21; From The Past

Joseph Paxton wasn't as clueless as everyone thought him to be. For years he'd been fed lies and never once did he question them. He didn't see the point.

That was until his sister was released from Eichen House and her presence brought forward so many unanswered questions.

So many strange and unexplained things had occurred and this time he couldn't just turn a blind eye. All the unpleasant things he'd witnessed and endured were too hard to ignore now.

He'd been pushing all of them to the depths of his mind, trying to convince himself everything was alright. The longer he did that the more apparent it became that everything was not alright.

Joseph Callahan Paxton's life was one big mess. He'd gone through much more pain and loss than anyone should ever have to. When he was young he used to think he was cursed or damned by God himself.

He'd lost so many people. That didn't necessarily mean they were all dead, they were just gone. People seemed to die or run from him like the plague.

Or maybe he was the plague.

He was a sophomore when he experienced his first heartbreak. Some would argue he was just a naive love struck teenager who would eventually get over it. He didn't though, he never got over it.

His first love ran out on him. She left without a goodbye. Joey never heard from her again. What's worse, she took his best friend with him. Two of the people he cared about most were gone. They were just gone.

Six years later they were both back. He always thought that if he were to ever see her again it would be in public. She'd be at the grocery store walking down the junk food aisle loading her cart with sweets, mainly double fudge chocolate chip cookies.

She'd also be doing that thing with her hair. It was a nervous tick he'd noticed in the first moments he'd met her. She would sweep her bangs out of her face and they'd fall right back in front of her eyes anyways.

He expected anything, anything but how it happened. The last place Joey expected to see her for the first time in six years was in a coffin. He didn't actually get to see her face. He heard through town gossip that her body was too mangled for an open casket ceremony. That day he experienced his second heartbreak over the same girl.

At the funeral there was only one other person, her brother, Derek Hale. The same person who had once been his best friend. They exchanged no words, after years of friendship they were strangers.

Now Derek seemed to be appearing more and more, especially around his own sister. It wouldn't be problem, except wherever Derek Hale went death seemed to follow.

The door to the Paxton house opened and in entered Paul, who smelled of scotch. It was noon and he was already drunk. Joey looked up from his hands as he sat on the staircase. His clothes were still damp and clinging to his body.

He pondered going home and changing, but he couldn't bring himself to step out of the house after what he'd just witnessed. He couldn't leave El alone.

Paul came closer and looked upon his brother with sunglasses covering his eyes. The closer he got the more apparent to Joey that he had been drinking. He reeked of alcohol.

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