Never Say Forever

That evening, Kaleah threw on some sweatpants and decided to sort through some of her stuff. If she was going to move out, she would only want to bring the stuff she absolutely could not live without. It was bad enough hauling all of her junk from California. Kaleah made an awful lot of noise as she sifted through books and pottery in the shelves in the basement.
“Wow you’re loud!” Sam complained as he lugged himself out of his bedroom towards the bathroom.
“Sorry.” Kaleah apologized sarcastically. “It’s like 6:00…didn’t know I had a noise curfew.” Sam rolled his eyes and kept walking towards the bathroom. “Sam, I’m leaving.” Kaleah half yelled. Sam paused in his tracks and slowly turned towards her.


“What do you mean?” He asked after a short pause. “You’re going back home?”
“No…” Kaleah spoke softly. “I’m just moving out…into one of Jocasta’s other rentals.”
“But…why?” Sam could hardly grasp what he was hearing. He slowly inched towards her. Kaleah didn’t know what to say.


“I promise I will stop arguing with you...” Sam negotiated desperately.
“Sam, it’s hardly about that.” Kaleah was finally able to say. “This living situation is just not working out. It never really did…we are the worst roommates and, in recent events, barely even friends.”
“Kaleah, don’t say that. This is just something we had to work through…”
“Sam, stop!” Kaleah almost hollered. “You can’t convince me otherwise. I’ve made my decision and I’m sticking to it. Tyrell pulled the strings and…”
“Wait a minute…” Sam expression slowly grew angry.

“He’s jealous of me!” Sam hollered. “He has you convinced that I’m out to get you and you’re buying into it! I bet this was all his idea!”
“Don’t even go there, Sam!” Kaleah hollered back.
“Well, was it his idea or not?” Sam asked.
“Yes, it was his idea, but only because of how upset you made me!” Kaleah snapped. “You can’t just leave me here unexpectedly and come back to find me perfectly accepting to you again! You can’t just show up after 3 weeks and assume I’m going to melt in your arms! Tyrell was here when you weren’t and he’s still here now.”


“You think that he did this to make you feel better?! Kaleah! Open your naïve eyes! He doesn’t want you living with another man! He is secretly a freak and you’re too scared to admit that!” Sam snapped back.
“He is not secretly a freak!”
“Just like Hank wasn’t?” Sam smirked.
“Shut up, Sam! Hank and Tyrell are two different people! How dare you try and compare them!”
“How dare you try to compare me to Tyrell!? Sure he was here while I was gone, but who was there for you with that whole Hank thing? You forgave you after sleeping with his best friend? Who came back for you? I could’ve stayed in Boston and not have gone through all of the trouble I went through. I could’ve went and visited my mom. I could’ve stayed with Brianne! I came back specifically for you! And now you’re just leaving me?” Sam turned and started towards the stairs.


“You know…Tyrell and I aren’t that different. You were blinded by both of us…the only difference is that you haven’t realized that with Tyrell yet.” Sam said one last time before disappearing upstairs.


An hour went by before Kaleah heard another set of footsteps descending the stairs. Even without looking, she knew they weren’t Sams.
“I brought some boxes for you, hun! They’re upstairs in the kitchen.” Tyrell spoke as he entered the room. It only took him a few moments before he realized something was not right.

“K?” He asked slowly.
“What?” Kaleah responded.
“Are you okay?” Tyrell grew concerned and went to sit on the couch next to her.
“I’m fine…totally…fine.


“I can tell you’re not being honest…” Tyrell teased.
“I don’t know if this is such a good idea…” Kaleah interrupted. “I mean, I haven’t even thought it through! What if I have an even worse roommate in my new place? What if I can’t fit my wall-unit through the front door? Will I have room to paint? What if I want a dog?” Tyrell started laughing.
“Angel, please calm down. It’s okay! You’re just over thinking it, now.” He said. Kaleah turned her head the other way.


“I don’t think I should do this. Maybe I should just stay and work things out with Sam. I mean…friends can fight. Friends can makeup, also.” Kaleah said. Tyrell looked at the ground. Suddenly, the situation he was laughing at moments ago wasn’t so funny anymore. He took a deep breath before responding.
“Look, Kaleah. I don’t want to sound…weird…or anything but…I can’t have you living here. I mean, I don’t want to control you and I sure as hell don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t associate myself with drama of any kind. This situation here…”
“It doesn’t have to be drama. I won’t let it be.” Kaleah interrupted.
“As long as he’s living with you, sweetheart, there will always be drama.” Tyrell grinned. “Consider that before you make any final decision.”

