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Our Bleeding Hearts

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James' PoV

I truly loved Thomas.

And I realized this as I walked to another 'date' with Aaron, set up by Thomas. He told me he wanted me to be happy, and that he was about to 'beat Burr up' if he didn't confess soon. There was nothing to confess, of course! But still, he was so considerate and maybe if I was in love with Aaron, this would all work out. But I was more than willing to deal with everything if I could just keep Thomas by my side.

Before I left, he took me by the hand with a grin and thanked me for everything I've done. And when I left, I finally let myself redden with his touch and his words, and he remembered everything I had done for him. He told me that I needed to take care of myself, and then fluffed my hair as he tossed his own. His curly hair was honestly fantastic. He was fantastic in general, damn! He thanked me so much, so often, his dark eyes on my own. I didn't want to leave, even if it was just for a few hours.

I did his hair every few weeks, a little bet we had that he won with. I let him win. And damn, it was so difficult to do someone's hair, while they were shirtless, them also being so adorable and gorgeous, and not getting a boner! I swore, Thomas would be the death of me the day and I'd be so embarrassed I would literally die. The earth would just swallow me up if that day ever came, I crossed my fingers it wouldn't.

My phone buzzed suddenly, and I quickly pulled it out to be greeted by a text from Thomas.

 

my love with big hair: Jimmy James, I'll be gone for a few hours, gotta help my family out, will be back late tonight :)

my love with big hair: I'll buy you a cheeseburger on my way back, you're too short! ;) see you later Jem (take ur meds)

 

My heart sank sadly. It would only be a couple of hours, I'd see him when I woke up but still, I was looking forward to spending time with Thomas after this. I sighed softly, but I was sure that it was a good thing he'd be going to see his family. He rarely talked about them, if he did it would only be about what school his siblings were going to. I heart one thing about his dad and our classmate who apparently looks like him, but absolutely nothing about his mother. Maybe they weren't on good terms?

I was extremely close to my family, I had eight siblings, trying to keep in touch with all of them. Four of them had passed away when I was very young, but I swear my mother will talk about them like they're still there. Damn it, the more I think about it, the more I want Thomas to meet my family! Already getting to 'meeting the parents' step, hah! But even so, I think he'd like them and vice versa.

Now while I say I'm close to my family, that doesn't mean I've told them about the hanahaki disease nonsense. Being head over heels in love with someone I could never be with actually didn't bother me that much. I simply wanted to stay by Thomas' side, and if swallowing down my feelings was the way to go, then I could do it. Thomas was perfectly imperfect, and no matter how many times he claimed that he wasn't what he wanted to see in the mirror, he was perfect to me. Big hair and everything.

What if... I actually had to get the surgery to forget Thomas? What if the flowers got so damn bad that I couldn't take it anymore, and Thomas got scared of me? All of this, it wasn't his fault at all. I didn't want to tell Thomas because I didn't want to scare him off, ruin the warmth I got from his words, and I didn't want him to blame himself if he didn't reciprocate my feelings. But still. What if I had to forget the love of my life and every single memory with him? Would I lose my memories of every laugh we shared, or would I choke on the petals first?

I shivered, pulling my arms around myself. I hated thinking about that.

"Hey, James!"

I heard a voice exclaim, glancing up to see Aaron. Thank god.

"Hey Aaron," I laughed, giving him a high five. "Uh, sorry about Thomas pestering you for goin' out with me again. He can be a little intense sometimes."

"No trouble," Aaron smiled, running his hand over his head. "How are you doing with lover boy? I saw your texts, I hope the guy is okay. He can't even be a 'lover man' honestly, there's a really angry ten-year-old inside of him."

My face burned, and I nudged him with my elbow. "He's doin' better, out helping his family today. He'll be back by tomorrow, he's still pretty shaken up so I've been taking care of him. He's already done the same for me, plus I am in love with him, so."

Aaron laughed loudly, patting my back. It was so easy to talk about Thomas, even after everything. The flowers had been getting pretty severe when Thomas was not around, but it didn't seem too bad currently. I was with a friend and my dorky love would be back at the dorm tomorrow, everything would be okay. I snorted to myself, every time I told myself that something bad would happen. I had the sudden urge to check on Thomas, I hoped he was alright.

My phone buzzed again.

