Chapter 43: Accepting Your New Normal

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December 3rd 2015

Damian

It was strange. Life was strange. Chad and Noah had suddenly become inseparable. I get that they were trying to make up for all the lost time and trying out 'being brothers' or whatever. However, I had gotten used to them hating each other; having them close and willing being part of each other's lives was just odd.

I mean- don't get me wrong- I was happy for them- we all were. But we all barely saw either of them unless they were together. Other than basketball practise and school Chad was with Noah. whilst Noah seemed to be intentionally avoiding Alec and I. As for Alec and I, we were barely speaking. Considering that he once was the only person I could turn to, it was hard not having him there. Yet every time I saw him, I visualised him with Noah and that hurt.

I know he never meant to break my trust, however, he went after the guy he knew I liked. He didn't take my feelings into consideration and I looked up to him! He told me to back off of Noah and I couldn't help but feel like he did that so I wouldn't be in the picture. No matter how much I told myself not to speculate I just couldn't stop and that was tearing me apart from the inside out.

Though, I now know Alec is hurting. I had never paid any attention to his feelings before and yet it was like I couldn't stop seeing them now. In the school hallways, his eyes would always drift to Noah (who always seemed to be too interested in Chad!). He always seemed to be trying to be the first one to help Noah with anything. With Noah purposefully ignoring him he seemed to just be getting sadder.

It was that knowledge that made me decide I needed to confront him. I couldn't lose one of my best friends- my older brother- over something so stupid. (Okay kissing Noah isn't something stupid- it's actually pretty amazing). That was why I was now standing in front of his house. I could see his younger siblings playing in the yard but I needed to get to Alec alone.

After knocking on the door a familiar face finally answered "Damian what are you doing here?" Alec asks. For the first time in forever I take him in. Standing before me isn't the same swagger-filled, cocky bastard, I knew. This wasn't even half the man I had always looked up to. He was disheveled: hair too long, old sweats on- covered in some strange stain and a stench highlighting that he hadn't showered in days.

"I came to talk to you" I respond in a rather calm voice considering how my insides were eating themselves out. Alec just nods as he swings the door far enough open for me to enter after him. He takes me up to his room- the one he shares with one of his brothers. Seeing that at least this hadn't changed made me feel comfortable.

"We need to talk,moneys" I say as soon as the both of us are seated.

"What, are you breaking up with me?" he asks without an ounce of humour in his voice. He has one eyebrow raised and I can't help but feel like that could be a plausible ending to this encounter.

"No, I want to know why you didn't tell me about you and Noah. Since when did you like Noah?" I say. Immediately regretting it. My voice came off a lot more accusing than I hand intended it to be.

Alec just laughs a humourless laugh. "I don't know. Maybe I didn't tell you because I knew you would rip my head off about it. Who cares anyway, Noah doesn't want me so he's all yours. If anything you should be more concerned about Chad the way those two are always together- who knows what's going on there." I want to yell at him. I want to tell him to get his life together. However, I have never seen him this way. Not even when his girlfriend, for two years, dumped him as she left for college.

"What's really going on Alec?" I ask as I move towards him. I don't care at this moment what he did for me, he's really hurting and considering all the times he's been there for me I need to be here for him.

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