Seriously though, suggestions for better titles are awesome. *hint* *wink*
|For the next couple of hours Caine and I sit quietly in one another’s arms before my phone buzzes insistently. I got a text from Rebecca and ten missed calls; about seven from mum and three from Becca. It’s almost eight am on a school day, class starts at ten...shit. I call my mum back and clear my throat as it rings, but I remain leaning against Caine, afraid to end our moment together.
“Jared? Where are you at boy?” My mum’s frantic voice answers.
“I’m okay mum. I couldn’t sleep and needed to clear my head; I’m at the park down the road. I’ll be home soon, okay?”
“You better be. Rebecca and I were worried sick! Don’t you ever leave home like that again without telling someone! Do you understand me?” My mum scolds.
“Yes mum, I’m sorry.” I nod, although she can’t see me. Hitting the end button, I sit up, rubbing my eyes. Now that everything is out, I don’t feel lighter, I don’t feel overbearingly happy, I just feel...exhausted; scared. “So, uhm, I guess I should be getting home. You, uhm, wanna come with?” I ask turning to Caine.
“Yeah, I’ll drive you, come on.” Caine sighs, standing up. He stretches his hand out to me and I take it hesitantly. “Hey, man, I don’t bite.” He chuckles; nervous.
“Yeah, I just, it’s just, what now? Will anything change between us?” I ask shakily.
“Do you want it to?” Caine asks.
“I- I don’t know, I mean, I kinda think I’d like it to, yes.” I answer shyly.
“Even after what happened with your last boyfriend? I would never, ever in my entire life, do that to you, but I don’t want to push you either.”
“No, no I know you would never do something like that, and, you’re the one who coaxed the truth out of me and helped me over-come it just a little more. So, yeah, I’d love if things changed a little between us. If that’s what you want too, though.”
“Okay; Jared, you are a beautiful, kind, precious person, and it would be an honor to call you my boyfriend.” Caine asks with a pink blush.
Blink. What? I wasn’t expecting him to say that. I again feel tears prick in the backs of my eyes but I force them back. “T-thank you...I, wow...” I manage to gasp. One last time he enfolds me in a hug and lifts my chin so our eyes meet. He leans down and kisses me, a deep press of our lips, almost desperately. Eventually we pull apart and I remember that we need to get home. Clearing my throat and wiping my eyes, I pull away.
“Come on, mum will kill me if I take too long.” I say, pulling him towards his jeep.
The ride is short and silent. Caine and I occasionally glance at one another and I’ll smile sheepishly or he’d blush. The longer the silence stretches, my nerves relax and I begin to feel happier; truly, honestly, one hundred percent happy; a feeling I haven’t truly felt in years. Far too soon the ride is over.
“Come in with me? I don’t think I’d be able to come up with a proper explanation on my own.” I ask Caine, my boyfriend, as I get out.
“Yeah, sure, of course.” He smirks, getting out himself. “Are you alright? What you told me last night...that’s not a small deal.” He adds as he makes it by my side and walks me to my door.
“I don’t know. I feel really exhausted.” Opening my front door, I stop and grasp his hand. “Actually, ever since that day, I’ve never felt this good; this happy. Not only because of my own guilt and pain, but Jerome and his gang, everyday they’d torment me; either with words or physical pain. But...but, you’ve changed that. Because you listened, didn’t judge, and you saved me; from him, but also from myself, from my past, and I can never thank you enough for that. So, to answer your question, I feel great. Thank you.” I add, nuzzling his cheek with my own.
“Wow...what did you two do last night?” Rebecca’s voice interrupts from the kitchen doorway.
“Nothing.” I answer too quickly and jump back. Realizing how suspicious that sounds, I add “We talked.”
Rebecca raises one brow; her eyes scan us both and take in our disheveled looks. “About...?”
“Nothing; It doesn’t matter, Becca.” I answer before Caine nudges me softly in the ribs and pulls me back outside for a moment alone. I look up and his eyes are understanding, soft, and kind.
“I know that it’s a difficult subject, believe me, but I think that you’ve hidden enough. You should tell them.” He states in my ear. I disagree but before I can protest he continues. “I am not saying you have to, and I won’t make you, this is your story to tell...but I think that you would feel better if you did. And then if you want, I’ll tell them mine. If you were brave enough to tell me, the new guy, then you should be able to tell them, the other people who love you.” His damned understanding eyes; damn him...
“O-okay.” I nod. We make our way back in, hand-in-hand. “Okay, Becca...if you’ll get mum,” *huge intake of breath* “there’s something you both deserve to know.”
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
At the end of explaining everything I can to my mum and my best friend they sit in stunned silence; tears are in both of their eyes. I once again have some in mine is well, but with very strong willpower, I manage to hold them back. Caine had a comforting hand on top of my hand as I explained why I kept it from them. Now, sitting here in silence, I feel extremely nervous and fidget around. Caine told his story first, knowing that when I told mine, all focus would be on me, and I wanted him to share his story as well. It’s only fair. My mom...her soft green eyes were watery and dull, filled with sadness, her straight, pale, blonde hair disheveled from her frantic search for me earlier and from her hands absently running through it as the words sunk in. Rebecca is in about the same state. Her black Led Zeppelin t-shirt is rumpled as she hugs herself for comfort.
