We Can't Run From Fate

Jack had never given much thought to the mark on his wrist, the one that told him he had a soulmate out in the world. He was always more the one night stand than soulmate kinda guy. One thing he never expected though was to find his match in Alex Gaskarth, a twenty something single dad just trying to give the best life he can to his daughter.

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11. Chapter 10

Jack had never felt such pain as when Alex walked away. He felt like his heart had shattered at his feet, a hole ripped so deep it would never be put back together. It seemed like forever since that night but in reality it had only been a few days. Jack had avoided work and thrown his phone across the room when people tried to call. He didn’t want to speak to anyone or see anyone. So he just stayed in his fancy apartment and did nothing.

Heartbreak isn’t like how you see in the movies; there wasn’t tears and ice cream, just pain and anger. Jack finally understood what he’d done, the problems he’d caused and finally the choice Alex had been forced to make. He’d been scared, a stupid scared boy and in turn he’d been the one to ruin everything, not Alex, never Alex. He had a little girl and in the end she had to be put first, even when it broke both their hearts.

Jack had never been in love, he’d barely ever been on a date but he couldn’t doubt his feelings for Alex. Maybe it was love or maybe it would have been, should have been. That’s what hurt the most, the thing that left the emptiness in Jack’s chest, all the if buts and maybes.

 

Late one night as he sat alone, a half drunk bottle of wine stood in front of him and an empty glass in his hand. Jack looked at his wrist, the music tone that marked his skin, the stupid symbol that had started everything. What was the point of them? To show you your soulmate only to have them ripped away from you. Jack couldn’t bare the sight of it, it was like having a permeated part of Alex forever etched on his skin. He wanted to remove it, to cover it, so he’d never had to look upon the pain he’d caused.

Jack ended up falling asleep on the couch that night, the empty bottle of wine at his side and the long forgotten tv casting the only light in the room. The mark on his wrist flickering red, despite their separation there was still something pulling Jack and Alex together and it wasn’t about to let them go.  

 

The next morning Jack woke with a pounding headache and his body aching from the night spent on the couch. Standing up he went in search of food and something to dull the pain in his head. He passed his phone on the floor where he’d thrown it days before and picked it up, seeing over twenty missed calls and messages. He opened a text to Eliza and informed her he’d been in for work that night, ignoring her question at where he’d been.

Finding his kitchen empty of any interesting food Jack put on his sunglasses and left. He needed to get away from the emptiness of his apartment; he didn’t want to hear the silence anymore. He’d lived alone ever since leaving home but it was the first time the place had seemed too big and too empty for him.

Outside the sun was shining and Jack was thankful for his sunglasses, shielding his eyes from the harsh light. The brightness doing nothing to help with the pounding in his head, he made a note to pick up some pain killers on his way back. Jack reached his favourite restaurant and took his normal seat away from the window, ordering the same thing he did every time. Having never dealt with real heartbreak before Jack didn’t know how to cope with it, he just stared blankly as his world fell apart from him. He hadn’t realised how his world had become Alex and how empty it was without the boy by his side. He had to fight the temptation to open his phone and read though their late night conversions and silly talks.

“Here you are, Sir.”

A waitress placed his food in front of him, he just nodded a thanks. He’d only taken the first bite when he felt his phone buzz in his pocket. He pulled it out, half expecting to see Alex’s name on the screen but it was just Eliza. Opening it the picture of him and Alex flashed in front of him, the one that been Jack’s lock screen for so long. The one he couldn’t bring himself to change. Eliza was only asking what time he’d be in, he typed a quick reply and put his phone away. Jack continued to eat, his mind going back to Alex no matter how hard he tried not to think at all.

When Jack finished he paid and left. Though the food had settled the ache in his stomach his head was still reminding him of what he’d drunk the night before. Knowing he’d have to be in work in a few hours and dealing with people Jack choice to make a detour to a pharmacy on his way home. He was browsing the rows of pain killers, trying to find one best suited to his hangover when a familiar voice reached his ears.

“Which one do you want baby?”

It was Alex, he was talking to Grace.

Jack peeked his head over the aisles and spotted Alex over at the children’s section, Grace in his arms.

“Hurts, Daddy.” she cried.

Was something wrong with Grace? Was she sick? Jack moved closer, trying to get a better look at them. Alex was stood facing the rows of medicine, Grace was held tight in his arms wearing too many layers for the time of year.

“I know baby, I’m trying to make it better.”

Alex sounded exhausted even more so than he normally did. Jack watched him from around a corner, he hoped the boy wouldn’t look up but he seemed too involved in his daughter to bother.

Grace coughed, covered her mouth with her small hand and Alex rubbed her back.

“It’s okay, it’s okay.” Alex reassured her.

“Want to go home, Daddy.” she said.

“Okay, we can go home and watch Lilo and Stitch, how does that sound?” Alex asked.

She nodded and rested her head on his shoulder. Alex grabbed a few boxes of medicine from the self and went to the counter to pay. Jack was still standing watching them, his heart felt like someone had punched it but not for the reason he’d expect. Alex seemed so run down, in need of care and someone to make sure he was okay. Jack wondered if it was possible he cared for his daughter a little too much, that he put her first even when he needed something himself. Jack watched as Alex paid and sneezed, his arm covered his mouth as he sniffed.

Alex left the shop with a now sleeping Grace in his arms. Seeing Alex had only reminded Jack just how much he missed him and how much he needed him back. It was time to put things right.

 
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