Never Say Forever

After the issue with Kaleah, Sam didn’t want anything but to be alone. He hid out in the basement, and eventually just went to bed. When Brianne noticed he was sleeping, she tried to go to bed as well, but just couldn’t get herself to fall asleep. She decided she would see if Sam was still willing to ‘take it back into his bedroom’ and crept out into the living room. 

‘He’s so peaceful…so…cute…’ Brie thought to herself as she watched him sleep in the darkness. She poked his arm, but he didn’t move. She poked it again, and still…nothing.
“Sam?” She whispered. He barely even stirred. “SAM!” When she noticed it was a lost cause, she made her way back to the bedroom.  

“Huh?” Sam said quietly as he started to wake up. “Brianne?” Brie stopped walking and half turned towards him. “Wh…what are you doing?” Sam struggled to sit up. 

“Sorry to wake you.” She said softly. “I couldn’t sleep.” Sam yawned and stretched his arms behind his head before responding.
“There’s some green tea up in the cupboards in the kitchen. It makes me fall asleep, so maybe it’ll work for you?”
“No, Sam. I don’t want tea…”
“Warm milk?”
“Sam…no.” Brie sighed. “Please come with me to bed. It’s a lot more comfortable than this couch, and I’m sure I can sleep with a warm body next to me.” Sam stared at her in silence. “Please?”
“No, I’m sorry.” Sam rejected. “I know what will happen if I come to bed with you.” 

“It won’t be anything like that…” Brie pleaded. “Besides, I feel bad for what happened earlier...and you did say that going to your bedroom was a great idea.” She giggled. Sam laughed without humour.
“Brianne, please stop this. I am not coming to bed with you. What happened earlier today…that was a lapse of judgement. You were in a bikini, for crying out loud! How could I have done anything other than what you said when you looked like that?”
“I don’t try to turn you on, you know.”
“I know!” Sam looked down at a spot on the carpet. “That’s the scary part. You’re sexy as hell and you don’t need to try to be and that is what puts me under your trance. You may say that me coming to bed with you is nothing sexual…but it will turn into something sexual, whether I want it to or not.”  

Brianne nodded her head slowly.
“Well, there will always be that spot next to me available if you ever change your mind.” She said quietly before walking away. Sam went to lay back down.
“Brie?” He said before resting his head. Brianne stopped walking, but didn’t turn around. “You might as well stretch out…because there is nothing you can say that will make me come into that bed with you in it.” Brie lowered her head as the words stabbed her heart and kept on walking. 

Days went by, and Kaleah was never seen. She kept herself locked up in her room or on the balcony, and barely left to grab something to eat. Sam picked up as many shifts at work as possible to stay away from Brianne in hopes that he would be able to break his attachment to her. A whole week came and went before anybody heard from Kaleah, and one day, out of pure boredom, Brie went to investigate.
“That looks like a child painted that.” She said instantly as she joined Kaleah out on the balcony.
“That’s the point. Through a child’s eyes…innocent and juvenile.” Kaleah responded.
“Is that how you feel right now?” Brianne asked.
“Nope.” Kaleah looked at Brie quickly. “It’s for the elementary school. They want to paint a mural in the gym and they wanted me to paint a small version of it as a model for the painters to paint. They’re paying me for it, and I need the money for rent.”
“Oh…” Brianne didn’t quite understand. Brie has lived under the comfort of her father’s piggy bank her entire life. When it comes to working and paying bills, Brianne has no clue. 

“What are you doing up here anyways?” Kaleah asked, turning her attention away from her painting.
“I wanted to make sure you were okay. Nobody has seen you lately and it’s always so quiet up here.”
“I’ve been painting.” Kaleah explained. “It calms me.”
“So are you calm?”
“Not anymore.” Kaleah sighed. “I thought I told you to stay off my balcony.”
“Correction…” Brie started. “You told me to get off your balcony…nothing was ever said about staying off.”
“I implied it.”
“Apparently not.” 

