(Tyler’s POV)

 

Yesterday was probably the weirdest day I’ve had in my entire life. I mean that. It certainly beats the day I woke up drunk in the middle of the park in my boxers And let me tell you, that in itself was really, really weird! But yeah, yesterday seemed to top that.

 

Will Lakewood was back. And I’m getting bothered by it a lot.

 

“Yo! Earth to Tye!! You there man?”

 

I gave a small yelp, startled at the hand waving in front of my face. I grumbled in annoyance and moved the hand away and found Jason staring at me.

 

Jason Harrington’s my best friend in the world. We’re practically inseparable ever since he moved here in fourth grade. I don’t know why, but ever since then we were like brothers. He’s the older one though. Being a year older than me, he’s a bit controlling sometimes, but still he’s a good dude.

 

Where I typically look like the all-American teenager with the blonde hair and blue eyes, Jason on the other hand had black hair and brown eyes. His hair is perfectly trimmed and always styled as Jason does kinda have the metrosexual gene in his body. Although we’re about the same height, he’s a little slimmer than me still he’s ripped too. And yeah, he’s in the football team too.

 

“Tye! What the fuck is wrong with you man?” Jason asked he sat on the bench across from my position.

 

We were chilling at his porch in his house. He called me earlier if I wanted to come over and play some of his new video games, so I did. After a few hours playing Call of Duty and Resident Evil, we got bored and decided to take a few hours to chill outside and watch people walk by. And here I am, leaning over the railing doing just that.

 

“TYE!!!” Jason shouted, annoyance clearly present in both the tone of his voice and from the expression etched on his face.

 

“Look Jace, I’m sorry, but I’ve got a lot of mind,” I said as I sat on the railing, facing him.

 

“Girl problems again? Aww, dude. I’m sure Dana would get in the mood soon,” he said with a laugh.

 

In case you’re wondering, Dana’s my girlfriend. We’ve been together for about a year now and even though Jace’s comment was below the belt, it was kinda true. Dana didn’t want to have sex. I don’t know if she’s one of those girls who are waiting to be married before doing it, but yeah, she’s totally being a flake about it. Still, Jace’s comment was uncalled for and way off mark.

 

“It’s not about a girl. It’s about a boy,” I said, trying to be as nonchalant about this as possible.

 

Jason looked at me with a feigned appalled look, “Dude. Don’t tell me you’re becoming a fag?” He laughed at his own joke, which I didn’t find funny at all. Yeah, Jason can tend to be obnoxious at times too.

 

“Will Lakewood’s back,” I said bluntly.

 

Well that surely got his attention. Jason’s laugh disappeared all of a sudden and stared at me with his brown eyes wide in disbelief.

 

“WHAT?” he asked as he stood up in surprise.

 

“Will’s back Jason. They moved in yesterday… He’s back living across my house,” I said, looking at Jason who was just staring at me.

 

“Shit man. I thought we’d never see his sorry fag ass again,” Jason said as I frowned at his choice of words. He plopped back down on the swing as he continued to look at me.

 

“I met his parents too. They seemed happy… which was weird,” I added.

 

Jason asked, “They weren’t angry at you?”

 

“Well if they did, they had a funny way of showing it,” I said as I brushed away bee buzzing dangerously near my ear. Ugh. Leave me alone will you? Bother some fucking flowers instead!

 

Jason kept staring at me and he was being awfully silent about it too. Not a good sign.

 

“Is he going back to Ridgemont High?” Jason asked all of a sudden.

 

I looked at him alarmed. He had this weird gleam look in his eyes, which meant he was thinking ways of dealing with Will. Uh-oh.

 

“We do absolutely nothing, okay?” I answered quickly. I could see Jason quite taken aback. I continued, “Listen Jason, I can’t begin to say how bothered I still am over what happened four years ago. We were young, we didn’t know any better. And judging from Will’s attitude yesterday, I still sense there’s animosity within him.”

 

“But…” Jason said as he tried interrupting me.

 

“Listen,” I said as I cut him off, “we’re in high school now. Any shit you pull could presumably lose that scholarship you’ve been trying to attain for the past three years. I just want to start fresh with him and not bother him anymore, okay?”

