Chapter 8: Alarming Confessions
Archimedes found himself back in high school, and at senior prom night to be precise. Demelza stood there looking nothing like she did on the real day. She was dreaming of her present self at high school prom, and he found it oddly hilarious. He thought it was the most ridiculous thing to dream of as a grown-up.
He then noticed himself dressed in a suit; the dreamy version of him was also a spitting image of him as he was then.
“Why Demelza why?” he cursed under his breath.
Archimedes had never before been in a situation where he was invading a dream that he was already part of. He recalled Demelza being crowned ‘prom queen’ that day and her boyfriend “Liam” from high school was crowned prom king.
Yet, in her dream, he was wearing the king’s crown. Demelza was smiling at the prom king and leaning towards him for a kiss. Archimedes darted towards the two and jumped between them before the kiss could happen.
He pushed away the prom king version of himself and focused on the bewildered prom queen. He shook her by the shoulders and looked her right in the eyes instructing her to listen to him closely. She stared back at him horrified, and not blinking once.
“Kenneth has loved you since high school,” he told her, “he’s your real prom king,”
“What are you talking about?”
“I only love you as a friend Demelza. We can never be more than friends.”
She yelled “NO” dramatically and Archimedes was back on his bed. She had obviously woken up by the shocking events of the dream.
“I hope she remembers and understands what I said to her,” Archimedes said to himself and closed his eyes to drift into his own dreamland.
As Demelza crept out of her room the next day, both of her housemates greeted her warmly.
“Good morning princess,” sang Kenneth.
“How you doing beautiful?” joined in Archimedes.
She grumbled at them dismissively, and fetched a bottle of cold water from the fridge. She was pretty freaked out by the dream she’d had the previous night. She told the guys that she was having breakfast with one of her gal friends and left hastily.
Kenneth arched a brow at her queer behavior and Archimedes just flung his head down and smirked. A moment later, he beamed to himself when he recalled his own dream about Scarlett; he was falling hard for her.
Scarlett was sitting alone outside on the stairs to the college library, munching on a Snickers bar. She heard faint footsteps behind her and peered back to find Demelza standing with her arms crossed, and lips pursed.
“Can I help you?” asked Scarlett uncertainly.
“Yeah you can,” she responded curtly, “leave Arch alone!”
“Excuse me?” said Scarlett getting up to her feet.
“He’s mine!” she cried out like an obnoxious child.
Scarlett offered a sympathetic look and advised that she talk to Archimedes instead of getting mad at her.
“He’s just a good friend of mine and by his own choice,” she clarified.
Demelza’s hands formed into fists by her sides. Scarlett’s blasé attitude was flaring her up even more. She called Scarlett a pathetic loser and told her to make friends that matched her own low standards. Scarlett was amused by the fact that a girl like herself was feeling insecure because of her.
Demelza spat out a bunch of demeaning insults, yet she didn’t react at all. Suddenly, Demelza completely lost her senses and jostled her down the stairs. Scarlett encountered a bad fall; she wailed and screamed at the bottom of the stairs. A group of girls nearby witnessed the whole thing and rushed over to help her out. One of them caught sight of Demelza going pale in the face and hastily fleeing the scene.
Archimedes jogged all the way to the infirmary as soon as he heard about Scarlett’s accident. There were rumors about Demelza’s involvement in it, but he had to make sure. He found her lying on a bed with several bruises over her skinny legs, arms and head. The way she gazed up at him broke his heart.
“You shouldn’t be here,” she said to him timidly.
“Tell me what happened,” he demanded, “did someone do this to you?”
“You should be with Demelza,” she replied poignantly and turned her head away.
Archimedes fought back tears and left without saying another word. As soon as he got far enough, he dialed Demelza’s number and asked her to meet him in the parking lot.
“I’ve got a class in five minutes,” she stammered.
“I don’t care!” he barked at her, “be there right now!”
Demelza said ‘sorry’ a hundred times and swore she never meant to hurt Scarlett. She admitted to being furious at her for stealing her best friend.
“I felt like she was replacing me in your life,” she sobbed.
