Status: Active

And After All This Time, I'm Still Into You


Of course that was her. I thought as I drove home, tears threatening to spill over and onto my cheeks.

I scoffed at the thought of her. Miss Stacey with her perfect hair and perfect bangs. With her petite self, wearing cardigans over her modest blouse. Her skinny jeans that fit her perfect and her stupid flats on her small feet.

I huffed in frustration. I had a conversation about my ex husbands band with his fiancé. I unknowingly had a conversation with her about the guy we both loved. I thought she was just a fan. But I can't be mad at her. She didn't do anything. To me at least. All she was guilty of was loving Alex, as he loved her. I couldn't be mad at that. I had my chance to love him and my chance at loving him was over. It was her turn now.

When I pulled into my parents driveway, I noticed my dads car was gone. I sigh in relief. The last thing I needed was for my parents to question why my nose and eyes were red. I could blame the cold weather, but my red eyes were something we all would know was not from that.

I turn off the car and just sit there. Pulling my coat tightly around me, I sigh. My hands reach over to the passenger seat, looking for my purse. Instead they touched plastic. I look over and see the black plastic bag that held my purchases from the record store. Apprehensively I pulled the bag onto my lap, pulling out the 3 CDs.

"Check out track 9..." Jack's voice echoed in my mind as I held Nothing Personal in my hands, putting the other 2 on the dashboard.

I started the car up again, thankful for the warmth from the heater as I did. I carefully unwrapped the CD from its packaging, opening it and popping the CD in the player.

The first song came on, it's upbeat pop tempo making me smile. This was Alex's most difficult song, and to hear it finally, made me proud. For so long, I distanced myself from the music. Sure I watched interviews, watched their crazy antics on their personal videos. It was my way of looking out for them. But for fear of what I’d hear, I didn't touch the music.

Once the song ended, I skipped the rest of the songs. I stopped once I reached track 9, Too Much.

I admit, I miss seeing your face babe. And being alone is starting to take its toll, I'm cold and it's getting old. I admit, I should have made some changes. We were so smothered in love, we didn't have a chance to come up for air.

As soon as the first words were sung, my eyes started watering. As the song progressed, my tears did too. What was only a trickle of tears turned into full on crying. I replayed the song, listening to the words over and over. By now I was sobbing. By the third time of me playing it, I had sort of calmed down. Tears still leaked and I was hiccuping, but I was calm. Calm enough to think.

For three years I thought of Alex. Thought of all the pain and mishaps. But I realized, now, that I wasn't mad anymore. Wasn't sad. In truth, I just missed him. Missed the guys. Missed my life before New York. But there was no going back. I had made my own life back there.

A knock on my window caused me to jump and I turned the volume down, rolling the window down to see since the window was foggy. Alex was there, crouched down on the floor so that he was level with me. My bottom lip instantly trembled at the sight of him and a few tears slipped down my cheeks. He sighed when he heard what was playing and went over to the passenger seat, opening the door and climbing in. I sigh and turn off the car, turning it on only so the music plays and the car is off before I roll back up my window and look at my lap, brushing away the few stray tears with the back of my hand.

Alex reaches over and turns up the volume a bit so we could listen to the song. We just sat there, listening until it was over and the next song came on. He lowered the volume and looked over at me. I couldn't run now. This was it. We were about to talk it out.

"Jenna..." He started. I looked up at him and sniffed. He stared at me and then sighed, looking at his lap. We sat there, not talking for awhile, just listening to the music. I wasn’t trying to talk. I was trying to avoid this. I could see the emotions running across his face. He was choosing his words wisely, something he always did. Alex was always one for avoiding conflict. It was a few seconds later that he opened his mouth again. “You know, I wanted to tell you so much, for so long. But now that I actually get a chance to say something, I can’t for the life of me know where to start.” He chuckles and looks at me. I gave him a small half smile before I turn to look out my window.

“I guess, maybe, a good place to start is...forgiving.” I said, surprising myself.

“ shouldn’t. I should be saying sorry, and begging for your forgiveness, even though I know I don’t deserve it. That was everything I needed to say to you. When you wouldn't return my calls and when you eventually changed your number...the next step was writing that song." Alex mumbled. "I'm sorry. For everything."

“Alex...I’ve had three years to look back on all that's happened. Yes, it was fucked up. Yes, we could’ve handled everything better. But...we can’t change the past. Maybe it all happened for a reason.” At this, I could see Alex look at me with furrowed brows through my peripheral vision. “We had our chance at love, and it wasn’t meant to be. We know that now. We could’ve spent all these years unhappy. But we didn’t. And you should be thankful for that.”

“Jenna, we weren’t unhappy. We were far from that. I was just...I wasn’t ready for all that, even though I thought I was. I’m sorry I made you feel like I wasn’t in it for all the right reasons.” He looked at me, still staring at the window, not wanting to look at him. I knew if I did, my heart would break even more. “If I could take it all back, I would. If I could do everything over again, I would. Were you...were you unhappy in our marriage?” he asked softly, his voice full of hurt. At this I turned, looking at him with wide eyes.

