‹ Prequel: Come Wake Me Up
Status: finished. look out for the third story.

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

this is home.

Alex is dead asleep next to me, and I should be, too. My body is so physically exhausted (for more than one reason, mind you), but my mind races out of control.
I carefully pick myself up and head down the stairs towards the kitchen. I find myself making coffee to occupy my busy mind. “Virginia?”
I turn around to the voice. “Hey, Jack,” I greet quietly.
“I didn’t know you were staying over…I would have dressed more appropriately.” He offers up a smile and a small laugh, which I return. Given that he’s wearing only his boxer briefs. “What’s the matter?”
He takes a seat as I pour myself a cup of the coffee. I gesture to the pot for him, but he politely shakes his head. I shrug and sit down. “I really care about Alex,” I begin, staring down into the black coffee, “but Rachel’s been my best friend for most of my life. And I don’t know what to do.”
Jack nods as if he knew this was coming. “My biased opinion is that a best friend wouldn’t try to hook up with your ex-boyfriend.” I roll my eyes. “My unbiased opinion is that you go with the one that won’t hurt you.”
“They’ve both hurt me.”
He pauses. “I guess that’s shitty advice…If I were you, I wouldn’t pick.”
“How can I not pick, Jack? I obviously can’t have them both in my life. I mean—“
“Calm down! I wasn’t finished. Don’t pick. They’ll show you how badly they want you in their lives from this situation, and it’ll be clear who wants to stay more than others.”
I feel my eyebrows rise. “Wow, that was actually really insightful.”
He shrugs and pops his nonexistent collar. “I’m full of good advice.” He stands up from the table. “Now, I also advise you get to bed seeing as it’s almost four in the morning, but even if you don’t, Alex’ll still be waiting for you.” He winks and walks away, leaving that thought burning in my mind.
I mean, it was him who came to my door the second he came home from tour. And he only hurt me because he was drunk.
No, Virginia, you don’t condone cheating of any kind.
At least he didn’t try to hook up with your best friend.
Fuck. I’m driving myself crazy.
I dump out the coffee I never ended up drinking and wash out the cup before climbing the stairs back to Alex’s room. Upon opening the door, I see him sit up and pick up his phone. “Mom, it’s four-thirty in the morning.” He listens for a moment. “Is he okay?” I close the door quietly, and Alex glances at me. “No, Mom, of course I’m going to come now!” He quickly gets up and pulls the charger out of the phone. I watch him for a moment, as he tries tugging on any clothes he can find. “I’ll be there in a half hour.” He hangs up the phone and drops it on the bed.
“Alex?” He looks up at me after he finally gets on his skinny jeans. He shakes his head and sighs. “Do you want me to come with you?”
“No, babe, you haven’t even slept tonight.” I bite my lip.
“What happened?”
“My dad just fell down the stairs and broke his leg.” He looks around for a t-shirt or a hoodie.
I open his closet. “I know you have those jeans I left her last year.” I turn to him and look at him expectantly.
“Top left corner.” I pull them down and tug them on my body. They surprisingly still fit really well. I pull a hoodie off on of his hangers and pull it over my head. “You don’t have to come with me.” He pockets his phone. “I know you haven’t slept at all.”
I approach him and slide my hands into his. “That doesn’t matter. I’m coming with you.”

I follow Alex into the hospital where we find his mother in the waiting room. “Alex,” she greets, tightly grasping her son. “Virginia? I didn’t expect to see you here.” She hugs me tightly as well. I feel her cast a glance at Alex over my shoulder. “It’s great to see you nonetheless.”
“It’s great to see you, too, Isobel. I wish the conditions were better.”
She smiles softly and takes a seat on the couch a little to our left. “So, Alex, were you going to tell me you were seeing Virginia again?” The small smirk on her lips indicates how much she loves giving her son heat for not keeping her up to date.
“It’s, uh, not official yet,” he mumbles. “But it will be soon.” Both Isobel and I raise our eyebrows, but Alex just smiles and pulls me down into the seat next to him.
After an hour, a nurse comes out to inform us that Peter is being taken into surgery to have pins inserted.
“Mom, I’m going to take Virginia home,” Alex says. I lift my sleepy head from his shoulder.
“No, I’m staying,” I object. He slides his arm around my waist and helps me to my feet. “Alex,” I groan.
“You didn’t sleep at all, babe.” I pull his arm off of me and fall back onto the couch.
“I can nap now. I’m staying here with you.” I tiredly stare up at him until he sighs and sits back down next to me. I lay my head back on his shoulder and let my eyes drift shut.

