The Story of Us (MxM)

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((Okay. How should we go about this? Make tomorrow the last day and then what?))

His walk home was slow and deliberate. Whatever his father wanted he doubted it was important. It could wait. When he walked through the door he heard shuffling in the kitchen. He closed the door and dropped his bag on the dresser. Then he advanced to the kitchen. His parents were both waiting there. They stood at opposite ends of the kitchen in silence. He had to give them credit. He didn't think in the past three years of this divorce that they could be quiet in the same room. He figured that was the point of them constantly avoiding each other. He took his position at the door way and waited silently for either one of them to say something.

"Pack your things." His mother said. "Tomorrow is your last day of school. You're moving in with your father."

"What?" This was his only response.

"You heard your mother."

He glared at his father. "I don't want to move in with you and your new family! I rather live with my mother."

There was a pause. "Fine." His mother. "But we still have to leave. We're selling the house. The divorce has finally been finalized."

"Then where are we going?" He asked quietly.

"Far from here."

And that was the end of the discussion. His parents left the kitchen. He thought he heard the front door close. He sat there stunned. How was he going to tell Mark? He started to pull out his phone, but decided against it. This was a discussion that needed to be held face to face.
The next day, Mark didn't rush to the bus the next day. He didn't rush out, wanting to meet Alexander as soon as he hopped off the bus.

That was because Mark wasn't at school that day. He was dealing with a sudden family emergency that he needed to stay home for. Of course, he wouldn't have done this without telling Alexander, so he made sure to send his boyfriend a text.

Except the text didn't send.
The hall was empty as Alexander finished cleaning out his locker. He shifted the bag on his shoulder and headed out of the school. He took one more look at the large building and started his walk home. Alexander never got to tell Mark the news. He wasn't there. And when he tried to send a message it didn't go through. His father had cut the line. It was proof that his father no longer wanted anything to do with him. He thought about leaving a note in his locker, but their lockers didn't have slits. And lastly, he would have walked over to his house, but he didn't have enough time. His mother was waiting for him. "This is good-bye," he murmured.


The end of senior year was finally here. He was finished with high school, and now off to college. His mother asked him if he was sure he wanted to leave so early, if he wanted to wait until the fall semester. But Alexander only shook his head. He was eager for his independence, and being at that house felt suffocating to him. And he was sure she was only putting on a charade. He knew that his mother wanted him out of the house as soon as possible. He opened his last box that lay on the floor of his dorm room, and began to unpack. He was told he would have a room mate, but they hadn't told him who it would be. He just hoped his room mate wasn't a complete ass. And he was clean and organized. He shoved his books onto the book shelf.
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Mark had always wondered just what happened to Alexander. The day after he'd dealt with the family emergency, Alexander was just gone. He thought that maybe he was just sick or something. But after a few days Mark had gotten worried and tried asking around about if anyone knew what happened, but because Alexander was never too involved with the student body they had just as much of a clue as Mark had. He'd tried more texts, but those never sent either. He wondered if it was just the divorce... or something else. Maybe involving him. Mark never got a clear answer.

While eventually accepting that Alexander was just gone from his life without a trace, a noticeable spark had gone from him. Mark was still energetic and cheerful... but seemed to keep his friends at more of a distance, perhaps fearing that they too might just up and leave as Alexander had.

Mark's grades were worrying, but despite what his teachers said he'd managed to get into a college with a sports scholarship. His parents were more than proud. Although some of the conditions of the scholarship were that he go soon after high-school instead of just in the fall. As much as he'd miss his family, this was an opportunity that he didn't want to miss.

He finally got to the floor of where his dorm was. He was already carrying a few boxes of his stuff, having come here on a sports scholarship in the first place, carrying a few boxes wasn't much of a problem for him. He got the news that he got a roommate too-- so long as they were each able to do their own thing without messing with each other he'd be okay with his roommate. Besides, it's not like he'd be there all the time because of games and practice.

"So hey," he said, coming into the dorm and setting his boxes down, "I'm Mark. Your roommate." he said, waiting for the other student to respond. ... Wait there was something... familiar about him. Like some sort of weird deja-vu.
He had just shoved the last book into the shelf when he heard someone walk into the room. He paid the guy no attention. Not surprisingly, Alexander was still quick to write people off. Although he did come out of his shell towards the end of senior year, it was only a little. He still didn't care to initiate conversation or talk. But that all changed when he heard a familiar voice. A voice that he never thought he would hear again. "So, hey. I'm Mark. Your roommate."