 

Jason looked at me with a pout, “Fine. I’ll leave him alone for your sake. I can’t speak for everyone else though,” Jason said as he crossed his arms in defiance.

 

I sighed. I didn’t say anything else as I know how stubborn and hard-headed Jason could be so I left it there. Honestly, all this talking about Will Lakewood has gotten me pretty exhausted.

 

“Look dude, I’m beat. I’m going home. See ya tomorrow at school okay?” I said to Jason.

 

“Yeah, yeah. Whatever,” Jason snorted before giving me a fist bump. As soon as it was done, he headed back inside as I made my way towards my house on foot.

 

Walking back, my mind began tracing back what happened four years ago.  Looking back, I can’t say how much I regret it. I was a huge douchebag back then. Because of what my friends and I did, we caused Will a lot of pain to the point where he had to move away.

 

Honestly, I didn’t know what came over me back then. Was it peer pressure? Or was it because I was so fed up with Will back then? I couldn’t really tell. It was just one of those moments I wish I could erase from my memory.

 

As I came closer to my house, I noticed the Lakewood boys playing a little soccer in their lawn. I stopped in surprise. Will playing soccer shocked the hell out of me. Well for one thing, he was really fast. He expertly dodged the incoming advances of Marco… or was that Blake? Ugh. Whoever!

 

I never saw this side of Will back then. All he was before was a geek and a nerd in my eyes. And now, he’s some sort of athlete. Jesus, I can’t imagine what else changed in him from that four year absence from Ridgemont.

 

I guess I didn’t notice I had my mouth open in shock when one of the twins hollered out to me.

 

“Tyler! Hahaha. Dude, what’s wrong? Never seen soccer before? Come over here!”

 

I made my way across the street, my hands tucked away in the pockets of my jeans. Once there, I sheepishly produced some sorry-looking wave of hello, “Hey… uhh…” I stammered not knowing if this twin in front of me was either Blake or Marco.

 

“Haha. It’s Marco. Blake’s the one who has the pierced ears, see?” Marco said as he pointed at his twin who was flashing his pierced ears to me. I nodded in agreement and kinda blushed from the embarrassment of this situation.

 

“So you wanna join us? We can do two-on-two?” Marco asked.

 

I briefly looked behind him to look at Will. He was all sweaty, with small drops of perspiration falling down on his face, which had a hardened expression. I could tell he didn’t want me to play… So I declined.

 

“Naah dude, maybe some other time,” I answered while pointing at my jeans, “Jeans isn’t probably the best thing to sweat in.”

 

The twins laughed in unison. I swear I’m still a bit creeped out with this whole twin synchronization thingy. Still I managed a chuckle.

 

“Well, we’re going to head inside now. Maybe some other time,” Blake said as he gave me an informal salute goodbye. The three of them proceeded to head inside.

 

I guess my conscience was kinda eating me from the inside, but I couldn’t delay this really late conversation with Will.

 

“Will, can I talk for you for a moment?” I asked. At that moment, I chucked my hands in my pockets once again, feeling sheepish about this.

 

Will abruptly stopped and turned around. He stared at me momentarily before turning his attention to his brothers. He gave them some sort of look, which caused them to smile and head inside. Once the twins were inside he started walking towards me, stopping about 3 feet from me.

 

“What do you want Tyler?” he asked as he crossed his arms, sweat still dripping down his forehead. He looked me right in the eye as he asked that, which made me look away in shame and guilt.

 

Once I gathered myself, I looked at him back in the eyes, “Look Will. I just want to say that I regret with all my heart what I did to you back then. Words cannot say how sorry I am, okay? If I could take back what I did to you, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I just want to forget about it and make sure you understand how incredibly sorry I am. I want to start fresh with you.”

 

After a few minutes of silence, Will looked away from me and murmured, “It’s… not that easy Tyler.”

 

“But why?! It’s been four years already. Can’t you find it in your heart already to forgive me?” I asked in frustration. I was desperate for his forgiveness just so I could finally let go of all this guilt.

