Eighteen months after the funeral.
I’m getting married. He loves me, he wants me, he asked me. I’m so giddy and excited.
“I Alexander take Eric…..”
The words are like bullets. I feel Tom’s arm steadying me.
“Why the fuck am I here.” I whisper to Tom on the way out.
“Seeing is believing and to see me looking fucking hot in a suit.” Tom whispers back.
“And the free bar.” I say.
“Oh no. We are getting out of here. We’ve seen the circus, I’m taking you home.” Tom says
After the funeral I ended things with Gabe as soon as he got back from London. I didn’t love him, he didn’t love me. It was never going to go any further.
I repaired my friendships with the guys, after losing Blondie none of us could stay mad. I moved back to the house and a few months later Brian and Jamie moved out having bought their own place.
I spent the year applying for jobs in California convinced I could win Alexander back if I was closer. He was right being with him at the funeral meant something. Looking after him that day meant everything to me. It was the first time I’d felt like myself since he left.
I wrote a book, called Blair to ask him if he could introduce me to a book agent and he told me he would help me himself. He did, he got me a publisher, a great advance and a contract for several more books.
I took a position at a college a couple of hours north of LA. I sold any possessions I couldn’t fit in my car, not a lot. I arranged leasing the house to the university. And I started on a road trip. I planned to spend a month driving cross country and end it proposing to Alexander.
I was totally focused on him. On making a life he could fit in to. I was a hypocrite at the funeral. It wasn’t just Alexander who hadn’t made a life for us. I hadn’t either. I was ready for my future.
Two weeks in to the trip I heard on the radio that Alexander and Eric were engaged.
I found a place to live, a two bedroom house a nice run from the beach. I started my job and gelled with my team pretty well and enjoyed the work. I pushed all thoughts of Alexander out my head, or I tried. 6 months later I went to the wedding. Tom got me through it. It was the worst.
Tom and I tried to be together for a little while but he had a lot of work on all over the world and we decided to stay friends.
Felix moved out with his fiancé Brandon who was from the area and wanted to be closer to family. Felix’s business was going well. He left a manager in charge in New Jersey and started over out here.
I did everything I could think of to find a boyfriend. Sports teams, volunteering, events, apps, setups and nothing. I couldn’t get a second date. Actually I rarely got a first date. I guess my air of desperation hung in the air. Brandon and Felix would take me out to clubs and laugh at my failure. Actually they weren’t that cruel they did marvel at my bad luck. I totally sucked. I’d never had a problem finding guys before. My ego was severely bruised.
Then I met Jorge. I ran an afterschool program at the university and Jorge was one of the high school teachers who brought his students along. After a few weeks I asked him for dinner, not entirely sure if he liked me. I still wasn’t during the date as he fired question after question at me. It was like the scariest job interview ever.
I stuck with it though. I was intrigued. One date turned into two and now four months down the line, a year since I moved out here we’re pretty happy together.
Harry and Bobbie have moved out here and we’re having dinner at theirs tonight. The first time Jorge is meeting my friends. I’ve tried to keep him all to myself. Bobbie will be teaching at the same school as Jorge so is extra excited to meet him and get the lowdown on everything. Harry will be at the same college as me, different departments obviously but I am looking forward to have a friend around.
“Ready?” I ask Jorge.
“Bit terrified. You all met at school so are all super smart and I’m worried I’ll not have anything to talk about.” Jorge says.
“They are normal guys. Seriously they are not going to be judging you on where you went to school. They’ll be trying to work out what on earth you see in me.” I say laughing.
“Love you.” Jorge says.
“Love you too. Let’s go.” I say and we go inside.
I introduce Harry and Bobbie, Felix and his fiancé Brandon to Jorge. Bobbie and Brandon immediately start asking lots of questions about his school and the school district. When they are quiet for a second Harry starts talking.
“Uh we didn’t tell you before but Alexander and Eric are coming too.” Harry says.
“Oh. Okay.” I say a little confused.
“We really wanted to meet Jorge and didn’t want you to use them as an excuse to not bring him.” Harry says.
“Alexander is your college boyfriend?” Jorge asks.
“Yes, uh he married our friend Eric about 6 months back.” I say.
“No problem.” Jorge says.
“Yeah but I need to…” I try and say as Eric, Max and Alexander come through the door.
“Holy shit its Sandy Green.” Jorge says.
“That’s what I wanted to explain.” I say quietly.
Jorge looks at me and laughs. I introduce him to everyone and Bobbie ushers us all through to dinner.
I stare at Alexander. It’s been a long time since I really looked at him. I wasn’t able to see much through my tears at the wedding and my eyes were mostly on the floor at the funeral. He still takes my breath away. He’s so muscular, his shoulders are huge. I’m a lot smaller these days, I stopped lifting a long time ago, I still run and swim for exercise. I take one last long look and my stomach flips. Shit I could be in trouble here.
Eric is a total brat at dinner. He’s rude to everyone and all over Max, Alexander looks so dejected. I can’t believe he puts up with this shit. As Eric’s hand slips into Max’s jeans I can’t put up with it any longer.
“What’s the point of getting married if you are just going to fool around with someone else and upset your husband?” I ask snapping.
