It keeps getting more dark by the minute. It's getting more creepy than ever.
Yeah! A lot of people are saying that!
and It's only gonna get darker and creepier as it goes
Alex on a motorcycle.......I'd like to see that.
Yeah, I would like to see that too!
Isabel's dreams were heartbreaking.
Yes, they are
There hard for me to write but there harder for me to watch too.
Jim's not doing so good......so Kyle just joins in and has a drink.
No... the Valenti boys are not doing good and in this part, you'll see Kyle sink even lower than his dad.
Alex isn't dead
but Liz thinks he is and it's not good, because she is ready for everything! Even the worse...
And these men, certainly alien hunters or even worse...
And Max, well, I don't know what to think about... he is in between and obviously doesn't know what is going on...
You'll see how Liz AND Max deal with investigating into Alex's death. Those men... aren't good people.
A/N: Hello, Everybody! I'm back... but only just to post this part.
Unfortunately, I no longer have a computer to work on my story with. I had a good friend who recently passed away and he allowed me to use his personal computer to write my stories with... but now that he's passed his family has taken back his computer and decided to give it to another family member.
So, I won't be able to post anything new for awhile until I can find a way to get my own computer. I'll try to come back as soon as I can.
The song featured in this part is 'Go First By Rose Cousins play when you see
He didn’t think it was possible, but Stark was an even smaller town than the ones that he had passed through on his way to get there in the first place. The population barely cleared hundred, the ‘Welcome to Stark’ post wouldn’t have made him feel any more welcome if it had been written on a chalkboard in big bold letters with different colors for each word, and the town itself had the atmosphere of a place where people with nothing left to lose would came to die. The place looked barren, void of any life. He was afraid that if he breathed too hard, the town might just crumble into dust and blow away from him in the humid wind.
He raised his eyebrow over the rim of his sunglasses and licked his lips. It was no wonder that, when he had looked online, all he had been able to find was a blue, red, and white striped postcard with the word “Stark’ stamped on it to send to Tess… because if they had shown what the town really looked like on that postcard, nobody in their right mind would ever want to go through there.
Hell, he wouldn’t be surprised if a tumbleweed came rolling right past him at any moment; he was almost expecting
one to. Sighing, he decided to take off his sunglasses; he didn’t seem to need them anymore. He was pretty sure that the town hadn’t seen the sun in years.
He stuffed the glasses in the front pocket of his denim jacket and continued to stare at the bleak scenery before him. Why he had chosen to come to this wasteland to wait for Tess’ call was way beyond the cusp of his mental capacity. He guessed the idea of a place that he had never been before had, at the time, been overwhelmingly appealing to him when he had made his plans to leave. Besides, he was kind of glad that Stark looked and felt a lot like the personification of death captured in a tiny box of a town… at least no one would think to search for him—or any other possible living soul for that matter-- in a place like Stark.
He sighed and swung a small knapsack over his right shoulder. -- He had stolen it about four days into his travels when he decided to abandon the small duffel he originally had with him back in Santa Fe because it was too much of a hassle to carry it around. – Decisions were in order and his first was that the best course of action was to keep moving through the small town. Maybe if he walked long enough, far enough, he would eventually find what he was looking for.
He had only been walking for about thirty minutes when he came across the ratty looking old diner just on the outskirts of Main Street that he had been searching for since he entered Stark. Like everything else in Stark, the small café was falling apart into nothingness.
The building’s paint was beginning to peel off in odd places, the sign—which was supposed to read Lulu’s Special Links Café
above the entrance of the diner —had letters missing or fading away on it, making it difficult for him to read. But he didn’t need to understand the sign to know that he was in the right place… the only place within miles that had the beaten up payphone installed on the side of the wooden building with the number 541-222-0919 printed on it. He laughed happily; he was finally there. He had finally found it.
Relieved and excited, he rushed toward the payphone, dropping his knapsack on the ground next to him. It was an old payphone… so old, in fact, that there was an actual electric cord sticking out of the bottom of the receiver instead of the metallic kind that were on payphones of a more recent vintage. He kind of admired that, the nostalgic feel it provoked in him. It was the only thing that actually stood out in the black and white town.
