mr. brightside - the killers
near wild heaven 2.0
collab with the best girl aka @buds-over-studs
It was only a matter of time before Lexi and David were here, pulling up in their SUV. I didn’t want to let go of these kids – it has seemed like the week had just flown by. Avery reached for my necklace and went to put it in her mouth when I pulled it away. At that exact moment I turned and saw Lexi and David in the door. "Look who's here," I whispered to Av, who immediately shouted in delight and ran to give Lexi a hug.
In a way, I was kind of disappointed. This past week had been so /so/ much fun with all the girls. When Jay and I first moved in here, I had a room specially designed for all three of them. And it has gone unused for so long - until then.
I held up a finger to David and trudged upstairs, where the other two girls were playing with dolls. "Rosie, Alison, someone's here downstairs to see you." I smiled.
Rose turned and dropped her doll, running to my side. "Who is it?" She asked, an excited smile gracing her face. Soon, the two girls were running down the stairs, their blonde curls bouncing with each step. I listened at the top of the stairs as the family was reunited. A pang of jealous hit me hard in the chest. I stayed upstairs for an extra moment or two, cleaning up the toys they had left. I wondered if anybody noticed I was gone.
Finally, I retreated downstairs where the girls were hugging Lexi and David tight, not wanting to let go. I felt the same way. I didn’t want to let go either. I could tell that the hurt was written all over my face but no one said anything about it. "How were they for you guys?” She asked.
“Perfect,” I said while leaning into Jay. “We had so much fun but they really did miss you guys. All three of them cried the first night.” I said while remembering the horrid night. “But they were good as gold after that.”
Jay nodded. “You’ll have to bring them by sometime.” He squeezed my shoulder but it still didn’t make me feel much better. I felt like I was losing them all again and that scared me. Maybe it scared me just a little bit too much.
I smiled. "Bye guys," I knelt down to hug each girl good-bye and then give Lexi and David a hug as well. I didn't ask them how their week was or any details like that, I just wanted them to have a happy time with their girls because, well, they deserved it.
"We can stay and talk if you want..." Lexi offered with a shrug of her shoulder, trying to lighten the mood.
"No, no, you guys all need time to yourselves." I nodded reassuringly and ushered them out of the door with a wave. I sighed as I shut the door and Jay enveloped me in his arms. "I'll miss them."
He kissed my forehead. "I know. I will too. But this isn't the end, Alaska, it's really just the beginning. You know th-" The door swung open and Jay stopped talking.
Lexi stood there, a hand on her hip. She looked like the girl I used to know. She looked like the girl I had missed and had gone without for too long. She pursed her lips and said; "No."
"No, what?" I gave Jay a look.
"Alaska, this isn't the way it's supposed to be." She said simply and sat down on the couch, looking at us like /we/ were the crazy ones. “We’re supposed to be friends. /Best/ friends.”
I looked down at the floor, wishing that I could be anywhere but here. I hated confrontation and Lexi knew this. “A lot has changed. It can’t just go back to the way it was before-“
“Why?” She threw her hands up in the air, obviously frustrated. "Why can't it? Why can't I sit here on your couch and tell you that my wedding," Her voice broke. "And my honeymoon were fantastic? Why can't it be like the old days, where I gushed with you about how amazing David is and how /in love/ I am with him? Why can't we talk about," She chuckled through the tears forming in her eyes. I didn’t want any of this to be happening. "How David is in bed? Why, Al? I want my best friend back. I don't want anything to change."
I couldn’t help it but my eyes filled with tears. “It’s already changed, Lexi. And I want that more than anything in the world, I really do. But it’s just so… /hard/.I see those three beautiful girls, two of which I carried inside of me! And I know that they're not mine and they never will be. And that breaks my heart almost just as much as the fact that I know that I ruined something amazing between the two of us."
