1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ! It’s the 10 duel commandment! And forgive me for what happened in chapter 9. Don’t worry, it gets better in this chapter. Well, after one other thing happens… Anyways, on with the story!
The next day, Alex is in a sour mood. John tried to get him to go to sleep, but he refused. So he either didn’t sleep at all or only got a couple of hours of it. While he’s drinking his coffee, John says, “We have to go shopping for Lafayette’s birthday today. And Herc and I were thinking…” He tells Alex the idea. A wide grin spreads across his face.
“How have we never thought of this before?” Alex wonders aloud. Despite saying he’s not friends with any of them, he still wants to get Laff gifts. And John is glad to see this. Maybe he’ll be friends with them sooner than he thought.
At the Schuyler’s house, Angelica is really mad. “I can’t believe James Reyes posted that! My app is supposed to be a same environment, not a place where people hurt each other! At least I was able to kick him off the app, but still! What he did was horrible!”
She’s been so wrapped up in what James did that she didn’t notice that Eliza didn’t come down for dinner. Angelica didn’t come down herself, though. But she also hasn’t noticed that she hasn’t come down for breakfast, either. At least, not until now.
Peggy is eating her cereal quietly, listening to her sister rant. That when Angelica notices Eliza’s absence.
“Peggy, have you seen Eliza?”
“She’s in her room. You should go talk to her, you understand boys better than I do. Just saying, she may be mad at you for not checking on her yesterday.
“Boys…?” Angelica murmurs, confused. She goes upstairs to find Eliza sitting on her bed, a pillow covering her face. Angelica can hear her sobs.
“Eliza? Are you okay?” Angelica asks, rushing to her sister’s side.
Eliza lets out a sob before handing Angelica her phone. Worried that someone is cyberbullying her sister, she looks at the text messages that are okay. She wipes the tears off the screen before reading.
“Oh, Eliza, I’m so sorry this happened,” she says, hugging her sister.
“H-he wa-wasn’t acting like h-himself. He’ll c-come ar-round, right?”
Angelica hugs her tighter. “I’m sure he will, Eliza. He’s just upset about what happened to John, I’m sure.” Eliza nods. “Now, do you want me to bring you some mint chocolate chip ice cream?”
Eliza lifts her head out from the pillow and nods, adding, “Th-thank y-you.” Angelica smiles kindly and goes downstair to get the ice cream. She comes back with the whole tub. Then Angelica turns on Eliza’s TV and opens Netflix. She puts on Newsies, which is one of Eliza’s favorite movies.
Back at John’s house, Alex is trying to find something to wear. Honestly, how do I own nothing that’s black? He wonders. He looks over at John’s side of the closet. He, too, has nothing black. Combined, they have almost every single color of the rainbow, except BLACK! There’s green, green, turtles, red, blue, yellow, white, even orange and purple,but no black.
Alex grunts, frustrated, and makes due with a navy hoodie and jeans. He leaves his hair down, but doesn’t push it out of his eyes like he normally does. He lets it hang around his face, blocking him from the world, with only some room to see. This is something Alex does when he’s upset, but he doesn’t notice that it’s a habit of his.
John is wearing a turtle shirt, like usual. “You ready to go?” he asks. Hamilton just nods, not really wanting to talk to his ex-friend.
They meet Hercules at his house, and his mom drives them to the nearest Walmart. Then they get to work. They start in the food section, grabbing french fries, croissants, baguettes, french vanilla ice cream, and french toast. This is the fun part of his birthday this year. Then they grab real presents.
They have fun while doing it, but when Alex catches himself having fun, he cuts off his laughter immediately and turns somber again. He’s like one of the those light bulbs that keeps flickering on and off, trying to decide which one it will be.
John can’t help but think that it’s all his fault. He was the one that decided he’d let the picture get posted. He decided to go to the bathroom to get his mind off of Mrs. Lloyd’s boring lecture. He should have just gone through with the blackmail.
But then what would Alex think of him?
These thoughts run through his mind, refusing to quiet down. If only Alexander could just hear him out; then he would understand.
As they’re walking out, John asks, “Alex, can I talk to you?”
He hesitates before replying. “Depends on what you want to talk about.”
“What happened yesterday.”
Alexander’s face hardens, and he turns away. “Alex, please, just hear me out! You can still hate me afterwards, but at least let me explain what happened!”