There was no way he and Mark would be roommates at the same university. Alexander had been offered to scholarships: Swimming and Academics. Obviously he had chosen academics because it was easier to maintain compared to athletics. He didn't want to lose interest in the sport he loved. Besides, he was promised the gift of being allowed to use the pool as he pleased, and he could join the swim team whenever. That's what the coach said at least. Not a lot of people knew he could swim, and it wasn't like he told anyone that he loved it over academics. His mom had been thrilled when she learned about his offers. She didn't care which scholarship was chosen. She was just happy it was a full-ride.

He slowly turned around, hoping his ears were playing tricks on him. But no. They weren't. This was indeed Mark in the flesh. His hair wasn't the same and he even looked a bit taller. Besides that, it was evident that this person standing in front of him with a box in hand was is unofficial ex boyfriend Mark. He was careful not to let anything show on his face. A benefit of constantly keeping up a stoic expression. And right now, he felt conflicted.

"Alexander." Somehow he managed to maintain a calm and controlled voice. "The room is on the left. You can have the dorm to unpack. I have to go for a bit." It wasn't a complete lie to distance himself. He wanted to find out just where his classes were located. "I'm sure you can fend for yourself."
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Mark's eyes widened in surprise when he saw the face that looked back at him. Alexander. What were the odds? He and his ex in the same room? He was speechless, yet he had so many questions. He could only stare and compare what he'd remembered of him before. There was so much that was the same... yet there was also a huge difference. Alexander seemed colder. He was never that social in the first place, but he was so used to seeing Alexander smiling before that seeing him so stoic was surreal, "... Yeah, I'm just fine." 'It's not like I couldn't fend for myself before', he didn't answer.

He wanted answers. He needed answers... Maybe he wouldn't like the answers. And this Alexander didn't seem like the one he knew before. Why did he just disappear? He swore that once he graduated highschool he'd leave those years behind him yet he was still bothered by the thought that Alexander might have left because he couldn't tell him they were breaking up to his face. It's not like any of his text messages ever received a response.

"... Alexander." God, he hadn't said that name in so long, "... Just where the hell were you?"
There was a time when he would have told Mark everything. He would have resisted the urge to avoid serious questions and just simply told him the truth. But that was in the past. Now, he didn't feel an obligation to do those things. Especially when he had abandoned him. The one time that Alexander really needed Mark, he wasn't there. And that left a heavy scar on his heart. "I could ask you the same thing," was his response. He thought about leaving it at that, but he realized he would get no satisfaction from that expression. "The divorce was finalized. I moved." His answers were short and clipped.

He'd broken down that last walk home. Just thinking about it stirred something inside of him. Alexander wasn't the type to lose control of his emotions, but that day he couldn't stop them. It was like all of those years of parental neglect, arguments, and keeping his emotions bottled in just exploded. Ugh. He didn't want to think about it anymore. A swim sounded good right about now. It always cleared his head. He grabbed his swim bag from the floor. "You have your answer. I'm going now."
'I could ask you the same thing'? He was the one who just up and left! Well, okay, the divorce thing. Mark could understand that. But Alexander never responded whenever he'd tried to reach out, and Mark had stopped trying a long time ago... at least he had his answer now. He knew he wouldn't like it. Or, at least how he'd interpreted it.

"Oh. So you just moved on from me too... 'Kay." Would a long distance relationship have been too difficult to keep up with? A simple answer of 'Sorry, but I think I'd rather have a closer boyfriend once I move to this new place' would have been heartbreaking too, but at least it wouldn't have kept him hanging all those years... He should probably move on. Alexander certainly seemed to have.

"... Good. I feel like being alone now anyways." he said, busying himself with opening a box so that he wouldn't have to look him in the eyes anymore. He hoped that his schedule would be frequent enough that he wouldn't have to be in his dorm much, at least not when Alexander was there.
As he reached for the door knob he heard Mark say something that caused him to freeze. "Oh. So you just moved on from me too... 'Kay." He shook his head and stepped out of the room. It all depends on your definition of moving on. Surviving? Yes. Trying to look forward? Sure. But it was all difficult for him to do. Although he was still up and moving, it was nothing but a hollow shell of himself. He didn't feel right. He'd cleaned out his locker but didn't bother to grab his heart on the way out.

Alexander knew that eventually they were going to have to address the elephant in the room. He just wasn't willing to do it. Not today. Just like he planned to do earlier he made his rounds to the classrooms. When he got to the school pool it was empty. He dropped his things to go change. And then, after switching on his goggles, he plunged into the water. His mind was clear of all thoughts as he swam. He swam until his limbs were exhausted and his body was ready to burst. And then he swam some more. It was late when he finished.
Soon after Mark had finished arranging his stuff in the room, being sure to keep it away from Alexander's and keeping to his side of the room, he went out of the room. He'd meant to meet with his coach and his other teammates for the year anyways, and maybe it'd help to clear his head of the whole situation in general.

