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Complicate Me(59)

By:M. Robinson

Stacey went to her boyfriend’s house to spend the night with his family. Things were getting serious between them and I couldn’t have been happier for her. Lily got accepted to several colleges, getting a free ride to multiple ones for her talent in music. She decided to attend Wilmington to be close to my mom and Mason. She still lived at home, even though my mom begged her to live in the dorms so she could experience some college life. She downright refused, saying she was needed at home.

“You know Alex is coming, right?” Lily reminded me again.

“Yes. You’ve told me that once or twice. I’m also aware that she’s coming with Cole. Did you forget about him?”

“I wish.” She rolled her eyes.

“I thought you liked Cole.”

“I do but in the way I like vegetables, just because they’re good for you doesn’t mean they taste great.”

I shook my head. “Where do you come up with these analogies?”

“I’m smarter than you.”

I chuckled.

“She’s also coming with Aubrey and her boyfriend, Jeremy.”

“And to think I thought tonight would be a shit show. I wonder what would ever make me think that?”

We walked into the foyer at the same exact time that the door opened and Mason jumped into Alex’s arms.

“Hey, Mase!” she greeted. “I missed you.” He wrapped his arms around her neck and she hugged him close to her body, rocking him side-to-side.

It warmed my heart, seeing that our complicated relationship didn’t affect her love for my son. The realization only made me love her more if that was even possible.

“Hey,” she said when she saw me staring at them.

“Merry Christmas.” It was then I noticed that her long hair was gone. It no longer lay down her back. It was the shortest I had ever seen it, a little past her shoulders with layers everywhere that framed her face.

“You cut your hair?”

She shyly smiled, nodding. “Merry Christmas.” Not letting go of Mason.

She moved inside, allowing Cole to step in behind her. He seemed as arrogant as ever and I wanted nothing more than to knock that fucking smile off his face. Some things never change. My desire to hurt him was still alive and thriving. Aubrey walked in next with who I assumed was Jeremy. We all exchanged greetings, except I hadn’t hugged or kissed Alex’s cheek like I had Aubrey’s.

I couldn’t.

I wouldn’t have let her go if I had.

Besides, she held my son firmly in place around her neck where my necklace used to lay. The irony was not lost on me. I didn’t need to embrace her for her to feel me. She already held my entire world in her arms.

The night went on with normal festivities, we ate, we drank, and Cole didn’t leave Alex’s side. When the clock struck midnight everyone celebrated with hugs and well wishes. I decided to be the bigger man and shake Cole’s hand.

“Merry Christmas, Cole, I hope this year brought you lots of joy,” I acknowledged, expecting him to reiterate the same blessing.

He cockily smiled with those stupid fucking dimples displayed proudly on his face. “Oh it’s been an amazing year, and it’s going to be an even better new year, Alexandra has already made that happen.”

Everything stopped.


My breathing hitched, I swear to God my heart stopped beating in my chest, only for a second. A surge of panic flooded my body, my mind, and my soul at precisely the moment my heart started beating again.

Loud and hard in my chest.

Alex looked over at him, eyes wide and full of fear. “Cole,” she said in a pleading hoarse tone. She cleared her throat and begged him to stop with that look in her eyes. He didn’t even get it. He couldn’t read her at all, not like I could.

“We agreed, Cole. You promised,” she added with the same desperation in her voice.

Cole’s smile beamed with admiration, right down to Alex.

My Alex.

At first it was like a movie. When you know something bad is about to happen, the anticipation of knowing what is coming was stronger than the ability to stop it.

I couldn’t stop it.

I couldn’t stop this.

His hand tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, and his fingers brushed down her cheek. “Darlin’, is it so wrong that I want to share and celebrate our news with our family and friends.”

A quick grimace crossed her face. It was subtle, but I noticed.

I noticed everything.

The entire room became enlightened to some sort of cosmic energy. I knew everyone was there, that it wasn’t just Cole, Alex, and I, even though that’s how it felt. It felt like it was just the two of them and me. I didn’t want it to be them and me. It was supposed to be her and me.

