Title: Always and forever.
An: This was just the distraction I needed, hence the quick update hahaha
Music; Britney S – Born to make you happy.
Always and forever you and me
That’s the way our life should be
I don’t know how to live without your love
I was born to make you happy
– Britney Spears
Callum got out of the car, straightned his jacket, checked his face in the side mirror, frowning slightly. No makeup in the world could cover that shiner. He looked at the driver holding the door for Claes. “Oi, give us your glasses.” Callum said stretching his arm over the roof of the car. Claes gave Callum a dissapproving glare, which made Callum sigh, “Can I please borrow your glasses?” He said with a stiff smile. The driver took off his sunglasses and handed them to Callum’s waiting, open hand. Callum put them on and studied himself in the side mirror again, “Much better.” He said with a smile.
“Behave yourself, that’s all I ask.” Claes growled under his breath as he gently ushered Callum towards the church.
“What could possibly go wrong at a funeral?” Callum huffed, ignoring his fathers answer. Outside the church was a ring of journalists, with and without cameras, trying to catch the perfect picture of a grieving celeb. Callum made swift past them and slipped into the church, he wasn’t sure he could deal with any stupid questions about his personal life, all taken into consideration it was super inappropriate at a family funeral. But journalists were never known to be proper.
Claes guided Callum down the isle to the second row and pushed him in on a seat. “Loose the glasses, son.” He whispered.
Callulm obediently took them off and folded them in his hand. Claes had a whispered conversation with some other old gieser Callum had never seen. He reckoned it was some cousin or something. Shifting in his uncomfortable seat, Callum looked at the nice school picture they had chosen for Allun’s funeral. It made Callum smile to himself, he found it downright funny, that some spindoctor had done everything they could, to make the poor sod look like he was the boy next door. Allun had been anything but. For beginners, that he croaked from a heroin overdose at the age of 29 talked it’s own clear language.
The ceremony was long, boring and pointless, at least from Callum’s point of veiw. And by the time it ended, he was both restless, and about ready to kill for a drink. At least Claes seemed to loosen up a little, since Callum had made a point out of playing the perfect son, even if he had to wear sunglasses. It was not really untill they made it outside the church things started to go wrong. He was standing looking at the casket being carried out of the church, when he suddenly saw him. Every fibre in his body tensed, what the hell was Kruize doing here? Callum had never loved a pair of glasses as much as he loved these, right now. He could see that Kruize had seen him too, but didn’t acknowledge him.
It was not untill they attened the funeral party afterwards, hosted by Allun’s dad. Claes had hugged his cousin, and introduced Callum, who had smiled politely and shaken the poor sod’s hand, and offered his condolences. Like a perfect son. Claes had kept talking to Allun’s dad after they had finished all the obligatory stuff, and so Callum had snuck off to get the drink he was absolutely dying to get. As he poured his drink he noted Kruize out in the garden with this other fella from his band. It was awkward to go say hello, but it was just as awkward to pretend he hand’t seen them. So he downed the drink, making himself another one, which he brought to the garden. He wished that Joy had been here, but she wasn’t a part of this family. Half these people was of the oppinion that Callum’s mother was a gold digger. He smiled at another cousin of his, Bailey, he looked every bit as stuck up as he had always done. God he hated these people.
“Hey there Callum!” Bailey said, waving. “It’s such a shame it takes something like this for you to come for a family gathering.” He said, shaking Callum’s hand as he stopped infront of him.
“Bailey.” Callum said with a stiff smile. “I’m just busy, busy. You know, owning your own business doesn’t leave a whole lot time to play with relatives.”
Bailey rose a brow, “So did you keep in contact with Allun? I haven’t seen him since we were kids.”
The glasses hid that Callum rolled his eyes. “Not really, I saw him now and then. But we didn’t really do the same circles.” He knew that the ‘do’ joke was lost on Bailey, maybe that was a gay thing that was only funny to other homos. Because Bailey the posterboy for straight rich men, sure as shit didn’t get it.
“Oh I just thought you did.”
“Nah he was too busy doing drugs, fucking young boys.” Callum said calmly with his perfect business smile in place.
The corners of Bailey’s mouth twitched a little, but then he smiled back and said, “Here I was under the impression that it was exactly what you were doing too.”
“I bet you are.” Callum said politely, “Hate to break it to you, I was never into boys.” He corrected Bailey’s tie in an obvious obnoxious gesture, “I like my men to be actual men.” He said so soft that no one but Bailey could have heard. He let go of Bailey’s tie and smiled politely again, “Well Bailey, we should do this again sometime soon. It’s so much fun catching up with you.”
