The S Word

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Disappointed

“Hi, Mrs. Miller.”

I try to speak as calmly as I can, listening as Alexander gulps next to me. That makes me even more nervous, and he squeezes my hand in his, maybe attempting to reassure me everything is fine.

But it’s not; nothing is helping me to calm down at this point.

Not the wind swirling around my ankles, nor the smell of the wet grass from the rain. Not even the inviting warmth that comes from inside the house.

“Mrs. Miller I-”

“Come in,” she says, stepping aside.

Her eyes are different this time, no longer warm and lovable but cold and distant. I see the anger in them before Alexander guides us to the living room; we sit on the sofa while his mom pulls one of the chairs from the dining table, so she is facing us. It’s a conversation that needs full attention, and somehow mine isn’t here. It’s on the fact that I know she is disappointed in me, and it’s all the harder to handle.

I had someone who I could look up as a mother, and I fucked up.

The room is dark, only a few lamps on the ends are lighted up, and it makes me more anxious. Mr. Miller isn’t here either, and I don’t know if I should be happy or sad about it.

“First of all, let me tell you I am very disappointed with the two of you.”

I knew she wasn’t going to sugar coat it; Alexander warned me it’s not in his mother’s nature to do it. I just wasn’t ready for her to be so direct. Her eyes search for ours, but we are not strong enough to hold her gaze. I stare at the floor instead, unable to meet the eyes that are as similar to the ones I love.

“Not because you had sex, or because you recorded it, I can even understand that everyone has a thing they like. However, doing it on an open channel? Why?”

The question startles both of us, and neither answers her. I’m not sure if we know how to. All I thought was that Mrs. Miller was going to scold us and speak her mind. I wasn’t ready for questions. She lets her head hang for a while, trying to gather the words before speaking once again.

“To know that you two had this secret feels like a betrayal. I received that email, and let me tell you, I never been so disappointed at you, Alexander.”

He stiffens his body, and when I glance at the man by my side, I see the sorrow in his gaze. Regret hurt. All emotions mixed up and swimming in those beautiful hazel eyes of him. My heart clenches, knowing that right now, there’s nothing I can do to ease the pain. I can’t even place my hand on his cheek and pull him to me, reassuring he will be alright.

“How could the two of you do this? Didn’t you think about the consequences of having sex so everyone can see? Didn’t you two think about how much pain you would cause in the ones that love you? Because people will talk, I don’t care what they say about me, but I do care about what they say of my son, of his girlfriend, and I won’t admit they disrespect you.”

I can’t cry; I don’t want to cry. But as the rain pours against the window and I feel all emotions and stress from the last twenty-four hours rising again, I can’t help but try and suppress the hurt that’s building up in my chest.

Agonizing, massive, breathtaking hurt that makes my heart twitch with pain.

“I will let you explain because I want to believe there’s a reason for it. I need to believe that you weren’t dumb into doing that for everyone to see.”

“We didn’t record it, mom; she did.”

Mrs. Miller’s eyes widen at his words, and I start to think. She knows about her, but she doesn’t know about the channels? My eyebrow rise before Alexander speaks again.

“The girl from last year? The stalker?” She asks, and he nods. “She wasn’t someone I met at the club; she saw me on the website.”

“Well, makes even more sense now,” she says, gesturing with her hands. Every gesture, every word she speaks, and taking deep breaths show me the woman sitting in front of us is trying to control herself. “But how did she-”

“I think she hacked the camera, then got Nicole’s contacts, and that’s how everyone knows.”

Alexander leans back on the couch. His hair falls on the side of his face and reveals just how tired he is from all of this. When Alexander raises his hand to his face, covering it and letting out an exhausted sigh, Mrs. Miller seems to be pondering what he just said. Probably realizing that he lied to her for more than two years.

“I was not making enough money,” he says, still covering his face. “So I had to find a way. Tyler suggested it, and it helped before the business took off.”

“But what do you do in there?”

She leans forward, listening intently, and I start to ponder if maybe there’s a chance that this woman won’t stay mad at us. That maybe she won’t hate me and stop talking to me. Right now, she seems curious; she is his mother and is the one person who knows him better than anyone else. She raised him.

