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:

 

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJZWEUrY9KRSfQ98rYlMYix46VM0CJ7XS

 

One new song will be added on to the playlist.

 

Sad, Beautiful, Tragic Taylor Swift

We've Got Tonight Phillip Phillips

 

The email you can reach me at is lore.guerra13@gmail.com for questions, comments, concerns or donations ha-`ha, just kidding!

In all seriousness, please don't forget to donate to nifty here, without which we wouldn't have this collection of great stories!

Every story is free on here, so please let's keep it that way and donate, guys.

http://donate.nifty.org/donate.html

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"Hey let me try that," Alex took my breakfast taco from my hand and bit into it.

"Hey!" I laughed and took my taco back. "Fuck off! Get your own damn taco."

"Why would I do that? I have your taco right here, Sea Bass."

I shot Alex a look but I was sure he could see me trying not to laugh. "You know I hate that nickname."

"And I hate not having a taco." Alex reached over and took the taco from my hand again. "So there's that." He bit into it again but a piece of potato fell off and stained his shirt.

"See, that's what you get!"

Alex took the piece of potato and threw it at me. It landed on my shirt and fell to the floor. "Good," he said with a smile, "Now we're matching."

"Fuck you," I laughed.

Faintly, I heard a small cry from far away. Looking at Alex, I noticed he started to blur out as the crying got louder. A small wave of sadness hit me as I realized what was going on.

"Don't "

My words were cut short as I opened my eyes.

"Babe," Emma said from beside me. "Could you get that?"

I grunted as I stood up and walked to Lily's crib. The light of our clock shone through the darkness of our room.

3:23AM.

After a few minutes, I had put Lily back to bed and I walked back to my own. I tried not to think about my dream as I laid next to Emma and closed my eyes.

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Ever since I got my acceptance letter, Alex had seemed a little more distant than usual. I couldn't blame him. I knew how stressful it was waiting on an answer. I tried to distract him as much as I could but it only worked for so long. He and I both knew that, without a yes from Austin, he'd have to stay here to finish school.

I invited him to karaoke night at Applebee's to try and cheer him up but he refused and said that he'd rather stay home. That shocked me, considering he never not wanted to go out for karaoke night.

I decided to try my best and give him a good night out ... in. I asked him over for dinner Thursday and got my dorm ready for him. I cooked us two 7 ounce steaks and paired them with garlic whipped potatoes, onion strings, and a bottle of DK cabernet.

Alex got to my dorm at 7PM and I invited him in.

Our dinner talk was rather limited as school was a touchy subject. We spent most of the time in silence drinking our wine and eating. After a few minutes, I needed to break the silence.

"Hey, Alex."

Alex looked up from his plate, "Yeah?"

"You want to try something?" I asked.

"What do you mean?" He asked.

"I mean," I walked towards my stereo and connected my phone on it. "Let's duet. I know you know this song."

Alex stayed sitting on the table, glass of wine in front of him. "Jay, come on."

I knew I was breaking him so I smiled and winked, "Come on." I waved him towards me. "I'll start," I said. "You better join in."

"I know it's late I know you're weary.

I know your plans don't include me."

I sent Alex a smile and waited for him to join me. After a second, a smile broke through his face and he did.

"(Still here we are both of us lonely.

Longing for shelter from all that we see.)

"Why should we worry - no one will care, girl.

(Look at the stars, now, so far away.)"

Alex stood up and walked towards me. Smiling, I looked into his eyes and couldn't help but notice how perfect this felt. I think we both knew it would suck if we left each other. I don't think either of us knew it was going to feel this good to be together.

"(Deep in my soul, I've been so lonely.

All of my hopes so faded away.

And I long for love like everyone else does.

I know I'll keep searching after today.)

So there it is, girl, we've got it all down.

(And here we are babe, what do you say?)"

If I had to be honest, I had been worried that I was just a rebound for Alex. Yes, I had instigated the relationship. Yes, I knew how strongly he felt for Sebastian.

I just liked him a lot.

Like I told Lea, I never planned on falling for him this hard.

So I had a constant worry that what he and I have wouldn't compare to what they used to have. Now, I realized that was silly of me. It was clear we both cared about each other deeply.

"(I know it's late and I know you're weary.)

I know you're plans don't include me.

(Still here we are both of us lonely.)"

I led Alex back to the couch and followed him down as I laid on top of him. We were so close now, his nose touching mine. I looked into his eyes and we finished the song together.

"(We've got tonight.)

