After Alex told me that he loved me, I kind of freaked out. I had no clue what I was supposed to say or do. Everything seemed to be moving so fast. I was planning on calling him and talking to him about it after work, but instead I got a call from his friend Rian. I didn't know how Rian got my number, but he did. The information that Kenadie passed away, honestly broke my heart. I could only imagine how Alex was feeling and from what Rian told me, he was going down hill.
I wanted to go over so many times in the past week, just to talk to Alex. I just wanted to hug him and kiss him, tell him that things were going to be okay, but I still didn’t want to risk our relationship by going over in from of his parents. That was one thing that kept me okay for now, knowing that his parents where there.
I was sitting on my couch, still thinking about Alex and how much I just wanted to see him and make sure that he was okay. I was laying down, staring at the ceiling when I heard a knock on my door. My first thought was that it was Alex and he snuck away, but opening the door, I got a completely different surprise. Alex’s mom, Isobel, was standing on my doorstep. Looking at her face, I knew that something was wrong.
“Mrs. Gaskarth, w-what are you doing here?” I asked her. She sighed and looked at me.
“Um, you know about Kenadie right?” she asked me in return. I could hear the strain in her voice at the mention of her daughters name. I nodded at her and let her continue. “Alex isn't umm… he’s not taking it the best and I don't know what to do…” she paused and choked back a small sob. “It’s starting to scare me.” she said.
“I… I don't know what I can do.” I told her, I knew plenty that I wanted to do to help Alex, but at the same time, I still didn't want to sell us out.
“I know he has a close relationship to you,” shit. “I just… I need you to calm him down or something.” she paused wiping her cheek. “Please, Jack, you're my last hope right now.” she finished. I looked at their house next door. It was my brain versus my heart here, but his mom was here for my help, so I wasn't going to turn that down.
“Okay, okay. Let me just get my shoes.” I said and she nodded. “I’ll meet you over there.” I told her and she left. I quickly put my shoes on and walked over to their house behind Isobel. We walked it, the feeling was so much darker than it was before. The air felt heavy and black. It was scary to see such a bright house make such a transformation.
“Where is he?” I asked. I heard crying upstairs, so that was kind of a stupid question, but I had to pretend that I didn't know where his room was.
“Upstairs. Last room on your left at the end of the hall.” she told me. I nodded and quickly made my way upstairs, hearing a few crashes from his room. I rushed into his room and looked around. He was standing near the corner of his room with his hand on his desk, leaning against it. His room was a mess. Things were thrown all over the place, a couple posters ripped off his wall and worse of all, he looked more broken than I have ever seen anyone. It made my heart sink into my stomach. Somehow, in not even a year, I started to care more about him than I even did Devon.
I walked over to him and put my hand on his shoulder. “Alex,” I said. He turned around, swatting away my hand, actually hitting pretty hard.
“Stay the fuck away from me.” the outburst took me by surprise. He’s never talked like that.
“Lex, its just me.” I said getting closer to him again. He was standing there staring at the ground hysterical, tears running down his red cheeks. “Lex, I just want to help.” I told him. I put both my hand on his shoulders, but once again, he pushed me away. I wasn't phased so much, but he knocked himself back, slightly falling against the desk.
“No!” he screamed at me. “Don't! Fucking! Touch! Me!” he kept screaming. It was honestly scaring me and I didn't know what to do. I knew how he felt though. I lost my parents, they were my rock just like Kenadie was to Alex. I attempted again, grabbing his arms and pulling him back up to me. “Jack, fucking stop!” he screamed and screamed. It hurt me so much to see him like this. He kept hitting my chest, trying to push me away, but I wasn't giving up. I wasn't going to let him go.
I finally got a good grip on his arms and pulled him took me, wrapping my arms around him, keeping him close to me. He sobbing harshly into my chest. I stroked his hair, swaying us. “Its okay, Lex. Shh, it’s all okay,” I said biting my lip. I was on the verge of tears myself.
“Its not okay,” he cried. “She gone,” he sobbed again. “The only one who cared.” The really hurt.
“Alex, that's not true.” I told him holding him even tighter. He still struggled to get free, but I wasn't going to let him.
“Yes, it is.” Alex was still shaking his head.
