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Terrible Things

10 - It's Been Too Hard Living

Alex’s POV

I drove around aimlessly, trying to work out where Jack was.

To say I was pissed was an understatement. He’d just run off, leaving behind his children, his family and his friends with no idea of what was going on. I was furious.

I stopped my car by yet another set of trees and got out to look for him. It was dark now, pouring down with rain and I’d forgotten to grab a coat. Jack had been out in this for hours, I had no idea if he was still alive at this point. It had been 2 hours since I’d called him and I still hadn’t found his stupid ass.

I scanned the flashlight around the undergrowth, looking for a figure. Nothing.

“JACK!” I called out, getting really frustrated now. Where the fuck could he be?

“Lex?” I heard very quietly coming from a tree; it was so quiet I thought I’d imagined it.

“Jack?” I shouted again.

“I’m over here,” came a reply.

I ran over to where the voice was coming from, and there was Jack sat against a tree, shivering from head to toe. I pulled off my jumper and wrapped it round him. I was mad, but I didn’t want him to die from pneumonia.

I then pulled him to his feet and he stumbled. He was clearly dehydrated and not well at all. I sighed and put his arm round my shoulders and led him back to my car. I helped him into the passenger seat and then made my way round to my side of the car.

I got in and I turned on the overhead light, so I could take him in fully. He looked awful. I don’t think I’d ever seen him look so bad.

His face was grubby, but had tear stains running down his cheeks, his eyes were red and puffy, he was alarmingly pale, and he was still shaking violently. I cranked up the heating, before turning to him and took him one more time before he spoke.

“I’m sorry Lex,” he croaked, his voice hoarse from crying and being in the rain for hours, “I lost control, I couldn’t do it anymore. I needed to escape.”

“Why Jack? Why couldn’t you just hold on?” I took a deep breath; I was getting more frustrated by the second.

“Leo’s poem made me realise just how much of a monster I am. They deserve better than the father who killed their fucking mother. If it wasn’t for me she’d still be alive, she’d be breathing and they’d still be able to see her. I can’t live with myself for taking that away from them. They hate me.” He ranted.

I sighed; I knew this was inevitable, him beating himself up about it. I was just surprised it had taken him this long to start blaming himself for everything.

I ran my hand through my sopping hair, trying to pick the right words to say. I started the car, thinking over everything. I knew it would be hard for him to believe them because he was so set on it being his fault, so set on being a monster. It honestly scared me.

“Jack,” I began, before I was cut off.

“No Lex! Don’t turn around and tell me that you understand; that you get it. Don’t tell me it’s not my fucking fault, because I don’t want to hear it! Don’t tell me you all care for me, that you want to be there for me! Because why the fuck would you want to be there for me. I’m a murderer!” he shouted at me, “I’m sick of being strong for people, for telling people I’m OK, for pretending I understand. I’m not strong; I’m weak, I’m not OK; I’m a mess, and I sure as hell don’t fucking understand; because it doesn’t make any fucking sense!”

“Don’t shout at me Jack! I’m trying to help here! You fucking ran out on us all! All three of your children have been at our house asking us why you ran out, why you left them behind! We had no fucking answer for them Jack, how the hell do you expect us to explain to YOUR children that their dad can’t cope anymore!” I ranted at Jack, losing my temper, “Because I know you hate what you did! I would, any human being would, because it’s not a decision any decent man should ever have to make. But don’t you dare sit in my car and tell me that no-one fucking cares. Because all we’ve done since Leah died is care. We’ve sat by your side, organised YOUR wife’s funeral, babysat YOUR children, cleaned YOUR house, and I even sat by your side while you faced YOUR in-laws who hate my guts! You know why? Because we fucking care Jack! You’re my best friend. Leo, Isla and Evie’s father. Cass, Lisa, Rian and Zack’s best friend. We love you, we want you to be fucking happy, and we want to care.”

“Doesn’t mean you should though Alex! I hurt everyone with that decision. Leo, Isla and Evie won’t ever have their mother back. Cass and Lisa won’t ever get their best friend back. Her parents won’t ever get their daughter back. Dean won’t ever get his sister back. She’s never fucking coming back!” He shouted back at me. I was taken aback, he shouldn’t regret this decision.

“Don’t you dare say you made the wrong decision. She would’ve been miserable, unable to do anything with her life. She’d have been hooked up to a machine every day for the rest of her life.” I said quietly, angry at his words, “at least now your children won’t watch her suffer, won’t watch her be angry at you for the rest of her life. Because that’s what she would’ve been. Angry. She would never have forgiven you for keeping her alive, because it would’ve been selfish. At least now you can find someone else, fall in love, and give your children a mother figure.”

“Stop the car.”


“Don’t you fucking dare. She’s been dead little over a week and you’re already telling me to find someone else.” His voice was quiet, I could tell he was angry.

“Jack...” I whispered. Now I was scared.

“I SAID STOP THE FUCKING CAR ALEX!” he screamed at me.

I slid to a stop, and he jumped out of the car before walking off in the direction of his house.

I’d screwed up so badly.

And now he was alone. Again.
♠ ♠ ♠
Gah more drama!

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Title Credit - 'A Change Is Gonna Come' by Sam Cooke