Lexi stood, the anger and sadness peaking all at once in the lines of her face. "I know. But Alaska, you /had/ to realize what you were getting yourself into when you signed on to be the surrogate. You knew that they weren't yours. They were mine and they were the moment the doctor put the magic together. But you ruined that, magical, tender moment between... between all of us," She looked around the empty room and imagined what our lives would be like if none of this happened.
"And sometimes," She continued. "I wonder what would've happened if you hadn't said yes. Would we have found another way? Probably not. Would we still be friends? Probably. But," She bit her lip.
I picked up for her. "You were willing to sacrifice our friendship for your daughters," The last words ate me up inside but I tried so hard not to show it. "I know I ruined everything Lexi. And if I could, I would take it all back and then maybe things would be different,"
"I just can't understand!" She shrieked.
We watched the past few years play out in front of us: the pregnancy and the marriages and the kids and the sickness and the death and the joy and it was all just a happy, terrible, mixed up moment. She was mad and so was I.
"Obviously you can't." I said sourly. "And no one's asking you to. What's in the past is just that: the past. We can't change a thing about it-"
"Oh, stop with the literary talk, Alaska. You know as well as I do that this entire thing is your fault." The last bit stung.
Jay stepped in then, after previously retreating to the other side of the room. "Hey!" He looked at Lexi. "You have no right to do that. She was /sick/, or do you not remember? She made a few mistakes and you, just abandoned her like she was a piece of shit. I'm sorry Lexi but what the hell?"
I had never seen Jay act like that, ever. It caught me off guard and apparently, Lexi felt the same way. Even Jay was a little surprised at the words he had just spoken but he soon piped back up. "Alaska is not the only one to blame here."
"And I am?" Lexi retorted.
Jay shook his head. "You should've never asked this of us."
“You could have said /no/!” She screamed, angry tears falling onto her cheeks. But she didn’t wipe them away, she just kept talking. We all spun around to see David standing there, this fists clenched, angry boiling in his blood. For a second, I didn’t even recognize him.
“How dare you,” He directed at Jay. "How dare you? Lexi couldn't get pregnant again. You didn't have to have these babies for us, but you did. That was your /choice/. So don't go blaming this on us, because we weren't the ones who agreed, and then got attached to children that weren't even theirs."
His words hurt me, even though they weren’t directed at me. But maybe they were. I didn’t really know what was going on in any of our heads. "Fuck you, David. You don't choose these things, you know? We were doing you a /favor/. We were helping out our /friends/.”
The fight between the guys ended when Lexi turned her attention towards me. “If I knew all this would happen, I wouldn’t…” She sharply inhaled. "Well, I guess I wouldn't have the girls. But I do, and that is the /best/ thing to ever happen to me, Al. And I can never repay you for doing that. But you don't need to be doing this,"
I opened my mouth to defend myself but Lexi cut me off before I could even speak. “You ruined everything,”
“Stop! Okay, just stop. This is fucking ridiculous,” I shook my head. I didn’t say anything to her or to anybody for a long time, just staring at the pair of blue eyes that had become so strange to me. They were so unfamiliar now, and that was the saddest part of all. “I hate you, Lexi.”
I spoke not with rage, although it was heated. I just spoke with the most sadness I had felt in a long time. Lexi faced me, her face pink from yelling. For a long time, nobody said anything. The room was quiet; the tension thick. "I deserve /something/ don't I? You have this beautiful life with a beautiful home and three, beautiful, beautiful girls and I-" I choked on the words.
Lexi shook her head. "Don't play that game with me, Al. Look at you. You have Jay and that's all you've /ever/ needed. You don't know how lucky you are."
Jay dared to place a hand on my lower back. I stepped forward, not because I was angry with him, but because I wasn't done yet. "Me, lucky?" I nearly laughed. "You've got it all wrong."
"No, you've got it all wrong."
The voice that spoke was one I never would have expected. It was Jay's voice. I turned to him, my face reddening from embarrassment. "I have given you /everything/!" He hollered. "And what do I get in return? A fucking suicide attempt and then, then you just fucking leave like I don't even matter!"
