Never Say Forever

Kaleah felt heartbroken—almost as if she had just caught Sam cheating on her. Even though Sam wasn’t hers, she felt betrayed. She walked in on the worst moment of her life. This was all new to her—men acting like this. Back in Iron Horse, she had men wrapped around her fingers. First Hank, now Sam…’What’s wrong with me?’ she thought. 

“Kaleah!” Sam yelled as he ran up the stairs. She tried to walk away as he approached her, but Sam stopped her. “Let me explain. Please!”
“You don’t have to explain yourself.” Kaleah lied. She wanted to know everything. She wanted to know why he could do such a thing to her. But she didn’t want to seem weak.
“Of course I have to explain myself! Please let me!” Sam gripped on Kaleah’s wrist tighter when he felt her trying to pull away. Eventually she broke free, but she didn’t leave. She grew angry. 

“You said you were over her!” Kaleah yelled. Sam took a step back, shocked by Kaleah’s sudden outburst.
“I am over her!” Sam yelled back. “Well…at least…I was when I told you that I was!”
“What is that supposed to mean?” Kaleah felt her face get hot.
“I don’t know!” Sam started to lower his voice. “Kaleah, please. Just calm down and let’s talk rationally.” 

“Rationally?” Kaleah yelled. “Look at me Sam!” She pointed to her outfit. “Listen to me!” She yelled. “Can you not see that I have feelings for you? Can you not tell that I wore the skimpiest outfit I own just to get your attention? Can you not hear the pain in my voice?” Sam paused, taken aback at what he had just learned.
“Kaleah…” Sam tried to say. Kaleah put her hand in his face.
"I don’t want to hear it.” She sighed. “I can’t be mad at you…I understand that. You and I…we’re not together, and I realize that. I just…thought…” Kaleah struggled for the words. “I just thought that you…had feelings for me too.”
“Why would you think that?” Sam was curious.
“All the signs were there! I don’t know, I guess I read them wrong!”
“SAM?!” Brie called from the bottom of the stairs. “WHAT’S GOING ON?” Kaleah looked over at the hallway where the voice was coming from. 

Sam ignored Brianne’s calls. He tried to grab Kaleah’s hands to calm her down and explain himself. She wouldn’t let him.
“Kaleah, please listen!” He complained. Kaleah shook her head quickly.
“Sam, it would just be easier if we talked in the morning. With her here…with how I am feeling right now…”
“Kaleah, she’ll still be here in the morning.” Sam interrupted. Kaleah looked at him quizzically. Sam sighed before continuing. “She’s having an issue right now with Hank…she has no where else to go besides her parents’ in Boston, but they’re on vacation right now. She was staying at Tyler’s, but Tyler doesn’t have the space for her, so I told her she could stay here until she figured out how to get to Boston.” 

“Please tell me you’re joking.” Kaleah said, raising one eyebrow. Sam shook his head. “Great.” Kaleah hollered. “Just perfect!”
“Please don’t be mad!” Sam pleaded.
“Don’t be mad?” Kaleah got mad. “I’m beyond mad now, Sam! As long as she’s here, me and you....we don’t speak. You can explain whatever the hell it was you wanted to explain to me when she’s gone.”
“Gone?!” Sam got confused. “Kaleah, that could take weeks!”
“Then...I guess...I'll talk to you in a few weeks!” Kaleah walked away. 

“Not again…” Sam muttered under his breath, referring to the last time him and Kaleah didn't speak. He stared at the wall across from him, unsure of what to do. He wanted to run after her, and hold her in his shaking arms. He wanted to kiss her, and tell her that he felt the same way. He wanted to go downstairs and tell Brianne to get the hell out of his house. But he couldn’t…no matter how badly he wanted to, something was stopping him. And he couldn’t figure out what that something was. 

“So you’re just going to sit all the way over there, not even talking to me?” Brie asked once Sam rejoined her in the basement. Sam didn’t say anything. “Samson, come on! Talk to me!”
“I’m tired.” He said, groggily. “I think I should go to sleep now.”
“Brie, everything you need is in my bedroom. You know where the bathroom is. Good night.” Brianne stared at Sam in shock, unsure how he was able to pass her up. He was never able to pass her up. To her, Sam was weak and Brianne held all the power. 

