On my mind

A project I'm working on. A story inspired by someone who was once very close to me.

This is basically a story about two people, having to deal with reality. Daxton, a man who's haunted by his own mind, and Alexis, a girl running away from her own problems at home. This is them finding each other while trying to overcome their problems apart.

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1. Chapter one

Chapter 1 

The music is loud enough to overpower his thoughts as he drives 70 mph through the city. The adrenaline is running through his body along with the alcohol and his phone keeps vibrating in his pocket. He is trying to do the impossible and run away from his own thoughts. As he drives by the old gas station a silhouette of a girl is standing there. His vision is still kind of a blur, but the girl is looking so small standing there on the empty road. He pulls over trying to hide his current condition and rolls down the window.

After standing outside for several hours with a sign there’s barely readable anymore due to the many times she’s been holding it through harsh weather and pouring rain, a car finally stops. The gas station is empty, and it almost looks abandoned. This car has been one of few that has been down this road, so without overthinking it she gets in the car with a sigh of relief to finally get out of the cold.

He is trying to get a glimpse of the girl getting in his car, but the light from the lamppost outside is blinding him, while the drums on the stereo is numbing his ears. He shuts off the music making the voices in his head louder than the sound of the drums was before. The girl is trembling, and her lips are blue. She looks like she’s been out there for a long time.  

The second she gets into the car the rain starts pouring down. He looks at the expression on her face, but it is hard to read, she looks both defeated and victorious as if she’s trying to prove something to herself. Without the sound of instruments filling his head with emotions he’d anchored to the sound over the years, he now feels empty and the voices he’s learned to live with seems overwhelming. She introduces herself as Alex and he then introduces himself as Dax and asks her where she is going.

As he asks her where she’s going, she shrugs a little as she realizes that she has no specific place to go. She already starts questioning her decision and thinks to herself that she should’ve just waited for the rain to pass.

The car is filled with a very intense and bitter smell of alcohol and smoke. This guy is drunk, and the look on his face does not exactly scream kindness. However, it is too late now to turn around. The road has been empty for hours and he might be her only chance to get off the streets for the night.

It’s been 5 weeks and she’s seen worse than this guy. But something about him seems wrong to her. Not the fact that he is everything but sober, and already driving 70 mph probably getting them both killed soon, but more like the fact that the heavy drums that bursted from his car moments ago is now turned into the sound of various string instruments. The soft music however still seems comforting to her, maybe because it is as out of place as herself.

He breaks the silence to yet again ask her where she’s going, and she takes the opportunity to study his face. His face is very defined and is framed by long curls, black and greasy as if he hadn’t washed it for days. His eyes look dark brown and unreadable. She tells him to just drop her off wherever he is going, which makes him wonder how long she’s been outside. She’s younger than him, perhaps three or four years. The thought of a girl in that age on the road hitchhiking makes him overthink every worst-case scenario, not including the one she is in now.

It is no wonder she is freezing. She is only wearing a pair of light washed jeans covered in dirt, a black tank top and a coat thinner than his sweater. As he turns up the heat her shoulders drop a little. She feels more comfortable, as if the small gesture assures her that he wishes her no harm. Although it seems stupid, she is convinced that something is holding a hand over her or she would’ve been dead by now.

It’s been a long time since she’s given her family any thought. At least that’s what she keeps telling herself. If she cared as little for her family as she is trying to convince herself, she wouldn’t be here.

Though his parents have once tried to disown him he’s still in touch with them now and then. Honestly, they’re mostly supporting him financially, which is the last thing he needs. He’s however still in contact with his sister, who’s fortunately dealing with life much better than he is.

As the clock turns 2am he empties the rest of his open beer can out the window and pulls over at a motel. Her heart skips a beat for a second before starting to beat twice as fast. They’ve only been doing some small talk, and though she feels like she can trust him it all seems too shady. Perhaps she’s been watching too many movies, or maybe it is common sense to be worried.

He then realizes what it might look like to her. And though he might not be perfect he has no bad intentions but to rest. He explains that he can’t drive any further tonight, and that she’s welcome to tag along in the morning.

She did say to drop her off wherever he’s going, but he is far away from home and not planning on settling down anytime soon. Money he’s got enough off with what his aunt left him and the funds he has. he could probably live five lifetimes in his car.