“You know…you have a lot of nerve coming to talk to me!” Kaleah grew angry. “I thought it was quite clear that I hate you.”
“Yeah well people don’t usually hate me for very long. Apparently, I’m hard to stay mad at.” Brie said smugly.
“Really? Because it’s been easy for me…”
“Ugh!” Brie grunted. “What’s the use? There’s no point in even trying to be nice to you because you won’t accept it!”
“You can’t expect someone to suddenly forgive you when you’ve done something so…”
“Innocent? You’re joking. I was going more on the lines of…rude, inconsiderate, unexpected! You know, everything was going absolutely great until you suddenly came along. You wrecked everything…and now…I can’t even talk to my best friend until you’re gone!” 

“Sam would talk to you, you know that! You're just not giving him the chance!”
"Yeah, but I don’t want to talk to him! Not with you attached at his hip!” Kaleah started to yell.
“Well then you won’t be talking to him for a while, because I’m not planning on going anywhere anytime soon!” Brianne turned to walk away. “You are absolutely impossible, Kaleah. You seriously need to learn how to forgive and forget.” She closed the balcony door behind her as she continued to walk off. 

As Brie descended the stairs, Sam was just logging on to his computer. ‘Crap…’ Brie thought as Sam finally heard her footsteps.
“What were you doing up there?” Sam immediately asked.
“I just wanted to make sure she was still alive! There hasn’t been a single peep up there for an entire week!” Brie defended.
“I thought I told you that you are never to speak to her again?” Sam felt himself getting angry, but deep breathed his way through calming down.
“I know…it didn’t hurt anybody.” Brie sighed, recalling the conversation she just had with her not even minutes before, suddenly taking in Kaleah's words and feeling guilty. 

“Sam…” She said after a few moments of silence. “We need to talk.”
“What about?”
“I’m worried about her…Kaleah, that is.” She started. “I don’t think she’s holding up too well.”
“She’ll come down when she’s ready…she always does.” Sam tried to concentrate on the email he was reading from Tyler. Tyler was on another tour—left at the last minute—and didn’t get a chance to speak to Sam directly on the phone before he left. They were slowly, but surely, working things out via email.
“I need to leave. I think…” Brie felt saddened by the idea. “I think…it’s time that I go.”  

Sam quickly shut off his computer as he noticed Brianne walking away after the words she had just laid out on him. He scrambled to cut her off.
“No! You can’t just leave!” He found himself pleading.
“I’m just causing problems here, Sam! She is really hurt by my being here and I think it would just be easier on everyone if I go!”
“Go where?”
“Back to Hank’s, I bet.” Sam accused. Brianne went blank and stared down at her feet at the mention of his name. “That’s it, isn’t it? You’re going back to Hank?” Sam was shocked. 

“You’ve been out working a lot lately and it’s given me a lot of alone time to think. I was with him for 5 years, Sam! 5 years and I let a few weeks of bad decisions cloud my idea of him. Maybe…he will be changed by the time I go back.” Brie grew scared of her own idea. Sam noticed the fear in her eyes.
“You don’t want to go back to that…to him. Word is he’s still out there, raging around town, looking for you! I’ve heard from several co workers that he’s even gone out of town to look for you a couple times!” Sam explained. “Besides, if you go back to Hank’s, I will only worry about you. Think of what he’d do to you! That man carries a gun, Brianne! A gun! What if he got angry enough to use it on you?” 

Brianne thought long and hard. Her feared expression grew heavier and her heart started thumping.
“That’s a chance I’m going to have to take…” She said quickly, unable to look Sam in the eyes.
"Brianne…” Sam shook his head. “You’re not going back to Hank’s. I won’t allow it.”
“It’s the only way, Sam!” Brie burst.
“It’s the only way for what, Brie, huh? To get killed? Tortured?”
“To make you happy again.” Sam was stunned at this. “You were so happy before I was here and I’m ruining it. I can see that now. I want you to be happy…and I can understand that you won’t be happy having me here any longer.”
“That’s not…” Sam tried to lie.
“Don’t lie to me to make me feel better. I know it’s the truth.” Sam stared at the ground, unsure of what to say next. 

