tagInterracial LoveForgiving Alexander O'Connor Ch. 01

Forgiving Alexander O'Connor Ch. 01


Chapter 1: Alex and Xenia

Part 1


I felt as if I was being watched. It wasn't the first time I'd gotten the feeling. Every time I came to visit my brother's earthly resting place I felt that way. When I looked over my shoulder I knew I wouldn't see anyone but I always looked hoping to catch a glimpse of my graveyard stalker.

My brother was murdered thirteen years ago. He was sixteen years old. I was ten years old when a Police Officer showed up on my parent's doorstep and brought the news that my brother had been killed. I'd skipped three grades and was considered mature for my age at that point in time but my mother still sent me to the kitchen to finish cooking dinner. I went to the kitchen but I wanted to know why the Police was in our house. Somehow I knew it had to do with Jacob because he was late getting home again. He was late a number of times before because he'd lost track of time but I knew that the Police was there because something had happened to him. My mother screamed and blacked out when she heard the news and my father cried. It was the first time I'd seen my father cry. I cried too that night because Jacob was more than a brother to me he was my best friend. I shared everything with him and he gave me advice when I didn't want to go to our parents. He taught me to ride my bike, jump rope, and roller-blade. Jacob was there for me when my parents weren't. I'd lost my brother and my best friend, my only friend. Something broke in me that night and as I cried there was no one to comfort me. Jacob wasn't there to comfort me, he wasn't there to shield and protect me. My father and my mother had each other and they had me but it wasn't the same, it wasn't enough. I think they forgot that they had a daughter until months after the funeral and though I was hurt I knew I couldn't replace my brother.

Jacob had been beaten to death by a group of white boys on his way home from school. He'd been accused of trying to get with one of the boys' girlfriend. The boys hadn't intended to kill him or so they said. They had just wanted to teach him a lesson. Later the girlfriend confessed to a friend that she'd been the one trying to get Jacob's attention and because he'd refused to give her any she'd decided to teach him a lesson. Jacob's best friend was with him at the time of the incident and he'd walked away with his life, without a scratch as a matter of fact. Some people said that he'd stood there and watched Jacob get beat up. Even some of the boys who'd done the deed said he'd joined in but Alexander O'Conner denied it all. He claimed he'd been held back from helping his friend. Jacob and Alex were in separable; if you saw only one of them the other wasn't too far behind. It was hard to believe that Alex would allow Jacob to be jumped much less to join in but after the death of my brother Alex kept his distance. And I began to believe what I'd heard. If he was such a good friend then maybe my brother would be alive today. Alexander O'Conner didn't show up to my brother's funeral and he never came to visit after the night we heard about Jacob's death. I saw him a couple of times around town but he acted as if he didn't know me and ignored me. He was the one that dubbed me the Black Tinkerbelle and he had treated me like a little sister but I'd never viewed him as my brother. I'd had a major crush on him and Jacob constantly teased me about it but not anymore. Those feeling died not too long after my brother died. I used to hate him, now I just don't bother wasting that energy.

I moved to New York to study at NYU on a full scholarship and graduated with Honors then went on to earn a Masters in English and another in Social Work. At twenty-three I've decided to take a break from College and I now work as an English teacher at the local Jefferson High School. As much as I never wanted to come back to Jefferson I feel as if I have unfinished business here. Something keeps pulling me back to this little town and I know that it has to do with my dead brother. Most of the boys that had been involved in Jacob's killing had been sent to Juvenile Detention Centers, as they were still minors. No one served any real time for his death because they all pleaded that it was an accident, they hadn't meant to kill him or so they claimed. I see a couple of them around town but none of them have ever approached me or apologized to me or my family and I'm glad that they don't waste their time doing so because I wouldn't accept it and it wouldn't bring my brother back.

