Disclaimer: I don't own Degrassi
Elijah Goldsworthy sat at the end of Adam's bed, his broken leg stuck out haphazardly and when Adam paced the room, he had to move around the cast. Adam muttered in worry and pulled at his hair. He mumbled incoherent phrases and words, and Eli watched him move around the room. Eli's eyes moved like he was watching a ping-pong tournament.
"Dude, what are you doing?" Eli asked in amusement. He had never seen Adam this nervous and he couldn't imagine what was making his best friend nervous now.
"Don't 'dude' me, Eli. Do you know what tonight is?" He looked at Eli, his eyes wide and intense, "Do you?"
"Oh, laugh it up. I get it. It's all a big joke to you, isn't it? Adam-stupid-Torres is worrying, let's all have a big laugh about it. Well, it's not funny, emo boy." Adam poked into his closet and started throwing clothes off of their hangers and onto Eli's head. Eli tried desperately to move, but his leg was killing him, so he just caught the clothes as Adam threw them.
"Did you just call me 'emo boy'?" Eli asked, a snort traveling up his throat.
"Shut up." Adam snapped and Eli tried not to laugh. He had never seen his friend act like this. Usually, he was the pissed off one who would snap at everyone and anything.
"Adam. I'm sorry," Eli called out finally, and Adam just responded with a low grunt, "Really. I am. But, why are you worried? What's tonight? Why are you so nervous?"
When Eli said the word "nervous", Adam jumped up and snapped his head back to look at Eli, his eyes widening with anger and a little something called truth.
"I am not nervous! I'm just...I just. I'm just not nervous, okay? Katie is coming over tonight and I want to set a good example. She and I have gotten pretty close and I think she likes me, Eli." Adam said dreamily, his tone changing drastically throughout the sentence, "I actually think that she likes me. And she's not a lesbian and she didn't freak out when I told her that I was,..you know. And I really think that she's...the one. Like, she's...I don't know. I think that she's...she's my-"
"She's your Clare." Eli piped up, and suddenly, his ears became lobster red. He didn't mean to say that. It slipped out.
"Even after all this time?" Eli wanted to ignore the question, and he looked at his shoes, observing the invisible scuff marks.
Clare Edwards stood in front of the pharmacy aisle with Jake. He was picking through different brands and different sizes. And Clare stayed back, worried that people were looking at her and judging her. She watched the boy pick through the boxes with excitement. She had to admit, he was cute when he was excited, but that certainly didn't make anything better.
"How about this kind?" Jake asked, holding up a box of thirty-six, and Clare's stomach twisted and turned. She didn't even want to do it once, and here he was, holding up a pack that could last more than a month.
"Looks perfect." Clare responded with a fake smile and put two thumbs up, which was completely out of character for her. But, because Jake barely knew her, he gave a enthusiastic nod and turned back to the shelves. Clare moaned in silence. She was sure that, indirectly, she had given him permission to fondle her virgin body thirty-sex times.
Clare wanted to cry. She didn't want to be fondled.
She didn't even want to use that word.
Clare wasn't sure when she'd become the silent girl who let boys take advantage of her. Well, only one boy, but still. One was enough. In the beginning, it was great. Jake was the perfect distraction for her and he looked extremely attractive with his shirt off. And that's when everything fell down. She became the girl who couldn't control her hormones.
And she was about to have sex.
With Jake Martin; her childhood friend.
"Jake? How about at my house tonight? Both of my parents are gone for the weekend, and we can get this over- I mean, we can...do that. You know..." She felt dirty even talking about it. She couldn't even say it out loud.
Lord, forgive me, for I have sinned.
"Well...um, Clare. I was thinking that we could go to this party. It's...tonight. And maybe we can test out these when we're there." He shook the box and winked, still oblivious that his girlfriend was about to puke. He nodded his head towards the checkout and started to walk away, leaving Clare behind.
And Clare watched him walk, with her lunch coming up her throat.
She was lost. And she didn't know how to be found.
She was going to lose her virginity at a party.
And for the first time in her life, she muttered profanities under her faded breath.
He passed his cane from his left hand, to his right. The skull glared up evilly at him, its white had become a soft yellow. People looked oddly at him and gave him strange looks. But Eli tried not to notice. He didn't care what people thought of him.
At least, that's what he had told himself.
