Her laughter grew louder, keeping time with the waves that crashed into the pier. Axel stood there with bloodshot eyes, filled with desperation. The laughter he once admired would now forever haunt his dreams.
“Alicia, please don’t do this. I have done nothing but love you with my whole heart,” he begged, as he had done so many times before.
He was over the moon and stars when she gave him the good news. He, Axel Joaquin Finlayson, was going to be a father. His own blood, and flesh growing inside of her. They were still in high school. He knew this news would come as a shock to his parents. However, he wouldn’t change a thing, because he loved her.
But, what followed had crushed his heart like no other.
“It’s already done, Axel. It’s over!” Her stoic face and voice belied no remorse. “I just thought you should know before we parted our ways.”
She was breaking up with him. Axel blinked, wondering if this was happening. He couldn’t let her do that.
“Alicia! That’s our child, you are talking about,” Axel whispered when he finally found his voice. “We don’t have to break up over this.” His heart constricted. He would never see or hold his child. “At least you should’ve told me first. We could’ve figured out something.”
Alicia’s face contorted. “Child! I hate this thing, Axel, and I hate you for doing this to me. I told you over and over that I hated children.”
Okay. She told him that.
“I didn’t do it on purpose. It must be an accident,” he argued as he got up to his feet once again. He was always careful when they got together. Never once he forgot to wrap it up. It still didn’t sit well with him. They were seeing each other and couples discussed these things together. Didn’t they?
Even now she looked beautiful and serene as the setting sun’s rays cast a golden glow on her flawless skin. Her shiny, golden-blonde hair cascaded around her heart-shaped face, with a few tendrils dancing to the soft rhythm of the evening breeze.
On any other day, he would have considered this a romantic evening, and he would have made sweet love to her under the sky. But, this was the worst day of his life. Alicia had served the news of her pregnancy and abortion to him on the same plate. She should’ve told him first. He would’ve understood if she didn’t want to become a mother.
“Let me get this straight one last time, Axel. You better listen carefully if you don’t want to lose anything else. I have met someone and I don’t want this child to spoil that for me.”
“What?” His voice was barely audible as he took a few staggering steps backward. He couldn’t believe his ears. Axel’s knees weakened, and he slumped to the wooden floor, unable to withstand the horror of her words.
What does she mean by she met someone?
Was she cheating on me all this time?
“How can you do this to me, to us? Was there an us?” He asked, unable to believe what he had just heard. At first, he’d thought she aborted the child because she didn’t want to become a mother, but this was too much to take in.
When did she turn horrendous?
Was he so naïve to notice it before?
How could she do that to him?
The corner of her lips curled upwards, and her deep green eyes turned to slits as she glared at him. A boat horn in the distance distracted him and Axel blinked away the tears. The longer he looked at her the more he regretted.
“We were never an item, Axel. You were nothing more than a fling. If it were not for that stupid bet, I wouldn’t have even looked at you twice. But, I must agree–you were convenient, you did all my projects and all my chores. And, as for the sex, I won’t say it was bad, but it wasn’t good either. You may want to hone your skills in bed if you want to keep a lover.”
Her mockery cut him deeply, and his shoulders hunched just at the thought of even being close to her that way.
Alicia continued the cruel barrage: “Oh, and you are sloppy kisser, do you know that? And I have seen bigger dicks than yours.” Her words cut deeper and deeper…
Axel had thought of her as his one and only ever since their first kiss. “You said you loved me,” he whispered, his heart beating rapidly. Blood rushed to his head as his hands shook. She had told him she loved him every time they made love. But was it love at all? Had he misjudged her that much?
“Several people say things when they have sex,” she snickered. “Who wouldn’t when a man uses his tongue on a girl like that? I have to give that to you, Axel. I’ve never had a man perform such tricks with his tongue.”
What he thought was an intimate act was nothing more than a technical skill for her, Axel discovered. His breath heaved as he tried to suppress nausea that was threatening to empty his guts in front of her. He could only blame himself for being so blind about her love. His parents and friends tried to warn him. He’d even stopped talking to his friends just because they claimed that she cheated on him with a football jock. Hot tears rolled down his cheek, making him vulnerable to her as she continued to stab his heart with her venomous words.
“Get this through your thick skull, Axel. You are not a boyfriend material. I mean, look at you. You are skinny, tall and lanky. You have nothing that attracts a woman, and you’re lucky that I even continued to keep you after I won the bet.”
Bet? She had mentioned it twice already.
Axel stood up on his shaky legs, feeling so vulnerable before her.
“My girls said that I wouldn’t be able to play you like I did with the other boys. They claimed that you were different. But, you were so easy to manipulate, Alicia bragged, twirling the tendrils he had once loved. “I had you in less than a week, thereby winning the bet.”
Was that all he meant to her?
A fucking bet.
She continued, “Look, you don’t have money, and your poor excuse of a father works as a janitor in our school. As for André, his father is a millionaire. He is the quarterback, and has a bright future. It would be wise for you to keep your mouth shut and forget that this incident ever happened. You don’t want your father to lose his job now, do you?”
Was he even the father of this unborn child?
The threat was real, he knew by her facial expressions. She wouldn’t hesitate to follow through the threat. After all, her father was the principal of their school. His parents had suffered enough over the years, and losing a job would make them homeless.
“So, what’s it going to be--keep mum, or face the consequences?” Her harsh tone threatened again.
Axel met her gaze one last time with difficulty. His blue eyes searched to find even a hint of emotion somewhere in those sea-moss green depths he once treasured. When he saw none, he turned around, unable to hold her gaze any longer. His resolve shattered as realization dawned on him. The love of his life never loved him back and he’d lost his child.
“I will keep quiet,” he said without facing her. He couldn’t and didn’t want to look at her mocking eyes that once captivated his heart to see the disgust in there.
“We’re good then.”
No! We will never be good.
Her heels clicked away on the wooden pier, each click feeling as if it were digging into his heart. By the end of the encounter, Axel realized that she had, in fact, metaphorically taken his heart, crushed it and gave it back to him.
He was a stupid to even think that a diva like her would even look at him in any romantic way. His friends tried to warn him about her when they started seeing each other. He shrugged it off at the time, thinking they were jealous. He even ignored his friends when she told him that she did not like them, and they were not good enough for him.
Six months. That was the time he had spent with her, and she’d ruined everything that had been good in his life. She took away his love, his child, and his friends. She was his first, and although he knew he wasn’t her first, it didn’t bother him at the time.
Gone was the happy-go-lucky guy who wouldn’t stop smiling and cracking jokes. The one who remained was only a shell which felt disgusted to think that he had even touched her. There was only one thing he could do.
Axel stepped to the edge of the pier, then stepped one step farther. His body plummeted into the dark water, and he didn’t struggle as the salt water filled his lungs.