Sorry about the delay in this chapter guys. School started and I've only now have had time for the finishing touches. These upcoming chapters will be the last for Season 3 and I'll keep ya'll posted about when Season 4 will start.
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:
One new song will be added on to the playlist.
Fix You – Coldplay
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I woke up, groggy eyed and confused. Looking around, I remembered that I was in Alex's room. The clock on top of the TV said it was 3:14AM. I looked over at Alex and heard him talking in his sleep.
Listening closely, I heard it. It was hushed and mumbled but I heard it.
I sighed, realizing what – who – he was dreaming about. This had been going on for the past three days. I hadn't wanted to ask Alex, afraid of what he might say.
Was he having second thoughts about moving to Austin with me?
Was he having second thoughts about me?
"Alex," I whispered. "Alex." I shook him a little and heard him wake up. "You're having a bad dream, babe." Alex looked at me with half closed eyes and nodded. Just like that, he was back asleep.
I needed to know where the sudden sleep talking came from.
I needed to know what was going on between Alex and Sebastian.
The morning after, I told Alex I had some errands to run and that I probably wouldn't see him until later tonight.
"We can have dinner at El Vaso, if you want."
"Yeah," he said. "That sounds good."
What I didn't tell him was that while he was in the shower, I had gone through his phone. I know it was sneaky but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't imagining things. Looking at his call log, I went back to the day he got a call in the middle of the night. I sent a text saying I wanted to meet and got a reply. Now, I was headed to Starbucks to meet up with someone who I strongly suspected was Sebastian.
I waited near the back of the coffee store some 15 minutes before I was expecting Sebastian to show. Small (tall?) latte in my hand, I was surprised to see Sebastian arrive five minutes later.
He looked around for a few seconds before spotting me. It must have taken him a second before he realized what had happened and walked towards me.
"I'm not meeting Alex here am I?" He asked as he sat in front of me.
I shook my head. "No. Sorry about that. I just needed to make sure you were going to show." A small, irrational part of me was mad at Sebastian so I added, "I didn't expect you'd show up 10 minutes early, though."
Sebastian's eyes met mine. I could see him thinking – analyzing the situation. After a second, he replied. "Well, I thought it was an emergency."
"Listen, I tricked you here for a reason."
"Right," He said.
"The reason being: I want to know what's going on between you and Alex."
"Nothing's going on between us," he lied. "Haven't seen him since ... you know."
You don't know me but I know who you are.
Mind if I sit down?
Do I look familiar? If I don't, well I should.
I'm sure you've seen me around.
I know you've probably heard my name
Though, we've not been introduced.
I'm the fool in love with the fool
Who's still in love with you.
"Then why did you show up here today? Obviously, you know he would have been pissed at you."
"Yeah," Sebastian looked around the room. Part of me suspected he still thought Alex would show. "I thought maybe he'd want to hear me out. I had a reason to do what I did."
"Yeah?" I leaned forward. "What would that have been?"
Sebastian studied my face for a second. "I should go," he said.
"No." I leaned back and looked him in the eye. "Stay."
He squinted his eyes at me. "Why?" He asked.
I remained silent.
"Wait," a small smile spread across his face. "You guys are having problems aren't you? That's why you wanted to see me. You're scared he might still -"
"We're moving to Austin," I said, breaking up whatever train of thought he had. "We're moving to Austin and I want him to get closure. That's why I wanted to see you."
"You're – you're what?" Sebastian's face crumbled and I almost felt sorry for the guy. Almost.
"We're moving to Austin this weekend and I want to make sure Alex doesn't have any loose ends here. I want him to have a fresh start."
"This weekend?" Sebastian's eyes seemed broken. "But he said – "
"He said?" I knew it. "You have talked to him, haven't you?"
Sebastian looked at me and, for a second, all I saw was a broken guy trying to hang on to one of the only things that wasn't broken. Too bad that one thing was Alex.
"Yes," he sighed. "We ... talked a few days ago. I met him at El Vaso."
A few days ago? Back when his sleep talking started.
If you got a minute I'll buy you a drink.
I've got something to say.
It might sound crazy but last night in his sleep
I heard him call out your name.
