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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4. Chapter 3

“I can’t do this, I can’t do this... How am I supposed to do this?” Alex asked.

He was pacing around his apartment, Grace in his arms as Zack sat on the couch.

“Alex you’ve only got to talk to guy, I think you can manage that,” he said.

“And say what? Hi I know you’re meant to be my soulmate and all but there’s been some mistake? I’m sure that’ll go down great.”

“Calm down Alex, maybe he’ll be okay with it? It didn’t exactly sound like he was over the moon with the situation on the bus,” Zack said.

“I know, I know,” Alex sighed and sat beside his friend, his little girl now asleep against his chest.

“Just go and talk to him, explain the whole thing and then see what happens.”

“Think I should go see him then?”

“Yes, why don’t you text him now? I can watch Grace and you’ll be back before she knows you were gone.”

“Okay.”                                                              

Alex text Jack asking if he was free and he wanted to talk, Jack text back not ten minutes later asking if he wanted to meet for coffee.

“Well here goes,” Alex said, putting on his jacket and heading for the door.

“Don’t worry Alex; he’s going to love you.”

Alex didn’t reply that’s what he was afraid of.

 

Alex arrived typically ten minutes late; Jack was already sitting at a table with a cup of coffee in hand. Alex smiled at him before buying his own drink, the cheapest thing on the menu as usual. He’d gotten used to the taste of terrible coffee by now.

“Hey,” Jack said as Alex joined him.

“Hi.”

“How are you?” Jack asked.

“I’m okay.”

Sitting so close to Alex, Jack couldn’t help not notice the dark circles under his eyes and the way he held the coffee cup as if it were the only thing keeping him awake.

“You wanted to talk about something?” Jack asked.

“Yeah... Yeah about this whole soulmate thing.”

Jack nodded and Alex tried to find the words, how could he tell him they weren’t really soulmates? Alex’s thought were interrupted by a song, a song he knew very well.

“Oh shit sorry.”

Jack pulled his phone out of his pocket and answered it. Alex smiled to himself, he knew that song very well, it was one of his favourites and Jack had it as his ringtone.

“Sorry about that, it was only the girl I work with.”

“You like Green Day?” Alex asked, ignoring Jack’s statement about work, still focused on the music.

“I fucking love them.”

“Favourite song?” Alex asked.

“Basket Case of course!” Jack said.

“Nah Time of Your Life,” Alex argued.

“It’s good, but not the best.”

“Did you just say that?”

“Who else do you like?” Jack asked.

“Blink, Third Blind Eye, Foo Fighters.”

“You have good taste; you should come down the Rockwell sometime.”

“What’s that?” Alex asked.

“It’s where I work; it’s a bar down town.”

“Oh.”

“Where do you work?” Jack asked.

“Nowhere exciting,” Alex replied, he hated admitting he worked in a supermarket so tended to avoid the question.

“Sorry, you were totally about to say something when my phone rang. Something about us?”

Alex bit his lip, Jack seemed nice and he had such great music taste. It was something him and Megan had never been able to talk about, she had never been that interested in music.

“I don’t know,” Alex finally said.

“It’s stupid isn’t it? Because of these dumb marks we’re stuck together.”

“Yeah it is a bit, it’s just...” Alex couldn’t say it; he couldn’t make his mouth form the words.

“Just what?” Jack asked.

“I loved her first.”

Jack didn’t know how to reply, there was somebody else?

“You do?”

“I did... She’s gone now but I thought... I thought it should be her but it wasn’t and I don’t understand how it can be you.”

“I don’t know Alex, I really don’t know how this stupid thing works but we’re stuck so we might as well try right?”

Jack wasn’t sure where his words were coming from, only that morning he’d been talking to Rian about how he didn’t want to do it and how he wished it would go away. Why was he now trying to make it work? He looked at Alex, all messy light hair and dark eyes, so tired and full of something that wasn’t happiness.

“Do we? Really?”  Alex asked.

“I think we at least have to try... Alex, would you like to go on a date with me?”

Alex stayed silent for a moment; did he really want to go on a date with Jack? He’d loved Megan so much but she’d been gone nearly 5 years. The mark behind his ear prickled, reminding him it was still there and what he had to do.

“Okay, for the sake of trying.”

Jack smiled; he couldn’t believe he’d done it. He never even asked girls on proper dates and now he was doing it for Alex. He looked at the mark on his wrist, the stupid thing that was making him do all of this. He hoped it knew what it was doing.

Alex felt his phone buzz in his pocket, taking it out he saw a text from Zack saying that Grace was very unhappy and missing him. He’d have to go; as much as it was kind of nice to speak to Jack his daughter would be mean more, always.

“Sorry I’ve got to go.”

“Everything okay?” Jack asked.

“Yeah it’s just my d.... My dad, needs some help with the car again,” Alex lied.

“Well okay.”

“See you.” Alex downed the rest of his drink, wincing slightly at the overly bitter taste and stood to leave.

“I’ll text you, so we can sort something out.”

“Sure, bye Jack.”

“Bye Alex.”

When he was outside Alex mentally kicked himself, if he really was going to try this whole soulmate thing he couldn’t go spitting out the fact he had a daughter that would have to wait. Alex returned to find his little girl crying as she sat in Zack’s arms.

“Hey baby, what are all the tears about?”

Grace looked up at the sound of her dad’s voice and stopped crying.

“Daddy!”

“I’m here, sorry I had to meet someone. Were you good for Zack?” he asked, picking her up and holding her close to his chest.

“He wouldn’t let me have a cookie.”

“What? He wouldn’t? Well it is nearly time for dinner Gracy.”

“Cookie!”

“Nope, why don’t you get your dolly ready for dinner why I speak to Uncle Zack in the kitchen?”

Grace pouted but let Alex put her down so she could play. Zack followed Alex into the tiny kitchen where he began putting a pan on for Grace’s dinner.

“So, what did you say?”

“I didn’t tell him about Grace but I did say about Megan and....”

“And?”

“And well I’ve kind of agreed on go on a date with him.”

“You what?”

“I’m going on a date with him... I don’t know Zack, he’s nice and we’ve got to at least try right?” Alex asked.

“Yeah, yeah course you do. I’m just surprised, you seemed so set on shooting the guy down.” Zack said.

“I thought I was...”

“Well I’ve got to go, have a good evening Alex.”

“You too.”

Zack gave Alex a quick hug and made sure to say goodbye to Grace before leaving Alex alone with his daughter.

“Grace, dinners ready.”

She tootled in on her little legs, one of her dollies under one arm.

“Is Ruby hungry too?” Alex asked, lifting Grace up and putting her in her chair.

“Very hungry Daddy.”

“Good thing I made extra then.”

Alex put a bowl of tomato pasta in front of her and let her dig in. He sat himself down at the table with his own bowl. As he looked at Grace he found his hand pressing the mark behind his ear, he promised himself that whatever happened between him and Jack that she wouldn’t get hurt. After all she meant more to him than anything in the world.

 
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