 

Will looked back at me, his eyes sharp and deadly like daggers, “Look Tyler, you don’t have the right to tell me that I need to forgive you already! What you did to me was beyond awful! To this day I still can’t believe you were capable of doing that to me!”

 

I winced at his words. I don’t want to admit it, but they stung. Every single word. I had to look down. My emotions were actually beyond control at this point. I was angry, sad, pissed all at the same time. I wanted to punch or kick something so bad just to release this pent up aggression.

 

I hear Will sigh in front of me before he says, “I… I just need time okay?”

 

I looked up at his face and saw he had a forlorn expression. I just want him to be okay with me.

 

“So what happens now?” I asked as I crossed my arms.

 

Will closed his eyes for a moment, thinking. A few minutes passed before he opened his hazel eyes and looked at me, “You ignore me. I ignore you. It shouldn’t be too hard for you right Tyler? After all you seem to be pretty good at that all those years ago.” He turned around after that and made his way back to the house.

 

I was taken aback. I certainly didn’t see that coming. It wasn’t fair for him to use my behavior back then as an excuse. Can’t he see that I’ve changed? I’m really making an effort here for crying out loud!

 

I walked up to him, to prove him that things would be different, when he suddenly shut the front door in front of me. Fuck. Why was this so difficult?!? I was out here ready to do anything for this to be over and done with! And what does he want me to do? Ignore him? Should be easy for me? What kind of a rebuttal is that anyway? Damn it! Fuck this!

 

I stormed my way off the Lakewood property and made my way across the street towards my house. If leaving him alone will make him happy, then fine, I’ll leave him alone.

 

 

***

(Will’s POV)

 

“So what did you say to him?”

 

“Nothing much. Pretty much told him to buzz off, but you know, in a more subtle way. And don’t worry, I’m fine,” I said. I was currently in my bedroom, sprawled on the floor talking on the phone. I couldn’t really sit on my bed yet as it hasn’t been assembled yet as of yesterday. I mean the parts were in my room and all, but I just couldn’t concentrate enough to actually finish constructing it. Not after seeing Tyler Beaumont. No frickin’ way.

 

In case you’re wondering, I didn’t actually sleep on the floor. I slept on a sleeping bag on top of the floor. But it wasn’t a big improvement either. Haha.

 

“Will, are you sure you’re fine?” the receiver on the other end of the line asked me.

 

“Claire, I’m fine really,” I responded. I was talking to my friend Claire Gonzales on the phone. I figured she and I really needed to talk. After all, we haven’t seen each other or heard from each other for more than 4 years. As soon as I called her up, she squealed so loud over the transmitter, it made my ear ring for quite awhile. Then she took about half an hour being angry and pissed at me for not telling her I why I left. It took me the next half hour to explain myself.

 

Claire is actually one of the only two people I’ve told of what happened between me and Tyler back then. And let’s just say she didn’t take it very well. She went directly at Tyler’s house, slapped him in the front door and walked away. God, I fuckin’ love this girl.

 

“Hmm.. Okaaaayyy,” she said, skepticism clearly present in her voice, “Are you sure you didn’t leave because of what Tyler and his crew did to you?”

 

“Claire…” I sighed as I have no intention of repeating what I told her a couple of minutes ago.

 

“I get it. I get it. Sheesh. Just making sure,” Claire said.

 

Contrary to what everyone else believes, I did not move because of what happened four years ago. My dad received a very good job offer in LA that he had to move the entire family from one to coast to the other. He was doing pretty well at his job, gotten promoted and everything. The only problem was the company seemed to have been slapped a lawsuit and lost, deploying it into bankruptcy. With my dad jobless, we couldn’t really afford paying for our pretty expensive abode in LA. In the end, my dad contacted his old job here in Ridgemont and as luck would have it, they were happy enough to have him back. So in the end, we moved back down here.

 

Let me take this moment to re-iterate the fact that the move wasn’t because of Tyler Beaumont. I repeat, not because of Tyler Beaumont.

 

“So,” Claire started, “have you talked to Rocky yet?”

 

“Heck no. You know how he is with surprises. He’d most likely hang up on me over the phone,” I cringed in reply. Rocky was my other friend who I left in Ridgemont. He’s also the other person I told about what went down four years ago, “It’ll be better if I just speak to him in person tomorrow. That way, I can follow him around if he gets mad at me and avoids me.”