“No, Alex. Of course not.” I reassured him. “I just think that if we kept our relationship going, with all that had happened, it probably would’ve turned to that.”

He nodded, understanding. I looked down at my lap. "I'm sorry I left." I whisper.

"I can't really blame you, Jenna. I would've wanted to leave too, after everything." Alex mumbles.

I sigh and turn to look at him. His hair is falling in front of his eyes slightly and his lips are pink. I look away and stare at his hands, resting on his lap. I shouldn’t want to kiss him anymore. He's not mine.

"So...Stacey, huh?" I say trying to lighten the mood. "I didn't think that was your type."

"You don't have to do this, Jenna." He says.

"Good, because talking about my ex husbands fiancé with him is kind of awkward." I mumble. "But, Alex, if you're happy...then, good for you."

Alex opens his mouth to talk but is interrupted by his phone ringing, playing some sort of John Mayer song. He sighs and looks up at me, silencing the phone. "I have to go. It was nice...talking for a bit. I still have more to say to you though, Jenna."

"We'll save it for another time." I tell him. He nods and opens the car door. “Alex?” I call out before he closes the door behind him. He turns and leans down, sticking his head in the car. “Happy late birthday.” I tell him and give him a small smile.

He smiles at me, that lopsided smile of his. “Thanks you, Jenna.” he says and he closes the door, leaving me alone. I push the button on the car stereo, track 9 playing once more.


The car idled by the curb. I could see that whoever it was, was probably contemplating whether or not to get out. I hoped they didn’t. I turned away from the window and went back to packing. I had to get out of this town. I didn’t belong here anymore. No matter where I went, I know I would probably be looking out for Alex, wondering if he was close by. I didn’t want to risk running into him again.

Our talk was long overdue, but that didn’t mean I wanted to talk some more. It would only hurt more. I sigh and fold the shirt in my hand, carefully laying it in my suitcase. Outside, I hear two car doors slam, two voices accompanying them. I go back to the window, noticing another car had parked in back of the idling car. Their drivers are no longer inside and I catch two heads heading towards my house, disappearing as they walk towards the front door. The doorbell rings and I listen as my mother opens the door.

I ignore the voices and go back to the task at hand, folding clothes and making sure they all fit in my suitcase. I’m busy trying to find a pair of jeans under my bed that I don’t notice the two pairs of feet until someone speaks.

“You know, your ass looks stunning from this view.” I hear, causing me to hit my head on the bed frame. I next then heard a smack and an ‘ow.’

I shimmied out from under the bed, the lost pair of jeans gripped tightly in my hands. I lifted my head, rubbing the spot I had hit before looking at the two that stood before me. Jack and Lisa stood there, both smiling at me. Getting up, I threw my jeans on top of my suitcase and hugged Lisa. When we pulled away, she kept her hands on my arms, tears swimming in her eyes.

It was then that I felt bad for not only leaving her and everyone else behind, but for not at least keeping in touch with her, my best friend. “I’m sorry.” I squeaked out through the knot in my throat. She chuckles through her tears and nods, hugging me again.

“I know you didn’t want me to tell everyone, though you never actually said it, but Alex already found out so I figured it was going to get out sooner or later.” Jack said from besides us. I shook my head, smiling. He smiled back at me and gave me a quick hug.

“We didn’t want to overwhelm you with so much love, so I volunteered to ease you into it.” Lisa said happily.

“Well, I’m glad you’re here. I missed you so much. Both of you. Everyone.” I said truthfully.

“Well then, you should totally unpack this suitcase,” Jack started, sitting on my bed by my suitcase. “And stay here. With us.”

I sighed. “I can’t, Jack. I thought I could last till Sunday at least, to stay for my parents, but I can’t now that Alex knows I’m still here.”

“But you guys talked already. He told me. Isn’t everything all in the past now?” he asked, and I wished that it all was.

“Yes, Jack. And we still need to talk more about what happened. But it’s just, so much more than that.” I told him, sitting on the bed next to him. Lisa sat down on the floor beside the bed and for a second, it transported me back to those days in high school, back when everything was simple.

“Jack, drop it. She can’t stay. But now, we have to keep in touch with her. Even if she doesn’t return our calls. We know where she works now so we’ll hound her until she talks to us.” Lisa said jokingly.

I smiled, thankful for her input. That didn’t stop Jack though. He was very persistent to have me stay.

“We don’t even have to see Alex though. We can all just hang without him. You, me, Lisa, Rian and Zack. Just like old times!”

“Jack! She’s still in love with him! Don’t you think it’s killing her just being in the same town as him, when him and fiance could just show up at any place she’s at, just like today?” Leave it to Lisa to know exactly what I was feeling. I guess even after all these years, she still knew me better than I knew myself.

Jack looks at his girlfriend with a shock face that’s quickly replaced by a look of guilt as he hangs his head low. She smiles softly at me and I chuckle at the fact that Jack is whipped. “It’s okay, Jack. Even though I can’t stay, you can still visit me in New York. Whenever you want. Just tell me when.” I say and he looks up at me with a smile.

