jaw tense and my eyes trail down to his jacket's collar, which he left unzipped at the very top. I can barely make out a black t-shirt underneath.

"Is black your favorite color?" I blurt out before thinking about it.

Cartman snorts and stops strumming momentarily to look me in the face and smirk, "Why the fuck do you want to know that?"

"Curiousity. You always wear black shirts under your jacket."

Quiet again. Is it weird that I noticed the shirt? I feel my face flush and I cross my arms.

This time, Cartman sighs and stands. "Okay, I'll play your little game, Jew. But can we go outside and do it? Unlike you nerds, I don't like to be in a classroom longer than I have to."

I almost smile as I agree and soon enough, Cartman leads me out of the classroom, up some stairs, and face to face with a janitor's closet on the top floor. He turns the doorknob and walks into the dark room, beckoning for me to follow. My logical mind says that anywhere dark and small with Cartman is a bad idea, but soon I see him open another door in the back of the closet, leading to the snowy roof.

I walk through the closet and soon, I'm closing the roof door behind me and walking alongside Cartman on the roof of our school. I'll admit I'd seen him up here before. From Kenny's window-seat in our classroom, you can see a corner of the roof. Cartman was heading toward the very same corner, his sneakers leaving lined footprints in the fresh snow. He walks to the ledge of the roof and sits down slowly. I follow and sit to his left, looking down on the snow-covered basketball court and cars in the parking lot. I can even see the tops of some of the trees in the forest nearby.

I glance at Cartman from the corner of my eye and watch as he pulls out a cigarette and a lighter from his pocket, and places the cigarette between his lips. I frown and say, "Don't you remember our deal? I said I'd pretend to date you if you stopped smoking."

He pauses and turns to look at me, the cigarette being clenched between his teeth. He stares at me a moment, removes the cigarette, and asks, "Why do you hate cigarette smoke so much?"

"What, are you asking me questions now?" I narrow my eyes.

"It's only fair considering you started it, Kahl. I want some answers, too. So, why do you hate cigarettes so much?"

He seems to genuinely wonder why I hate the smoke. I don't think he could ever use that knowledge against me, so… I sigh, "My dad… when Ike was transferred into my grade in Freshman year, my dad would sometimes come home smelling like cigarettes. We all knew he didn't smoke… but he had this client who was charged for prostitution and she smoked like a chimney.

"He would come home really late sometimes and just reek of cigarettes. Mom would get really upset but he denied everything. After one of their really big fights, Ike got the letter inviting him to the Fielding School for the Gifted."

It's silent for a moment, and I can feel Cartman watching me. I focus on some of the treetops in the distance.

"How weird is it having a sibling who's a lot younger than you be in your class?" he asks.

I frown. "It was really fucking weird. Freshman year sucked."

Cartman laughs and I glance over at him. He scratches at his brown hair and adds, "It was really awkward." Pause. "Are you thinking about moving back in with your family?"

How did he know I was thinking about that? "Yeah… I mean I'm considering it. I don't want to. But Ike says that my parents are worried sick, and it would be nice if they had at least one kid home…"

"It's not your responsibility to take care of your family," he says blankly. I look at his face—he seems to be sincere.

I feel my throat dry and I swallow, "I know… I just don't know what I should do."

"Don't move back in with that bitch. It's that simple."

I sigh, "You don't understand everything, Cartman."

"Yes I do, just not in the way you do."

A quietness settles between us again and I fidget uncomfortably. Why did I start this question war? I wanted to get some things straight with him… because it's been bothering me.

I think back to the very first few times I saw him at Angel Morte. Before he knew that I was 'Kahl' and not 'Kylie'. I remember he was reading Crime and Punishment, and I wondered at the time why he was asking to borrow my notes if he had in fact read the book.

"Do you actually like Dostoevsky or are you just full of shit?"

"I like Crime and Punishment until the last four sentences. And Notes to the Underground was decent. I prefer Nabokov," he answers quickly.

You could have knocked me over with a feather with that one.

"I didn't know you read… at all," I say truthfully.

"I don't," he replies plainly. "The only books I've completely read through are Crime and Punishment and Notes to the Underground. And Lolita. Oh, and Silence of the Lambs. Most books along those lines I like. Brilliant people going insane and doing fucked up shit."