I wonder who has cleaned up my brother's gravesite. My parents moved out of Jefferson after I started college and now live in Atlanta s I know it wasn't them. They visit my brother's grave sit on his birthday and during the holidays but they tend to stay out of Jefferson and I don't blame them. I'd been wondering who was keeping the site clean for quite some time because every time I came to visit there were no weeds for me to pull and fresh carnations were always present. Carnations were my brother's favorite flowers. I wondered who my brother knew trusted enough to share his love of carnations with. I wonder if it's my Graveyard Stalker and I smile to myself. Why had I never connected the stalker to the carnations before? Maybe one day my stalker will get the courage to approach me. We will share stories about my brother and then I will not be so alone. I hear a sound behind me and I turn to see whom else in the graveyard.

A chill passes through my body when I recognize the person coming towards me. I wanted to run but my legs wouldn't budge. As the man drew closer my heart beat faster. Alexander O'Connor has become even more handsome over the years. He had to be about six and a half feet tall with a swimmer's build. His midnight hair brushed his shoulders and the black T- Shirt and jeans he wore left nothing to the imagination. I hadn't seen him since I moved back to Jefferson and had thought that he'd moved out of the town. I didn't want to ask about him and there was no one for me to ask because I did not consider anyone in Jefferson my friend.

He came to a stop about a foot away from me and I had to crane my neck to look up at him. He was at least a foot and a half taller than me. We stared at each other for a few minutes then I turned back to my brother's headstone. I pressed two fingers to my lips, a brief kiss and touched them to the tombstone. I bid my brother farewell and turned to leave the cemetery. I would not show Alexander O'Connor that he affected me. I will ignore him like he ignored me. I wanted to cuss him out. I wanted to hit him, to yell at him, to tell him that he did not belong on sacred ground. But instead I chose to walk away. He was not worth it. No matter how much my heart raced or how much I wanted to forgive him.

"Don't go." I stopped when I heard those words. There was pain in that voice and the hairs on my skin stood to attention. Then I started to walk again. I wanted to tell him that I didn't talk to strangers or murderers but I didn't say anything. I just continued to walk away. "Please don't go Xenia."

I looked down at the pale hand that now grasped my upper arm and I looked up at the man the hand belonged to. Even though there was a flow of electricity in the touch and a strange flutter in my stomach I ignored it or at least I tried to. There was no way to stifle the gasp of surprise that had escaped. I didn't know way I was feeling this way and I didn't want to know why. I just wanted him to let go of me. I squinted my eyes and clenched my teeth.

"Get your hand off me." I said in a tight voice.

"Xenia I need-"

"To let go of me." I said cutting him off. Did he just think He could walk back into my life and everything would be fine? Hell no. He lost that opportunity thirteen years ago. I began to pull away from him but he refused to let go of my arm.

"I need to talk to you Xenia and I need to do it now." Alex said firmly.

"Well I don't want to talk to you and if you don't let go of me right now I will call the cops." I said reaching into my pants pocket for my cell phone.

"Well I'm an officer of the law and I don't see that you are in any sort of danger." Alex said as he pulled out his wallet and flipped it open to show his badge.

"This is harassment Mr. O'Connor and I demand that you release me this moment or you will be hearing from your superiors.'' I said hoping he would just let me go.

"I have waited thirteen years to talk to you Xenia and I am going to say what I have to say." Alex said as he turned me to face him. "I was told to stay away from you and your family by your father. I can no longer do that. I was a coward thirteen years ago but I think this has gone on for too long. I did not have anything to do with your brother's death and as much as I would have liked to help Jacob when he was getting jumped I couldn't. I was dragged away by Benson, Nicholas and Franklin. Not a day has gone by that I have not wished I could have done something to prevent your brother's death and I was there holding him when he died. He begged me to watch out for you and your parents. Especially you. I went to your house that night and told your father what happened and I swear I though he was going to hit me. He didn't want to hear that I couldn't do anything. He told me that I was no different from the others because I stood there and let them kill his son. He said that he never wanted to see my face again and to stay way from you and then he threw me out. You and your parents were not the only one that lost someone close to you but I have to live with the memory. I have to see his face in my sleep every night. I don't care what everyone else thinks about me. I don't care what your parents think about me because I know that I will never change their point of view and I didn't want to care what you thought of me either. But I did even if I couldn't show it. I did care, I still care and I can't let you go on thinking that I let your brother get killed or that I killed him. I can't do it alone anymore and I can't stay away from you anymore."


