Sky Bird: Chapter 7

“I just can’t believe him! I thought we were friends!” Jared was sobbing into Fanny’s shoulder as the Chinese boy comforted him. “It’s okay, Jared. Kendall’s… always been this way. He’s never really been terribly nice.” Fanny sighed. “Oh, Jared’s over. That’s a first.” Chloe smirked, before realizing that now was not the appropriate time to be acting that way. “Oh, wait, why is he crying?” “So Kendall found out…” “Wait, that Jared is gay, or that Jared is dating you? Or both? Because that’s like a huge truth bomb for somebody who hates you and is friends with your boyfriend.” Chloe was already fatigued from having to process all of this herself. “Hold on, I need to tell Megan. Maybe she could get through to him.” Chloe suggested, pulling out her phone. “I don’t think that Megan can get through to him. Nobody can! He just hates you, Fanny, and I don’t get why.” Jared cried, shaking uncontrollably. “Sh, sh, sh, calm down, Jared. It’ll be okay. Kendall, he has a good heart. I’m sure he’ll come around to this, and if he doesn’t… then I’ll break up with you.” Fanny promised. “I don’t want that, though!” Jared protested. “I should be able to date who I want and be friends with who I want.” “It’s not fair that you have to make that sacrifice!” Chloe added while sending a text to her best friend. “It’s Kendall’s fault. He’s been so irrational and he just hates our family for some reason. Jared, do you know why?” Chloe looked to the blonde for answers. “He always mentioned money. Something about you being rich, and that you don’t deserve the success you have in life.” He weakly groaned. Jared’s voice had gone hoarse from how long he had been crying. “I can sort of see that. Dad always got us tutors so that we didn’t fall behind in our studies.” Fanny noted. “I think there’s something more than just tutors, Fanny. He hates the fact that we’re wealthy.” Chloe sighed. “What’s wrong?” Mr. Chiang arrived home from work, only to see his two children comforting a sobbing classmate. “Dad, do you know why Kendall Skye hates our family?”

“Kendall Skye? Oh, Chris’s son! Oh. Chris’s son…” Mr. Chiang trailed off. “Kids, did I ever tell you guys about how your father got his first big promotion?” “Yeah, you worked your ass off for 20 years, and got the promotion you deserved, and right when you needed it, since mom’s cancer got really bad.” Chloe stated. “Did I ever tell you about how I used to work with Christian Skye? And that we were both up for that promotion?” Mr. Chiang looked at his children and Jared. All three of them shook their heads. And Mr. Chiang began to tell that side of the story. “So we had to let go of several of our associates. I didn’t want to let go of Chris, but he insisted and threatened to quit if I fired somebody instead of him. I tried to recommend him to other jobs, but he was unemployed for a little while and he had a son on the way.” “That’s when Gil was born, right?” Chloe looked up. And slowly, all three of them began to realize why Kendall might have developed a grudge against their family. Even though their parents did try to help Kendall’s family, that promotion, looking at where it got Fanny and Chloe’s family, it’s obvious that no job recommendation could have helped nearly as much financially.

“Kendall, you know that it’s because of Mr. and Mrs. Chiang that our parents still have jobs, right? And dad volunteered to get fired! Mr. Chiang didn’t want to fire him!” Megan tried to explain. “I think that’s a load of bullshit. Let’s wait until dad gets home from work, and then ask him!” Kendall scoffed. He didn’t want to believe that the Chiangs were good people. “He’s only going to tell you the same thing that I did.” She grumbled, walking off to her room. “I’m home!” Gil walked in, only to go quiet from sensing the awkward tension in the living room. “Uh… well I don’t really have a room to retreat to… so I’m just going to chill in the bathroom until you feel better, okay, bro?” The middle schooler headed off into the hallway, knowing he needed to give Kendall some space.

“Guys, Megan just texted me back. Kendall’s still pissed. He said that dad screwed his family over.” Chloe read off the message, horrified. Chloe, Fanny, and Jared were still in Fanny’s room. Their parents were out for the night for dinner with their friends. “I get that he might hate our father, but why does he hate me?” Fanny frowned. “Especially since he doesn’t hate you, Chloe. Or at least not as openly, apparently.” He shrugged. It was just starting to sink in that Kendall had a lot of unaddressed animosity towards him; Fanny always assumed it was playful banter. “First off, don’t make everything about you, drama queen. Secondly, that’s a question I really don’t have an answer to.” Megan sighed, leaving the room. She needed some time to process the entire situation. “But what can we do?” Jared sighed into his boyfriend’s shoulder. “I just don’t know why he hates you specifically. And it’s clear he hates you more than he values our friendship.” The blonde was bitterly hurt at this point. “However much Kendall hates us, I’ll just love you fifty times as much. Because you see me for being the real me, not for my parents’ money.” Fanny reassured, kissing the blonde lightly on the forehead.