"I thought you were illiterate," I comment, placing my hands underneath my butt in order to keep them warm on the icy roof.

"I thought you were a girl," he replies, smirking. I run through the list of questions I thought of last night.

"Why haven't you tried any more public spectacles since the day after Valentine's Day?"

It takes him a moment to answer. I watch as his Adams apple lowers and rises again in his throat.

"Well, for one I haven't really had the chance, considering you were only at work on Sunday of this week and Wendy basically kicked me out."

Oh. I forgot about that.
"Truthfully, I should probably step up the 'boyfriend' action so Thomas backs off you."

I feel my cheeks redden but I try to fight them down. "Why do you care if Thomas is hitting on me or not?"

Cartman narrows his eyes and glares at me for a moment, his upper lip curling, "Jesus Christ Kahl, are you really that clueless?"

"Well, what am I missing?"

He stares at me. "Have you ever dated anyone?"

"No," I reply quickly.

"Kissed anyone?" Gay question.

"Aside from you? No." Gay answer.

"Well then do you want to date Thomas?"

"No."
"Then why are you getting mad at me when I try to do you a favor and get Thomas as far away from you as possible?"
"My question is: why are you doing it?"

He thinks for a moment, then answers simply, "Because you're Kyle and I'm Cartman."
I don't even ask him to elaborate. I don't understand that logic at all. I decide to turn the same questions back on him.

"Have you ever been in a relationship?"

"No." Pause. I wait for a moment for him to elaborate. He doesn't.

"Have you ever liked anyone?"
"Kahl," Cartman rolls his brown eyes and narrows them at me. "I'm entirely too busy pretending to be dating you to have time for dumb shit like that. Obviously you don't know me well if you think I'd fall for anyone in this shithole town—it's below my standards."

"So you weren't pretending to date me to make some girl jealous?"

Cartman scoffs and rolls his eyes. "No. Why do you want to know that?"
"Again… curiosity." So he doesn't like any girls. I'm not going to ask if he's gay, though. That could end with him pushing me off this roof.

"Why, do you like someone and is pretending to date me as Kylie getting in the way?"
"No! No no no," I exclaim, shaking my head.

Pause. Quiet again. Suddenly, I feel the warmth of my hat lifted off my head.

"Hey!" I yell, trying to swipe the hat back from Cartman. He laughs and places it on his other side, too far away from me to grab without risk of falling.

"Why do you always wear this same, stupid hat?"

I pout. "Because I hate my hair."

"Well then, get it cut."

"I can't… now that I work at Angel Morte."

"Sure you can. You look enough like a girl," he frowns for a moment. "You do wear makeup at the restaurant, right?"

"Yeah. Usually Mercedes does it for me, or Wendy," that's a lie actually. Recently I've gotten pretty good with using eyeliner and lipstick on my own, since I show up before all the other girls, but I'm not about to tell Cartman that.

"And you wear a bra there, right?"

"Yeah. Again, Wendy's help."

Cartman's lips start trembling and suddenly he explodes with laughter. "What the fuck, Kahl, you basically are a girl!"

"Hey!" I feel my internal temperature spike as I furrow my brows at him, "You fucking fat-ass!"

"Hey! I'm not fat you lousy Jew!" he angrily retorts.

I frown and some of my red locks fall in my face. I should get a haircut. I look Cartman up and down and sigh, feeling all my steam vanish. "You're right, you're not fat. But I'm not a lousy Jew either." I pause as my brain clicks into high gear. "So… how did you lose so much weight?"

He looks away from me and crosses his arms huffily. Did I upset him by asking or something?

"Puberty," he answers simply. There's a pause and he adds quietly, "And I started lifting weights in high school. After school and shit."

I frown. How had I not noticed he wasn't around after school? Well, I mean I did, sort of… that was when Ike was elevated to my grade. And my home life got worse and my mom kept making me come home early and study… Oh. Right.

I think about what I wanted for my future, before I got my job.

"What do you want to do after high school?" I look out over the tops of the snow-covered trees and wait for his reply.

Cartman says nothing. I glance over at him and turn my legs toward him. He still doesn't say anything.

"Cartman?" I ask. He finally meets my eyes.

