45 Days

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Chapter 15- Splintered Soul/Broken Heart

After what went down, Ally showed up at Addie’s door and is livid that her plans are ruined.

“The fuck are you doing playing him like this? He’s one of the few good guys out there left in the world, and you make him a puppet!”

“You’re one to judge. You sleep with anyone who takes an interest in your tits and ass.” Ally retorts and slings an insult causing friction with her best friend.

Addie walks up to shove Ally straight down on her ass in the middle of the living room.

“Bitch! Let me tell you something right here, right now. I’ve changed ever since you had your ‘fun’ with Sam. I took a good long look in the mirror. I decided I want to have someone like Aiden because he treated you like a queen before you ruined him.”

Resting on her elbows, Ally doesn’t budge, afraid of the burning passion in Addie’s eyes.

“I care very deeply about him. He’s been good to me; even went against the company’s guidelines and has me guaranteed job after graduation putting his ass on the line.” Addie screams with tears in her eyes.

“I didn’t know that.” Ally says as her lower lip quivers.

Addie’s cold hard stare doesn’t die one bit as she stands over Ally, “He loves you, and you say you love him. So why can’t that be enough? Why can’t you give yourself to him, you stupid floozy?”

“He scares me, alright! I finally said it. He scares the living hell out of me. He is great at everything. Cooking, working, having his life together, a steady job, a clean conscious, he’s funny, he’s the best thing to happen to me, and I fucked it up! I’m stupid, and I am so sorry. I can’t forgive myself because I’m a slut. Is that what you want, huh?” Ally screams at the top of her lungs and finally admits what’s always bothered about Aiden.

Addie kneels beside her best friend as her eyes begin to preach over how she feels.

“He is a great guy, and I can’t be in a relationship with him because of you and our pact. You have a chance. Go back and take it. Make it right with him and for yourself. Last night proved his feelings for you are more than just words.”

It feels like the weight finally shifts off her shoulders. Ally sits up to cup her hands over her face, sobbing, “I can’t anymore; I left him a note saying goodbye. I don’t know what to do anymore.”

Addie leans in to help her grieve the sorrow over every wrong decision her best friend has made.

On the other end, under a shower of icy water, Aiden stands there trying to control his shivering, “The world wants me to be ice-cold. I’ll give them all exactly what they want.” He repeatedly thinks to himself.

“I’ll give everyone a brand-new look, a new attitude, a whole new Aiden Hart. It’s time I show a little bit of my dark side.” He continues until his body adapts to the cold water and quits trembling.

Once he’s dried off and dressed, Aiden heads out to a couple of clothing stores where he purchases darker dress shirts. A combination of dark gray’s, blue’s, red’s and black. He also selects some dark-colored bootcut jeans to reinvent himself.

After a few hours of bouncing from Walmart, Kohls, and various stores around the mall, Aiden heads home to change before he drives out to practice.

After pulling down the driveway, Aiden surprises his friends with a new look.

“Wow, never thought I’d see you in dark colors. Look different, everything alright?” Rey is unsure what to make as Aiden struts in with new sunglasses with an open gray dress shirt with a plain black t-shirt, jeans, and K-Swiss boots.

“Thanks, and yeah, thought it was time for a change, you know. A little less Mr. Nice Guy and a little more attitude.” He explains, emphasizing the end of his statement.

On the keyboard, he leaves the sunglasses on and calls out the first song, “Let’s go with Betrayed and straight into Jester’s Court. On my mark in three, two, one.”

He points to Dakota, to begin with, the guitar riff into the song.

Only having vocals for those two songs, Aiden feels alone in his mind. The world is against him, including his friends, as they don’t say anything to guide him through the abysmal muck.

After a couple of hours, the group begins to wrap things up. Dakota, Eddie, and Rey sense something’s off.

“So uh, what happened between you and Ally?” Rey brings up, breaking the silence.

“Nothing, we talked until we passed out, and then when I got up, she left a note. It’s all good.”

Their eyes shift between each other. They can pick up the holes in the explanation.

“Cool man, just checking,” Rey tells him, zipping up his instrument.

