It was like a disease, these feelings. Alex’s way of thinking had spread. I was starting to see the world differently. I was always waiting for the sun to set. My eyes were always searching for him. I knew that I’d only find him in my art class, but I wanted to see him everywhere. Whenever I came across the color orange, I’d think of him. I didn’t know if it was because I had such a terrible day at home. My dad took away my music… I needed someone.
Today was especially lonely because Jesse was out sick and Daisy was working at the diner. My dad had completely stopped talking to me after that night. Maybe it was wrong to keep a little piece of my past. I knew that deep inside me, I should’ve fought for it. I should’ve kept my dreams going, but it was impossible. I had to choose from being with people that loved me or lose everything and follow my dreams. I only had a small percentage of ever becoming a singer. Only the best became famous. Being famous meant losing my parent’s trust. I was afraid…
As soon as the bell rang, I went to the field with weeds covering the grass. The skies were grey and it looked like it was going to rain. It made my mood even worse knowing that the sky matched my thoughts. I pulled out the small ripped notebook from my pocket and let a tear fall down my cheeks. I laid on the grass hoping that the earth would soak up all of my sadness. Why is it that life won’t go my way?
I thought, what would Alex do in this situation? I tried to think of all of the possibilities. One, he would ignore my dad. Two, he would fight with him. Three, he would let it happen. Alex would definitely not do number three. Alex wouldn’t really care about other people. That’s the way he is. He does whatever he wants to do. If he wants to talk to me, he will. If he wants to ditch, he will. He’s not like me. He can do all those things, but I’m a coward. I fall behind the eyes of people that don’t matter.
I sang one of my songs under my breath, hoping that no one would walk by and listen to me singing. I let the notebook lay beside me. I was going to throw it away like I did to myself. I was going to throw away who I was and I was going to live life being what my dad wanted me to be. Maybe that’s how life wants it to be. I picked myself up from the ground and walked ahead. I left that notebook on the floor - I didn’t need it anymore.
My dad finally decided to talk to me after a whole day. I was called into the living room. My mom sat next to him with her face unchanged. She didn’t look upset neither did she look happy. She was always like that; she didn’t care about me. It was like the business world sucked out all of her emotions. I didn’t even know if any of them really cared for me. My dad had a coffee mug in his hands and a laptop open. As I entered the living room, he set his coffee mug on the table.
“Kaylee, do you know why I called you into the living room?”
I nodded, “Yeah. It’s because of my mistakes.”
“If you promise to never do that again, I will let you off with just a warning. Do you understand? If you do it again, I will have no choice but to send you to military school. I won’t allow you to misbehave.” Without saying a word, I just continued to nod my head.
“Do you promise?”
“Yes.” My lips quivered and my eyes hurt from trying to hold back the tears. He didn’t even realize how much it hurt me to say that one word.
“That’s my girl. Now go to your room and study.” I rushed to my room so that he wouldn’t hear the sobs that threatened to come out. I didn’t want them to know that I was crying. It wouldn’t help me if they knew I was. It would only backfire. My tears never solved anything when it came to my parents. They could care less. My heart felt like it was being crushed slowly. I needed to get away...
It was 10pm and the rain was falling heavily. I sent Jesse a text message: Me: Jesse? I really need to get away from home. Could I come over to your place?
Jesse: What happened?
Me: Nothing… It was just my parents. I got in trouble with something.
Jesse: Do you want to come over now?
Jesse: To be honest with you, I’d love for you to come over, but I don’t think it’s a great time.
Jesse: I lied and I’m not really sick.
Me: What does that have to do with me coming over?
Jesse: I can’t tell you. Could you just trust me on this?
Me: Okay. Just promise me that you’ll tell me soon?
Jesse: Promise. See you at school tomorrow.
I didn’t know what Jesse was up to at all. She was acting suspicious. What was up with her? I couldn’t go over to Daisy’s because her grandma wouldn’t approve of me coming over so late. The last place I could think of was ‘Beatz’. I was sure that it was closed, but he told me that he was always there.
I opened the window in my room and climbed out. There was a tree right next to my window. I held onto the branches and hoped that I wouldn’t fall. The wind was strong and I could feel the branches slapping against my arms. I wasn’t so great at climbing trees, but I knew how to. It was dark and so I didn’t know where to step. I had to feel around to get down.