"That's a weird question. Truthfully Jew, if you'd asked me that in middle school, I would have replied get a law degree to go on and become President of the World, but now I think it's too much work and I don't feel like trying to make this stupid world work. I would say I want to go to college, but that would be lying. I don't see why I should just move to another shithole town to start another stupid life and learn more shit that I'll never use in the world. So, if anything, the only thing I want to do after high school is exist and figure it out from there. That's all I'm doing now and it seems to be working pretty well.

"Why, what do you want to do?"

"Well, my family has always expected me to become a lawyer like my dad, but it seems like Ike is going down that career path, so I don't have to anymore. Obviously I'm not going to be working at Angel Morte forever… so I really don't know. I'd be cool with just existing, too. Existing and somehow being happy in the process.

"But I really like science. And reading. Who knows. Maybe community college for two years then transferring when I decide to contribute to society."

At that, Cartman laughs. I smile. It feels very comfortable and almost natural to talk with Cartman like this. It's almost like when Stan and I were really close, except not because Stan would pester me more about my family and keep asking if I was okay over and over. Cartman doesn't do that because he and I both realize that we're never okay, so asking is just pointless.

Suddenly, I remember the question I started asking him all the questions for.

"Where are you getting your mon-

The bell rings from inside the school and Cartman and I both jump—it seems I was not the only person to forget where we were. We lock eyes for a moment, and slowly, Cartman stands. I begin to follow suit, then suddenly, I'm met in the face with my hat.

"Put it back on so no one else finds out your secret," he says huffily, turning his back to me and beginning to walk back to the entrance.

I remove the green mess from my face and put it on, tucking all my hair into it. Then, I remember there was one more question I was going to ask.

"Wait, Cartman!" I exclaim, running to catch up to him before he slips inside. He pauses with his hand on the door and turns to look at me, his short brown hair catching the wind slightly. The ice on the roof makes it hard for me to retain my balance while running.

I'm finally two steps away and this time, I fall. Hard. Before I hit the roof, He catches me by my jacket collar and holds me there for a moment, my arms dangling and my knuckles scratching the roof's surface.

"God Jew, you really are just a klutz. Don't blame it on the tranny shoes."

I pull myself upward using his other hand and am suddenly very aware of how close are faces are. Curse being four inches shorter than him—the top of my head hits just below his eye line. My hand lingers on his and I slowly feel the heat creep through all my veins and skin. I meet his eyes.

Time freezes. I step closer to him and place a hand on the side of his face. His cheek is scraggly from not shaving this morning, and warm. Slowly, I stand on tiptoe and pull his face down toward mine. I can feel his breath on my face and my breathing slows in response. My chest is against his and his leg between mine. Suddenly, I feel something happen in my pants that I really did not expect and I let go of Cartman's face.

"Um," I begin, trying to cover my boner by moving. "We should go inside."

He says nothing, just looks at me with a somewhat confused expression. Hell, I'm confused.

Then, the last thing I ever expected to happen happens. He smiles. He is smiling. His eyes even become smaller from his cheeks moving. It was a genuine smile. "Whatever, Kahl. I'm bailing for the rest of the school day, so I'll see you at Angel Morte later." He says as he opens the door and immerses himself in the darkness of the janitor's closet, leaving me standing alone in the roof with more confusion than I had before.

I really don't hate him. I can't. I mean… obviously, I care about him. A little. We've known each other for so long—that's perfectly understandable.

But… what did I just do? What just happened? Was I… was I going to kiss him? Something just… sort of took over. I didn't really know what I was doing. I just… acted on impulse. I was curious to know what his face felt like. And… tasted like.

Oh God. I really am gay.

But… not for Cartman. No. No. I don't like Cartman. That's fucking absurd. But… I glance down at my unfriendly visitor and sigh. The cold is helping it die down quickly, at least. That was just from being close to a guy. And yes, Cartman is a guy, but I don't like him. I actually have good taste.

I curse myself for that last thought. Even in my mind I've been conditioned to have a gag reflex when it comes to Cartman. I walk back into the school and continue thinking.

But… maybe I just felt comfortable doing that because we have in fact kissed before? I mean, we've been so close to each other on numerous occasions. I just felt comfortable doing that. Yeah.

I walk through the halls of the school as people run toward their next class.

