“Maxxie, answer your God damn phone” I said as I got his voicemail again.
"I knew he wouldn't wanna talk to me!" I vaguely registered Maxxie’s mom wailing about how much Maxxie hated her.
"Listen, lady, I don't mean to be rude but could you stop whining for like five seconds?" I said, biting back my irritation.
She sniffled and looked at me. Maybe…maybe she did care and Maxxie had gotten the wrong end of the stick…
"Is there anywhere you can think of that he would've gone? It didn't sound like he was at the house"
She shook her head sadly. "No, sorry."
"Fuck... Shit, this is all my fault, isn't it?" I asked, balancing on the fine line between breaking down and yelling at anything and everything until my voice gives out.
"You probably weren't to know," she sighed, apparently remembering something, "he might have gone to a cafe, actually... He rarely came home for dinner - he preferred this cafe somewhere near his school, I think. But I don't know where it is."
"I'm good at finding cafes, better with bars but I can do cafes"
She shrugged. "I hope he doesn't give you hell when you do find him."
"We've been through worse"
"Well, tell him I say hello," she said, a weak smile appearing on her face, "and if you can persuade him to come over, I suppose I can show you some photos. Like I said before, I don't have very many. It's harder hiding a photo album from your husband than you'd think."
"I'll do my best. Thanks anyway"
With a nod she slipped back inside and I set off, trying to remember where Maxxie’s school was. I found it after a while and found the café Maxxie’s mom had been on about…half an hour later. I stepped inside and saw Maxxie sat at the back, trying not to draw attention to himself with his head on the table.
"I swear I've walked through half of London trying to find this place"
He looked up in shock. "I wasn't expecting you to be able to find me at all."
"I'm good at finding things that don't want to be found. This seat taken?" I asked, gesturing at the empty seat across from him.
He rolled his eyes, though whether he was joking I couldn’t tell. "Yes. My imaginary friend Bob is sitting there."
Bob can go fuck himself for all I care. I sat down anyway, not really caring if Maxxie wanted me there or not. In any relationship when there’s problems you talk them out as soon as possible instead of leaving them to fester. That’s just common knowledge.
"Bob says your fat ass is heavy." He said, trying not to let any hint of a smile show. I could just tell there was one trying to burst through.
"Bob better get used to my fat ass because it's not going anywhere" I said in a serious tone. I wasn’t here to be funny Cayden or sexy Cayden; I was here to be serious Cayden and sort this out.
The corner of Maxxie’s mouth twitched, his smile fighting even harder to shine through. I felt my face tug itself into a frown as I tried to think of what to say to get the ball rolling.
Maxxie sighed and slouched back in his seat. "Why'd you go find my mum when I said I'd go when I was ready to?"
"So impatient that despite the knowledge that I have some major issues about my parents you went ahead and saw them anyways," he was trying to keep his voice even, tapping the table with his fingertips.
"Yes, because I was curious and wasn't exactly expecting you to call me. Your mom misses you"
He looked at me, an eyebrow raised like I’d said something dumb. "You go off into a city you don't know and expect me not to call you?"
"In all fairness I hadn't been gone that long"
"I know how you feel about the tube, and I know how easy it is to get lost. Can you really blame me for wanting to make sure you're okay?"
"That's why I walked. Whenever I walk places I seem to just end up where I wanted to get. Besides, if I got lost I would've called you"
He shrugged. What the fuck? Sure, I might be younger than him but I’m still a grown man, for fucks sake.
"Jeez, I am an adult, y'know? It might be hard to believe but I can take care of myself"
"Okay. I'm sorry for caring enough to ask how you are." He scowled.
I rolled my eyes, already irritated beyond belief. Seriously? When someone goes to a foreign city and doesn’t call you it means they’re fine. It’s when they call you that you know they’re in the shit. Maxxie didn’t react to me rolling my eyes, just sat there. Do you know how fucking annoying that is? I clenched my jaw and stood up to leave. I had my wallet and I’m pretty sure I could just ask where a cheap hotel was. As I turned to leave I heard Maxxie slowly let out a breath.
"Sorry. I didn't mean to be a bitch, or go all over protective on you."
Unfortunately for him, I was pissed off. And when I’m pissed off I stay that way for hours. I stood silent for a while, trying to calm down enough to not shout at him. "Sorry, Max, but I really need to go and calm down"
He nodded and I walked out, accidentally catching a chair with my foot as I went. And then I just walked. I didn’t look up from the sidewalk; just let my feet carry me wherever they wanted. The one time I looked up was when I heard glass smashing. Apparently I was in one of the rougher parts of the city. There was a guy a few steps ahead of me who gave me a glare that said “why were you even born?” You think I’m gonna stand for that? I hadn’t done shit to this guy and he thinks he can glare at me like that? Wrong.
“What the fuck are you looking at?” I shouted, not caring that I could get myself killed.