She gets out of the car confused what she is going to do now. She had hoped for some sleep before having to go out in the cold again. The motel is far away from everything, it’s been the first thing they’d seen in an hour and the place seems isolated from the world. She’s got some money left from when she was busking in a small town, but not enough to stay the night at a motel and still be able to afford food and water.

As she thanks him and walks away he can’t help but feel sorry for her. He wonders if this is how he would’ve ended up if his aunt did not take him in. Before she gets too far he offers her to pay for a room. He can barely walk straight, partly because of the alcohol in his blood, but mostly from lack of sleep and the confusion taking over his head. They had only exchanged a few sentences during the ride, but he feels obligated to help her. Probably because he would’ve hoped that someone would do the same for him if he ended up like that.

Though she is surprised and feels like it would be too much to accept his offer, she is tired, hungry and the thought of sleeping in a bed instead of a car or on a bench just seems too tempting. She does not understand why he would offer such a thing, but asking him seems wrong. Not questioning his intentions, she follows him to the reception grateful for the fact that she will maybe get some sleep for once.

A loud scream wakes her up from her sleep. She’s scared by the sound, and though her instincts tell her to stay away curiosity makes her sneak out in the hallway of the hotel. The scream is coming from the room next to hers, and when she opens the door she finds Dax on the bed hyperventilating and covered in sweat. It’s apparent by the look in his eyes that he is scared.

It seemed so real. It was like he was 10 again. The same dream haunting his memories and thoughts both day and night. Him trying to fit in though even the loud voices in his head tells him that he’s better off alone. No one ever understood him. They’ve always thought he was weird and read too much into things, which maybe he did. He was always afraid to think and speak and sometimes he felt like he couldn’t even tell the difference between the two.

The image of the perfect version of himself taking over his life was too real, and when he slowly shrinks to nothing he forces his eyes open and let out a scream. When he wakes up he has a hard time telling the difference between what’s a dream and what’s reality. He’s sticky and sweat is dripping from his forehead. In the doorway is the figure of a girl. The same girl he picked up from the street hours ago. Tears is running down his cheeks and he screams at her to get out.

He scares her. Never has she seen anyone like that, and never has she heard a scream as loud or with this much emotion. Scared of his reaction and what he might do she packs her stuff which isn’t much and head out. When she gets outside she sees him already standing there smoking a cigarette. Avoiding looking him in the eyes she walks past him in a steady pace. He asks her where she’s going and when she doesn’t reply he almost look hurt.

And he is. All his life he’s never done anything but scare people away. Many find his behavior either to strange or scary, and sometimes he feels like he can’t even blame his sickness anymore. He does overreact more than necessary most of the time, but how does he tell the difference between what is actually wrong with him and what he can blame on the diagnosis he was given when he was very young.

He wants her to stay, and after seeing the look in his face she wants to. She’s still scared but she’s never been the person to leave someone while they’re vulnerable. That is what she tells herself anyways. Truth is she’s probably been too good at running away from people when she should’ve stayed. Why else would she have ended up here? She doesn’t want to leave though, something about Dax is intriguing and she can’t help but keep staring at him.

He genuinely looked like he was hurt by her reaction and the fact that she was leaving but he did scream at her to get out. His behavior was strange to her. Ever since they met, he’s had these mood swings and she still don’t know what to think about him and whether to trust him or not. In the back of her head she keeps reminding herself of the situation she’s in and that she is in no position to judge anyone.

But what does she now about this guy? She knows that his name is Dax, he’s probably in his early twenties and he drives drunk and twice as fast as the speed limits will allow. He’s clearly dealing with a lot and despite everything she can’t help but sympathize with him.

It is not the fact that she wants to leave, but more that she saw him like that. He is still trying to act calm as his mind keeps telling him discouraging words and reminding him that he will never be able to fit in anywhere. He’s still having a hard time getting back to reality and it is like the company of this stranger is almost putting his mind to ease a little.

Maybe it’s the fact that he gets to think about someone else than himself, or that making conversation with another human being, though it is hard, is allowing his thoughts to calm down and focus on the sentences coming out his mouth.

Still unsure on whether she should stay or get the hell out of there she puts down her backpack and studies his face once again. She could hope for another car to pass by, but with the clock turning to 4am soon and the motel being located far away from everything it is very unlikely to happen.