He ran his finger softly along the outlines of the wire phone cord. Feeling a small snag in the plastic line, he groaned loudly. He might have found the payphone that he was looking for, but he wasn’t so sure that it would actually work. Even if the snag in the line turned out to be nothing to worry about, it was still an old payphone. There was still a risk that it might have been disconnected or stopped working a long time ago… It looked like people of this town hadn’t used the phone since the late forties.
He rubbed his forehead and groaned again; he could see his plan beginning to unravel right in front of him. This couldn’t be happening to me
… He needed this phone to work; he had prayed that this phone would work… his life and those of others depended on it.
“Admiring the payphone, boy?” an unfamiliar voice asked, causing every muscle in his body to tense. His senses began to work overtime as fear overwhelmed him. It’s not possible! How’d they found me?
He had been so careful to cover his tracks.
He slowly put his left hand in his jean jacket, reaching for the small gun he had stuffed in the inside pocket. He cocked it and turned around sharply, ready to fire through the fabric of his jacket and kill-- but he rolled his eyes at himself when he came face to face with the person behind him. It was only a worried patron coming out of the diner. He wasn’t one of them.
Get a fucking grip!
He thought, putting the gun back on safety and turning back toward the payphone. You gonna start shooting everybody who speaks to you now?
“You looking to use it?” The man asked politely.
“Does it work?” He asked the man a moment later, beginning to scrape off some of the dirt and grime that had collected over the number of the payphone.
The man quirked an eyebrow and reassured him, “Damn, right it does,” he said proudly. “It’s the only phone in all of Stark that gets enough reception that allows us to call outside of town.”
He nodded briefly, satisfied and relieved… but there was still a question he needed to ask. “Can it receive calls too?” The man gave him a look of suspicious at his question and he was sorry he had to ask it. The man probably didn’t see many outsiders… especially those as young, odd, and scruffy looking as he was, asking so many questions about a damn payphone.
“Yeah, I guess. If the person knew the number,” the man answered, before asking his own question. “You got a job, boy?”
“No.” Why does it matter?
he thought, a little annoyed, I won’t be here long enough to work.
The man nodded his head. “Why don’t you work for me at my convenience store just down the block a piece?” the man asked, smiling at him.
He stopped rubbing the numbers above the telephone and turned to face the man again, his face knitting in confusion.
“Why?” he asked, curious. He was the one who was suspicious now. If he had learned anything in his short time of living, it was that nobody offered anything for free. There was always a price to be paid… and he wanted to know what this man’s price was upfront.
“Why not?” The old man gave him a puzzled look, like he was stunned by his suspicions. He inwardly rolled his eyes. Wasn’t he just as suspicious of him
just a moment ago?
“Because you don’t even know me,” he replied a moment later, disgruntled. Was everybody so dense that far up north? “I could clock you over the head with a lead pipe and steal all your money from the cash register for all you know.”
The man laughed. The man actually laughed at him. Fuck you too, buddy,
he thought, sneering.
“I don’t think so, boy… I can tell you’re not the type,” the man said, laughing at him even more when he scoffed. “Besides, you seem like a polite enough fellow and you look like you need the money to save up to get on out of here anyway.”
He actually rolled his eyes at the man that time. The guy definitely wasn’t a good judge of character and had a fucked up sense of logic… but he was right about one thing. He did need the money.
“I’m expecting a call anyway… so I’ll work for you.” He paused, staring at the payphone again. “But only for a month… I don’t stay anywhere longer than a month, understand?”
“I got you,” the man mumbled, offering his hand. “I’m Frank, by the way.”
“What’s your name, kid?” Frank asked, still smiling. Always smiling… at a total stranger… and he couldn’t shake the sense that it was more of a leer than a smile. He felt his stomach drop. He had a feeling that there was something deeply wrong with this guy… Something that made him want to politely take back his offer to work for him and run the other way… Something that told him that maybe he should have fired his gun anyway… Something was wrong, but he didn’t know what.
The man was just being polite to him, offering him a job. He was being paranoid, wary… like he was waiting for the sky to fall. Life on the run will to do that to you. He was wound up too tight; he needed to remember to chill out and relax… that not everybody was out to get him. What could possibly be wrong with someone willing to offer a good job to a guy who looked like he was on coke and hadn’t showered in days? He was just being a Good Samaritan… there should be more people like that in the world.
