I Can't Be This Way [part 4]
I Can't Be This Way
I walked over to Alex’s house, giving myself time to think.
It felt different walking into Alex’s house that day. The moment I walked inside I wish I hadn’t come. Alex was cooped up in his room (like his mother had said he always was) and his mother looked at me like I had done something wrong. I guess I had though, so I couldn’t expect any different.
She accompanied me to his room. As I walked down the hall I could hear, progressively louder, heavy metal blasting through the closed door. It was nice to see his taste in music hadn’t changed over the time I had left him alone.
“Alex, Audra’s here to see you.” His mum said, raising her voice over the music which was then turned down significantly.
“’Kay, come in.” Alex said. Hearing his voice again made me feel relieved, but at the same time, sick with nerves.
I opened the door to his room and stepped inside. Everything in his room was the same, thank goodness.
Alex was sitting on the side of his bed, his chin resting in his palm. His eye lit up under his fringe... a white bandage was on his left arm.
He stood up. “Audra...”
My emotions came over me and I flung myself at him and wrapped my arms around him. To my surprise, he hugged me back.
My mind was now totally out of this. Seeing Alex again and holding him after all that had happened made me feel alive. I couldn’t hold back the day’s worth of tears anymore.
“Alex I’ve been so blind!” I said between little sobs. “I’m so sorry... I never meant for anything to go this far. You love me like a brother, the brother I need to love me again. I’m so sorry, Alex.”
I let my chin rest on his shoulder. My toes were beginning to get sore from standing on them. We stood as one complete figure in the middle of the room.
“I’ve been an idiot too.” Alex said. I think he was crying too now.
I tuned into the music playing in the background. I recognised Time of Dying by Three Days Grace. And then the chorus came in, ~“I will not die, I’ll wait here for you, I will not lie when you’re beside me...”~ A little smile stretched across my face.
Alex squeezed my body tight for a second longer then let go suddenly. “We’ve got some talking to do.” He said.
I agreed. He wiped the remaining tear drops from his face and sat on the carpet.
“So, why the fuck did you decide to ditch me in the first place?” His wild side was obviously still inside of him.
I thought about it, about the previous weeks. “I guess I just took the whole rumour stuff too seriously.”
Alex didn’t say anything. His eyes just wandered down to the floor between my legs and his.
“What did you expect me to say?” I asked.
“So you were afraid of people thinking we’re dating?”
“.... Umm well, no, I just...”
“Never mind.” His eyes found the floor again, avoiding mine.
I looked at the bandage on his arm. “And what made you do ... this?”
He didn’t look up yet. “I guess my life was already screwed up, and with you gone...” He stopped.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
Now Alex looked across at me and his eyes were wide and in mine. “You mean so much to me, Audra.”
His eyes were so... beautiful. I had to look away. I picked the carpet with my fingers for a few moments. I touched the wrapped up arm carefully. “If I mean so much to you then why would you try and...?”
“Because I had lost you. I can’t live alone, Audra, you’re my best friend.” He took my hand and leaned so close to me. I didn’t move away or separate our eyes this time. “I need you.” He whispered.
He stayed still but dropped my hand. For a second I wished for him to pick it up again. “Please don’t ever do this to me again.” He leant back slowly but I put my hand on the back of his head, in his soft, dark hair.
“I won’t. I’m here for you and I’m not going anywhere now, I promise.” I whispered in reply, enjoying this moment however fast it made my heart beat.
We kept talking about things and apologizing for shit we had done and explaining ourselves (or maybe just me), our knees touching on the floor of Alex’s room.
Once things felt okay again Alex turned his music up and we made fools of ourselves singing and playing air guitar to the music.
“It’s almost like nothing happened.” I nearly had to yell over the music.
Alex smiled widely but his eyes were blank.
“You going to turn up to school tomorrow?” I asked standing outside Alex’s front door.
“I think so.” Alex replied. He closed the front door, leaving the two of us by ourselves.
I lifted up his left hand. “Can you take this off yet?”
“Unfortunately not. I got a few stitches, so just three more days.”
I smiled for some reason. “Okay.”
I looked into his eyes, and he looked into mine. For a moment I wanted to kiss him.
“I’ll hopefully see you tomorrow then.” Alex said and stepped forward to hug me.
“Yeah,” I hugged him tightly. “Don’t do anything to yourself.”
“I’m not going to.” He said and we pulled apart.
I walked out his front yard then looked back to get one last glance of him and found that he was already looking right at me. I smiled.
He waved briefly and turned to go back inside.
The next day wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be.
Everything was going along fine until lunch break when we were sitting at the wall.
Shelbi and her friends came over and asked Alex what happened to his arm. She was actually the first person to ask him about this and we didn’t know what to say, but Shelbi didn’t need to know anything.
“Umm,” Alex murmured.
I could see that Shelbi really didn’t give a damn about Alex let alone ‘what happened to his arm’.
“What do you want, Shelbi?” I snapped at her.
Phoebe stood to attention. “We were wondering why you ditched us again.”
Alex looked at me then at the ground. I paused and gave what I was about to say a second thought.
“Honestly, I ‘ditched’ you because you were never really my friends. You don’t care about me, you’re not interested in anything to do with me. You are nothing to me.”
Alex smiled at my brave and true words. He pretended to be tying up his shoelaces.
“But we had so much fun together.” Phoebe whined.
“Totally did.” I murmured rather sarcastically.
Sarah leaned over to Tash’s ear and said “She’s turned into a bitch!”
“You know, I don’t give a shit what you think of me.” I death stared them.
“Good because you aren’t going to like it anymore.” Shelbi said, her hands sitting on her protruding hip bones.
“Fair enough.” I said and leant back onto the wall.
“Come on Shelbs, let’s not waste our time with these losers.” Elle said and began leading the group away.
Right at that moment, watching those five girls walk away from me I remembered Alex’s and my ‘Good Riddance’ chant we sort of made up.
I turned to Alex grinning. “Good Riddance! Remember?!” I asked tugging his arm.
Alex looked blankly at me for a second then exclaimed. “Oh, yeah!” and smiled.
I turned back to the girls.
“ 1, 2, 3,” Alex counted in.
“And I hope you have the time of your life!” We both sang and instantly cracked up laughing. It had been so long since we did that and even though it might not have suited the scenario, it definitely made me feel better.
Seeing Alex laughing again made me feel the best I had in weeks.
I took his left hand in mine and held them up high above our heads.
“Another victory, Alex?” I asked grinning.
He grinned back at me and pulled my hand down. Then all of a sudden, and before I could do anything to stop him, even though I doubt I would have, Alex leant over and kissed my cheek.
“Thank you, for everything Audra.” He said. His eyes were gleaming.
I looked into them for a moment, thinking of a right thing to say.
“That’s what friends are for.” I smiled.
A lot of things happened in the next three weeks.
Alex and I had a couple of issues with those five girls, and of course lots of school work, but nothing said about Alex and I seemed to bother me anymore. Most people had lay off it actually; maybe waking up to the fact that Alex tried to commit suicide and realized they had to stop, not those girls though.
But those girls, they mean nothing. Nothing at all to me anymore.
And the most important thing that happened in the following three weeks is to do with me and Alex. In fact, it is nobody else’s business because Alex loves me more than anyone else (bar my parents) ever has and to be loved by someone that special, is something special, an amazing feeling, and this feeling will hopefully be with me for the rest of my life.
But the future is the future… and now is the present.