Alex sighs and drops his keys on the side table next to the door. “You okay?” I question softly.
He nods and rubs his face. “Tired.” I nod in agreement. “Do you work tonight?”
“Yeah, I’m working second and third shift, though. It’s time to start apartment hunting.” Alex frowns and looks at me for a moment. “What?”
“What are you going to do until you find a place?”
I shrug. “It’s going to be really awkward for a while, I guess. I don’t know. I’m too tired to think about it.”
“Yeah,” he agrees. “Let’s get some sleep.” He glances at his watch. “You literally have four hours until your shift starts.”

I lean against the bar and take a sip of my Red Bull. Finally, a break in the patrons (and the Patron). I feel my phone buzz in my pocket.
New Text: Alex
‘Stay at my place tonight. Left a key under the doormat for you, and there’s be some pizza in the fridge in case you’re hungry when you get back.’
I smile at the text and begin typing a response when a second message comes in.
‘Actually, I talked to the guys. They’re cool with you staying for as long as you need to.’
I respond with a large thank you and assurance that I won’t entirely take over their home. And I remind him that I love him.
I slip my phone back into my pocket and tend to the new guests at the bar, and when I feel it buzz again, I feel those butterflies I felt back when we first met and started dating.
The next few hours are spent exchanging texts and serving numerous drinks. I head into the kitchen to grab some food between my shifts, and when I exit with my burger, I find Alex sitting at the bar, two cups of coffee from the café sitting in front of him.
He smiles when he sees me. “You’re literally my lifesaver,” I greet, resting a hand on his chest and using it as leverage to lean up and kiss him. “Come sit with me?”
We take a high table off to the right of the bar. “You don’t look like you barely slept,” he notices. I let out a laugh before biting into my burger.
“You’re kissing some serious ass. What did you do?”
He laughs, too. “Nothing, I swear. I just want to be a better boyfriend to you this time.” I feel my lips try tugging into a smile.
“Alex, you were a great boyfriend the first time.”
“Great boyfriends don’t—“ He stops himself. “I was a good boyfriend before. I want to be a great one now. I don’t deserve this after everything you’ve been through.”
“This whole hospital thing really got you thinking, didn’t it?”
He nods and plays with the paper my burger sits on. “I just…I got really lucky that my dad didn’t hurt himself worse than he did. I mean, he fell down the stairs. People can get hurt by the simplest of things, and what if that was you one day? And what if I never got to show you what you mean to me?”
I smile and take a sip of my coffee. “Alex, you showed up on my doorstep after I told you I didn’t want to see you. You didn’t give up when I was being a stubborn bitch.”
He intertwines his left hand with my right. “I’m still amazed you can forgive me.”
“You left me for months after it happened, and I had a lot of time to think. The only thing I could think about was you.”
“I didn’t hookup with anyone on tour.”
I feel my eyebrows raise in shock. “Not one girl?” He shakes his head. “Not even one kiss?”
“Not one anything. That’s how shitty I felt. That doesn’t mean I didn’t drink my feelings, but what else is new.” I let the corners of my mouth fall a little as I play with this fingers. “What’s the matter?”
“Sometimes I wish you didn’t.”
“Didn’t what?”
“Drink away your problems.”
He sighs heavily. “I know…”
“Hey, Gin, I need you!” Brad, our new bartender, calls.
I wipe my hands on a napkin and toss it into the burger basket. “I’ll see you when I get off work.” I kiss Alex softly. “And thanks for the coffee.”
He smiles and presses his lips to mine once more. “I’ll see you when you get home.” I pause and watch him walk out of the door.
I haven’t felt as at-home as this in a long time.
♠ ♠ ♠
i've been searching
for a place of my own.
now, i've found it;
maybe this is home.