After getting to the ground, I put my hood up so that the rain wouldn’t completely drench me. It didn’t help at all. It was raining so much that there were puddles of water everywhere. My socks were soaked and my hair came down like a mop. I walked over to the abandoned mall – there was no one there. It looked scarier at night. The coffee shop that was always bustling with people was now empty. I headed over to ‘Beatz’ and saw that there were lights on inside.
I banged on the door hoping that someone was inside. Deep inside I was hoping that he wouldn’t answer. I was being way too impulsive. Why did I come here tonight? Did I hope that Alex would help me out? Would he? Alex came to the door with a beanie over his dark hair. His hoodie clung to his shoulders and his silver chain necklace shined brighter in the dim light. He unlocked the door and let me in.
He looked worried, “Hey… What brings you here so late? In this weather?”
“Sorry, I must’ve lost track of the time.” He lifted an eyebrow indicating that my excuse didn’t clarify enough.
“I just needed to get away from home.” After my response, he didn’t bother to ask me for more questions. It was like he knew how I felt. He led me inside and out of the pouring rain.
“You’re soaked! Do you need a towel?”
I followed him into the back where there was a room. It looked like it was his room. There was a bed and a table next to it. His clothes were all around the room and it smelled like his cologne. He quickly shoved all of his clothes in the corner.
He nervously laughed, “Sorry. I wasn’t expecting anyone.” I didn’t think I’d see this part of him - he was embarrassed. He handed me a towel that was folded up on top of the table.
“Here.” I took it and began wiping my hair. He awkwardly watched me while I dried myself.
“Do you live here?”
He looked around for a bit and answered, “Uh… yeah. Kind of embarrassing having to tell you that I live here. I never really told anyone except Danny. He was the guy that was working here that time.” Alex didn’t have any parents? Why did he live here? Wasn’t this a shop? I had so many questions, but I decided to keep it to myself. I didn’t want to push my questions on him. He didn’t ask me about what happened at home. He was being nice.
“That sounds cool.” As I looked around the room, I saw guitars hung up on the walls with posters of bands. I didn’t know all of the bands, but they seemed familiar.
He pointed at the posters, “Do you know any of them?”
“I don’t really know all of them. Just few, like between the trees and this providence.”
“Let’s listen to some of them. If you liked this providence, you’ll like practically all the songs I listen to.” I wanted to listen to those songs, but I wanted to hear him play more.
“I would love to, but I kind of want to hear you play your music.”
He scratched his neck, “Are you sure? Don’t be upset if I suck!”
I laughed, “You’ll be great!”
He got his acoustic guitar and put the straps over his shoulders. He cleared his throat and I was starting to get curious. His voice was soft and melodic so it had to be great. He positioned the guitar in front and began strumming chords. The chords flowed perfectly together. It was unbelievable that he wrote something this beautiful. The voice that poured out of him was incredible. I was right. His voice wasn’t the only thing that was amazing – it was the lyrics. I could feel the emotions come out from the way he sang it. The lyrics had a story to it and I visualized Alex as the one going through all the suffering. It almost brought a tear to my eyes. It was obvious that he wrote his song from experience.
Mine wasn’t like that. I didn’t write anything from the heart. Alex wrote his music for himself and the difference between him and me was that I wrote music for others. I wrote it so that other people could enjoy the music. There was no emotion in it at all – it was materialistic. He wrote from the heart and that was what I was missing. That’s what was wrong with me. I couldn’t choose for myself. I always let other people step all over me. I never really stood up for my opinions. I didn’t feel the need to.
“Alex, that was amazing! Have you ever played it for anyone else?”
He nodded, “Yeah, I’ve played on the streets. That’s how I get extra cash.”
“You’re really talented. What’s it called?”
“I don’t know. I never thought of the title.”
I suggested, “How about ‘My story’? It felt like a story that someone would tell.”
“Huh? I never thought of that. I’ll think about it.”
“So how did you even come to playing the guitar?”
He hesitated to answer like he didn’t want to reveal too much, “I was in the orphanage when I first came across playing guitar. I found it on the streets one day and I brought it back. I learned by myself.” So he was in the orphanage.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t want to ask you something personal.”
