Chapter Thirteen ~Maddie~

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He is so stubborn!

"You just need to talk to her already!" I yell at Aiden, wanting to rip my hair out. We've already had this conversation. A few times.

"I have!" he screams back at me, running his hands through his hair, gripping it tight before letting it fall.

"I'm doing the best I can," he adds quietly. Stopping on the sidewalk, he turns and starts to pace back and forth.

"I know you are...but she needs more. Alex just needs you to talk to her, give her some closure, so you guys can move past it together." I try in vain to meet his eyes as he takes long strides in front of me.

He stops mid-step and leans against the wall of the building, briefly giving me the eye contact I was searching for. "I'm trying. Fuck, am I trying," he says sadly, resting his head in his hands, his voice cracking.

My chest constricts. I feel awful, there's no winning. It kills Aiden to talk about his parents and it kills Alex not to. "Just... try harder, okay?" I reach for him, wanting to comfort him in some way.

He grabs my hand and entwines it with his. He pulls our hands to his chest and gives me a squeeze before resuming our search for Alex hand in hand.

Aiden never stays mad, or sad, for long. I'm not sure if he gets over it that fast or if he just pushes it down somewhere with all the other crap, but he looks down at me and the corner of his mouth turns up in a small smile, "I will. We'll find her, and I'll make it right. I promise."

Their arguments have been coming more and more frequently, her refusing to go any longer without answers and him still not ready to give them. Their argument this morning turned heated pretty quickly.

"Just tell me!" Alex had yelled at him. "You're in fucking denial if you think that never talking about it is going to make it go away! And how is that fair to me? You think that because what happened to them doesn't haunt me in my sleep, that because I'm not the one screaming into my pillow at night, that it doesn't fucking kill me? Well guess what? It haunts me every waking minute Aiden! I'm done waiting. I need you to talk to me!" She'd screamed so loud, her voice turned hoarse.

"Fair for you?" he said quietly, disbelievingly. His tone was sad, but that sadness quickly turned to anger. "I kept you from seeing what I saw, from watching our parents get shot Alex! I watched our parents die! And I saved you from witnessing that, what more could you possibly fucking want from me?!"

"I just want to know what you saw. Why you're so certain they didn't make it. I mean...what if they were brought somewhere and treated and they're alive now? You're so sure, but I don't know what you saw. It doesn't sit right with me, I need you to tell me," she answered.

He balled his hands into fists, his face turning red, "That, I will never fucking tell you. I know what I saw. Why isn't that enough? Don't you trust me at all?"

"Of course I trust you, but I deserve to know, Aiden! You're being so unfair!"

"And you're being selfish! I don't. Fucking. Want. To talk about it!"

"Well, fuck you Aiden!" and she'd stormed off, muttering something about needing to cool down.

I stood there dumbstruck, knowing there was nothing I could do to ease the tension in the room.

Aiden spun on his heels and landed a fist straight into the wall. "Fuck!" His heavy breathing was the only sound that filled the room.

It was only five minutes later that Aiden started packing up, ready to go find her. It hasn't been long, maybe twenty minutes, so she couldn't have gotten too far.

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