The whole day I couldn’t get Alex off my mind. He was plaguing my thoughts when I had breakfast with my dads. He was still on my mind while I played around at home in the kitchen working on a new recipe with my dad’s permission. And he was still on my mind when I got ready to go to the reunion.
And you’d think the color of my shirt was meant to be I sighed as I donned the ice blue shirt that reminded me Alex’s eyes. I hated our interactions so far. They sucked. I missed my friend, and I’d spent all afternoon after my experiment in the kitchen reading old letters I’d written him. The ones that came back the first few times. I’d written him for years after that too. Though I never mailed them. They just sat in a box until one day I stopped writing him altogether.
So when it came time to go to the reunion the whole outfit played to my mood. I had missed Alex and he was a phone call away. But I never called. And I went to the school reunion alone. Sage and Jace found me almost right away. We talked, caught up a little before their wives were dragging them towards Mia’s friends.
There was no one I really wanted to talk to but I found myself drifting towards the bar. I knew he’d be there. And I hadn’t been wrong. He and Max stood gawking at their girlfriends who were practically making out on the dance floor. Embarrassing, but neither of them seemed to mind. I went to get a water but Jace said what was on my mind as he stopped in front of the other two. Alex and I had met eyes and we sorta just stared until that moment. And then he was dragging me away like old times, away from the asshat that Jace could be.
Jace commented loudly as we left, “They should just get a room already.”
I rolled my eyes. Like Jace had never propositioned me in the boys bathroom. He like boys too, but he kept it a closely guarded secret. Though he tried to out me at almost every chance he got, not that it mattered I was very much into men. Boys then, but I wasn’t shy about it either. The girls I dated knew it.
Alex sighed, “He’s always such an asshole.”
“He hasn’t changed I’m told, but he wasn’t wrong.”
Alex laughed, “About what? Getting a room?”
I grinned, “That too, but about your girlfriend.”
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t the first time we’ve had a girl come home with us.”
“She lives with you?” I asked cautiously.
Alex shook his head, “Fuck no. By home I meant her place, mine isn’t big enough to house a threesome.”
“Sounds like a life of debauchery and adventure.”
“As if you didn’t do all that when in Europe.”
I shrugged, “I didn’t. I don’t do it now.”
“Tell me you didn’t sleep with a new girl in every town.”
I laughed, “I did not. I was too tired when my classes were over. And my free time I spent learning from the locals.”
“It wasn’t. I learned French got to speak Italian and Spanish and I even learned some Portuguese and Dutch, but not enough to speak fluently.”
“So in Amsterdam you didn’t do anything I would have.”
I laughed, “No, I had a few beers while I was there, but that was the extent of my parties. You know it was never my thing. It was your thing.”
Alex grinned, “But you never said no.”
“Just like when I asked you to try something you never said no.”
“Have you tasted your cooking?”
I nodded, “I have, don’t you remember the time I almost killed you.”
“How the fuck were we supposed to know I was allergic to honey at that level?” Alex laughed. “Thank the fuck I had the epipen for just in case a bee stung me that summer.”
“Or what about the time you said the ‘cajun’ fish was good when all it was was charcoal.”
“It was good.” Alex laughed, “For charcoal.”
I rolled my eyes. “You always did like adventure. You definitely made the better choice not becoming a lawyer, all they do is work.”
Alex’s eyes frowned, “Mr. D always made time for you.”
I nodded, “My father always does, he’s great. Sean doesn’t. I told him about the reunion two months ago, and three days ago he and his partner in the firm are going to Florida for some symposium on some new law they are passing which I’m pretty sure is just camouflage for their fucking. But since both of them are in the closet you can’t really know for sure.”
“Why do you stay with him?”
I shrugged, “Like I said earlier, it’s easier than being alone.”
Alex had walked us out to the back of the gym overlooking the ball fields. We’d spent many a football Friday night leaning over these gates watching the crowd from the distance. Tonight the field was empty and the lights were off, the seam of light from the door behind us was the only illumination. We both leaned our forearms on the gate and looked out like we used to.
“Did you ever think about what if you’d kissed me earlier?” I asked randomly.
“You mean if I’d confessed my feelings before running away?” Alex laughed, “It would have resulted in the same thing – me leaving.”
I turned to Alex and frowned, “Why? You think I didn’t feel the same?”
Alex shook his head, “Nah, I was scared that you’d expect too much from me. Like you did of yourself. I was only ever going to disappoint you.”
“Highly unlikely, but I guess we’ll never know.”
My phone rang and I picked it up without looking. “I can’t cover for you I’m back home.” I growled.
Ryan laughed, “Yeah I know, I just wanted to show you something. Check your texts.”
I did and in there was a dark picture of two men entwined in an alley. The tattoo chain across the back of the man’s back told me exactly who it was. I put the phone back up to my ear, “You think I didn’t know?”
“No but it’s proof, you can dump his ass for good this time.”
I sighed, “Who’s he with? He’s supposed to be in Florida.”
“It’s not Johnny, Johnny went to a symposium. His wife went with him.”
I laughed, “I guess that’s why Sean is fucking some guy in the back of the restaurant.”
“Do you want me to find out?”
I shook my head, “Doesn’t matter. Thanks.” I hung up the phone and frowned, “Sorry about that.”
“You’re boy cheating on you?”
I turned to show Alex the dark picture and he laughed, “I know that tattoo. He gets a new link for every guy he gets away with cheating on his boyfriend with.”
“He’s never actually gotten away with any of them. I usually find some other excuse to tell him to fuck himself.”
Alex snatched my phone from me and started flipping through my contacts. It wasn’t hard to figure out he was looking for Sean’s number. And when he found it he pasted the picture of him fucking some random guy. “It’s over.” Said the message.
He handed me the phone and I frowned, “Thanks but I could have done that.”
“Would you have?”
I shrugged, “I don’t really care.”
“Now you just need to find someone else.”