 

Claire laughed on the other end, “You’re probably right. That does sound like Rocky…” The next second, she became all dead serious again, “You do know what Rocky did when he found out you left right?”

 

“What? No! Oh my god. Did he do something to himself???” I asked, sitting up in panic. Shit. If Rocky did something harmful to himself, I don’t think I’d have the coura-

 

“Relax you doofus,” Claire laughed. How could she laugh at a time like this!? I was about to scold her when she continued, “Rocky’s fine! It was Tyler Beaumont that wasn’t!”

 

“Tyler??? What’s he got to do with this?”

 

“Well,” Claire started, “after Rocky heard of what Tyler did to you after you so infamously left, he kinda went up to him in school and clocked the lights out of your neighbor big time! I’m not kidding Will, it was a full blown fight!!!”

 

“Really? Rocky did that?” I asked her again, surprised Rocky was in a fight. It’s weird because he’s always been… well… cool and collected all of the time. I guess me leaving upset him really badly. Sigh. I need to make my apology good tomorrow. I could hear a faint “yeah” from the other end of the line. I guess Claire must be also surprised about Rocky’s behavior.

 

There was a few seconds of silence when I asked, “Is that what the school thinks?”

 

“Think about what?” Claire asked back, clearly not on the same page as I am.

 

“About why I left. Do they think it’s because of Tyler?”

 

“Well yeah. But you can set the record straight now that you’re back!”

 

“Claire… I’m not… going to do that.”

 

“Whaaaaat??” Claire shouted in surprise, causing me to hold the phone away from my ear. If this continues, I’m going to end up deaf tomorrow in school.

 

I thought it was over and was safe to put the phone back near my ear, when Claire shouted again, “Why not?!?” Jesus, calm down woman!

 

“I don’t wanna indulge the gossip mill of the school. I’d rather lay low rather than have the school talk about me,” I explained to her.

 

Claire snorted, “You do realize that the entire student body WILL be talking about you tomorrow regardless if you don’t talk to a single soul there.”

 

I rolled my eyes at the comment. What she said was true, but I didn’t want to aggravate the situation even more. “I know, but I’d rather have the school stop at my return and nothing more,” I said.

 

“Hmm.. Whatever Will. It’s your life… Tyler doesn’t know why you left, does he?”

 

“Of course not! He’s the last person on earth I’m going to tell!!!” I shouted over the phone.

 

“… I thought you weren’t going to tell anyone?” Oh my god. This girl is getting on my nerves. If she- “Will, I’m kidding okay? I know what’s going on in that head of yours. You need to lighten up. I’m serious. This is the type of shit that will make you age faster than normal.”

 

Her comment caused me to laugh out loud.

 

“But yeah,” I said, “you get the picture. I just can’t get over the fact that he did that to me, you know? And it was just my luck when I saw him yesterday in those stupid looking boardshorts and white shirt of his. I was watching him from the attic and he had the same stupid frickin’ smile plastered on his face as if nothing-” I suddenly stopped talking, noticing that the other end had gone eerily quiet.

 

“Uhhh… Claire? Are you still there?”

 

“… You still like him, don’t you Will” Claire asked.

 

It took me a few seconds to digest the question before answering, “Who Tyler? No I don’t!” with a snort in the end.

 

“Yes you do.”

 

“No I don’t!!!” I said. I snorted again at the thought of me liking Tyler… again.

 

“Will, we’ve been friends since preschool and whenever you lie, you kinda tend to make a sound afterwards. You snorting twice in a row confirms that,” she said.

 

I’m actually picturing Claire smiling over the phone as we speak. Sigh. She’s such a mind reader, I tell you.

 

“Just admit it Will,” Claire cooed.

 

“…. Fine. I still li-”

 

“I KNEW ITTT!” Claire screamed. I cringed once again. Its official: I’ll be deaf by tomorrow.

 

“Claire! Would you stop screaming!? You’re making my ears bleed!!!” I hissed.

 

“Sorry. Sorry!” she apologized, “But wow, I still can’t believe you still like him after what happened!”

