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A Situational Dilemma

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Perhaps life wasn't meant to be exciting. If this is what exciting means, I'd prefer to never encounter it again. Boring isn't bad, Gordie thought to himself, a loud voice frantic in his head. Gordie had been trying to think of something to write, where to begin, so he lazily doodled on the paper hoping it might jolt some inspiration into him. It in fact did not do that, unless you consider lulling off to sleep inspiration. 

Gordie heavily preferred writing over sleeping, seeing as dreams weren't exactly the best place for him. Often he found his mind prying open the can of worms that was his brother. His mind had difficulties putting the worms back into the can, they would burrow into a sensitive area of his consciousness and he would be incapable of digging his brother out of his thoughts for weeks. 

Writing helped. Often if he were writing as he fell asleep he could avoid the brother worms for the most part. This time was different though, often the daydreams were much more obscure than ones he had at night with his pencil clutched in his hand as he dozed off. This would be one of those daydreams--daymares? Gordie was unsure of what he would classify it as, just that it caught him off guard and bothered him to his core. 

Gordie, a voice spoke to him softly as he came to himself within the dream, he looked up to lock eyes with Chris, his best friend. This dream had been so vivid to Gordie, he remembered things that shouldn't even be existing within the dream, such as his thoughts throughout the whole thing. Chambers, he thought, my parents shuddered even at the thought of the boy. They could never understand what I do, what I have seen this boy do. He is passionate and courageous, he has never once backed down when it meant helping one of us. He is humorous and forgiving, everything they wanted. Everything they wish I was. Everything Denny was and everything I could never be. He was my ideal... His thoughts had trailed off as Chris spoke up again.

"Gordie, y'know?" His voice sounded like powdered sugar, soft and sweet, it melted into the air, causing any qualms to dissipate. Chris did not focus on a response from Gordie, and continued speaking, "I wish everyday could be like this one." Gordie began to look around, for the first time taking in the surroundings. In my room. On my bed. He never comes over? My parents once even turned him away while it was storming outside. They're blind to the world around them, not even noticing whenever I left with a giant bag of blankets and pillows, plus a change of clothes for the both of us. Flash. There they were, in the treehouse, the aforementioned bag sitting next to Gordie. I was soaked by the time I made it there, but seeing Chris clinging to himself up against a wall of the room made me know it was worth it. Gordie shivered, he was soaked? Chris was as well but he seemed unfazed. "It doesn't matter what situation we're in, I'm just glad to be with you." Gordie looked up quickly, his eyes trailing from the bag over to his friend that was still completely soaked.

 "Are you cold?" Left Gordie's mouth without a second thought, a shiver running through his spine as he realized the chill the wind was creating through his dripping clothes. Chris nodded and Gordie fumbled with the giant bag, pulling out a change of clothes for each of them as well as two giant comforters. Gordie and Chris quickly ripped off their clothes to replace them with the new dry ones. They were warm against their skin and left the exposed pieces of skin still shivering. Gordie looked over at Chris after he was done changing and stifled a laugh, "sorry," he croaked out. Chris stood there in a pair of pajama pants and a shirt that was obviously too small for him as it exposed some of his stomach. Gordie held out one of the comforters to Chris and he took it with a smile, sitting down against the wall and draping it over himself; Gordie did the same.

After a few minutes of silence, Chris still shivered next to Gordie. "Do you need this one too?" Gordie questioned, gently tugging at his own comforter. Chris shook his head, mouthing a thank you. He's shivering, Gordie. Well, to be fair I'm still shivering as well. Gordie looked at Chris shake gently under his comforter and he scooted closer, causing Chris to look up curiously. A noise of questioning left Chris' mouth, but Gordie scooted closer still, until they were touching. "Here," he said, stacking their comforters on top of each other, "now we can be wrapped in both." Chris' face shone a bit in the moonlight that crept in through the makeshift window of the treehouse, he was smiling. Gordie smiled back. 

They sat there for a few minutes, just smiling at each other, the presence of the other illuminated by the glow of the moon. Gordie felt something touch his hand and he jolted up a bit, the wood creaked as his body landed back down on it. "Sorry," stated Chris sheepishly. Gordie gave a perplexed look to his best friend as he looked off at some dark spot in the room. Chris looked down, but Gordie didn't stop looking at him, and he felt something touch his hand again, it was warm, and a little rough. 

Gordie looked down at Chris' hand lying on his own. He didn't say anything, but instead, took Chris' hand and laced their fingers together. They sat like that for some time, it was comforting.

And then Gordie was asleep, but rather than another dream, he was waking up, groggily lifting his head from his notebook, fingers still wrapped around his pencil. He ran his hand over his face, the same hand that was holding Chris'. He jolted from his seat and stumbled back, landing on his ass and smacking his head against his bed frame. 

He mumbled profanities under his breath as he got up and went back to his seat. I suppose it's time to write.

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Gordie scratched away at his paper, filling it with words of uncomfortable feelings that he was filled with upon waking. That's not how the memory went, he wrote, in reference to the unintentionally fabricated scene his mind had produced. That's not how I wanted it to go either, Gordie paused as his hand finished up that phrase. Had he wanted it to go that way? Most of that scene was true besides thoughts up until they sat down, they had sat on opposite walls, not exactly on purpose it was just the most convenient; the two were a little exhausted and just wanted to snuggle up as quickly as possible. They had shot the breeze from across the room, laughing lazily about their uncomfortably large feeling of distaste that had been growing for the town. Eventually they had fallen asleep, comfortable in the company of the other. It was a pleasant memory, one that made Gordie smile fondly and made him realize how remarkable Chris was. 

