You can't decide whether money changes things or not; it does. You can decide, however, whether it changes things for better or worse.


57. Fifty seven

My alarm goes off the next morning and I roll over to wake Alex up but he isn't there. I pick up a jumper from the floor and pull it on, going downstairs. He's sat at the kitchen table, scrolling down something on his phone and eating cereal. I frown, sitting opposite him. 

"You got up early." I say. 

He raises his eyebrows at me. "How come you're up?" 

"Because we have school." I remind him.

"You don't have to go to school." he shakes his head, getting up and turning the kettle on. 

"I probably should." I say, rubbing my eyes. 

"Nah, don't worry about school, just go and visit your dad, do what you have to do." he encourages. 

I raise an eyebrow, smiling a little. "This is going to turn into an argument isn't it?" 

He smiles back. "Yes."

I laugh. "Okay, I go in for half a day and then go and visit my dad for the rest of the day, yes?" 

He chuckles. "No. Just take the whole day off. Go and see your dad later, but first, go and..." he hesitates. "Go and see Jem."

I frown. I wasn't expecting that. "What?" 

"Go and see Jem." he repeats, nodding. "You haven't seen him in quite a while."

I get up and lean on the counter next to him. He doesn't look at me, he just keeps stirring the tea, a determined kind of look on his face. 

"Why do you care if I go and see Jem?" I ask. 

"Because if I were him, I'd have wanted to see you by now." he looks at me and nods again. "Go and see him. I'll drop you off on my way to school."

I feel like I've been putting off thinking about Jem for the past couple of days so that I wouldn't feel bad about avoiding him to spend time with Alex but now I'm being forced into realising that what I've done is unfair. Jem's been waiting for me to call or come and see him and he's been worried about me and I've just ignored him. I feel so sorry so when he answers the door, I hug him tight. 

He chuckles a little, hugging me back and resting his chin on my forehead. "Hey you. I've been worrying about you."

My heart breaks. "I am so sorry."

"What for?" 

I close my eyes and smile, pulling him closer. "Nothing."

He pulls back and smiles at me. It is so good to see him. "You coming in?" 

"Yes please." I take his hand as we walk to the living room and he laughs. 

"You're clingy this morning." he teases as we sit down. 

I kiss his cheek. "I've missed you so much."

He pauses, smiling at me. "How is everything?" 

I nod. "Okay. It's okay."

He nods. "Good."

And that's that. We move on because he knows I don't want to talk about stuff like that, I want to have fun with him because that's why I've always liked him so much, because we have fun. We talk about Alex and Johanna's break up and we listen to music that I don't like but he wants me to and we laugh about it and we watch an entire series of Girls and I could stay there forever, just having fun and feeling carefree with him. 

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