Alex (2)354 views
This is the second part of Alex’s story. To find out what happened previously, click here
“Skyler…?” Alex mumbled, as if his brain just forgot how to speak at that exact moment. Curiosity and shock seemed to take over judgment in his mind and he let go of his towel to greet his waiting guest into the apartment.
“Is this a bad time?” Skyler replied, fumbling with his mess of hair. “Oh your towel –“
And Alex’s towel slipped right off his waist and hit the ground with a reverberating thud. Blood gushed into his head so fast it made him dizzy.
“Shit! –“Alex yelled. Skyler turned the other way, giving Alex the privacy he needed so as to pick up the towel he had stupidly let fall off his still dripping body, and wrap it back where it belonged.
“I’m sorry, I—“Alex started.
“It’s okay, don’t worry about it.” Skyler interjected, and then let out a nervous laugh.
-Um, come in, make yourself comfortable.
-I’m sorry for intruding on your…business, but I had a question and the other students I know in class told me you were the best at giving answers, so I took the freedom of looking up your address… I hope that was okay.
-You came all the way to my place for a question?
-Well yeah, your number wasn’t listed, so I just went with it… Ok this was a bad idea, I think I need to leave.
Skyler stared at Alex for what seemed like a lifetime then collected himself. He was just about to set foot outside the door when Alex leaped forward and grabbed his shoulder, forcing him to stop. “No, wait, stay, just let me get dressed. We’ll go downstairs to the Starbucks around the corner and I’ll answer any question you might have.”
Alex could see a slight grin form at the edge of Skyler’s lips, but he didn’t give it a second thought as he went into the bedroom area to put on a pair of briefs and his favorite Levi’s. He then went to join Skyler. The latter was standing in the kitchen, looking aimlessly at space until shirtless Alex caught his attention. At that moment, his face seemed to kind of light up a bit.
“Do you want me to get anything, my camera or any books, before we leave?” Alex asked, while he grabbed a can of deodorant that was standing next to a bag of French Roast on the counter and applied it to his body. It smelled like rain.
“No, it’s okay, I just want to talk.” Skyler replied, his tone growing a bit impatient.
Skyler kept his fairly eager gaze on Alex’s body, his broad chest, the flat planes of his stomach and the crisscrossed patterns the veins in his arm made every time light caught them perfectly. And as he put his white crew-neck tee on, all that was left to stare at were the most remarkable things Skyler had ever set his gaze on: Alex’s eyes. They were set under a pair of thin blond eyebrows, and were of a strange faded lavender color he had never seen before on anyone. Their magnetism was fascinating; he would never forget the first time he had caught a glimpse of them when passing Alex in the hall at school, although Alex had no idea who Skyler was back then. He still didn’t.
“Shall we go?” Alex asked.
“Yes, of course, after you.” Skyler answered in a perked up tone.
Alex, taking the lead, directed Skyler to an empty table at the back of the Starbucks he had always frequented for his daily latte. Skyler took a chair facing Alex, and waited for him to start talking first, which he eventually did. Alex asked Skyler what was it he wanted to ask him about, to which Skyler responded: “This assignment has got me in a kind of fluster cluck. I simply don’t know where to start, I have no inspiration. Nothing is coming to me. I just wanted to ask you what you did when you were presented with the same problem.”
“Well, I had that problem a long time ago, when I first started out college. I was completely lost, until I met my inspiration. Now I see that having a muse, someone who inspires you to go a little further, and makes you love what you do, is the key to any artistic problem.”
“I’m kind of at a loss for candidates now. People aren’t exactly lining up to be the inspiration for my photography, I am fairly new.” Skyler chuckled, and he could see Alex’s eyes glint as he laughed along too. He felt warm and safe.
“It usually takes a while, but I think when the moment comes, the right person will find you, and not the other way around.”
“Spoken like someone with a lot of experience.” Skyler grinned, then looked down at the table, and started tracing the shapes the wood made with his finger, “Although I think I already found mine, a while back… and he’s sitting in front of me right now.” Skyler then lifted his eyes to meet Alex’s, and whatever happiness or joy was swimming in those lavender pools of his were now replaced with a certain kind of fear, and utter surprise.
Alex was at a total loss for words. His whole body was in shock. Did he think he heard what Skyler had just said? Was he Skyler’s muse? He could not even begin to imagine it… Imagine the possibilities. But fear and confusion gripped him to the point where he just pulled his chair back and stood, about to leave without saying another word. But his good sense stopped him – whatever sense he might have had left.
“My muse, Skyler, is also my girlfriend… I, I’m sorry. I have to leave.”
Skyler started to say something but Alex was already on his way toward the exit; and whether Skyler had said anything to him or not did not matter. He was glad Veronica was out with her friends all day. He suddenly needed to be alone. There were certainly a lot of things that needed to be thought over. Confusion needed to be dealt with. Fantasies needed to be shoved to the back of Alex’s mind. They didn’t belong there in the first place. He had a girlfriend. He loved Veronica… didn’t he? The sex didn’t help. The thoughts he had during sex didn’t help either.
He needed a drink.
I can’t keep loving you, with half of my heart.
Alex slammed the door to his apartment, as if someone was following him and was about to murder him. He sprinted toward the kitchen and started opening up cabinets and drawers. He finally found it in the freezer. His bottle of Tequila was still half full. He opened the lid, got a shot glass out of a cabinet right above his head and plopped it down on the counter. He looked at it for a second or two then put it back where it was and held the Tequila bottle in his hands. As he closed the distance between the mouth of the bottle and his lips, he started chugging as much as he could.
A couple of hours later, Alex was hugging an empty Tequila bottle and was singing along to The Smiths, his favorite band. With all his courage, with all his might, he set the liquor bottle on the coffee table in front of his lonely loveseat, turned off the music, and carried himself to bed, trying not to trip over anything on his short journey across the apartment. The second his head hit the pillow he was out.
- Contributed by R.