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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7. Alexander

The ward let me keep a phone so I could call Elijah when I wanted to. I was also allowed visitors, which over the first few days included just friends, really. I recalled the phone call I’d had with the headmaster of the school.

______

The phone rang several times before it picked up. “Yes?” Peter answered, and I took a deep, shaky breath. “Peter, its Alex.” Being staff with him, all teachers were on a first name basis with each other. “What do you need?” He asked. Peter had been made fully aware of my mental problems when he became head; same as I had told the last head teacher when I was diagnosed. Both had been very kind to me. “I just spoke with my nurse.” I began, not even sure what to tell him. He paused.

“I thought you didn’t need to speak with her anymore.” He said, “What changed?” Peter was like a father to me. He was always gentle and lenient with me. I got a lump in my throat. “I…just.” I tried to speak. “Elijah’s autistic.” I managed to get out. “He’s better off with his mother.” I whimpered, covering my mouth so neither he or my sleeping child heard my hyperventilating. “Alex,” he spoke softly. “Do you want to end your life?” I sat alone in the dark of my lounge. The empty bottle of wine sat on the table in front of me, next to the half empty beer bottle. I let the tears fall as I covered my mouth to try and stop the sobbing breaths. “Yes.” I choked out, doubling over. He sighed sadly.

“Are they institutionalising you?” He questioned softly.

“Of course they are. After I drop Eli off at school, I’m supposed to check myself in.” I told him.

“I’ll drive you up to the hospital. You wait for me tomorrow.” And the phone clicked off as he disconnected.

______

He’d told me he’d visit when he could – which ended up being the Saturday after I was taken in. I was fetched from the lounge to go into the visiting room. Peter sat in his chair, and watched me as I was gently taken and sat in front of him. Obviously, it was quite a new experience for him to see me dressed in the white patient scrubs – the self-inflicted cuts and syringe scarring on my arms for all to see. “Hello,” he said meekly. I waved loosely at him.

“Hi,” I responded, trying to smile. It just felt like a nervous twitch. He sat politely – his legs together, hands in his lap. I lounged in my seat. “How’re you feeling?” Peter queried, and I shrugged.

“Empty. Tired. Bored. Sad. Agitated. I miss Elijah.” I spoke honestly. He nodded,

“You haven’t seen him yet, since he’s not allowed to visit.” I have a feeling he was mostly talking about himself as he said that. “No, but I can call him whenever. I still miss seeing him.” I admitted, and he nodded.

“How did my form take the news?” I asked. When talking with Peter, talk always, at one point or another, ended up drifting back to the topic of school.  “There are four concerned parents thus far, and a lot of curious students.” He said, and swallowed, “Alex…the governor’s brought up your history in our last meeting.” He told me, and I smirked.

“What did those old demons say about me?” I asked, and he glared at me sternly. “Apologies, but in my current state, I think I’m allowed to be faintly bitter.” I added, rubbing my face. Since I never took my medication, I had no way of knowing how tied they made me. They were probably a drug that could be used to treat both mental illness and insomniacs, and due to these super sleeping pills being shoved down my throat every day, I could hardly keep myself conscious. I just spent days drifting in and out of sleep in various rooms of the hospital.  “The governors asked why a disturbed man with a suicide attempt under his belt, a prior stay in a mental hospital, a history of alcohol abuse and an addiction to heroin is allowed to stay on as a teacher.” That sentence – the cold-hearted description of me made me look up. “Are you firing me?” I asked quietly. He shook his head.

“I fought your corner as best as I could, and they eventually agreed that you’re a fantastic art teacher. They’re giving you one more chance, Alex.” He told me, and I sighed in relief.

“I’ll be back within a week, I promise you.” I told him, so thankful for a second chance. He shook his head again. “I’d rather you just stay here until you’re better.” Peter told me, his eyes drifting to my arms. I looked down. “I’m not sure if you’re aware, Peter, but I’m not. Getting. Fucking. Better!” I yelled, loud enough to silence the entire room. “If you’re saying you’d rather have me here until I’m stable, I am stable! I’m fine! I never reached the point of an episode! I’m not crazy! I shouldn’t be here!”

Once I started shouting, I couldn’t stop. I was aware of the orderlies’ hands on my arms. I stopped fighting. I felt the tears welling up in my eyes. “They shouldn’t be allowed to take Elijah from me.” My voice wasn’t angry anymore, as one tear fell, than another. “He’s mine. They can’t take him away from me…” at that point I was sobbing so much the hands on my arms released their death-grip.  As they did, Peter hugged me close to him, as if I were his child. I held him back as he brushed my hair out of my face. “I never hurt him! I’m a good parent.” I choked, and he hushed me, and let me get tears and snot all over his shirt.

I knew I really wasn’t well at that point – when I let out all the frustration and anxiety and the sheer horror of having social services review my parenting. It was also at that point, even with the medication, that I thought Elijah was better off without me. That I could give him a better life if I wasn’t there to mess him up. And by the time I had stopped crying, I knew as soon as I got out of the hospital, I was going to kill myself.

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