Hey, there! Sorry it's been a long time since I've stopped by to read and review. Let's get right back into it, shall we?
Aww... I feel so bad for Albus at the start of the chapter. Sometimes -- especially when somebody is attracted to their single best friend -- it takes something as major as seeing them with another person to bring things into focus. It seems like it's all hitting Albus like a ton of bricks at the moment. He finally has to start to come to grips with his feelings for Alexa. As much as he wants to make this about their baby, it seems pretty apparent that there's more to it than that.
Lexi could be here, sitting with me and Chris and listening to all the reasons why she should cancel... Well, all the reasons that don't mention my feelings as any more than platonic. There are actually quite a few of them, so Lexi won't get suspicious. - Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy all the little flashes of "Al Logic" that you sprinkle around in the story. If not, I've been sadly remiss. I love Al Logic. It's like real logic, except it only makes sense if you're Al.
Usually, I love the dress. Her father disapproves. On both counts, now I know why. - Brilliant!
You did a fantastic job, I thought, of capturing the emotionally tumultuous experience of a young woman trying to decide whether she looks "just right" to go out. From what I recall -- I used to know a number of young women, back when I was a young man -- it's a very long, complicated, emotionally draining process. So I think you got it just right.
OK, one more and I hope I'm done throwing awesome quotes from this chapter back at you:
"Us either," I say after confirming with Chris. "But I think you should tell him. He might take it well."
Please don't take it well...
I'm a horrible person.
Oh, don't be so hard on yourself, Al. You're not horrible, you just need to buck up and seize the initiative here. Obviously, that isn't going to happen anytime soon, though.
I love the banter between Lexi and Xavier, especially all of Al's little interjections as he tries to get Xavier to stop encouraging her. Xavier is kind of hard for me to describe. He's obviously a bit high on himself, but in a down-to-earth sort of way, if that makes any sense at all. If it doesn't, well, it doesn't make much sense to me either, to be honest about it. I guess he just seems very approachable for a guy who's hot and knows it.
Wow. Xavier's revelation is pretty heavy. I guess he's not just another pretty face.
I love how perceptive Al's friends are. They have him figured out so much better than he understands himself. Chris seems to be able to pinpoint the time when Al fell for Lexi almost down to the minute. Xavier, in spite of being a gay man who got to know Al through the mail, can see right through his denials. Poor Al is bringing up the bottom of the bell curve on emotional sensitivity here. He has this hopelessly romanticized view of love that doesn't even allow for the possibility that he could be in love with Alexa without being hopelessly, breathlessly, head-over-hells smitten with her. Not that he's all that far from those things, mind you...
Yikes! The big twist at the end of the chapter definitely puts a different spin on Xavier's situation. He seems like the sort who'll be pleased to find out that he has a son, but also very upset that this has been kept from him. Very curious to see how this plays out...
I'm sorry that this review wound up being more of a rambling reaction than a constructive analysis. Honestly, I can't think of anything that you could improve upon very much. All of your characters are starting to intertwine and I see some plot lines coming together here. Things should get very interesting soon...