In everyone's eyes, he was the simply almost-perfect little boy who was not only the captain of the football team, but who also had a decent academic record.
And by decent, as in the words of his father, meant to be at least in the Top 10 students list." He didn't tolerate disobedience or failure, and Alec somehow, always managed to 'disappoint' him by giving some time to his passion, or extra curriculars or friends for that matter over than his studies.
His father's words still had become a mantra for him, which although he didn't like or accept, had become a part of life, forced to be part of his thinking by repeatedly hearing them again and again.
"What's more to a student's life than studying? You don't have to earn, nor do you have to take care of the household like your mother and me. All the things you need, we give them to you. You don't have to do the basic chores a teenager does, since we've got maids for that!
All you have to do is one simple task- study, and yet you can't even do that!"
There were times when he asked, well more like begged his parents to let him work part-time, and to let him do the 'basic chores every supposed teenager does' instead of his maids, so that he won't be a burden on them anymore, but to no avail.
The answer was always the same.
His mother would comfort him by telling him that his father was doing this for him; that he worked hard only so that his son could have a better life. That everything he did, he did for his only child - his son whom he so dearly loved.
No one listened to what he wanted, liked, or thought. No one cared. All they wanted was obedience- utter and complete obedience. Nothing else.
He was pulled away from his distressing thoughts by Valencia's voice who asked him if he was okay.
They had all realized that he was spacing out again but choose to question him further. They knew that Alec wouldn't tell them anything, and it would just lead to him feeling guilty for hiding things from them again. Afterall, this was not the first time something like this was happening.
It had happened before, and things didn't turn out well last time when they pressured him to open up so that they could help him. The memory still fresh, too fresh for them to open another wound. So, for now, they avoided such topics.
They knew he would eventually come around when the time was right, and They'd welcome him with open arms. They'd be waiting for him right here.
For now, all they could do was help keep his mind off things and try lessening his pain away by being there for him and trying to make him happy. For now, all they could do was to try and make him laugh and smile and wish that he will one day be genuinely happy again.
"Why are you spacing out?" Ayden asked wiggling his eyebrows, "Were you thinking of a certain someone?" he asked suggestively.
"Could that someone be –"
Before he could continue, Alec cut him off. Afraid, that Ayden might reveal his crush to everyone.
"I was just thinking how someone in the same team as me could betray me. I thought it was us against the girls this time?"
"It was- uh-"Ayden stammered. "You remember when...."
"Yes...." Alec asked, looking at him expectantly, "This better be good."
"Uh...Yeah. I've got nothing," he finally admitted.
At this Alec could not help but let out a genuine laugh. This is what kept him going. This is what made him happy. His friends gave him life.
"So....." he continued, "Now that Ayden is here, I think Valencia might actually take this seriously."
"Come on Alec, not again!" she whined.
He simply gave a sly smirk, at which the other two laughed, knowing very well that this would not end anytime soon.
He wasn't sure of what life would bring, but he was sure that he'd be fine as long as he had his friends with him.