Status: Completed.

Sooner or Later

Fearing the unknown.

Kenzie woke up first the next morning. She was still groggy and exhausted both mentally and physically. There had been way too many contradicting emotions yesterday. She slowly opened her eyes and peaked threw the tiny slits. John was still asleep. She breathed a sigh of relief and opened her eyes. She wouldn’t have known what to say to him this morning if he’d been awake. She was still freaking out about what he’d said last night. She debated sneaking away from her bed and to go see if Halvo was in the guest bedroom or if Garrett would answer his phone despite the early hour. She desperately needed someone to talk to. Had John been trying to tell her that he was in love with her too? Or that he simply cared about her a lot? She sighed quietly. She couldn’t really leave her bed, it would be too risky and she was in no way ready to face John.

She contemplated the sleeping boy for a moment. He looked so peaceful. The worry lines he’d been sporting on his forehead for the past couple of months were nowhere to be seen. He clearly hadn’t shaved while he was away seeing as had a bit of scruff on his chin. Kenzie smiled. She loved how he insisted on trying to grow facial hair even though he couldn’t. She remembered the time where he’d tried sporting a mustache. All the guys had laughed at him; it hadn’t suited him at all. Although, it had made him look so much more like his dad. His hair had grown too, despite him only being away a couple of weeks. Jenny would surely tell him to cut it once he’d go see her, but Kenzie liked it. It was long enough for him to push it back over the top of his head, but still short enough for strands to fall onto his forehead. Speaking of, she gently reached of and pushed the said strands away from his face. The hair style gave him a cute bed head look, but it could also seem very put together. He shifted in his sleep, wrapping his arm tighter around his friend’s waist, pulling her closer to his chest. Kenzie held her breath, afraid that she awoken him, but his light snores put her at ease. Still, she closed her eyes and tried to go back to sleep. She might have more courage to face John if she was a little more rested.

It couldn’t have been more than a couple of seconds before Kenzie felt John shift again. She kept her eyes shut and her breathing even so that he wouldn’t notice that she was awake. She felt him stretch his legs and pull back from their embrace. She couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed. Between him, Garrett and Halvo, John was definitely Kenzie’s favorite person to cuddle with, for obvious reasons. He surprised her however by bringing his hand up to brush her own strands of hair away from her face. She felt the warm breath of his sigh was over her skin. Neither of them moved. Kenzie wondered what he could be doing. Was he thinking about something? If so, what? Or was he watching her sleep? Well, fake sleep, but she hoped that he hadn’t noticed that, otherwise she had no reasonable explanation as to why she would be faking.

“I’m in love with you.” He had said it so quietly that Kenzie wondered if she hadn’t just imagined it. Her heart started beating a hundred miles an hour. It was a wonder that John couldn’t feel it due to his proximity. They stayed there for a moment; Kenzie paralyzed with fear and John simply gazing at his sleeping friend. He sighed one last time before gently pulling away from the girl and climbing out of her bed. Kenzie listened attentively, wondering if he was trying to slip away without her noticing. She heard his footsteps before the sound of a door closing. He hadn’t walked far enough and the sound had been too loud for it to be the front door. She heard the water of her shower turn on. She let out the breath that she had been holding. He was in her bathroom. She rolled onto her back and gazed up at the ceiling. What was she going to do?

She grabbed her phone and quietly made her way through her apartment and out onto the balcony adjacent to her kitchen. She had peeked into the guest bedroom and it was empty. Halvo must have slept somewhere else last night. She quickly dialed his number and pressed her phone to her ear.

“What do you want Kenzie?” he groaned into the phone. Clearly she had woken him up.

“I need to talk to you, now,” she whispered. She didn’t know why she was using hushed tones, the only reason she’d come outside in her underwear was because she didn’t want John to hear her, and from where she was there was no chance at that.

“Can I come over in a couple of hours?” he asked.

“No. I need to talk to you now. And John’s at my apartment.”

“Alright, let’s meet for breakfast. It’s on you for waking me up at this ungodly hour.”

“It’s half past ten Eric.”

“It’s still early if you went to bed at three a.m.” he whined. The girl agreed to pay for his meal and hung up the phone with him so that she could call Garrett. That bassist seemed to be a little more awake and agreed to meet the two of them at the restaurant in a half an hour.

The girl went back inside and was relieved to hear that the shower was still running. She quickly pulled on a pair of pants and a clean shirt before grabbing her jean jacket and a beanie to cover her messy hair. She shoved her feet into her pair of Toms and headed back to the kitchen. She grabbed a noted pad and paused with the pen hovering over the paper. What was she supposed to say? John I went out from breakfast with your best friend and my ex. Sorry I didn’t invite you, be back soon. Something told her that wouldn’t sit right with him. She was so preoccupied that she hadn’t heard the water cut or John walk into the kitchen wearing nothing but a towel. She turned to see him when he said her name.

