Secrets Kept, Lies Told

Secrets Kept, Lies Told
By Sarah
Chapter 37

    AJ sat back in his chair and watched as Brian walked in the hospital room as his mother walked out.  He was happy that Alexa was awake, simply ecstatic.  But it bugged him that she woke up when Nick was in there.  'Stop the jealousy, AJ, she's awake, you even had her listening to you last night and communicating.  You had her doing that before anyone else, stop it right now,' he scolded himself.  He wiped his eyes and stood up, walking to the hospital room as Brian arrived at the door.
    "She's tired, AJ, but she'll be ok.  Just don't get her too riled up, all right?"  Brian whispered.
    AJ nodded and walked past his friend and into the room.  He looked at his sister, her small body practically hidden beneath all the sheets and wires.
    "Hey, Aly," he said, trying to keep back his tears.
    "Hey, Alex," she said quietly.
    That was all it took for AJ to break down.  He walked quickly over to her and let the tears fall, he didn't care anymore.  "God, Alexa, for a moment there, I never thought that we would hear you talk again," he said, holding her hand.
    "AJ, how dare you?  You know I wouldn't give up without a fight, we're too much alike, and we have the same attitude towards life, the same donkey kind of stubbornness.  Never think something like that, I'm not a quitter," she said, her voice scratchy and low.
    "Yes, ma'am," AJ replied, saluting her.
    Alexa laughed and AJ practically sighed.  'Its so good to hear her laugh.  Come to think of it, she hasn't laughed for a week,' he said to himself.
    "So, what's on the agenda, Miss Alexa, are you going to sit here for a few more days or are you going to be out on the courts kicking Nick's ass?" AJ asked, smiling.
    "I'm definitely going to be playing soon, but not for a while.  From what I've been hearing, I can't even get out of bed for the next week," Alexa said, playing with the edge of the sheets.
    "What happened, Aly?  What went wrong?"  He asked.  His curiosity was peaked, he had to know.
    "AJ, to tell you the truth, I haven't a clue.  I don't know what is wrong, what happened, why it happened, or what to tell anyone as an explanation.  I wish I did, I want to be able to explain it to myself, but I can't.  I just know that I need some help, AJ, something is wrong and I sure as hell don't know what it is, and apparently, no one else does either.  I wish I could tell you, but I don't know," Alexa said, her voice cracking.
    AJ shook his head and held her hand, telling her to stop talking.  "We'll find out, I'll stay by your side until we find out what's wrong, and after that, I'll stay here until we can find a cure," he promised.
    "No, you can't, what about your tour?"  Alexa said.
    "The tour has been postponed until further notice.  We aren't going anywhere until you can come with us," AJ said, already thinking this through.
    "Can you tell Nick to come in here?"
    AJ nodded, trying to not let the sadness show through.  "Sure, he'll be right in," he said quietly.  He stood up and kissed her forehead, then headed for the door.  He gave her a smile before he left and walked down the hall towards the waiting room.
    "Hey, Nick, go see Alexa," AJ said roughly, trying to not look at anyone.  He heard Nick jump up and run down the hall as he sat down.  AJ put his head in his hands and held back tears, not wanting to cry anymore.
    "You can cry, baby, no one would blame you for it," someone said. AJ looked up and into the kind eyes of his mother.
    "But it hurts so bad, Ma, she's hurt and in pain and I can't do anything about it," he said.
    His mother sat next to him and shooed everyone out of the waiting room. "AJ, honey, there's nothing any of us can do but wait.  The doctor told me that there could be three reasons.  One, she has a disease that is incurable, two, she has a disease that can be cured, or three, she is suffering from too much stress.  In any instance, she needs us to be strong, to help her be strong.  She needs us, AJ, and if crying behind her back is what we have to do, than do it, because if she sees us cry, she'll get weaker.  So just let the tears go, Alex, let them go," she said to him. AJ bent his head down and cried.

    Nick smiled as he walked in the room and faced Alexa.  "You always did know when I was sneaking up on you," he said.
    "Its because I always know where you are, you're too adorable to go unnoticed," Alexa said, taking his hand as he sat down next to her.
    "Ugh, why do you have to say that I'm adorable?"  He asked, putting on a sour face.
    "Because you are, little Nicky!"  Alexa exclaimed, pinching his cheeks.
    "Ow," Nick said, rubbing his red cheeks.
    "You and your little belly," Alexa said, laughing and poking him in his stomach.