“Alex,” He said a few moments later as the man still smiled at him and, for the first time, Alex decided to smile back. “My name’s Alex.” He repeated, shaking the guy’s hand.
Breathe in. Inhale.
Breathe out. Exhale.
Breathe! Just breathe!
Isabel felt as though the room was swimming before her eyelids, everything within her line of view unfocused, unbalanced. Breathing was no longer involuntary for her; she felt like she had to keep chanting over and over again in her head to breathe in and out to keep herself alive. Nothing significant would register in her brain—colors kept washing in and out of focus, flashes of starry-light yellow floated in and out of view, to be replaced by the darkness of her room.
She had somehow forgotten the ability to distinguish the difference between reality and her dreams anymore. She felt like she was in a never ending nightmare… forever meant to cry herself to sleep and awake. She couldn’t do anything but stare at the ceiling, willing herself to breathe, hoping that she’d succumb to the darkness creeping up inside of her.
The light of the stars glued to the ceiling over her overwhelmed her sight, temporally blinding her; the starry yellow that had come and gone out of her sight line before finally making sense to her again. She could still remember the day she had gone out and bought the fake star system that was now taped all over her room… it was a week after she had stargazed with Alex in Frasier Woods.
She couldn’t understand why she had bought them; the purchase had been an impulse, almost like something beyond herself had willed her to buy those stars… Hell, she hadn’t even realized what she had done until she had walked into her room that night and pulled out the bag from her purse, two dozen plastic stars falling into her soft hands. It was like a part of her had wanted to preserve the feeling of that night for all eternity. Her mind forced her to confront a part of herself that felt something indefinable for the strange, lanky boy who had quickly become her anchor--a deep seeded longing in her heart that made her stop cold whenever she saw a star in the sky, making her realize that the stars on her wall paled in comparison to the feeling she got when she sat on the cold November grass to stare upon the stars filling the Roswell sky … It was the only feeling within her that was constant and pure in her life.
But even that has seemed to have gone rotten, hasn’t it, Isabel?
A cruel, unfamiliar voice—that sounded a lot like hers but couldn’t be-- said in the back of her head. She no longer yearned for that feeling; she resented that feeling now, wishing it would fade away along with that piece of her heart that had once stored it. She no longer became paralyzed by the stars in the sky, praying for them to shine brighter in the night sky. She no longer longed for a lot of things… except for the boy who had once provoked them… As for the anger that was beginning to quickly take over her heart … Isabel desperately waited for it to evaporate.
She shifted in her bed, turning away from the ceiling. The dim yellow disappeared from her view; a white sparkle replaced the color in her mind and her left hand twisted the wedding ring that she had slipped onto her middle finger back at Alex’s. She could feel the diamond scraping against the edge of her hand. The diamond was small… probably because he couldn’t afford anything bigger… but it still drew enough blood that it began dripping from the palm of her hand onto her bed sheets.
She didn’t care. She’d get rid of the bed sheets in the morning… It was just vital to feel something… anything
… besides the deep, invisible prodding sting of anger. She needed the pain to fill up her every sense, distracting her from the unbearable awareness in her heart, her soul… even if it was small compared to it… but the diamond tearing her flesh was pain that she could understand, it was the kind of pain that kept her human. It kept her from turning into the animal… the monster
… she’d feared she would one day become-- the kind of monster that Maria had thought that she was back in the earlier days of their friendship. Of course, she wouldn’t have called what she had with the humans ‘friendship’ back then.
So she kept using the ring as her anchor… the pain the diamond caused against her hand was her only link to her human half. She slowly began to breathe on her own again, the chanting in her head dying down. Colors stopped swimming in and out and she could tell that she was no longer in a dream, but back in her life, in the reality that she had worked hard to build, the one she understood. It was crazy that it took a ring that would never fulfill its purpose to make her sane again… It was sad that her nights… her life… came down to staring at her ceiling in a haze, unable to tell what was the dream and what was reality. It was the wedding ring of the boy who might have been her husband… if things had been different… if God had been merciful… that kept her from breaking down completely and going insane.
