It was Christmas day and we had just finished opening all the presents. Cam had gotten me an amazing silver necklace that had his name on it and the word best engraved under it, he had a matching one with my name and friends inscribed on his. I made fun of him for it at first, teasing him that it was cheesy, but I loved them. b His parents had tried to give me a gift but I protested saying that letting me stay with them was enough. They didn’t take that as an answer so the gift stayed unopened under the tree. Cameron’s older sister Melanie had gotten me a gift card to a spa back home that I loved. She said that it was her husband’s idea, but we both knew better. But after all the presents were open, I looked around and watched Cameron talk with Melanie and her husband and his parents talking quietly with each other on the couch, I felt like I was interrupting a special family time. And it made me miss my mom even more, so I quietly go up and walked out onto the deck and watched the snow fall around me. I didn’t notice the cold, or the lump forming in my throat until Cameron came out.
“Hay? Are you alright?” I took a deep breath, feeling the lump in my throat, before turning to face Cameron.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I just thought that you guys would want some family alone time for a few minutes.” I shrugged
“Hayden, you know we consider you family, you’re part of all of this too.” He stepped forward and leaned on the railing next to me.
“I just didn’t want to impose. You all have done so much by letting me st—“ He covered my mouth with his hand to cut off any further protesting.
“Shut up. You’re just making shit up now. You know we love you and would do anything for you.” He pulled me into a hug; I only reached about mid chest on him.
“Love you Clam.” I smiled into his chest as I used my childhood nickname for him.
“Love you too Haystack.” He chuckled.
“Cam...I miss my mom.” I felt my eyes begin to sting.
“I know, but you did what was best for her…now she can get the help she needs.” He smoothed my hair down and pulled me a little tighter against him. “Now let’s get back in there before they start to worry that we’ve died of hypothermia.”
“Home sweet home.” I muttered sarcastically as Cam opened the door to our apartment.
I tried avoiding coming home all morning, considering coming home meant going to work, but Cam eventually all but tied me down and threw me in the car so we could beat the traffic.
“Yeah, yeah. You know you missed Valerie so why don’t you call her up and see if you guys can go out?”
“Trying to get me out already? Why got a hot date?” I teased but I felt a pang of jealousy as I did.
“As a matter of fact, Serena’s coming over in about an hour, so if you don’t mind, y’know leaving…” He looked at his watch.
“Sure. Whatever.” I stomped off.
“Hayden! You know I didn’t mean it like that.” He called after me as I reached my room and slammed the door.
I called Valerie and explained the situation and she told me I could come over as soon as I wanted, which I told her would be now. I unpacked my stuff quickly and made sure I had my key and phone before slipping out of my room and trying to avoid Cameron. I made it successfully to the door and walked out and straight into a overly bleached and perfumed twig.
“Watch where you’re going fat ass!” Serena hissed and she stepped around me and closed the door.
I sighed and made my way over to Valerie and Henry’s house trying not to let Serena’s words get to me…no matter how much I actually believe them.
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