45 Days

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Chapter 16- Intervention

It’s been nearly a month and a half since Ally was scared when Aiden exposed his agony with the appearance of the so-called ‘monster’ filling the splinters within.

Ever since then, she’s avoided Addie’s apartment. All her mind can produce is the memory of the look in Aiden’s eyes. She can barely stomach going out to Ona because of how different things feel.

“Everything okay? You seem a little distracted this weekend.” Aiden mentions after he gets out of bed that morning.

“Yeah, still feeling last night, I guess.” She replies, not to push his buttons.

“Ah, gotcha, I must’ve worn you out. I like it. What you think after breakfast, then come back here to do it all over again?” Aiden replies.

A single nod in agreement Ally fears anything can set him off again. She hurries out of bed and struts over to run her hands through Aiden’s hair.

“Why did you let your looks go? You are so handsome with short hair and no beard. I hate this new look, baby; please shave it off.” She pleads, resting her head against his back.

“No,” is all Aiden tells her with an attitude.

With a slight squeeze from her arms around his waist, she releases her grip, “Hey, I love you.” She says to test the waters.

“Cool, thanks.” He replies against the urge to say it back.

“Come on, Aiden, I know better than that.”

“Even if you do, what does it matter? We’re just sleeping together at this point. Nothing more is going to come from it.” Aiden sharply reminds Ally.

Over on the edge of the bed, she slips back into her clothes and says, “I need more, I need you.”

Aiden goes over to the bed and gently pulls her thong back down from her legs as he forces her body flat on the bed.

“Since you still want me, I won’t say no to that.” He teases, kisses, and pushes his weight down.

Ally giggles when he begins pecking at her neck, “I meant you and me in a second chance relationship. You know, boyfriend, girlfriend, engaged eventually. Kids at some point, something more than just sex, sex, sex.”

That leaves him to huff at her statement. Aiden doesn’t allow her to see him picturing all that with her in his mind.

“I said no, we’ve proved it won’t work.”

Allyssa manages to place her arms under his body to push him off the bed.

“Fuck it; I’m done! I need more from you! I want to be with you now. Aiden, I’ve been thinking a hell of a lot about us getting married and having kids.”

That’s when Aiden’s eyes change in appearance, “Yeah ‘now’ you want it, what about in another 45 days or so. Who would I walk in to catch you sleeping with again? Another guy from your past, one of my best friends? Who, huh, tell me that.”

Ally quickly throws clothes on and dashes toward the door, where she turns back, giving Aiden a piece of her mind.

“I meant it, I love you, but this isn’t working for me. I want to be your wife one day, you stupid idiot. I am not your personal whore.”

Aiden immediately pops off, “Whores get paid. You just only laid, so you’re technically my private slut.”

Ally’s jaw drops, and she storms out, slamming the bedroom door, and several seconds later, the front door and screen doors slam with enough force that it rattles the pictures along the wall.

Right after she’s gone, Eddie comes knocking on the door.

“Hey man, you decent?” He calls out behind the door.

“Yeah, c’mon in.”

Eddie walks in to see Aiden on the edge of the bed.

“What was that all about?” He asks, pointing to the front door.

“She’s pissed because now she wants everything I used to want for us,” Aiden answers with a hint of disdain.

Confused, Eddie leans back against the door frame, “You mean still want. We all know what she means to you, bro. Why walk away from something you’d cherish? I know your mom and dad…”

“Don’t go there, don’t throw my parents into this situation. I’ve busted my ass to keep myself together after they were killed. I wanted to murder that guy so damn bad. I would grind my teeth in my sleep. So do me and them a favor and keep them out of this mess.” Aiden throws his hand in the air.

“My bad, I didn’t mean anything by it. Look, you love this girl with everything you have to offer. She loves you, so work it out and make it a love for all ages to come. Make it one memorable that they’ll write novels about it. Show her what passion is hidden away under the pain.”

After Aiden gets to his feet, and his eyes have gone dull. Slowly he makes his way from the bedroom to the kitchen with Eddie right behind him.

“I need a drink, want one?” He asks and opens a new bottle of Purple Roses Tequila.

“Woah, hitting it a little heavy and early, aren’t we?” Eddie states, getting bacon and eggs from the frig.

