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Complicate Me(54)

By:M. Robinson

I swallowed the saliva that pooled in my mouth, my heart bursting with the devotion and adoration he always had for me.

“I love you. I’m in love with you. I’ve known that since the first time you basically told me to eat shit.”

I laughed and he smiled. “But I’m not stupid, I know you’re doing this, moving on because of Lucas.”

I bowed my head and he placed his index finger under my chin and brought my gaze back up to him.

“And I don’t care. I’ll take you any way I can, even if I know I’m the second choice. It’s his loss and my gain.”

“I do love you, Cole, and that’s why I want to see where this can go.”

“I want to kiss you so fucking bad right now,” he groaned.

I didn’t give it any thought. I leaned forward and kissed him.

His lips were soft and smooth. When his tongue beckoned my mouth to open for him, I did, feeling the silkiness of Cole. Only Cole. Our kiss became heady and intoxicating. I felt him everywhere, even though he wasn’t touching me and it left me craving more. I never had that feeling with anyone but Lucas, and for the first time it didn’t scare me.

I didn’t want to push him away. I didn’t feel bad. I didn’t need to stop.

As our connection deepened, I realized for the first time there was love outside of Lucas, and I was ready to experience that.

With Cole.

It was spring break and I knew the boys were in California with Alex. I hated that I wasn’t there with them. The jealously that radiated inside of me was enough to make me go crazy. I busied myself with helping my mom and Stacey. Getting ready for my son that was due in a few short weeks, my life it didn’t seem real. It was like I lived in someone else’s life or something, barely recognizing myself in the mirror anymore.

I rented a condo near my parents that overlooked the water. I started working for this construction company that had been established since before I was born, my dad knew the owner. I had a little less than a year before I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it. I figured construction was a good place to start.

“Hello!” Mom announced from my front door.

“I’m in here,” I yelled out, hearing her footsteps on the wood floor.

“Wow! Look at this,” she said, walking around the baby room. “You’ve gotten a lot done.”

I stood, looking around with her. “I don’t have anything better to do and he’ll be here soon.”

“I really love these colors, Lucas, the brown with the soft blue.”

I had painted the walls a light blue color and with her help I purchased the dark brown furniture. For someone so small he sure needed a lot of stuff. The baby shower helped Stacey get a lot of things and since my mom had helped her put it together, most people knew our situation and bought double of everything. I was fortunate that there wasn’t much more I needed to buy.

I didn’t have the heart to send Alex an invitation. I told my mom that, which she understood. It didn’t stop Alex from sending a gift, she must have found out from the boys or her parents. The card read to Lucas from Alex, that’s it, but when I opened the present it nearly tore me apart. There was a mobile with surfboards, a replica of the board I owned and had been using since I was a kid. She must have had it custom made, along with a onesie inscribed Baby Bo and a shark tooth teething ring. I knew it wasn’t malicious, that’s not Half-Pint. She was trying to give my son some of our fondest memories. She wanted him to have a part of us and I couldn’t have loved her more for it if I tried.

My mom skimmed the mobile with her fingers. “This was really thoughtful of her. She put a lot of effort and care into this.”

“I know what you’re doing,” I stated.

“And what’s that?”

“You’re trying to imply that she’s thinking about me. That she wouldn’t have put that much thought into a gift if she wasn’t.”

She shrugged. “You said it, not me.”

“You know, I don’t get you. For years you tell me that we can’t be together, then you think something like that. You’re contradicting, Mother.”

She sadly smiled and I immediately felt bad. “That’s not what I tried to do, at least not intentionally. I’m sick, Lucas. I’m really sick.” The scarf around her bald head proved it. “You learn to look at things differently when something so life changing happens to you. I’ve made some mistakes and for that I’m sorry.”

“What are you saying?”

“I’m saying that shit happens and when it rains it pours. I know you’re at a crossroad in your life right now, but that doesn’t change the years of memories and love you two have between you. No one can take that away. Not Stacey. Not your son. Not the boys. Not Cole. And especially not me.” She stepped out in front of me and placed her hand over my heart. “It’s here,” and with that gesture she kissed my forehead and left.

I pulled out her necklace from under my shirt. My mom was right.

Except that’s all they were now…


“So you and Cole, huh?” Austin asked with big dilated eyes.

We were at Cole’s fraternity party. Dylan was with some random chick, completely ignoring Aubrey like a complete dick. He barely said three words to her the entire time they were here and they were leaving tomorrow. As much as she tried to cover it up, I could tell it bothered her. Every time we went out a new girl was hung around his neck. He wasn’t very nice to them, and it blew my mind that they still fawned over him as much as they did.

Girls are weird.

Jacob was on his phone a lot, constantly texting someone. Stepping out of the room to answer his calls and not coming back inside for a while. I assumed he was with someone, but I couldn’t understand why he was so secretive about it. Then again he was still flirting and who knows what else he did with those girls while he was here. So if he was with someone then it wasn’t that serious. I tried to ask him one night but he blew me off by changing the subject.

No one had mentioned Lucas. Not one thing. Not one time. I guess we established a new policy, don’t ask and don’t tell.

Austin, well Austin was just a hot mess. Drinking every day. Partying every night. Most nights he didn’t come back to my apartment with us. Granted Dylan and Jacob hadn’t either but that was only for a night or two.

“What are you on, Austin?” I sat on the hood of my car with him in front of me.

“Just weed, Half-Pint, relax. You sound as bad as the guys.”

“I’m worried about you,” I coaxed.

“Don’t be, I’m fine. Now, you and Cole? You fucking him?”

I gasped. “Jesus, Austin.”

He rolled his eyes. “Oh come on, Alex, we’re not kids anymore. I know you get… wet,” he crudely baited.

I jumped off my car, walking away from him.

He grabbed my arm a little too hard. “Oh my God, stop! I’m joking. Calm down.”

“Let go of my arm.”

He did.

“You’re lying. What are you on?”



“Why not, Alex! You only live once. Might as well fucking make it count, right?”

“Austin,” I murmured, trying to reach for him.

“No! Don’t look at me like that. I’m having fun.”

I disappointingly eyed him.

“Fuck it. I’m out of here.”

“Austin,” I shouted after him, but he didn’t listen. He was gone.

When I told the boys later that night they said they weren’t surprised and they’ve tried to talk to him a few times, but he doesn’t care. We had to let him find his own way, as much as I hated it.

“It is what it is,” Jacob said, again the next morning while we were sitting on my back porch after I tried to talk to him about it. I once tried to talk to him about it. I didn’t understand why they weren’t as worried as I was. I guess they just thought it was normal guy stuff, but it didn’t feel that way to me, and it would take years for everyone to realize I was right.

“Did you check out what room Dylan came out of this morning?” I questioned with a wide-smile, wanting to lighten the mood.

“No?” he replied with an arched eyebrow and a grin.

I fervently nodded.

“What? They’ve barely said two words to each other.”

I shrugged. “I know. But he definitely slept in her room last night.”

“Dylan and Aubrey? You think they...?”

“I don’t know, Aubrey’s kinda loud.”

He busted out laughing.

“Thin walls.” I signaled around me with my finger.

“What about you, Half-Pint? You been loud?”


“Good. Fucking keep it that way,” he ordered with a stern face.

I rolled my eyes and shook my head.

“Cole and you, huh? Don’t look so surprised. I saw the subtle looks you gave each other and how he grabs your hand when he thinks no one is looking. I may have seen him lay one on you a few times when he thought you were alone.”

I blushed.

“It’s okay, I like him. He’s good to you and that’s all we’ve ever wanted.”

“I know.”

“Are you happy?” he quickly followed.