“So how can we fix this?” Gervais asks as Larry and Blue come in to the house.
“Sell up and split the money four ways.” Blue says.
“You have to stop running sometime bro.” Chris says.
“I would rather live alone than with you three.” Blue says.
“So, we buy you out.” Gervais says wondering how far and how hard he should push Blue.
“Fine, you have 30 days.” Blue says.
“No. No, we agreed we’d stay together.” Chris says.
“The novelty of being around people I know has worn off. This joint venture isn’t what I want. I don’t want to be making coffee and cake all day for forever. I don’t want to be cleaning up after you because we have different standards of cleanliness.
You guys supported me when I was at rock bottom, I appreciate that, I really do. But it feels like you only did it so I could be ready to work here. I left a job where I was working all hours and barely existing outside of it and I didn’t expect the same here.
What I got is worse. 7 days a week and not 6 and cleaning up after you guys on top of it. Then you tell me I’m not doing enough and have to teach yoga on top of that but make out like you’re doing me a favor. When I don’t act overjoyed I get dumped and lumbered with Christmas dinner, and all the clean-up and you didn’t even save me a plate, or apologize.
I’ll never get a boyfriend with Gervais living here, never have a life of my own without you three knowing all about it. This arrangement does not work for me. I am getting nothing out of it. I have less freedom and less money. It sucks.” Blue says laying everything on the table.
“No one asked you to teach yoga and I didn’t dump you over that. You weren’t the only one working long hours.” Gervais says.
“But I was the one without choices. What did I get to choose for the house? A bed, which I had no choice over and the kitchen equipment, because you all expect me to cook for you. Who didn’t get to choose their car, or phone, or even underwear? You all treat me like a toddler and your mother at the same time.” Blue says getting more wound up.
“What are you talking about?” Larry asks.
“You three went out and bought yourselves nice new cars, and left me with the rust bucket, no discussion. I wasn’t worthy of a new car, because I wasn’t going anywhere.” Blue says.
“You don’t care about cars.” Chris says.
“That’s right I’m the runt who brings in the money and keeps you comfortable and shuts up. I will not live like this. Being dismissed and treated as lesser. Not even included in the discussion of budget, I don’t count.” Blue says.
“Gervais gave us all money to get started we used some of that to get the spec we wanted.” Larry says.
“So, you three discussed budget and getting cars and left me out. Who decided that it was me to be left with what we had?” Blue asks and is met with silence.
“Seems to me you all see me as the employee and not a full partner. And Gervais dumping me has reinforced that. I quit. Like I said you’ve 30 days to buy me out. I’ll work the early shift in the café until then and then I’ll be gone.” Blue says.
“Gervais should go. I’m not losing you.” Chris says.
“Gervais is bank rolling you.” Blue says rolling his eyes.
“We can get jobs and support ourselves.” Larry says.
“Can you two leave us alone to talk?” Gervais asks quietly.
“Just get him to stay.” Chris says getting up.
“You’ve re-written history and you know it. You couldn’t make a decision about socks let alone a car or anything else. I was by your side most of the time and we had down time during the day without customers. Yes it got crazy and yes we dropped the ball and I’m sorry you feel marginalized but all our focus has been on you.” Gervais says.
“It was and I didn’t expect it to stay that way but you did all cut me out. You had time to cut me out, the cars, the studio and the other Christmas gifts. I didn’t get the same down time that you three did. Dress it up as being essential if you want to but you deliberately cut me out of major purchases and minor.” Blue says.
“We won’t do it again and you can get a new car.” Gervais shrugs.
“The problem is, I don’t want to go cap in hand to you when I want a car.” Blue says.
“l never thought you’d get this hung up about money.” Gervais says.
“When you’ve lost everything you ever had and your chance to ever replace it your perspective changes. It isn’t about the car, I don’t care about the car. I think what you three bought was a huge waste of money and I dislike that I was cut out of the decision. You dumped me out the blue and cut me off.
Sure I was keeping away but you didn’t once get up early to talk to me while I did prep or make any attempt at an apology before you summoned me over Tommy and AB.” Blue says.
“You said some really hurtful things and I needed some space to process them. To work out where we were headed.” Gervais says.
“And you decided on nowhere and forgot to tell me.” Blue says.
“You disappeared.” Gervais says.
“I’m horribly unhappy and alone again. Disappearing is what I do when I don’t have anyone to pull me back.” Blue says.
“You overestimated my strength.” Gervais says.
“So we’re done. I can’t stay here and not be with you. You could travel and go home, no harm done. You could get on with your life now you’re not waiting around for me.” Blue says.
“You think it’s that easy?” Gervais asks.
“Sorry I’m being so selfish, of course I messed up, I should be the one to start over, with no money and no friends but I’ll be okay.” Blue says sarcastically.