They place the bags in the trunk and get into their seats. Hamilton rolls his eyes before murmuring, “Fine.”
John explains to him the true story of what happened. When he gets to the part about blackmail, Hamilton’s face softens a little bit. John sees this as a good sign. He continues, explaining how James was just lucky to get a picture like that, and that Maria is a good actress.
Once he’s done explaining, he waits for Alexander’s reply. After a couple minutes of thinking, he says, “You know, you’ve had a day to think about that cover story. You did a good job too, but it’s too far fetched. Sounds like something you’d find in a fanfiction.”
John is hurt. “You mean you don’t believe me?”
Alex lets out a low chuckle. “I’m not that stupid, John. It’s funny that Herc and Laff fell for it, though.”
Hercules turns around from his spot in the passenger seat. “I hear that you know!”
“That’s the point,” Alex replies rudely. Hercules just gives him the death glare. And trust me, you do NOT want to be in his death glare. But Alex doesn’t mind.
“Alexander Hamilton, you are not acting like yourself! What is going on?” John scolds.
“Ooh, using my full name, I’m so scared,” he says sarcastically. “Must make you feel tough, doesn’t it.”
John can feel his normally well hidden temper begin to rise. “Alexander, just because you’re too stuck up to see the truth doesn’t mean it’s not there!” he shouts. He would leave the car, but they’re still on their way home.
Hercules’s mom finally pipes up and says, “Boys, stop arguing in the car. Save it for when you get home.”
They end up glaring at each other the whole way. When they’re dropped off at John’s house, they grab their gifts and go inside. Once everything is put away, they go to John’s room to continue their argument.
As soon as Alex slams the door, he shouts, “I am not stuck up!”
“Then how to you explain how you’re acting?” John replies.
It takes Alex a moment to find the right words. And it’s not something John expected. “I’m… disappointed.” He visually sags. Light bulb off.
John forgets about the argument, forgets about his temper, and goes over to his friend. “Hey, Alex, it’s alright,” he soothes. He moves to give him a hug, but Alex pushes him away, angry once again. Light bulb on.
“You see, that’s your problem! You’re too forgiving! You too readily comfort people that have done you wrong! That is your problem John! So you need to change that!” He storms out of the room.
John just stand there, hurt. “How can I be too forgiving?” he wonders quietly. Tears threaten to overwhelm him, but he pushes them back. He won’t give Alex the satisfaction of making him cry.
Alexander storms to the bathroom, but once he’s locked the door, his anger vanishes. Why am I being so harsh on him? He wonders.
Because he betrayed me.
But how exactly did he betray me?
Alex sighs, realizing he can’t quite place his anger. But that doesn’t mean he’s not upset. He’s heard John’s version of the story, but how does he know it’s true? It could be a lie. But what if it’s the truth…
NO! It’s not the truth. John is full of a bunch of lies!
But since when has John lied?
When he didn’t tell me who Lexi was. Instead of Eliza,was it Maria all along?
He sighs again and besides to make something right. He takes out his phone and texts Eliza. I’m really sorry for the way I acted yesterday. I was just in a bad mood about what John did.
Eliza picks up her phone and looks at the text. He interrupted them during ‘Brooklyn’s here.’ She shows it to Angelica and asks, “What do I do?”
After a moment of thinking, she says, “Reply.”
She writes, Don’t you mean what Maria did?
Not wanting to start another argument, Alex replied, Whoever’s fault it was, I want to say I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have treated you like that. I let my other emotions get the best of me. I’m really, really sorry. Can you forgive me?
Eliza turns to Angelica. “Should I forgive him?” she asks.
“Do you want to forgive him?”
She looks at the screen and realises yes, yes she does. SHe’s still helpless for him.
I forgive you.
Thank you so much! So, would you like to get ice cream tomorrow?
Does 1:00 pm work for you?
Alex leaves the bathroom, feeling better. He checks the time and realises he probably should start getting ready for the party. It’s not for another few hours, but he wants to be ready.
As he’s getting ready, he vows to not get drunk (if there are any drinks there, which there probably will be). But sometimes, promises are hard to keep.
A few minutes before Burr is supposed to pick him up, John asks, “Where are you going?” Alex is in his room, making sure he has everything he needs.
“A party,” he replies before adding, “With Burr, Jefferson and Madison.”
John’s jaw literally drops. “You’re going to a party? With them?”