    "Hey!  Don't diss the stomach," Nick said, trying to keep a straight face.  'She's been through so much and still she has her sense of humor.  But is it because she knows something the rest of us don't?'
    "I like your stomach, I think its cute."
    "Oh, cute, another word I hate," Nick said, grimacing.
    Alexa laughed and Nick turned his grimace into a smile.  He leaned forward and kissed her gently.  "I love you," he said quietly.
    "I love you too," Alexa replied, playing with his hair.
    Nick sat on the edge of the bed and tilted his head to the side, letting her reach his head better.  She gently led his head down to her lap and ran her fingers through his hair.
    "Are you trying to make me tired?"  Nick asked, closing his eyes and relaxing.
    "No, I just want you to be here with me, I don't want you to leave and leave me alone again," Alexa said.
    Nick opened his eyes and looked into Alexa's sad brown eyes.  "I'll never leave you alone, I would never do that to you," he said.  "What makes you think that I would leave you alone?"  He asked.
    "You did."
    "The other night.  We were staying together in my room and you left when I fell asleep.  I couldn't sleep after that and when I tried to get you, you were gone, you'd disappeared.  You weren't even in your room, I couldn't find you anywhere."
    "Alexa, that night, I.. " Nick retraced his memory and remembered where he'd gone.  He didn't want to tell her, she could get upset.  "I needed to be alone, that's all.  It was nothing against you.  When I saw that you were asleep, I couldn't find anything on TV and left, that's all," he explained.
    "But where did you go?  Nick, we were in New York City, where did you go?"  Alexa asked, worried.
    "I... I just went for a walk," Nick lied.
    "Nicky, please don't lie to me."
    "I'm not, I went for a walk."
    "Where did you end up?"
    "The park."
    "Nick, you're lying, I can tell," Alexa said.
    Nick bit his lip and looked away from Alexa.  He was lying, he didn't want to tell her where he'd gone.  He knew she would get upset.  'In fact, she would be furious.  I promised to never betray her, it would kill her to know what I did.'
    "Alexa, I don't want to talk about it.  I just went out and walked, I had to think," Nick said.
    "Who did you see?"
    "I... " Nick started to stutter, he didn't want to say, but maybe not telling her would make her madder.
    "You know what, I don't want to know.  Just get out," Alexa said, pointing to the door.
    "Alexa, I can explain," Nick said.
    "Go, Nick," she said, pointing to the door.
    Nick sighed and stood up.  He leaned forward to give Alexa a kiss, but she just moved her head.
    "Goodbye, Nickolas," she said.
    Nick walked slowly to the door, his head down.  Whenever she said his full first name, he knew she was pissed.  'But what else was I gonna do? Maybe I should've just told her, maybe she would've forgiven me afterwards.' Nick scoffed to himself as he walked slowly down the hall.  'A little late for that, Nick.  Bravo, you've officially hurt your girlfriend right when she doesn't deserve it at all,' he scolded himself.
    "What's wrong, Nick?"  Brian asked, stopping Nick from going inside the waiting room.
    "I just totally hurt Alexa," Nick said.
    "You're kidding me," Brian said.
    "No, she remembered when I disappeared that one night and went for a walk in the city.  She said that she didn't stay asleep that night, that she had looked for me and couldn't find me," Nick said.
    "And?  So?  I thought you just went for a walk and ended up at the park," Brian said.
    "I did... but I didn't stay there.  I... saw someone.  Someone I know," Nick admitted.  'First I couldn't tell my girlfriend, now I'm afraid to tell my best friend what happened five days ago.  Sheesh, I am chicken shit.'
    "What happened Nick?  Wait a second, you saw her, didn't you?"  Brian guessed.
    Nick nodded.  "Yeah, she was in the park."
    "And I went with her to her apartment and we talked."
    "Why do I not believe that is all that happened?"
    "Because she kissed me before I left."
    "You're kidding me, I thought she and you were..."
    "We aren't, we saw each other by chance.  And if I hadn't seen her, Alexa wouldn't be as angry with me as she is now.  I lied to her, Bri, and she's furious that I did.  We promised each other that we would never lie to each other, we would always tell the truth.  Well guess what, I totally ruined her trust and probably killed whatever relationship we had together," Nick said.
    "Nick, stop exaggerating.  You'll work it out, just tell her what happened.  She'll probably forgive you once you explain, nothing was your fault.  You couldn't have done anything to avoid what she did, it was her fault.  Just explain it to her later, she'll understand," Brian said.
    "Later, right now, I think she wants to be alone," Nick said, starting for the waiting room again.