“Breakfast of champions, my friend. Besides, I haven’t tried this kind yet. Gotta keep the monster numb deep inside, you know.”

Unsure of how to take the statement, Eddie stands there confused. “The monster?” He questions setting the items on the counter.

“Yeah, he’s a nasty little bastard, ruins my life, but alcohol keeps him in check. Now here’s to the sleepy bastard!” Aiden announces in a cheer and swiftly drowns his pain with two more glasses filled nearly to the brim.

Concerned over this new development, Eddie quickly makes them a couple of scrambled eggs and bacon.

“You know, Ally said she hated the beard and longer hair. Why? I think it reflects the way I feel inside, you know.” Aiden slurs, picking up his fork.

“You do look a little ratty. Maybe it’s time to admit you need some help.”

Laughing controllably, Aiden shows the signs of not slowing down when he nearly trips over his own feet to pour another glass of tequila.

“Aiden, seriously, take it easy. You’re going to feel like roadkill tomorrow at work.”

After he flips Eddie off, Aiden stumbles away into the living room, where he flops in his chair and drops the empty glass on the floor. His eyes become dull in color as he stares aimlessly into space.

Fear takes control, Eddie calls Dakota.

“Hey, we need to do something about Aiden. F’real, his drinking is worse, and he ran Ally off this morning by being an ass.” Eddie whispers into the phone.

“Intervention time?” Dakota asks, hearing the worry in his best friend’s voice.

“I think so. It’s getting worse. Aiden’s already had more than three full glasses of tequila. It’s only a matter of time when he slips and kills himself or someone else if he drives like that.”

“No way that’s about to happen!” Dakota yells, knowing the signs since he watched his stepdad years ago go through something similar, “I know his boss; we used to shoot pool together. I’ll give him a call and come up him something. Get Aiden out here ASAP, man. We’ll lock his ass up in the spare room until he sobers up. That way, we can work some sense into his head.”

“Sounds good; we’ll see ya soon, later.”

Eddie places his phone into his pocket and heads into the living room. He looks over at Aiden and takes a set of keys off the wall.

“Not today, my friend,” Eddie says, looking back before he opens the door, “Guess it’s time to go.”

He leans over to pick Aiden up and carry him to the Starion.

“Dude, what the hell?” Aiden stutters, sitting in the passenger seat as Eddie rolls down the window.

“It’s for your own good.”

Stepping back, he shuts the car door and rushes back to the house to ensure everything is turned off and the door is locked.

In the car, Eddie speeds along the backroads, and power slides down the driveway. He takes notice of a new SUV in the driveway, “Who in the world.” He says, coming to a stop behind it.

He sees Dakota exits the house.

“Hurry up before he comes to,” Eddie calls out, seeing Rey with Dakota.

“Alright, Rey, help him drag Aiden up the steps into the second bedroom. The windows are boarded up, so there’s no way he can get away.”

“What’s the plan?” Rey wonders out loud, putting Aiden’s arm around his shoulder.

“We’ll all take turns watching him. He needs to dry out and work out his issues.” Dakota explains, holding the dated heavy wooden door open.

They place Aiden softly on his back as the three of them gather in the second story hallway. Aiden groans while he rolls over on the bed.

A few seconds later, Dakota’s bedroom door creeks open.

“Hey babe, everything okay?” Heather asks her in robe.

“Yeah, just trying to figure out how we can keep an eye on Aiden throughout the week.”

She wraps her arms around his waist and peeks into the room, “That’s Aiden? What has he done to himself?” She asks with a look of disgust in her eyes.

“He’s let himself go. We’ve never seen him with long hair, much less a beard. He’s become a drunk, so now he’s going to spend some time here to dry out.” Rey explains their idea.

Without missing a beat, Heather offers to help.

“I can cover until you get home. Since I work nights, I can help out.”

Stunned, Dakota’s head jerks slightly, “Really?”

“Yeah, he’s a great guy regardless of what Cindy wanted from him. He deserves to get help. Plus, I cook better than you do, babe.”

Eddie and Rey can’t help but laugh.

“Alright, I’ll get his phone and call Kenny. I’ll make sure he gets the week off. He isn’t leaving this room y’all. Unless it’s to hit the head and shower.” Dakota explains away from Heather’s grip to retrieve Aiden’s phone.

