You know, I don't really hate Tasha at all. People find themselves in bad situations. It happens. When it does, they do the best they can under the circumstances. The story holds together just fine when you tell it from her point of view. She was young and embarrassed and probably terrified of being rejected. From her standpoint, it made more sense to try to go it alone. For me, how I feel about her will depend on what she does from here on out, not what she did before.
Xavier's reaction to things seemed about right for a guy who, because of his profession, doesn't really need other people's support. At least not in the way of needing a place to sleep or something to eat. He took his time and worked through things in his own way. Not the world's most constructive way, mind you, but I guess it works for him.
The meet-up in the park was really cute and well-executed on your part. I loved the way that Ethan just buried his face in Stewart's shirt to begin with. That's the perfect reaction of a 2-year-old who senses that something big is going on, even though the adults are trying to play it down. As Ethan starts to open up, I liked the little similarities you drew out between him and Xavier. It really helped to tie the situation together.
It was nice to take a little break from Al and Lexi's story for a chapter and focus on your other characters. Even better, I think, because Xavier's situation has an obvious bearing on Al's own. It's one of those "there but for the grace of god" kind of moments for Al where he sees how differently things could have gone for him if he and Lexi hadn't chosen to stick together.
I noticed two small typos that you might want to take another look at:
"I have son," Xavier replies quietly. -- a son
It's a completely open question, anyone listening would never know what he means, but we know and we impatiently for Xavier to answer. -- we wait impatiently
Otherwise, it was very well written. Everything flowed nicely and it was a smooth, easy read.
Author's Response: Hey!!!
I'm glad you don't hate Tasha. She didn't know Xavier that well and made a choice she thought was the best at the time. She's a good person, I will say, so I hope you'll like her when she comes back. :)
He's stubborn. He needs to do things himself, no matter what. Including sorting through his own head. If that meant being alone (well, hiding at his sister's - but she would have left him alone) then he isn't going to apologize. It's just who he is. Much to Al's dismay. :P
I'm glad you liked the park scene. As I've never been in this situation before, I had a bit of a worry over whether people would like it or not or if any of it was right.
It was odd, but nice, writing about another character, even if it was still in Al's PoV. To see wants happening in the lives of others. I'm glad you liked the little break. And yes, it definitely give Al some I sight into how things could have gone. He would have hated the idea of not seeing his kid every day.
I'll go fix the typos. :)
Thank you for leaving such an amazing review!