Chapter 10: In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
It never really mattered to me that being high turned me into a total fucking zombie. Sometimes it was the only way to shut my brain off and it gave me a little bit of peace. It was the only time that my soul felt free. The only disadvantage was when my emotions were raw and unpredictable. Sometimes I'd stuff my face full of Doritos and chug a two liter of Mountain Dew just to throw it all up later on. Sometimes I wanted to curl up in a ball and sleep my life away because the depression would hit me harder than ever. Sometimes I would cry for hours while begging Alex to stay faithful to me through texts and voicemails.
Tonight, I was home alone and I wanted to smoke the stress away whole I kicked back and got lost in the raw psychedelic beauty of Iron Butterfly. It was one of the only cool things that my parents owned along with the vintage record player they used to blast the music when I was a kid. I truly felt relaxed and peaceful wand this was one of those rare occasions where I enjoyed being alone and disconnected from the rest of the world. Ashe and Brina were probably blowing me up about what went down in class earlier today and my parents were probably sending me constant reminders about taking my ass to school even if they were going to be gone for a week and couldn't harass me about it in person. I wasn't even worried about them or anything else happening in the outside world. As soon as i came home, I found a letter from Mom and Dad saying that they'd be gone for the rest of the week. I wanted to jump for joy because I dreaded every second that I thought about explaining to them why I left school early in tears. They wouldn't understand and I'd be willing to bet that they would tell me to just suck it up because I was just being stupid. I hated to admit it, but I probably had a few screws loose that desperately needed medical attention and my parents acted like I was just being a typical stupid teenager. It was a sad situation, but almost all of our parents thought that we were just a bunch of dumb asses.
I couldn't even remember where I put my phone. All I remembered was sprinting to my room to grab my stash and bowl. The rest of my memory was just a big ass cloud of smoke. I had no idea how many hours had passed since I got started. I had a pretty decent amount of weed left from the pound that Alex blessed me with for Christmas last year. My room sounded and smelled like something straight out of Woodstock and I loved every minute of it. All I was missing was a Volkswagen van covered in peace signs and a shit ton of LSD and after my first and only acid trip when I thought I was a fucking sloth that could read minds and fly, that was a hard pass that I was going to have to take.
I didn't need any help with feeling like I was losing my fucking mind. Today had been entirely too much for me to handle and I really didn't know where to go from here. Andy was only supposed to distract me and help me blow off some steam because Alex was being an asshole. That was my game plan from the very beginning when I had a clear head with clear intentions. Then my dumb ass had to get my feelings involved and practically fell in love with him because I thought that being in a monogamous relationship was a good idea. I got played and now I had to suffer. There was no other way to handle it except for smoking and drinking the pain away. That was what I always did best.
I was fading in and out, completely mesmerized by the giant cloud of smoke lingering above my bed when I heard the sound of someone pounding on the door over the music. I wasn't particularly worried about who was out there. I didn't even feel the need to get in a hurry to get downstairs to see what they wanted. My mind was definitely working a lot faster than my body, but not by much with the few brain cells I probably had left struggling to pick up the slack. My eyes were probably blood red and I was struggling to keep them open just enough to be able to watch where I was going. I desperately wanted to crawl into bed and sleep for the rest of the week, but the asshole outside wasn't going to go away.
"I'm coming, jack ass!" I snapped as I gripped the rail coming down the stairs. They continued to knock and it only pissed me off even more. I gave up and decided to focus on making it down the last three steps without breaking my neck. "Jesus Christ," I said as I started to lose my high. I was really going to be a bitch to whoever was knocking on the door like they were the fucking police.
I turned the door knob and snatched the door open and got smacked in the face with the smell of a smoke session that easily blew mine out of the water. "Took you long enough," Alex said first with a chuckle. "Glad you're enjoying your Christmas present." He was trying to make light of things and ignore the fact that he'd been making my life a living hell lately. My facial expression remained the same to let him know that I wasn't in the mood for any type of conversation from him at all. I stood in the doorway, gripping the frame and reminding myself to remain calm. I wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of getting a reaction out of me like he did at the party.