The person she was turning into was holding onto the past and slowly letting go of her hook on reality. Day by day its grip inched out of her hold … until there was nothing left of her but the husk of what she used to be, what she could have been… She realized, with a surreal sense of horror, that she didn’t mind that person so much. No, she didn’t mind the person that she was becoming… not even a little
Maria took out the key to Michael’s apartment from her purse and unlocked the door, using her petite body to push the door softly to keep it from creaking and alerting him to her presence. She was afraid that, if he knew that she was sneaking into his apartment after everything that happened, he would tell her in no uncertain terms to fuck off and never come back.
She closed the door quickly behind her once she walked in, slowly creeping through the living room, her footsteps muffled by the old shag carpet that the previous owner had laid down and into the wood paneled hallway that led to his bedroom, trying to avoid the wood board in the center of hallway that creaked whenever she stepped on it.
She stopped in front of his bedroom, staring at his large, muscular form, sprawled over half of the twin bed and vaguely noticed that the bedroom door was wide open, swinging back and forth softly from the breeze flowing in through the window that he had left cracked open. It was almost like he had expected her to come over and crawl into bed with him. In fact, she didn’t have a single doubt in her mind.
He snuggled deeper into the bed, probably dreaming of the ways that she was going to apologize to him when she came. She almost laughed out loud at that thought, but instead she fidgeted a little in her dress that she had worn to the funeral, trying to keep herself from scoffing into the dark… but she did roll her eyes. If he thought that she had come over to apologize for what had happened earlier, then he could think again. She hadn’t come over to apologize; she hadn’t come over to hear him apologize either… She didn’t even come over to have sex. She came over because it was time to face reality… to see what she had always been happy to ignore. But she couldn’t ignore it any longer, not when the air swirling around them… their group of friends… was different now. Not when the glue that had always seemed to hold their fragile partnership together was slowly, but painfully, coming undone right in front of them. Things were changing and it was foolish to deny it; it was like Kyle said… it had become aliens vs. humans.
“I’m not going to apologize,” Maria whispered into the imperfect darkness engulfing his small room. Despite the silence, she could tell that he wasn’t asleep… His breathing quickened at the sound of her voice and she could hear it all the way across the room. “There was nothing we could have done…”
Maria could see Michael’s muscles stiffen in anger from where she was standing, his hands balling into fists. She leaned a little against the door frame, waiting to see if he would say anything… but he still didn’t acknowledge her presence and, after a few more minutes of uncomfortable silence, Maria continued.
“You had to leave with Max…” Maria ground out, trying to sound stronger than she felt in the moment. She felt like she was going to shatter into tiny little pieces at one wrong word, one wrong turn. It was like the glue
that made her a flesh and bone person was slowly beginning to peel away, ready to expose someone that she didn’t even realize had been there beneath her skin… It was almost like she was the alien, not Michael. “And I had to stay… with Liz and Kyle,” she breathed, her voice sounding small and foreign even to her own ears.
“Why?” Michael asked suddenly, startling her. His voice was grim and bitter compared to hers. “Why did you have to stay?”
“Because it’s just the way it is,” Maria said, closing her eyes at Michael’s growl, trying to stall the tears threatening to roll down her cheeks. He was still facing the wall, but while his body language had originally been inviting and cocky when she first entered the hallway, he had pulled further way from her, almost silently asking her to leave and not come back.
She sighed, growing frustrated at herself for not being stronger when it came to him and at Michael for not understanding that he needed to be less stubborn when it came to her. He knew what was coming, what she was going to say, and instead of making it easier on her, he was making it harder… trying to make her hate him. Or maybe he is making it easier for me,
she thought, a deep sadness overtaking her.
Maybe he knew that if she didn’t hate him by the end of that conversation… she wouldn’t be able to let him go. Michael was always better at understanding her than she was at understanding herself.
“Just because… we have what we have…” she paused, willing herself to go on. “Doesn’t mean that we can just drop what we had before it,” she said desperately, trying to make him understand what needed to happen… trying to make herself
understand that it needed to be done.