"I see you and Cartman are much more awkward than usual," a voice says from behind me.

I sigh, "Shut up, Kenny. Don't get involved."

"Oh but my dear Kylie, I am already involved, or do you not remember my whole 'glimpses of Cartman's life while I sleep' problem?" a smile spreads across his face as he eyes me. My mind runs through the possibilities of what he could have seen that he finds so amusing.

He narrows his blue eyes at me and grins, "How do you feel about Cartman, Kyle?"

At that, I could literally jump out of my skin. "Wh-why do you ask?"

"I saw you guys on the roof earlier."

My cheeks are red. My face is red. My green hat makes me look like a Christmas decoration. "I was just trying to ask him where he's getting the money."

"You looked much cozier than just that."

"Well, he didn't tell me where he's getting the money—

"You didn't answer my question, Kyle. How do you feel about him?"

"Well… I don't hate him."

"That's a start."

"But he hates me," I conclude, frowning at Kenny.

"Hardly," says Kenny. "He's spending hundreds of dollars to hang out with you, Kyle."

"He's doing it to make fun of me and manipulate me and humiliate me."

"Kyle, you are so thick that I'm surprised your head isn't made of cinderblock."

"Fuck off, we'll be late for class," I reply. "And you don't understand everything, Kenny. You don't know how I feel about Cartman, and obviously, you don't understand him."

"And you do?" he cuts me off. I'm getting really annoyed.

"Sort of," I reply, shrugging. "That's about all anyone could say about understanding hm though." He shakes his blonde head at me, smiling.

"Kyle, Kyle, Kyle… you have changed."

"Thanks for the newsflash," I reply sarcastically. "Now can we stop talking about Cartman?"

I turn my back on him and head toward the classroom. The bell rings and we're now both officially late.

"Do you even question where he's getting the money?" Kenny asks me, not even trying to walk to class. I turn around and shove him away from me. He falls back, but he's still smiling. Fucking demented psychopath. My cheeks sting with heat from a mixture of embarrassment and anger.

"I said I don't want to talk about Cartman at all!" I practically spit at him. Cartman, Cartman, Cartman—can't anyone find something better to talk about? "It's enough that I can't stop thinking about him right now Ken, you don't have to keep bringing him up!"
"Don't you want to know? Don't you wonder? You do worry about him Kyle, admit it! It's so obvious that you don't hate him anymore and you care about him!"
"Shut up!" I yell as I close my eyes. Is all that really so obvious yet I couldn't see it? I don't want to think about it. If I think about it too much, something might come to light, and I can't afford to be thinking any thoughts along those lines. I begin to run toward the classroom in order to avoid Kenny's words.

Finally, in a last ditch attempt to get me to face him, he yells, "He's using his savings for college that his mom set up ages ago!"

His words echo through the hall and reverberate in my ears. I pause and turn around, my face still contorted in anger. "What?" I ask in disbelief.

"It's his college money," Kenny finishes, standing up a little straighter and stepping toward me. "Were you under the impression that he and his family were well off? Because his mom just up and left, and he's using all his fucking money on YOU. And you're just too goddamn wrapped up in your own problems to even think about why."

I am completely taken aback by Kenny's words. He is right- I've been really wrapped up in myself lately. But… I just wanted to get enough money to live without my mom and my family. I didn't even question where it was coming from.

"Now do you understand why I've been harassing you?" Kenny asks pointedly, crossing his arms. "Because not only do I have to see a lot of what Cartman sees, but I have to watch him go and waste all his money on someone as clueless as you. And dude, you are one of my best friends, but Cartman can't keep doing that."

I am literally speechless. It feels like all the heat that was inside of me seconds before cooled down, and is now replaced with giant chunks of ice. I feel bile rising in my stomach and I continue to stare blankly at Kenny. What do I do? What do I do? What do I do?

So everything Cartman has done until now… am I just a way to siphon off the money he didn't want around? That's all I am? And he just wanted that fake dating thing to have a reason to get me to take more money? That's all he's cared about?

Kenny walks up to me and I still don't move. My limbs feel so heavy. He leans over to my ear and whispers, "You know what you have to do."

Time stops. Time starts again. Class starts. Time stops. I think. I close my eyes.

