America, how I’ve missed you and your insanely sugary foods, your sunny weather, your beautiful tanned people. And God, how I’ve missed you, iHop. If the urge to go home and dump all my stuff hadn’t been nagging my brain I would’ve literally ordered Maxxie to drive me to iHop to buy some good old American pancakes. Something tells me he wouldn’t exactly have agreed, though, a fact that became even more apparent when he collapsed onto the couch at his place and refused to move. Cheeky asshole wouldn’t even move to let me sit. Eventually I got him to move enough that I could sit down and turned my attention to the TV since I’d been prepared for jetlag this time around. I think he drifted off to sleep a couple times but I was too busy concentrating on whatever show was on TV. It wasn’t til it was dark out that I realised Maxxie had been watching me, a slight frown pressed on his face.
I looked round to face him and he flattened his face out and smiled like he hadn’t been frowning. "You alright?"
I smiled but said nothing for a while, which probably didn’t make Maxxie feel any easier. "You up for a drive?"
"Details, details" I said, winking. Is it bad that I kind of didn’t want him knowing exactly where to go?
He raised an eyebrow at that. "Mmm, I s'pose. If my car doesn't die."
I smiled at him. "Come on then, I'll tell you where to go"
He stood up, clearly curious as to what was going on. I simply took him by the hand and led him out to his car, giving him directions every now and then til we reached our destination: an empty road that look kind of abandoned because it probably was.
"If my car breaks down here, you're dead." He said, sort of smiling.
I chuckled and got out of the car, kind of waiting for Maxxie to follow but kind of not. The first time I’d come out here it’d been me that had hung back because I thought it was dangerous. But Maxxie didn’t seem to be afraid of the unknown, switching off the car and getting out after a moment’s hesitation. Without waiting for him, I walked over the road and lay down in the middle, closing my eyes. I heard Maxxie walk over and sit with me.
We stayed like that for what seemed like an age before I spoke. "Me and John used to come out here. When things got too much". I opened one eye a crack so I could see Maxxie’s reaction.
He tilted his head back to look at the sky. "Is it him that's been on your mind the last couple of days?" he asked, looking back at me.
I was silent for a while, debating whether or not to lie. "...Yeah"
He sighed and hugged a knee to his chest. "I don't mind, y'know, if you wanna talk about it. It's what I'm here for, right?"
I smiled. "It's just, I haven't seen him in years. I guess I'm kinda worried about running into him"
"At least he's not stalking you," he said with a smile.
"If he was stalking me I wouldn't be so worried"
He lay down next to me, exactly like I used to do with John. "What are you worried is going to happen if you do run into him?"
I sighed. "I don't know. I mean, there's a chance he might freak out and completely blank me but there's a chance he might be like the Catholic version of Hadley. But then again, he might go completely the other way..."
Maxxie’s fingers were tangled in my hair, absent mindedly playing with the strands. Normally that’d calm me down but apparently not today.
"You'll be fine, I'm sure." A reassuring smile splayed on his lips.
"And then there's Hadley..."
At that, he stood up and sat on me. Can’t say John had ever done that. No, wait, yes he had. On the beach. In front of his parents and baby sister. "Positive mental attitude, gorgeous. You need one." Maxxie smiled.
"Where was yours when you were with your mom?" I smirked.
"Hypocrisy rule," he winked. Since when did that apply here?
"Thing is, your mom's changed. Hads hasn't"
With a sigh, he bent down and kissed me on the forehead. "I don't know what to say, Cay. Maybe if he sees that your happy or something...? I know it's probably a long shot, but still."
"Heh, if he sees I'm happy he'll just think me and you are even more wrong and disgusting than he would anyway"
"I wish I knew how to help."
All you have to do is be there, Max. All you have to do is be there when I start bitching about the past, when I start wondering if what I could have had would have been better than what I have. I tried to will my tongue to move and tell Maxxie that was all he had to do but my brain was apparently having none of that, instead letting me do nothing more than sigh contentedly and rest my hands on his hips.