Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Cameron grunted as he was slammed against the wall. The assailant, being only five inches taller than him, had him by the edges of his collar.
"Let him go!"
"No, not until I find out some answers."
Cameron looked his attacker in the face. Having this happen to him wasn't that uncommon, the only surprise coming from who his attacker is.
"Kenton, let him go this instant!"
Kenton sighed and let down the younger boy before taking a step back. Cameron straightened out his shirt and calmly said, "You didn't need to intervene; I can fend for myself."
Olivia crossed her arms and replied "No, I think it would be for the best if you're alive and conscious to answer our questions."
After scratching his head, Cameron shrugged and muttered "Whatever."
"Who are you?"
"Uh, don't you know? My name's Cameron. Cameron Elder to be exact."
"Yeah, I know. I know exactly who you are."
"Then why did you ask?"
"Because I also know that you're the brother of the one who killed my friend!"
Olivia silently thanked whatever deity she believed in that Mia wasn't around for this conversation. This wasn't going to go well. Cameron's face turned to that of shock and then a bit of pain.
"So, what are you doing? Stalking us on behalf of your brother? Trying make us suffer more?"
Cameron had enough of this and quickly shoved Kenton. "Hey! That's enough!" Olivia said as she put herself between the two to keep a fight from breaking out.
"You don't know... you don't know a freaking thing!" Cameron said as he took a deep breath.
"Oh, I think I know what I need to know."
"Kenton, let him speak." Olivia said as she noticed something a small drop on Cameron's face.
"Okay, speak then."
Five Years Ago
"So, what do you want to do, Elias?" an eight-year-old blond boy said to his best friend.
"I don’t know, William, how about another math game?"
The two boys ran up the hill to a small villa. The two came from quite different families on different sides of the tracks. The two of them laughed and played games all day when the two families got together.
Two Years Ago
"So, you're going to middle school here?" Elias asked as he walked down the street with William. Cameron, ten years old at the time, trailed behind them by several paces.
"Yeah. The parents are splitting up."
"Really? Getting a divorce?"
"What?!" Cameron said in shock.
"Shut up." William snapped behind him. Cameron, still loyal, immediately shut up.
"Wow, that sucks, man." Elias said as Cameron found himself silently crying at the thought that his family was going to break up.
"Can't blame the old man... are you crying?!" William turned around to see tears streaking down his little brother's face. Cameron didn't respond with anything outside of a sob.
"Damn it. You need to quit acting like a wuss. Buck up."
William turned back to Elias and continued by saying "Sometimes you look at someone and you realize that there's just no love there."
"Does... that mean that they don't love me?" Cameron meekly asked.
"Yes, it does. Maybe that’s a sign."
Cameron recoiled slightly as Elias's jaw dropped at what just came out of William's mouth.
"…What?" Elias tried to ask as William shrugged it off.
"Drop a toaster in the bath. Drink bleach. Drop a toaster in a tub full of bleach. Don't care. Just die."
Elias stopped in his tracks. William rolled his eyes as he knew that his friend wasn't going to let this go.
"That's enough. He's your brother for God's sake!"
"And you want him dead?"
"Yeah. Again: so?"
"...Are you serious?"
William closed his eyes and nodded in a condescending manner.
"Screw you then. How about you go die instead?" Elias said as he turned around and walked over to Cameron.
"Whatever." William muttered before walking off. Cameron started to walk after him, but Elias stopped him with a hand on his shoulder.
"You believe that crap that he's talking, do you?"
Cameron had no answer, instead looking down at the ground.
"This isn't the first time that he's said this, is it?"
Cameron sobbed once and shook his head.
"Because I'm a horrible person. And my parents are splitting up because of that!"
"Why do you say that?"
"Why not? Why would he say that and why would my parents be splitting up?"
"I don't know. But you're not a horrible person. And don't ever think that you should die."
Elias looked beyond Cameron to see that William was long gone. He wrapped his arms around the other boy and held onto him as his shirt became soaked from his tears.