Part 2


I waited for Xenia to say something. I needed her to say something, anything. Her eyes were filled with tears and I knew she was trying her best not to cry. She needed to cry. I wanted her to cry so that I could hold her and comfort her, as I'd wanted to do years ago.

"Please let me go."

I'd wanted her to say something but I hadn't wanted her to say those words. I wanted to pretend that I hadn't heard the whispered words but I couldn't ignore them. I couldn't ignore the hurt and vulnerability that was expressed in her voice even though she'd spoken so softly.

"Please... Alex please..." Xenia pleaded and a few tears began to roll down her cheeks. I felt her trembling and reluctantly released my grip on her upper arm. As much as I wanted to enfold her in my arms and tell her that everything was going to be ok, I knew I couldn't. I watched as she turned and ran away from me and I wanted to follow her, to stop her, to comfort her. But I knew she needed time to digest our meeting, to process my words. She needed time. I wanted her to believe me, to understand that I too had lost someone dear. Jacob may not have been my brother by blood but he was the closest thing to a brother that I'd had and my best friend. I knew I needed to give Xenia time but I didn't want to. I didn't want her to go on thinking that I was responsible for Jacob's death.

When her parents moved out of Jefferson I thought I would never get the chance to share my feelings with her to share my part of the story and to end the rumors she'd heard. I'd watched her for years when she came to visit Jacob's resting place. I watched from the shadows as she mourned her brother. She came on his birthday and holidays with her parents but she also visited on her birthday and sometimes she visited randomly never staying the whole day in town. Every time she came I watched from the shadows wanting to approach her, needing to hold and comfort her. I wanted to let her know that she was not alone but I was weak. I was a coward I didn't think I would be able to stand her rejection. I didn't want to see the hate in her eyes. I didn't want to believe that I'd lost her just as I'd lost her brother.

So I made sure the gravesite was always presentable and visited almost every day. I didn't want to stay in Jefferson after Xenia went away to college but I couldn't help but feel that there was something I needed to do before I could be released from this wretched town and I knew that my staying in Jefferson was connected in someway to Jacob's death.

When I heard that she'd taken a teaching job at Jefferson High I knew that that time had come for me to say what I'd been holding back for years. I didn't know how long she planned on staying in Jefferson but I knew that I had to talk to her. I had no idea where the courage and the sudden need to approach her came from but I was glad it came.

I waited for her to come to the graveyard and I watched her for almost a half hour because I didn't know how to approach her. I knew what I wanted to say to her but I didn't know how to say it, how to make her understand and believe me. When she turned and looked in my direction I knew she couldn't see me but I realized that she knew there was someone watching her and I didn't want to spook her away. It was time to make an appearance. I wasn't surprised that she began to make her exit when she recognized who I was or look of shock that crossed her face. There was no turning back for me and I knew that if I let her escape she would continue to avoid me. When I grabbed her upper arm I almost released it because of the intense feeling that I received. It was like a static shock and yet it was different. The widening of her eyes and the startled gasp told me that I was not the only one that had been affected. I wondered if the fact that I hadn't touched her in over thirteen years had something to do with it but let that thought go.

I couldn't help but notice how much more beautiful Xenia Anderson had become. She was still a tiny little thing may be an inch or two over five foot, with a slender, petite frame. Her hair was a mass of kinky curls and as much as I wanted to see if it was as soft as it looked I didn't want to freak her out. Xenia had a small delicate face with slightly slanted eyes, long thick lashes and a small pert nose. Her eyes were a warm chocolate brown identical to her brother's. As I left the graveyard I wondered when I would run into her again. I was hungry for her reaction. I hope the next meeting would be fruitful and longer, much longer.

Later that night I decided to turn on the radio and Sam Cooke's A Change is Gonna Come began to play. As I listened to the words of the song my mind drifted back to that day thirteen years ago...

