There was a sea of guests. Each one asking her how she was holding up. She knew they were trying to be nice, but God, did every conversation need to be about her sister? Needing some air, she slipped out of the room, somehow managing to reach the front door completely unnoticed. Alexis didn't know how much more she could take. The day was supposed to be a celebration of her birthday, but instead, Sammy was all anyone thought about. Alexis opened the door, and walked right into a large chest. She nearly screamed, but quickly realized it was Jeremy standing in front of her.
"Holy crap, you scared me!" Alexis said. clutching her chest.
"Sorry about that kiddo, Happy Birthday." Jeremy replied. "Here this is for you" he said, handing her a small gift.
Alexis held the gift in her hands, looking at it for a short moment. "Thank you for coming Jeremy, I am so happy to see you. Oh, and thanks for the present." She said fumbling with the neatly wrapped gift. "Can you do me a favor though?" she asked, feeling uncertain of herself.
"Sure" He replied, raising an eyebrow.
"Can you stop calling me kiddo? I'm tired of people treating me like a child." Alexis said quietly, now unable to look him in the eyes. "Sorry, I know it shouldn't be a big deal, but as of lately, it seems nobody wants to admit that I am now an adult."
"Sure, I understand. I'll stop. I didn't realize it bothered you." He put his hand on her shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze. "You know Alexis, I don't see you as a child." He said, trying to reassure her. "I haven't for quite some time. You are mature for your age. I'm deeply sorry for making you feel like a kid." Roughing her hair, in a teasing manner, he attempted to change the subject. "Now, miss Lex, why are you out here, while everyone else is in the house celebrating your birthday? Is everything alright?"
"It's just that, well... nothing. It's nothing. I just needed some air, that's all." She said.
"Okay. Well, if it's nothing, how about we go inside and celebrate?" Jeremy reached for the doorknob, opening the door for Alexis. Hesitating for just a moment, She moved past him, and back into the crowded room.
For an hour, Alexis tried her best at coping with stories, and one sided conversations about Sammy. She kept scanning the room, looking for an escape. Looking for Jeremy. Where had he gone? Did he leave without saying goodbye? She hoped not.
Out of nowhere, a large crash sounded from the kitchen, followed by loud curses. Puzzled, she rushed toward the noise. In the kitchen was Jeremy. Around him was a mess of broken glass, covering the floor. He was yelling at her neighbor, Juan. Jeremy was in Juan's face, almost as if he was daring him to throw a punch. Juan, just stood there, not knowing how to react. Juan spoke to Jeremy nervously. "Woah buddy, calm down. I was just trying to help. I was just trying to help you!"
Jeremy, then pushed Juan, hard enough to throw him into the wall behind him. Juan hit hard, looking stunned.
"WOAH! Jeremy! What is going on? What happened?" Alexis yelled.
"Alexis, Get the fuck out of here! This is none of your fucking business! Get out of here, now!" Jeremy yelled, his speech slurred. Staggering toward a bag on the floor, Jeremy pulled out a bottle of whiskey. He then removed the cap, and took a long, hard drink.
"I was trying to get him to stop drinking. I told him that he had enough, that he should try and sober up, but he lost it!" Juan stated, trying to move himself away from Jeremy's reach.
"It's none of his goddamn business!" Jeremy exclaimed, moving toward Juan. "I'm a grown man, I can drink however much I want!"
"Woah, Jeremy, enough! Juan is right, you need to stop! Please, put the bottle down. We can talk about this!" Alexis pleaded. "Jeremy, please. I am begging you!" Tears threatened to escape.
Jeremy stopped dead in his tracks, and looked at Alexis. "Awe kiddo, i'm sorry. Don't cry, I'm sorry." Jeremy stumbled forward, stopping right in front of her, pulling her toward him, nearly knocking both of them onto the floor.
"Jeremy, you need to leave. Let's go, i'll drive you home." Alexis said, disappointment in her eyes. She wasn't prepared to see this side of Jeremy. Truthfully, it scared her to death.
"God, i'm so sorry Lex. Please, believe me. I'm sorry." Jeremy started to sob. "I just miss her so much. I miss her so damn much."
"I know, we all do. Now, let's go. We need to get you home. You've had enough to drink tonight."
After what felt like eternity, Alexis managed to get Jeremy into her car, stopping twice for him to vomit on the grass. She couldn't believe how the night turned out. The party was a disaster, and now, she just wanted to curl up in a ball, and cry herself to sleep. Jeremy sat silently beside her, staring out the window. She guessed he was merely trying not to get sick in her car. Either way, she welcomed the silence.
She pulled into his driveway, and put the car in park. "Come on, we have to get you into bed." She said to Jeremy, who was now trying to find the door handle, but having trouble. Alexis rolled her eyes and exited the car. She walked to the passenger side of the vehicle, and assisted Jeremy out. She walked him into his house, turning on his lights. She scanned the room quickly, noticing many empty bottles of alcohol. She led Jeremy to his room, and pulled back his blankets, inviting him to get into his bed. Before he did, he grabbed Alexis, pulling her into a hug.
"Thank you for taking care of me. You're a good person, Lex." He then kissed her on the cheek. With a thud, he tipped over onto his bed. Alexis removed his shoes, and covered him with his blankets. In no time, Jeremy was fast asleep.
Alexis turned off his light, and closed his door. Tomorrow she would deal with this. Tomorrow, she will tell him just how much he hurt her. "Happy Birthday to me." She mumbled as she walked out to her vehicle, and drove away.