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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13. Alexander

I pointed Christian to the medicine cabinet, and he took out my tray of medication, frowning. “You haven’t touched these since Tuesday.” He commented, and I looked away guiltily. He checked my kitchen clock. “Well, its still Saturday lunchtime now, so I think you can still just start them up for today.” He told me chirpily. I nodded, hearing Wick mutter something evil, but I ignored him. “I’m sure that would be best.” I agreed, and he nodded, setting the tray down and going back to fiddling through the medicines. “What do you want, anyway?” He asked, still going through the cabinet.

“Want for what?” I queried, and he glanced at me briefly.

“Lunch.” He simply told me, fiddling through all the different medication boxes again. “Found them!” He exclaimed, lifting down a small packet. He then grabbed for a bottle of antiseptic and closed the cabinet. Christian also grabbed a bowl of water, and my paper towels, placing them all on the kitchen table. “Have a seat at your own table, Mr. Archer,” He sang, sitting himself down on a seat on the other side. “Alex.” I said, sitting down. He looked at me with a confused face. “My name is Alex.” I repeated. And he smiled at me.

“You bestow upon me the honour of calling you by your first name! He exclaimed, and I smiled a little too. “Well you’re going to be seeing a lot more of me from now on. We’ve already broken a lot of professional teacher-student boundaries, no point keeping the silly formalities.” I explained, and he nodded absently. “So then, Alex,” he said, over exaggerating my name. “Take your jacket off.” Chris answered, smiling wickedly. I raised my eyebrows jokingly. “Whoa, I know we’ve broken a lot of boundaries, already, but I think it’s too soon to break this one.” I joked, but I took off my jacket like he asked, exposing my scarred arms. I felt self-conscious in front of him. “Men and their sex jokes.” He muttered, shaking his head, I chuckled.

“But seriously, what are you doing?” I questioned as he took off his coat.

“Cleaning your cuts.” He simply explained, catching a glimpse of my uneasy face. “I used to clean mine and Amber’s wounds all the time, its fine.” He added, and I stretched my arm out for him. He soaked a paper towel in cold water, and began cleaning the dried blood. “Amber was Clarice’s and Jacob’s mother, right?” I asked, and he shrugged.

“Is. Just because she died doesn’t alter the fact she gave birth to them.” He said bluntly, and I nodded, watching Chris clean up my forearm. He picked up the antiseptic, and sprayed my arm. I hissed, bowing my head and wincing. “Sorry. I’m trying to be gentle.” He apologized, carefully wrapping my arm in a bandage. He repeated this motion with my other arm. “Now, are you hungry or something?” He smiled once more. I shook my head,

“I still feel sick from the bridge.” I told him quietly, looking down; ignoring Wick’s muttering about ripping open my wounds again. Christian hopped off his chair, rummaging through my cabinets again. He seemed a very energetic person. “What would you like to drink then?” He asked, and I shrugged. “Tea.”

“Good. Medication works faster with hot drinks.” He told me, putting the kettle on, and sitting across from me again. He folded his arms and cocked his head. Chris’ hair was a bit shaggy, but nowhere near mine. He pulled his black hair over mostly onto one side, the front section longer, and curling slightly – it was almost curling into his eye, so he kept having to brush it out of his eyes. His face was tanned, naturally, and when I taught him, he spoke with a slight Spanish accent. He sounded English now. “Do you have any brothers or sisters, Alex?” He asked suddenly.

“Yeah…. My brother Sebastian and my stepsister Poppy. I’m the youngest.” I told him. Chris smiled.

“I’m one of five. The older ones: Caleb, Summer and Ashley are all by the same parents as me. Max is just my half-brother.” He replied, stretching out. “My mum was one of two. Her and my uncle Marco raised me.” His eyes lost their cheery glint. “When I was…taken, my uncle was distraught, and he felt so guilty and so responsible…he jumped from Dead Waters Bridge, and ended his life.” He brushed some hair out of his face, “when I got back, I really wanted to see him – show him my children. But instead I got Caleb explaining to me that he killed himself. I blame myself for the deaths of three people: Amber, Clyde, and my uncle.” He finished. I already had a hand clamped over my mouth. I felt sick, and I felt wrong. I got that knotted feeling in my stomach. The kettle had finished boiling, and Chris walked over to it – much of his past energy drained away. He made the tea, grabbed my meds and shuffled back to his seat. “Chris…I’m sorry.” Was all I managed to say. He looked at me as he lifted his own mug to his lips, “What for?” he asked, taking a gulp, and setting it back down onto the table. I slipped my medication onto my tongue, and swallowed them with the tea. He didn’t wait for me to answer, he just clapped his hands together. “well then, explain to me why Alex Archer is an alcoholic, smoking, heroin-addicted self-harmer who wants to end their life?” He said, leaning in. I shrugged. “Where do I begin?”