Tyrell embraced Kaleah into a tight hug.
“You know my position…please keep that in mind when you’re trying to decide.” Tyrell whispered into her ear before letting go and walking away

The next morning, Kaleah went straight to her easel to paint. She always did that when she was upset. It soothed her. It wasn’t long, though, until her relaxation period got interrupted.
“Kaleah!” Sam hollered as he ran up the stairs. Kaleah didn’t respond, but instead rolled her eyes and kept on painting as if she didn’t hear. “Kaleah! There you are!” Sam continued as he joined her on the balcony.
“What do you want, Sam?”
“What are you doing? Why aren’t you packing?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know if I want to pack.”
“Well I’m not doing it for you. And movers cost a ton…”
“Sam!” Kaleah slammed her pallet down and took a deep breath. “You’re an idiot.” She said softly.

“Um…thank you?” Sam was confused.
“Do you not realize what you’ve done?” Kaleah asked, looking up into the sky as she waited for a response.
“No?” Sam grew even more confused.
“You’ve ruined everything. You’ve planted a stupid seed in my head and it’s only grown bigger and bigger into this giant…thing…taking over my brain!”
“Kaleah…I don’t understand your metaphors. I’m a guy…being blunt is the only way I understand.” Sam said lightly. Kaleah turned quickly to face him.


“Don’t you get it?” Kaleah laughed without humor.
“No…that’s why I’m confused…”
“Everything you said last night has me totally convinced that I’m making the wrong decision! I was set on moving out and then now…now I’m just confused. Moving out is the right thing to do…but it feels wrong. I want to do it…but I don’t…all at the same time. And it’s all thanks to the way you made me feel last night.”
“There’s nothing you can say now that will change that!” Kaleah began to walk away.


“Kaleah! Why do you want to move out in the first place?” Sam hollered after her.
“To get as far away from you as possible. But I don’t want to move out because I don’t want to be away from you at all, either.” She said over her shoulder as she made way to her bedroom. Sam let what Kaleah said sink in for a few moments before running after her

“Kaleah…” He said through heavy breaths once he caught up.
“Sam, go away! This is hard enough, I don’t want to be around you…” Kaleah said reluctantly. “All you’ve done is make my life full of drama and hurt since I moved here.”
“Then why are you looking at me like that? If that’s true…what’s keeping you here?”
“You’re my best friend.” Kaleah said slowly.


Sam stepped closer to Kaleah—almost too close.
“If…that’s the way you feel, K…then stay. Please?” Sam spoke in almost a whisper. Kaleah felt like she was melting in his soft voice. “I don’t want you to leave me.”


Sam got even closer. He tried to grab her hand and nuzzle his face into her neck. Kaleah allowed it, but only for a few short seconds. She quickly snapped out of her trance and pushed Sam away in once easy thrust.


“What!” Sam asked quickly.
“How dare you touch me! How dare you even think about touching me! I’m with someone.”
“I know, I know…I’m sorry. I got caught up in the moment.” Sam pleaded.
“I care about Tyrell, okay!? He’s sweet and he’s sensitive and endearing. He knows how to treat me right and there’s never anything to fight about! We have normal, calm conversations and can trust each other with anything! Okay?! He’s perfect for me! He’s perfect…absolutely perfect…” Kaleah finally paused and caught her breath. There was a short moment of silence before Sam started giggling. Kaleah glared. “What? What the hell would be funny about any of that?” She snapped.
“Are you trying to convince me…or are you trying to convince yourself that he’s perfect for you?” Sam shook his head and didn’t allow Kaleah to reply before he turned around and walked back out of Kaleah’s bedroom.

Once the client was out of site, Maggie stepped into Kaleah’s quarters.
“Kaleah…” She said, disappointedly.
“Maggie!” Kaleah grunted. “I am so sorry…I’ll stay focussed on my next appointment, I swear!”
“Never in the fifteen years that I have worked here have I seen a costumer walk out on an appointment before. Well…I’ve seen it with Tommy’s clients but that’s because they get scared and run away.” Maggie giggled.
“Well tattoo needles are intimidating.” Kaleah giggled back.
“Want to talk about it?” Maggie asked in reference to the recent event. Kaleah nodded. “Let’s go outside.”


