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Your Life Is a Map With No Compass

Chapter Three

I can vaguely hear Zack’s voice seeping in through the curtain that separates the bunks from the rest of the bus from my seat in the front lounge, and he doesn’t sound too happy. Alex is noticing it too, and he subtly squeezes my hand, before saying, in response to whatever question the interviewer asked him, “Yeah. I moved here from Essex when I was seven.”
“Can you still talk with an accent?” the interviewer asks flirtatiously. She’s practically fucking Alex with her eyes, and is slowly scooting closer and closer to him on the couch, thinking that nobody is noticing. On the other hand, the obviously gay camera guy is just flat out staring at me, not caring if anybody notices that he’s crushing on me, hard.
“Only if I want to” Alex says with a cocky smirk, answering the girl’s desperate wishes for a flirting session.
“Or, you know, if you spend a little too much time with your dad” I say. Alex lets out a giggle and playfully elbows me in the ribs.
He’s about to produce a witty comment, when I hear Zack shout, sobs cutting through the words, “No! I want Jack!” I can hear voices, probably Matt’s and Rian’s, whispering soothing words. But they’re not helping.
The interviewer is oblivious to the shouting, only focusing on Alex’s lower regions. The camera guy, though, is looking at me with raised eyebrows, the expression on his face practically shouting ‘Sweet! Finally some drama!’ I glare back at him, then, just to have a little fun, give him my sexy wink. Red floods across his pale face and he looks shyly down at his lap.
Matt barges through the curtain, and looks at the scene splayed out in front of him: Alex’s hand on the interviewer’s knee, their feet tangled together, the camera guy’s shy expression as I wiggle my eyebrows seductively at him. He laughs slightly as the girl asks Alex about his relationship status, then looks at me seriously.
“Jack, can you come with me for a second?” Matt pulling me out of an interview so that I could help Zack? Shit, this isn’t good. Alex pulls away from the girl and looks between Matt and I, a concerned look covering his face.
“Jack, I’ve got you covered.” Alex smiles at me, then nods over at the girl and makes my blowjob face, his tongue pushing against the inside of his cheek. I barely suppress my laughter, before pushing through the curtain and stopping dead.
Zack is sobbing into the couch; his muffled cries pulling at my heartstrings and making the laughter that had been bubbling up in my throat subside instantly. I push past Colussey and Jeff, then kneel down and press my forehead against his. “Heyheyhey, take a deep breath. Sweetheart, you need to breathe”
And that’s when I see his hands. Blood is covering his knuckles, and caked under his fingernails, and when I gently cover them with my own, he winces and tries to hide a sob. “Zack, why did you do it again? You were doing so well.” He could hear the disappointment in my voice, and rotates his head a bit so that he can see me with one eye.
“I-I d-d-idn’t mean to. I-it’s just t-that-“
“A pen broke and the ink spilled all over his hands. He locked himself in the bathroom, and when we heard water running we knew that he was washing his hands again. He stayed there until we said that we’d tell you that he was doing it again. Then he came out and-“
“Yeah. I heard the rest,” I said, cutting Danny off. He just nodded and slumped back against the wood paneling of the bus, his normally happy exterior clouded with concern and angst. I turned my attention back to Zack, who was sitting up now, rubbing at his face with his hands and spreading blood across his cheeks.
“Zack stop. You’ll make it worse. Come on. Lets go to the bathroom and get your hands clean, okay?” He nodded, and I helped him up, noticing the way he leaned against me as we walked the short distance to the cramped bathroom. He wasn’t getting enough sleep again. I could tell.
“Jack? Are you mad at me?” Zack asked quietly as I gently wiped the blood off of his hands with a towel, then covered the abused skin with band-aids and gauze.
“Zack, I could never be mad at you. I think that you should have told Matt or Rian when you started to do it, but I’m not mad.” I watched as he breathed a sigh of relief, then brought him back out to the back lounge, where Vinny and Danny were setting up a game of Halo.
“I’m gonna go back out and finish the interview with Alex. Are you going to be okay?”
“Yeah. I’ll be okay. Thanks Jack.” Zack said, a smile spreading across his delicate features. I quickly caught Danny’s eye, silently asking him to look over Zack while I was gone. He gave me a tiny nod, and I kissed the top of Zack’s head and gave him one final smile before walking back to the interview, where I found Alex and the interviewer making out. Just like usual.
♠ ♠ ♠
Oh my god. I am so sorry that I've been gone for so long. I've been really stressed out with school and family issues and I feel like I really awful person. I try and update more often, I promise. Oh and I also saw All Time Low on the 28th. Apart from Warped, it had been my first time seeing them, and it was completely amazing. They broke the P.A. system twice, Jack and Alex used a support beam as a stripper pole, Zack was adorable, and Rian couldn't stop smiling.
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