“But do you have to leave right this second? Maybe we could get a drink at the bar or something?” Jack looked at me hopefully. Lisa did too, though she was giving me a look that said she would support whether I decided to opt out and head back home also.

I look at him, his puppy dog eyes getting the best of me. "My train leaves at 10 tomorrow morning." I say begrudgingly.

Jack's face brightens up and he smiles at me. "So we can hang tonight?" He asks excitedly.

I sigh in mock reluctance. "I guess." The smile on his face grows and he tackles me backwards on the bed in a hug.

The rest of the day is spent with the pair helping me pack, or rather, me packing and them talking and asking questions. I tell them about my life in New York, how my job is. I talk to them about how boring my life is up there compared to how it used to be down here. It's then that Jack says he should call Rian and Zack and figure out what we should do later.

"Give me your phone." Lisa says as Jack is on his phone. I comply and wait for her to give it back. "There. I texted my phone so now I have your number and I programmed mine and Jack's numbers in there. That way you won't have no reason not to contact us."

"I really am sorry, Lis. I just...I had to get out and away from Alex. I didn't think about shutting any of you out. And truth be told, I didn't expect me to last that long without him. I thought I'd come crawling right back. But after awhile, I just thought if I did come back, it'd be too late and soon I just accepted my life the way it was turning out and focused on my job." I told her.

"It's okay. We don't blame you. For a while, everyone was mad at Alex. Rian and Jack especially. You could tell Zack was too, but you know him. He doesn't like conflict and tends to be the one in between, never choosing sides." I nodded in understanding. "And...I'm not trying to say this to make you feel like shit, or even to back up Alex, but he was a complete mess. His panic attacks got worse to the point where they had to cancel shows early. Or he just drank too much and acted a little weirder on stage than usual."

"Yeah, like one time he just took the stool he was sitting on after singing, and threw it at Danny. It didn't hit him or anything, but to cover up his outbursts, we told the fans he was trying to get the stool to break at each concert ‘cus he's Alex. And the next day, he did it again so we just went with it the rest of the tour." Jack said as he included himself in our conversation, off the phone with Zack. "But enough about the past. Ri and Zack said they'd meet us at the bar."

"Bar? Really Jack? You couldn't pick something like a small get together at the house or...oh never mind. Sorry." Lisa said.

"What?" I asked curiously.

"Well we kinda sorta live with Alex." Jack said. I looked at him I'm surprise. "He didn't like staying alone in the house all by himself but he didn't want to sell so I moved in."

"And then I moved in with Jack." Lisa said.

"Oh. Ok well, should we get going?" I asked, wanting to get off the subject of Alex and my old house.

It was hard to though because when we got to the bar, he of course was there.

"Does he just have this radar of where you'll be and he shows up?" Jack asked no one in particular, his voice full of annoyance.

I see Rian and Zack come up to us. "We just got here and seen him. We didn't know he'd be here." Zack said.

"We could go somewhere else if you want." Rian told me. I looked up at him and shook my head.

"No. I'm done trying to avoid him. I just want to have a good time and catch up with my friends tonight."

They all smiled and we walked towards the back of the small building. Once we say down, no time was wasted in getting reacquainted with Rian and Zack. And after a while, it was as if three years away from them didn't even matter. We were still the same people.

"Ok, I'm going to go get another drink. Anybody want anything?" I asked as I stood up. They all shook their heads and I walked towards the bar, waiting for the bartender to come my way.

"Guess we've been running into each other everywhere we go, huh?" I hear and look in back of me. Alex gives me a half smile and I copy him. "I seen you were with everyone one and I didn't want to make it awkward so I kinda refrained from approaching you guys. I know you probably have a lot to catch up with them."

I nod and mentally thank him for doing that. The bartender finally comes to where I am and I order a beer, getting ready to slap down a five dollar bill before someone beats me to it. Alex smiles at me when I look up at him.

"Thanks." I mumble and he nods, getting ready to leave. "You know," I start, instantly knowing I'm going to kick myself later when I'm sober for saying this. "There's still part of me that would give away all my money just to be with you. But I see you with her, and I see how you smile up at her. And there's nothing I can do. So what I'm trying to say is, I guess, I'm happy for you." Right then, my beer is placed in front of me. I grab it, give one last look towards Alex, and walk back to everyone.
♠ ♠ ♠
Chapter Title: Happy For You - The Summer Set

Here's the next chapter. Hope you guys like it. It was really difficult to write. I think I rewrote some bits a few times until I was happy with it.

On another note. It's summer! So that'll probably take longer for me to update. Been really busy doing stuff. Other times I'm just busy doing nothing. Blame Animal Crossing. I bought that game and have been playing it all day. Also, concerts have kept me busy. Went to Warped tour on Friday and was just so happy. I want to go back. Also seen A Rocket To The Moon and The Maine a few weeks back. I'll try to update as much as I can. I have too many ideas for this story to just leave it behind.

Anyways, hope you guys liked this chapter and thank you all for your comments. They keep me going. :)