“What are you doing?” he asked. It took everything for Kenzie to tare her gaze away from John’s glistening body. His skin was still damp from the shower and his wet hair was dripping onto his broad shoulders, running down the length of his toned chest and stomach before disappearing into her fluffy towel that hung low on his waist. “I’m sorry if I woke you,” he continued. “I was going to try to make it back to bed before you got up.”

“That’s okay,” she replied turning to drop the pen on the counter and to grab her wallet and keys. “I, uh, have to head into work. There’s a problem with….A problem, just a problem,” she stuttered. “Feel free to stay here though, I shouldn’t be too long.”
“How about I get dressed and drive you? We could go pick up some breakfast afterwards,” he suggested.

“No!” Kenzie exclaimed, far too quickly and much too loudly. “I mean, I’ll pick something up on the way there, I don’t want to be a bother. You can help yourself to whatever food I have here. I’ll call you later okay?” She shot him a smile before stepping around him and rushing out the front door. She didn’t want to be alone with him for too long, what with his lack of clothes and what she thought she’d heard him say early. It would get to her head and she might do something stupid. She went to her car, got in and drove in the direction of the diner she was meeting the boys at.

John on the other hand stood in the girl’s kitchen in shock. Had she been acting weird or was he just overthinking things? What if she had heard what he’d said this morning? The young man started to panic. She must have heard him and now she was freaking out because she didn’t feel the same way. How could he have been so careless? He was started to regret those five words more than the four he’d said to Shannon. He really hoped that he wouldn’t be losing his best friend over this. Sure, he deserved to be alone after what he’d done to Shannon, but not like this.

Kenzie stared into Halvo’s eyes. “I’m in love with you,” she spoke clearly without stuttering.

“Say it again,” the boy instructed.

“I am in love with you,” she repeated.

“Good, now why couldn’t you tell John that this morning? If I didn’t want breakfast so bad and we hadn’t already ordered, I would have brought you straight back home.”

“I freaked out okay? What was I supposed to do, open my eyes and blurt it out? I would have scared the shit out of the guy. Besides, I’m still not convinced he actually said it…”

“Will you stop saying that already?” Garrett asked; his mouth full of waffles. “He said it. You know it, I know it, Halvo knows it and John knows it. Fuck, the whole world knows it Kenzie! The two of you are meant to be together and want to be together, but you’re both too scared to do anything about it. Both of you need to grow a pair already.”

The girl sighed; maybe the hairy bassist had a point.

“I mean, he seemed pretty upset that you were leaving. What impression do you think you gave him? He’s probably sitting at your apartment right now, freaking out because he’s figured out that you heard him this morning and you ran out because you don’t feel the same.”

She hadn’t thought of that. Suddenly she started to panic. What had she done? Why must she always run from her problems? She ran from school when it got tough, she ran from her family and now she’s running from John. She could potentially be losing the single most important person in her life.

“I think you finally knocked some sense into her,” Halvo muttered, nudging Garrett with his elbow.

“I have to go,” Kenzie muttered as she stood up from the booth.

“Hey now, you haven’t finished eating. I’m sure John will be there when you get back, and you said you’d pay for me. I didn’t bring my wallet!” Eric exclaimed. The girl rolled her eyes, shoved one last mouthful of food into her mouth and threw two twenties down on the table.

“I really need to go,” she emphasized, her mouth still full.

“Keep us updated,” Garrett called as she rushed out the door. She needed to get back to her apartment before John left.

Unfortunately for her, he was long gone. The second that she’d stepped out the door he’d pulled on his clothes from the night before and left the apartment too. He got into his truck, calling Halvo at the same time. The Boy didn’t pick up. The lazy little shit was probably still asleep. Damn him. John desperately needed someone to talk to. He needed to get all of this off of his chest. He hightailed it across town to Jared’s where he knocked on the door. Tessa was the one to answer it and he apologized for being so loud and so early. He found Jared in the living room with his feet propped up on the coffee table, watching the morning news while nursing a cup of coffee.

“Hey man what’s up?” he greeted his singer.

“I’m in love with Kenzie,” he blurted out. It felt so good to say it out loud. He’d discovered that this morning. Jared looked taken aback for a couple of seconds before he smirked.

“I knew it,” he announced proudly. “You guys have always been too close to be just friends . And you were way too against her and Garrett dating.”

“I had every right to be against that. The proof is that he went and cheated on her!”

“He didn’t cheat,” Jared pointed out. “Did you even listen to their little speech?”