Who needs tomorrow?

Let's make it last.

(Let's find a way.)

Turn off the lights

(Come take my hand now.)

We've got tonight, babe.

Why don't we stay?

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I had left the house early with Lily this morning to run some errands. I asked Emma if she wanted to join us but she said she had some plans with Diana. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't ok with that.

For some reason, I felt like Emma had something else going on in her mind for the past week. She had been acting off and I hoped that time with Diana would help clear her head.

Regardless, I wasn't going to let this affect my time with Lily. I buckled her into her car seat and turned on the ignition. We had a few spots I needed to hit up but I knew that Lily wouldn't put up much hassle as long as I she kept her favorite toy on her.

Turning the radio on, I drove to my first stop: the old house.

"Long, handwritten note deep in your pocket.

Words, how little they mean when you're a little too late.

I stood right by the tracks your face in a locket.

Good girls, hopeful they'll be and long they will wait."

"What the " I looked at the radio and saw that the station was not in the one I usually leave it on. Emma must have used my car and not changed the station back. I was about to change it but Lily began to laugh.

"What's up, baby?" I stretched my arm back and held her hand. "You want daddy to leave it there?" Lily laughed again and I took that as a yes.

Taylor Swift it is then.



"In dreams, I meet you in warm conversation.

We both wake in lonely beds different cities.

And time is taking its sweet time erasing you.

And you got your demons and, darling, they all look like me."

I didn't realize how intimate her lyrics were. Remembering my dream this morning, I put the volume up and listened more closely.

"Distance. Timing. Breakdown. Fighting. Silence.

The train runs off its tracks.

Kiss me. Try to fix it.

Could you just try to listen?

Hang up. Give up.

And for the life of us we can't get back."

I cleared my throat and cracked my knuckles. This song was uncomfortably good.

"A beautiful, magic love there.

What a sad, beautiful, tragic

What we had: a beautiful, magic love there.

What a sad, beautiful, tragic love affair."

As the song ended, I cleared my throat again and lowered the volume. "There, Lily pad." I leaned back and squeezed her chubby little arm again. "Song's over."

As I drove, I changed the radio station but, all the time, I couldn't get rid of the bad taste in my mouth.

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"Alex!" I yelled, walking into his living room. "Get over here!"

"I'm about to shower!" He walked out shirtless from inside the restroom. "What's up?"

I handed him a white enveloped with UT Austin's letterhead I picked up from outside. He looked down at it and back up at me. "What is this?"

"Open it," I said.

I could see the fear in Alex's eyes. I was scared, too. I wanted his letter to say yes so badly that it hurt. Alex took the letter from me and walked, slowly, to his kitchen.

"Jay," he said, turning to look at me. "I'm so nervous."

"I know." I walked next to him and held him. "Whatever happens though, we're both here for each other."

Alex nodded, met my eyes and, without looking, ripped open the side of the envelope. He turned away from me, then. I saw him take a deep breath as he took out his acceptance letter.

The suspense was killing me.

I saw Alex's shoulder's tense up and drop.

Shit.

Alex turned around to face me, empty look in his eyes.

"Baby," I leaned towards him and touched his hand, "I'm sorr "

"I made it," he breathed out. His eyes met mine and I could feel relief coming from them. "They'll have me back if I can make it in such short notice."

"Alex!" I pulled him into me and hugged him tightly. "Alex! We're going to Austin!"

I couldn't see his face but I felt him hug me tighter. "We're going to Austin!" he yelled.

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"Ok baby," I said, playing with Lily's hand. "It's time to go inside now." I took out my keys and brought Lily inside. I set her in her baby walker while I went back to the car and brought the rest of the groceries inside. Bringing in the last of them, I remembered to check our mailbox for mail. I grabbed the mail and brought it inside.

"Lily!" I sidestepped and almost fell trying not to step on her. "Go to the living room." Lily laughed and headed to the living room. "You little booger," I said, with a smile.

I put the groceries away and turned to look at the mail.

Bill. Bill. Reminder to go to the dentist. Bill.

Wait. What is this?

I opened a random looking envelope addressed to Emma.

What is this?

I took out the letter and read its contents.

What is this?!

I felt my stomach drop and I sat down before I upchucked my lunch.

My breathing got heavier and heavier the longer I held that letter in my hand.

I reread it.

It wasn't true.

It couldn't be true.

I ran to the sink as my lunch betrayed me.

Hurl.

Emma was pregnant with Mark's baby.

I wasn't the father.

She had lied to me.