/\/\/\

Angel Morte. The front bell rings. Customer. Mercedes shakes me and tells me it's my boyfriend. My fucking boyfriend. Mr. Eric. Before I know what I am doing, I autopilot and walk to his usual table. I sit down and stare directly in my lap. I know he's sitting across from me. I know he's staring at me. I know that look—that expectant, self satisfied grin, That large hand holding a wad of money to give me

"Kylie, would you be so kind as to get me my coffee?" His voice says. His stupid fake politeness voice. I fucking hated it. I hate this. I hate being jerked around like this all for his fucking stupid little games.

I hate this because in all the time I've been working toward having a future, he's been fucking his own up. He's been sitting there listening to me talk about my mom and how I want to do something with my life, and he doesn't have any sorts of feelings like that. Doesn't he have anything better in his life? Why would he do this?

"Kahl…?" he asks. I know my face is red. I'm so confused. I can't look at him. I just can't. I feel awful… I feel like I'm going to throw up all my organs. I feel like punching a wall. I feel like screaming. Why the fuck would he do something this stupid? This irresponsible? Just to make fun of me?

I've been working so hard to get a future away from my parents, and in the process he's just going to throw his away.

I take a deep breath and say, "I don't want your money."

Pause. I still can't look at him. "What?"

I try again. "I can't take your money anymore…"

He laughs. He doesn't realize I'm being serious. "And why the fuck not?"

"I just can't take it anymore, Cartman," I say. It feels weird using that name while in this outfit.

He scoffs again and crosses his arms. "Come on, Jew, money is money! I thought you of all people would understand that. Just take it."
My heart literally hurts. I can't much more of this. "I can't."
"Why not?"
I bite my lip, "Where are you getting this money, Cartman?"

He rolls his eyes, "That's none of your business, Jew-rat."

"It's your college money, isn't it?" I ask. He stops and looks at me, his eyes widening.

"How did you…" he begins to ask.

"Why are you using your college money to pay for me?" I ask my fists shaking. "Is making fun of me that great that you'll waste the money for your future on it?"

"That's not it," he says bluntly, leaning toward me. I back away slightly and just look at him.

"I can't fucking believe you…" I shake my head. "Don't come here any more. I don't want your money."
"You need it though," he point out smartly. My hands shake even harder.

"I do, but not yours. Even I'm not going to sink as low as to steal the money your mom put in place for you-

"I don't want that whore's money," he says blatantly. I stand up.

"Don't come back here…" I conclude, not looking at him. "Don't bother. I should have never accepted the money from you. I should have known you were up to something dirty."

I begin to walk away from him but he grasps my right wrist, "Wait, Kahl—

I spin around and before I think about it, I ball my other hand into a fist and make contact with his the right side of his face. He let's go of my wrist and holds his face, cursing. I just look at him, my heart sinking further.

He finally looks up and I can see the look of confusion in his eyes. Tears prick at my own, and I turn around without another word and walk to the backroom, my heels echoing throughout the restaurant. I'm sure the other waitresses are looking at me, but I could give a rat's ass.

Tears begin to roll down my cheeks as I open the door to the backroom. Why do I care about him so much?

/\/\/\

"Bubbala it's so great to see you!"

"Hi Mom," I say, trying to feign a smile. My grip tightens around the handle of my bag as I stand outside my home, in front of my mother. She reaches her large arms outward and grasps me in a tight hug, holding the middle of my torso. The top of her large Marge Simpson-esque hair tower hits my right ear. She let's go and looks me up and down, "It feels like it's been so long!" Why is she being so friendly? Wasn't she really mad at me about a week ago?

My father appears over her shoulder from the living room and smiles at me. "Kyle, how have you been? We haven't heard from you. We were getting worried."

"I wasn't even gone for a week," I say plainly. "And you knew where I was—just over at Stan's house."

They say nothing, and my mother ushers me into the house. "Now let's go inside, I made some kanishas," she smiles.

"We need to talk about where you're heading in life, Kyle. Over dinner," my dad says, taking hold of my bag and placing it at the foot of the stairs.

Just like it was before. I inwardly sigh and sit down at the dining room table, ready to hear all about how bad my decisions have been and how I won't be able to see my friends outside of school. I'm used to it by now.

