Interlude: Who Knows?

The words on the page in front of Gus may as well have been in Japanese. Though he’d read the same paragraph three times, his brain was unable to truly process what it was reading.

It had been like this all week – at his classes, at his apprenticeship… His mind was simply too far away to focus.

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A loud knocking suddenly broke the silence in the tiny cabin. Gus closed his textbook at the sound, part of him grateful for the distraction, and part of him wondering who it could possibly be. None of his family ever knocked, it seemed. Not the adults, at least.

Could it be Zayne? Or one of the triplets? Gus hoped not. He loved his nieces and nephew, but putting on a brave face for them day after day was growing tiresome.

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He was called back to the present by yet another series of knocks, these ones even louder than the first. Curious, but also a bit nervous, Gus finally opened the door.

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“What the hell, Auggy?!” The young woman cried.

Gus rolled his eyes, but couldn’t hold back a smile at his foolishness. I should have known… “Hey, Em.”

Emma did not return his smile. “Don’t ‘Hey, Em’ me!”

Gus’ face fell. She’s pissed at me… And he knew exactly why. “Look, Em… I –”

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“Would you care to explain to me why I had to find out from Noah that you dumped him? A week ago?! After he PROPOSED to you?!

Gus was unfazed by his friend’s outburst. “Alright, first off, I didn’t ‘dump him’, okay? Things are just… complicated right now.” He sighed. “And secondly, I don’t need to tell you every detail of my life, Em.”

“Bullshit. We’ve told each other everything since we were eight years old.” Emma narrowed her eyes as she spoke. “So why didn’t you tell me?”

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Gus almost smiled. “You know me too damn well… And I know you too well too.” He shook his head for a moment. “I wanted to tell you, okay? But I didn’t… Because I knew you’d do this.” He gestured in her general direction. “I don’t need one of your pep talks this time. I just need to figure this out on my own.”

Emma just stared at him as he crossed the room and sat back on the sofa. “Yeah, and clearly you’ve been doing an excellent job of that…” She paused for a moment, her face and voice finally softening as she sat down beside him. “Come on, Auggy. Talk to me. I’m here to help you… What happened?”

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“Well, if you talked to Noah, I’m guessing you already know.”

“I know his side. I want yours.

Gus hesitated for a moment, then finally took a slow, deep breath. “He proposed to me last week, on our anniversary. But I said no.” His shoulders shrugged slightly as he spoke. “Em, you know how much I want to marry Noah someday… But you also know how he feels about commitment.”

She nodded in understanding.

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“This isn’t what he wants.” Gus continued. “He’s doing it because it’s what I want. He’s acting stupid and rash because he’s freaked out about what happened to Lucas. And it’s not right. His parents broke up when he was just a kid, and I know that was terrible for all of them. I never want us to end up like that. But if we do this thing for the wrong reason…” He paused, shaking his head. “I want him to want this too. And he doesn’t. I know he doesn’t.”

Emma did not immediately reply. She paused for a few long moments, thoughtful. “How do you know?” She asked at last. “How do you know he doesn’t want it?”

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“What?” That was not the response Gus had been expecting. “Of course he doesn’t. He’s told me plenty of times how he feels about getting married. It’s not exactly a secret.”

“Well duh.” Emma rolled her eyes. “I knew that. But you haven’t talked about it in a couple years, right? Not seriously, at least.”

Gus shrugged uncomfortably. “Yeah, so what?”

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“Well, maybe he changed his mind.” She suggested. “Maybe he really does want this. Or hell, maybe you’re right and this is the biggest mistake ever… Who knows? I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume you never actually talked about it?”

Gus felt his face grow warm at her words. “Well… no. It kinda turned into a fight pretty quickly… I told him I thought we both needed a break to figure stuff out. So I went home, grabbed some clothes, and headed here.” He admitted. “Not a lot of time to talk.”

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“That was over a week ago, right?” Emma asked. “And you still haven’t talked to him?”

He shook his head. “Not really.”

“And he hasn’t tried talking to you either?”

Gus shrugged. “Well… He’s really mad. What do you expect?”

To his surprise, Emma burst into laughter in reply. “God, if you two do end up married, he should really take your last name, Auggy. He’s a Rosebrook already.”

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“What the hell is that supposed to mean?!”

She shrugged. “You all pout and hide from your problems.” She explained. “Oh, and you totally suck at communicating… Just like Noah. Wow, you two really are soulmates, huh?”