Once Kaleah and her boss got comfortable on a bench outside of the salon, Kaleah filled Maggie in on everything she was going through.
“It’s all so confusing! On one hand, I have this great guy that I’ve known for 3 short weeks. He’s perfect in every way, but he wants me to move out of the house I’m living in because I live with a man. On the other hand, I have this other great guy who has been my best friend since I moved here and generally there for me through every hard time I’ve had! I can’t have both. If I move out, I have Tyrell and Sam will guaranteed never speak to me again.” Kaleah complained.
“And you don’t want that…” Maggie asked, intently.
“No, not at all!”
“How do you feel about never talking to Tyrell again?”
“Well…it makes me sad…”
“…But not gut wrenching like how you feel about not speaking to Sam ever again.” Maggie smiled. “I think you know what you need to do.”

“He’s going to break up with me.” Kaleah said, sadly. “I don’t know how well I’m going to take that.”
“I don’t think that matters at this point, honey. Either way, you’re hurting somebody. Isn’t that bad enough without you being selfishly more concerned with how well you will take it?”
“I guess you’re right.”
“Good. Now…go do what you got to do. I’ve already had Tommy cancel your appointments for this afternoon. Everything will be okay.” Maggie smiled one last time before going back inside the salon to finish up her work.


Kaleah called Tyrell to find out where he was. He was in the meadow across the street from his house practising a song he wrote. He asked Kaleah to join him, as he wanted her to hear it. She watched him from afar before she approached him. He was so cute—so perfect—playing in the cutest of sceneries. The song he was playing was melodic—slow, sensitive, and endearing—qualities he, himself, possessed intently.


“That tune…” Kaleah said as she approached him. “…it’s beautiful. What is it?”
“It’s called My Lullaby.” Tyrell spoke softly through the cords he played so gracefully. Kaleah watched his fingers strum the strings.
“It’s beautiful.” Kaleah repeated, not looking away from Tyrell’s fingers. “I love it.” Tyrell giggled quickly.
“I’m glad.” He said. “I wrote it for you.” Kaleah quickly looked up at Tyrell’s gaze.


“Tyrell…” Kaleah sighed. “Please put the guitar down. We need to talk.”
“No, let me finish the song first. You’re going to love the end verse…”
“Tyrell, please. No more.” Tyrell looked concerned as he propped his guitar up against the table behind him and watched as Kaleah’s saddened eyes came closer to him.


Tyrell tried to hold Kaleah’s hands but Kaleah wouldn’t let him.
“No, Tyrell.”
“Angel…” Tyrell was confused. “What’s the matter?”
“Before you touch me or hold me or kiss me…I need to tell you something important. I can’t have you acting all sweetly to me and clouding my judgement. One man in my head is bad enough…” Kaleah said.
“Okay…is everything okay?” Tyrell asked.


“I’m not moving out.” Kaleah said quickly. “I am so sorry, Tyrell! I really am. As much as it pains me to hurt you by staying there, it pains me just as much to leave my best friend behind. As much as we had chemistry that ended up breaking my heart, and as much as we fight and argue and yell and scream…he’s the first person I knew here and I’m not about to give up that friendship to make you feel comfortable. I just can’t do it.”


Tyrell smiled and took Kaleah’s small, shaky hands in his.
“I saw this coming.” He said, softly.
“You did?” Kaleah asked, confused.
“It’s no secret how much you mean to each other. And I’m not about to stand in your way of finding happiness. He makes you happy…whether or not that meaning you guys are together or not.”
“You’re not mad?”
“Gosh, no, K! How can I be mad at that? I have no right. Heartbroken—maybe, a little! But I will be fine. I hope you understand when I say, though, that I can’t be with you while you live with him. I’m not one to share.”
“I saw that one coming, too.” Kaleah smiled. Tyrell pulled Kaleah closer and embraced her in a farewell hug.
“It was amazing to have gotten the chance to know you, Angel. I hope that you find what you’re looking for.” Tyrell whispered in her ear.
“Thank you. One day, you’ll find someone to share that song with. Someone who can give you all of her heart and not just a piece of it.”


Without another word, Tyrell kissed the middle of Kaleah’s forehead, turned around, gathered his guitar, and walked home.


Later that evening, Sam came home to Kaleah cooking dinner.
“Hey!” He said excitedly as he entered the kitchen. “You’re cooking?”
“I figured we should probably eat.” Kaleah said, lifelessly. Sam caught Kaleah’s dull response and grew suspicious.
“Are you okay?” He asked. There was a pause before the silence was broken.
“Of course I’m not, Sam.” Kaleah muttered under her breath.
“Well what happened?”
“It doesn’t really concern you.”
“Anything to do with you concerns me. What happened?”