Bailey frowned but let Callum walk out that conversation as the victor.
Callum turned towards the bar again, dodging relatives and other people, he needed a drink more to get through this, actually he needed to be absolutely hammered, but he wasn’t sure that Claes would be as okay with that, as he was. Making it to the bar he found Kruize’s friend there making a drink too, this day would just not give him a fucking rest, would it? “Hi.” He said with a little awkward smile, searching his brain for the fella’s name.
“Oh.” Nathan said, smiling just as awkward at Callum. “Kruize is..”
“I saw.” Callum said, focused on making his drink.
Nathan looked at Callum who looked stressed and pale. “Hey come on, lets go say hi.”
Callum looked up at Nathan, slightly alarmed. “Why?”
“Because everything else would be ridicolous. You two are not five years olds holding each end of the sandbox.” Nathan said with a slight shake of his head. “Come on man, I will make up some excuse for you.”
“What makes you think I need an excuse?” Callum sneered, but instantly regretted it, and took a deep breath. “Maybe I do, need an excuse I mean..”
Nathan just grinned, “You two are just.. too much.” Callum walked with Nathan out to the garden and to Kruize. “Hey Kruize, look what I found in the bar.” He pushed Callum in front of him.
“Hi.” Callum just said smiling the same salesman smile as he ahd given Bailey. “Didn’t know you knew Allun.”
Kruize just stared at Callum, “Who? Cosmo?”
“Yeah. Cosmo.” Callum couldn’t help but to chuckle a little. “His name was Allun Van Maes, but I suppose you didn’t know that.” He shrugged, “He was my dad’s cousin Edward’s son. So something like second or third cousin to me, or something like that. We spent some vacations together as kids, but that was about it.” He was lying through his teeth, he had done his fair share of partying with Allun for some years ago, before Allun got really hooked, and really weird.
“No I didn’t know you were related.” Kruize said sourly, but couldn’t help but to smile a little, “Not that I’m surprised really.”
“Now now.. you’re supposed to exchange funny anecdotes about the dead.” Callum said snidely taking a sip of his drink. “Not compare him to the son of Satan.”
“Now if that isn’t little Malcolm!” A woman squealed, and to Kruize and Nathan’s amusement, and Callum’s mortification, the woman pinched his cheeks.
“Auntie.” Callum said with a slightly strained tone and fake smile. “Good to see you. Young and pretty as ever.”
“Aw you little charmer, you.” auntie Millicent giggled, “Now where is your precious wife?” She looked around to see if she could find Autum in the crowd.
“Autum couldn’t make it.” Callum said, his cheeks flaming.
“The baby isn’t sick is she?” Auntie Millicent asked worried.
“No Auntie, Pricilla is just fine.” Callum said with a dissappearing small voice, so humiliated that he could crawl into the tiniest hole he could find.
Auntie Millicent shrugged, “I suppose that a funeral isn’t the best place for a little girl anyway.”
“It’s not the best place for anyone, auntie.” Callum said with a compassionate squeeze of her hand.
“So true..” Auntie Millicent agreed, “You must come by and visit Frank and I some day soon, it’s been so long since I saw you, your wife and little Pricilla.”
“I promise, auntie.” Callum said with as much conviction as he could muster.
“I’ll let you get back to your friends,” Auntie Millicent said, smiling at Kruize and Nathan that smiled back. “Good to see you laddie.” She pinched his cheeks again, accidently knocking off his sunglasses. Callum could have died right there and then, letting the ground swallow him whole.
“Likewise.” He just mumbled, reaching for the glasses on the ground.
“Dude, that is one massive shiner you got there.” Nathan mumbled.
“I know.” Callum said with a sigh, “And I don’t even have a cool story to go.” He looked at Kruize who could have been the artist behind it, had Callum not ducked. “Let’s just call it karma.”
“Hey I just saw Tom from Tumbleweed, So I’m just gonna.. you know..” Nathan smiled appologetic, “Good to see you Cal.”
“Odds are we’re gonna see eachother in the bar in five.” Callum said drily, watching Nathan escaping, leaving him alone Kruize to his left, Auntie Millicent to his right.
“Pricilla, huh?” Kruize said trying to not sound put off, but failed miserably.
