Hello guys, huge sorry for the delay in these chapters. As promised, I have sent these two parts at the same time.
Timeframe: Part 27, 28, and 29 will all happen on the same day (last month when part 27 was posted.) After part 29, we're back on real time.
Anyways, please continue to email me so I know someone is reading and liking what I'm writing. I also have a playlist of songs that I listen to while writing the chapters if ya'll are interested.
A fellow reader made a playlist with most of the songs I've either used or will use in the series. If y'all want to listen to it while reading the chapters the link for it is this:
Two new songs will be added on (the ones from this chapter.)
Keep Me Hanging On Kim Wilde
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When we got to Lea's place, I thanked her again as I followed her to her door.
"Don't mention it," she repeated.
Walking into her place, I looked around at the furniture and dιcor that she had. It was very nicely decorated, I decided.
I noticed Lea stop in front of her fridge. "Ok," she said. "If I'm going to listen to what you have to say, I'm going to need a drink." Lea took out a bottle of Jameson and set it on the counter in front of her as she looked for a shot glass. "Want one?" She offered.
I was going to pass but, remembering what I was about to share, I opted to take one or two shots. "Yeah," I said. Lea got two shot glasses ready and handed me one. She nodded at me and we took our first shots together.
She set her glass down and looked at me. "Spill," she said.
I nodded, understanding what she meant. Just like that, I spilled everything that had happened the night I left.
"Alex, I think I think I " A ringing stopped me midsentence. I looked at Alex with a pained look and walked out of bed to get my phone from my pants in the living room. I found my phone and answered after a few more rings.
"Sebastian? Sebastian where are you?" It was Emma.
"Hey, Emma." I looked back to Alex's room and looked away, "Sorry, I passed by the bar when I got out work. What's up?"
Emma was silent for a second. "Just can you just come to the house? It's an emergency."
"Are you okay, Emma? How's Lily?"
Emma must have noticed my nervous tone as she reassured me that both she and Lily were okay.
"Just come home right now, Sebastian. It's an emergency."
I looked back in the direction of Alex's room and sighed. "Yeah. Okay. I'm on my way." We hung up and I walked back to Alex's room.
"Listen, Alex," I said. He looked up from his bed and I could see in his eyes that he knew where this was headed. "It's Emma," I continued. "She says it's an emergency. I I have to go." I was about to leave when I caught Alex's gaze. "We're not finished here, Ok? I'm telling Emma tonight. Whatever happens, I'll meet you at El Vaso tomorrow night at 9:00 PM. Promise you'll be there?"
Alex looked me in the eyes and nodded. "I promise," he said.
With that, I said goodbye to him again and headed to my car.
It took me 20 minutes to get back to my house. All the while, I kept practicing what I'd tell Emma in my head. I walked out of my car and opened the front door. Walking in, I headed to my room where I assumed Emma and Lily were. I stood a few feet from the door, took a deep breath, and walked in.
"Sebastian. There you are." Emma was holding Lily and rocking her in her arms.
"Yeah. You said it was an emergency. What's going on, Emma?"
"I just wanted to see you."
I blinked. "You wanted to see me?"
She shrugged and gave me a smile. "I wanted to see you. Can you blame me?"
"Emma. I was worried! You said it was an emergency."
Emma gave me a small frown. "Well, lately that's the only thing that brings you home an emergency."
I would have to have been stupid to not notice her tone. "Are you mad at me or something?" I wasn't about to deal with her attitude right now.
"What?" Emma looked at me again. "No. I just it's been a long day."
It's about to get longer, I thought.
Emma turned so she was barely looking at me. "Yes?"
"Emma," I repeated. "We need to talk."
Turning away from me, she kept rocking Lily. "About?" She asked.
I didn't want to beat around the bush. I needed her undivided attention. "Emma," I repeated more firmly.
She must have sensed the change in my voice as she turned around to look at me. "Yes?"
I looked her in the eyes again. "We need to talk."
Something must have clicked as she put Lily back down on her crib where she quickly fell asleep and looked at me. For a few minutes, we stood there silently looking at each other.