With a nudge on his shoulders, Aiden sits at the keyboard, covering it up, distracted, “Guess I’ll hit the cruise strip tonight. Are you guys down to cruise or just going to hit a club or two?”

Surprised at the idea, the three of them take a moment before anyone replies.

“I have somewhere to be in a little bit, but yeah, I’ll meet ya downtown to cruise and hit the strip,” Rey explains, heading out to his car.

“Cool deal, meet me at the strip then down by ‘Cruise Ave,’ and we’ll hit the street in the Mustang.”

Acknowledged by a wave, Rey pulls away, leaving the other three to stand around.

“Found the application for the Ohio Rock Fest for next year. I got it all filled out other than the dates. All we need now is a demo and send it in whenever and wait.” Dakota explains, zipping up his guitar case.

“Good deal, bro, we’ll rule that joint!” Eddie says with excitement in his voice.

“Can’t wait…” Aiden lets out, focused on his car, “Don’t mind me guys, I’m going to hit the road myself. I just wanna drive.”

Aiden gets up and walks out without saying anything else. They stand there waiting for him to pull away and be out of sight before anything is said.

“Something ain’t right. He’s hiding something for sure. We best keep an eye out on him. He may be becoming an asshole, but he’s still one of us.” Dakota says, concerned.

“You’re right, if we have to, lock his ass up until he dries out. I know he won’t admit to it, but the drinking has picked up big time. He wouldn’t even take off his sunglasses. Something is up, and my gut is in knots.” Eddie admits holding his stomach.

Their conversation is broken up when a call comes in on Dakota’s home phone.

“Hello?” He listens to the person on the other end as his expression shifts to excitement in a matter of seconds.

“Seriously, you want us to play your club in two weeks? Hell yes, we will be there, and thank you. Oh! Who do I need to ask for when we arrive that night? Caleb Boone got it, and again thank you, bye.”

Dakota hits the power button. He shouts at the top of his lungs, “We got a paying gig at the Import Room Club two weeks from today. The owner is friends with Addie, and she gave them our contact info.”

Eddie jumps up, dancing like an idiot, thrilled to be doing more than playing in the garage.

“Oh sweet lord, oh have mercy!” He shouts, wiggling his hips around, causing Dakota to laugh.

Dakota gives Aiden time to reach the main stretch along Route 2. He listens as his phone vibrates in the cupholder and picks it up quickly on speaker, “Hey, what’s up, Dakota?”

“Dude, you gotta thank Addie for us! She got us booked to do a live performance at the Import Room Club in two weeks.”

Aiden’s jaw nearly hits the seat.

“No fucking way, but yeah, I was heading downtown to get a bite to eat. I’ll stop by and thank her for sure. Have to go. I’m driving and need to shift later.”

Stunned beyond belief, Aiden speeds his way down through Lesage to Guyandotte and cruises the streets downtown to Addie’s apartment.

He notices a familiar charcoal gray Stanza parked in the other guest spot. Aiden rolls up his windows before he strolls up the steps.

“This is gonna be bad…” He mutters to himself as his boots clang against the metal steps.

After a couple of knocks, Ally answers with a look of disbelief in her eyes, “Oh no…” She stutters to say.

“Hey, who is…” Addie asks, walking up to the door.

“Fuck me running backward.” She lets slip from her lips, “You two behave, I know what happened and…” She’s cut off when Aiden takes her by the wrist.

“Leave. Ally and I need to talk, please. I promise I’ll behave and be nice.”

“Not a chance in Hell Aiden, I feel for you, sweetheart, but she’s my girl. I won’t ditch her like that.”

Ally places her hand on her best friend’s shoulder, “He won’t hurt me. We know that. I owe it to him to talk.” She explains, seeing the look in Aiden’s cold dead eyes.

“If you insist, just let me get the keys to my car,” Addie says with an unsure sensation crawling on her skin.

The couple allows Addie to get into her car and pull away before they go inside and have a seat in Addie’s bedroom.

“Look, I know you’re pissed, and I understand that, but please don’t kill me.” Ally begins resting her hand on Aiden’s.