“Yeah.” Callum said with a little shrug. Leaning in closer to Kruize, holding on to his shoulder so he could whisper in his ear. “She’s not my kid, but that was the whole point of that ridicolous marriage, to save face, both for me and Autum. Or maybe more for our families. She and I have never even slept in the same room.” Callum let go and eased back to where he stood before, taking a casual sip of his drink. “And before you ask, the eye, it’s Ade’s handywork.”
Kruize sighed and sat down on the edge of a high flowerbed. “I don’t know what to say.” He admitted.
“Me neither.” Callum said, sitting down next to Kruize at the flowerbed edge. “Want another drink?”
Callum came back with two drinks to find Kruize in the exact spot where he left him. He handed a drink to Kruize and seated himself again. “You never told me where you knew Cosmo from.” He said, making polite conversation.
“I used to fuck him.” Kruize said with a little sadistic grin.
This had Callum laughing so hard that he had booze comming out his nose. He had several people turn and stare at him, “Sorry.” He coughed, chuckling.
“And why is that so funny?” Kruize asked.
Callum grinned down in his drink “I suppose it isn’t unless you knew him, and knows you.” An awkward silence settled between them, untill Callum paled, biting his lip nervously. “Kruize? I think I need to go.”
Kruize didn’t ask, he just nodded.
“Look there, it’s my cousin Bailey talking to my dad, and that can’t be good.” He sighed, “God, now he’s pointing at me. Shit.” Before he could do anything, Claes made a beeline to where Callum and Kruize sat.
“Yes, Sir.” Callum said with a little smile at his father. He knew better than to not be overly respectful in public.
“What was the last thing I told you before we came?” Claes asked, arms over his chest. waiting for an answer.
“Not to embarass you?” Callum said, “Sir.”
“Good, now which part of that was it you didn’t understand then?”
“What did I do?” Callum whined, he couldn’t help it, he was tired and hungover and didn’t want to be here at all.
“I don’t know, what I do know is that I have your cousin Bailey telling me that you are drunk and obnoxious.” Claes stared at Callum, “Are you telling me your cousin is lying?”
“Fuck yeah.” Callum huffed, adding “Sir.” Callum looked up at Claes and squinted his eyes against the sun. “He is a lying little shit, he always were.”
Claes seemed to think it over. “Just keep a low profile, okay lad?”
“Yes Sir.” Callum said smiling at his dad.
Claes nodded at Kruize and left the two alone again.
“That selfrighteous little shit.” Callum huffed, downing his drink in one go. “So..” He sighed, “How is your recording working out?”
“Can’t complaint.” Kruize said politely.
Callum had seven different bitter remarks on his lips but chose to keep them to himself. “Good.”
“I accepted this exclusive interveiw with Teen magazine, and I am sure that they will ask me about.. Us.” Kruize said softly, turning his head to look at Callum who sat and stared down into his empty glass. “What should I tell them?”
“Don’t know.” Callum said with a little sad shrug. “Whatever you want to, I suppose.”
“Don’t be like that.” Kruize tried, “I am asking you because I would like to know your answer. Not to be a smartass.”
Callum nodded, “Honestly, Kruize. I don’t know what you should say.” He chewed his lip idly. “Tell them you dumped me because I’m a fucking tosser for all I care.” He stood up and stretched, “I need a drink.” He just said and dissappeared into the house aiming for the bar.
Kruize sat there for a little while, Callum didn’t return, but Nathan came back, sitting himself in Callum’s seat, next to Kruize. “So? What did he say?”
“Nothing.” Kruize said deadpanned.
Nathan shrugged, “Can’t say I’m surprised.”
“Why is that?” Kruize asked with more venom in his voice, than his friend decerved.
“Because you two are just.. too much.” Nathan admitted.
Kruize frowned and stood up, following Callum’s path to the bar, finding the other man sitting there talking to another young man, the first Kruize noticed was the vague resemblance, but enough that you could tell they were related. Callum looked up and smiled at Kruize, “This is John, he’s Allun’s baby brother.” He turned to John, “This is Kruize.. he.”
“Oh I know who he is.” John said a grin formed in his tired face. “You played as a party-fluff band for Allun, didn’t you?”
“Support?” Kruize asked, “Yeah I did.”
“Exactly.” John drawled drunken.
“I’m sorry but I don’t remember you.” Kruize said, “Maybe..”
“See?” John said looking miserably at Callum, “No one remembers me, I’m the son and brother of more famous men.. No wonder I can’t..” He started weeping, leaning up against Callum, who wrapped an arm around John’s shoulders.