“Yeah. You got a problem with that?” Alex defends.
“Yes, actually, I do. It is totally irresponsible.”
“I’m going to stay sober,” he promises.
“Just because you are doesn’t mean everyone else will be,” John counters.
Alexander’s phone buzzes, signaling that Aaron is here.
“Sorry John I gotta go,” Alex says, rushing out of the room and pounding down the stairs.
Thomas is in the driver seat of a convertible BMW. And he is totally underage. “Thomas, you realize you can get pulled over for this, right?” He asks.
Jefferson just pulls out a fake ID for him to see. “No one will suspect a thing,” he says, a wide grin on his face. Alex grins and climbs into the backseat with Burr.
“So, who’s house is it at anyway?”
“James Reyes,” Madison replies.
This reminds Alex of something that John had told him about James’s “blackmail.”
“He wanted me to go to one of his parties on Saturday and get drunk,” John had said, fear in his eyes.
So if John was lying about the blackmail, why was that true? Eh, lucky guess. Or he just happened to know that. It’s not like John was telling the truth.
When they got to the house, various colored lights were shining through the windows, and the beat of the music could be heard from the street.
This should be fun, Alex thinks, only slightly sarcastic. They get out of the car and head inside. “I’ll stay sober,” Burr volunteers as they open the door.
The music is way louder in here. The living room is crowded with people, all of them dancing really close together. Most of them have drinks in their hands. Alex makes his way through the crowd, having already lost everyone else.
Jefferson makes his way toward him and hands him a cup. “Here,” is all he says before walking away.
Alex looks at the cup and thinks What the heck. He takes a drink.
He wakes up with a splitting headache. Sunlight is streaming through the curtains. He’s thankful to see that he’s at John’s house and not still at the party.
Little flashes come back. Taking drinks. Standing on the table. Wobbling up the stairs to his room.
He lets out a groan and buries his head in his pillow. He can hear John shifting around. Good. I woke him up, Alex thinks bitterly. He rolls onto his back and stares at the ceiling, rubbing his forehead. He lets out another groan, this one a little louder.
John turns to look at his, his eyes droopy with sleep. His hair is all crazy and tangled. “What are you moaning about?” he asks sleepily.
“I have a headache,” Alex whines.
John suddenly seems more awake. “When did you get home?” he asks.
“Dunno,” he replies.
“Alex, did you drink last night?”
“Noooo….” Alexander lies. John sees right through it.
He sits bolt upright in bed and storms over to Alex. “You said you wouldn’t drink!!” he reprimands.
“I might have had one…” he looks at John’s face. “Or more…”
“Alexander Hamilton, how dare you! You are underage, and you know how irresponsible that is!”
“Why do you care?” Alex asks, his anger beginning to flare. This makes his head hurt more.
“I care about your well being! Now get up this instant! You’re going to go downstairs, take some pain medicine, and suffer consequences.”
Alex turns away from him and says stubbornly, “No.”
“Alexander, don’t make me manhandle you!” he threatens.
“Go on, I dare you.” That is how he ended up being dragged down the stairs by John.
Alex tries to loosen his grip, but it is no use. When they get to the bottom, John drops him into one of the wooden chairs (which hurt) and when into the kitchen to get medicine.
He finds what he’s looking for and comes back with the medicine, water, and some toast.
“Can I at least have coffee?” Alex asks.
“No.” Alex grunts, but takes the medicine. At least the pain will go away soon. He then begins to eat the toast.
“You’re not going to tell your parents, are you?” Alex asked, suddenly scared.
“I won’t. This time. If you ever go to a party like that again, I will tell.”
“Thanks John,” Alex murmurs.
As John makes eggs, he tries his best to stay mad at Alex. But John is an innocent child and by the time he’s done eating his eggs he already forgives Alex. It’s very, very hard for him to hold a grudge.
Alex doesn’t speak to him all day. When Herc and Laff come over, he stays locked in the bedroom closet. At about noon, he comes out of the closet to get ready for his date with Eliza.
He ignores his friends as they talk about various things. They try to talk to him, but he ignores them. He orders an Uber and heads to Eliza’s house, trying to get into a better mood. He is by the time he knocks on the door.
It’s answered by Peggy. “Hi Alex!” she says, holding up her hand for a high five. When he high fives her, she grabs his hand and pulls him towards her. “Don’t you ever break her heart again,” she growls, her grip really tight. She then lets go and puts a innocent smile on her face. “She’s waiting for you in the living room.”