“You’re just jealous that I won. He’s mine and not yours. Oh Tom told me how you were moving out here to win him back. Did me a favor, made me step up and propose. I got there first. I won.” Eric gloats.
Alexander looks shocked.
“You were moving here for me?” Alexander asks.
“Nice way to start a marriage, infidelity and secrets.” Jorge says, his way of sticking up for me.
“Ha, I might have decided not to tell Alexander a small detail about his exes movements but the secrets, those were Alexanders. We get back from honeymoon and I pick up the mail and a bunch of it is addresses to Alexander AND Peter. So I ask my husband why he’s getting mail addressed to his ancient ex and he’s like oh it’s just some bank stuff. Just some bank stuff, all his accounts from his basic checking to his major investments, all of them are in joint names with Peter, we don’t even have a joint credit card. And not just that, you want to know why Peter was so pissed that Jamie and Brian turfed him out? It’s because the house is also half Peter’s. Yup my husband forgot to tell me that he’s bankrolling his ex and has been for years. Like the house my husband bought you do you?” Eric says shocking everyone.
“I don’t know why I’m still on the accounts. I filled in the forms stating I had no claim years ago.” I say quietly.
“So how did you buy your house?” Bobbie asks. As usual my friends don’t take my side.
“I had most of my reward money, the advance from my book and my parents helped. Not that I need to justify myself to anyone. I believe Alexander gave you a check to help get this place.” I say annoyed.
Alexander catches my eye. I know that look, he’s proud of me.
“Two grand. Two thousand dollars is all Peter ever took and that was to buy a suit for Blondie. Anyone here have a problem with that?” Alexander says, I’ve not heard him so icy in years.
“Yeah right and the rest.” Eric sneers.
“That’s it. I told you a hundred times. Sure I paid for things when we were dating but Peter didn’t let me pay for everything unlike you.” Alexander says still icy.
I can’t believe his marriage is this much of a mess already. Can’t believe this is Jorge’s introduction to my friends, so much fucking drama.
“So he’s a loser and a fool.” Eric laughs at me.
“He’s not a loser or a fool. I might not be a movie star but I’m genuine. I love Peter and he loves me. We’re happy unlike you. Who is the real loser?” Jorge gives Eric as much back.
“You are a fool if you think Peter loves you.” Eric says.
“I’m so sorry.” I whisper to Jorge.
“It’s not your fault. I had no idea your friends would be such jerks.” Jorge replies at normal volume.
“We’re not all jerks, tonight Eric is the exception.” Felix says laughing.
“So what is your problem with me Eric? Like you keep pointing out you won, Alexander chose you and he didn’t want me. What exactly did I do to you that warrants all this scorn?” I ask. I want to end the drama but I’m too wound up.
“He’s jealous. He got Alexander but it didn’t bring the work offers. I spoke to Jay at the wedding, people still offer movies and tv shows to Peter and he has a blanket no in place. Nothing came in for Eric. No one is chasing him down the street for his picture. No one is writing him movie parts or offering reality shows. As a business decision the wedding was a total bust.” Harry says surprising me.
“I did get a reality offer actually and if Alexander had agreed to be featured I’d be able to contribute more. But as he chooses to prevent me working I can’t make my own money.” Eric says practically stamping his feet.
“But one reality show is nothing like the movies that ask for Peter.” Felix says laughing.
I feel bad.
“You get movie offers without auditioning? How does that happen?” Max asks.
I don’t have an answer.
“Oh come on, he’s hot and has that whole hero backstory. The public love him, people think his life is a soap opera, teens still ship Peter and Alexander online.” Harry says. I can’t believe he knows about that shit.
“It’s true when people see out college photos we get as many questions about Peter as we do Alexander.” Bobbie says.
I shake my head, worried about what Jorge must be thinking.
“There is no need to be jealous Eric, I’m not taking any work from you. I never took any of Alexander’s money for myself and I relinquished any claim to his accounts years ago. I loved Alexander for a long time, very much, I’ll never deny that. He chose you, he is wearing your ring. I am long out of the picture. I love Jorge.” I say.
“I’m not jealous. You’re a loser, a nobody yet you still get everything I want, well almost.” Eric says kissing Alexander.
“I’m not a fucking fairground prize.” Alexander shouts getting up and walking out.
Eric just shrugs and turns his attention back to Max.
“I’m sorry for all the drama. I think we best go. Sorry for ruining the night. Harry, Bobbie the food was lovely.” I say and get up, Jorge following me quickly.
“Well that was not what I expected.” Jorge says.
“Sorry for not telling you about Alexander.” I say.
“He’s in the past and I’m insecure enough about dating you, I understand.” Jorge says once we get in the car.
“I didn’t expect to see them and I didn’t know Eric would be such a douche. Alexander looked devastated.” I say.
“Just drop me home and go after him. He looks like he needs a friend. I trust you.” Jorge says.
“Thanks. Are you sure?” I ask.
“Go. I’m tired anyway it was a long week. Bobbie and Brandon seem cool, I’m looking forward to new work friends.” Jorge says.
“I’ll get you their numbers.” I say and kiss him goodnight.
I drive down to the beach. I walk along the sand and plop down next to Alexander. I don’t know why but I reach my hand towards his and wrap my pinkie round his. He looks at me and smiles briefly.
“Why did you do it? Why did you marry him? Why did you marry him and not me?”