Archimedes felt no remorse in her words and asked her not to show him her face until she apologized to Scarlett. Demelza would never do such a thing, but she didn’t have a choice because didn’t want to lose him.
She agreed to accompany him to Scarlett’s place and apologize in person. The poor girl took a while to answer the door, since she could barely walk to the bathroom. Demelza offered the most sincere apology she could fake and begged for forgiveness. The situation made Scarlett uncomfortable and she told her it was okay.
“Just forget everything I said too” pleaded Demelza, “I was out of my mind and none of it was true”
She was hoping Scarlett wouldn’t repeat her words to Archimedes. She left shortly, but Archimedes stayed to take care of the injured girl. Scarlett told him to go and that she could manage everything on her own.
He put a finger on her lips and stopped her from saying another word. He held her in his arms and kissed her forehead. His warmth flooded her veins and she soon fell into a deep sleep.
Scarlett dreamt of an enchanted forest that looked like a fictional masterpiece. The sky was pink and the leaves on trees were purple. There were lots of butterflies in every shade and a stream of dark blue sparkling water. In addition, there was the sound of music in the distance, a very captivating kind.
She ran amidst bushes and wild flowers to reach it. She came to a clearing where she found a frail yet beautiful woman singing. She was crouched on the ground and her eyes blood shot. A man stood behind her who had a very familiar face. He was like a magnet, dangerously irresistible and impeccable. He flashed a wicked grin and cold eyes that could pierce your soul. Then Archimedes appeared out of nowhere right in front of her; his resemblance to the man was uncanny.
“There is something you need to know,” he spoke softly while looking at her intently.
She pointed towards the man at his back and asked him if he knew who it was. Archimedes was puzzled and slowly turned around, but the man and woman disappeared into smoke before he caught a glimpse.
“I don’t see anyone,” he spoke confused.
Scarlett shivered and put her arms around him. The haunted eyes of the woman and the malicious grin of the man sent chills down her spine.
“Take me home,” she cried.
Archimedes held her face in his hands and assured her that there was nothing to be afraid of because she was with him. She observed that his eyes were kind and warm, exactly like his adorable smile. It made her feel safe and sound.
“What did you want to tell me?” she recalled.
Before he could say something, she woke up. Archimedes was wide awake right by her side looking exactly like he did in her dream. He asked if she had slept well and she reluctantly nodded ‘yes’.
“Any nice dreams?” he pried good-humoredly.
She speculated for a second whether to tell him about her dream and then decided not to. She lied that she didn’t remember. Archimedes was disappointed; not only did she wake up before he told her that he loved her, but also she didn’t remember a single thing.
“All this time you’ve been hanging out with Scarlett?” Kenneth demanded furiously.
Archimedes was trying to study for a test and was in no mood to argue with him. He had to go see Scarlett in a few hours, so he didn’t have any spare time on his hands. He requested that they talk another time, but Kenneth won’t budge.
“Yes we became good friends and I like her,” confessed Archimedes, “so what?”
“Why do you always snatch everything nice from me?” Kenneth retaliated.
Archimedes stared at him in disbelief. He slammed his book shut and stood up against him.
“What are you implying?” he raised.
“Scarlett was my friend first, and I love Demelza but she’s into you,” cried Kenneth, “it’s always you!”
Archimedes couldn’t believe that his best friend retained such opinions of him. He told Kenneth that he could not blame him for what happened with Scarlett. He also swore that he never led on Demelza or thought of her as anything else but a friend; it was impossible to imagine such a thing.
“Did Demelza say that she likes me?” he inquired.
Kenneth claimed that it was evident and anyone in his or her right mind could see it. Archimedes scoffed and wondered if his best friend had always envied him. It was true that he was better with girls and most things; still, he always tried to never let Kenneth feel left out or second-place.
“All I’ve ever done is look after you Kenneth,” he disclosed sincerely, “You’re my bro,”
Kenneth laughed at his words with contempt and informed him that he wasn’t going to fall for his sugar-coated bullshit. He yelled “I hate you” and violently shoved him backwards. In return, Archimedes punched him hard in the face and left the apartment in agony. Kenneth cursed as his nose stung and bled like hell.
