“Erm..Tommy? Is everything ok?” Apollo asked, looking up from his book.
“I’m fine.” His eyes never left the textbook in front of him.
“Well, when you asked me to come and study with you, I thought you know, we’d actually study together.”
“Well, sometimes we say things that we don’t mean, right?” Tommy slammed the book shut and looked at Apollo.
“Uhm….?” Apollo was confused. He tried to rack his brain for a reason why Tommy was acting this way. Tommy and Katherine had both been avoiding him for a few days. He thought that it was better for them to cool off after everything that happened this past week. He was sure Katherine was mad at him for telling Tommy, but why Tommy was upset was a mystery to him.
“You know, when you say that you care about someone, you should mean it right?”
“Are you implying something? I don’t get it.”
“Of course you don’t, because you think I’m an idiot. You think that you can just lie to me, and tell me what I want to hear. I’m tired of that crap Apollo. I hated when people said things that they thought would make me happy. They say ignorance is bliss, but how happy can you be if you’re living a lie?”
“Who’s lying to you, Tommy? What are you saying?”
“I know all about you and Katherine. She never loved me Apollo! She’s in love with you and always has been! You guys kissed before we even came here and you knew she was dating me! Why wouldn’t you tell me ahead of time, if you really cared about me? Was it all just a sick joke to you? If you tell me that you’re my friend, do you think it’ll be easier to get with Katherine?”
“Tommy…” Apollo felt his stomach drop. Why did he think that he could get away with not telling Tommy? He wanted to, he really did but when was the right time? He should have been more considerate to his friend’s feelings. “I…Katherine and I did kiss, I was just talking to her about it when I confronted her about Damian. She said it was to make me feel better because my grandmother had just died, which even I felt was a load of crap. If Katherine has loved me all this time, I didn’t know about it. She’s always said she loved you, and I would never ever do anything to jeopardize our friendship. I already lost you once…”
“Shut up!” Tommy shouted. “You’re so good at lying. You expect me to believe that you just looked the other way when I was with Katherine? You knew she loved you because she kissed you. You’re a freaking man, you don’t think that I don’t know you guys didn’t do anything? You could take full advantage!”
“You know what? You’re right. I could take advantage, but I didn’t! Why would I do that? You think some sort of physical pleasure means more to me than my friendships? All I had for ten years was my mom and my friends! Nobody knows how important those bonds are more than me.”
“You’re such a tool Apollo. I don’t want to hear it. You should have told me if I meant that much to you. I thought we were bros.” Apollo felt a pang of guilt as he watched Tommy walk off. Would their relationship ever recover?
“Damnit!” Apollo cursed under his breath. “What did I do?”
Apollo knew that Tommy wouldn’t speak to him, at least not today. He took his time returning to the dorm to avoid any hostile situations. Tommy wasn’t a violent person, but he was seething, and anger made people crazy.
“You’re back pretty late,” A deep voice said.
“You’re never here at this time, how would you know?” Apollo muttered to Damian. Damian ignored Apollo’s rhetorical question. Apollo sluggishly dragged his feet across the floor and tossed his bag across the room to his bed. “If she was flirting with you, why is he mad at me?” Apollo asked angrily. He didn’t even mean to confront Damian, he just needed a way to get his feelings out in the open.
“Is Tommy mad at you?” Damian furrowed his brow.
“Yes, he’s furious because I never told him that Katherine and I kissed before we came to university. I don’t have feelings for Katherine in any way, yet he insists I was trying to get with her while they were dating or something. I don’t know why Katherine would even tell him about us in the first place, while he was already upset about everything!”
“It wasn’t Katherine,” Damian said sullenly. “There’s someone in this dormitory trying to exploit all of us, well…exploit you really and he’s going to do that by targeting everyone you care about.”
“Please just tell me what you mean,” Apollo sat on the floor by Damian. “I can’t take any more riddles today.”
“Let’s just say that your family is really important to the future. How do you stop the future from enhancing? You destroy the person who makes it happen and it’s someone in your bloodline. By screwing up the timeline now, there will be no chance of a utopian future.”
“Future? Timelines? Why are you talking like that, as if you can see the future?”