Set me free why don't you, baby?
Get out of my life why don't you, baby?
`Cause you don't really love me you just keep me hanging on.
You don't really need me but you keep me hanging on.
I was about to break the silence when she spoke. "A month."
"A month? What are you talking about?"
Her gaze never left mine. "A month. I've known what you've been doing behind my back for a month."
I felt like I had swallowed a bagful of rocks. "What are you talking about?" I asked.
"Oh, please. Don't give me that shit, Sebastian." Emma looked from me to Lily to me again. "I've known you've been screwing around ever since Valentine's. I just wasn't sure who it was with until now."
No. I couldn't have her take over this conversation. I was losing control and I needed to gain it back quick.
"Emma. What you and I had? It's gone. We both know it. We're only together because of Lily."
Emma shook her head. "You're not even going to deny it! Are you?"
I looked Emma in the eyes. We both knew there was no use in denying it, really. "Emma, I wanted to tell you for the longest time but "
"But what?" She interrupted. "You were too busy fucking Alex?"
There it was out in the open. "Emma, I never wanted to hurt you. I just ."
Emma raised an eyebrow. "You just what?" She asked. "You just didn't give a shit about what we had. Is that it?"
I was beginning to get frustrated. Okay, no. I was past the frustrated stage. "Emma! For God's sake! What we had is not what this is anymore. We can't stand each other!"
Why do you keep coming around playing with my heart?
Why don't you get out of my life and let me make a new start?
Let me get over you the way you've gotten over me, yeah.
For a second, Emma just stood there and looked at me. After what seemed like forever, she spoke. "You're not leaving us alone. I won't let you."
"You won't let me?" I looked at her, trying to understand where she was going with this. "I'm not leaving you alone. I just don't think you and I are good for each other anymore. I'm not leaving you guys alone, though."
Emma kept shaking her head and I noticed something in her eyes that I had never seen before. "You're not leaving us for that that queer!"
"Don't call him that! And you can't stop me from doing anything, Emma!"
Emma blinked. "Try me," she said.
"What the fuck is that supposed to mean?"
She walked closer to me, all the time, her eyes never left mine. "It means that if you try to leave with that gay fucker, I will do everything in my power to make sure you never see Lily again."
Never see Lily again. What the fuck? "You can't stop me from seeing my own daughter!"
"Watch me," she said.
Set me free why don't you, baby?
Let me be why don't you, baby?
`Cause you don't really love me you just keep me hanging on.
You don't really need me but you keep me hanging on.
That was it. That was the last straw and I lost my composure. "You can't fucking do that, Emma! I don't care what empty threats you throw at me. It isn't going to fix or stop anything."
"Then what about Alex?"
I froze for a second. "What about Alex?"
"If you keep this shit up, I'll tell my brothers about him. I'll tell them all about how he came between us and fucked up our family."
"You wouldn't do that," I said.
Emma shrugged. "I would. It's the least that asshole deserves for coming between our family."
"Don't hurt him over our shit, Emma!"
"Why the fuck not? He obviously didn't give a shit about who he hurt!"
I didn't want to think about what her brother's might do to Alex if they found out. "Don't hurt him," I repeated.
Emma didn't miss a beat. "Then you do it," she said.
You say although we broke up, you still want to be just friends.
But how can we still be friends when seeing you only breaks my heart again?
And there ain't nothing I can do about it.
I looked at her, unable to understand what she was asking. "What?"
"You hurt him," she repeated. "You make him stay away from us or I will."
"Emma, you can't ask me to do that."
"I'm not asking you," she said. "I'm telling you that either you break this stupid shit up or I have my brothers do it." She stopped before adding, "And they won't do it nicely."
"You can't make me do this, Emma. There's not even anything between the two of us anymore." I looked into her eyes, hoping to see any warmth in them.
There was none.
You claim you still care for me but your heart and soul needs to be free.
Now that you've got your freedom you want to still hold on to me.
You don't want me for yourself.
So let me find somebody else.
