I slouch, contemplating Hadley's plan to effectively just make Cayden jealous. Thing is, if he's so fucking loved up with John, will he even notice? I get the feeling that I could fuck Alex in the front room and he wouldn't care. I put my head in my hands and sigh. I s'pose I should be grateful for the time I got with him. He was convinced he was going to cheat on me a week later, but he didn't. No. He waited much longer for it.
After a while, it's pretty obvious that sleep is not going to come back, my mind turning over with all the ways that this could go horribly wrong. So I haul myself off into the shower, hoping that my acting skills will be up to scratch.
Trying to convince myself that this is just like a role in a theatre production isn't working as well as I'd like, but still, a little comfort is better than none.
I'm on my way to find either Cay or Hadley to hang out with, when my phone rings, making me jump. I pull it out and don't even bother looking at the ID.
"Hey, Alex," I mutter, heading into the kitchen for some water and an aspirin.
"Hey, Maxxie. You feeling any better yet?" he asks, genuine concern in his voice. I put it on loud speaker while I sort out my drink.
"I'm alright. I slept off the tequila and I will keep in mind not to go wandering around places I don't know," I laugh, downing water and the pill in one.
"Awesome. Umm, Max?"
"I-I was wondering... are you ready to talk stuff out yet?" He asks, nervous and hopeful and probably pacing up and down, hoping I'll agree to come meet him. A choice between hanging out with Cayden and knowing his thoughts are focussed on John, or hanging out with my ex, who thought it would be a good idea to vanish from my life with nothing more than a note on the kitchen counter. What a choice.
"I don't know what you even have to say about it, Alex," I sigh, leaning on the counter by the phone.
"Well that's the point of talking it out, isn't it?" I roll my eyes.
"Fine," I give in, "where are you?"
"I'll meet you in the Starbucks in the town," he says and hangs up. Ugh.
"Bastard," I mutter under my breath. I pick up my keys and wallet anyway, writing a quick note and leaving it on the side by the microwave.
Alex says he wants to "talk things out". I don't know how long I'll be. If I'm not back in time for dinner, don't wait for me.
Twenty minutes later, I'm pulling up in front of the Starbucks Alex had mentioned. I glance out of the window and Alex is stood, leaning against the wall, looking apprehensive. Apparently he's looking out for my old car, because he doesn't notice me until I get out of the car.
"Wow," he smiles, stepping forward and stopping short, looking a little awkward. "What happened to the shitmobile?"
"It died a final death," I shrug, "Cayden refused to let me have a normal car." He looks over the Saturn approvingly and nods.
"At least he has a good taste in cars."
"Sure. I need a coffee," I mutter, walking past him into the coffee shop. He follows me in and takes a seat at the table with the sofa, waiting for me to join him. I roll my eyes. Of course he would get the comfy chairs. Comfy chairs mean he's planning to stay here longer than I'd like to.
To my surprise, as we start awkwardly talking, my bitterness melts away, and I even find myself forgiving him a little bit. Not much, but a little bit. Apparently, he notices this, because he relaxes and talks more easily.
He gives me this heartfelt apology that manages to make me smile slightly at the look in his eyes as he says it. Apologetic, genuine, and... resigned. "I know you have your boyfriend now, but it doesn't change the fact you're overdue the apology. We can still be mates, right?" I find myself nodding without even thinking.
"We've known each other too long to just throw it away, even if what you did has taken the last two years to deal with," I smile wryly. His face twists into a grimace and I smile.
"It's okay, Lex. I'll forgive you. One day."
"One day soon, I hope."
"I'll think about it," I look up to my left at Hadley and Caleb. They're trying to hide behind a newspaper.
They're kinda failing.
"You guys can stop eavesdropping now, y'know," I try to keep the vaguely amused smile off my face as Alex gives me a horrified look.
"They just heard all of that?"
"I'm sorry, you must have me mistaken for someone else," Caleb says, putting on a shitty foreign accent, which makes it harder to keep the smile off my lips.
"I don't think I do. I know a Gayleb when I see one."
"Awh man," he says with a disappointed look.
"Told you it wouldn't work," Hads says. I giggle slightly.
"You two are gonna need a few lessons in subtlety, I think." Alex looks between me and Hads, confused. I just shrug and give him a small smile.