Damian was about to say something but he quickly shut his mouth. He couldn’t reveal anymore than he already had to Apollo, it would expose him for who he truly was and that would give Mason the upper hand. “Forget all that. It’s just something I was theorizing on. Fantasy. The person who told Tommy about you and Katherine was Mason. You need to watch out for him. For whatever reason, you’re his target and he won’t hesitate to strike those around you. That includes Tommy, Katherine and Lynette.”
“Mason, what would he have against me?” Apollo frowned. “Why do I have a target on my head? I’ve been a good person all of my life.” He sighed.“Thank you for telling me about all of this. I’m just going to pretend like you and Katherine aren’t a thing though because it’s kind of weird.”
“I’m not even going to ask.“ Apollo leaned back against the wall and shut his eyes. Tommy, Katherine and Mason were all mad at him. At least he could count on his roommate, no matter how strange he was.
The dorms were empty for the next few days. It was strange but maybe it was better that way. Everyone was on edge. Apollo had other things to worry about, like constructing his final project. He was a business major and he had to present his class with a five point plan. He had been neglecting it because of everything going on, but he put his foot down last night and pulled an all-nighter. He only got a few hours of sleep but his teacher loved his project. That was one less thing for him to worry about.
“Apollo, I really think you’ll make a fantastic worker in the business field. You should really think about an internship this summer. I know it’s months away, but it would be a great experience for you. Just think about it.” His teacher smiled at him.
“Thank you, I’ll definitely look into it.”
Despite the praise, Apollo still didn’t feel so good. His heart hurt. He longed for friendships and acceptance. It seemed like people were always leaving and coming back into his life. Why couldn’t they just stay for good?
Apollo trudged his feet into the dormitory not expecting to see anyone. It was still pretty dead. it made sense, it was a Friday night and everyone was out partying, something Apollo could not find himself getting into at all.
“Hey, long time no see.” A familiar voice reached his ears.
“Oh, hey Lyn. Whats up?”
“Something the matter?” She frowned at him.
“Kind of. Do you have a minute to talk?”
“I have an entire night if that’s what will get you smiling again.Whats wrong?” She asked.
“Tommy and I got into a huge fight. He broke up with Katherine and –“
“Hold on,” Lynette cut him off. “I think you should tell me about your relationship to them from the beginning. I think it’ll be better for me to understand.”
“Right,” Apollo nodded, remembering his promise to her. He explained everything from the time they first met until what had happened just a few days ago. He felt a weight being lifted off his shoulders. He was happy to have finally told someone how he really felt.
“I think that Tommy needs some time. I don’t know him too well, you know I’m only his step-sister, but any human being would be hurt or offended by being lied to, even you.”
“I know, but it still hurts my pride and just in general. I feel like I keep losing people, they come back eventually, but what about the time in between?”
“I think Tommy got so mad because he cares. When someone cares they get upset when they think someone betrayed their trust. It’s hard for people to trust one another especially if they’ve gone through something like Tommy has.”
“I guess you’re right. Maybe it’s best to keep my distance for now.” He let out a long sigh. “How about you? I don’t mean to drag you down with my problems. How have you been?”
“Hmm, I don’t know if I can top your emotional story but, I did get asked out by this cute graduate student. The reason I’ve been out of the dormitory a lot is because we’ve been going on dates. He’s really sweet.”
“Oh, that’s cool. Do I know him?”
Her face lit up. “It’s Mason! Do you remember orientation? We connected from the beginning. Now we’re seeing each other. I think he’s going to ask me to be his girlfriend can you believe it?”
Apollo thought back to what Damian had told him the other night. Mason was out to get him and in order to do that he’d take out everyone close to him. At first he thought Damian was a bit strange, but it suddenly started to make sense. Mason told Tommy about Apollo’s kiss with Katherine and now he was asking Lynette out. This meant bad news. He didn’t know the validity of Damian’s claims but he didn’t want to take any chances. Not now. “I don’t think that’s a good idea, Lynette.”
“Why not?” She leaned towards him.
“He’s so much older than you. Not all guys are on your side you know?” Apollo tried to choose his words carefully.
“I appreciate your concern Apollo, I really do, but I’m an adult so I think I can make my own decisions about who I see. I’ll talk to you in the morning, I’m heading to bed.” She got up to leave and began to walk away.
“Lyn, wait!” He called after her.