Emma crossed her arms. "You think there isn't?"
"There's not." I knew there wasn't.
Emma looked me square in the eyes. "I'm pregnant, Sebastian."
"You you're what?"
"I'm pregnant." I looked into her eyes, trying to see if this was another one of her lies. I couldn't tell.
"No you're not."
"Yes I am. I've been feeling weird all week. Took the test twice. That was the emergency I called you about." Out of her pocket, she took out both pregnancy tests and threw them on the bed.
"But you can't be pregnant." I was trying to convince myself this wasn't true.
"Why not? Because that fucks up your little fantasy with Alex? Well, I am. I'm letting you know right now, if you don't end it I will." Coldly, she met my eyes. "And you can bet your ass that I wouldn't let you anywhere near Lily or this new baby if you try to fuck us over."
I could feel myself being backed into a corner. "Emma. Don't do this."
"You're going to tell Alex that it's over."
I was losing control of everything. "Emma."
She didn't pay me any attention. "You're going to tell him that it's over and that he was nothing more than an ass to fuck when you were lonely or bored."
I could not see this ending well for anyone. "Emma, please don't."
"No!" Emma walked closer to me, her face inches from mine. "Fuck him! Fuck him for being a piece of shit for coming between us. We've been together for six fucking years, Sebastian. We have a one year-old daughter." Emma paused and seemed to be thinking about something. "No wonder his parents want nothing to do with him," she added. "They must have known early on what a piece of shit he was."
Alex had told me about his parents, how they were a very sensitive topic to him. I shook my head at Emma, unable to believe how she could be so cruel.
Why don't you be a man about it and set me free?
No, you don't care a thing about me you're just using me.
Go on, get out, get out of my life let me sleep at night, please.
`Cause you don't really love me.
You just keep me hanging on.
"You tell him all of that," she said. "You make him stay away from both of us or it won't end pretty for him, Sebastian. I promise you it won't."
Just like that, we both knew she had won.
"After that day, I tried to ignore him, hoping that would push him away. It it didn't. He came looking for me at work and I knew he wouldn't stop so I said all the shit she told me to tell him. I I saw his heart break in his eyes that night. I hated myself for doing that to him."
"The last day I was here, right before we moved, I went to El Vaso to see him one last time." I sighed, remembering that night. "He didn't see me, though. He sang Mississippi Crying that night in front of everyone and I could see he was so hurt. He was so broken. He didn't even see me when he hit me with the door on the way out. I wanted to follow him. I really did. I wanted to say I was sorry about what I said about everything. But I knew what would happen if I did."
I let the silence grow between us.
"I had to hurt him so he wouldn't get hurt, Lea."
Lea looked at me, trying to read my face. She was silent for a minute before finally speaking. "And you did all of that? You told him all of that shit to push him away?"
I nodded. "I needed him to hate me enough to stay away. I couldn't risk losing everything losing my kids losing him."
Lea took another shot and looked at me. "Why now?" She asked. "Why are you back now?"
"Because," I said as I poured myself another shot and drank. "I I couldn't keep going on knowing that he didn't know the truth." I shrugged, "I needed him to know that I was sorry. I needed him to know that I didn't mean anything that I told him."
Lea leaned forward in the couch she was sitting in. "What about Emma? Where is she now?"
I looked away, ashamed. "She doesn't know I came back. I left work and drove down without her knowing. I I wanted to see Alex and explain to him why everything happened the way it did." I remembered everything I planned on saying to Alex. I had gone over every scenario and practiced every word I was going to say. "I just didn't expect to see him up there okay with Jay."
Lea squinted her eyes, looking at me. "He wasn't okay, though. You broke him. Did you know that?"
For the past two months, I tried to push the consequences of my actions out of my mind. "I knew I had hurt him."
Lea shook her head. "You didn't just hurt him. He fell apart, Sebastian. He wasn't okay. Not even a little bit. Not even at all."
I couldn't say anything. I just continued to look at Lea, begging her with my eyes to understand how sorry I was.
"Jay helped put him back together. He was there for every tear, every sob every wound that you caused."
