Something was wrong. Cayden’s never been messy. Well, he’s always lived in mess but it’s an ordered mess. You learn where everything is if you spend enough time in it. I tiptoed into his apartment, not realizing I’d been holding my breath til I choked out a lungful of carbon dioxide. Maxxie switched a light on so he could see where he was going and I took in the state of the living room. There were dirty clothes piled around the room, mixed in with empty bottles and boxes. I glanced at the kitchen, which was still spotless. I don’t think he’d even been in there.
Maxxie frowned and looked in the bedroom. I followed him and saw Cayden wrapped up in his comforter and staring at something. I peeked a little further in and saw it was a goldfish. Since when did he have a goldfish? Maxxie glanced at the goldfish and seemed to recognise it. Guess he must’ve been a present.
"Cay?" Maxxie asked softly.
Cayden just kept watching this goldfish.
Maxxie hesitated before going to sit with him. "Cayden"
He didn’t take his eyes off the fish. "Hmm?"
"What's going on?"
"Nothing's going on"
"Dude, your apartment's a total mess and you're sitting staring at Gary like he's about to die any second. What's wrong?"
He smiled a little. "Just making sure he doesn't leave"
"He's not gonna leave... he's in a tank. And hasn't got any means of leaving"
"I know. Just making sure"
Maxxie frowned and I shuffled a little further into the room. Y’never know, if I look through some stuff I might find something useful. Or at least distract Cayden from ‘Gary’. He smiled at the fish and Maxxie frowned some more, hugging him.
Cayden’s smile fell. "Gary doesn't give hugs"
Maxxie sighed slightly. "That's because he's a fish. You can't stay in here with him forever, y'know"
He pushed back Cayden’s hair, which was getting kind of long for him, and tried to get him to look at him. "Cayden, look at me. This isn't healthy. What's wrong?"
I started looking through is stuff, finding more empty bottles. Actually, all I seemed to be able to find were empty bottles. Empty beer bottles, vodka bottles, thankfully there were some water bottles in there as well.
"Nothing's wrong. I just don't want Gary to leave"
"Something's wrong" Maxxie bit his lip, "did something happen while I was away?"
Cayden shook his head and smiled. "Everything's fine, dollface"
Maxxie looked around, quite obviously not believing him and thought for a moment. "You were all quiet for the last few weeks in hospital..." he frowned. "What happened when you were in hospital?"
Cayden shrugged. "I got bored. The nurses got fed up of me. Pretty much it"
I rooted through some more of his stuff and noticed one of those journals he kept reading at the hospital. Even searching through his stuff I could tell Maxxie still didn’t believe him.
Cayden kissed him on the cheek. "I'm fine, dollface"
"I want to believe you, Cay, but I'm finding that a little bit hard right now"
I opened one of the journals, seeing unfamiliar handwriting dancing across the page. I’d barely had a chance to read one word before it was ripped out of my hand.
"Get off!" Cayden shouted and grabbed the other two.
Maxxie pulled him back. Cayden was practically cuddling the journals and Maxxie was no doubt starting to get really fucking concerned. I know I fucking was. Cayden went back to watching Gary and Maxxie glanced at me. He stroked Cayden’s hair and kissed his forehead.
"Okay, c'mon, Hadley" he said, walking out though I saw him head for the kitchen.
With a glance back at Cayden, I followed Maxxie to the kitchen. He shut the door behind me and bit his lip. I frowned a little.
"What're we gonna do?" he asked quietly.
"I have no idea"
He leant back on the counter, trying not to look worried.
"What can we do?"
He shrugged and chewed on his lip some more. "Any idea where his journal is? He might have written down what happened..."
I shook my head. "I didn't see it in there"
"I'm gonna go see if the hospital will give it to me then... What're you gonna do?"
"Stay here and clean up, I guess"
He nodded and hugged me. "I'll be back in a bit, then"
"Okay" I hugged back and before I knew it, he’d left.
I went back into the living room and looked around. Alright, where to start?