“I wouldn’t hurt a hair on your head. I still love you as crazy as that sounds, and all I want is you.”

With tears in her eyes, Ally sits there sniffling.

“I don’t know what else to do. I love you too, but there’s so much damage done now. I mean, I don’t even trust myself around you. Here you are, and all I want to do is put my arms around you and kiss you and do things we’ve done so many times before. At the same time, it’s not that simple.” She babbles as the emptiness radiates from Aiden’s aura.

“Who says we have to stop what we’ve done before? If all you want is a fuck buddy, just say so. At least I get to keep you in my life for a little while longer. I can live with that arrangement if you can.”

Ally can’t find the words as she pulls her hand away to express the regret for pushing Aiden this far.

“I… It’s just that… How… Why… I love you, and I’m sorry again, but it’s whatever you want. I am ready to be with you and not run this time.”

Aiden closes his eyes, unable to believe any of it, “I know you, baby doll, and you ain’t going to stay. So, why not just keep it casual for now to see how our feelings go from there, cool with you?”

Reluctantly taking up his offer, Ally twists her body, scoots onto Aiden’s lap, and shoves him down on the bed.

“You want me, fine take me and make me yours!” She requests with an attitude.

“Now there’s the Ally I know these days.” He smiles, picking her up as she wraps her legs and arms around his body.

Once they break the kiss, Ally strips Aiden and herself as they come together again, where he pins her to the wall. Unable to speak, she moans, slamming her head against the wall.

“Uh, uh, yes…” She repeatedly screams as passion builds inside of her body until it reaches the point where she bucks her hips away from Aiden’s grip, landing on the floor, unable to move.

Flopped back on the bed, Aiden sits there out of breath staring at Ally.

“That was good. Tell Addie thanks for getting us the gig at the Import Club. Later.”

He picks up his clothes and gets redressed, and heads for the door.

“WAIT…” Ally yells, holding her naked breasts with her hands.

“What, Ally? What part of fuck buddy only do you not understand?”

Using her momentum, Ally pins Aiden to the wall by the door, “No, I said, wait, damn it. Listen to me. This is all my fault, not yours. You are a good man with a heart of gold, and it isn’t dark and unsympathetic. It’s warm and loving, and that’s what I fell in love with when we met.”

Aiden pushes her back and marches towards her until they’re back in the bedroom, where Ally falls on the bed.

“No! You listen to me, you little ice hearted witch! You created a monster, so now you have to deal with your creation. You wanted to splinter my soul. You got what you wanted—the green-eyed angry, and broken Aiden the world has never seen. I gave you everything I had, and look at how you have done me. Fuck off, Ally, you got what you wanted, now deal with it!”

She sits there in shock. Aiden leaves the apartment enrages. Ally’s senses eventually return for her to get up and dressed. Once she’s dressed again, she takes a seat on the futon, waiting for Addie to return.

She sits there with her knees curled up to her chest, replaying the moment Aiden exploded and realized the harm her actions created. A twisted fiery unforeseen demon fuels the pain and torture within the man she loves.

Out onto Fifth Avenue from Hal Greer Boulevard, Aiden pulls up to the first red light. At the light with a supercharged V8 rumbling, he’s yelled at from the next lane.

“Hey, you, hey Mustang man…Yo homeboy!”

Aiden looks over to see a bald guy in a primer Toyota Supra yelling at him.

“Wanna run ’em? Bet I can beat that piece of shit you got.” The guy says.

“You wanna run this, then let’s make it for pinks, you little loud-mouthed pussy. My V8 against your little toy box.” Aiden suggests knowing his car is faster.

“What would I need with a piece of shit like that? It’s just a dressed-up GT like every other Mustang around here.”

Aiden throws down the challenge, “then it shouldn’t be an issue. We race nonstop from here to the light at 31st Street. Winner follows the loser home for the keys and the title.”

“Fine, dude, you got it, but be prepared to lose that orange hunk a junk.”

Giving the Mustang a little fuel, Aiden listens as the guy beside him revs his engine, “Too much asshole, that car is mine.”

Their eyes locked on the light. They wait only a few seconds before it turns green and squall the tires as both cars shrieks throughout the street.

