“Avoiding complexity reduces bugs.” - Linus Torvails
“Answer your phone!” I scream.
I hang up and punch the wall. Layne pulls me into a hug and I start crying. I just sit there sobbing for a few minutes until my phone started playing ‘Good Girls’ by Five Seconds of Summer. I look at the caller ID and my jaw drops. I answer it and put it on speaker.
“H-Harriet?” I ask.
“Clara?” Harriet gasps.
“I miss you, Harriet.”
“I miss you too, Clara.”
“When are you coming back?”
“Damn it, Clara. I’m coming tomorrow.”
“For how long?”
“Shit, Hari!” Layne exclaims.
“BooBear?” Harriet whispers.
“I miss you. So much.”
“Shouldn’t have left then.”
“Layne William Thompson!”
“Harriet Eliza Smithe!”
“Layne, go calm down,” I suggest.
“Fine,” Layne says, walking away.
“Nice going, Harriet.”
“What?” Harriet asks, as oblivious as always.
“You snapped at him.”
“Harriet?” Lucy asks. “Is that you?”
“Luuuucy!” Harriet yells.
“Hari?!” Zeke yells.
“Harriet?!” Nick calls.
Lucy and Zeke run into my room and start yelling at Harriet and me. Nick looks at me for confirmation and I motion for him to come in. He grins at me and runs in, jumping on my bed and yelling for Zeke and Lucy to give him some room.
I hand Lucy the phone and leave the room, looking for Layne. I find a message from him in the kitchen, telling us that he is at the beach, and that he wants to be alone. Wanting to be alone usually means that he needs someone.
I run out the front door, down through the trees and onto the beach. I look along the shore and see a shirt and shoes near the tree line about ten metres away. I look out to the surf and see Layne standing in waist deep water.
I take off my Converse, putting them with Layne’s shirt and shoes, and walk down to the water. I get to knee deep water and stop. I’ve never gone further than this, and I don’t want to. Layne faces me and smiles, motioning for me to join him.
“I-I can’t,” I stutter.
“Can’t you swim, love?” Layne asks.
“No. I can’t.”
“I’ll teach you.”
“Your shirt and shorts will drag you down.”
I walk back up to the tree line and take off my shirt and shorts, leaving me in my blue-purple underclothes. I kick my clothes on top of Layne’s and walk back down to the surf. I start walking toward Layne and stop at knee deep water again.
“Walk to me,” Layne says.
“Layne...” I whimper.
I nod and slowly walk forward. The water rises around me and I force my panic down. The water is almost up to my waist and I close my eyes. Layne takes my hand and starts pulling me out further. I stop when the water reaches just below my shoulders and Layne pulls me into a hug.
“When I say three,” Layne explains. “Take a deep breath.”
“Why?” I ask.
We both take a deep breath and we move downwards. My eyes fly open under the water and the salt stings my eyes. I meet Layne’s blue gaze and he meets my brown gaze. He smiles and I smile back. My lungs start to burn and we break through the surface of the water.
“Jesus, Layne” I gasp.
Layne grins. “That wasn’t so bad.”
“No. It wasn’t.”
“Good. I want to try something else.”
We submerge again but, this time, Layne kisses me. I wrap my arms around his neck and kiss him back. His arms snake around my waist and we break through the surface of the water, never breaking the kiss.
His tongue runs across my bottom lip, begging for entrance, and I part my lips. His tongue hesitantly enters my mouth and traces my bottom gum. I moan into the kiss and move my tongue with his.
Layne trails his mouth down my collarbone and starts kissing there. He finds my weak spot near the front of my throat and I moan softly. He bites down on the spot softly and starts to make a bruise. I pull his face back up to mine and kiss him properly.
“There they are!” someone yells.
Layne and I pull apart and look toward the shore. Lucy, Zeke, Jeremy and Nick are walking towards the water. I adjust my hair so it covers the bruise before Layne and I walk towards them. I end up almost knocking us both over twice.
“You just van-” Lucy breaks off.
Lucy, Zeke, Jeremy and Nick are staring at me with their jaws dropped. They stare at me in shock, awe, horror and amazement. Layne and I share a look, and then I look down. Oh, the scars. I look back up and can tell that the scars aren’t the only reason.
“What?” I ask.
“Firstly; the scars,” Nick says.
“Secondly...” Lucy trails off.
“You’re enough to turn any gay straight, or bi!” Zeke blurts, slapping his hands over his mouth once he has finished.
“Don’t talk about my little sister like that!” Harriet growls from my phone.
“Don’t look at my girlfriend like that either!” Layne snaps.
Oh we’re dead.