“Hey, why so glum , chum?” Alex teased Mollie as she appeared in the kitchen wearing her pajamas just after midnight.
“Is it true?” Mollie demanded, her large brown eyes brimming with tears.
“Is what true?” he asked, trying to by some time.
“Did Ben try to kill himself?”
“Where did you hear that?”
“Zach texted me. He doesn’t think I’m a little kid,” she replied pointedly.
“No, your brother is a moron who doesn’t think,” Alex muttered under his breath. He cleared his throat. “I don’t know all the details yet, but he did overdose. He was lucky they caught it in time. I don’t know if it was on purpose.”
“Is he going to die?” She sniffle miserably.
Alex pulled her into his arms, kissing the top of her head. “No, sweetheart. Not today. Your mom will explain everything when she gets back.”
“When did you know you wanted to be a performer? Momma grew up knowing it was what she’d always wanted to do. Uncle J was in his high school shows and dreamed of being on Broadway. What about you?”
Alex smiled. “I was about fifteen and it was my school’s talent show. I had spent weeks practicing a classical piano piece but that night, dressed in my dorky tux I decided to hell with it and I went out there and did a free style rap.”
He nodded. “When I was done, the whole auditorium was dead silence. Except for one person, giving me a standing ovation, screaming and cheering. Do you know who it was?”
Alex chuckled. “No, Abuela was as stunned as everyone there. It was your dad. He gave me my first ovation and that feeling… It was like I was on top of the world.”
“My dad did that?” She asked with a small smile.
“Yes, ma’am. He was my greatest champion. It’s what inspired me to write this show. I owe him everything.”