"I had to figure myself out!" I yelled back. "I was sick and confused. I had just lost /everybody/!"
"I was still there for you, Alaska!" He got in my face but never touched me. I could see the rage boiling in his eyes and it made me realize how much I had really hurt him. Lexi and David stood across from us, helplessly watching the whole thing play out. "I was there and you threw me aside like I didn't mean a fucking thing. And I took you back. I fucking took you back!"
I stood there, shocked at the words I was hearing because they had never been spoken aloud. "I'm sorry I'm such a crappy wife!" Tears were pooling in my eyes as I thought of how much I had destroyed everything. "But I loved you. And I know somewhere deep down inside, you love me too. Right? Right?" I begged of him.
"You don't deserve me."
He spoke slowly. For a moment I thought I was standing in another person's life. This wasn't my house. This wasn't my friends I was arguing with. And this was certainly not my husband, proving everyone wrong. No, this was all wrong. And then I snapped.
Before anyone could move, I was on Jay, slamming my fists into his chest, tears streaming uncontrollably down my face. All I could scream was; "I'm sorry." And I just repeating the cycle, until David pulled me off of Jay.
"Enough!" He yelled, forcing Jay into the kitchen for a moment of peace. David disappeared upstairs and returned with the kids in hand, all looking startled and even Avery was crying. "I'm not letting my kids here this. Lex, I'm driving them to your sister's house. I'll be back. Try to keep your fucking tempers in line." He didn't apologize for swearing in front of them.
And the entire time he was gone, I couldn't look anywhere except down at my hands. I wore my wedding ring perfectly on my left hand. It sparkled there, it looked like it belonged. Before, I used to look at it with ease. And now it sort of left an ache in my chest. I felt like I was back in Charlotte, alone. Of course Jay didn't mean any of the words he said. He was just angry.
Lexi and Jay returned from the kitchen. Jay looked much calmer now but still, there was a hint of anger to the way he walked towards me. Even Lexi, who had stood rigid now looked like she was about to back down. "Look," She said, getting my attention. "I don't want to fight anymore. With any of you. We all know that we can't take back anything that we've done in the past," She said, then shook her head. "And we can't take back any of these horrible, awful words that we've said to each other right now. But what we can do.... Is move on."
I looked but, disappointed that there was still tears in my eyes. “But what does that mean for us?” I was honestly scared to know the answer. I didn’t know what was in store for me and Lexi but I was too scared to find out the answer. “We’re just… not friends anymore?”
“I think what Lexi is trying to say,” Jay stepped up. “Is that you two need to give it time-“
“No,” I cut him off, shaking my head. “No more time. We’ve had time. We’ve tried that, we thought it would just eventually work itself out but we were wrong. Something like this just doesn’t go away.” It hurt to speak the truth but you know, I had had a lot of practice.
Lexi was quiet, taking in every word I said. I continued; “What we need to do is talk. Not yell, or scream, or cry. Just talk.”
“If not today, when, Lex? ‘No day but today’.” I quoted RENT, one of our favorite musicals to watch on just a lazy day or something, back when things were good. But now, I couldn’t ever picture us doing that again. I couldn’t picture us doing the every day thing, the normal thing. And that scared me, the fact that we would never get back to how we used to be. “Sit,”
And then Jay left us to take a ride down town and Lexi and I just did what we needed to do: sit and talk. We needed to figure everything out and that’s what we did for the next hour. Lexi and I had drifted apart more than I had ever expected us to.
It was like, when everything was just starting off with us, we were floating easily on a river. Tree Hill was our cityscape and together, we were happy and healthy and there was nothing in our way. But as time went on, tree branches and boats and obstacles got in our way. And somewhere along the way, it just became too much for either of us to handle. And we got separated and eventually, we never found our way back to each other. Now? Now, I thought that we were finally getting back to ourselves.
Comment 'too tough' if you read.