Lafayette couldn’t help that awful feeling which was growing in his chest since a day from the day Alexander Hamilton crossed the threshold of his home.
The boy was sixteen, one year younger than Gilbert and to be honest, on the begging Lafayette was really excited about his new role of older brother. It didn’t last. Alexander was rude to him, George and Martha. He kept saying that as soon as he was eighteen he would move out. He didn’t care about love and care which he had at his fingertips. However awful this may sound, Lafayette hoped his parents would give him up.
It has never happened.
A new routine has been created.
Family dinners turned into dinner eaten with Martha in the dining room, while two portions cooled as George urged Alex to go down for dinner. The biggest achievement in first month was convincing Alexander to eating in his room. Sometimes George was staying with him. Lafayette didn’t like that. Just like Martha, but she had significantly different reasons.
“You need to give him space, honey”, she said when George came back after another failure one day. “You cannot treat him like that. He will come by himself if you let him. Trust me.”
“He must eat, Martha” was the only answer they got.
School with Alexander was at least terrible. He wasn’t interested in meeting Lafayette’s friend, once he told Gilbert, that he is not going to play nice and pretty around his privileged entourage. Lafayette corrected him with the patience Martha recommended.
“Those are my friends” he said.
Alexander looked at him cynically.
“I don’t give a fuck about your stupid friends”.
Lafayette ignored that.
Alexander found his own friends. After three months of school (four of Alex being with them) they got caught for smoking weed in school.
Martha was furious. All the way home she was pointing Alex why he shouldn’t do that. Not in school, not in his age, not risking terrible consequences.
“What kind of consequences?” he asked. “You guys giving me up? That is great punishment and it’s not like you could do more”.
Lafayette knew Alex was beaten before. That’s what he expected from Washingtons, but when he felt that it’s not gonna happen, he started to using that against them. Provoke.
“I smoked weed” told Alexander as soon as George asked. He didn’t even hesitated as if he was proud of himself. “I don’t regret. It’s great. I can barely see you guys now, love it. Just sent me back if you can’t deal with it.”
George didn’t even raised his voice.
“I’m not going to sent you back whatever you’ll do. You’ll get second chance and third, and four, and however you need” he said calmly. “I already told you, I’m not giving you up even if you gave yourself up.”
Alexander, maybe because of being high, looked touched. Enough for Lafayette to feel strange as if he was violating space not intended for him even though he was in his own house. He rushed to his bedroom but wasn’t fast enough to misheard next words.
“You’re my son whatever you think about it. I won’t back off” he promised and Lafayette couldn’t help, but wondered when was the last time when he heard something like that from his dad. Just because he wasn’t so problematic at the begging, he didn’t deserve that kind of affection?
Nothing has changed in next few months. Alexander kept doing horrible things. Smoking, drinking, fighting, but the worst for George and Martha we’re always escapes. Once he disappeared for three days. They called the police, but it wasn’t necessary. Three days after running away Alexander called George at 2am and asked for taking his home. George didn’t even hesitated. He went for his boy in the middle of the night and took him back. Lafayette hated himself for feeling disappointed. He wanted things to be as they were before Alexander came into their lives.
That night George stayed with Alex. Boy came back sick, suffering from cold. George kept an eye on him till morning and during the day. Alexander didn’t apologize, but it was obvious that he got forgiveness. Another chance. Another shot. Threw it away again. And again.
Lafayette knew Alex was fucked up.
“I hate him”, he told Martha once. He wouldn’t tell that to George since he obviously adored that boy for some reason. “I hate him so much, mum. Why is he like this? Why he doesn’t change, he should get used to us already! He’s not normal, you know that. He’s some bloody psychopath or something. Why do we keep him? Why does dad love him so much? He doesn’t deserve that. You know he doesn’t.”
Martha looked at him with understanding. She had to be aware how toxic Alexander was.
“He needs help, Gil”,she said gently. “We don’t know what he’s been through. He opens up on dad so he will open up on us either. I’m sorry, it must be hard for you. Do you want me to talk with dad about how you feel”.
“No. I can deal with it”.
He didn’t want his dad to choose. Not because it’s not okay to make him choose. Because Lafayette was so scared what the answer would be.
He with them longer and he was better person. But obviously he didn’t have something that Alexander had and what was important in his dad eyes.
Once, six month after Alexander got to their house, Lafayette was awakened by screaming. He rushed to Alexander’s room. The boy was sitting on his bed with face wet from tears. A quilt was at the ground next to bed and Alexander was trembling. Gilbert went closer but as soon as he did, Alexander threw himself on other side of the bed and cried louder. George and Martha were there in the next few seconds. They both hesitated as if they weren’t sure how to react.
However, in the second Alexander raised his head and saw George, he cried out loud and reached his hands to men like a child that wants to be taken in parent’s arm. George, of course, as soon as he could took boy and hugged him, whispering soft words with his mouth pressed to his head.
“Easy, dear”, he said and Lafayette was sure that under worried there were relief in his eyes. Alexander trusted him. Alexander needed him. It was so obvious when they all saw how helplessly and desperately was he holding George, crying with no shame. “Easy, my boy. I’m here for you. I love you. I’m here. Easy. It’s all right. I’m here. I’m here, son. I love you.”
Lafayette left with pain in his chest.