Scarlett could tell that Archimedes was distressed when he got to her place. Her bruises were healing and she was much better. He had taken very good care of her for the past couple of days. She sat next to him and put an arm around his shoulder.
She asked him if he had a fight with someone or if something else bothering him. He didn’t want to talk about it and conveyed that there was something else she could do to cheer him up.
“Just name it,” she said sweetly.
He lifted her up in his arms and carried her to the bedroom.
“You lasted longer than usual last night,” giggled Scarlett.
Archimedes lay on top of her with his eyes closed. She ran her fingers through his hair, which made him feel at ease.
“I love you,” he blurted out without warning.
Her fingers froze halfway, but she remained silent. Archimedes sat up to face her, waiting for an answer. She just stared at him blankly for a minute and then she chuckled. She elbowed him in the ribs and told him that he almost had her fooled.
He held her hands and told her that it was no joke. She expected a heart laugh or smile that would reveal his mischief, but he remained serious.
“You’ve ruined everything,” she said gravely.
She leapt out of bed, pulled on a shirt and exited the room. Archimedes hurriedly pulled on his jeans and followed. She seemed upset, which was not the reaction he predicted after disclosing his true feelings to her. He grabbed her hand, but she vehemently yanked it free and warned him not to touch her.
“Why are you acting like this?” he cried, annoyed.
“You promised that you would not fall in love with me,” she shrieked, “You’ve betrayed me!”
She sank to her knees and sat against the wall sobbing bitterly. Archimedes knelt down in front of her, pushed her hair aside, and held her face.
“I’m human,” he said, “I can’t control who I fall in love with Scarlett,”
“Just get out of here and never come back,” she rumbled.
Anguish and fury welled up inside him. He got up, looked around for his shirt, and bit his tongue so that he wouldn’t say something harsh. He slammed the door hard on his way out.
Archimedes sat at the bar chugging down his third beer while he waited for Demelza. After leaving Scarlett’s place he needed a friend to lend him a shoulder, maybe. Kenneth already hated him, so Demelza was the only one he could reach out to. She got there as fast as she could; she was practicing her role for a college play with her colleagues when he texted her.
Demelza looked stunning as usual, each strand of hair in place. As she walked in through the doors, all eyes turned on her. Archimedes hugged her as soon as she got to him.
“Are you okay Archie?” she asked with concern.
They both sat down and he ordered a round of shots. He told Demelza about his true feelings for Scarlett and how she broke his heart. She was surprised to hear his story but also glad that Scarlett had rejected him.
He was vulnerable and it was her chance to win him over. She reassured him that everything would turn out for the best and she would stand by him all the way.
“You deserve much better than her,” she said to him, “and I’m going to help you get over her in no time,”
Archimedes spilled everything on his mind; it was a blend of angry and sad notes. He called Scarlett a whore who just used him for sex. Then he blabbered about how soft her skin was and that she always told him the funniest jokes.
Demelza listened with patience even though she was sick of hearing about Scarlett. She wondered how a girl like her that turned Archimedes into a hopeless Romeo; and the thought that they had sex made her want to gag and stab her repeatedly in the chest.
After a while, Demelza convinced Archimedes to go home, as he was severely drunk. Kenneth wasn’t there so she had to drag him to his room all by herself. She laid him down and sat by his side.
His eyes were half-open and he clasped her hand. She played with his hair and bent over to kiss him on the lips. He kissed her back and pulled her closer. She lay next to him and stared dreamily into his eyes.
“I’ve been in love with you since high school Archie,” she said softly, “I want you so bad,”
Archimedes was barely conscious; he saw Scarlett’s face in Demelza’s and all the sounds that reached his ears were muffled. His hands slid under her skirt and she moaned seductively. She helped him remove it and spread her legs. He penetrated her harshly and nearly ripped off the rest of her clothes. She had waited for this so long, and she loved every second of it.
“I love you,” she squealed, “now you’re all mine Archie,”