Kieran sat on his bed, half-dressed with his shirt laying beside him. He stared into the mirror in front of him (which he usually covered with a sheet). What am I doing?
His phone, sitting across from him on the bed, started to buzz. He ignored it, for a moment, then reached for it. Finn was calling him. He answered it.
“Hi! How are you?”
“I’ve been trying to reach you for a while.”
“Ah, yeah,” Kieran said. He could vaguely remember how many texts and calls he ignored.
“Anyways, do you want to hang out or something? I’m off work.”
“I… have a date,” he said, uncomfortable with the phrase.
“Oh. Want to make it a double date?”
“I bring my date, you bring yours. We go as a group.”
“Oh,” he said. He stared at himself in the mirror. “Sure.”
Kieran and Liadan walked into the noisy restaurant, looking for Finn. He emerged from a group of tables on the right.
“Hey guys! We’re over here,” Finn said, waving his arm towards the right.
They followed him through the chairs and tables until they reached a booth at the back. Bianca sat on the inside, and took notice of Kieran and Liadan. She got up from her seat to meet them.
“Kieran, I didn’t expect you’d be bringing Liadan!” Finn said with a laugh.
“Yes…” Bianca said, staring at Liadan.
“Er, yeah,” Kieran said, awkwardly.
“Do you mind if I talk to my sister for a moment?” Bianca asked.
“Thanks,” she said, taking her sister off by the arm. Kieran and Finn sat down at the booth.
“Bee seemed a bit mad. Wonder why that is?” Finn said.
Kieran stared at the menu in front of him, silent, waiting for Liadan and Bianca to return. I thought this would help. It’s just making it worse.
“Ah, there they are.”
Liadan and Bianca returned, and Kieran stood up to let Liadan into the booth. Kieran sat facing Bianca, who stared at him for a moment.
“So, when did you two get together?” Finn asked.
“A few days ago; Kieran asked me out when I came home to watch the Bruins game,” Liadan answered.
“Ahh. So, things worked out for you after all, Kieran?”
“Huh?” Kieran said, looking up.
“That night, you said there was someone you liked.”
“Oh. Yeah,” Kieran answered.
The conversation drifted around, held mostly by Finn and Liadan, with the occasional input from Bianca. Kieran focused his attention elsewhere, his chest tightening. His head pounded faintly.
“I’ll be right back,” he said, standing up from his seat and heading to the bathroom. A man walked past him, and he pushed open the door of the men’s room. He walked to the sink, placing his hands down and staring into the bowl. He ran the water and splashed his face, staring down as it dripped.
He took a breath and looked up into the mirror. His hand reached towards the glass, resting on its cold surface. I just want to break it. He exhaled and slid his hand off, turning to the dispenser on the wall. He dried his face and left the bathroom. Liadan stood outside the door.
“What?” he asked her, standing in front of the door. A man walked toward him, and he stepped out of the way.
“You don’t have to do this.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I know you don’t like me,” Liadan said. He had no response.
“I’m not offended or anything. I just don’t think you should do this to yourself.”
“What am I ‘doing’?”
“Lying. And, don’t get me wrong, I know I shouldn’t have agreed to it in the first place…” she said. “But, let’s just quit while we’re ahead.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“You don’t know what I do and don’t know,” Liadan said, firmly.
“Then, what? What do you know?”
“I know about Finn.”
“Bianca told me, unintentionally.”
Kieran froze. His heart rate quickened.
“I… have to go,” he said, walking off towards the exit.
“Kieran!” Liadan called. He moved faster. He threw open the doors, and felt the cold wash over him as his feet took him away.
New year, new Drawing -
4 weeks ago