“That’s not the point. The point is that I told her this morning. Well I muttered it to myself while she was asleep, although I don’t think she was asleep. Because I went in the shower and when I got out she was rushing out the door, claiming that there was some crisis at the record store. I think she heard me and that she freaked out. I don’t think she reciprocates the feelings man. What do I do? I think I may have just ruined my friendship with her…” He flopped down on the couch next to his friend and groaned, taking his head into his hands and resting his elbows on his knees.

“Did you actually talk to her, John? Maybe there really was a crisis at work. Maybe she was asleep. Maybe she doesn’t know,” Jared pointed out.

“Oh,” he sighed. He wondered why he hadn’t tried to call Jared first, earlier. He was a pro at giving advice.

“But then again, whether she knows or not John, you need to talk to her about this. This is a serious matter that concerns both of you and both of you need to be implicated in this.”
“I can’t do that. I can’t lose her Jared. It would be better if we just ignore whatever I said this morning. If she doesn’t know, then no one gets hurt. If she heard, well then we’ll pretend it never happened,” he sighed again.

“No, John, because someone will get hurt; you will get hurt. You need to go back to her apartment and talk to her. The two of you are best friends. You will either get together after this or you will work through it. If you never say anything, you will never get over her John.”

Damn this guy was good. John ran his fingers through his hair and pushed himself up off the couch. He walked towards the door before pausing and turning around.

“What if I can’t do it, man?” he asked. “What if I can’t tell her? What if she doesn’t feel the same way? What if I ruin things between us forever?”

“You’ll ruin things if you don’t do anything. You love her John. And I know she loves you too.”

“Not the right kind of love…”

“Stop it, John. Stop that. Stop putting yourself down and acting like no one will ever be able to love you! Because if there is one person that can do it, it’s Kenzie,” Jared snapped. “Now grow a pair and get your ass in that car before I drive you there myself,” he threatened. John gulped and nodded before heading to his truck.

Meanwhile Kenzie had already gotten back to her apartment to find it empty.

“He left,” she muttered to herself. “Damn it Kenz. Way to ruin all the hard work you put into this all autumn. Way to ruin the only good thing that ever happened to you.” She grabbed the first thing that she could get her hands on and hurled it at the wall. The remote split into a couple of pieces and the batteries popped out. Oops. Tears stung her eyes as she heard her front door thrown open. She spun around, scared out of her mind until she saw John in her door way, his chest heaving. He’d sprinted from the parking lot up the flight of stairs to the apartment.

They stared at each other for a moment, not quite sure what to say. They were both surprised to see the other there. So many things were running through their minds that they didn’t know to see each other. John stepped into her home quietly, closing the door behind him. He walked into the living room and stood in front of his best friend. He nervously licked his lips. His mouth felt dry and his palms were clammy. He peered down at his short friend noticing how much she’d changed since the summer. She was wearing a tight fitted long sleeved shirt and a pair of high waisted jeans. Not to mention the makeup she was wearing. Yes, she looked gorgeous, but John wasn’t going to lie; he missed the days where she’d steal his shirts and wear them with a pair of holy jeans. The corner of his mouth twitched up into a smile as he looked down at her. Suddenly his thoughts from this morning flooded back into his brain. She was absolutely stunning; he didn’t know why he hadn’t noticed it before. Well he had, obviously, but he’d never felt this way about it. Halvo was definitely onto something; she was making him feel all kinds of things he had never felt about her before. Garrett had to do with it too, he thought. He’d seen Kenzie with other guys before and he’d always wanted to protect her, but with Garrett, his own friend, he didn’t just want to protect her. He wanted her all to himself.

She was so different than Shannon. She was shorter with darker hair. She was edgy and funny and he could tell her anything. She was his best friend. He had to tell her.

Kenzie stared back up into his hazel eyes. She was nervous about the silence. Had she imagined those words this morning? Did he regret it? Did he want to take it back? The way John was looking at her though, her heart was having a hard time believing her brain right now. She was in love with her best friend and she had to tell him. Now.

“We need to talk,” they both said at the same time.
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Sorry for the late update! I got swamped last night with this huge report I had to do. If I fail this, I don't get my diploma, so :P ahaha anyway, I hope you enjoyed this chapter, it will be my last! Next week should be the end.

I just wanted to take the time to say a HUGE thank you to dreamingyouhere for asking me to do this with her. I absolutely loved this experience and this whole story! We'll have to do another some day! x

And thank you to you guys for reading and commenting and just generally supporting us throughout this journey! We couldn't have done it without you! :)

Also thank you to chelsea13, zittalicious, everdeen & ewthatscute for commenting last week!

Have a good one guys! I'll see you all around hopefully!:) x