Hate Me

After a shocking experience in his past, sixteen year old Christian Rothschild is left with twin babies: Clarice and Jacob - their mother Amber long out of the picture. Twenty-six year old art teacher Alex Archer is a divorcee left alone with his four year old Elijah. His life has long since been happy.
What happens when these two meet at a single parent's club? And even more, what happens with Christian goes home with Alex?
Can Alex get over his homophobia, and keep afloat with all he's got on his plate? And can Christian keep their relationship secret, when he is on the rise to fame?

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3. Alexander

I sat on the sofa, checking over my son Elijah one last time. He held his favourite dinosaur toy in his arms. “Are you going to be good for your mum?” I asked him, smiling. Elijah nodded, looking at something distant on the wall. He never really looked at me when I spoke. He never really spoke to me, either. We heard the doorbell ring, and I patted his head. “C’mon, Eli.” I coaxed, and he followed me to the door.

The fake blonde hair, and Barbie doll appearance of my ex-wife was unfortunately a familiar one. She showed up every other Friday to pick up our son, and returned with him on the evening of the Sunday. She smiled, “hello, Eli.” She welcomed warmly, bending down – allowing me to see right down her cleavage. “How’re you?” She asked in her very motherly tone.

“Fine.” Elijah replied quickly – mechanically. That was his normal voice, when the four year old did speak. My ex’s smile faltered for a second, but it returned so quickly I almost doubted myself for thinking it disappeared. “Well Luke’s in the car, so why don’t you go join him while I chat to your daddy?” She said, ruffling Eli’s hair as he wandered out to the car parked on the road outside our home.

Millie sighed. “Alex, I know you think that Eli’s behaviour is normal, bu-”

“Which it is.” I cut off, and she glared at me for a few moments.

“But I still think it’s abnormal for a small child.” She fought, and I shook my head.

“He’s just shy!” I defended, and she rolled her eyes.

“He’s four! Four year olds don’t just act like that! They’re supposed to be hyper and happy and excitable…Elijah goes through the same routine every week and doesn’t get bored. He lives his life on a repeat – that’s not normal.” She argued, and I glared back at her. “So are you gunna do something other than bitch to me about it?” I snapped, and she crossed her arms.

“Yeah, we’re taking him to an autism doctor tomorrow morning. I was just hoping that you would be mature enough as his father to do something about it.” She hissed, and I watched her as she glared at me before finally spitting “you look stupid with all those piercings.” At me before turning and joining Elijah and Luke in the car.

Surprisingly, mine and Millie’s relationship wasn’t as toxic as it seems. We’re fairly friendly most of the time – the only thing we really disagreed on was Eli. She constantly disagreed with my style of parenting – I don’t think she had a right to criticize. She was only a parent for two days every two weeks.

I sat down on my settee – our small cottage feeling much emptier without Eli. He was born when I was twenty-two – a few months before my divorce. I’d raised him on my own for all of his life – we were close. We were so close that it felt lonely whenever Millie took him away from me. I called my best friend and asked him to come over. Whilst I was waiting, I began flicking through a student of mine’s art book that I had yet to mark. I looked depressingly over to the pile of about sixty books awaiting my approval. Reluctantly, I picked up my glasses, the first student’s book and my marking scheme, and began picking my way through the beginning of the course work. I continued this slow process for about half an hour, and ended up through a grand total of two books before Nick rung my doorbell. He arrived with a bag of Chinese food.  I smiled gratefully at him as I put my student’s book back on one of the many piles. “Geez…how many classes do you teach?” He asked, and I slumped down on my sofa, with Nick following soon after. I took my glasses off, “too damn many.” I grumbled, “I don’t know why I didn’t just take a job teaching in a primary school?” I muttered,

“Because you wanted to teach real art and not finger-painting.” He reminded me, and I paused.

“Oh yeah.” I answered, sighing. “Well, I’ll get some plates and then we can watch action films whilst I tell you all about how my ex is getting Elijah tested for autism.” I told him, standing up, and Nick stared at me. “You’re shitting me?” He demanded.

I bit into my noodles, and looked over at Nick. I had long since finished ranting about the test Eli would have to take tomorrow. “So, Alex, ever thought about dating again?” He queried, and I rolled my eyes. “I am dating – it’s been four years since the divorce and I’ve been dating since then.” I replied, and he scoffed. “You don’t date, Alex. You do one-night stands.” He told me, and I chuckled.

“I guess.” I honestly laughed, and he shook his head jokingly, finishing his meal.

“But in all seriousness, do you want to move on and date again?” He pressed me, and I frowned.

“I don’t have time for one. My work keeps me busy and on top of that I care more about Eli than I do about finding him a step-mother.” I responded, and he smiled.

“I just think you distrust relationships and you’re scared of getting hurt.” He said teasingly, and then poked me in the stomach. “But you can’t deny your urges, which is why so many girls end up in your bed.” I raised my eyebrows, and stared at him.

I sat on my living room floor, a blanket covering my legs, which were tucked up to my chest. Nick was fast asleep on the sofa – I could hear him softly snoring. I shut my eyes and rolled up the sleeve of my shirt. My arms were covered in red, sore, open cuts. My fault. I put my fingernails in one of the healing wounds, and pulled, yanking the cut back open. My back arched with the pain. The blood rose out of the open cut, and began spilling out into a larger puddle. I’d been doing this since I was fifteen – for almost eleven years. And no one really knew. No one probably cared, either.

My parents would be so ashamed of me if they found out – which is why they won’t.

Until it’s too late for them to do anything about it.

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