This ain't the first time he's done it before
And it's hard to face the truth.
I'm the fool in love with the fool
Who's still in love with you.
"And what did you guys talk about?"
Sebastian looked like he was about to argue with me but, suddenly, it was like the fire was extinguished from his eyes. "We talked about what happened a few months back – back when I left."
"About why you left?"
"Yeah," he nodded. "About why I left."
"Why did you?"
Sebastian gave me a small, almost sad smile. "He didn't tell you?"
"No," I said.
"No," he agreed. "Course he wouldn't." I looked at him, waiting for him to elaborate. "Ok," he said. "Fine."
Just like that, he shared with me what had happened a few months ago – why he had to leave the way that he did. He told me about Emma and Lily and how she had threatened to take everything away from him if he didn't stop seeing Alex.
"Why didn't you just tell him the truth?" I asked. "He would have understood."
He smiled and shook his head. "You know him. You know how tightly he holds on to things. I needed to hurt him enough to hate me – to stop looking for me. Otherwise, he would have gotten hurt a lot worse."
I know love is a fragile thing
And I'm trying hard to make it last.
But it ain't easy holding on to my dream
When he's holding on to the past.
I looked at the guy sitting in front of me. For months, all I could think was that he was just some asshole who liked to play with people's feelings. I thought he had just used Alex to escape whatever hell his relationship with Emma was. Now, I saw that maybe he really did care about Alex. Maybe the leaving had hurt him just as much as it hurt Alex.
This was not helping the fears I had.
"I don't fully believe that," I said. "I still think it would have been less ... painful if you had just told him the truth. You didn't have to hurt him the way you did."
I could see Sebastian was trying to gather himself to say something. He looked at me and gave me another sad smile.
Fuck, is that all he can do nowadays?
"You know why." His hazel eyes looked tired – worn out. "Otherwise you wouldn't have tricked me here," he added.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
Sebastian sighed and leaned in. It was hard not to get lost in his hazel eyes despite how tired they looked.. "Like I told Lea, I was scared. I didn't want to lose him. If I told him the truth, it would have hurt him for a while but I know he'd try his best to stay away." Sebastian's eyes seemed to dim even more for a second. "I didn't want him to completely forget about me. I know it was selfish and stupid and I hate myself for it – but I rather he be pissed off at me than completely forget about me."
"You wanted him to hate you?"
"Yes." He said, his eyes downcast. "I wanted him to hate me so that he wouldn't forget about me. I know that was an asshole move and I promise you, I'm paying for that. But you know what it's like to feel like you're about to lose him, huh?"
I looked away from him then. Yes, I did know. That's why I looked through his phone. That's why I lied to him today about where I was. That's why I had tricked Sebastian into coming here.
"Are you guys – are you guys really leaving this weekend?" I looked at Sebastian and couldn't help but see how broken he looked. I noticed he had lost some weight and his face looked ... tired. He didn't want Alex to leave any more than I wanted him to stay.
"I don't know," I said. "I am. He's – he's having trouble packing." I decided to be honest to Sebastian. There was no need to be an asshole about this.
Just like that, a small glimmer of hope appeared in Sebastian's eyes.
Just one more thing before I go.
I'm not here to put you down.
You don't love him, and that's a fact.
Well, I've seen you around.
"You still care about him, don't you?" I asked.
Sebastian looked down at his hands and then at my eyes. "I – I can't imagine the day that I won't."
But you hold his heart in the palm of your hand
And it's breaking mine in two.
`Cause I'm the fool in love with the fool
Who's still in love with you.
After Jay left to go run some errands, I had time to think about what had happened between Sebastian and me a few days ago.
The fucker had no right to kiss me after all the shit he put me through. Not that I had given it much thought, but I guess I just assumed it would go differently when – if – I ever saw him again.
I imagined me giving him shit for the way that he left. Some screaming, some hard truths – definitely not a kiss.
The worst part was that I wasn't entirely pissed at him for kissing me.
Taking my phone out, I typed out a quick message asking Lea if she was free. After a few minutes, she replied that she was and I told her I was on my way.
"Hey, Alex. Come in. What's up?" Lea greeted me at her door and I walked inside.