He still kept his policy of keeping others distanced from him, because his re-meeting with Alexander only affirmed his fear that he'd never really cared about the relationship in the first place. Or, at least it sure seemed like it. If a whole relationship meant nothing to someone, so much so that they could just leave without a trace, what was to say that anyone else really cared about the friendships they had with him? ... It was a bad habit, but old habits were hard to break.

By the time he got back to the dorm it was late, and thankfully no trace of Alexander. Next year he had to make a request for a different roommate. Maybe living off campus would be better, he'd heard that was cheaper. In any case, it'd get away from him.
A towel around his naked shoulders to catch the falling water from his hair, Alexander headed back to his dorm. He had packed an extra shirt to wear back, but he felt so at ease that he had decided to go against wearing one. It was a warm night and he didn't mind feeling the soft breeze on his skin. Besides, there was barely anyone outside anyway. When he got to the door he found that it was locked. He searched in his bag for his keys (surprisingly it took him forever to find them) and unlocked the door. His mind was so clear from the swim that for a moment he'd actually forgotten that someone else stayed in the dorm. The very person that caused his unease. Mark. He shut the door behind him and walked into the kitchen. Swimming always made him hungry.
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His Alexander free time didn't last long before he heard the door unlock and, low and behold, there was Alexander. He noticed that he was certainly built different from the way he was when he first new him-- was he exercising more? He didn't get much of a sight before Alexander left again. Good. Things were just starting to get awkward...

It was just then that he realized that he was getting hungry. He wasn't about to completely wreck his diet and gain the foreboding 'freshmen 15', but he figured a snack wouldn't hurt after all the work he did getting adjusted at campus.

He only knew that Alexander would be at the kitchen too by the time he was in there, though. He didn't mean follow the guy. Should he just walk out? And let his ex determine where and when he should go? He decided screw it, he'd get a snack... just ignore Alexander. Like he wasn't even there.
At first he started out making a sandwich. And then suddenly he had a variety of ingredients on the counter. I guess I'm just going to make pasta then, he thought. It would be more beneficial anyway. At least he would have enough to eat later if he got hungry. He pulled out a pan and fired up the stove. While the noodles worked it's way to a boiling point he chopped up vegetables and seasoned each individually. Since the swimmer was vegetarian he didn't add any meat. He made the Alfredo sauce from scratch.

Alexander didn't cook much, but when he did he could throw down. Before he parents got into the divorce they often told him he could become a chef. Alexander wasn't that much in love with cooking. And once the divorce started he stayed away from it. Of course, he now had no choice but to cook for himself.

He sauteed the vegetables in a skillet before adding the now drained noodles as well. He carefully poured the homemade sauce- he chopped up peppers for a spicy kick- on top as he stirred. After adding a few more seasonings and some toast he was done. He washed the dirty dishes and then fixed himself a plate. He grabbed his glass of juice from the fridge and headed into his room. He left an extra plate on the counter. He kicked his door closed.

The swimmer may be cold as ever to Mark, but his feelings about the male hadn't died like he had wished. In other words, although he told himself he no longer cared about his ex he still made him a plate. He couldn't remember if the jock could cook or not. He didn't want him to starve.
By the time Mark got there could smell something being made in the kitchen-- and it smelled really good, too. He almost thought that Alexander might not be in the kitchen after all before he saw him walking out with his own plate of food. Mark figured that he'd just eat in the kitchen then.

Mark wasn't a terrible cook... but he wasn't that fantastic of one either. About average, honestly. He could make a few basic dishes that he'd made before on a diet and he was intending to make one of them in the kitchen, only to see the plate of food on the counter. He briefly wondered if Alexander forgot it before remembering that he had walked out with a plate of his own earlier... Had he made a plate for him? There wasn't anyone else in the kitchen so... yes. It was for him.

What, did Alexander think he couldn't cook? But, while being confused, Mark helped himself to the spaghetti... Holy crap! It took a few bites for Mark to realize and remember that Alexander was a vegetarian, so there wasn't any meat in it. When they were together, Mark had never really taken advantage of Alexander's cooking, he didn't even know the guy could cook, and admittedly, he was wishing that he had tasted some of Alexander's cooking earlier.

A mere snack turned into a whole meal, but what Alexander made was probably a lot healthier than what Mark would have come up with anyways. Once he was done he washed his own plate and put away the leftovers... and figured that now he'd have to return to the dorm.

When Mark entered the dorm he was unsure about if he should comment about the meal. It'd be pretty rude not to, though, "... Uh, thanks. For the meal." he went to his side of the dorm, "... You're a really good cook."
After a hot shower he felt refreshed and relaxed. He just wanted to get a good sleep. A towel wrapped around his waist he walked into his room. Then he heard the dorm room door open and shut. He looked at the time as he pulled on some shorts. Mark was just now coming back? It was almost midnight. But that's none of your business, he reminded himself. He listened as footsteps grew closer to the door. "... Uh, thanks. For the meal... You're a really good cook."