"Cameron... just remember, I might not be there for you every time he says something stupid like that, but I want you to remember that every time he says that you're horrible or that you should die, just remember that I do care and that I know that you're not a horrible person. Do me a favor and survive, okay?"
Saturday, March 8, 2014
The day that Kenton, Elias, Olivia, and Mia went to the water park was another fateful day for Cameron. William and Cameron's father took the two boys to the park and went off to do his own thing while the boys were on their own.
"Stay here and don't go anywhere." William said as he pointed to a seat where he expected his little brother to stay for the entire time while he had all the fun.
"Yeah, that's going to happen." Cameron replied. Elias's speech a year and a half prior gave him a spark to stand up to him.
"You better. I'm freaking serious. There will be consequences if you move."
Cameron rolled his eyes and sat down on at the table. It wasn't five minutes later that he saw two people walk by, one of whom he recognized.
"Did you see that commercial where they showed that new sundae?" Olivia said as she walked next to Elias as they walked on by.
"Yeah. I think I might try it."
"Elias?" Cameron thought as he turned to see the two walking over to the concession stand. Olivia went first and got her sundae before Elias got some candy bars.
"I think I'm going to try to see if I can get away with sneaking this onto the lazy river."
"Have fun. I think I'm going to hit the arcade."
Olivia walked by as Elias went and sat down on a bench around the corner. After looking around quickly to make sure this his older brother wouldn't bust him, Cameron ran up to the concession stand and got a sundae not unlike the one Olivia bought. He ran back to his seat and started eating it when he saw a shadow loom over him.
"What did I say?" William said as he placed his hands on Cameron's shoulders and gripped them firmly.
"Gee, you say a lot of things, bro. Anything in particular that you're looking for?"
"I said 'don't move'. What did you do?"
"What makes you think that I moved?" Cameron asked as he took a bite of his sundae.
"Where did you get that?"
Cameron realized that it was obvious that he had to indeed move to get the sundae. William growled and picked up the bowl of ice cream.
"Give that back!" Cameron said as he stood up to face his brother.
"Shut up and SIT DOWN."
Several people stopped in their tracks to look upon the commotion. The younger boy, tall enough to be at his brother's eye-level, looked at him and said "No."
"You little sh-"
"That's enough!" a voice said from to Cameron's left. He turned his head and immediately felt stronger and grateful. Elias, looking as angry as humanly possible, stared down William.
"Oh great, you're here! Is it open mic night again? Ready to drop some 'science'?"
"Give him the ice cream back."
William looked at both Cameron and Elias and sighed in defeat. "Fine." he muttered as he walked over closer to his brother. Instead of giving the sundae back, William flipped up the bowl and smashed right on Cameron's head.
"YOU STUPID PRICK..." Cameron shouted as a security guard came running up. William took off running as Elias stayed behind.
"Are you okay?" Elias asked as he handed the other boy some napkins to get the ice cream out of his eyes. Cameron nodded as he took a few deep breathes. Elias wasn't sure if he was trying to get control of his anger or trying to keep himself from crying.
"Come on, let's get you cleaned up."
After escorting Cameron to the changing room to get the ice cream out of his hair, Elias asked "Hey, do you want to hang out with my friends? They're pretty cool. You deserve to hang around people who treat you better."
Cameron hesitated on that offer. It would be nice to have friends that weren't out to get you. He always wished that Elias could've been his brother instead of that pompous ass that he ended up with. However, he concluded that whomever Elias's friends were would just inherit the drama that William was sure to rain down on Cameron.
"Nah, I think I'll be okay."
"Yeah, thanks, bro." Cameron said with a slight smile. Elias returned the smile and wrapped an arm around him for a quick one-armed hug.
"See you around."
Kenton and Olivia looked at each other, in shock from these revelations. "Wow... I never knew that Elias and William were friends..." Kenton said as Cameron took another deep breath as the tears started to come down his cheek.
"How much of that is the truth? I can't see Elias being friends with someone like William." Olivia said as she crossed her arms in a critical manner.
