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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11. Alexander

As I prepared Elijah for his mother, like I always did on a Friday evening, I felt strangely sad. This was the last time I would be seeing him. I put a hat on Eli’s head, smiling sadly at his emotionless face. I wondered if he would show any when I died. “October’s getting chilly.” I commented, and he nodded. I licked my lips and looked at him. “Eli, could you do something for your dad?” I asked, and he nodded again. “Can you hug me?” Eli paused, and nodded again – his eyes fixed on the wall behind me. I wrapped my arms around him, and felt his small fingers tapping on my shoulders. I kissed him on his forehead as the doorbell rang. “I love you.” I whispered quietly, kissing him on the cheek. “And never doubt that, Eli. Whatever happens – I will always love you.” My voice wavered a little, and then I smiled, trying to stop myself from crying. “C’mon, let’s go see mummy.”

______

I sat in my office chair, the lined paper staring up at me. I took a swig from the whiskey bottle next to me, and slammed it back onto the desk. Blood was soaking through the fabric in my jacket. My hands shaking as I picked up the pen as I began to write.

Dear Millie,

I’m sorry. I know the last time this happened, you were there to keep me alive, but this time you won’t be. I decided this was the best way, and I mean it. Our son is better off with you. It’s my fault he’s emotionless, and there’s a chance he’ll develop my illness. I don’t want to hurt him anymore, and believe me, this is kinder. I’m so so sorry. Tell Emma the same. I never meant to hurt you. I wish I could have been there more for Elijah. He has to understand he’s so much better off without me. None of this is your fault.

I love you.

Alex.

I hesitated before writing the last part. I took the framed picture of our wedding – the glass now broken, and I slipped the picture out of the frame, cutting my fingers on the shards of glass accidentally as I do so. I looked at the photo. It was a picture of just me and Millie, my arms around her, kissing her on the cheek. Her, with her simple yet elegant dress. I smiled as I remembered all the fuss she made about the train of her dress getting dirty on the ground, and how I had to hoist it up and carry it for her when we were walking. I loved her so much back then. I slipped the picture and the note into an envelope with her name written on the front. I picked it up, and a pack of cigarettes, and went downstairs and pinned the note to my front door. I smiled at my neighbour as I embarked.

I picked a bench beside Dead Waters Bridge, and took out my pack. I was waiting for a good opportunity. I didn’t want anyone stopping me. Not this time. Not again. The last time I tried, Millie found me. I was in the hospital for a month afterwards. No more hospitals. I was finishing my life today. On this crisp, October morning. It just felt so ordinary. People would go on today, with no idea what was happening. Somebody would find a body in the river, recognise it as me – there’d be a news report, maybe. The school would replace me, and things would go on.

As I sat there smoking, I thought how little things would change. The world goes on. It doesn’t stop every time a heart stops beating. The same goes for me. The people I know will side step passed the problem. I looked up. No more cars were going passed. No pedestrians. I stubbed my cigarette out, and quickly moved to the edge of the bridge. I picked up a stone from the road and dropped it into the river. It hit a rock and bounced rather violently off to the left. I doubt the same thing would happen when I dashed my brains out once I jumped.

I gave myself a boost up, and swung my other leg over behind it. I was afraid, as I sat on the edge of the bridge, hands gripped tightly onto the edge. I was always afraid of heights. When I was a teenager we went on a school trip to do all sorts of adventurous activities, and I had a panic attack on one of the higher courses, and it was so bad an instructor had to come and get me. Since then, I’ve been afraid of heights. Not that it mattered anyway. I knew I was jumping to die.

Time didn’t matter anymore. I was no longer thinking about what would happen if someone noticed me. I took my time, staring at the rapids of Dead Waters where my mangled body would eventually lie. I breathed out, closing my eyes. I didn’t want to watch my descent. My fingernails loosened on the woods, my heartbeat calming. I shakily leaned a little forward, swallowing the saliva building up in my mouth. A tear fell down my face, burning my freezing skin. I thought of all the things I’d miss in my son’s life, but I knew this was better for him. It is. I heard a familiar voice whisper in my ear. I kept my eyes shut, the tears falling. “Leave me alone, Wick. I can do this myself.” I hissed, and he chuckled. So go ahead. Save Elijah from your shitty upbringing. The damage is already done. He replied calmly, with a hint of hilarity. “What do you mean?” I asked. Passed on the autism, the ugly face and now the psychotic illness. He spat. I gulped, and took my hands off the railing, and put them on my ears. “Shut up, shut up, shut up, shu-”

“Mr. Archer!” I heard someone scream – man’s voice. I didn’t have time to look around, all I knew is I had to finish this now. I couldn’t fail again. But before I had time to lean over and fall, I felt his hands around my waist.

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