 

my love with big hair: -view image attached-

 

I pressed the 'view' button, to be greeted with a photo of Thomas in a drive-thru getting dinner, sunglasses on, holding up a peace sign. I grinned. What a dork, damn! Aaron laughed as he looked over my shoulder as we chatted, strolling into the closest diner. We ordered burgers briefly as friends would do, and Aaron paid. Of course. I chuckled, my family wasn't rich, but they loved each other. It all worked out.

We took a seat, casually talking as we started on our food when three girls sat down with the two of us.

"Hey, Aaron!" They exclaimed, almost in unison. The youngest one, at least I assumed she was the youngest, tossed her hair that was strung with yellow ribbons as she spoke. "Who's your friend?"

My heart twinged nervously at the fact that I was being talked to, and I anxiously tapped at my thigh. "Er- I'm James. We were j-just getting dinner."

"Cool," the yellow one said, tilting her head with a grin. "I'm Peggy."

"Hi," I mumbled, raising my voice so I didn't seem completely pathetic. "Nice to meet you all."

"I'm Angelica," the tallest one said, having similar ribbons in her hair but pink. Maybe there was a festival or something around here? The one sitting in the middle shyly waved at me, blue ribbons in her hair instead. I could tell them apart at least. "This is Eliza, and you've already met Peggy. Don't play poker with her."

"Hey!" Peggy exclaimed, scowling. "That's the first thing you say to him? You're going to ruin me, Angelica, do you need to tell everyone that? Dad is going to hear about it."

Angelica grinned, playfully glancing at her. "Dad doesn't need to know 'bout it! So I'll keep blackmailing you for it as long as you can."

The middle- and blue- one spoke, rolling her eyes at the two of them as she spoke to Aaron. "So Aaron, how are you doing?"

"I'm good, thanks, Eliza." He smiled to me, and I nervously sank further into my seat. They were nice but social anxiety does not give a shit even if they were the nicest people on Earth. How could Thomas be so skilled in talking to people? And like it? "How's Maria doing?"

Eliza smiled, and I raised my gaze curiously. "She's great! We actually went out this morning, before these two dummies-" she gestured to what was probably her sisters- "interrupted us."

I smiled, sitting up straighter. "You're close with your... Sisters?"

They nodded in unison as they grumbled at each other sarcastically. "You could say that! Just... We're sisters, so we're close of course."

"Cool," I said, grinning. I was close to my family, probably more than other college students. "I have eight siblings, but seriously. I really missed them when I left for college, e-erm the youngest one said they would camp out in my dorm so she could come with me."

I chuckled fondly at the memory. Thomas told me when I was lying on my bed, sobbing my eyes out from being away from home, that he would be my little sister if I missed her that much. He laughed, 'wig and everything.' I think that's when I knew it, that Thomas would steal my heart, and damn! I was completely okay with that!

We chatted for a while, and I felt good in people I didn't know's company! It was crazy, after a while I stopped stammering every other sentence, and Aaron would grin along with the conversation, making awkward puns every so often. And the craziest part? I was having fun! I saw that Angelica was reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine, just like real Thomas was a few weeks ago!

"Did you happen to recommend that to T-Thomas?" I asked, gesturing to the book tucked neatly under her arm.

"Oh, Jefferson? Yep! I thought he could use a bit of woman's studies in his life. I'm majoring in it, after all, might as well out it to good use." Angelica grinned, tapping her fingers on the book. "Is he acting any better after reading it?"

I chuckled, ducking my head down. "Well, uh, he's scared of you."

She leaned back in her chair, a smirk on her face. "Good."

I laughed loudly, a sharp burst of noise. And this single moment would have been utterly perfect if Thomas was here, even if there was the risk of him starting a fight no matter where we go. But this for now, just laughing with friends, god this was great. I needed to tell Thomas all about this, the love of my life deserves to share these moments too. He had only been away for a couple of hours, and I missed him! Damn it!

Everyone continued to chat as I grinned to myself, tapping my foot absentmindedly as I glanced at my phone. Thomas hadn't texted me in a while, almost two hours. But he must have been enjoying his time with his family, what else are they for really? I chuckled. Maybe not everyone's relationship with their family was great, and sometimes it was better if the person stayed away from them. But Thomas was visiting them, so of course, he would like to see them. I was sure he was having fun.

How wrong I was.