Status: One shot

Maybe We Got Lost in Translation


"Alex, take that scarf off, you look like a Muslim," Jack chastised playfully, pulling on the scarf the hung around his boyfriend's neck.

Alex rolled his eyes in response, "I like my scarfs," he responded.

"Babe," Jack complained, "It's not even cold in here. Please."

Alex sighed, "If it'll make you happy."

He unwrapped the black and white checkered piece of fabric from his neck. He made sure to make a spectacle of placing it on the end table next to the couch he was sitting on.

Jack smiled widely at him, "Thank you."

Alex crossed his arms over his chest to feign anger. In reality though, he couldn't stay angry at the younger man for more than a couple of minutes. Their relationship may have been new, but it was strong; they were both very happy.

Today, Jack had taken Alex to meet his sister who lived on the other side of the city. In Alex's eyes, this was a big deal for them. Jack spoke very highly of his older sister; there wasn't a trace of bitterness that often resulted from multi-sibling households. Jack loved his sister very much. So Alex knew he must be worth something to his younger beau if he was introducing him to May.

"So Alex, how'd you and Jack meet?" May asked, sitting down with the boys.

Alex smiled, "It's kind of cheesy," he warned, "But, I work as a server in a restaurant downtown, and a few months ago I was waiting on Jack's table and he wrote his number on a dollar bill and left it as a tip."

"Are you serious?" May asked, smiling at her little brother, "That's really cute Jay."

Jack blushed and hid his face in his hands, "It's embarrassing. I can't believe I did that. And even worse, I can't believe you told her. Alex! I thought we were in this together."

Alex laughed and put his arm around Jack's shoulders, "What did you want me to say? I wasn't going to lie."

Jack shook his head, "I don't know, something less embarrassing."

May chuckled, "Well, I think it's cute. And obviously it worked, since you guys got together."

Alex smiled up at Jack. It had worked. Alex spent that evening trying to get Jack's opinion. And when he saw Jack had left his number, he actually squealed. In front of a busy restaurant. That's a lot more embarrassing than leaving your number for a waiter.

Jack smiled back down at Alex. He quickly kissed the shorter boy's forehead before turning back to his sister. When Alex looked over, he couldn't miss the Cheshire Cat grin on May's face.

The rest of the evening was spent in light hearted and often humorous conversation. Alex found that he was beginning to understand why Jack likes his sister so much; she was delightful. Alex thought she was a more mature, female version of Jack.

When they left that night, May gave Alex her approval; which made Alex even happier than he already was. Jack seemed to be in high spirits as well; walking Alex up to his apartment and leaving him with a long and sweet goodnight kiss.

It wasn't until Alex was tucked away in his bed, did he realize that he had forgotten his scarf.


That night had happened over a year and a half ago. Alex looked back at his relationship once more; like he had many times in the past week and a half. He just doesn't know what went wrong. He was happy and he thought Jack was as well. Apparently not.

On the outside, everything looked perfect. Going on their first date, meeting his family, getting lost on a road trip to Buffalo. Every kiss, every touch, every look. Alex thought it had been perfect. The perfect relationship with the perfect boyfriend.

Up until the day Jack said goodbye. It had been sudden; a week before their planned vacation to California together. Where they should be now. But instead of taking Alex to the warm west coast, Jack left him out in the cold November air outside his apartment building.

He had been acting strange all night, Alex will admit. He seemed distant; not as happy as he usually was. Alex wasn't quite sure why his beloved boyfriend was acting like he was, but he didn't think it was a big deal. If it was, then, Alex trusted that Jack would tell him what the problem was. Then they could fix it together.

But instead of giving Alex an explanation, he gave him seven words he never wanted to hear from Jack;

"I don't think we're working out anymore."

Alex was obviously confused. Why was his perfect boyfriend saying something like that? Jack offered no further explanation as to why he wanted to break up. He just walked away, leaving Alex by himself without as much as a goodbye.

Alex was in shambles. He had never felt so lost. So defeated. He wasn't ok, even if he tried to tell himself everything was fine; that Jack would realize it was a mistake and come back for him.

And now, a week later, he finds himself starring into a package from his ex-lover. A note on top, reading; "This is all of it." Alex looked through the package to find it was full of his things that Alex had left at Jack's through the course of their relationship.

The toothbrush Jack bought after Alex had neglected to bring his own when he stayed over three times in a row. The boxers Alex had stowed away in the back of Jack's closet-for those unexpected nights. The sweatshirt he gave to Jack when they went to coast in mid October. All of that, and more.

Each item of paraphernalia gave Alex a sickening sense of nostalgia. His heart cracked a little more at each memory. He realized, maybe Jack's not coming back. Maybe this really was the end of the story; the last chapter of their book.

