Chapter Fifteen

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A few weeks passed by and winter break was quickly approaching. I hated these breaks. Thanksgiving, winter, spring, I hated them all, and for the same reason. I was stuck at home with my uncle and aunt.

School was basically a getaway from my hell hole I'm supposed to call a home. I used to go over to Nick's house and just hang with his family but that option has basically been thrown off the table now. I still can't believe that we're enemies now. It really doesn't make sense. I've gotten mad at him before. I've even threatened him before. What made him change so suddenly? Was it really just because I've been hanging out with Alek? Just because I'm his friend now and stood up for him?

I just sighed and pushed it off. It's Nick's loss if he wants to be my enemy now. It's also a stupid decision on his behalf. I can easily win a fight against him. I fought against him lots of times and have always won. I usually don't like getting into fights but Nick just loved to annoy me until I finally had enough and swung my fists at him.

"Hey! Are you listening?" Alek pulls me out of my thoughts with his soft concerned voice. I looked over at him and smiled. I couldn't help it anymore. He always made me smile and I couldn't fight it back. He made me happy and I didn't know why and I didn't want to know why. He just did.

"No, sorry. I'm just thinking about winter break. It's going to suck this year," I complain, my smile fading a little. God, it really wasn't going to be enjoyable. I'll probably spend most of my time at the gym. That'll get me out of the house at least.

"I'm actually excited. My foster parents get us all one gift but they're pretty expensive. The twins got a PS4 last year. I just asked for a gift card to Barns and Noble because I had just joined their little family." Alek explained with a smile on his face. I was happy for him. Even if his foster parents aren't the best, I'm glad they aren't assholes.

"What are you hoping to get this year?" I ask, resting my head on my hand as I listened to him talk. Over the past few months, I've gotten to know more about Alek. Turns out he loves to write. Well, I should've figured that out since he's taking college-level literature classes but he's actually entered his short stories in contests before and has won a few. He also wouldn't shut up about his dream college. New York University.

He talks about it with sparkles in his eyes and he even swoons all happily talking about the courses he'll be majoring and minoring in. It's precious. I've never heard someone talk about something so passionately.

Alek is so different than the guys on the football team. He never complains about a certain teacher. Never talks about girls or the latest party. Never talks about getting wasted. Whenever he talks, it's always about something meaningful or he's scolding me about something. It was actually kinda cute. Like a bunny. A snow bunny.

Alek hummed, thinking about what he wanted for Christmas. "Maybe some oil paints, brushes, and a few canvases. I used to paint a lot when I lived with my dad. I used to love painting the worlds I imagined. I'm probably not the best painter but I enjoy it. It's relaxing and I love seeing my worlds come to life in the real world and not just my dream world." He said a soft smile on his face with a dreamy look in his eyes.

I smiled back at him. I knew he was an artist but I figured he liked more sketches and pencil art. Never thought he would be into painting but I was glad that Alek was telling me. I wanted to know everything about Alek. Alek was probably the only person I actually wanted to get to know. I couldn't tell you anyone's favorite color on the football team but I could tell you Alek's. Blue. Like his hair.

"Anyways, why aren't you excited about winter break? Is it because of your uncle?" Alek asked and I frowned. After getting to know each other, he's basically figured me out. He knows about all my habits, things that piss me off, my sense of humor. Sometimes I feel like he knows me more than I know myself. If it were anyone else, I'd be scared but, with Alek, I almost felt relieved. Strange, right?

"Yeah, it is," I confess. It's not like it was a secret though. "Two weeks in that hell hole is going to be actual hell. I think I'll spend every day at the gym. Now that Football is over, I need to find a way to let my anger out in a way that it's not knocking someone's teeth in," I said, sorta joking and sorta not.

Alek smiled nervously at my half-joke. "Yeah, that wouldn't be good," He said, raising his eyebrows and biting down on his bottom lip as he looked away from me. I chuckled a little at the expression, making him look back at me with a bright smile. Glad that he was the cause of my laughter. But honestly, when is he not?

"Well, you can always come to my place when the fighting gets too much or you just need a place to relax that's not on a bench at the park." He offered, and I was a little surprised. He's always coming over to my house, I've never been over to his place. I didn't care too but now, I'm actually excited. Having a chance to go over to his place.

"Yes!" I exclaim but cough to cover it up, "I mean, yeah. Thanks for the offer." I say in a much more monotone voice but I was clearly embarrassed that I let my excitement show like that. I shouldn't be that excited to go over to Alek's place.

Alek chuckles, well, it's almost like a giggle. It's cute.

Okay, that's an unnecessary thought but whatever.

"I'll text you my address. Feel free to come over whenever. My foster mom would actually be happy to know that I have at least one friend." Alek says as he puts all his stuff back in his bag. Shit, we just spent the entire period talking, but I'm not complaining. I like talking with Alek more than doing work.

I start packing up my stuff as well and stand up. Looking down at Alek as he sorts everything in his bag. It amazes me how someone can be so organized and messy at the same time. Alek was truly a mystery to me and not just because of the sensation he radiates or the things he says. But because of the fact that he spaces out and it's like his literal consciousness leaves his body and because of what I saw that day at the park. Oh, and also that headache medicine makes his headaches worse thing. That's really weird.

The bell rings and I leave, reluctantly taking my eyes off Alek. I don't know why but I feel like I could just watch him for hours. It's a really weird feeling to have. Like, I've never wanted to do that before with anything or anyone. I always had to be doing something, but with Alek, I could just sit down and watch him. Watch him write, draw, or talk passionately about something. Do other people feel this way as well? Or is it just me? 

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