He shook his head, “No, it’s okay. I guess that’s one reason why I live here and not somewhere else. I just turned 18, so I was given the right to live on my own.”
“Do you like it here?”
He grinned, “Of course. I love the people here. Danny’s dad owns this place and he let me stay here.”
“Is that why you know a lot of bands? I didn’t even know ‘this providence’ existed.”
“I was randomly listening to all the songs on the rack and I found them. They’re great!” I took my questions a bit too far. It took me towards the wrong direction.
“What happened to your parents?” His smile turned into something else. His face was unreadable – I couldn’t tell what he was thinking.
“My dad passed away and my mom couldn’t take care of me on her own. She gave me up for adoption. It’s as simple as that – she didn’t want me.” I saw the sadness in his eyes. He was willing to tell me what happened to him even though I was closed to being a stranger.
He asked, “Why did you come here today?”
He deserved an answer and so I told him, “Have you ever had something that you were passionate about? I did…”
I corrected myself, “I do. I decided that today was going to be my last day thinking about it. I would never let myself go against my dad.”
He didn’t say anything – he was thinking about what I said.
After a while he answered, “I’ve never had a parental figure so I don’t know if my answer is the right one. I hope it helps. I would say that you shouldn’t let go of something that you’re passionate about. You should hold onto it because that’s who you are. If you let it go, you’ll lose yourself. After listening to your parents do you think you’ll be happy?” He was right, I wouldn’t be happy and I’m not now.
He continued, “The only thing stopping you from fighting back is probably fear. Isn’t it? It has to be. If I were you, I’d be afraid of losing them. That’s how I felt before my mom threw me away.” I felt the conversation shift to him. He wasn’t talking about me anymore – he was talking about himself. He probably went through all of this sometime. I didn’t know the story, but I could see it in him. It looked like tears would fall from his eyes, but it didn’t. It was like his tears were dried up from crying so much. I wanted to hold him in my arms. It wasn’t just pity, it was because I understood him.
He looked up and gave me the saddest expression I had ever seen. I didn’t realize that I was crying until he wiped my tears.
“Why are you crying?”
I looked down, “I don’t know why.” He pulled me into his arms and I smelt his cologne. His hands gently tapped my back and I sobbed into his shirt. I didn’t know how long I was crying, but it felt like forever. My eyes burned from the tears that were dried up. I felt myself drift to sleep.
The next day, I saw Alex sleeping next to me. With his eyes closed, he looked calm and sincere. His dark hair fell over his face and his lips were slightly open - he was beautiful. Ever since that day, I saw him differently. The way he explained the world was so different – so breathtaking. Crap… I was falling for him. My hands moved to his face. I tucked his hair over his ears. Without realizing it, my hands remained there for a bit too long. He gripped unto my hand and his eyes opened.
“What are you doing?” I didn’t reply.
“Do you like me?”
My cheeks burned red and my pulse quickened. I tried to take my hands out from his, but he held on tighter.
“Tell me.” I thought I saw a glimpse of admiration. Did he feel the same way?
“What if I do?” I didn’t know how those words came out. I never had this kind of courage. As soon as I said that, I knew I was wrong - it wasn’t admiration it was something else. Maybe he was good at hiding how he felt or I was mistaking everything.
His response gave me the answer, “Nothing… Nothing would happen. I think you got everything wrong. I’m just being nice to you because you looked lonely. I thought you were a loner.” He let go of my hands and got up from the bed.
“What do you mean?”
He didn’t look back at me, but he responded, “I’m sorry Kaylee. I didn’t mean to lead you on. Now you know, I’m just a bad kid and no one wants to be around someone like me. So do me a favor, and stay away from me. I will only cause you pain.” I felt the words stab into me.
“I shouldn’t have come here. I’m sorry…” I picked myself off the bed and walked out the door. What made him say that? So I was just being stupid, liking him when I should’ve known that no one would like me. I’m a coward and I’m not even that beautiful compared to other girls.
This chapter is longer:) I’m sorry if there are any mistakes in my writing. Sometimes I don’t edit:( Don’t forget to write me comments!! I’ll keep you guys updated~