Cameron sighed before reaching into his pocket. He pulled out something and handed it to Kenton. Olivia's eyes widened as she saw what it was: a photo of William, Elias, and Cameron in their younger (and happier) days. William's side was completely ripped out of the photo so that only Elias and Cameron remained. What Kenton and Olivia didn't know was that the photo was taken from Elias's room from when he visited with Mia earlier in the day.
"I'm... so sorry..." Kenton sighed as he sat down against the wall. Olivia and Cameron sat down on both sides of him.
"So, don't say that I don't know. Because I do. If it wasn't for Elias... I don't know. I just don't know." Cameron said as the anger started to give way to the realization that the one person who was rooting for him was no longer around.
Meanwhile, William was safe in his house. After looking out of the window to verify that his father was indeed gone for the day, he walked slowly over to his computer and logged into his social media account. He glanced through the list of people online and felt a little delight at seeing a certain name on there.
"Hello!" he typed. For him (not unlike most people), enthusiasm and empathy came easier through the keyboard than it did his mouth. After waiting for what felt like an eternity, he saw a reply come from the girl that he found himself heads over heals for. He took a deep breath and continued talking to the girl.
"So, William wasn't always this messed up. What caused him to..." Kenton asked, not sure to ask how the sociopath managed to lose his marbles.
"It started around the time that my parents got divorced. Can you believe that there was a time when he told me that he loved me that wasn't just lip-service for the parents?"
"So, you were all a big happy family?" Olivia asked. Cameron shrugged before replying.
"Well, depends on what you call happy. My mom runs a travel agency in the city. My dad works on furnaces and air conditioners. She wanted him to get an office job and he wanted her to get an 'honest' job. Eventually, Mom got fed up and told him to pack up his crap and hit the road. William moved out with Dad and I stayed with Mom. She even insisted on changing my last name."
"And all that is what caused him to..."
"Yeah. You know that house on the corner of Cougar and Caribou street?"
"Yeah, I live further down. That house is HUGE." Olivia chimed in.
"I live there. I certainly don't mean to brag, but that's what Mom and I ended up with."
"WHAT?!" Olivia said as her eyes widened. Cameron nodded.
"So, your family is..."
"Loaded. I guess you could say that. Mom started the agency before she met my Dad and when they got married, they signed one of those...uh..." Cameron gestured his hands as he tried to remember the phrase.
"Prenuptial agreement?" Olivia suggested.
"Yeah! That's what it was. Anyways, Mom kept her business while Dad continues to clean air ducts. We got the house while Dad and William live in a house over on Muskox."
"That's a... rough neighborhood." Kenton mused.
"Oh yes. It is. It took a while for the 'rents to figure out that whole child support mess, so Dad and William lived through rough times."
"And that's what made him bitter?" Olivia said as she crossed her arms in her critical manner.
"Olivia, think about it. Elias's parents were living large because of their... thing, and then Cameron's living good. Imagine being at a party and having to scrub the toilet while everybody else gets to have fun." Kenton said as he tried to defuse this situation before it started. Olivia sighed and uncrossed her arms.
"So... any other questions?" Cameron concluded.
"Why didn't you tell us sooner?"
"After Elias died... I didn't know how you would react to who I was. That day when you came up to me when I was kicking the soccer ball, I wasn't sure if it was a punishment or a blessing."
"Punishment? For what?"
"For what William did, I guess." Cameron said as he looked down with a couple tears starting to form. He felt movement next to him and braced himself for a beat-down. And he felt that he deserved every single blow.
To his surprise, he felt an arm wrap around his shoulder. He thought that the only person who cared about him died a month ago, but he was apparently wrong. He looked up at Kenton and the two now-best friends shared a smile.
William continued his eager chatting with the girl on the other side of the internet. They were now in a private messaging chat and were telling each other about their lives.
"So, do you feel comfortable giving me your real name?" William typed into the chat box. When the reply came through the line, he smiled at knowing the name of his new love. After that, he typed his reply to the reply:
"It's so nice to meet you, Andrea."