“Don’t go back to Hank’s…” He finally repeated.
“No! Listen to me…don’t go back to Hank’s…” Sam smiled. “I have an idea…”


Later that night, Kaleah had finally left her bedroom. She went outside to get some fresh air, and pondered around the fountain in front of the house. Sam noticed she was out there, and went to join her.
“Kaleah?” He spoke softly. “What are you doing out here?” Kaleah took a few moments to respond as she detached from her thoughts.
“Just…thinking.” She sighed.
“Can we talk?” He asked diligently.
“No. I told you…not when she’s here…” Kaleah reluctantly responded. 

Sam went to join her and as Kaleah noticed this, she turned away from him.
“Kaleah, please. I know what you said but I need to talk to you. It’s important.” Sam said. ”I’ll feel sick to my stomach if I don’t talk to you about it first.”
“First? What do you mean, fi…ugh! Sam, no. I don’t want to talk to you…please go away.” Kaleah could feel her eyes watering up again. She lied when said she didn’t want to talk to Sam. She did want to talk to Sam—every bone in her body wanted to make their way over to him, hold his hands, and listen to everything he had to say. She wanted to forgive him, and move on in the direction they were moving a week ago. But she knew that the second they walked back in to the house, Brianne would be there, ready to ruin it again. She knew that nothing would ever get resolved as long as that woman was living with them. 

“I’m leaving…” Sam said quickly, before Kaleah could shoo him off again. Kaleah’s heart dropped at the sound of his words, and she quickly walked towards him.
“What?” She said, gulping back tears.
“I’m leaving…” Sam repeated. “For a few weeks.”
“Please don’t get upset. Please don’t cry.” He could see the sadness in her eyes as tears rapidly began to fill them. She wiped them away and tried everything in her power to restrain. 

“Kaleah, I know it’s been hard on you having Brianne here. It’s been hard on me too…mostly…because having her here meant not being able to be around you.” Sam sighed before continuing. “I’m going to drive Brianne to Boston. She was going on about how she’s going back to Hank and I fear that I will only worry about her if she did that. I need to know that she’s safe…I need to take her to Boston where her parents are.”
“You can’t…just…throw her on a bus to Boston or something instead?” Kaleah asked.
“No…who knows who Hank is connected to. Who knows how far Brianne will go before turning around and getting on a bus back here to go back to Hank. I need to take her myself. I need to know that she is safe.”  

“But Sam…a car trip to Boston and back would only take a week and a half! Why would you be gone for so long?” Kaleah tried to wrap her head around everything.
“I’m going to stay in Boston for a little while…to get away from everything and screw my head on straight. A lot has happened lately and I feel like…I just need some time away to decide what it is that I really want.”
“So you’re figuring that out in Boston…where Brianne will be…corrupting you?” Kaleah was confused.
“No…she won’t be anywhere near me. Really, I won’t be staying in Boston. Just outside of Boston, at the furthest. Somewhere remote where I won’t bump into anybody, like her. She won’t know where so she won’t be able to suddenly appear one day. I want to be completely alone for a little while.” Kaleah felt that pain in her heart again, and had to clench her chest. 

She started crying—she couldn’t hold it in any longer. Sam put his big hands around her little waist and brought her close to his body to comfort her.
“Why are you crying?” He whispered softly in her ear.
“I don’t want you to be gone that long. What am I going to do here with you so far away for so long?” Kaleah asked through sobs. 

Sam pulled away and cupped Kaleah’s face in his hands. He stared in her eyes—a deep stare, as if he was looking into Kaleah and not at her. She couldn’t help but to lock her eyes with his.
“Listen…” Sam started to say. “The time will come and go so super fast, that it won’t feel like it was even a week before I’m back!” Sam tried to smile. It was harder for him to do than he thought. As much as Kaleah didn’t want him to go, he didn’t want to leave either. But he knew he had to—he knew it was the right thing to do.
“What about your job? Will they give you so much time off?” Kaleah asked, her tears finally subsiding. Sam shook his head.
“No.” He spoke softly, still gazing in her eyes. “But my job is not worth my sanity. I need this time away…or else one of these days, I’m going to snap. Besides, it’s better this way. Because when I get back, I’ll know what I want.” 