Fuck him.

I tried to swallow away the lump, the one that made me sound like a teenage boy when I asked, “What news?”

My eyes glanced to Cole and I swear he fucking smirked. His eyes darted around the room and he smiled with bright white teeth. Teeth I wanted him to swallow after my fist knocked them down his fucking throat.

Once my eyes landed on hers, it was all over. I didn’t need to turn to the clinking to know what it was. Cole raised his champagne glass in one hand and a fork in the other.

The metal clanked off the glass, mimicking a ringing bell. “Excuse me. Hello! Can I have your attention, please?”

The entire room silenced at an eerie speed as he spoke and all eyes turned to Cole.

Everyone’s but mine.

Mine stayed intensely absorbed in Alex’s. Hers stayed fixated on mine. This trance was different than anything I’d ever felt with her before. We’d been doing this dance with our eyes for as long as I could remember.

This one was definitely different.

This one would hurt badly.

This one would destroy.

Cole thanked the room for being quiet and spewed his speech. “I would like to start off by saying that Alexandra might be upset with me for spilling the news. She didn’t want to take away from the night and the memories of all of us being together, but that’s Alexandra, always thinking of others.” He reached for her, wrapping his arm around her shoulder and tugging her to the side of his body.

I’m almost positive she sent me a sad smile, but I may have imagined that. Our eyes stayed locked together, nothing or no one for that matter could ever break that between us.

I had that.

It belonged to me.

I knew the second the words fell from his lips that would be it. Our glass house would shatter around us. The last tether would be cut for good. The hurricane would stop, no longer wreaking havoc on our souls.

“Alexandra and I are getting married.”

And just like that the rope was cut in two.

Her and I.

Him and her.

Cole and Alexandra.

Except it also sliced…

My heart in two.

I spent the rest of the night avoiding her. Avoiding everyone. I was like a ticking bomb, the more I saw all of my family and friends rejoice and congratulate them the more I felt like I was going to blow the fuck up. Alex knew, that’s why she kept her distance from me.

She wouldn’t look at me.

She wouldn’t talk to me.


When they were leaving she didn’t even raise her eyes to say goodbye, but she made a point to hug Mason tight and let her lips linger more than necessary on top of his head when she kissed him. Cole shook my hand with a smug look on his face like the son of a bitch he was. Jeremy rushed out of the house followed by Aubrey, who appeared like she had been crying when she said her goodbyes. I looked at Dylan for answers. His pissed off expression spoke volumes, but he quickly left right after so I didn’t get to ask him what happened.

Lily barely spoke five words all night, which was completely not like her. She loved being the center of attention. I didn’t pay too much attention to Jacob and I felt bad that I hadn’t gotten to know his girlfriend, Beth. She seemed nice from what I could gather, though.

I spent the night in my old room. I wanted to feel close to her, to us. I tossed and turned all night, not sleeping at all. The words, “Alexandra and I are getting married,” played in my mind like a broken fucking record. Every time I shut my eyes, I envisioned her in her wedding dress, walking down the aisle to say, “I do,” to a man that wasn’t me. I tried to block those images out of my mind and think about all the memories we shared together.

It didn’t help.

I became angry, the eye of the storm was gone and I could feel the hurricane inside me begin to blow. Before I knew it, the sun was up and I was out of bed, showering and getting dressed. I went down to the beach to get some coffee and as much as I tried to ignore the winds and chaos around me.

I found myself stepping up the porch stairs to our abandoned house.

Stopping dead in my tracks when I saw…


She faced the hole in the drywall that never got fixed when I walked in, closing the door behind me and leaning against it. I silently prayed it would hold me up when all this was said and done and all I wanted to do was breakdown.

She didn’t turn when she softly expressed, “I used to think that it was Stacey… and then Cole… and then you moving… or it was prom… or me moving… and then lastly Mason…” she rambled as I tried to make sense of what she said.

“I thought that’s where things ended between us. Each one of those times, it changed the significant directions our lives took. Each unexpected circumstance and situation, but it wasn’t, Lucas, it was that night.”