Gorgeous Chaos

By: T.K. Leigh

Grabbing her jeans and sweater, she threw them on before quietly walking over to the door, thankful when it didn’t creak and wake up Alexander. After finding a bathroom, she went to see if his mother needed any help getting things ready for that evening.

The house was eerily quiet as she walked down the stairs searching for Colleen. “They must all be outside,” she said to herself. She headed in the direction of the back door, when a room off the hallway caught her eye. She stopped dead in her tracks, a memory rushing back. Her fifth birthday. Her mama had made her a cake in the shape of a Care Bear. She could have sworn she remembered her mama and the green-eyed boy from the dream sitting beside her in that very room, singing to her as she blew out the candles on that cake.

Turning, she headed toward the ornate dining room, the table and chairs all covered with sheets. Walking around the room, she felt as if she had been there before, but that was impossible. She hadn’t even known Alexander for a year and this was the first time he invited her home with him. Still, the smell and sounds in that room were strangely familiar.

She scanned the walls and her eyes settled on a large picture frame covered with a white sheet. The other portraits weren’t hidden. Curious, she slowly made her way to the center of the room where the enormous frame hung. She gingerly began to raise the sheet, wondering what was underneath.

“Olivia, dear! There you are!” Colleen called out, startling her.

She jumped, placing her hand over her chest. “Colleen. I’m sorry. I came downstairs to see if you needed any help, and I guess I got a little sidetracked.” She shrugged her shoulders, feeling guilty that she was caught snooping around.

Colleen walked over to Olivia and placed her hands on her shoulders, trying to lead her out of the room and away from the large family portrait of Alexander and Olivia as children. “I understand. It happens to the best of us.”

“Colleen,” Olivia said, raising her voice. “Why is that portrait covered up?”

She stopped, turning to look at her. She hated having to lie to the poor girl, particularly when her son should have simply told her the truth by now. He swore he would tell her, and she didn’t want to interfere…not yet, anyway. “I’m sorry, Olivia. It’s just that whenever Alexander comes home, I try to rid the house of any memories of…”

“Oh,” she said, understanding. “I should have known.” She turned to head back upstairs, her shoulders slightly dropping.

“Olivia, dear!” Colleen called out.

She stopped and faced her.

“He loves you very much. I’ve never seen him so happy in all his life, even when he was a little boy.” She smiled before retreating back outside, leaving Olivia alone with her thoughts about Alexander and why the dining room in that house brought back memories of her fifth birthday.


“LIBBY, LIBBY, LIBBY!” KIERA shouted, running up to her friend as she stood underneath a string of Chinese lanterns in Alexander’s large backyard.

Olivia couldn’t believe her eyes when she walked outside that evening. The transformation was remarkable, particularly after such short notice. White party lights were strung all across the lawn, casting a subtle glow on the backyard. Tables and chairs were set up, but most of the guests milled about socializing with each other as servers walked through with trays of hors d’oeuvres. Olivia was shocked that Alexander’s mother could pull something like that off in a few short hours. But she was even more surprised to see Kiera walk in with Mo and the rest of the guys in the band, followed by Melanie and Bridget.

“Oh, my god! What are you guys doing here?!” She looked at her friends and then at Alexander.

“I called Kiera while you were in the shower before we left Boston,” he explained. “I figured it would be nice for you to have a few familiar faces here.”

Olivia leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. “Thank you. You’re the best boyfriend ever!”

“He’s not your boyfriend anymore, slut!” Kiera exclaimed, her green eyes brimming with enthusiasm.

She laughed. “That’s right! I’m never going to get used to that.”

“Guys,” Alexander interrupted, talking to Mo and the rest of the band. “You can set up your gear over on the stage. You can play for five minutes or five hours. Doesn’t matter to me. Just enjoy yourselves.”

Olivia looked at Alexander again, noticing a make-shift stage set up that she hadn’t seen earlier.

“They asked if they could play at the party tonight. My mother was thrilled that I was able to find a band at the last minute.” He winked.

Over the next hour, more and more people started arriving. Alexander introduced Olivia to his relatives, as well as several family friends. A few people seemed to look at her awkwardly, almost as if they were silently questioning Alexander. Olivia couldn’t help but feel that he wasn’t being entirely truthful about something. She thought they were past that but, now, she wasn’t too sure.

“Come on, Libby,” Kiera said, waking Olivia from her unsettled thoughts. “Let’s go dance. I’m stealing your girl, Alex.”