“I’ll go get him some clothes and start fixing things around his house,” Eddie says, walking away from the group.

“I’ll hit up the evenings and check in on him.” Rey offers, shoving off the door frame.

“Cool guys, see y’all then,” Dakota says, flipping through Aiden’s contacts.

Dakota highlights Kenny’s name and waits, “Hey Aiden, what’s up?”

Dakota listens with the phone to his ear, “Hey, it’s Dakota. I’m calling for Aiden. He’s, uh, kind of under the weather right now. Anyway, could he use some of his vacation time this week to recuperate?”

“Yeah absolutely, tell him I hope he gets back on his feet fast. He’s worked without taking time off. I can put it in right here on my laptop, and it won’t count against him.”

Dakota is delighted that Aiden’s job isn’t in jeopardy. He shuts his eyes, dipping his head in relief.

“Thanks, Kenny. Hey, let’s hit up the old pool hall some time. I owe you an ass whooping soon.”

“Cool, Dakota, keep in touch, guy. Tell your folks I say hey and take care. I’ll see Aiden when he gets back, bye.”

Closing the bedroom door, Dakota turns to see Heather still standing there.

“He good?”

“Yeah, he’s covered. Go on back to bed to rest, baby. I got this for now.” Dakota leans in to kiss Heather on the forehead.

“Alright, love you big sexy.”

“Love you too, baby.” Dakota winks, then head towards the steps going down to the living room to watch TV for a little while.

A few hours later, Eddie returns out to the farmhouse. When he walks inside, he listens as Aiden screams.

“Shut up! I’m perfectly fine; let me go! I can control my drinking, you pieces of shit! It’s not me; it’s all Ally’s fault… You can’t hold me here, you bastards!”

Up the steps, Eddie slides to a stop by the door to see Dakota and Heather holding Aiden down.

“What’s happened?” Eddie calls out, dropping the bag to get a grip on Aiden’s legs.

“Thank God, he’s slowly coming out of his haze. Goddamn, he’s strong for a drunk.” Dakota says as they struggle to hold him down.

“I’m going to fuck you all up! Let me go and fight like a man, you little bitches!” Aiden threatens, struggling to get free.

“Let him go. I got this.” Eddie mentions releasing Aiden’s legs after Dakota and Heather step back.

Hitting the floor, Aiden charges Eddie to tackle him to the floor, “Not today Cuz…”

Eddie bends over and picks up Aiden by his waist, twisting his body over, then slams his best friend on the floor with force.

“Ugh,” Aiden moans when his head hits the floor.

“Try that again and see what happens.” Eddie threatens, placing one hand on Aiden’s chest with the other drawn back, ready to strike.

Aiden’s eyes roll in the back of his head, and his sweaty body is motionless.

“Dakota, help me get him back in bed. Get his arms, and I’ll get his feet.” Eddie orders.

Together they pick Aiden up and place his limp body on the bed, “Thanks, he’s already going through a hell of a cold sweat.” Eddie says.

“That’s good. Let him sweat it out. Next, he’ll start shaking soon with a headache.” Dakota explains knowing the signs of alcohol withdrawal.

“He gonna be like that all week?” Heather wonders, rubbing her wrist.

“Nah, just the first day or two. He’s going to get weak soon, trust me, been through this already with my stepdad.” Dakota reveals feeling his heartbreak over how long they allowed this to go on.

Leaving the room, Heather goes back to her and Dakota’s bedroom.

“It’s gonna be a rough day,” Dakota admits heading for the door.

“Bring it, he needs to dry out, and this way, he ain’t gotta have a record of it. I know it’s not right, but at the same time, he’s our boy. We’ve all been friends since what fifth grade or something like that.” Eddie says with quick flashes of the past.

“Yeah, something like that for real.”

The two of them head back downstairs for a little while to relax with some music and small talk.

An hour goes by before Aiden wakes up again. Unlike before, his head pounds with his vision blurred.

“Ah fuck me…” He groans, holding his head, and sits up slowly.

He begins to feel cold when the tremors begin, “It’s freezing in here.” He says low in a low tone pulling the covers over himself.

Eddie and Dakota overhear movement from the ground floor and return upstairs.

Gently pushing the door open, they stand there seeing Aiden’s body shake from head to toe.

“Hey, Aiden, you feeling okay?” Eddie asks.