“I’m sure he didn’t mean it like that.” Callum said softly. “Maybe he was just really drunk when you met?”
“Everyone always remembers you.” John cried pitifully.
“That’s just different.” Callum said soothing, “Sometimes I wish they didn’t.” John just kept crying, and Callum looked up at Kruize, “Give us a hand, he needs to lay down somewhere.”
Kruize helped Callum guiding John to a bedroom where he could lay down. “Look Cal..” Kruize said, blocking Callum’s escape route from the bedroom.
“Alright Kruize,” Callum sighed, “I know you want me to appologize for Elliott, but I’m not sorrry. Hows that?” He looked up at Kruize with defiance.
“So I just tell them we had our differences, and that the rumors are true.” Kruize said, his voice steady, his anger only given away by his body language.
“Sure. You tell them that.” Callum said with a shrug.
“I can’t believe you did it, man.” Kruize said, his voice sad and annoyed at the same time. “I wouldn’t have thought you could sink so low.”
Callum blinked indifferent. “You don’t know me very well, do you?” He smiled acidly, “Now you do.”
“That shit aint going to work.” Kruize said, “I remember what you said to me in the car, and I know you care.”
“Guess what? It went away.. It’s fucking magic.” Callum spat, but his sad eyes gave him away, and in the end he sat down on the foot end of the bed where John snored blissfully away. “Just- Just leave it alone, okay?”
Kruize actually felt a pang of guilt as he stood there and looked down at Callum on the bed, he wanted to hate him, but couldn’t really find it in him to mean it. “Cal for fucks sake.” he just sighed.
Callum didn’t answer him, instead he pulled a little bag out of his pocket, shaking a generous amount of the powder in the bag unto the back of his hand. Not bothering with a tube or a money bill, he just inhaled it without. Blinking rapidly, pinching his nose not to sneeze. Ignoring Kruize, Callum licked his hand where there were some residue. “How’s the schoolboy these days?” He asked, knowing that he would piss off Kruize. But he could deal with a fight, he couldn’t deal with talking feelings. He had been caught off guard that night in the car, the feeling of loss had been alien, raw and new. Now it was just a constant state.
“Why do you insist on being such a fucking asshole?” Kruize asked, puzzled, hurt and angry.
“Because I can?” Callum said, pinching the bridge of his nose, sucking in his breath, wanting to tell Kruize about how he felt, how lonely and hollow he felt, but couldn’t find the right words. And the fear of ridicule lay just underneath the surface. “Shit Kruize.” He just wheezed, loosing the battle with his pathetic tears.
“Hey man, don’t cry.” Kruize said, and before he knew it, he had scooted down next to Callum, wrapping a sympathetic arm around the smaller man’s shoulders.
“It’s a fucking funeral.” Callum mumbled, angrily wiping tears from his eyes.
“Please don’t touch me.” Callum wimpered so pitiful that he hardly recognized his own broken voice. “I mean it, I don’t want you to… Please just – don’t.”
Kruize sat for a while before he decided to honor Callum’s request and removed his arm. “Okay.” He said softly with a hint of sadness, “You’re right, let’s not pretend to be friends.” He fiddled his hands in his lap.
“Let’s – not.” Callum whispered, his frame shaking from silent crying. He took a couple of deep breaths trying to gound himself. “Maybe I should go on vacation for a while? Just hang out on some beach drinking drinks that I can’t even pronounce, with stilly paper umbrellas in.” He ran a hand through his hair. “I can’t do this anymore…” Callum’s voice trailled off.
“No you can’t.” Kruize said, thinking that Callum talked about his drug habits.
“I should call Ade and fucking beg him to come back.” Callum sighed with a resigned frown, “He is one of my oldest friends, and even he is fed up.” Kruize just sat still next to Callum and listened, “I don’t know why I’m even telling you this shit.” Callum mumbled with a little bitter laugh, hiding his face in his hands.
“You don’t think that is reason enough to stop this insanity? That everyone is giving up?” Kruize said softly, wishing that he could pull Callum in for a hug, but knowing that he would never allow it.
“Do you go around giving everyone 50p advice?” Callum huffed without any force behind it. Turning around in his seat, he looked directly at Kruize. “Remember that morning we had breakfast on the roof of the club?”
Kruize nodded, unwelcome flashes of them knocking over everything, rolling around, fucking, came to him.