Chris Chambers, the man dealt the most atrocious hand in existence managed to somehow be one of the most remarkable people I ever had the pleasure of meeting, Gordie jotted down happily. His family, an absolute mess and his life a hair away from being in shambles, and yet he stood as an intelligent, kind boy. He had every excuse to be just like Eyeball but he wasn't, even in the slightest. He was supportive and interesting, he would stay up with you if you were having difficulties even if he was aware of the consequences. I could never be like that. Gordie stopped writing, gathering his thoughts. He did not intend for that to be something negative, just an observation of Chris' qualities, and yet it came forth as such. Maybe that's why I enjoy Chris' company so much, it doesn't matter that I "could never be like that," because he cares about me just the same. Gordie felt his face get red and found difficulty swallowing, his heart overflowing with words never spoken and feelings he never bothered to ponder. How is it that someone can make you feel so as if you are cared for whenever those who have this unspoken bond to you could not care any less about you? It's as if all of the love or support that they provide to you is provided by some omnipotent figure, giving divine intervention in lieu of those who are meant to be providing such. This person is aware of everything that is important to you and finds you of enough of a priority that they can give these things to you that you never receive, while they never receive it themselves. How is it that someone can be so loving? 

Gordie felt himself pause for a extended moment before a tear fell from one side and he pressed his pencil onto the paper again. How can someone make you love them so much? This phrase that he wrote made him feel so uneasy about his emotions and seemingly held him frozen in this perpetual state of denial. The denial wasn't necessarily even intentional, but rather this normalization switch in his brain flipped to one setting that told him "this is how things are supposed to be," so he never found himself questioning these laws of perceived correctness. The thought had never even occurred to him before this very moment that he himself could be a deviant from these preconceived rules. Why would it? This world will have you believe in a single thing so much that even the most obscure placement of these ideals is commonplace. Commercials? They must advertise the traditional ideals as well as their product. Movies? Reinforcing beliefs already ingrained in the minds of everyone residing within the country as well as providing entertainment. It seemed so off to him now that he actually pondered his own deviance from these commonplace values and beliefs. 

Gordie's stomach let out an anxiety fueled grumble, and his palms were coated in a thick layer of wetness. To stray from traditional household ideas is to overtly oppose them, it is a spit in the face of the normalization that society has taught those who wish to live their lives without condemnation. It is breaking from a mold that decides who is worthy of gratification in this world. It is something that makes Gordie nauseous to even consider. 

This is not just a general act of defiance that he often found himself mixed up in, this is a display that, if caught onto, could alter the way anyone within a ten mile radius would view him. Even a subtle hint that the boys romantic feelings strayed from the status quo could set him up to be blatantly ostracized; not by the general populous, as he was used to, but by the people he held dearly to him. This could lead to isolation beyond anything that he had ever imagined, and he wasn't sure if it could ever be mended after people found out.

So, Gordie thought, no one can find out. This was such a simplistic solution that it almost felt foolhardy. Could it possibly be that easy to keep something that had already bothered him so much within the hour of realization a secret? Surely his resolve would not break, but could it be detected by some outside force beyond his control? Was there even a possibility that something could happen that could reveal these feelings to anyone but himself? Surely paranoia tainted his brain and played a symphony with his fears, but he could not help the way the negative emotions grasped him in such a way it was as if he had went through the process of petrification. His inability to move from his seat only fueled the ramblings of fear in his mind to a higher gear, to the point that it deafened him to the world around him, and he found himself alone, and realized his residence was not welcome in this place. 

His feet carried him with no mental application, no awareness, just a rhythmic thud against the pavement and an inadvertently tight grip around his notebook as he seemingly glided down a familiar route. He flung himself forward and leaped into the rungs of the rope ladder, comforted by the sway beneath him as he ascended, invisible to all. He was invisible to all, of course, until his head shot up through the door of the treehouse and into the familiar smelling wooden room that he often found himself in during bouts of emotional difficulties. As he found himself surrounded by the scent of a sort of home, he also heard the creaking of the wood, signifying that someone was in the treehouse already. Gordie was too blinded by the lack of air entering his system to be able to actually view who this person might be though, as he threw himself up into the treehouse with a loud smack against the ground. 

He clutched the notebook tightly in his arms and waited for his the bright white dots to dissipate from his vision. "Gordie, are you okay?" Chris' soft voice spoke to him as he felt a soft grasp on his shoulder. Gordie let out a heavier puff of air in response and Chris looked down at the notebook between Gordie's fingers. Chris took a hand and tugged at the object, but Gordie's grip didn't give even a bit. 

"Don't," Gordie pleaded, finally opening his eyes to look at Chris. He looked down at the still heaving boy, and nodded slowly, shifting his weight from his feet to his bottom. Gordie held eye contact until his vision went blurry again and a sharp pain pulsed through his head. He massaged his temples softly, and he felt something hit his knees, but just as quickly as the weight was there it was gone. The light movements of his fingers against his temples alleviated much of the pain and he found that his heaving has ceased and his vision had cleared. He sighed in relief, and opened his eyes. Chris had found the most recent page of his notebook and his eyes were scouring it in an attempt to find what difficulties Gordie had found himself in. It was an innocent act of kindness generally, but this time hadn't been like all the others, this meant something entirely different and Gordie felt his face contort into some painful grimace as he realized Chris' eyes were already dragging over the words. His muscles tensed up and his eyes watered profusely; in this world, he would be alone.