Alex (3)

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This is the third and last part of the series. Click here to know what happened in part 1 and part 2

Thud, click, bang. Alex woke up, and bolted upright, he suddenly fully alert.

“Who’s there?” he asked the blackness, his tone cautious.

He looked at his alarm clock: 4:00 am.

“Oh, it’s me sweetheart, Veronica,”. There was another bang, accompanied with the noise of cans falling to the floor, “Oh shit” she giggled, and he knew she was wasted too.

Alex got up the bed and he was suddenly hit with a surge of dizziness and a massive headache, he had to blink continuously to straighten his vision. He held on to the side table for support as he got up off the mattress and walked toward Veronica. She had sat on the loveseat, and so he plopped himself next to her without looking at each other.

“You stink of vodka.” He told her.

“Yes. I Know.” She giggled some more, and then topped it off with a burp.

“Where have you been all night?” He was looking straight at her now, and noticed that she wasn’t wearing anything he had seen on her; nohing was familiar.

“I was at a friend’s house, we were… talking.”

“Till four in the morning, right.”

“I was at Ben’s house with a couple of my girlfriends. You know Ben, that guy from class.”

“Did Ben give you his shirt too?”

“I spilled a vodka tonic on mine, so he took off his shirt and gave it to me. He was trying to be nice…”

Her last words seemed to hang in the air in between them. She became motionless now, and Alex knew something had happened with her tonight that shouldn’t have.

“Did you sleep with him?”

She didn’t answer.

“Did you?” Alex’s tone began to climb a few octaves. He was about to become aggressive.

“I didn’t mean to I swear Alex, I still love you, you know that right?” And just like that, everything came slipping right out of her guilty mouth.

“Dammit!” Alex looked down at his hands, in obvious rage. He knew it was partially the alcohol that was still circulating his system saying these words, making him speak like this. Without warning, he grabbed the empty Tequila bottle that was just lying on the table in front of him, and threw it with all his force at the wall facing them. It exploded upon impact, a million glass shards flying in every direction.

Veronica looked utterly frightened now, she stood up and just gaped at Alex in shock, she stared right into those two seemingly serene pools of molten lavender.

“What are you doing?! Are you Mad!” she yelled at him. He just looked back at her, blankly staring at her.

“You cheated on me.”

“It’s not like you were any good in the sex department lately!”

“God-dammit Veronica I do not need another reason to be provoked right now.”

“Oh really, so you want to smash more things against the wall don’t you?”

“Don’t start. I have a lot on my mind.”

“Do you now? What do you ever think about other than your precious photography? Did you ever stop to think that I might be of other uses to you?”

“Veronica, stop.”

“No I’m not going to stop! –“

“I’m attracted to a guy!”

Silence. Veronica sat back down next to him on the couch.

“What?” Is all she managed to say.

“We need to break up.”


One Week Later.

You apply the pressure to help me crystallize. All I wanted was you.

Alex was frantic. He had to get to him. To tell him everything that was in his heart but couldn’t confess. He had to tell Skyler he couldn’t stop thinking about him. He had to tell him his smile was all he dreamt of. Skyler’s last words were all he had been thinking about for the last seven days.

Alex was running through the halls at the university, trying to get to Skyler’s Media Art class that was scheduled for this time, according to his timetable, which he had to force out of the administration office. He passed by an endless series of doors, and finally arrived at the room where the class was supposed to be taking place. Without warning, the door to that class flew open and students started piling out in groups, some laughing, some relieved that the class was over.

Alex was desperate. He started stopping random students asking them if they knew where Skyler was. Most of them didn’t know him, the others told him he just didn’t show up to the university that day. Until finally a girl with a pretty smile and a Monroe told him Skyler would be in the Oratory on top of Mont-Royal today shooting the scenery.

“How do you know this?” Alex asked her edgily.

“He’s my friend, we hang out together. He told me he usually goes there to vent, to just forget everything and look out at the city, and take pictures.”

He didn’t have time to waste, it was nearing sundown. Alex hurried out of the campus, haled a taxi, and told him the location he wanted to go like he had spent the last ten years memorizing its name.

The cab ride took less than ten minutes, per Alex’s request. He stopped right in front of the Oratory steps. Alex rushed up the endless flights of stairs like he was training for a marathon, and got to the inside of the church. He yelled out Skyler’s name, to no avail. Everyone looked at him like he was out of his mind. But he didn’t care. He spotted more stairs that lead to an upstairs courtyard. He took the chance. He went with his gut, and ran up those stairs like his life depended on it. Alex had to find Skyler.

The courtyard was full of people, mostly people peeking over the edge. The balcony had an unrivaled view of the whole city. It was packed with tourists, which didn’t help Alex’s current dilemma. “Skyler!” He yelled, but no one’s head turned, no one answered. He made his way through the crowd, pushed himself past what seemed like hundreds of people, until he got to a small break in the crowd that formed the shape of an ellipse. Alex had almost lost hope, until he turned around one more time, and saw him standing at the edge of the balcony, with his tripod, staring into his camera, and taking pictures. His hands were moving to the rhythm of his body, moving the camera, clicking the shutter release, focusing the lens. He just noticed how delicate their movements were, how operating a camera seemed as easy as breathing to Skyler.

“Skyler?” He called out. And he turned around. Alex’s heart dropped in his chest and the smile that formed on his face did not even begin to convey the relief and happiness he had felt at that precise moment.

“Alex… what are you doing here.” Surprise washed over Skyler’s sullen features, and was suddenly replaced by a certain glow that emanated off his face.

This was it; this was the moment Alex had been waiting for.

He didn’t say anything; he just smiled even wider, and started walking toward Skyler.

He closed the distance between them in a few long strides, and stood in front of him, so close he could feel Skyler’s sweet, nervous breath against his face.

Skyler was about to say something, but Alex quickly put one finger over his lips, silencing him. Then he moved his hand from Skyler’s warm lips to his side, pulled him close, and with the sun setting in the background, the sky turning pink, and with the whole city watching, Alex kissed Skyler like he had never kissed anyone before, in a church courtyard nonetheless. His lips tasted as sweet as his breath, and all of a sudden Alex felt more connected to Skyler than he had to anyone in a very long time. This was home. He belonged here, with him. No one could steal this moment away from them.  He knew, in that instant, that what he was missing his whole life wasn’t a muse, it wasn’t some camera or that perfect photograph. It was this. It was him. It had always been him.

- Contributed by R.

Guest Contributor

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