She stood up slowly, staring straight in front of her. Sam watched.
“So you’re just going to sleep on this stiff couch?” She asked Sam, still not looking at him.
“Yes.” Sam responded.
“You don’t want to come sleep with me in your bed?”
“No.” Brie sighed before heading towards Sam’s room. She slowly closed the door as Sam shut off the lamp to sit in the darkness alone. 

‘Art is passion. My passion is art. I paint what I feel and how I inspire. I’m broken—heart wrenched—the worst emotion you can feel. Yet, I find myself sitting here asking myself what the hell the point even is. To pick up a wooden brush and dip it in wet paint, only to smear insignificant lines across the paper. It all seems pretty pointless and unnecessary. What is passion without love? What is love without loving? You can’t paint a masterpiece without passion. You can’t hold passion without love. You can’t love without first loving.’ Kaleah recited her own poetry she had written the night before in her head. It was the next morning, and, as usual, Kaleah went out to the balcony to paint. She brought out a chair and sat, distracted by her thoughts.  

She got up off her chair and manically smudged paint all over the giant canvas. ‘And yet I find myself, standing here, in front of my broken passion—feeling the upmost pain any human can endure--and frantically wonder why I’m wondering what the hell the point is. I am, and forever will be, an artist. That is just me.’  

“That painting is beautiful.” A voice interrupted Kaleah’s thoughts. She knew it was Brianne and instantly, her depression turned to rage. Kaleah slammed her things down into her easel and controlled herself by deep breathing. She didn’t even bother to turn around.
“You don’t even know what it is.” She said through her teeth.
“Passion? With a hint of angst and fear. Hatred, even.” Brie smiled. Kaleah was shocked at her accurate interpretation.
“No.” She lied. “It’s happiness in its uttermost violent form. An accident, if you will.”
“Am I the accident?” Brie played along. Kaleah sighed heavily. 

“Why are you out here?” Kaleah asked, moving closer to the edge of the balcony to watch the trees sway in the wind.
“I wanted to talk to you…”
“I have nothing to say to you.”
“Then you can listen.”
“My thoughts are loud enough to drown you out.”
“I’ll take my chances.” Kaleah turned her head slightly to get a quick look at her unwanted visitor. ‘My god…she can even make a corset and short-shorts look classy!’ She thought to herself as she turned her head back straight.

“I didn’t mean to hurt you.” Brie said quickly. “That was not my intentions at all.” Kaleah threw her arms up to dramatize her sarcasm.
“Well that’s a relief!” She lied. “That makes everything so much better. In fact, everything is okay now! Let’s go get lunch!”
“Kaleah…please. I’m trying to be serious.” Kaleah turned to face Brianne. 

“Brianne…you lied to me about who you were so you could get close to my roommate, found out that I liked my roommate, and then turned around and hooked up with him. And now you expect me to just forget about it all and forgive you?” Kaleah asked, annoyed.
“I don’t expect you to forgive me. I just want you to understand.”
“Understand what?”
“Where I’m coming from! Hank was a good guy when I first met him…well, so I thought. I’ve been with Hank for 5 years! I gave up on Sam to be with him! And now that I saw this new side of him…” Brianne sighed. “…I knew I made a mistake. I don’t necessarily want Sam back. I just wanted the safety I’ve always felt with him.”
“So naturally, you’d hook up with him.”
“No…” Brianne grew frustrated. “I knew that I hold some kind of power over him…I’ve always been able to get anything that I’ve wanted from Sam because he is so drawn to me. Call me selfish, but I needed that feeling again. I didn’t think it would be a big deal.” 

“Call me crazy…” Kaleah started. “But did I not tell you when I first met you, thinking you were some cool chick named Brittany, that I liked him?”
“No, you didn’t.” Brianne corrected. “You said that you think you like him. When you have to think about your feelings for someone, then there aren’t any feelings there. If you like someone, you know. There shouldn’t be any guesswork.”
“Well there wasn’t any guesswork. And just so you’re aware, Sam now knows about my feelings for him. Obviously he doesn’t feel the same way, so I guess you win. You got everything you wanted from him again. Congratulations.”
“Please leave. This is my balcony.” 