"What do you want?" I snapped. I felt like I was a broken record. He always wanted something whenever we crossed paths. "Can I come in?" he asked, raising an eyebrow when he picked up on the fact that the house was empty because my parents' car was gone. I didn't even try to reject him. I didn't have enough energy for any more drama. "Sure. It's not like you're going to let me say no," I said sarcastically. I stepped back to allow him to cross over the threshold to come in and close the door behind him. I stepped into the kitchen leaving him in the living room to make sure there was more than enough space between us. He was the last person I wanted to see or talk to and I knew exactly what he had his mind on. I heart his feet moving around in the living room causing the floor boards to creak. Seeing and hearing his presence in the house felt so odd and out of place even though this wasn't the first time he'd been here. It was probably because of how many times I thought about murdering his ass over the last few days and now would be the perfect opportunity.
"Tell me what you want and make it fast," I demanded. My nerves were beginning to tear me apart. I was already in a shitty mood because my high was almost gone and I was about to start pacing as the side effects kicked in. I didn't have it in me to patiently wait for him to get whatever he had to say off of his chest. "Calm down mean ass. I came to make up." I kept my arms folded across my chest as I stood in the doorway between the two rooms. "You're full of shit," I scoffed. He was now the one that was pacing and that meant that he was nervous. He always paced when he was nervous. It was odd and probably ridiculous, but I actually thought that it was kind of cute. I had never seen the shy boyish side of him and it made my mood soften. I was actually opening up to the idea of hearing what he had to say. My rational side knew that he was probably going to make an attempt to lie his way back into my life again just to do the same shit he always did.
"I heard about your run in with your little boyfriend today. Is that why you're so hostile tonight?" he asked. He was wearing that infamous smirk that I always hated with a deep burning passion. It was usually followed by him saying, "I told you so." Sometimes it felt like I was venturing out into the world to claim a life without him in it, but he was secretly pulling all of the strings, waiting for me to fall and come running back to him. "No, but I was pretty impressed. It looked like he took a page out of your book," I said, challenging him bravely. He looked up at me and stopped pacing. "You know me better than that," he paused., stepping closer, "I only leave my marks where only my eyes can see them," he said as he lowered his voice. He inched closer, now towering over me as he lowered his head and grabbed my chin with his hand, forcing me to look him in the eye.
"And no one has ever been allowed to mark your territory," he said in almost a whisper that made my knees buckle. That single statement reminded me of how sickening and enticing he could be. I hated him with everything in me for making me love him without getting any love from him in return. "Alex, stop," I said sternly, closing my eyes to avoid the sight of him. I could feel my tough exterior crumble right in front of him. Instead of backing off, he placed his hand on my hip. Through the thin tank top I was wearing, I could feel the warmth of his touch and all I wanted to do was melt with him. My heart wasn't going to let that happen. He did nothing to prove why I should let him back in.
"You know we belong together. This is the longest you've ever been mad at me," he said softly. I could feel his hand come off of my hip and by the time I opened my eyes again, he was preparing to use it to caress my cheek. I caught his arm mid-air to block him from touching me like that again. "That's always been the problem! You want me to be faithful and loyal to you, but you can treat me however you want! You're never going to change!" My chest heaved and I was fighting harder than before to remain calm. He dropped his hand to his side and hung his head. "That's not true," he said shaking his head slowly. I was more than ready to fire back on his ass just in case he decided to be a smart ass and start an argument. He took a few steps away from me and sighed.
"I've treated you unfairly and made you feel like shit. I have to own up to it and give you what you want," he said with a shrug. I was trying to keep a straight face to avoid laughing in his face. "I don't fall for sweet talk anymore. I'm used to it." The expression on his face was softer and truly apologetic. "I'm not just blowing smoke up your ass just so I can fuck you again. You've earned every bit of everything I have." He was now frowning and I could see the discomfort in his eyes. That meant that he was going to voice his emotions and pour his heart out. Now I knew that he was being serious.
"You know what it does too me when I see you even standing next to someone else. You almost got your boy killed," he said, pointing his finger at me. I rolled my eyes and looked down at the floor, feeling guilty all over again. He was right. "But you stopped me. You're the only person that's ever been able to control me the way that you do. You had me at your feet like I was a fucking lost dog and that means something." He was pacing and rubbing his hands together like he was trying to find the right words to say. "You mean something," he finally said with his voice cracking. "You saved my ass at that party and all you've ever wanted in exchange for your loyalty is love. I'm just too fucking stupid to do right by you." From where I was standing, it looked like a tear rolled down his cheek. I had never seen him look so vulnerable before. He was always stone cold to everyone, especially me. I'd try to show him time and time again that I cared and I wasn't going to switch up on him and he continued to shut me out.