“Blue that isn’t fair.” Gervais says.
“l don’t know what you want me to do. I can’t stay if you stay. I need some money to start over. But you don’t seem to want to buy me out of here. I guess I need to sell my paintings.” Blue says and suddenly feels a little better. He has an asset he can sell and get going now.
“So, you’re leaving? I can’t get you to stay?” Gervais asks.
“You don’t want me. I’m not your dream Blue, I’m the defective version and you don’t want me this way. You ended this. You left me alone. You left me.” Blue says trying to blink back the tears.
“You pushed me away. You hurt me. You belittled our relationship. You ruined us.” Gervais fights back.
“So, let me go.” Blue says.
“Fine. 30 days. I will buy you out in 30 days.” Gervais says.
Blue gets up and stretches and heads to the bathroom. He soaks in the tub for a long time. Not caring if he’s using all the water. He knew this would never last. It was stupid to make plans, to have dreams. Dark thoughts cross Blue’s mind as he dips his head under the water but he shakes them away, gets out and dressed with clothes he’s been keeping in the bathroom cupboard since he no longer has a room or bed.
“Where are you going?” Chris asks as Blue heads out of the house.
“To bed.” Blue says.
“Where? A hotel?” Chris asks.
“l have no money for a hotel. I can afford one more tank of gas and I’ll be stone broke.” Blue says.
“Gervais gave us all money.” Chris says.
“Not all of us. And I’m not being paid for the café work, not even all those Christmas pie orders. 30 days and I’ll be free from this slavery.” Blue says.
“You won’t stay for me?” Chris asks.
“What have you ever done for me?” Blue asks.
“l changed. I changed for you.” Chris says.
“Thing is, I changed too.” Blue says and heads out to his car.
“Why hasn’t Blue been paid anything for the Christmas orders? I thought we agreed that we would split the profit. It isn’t fair that you gave us money and not Blue, even if you were in a fight. And you didn’t give him the start up cash. Why not? Why didn’t you tell us? He’s hurting for gas money and we’re swanning round in new cars.” Chris says realizing the extent of what is going on.
“He’s lying.” Gervais says.
“Blue doesn’t lie. He exaggerates and he misrepresents things but he doesn’t lie. He is sleeping in his car because he can’t afford a hotel. You are holding the purse strings and he has been working for nothing, he hasn’t even got a roof over his head or a bed since you dumped him. You have lied to us and it isn’t fair. No wonder he went postal.” Chris says.
“What’s up?” Larry asks.
“Scrooge here hasn’t given Blue a penny since we got here.” Chris says.
“Why not? Well that explains the rage. I know we’re not exactly minting it from the café but you gave us money from the pies. Why not Blue who did all the work?” Larry asks.
“And the money from Abby, that is his money. You can’t give it away to us and not let him see it. You are warped in the head and I am losing my brother over it.” Chris says angrily.
“l did give him the money. Both lots. I’ll call the bank tomorrow and find out what went wrong.” Gervais says feeling awful.
“You better.” Chris says.
“Did he say much when you went to find him earlier?” Gervais asks Larry.
“No he was pretty hostile. I felt bad that I’d not bothered before. We all know he’s in a bad way and we’re leaving him to freeze every night. We could have bought another bed for him. We could have taken him coffee. We all talked about this, that we couldn’t expect him to just suddenly be better and he isn’t and worse still it turns out all these slights are not just in his head.” Larry says.
“I’ll go and get him. It is no issue for me to sleep on the couch, it’s plenty big enough for me. You’re right we should have been watching out for him doing this, for him finding any excuse to do it.” Gervais says and heads out.
It doesn’t take long for Gervais to find Blue parked up at the lake. He’s taken the spare clicker for the car so Blue can’t keep him out.
“Babe I am sorry about the money. I had no idea the transfers hadn’t worked for you. I will call the bank first thing. You need to come back to the house. You can have the bed, the soft id comfy for me.” Gervais says gently, all his anger and hurt from before is gone.
“I like waking up out here.” Blue says.
“Your back will prefer waking in a bed.” Gervais says.
“I guess.” Blue says.
“You have to talk to me, to all of us, you can’t let things build up. We should have behaved better, all of us and let you tell us when a decision was too much and give you the option of being included. We don’t know you as well as we did and we have to stop thinking we know best. Whether you stay or go please talk to us. Please.” Gervais says.
“It all feels too late.” Blue says.
“Come back to the house. We’ll shop for a bed tomorrow. Me and you, we’ll have a nice day, lunch out and a movie or something.” Gervais says.
“We’re not friendly enough for a date like that, but it sounds really nice. Thank you.” Blue says and squeezes Gervais hand.