Drew Torres passed by him and gave him a friendly nod and Eli returned it with difficulty. He wasn't a major fan of the jock. In fact, he thought that the boy was just plain stupid and completely idiotic. And, the boy smiled way too much.
That was a major problem.
Eli sighed and looked around for Adam. He knew that his friend was trying to find Katie. When Drew had announced that he was having a party, Adam went straight to Katie and invited her. Eli had watched from afar and had noticed how Katie had hesitated at first, but when she had seen Adam's eager face, she had said yes. Eli had chuckled when his best friend had come running towards him, with a bright grin on his quirky lips. He had nearly knocked Eli over with excitement.
He leaned back in his chair and watched as people came and left. People were already drunk and Eli smirked cynically at all of them. To him, they were all pathetic. Getting drunk to be popular and to fit in and to have sex. And he wanted to puke as the couple next to him practically humped each other. He stood up with a groan, and walked away from the couple that had just started dating that morning.
He hobbled around the house, looking for anyone that he knew and could talk to. But, the deeper he got into the crowds of people, he began to realize how much he hated everyone.
So, without any luck, he limped into the bathroom and locked the door behind him. He was almost cheering because he was alone. He set his cane against the door and ran the water, waiting for the water to get cool.
After Eli's confession, Adam had nodded once and walked back to his closet. And Eli was extremely happy about that. He had tried to move on, and when that didn't work, he had decided to just not think about her.
And when that didn't work, he took the pills. But, each day was getting a little better, but only because he was learning to live with the pain. He was trying to take the pain and become friends with it, rather than become enemies with it. But it was hard on days like this, when Eli had no one. When Adam actually had a life and wasn't baby-sitting him. When he saw couple kissing in each other with a hidden love that he knew so well. Days like this were a hassle, and Eli knew that he would never get used to these days.
Eli cupped his hands together and let the water pool in his palms. Water seeped through every crack it could find and he quickly threw it up onto his face. Droplets of water dripped down his face and he shook his head like a dog. Water splashed around the bathroom and Eli found the nearest towel and dried his face off. He glanced in the mirror and he almost wished that he didn't. The circles under his eyes made it seem like he was wearing makeup. And the grey-ish color in his cheeks was making him look weak and almost dead.
He threw the towel down, truly not caring where the towel went, and he pushed the door open with a great force. Eli ignored the squeals from the people he had hit, and he walked down the long hallway of the house. He glanced up at portraits of each family member and he could tell the Adam had went around and removed all of the Gracie pictures. Now, all was left, was middle school and up. Eli smirked at the younger Adam and continued to walk down the hall.
But he stopped when he heard shouting. Everyone was crowded the guest room door and talked in quiet whispers. Eli walked closer and stood next to the kid he sits next to in homeroom.
Eli tapped the kid on his shoulder and asked, "What's going on?" He nodded towards the door.
The kid snickered and muttered, "The new kid, Jake Martin, and Clare Edwards are fighting."
Eli's eyes furrowed together and he looked at the wooden door with concern. "What are they fighting about?" He gazed at the door and caught a couple of phrases.
"Apparently, he wants to have sex...but...we all know Clare Edwards. She's such a fucking prude. I mean, I think we'd all love to fuck her virgin-"
"SHUT THE FUCK UP." Eli roared, anger shooting up in his body. How dare that boy talk about Clare Edwards like she was a piece of meat? She was a stunning and beautiful girl who deserved respect. And for a moment, Eli wanted to swing his cane at the ignorant boy. But he stopped when he realized that the people crowded around the door were glaring at him. And he definitely stopped when the door opened, and Jake Martin appeared in front of it. Jake scoffed in disbelief that people were listening, and pushed through the crowd and muttered angrily under his breath. Eli glared at him, his lip curling.
Jake looked at Eli and snorted, "What are you staring at, Elvis." He said, referring to his upturned lip. Eli glared, but the boy had already stalked off, a box of condoms in his hands.
And Eli heard a small gasp from the crowd, and he turned to look at what they were looking at. Clare Edwards.
Her hair was a mess and her makeup was smeared and smudged from her tears. Her usual sparkle was gone and was replaced with a certain sadness that Eli wanted to take away. Eli felt his heart tear at the sight of the girl run off.
He had to fix it.
...He just had to find her.