“I’m back!” Mr. Skye had returned to his home, only to be approached by Kendall almost immediately. “Dad, I have a question.” “Sure, what’s up?” “What exactly is our family’s relationship with the Chiangs?” “Well, Kendall, we’re family friends. We go way back. Mr. Chiang, or Hugh, we had a little rivalry when we used to work in Goldman Sachs together. I was the ambitious young gun and he was the capable and seasoned veteran. But when he got promoted, and then we had to let people go, I volunteered, because I knew he was going to fire older, more experienced associates. It didn’t feel right to stay. But Hugh was a great friend. He got me a new job at Bank of America and I managed to get promoted to being a manager there.” Mr. Skye looked at his son, confused by why he wanted to know this. “Wow, so the Chiangs have been helping us this whole time?” “Yep! Even Mrs. Chiang helped your mother get a job at a bakery she used to work at, and now your mother is the general manager of it.” A few things went through Kendall’s mind in that moment. At first, he felt embarrassed; this whole time, he was wrong, even though so many people had told him that the Chiangs, specifically Fanny, were good people. And then remorse. He had spent so much of his life, feeling antagonized by Fanny, thinking that Fanny’s wealth was the reason for his success. And finally, regret. Not only to the things he had said to and about Fanny, but also for wasting so much of his own time being angry at Fanny, and blaming him and his wealth on the brunette’s own shortcomings. “Oh, would you look at the time! I have an investor’s gala tonight, and your mother is coming with me! We’ll see you guys later tonight!” Mr. Skye dropped off his bag, and left the apartment.

Jared’s phone started vibrating. The blonde looked at his boyfriend hesitantly. “Is it from Kendall? Do you want me to pick it up?” Fanny’s face was gravely serious; he didn’t want Jared to have to face his ex-friend in either of their current states. “No, this is between me and him.” Jared hiccuped. “No, you’re wrong. It’s between all three of us. He’s got beef with me too, in case you haven’t forgotten the past however many years.” Fanny frowned, placing his hand over Jared’s phone, and hitting the green button. “Jared?” Kendall’s voice sounded hesitant. “Hey, it’s me. And yes, he’s here too.” The blonde’s passive aggressive side was definitely surfacing through his tone of voice. He wasn’t going to let Kendall’s words hurt him any more than they already have, especially not in regards to his boyfriend.

“Jared, I was wrong about Fanny. Fanny, I owe you an apology.” Kendall started. “Wait, you’re going to apologize for a decade long grudge over the PHONE?!” Fanny raised his eyebrows in disbelief. “Look, I appreciate that you’re trying, but this sort of thing, you better say it in person. And not even to me, but to your sister, my little sister, and Jared. Show them some respect!” Fanny shouted, grabbing the phone from Jared. “But-” “Shut up, Kendall. If you have anything to say, say it to our faces. Bye.” And with that, he hung up. “Fanny, that was a little brutal, don’t you think?” Jared was stunned. He wasn’t expecting Fanny to do that. “Well, if he wants to apologize like that to you, then he better do it in person. Or else he’s just a coward. And cowards aren’t worth your time or patience.”

Kendall sat there, in the living room, unsure of what to do. On one hand, he needed to go to the Chiang residence, but on the other, he’s spent years resenting them. He doesn’t know what do to. He knew he owed Fanny and Jared an apology in person. But he was unsure emotionally. He was too scared. Ashamed of knowing he was in the wrong for so long. “What the hell am I supposed to do?” He started tearing up. He was feeling overwhelmed at this point. “Why can’t I ever do anything right?” He started sobbing. “Kendall?” Megan opened her door. “Bro?” Gil peaked his head out of the bathroom. “Oh no!” The two younger brunettes ran over to comfort him. “What’s wrong?” Gil was the first to speak. “I-I-I-” Kendall started, to drown himself out with his crying. “Kendall!” Megan ran over to hug him. “It’s okay! Just take a few breaths.” Gil joined in. “Megan, I’m so sorry. You guys were right. The Chiangs aren’t bad people.” He said between deep pants. “I take it dad told you everything then?” Megan eyed him. “Yeah. I just feel so dumb now. I’ve said so many horrible things about Fanny. And earlier, I tried to call Jared to apologize to him and Fanny, but-” “Wait, you couldn’t do that in person? Especially to Fanny?” Megan frowned. “Yeah, Kendall, you should say those kinds of things face to face so that they know you’re sincere!” Gil added. “I’m scared, guys. I don’t know how to feel around Fanny or Jared anymore.” Kendall sighed. “Especially for Fanny. I’ve spent my entire life hating him, and now he’s somebody I owe a huge apology to. And then Jared, he tried his best to be my friend, even though they were dating.” “Here, we can go with you. If it gets too hard, let us know, and we’ll just take you back home.” His younger brother insisted. “Alright. Let me get the car.” Kendall got up, his siblings following.

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