“Please don’t be mad at me, Kaleah! If you let me in, I’m sure you and I could be great friends!” Brianne pleaded.
“Great friends?” Kaleah laughed without humour. “Last I checked, friends don’t steal their friends’ men away from them.” Brianne stared at Kaleah before turning around to leave, stopping only once at the door.
“I’m sorry….is what I’m trying to say.” She said over her shoulder before preceding through the door. 

‘Left alone in the coveted after thought, nobody cares about the girl who has passion. Everyone cares about the girl who has the inevitable beauty.’ Kaleah thought when she was left alone. 

“She’s impossible!” Brianne exclaimed when she ran into Sam downstairs.
“Who is?” Sam was confused.
“You’re roommate!” Brianne sighed. “I tried to explain…I tried to apologize, and she just didn’t care. She kicked me off her balcony.” Sam grew annoyed at this. 

“Why did you even speak to her?” Sam hollered. “You have no right to even be near her! She has every right to hate you!”
“Sam! Don’t yell at me! I wanted to make good with her!” Brianne hollered back.
“You’ve ruined everything, Brianne, by showing back up here. You should never have come! What the hell were you thinking when Kaleah invited you to the barbeque?”
“I wasn’t even going to come to the stupid barbecue, but I changed my mind at the last minute! If you think for one second that I didn’t even consider how me coming here would affect you, then you’re sadly mistaken!”
“If you considered it, Brie, then you wouldn’t have come!” 

“You are the only person that I feel safe with, Samson! That’s why I came here!”
“No, that’s not why!” Sam corrected. “You came here because you know that you have me under whatever spell you have on me and can get away with anything! You knew that I would invite you to stay. You knew that I would kiss you back!”
“Sam, I didn’t mean for any of that to happen! It just…happened!”
“I don’t believe that!” Sam started to walk away. “Don’t ever try speaking to her again, you understand me?” 

He kept walking without waiting for a response. Brie was confused. She never had Sam blow up on her before. She knew that this wasn’t going to be easy. ‘I need to step up my game…’  She thought, staring blankly at the ceiling where Kaleah’s bedroom was. ‘She’s only getting in my way.’ 

Later that evening, after Sam got off work, he looked everywhere for Brianne. He found her outside, in nothing but a bikini, and found that the speech he had prepared lost its way at the sight of Brie’s perfect body. Sam gulped and tried to shake away his desires.
“Brianne?” He asked, groggily, over the porch railing. Brianne jerked her head a little to see where he was standing.
“You’re home.” She said slowly. “Where were you?”
“Work. They called me in to a shift today.” Sam said, staring at the grass. “Can I talk to you please?”
“Sure.” Brianne didn’t move.
“Do you have a towel or something to cover up? It’ll be hard to say anything with you looking like that.” Sam said hesitantly. Brianne smiled, knowing that she, once again, held all the power. She stood up and gestured Sam to her. Sam obeyed. 

“I just wanted to say….” Sam stared at her half naked body. The words seemed to have melted away into mumbles, and Sam completely forgot what he was about to say. “Um…uhh…” He stuttered, biting his bottom lip. Brianne giggled.
“You wanted to apologize?” She asked. Sam nodded. “I figured so much. Let me guess…you’re apologizing for freaking out at me?” Sam nodded again, unable to take his eyes off of her. He ran his stare from the top of her chest, down her flat stomach, and across her perfect legs. “Unlike your roommate, I forgive people. Apology accepted.” 

Sam turned around so he would stop being distracted by Brianne’s beauty.
“What are you doing?” She asked, confused.
“As much as I wanted to apologize, I also wanted to say that everything I said is still true. I just should’ve worded it differently.” Sam replied, finally able to get his words straight.
“What do you mean? Ugh, Sam please look at me.” Brianne pleaded.
“I can’t. You are so…um…distracting.” He worded carefully. “Anyways, you did wreck things with me and Kaleah the second you showed up here. I have feelings for her, and I’m pretty sure that I had these feelings for her the week she moved in. I know this because, not even days before, I was still moping about my break up with you. Even though it was 5 years ago, I still loved you like crazy and hated every second I was away from you. They say that time heals all wounds but my wounds weren’t getting any better—they only got worse. But the day she moved in, something clicked. I realized that I didn’t need to mope about you anymore and that there were other women out there. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I think she came to me as my roommate for the reason that I needed to get over you and move on with my life. With that realization came feelings for Kaleah, and only recently have we been getting closer, and now that you’re here…well…we’ve been driven further apart.” 