“I dunno – where were you born? Scotland – I assume – judging by your accent.” He suggested, and I nodded. “I was born in Glasgow, and I lived there until we moved to England. Things were actually pretty regular in my life until I was about…eight? My dad was in the army, and when I was eight, my father went to war, and he just…never came home.” I said, shrugging, taking another sip from my tea. I saw his face growing apologetic. “No – don’t get me wrong, my dad is alive. Or was alive when he was discharged. He’s not on the list of dead soldiers. So, he just left us – all there is to it.” Christian had his hands around the base of his mug. “After he left, my mother got pretty strict. I mean, she was strict already, but my dad would always talk to her about it. And…after he left, well, she just got out of control.” I sighed at the memory.

“What was she like?” He inquired.

“Her name was Molly, and she was a proper young woman from Georgia.” I replied, mimicking my mother’s American accent. “And she didn’t like blacks or Asians or mixed race, or any other race, except white – which was probably what influenced her to move to Scotland from America.”

“But…Scottish people aren’t always white.” Chris interjected, and I nodded.

“Obviously – and anyone could tell you that. But then again, my mother never completed college and got good grades in things like home economics. She always thought women should be mothers and wives and just look pretty. She was too busy finding a husband to care. Anyway, regarding the other things she hated, she hated any other religion except Christianity, she hated working women, loathed homosexuals, and tattoos and piercings and sex before marriage and pretty much everything.” I told him, and he bit his lip.

“She sounded pretty vile.” He commented, and we took another sip from our tea.

“She still is. My god, thank your lucky stars you don’t have to put up with her.” And he laughed at that comment. “But seriously, she got married two years after my dad left to my stepdad Shaun. It was like my dad…never existed. Even Sebastian changed his surname to match our stepdad. I was the only one who kept Archer. I keep hoping maybe if I keep the name, he’ll find me again.” My voice trailed off, and I looked into the tea. I swallowed, and kept looking down. “I started getting depressed…when I was about twelve. I lost a lot of friends then. I didn’t think there was any point to anything. My work slipped.” I ran my hands through my hair, tucking it behind my ears. I moved on with the story, missing chunks out. “I wanted to go to a grammar school, when we moved to England. The town we moved to had a grammar school with this fucking awesome art department. I was smart enough to go, but there were boys going there who were different races – different religions. Shaun said learning in an all-boys environment was gay. And that somehow I would be affected – that was the deciding factor for my mum. Instead of going to a good school, I went to a church school that was pretty shit. And I just got more depressed. I didn’t have friends. And then, finally, when I was sixteen, this absolute dickhead in my class named Michael Gerard ripped up one of my art works, and said it didn’t matter because it was shit anyway.” My eyes began to prick with tears. “What happened after that?” Christian’s voice sounded sympathetic.

“I punched him. Just straight up hit him so hard I busted jaw and knocked a tooth out. I fucked up my knuckle doing it – I was only a skinny kid. But I just…stormed out of that classroom, got my bag and just walked the fuck out of that school.” I blinked, and a tear slid down my cheek. My voice cracked a little. “And I decided that I was just…tired. I didn’t want to live anymore. I just wanted to die.” I rested my forehead on my hands, hiding my face from Christian as I sobbed. “I went into like, five different pharmacies, and got a pack of painkillers from each one, so they wouldn’t know what I was planning. I got home, and my mum was there, and I told her I was just sick.” My voice wavered. “and I got into my bedroom, and as I began swallowing the first pills, I got about halfway through the first box when my mum walked in.” I couldn’t continue with the story. The memory made me moan, low and guttural, filled with regret. Christian scooted his chair around, and I felt his hand slink around my shoulder. I leaned on his, still sobbing uncontrollably. I was feeling dizzy. My voice came out in hyperventilating gasps. “And…she just…she took me…by the collar of my shirt…and she…brought me into the bathroom…and she made me throw up the pills… she said…if I killed myself…all I would do is b-bring shame to them.” I told him, and Christian froze.

“Your own mother?” He asked, and I nodded. “Now I wonder why you still speak to that slattern at all.”

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