Story 17

Posted: November 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

New story, with Travis in college.

Split

 

Travis was pacing after he’d gotten the call. He was in his sophomore year of college at this point, and had formed a pretty nice relationship with a girl that was there to double major in acting and business. Her name was Sloane West, and she had actually been interested in him. It was the first time that had ever happened for the young monkey/human hybrid. Most wouldn’t give him the time of day. Others would just dwell on the tail.

 

Their relationship was solid, and they did almost everything together. Since Spencer had become busier over time, he had a need for companionship. The two may have shared an apartment off-campus (Spence taking classes in a different school, and all), but they barely saw each other. Travis had always hated being alone, and Sloane’s presence always helped him feel better.

 

Which is why her call was so unnerving to him. She had said that she wanted to meet him outside later that afternoon. There was no specified reason aside from a certain four word phrase that often led to trouble…

 

“We need to talk.”

 

He had never heard of anyone being told that phrase and still keeping their existing relationship. It wasn’t the kind of thing that led to proposals.

 

No, it was that sort of phrase that only led to heartbreak and pain. Maybe if he stayed here, he could avoid being hurt. Maybe he could stay safe, keep his heart intact, and just avoid her altogether.

 

But as he thought of it, he realized that that would not accomplish anything. Besides, it wasn’t like he could find a reason for her to break things off with him. He had never once lost his temper around her, and would do those little things like holding the door open for her and handing over his jacket if she was cold.

 

But who knew? It might be that she’d wanted to take things to a new level?

 

He wouldn’t find out unless he met up with her. Grabbing his favorite jacket, he stepped out of the apartment and went to meet with his girlfriend.

 

Sloane was standing right outside, 10 feet away from the doors. She looked up as Travis came out, taking the cigarette from her lips and smothering it beneath her boot. She picked it up and put it in the trash, shoving her hands into her pockets.

 

Travis hesitated when he saw the look on her face. Whatever she had to say wasn’t going to be easy for her, he could tell.

 

“Hey…you wanted to talk to me?” he asked, tail flicking.

 

She pushed up her glasses. “Y-yeah… Thanks for coming out here, first off. I know you have other things you could be doing, so the fact that you’d take time out to come and talk to me means a lot.”

 

He didn’t recall having a lot of homework on the agenda today, but whatever…

 

“So…my parents have recently started pressuring me about children.”

 

Did she want to sleep with him? Was that what she was getting at?

 

“And they aren’t exactly the most…open-minded when it comes to the genetically altered.”

 

Oh…

 

“So, what are you getting at, here?” Travis asked, eying her warily and really not hoping her response would be what he thought it was.

 

“I think we should end it.”

 

Travis was no stranger to pain. He had been beaten, stabbed, shot, broken…

 

But this?

 

This was something he wasn’t quite as used to. This was a punch to the gut, followed by a blast from an RPG. Was she seriously breaking up with him because of what he was?

 

“Sloane, do you want to do this, or is it what your parents want?” he asked, voice catching in his throat.

 

She didn’t answer right away.

 

“Sloane?”

 

She reached behind her glasses and wiped away a few tears.

 

“It’s…it’s a little of both, really.”

 

He stared, wanting her to elaborate as quickly as possible.

 

“You see, they wouldn’t understand how I could possibly be in a relationship with you. There’s that stigma where everyone with genetic alterations has a criminal record. And those two are very set in their ways. I could try to explain it to them, but…”

 

“Do you believe in it, Sloane? Do you really buy that bullshit?”

 

“No! Of course not!”

 

“Then what is it? What did I fuck up?”

 

“What? No, it’s just- What I mean to say- Ergh…there’s really no way to go about this, so please hold all questions until I finish, okay?”

 

He nodded, listening quietly for what else she had to say.

 

“You’ve been fun to be around. I won’t lie about that one. But I’m not sure I’m actually in love with you. Plus, to be honest, that healing ability sort of creeps me out. It’s just–it’s…it’s not right, know what I’m getting, at? It’s unnatural. On the one hand, I’m glad you’re so difficult to kill and all, but on the other, it’s freakish. I might be able to put up with it if that were all, but there’s also the monkey DNA. It just gives off a vibe of bestiality when we kiss. How do I know you wouldn’t go feral if we slept together?”

 

“…So, what you’re saying is I’m more of a pet than I am boyfriend material. Is that it?”

 

“What? No, I never said you were a ‘pet’, exactly…”

 

“But what you ARE saying is that I’m more animal than person, right?” he asked, shoulders beginning to shake.

 

“I’m sorry, Travis…but I want to end our relationship. Please, don’t make this any harder than it has to-”

 

Before she could finish her sentence, Travis took off running on all fours. She chased after him for a bit.

 

“Travis, PLEASE, come back!”

 

He paused for a moment, turning back at her and giving her an almost angry-sounding, monkey-like screech. She might not have been able to communicate with non-human primates. But she knew all too well that he wanted to be left alone. She backed away, ultimately turning around and walking away.

 

She needed another smoke.

 

Travis took a different route to get back to his apartment, wanting to avoid running into her again. He didn’t even want to think of her anymore. He just wanted to curl up in a ball and forget he’d ever met her.

 

He reached the apartment in question after a few minutes, standing to his full height and throwing open the door. Travis stormed in. Now that he was alone, he could let out every emotion welling up inside of him.

 

He broke down sobbing, and took a swing at the wall. His fist broke right through the cheap plaster and particleboard.

 

“Well, there goes our security deposit…” someone remarked from nearby.

 

He looked up to see Spencer. Spencer crouched down to Travis’ level, putting a hand on his shoulder.

 

“What happened?” he asked.

 

Travis didn’t say a thing in response, just pulling his roommate into a hug. Spencer returned the hug.

 

“I won’t judge you for it, Trav… Whatever it is that happened, I’m here.”

 

He took a few breaths to compose himself.

 

“Sloane broke up with me.”

 

“Sorry to hear. Did she say why?”

 

“It’s because I’m a freak,” he said in a tone that made Spence flinch.

 

This was a man that consistently took his coffee black, and that was still nowhere near as bitter as Travis’ tone just then.

 

“Spencer, what do you think I am?”

 

Spencer thought of how to answer that one.

 

“What kind of question is that?” he asked. “You’re my best friend and roommate.”

 

“That’s what some people say about their dogs…”

 

“But that’s the thing. You’re not a pet. Nobody owns you. Also, I’d be a lot less comfortable with giving you chocolate. Speaking of which, how about we go and get some, and you can talk to me about whatever’s on your mind. Okay?”

 

Travis sniffed. “Don’t you have a lot of homework?”

 

“I’ve gotten the more important work out of the way. The rest of it can wait.”

 

“In that case, I’d be happy with that…”

 

They broke the hug, walking out of the apartment together.

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