    "Wait, Denise said to stay out, she's talking to AJ," Brian said, stopping him.
    "About what?"
    "I don't know, but last time I checked, they were both talking and crying, so I think they ought to be alone for a while, they need the time together."
    Nick nodded and walked towards the elevator, pressing down.  He needed to get out of there, the hospital was becoming too stuffy for him.

    "Hey, where'd Nick go?"
    "I don't know and I don't care," Alexa answered Kevin as he walked in the room.
    "Whoa, what happened?"  He asked, sitting next to her bed.
    "I don't want to talk about it," Alexa said, rolling on her side and facing away from Kevin.
    "Ok," Kevin trailed off, looking curiously at Alexa.  He rubbed her arm gently, knowing it was soothing to her.
    "Kevin, why did he have to lie to me?"  Alexa asked tearfully after a few minutes.  She rolled onto her back and looked at him, tears rolling down her face.
    "I don't know, Alexa, but I'm sure there was a good reason.  I know he would never hurt you intentionally," Kevin said quietly.  He wiped away her tears, hating to see her cry.  'She doesn't deserve this kind of pain, she's already been through enough.  I'm gonna have it out with Nick, he's gonna get it,' he said to himself.  He wiped away more of Alexa's tears and hummed quietly to her, smoothing her hair back.  He kept humming until she closed her eyes, and then until she fell asleep.  He got up quietly and kissed her forehead, then walked into the hallway.  He met his cousin as he was walking down the hall with a cup of tea.
    "Where's Nick?"  He asked him.
    "I don't know, he left here a while ago," Brian answered, sitting wearily in a chair.
    Kevin's face hardened and he walked to the elevator.  He went down to the ground floor and passed by the fans that had found out that they were in the hospital.  He started walking slowly down the street, keeping his hat low to hide his face.  He finally found himself at a cafe and walked in, grabbing a small table in the back.  He ordered a cup of coffee and looked around the dark place.  He spotted a few people who he recognized from past concerts and a few people who he just knew.  Then he spotted someone, who was leaned over a cup of coffee and their shoulders were shaking lightly.  Kevin got up slowly and walked towards the back table to the person and sat across from them.
    "What happened, Nick?"  He asked.
    Nick looked up at Kevin and wiped his red eyes.  "I don't know, I probably destroyed Alexa's trust and totally crushed our relationship and lost all respect for myself at the same time, that's all," he said, sniffling.
    Kevin nodded and sipped from his cup of coffee.  He tried to keep his temper controlled, wanting to get the whole story.  "What did you tell Alexa?"
    "That's just it, I didn't.  You see, last week, Alexa and I were watching a movie in her room.  She fell asleep and I couldn't find anything on TV, so I left and took a walk.  I ended up at Central Park and sat on a bench, thinking for a while.  Unfortunately, though, someone I rather not have seen found me.  Also unfortunately, Alexa woke up after I left and searched everywhere for me, and of course, didn't find me.  She was worried and couldn't sleep after that.  What's bad about that, though, is that I went with that person to her apartment and I didn't get back to the hotel until about six am, way after anyone thought I was asleep.  I just lied to Alexa's face, I didn't tell her what had happened.  If I'd told her what had
happened, she probably would've understood, but I was too chicken to tell her," Nick explained, wiping away his tears and stirring his spoon around in his cup.
    "What happened at her apartment?"  Kevin asked, knowing whom he was talking about.
    "We were talking and I told her what we were doing there and told her about Alexa and she told me what had been going on with her.  Right before I left, though, she kissed me.  I was shocked that she did, and I didn't kiss her back, but the mere suggestion to Alexa will make her jump to the worst possible conclusion.  I don't want to hurt her, I never wanted to lie to her, but I don't want her to think the wrong thing," Nick said, sipping his coffee. "Ugh, I never liked coffee," he said, taking another sip.
    "Nick, maybe you should just talk to Alexa, explain to her what happened.  I came looking for you with full intention of giving you a piece of my mind, but I'm not now because I know what happened.  It wasn't your fault, you said yourself that you only talked about Alexa.  Just explain what happened, she'll forgive you," Kevin said.
    Nick nodded and took another long sip of his coffee.  "Maybe.  Right now, I just want to forget anything ever happened in New York, I want to forget even seeing her at this moment.  I knew I shouldn't have suggested to walk her home, but no, I have to be nice to everyone I know," he said, sniffling.
Kevin handed him a napkin and stood up, leaving a few dollars on the table. He walked silently back to the hospital, hoping Nick would follow him soon.
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