“All you’ve ever known is Isabel and Max,” Maria reasoned, thankful for the darkness of his apartment. She was pretty sure that she was crying. “As I have with Al-Al-Alex, Liz, and Kyle,” She could feel her heart tighten painfully at the mention of Alex’s name, her voice breaking. It still hurt too much to say his name. She guessed that it would always hurt.
“What are you saying, Maria?” Michael asked. His voice was softer than before; he sounded almost like he was pleading with her for some kind of understanding that she couldn’t give him. She didn’t know how to.
He stirred in his bed, kicking the sheets off. He moved a little in her direction, like he was trying to decide if he was going to stay in the bed, cold and distant from her, or get up and hold her close, comfort her. She prayed that he would stay in the bed. And, after a few indecisive glances, he did.
“What I am saying is…” Maria trailed off, trying to find the words she needed. It was like there suddenly were no words to explain what needed to be done… or was it that she couldn’t say them, purposely making them float away in her mind so that things could just stay the way they had been between them. “That when it comes down to it… when this war between us all really starts and lines are drawn in the sand… you will go with Max.” Maria finally explained, her voice hitching, her lungs gasping for air.
“And I will go with Liz,” she finished. She was crying a little harder, unable to hold back. Her body was rocking violently with her barely concealed sobs.
“And when this war really
begins,” Michael said ambivalently, ignoring the small hitches of dry heaving that filled the air in his bedroom, a fact she was grateful for, “Does… does that mean that we are over?” Michael waited, his body moving off the bed frame a little, almost like he was a moment away from running toward her and holding her in his arms. She moved a little further into his room.
“That we can’t be together anymore?” he asked a moment later, apprehension jumbled in his every word, making his voice slightly slurred.
“Yes, Michael,” Maria said shakily between sobs. She was unable to hold herself together anymore. She could feel the tears rolling down her face with abandon. “Yes, I think it does.”
Tess was a little ashamed that she was so fascinated by the amber flames blazing before her-- the snap, crackling, and popping ringing her eardrums. The twigs she had picked up around Frasier Woods and firewood she had stolen from the local hardware store on her way out there were caving in on themselves in the small pit as the flames continued to eat up the postcard she had thrown into the fire a while ago. She could feel the heat of the flames bouncing, reflecting in her wide eyes. Her dark blue irises were almost a stark black in the pale moonlight.
The warmth of the fire was sending tingles through her body, making her face and her hands fuzzy and hot to the touch. She swore that she felt like she was one step away from catching a flame herself… and she thought she’d eagerly welcome it… welcome the feeling of something so tangible, textural, that she could almost taste it, let it roll over her body in chronic waves of relief and pain. She would finally be able to get what she longed for, a departure from being completely numb… immobile.
She picked up one of the remaining twigs in her stock pile and poked the flame a little, rearranging some of the sticks and wood before deciding to throw the twig in there as well. She briefly looked up at the sky above her, seeing hints of pink and yellow shining softly down from the sky; the cold breeze rustled her hair a bit, cooling her cheeks and making the flame flicker a little in the declining moonlight. It’s nearing dawn
, she thought, sighing… It was time to let the flame die down and go. She needed to head home soon; she was already in enough trouble with Mr. Valenti as it was.
Tess had avoided having to deal with him when she had snuck out of the house early the other day. She hadn’t wanted to deal with Sheriff Valenti’s scolding; she could barely tolerate his attempts to parent her on one of her good days… She was grateful for a place to stay, but he wasn’t her father and she couldn’t deal with his acting like he was… not then. It was one of the reasons she hadn’t gone home when she had stormed out of Alex’s room and opted instead to take the long walk deep into the woods and make a fire. She needed to burn the postcard anyway… but it wasn’t the main reason… No, the main reason was Kyle.
She had a feeling that, after what had happened in Alex’s room yesterday, she wouldn’t be quite so welcome in Kyle’s eyes… In fact, she had a feeling that her presence in the Valenti house would invoke righteous rage, resentment, and judgment in Kyle, especially considering all the other burdens in his life. She could feel that she was no longer welcomed in Kyle’s heart… in his life… when he bore holes into her back with his angry gaze as she walked out of the room with Max and Isabel. She could feel it vibrating off him, ready to weigh her down.