He walks in, a little stunned by what Peggy said. He didn’t know such anger could come out of a twelve year old. His face breaks out into a grin when he sees Eliza. Unlike her normal look, she’s wearing skinny jeans and a t-shirt. But of course, the shirt is a light blue.
“Hey beautiful,” he says.
She blushes and replies, “Hi Alex.”
“Shall we?” he asks. She nods and they head out to the car. He instructs the driver to drive them to the Cold Stone at Ocean Cove.
“So, how are you doing?” Alex asks tentatively, worried about what he had said to her during text.
She shrugs. “Good, I guess. But my group for social studies is not very cooperative, so I’ve been doing most of the work.”
He nods. “I would say I know how you feel, but you disagree with everyone in your group, but for us, only Charles is annoying. Well, that might change, since…” He cuts off there, not wanting to go down that path.
But she does. “Alex, it’s not that big of a deal. Besides, Maria forced him to do it.”
Alexander shakes his. “Let’s not talk about this, okay? I want to have a good time.” He takes her hand in his.
She put her hands in his and said, “I can guarantee that I’m way better than whoever your girlfriend is.”
Alex flinches slightly at the memory. It must have been from last night.
“Are you okay?” Eliza asks, concerned.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” he lies, putting on a smile.
They finally get to the ice cream store, and they get out of the car. They are glad to find that no one is there at the moment. They walk in, a little bell dingling.
“Welcome to Cold Stone!” a cheery voice greets. The voice belongs to a girl about sixteen years old. She continues, “I’m Lexi. How may I help you?”
Alex is momentarily stunned. Could this be the Lexi John likes? He shakes it off, deciding not to worry about it. He turns to Eliza and says, “Get whatever you want. I’m buying.”
“Are you sure?” she asks. “We could split it up fifty fifty.
“No, no, I’ll pay. Pick what you want.”
She beams and immediately tells Lexi, “I’ll take a mint chocolate chip cone with rainbow sprinkles on top, please.” Lexi nods and starts to scoop the ice cream.
Alex looks at his options, and when she’s done with Eliza’s order, he says, “I’ll take a pomegranate ice cream cone with chocolate chips on top, please.” She gets his ice cream and hands it over.
“That’ll be ten dollars, please,” she says.
Alex pulls out a ten dollar bill. Kind of ironic that the guy on the bill and himself share the same name. He hands it over. “Have a nice day!” she says as they leave. They begin to roam the outdoor mall, licking their ice cream cones along the way.
“So, how is Angelica handling all of this?” Alex asks after a while.
“Well, it was Angelica’s app that James used, and I was curious about how she’s holding up.”
“Oh. Well, she’s really angry, but this has inspired her to put tighter restrictions on the app.”
“That’s great!” Alex exclaims.
After a moment of silence, Eliza asks, “Just out of curiosity, have you ever dated anyone before?”
Alex immediately turns red. “Um……. no….”
Eliza looks over at him and smiles. “Really? I’d expect someone with your personality and good looks to have girls all over him.” She licks her ice cream, a sly smile creeping onto her face. He looks so cute when he blushes, she thinks.
Alex turns a deeper shade of red. “Oh, I do, it’s just most of them aren’t as beautiful and kind as you,” he replies.
It’s her turn to blush. She takes a big bite of her ice cream to avoid answering, but ends up getting a brain freeze. “Ah, brain freeze!” she says, scrunching up her face.
“There needs to be an ice cream that doesn’t give you a brain freeze,” Alex says, licking his ice cream thoughtfully. “Too bad I’m into politics, otherwise I would totally make that.”
Eliza smiles, the brain freeze having subsided. “Well, maybe I could invent that.”
“You’re into that sort of thing?” Alex asks.
She nods. “Yeah. I want to be someone that does little things like that to change our world. One ice cream at a time.”
Alex lets out a laugh. “You can say that again.” He holds his ice cream cone high in the air. “Raise a cone to freedom!” he sings.
Eliza looks at him oddly. “That made absolutely no sense but it was absolutely adorable all the same.”
Alex lowers his ice cream cone and looks at her. She looks back. He tentatively puts his hand on her cheek. He holds his ice cream cone away so it doesn’t get on her shirt.