I had a math test after lunch and though I wasn't too worried about test I was anxious to get I over with. Xenia had spent two weeks helping me with my algebra and I felt confident that I was going to finally pass one of Pringle's tests. I was on my way to class when I heard someone call out my name. I looked around and my eyes finally landed on Kevin Martin. I'd known him since kindergarten. He called my name again and waved me over.

I shook my head no and yelled out that I had to take a test.

"Some of the guys are going out to Grumpman's field for a softball game after school and we need a good pitcher. Bring Anderson with you the more the merrier."

I was about to decline the invitation but then he'd said to bring Jacob. That should have been my first clue that something was up but I was so happy that Jacob had been invited that I didn't think much of anything else. Jacob and his family moved to Jefferson because his father got a job at the Jefferson Hospital that paid more than he was making before. Jefferson was predominantly white with a sprinkling of African Americans, Asians and Hispanics. Jacob and I met when he returned my wallet that I'd lost on the school playground. We had a lot in common and it just felt good to be around him. He was an easy-going guy. A couple of my friends didn't like the fact that he was a few shades darker than them and they forced me to choose thinking that because I knew them longer I would rather keep their friendship. They thought wrong.

That afternoon after school I told Jacob we were going to go play softball at Grumpman's Field. He was hesitant about going when I told him who we would be playing with. He knew some of the guys didn't like him or black people in general. But I think he decided to go along with me because he knew that I wanted to go. I was a fool for believing that the guys had changed their minds about Jacob and as much as I didn't want to admit it I did miss hanging out with them.

When Jacob asked how I did on my test, I told him I thought I did very well. There was no doubt that I had aced Pringle's test and it was all thanks to my black Tinkerbelle. I asked him how Xenia was doing and he talked about how she was still trying to get their parents to allow her to take advanced classes at Jefferson High because she wasn't being challenged enough at Jefferson Middle School. Xenia had skipped three grades and would have probably ended up graduating from Jefferson High with Jacob and me if her parents hadn't stopped the proceedings. They felt that she needed the opportunity to experience her childhood. I suspected that she only agreed to help Jacob and me with our schoolwork so that she can use our textbooks for her own development.

"You know she has a crush on you right?" Jacob said with a laugh.

"What?" I couldn't believe it. "No she doesn't. She is too in love with her books for that."

"Well don't say I didn't warn you when she starts giving you the eyes and asks you to take her to her prom." Jacob said with a smirk "I caught her the other day writing "Mrs. Xenia Hope Anderson O'Connor all over her note book."

"Are you kidding me?" Secretly I was flattered that Tinkerbelle found me attractive but Jacob didn't have to know that. " Well I'd hate to disappoint her but no way in hell am I going to a Junior High Prom again. Maybe I'll take her to her high School prom and then maybe we can see about getting the name change and other stuff."

It took me a minute to realize I was walking by myself. I turned to look behind me and had to laugh at the look on Jacob's face.

"What?" I asked with a laugh. "You don't think I'm good enough for Tinkerbelle? Is it because I'm light skinned?"

"That's not funny man. " Jacob said as he caught up to me. "Well if she ends up with you then at least I don't have to worry about her getting hurt." He said after a moment.

"Whatever man." I said as we headed of the road and onto the trail that lead to Grumpman's Field. I was happy to know that he trusted me with his most prized possession. I found myself looking forward to a future with my Tinkerbelle.

Half way up the trail we saw some of the guys and I called out for them to wait for Jacob and I. They waited and when we reached them Richard Hartley stepped in front of Jacob and I knew then that something bad was going to happen.

"So I see you made it O'Connor and you brought along the Nigg-"

Hartley never got to finish his sentence. Jacob punched him in the face with so much force that he fell back onto his peers. I hadn't expected the punch and neither had Hartley or his cronies. None of us saw it coming. All we saw was Hartley holding a bloody nose and cussing worst than a drunken sailor in a bar.

"I'm going home." Jacob said and turned to walk away. I turned back to see that Hartley was doing ok surrounded by his friends and turned to follow Jacob. We had barley taken a few steps when I saw Jacob pitch forward and fall to the ground.

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