With this thought in mind, Alex ran into his bedroom over to his dresser. He yanked the bottom drawer out of the frame and carried it back to the kitchen table, where the package from Jack sat. He dumped the contents on to the surface and intermixed them with what Jack returned him.

The drawer held possessions that Jack had left at the elders apartment, along with some other items that Alex deemed significant to their relationship. Jack's very own toothbrush, some pictures of the couple, a love letter or two. Everything Jack related that was important to Alex. It was all laying on his kitchen table. This is all Alex had left to prove a relationship that perfect even existed.

Through the boundless items of clothing and other things, something was missing. One black and white, checkered scarf. That scarf had become an on going joke between the two. First Alex had left it at Jack's sister's house. She then gave it to Jack's mother to give it Jack to return to it's rightful owner. It was months later when the scarf even made it to Jack. But for some reason, both boys always forgot about it whenever they saw each other.

But Jack didn't return the scarf with the rest of Alex's things. Alex knew it wouldn't slip Jack's memory again, not with these circumstances. The younger man must've kept it on purpose. That confused Alex even more. He wanted to know why.


It was eight months later when Alex's question was answered. It was early one Tuesday morning; he was just walking home from his job moonlighting at a local bar. It didn't pay very much, but the tips his often drunk customers gave him made up for that. It wasn't what Alex wanted to do with life, but it was a decent job to have while he figured everything out.

It's not everyday you have re-find yourself after a bad break up. In general though, Alex was doing ok. Or at least, he was starting to feel better. He doesn't know who he wants to be or who he once was. At this moment in time, Alex is just kind of existing; stumbling through day to day life whilst searching for anything that he can find himself in. It wasn't the best way to exist, but by no means was it the worse. He was content with taking a taxi to work every other night at midnight and walking home alone at six the next morning.

These early morning walks gave Alex time to think. He often got so sucked into his thoughts that he lost track of the world around him. Today was one of those days. Alex was far from the world of the living; he was lost somewhere within the deep crevasses of his mind. He was overwhelmed by thoughts that he simply couldn't process. It felt like his mind had finally reached its capacity.

He had drifted so deep into his mind that he didn't see the other man farther down the sidewalk, walking in towards him. He also didn't notice the pole directly in front of him. Until he slammed into it that is. Alex stumbled backwards and fell onto the ground. The shock and small burst of pain was enough to pull Alex back into real life.

As he looked up, his vision was slightly blurry, but he could tell someone was running towards him. As his vision cleared up, he saw a flash ebony and blonde hair. He saw a semi-familiar tan trench coat covering a tall, thin body. He saw a black and white checkered scarf lazily draped over broad shoulders. And all of a sudden, Jack was standing in front of him.

"Are you ok?" he asked, extending a hand to pull Alex up.

Alex bit his lip and hesitantly accepted Jack's hand, "I'm fine."

Jack smiled and barely there smile, "I'm glad Alex."

So many things raced through the elders head as he stood in front of his once lover. Where did you go? Why did you go? Why are you here now? Is that my scarf?

But when Alex opened his mouth to voice his questions, nothing came out. So he quickly closed his jaw and gulped.

Suddenly Jack was speaking again, "You don't look so good, are you sure you're ok?"

Alex wanted to snap. He wanted to yell at the younger man; tell him that his well being is none of Jack's business anymore. That he hasn't truly been ok in a eight months. But at the same time, he wants to collapse into Jack and sob into him; beg him not to leave again.

Alex didn't do either of those things. Instead he went with a simple, "I work nights now, I'm just tired."

Jack nodded and hummed in acknowledgement. Alex wasn't sure how this conversation could get anymore awkward or uncomfortable. And if it could, he didn't want to be around when it did. So he started walking again. He sidestepped the taller man and continued walking home.

Except, when Jack called out his name, his body involuntarily circled around to face Jack once more.

"Um, you know, since you're so tired," Jack stammered, running his fingers through his hair-something Alex knew he did when he was nervous, "Do you maybe want to get a cup of coffee? My treat."

Alex hesitated. Does he really want to go back down this road? Especially when he's just starting to feel ok again? Alex's first thought is no. It's not worth the hassle or the pain of saying goodbye again. But, something about the smile Jack throws his way paired with the scarf around his neck and the questions in Alex's head, has him nodding yes.

Jack's smile grows in length, practically stretching from ear to ear. He gestures for Alex to follow him down the street and into Alex's favorite, conveniently placed, cafe.

And that, was that.
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I don't really know where this came from. As said before, based on All Too Well by Taylor Swift. I actually really like that song... So yeah, tell me what you think, and check out the story I'm taking over for a friend, Long Live Us.