I looked down, ashamed at what I had done to Alex.
"But you don't care about that, do you?"
I looked up at Lea. "Of course I care! That's why I came back."
Lea shook her head. "No. You came back here to clear your conscience, Sebastian. You didn't come back to fix anything."
My mouth went dry at her words. "Yes, I did."
"No, you didn't," she repeated. "If you had, you wouldn't have come here in secret. What do you think is going to happen when Alex sees you again? What do you think is going to happen when you tell him what you told me but still go back to Emma? Do you think he'd be okay with that?"
I hadn't given much thought to that, honestly. I remained silent.
"You need to get your own shit together first, Sebastian. Then you can try to fix all the other shit you broke."
She was right.
"I just wanted to see him," I admitted.
"And you did," Lea added. "Now you have to focus on yourself the same way Alex had to focus on himself when you left."
I nodded and looked down, weighing my options.
"You should go, Sebastian," Lea said.
I looked up, hurt that she wanted me to leave. "You should go and get your stuff in order first and, when you do, you come back and tell Alex what you need to tell him." Lea's familiar warmth showed in her eyes. She wasn't kicking me out. She was making sure I didn't fuck things up any more than I already had. "Not before. Okay?" She looked at me.
I nodded. "Okay," I said.
I stood up from the sofa and Lea led me to her door. We rode in her car all the way back to El Vaso and she dropped me off in front of my car. Most cars had gone, El Vaso having been closed for thirty minutes already. I was about to shut the door when Lea stopped me.
I looked back at her and waited.
"If you ever need to talk again, I'm here for you, okay? Just please don't do anything stupid."
I said thanks and nodded. Lea drove off a few seconds after I got in my car. I turned on the ignition and began to drive back home. Turning on the radio, I heard Adele's ever familiar ballad mid-song.
"Hello, can you hear me?
I'm in California dreaming about who we used to be,
When we were younger and free.
I've forgotten how it felt before the world fell at our feet."
Just please don't do anything stupid. Lea's words bounced around in my head as I drove.
It was then that I decided to do something stupid.
I took out my phone and began typing in Alex's number. I might have changed my phone and deleted his number per Emma's request, but I couldn't forget it it was burned into my brain.
It rang once, twice, three times.
It wasn't Alex. It took me a few seconds to recognize the voice.
I looked at the clock on my car and read the time: 2:30 AM.
My mouth was dry.
"Oh, sorry," I said. "Wrong number."
"Oh, no worries, dude."
I hung up the phone and threw it on the seat next to me. I didn't need to be psychic to know what was going on in Alex's apartment.
"Hello, how are you?
It's so typical of me to talk about myself I'm sorry.
I hope that you're well.
Did you ever make it out of that town where nothing ever happened?
It's no secret that the both of us are running out of time."
Fuck, Lea was right. Even now, I was making this about me. I was mad that Alex was moving on and that wasn't fair. I was just jealous that he was moving on with someone ... better than me. I was losing him and it was my fault.
I could feel him forgetting me.
"So, hello from the other side.
I must have called a thousand times.
To tell you I'm sorry for everything that I've done.
But when I call, you never seem to be home."
I gripped my steering wheel tighter the closer I got home. I could feel a slight burn in my eyes. I rubbed them and felt a wetness there.
Fuck, I thought as the wetness increased.
It was all my fault and I had no right to be sad or angry or jealous about it.
Everything was my fault.
"Hello, from the outside.
At least I can say that I tried,
To tell you I'm sorry for breaking your heart.
But it don't matter.
It clearly doesn't tear you apart anymore."
I'd always be on the outside, I realized. I couldn't be a part of Alex's life any more than I could be a part of Emma's. At least, not until I figured out what the hell I wanted to do.
It was going to hurt like hell getting there. It was going to have to tear me apart.
God knows, it clearly wasn't tearing Alex apart anymore.
Selfish, I know. But I could never think clearly when it came to Alex.
With that final thought, I reached home and walked inside to where Emma and Lily were waiting for me asleep in our room.