A smile touched his lips. Something in his chest felt warm at his words. It was foreign to him yet familiar. He placed a hand over his chest and rubbed. "I'm glad you liked it." He replied honestly.
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Mark looked at the time and, jeez. He didn't realize that it was like late. He also didn't realize that he'd been trying to spend that much time trying to avoid Alexander. Maybe Alexander would just disregard the the thank you and compliment he gave. He seemed to have disregarded everything else.

But there was another surprise. He smiled. Mark knew that face of Alexander, and he could help but give a smile of his own, "I'd be lying if I said I didn't."

After getting ready for bed, Mark shut off all the lights on his side and got into bed. He set the alarm on his phone to go off early, wanting to get ready to do some morning exercises... and just generally get out of the dorm early, too.
Alexander awoke to the sound of his alarm at seven. He had set it to get himself used to waking up for morning classes. Even after he hit the button he didn't get up right away. He was too busy wondering if yesterday was a dream. It had to be. There was no way Mark was his room mate nor was it possible that he attended the same college. It was all a dream. Another one of his stupid dreams. As it turned out, Alexander could shut Mark out his mind consciously. But he couldn't do anything when he became unconscious. Mark haunted him. Maybe it was because he never got closure.

He sighed into his pillow. It felt good not having to wake up to arguing and screaming. Just pure silence. And he didn't feel suffocated. He could finally breathe. He breathed again. He couldn't stay here forever. He needed to get up and do something productive. When he rose out of bed he felt as though he'd swam two hundred laps. His arms felt sore. He grabbed a book and some headphones and went to sit on the sofa outside his room. Classical music blasting in his ears he crossed his legs on the comfortable couch and cracked open his newest book.
Mark had managed to get some sleep, but he always woke when he realized what he was dreaming about-- Alexander. He used to have some dreams about him, but those eventually faded... until his re-appearance started them again. He could never recall what they were specifically about but they always seemed happy, perhaps of the old days?

Mark never liked them. Too many old memories. Maybe that's what motivated him to actually get up earlier for a change. When he was in high-school he was terrible at getting up and was late on too many occasions to count, but in his senior year he managed to improve on that to the point of where he actually managed to wake up at 6:30 without an alarm, but he still liked using one. It was quiet enough so that Mark would hear it, but hopefully it wouldn't wake up Alexander.

Looking at Alexander sleeping, he remembered that his mother would never let Alexander sleep over on school nights, and vise versa at the other's house. She was completely fine with the relationship... it was just that Mark refused to get up because he wouldn't stop cuddling with Alexander. What a bittersweet memory.

He didn't like silence. It made him think too much. He needed to get out. After changing he put on his earbuds and took his phone, so that music could fill his head while he jogged around campus. He needed to stay fit for this year's season, after all. A little while later he came back, feeling refreshed from the morning run. He was distracted enough that he didn't notice Alexander as he walked into the room he was in.
He didn't know how many hours passed as he read. Time seemed to fly by every time he read something. He could be reading a book and once he looked up for the second time that day it could be night. He was on the last two chapters when his stomach growled. Have I eaten today? His stomach growled again. It's fine. I'll just finish this and then go out for something. As a vegetarian, Alexander was often scolded (until the Three Years' Divorce- oh so he called it) for not eating appropriately. Vegetarians could easily get sick if they didn't eat the nutrients they needed. And since they didn't eat meat sometimes it was hard to get those nutrients. Even more difficult when you had bad eating habits.

Surprisingly, Alexander never got sick, but sometimes his body would feel off. For example, sometimes when he stood up he felt dizzy and he often had to stand in one place for ten seconds before his vision was cleared. And when he swam his body felt heavier despite the water causing him to float. One would think he would have fixed it by now. Bad habits always die hard.

His stomach growled again and he decided he would go into the mini fridge in he had bought for his room and grab his orange juice and maybe pour a bowl of grapes and nuts. He didn't put the book down though. He continued to read as he made his way, and accidentally bumped into someone on his way there. The impact was currently sending him falling to the carpeted floor.
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Mark thought about taking a shower, and then getting something to eat. He hadn't ate breakfast yet and-- His train of thought was interrupted when he felt something bump into him, and he quickly realized that this something was a person. Instinctively, he reached out to catch the falling person, "Sorry! I didn't see-" he saw who he was catching. He couldn't just... let Alexander drop, as awkward as this was, "... you there..." he finished, waiting for Alexander to get back on his feet.
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