Tess knew that he was angry with her for choosing Max’s side, for putting up with Max’s ‘King’ act, for belittling Alex’s life by saying that he killed himself... and she couldn’t fault him for that; he had every right to be angry. She was even a little angry with herself for having done it, for putting so little weight on Alex’s life when it had meant so much to her, but… it was her job, it was what she had to do, what she needed
to do. It was all part of the plan… and she needed to stick with the plan and, if that included her having to constantly act like a back-stabbing, careless, selfish bitch, then so be it. She was going to get the job done… no matter what. She owed that to her friend… and she owed that to herself.
She breathed deeply, inhaling the fresh air of the wilderness. The pine needles and old sap kindled into the air, the scent wafting up her nose along with the mixture of wood smoke and the morning dew which dampened her shoes. She watched, mesmerized, as the fire slowly began to die down to a black, sooty stain in the dirt, the white puffs of smoke evaporating into nothingness, blending into the morning sky.
Sighing, content interlaced into her every bone and muscle, Tess stood up, rubbing her converses against the wet grass of the forest. She couldn’t hide out in Frasier Woods forever. She had to go back and, as the sun slowly but surely began to peek beautifully over the horizon, beating down softly over the desert dunes and cliffs lining the outskirts of the small woods… she figured it was as good a time as any.
Michael couldn’t stand it anymore. He could have sworn he could still hear Maria’s violent sobs as she walked out of the room… as she walked out of his life. Everything that was said, every unsaid emotion still echoing off the walls of his tiny room, filled up the dark spaces of his mind to be replayed over and over again – existing for the sole purpose of torturing him. He couldn’t take it anymore; he was going crazy in his apartment all alone with nothing but his thoughts. It was like he was imprisoned, bound by all the things that he should have said to keep her from walking out his front door… the things that he had needed to say to her, but hadn’t. He was glad he didn’t… because if he had, he was afraid he would truly have nothing left to hold onto.
What was he so afraid of? Why hadn’t he been able to say all the things that he had wanted to say? What had made her so much stronger than he was? For such a powerful creature, he was pretty weak… and he hated it. And he hated her for it; she had made him weak… like he knew she would.
The sun was beginning to rise, shining in streams through the blinds of his room. He wanted the new day to go away, to stop and turn back to a day where everything made sense to him, when he didn’t feel like he had died right along with Alex… when he still had Maria. He wanted to be clueless again. He wanted to go back to being alone, to being blind to the burden that his life had brought her and all their human friends, because than maybe she would have stayed… if they could just pretend again… be a group again. He wanted to blame Max for what was happening… but he knew he was just as much to blame in the dysfunction… Sometimes… on his worst days… it felt like he was more culpable than Max or Tess… and much more than Isabel. But he didn’t want to think about that… he didn’t want to think about anything.
He didn’t want to feel anymore. He just didn’t want… Fuck Maria! She was nothing without him. She’d be back… she always came back. Another thing… Fuck Max! He could grow a set of balls and deal with the mess that he created with Liz. And, most of all, fuck Alex! Fuck him for dying, the lanky bastard! He had to turn the world upside down by killing himself, didn’t he?! Why?! Was his life so fucking miserable that he had to pull a chicken game and get his head smashed against the windshield?! --Was I so bad?
-- He shook his head. Did he think about any of us in the end? Was that the last thing he thought about before his brainpan got splattered against the interior of his piece of shit car? Did he think about Isabel? Maria… Liz? Did he think about me?
The thought sneaked into his head.
He sneered at the thought. Nobody would think about him before they died… not even Maria. He almost wanted to be ashamed for not being more of a man, for not being strong… but it didn’t matter anymore…. She didn’t matter anymore.
Maybe Alex had the right idea. Maybe he was really that genius that he always proclaimed to be; he must have known that everybody dies alone… that we all must die alone to prevent the hurt that would come from being held while taking that last breath. Maybe that was why he didn’t tell anybody that he was in pain… why he drove so far away, so far into the dark of that deserted highway... why Alex decided to kill himself the way that he did.
