Jez opened the door of the groups flat and dumped the last of his boxes in the hallway.
"Hello," Claudine said nonchalantly, just to be polite, flicking through a magazine.
"Oh," Jez looked up, "Hello…" half heartedly.
"What's up sour grapes?" she asked, putting down her magazine.
"I heard you last night," Jez opened the cupboard and pulled out a mug, "I heard you creep in at 3 in the morning and I heard you and Danny!" Jez explained, flicking on the kettle. Claudine giggled but tried to contain herself as she knew it had pissed Jez off, "It's not funny Claudine! I could barely dance this afternoon. I fell asleep in Nugent's lesson!" He cried flailing his arms about.
"Sorry Jez, you know what it's like for a new couple, can't keep our hands off each other," Claudine was still smirking
"I don't care if you're a new couple, I have just been kicked out of my flat and not only do I have to share a room with your twit of a boyfriend because BB's house is being decorated, but I have to put up with the two of you giggling under the covers doing god knows what!" Jez's eyes were wide with fury.
"I'm sorry Jez –,"
"You have no respect for anyone else. You or him! At least if you were a man I could have joined in!"
"You could of," Claudine suggested
"No, I couldn't because in case you're hearing has gone aswell as your self respect and dignity you would remember I'M GAY!" Jez shouted
"I know but –,"
"I'm immune!" Jez cut across her, running his hands through his hair.
Claudine did look genuinely sorry, she hung her head and picked at her nails and Jez knew her well enough to realise the sorrowful expression on her face.
"I know you're sorry," he said, looking into her eyes, trying to make some sort of contact with her, "But I just can't forgive you for what you did to Lauren. I'm probably going to be forever hostile towards you now and I know that's really stupid of me to do because everyone makes mistakes. But Lauren is my best friend; I'll never get out of my head what you did to her,"
"I don't need you're approval Jez," Claudine spat, "I said I was sorry for not thinking about you're 'needs' but I'm pretty sure Lola has those covered," she smiled
"You leave Lola out of this," Jez pointed a finger at her defensively, "You have no right to bring her into this situation,"
"Aww, it's that cute, getting all defensive about your girlfriend!" Claudine fake squealed, putting her hands on her hips and acting thoughrally not amused.
"Oh yeah, really funny," Jez mocked her; "You've got to stop toying with people's emotions, Claudine. Lola matters to me! We aren't together but she matters to me and Lauren matters to me too. Y'know it's a good job I'm thick skinned isn't it because if I wasn't you'd have me under your thumb Claudine. I get scared because I know that if I didn't know who I was, I'd be lost. You haven't got a clue who you are and you can see that in your eyes. You don't find yourself by pushing your friends to the limit, or even over the edge. And you certainly don't get it by going out with Danny!"
Jez was glad that he had finally let off some steam however Claudine had felt stupid and guilty for what she had done, so Claudine responded in the only way she knew how.
"You're a pathetic arse crack shagging fag," she spat, "You don't know shit about me,"
"And you don't know shit about me!" Jez spat sourly back, "You don't know how much you've hurt us all Claudine, you mouthed off to BB about his brother's death, you're slagging me off because of my own choices and Lola may not be the sharpest tool in the box but there was no need to make her feel bad about herself!"
"Oh shut up Jez, You need to get over Lola, I don't get you, are you gay? Or are you in love with Lola?" She asked, crossing her arms
"I cannot stress this enough," Jez was really going to loose his rag now, "Lola and I are not together and I am gay!"
"Maybe I can do her a favour," Claudine grinned wickedly, "Maybe I can turn your straight for her, because lets face it babe, if you can't resist me then you really are gay,"
Claudine leant into Jez and brushed his lips slightly, she could have sworn that his body stiffened but he grabbed hold of her wrists before she could kiss him properly and threw her away from him like a bag of rubbish. Jez held her shoulders and digged his nails into her.
"You are a bitch Claudine Cameron," he spat, shaking her shoulders, "You're a complete and utter bitch and you have no social boundaries whatsoever. You need to learn to stop being so horrible to everyone around you. Don't you see, we could easily ditch you, but we don't and why's that? Because you're our friend Claudine, and you live in this house with us, that's what real friends do,"
Jez walked away, unaware that the kettle had boiled and the water had gone cold. He went upstairs and locked himself in the bathroom. He looked at himself in the mirror, his blonde hair brushing his eyebrows from where it had been freshly cut. He had a few spots on his face but nothing a little Clearasil couldn't shift. He should probably shave tomorrow as he was beginning to get a bit of stubble. He leant on the sink and felt as though he was going to be sick. He sat down on the toilet seat and hugged his knees against his chest. He felt like he was 14 years old again and he cried like a baby. It wasn't just tears rolling down his face; it was uncontrollable, can't-quite-breath, shoulder shaking sobbing. He muffled his face into his arm and cried out; someone must've heard him because there was a knock on the door.
He jumped up out of his seat and glanced quickly into the mirror. His eyes were red and puffy, so there was no point trying to hide it. He could have put on some cover up but that would have given Claudine more ammunition to tease him. Opened the door and saw Lola standing there. They looked at each other for a moment, Jez with his red eyes, sniffing and hiccoughing. Lola with stunned eyes, lined with eyeliner, complimenting her deep brown pooled pupils.
"Lauren texted me," She stuttered, blinking, "She said you and Claudine had been fighting," Jez gulped and nodded, "I knew you'd be here, I couldn't leave you," she ran at him and he ran at her. They embraced in a tight hug and Jez broke down in tears again and cried into her chest.
"Let's get some peace," Lola said as she moved Jez to the toilet seat and locked the door behind her, "I don't even know what she said Jez, because it's probably bitchy and I don't want to imagine her saying it to you," Jez nodded, clutching a tissue to his nose, looking vulnerable.
"It's not the things she said," Jez croaked, "Well, it is this things she said, but it's just that I feel so bad for Lauren and she said some stuff and me and you –,"
"Shh…" Lola whispered gently, "It's ok babe," she hugged him gently and stroked his hair, "She won't hurt you now, I'm here," and she kissed his forehead soothingly, "Are you okay?" She asked, stroking his cheek.
"Yeah, fine," Jez mumbled, barely audible
"Come on lets get you to bed," Lola smiled, pulling Jez up by his hand and holding it affectionately and the both of them tottered along the hallway to Lola's room. She lay him down in her bed, fully clothes and then got under the covers with him. Jez felt his phone vibrate harshly in his pocket. He managed to wriggle it out from under the covers.
1 New Message
"Thank you so much for standing up for me. I really appreciate it. Lx"
Jez smiled and put his phone onto the bedside table.
"Who was that?" Lola asked, snuggling down and facing him
"Lauren, saying thanks," Jez replied, Lola knowing what he meant.
Lola snuggled down into Jez's chest and for a moment they lay there together under the pink duvet, breathing heavily against each other's chests.
"Love you forever," Lola giggled
"Love you forever," Jez smiled as Lola's head rested against his chest and their fingers intertwined.