 

I couldn’t believe it either. Tyler Beaumont did manage to make my life miserable and showed no remorse over what he did. Still, I couldn’t bare myself to hate him completely. Is it because of his sparkling, blue eyes? Or is it because of his golden locks of hair? Or was because we were actually friends at one point?

 

Yes, you heard that right. Tyler and I were friends before. He and I used to hang out during first grade right before fourth grade, where we kinda seemed to have nothing in common anymore. That was also the time when Jason Harrington moved into town.

 

“I know… it’s messed up,” I murmured over the phone.

 

“Will, it’s not… Okay maybe a little, but I think it’s cute you still like him after all this years.”

 

“Don’t you think it’s a bit pathetic I still like him after… you know?” I asked.

 

Claire gasped over the phone before answering, “William Lakewood! I don’t want you to ever hear you call yourself pathetic again okay? You are one of the smartest and most genuine kids who live around here. And believe me, there aren’t a lot of them!!!”

 

I couldn’t help but smile, “Thanks Claire. Problem is I’m still angry at him, but at the same time, I can’t help but like him. Does that make any sense?”

 

Claire took a moment before responding, “It does make sense… well a little. But you know, the heart’s a weird thing.”

 

“Oh god. You’re so fucking cheesy!” I said, laughing. At that moment, my door suddenly burst open and Blake’s head popped out of the corner.

 

“Hey, you up for some soccer outside? Marco wants to kick our sorry little asses again out there,” he said looking at me with a grin.

 

“Hey Claire,” I said over the phone, “I gotta go. I’ll see you tomorrow morning at school okay?”

 

“Sure. Rocky and I will be waiting at the corner of the library for you before the bell rings! BYE” Claire cheerfully responded before hanging up.

 

I hung up the phone and went to my still unpacked boxes to pull out some clothes for the game. I grabbed a Real Madrid jersey and some shorts because they were on the top of the pile. I was about to change when I noticed Blake was standing in the doorway, with a silly grin on his face.

 

“What are you smiling about? Do you mind? I’m going to change so we can play already,” I said.

 

“Why are you always so touchy whenever you have to go naked?” Blake smirked, “you do know you’re sexy right lil’ bro?”

 

“BLAAKE!!!” I shouted in embarrassment. I blushed a deep shade of red at his comment. I still find it weird whenever someone compliments me on my body. My brother just laughed, went inside to ruffle my hair a bit before going downstairs towards the lawn.

 

I rolled my eyes as he left my room. Now don’t take me wrong here. I love my brothers, I really do. It’s just sometimes they get a little bit… carried away? But then again, what older brother doesn’t?

 

As soon as I got downstairs, we headed straight to playing. Now it would be weird with just the three of us playing, after all, the team’s going to be pretty uneven. But in reality, it wasn’t all that difficult. Blake and I always team up because Marco was in the varsity back in LA and was good… really, really good. Even if there was two of us in the team, we still lose. Haha. Yeah, we’re losers I know.

 

We were playing for more than half an hour when I heard Marco suddenly scream, “Tyler! Hahaha. Dude, what’s wrong? Never seen soccer before? Come over here!”

 

My feet stopped abruptly as I looked at behind me and found Tyler Beaumont coming his way over to our house. Again. He was wearing a nifty green looking plaid shirt, jeans, and some sneakers. Fuck. Was he hot. I couldn’t help but stare at him, which Blake evidently noticed as he gave me his signature silly little grin. I shook my head. Ugh. Older brothers.

 

I turned my attention back to Marco and Tyler. Apparently Marco wanted Tyler to join in the game. I was miffed to say the least. I didn’t want anything to do with Tyler at this point. I’m still mad at him. And then I caught him looking at me. I wanted to make some smart-ass comment, but I decided to just let it go.

 

What he did next surprised me though. He actually declined to play with us. I never knew Tyler to be the type to turn down a challenge into anything since… well, forever.

 

“Well, we’re going to head inside now. Maybe some other time,” I heard Blake say to him before he proceeded to go inside with Marco.