He must have known it… because everybody we love leaves eventually… It was the only thing that made sense; it was the only thing that Michael could be sure about. So why prolong the inevitable? Michael was just as alone as Alex… if not more. He was alone in the world as much as the one he came from… He could be like Whitman, not care about anything anymore. He didn’t think he had it in his heart to care… Not anymore.
Kyle continued to sing the words to some stupid ass song that had been nesting in his head for the last week lazily, almost clumsily—every word coming out in half jumbled sentences or incoherent ramblings that were once supposed to be lyrics to a song. His smooth, but slurred, voice singing botched lyrics around the small living room of his house seemed loud to his ears, roaring, His voice almost reached to the deafening scream of a mash pit; he was almost tempted to cover his ears and sing even louder, screaming insane nonsense at the top of his lungs. He drunkenly thanked God that his father was passed out in the other room and couldn’t hear him acting like a fucking jackass… screaming, cussing, and being generally stupid just for the sake of it being able to… just to remind himself that he wasn’t going completely out of his ever loving mind.
Yes, he felt like thanking God endlessly that his father didn’t have to see him like that; his father had enough to worry about and an equally drunken and idiotic son didn’t need to be one of them.
Kyle took another swig of the nearly empty bottle of Jack Daniels he had viciously begun lapping up the moment his father had slammed the door behind him and passed out. He leaned his head further back in the recliner that Tess had demanded they buy after the whole Christmas fiasco, wishing that his head would stop hurting so much. He hadn’t been able to get rid of the pulsing headache that had begun earlier when he was talking to Maria out at the quarry. The alcohol didn’t help things any; he could practically feel his head drowning in the liquor that he had drunk since he got home… but he couldn’t seem to stop consuming it…
He banged his head lightly against the soft fabric of the recliner, to keep his mind off of his headache… but maybe he did it to make his head hurt more, to feel what was in his heart… to feel the pain that he hadn’t known was lurking there until then-- or maybe, most likely, it was just that he had nothing better to do than hurt himself… But something was telling him that none of those theories were right; it was almost like something was gnawing at his brain, telling him to think harder… think clear, longer. He was almost there… he was so close to knowing all the answers. It was like the feeling was instinctively a part of him, as natural as breathing… The answers that he was seeking were a base coat to his whole being.
Kyle shook his head, taking another drink. He didn’t know… It didn’t really matter much anyway; the knowledge that such a dawning realization wasn’t going to change a thing about his life… it wasn’t going to change the fact that he was still yearning for something so simple yet so beyond him… Something he could hold in his hands. A wider understanding of something--- “Fuck that,” he huffed suddenly, banging the glass bottle lightly against his hip. “Take another drink, Valenti.” And after a few seconds, he did.
There wasn’t any sense thinking on things like that; he’d had enough deep thoughts to last one lifetime. He needed to stick to something he knew and understood – drinking and playing sports. The liquor in his hands was something he knew, he understood… not some unfathomable thought that seemed to turn to thick puffs of smoke every time he felt like he was close to approaching it. Knowing those things didn’t matter… He was still going to be sitting in the same chair, fruitlessly waiting for a girl that would probably never return home if Max Evans had anything to say about it. He’d still be sitting in a chair, drunk and waiting… It was better to know nothing except what was in front of him, what was in his hands, what he could easily touch. He didn’t need to know the matter of the universe… He just didn’t need to know.
“You shouldn’t go and feel so sorry for yourself, Kyle.” A familiar voice spoke, chuckling good naturedly. Kyle leaned forward abruptly. The glass bottle clinked from his lap and onto the floor with a loud thud, breaking the glass into a million pieces and spilling the rest of the alcohol inside onto the hardwood floor.
That couldn’t have been Tess… That wasn’t her voice; he knew the sound of her hypnotic vocal tones from just about anywhere. He’d be able to stand in the middle of a crowded room and walk toward it without a doubt in his mind… but this voice… this voice was one that was far more instinctive to him, almost like knowing what to do if someone had put a basketball or a football in his hand after years of not playing the game. This voice was one he had been introduced to on the first day of third grade, when the small, smiley kid had asked him to play on the swing set of the West Roswell Elementary school playground. The voice didn’t belonged to Tess, it belonged to…