“No,” I finally said. “I care, your mom cares, your dad, your friends,” I told him. All he did was keep crying. I pushed his body back a bit and had him look up at me. “Baby,” I started. His eyes changed, they weren't that crazy look I saw before, now it was Alex. She was still crying, but I knew he was in there. “I care so fucking much, okay?” he didn't really answer me, but just kept looking. I bent down, kissing him. He kissed me back briefly before pulling away and looking down.
“Jack, it hurts so bad.” he said finally getting out of my grip. He turned back around, resting his palms back on his desk.
“I know, I know baby.” I said again. I went to touch him, but he moved and walked over in front of his bed. I followed him, wrapping my arms around the back of him. He was quieter now, but still sobbing. He started to struggle again. His body was getting weak, and I could feel it in the way he was trying to fight me. He dropped to the ground, me going with him. I pulled his body into my lap and just held him there. I stroked his hair and kissed the back of his head.
“Shhh, shhhh, its okay.” I repeated over and over, gently kissing the back of his head. I looked up at the door, seeing his mom there with a sad look on her face. Alex choked on his tears again, making me bring my attention back to him. I just rocked him like a baby, right there on the floor. Trying to get him to calm down. I looked back up, but his mom was gone.
It took a couple of hours, but Alex was finally calmed down a bit. We moved to the bed, I was still refusing to let him go. He was facing the wall and I was behind him with my arm wrapped around him and my face nuzzled in him neck. He body was resting more and more, and his breathing was evening out. Once it was quiet, I thought that he was asleep so I moved a little. I looked at his face. His cheeks were red and tear stained, it hurt so bad to see him like that. I kissed the back of his neck and got close to his ear.
“Everything is going to be okay, Alex.” I whispered. I kissed his cheek and got up. I put a thin blanket over him and left the room, only leaving the door cracked. I walked down stairs and looked in the living room for his mom or dad. I didn't see anyone there, so I walked into the kitchen. Alex’s mom leaning against the island with her head down.
“I think he’s okay for now.” I whispered. “I think I should-”
“How long?” she asked, cutting me off from my sentence.
“I'm sorry, what?” I asked, feeling confused.
“How long have you and my son… you know…” she finally said looking up at me. I wanted to speak, but no words came out. So she started talking again, looking up at me with sad eyes. “Please Jack, don't lie. I've had my suspicions, but I didn't know how far it was…”
“When did you find out?” I asked her, my heart was beating so fast, I didn't really know what to do, or even think.
“I was getting suspicious, he was taken to you quite well. Always talking about you, trying to get me to come around to the idea of our neighbor having a boyfriend.” she paused. “During Thanksgiving, I was walking into the kitchen going to put some stuff away. I stopped when I heard you and him talking. I looked around the corner and saw you kissing him.” I saw a few tears run down her face before she looked back up at me.
“Why didn't you say anything, or… call the cops? I'm older than him.” I asked, it made it sound bad, but I was curious. Calling the cops was something that she would do.
“I don't know.” she shrugged. “I guess because… I had never seen my son so happy. Ever since Zack died a while back, he was reserved and quiet. I rarely saw him smile. but when I saw him laughing and kissing you, it reminded me of the old Alex. My son.” she was actually crying by now, and so was eye. I had no clue that Alex was like that. “Thats why I asked you over here today, I couldn't do anything and I hoped that you could. Based on what I saw, you care a lot about him.”
It was an awkward silence for a few minutes. “I think I should go.” I said quietly and started to walk out.
“Wait,” she said. I stopped and turned around. “Does he love you?” she asked. I was, in a way, confused are the question. I just looked at her. “Jack, please tell me, I promise I wont do anything thing.” I sighed and nodded.
“Yeah, he told me he loved me.” his mom looked down, playing with her nails.
“Do you love him too?” she asked. My heart was pounding, because I did know the answer. It took me a long time and hit me like bricks, but I knew it. So, I nodded.
“Yes. Very much.” she sighed again, sniffling and nodding. She left the kitchen into some back room. I looked down, then turned back around starting to leave. Once I looked up, Alex was standing right there. “Al-” I started to say, but he cut me off standing on his toes and pushing his lips into mine. He pulled back, looking at me. We both smiled and kissed each other again, slotting our lips together.
“Thank you,” he said. He walked back upstairs before I could say anything. I sighed and left the house. About half way back, I turned looking around and back at Alex’s house wondering what exactly just happened. Even with all the bad, I still felt happy.