“Nothing, I eat, I speak to people,” Alexander sits straight again and glances at me. “Nicole is a bit more straightforward and flirts with the viewers, but we don’t do anything like that.”

“Well, we talk about sex,” I interrupt him. “And we did make out on camera.”

Why in the world am I opening my big mouth? He chuckles at me, probably realizing that I don’t want to have any secrets between his mother and us, and lets his hand rest on my knee. Just the small touch is enough to make me feel less nervous.

“Yes, we did that. But no sex,” he assures his mother. “I’m sorry if you disagree, mom, but there’s nothing degrading in what we do. We just talk to people.”

She eyes us suspiciously, standing up and walking from one side to the other of the living room, tapping her finger on her lip and thinking.

“So that’s how you two met?”

We both nod at her before glancing at each other and smiling. It’s not ideal, it’s not perfect, not to others. But it is for us.

“Yes,” he says, staring at me.

A smile creeps up on me, and I place my hand over his. Even if his mother hates me, even if it breaks my heart, I have him. I have a man I love, right now I don’t need anything else.

“You two are lucky I love you,” she says, and we both snap our heads to her. “I was ready to get angry and scold you for being stupid and doing it well- I didn’t watch it because when you- you know what you did. But, now I’m angry at that girl. I’m more worried about it now.”

A breath of relief falls from my lips, and Alexander’s mom chuckles, staring at me. Her eyes disappear behind her cheeks before she walks to us and looks down at me.

“You were worried?” I nod in reply, and she smiles again. “I’m sorry about that, but I needed to have an open talk with the two of you. I needed to let you know how disappointed I am because I truly am. I raised a smart man, Alexander; you should have never been in contact with that girl.”

We share a glance before his eyes meet his mothers. They don’t speak, and he nods, a small tear falls on the side of his face, and I wipe it away, getting a quick glimpse from him.

“I raised an intelligent man,” she says, crouching in front of him. “Someone who is polite, respectful, and kind. I never expected you to behave like this, and I won’t say I liked it because my heart is hurting from knowing that a video of the two of you is out there. But-”

Her eyes let go of his, and she turns to me. They are softer now, not as furious as when we stepped inside the house. Alexander’s mother pats my head before speaking. My heart clenches, worried, and scared about whatever it is that she might say.

“I will never stop loving you two. You are my kids, and no matter the bad decisions you make, you are a part of my life.”

My eyes hurt for not blinking, and I can’t seem to look away from her.

“I-”

“You are a part of this family, sweetheart. Don’t ever forget about that. Blood is important to me, my son is important to me, and now, so are you.”

The way my heart beats right now, staring into her eyes, feeling Alexander’s hand gripping my waist and pulling me closer to him before he kisses my shoulder, all of that is love. All the small gestures from his mother wiping away the tears from my eyes, assuring me as I let them fall over and over again that a mother is there for her child, and I am her child now.

I missed that.

I missed the unconditional love of a mother, the small smiles, the love in the eyes, all the little things. I fucking missed them so much.

Alexander whispers sweet words in my ear when his mother goes to boil some water for us to drink warm tea. He whispers sweet words that we both do not always need to say but right now mean so much more.

“We will get through this,” he whispers, giving a kiss on the back of my hand.

I nod at him, biting down on my lip and feeling overwhelmed by emotions in my chest that I can’t describe. Happiness, worry, sadness, all that swims in the pit of my heart seeking attention, and yet I can’t focus on one.

Only the idea in my head when we finally manage to leave his parent’s house, assuring his mother we will do everything right to end this. To put things back into normal. Contacting the police and letting them deal with the case.

“You’re quiet,” he says, glancing at me.

I let my gaze drift out the window as the car passes fast in the dark streets, and the golden lamps light our path. The night was long, and Alexander’s mother made me think. We are a family; we are together as a whole.

“I was thinking,” I speak, listening to how my voice fails me from the mix of ideas I am facing.

“About what?”

It’s crazy; it doesn’t make sense, and yet I can’t seem to put the idea away. I can’t seem to forget that at least I need to try once more before giving up. Maybe he changed, maybe we can talk now. Maybe the past won’t hunt us.

A small sigh leaves my lips before words I swore years ago, I would never say leave my lips.

“I wanna see my father.”

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