K A I
"Axel," I hear Alex breathe. I immediately tense when she recognizes the college fucker standing there with confidence. The guy is definitely not bad-looking which makes me all the more nervous. She looks speechless; they definitely have a past.
"Hey, baby, happy birthday." Baby? Baby?! What the fuck?! Who the fuck is this guy? My entire body tenses and I feel an uncontrollable rage. I work to tame in the beast within, wanting to break free and murder this guy. Seriously.
"Who the fuck are you?" Matt cries, leaving my side to stand by Alex. I want to move, but I can't. I'm confused at what is going on right now.
"I'm her fucking boyfriend," the guy, Axel, answers and my mouth drops in disbelief.
Boyfriend? What boyfriend? This guy is older than me and Matt; he is not Alex's boyfriend. He then moves to grab her face and stick his tongue down her throat, trying to prove she is his. Alex doesn't move away. Maybe she is in shock. Or maybe she wants this. Maybe she wants him, instead of me.
"Ex-boyfriend," I hear Alex mutter after their kiss breaks. I see the possessiveness in Axel's eyes and it takes everything in me to stop myself from beating him to the ground and slamming my fists into his face until he's unconscious.
Alex would never forgive me for that. He is her boyfriend. Or was her boyfriend. But did it matter? He is here now and clearly wants her to be his. Does she want him?
"Can we talk somewhere more private?" Alex asks Axel.
They swiftly move outside, out of my sight and away from plenty of prying eyes. Matt stands there, completely still.
"Matt," I say, breaking him out of his trance.
"Boyfriend? She has a boyfriend?" Matt rambles, panicked. He was already being overprotective of her, and now, with that guy here, Matt would have a hard time protecting her. He couldn't even protect her against me.
I turn to Madison, an angry look on my face, "Who the fuck is that guy? Why is he here?"
"He goes to the college near here. I didn't know Alex knew him. Everyone loves him. He has that bad boy charm, and knows how to party. I invited him because he can bring in a crowd, liven the party up, you know. He's been in California for a couple of months now, first year of college, moving from Arizona, and he's already popular," Madison replies, staring off at the door, wondering what would happen when they both came back inside, as I am wondering also.
He's a year older than me and was with a girl who I thought was too young for me.
"He's trying to get in her pants, that's all. Now he's here again and still trying," Matt comments angrily.
"I think it's already too late for that," Madison mutters, and Laurie gives her a glare.
I realize what she just and suddenly I feel my body become so pent up with anger, I could explode, wiping out this entire fucking building, and Axel. Even his name is a fucking pisstake. Switch two letters around, and you get Alex's name. Unbelievable.
How could she be so stupid? So reckless? She slept with him? At fifteen? With a guy three years older? And he's a jackass?
"Well, at least he's not just trying to get in her pants. If he wanted to fuck her then ditch her, he would've done. He's here and wants to be with her. It's kinda cute."
I wanted to throw her up against the wall for saying that. Cute? It's fucking disgusting.
"Although the bad boys are never the best influences. I don't know how they ended up before but he's a heart-breaker. There were rumors all he used to do was smoke, drink and party. And he must have done something to become 'the ex'. But I don't know him so..."
They walk back inside, holding hands and smiling at each other. That's when I knew he had won the first fight. But I am not giving up. Not ever.
If she gets back with him, I'm going to steal her away. If she gets engaged to him, I'm going to stop the wedding. If he gets married to her, I'll fucking kill him and be a shoulder to cry on for a grieving widow but there is no way in hell he is winning her in the end.
Axel takes a beer from one of his friends and sips it. I watch him restrain himself from downing it in front of her and I wonder why. The bad boy can't hold his drink?
Alex breaks away from him as he talks to his friends, leaving an opening for Matt and I to talk some sense into her. Matt pulls at her arm roughly and drags her outside, feeling the warm evening air surround us. We sit down on a bench and Matt huffs before speaking.
"Alex, I don't know what's going on with you," he says and I know he's finding it difficult to find the right words, or the right questions.
"Axel was my boyfriend back in Arizona. We dated for about a year. And now he's here and we're back together; there's nothing more to it," she replies, starting to get up out of her seat.
Back together? I'm not letting it happen.
"You're not dating him," Matt says firmly, staring her down, hoping to show authority and power over her. But she wasn't one to back down, nor is she now.
"You are not my father. You can't tell me what to fucking do. I will date whoever I want to fucking date and it will be none of your business," she yells, directed towards Matt, avoiding my eyes entirely.
"He's a bad guy, Alex. I don't even need to know him to know that. And I know you can see perfectly well too. He does drugs, he drinks, he parties, he looks like the worst fucker around. You are not dating him; he's not good enough for you. I can't believe you slept with him," Matt rants and then silence falls at the last statement.
Alex's eyes widen and mouth gapes slightly as if she doesn't know what to say. But she composes herself and begins.
"You weren't there, Matt," she says in a quieter tone than before. She sits back down and looks into her hands. "I was struggling with two absent-minded parents who didn't give a shit. And I then I met Axel. He fell in love with me and I fell in love with him. We went to parties and got drunk and high. I was addicted to that life," she confesses and then it all began to make sense.
She never drank; she could barely look at alcohol. She feared losing control, with me, with her anger.
"I fought it all on my own. I kicked the addictions. I don't touch alcohol anymore. I'm not going to be like dad either. And you weren't there for me. You were never there.
"I dealt with dad, and with school, and with the bills. I got several jobs to make sure I was fed and the bills were paid. I stopped myself from getting wasted and high all the time. I did this on my own. If I didn't need you then, I don't need you now. I can make up my own mind and if you don't fucking like it, you can leave. Axel, he's clean now, he's grown up. And I love him. I don't need you."
She storms back into the party away from us. We are left processing what she said. I had no idea she had to deal with all of this. I guess I forced myself to see her as a kid, to not let myself get carried away, but Alex is more adult than us.
"She's right. I wasn't there." Matt bows his head in shame.
"No, you weren't. But you are now. She says she doesn't need you but it's a lie. You have to help her. We have to help her. She can't be with him. We are going to make sure of it."