I didn't have time to beat around the bush, besides, I always felt like I could talk to Lea about anything. "Lea, something happened."
She looked at me cautiously as she sat on her couch and motioned me to follow her. "What happened?"
I told her about Sebastian coming back a few days ago and seeing me at Vaso. I told her how he told me what had happened months ago. I told her he kissed me.
"He kissed you?" She asked.
"Yeah," I said, remembering the feel of his lips on mine. "He did." I coughed the memory away and tried to focus on the now.
Lea looked away and seemed to be thinking about something. After a while, I realized she hadn't been surprised about me seeing him, just him kissing me.
"Wait," I said. "Did you already know he was back?"
Lea looked at me, vaguely disguised guilt in her eyes. "I – yeah. Yeah, I did."
"Lea! What the fuck? You knew he was back and you didn't tell me?"
"Well," she said, weird look on her face. "He came here to drop Lily off almost a week ago. It was an emergency."
"Emergency? What happened?"
"He told me not to tell you," she said.
"Fuck what he told you. What happened?" When she still didn't respond, I insisted. "Lea, what happened?"
"It's not his, A."
"What's not his?"
"The baby. It's not his." Lea's eyes locked into my own. I guess she wanted to see how I took the news. "He said Emma confessed the baby was one of his old friends'. He lived a few houses down from both of them. He intercepted a letter addressed to Emma that showed he wasn't the father. He dropped Lily off here and left. They fought – Sebastian and Mark. I didn't know about any of this until he came to pick her up later that night." Emma paused, concerned look on her face, "He was bleeding – a lot. He told me not to tell you."
"It's – it's not his?"
"No," she said. "The baby isn't his."
Jesus Christ. That's why his face was all busted and I, like an asshole, didn't care enough to ask.
What does this all mean to me though?
"Alex," she said. "Don't."
"Don't what?" I said.
"I can see it in your face. Don't let this distract you. You have to go to Austin with Jay."
I acted incredulous. "Why would this distract me?"
She gave me a dry smile. "'I know you still care for him. That's why you're here. But you can't get yourself involved with him again. Not until he has his life together."
"Why would I want to be involved with him again?" Right? Why would I?
Lea ignored my question. "Alex, you thought he was the only one that could make you happy ... but he's not. He's what made you drink in the middle of the day and cry yourself to sleep. He was the person who was ripping you apart. Alex, I know that you loved him ... but he was killing you." Her eyes looked warmer now, "You both need time to learn what it is you really want."
I sighed. She was right.
I got it through my head.
Why was it so hard to get it through my heart?
I left Starbucks shortly after and headed back to my place to get ready for my dinner with Alex.
I didn't have it in me to see Alex right now so I spent a good time cruising around town. I sent Alex a text letting him know that I wasn't going to be able to pick him up so it'd be best to just meet at El Vaso.
By 8PM, I was already inside and found my way onstage sitting in front of the piano. A little while later, I saw Alex walk in, look for me and sit near the back.
I couldn't get the talk Sebastian and I had this morning out of my head as I sat there looking at Alex. Every time he met my eyes I kept wondering if maybe all I was was a consolation prize. I didn't want it to be true but I knew Sebastian still had feelings for Alex. What made me think that Alex wasn't feeling the same things, too?
"You say you and her are really over.
Don't want to make up just to fall apart again.
You say you want off this roller coaster.
Well, friend, let me ask you this."
I saw recognition in Alex's eyes. Knowing him, he probably already knew this song.
I felt something in the back of my throat. Clearing it, I continued.
"I ain't saying you ain't got good reason
For wanting to take a match to everything.
But before you set your mind on leaving
You really ought to stop and think."
I understood where Alex was coming from in hiding his meeting with Sebastian. He had good reason to. The guy had broken his heart and left him fucked up and he didn't want to spend any more time talking about him.
But was that all it was?
Or did he still have feelings for him?
Obviously, Sebastian still did.
There it was again, something in the back of my throat. I cleared it again and continued to sing.
I noticed a small burning sensation had begun in my eyes, too.
"Swallow your pride and turn this thing around.