 

I followed their lead when I suddenly hear Tyler saying, “Will, can I talk for you for a moment?” That caused me to stop right then and there. I turned around to look at him. And I mean really take a good look at him. I looked for some sort of sign in his face of what this might entail and all I could see was doubt and possibly a hint of fright. I looked back at the twins and gave them my get-lost-look they know all so well. They smiled at me before leaving me and Tyler alone outside in the lawn.

 

Once my brothers were inside, I walked towards Tyler, but stopped a couple feet away from him. After all, I didn’t know if he was going to be rough about this or something.

 

“What do you want Tyler?” I asked him as I crossed my hands, trying to show him I was still pissed at him. He looked away from me. Good. He’s guilty.

 

It took him quite a few seconds, but eventually he looked back at me in the eyes and said, “Look Will. I just want to say that I regret with all my heart what I did to you back then. Words cannot say how sorry I am, okay? If I could take back what I did to you, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I just want to forget about it and make sure you understand how incredibly sorry I am. I want to start fresh with you.”

 

I blinked my eyes. I really didn’t expect Tyler Beaumont to apologize, not this way. All this time I was expecting some measly apology that would make me easily hate him later on, but no. I could see in his eyes how truly remorseful he was. I just had to look away.

 

“It’s… not that easy Tyler,” I said. After all, what the hell I was supposed to say? I couldn’t think of anything at that moment. No proper response. No smart rebuttal. None whatsoever.

 

“But why?! It’s been four years already. Can’t you find it in your heart already to forgive me?” Tyler asked again, this time a bit of forcefulness present in his voice. That kinda set me off quite a bit.

 

“Look Tyler, you don’t have the right to tell me that I need to forgive you already! What you did to me was beyond awful! To this day I still can’t believe you were capable of doing that to me!” I shouted at him, my eyes gleaming with venom. I saw him wince from what I said. And for the second time, Tyler surprised because he was biting his lip. He was holding back his feelings, I could tell.

 

I sigh at my own conflicted emotions before saying, “I… I just need time okay?”

 

“So what happens now?” he asks right back as he crossed his arms.

 

I closed my eyes. I needed to think. What I really want to say was that it was going to be alright and that I wanted a fresh start too. But it was more complicated than that. There was still a part of my heart that couldn’t get over his betrayal four years ago. And I don’t think I could take anymore drama he might bring in my life considering we’re in high school where every corner is filled with it.

 

I wasn’t thinking clearly when I suddenly opened my eyes to look at him and responded, “You ignore me. I ignore you. It shouldn’t be too hard for you right Tyler? After all you seem to be pretty good at that all those years ago.” I turned around and made my way back into the house.

 

At that point, I was getting pretty emotional. I didn’t mean to sound so harsh, but Tyler would be better without me meddling in his life. He doesn’t need someone like me. His life would be a lot easier without me. That way he didn’t have to endure whatever insults might come if I do decide to become friends with him again. I know I’m mad at him, but seeing his face in pain like that. God. That brought me to my knees.

 

I quickly shut the door behind me as I wiped my eyes clean. Sorry for being overly dramatic, but I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve.

 

“Did he finally ask you out?”

 

I turned around to see Blake and Marco staring at me with identical grins. When they saw my face however, their grins disappeared.

 

“Will, what’s wrong?” Blake asked as he and Marco both approached me.

 

I shook my head and said it was nothing.

 

“Did that son of a bitch do this to you?” Marco asked, “I’m gonna beat the living daylight out of this creep!!”

 

He was about to turn the handle of the front door when I grabbed his arm. He looked at me, still angry and told him to let it go. He softened up after that and hugged me tightly afterwards. “It’s his loss, you know,” he said as he looked at me in the eyes, love present in his.

 

“Do you wanna talk about it?” Blake asked. He also gave me a hug.

 

I pulled away and shook my head. I forced a smile trying to tell them that it wasn’t a big deal. Afterwards, I decided to head back upstairs to my room. In the corner of my eye, I saw Blake stop Marco from following me. I smiled at the gesture as he felt I wanted to be alone right now, which was true. God. Do I need to be alone right now.

 

Back at Ridgemont, I’ve walked away from Tyler Beaumont twice already. Hopefully this time, it’s for good.

 

TBC

Advertisements