At sixteen, Alexander had become the heartthrob of his town. Nearly every girl around his age in Arlington fancied him. At first, it had been flattering. Now, it was getting downright annoying.
At all the festivals and bazaars and such, Alexander seemed to unofficially be the main attraction, what with the flirtation and eyelash-batting that went on around him. Miriam and her family had moved temporarily to a town many miles away to assist Miriam's dying grandmother, so now that Miriam was out of the picture, all the girls considered Alexander fair game. Unfortunately, Alexander found most of them to be petty, and when the girls insisted upon throwing themselves at him, it made him wonder if they had any self-respect at all.
There was one girl in particular, however, who intrigued him. Her name was Eve, and she was, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the most mysterious person Alexander had ever met. There was a glint in her eyes that reflected an almost evil aura, and every move she made had one purpose: to draw out the bad side of Alexander.
Alexander's bad side, unfortunately, was getting harder and harder to control. Ever since the night that is parents had accused him of being irresponsible with Miriam, his own self-respect had been chipped away, bit by bit, incident by incident...
And though his family certainly didn't mean to make him feel like a "bad person," Alexander could tell he wasn't meeting their expectations. He knew he was impulsive, and he knew he was a "ladies' man," but honestly, half the time he didn't try to be. His actions were a result of an emptiness inside.
Once, he'd told Tommy Holbrook about it. Tommy, who had recently turned to God, had told Alexander that he wouldn't stop feeling empty until he accepted the peace only God could give.
Alexander had left Tommy's house that day with a heavy heart, convinced that peace would never be his, because he would never be God's.
More and more often, Alexander found himself wishing he could break away from the guilt and self-condemnation that were slowly becoming second nature to him. He'd long ago sworn to himself that he'd never use alcohol as a means of escaping pain - several people in his extended family suffered from alcoholism, and he knew he didn't want to ever go in that direction. But sometimes, it was so tempting...
And Eve was so enticing that Alexander wondered if he'd ever end up becoming one of her many admirers. The attention she paid him was certainly more than he'd ever seen her pay any other young man, so it only seemed logical that eventually the two would become an "item." But there was something about Eve, some intangible evilness, that made Alexander both repulsed...and captivated.
No, it was only a matter of time.