I stayed in the bathroom long enough for Alex to come to the door. “Everything alright?”
I sighed and stood up straight turning off the water and wiping my hands off on the plush white towel. I grabbed the paper towels I’d used to clean the eyeliner dredges off my face and crumpled them in my hand as I reached for the door.
Alex stood in front of the door leaning on the door frame blocking my exit. I gave him a weak smile, “You okay?” he asked.
I nodded, my ‘I’m okay’ came out weak and shy. I tried to stare into his eyes but I’d broken my own promise to myself and my gaze dropped to the ground. Alex’s fingers brushed my jaw line and he leaned forward and pressed a tender kiss to my lips. The tears started falling again as his lips touched mine and I tried not to tremble at his touch. “Fuck Nox.” His hand gripped the back of my neck and he pulled me against him.
He felt sorry for me. I pulled away from him and grabbed the plate and sat down at the table across the room by the window. Alex stood staring at me with a frown. Benji stood up abruptly. “I’m going to go. I have packing to do. I’ll see you guys in the morning.”
Benji made it to the door before turning around and looked at me as I lifted my fork to my mouth, “Don’t let him push you around.” He grinned at Alex, “And give him a break, he flew all this way for you.” And with those parting words Benji was off out the door leaving Alex and myself staring after him.
“For the record,” Alex said as he sat down across from me on the bed, “I wasn’t pitying you.” Alex jammed his fingers through his bleach blonde strands. “I don’t like seeing you hurting.” He said looking away, trying to be discrete about it all. I was frustrating him. And I never wanted to make… “Fuck, Nox stop alright. Just fucking stop. Stop bashing yourself. You… I can’t listen to it.”
I set the plate on the table and stood up, “So get out of my head.” I started to walk away but Alex was in front of me in all his icey defiance. His eyes were ablaze with anger.
“I will not. And won’t let you talk about yourself like that. No one gets to hurt you, not even you.” Alex growled at me.
“You hurt me.”
His defiance deflated and he stepped aside. “I don’t mean to.”
“Alex, this is me. I’m a fucked up mess. My life is scheduled. My food is the same, I see a therapist weekly. I talk – a lot. I am nothing but a mess and if that makes me selfish then I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’m a selfish bastard and I want to stay healthy I don’t want to feel so hurt I get drunk or high just to make it go away. I’m sorry if I don’t want to fuck a willing girl’s brains out because I can’t cope with my fucking life any other way. My schedule and my life is set up so I can be as normal as I can. So what’s in my head doesn’t fuck me up worse.”
I sank to the floor and pulled my knees up to my chest and pressed my forehead into them. I sat that way for several moments before I added, “I was willing to fight myself to be what you needed. To find me in you. To be the guy you had in those dreams. But if you stay in my head I can’t give you that allusion. I’m not happy-go-lucky. I’m not that fake smile. But fuck, if you didn’t make me really smile I’d have lost it a long time ago. I know that. I’ve seen it. I didn’t know your name, I didn’t even know what you looked like. But I knew it was you in every dream. I lived to see you another day. The boy in my dream. My best friend. The love of my fucking life. And I couldn’t even remember him.”
Even as I rambled on I was afraid of what Alex was thinking. I was being selfish. I was crying again for attention. I did this so it was all about me. When all I wanted was to be with him. I didn’t care about anything else. I just wanted Alex in my life. I didn’t care if he didn’t love me, or if he found me repulsive unworthy of love. I didn’t care. I just needed him, like I needed air to breathe.
Alex never moved from the side of the bed, he just sat and listened to me go on and on about me. I went round and round and round and Alex just sat there. When he finally moved he stepped over to the table picked up my plate and sat it down next to me, “Eat.” He said simply. I picked up the plate. I was still hungry.
Alex hadn’t waited for me to follow his instructions, he just walked away and started making his own plate and flipped on the TV as he passed it.
The remote control in his hand was pointed at the curtains and they closed slowly making the room dark. The lights came up a little and the TV started playing the opening credits of a movie.
He moved around the room slowly and poured a glass of wine and looked at me askance. I shook my head. He poured me a glass of water and set it down next to me on the floor.
I half expected Alex to sit at the table or climb in bed to eat, but instead he sat down next to me so he could see me and the TV at the same time and started eating. Nothing else was said for the next two hours.