“Sam…” Kaleah pried her body off of his. “…I can’t guarantee that I will be here waiting for you when you get back.” She said, hesitantly. "I mean...I'll be here physically...but I can't promise I'll be here emotionally for you."
“If it’s meant to happen, it will happen, right?” Sam smiled, recalling their conversation at their picnic so long ago. Kaleah smiled sweetly and nodded once.
“When are you leaving?” She asked.
“Tomorrow.” He responded bluntly. “Which reminds me…I should probably go and pack! Good night, K.” 

‘TOMORROW?!’ Kaleah mindfully screamed as she watched Sam walk back into the house. She broke into tears again, not expecting to have to say good bye so soon. Sam was her best friend—the only guy in the world who held any significant piece of her. The only guy in the world who has ever been given the chance to hold her heart to his, and he broke it. And even with the gut-wrenching feeling of knowing she will be alone, and even with the anger that slowly crept up on her at Sam, she longed for him—more than ever. 

As Sam walked into the house, he was gulping back tears. He didn’t even notice Brianne waiting for him inside. He walked right passed her.
“Well that was heart warming.” She exclaimed, annoyed. Sam stopped in his tracks and took a deep breath.
“I didn’t even notice you were watching.” Sam quickly spoke, turning to face her. 

“I wasn’t watching…” She started. “Sam can I ask you a question?”
“Sure…” Sam responded, unsure if that was the correct answer.
“Why are you driving me all the way to Boston? And why are you staying out there?”
“Because I want to know that you’re safe…and I need to get away from everything. You have to admit…there has been quite a bit of drama around here lately.”
“Yeah…” Brie bit her lip before continuing. “You know I took a psychology course in college, right?” Sam nodded once. “Well…the one lesson that I learned that I will always remember is first instincts. Your first instinct is always what you really, truly want to do. The first thing that you say to somebody is really how you feel. When you try to hide it or say something else, it’s only a lie.”
“Alright…” Sam was confused. “Why are you telling me this?”
“When I told you I was going back to Hank, was the idea to drive me to Boston yourself your first instinct?” Sam nodded. “Then I’m who you really, truly want.”
“Um, Brianne. Please don’t start this! I already told you that I don’t know what I want…or who I want, for this matter. That’s why I’m going to clear my head…to figure things out.”
“Yeah, okay…that’s what you think right now. But really, think about it, Sam! Your first instinct was to take me to Boston yourself. That right there shows me that you care enough about me to waste that much of your time to get me safe. You instantly dropped everything when you heard I was going to leave here and go back to Hank. That right there was your first instinct…and that right there shows that you don’t want Hank to have me, because you want me.”

Sam didn’t like that Brianne was pressuring his decision. He instantly grew mad.
“Then why did I just stand out there with Kaleah, hating myself for leaving for so long? Why did I just stand out there with Kaleah, wanting to break down at the thought of not seeing her for over 3 weeks?” Sam hollered.
“That wasn’t your first instinct. You want both of us…that is plain for everyone to see. But when it comes down to it, you still love me. You only like her!” Brie defended. 

“I’m flattered that you want me so bad, Brie, but I’m sorry! That is so not the case! Your twisted text book methods are not what’s going on here! I need some time to think! Regardless, I’m coming back here in a few weeks…where Kaleah is and you’re not. That was my first instinct. So with that stupid, crazy-person logic, then I really truly want Kaleah! How can I really truly want both of you?” Sam was yelling.
“Why are you getting so mad!?” Brie yelled back. “I was just trying to put a thought in your head!”
Plant a thought, is more like it! Damn you Brianne and your stupid, twisted ways of drawing me in! I caught in this time. This time…it won’t work!” 

Brie grew offended and turned to walk away.
“I’ll go pack my things. I guess you’ll have to wait and see that I’m right.” She said softly before exiting the room.

‘That does make sense…’ Sam thought to himself when he was alone and calmed down. ‘If she’s right, then why does thinking about not coming back to Kaleah feel so…heartbreaking?’

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