“We were good once, weren’t we?” Callum said, painfully fragile, “Do – do you think we could ever find our way back to that?”
“No.” Kruize just said sadly. Shaking his head.
Callum nodded in bitter resignment. “Just checking.” He unfolded the glasses and put them on again, standing from the bed. “We should get back to the party before someone starts to wonder where we went.”
“Yeah.” Kruize agreed, standing too.
“You just go on ahead, and I’ll be there in a jiffy.” Callum smiled strained, short of ushering Kruize out the door, closing it after him. Callum fell back on the bed and tossed the glasses to the other side of the room in anger, “Fuck.” He hissed, “Fuck, fuck..” Rapidly losing the facade he had tried so hard to keep as he and Kruize had been seated on the bed he buried his face in a pillow and wept bitterly. He had to move on, he had to stop feeling like this, like he was half a person. He just didn’t know how to shake himself from this spell. “You’re better than this.” He growled into the pillow, talking to himself. “You know how to pick yourself up and move on from anything..”Ah, said the fox, I shall cry.” He whisperd to himself, rolling over staring up into the cieling. “It is your own fault, said the little prince. I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you . . .” Callum smiled bitterly, “Yes, that is so, said the fox.”
Callum had been completely hammered by the time that Claes had announced their departure, he had carried himself with enough dignity that Claes hadn’t noticed how drunk Callum really was. Kruize had dissappeared after their talk in the bedroom, and really that had been for the better. One thing was that he couldn’t mend it between them, but he couldn’t deal with running into Kruize in person. It just brought everything that he carefully put away in boxes inside him, grow and sprout till he couldn’t controll it. Kruize really had to think that he was fucking mental. “I was thinking.” Callum said, not looking at his dad, “Would there be a way for me to perhaps branch out? Open a club elsewhere?”
“Burn your bridges here?” Claes asked cooly.
“No..” Callum sighed, “Yes, sorta.. So do you think that I could maybe loan some money to set up elsewhere?”
“Maybe.” Claes said slightly bored. “What did you have in mind?”
“I don’t know, maybe overseas?” Callum said, “Or down south? I would have to look the possibilities over.”
“Present me with a decent gain from your club, and a possible plan for another one, and we will look at it.” Claes said with a tiny smile.
“Been thinking of looking up mum first.” Callum said with a near whisper.
“I think a little vacation would do you good, lad.” Claes admitted, placing a very unfamiliar fatherly hand on Callum’s shoulder. “I can have someone track her down so you can let her know you’re comming.”
Callum turned and looked at Claes, “Really? You would do that for me?”
“She is your mother, of course I would.” Claes said, and for a moment Callum could see the same shroud of pain as he felt himself, as Claes talked about his mother. Maybe his dad missed her as much as Callum did?
“Thanks.. Dad..” Callum said with a genuine smile, and like when he was little, leaned up against his dad, knowing this would only last till they had to get out of the car, but even just for a moment, it was good to feel protected and little.
A week later Callum finally got his courage up to call Adrian. For once he was not staring down a drink, but had made himself coffee, looking over possible factory buildings for sale in the more hip places, where it would be realistic to make a club. The phone was finally picked up, and Callum took a deep breath, “Hi Ade, uhm.”
“Look Ade, please come back.” Callum whined, “I can’t do this without you.”
“I know you can’t.” Ade huffed in the other end.
“Please.” Callum begged. “I’ll give you a raise.” This was only met by silence, “Anything! Just come back.”
“Yes!” Callum said softly, resting his forehead against his hand, listening to Ade.
“You have to get your drugs under control, mate.” Ade said drily.
“I will.” Callum promised a little flatly. “Actually.. I was thinking of visiting my mum on the Cayman Islands, just to sort this shit out.” he admitted.
“That is probably wise.” Ade said, “Oh now that I have you, have you seen Teen magazine?”
“No.” Callum sighed, “And I am not sure I want to.”
“He is quite polite though, Kruize that is. He said, and I quote. ‘It’s true that Callum and I split, we were just heading in two different directions I suppose. Blah-blah-blah, we are still friends.”
“Shit.” Callum sucked in his breath. “It’s official huh?”
“Yeah.” Ade said, “Look for what it’s worth, I’m sorry it had to be like that.”
“Sure you are.” Callum breathed with indifference. “So are you comming in today? I really need you here!”
“I’ll be there.” Ade said, “But you better be sober.”
“I am.” Callum said, leaning back in his chair, “Painfully so, in fact.”