A L E X
I question whether I’m a fool for taking Axel back, but when I saw him, it reminded me of past times. There were good times. He tried to help me at my worst times, even though his methods were definitely flawed. He cared. Maybe too much before. But how can that be a bad thing?
Either way, I had to give him another chance. He came to find me, he got clean for me, he was there for me: I had to.
Waiting for me outside my house in his new sports car, I dive into his car, greeting him with a peck on the lips. He smiles and waits for me to put my seat-belt on.
Maybe he has grown up.
We are going on a date, our fourth since we got back together. The dates have been going really well; Axel brought me flowers and chocolates, took me to restaurants, kissed me goodnight at the end of the date like a gentleman. It seems he is really changed.
But I can’t get too invested, not yet. Kai is still playing on my mind. I hadn’t seen Matt or Kai at school since Kai dropped me off this morning, but I decide to only worry if they aren’t back when I get home tonight. I texted them but neither one answered. I hoped Kai would have, even if Matt isn’t speaking to me.
“So, I know you, me and parties shouldn’t mix but it’s my friend’s 21st tonight and I was wondering if we could just go in, say hi, and head out again,” Axel explains, looking nervous at my reaction.
A party? With Axel? I don’t know if it’s a good idea. I was incredibly wary for that party Matt and Kai threw, but having them there and it being in our house gave me comfort.
What if something happens with Axel and no one is there to help?
But I’m stronger now, do I need someone to help? Axel’s eyes glistens with hope, making him difficult to resist. It is just a party.
“Yeah, that’s fine, only for a bit though,” I reply, causing a content grin to form on his face.
When we arrive at the house, the party is in full swing, with people bustling in and out and around the back. The bass of the music can be felt through the ground and my heart starts to race. Axel wraps an arm around my waist, bringing me close to his side and leads us around the back.
We are greeted by plenty of stares; my eyes land on familiar ones though.
Shit, what are they doing here?
“Aiden? Kyle?” I exclaim as they begin walking over to us. I hear Axel curse under his breath beside me, and I roll my eyes. I guess he is allowed to be protective and jealous sometimes.
“College party? Didn’t think that was your scene? And with this guy?” Aiden questions, nodding his head over to Axel, whom wore a look of hatred and disgust toward the two guys.
“Aiden, Kyle, this is Axel, my um... boyfriend,” I say, looking over at Axel to see a smirk plastered on his face as I call him my ‘boyfriend’.
I’m not fully sure that’s what we are yet, and he knows I have doubts too but I take this step anyway, not wanting to over complicate things.
“Oh, this is the guy from your party,” Kyle says, sending a hard glare Axel’s way.
“What are you two doing here?” I ask.
“My brother’s party. Turns twenty-one today,” Kyle replies.
“Hey, look, you should hang out here for a bit while I go find some people and greet the birthday boy. I’m sure Aiden and Kyle don’t mind keeping you company. I’ll only be ten minutes or so,” Axel says. I nod at him and turn my attention back to Aiden and Kyle once he leaves.
The old Axel would have glued me to his side so I couldn't leave me. He was always afraid I would leave him for someone else, for some irrational reason. If my eyes went anywhere, he would follow, making sure I wasn't checking anyone out.
I guess he has really changed.
“Sorry, looks like you’re stuck babysitting,” I say jokingly and the two guys laugh.
Aiden hands me a drink from the bar, which I decline, of course.
“What, you’re too good for this shit?” he says laughing, “I agree, it tastes like piss. I can get you something else. What do you drink?”
“I don’t drink at all,” I respond and the boys look at me confused. “I just don’t like it. I think bad things can happen to people when they’re drunk. Plus, my dad is an alcoholic,” I confess.
“Oh, sorry, so you don’t drink at all?” Aiden asks.
I shake my head and smile politely. We move away from the drinks to a kitchen counter. I spot Axel heading towards us with some other guy.
“Trip, meet my girlfriend, Alex,” Axel declares rather proudly.
“Hey, wait, the same Alex in my brother’s year?” Trip asks, looking behind me to Kyle who nods.
“Nice to meet you, Trip, and happy birthday,” I say politely, as Axel grabs my hand and pulls me protectively to his side.
Trip smirks and raises his brows at his friend's action.
"Don't worry, man. I'm not trying to steal her away. It's my brother who wants that," Trip taunts. Before anything can be done, I tug Axel away from them after giving them all a little wave.
“Did you drink anything?” I ask Axel innocently when we are in the car.
“I don’t want to lie. I did a little. But I’m not drunk,” he clarifies and it appears like he’s trying to be honest with me, which is a good thing. “I’m a little tired; do you mind if we go out another night?”
“No, I’m tired too. Don’t worry about it,” I reply.
He walks me up to the door and starts to kiss me. I can taste the beer in his mouth, and wonder how much he has had to drink genuinely. A little from what we both used to drink is still a lot.
But I also taste something else, a forgotten taste. It is faintly there and I wonder if I am just imagining things. I must be. I taste marijuana.