Her face moved closer to his, but he pushed her away. “I told you, I have a girlfriend!” he shouts before escaping into the crowd.
Alex ignores the flashback and kisses Eliza. She kisses back. It’s very short and slightly awkward, but it was something. When Alex pulls away, his girlfriend is smiling from ear to ear. He lowers his hand and takes hers in his. They continue to walk around, both of them happier, and having just experienced their first kiss.
When Alex drops her off, Eliza can’t stop grinning. Angelica is reading War and Peace in the living room, and Peggy is drawing.
“Hey,” Eliza says nervously as she walks in.
Angelica looks up, and one look at her sister’s face tells her everything she needs to know.
“DID HE KISS YOU!?!?!?” she screams. Eliza then accounts what happened.
Alexander heard Angelica, and he chuckles to himself before getting in the Uber and going home.
He can’t stop smiling either. He goes into his and John’s room, still grinning happily. He finds John sitting at his desk, drawing a turtle. He turns around and sees the look on Alex’s face.
“Okay, what happened?” he asks.
“Nothing…” Alex says suspiciously.
John picks up his phone and calls someone. He puts it on speaker.
“What’s up mon ami?” Laff’s voice asks.
“Did Alex forgive you?” Herc asks.
“No, but he did just get back from his date with Eliza, and he’s grinning like crazy.”
Sounds of doors slamming and feet pounding are all that can be heard for a solid minute. Then Lafayette and Hercules come busting through the door, out of breath and not bothering to knock.
“What happened?” Herc asks excitedly.
“Tell,” Laff demands.
Alex sighs. “Well, I might have kissed Eliza…”
His (ex) friends start to squeal like little girls. “ALEX AND ‘LIZA SITTING IN A TREE!!” Hercules shouts. “K-I-S-S-I-N-G!!”
Two little figures come rushing into the room. It’s John’s little brothers.
“Alex has a girlfriend?!” Henry shrieks.
Alex protests, “Guys, the whole neighborhood is going to hear if you keep shouting like that!”
“THEY’RE IN LOVE!!!” James cries.
“Enough! Now you listen to me!” Alex shouts. “Don’t go telling the whole school, okay? Nobody needs to know.”
“Oh shush mon ami,” Laff scolds.
John has been relatively quiet this whole time, a sad smile on his face. Alex catches this and hardens slightly.
“Look like someone isn’t happy,” Alex murmurs. “Why can’t you just be happy for me!? It’s not like you haven’t kissed anyone yet!” he yells before storming out of the room. He thought that look was because he likes Eliza.
Henry asks, “What did Alex mean?”
“Why don’t you guys go out?” Herc says gently. They obey.
Alex is confused. First he thought John liked Eliza, then Maria, then possibly the girl at the ice cream shop named Lexi, then back to Eliza. WHO THE HECK DOES HE LIKE!?!?
Lafayette sits next to John and puts an arm around him. “Hey, it’s okay mon ami,” he says soothingly. Hercules sits on the other side of him.
“Yeah, don’t listen to him,” he adds, putting his hand on John’s shoulder.
John just sighs. “I really hope this goes away soon.”
That night, Alex has a weird mixture of dreams. His father yelling at him, the girl from the party trying to talk to him, Eliza opening her mouth to say something but instead of words a loud BOOM comes from her mouth.
Alex sits bolt upright in bed. Lightning flashes in the window, followed by thunder. He shrieks and dives under the covers, wrapping the blankets around himself like a protective force field.
He feels hand pulling the covers away from his face. It’s John. Forgetting his grudge, Alex begins to cry, and he leans into John. He puts his arms around his little bundled up friend. At every crack of thunder, Alex jumps, but John holds him.
After a few minutes of John holding him while he cries, Alex says, “I’m so so so sorry John. I shouldn’t’ve held a grudge against you. What happened is not your fault. I really shouldn’t’ve been such a jerk to you. Can you forgive me for how I treated you?”
John holds him closer. “Of course.”
Alex ends up falling asleep. John smiles. He looks so peaceful when he sleeps. He takes out his phone and takes a picture. Even though it’s two in the morning, he sends it to Laff and Herc saying He apologized and forgave me. Storms are a blessing.
He turns off his phone and yawns. Without meaning to, he falls asleep while sitting up, still protecting Alex from the storms. The rain pounds, and thunder cracks, but nothing disturbs these two.