`Cause this here is a road
You don't want to go down."
I looked away from the few people that were looking at me. My eyes were burning and soon, silent tears were rolling down my face ... but I was almost done with the song. I just needed another minute.
I managed to look up and was greeted by Alex looking back at me. I really wanted him to choose me. I really did. I just knew that I wanted him to do it for himself – not out of obligation.
"If you can't stand to see her dancing in somebody else's arms.
Or you think that you'd go crazy every time you see her car.
If you can't scroll by her number and not dial it on the phone.
Well, that's all you need to know.
Don't leave her.
Don't leave her –
If you can't let her go."
I finished the song, nonchalantly wiped my eyes, and walked back to Alex's table.
"Jay," he looked concerned for me. "What – what was that?"
I needed a few seconds to compose myself so I cleared my throat again. When I was able to talk, I said, "I – I know about you and Sebastian, Alex."
I saw understanding in his eyes, just then. He didn't need to lie to me – we both knew.
"I met with him today and we spoke. I know why he left and I know that the truth about it is probably what's stopping you from finishing packing. You want to stay." I looked him in the eyes and asked the one question that had been in the back of my mind for the longest time. "You want to stay. You want to stay for him."
"Jay, look, I'm sorry, but, what happened between him and me, that wasn't what you think it was." Alex reached forward and took my hands in his, "It was a mistake. I knew that as soon as he kissed me."
"He - he kissed you?" I found myself pulling my hands away from his.
Sebastian had refrained from telling me this part.
"What?" Alex looked like he had swallowed a bug. "You – you didn't know?"
"No," I said. "I didn't." All of a sudden, I felt that stupid thing in the back of my throat again. I understood why Alex kept dreaming about Sebastian – he still cared about him.
"Look, Jay. I won't lie to you, he kissed me. But he kissed me. I pushed him away the second I realized what was going on."
"That isn't the point, though, Alex," I said. "The point is: Did you want to kiss him back?"
I knew I had hit the nail on the head when Alex hesitated. "See," I said. "That's what I'm talking about. You're still hung up on him. That's why you haven't finished packing. That's why you've been so weird about leaving."
"Look, Alex, I – I just want you to be happy." I touched his hand and looked at him for as long as I could. "That's all I've ever wanted. If that's with me or him or with someone else, I'll be okay." I couldn't look him in the eyes when I said I'd be okay but, given the chance, I'd lie again. "Just please don't lie to me about how you feel for him."
"Jay, wait." He tried to stop me as I stood up but I wouldn't let him.
Suddenly, I wasn't hungry anymore. "I'll – I'll be finish packing in my apartment," I said. I left Alex at El Vaso and went home to finish packing the rest of my stuff.
I sat alone at the table Jay left me in.
God, I fucked up.
I should have just told Jay the truth from the beginning. Now he thinks I still have feelings for Sebastian.
Well, I didn't.
I didn't know. Or I did. Fuck! I've had my head all fucked up since the day he kissed me. Why couldn't he have just left me alone? Why couldn't he have just left me hating him? When he left, all I felt was anger towards him. He didn't even give me the chance to express it – he had taken even that from me. I couldn't be entirely mad at him for choosing his family over me.
All this time, I just wanted to scream at him for how he hurt me. When I finally saw him, I reverted to my old self and let him fuck with my head.
I thought back to my conversation with Lea this morning. She was right – the guy was ripping me apart.
Now, he was hurting someone I cared deeply about, too.
How the fuck did I let it get this far?
"He's a good singer, you know."
I blinked and looked up to see who was talking to me.
"Sebastian, are you following me?"
Sebastian looked guilty for a second. "No," he said. "But you do come here a lot."
I didn't have time for this. I needed to go to Jay. "What are you doing here?"
Sebastian sat in front of me. "Like I said, you come here a lot."
I closed my eyes and tried really hard to clear my head. "Look, I can't do this right now, Sebastian." I stood up and got ready to head for the door.
"Alex, wait." Sebastian stood and tried to stop me.
"No, Sebastian. I'm not waiting anymore. I'm going home. I – I need to pack."
Like that, I left Sebastian at El Vaso while I went home to try and finish packing.