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?


6. Christian

I tended to Clarice as she let her bottle fall to the floor again. She laughed as I knelt to pick it up for her for the millionth time. “Very funny, Clare.” I muttered, putting it in her hands once more. Needless to say, she dropped it again. I picked it off the floor again, but this time I went to put it back in the pack hanging off their pushchair. She wailed. I sighed, getting the bottle out again. I undid the belt holding her in the pushchair, and picked her up. “Why can’t you be quiet like Jakey?” I asked her, cradling her gently in my arms. I glanced at my sleeping baby in his pram as I said this. I held the bottle in front of my daughter. “Now,” I said, practising my fatherly tone. “Clarice Amber Rothschild-Ferry, if I give you this bottle, will you promise to drink it without dropping it?” Of course, she didn’t understand – she continued her crying and wailing until I gave her the bottle. I’d reluctantly allowed my children to have my father’s surname, despite it being my uncle Marco – a Velasco – who I really regarded as my dad. I just thought I wouldn’t be cruel in giving them three surnames.

As I stood in the driveway of my brother’s high school, a woman in a car awaiting next to me smiled sweetly at me, getting out to stand next to me. “Twins! Must be difficult for you.” She remarked. The woman was the same age as about my dad. I nodded, “they do like to be – especially this one.” I replied, kissing Clarice on the head, putting her back in her seat. “How old are they?” She queried, smiling at the two of them. “Seventeen months.” I told the woman.

“Sweet age. My four are all older now. My youngest is eleven now.” She remarked.

“So they’re one of the year sevens?” I asked, and she nodded. “My little brother is too – He’s called Max Rothschild.” I continued, and she smiled.

“My daughter’s in his class. I’ve heard his name once or twice. She told me how you – his brother, I mean – was the boy who was missing.” I knew where this was going already.

“Small town.”

“Amber tutored Daisy. She was such a sweet girl.  I just want you to know no one blames you for what happened, Christian.” I couldn’t stop my face twinge at that remark.  I was thankful when I saw Max’s small slender figure coming down the school drive.



Max looked up at me, the winter sun gleaming off his glasses. He didn’t look much like me. We were half-brothers, after all. He was 100% English, and I was an English and Spanish half-breed – to state the man difference. “Who was the lady you were talking with?” He asked, taking off his blazer and handing it to me.  I placed it over the bag hanging on the back of the pram. “Someone in your class’ mum.” I answered, and he raised his eyebrows.

“Whose mum?” He queried.

“Some kid named Daisy’s.” I replied, and he winced. “What’s wrong with Daisy?” I asked him, and he looked away. “She’s just really intrusive – more so than everyone else.” He began, and I frowned.
“What do you mean everyone’s intrusive?” I interrupted, and he glanced away, his dark hair falling in front of his eyes. “Ever since you went missing, I’ve had people asking loads of questions about it – even more so now that you’re back.” His voice was heavy – sad, almost.

“Why did they do that?” My voice in contrast, was harsh and cold. “You were five when I went missing. And we grew up in different households – you didn’t even know we were brothers until I was taken.” I argued, and Max sighed, brushing the hair out of his face.

“Try telling them that…” He muttered, and it was quiet after that.

“Back to intrusive Daisy.” I remembered, and he nodded.

“Just because Amber tutored her, she seems to think she has a special right to know about Clarice and Jacob.” He told me. “She’ll walk right up to me when I’m doing something - even if I’m talking with friends – and just ask about you or them.” He finished, and I raised my eyebrows.

“Have you told anyone about what an intrusive bitch she’s being?” I questioned, feeling a paternal need to protect him. “When I moved up to year seven after you were found, my form teacher told me if anyone was making me uncomfortable to go straight to him.”

“And have you?” I pressed, and he paused. “Max,” I said sadly, “he told you-”

“I know what he said!” Max snapped, “It’s just…” He trailed off, and I looked at my little brother.

“It’s just what?”

“Mr. Archer has been off a lot, and this morning our head of year told us he’d been hospitalised for an unsure amount of time.” He explained, and I thought back to when I saw Mr. Archer last - he didn’t seem overly happy, but he seemed healthy. “Did they say why he was hospitalised?” I queried, and he nodded slightly. “Depression.” He swallowed, and looked up at me. “You don’t think he tried to kill himself, do you?” He sounded frightened. I shrugged, “who knows? Let’s hope not.” I said, but inside I felt panicky. The last time I’d seen him…it seemed entirely possible. I was afraid for the man and his son too. “You must like him has a form tutor – what’s he like?” I asked – trying to dig a little deeper. Max smiled, “he’s really cool. He keeps a record of all the things he does, and he lets us look at it all. He also shows us his tattoos and ear stretchers, even though he’s supposed to keep them covered – he also keeps his piercings in at school and just sticks transparent ones in. And he’s always full of stories about the things he’s done.” His face fell, “I never thought he’d be the type to get depressed, y’know? He didn’t seem like it.” Max seemed to close up on himself a little. I reached out and put a hand on his back. “He’ll get better, Max.” I comforted, and he looked down. “You don’t know that.” He said quietly. I put the brakes on the pram, and looked at him. He glanced up at me in surprise. “Hey,” I said, smiling. “I’m better. Remember back when I was ranting and raving and distrustful when I came home? You and dad and Marie thought I’d never get better. But I did – and if I can, he can too.” I said encouragingly. “You have to have faith in him.” Max nodded.

We got back home, and I left Clare in the living room with her toys whilst I carried Jakey up the stairs and put him in his crib. It was a tight squeeze. Our house was average sized, and had been purchased a year ago when I’d moved in with my father and his wife, and Clarice and Jacob ended up having to share a room with me. As I gently got him out of his coat, I kissed him on the head and laid him down carefully. Marie stood next to me, and watched him sleep. “Your children are both so beautiful.” She remarked, and I nodded, bending down to stroke Jakey’s fine baby hair. “I want to give them the best life I can.” I said firmly.

“And you will.” Marie put a hand on my back and rubbed in gentle circles. I put my head on her shoulder.

My parents had divorced when I was too young to remember. But from what Caleb, Ashley and Summer remember, it was a messy divorce. My dad never really got involved in our upbringing – just left my mother and her brother to it. But my uncle killed himself after I was abducted. When I arrived back at fifteen years old, all of my three older siblings had grown up and left the house. Mum really couldn’t raise a shell-shocked teenager and two babies by herself without my uncle. She reluctantly called my father, who by this time had remarried Mari and had Max. He agreed to let me live with them, allowing my mother to drop by and visit when she wants.

“Did Max tell you what was happening at school?” I asked Marie, and she frowned, shaking her head. “This girl at school, Daisy, keeps asking after the twins – and I think it’s embarrassing him. He’s an uncle at eleven, and all of his half-siblings are way older and I think school is the one place he can be with people his age and be comfortable, but this girl keeps bothering him. And he can’t go to his form tutor about it because they recently ended up in hospital.” I told her, leaving out the fact that he was in a mental institution for depression. Marie knitted her brow. “He’s never told me about this before.” She muttered, and I nodded.

“I have a feeling that he told me what was going on because Max trusts me not to tell. And you’re his mother…it’s not like he’s going to bring up the fact a girl is bothering him. But if you could, I don’t know, bring this up with Daisy’s mum or something, I’m sure it would make things a little better.” I told her, and she smiled. “It’s comforting how protective over Max you are.” She commented as she left me watching over Jakey.

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