“You can feel pleased with yourself. Tyrell broke up with me.” Kaleah said bluntly.
“Why would I feel pleased about that? You’re obviously upset…” Sam said.
“It’s your fault we even broke up!” Kaleah snapped. “You put all of this stuff in my head and broke us up. I was fine before you came back! If Tyrell wanted me to move out while you were gone, I would—no questions asked! But now, you corrupted everything I’ve been building up since you left me here.”
“What do you mean?”
“You convinced me to not move out. How? I don’t even know! But you convinced me, and Tyrell was pretty convinced that I’m not leaving because I have feelings for you!”


“Well…I mean…don’t you?” Sam asked, slowly. Kaleah continued with her cooking as she slowly shook her head. “You don’t.” Sam said.
“I mean, I can’t! I can’t have feelings for a guy who broke my heart!” Kaleah yelled. She threw the plate of food she cooked onto the counter and began to walk away.


“Where are you going?!” Sam hollered after her.
“To bed! Enjoy your meal.” And without another word, Kaleah left the kitchen. Sam shook his head and stared down at the ground, thinking to himself about what had just happened. How could he feel badly for breaking them up? He wanted that all along. With his appetite gone, Sam wrapped up the dinner that Kaleah so generously prepared for him, and went to bed.


The next morning came faster than either one of them could anticipate. Sam and Kaleah woke up starving, as they didn’t eat dinner the night before. Kaleah hesitated to get some breakfast—worried that she might bump into Sam on her way. She didn’t want to face him ever again. She had feelings for him still, but she didn’t want them to take over her like they have so many times in the past. She wants to move on. As her stomach growled at her once more, Kaleah knew she had to eat something. So she nervously headed down to the kitchen.

Shockingly enough, Sam was already down there. It was 7 in the morning, and the Sam she knew never seen the day earlier than 11.
“Don’t worry. I’ll be out of your way in a minute.” Sam said without looking in Kaleah’s direction.


“What are you doing up this early?” Kaleah asked, confused.
“Same reason you’re up this early.” Sam responded.
“I’m up this early because I work at 9…” Kaleah confirmed.
“I work at 8.”
“You got a job?” Kaleah asked, interested. Sam finally looked at Kaleah, but it wasn’t a look Kaleah wanted to see. He glared at her, as if he wanted her to stop talking. Without responding, he headed into the dining room to sit and eat his cereal. Kaleah quickly followed.


“Why aren’t you answering me?” She asked as she headed to the seat next to Sam.
“Why are you even talking to me? After everything you said last night, I expected to be in the dog house for at least a few days…” Sam responded.
“I’m not answering that until you answer me.” Kaleah chimed. Sam looked Kaleah in the eyes and sighed.
“I got a job yesterday. My uncle owns a couple branches of this architecture company down in New Mexico. He pulled some strings and got me hired at a branch here in Sunset Valley. I’m starting off small—doing little jobs like one room renos or redecorating. It’s not a big deal.” Sam took a mouthful of his food. “You’re turn.”
“Well congrats.” Kaleah said, ignoring Sam’s last comment. “Beats your part time grocery store job.” She teased without humor.
“You’re turn.” Sam repeated.


Kaleah didn’t respond. She stared at Sam with ignorant eyes.
“You know…” Sam interrupted the silence. “…all I really want is for us to go back to normal! I want us to be friends again—like we were when you first got here. I want to be able to tell you anything and go on picnics and play guitar together. I’m not asking you to jump up and be with me, K. I would never ask that of you. All I ask for is to have our friendship back. If that means we’ll end up together somewhere down the road, then that’s great. If not, oh well! But I want you in my life as my best friend…I can’t expect anything more and I won’t accept anything less.”
“I don’t know Sam…” Kaleah said, softly. “We fight all the time. I don’t even think that it’s worth it anymore! You have no idea how badly I want to go back to being friends. But if you’re going to get jealous of the people I date, then how is this going to work?”


“From now on, I won’t get jealous. And if I do, I’ll keep it to myself!” Sam compromised. “I want you to be happy, K. I promise that I won’t get jealous of any guy you date in the future.” Kaleah smiled.
“What do I get to do to you if you break your promise?” She asked, teasingly. Sam laughed.
“If I break my promise, you can…you can…kick me in my man parts.” Sam laughed. Kaleah joined.
“Okay, you have yourself a deal!”

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