“How long did it take you to come up with that speech?” Brianne asked, taking in the words Sam had just laid out on her.
“All day.” Sam laughed.
“So that’s it then…last night’s kiss…it means nothing?”
“No…it means something!” Sam sighed heavily. “See, that’s the thing! I was finally over you and moving on and falling for an amazing girl who held no power over me and it felt great! But now that last night happened, all of that doesn’t seem to matter. I still have feelings for her, but I think I still love you, and now everything is corrupted. I don’t know what is right and what is wrong…I don’t know who I want and where I should be.” He looked over his shoulder quickly. “And I think that I should try and figure it out without your help.” He started to walk away. 

“Sam, no!” Brianne ran after him before he could get anywhere. She grabbed his hand and pulled him back, taking the final few steps in front of him so she could see his face. Sam closed his eyes so he didn’t have to look at her body. “I think that, since I’m not even going to be here for that long, that you should just let us happen and see what happens. If you still have feelings for Kaleah by the time I’m about to leave, then you’ll know that that’s who you want. But if you don’t…then you and I are meant to be.” Sam shook his head. “Samson, please open your eyes.” He slowly opened them, and stared only into hers.  

She put her hand on Sam’s face and rubbed her thumb on his cheek. She did this whenever Sam was upset and it always would calm him down. As Sam felt the tingling sensation go through his body with every stroke of Brianne’s thumb, he realized what would happen next. He reluctantly pulled her arm away.
“Brianne….stop.” He whispered. 

“Sam, sometimes it takes an awful experience to realize what you have. Most of the time, you can’t get it back, but other times you can. I think I made a mistake 5 years ago, choosing Hank over you. It took this long for this awful experience to happen, but it happened. And this is a case where you can get that something that you had back.” She whispered, getting awfully close to Sam’s face. Sam felt the warmth of her breath, and watched her sweet smile form across her face. It was a look he could never resist.
“Brianne…I….” Sam tried to say.
“Shh…no more speaking.” Brie responded softly. 

She met her lips to Sam’s and he quickly locked his around hers.  

Sam grabbed her, and brought her body closer to his. He ran his hand down her bare back, and traced her skin with his fingers. That tingling sensation came back, and it was intense. As much as Sam wanted to pull away, he couldn’t. Not this time. 

Sam wanted to pull her to the ground right then and there. He wanted to rip off her bikini and kiss every inch of her body. He wanted to touch her…please her. His mind ran wild as he kissed her intensely and it took every muscle in his body to resist his urge. He didn’t even notice that Kaleah had been watching out the window.

Kaleah sniffed as tears began to fill her eyes. Her heart felt like it had been stabbed, and she clenched her chest at the pain. They finally pulled apart from each other, and even with the window closed, Kaleah could hear their every word.
“Why don’t we take this back to your bedroom?” Brianne asked Sam.
“I think…that’s a great idea.” Sam responded, barely able to open his eyes.  

“Oh my…is that…Kaleah?” Brianne asked as she noticed the figure standing at the window. Kaleah didn’t move. She wanted to see Sam’s reaction. She wanted to see if he showed any sign of remorse in his expression. He turned around, just as Kaleah was wiping away her tears. 

“That’s so creepy…why was she watching us?” Brianne asked annoyed. Sam didn’t respond. He had snapped out of his trance, and cared only about Kaleah. As he headed to the porch steps, Kaleah quickly ran to the stairs. 

“Kaleah!” Sam hollered as he tried to catch up to her.
“Sam?!” Brianne yelled after him. “What are you doing?”  Sam, once again, ignored Brianne as he quickly ripped open the screen door. 

“Kaleah!” Sam yelled up the stairs. He could see her half way through her bedroom door. She paused to look down at him, tears running down her cheeks. “Kaleah…” Sam repeated, more quietly. They stared at each other—Kaleah’s sad eyes upset Sam. Slowly, as she continued to stare, she closed her bedroom door. 

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