"I know you probably don't believe me." I didn't budge and I kept a frown on my face. "Why should I?" I snapped, ready to throw everything at him that he'd thrown at me. "I need you in my life," he said as he finally turned to look at me. That confirmed that he'd been crying. I'd never seen Alex cry before. Hell, I was almost certain that he couldn't cry. "I-I realize now that," he struggled to spit out. I thought my heart stopped for a minute. He couldn't have been getting ready to say what I thought he was going to say. We both moved in sync to come together and close the space between us.
Tears continued to roll down his face and my heart was breaking into a million pieces as I watched the man I've always wanted to love me back transform into such a broke boy. "I-I love you, Angel," he said, resting his forehead against mine. I was beginning to get choked up as well and for a split second, I had no fucking idea what was going on. I thought I was dreaming. "I fucking love you and I've done nothing but hurt you," he said, sinking to his knees in front of me. I was frozen in shock, but luckily I had proof that he wasn't just trying to use and abuse me anymore. He was beginning to sob with his arms locked around my legs and his face buried in my stomach. I could feel his tears soaking through my shirt. "I love you and only you," he whined between breaths. "I can finally say it and I want you to forgive me." As much as I'd always wanted to hear him say those words, watching him fall apart right in front of me was tearing my heart into tiny little pieces.
All I could do was fall to the floor and I wrapped him in a warm embrace. He cried even harder when he finally rested his head on my shoulder. We both needed this more than we probably wanted to admit. A part of me was thankful for this moment because it meant that he was aware of the fact that he fucked up and probably wasn't going to get me back. I could have been a grimy bitch and rejected him. I could have used this moment as a way to humiliate him if I felt like it in the future. That's exactly what he deserved after all this time anyway.
"Just please love me back," he begged softly with his lips next to my ear. "Please, baby. Just love me back." Seeing the pain on his face and hearing it in his voice made me forget all about our past. I held his face with both of my hands, staring deeply into those dark brown eyes, searching to find out how genuine he was being. I'd seen him go to extreme lengths to have me back in the past that were incredibly fake and half-assed. I was pretty damn sure that he wasn't capable of putting on an act like this and still manage to be faking it.
A new kind of warmth surged through my veins as I continued to hold his face in my hands, gazing upon his features. He brought his hands up to rest them on mine and rest his forehead against mine once more. "Say something," he said with wide eyes. His tears stopped but the look he had on his face showed how badly the suspense was killing him. I didn't want to put my heart on the line again, but my feelings had become too overwhelming to keep locked away anymore. It would have been even harder now that I knew he felt the same way.
I was wrapped up in the moment and realized that he was still waiting for me to say something. A smile slowly spread across my lips. I couldn't help myself. The joy I was feeling pushed me to connect my lips to his. It was the opportunity that I'd always wanted to take. I'd spent millions of hours fantasizing about what it would be like to kiss him knowing that he loved me back. I already knew what I was going to say, but I just wanted to enjoy every second that this moment had to give me.
He pulled away right before he could tangle his fingers in my hair and press my body against his. He looked at me like I'd lost my mind when I went back to smiling like an idiot. "Are you going to say something? I'm freaking the fuck out right now," he said as he grabbed the tops of my shoulders. I could tell that he was worried about getting rejected after pouring his heart out. Torturing him with my silence would give me a good laugh later on, but I'd made him suffer enough. I held his face again. "Alexander Michael Hartford, I've loved you since the moment I laid eyes on you and it's about damn time," I said smiling so hard that my cheeks were probably going to be sore.
He pulled me into his chest and held me as he released a sigh of relief. I wrapped my arms around him and took in his scent that I never knew I'd missed. "It's going to be alright," I said, stroking his back to soothe him. "It will. I swear it will/ I will never hurt you again," he said calmly. I wanted to enjoy this moment forever and have faith that he meant what he said. He was the only person that my soul ever craved. Hopefully he did have a change of heart, but now was the time to sit back and make sure that it was going to stick.