“Why are you being such a bitch about this, Em?”

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Emma shook her head. “I’m just being honest, Auggy. I’ve been in his shoes before, remember? And I made the exact mistake you’re both making right now… Might as well have called me Emma Rosebrook.” For a moment she almost smiled, but her tone was serious as she continued.

“You broke my heart, and I tried to shut you out. I refused to listen. And I almost lost the best friend I’ve ever had because I was too damn stubborn to just talk to you and give you a chance.” She paused for a moment, sighing. “Don’t make the same mistake I did. I almost lost my best friend. You might be losing something even more important.”

Gus said nothing for a long time. He knew she was absolutely right. He had to talk to Noah eventually, didn’t he? If he didn’t… It would be over. And that wasn’t what he wanted. Gus knew it wasn’t.

Then why was it so damn hard to face him again?

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“You’re right.” He said at last. “I can’t lose him. I need to talk to him.”

Emma nodded encouragingly. “You really do, Auggy.”

“I guess I just kinda don’t know what to say.” He admitted softly. “It’s so awkward now. And one way or another… This is gonna change everything.”

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“Maybe for the better.” Emma smiled at him. “You’ll never know until you try. And no matter how things end up, I’ll be here for you, okay?” She assured him, rising to her feet. “Whether that means being ready with a gallon of ice cream and a box of tissues or a bottle of wine and a wedding planning guide… I’ve got your back.”

Gus lips curled into a smile. “I know you do.” He stood up from the couch and pulled his friend into a warm embrace. “I love you, Em. You’re the best.”

She laughed softly, giving him a tight squeeze. “I love you too.”

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39 thoughts on “Interlude: Who Knows?

    1. Lmao she is definitely meta 😂 I can’t resist the occasional meta-moment! 😛

      And honestly, I didn’t make Emma 😮 She’s from the gallery. I changed her clothes and hair but her face was gallery-made. I can’t remember what she was uploaded under 😦 She was a single teen household, I remember that much!

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  1. By the looks of it, one Rosebrook is going to be pleased and haoly. Let’s hope so or my ship, the Royal Nuggy, will be broken, just like the SS Marklyne. Currently, the ship has been fixed up and we’re sailing down the seas.

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  2. So true that the Rosebrooks could use happiness! And I’m glad you liked seeing Emma again ^_^

    As for Auggy’s look, I think he just liked it :p (which is to say, CitizenErased14 liked it hehe)

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  3. Just wondering, what happened to Jade? She hasn’t been mentioned for a while now…😶
    Also, I love Noah’s house (from the little outside view that we do get of it)!

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  4. I was dreading this. I know, I know this needed to happen but man I am right there with Auggy. What are you supposed to say to someone who is proposing to you for all the wrong reasons? Especially when said guy mentions in his proposal that he knows how bad YOU want this. At this point I just want Auggy to be able to move past this with or without Noah. Here’s hoping there is some resolution.

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    1. You definitely understand why Auggy was having such a hard time with this! Noah went about things ALL wrong. I promise resolution is coming, one way or another. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha she is! I found her on the gallery and gave her a bit of a makeover, but that face was not made by me, so I can’t take credit haha

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  5. Apparently i missed a few chapters and not just one. This was really great. I love that we got to find out what was wrong (and that i was right :p). Hopefully they can work things out and get married and adopt a ton of babies!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. YES for Emma whipping these boys back into shape! “God, if you two do end up married, he should really take your last name, Auggy. He’s a Rosebrook already.” My favorite line. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Go Emma! I missed her gorgeous face, and am an even bigger fan now that she’s back to dish out some uncomfortable truths! *engages cheerleader mode*

    I don’t particularly get Auggy’s logic. If Noah is willing to commit to something so huge BECAUSE he knows it’s what Auggy wants even if marriage is just an unnecessary label to him, why should that be a bad thing? I see it as the opposite.

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    1. Hahaha I knew you’d like this chapter 🙂

      I think for Auggy, he saw it as a mistake for them to get married if Noah didn’t REALLY want it. He doesn’t want to get married to someone who doesn’t actually want to marry him, and he also fears future ramifications if, say, 5-10 years down the line, Noah ends up regretting it and leaves him. So to Auggy, Noah wanting it too was really important to him.

      I do understand your alternate perspective for sure though 🙂 It’s just not the way Auggy saw the situation.

      Like

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