Aiden allows the Supra to take a small lead until they reach the tracks by 25th Street. He presses the accelerator to the floor and quickly picks up speed, passing by the Toyota to leave him in the dust as they weave in and out of traffic. Aiden’s focused on the road ahead as he gains ground on the Supra as it gets blocked by traffic.

Able to reach the end of the race first, Aiden looks for a spot on the corner to pull in and wait. He believes the Supra driver will try to blow right by; Aiden gets ready to slide into his car to follow him if it comes down to that. Surprisingly enough, when Aiden waves to get his attention, the driver pulls in with tears in his eyes.

“She’s all yours. The title is in the glovebox, good race. You got a hell of a car.” The guy admits while he looks at the ground.

“It’s faster than I thought for sure, but thanks, guy. I’ll roll the windows up and get a ride to come back and get it in a bit.” Aiden says.

The other racer begins to walk off in shame with his head low after he darts across the street to the bridge to Ohio. Back in his car, Aiden changes his mind and calls for a tow truck. He waits patiently to have his new car delivered home.

After everything is said and done, when the trophy sits in the driveway. Aiden goes in, changing into comfortable old clothes to examine the car from bumper to bumper.

While he’s checking out his Supra, Eddie pulls in, honking the horn to get his attention.

“Hey, there’s the man that’s electric!” Aiden taunts, mocking the dance to the electric slide.

“Ha-ha, yeah, yeah, got another car, I see. How much did this one cost?” Eddie begins checking out the interior.

“Actually nothing; I won it in a race a little bit ago. Some guy thought he could beat my Mustang.” Aiden admits and stands there looking over the engine compartment.

“It’s a nice ride, dude, but listen, I need a favor if you can help me at all.”

Curious about what Eddie has in mind, Aiden hurries to the side, “I’m all ears, what’s up, bub?”

Eddie gradually collects his thoughts.

“Well, my place needs some serious repairs. My roof started pouring the water during the last storm, and now well, half of my sockets don’t work. I was wondering if I could crash here while I fix my place.”

Without even waiting for Eddie to continue, Aiden jumps in with his answer.

“Absolutely, you can crash here, bub. I’m not about to put out one of my best friends. Get some of your stuff, and you can crash in the guest bedroom. Hell, I’ll give you Ally’s spare key. So, come and go as you please. It’d be nice to have someone to talk to in the evenings rather than read or spend time in the music room.”

Eddie is all smiles, hearing he has a place to crash.

“Hell, stay here as long you need to. Save up to buy a newer double-wide or a house for all I care. I got your back, always have, and always will.”

“That’s awesome, bro, thank you. I’ll do the little things around here and stuff. I won’t be just a bum.”

“I’m not worried about that. Relax and have fun while you’re here. Let’s finish up here and go in and eat. I’m famished.”

Aiden and Eddie resume checking out the car and fire it up, taking time to listen to the smooth idling engine.

“Damn, that’s a pretty sound!” Eddie admits sitting in the driver’s seat.

“Car suits ya too. Hey, quick idea, let’s shut the hood and take it up and down the road real quick and see how she handles.” Aiden tosses out the idea, a bit bored but curious.

Eddie shuts the driver’s door and buckles up while Aiden hurries into the passenger’s seat.

“Turn it loose and show me what she’s got,” Aiden says, buckling up.

Backing down the driveway, the boys yell out loud when Eddie dumps the clutch. They speed along the winding roads like a bat out of hell for a couple of miles.

“Alright, she’s good; let’s turn around and head back.” Aiden orders and hangs on when Eddie downshifts, followed by yanking up the e-brake spinning the Supra around.

After the test run, Eddie and Aiden park beside the Mustang and roll up the windows to head inside laughing in excitement. They spend the rest of the evening in the house relaxing with a couple of beers and mixed drinks with dinner that consists of oven-baked Salisbury Steaks, green beans, corn, and a couple of microwaved potatoes.

Eddie doesn’t realize that rooming with Aiden means he’s about to spend time with a ticking time bomb as Aiden’s pain silently expands within his soul.

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