“I’m freezing bub, what the fuck is going on? Where am I? How did I get here?”

“You’re at my house, Eddie seen you go overboard this morning. You’re here now to dry out. You’ve done a number on yourself. From drinking to pushing Ally away to blacking out and even forgetting our songs.” Dakota says to bring Aiden up to speed.

Aiden processes everything and clenches his eyes shut, “I barely remember anything since the party.”

“Don’t kill the messenger, but you might’ve cost your chance with Ally. You treated her like your personal ho.” Eddie reveals with a frown on his face.

“Oh God no, Ally, oh God…” Aiden lets out as his mind returns to the first time he saw her.

Tears begin to collect in his eyes as he tries to collect himself to stop shaking.

“Hey, it’s cool. Relax, you’re staying here this…”

Aiden cuts Dakota off, reaching out, “Bucket, I need a bucket now!”

His chest begins to heave as Dakota runs down to the bathroom in a hurry to get a trash can.

“Here!” Dakota says and places it under Aiden’s chin in the nick of time as he begins to vomit.

Aiden heaves so loud it brings Heather from her deep sleep. Listening to the sounds of someone being sick, she gets up, wrapping her robe around her body once more. Heather runs out and over to the spare bedroom to see Aiden rest between heaves.

“Is he okay?” She asks, holding her hand over her mouth about to puke herself.

“Yeah, just walk away, babe. He’s going to be fine just need to get it out of his system.” Dakota tells her to take her back to bed.

Aiden sits there breathing heavily.

“I’ll go empty this out and put a bag in it for next time,” Eddie suggests as Aiden waves a signal of understanding.

Heather coughs as she stretches out on the bed again. She keeps her hand hovered over her mouth.

“Just relax. Here’s your trashcan in case you need to throw up.” Dakota says softly, rubbing her head.

“Thanks,” she replies as her stomach turns.

“Just go, I’ll be fine in a minute,” Heather tells him before rolling over.

“Alright, love you.”

Dakota returns to the bedroom, where Aiden sits there with his arms around his legs, “I need to call her. I need to talk to Ally.” He mumbles repeatedly.

“I’ll talk to her for you, Cuz,” Dakota tells him to ease his mind, “Focus on yourself.”

Breathing heavily, Aiden tries to collect his mind on sobering up.

“After this is done, no more drinking, I’m done,” Aiden promises.

A couple of days go by as Aiden goes through hell. From nonstop shakes and cold sweats to waking up to puke in the trashcan. Heather, Dakota, and Rey take turns helping him.

Rey’s the most significant help to Aiden, having him walk downstairs to get some fresh air outside, “I got ya, Aiden,” he helps with Aiden’s balance.

“Damn man, I feel pathetic, needing help like this. Guess it’s time for a change, huh?” Aiden states reaching for the rail.

“Yeah, just take it literally one step at a time. Get your strength back. I’ll help you pick up the pieces.”

It isn’t long before Rey assists Aiden back to the bedroom. That’s when Aiden lies down to collect his strength.

When Saturday rolls around, Aiden can somewhat function on his own. That morning he wakes up and silently rolls out of bed to head down to the garage, where he begins playing on the keyboard. Once his mind clears more, his legs no longer feel like rubber bands as most of his strength slowly returns.

Two hours fly by without realizing Dakota had stood quietly listening to his best friend play like he used to before drinking controlled Aiden’s life.

“That sounds like the Aiden Hart I remember.” He finally says, scaring Aiden half to death.

“Oh! Hey, thanks, man, and thank you for helping me out. I owe you all my life.” Aiden breaks down, grateful for their time.

“You’re my brother; I wasn’t about to let you go down without a fighting chance.”

Aiden walks over, embracing Dakota in a tight hug, “I still owe you my life.”

“Tell you what, never drink again and agree to one thing other than that for me, and we’ll call it even.”

“Name it; I owe it all of you to repay this debt.”

Dakota rests his hands on Aiden’s shoulders to reveal the biggest news of the week.

“Be my child’s godfather.”

With his jaw wide open, Aiden’s eyes grow wide and brighter than ever, “Right on, I accept, congratulations daddy!”

They stand there grinning ear to ear as the day gives birth to a whole new era in their lives. Once where Aiden can see and think with a clear conscience once more.

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