The Long Way Home: Chapter Four

Bea sat at the table, nursing her hot chocolate between her hands as she waited for Kris to come back from dropping Ivan off back home. He had insisted that she wait in the cafe for him, probably so he could bombard her with concerned questions of whether she was okay or not, and demand for her to talk to him about it. She smiled to herself. Her brother was such a caring person; she couldn’t have asked for a better brother.

As if sensing his name upon her thoughts, Kris entered. He ordered a caramel hot chocolate, with whipped cream and sprinkled chocolate pieces and caramel on top and went over to sit opposite Bea at their table.

“Caramel hot chocolate? What happened to your boring writer’s coffee?”

Kris laughed. “I guess I feel like a sweet person right now,” he replied, making Bea chuckle in amusement.

“Kris, you’re always a sweet person.”

The pair smiled at one another, silently sipping their drinks as the mild chill ceased its bite from their bodies. It was Kris who finally set down his mug and leaned forward in his seat to rest his forearms on the table in expectation. Bea looked at him innocently.

“What?” she asked. Kris simply raised an eyebrow in answer, to which Bea lowered her gaze to the drink she held in her lap. “I saw Darren,” she said plainly. Kris sighed, sitting back in his chair.

“I should have known this had something to do with him,” he said, running a hand through his hair. “So what did he want?” he asked.

It was Bea’s turn to sigh now. “He wanted us to get back together,” she said. Kris’ eyebrows shot towards his hairline before he had chance to hide his surprise.

“What did you say?” he attempted to ask indifferently. Bea hid a smile behind her mug. Her brother had always been useless at hiding his feelings.

“I said no,” she said simply, setting her mug down on the table. She looked up to see watch her brother’s eyebrows rise again and his jaw go slack, and couldn’t the soft laughter that came from her mouth.

“Wow,” he said. “Sorry, I guess I just thought you’d run right back in his arms as soon as he snapped his fingers.” He blushed when he realised how harsh that must’ve sounded. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to sound so-”

“It’s okay, Kris, really,” Bea laughed.

The pair fell into a comfortable silence, grinning at one another as they sipped their hot chocolates. Kris couldn’t help but feel so proud of his sister. She had finally stepped out of the stressful cycle that was namely her on-off relationship. Kris had never seen her looking as content with her life as she was now, and it brought a big smile to his face which Bea couldn’t help but notice.

“What?”

“What what?”

“What’s with the goofy grin?”

“Ah, nothing.”

Bea narrowed her eyes and smiled. “Hmm,” she chuckled. “So come on, what about you?” she asked.

Kris frowned. “What about me?”

Bea rolled her eyes and leaned forward, resting her forearms on the table before asking in a hushed tone, “When are you going to come out of the closet?”

The mood dropped with a small bang of Kris’ mug on the table. “Why do we have to bring this up?” he sighed.

“I know you’re scared, Kris, but do you really want to live as somebody you’re not?”

“I’m not ready to tell everyone. I’m scared of how everyone will react: Mom, Dad...Daniel.”

“Well I’m almost certain that Daniel will be fine with it. He’s your best friend after all. He’ll accept you.”

“And our parents?”

Bea sighed. “I don’t know,” she admitted. “But there’s only one way to find out, isn’t there?” She was right. He knew she was.

It was that moment that Daniel entered and walked over to them.

“Hey Kris! Hey Bea!” he greeted them both cheerfully before turning his attention to Kris. “Kris, you won’t believe this! You know Dale from my Chemistry class? Well his cousin has taken Film Studies and his assignment this year is to direct an original film, only he’s no good at writing scripts. So I told Dale that you can write just about anything, and guess what? Dale told his cousin and he wants to meet with you as soon as! You’ll be mentioned in the credits and everything! Okay, I know it’s only a student film, but can’t you see how amazing...”

Daniel was rambling at top speed and Kris couldn’t help but silently chuckle at his friend’s enthusiasm and faith in him. His eyes sparkled as he talked; leaving Kris slightly breathless at how beautiful he was when he was so passionate about something. He caught Bea watching him, a knowing smile gracing her features and he felt his cheeks redden in embarrassment.

“...and I know you haven’t done anything like this before, so this is a great opportunity to get a real taste of the job. So will you do it?”

Kris laughed. “Have you finished?”

“Yeah,” Daniel answered.

“Only you were gabbling more than the twins put together – and that’s saying something!”

Daniel chuckled. “Well,” he said, “I guess I just got a bit excited at the thoughts of you working on your first film project. It’ll prepare you for when you get your assignment for Film and Media.” He paused, waiting expectantly.

“What?” Kris asked. Daniel rolled his eyes.

“Are you going to do it or what?” he said.

Kris smiled. “Yeah, let’s do it! When and where does Dale’s cousin want to meet up?”

“Tomorrow lunch in here.”

“I’ll be there!”

Daniel grinned. “I knew you’d go for it! I just knew!” And with that he excused himself and left. Kris chuckled again, and then turned to Bea.

“Okay,” he said. “I promise I’ll tell them.”

Bea nodded and smiled at him encouragingly.

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