Clare took refuge on the Torres bench outside and she tried to make the tears stop. But, unfortunately, they continued to come and stream down her face. She brushed them off impatiently and sighed, her breath coming out shaky and bitter. The wind blew her hair around and she shivered. She hadn't thought to bring a jacket because she had Jake's.
Clare leaned her head back and glanced at the stars. They twinkled brightly and she felt the tears slowly stop and her heart began to calm down. Clare hadn't expected Jake's attitude. She had thought that he would have been thoughtful and fine with the fact that she didn't want to have sex at a party, in her best friend's bed. As romantic as that sounded, Clare knew that she would have regretted it.
But Jake's words hit her straight in the heart.
"You're such a fucking prude!"
"A tease! That's what you are! You're nothing but a little tease."
"I don't even know why I wasted my time with you."
Clare held back a sob and buried her face in her soft hands. She felt her shoulders shake and her breathing hitch with pain. And she wanted to hurt the man that said "Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never break me"
He knew nothing.
Once again, for the thousandth time that night, Clare sighed and moaned. And she wiped the tears off with her sleeve and yawned, sleepiness taking over her. But as she yawned, a groan sounded from the bushes behind her. At first, she thought that it was her, and she covered her mouth, but when she heard it again, she turned around to the plants behind her.
Hearing the moan again, Clare got up and slowly made it to the edge of the yard, and slowly crept into the garden. The person moaned again and she heard a splashing sound. From a distance, she could see a body shaking. She quickly walked to it and turned the body over quickly, scared of what it was.
Or...whom it was.
Crouching down on the roses, was Adam Torres. His body was scratched up from the thorns and blood was smeared across his body. Spit and puke spilled out of his bruised up mouth. Clare backed away in horror. She had never seen her friend look so...horrible.
"Adam?" Clare said softly, nudging him gently. But the boy just puked in response. Clare looked around for something for the boy to puke in, but all she found was a large pot. She slid it across to her friend and propped him up gently, so that he leaned against the ceramic structure. His eyes blinked slowly and his gaze was unfocused.
"She likes Drew. Of course, right? Everyone likes Drew. Drew is...he's a guy. And I'm just a...I'm a girl, Clare. I'm a girl and no straight girl want to date a girl. Katie likes him. I saw them kissing. And his hand was in her shirt and she giggled. And when they saw me, they just laughed and walked away," Adam paused to puke and Clare rubbed his back and pushed his bangs away from his face. When he was done, he looked around for something to wipe his mouth on and Clare offered her sleeve, and he took it with gratitude, wiping his bile on her shirt, "And I'm drunk as fuck, Clare. I'm drunk. And I'm still a girl. I'm still a girl, Clare. How can I be a guy?"
Clare watched him, trying not to hug him and smother him. She knew Adam's insecurities. He barely showed them, but when he did, it took a toll on Clare. She wanted to protect her friend, but she wasn't sure how.
"You're a boy, Adam. I swear, you are. You are a beautiful boy who-"
"But I don't want to be a beautiful boy!" He snapped, frustration seeping out of his drunken mouth, "I want to be a guy that doesn't have to wake up and put on all these different layers just so my breasts don't show. I want to be a guy that can have sex and not run from it. I want to...be a guy. I want Katie. I want her. I want to be like Drew. Katie told Drew that I wasn't a man." Adam leaned against the ceramic pot once again and let everything out, including tears.
Clare felt a fire rise up in her. She wanted to kill the girl, she really did. Putting her hatred for the girl aside, Clare touched Adam's arm gently. "Anyone can be a guy, Adam. But you," Clare looked into Adam's deep eyes and smile lightly, "You are a man, Adam. You are a true man. And someday, you're going to find someone that will love you. Not your brother. Not anyone else. Just you. And they'll think of you as a man."
"You think so?" Adam said, his voice hopeful, and then he let out a large burp.
Clare threw her head back and laughed when the boy burped again, "I promise. You're a man. And someone has to see that."
Adam gave a toothy smile and sank against the pot in exhaustion. His eyes drooped and he muttered, "Can you get Eli for me? I want him to call Bullfrog or someone. I want to sleepover. I can't be here. I'll hear them in his room." Adam groaned and puked again, but this time, he only dry heaved.
