Chapter 37 : Conversation
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I was running carefreely, late to a meeting with Tyler. He’d asked me to meet him in an old abandoned classroom and I was more than happy to oblige, wondering what he had up his sleeve. Maybe a late night make out session? I slowed to a skip as I reached classroom 1123, hearing voices just beyond the door.
“See it’s already 8, Alix’s curfew is 10.” It was Tyler’s voice. Who was he talking in hushed whispers to about me?
“Tyler?” I called, slowly pushing the door open after knocking softly. I felt my jaw drop and my eyes sting as I came face to face with Muffy Parkinson kissing my boyfriend squarely on the lips. His hands were holding onto her upper arms tightly, her fingers wound into his hair. I gasped, the note Tyler had sent me earlier in the day hitting the floor. “How could you Tyler?” I whispered, hearing my voice break.
Tyler and Muffy pulled away and Muffy giggled, wiping her mouth. “How could I what Alix? Love someone other than you? Easily. I never loved you in the first place, after all.” Tyler swung his arm over Muffy’s shoulders. “I’m just glad it’s finally out in the open. Merlin knows I didn’t want to keep having to sleep with you, much less pretend I enjoyed it.”
I felt tears start to rush down my cheeks as Tyler smirked and turned to Muffy, kissing her again. “Tyler!” I screamed, running to him, pulling at his arms. He didn’t budge. “Tyler, please! Don’t do this, Tyler! Please!” My fists started hitting his back before I knew what I was doing, pounding away at it, praying he’d pry himself off of my ex-best friend.
“Alix! Alix! Dammit, Alixzandra, wake up!” Tyler was yelling, shaking me. I gasped loudly, sitting up in bed. My hands rushed to my face. It was wet with tears and sweat. I started trying to control my breathing as best as I could.
“Just a dream.” I heard myself whispering. “It was only a dream.”
“Alix, are you okay?” Tyler asked, sitting up behind me.
“Yeah. Fine. Sorry to wake you. It was just a nightmare.”
“Since when do you have your nightmares again?” He asked, concern leaking into his voice. I laughed inside. If only he knew that I’d had them every night since the night he’d walked out on me.
“First one.” I lied. “I’m sorry for waking you, really. I’m going to go down and make some tea. You go back to bed.”
I threw the blankets off of my legs, pushing my feet into my slippers. “Alix…” Tyler started. I turned to look at him over my shoulder. He sighed. “Nevermind.” I stood, grabbing my robe off of the rocking chair near my bed. It’d been added so that I could rock Mackenzie to sleep when I needed to, but I hadn’t used it yet. As silently as I could, I tiptoed down the stairs and into the kitchen, flipping on the light switch and reaching for the tea kettle. I turned on the tap and filled the kettle with water, walking it over to the stove and sitting it atop a burner. Sitting at the bar, I placed my head in my hands again.
“You alright Princess?” I jumped at my father’s voice, looking up. He’d just made his way into the kitchen.
“I’m sorry if I woke you. I tried being quiet.”
“You didn’t. I’m having a rough time going to sleep tonight. I just got Aiden and Selena to go to sleep again. Why are you awake?”
I sighed. “Nightmare.” He sat down next to me at the bar and I leaned over to rest my head on his shoulders. “How did I screw everything up so royally Daddy?”
He chuckled. “That’s an age old question with no answer, I’m afraid. You haven’t screwed everything up, though. So what if you and Tyler are separated? You’ll be back together soon. And so what if you did have a child at such a young age? I would never recommend it and I wish Mackenzie’d come a lot later in our lives, but I can’t say you haven’t succeeded excellently with her. You and Tyler are young. You’re going to make mistakes, and scream at each other, and break each other’s hearts at least a thousand more times before you’re on your deathbeds. You put two people with tempers as bad as a dragon in a house together and who wouldn’t?” A tear slipped down my cheek and I halfway wondered how he knew what to say. “Do you want a divorce?”
I sat up straight. “No!” I sobbed. “I don’t. I want Tyler back with me more than anything in this world, but that doesn’t seem to be what he wants. I just… I don’t know what to do Daddy. It’s not like it’s a year ago when we could just break up and go our separate ways, see other people. There’s a baby and an oath by law involved now. I don’t want Mackenzie to grow up without a father. It’s horrible.”
Daddy flinched and I realized what I’d said. “No offense.”
“It’s in the past.” He replied simply. “Do you want my advice?” I nodded. “Confront him. Tell him how you’re feeling. Don’t guilt him. Don’t beg him. Tell him where you stand, that you want him back but if he doesn’t feel the same way then you guys need to look at filling out paperwork to make it permanent. It’s gonna hurt, Alix. It’s gonna kill you inside, but you need to know so that you can move on with your life if he chooses not to be in it any longer. Doing so won’t leave Mackenzie without her father. Tyler’s too noble and moral for that. He’ll always be around. You’ll always have to deal with him, trading off weekends. But it’d be better for Mackenzie, if she couldn’t have her parents as a united front, to have them separately than to have them at each other’s throats all the time.” The kettle started whistling and I stood, taking it off of the burner and preparing two cups of tea. “I know it’s hard Princess, but being in love is rarely easy.”
I scoffed. “Understatement.” I drank my tea slowly.
Daddy stood and pulled me into his arms, kissing the top of my head and then resting his chin atop it. “I’m off to bed, Princess. Come wake me if you need me.” I nodded against his chest and he stroked my hair a few more times before holding me out at arm’s length. “You’re strong. You will jump over any obstacle life throws at you.” I nodded and he kissing my forehead before turning and walking back upstairs, leaving his mug on top of the bar as he went.
I followed suit, turning out the light and making my way upstairs as well, crossing the hallway into mine and Tyler’s bedroom. I sat in the rocking chair and pulled my knees up to my chest, staring at Tyler as he slept. He took up the whole bed, his arms stretching over to my side. I wondered briefly what he was dreaming of – if he was dreaming. The clock downstairs rang 4 AM and I decided, reluctantly, that I should probably get back into bed. Mackenzie would wake at 7. I walked over to the bed, picking up Tyler’s arm and carefully draping it across his chest, before making my way into the bed slowly, hoping not to wake him. Tyler moved, rolling onto his side and pulling me tightly against him unconsciously. Everything that I’d worked so hard for months to keep inside came out as if the dam had been broken. Sobs racked my body and I did my best to keep them quiet, shoving my face into the pillow. Tomorrow, I would confront Tyler. I had to. For me, for Mackenzie and for Tyler.
Nobody said it was easy.
It’s such a shame for us to part.
Nobody said it was easy.
No one ever said it would be this hard. – Coldplay, “The Scientist.”
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