A Departure

May. 4th, 2011 07:35 pm
manicdak: (pic#660572)
[personal profile] manicdak
Title: A Departure
Prompt: Wrong Number
Rating: PG
Series: This Thing That Happened This One Time
Content Summary/Notes/Warnings: It’s the silent treatment all around.




It would have been easy for Amos to ignore the ringing of his phone in the midst of his own party. He didn’t even have to look at the caller ID to know who it was. He wanted no part of Jared nor his hollow apologies -- if he even made an attempt at an apology at all.

Despite Amos’s best intentions, he found himself gravitating away from the crowd near the snacks toward his answering machine on the kitchen counter. He waited for the ringing to end and for the machine to click on, then cringed a little at hearing his own voice. The beep was followed by a long silence and finally the click of a phone being placed back on the receiver.

He let out a puff of breath that he hadn’t been aware that he’d been holding. He could have been relieved that no message had been left, but he had the nagging feeling that it was more like crushing disappointment.

Amos grit his teeth and shook his head. It was his party, and he was absolutely not going to cry again. He was so intent on keeping his emotions in check that he jumped when he felt a hand come to rest upon his shoulder. He whirled around and came face to face with Terrance “Righty” Tyler.

“You scared me!” Amos said.

“My bad,” Tyler replied. “You’re not going to talk to him?”

Amos grunted in dismay and gestured toward his machine with a shrug.

“No message. I guess it was a wrong number.”

Tyler arched an eyebrow at him.

“You know your caller ID shows up on your television, right? Some of us are watching the game over there.”

“Fuck. I knew it was a bad idea to get that feature,” Amos muttered.

“So call him back?”

“No,” Amos said. He gazed down at his hands. “I made up my mind. I really don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“Do you want me to talk to him?” Tyler offered. “Maybe I can get him to talk to my dads?”

“No,” Amos said. “I just need to be away from him right now. Jerk can’t even leave a message, so screw him. He can figure his shit out without me.”

“Maybe he wanted to speak to you in person though? Before you go?” Tyler wondered out loud. “I mean, he knows your going away party is tonight. Maybe he just wanted to say goodbye?”

Amos barked out a short laugh then he patted Tyler on the shoulder.

“It’s nice of you to give your friend the benefit of the doubt, but it’s not that easy for me. Do you know how many hang ups I’ve gotten since that night? He’s being absolutely ridiculous. He somehow can’t bring himself to speak to me right now despite calling me all the damn time. If or when he grows the balls to say words, I know it will just be another late night drunken booty call. I’m done with that, Righty. Don’t you think I deserve better?”

“Yeah.” Tyler hung his head. “You do.”

“Yeah, I do,” Amos said. “So, if you want to give Jared a message for me, you can tell him that I’m way too old for this shit. Okay?”

Tyler nodded.

“Look,” Amos said as he noted the worried expression on his friend’s face.

“You don’t have to do that. I’m not putting you in the middle of this shit storm, and don’t you dare try to take it on yourself to fix things.”

“Alright, man,” Tyler agreed.

They stood in awkward silence for a moment, before being interrupted by a very intoxicated Llewelyn Jones. He stumbled into their midst and nearly plowed into Tyler, who had to prop him up to keep him from falling over completely.

“Where’s your boyfriend?” Amos asked.

“Pascht out. Lightweight,” Llewelyn murmured as he threw his hand up in an attempt to point Wes out but actually looked more like he was waving at the ceiling.

Llewelyn snuggled closer and circled his arms around an amused Tyler as Amos scanned the room. He found Wes curled up on the sofa, soundly asleep, snoring, and surrounded by their girl friends from the school of art.

“See,” Llewelyn said as he watched. “He schtill gets all the ladies.”

“Where did you find this guy?” Tyler said as he laughed, his hand rested easily upon Llewelyn’s shoulder as he began to sing-song the nick-name “Righty” while absently playing with the buttons on Tyler’s jersey.

“Ohio.” Amos shook his head.

“Oh, well.. C’mon, little dude.” Tyler shook Llewelyn out of his trance, propped him up and pointed him back towards the television.

“Let’s go watch the game. The Giants are winning.”

“Yes!” Llewelyn stood straight up and shook Tyler’s hands away.

“Really? You like baseball too?” Tyler said.

“No. Baseball is boring,” Llewely replied. “But heaven knows I love a man in uniform. Am I right?”

