Sean Pedalton sat in his multi million dollar mansion. He threw one leg over the side of his perfectly clean white chairs. He scanned the room and scowled at it. He thought it looked more like a movie set than a home. At this moment he couldn’t remember why he had let his agent and everyone else talk him into buying a house in LA. He had to admit the view was beautiful but he much preferred living under the cloudy skies of Portland or Seattle.
Sean grabbed a piece of paper off the ground that he had thrown there moments earlier with scribbled song lyrics that he didn’t like. Everything sounded cheesy or slow. His creativity burned like a wildfire but lately he felt like it had been snuffed out. Doused with water. No matter how much he attempted to break down the mental barrier his words flowed like mud and felt even worse.
Smoothing out the paper in his hands he ran over the words again and again until he hated them more than when he wrote them the first time. He groaned and flipped his ridiculously large tv onto a news station.
Sean isolated himself in his house for two weeks. He insisted that everyone leave him alone to write music and almost instantly regretted it. The news quickly turned into his only connection to the outside world.
Sean hummed as he threw the paper to the ceiling and caught it over and over again. With every toss he wondered where his passion had gone. With every catch he sang the words he wrote and despised.
A restlessness had been building beneath his skin. Itching for that flame that he couldn’t manage to summon.
“Carter Evans, a two time Emmy award winning actor has just announced his engagement to his long time girlfriend Alyssa Stevens.” Sean bolted upright, his feet hitting the ground with a smack. He stared at the TV, his heart pounding against his ribs.
He watched the footage of Carter and Alyssa leaving a restaurant. She lifted up her hand, flashing the big beautiful diamond on her ring finger. Every second of footage had Sean’s heart breaking apart in the familiar way that Carter Evans had shattered his heart so many times before.
Sean caught a glimpse of the ring on Carter's finger. The one that he had given him years ago. When they promised each other they would find a way to be together. Every time Sean came across a picture of Carter he looked for it and it was always there. Reminding him that Carter was still keeping his promise to him.
And now he’s engaged.
Sean let the tears fall down his cheeks and wallowed in the shattered pieces of his heart. He picked up another piece of paper and a pencil and with every bit of his broken heart he began writing a song.
1 year later:
Sean Pedalton wiped his hands on his pants and took a deep breath. It did nothing to slow his heart rate but he had to try.
“We are so lucky tonight because we have a very special performance from someone that you all know very well!” He nodded to himself. Almost time. “Performing his single ‘promise ring’ that has gone platinum, Sean Pedalton!”
Sean walked across the stage and as soon as the lights hit him his heart slowed to a steady pace. He couldn’t see anyone in the audience. It doesn’t matter how many people are here. He would be playing this song for himself and for all the people who loved it.
“Thank you everybody, for having me here tonight. This song is very special to me and I can never thank everyone enough for showing it so much love.” His voice echoed through the room and with that the music began.
Carter Evans sat in his bedroom, eyes glued to the TV as his ex boyfriend stepped out on stage. He watched and listened as the man who he still considered to be the love of his life performed his beautiful love song. That Carter knew without a doubt had been written about himself.
He had known the moment he heard the title of the song. At the song's announcement he sat in his car and listened to the lyrics over and over again and cried to himself as he did now.
Tears streamed down his face as he watched Sean sing, telling him that he didn’t forget their promise and he knows that Carter didn’t either because he still wears his rings.
Carter played with the promise ring that the song was about and cried until he heard the shower shut off from the bathroom and he knew his fiance would be joining him soon.
Six months later:
Sean tapped the counter at the bar he had come to, asking the bartender for another drink. Another jack and coke just like Carter liked. Just like he would drink tonight to mourn his wedding. This was supposed to be a time to celebrate to be happy but for Sean, all he could feel was the definite loss that was Carter Evans lifelong vows to Alyssa.
Another drink slid in front of him and he drank half of it in one gulp. Letting the whiskey burn his throat and his stomach. He shoved the heels of his hands into his eyes and took a steadying breath, trying to remind himself that he is in public and shouldn’t cry.
His phone began vibrating in his pocket but he ignored it. Anyone that had known about the relationship between Carter and Sean were understandably worried about Sean today. He didn’t care, he would let them worry. They were all at Sean’s wedding anyway. The vibrating stopped and immediately started again. He sighed in frustration, taking another sip of his drink but still ignored the incessant vibrating of his phone against his leg. He stared at the clock on the wall, sipping his drink.
It’s Carter’s wedding day.
It’s Carter’s wedding day.
It’s Carter’s wedding day.
And not mine.
He tortured himself with the thought again and again and raised two fingers to the bartender once again asking for a refill. The bartender gave him a worried look but filled his glass anyway.
Sean stood up to go to the bathroom. The only thing his mind let him think was how Carter was waiting for Alyssa at the end of the aisle. His brain pictures vividly his eyes full of love for her and his hands reaching for her. His heart in pieces just as small as the day that they broke up. Just as sharp and awful as the day they announced their engagement.
Sean leaned against the bathroom wall, swallowing the lump in his throat, willing himself not to cry in public. He squeezed his eyes shut and felt a pause in the vibrating of his phone. Without thinking about it he pulled his phone from his pocket.
The screen lit up again and Sean felt his heart pause in his chest. His lungs stopped allowing air in as he watched the name flashing on his screen. A name he had hoped to see calling him for years and there it was, flashing in bright white letters.
“Hello?” Sean breathed into the phone.
“Sean I-” He took a shaky breath. “Did you mean what you said?” Sean stayed quiet. “In your song. You said that you would be there for me no matter what or when.” A pause “Did you mean it?”
“Yes. Yes, Carter. Of course I meant it.” Sean sank to the bathroom floor with his knees to his chest. The sound of Carter’s voice over the line felt like pushing those broken pieces of his heart out through his chest.
“I’m calling it off, Sean.”
“I’m- I’m not getting married.”
“Wh-why?” Sean’s world stopped spinning.
“She’s not you.” It was no more than a whisper. “Come get me.”
That was all Sean needed to hear. “I’ll be right there, baby.” He whispered and hung up the phone before he could speak another word.
He pulled himself off the floor and fumbled with his phone. He dashed out of the bar and to his car. He threw himself into the passenger seat and began shouting the address of the church where Carter was supposed to be getting married and Sean Pedalton raced to get the love of his life.
Carter Evans apologized in his head to Alyssa over and over again and hoped that when his groomsmen went to tell her not to walk down the aisle that it had nothing to do with her. It was not her fault and he loved her. He did but she’s not Sean.
For months Carter played with the promise ring and sang the lyrics to his song in his head. The months turned to weeks and the weeks turned to days and the days slipped into hours and he needed Sean. He needed him more than air or life and especially more than his reputation or fame.
He checked his phone again, waiting to hear anything from Sean. Anxiety racked him the longer he waited while hearing nothing. What if Sean wasn’t coming? What if he was mad- Carter didn’t get to finish that thought when a black car screeched to a halt on the street right in front of him.
Sean Pedalton burst through the passenger door and stumbled onto the grass. Carter looked at Sean running for him and knew in his heart, in his head, in his very soul that he made the right decision.
So, Carter Evans ran for Sean and when they met they wrapped each other in their arms, holding each other so close that even the air couldn’t get between them. Sean slipped his hand into Carter’s hair and Carter dug his nose into the safety of Sean’s chest.
Sean Pedalton hugged Carter Evans so tight that they both knew they would never let go of each other again. And it was enough.