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All the while Marlon felt the laden weight on his chest.

His mother came over two days later scolding him over his foolish act, leading him to spend the next few days drinking away his shame.

He mused over memories from the music to the mafia days, especially when he did some sickening shit to be relevant and worthy in his eyes.

Everyone was worried when Marlon disappeared, it wasn't in his nature to vanish.

On late Tuesday evening Michaela sat by her bedside, on the phone with Michael.

"I'm worried Michaela it's not like Marlon to disappear for days on end..I hope he hasn't gotten back into his old habit because of what he and Chris did" Michael lamented to Michaela.

"Habit?" She inquired curious.

Michael stayed silent momentarily before continuing "well Marlon has a habit of drinking when he feels guilty over something he couldn't control or he did..I wouldn't say he's an alcoholic but it still worries me"

"I didn't know about this" she replied skeptical.

"Your learning Michaela as Amber did for my family...we have dark secrets we keep hidden this is just one of them...please see him and tell him amber and I forgive him we just want that fool back" Michael pleaded to her.

"I will don't worry good night"

"Good night"

She hung up the phone and sat on her bed, rubbing her forehead trying to sooth the roaring headache.

She sat there for a while before getting up to take paracetamol and a glass of water. She had an early night in.

The next morning Michaela was ready to leave her small flat to see Marlon at his place.

Thirty minutes later she arrived at his flat after taking the stairs. Expecting the door to be locked, to her surprise the door was opened.

She walked into the flat closing the door behind her. She strolled into the room to see Marlon sat on the floor holding a bottle of wine in his hand and a bunch of bottles scattered around him. She pinched her nose smelling the gasly odor in the room.

This place is a mess! She thought to herself in disgust.

Her eyes flickered around the chaotic mess around the room. She sighed quietly before, carefully making her way to him. She trended lightly stepping over the bottles as she made her way to Marlon on the floor.

She knelt down in front of him noticing his distangled hair, his top ruined by the huge brown stain spread over his cream top.
She knew he hadn't had a bath in days by the smell.

She chose first of all to take the bottle out of his hand, waking him from his slumber. His bloodshot eyes snapped open and he found Michaela staring down at him pitifully.

"Hello" he croaked.

"Hey" she replied gently.

"Marlon you have to stop drinking this isn't the dumbass I know" she teased jokingly.

"How can I..from what I did??" He replied on the verge of tears.

"Look Marlon.. Michael and Amber forgive you..he told me himself so please for your nieces sake and everyone including me stop this before it becomes an addiction" she begged him on the verge of tears herself.

She hated seeing this watered down version of himself. This wasn't the overconfident loveable fool she grew to like and fall for slowly.

"I - I'm so glad" he stuttered rubbing his eyes.

"I admit Marlon I was mad at first but then I saw it from your side on why you did it to feed Nevada and take care of her but this is something we all learn you made a mistake you shouldn't let your body suffer because of it" she replied pulling out a tissue to rub her eyes.

Michaela could tell he was trying to fight an inward battle but the tears he tried to hold back, gushed down his cheeks.

He wept for everything he had held bottled up inside. The tears representing every emotion he wasn't allowed in the presence of Joseph.

Michaela watched him cry in front of her. Her heart went out for him, knowing why he was crying the guilt he felt for his crimes and so much more.

They had discussed his old life back in Gary one night as they slept side by side after the first night together.

A few minutes later, the tears stopped flowing down his cheeks, Marlon sniffed and gave her a tiny smile.

"You need a bath Marlon go spend some time in the shower I'll help you clean this place up then I'll order take out" Michaela said as she stood up.

"You just want to see this body" he chirped jokingly chuckling gruffly.

"Just go" she replied ignoring his statement but glad to see some light return in his dulled eyes.

Marlon slowly stood up and nodded at her silently in thanks for everything and did as he was told.

Michaela sighed softly to herself before she began picking up the bottles and piling them in a corner. She went to the kitchen to find it in the same state as the living room meaning everywhere was in a complete chaos.

She groaned at the mess and tried to not cringe at the stacked plates in the sink and she rambled though the cupboard till she found an empty plastic bag.

"The floor has never looked so clean didn't even know it was a cream colour" he mentioned as he walked to where she sat on the coach.

"you have the cleaning supplies because you didn't bother to try and clean the place idiot" she replied scoffing at him.

Marlon sighed not in the mood to bicker sat combing though his hair. The comb getting stuck in his hair.

Michaela fed up of seeing his Afro in a state suggested she plait his hair for him.

"You can plait?!" He stated flabbergasted.

"I have several cousins and siblings it's no big deal" she explained shrugging her shoulderz.


"You want me to plait your hair or not?" She said coolly.

"Sure just promise you won't put bows ..I'll explain another time" he pleaded.

"Bows?? Just go get your hair cream and a tail comb" she replied not bothering to let curiosity get in the way.

Marlon nodded and left the room returning a few minutes later with the hair cream and tail comb in hand.

Michaela spread her legs and instructed him to seat with his back facing her. He obliged without any comment and she begun her work.

Roughly an hour later she finished her masterpiece. Marlon quickly stood up feeling the tiny balls of hair flank his head. It felt good in a strange way.

He quickly went to the bathroom and saw her work. He was impressed by detail and time she took in plaiting each part.

He ran out of the room and bent down to kiss her softly in thanks.

Pushing him away Michaela mentioned he should see his siblings.

He shrugged his shoulders proceeded to bend down and kiss her slowly enjoying the feel of her lips against his.

They spent the rest of the day kissing and hugging until Michaela had to leave early in the evening to go home.

Marlon sat on his bed feeling overwhelmed by the support from his girlfriend and family. He knew he had his family but he never felt so much love, radiating from all of them about his well being.

He always thought he was the babysitter, to look after his younger siblings and the joker in the family. But he still had his moments when he broke down turning to hisfriend ...alcohol.

Basking in positive feelings he fell into a exhausted dreamless sleep.

Chapter End Notes:


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