Though his temper got the best of him and he comes off violent the girl is still standing there. He feels almost naked standing there, as a complete stranger has just seen him vulnerable and afraid. His head is a mess and he can’t decide whether to listen to the part of him saying that he would be better off alone, that she thinks a fool of him and that he should just yell at her to get out of here.

She still doesn’t know what to say or how to act, but the silent is killing her and making the situation seem more and more uncomfortable. She then asks him for a cigarette to break the silence even though she doesn’t smoke, and as he hands her one he asks her how she ended up on the street with a washed-out sign and nowhere to go.

After seeing him like she just did she feels more comfortable telling about her past. As she begins to tell about her abusive father and the expectations she ran away from at first, she forgets about the fact that she is talking to a stranger and sharing things with him that she hasn’t yet told her closest friends. Or those who used to be her closest friends.

Maybe that is why she feels comfortable around him. Because he has no idea about her life. He has no expectations or ideas about how she’s supposed to be, and he himself doesn’t seem like a person to judge anything she says.

Opening up to this stranger is one of the most relieving things she’s done in a long time. None of them knows how to act, when to laugh or whether to cry or not, but somehow, they connect on a whole different level, and as the sun is rising Daxton is almost able to forget the voices in his head and instead focusing on the girl sitting in front of him.

He is trying to listen as well as he can, but it is like his mind keeps drifting off to a different place, and in his head, there’s a debate whether she wants the worst for him or if he can trust her. He really wants to be able to trust this girl, but everything inside of him is telling him that he can’t.

It is like they both feel like it would be selfish feeling sorry for themselves when the person in front of them is in a place just as dark. Though it is tempting for him to open up about his nightmares and the voices in his head, he’s still not ready to tell a stranger of the one thing that’s been haunting him his entire life. What if she thinks the worst of him?

She hasn’t yet heard his story and she does feel a bit of disappointment, as she wonders if he does not trust her enough, she did just tell him basically her entire life story. She can’t force him to tell her about his life, but she really wants to know what is under his surface. His reasons for acting like he does.

He can feel her disappointment, and it does take all his will power to not just break down and tell her everything. He has never experienced himself like this before. He feels weaker than usual and his guard is lower than it has been in a long time. Still he is afraid that saying the wrong thing might scare her away. She seems so fragile, and though she is clearly trying to come off as tougher than she is, she looks like a bird who’s fallen out of the nest.

As the sun is almost completely risen, the silence slowly takes over their conversation and none of them knows how to break it. The silent is almost more comfortable than awkward, but still they both want to say something.

He’s on his third cigarette, while the one he gave her is still in her hand unlit. As they just sit there in silence she can see that he has got some light freckles across his nose, and his eyes is in fact bright green, and not brown as they seemed earlier.

As the sun is risen completely they are both exhausted. He gets up from the stairs they’re sitting on and offers her a hand. As she takes his hand it is almost as they both get surprised by the feeling. Though they’ve been talking all night, this is the first physical contact they have made.

Her head seems so much lighter the next day, and so does the air between her and Daxton. It had been a long night, but she had had some time to think it all over, and she was a lot more comfortable around Dax as he had heard every side of her story and is somehow still sitting in the car beside her.

After seeing the look in his eyes last night when she opened the door to his room it is like she can now connect to him as a person instead of a stranger. It is like she has now seen the more humane side of him, the side that most people hide away.

The life she is living now is so much different from how it used to be. Despite her problems, it was so much easier back at home. She was well liked in school, and though none of her so-called friends really cared about her personal life, that was probably what she liked about them. Of course, she felt alone sometimes, but she knew that she couldn’t find comfort in any of these people, just company.

Everything in school is so superficial and that was honestly what she liked the most about it. At home her family was a mess, and no one really had a place, she always had to be insecure and afraid. It was much easier to hide these things in a place where people really did not care.

Daxton is telling her about how he grew up in a small city and how his family owns a big growing company somewhere far away. This is all things she can never relate to, which makes it a hundred times more interesting. He tells her about his family and how he and his sister are very close.

His life seems so perfect to her which makes her wonder even more how he ended up like he did, and why he is sitting here with her instead of being at home with his family
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This first chapter is written differently than the rest of the story, as it can be seen as an introduction to both the characters and what they're dealing with. 

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