I'm going to quit my job, too, otherwise my mom will definitely find out about it and make me quit anyway. It's better to keep her from grounding me until I'm thirty, at least.

It's time to give up the storybook fantasy of being able to escape. I mean… I'll be at college in two years, I won't even have to be home at all. I should just try and get along with my family the best I can… because they need me. I've been a selfish son.

After this weekend, I'll quit my job at Angel Morte. I'll quit this stupid charade. It isn't worth it if I just keep getting lied to and tugged around by Cartman… I pout slightly as I lean back in my chair and close my eyes. I watch the grays and browns of the back of my eyelids.

No more work. I can do all my homework and actually have a somewhat normal sleeping schedule. I can start having family meals again. Ike might even be able to visit some… It wasn't so bad before. I was just being melodramatic. We can be a family.

Stan, Wendy and Kenny will just have to understand I can't see them as much anymore… my future is at stake. My mom has my best interests at heart.

I'll say goodbye to everyone at Angel Morte this weekend. And hopefully, Cartman will never mention anything that happened there. It will just be our little secret. This whole ordeal can be forgotten. The back of my throat feels dry and I try to swallow.

I'll see my friends at school. And I can properly ignore Cartman when he doesn't have some stupid deal hanging over my head. So… everything will turn out just how I wanted.

My life will be normal again.

That means… goodbye, Mr. Eric.

/\/\/\

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

/\/\/\

Author's Note: FINALLY. Just finally. I wrote the ideas behind this chapter seven months ago. Even half the dialogue. Writing all the chapter buildups until this was an absolute nightmare.

I'm sorry for ending it the way I did. THIS IS NOT THE LAST CHAPTER. Don't worry, it keeps going.

I'm hoping I can write the next two chapters quickly, but currently my computer is acting up so I don't know what kind of impact that will have on my updates… truthfully it's a Mac 08 and the right speaker keeps making this awful noise and it overheats and now I can't even close it properly.

So yeah, if it takes me two weeks to update, don't be surprised. I'm also in the midst of moving, but I just wanted to get this chapter done so I would have it stop hanging over my head.

Much love, OR

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Reply to Review from Person:

Hey I wish you had an account so this didn't have to be public. But thank you for the review, I'd been waiting for someone to point out the Angel Morte time opened thing. I did not notice the phone inconsistencies though so thanks for that. It's a shame I don't have a beta reader otherwise the whole grammar thing would not be as much of an issue but YES, I have grammar issues in this story in particular because of the fact it's present tense first person POV, which I am not at all used to. Thank you for pointing out the grammar thing though, I'll try to be more aware of it in the future.

I do edit but sometimes (especially when you edit your own work that you've read at least twenty times) things slip by. I apologize if the inconsistencies and awful grammar distract people from the actual plot, I hope it doesn't, I'd feel pretty fucking awful if it did. I never said I was a great writer (hah), in my actual career I'm studying to be a storyboard artist and writer for cartoons, so writing in the conventional sense isn't exactly my field of study. I have a lot to learn and I'm really trying, so I genuinely do appreciate the time you took to point out my errors and crappy grammar.

Where did I not finish my sentences? Recently, I went through all the first chapters and tried to edit them but sometimes it didn't save correctly so maybe that had something to do with it. And Cartman's jacket is still in Kyle's possession. I shall go edit that chapter and make it clear that he in fact did pick it up... Like I said, I'm a visual storyteller more than anything so IN MY MIND I see him pick up the jacket while he's thinking... this style really is hard for me though and it's hard to convey some actions while he's thinking...

Thanks again though, I'll keep trying to improve. Granted the first fourteen chapters (I believe) I wrote about 10-11 months ago so HOPEFULLY these last chapters were better.

And that goes to ANYONE who is reviewing my story, if something bugs you, TELL ME so I can fix it in newer chapters/become a better writer/stop assaulting you all with awful grammar.

OHHH and there are some jumps in my stories that happened when FF changed their settings so sometimes my sentences and paragraphs jump or get cut off... it's hard to explain but I'll go through it all one of these days and fix it. Sorry again.

I'll go fix the phone stuff first... how terribly bothersome, sorry I didn't catch that. I thought I explained his mom slipped it in his bag or something but OH WELL. I SHALL GET TO WORK!

Much much love and thanks, OR