He nodded at Amos, his irrepressible grin surfacing and his laugh ringing out loudly across the room.

“I’m just lucky one my closescht friends somehow manages to befriend like, nintely perschent of the jock poputation at this school.”

Llewelyn flailed at the group that was shouting at the television in the corner.

“You’re exaggerating,” Tyler said. “The soccer team barely counts.”

“Ooo, fightin’ words!” Llewelyn giggled. “Don’t let the Briar hear you say that.”

“He’s right,” Amos spoke up. “I’m definitely not friends with all of them.”

He glanced back at the answering machine. His eyes narrowed, his jaw tightened, and his lips were drawn in a thin, hard line.

“Hey.” Tyler reached his free hand out and briefly touched Amos’s arm to grab his attention while attempting to ignore the persistent tugging that Llewelyn was engaged in with his opposite sleeve.

“You should talk to him,” Tyler said.

Amos held his hand up and shook his head.

“Let it go, Righty. At least I got to keep one friend out of this whole mess.”

“Yeah,” Tyler said.

“And you’ll visit me in San Francisco?”

“Absolutely!”

Tyler gave him a thumbs up before he was forced to acknowledge Llewelyn who had begun to whine “Let’s Go!” repeatedly in his ear while pulling urgently on his arm with both hands.

“Alright, Lyn. I’m coming!”

“...In the immortal words of my boyfriend!” Llewelyn giggled as he finally managed to lead Tyler away.

Tyler gave Amos one last look over his shoulder as he went, mouthing ‘CALL HIM’ and making a phone shape with his hand that he pressed over his ear.

Amos shrugged in return and moved his gaze back toward the answering machine. He sighed again, played the empty message that had been left, and deleted it from the memory. He could only wish that Jared could be deleted from his own memory just as easily.

***

Jared sat at his bench in the locker room staring out into space attempting to register the voice on the other end of the phone.

“Who is this?” she said.

“Who is this?” He replied after a moment’s silence.

“This is Elanor. Who is this?”

“Who’s Elanor?” he murmured with a frown.

He knew he hadn’t dialed the wrong number. He wasn’t sure when it had happened, but at some point he had replaced his mother on the speed dial with Amos Grant. He couldn’t process a reason for a pre-programmed number to be wrong.

“Who is this?” she spoke the question again in a more irritated sounding voice. “You called me.”

“Where’s Amos?”

“Amos? Who’s Amos? I think you have the wrong number, guy,” she replied.

“No. That’s not possible,” he said. “He just... You’re covering for him right? Just tell him I’m sorry, and give him the phone.”

“I’m sorry,” she said in a more understanding tone. “I just got this number. Maybe he had it last? There’s no Amos here though. I’m sorry.”

“No, I’m sorry,” he muttered. “I’m really sorry. Just tell him I called...” He trailed off and hung up the phone before she could answer.

He sat there on the bench until Terrance Tyler rounded a corner and found him there staring at his cell phone. Tyler took one look at the inconsolable look in Jared’s face before attempting to tip-toe away in the opposite direction.

“You knew about this didn’t you? You knew that he changed his number,” Jared said without looking away.

“I...” Tyler paused, sighed then sat down beside his friend.

“I do not know what you are talking about,” he finally replied.

“Don’t lie,” Jared growled. “I get that he didn’t want to talk to me then, but I held off just like you said. I didn’t call him for a whole fucking month and he’s changed his number.”

“Just give it time,” Tyler said. “He’ll be back in the fall. Maybe then...”

“Fuck that!” Jared growled. He cocked his arm as if he were going to hurl his phone into the nearby locker but instead just let it fall from his hand where it clattered upon the concrete floor. He glared at the offending piece of electronics then stood up from his seat.

“Let’s just go, okay?” he grumbled as he grabbed his glove from his locker, an action which caused a second one to spill out onto the floor.

“Hey! My old glove!” Tyler spoke up. A sudden wave of nostalgia hit him and he smiled. His smile turned quickly into a frown once he caught the incensed look on Jared’s face.

“The one you gave to Amos,” he said solemnly. “Look, man, I didn’t mean...”

“It’s fine,” Jared said. He leaned over and picked up the glove then tossed it in Tyler’s general direction.

“You can have it back. I don’t think we’re going to be needing it anymore.”
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