Clare nodded once and quickly ran inside. She passed by the keg and the people surrounding it, looking like starving animals. She pulled her lips back in disgust. She checked the living room for Eli, but all she saw was half-naked people. Clare rolled her eyes in disgust and made her way upstairs. The hallway was crowded with people. Mostly, people were scrunched up against a door, listening to the moans and screams of the people inside. Clare hurried passed every door, trying not to hear the sounds of drunken sex. Turning a left, she ran into four college guys that only come to high school parties to scam on willing high school girls.
Clare raced forward, ignoring their calls, and turned right.
And there he was.
He was trying to get into the bathroom, but there seemed to be someone in there. Clare sprinted forward as Eli called from outside the door.
"Just open the door! I have to wash my hands! You can cry out here!" A muffled cry was heard and Eli's head smashed against the door in frustration.
"Why is she crying?" Clare asked, startling the boy. He jumped, and groaned when pain shot up his leg.
"She's drunk. She was laughing a couple minutes before. But she won't let me in to use the bathroom for two minutes." For the last two words, Eli screamed it into the bathroom, but the girl only cried harder.
"Well, do you think you could hold off on washing your hands for a couple of minutes?" Clare asked, playing with her fingers.
"...Why? Washing my hands is important, Edwards. If I don't, my hands will smell like beer, and if I don't, I will hate my hands and-"
"Adam needs you."
"Show me the way."
"It would suck to be named Dick. I mean, when people speak to you, you know that they're thinking of penises, you know? And that just seems awkward. So that's why I'm never naming any of my kids Dick."
"Well, thank god," Eli said in amusement, "Because I would never be the godfather of a boy that has a name of a penis."
The three sat in the garden, all of them staring up at the stars above. The dirt was soft and comfortable underneath them. The moon was full and brilliant, shining down on them. The smell of summer traveled throughout their bodies and minds.
"I missed this. When we were all together. I like you guys. You guys understand me and still talk to me. It's nice," Adam blurted out and paused, "But you guys aren't around anymore. And when you are, you aren't happy. And I don't like that, guys. I don't. So be happy, okay?"
Clare and Eli glanced at each other, and it was a compromise in the making. It was a "I-know-that-we-broke-up-and-this-will-be-awkward-but-let's-do-this-for-Adam" look. They knew that they had to talk and work things out, but tonight was not the night. They were there for Adam, and Adam only. Not themselves. They were there for their best friend.
"Can we be best friends forever?" The still drunk Adam asked. And the other two chuckled and were already planning on making fun of him in the morning.
"Yes." Eli answered, a smile forming on his lips. He hadn't felt so happy in a long time.
"Even after everything that has happened? Even after all this time?"
"Always." Clare muttered, and noticed that Eli was looking at her with an odd gleam in his eyes. She looked at him and blushed, but he, risking everything, pulled the girl closer and kissed her. It wasn't sexy and wild. It was simple and perfect. It was a bit of a promise. That they did indeed love each other, somehow, but they had things to work out.
"God, this is disgusting."
Eli and Clare continued to kiss, ignoring their friend.
"My two best friends are practically having sex right by me. I should call the sex police."
And at that, the two lovers broke away and giggled at their drunk friend. Clare moved back to her spot and looked at the sky and it suddenly looked brighter. And she felt a hand grab hers and she blushed at the feeling that went through her.
"Once, I thought I saw a unicorn." Adam said, and began to tell the story of the dog that he had mistaken for a mythical creature. And how when he was little, he was convinced that he was a unicorn. Eli and Clare listened and laughed at Adam's words and phrases and laughed at the lightness in the atmosphere, "And I think that we are unicorns, guys. But people see us as dogs, but really, if you look closer, we are unicorns."
And Adam was right, if you were to look at them as an outsider, you'd see a drunk boy that looked slightly feminine and was rambling about things that didn't make sense. And a boy and a girl holding hands; the boy wearing black and sporting a broken leg, and the girl with smudged makeup. They'd seem crazy and odd. And you would wonder how such people became friends.
But, if you look closely, you'd see the quirks and mistakes and regrets that bonded them together. You'd see the hate that they felt for themselves and the love they felt for each other. You'd see that they were all misfits, trying to make it though.
And, in the words of Adam Torres, they were unicorns, disguised as dogs.
What the hell is this?
...I don't really know, to be honest.