“So, uhm, yeah, that happened.” I sigh, encouraging someone else to speak.
“Sweetie...” my mum trails off, unable to form other words. “Why......how.......are you okay??” She finally ends up asking.
“Yeah, mum. I mean, the guilt always weighed me down a bit, but it became more bearable over the years. And, Caine is right. Talking about it, really, truly talking, helped; a lot. And I feel so much better now that I no longer have to hide anything from you guys.” I answer honestly.
Rebecca came out of her shock finally and rushed me, crushing me into a tight hug, and buried her face in my neck. “I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry. Why didn’t you come to me; to us?” She sobs quietly.
“I’m sorry, Becca. I just took it so hard. I was scared of what you guys would think. I was afraid you’d hate me, or that’d I’d be locked away, for-for killing him, or something like that, I don’t know... I’m sorry.” I reply, trying to soothe her, which earned me a sharp punch in the shoulder.
“Why in the hell would we hate you for that? You were raped; by the guy we all loved and trusted no less! That bastard! He deserves what he got, you should have told me! I would’ve bashed his brains in; I would’ve set him on fire, locked him in a basement; fed him to wild, rabid dogs! You’ve carried that burden for almost THREE DAMNED YEARS! Why the fuck would we blame you for that? Or hate you for that? Yeah, you should have told us! But we’re not going to hate you for that either, you idiot.” Rebecca rants, pacing back and forth in the living room, still crying.
“Rebecca, sweetie, calm down.” Mum sighs, grasping Rebecca’s hand in hers. She then gets up and crosses the room to where Cain and I sit and pulls me up into her own crushing hug. “I am sorry you didn’t feel like you could tell us something like that sweet heart. I am always here for you no matter what. While I absolutely hate what you went through, and wish you had come to someone, I do not blame you for your decision that night. You were hurting, you were angry, and you panicked. I will never blame you for that, and I’m sorry that you thought only suicide could help. But Rebecca is right. Anyone who dares hurt another human being in that way, especially my own son, deserves what that man got. Thank you for telling us, even if it took some prompting from someone else.” Mum says, finally letting go.
“As for you, young man,” she adds, rounding on Caine, “you deserve some recognition as well. You made the right decision as well, when you left your home. No parent should ever abuse their child; especially over something as small as your sexuality. I am glad you felt comfortable enough to share your own troubles as well. You are family now, and if you ever need anything, you can come to me, alright?” My mum gracefully pulls Caine into a hug him, and I chuckle at the fond expression on mum’s face and the shock on Caine’s.
Caine freezes, but I see the joy in his eyes before they shut. “Thank you, ma’am...” He sighs against her. “That truly means a lot.”
“Of course, dear, I’m proud of both of my boys. Now, after what I just heard, I should be utterly appalled that you’d have another boyfriend now......however, Caine, you seem like a nice boy, you've been spending time with my children for a few weeks now, and I’ll trust you, but” she gives Caine a glare that could melt steel, “if you ever hurt my boy, especially after what I just heard that he went through, I will not hesitate to hunt you down and let my adoptive daughter have her way with you. Understand me?”
Caine backs up in mock fear with his hands raised and answers, “Of course,” and laughs, “but, I would gladly give myself over to you if I ever hurt him.” He adds in a serious tone. Mum nods her head and Becca chuckles evilly.
“Group hug!!!!” She announces, launching herself on Caine and I, and pull mum in with her free hand.
“Jared, would you rather stay home for the day? You’ve only missed about an hour of class if not.” My mum announces soon.
“I really feel exhausted...so, can I stay?” I ask.
“Very well; Rebecca you’re welcome to as well, but I don’t know how your parents would feel about it.” Mum says, turning her attention away from me.
“Yeah, I should go. Caine, are you coming?” Rebecca asks. Caine shakes his head and Rebecca shrugs walking off to school.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
“So, what happens now?” Caine asks. I’ve already showered and slept for a good few hours, so now we are outside on my house’s front steps. I lean against him and smile, feeling so free. I smile as I ponder the question. ‘What do normal, non-abusive boyfriends do for one another? Dates; they go on dates and hold hands and kiss and joke around and just generally be dorks.’
“Well, I’ve never been on a date.” I suggest smoothly. “Maybe I can take you out one day...” I blush.
“Hmm, I’ll have to change that then. How about next Friday, I take you somewhere?” Caine asks.
“Okay, yeah... I’d really like that.” I answer with a huge grin. “It’s getting late and I do want to be at school Monday, so, I’ll see you then?” I add after yawning.
“Yeah, I’ll see you.” Caine smiles and stands. He reaches a hand down to lift me up before he reaches behind him. “But these,” he adds, holding up my carton of cigarettes, “are coming with me. No more of this, okay?”
I swallow thickly and nod. “Okay, I promise.”
“Good.” He kisses me softly and walks down the short drive to his jeep. On his way he throws away the carton in the trash bin. I should be upset, but instead, I smile and enter my home. I think I’m falling in love. But this time, I won’t regret it.