I sat on the couch looking at pictures we’d stolen from Maxxie’s old school and the pictures of the two of us on the camera Maxxie had bought. Quite a few were blurry because I’d moved or pulled a face at the last second but he’d kept them anyway.
The reason I’m sat on the couch at 6am? I couldn’t sleep and had politely been told to “get the fuck out” by a groggy Maxxie when I’d started tossing about trying to get comfy. I’d paced around for a while but that didn’t help so I took to the couch. I could deal with and photos Alex had when we got back to Hollywood since he’d most likely still be mooching around over there, waiting for Maxxie to call him or something. But the fact that there was a slim chance his mom might still have a couple photos was weighing heavy on my mind. It was essentially a once in a lifetime opportunity. I mean, how could I be sure me and Max were gonna stick around long enough to come back here again? I sighed, switching the camera off, and went in search of a pen and some paper, quickly scrawling:
Be back later
Well, finding Maxxie’s parent’s place wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be. It was getting in that was going to be difficult; I just had to hope I’d look convincing. I sucked in a deep breath and knocked on the door to the flashy, expensive looking house.
A woman, who I could only assume was Maxxie’s mom, answered and frowned as she looked me up and down. "Hello... who're you?"
"Hi, I'm Cayden. I'm doing a project with your son and I was under the impression you'd have some photos of him" I said, biting my lip a little as my confidence seemed to drain under her stare. Maybe this wasn’t such a clever idea…
"My son...?" she asked incredulously. Jeez, I know Maxxie said they like rejected him but he didn’t say they completely forgot about his existence.
"Yeah, Max. He's helping me with me with my college course" I said, chuckling nervously as I got back to my cover story.
"He hasn't talked to us in seven years. If he wants to ask after any photos, he'll have to come and ask for them himself." She said flatly and went to shut the door.
"Wait. He... He doesn't even know I'm here" Oh, smart move, Cayden.
"Then you should tell him, shouldn't you."
"Probably. But that'd ruin the surprise"
She shook her head. "I've only got a couple of pictures of him. I'm not about to give them up to a stranger." I didn’t buy it. It just seemed like she was trying to play the caring mother.
I bit my lip again, chewing on the skin a little before speaking. "What if... What if I convinced him to come see you?"
"Like I said, he's not spoken a word to us since he was nineteen. If he wanted to see us, he would."
"Like you'd know" I mumbled, earning myself a glare.
"Don't make assumptions about people you don't know." She snapped.
"I've heard enough about you to"
"What's he said about us?" she asked sharply. Jeez, if words were knives…
"Oh, nothing much. Mainly that you completely rejected him because he's gay and destroyed any evidence that he even exists"
"It was a disappointment and a shock. I know I reacted badly, but it was his father that wanted his stuff gone." She said, clearly uncomfortable.
"How is it a disappointment?"I scoffed.
She scowled at me. Cayden, what the fuck are you doing? Angry moms are lethal weapons. "Knowing your son will be discriminated against or attacked, or run a high risk of getting HIV isn't the best feeling in the world, y'know."
"My parents got over it fine" I said flatly. A few seconds later I realised what I’d said and clapped a hand over my mouth. Shit, I hadn’t even been thinking about what I was saying and… Fuck.
Her expression changes to one of shock and then goes straight back to the scowl. "Working on a project with my son, are you? Don't lie to me on my own doorstep!" she tried to shut the door on me but I wedged my foot on the door. Normally I’d give up and go home but something about this woman made me almost want to beg her to listen.
"Alright, I lied, so what? You haven't spoken to him in seven years. Do you even know what Alex did to him?"
"I don't think I want to know."
"Well I think you need to hear it. I don't know the specifics of it but that bastard broke Maxxie's heart"
She looked upset but got all defensive almost instantly. "If Max didn't think I needed to hear it, then what gives you the right to tell me?"
I chuckled in disbelief. Was she serious? "I can't believe I'm hearing this. He's your son , of course he wouldn't want to tell you. And that's ignoring the fact that he knows you guys don't want anything to do with him"
"I wasn't the one who kicked him out, Cayden. If you're going to start pointing fingers at who disowned who, you should maybe ask Max about the times he tried to run away before his father finally lost it."
I had to bite back a response as my phone started ringing, submitting the pissed off woman in front of me to the soothing sound of The Maine. I fished it out of my pocket, not taking my eyes off Maxxie’s mom until I glanced down at the caller ID… Maxxie.