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How to be me [Cell-Phone Novel]

Summary

 
 
Death causes many things to fall apart in it's path, for Jean it destroyed the one thing he had...
 
 

 

  Jean Daniels lost his only brother, Ian, in a terrible car accident that could've taken him as well but survived by a sheer miracle. As if things weren't bad enough, Jean's parents have channeled their grief of losing their cherished prodigy of a son into their youngest, forcing him to become just as much of an over-achieving individual as a way to cope with the lost of losing their shinning star that had held so much promise. Jean's hope for his family to recover continues to dwindle as his parents pressure torments his soul, with his only comfort being his childhood friend, Adam Lewis, who is not only far away in the big city, but is also dealing with heart-wrenching torments himself.
 
Both of them feel as if who they use to be, happy, content, innocent and full of hope for love and new beginnings are diminishing as life continues to kick them in the teeth, becoming much more depressed and hopeless as time moves on. Can these two individuals find the path to be who they were so long ago once again? Or will they continue plunging into their dark abyss's with no hope of salivation?
 
 

 

A still in progress cell-phone novel from the (now shut-shown) website that hosted the largest collection of werstern CPN novels: Textnovel

Prologue Part 1

 

Prologue

Have you ever been in an accident before?
An accident so gruesome and destructive
That it seemed surreal
as if you were having a bad dream
thinking that once you woke up
Everything would be alright?

That happened to me.
I thought I had been dreaming,
But it was for real...

And I remember it all so vividly,
like a dream....
I wish it had been,
But It really happened 
and everything I knew,
On that day,
Shattered with the glass of the windshield.

Blood was scattered across the interior like rose petals torn apart
and dripping down the tips of broken glass.
Some of it was mine but most of it wasn't...
Most of it was his.
Like paint from a bucket, It spattered across everything 
The seats,
The doors,
The windows,
....And myself.
(The blood that I lost was nothing 
compared to his.)

The rest of him,
The rest of him was gone...
Disappeared from his seat, 
and reappeared sprawled across the car that had smashed into ours.

He was like a doll
Unmoving...and...broken.

He was gone by the time the paramedics arrived.
I survived.
Barely...

It was because I had my seat-belt on.
He hadn't.

Prologue Part 2

 

Prologue

Mom and dad were devastated

They loved him so much

They had been so proud to have him as a son.

He was so perfect.

With an IQ of 168,
the top of his class,

Graduated with honors,
About to start Harvard,

Already talking about going into medicine,

law,

and even considering becoming a writer.

But it never happened...

Instead, he died in that car crash that night,
Right before he could grasp the concept of a life he was just beginning.

Everything he had dreamed about vanished

And everything he worked hard for was
all for nothing.

The only impressions he had left for the world was for parents
to tell their children "That is why you never forget to put your seat-belts on." 
And an another grave-stone in another fucking graveyard.

Nothing would ever replace his warmth.
Not the candles we'd light for him, 
Not the pictures that froze his smiles in his happiest moments

Nothing.

He was gone.

Gone.

Forever.

Forever...

"But at least," They had whispered to me while cradling me in their arms when I woke three days after. "We still have you; we still have another son."

 

Seclusion Part 1

 

Seclusion

"Yeah, to fall back on." Jean scoffed bitterly as he turned to the next page of his textbook. 

Today's assignments had to be the worst yet.

Due tomorrow were seven pages of algebra,
demanded by Mr. Whisky (His breath reeked of it every time he opened his mouth. Jean bet he had a flask of it stowed away somewhere);

Six freakin' pages on the War of Roses
For History class ordered by Mrs. Loudmouth (Anyone who showed up late, regardless if they had a good reason would be humiliated for it in front of everyone.)

And five chapters to read of Of Mice and Men assigned by Mr. Womanizer (he was pleasant with his students, and far too pleasant with his female co-workers).

Jean had already finished up the history assignment (all he had to do was instead of reading the textbook was to go online for a quick summery and skim a few websites on it) and three chapters of that book had already been put to rest.

Now here he was finishing up the last four pages of his algebra and it was already 7:30.
His entire day 
cut away.

The crickets singing outside almost seemed to be mocking him.

 

 

Seclusion Part 2

 

Seclusion

"I'm sure this won't be too hard for you," They had all told him.

"After all, you are Ian's brother. I'm sure you'll finish it in no time!"

No, that was wrong. Only Ian could finish something like this in no time. ONLY Ian. Jean was Ian's younger brother but nothing more.
Just who do they think I am anyway?

Jean had even started this right after he got home,
No breaks included. 

It was because his mother kept nagging him about it. "Ian would always start his homework the moment he got home." She had screeched the moment he put down his backpack.

He didn't even grab himself a snack.
Just headed up to his room.
Wordlessly.

It didn't matter anyway though.
Hunger had been foreign to Jean for quiet sometime.
Not even his favorite pop-tarts could make his mouth water anymore.

Besides, his father had nagged him (too) about that because "Ian never ate anything bad for himself. And neither will you."

Fasting was good for you anyway, so why even bother resisting?

"It's better than hearing those two bitch and moan about it." He hissed between clenched teeth.

 

 

Seclusion Part 3

 

Seclusion 
His pencil began to shake between his fingers, and his blood
began to boil.
He hitched in a breath just thinking about what else
his parents were going to say 
when he finished this crap.

"Ian always finished his homework earlier then that!" 
He would bet his left arm that that was exactly what they were going to spit at him tomorrow morning. 

He sucked in another sharp breath,
his frustration slowly creeping upward.
He hunched over his desk as if he were in pain.
His forehead colliding with his infuriating textbook. 
The pencil now shaking furiously in a tight fist.

"I'm not Ian...." He hissed with vexation. "Ian is dead..."

It took him awhile, but after six minutes passed by, 
Jean let out a deep sign, 
Letting his frustration slip with it. 

He picked himself back up, and continued his work as if everything were okay.
But it wasn't...

Seclusion Part 4

 

Seclusion 

He tried to keep his mind occupied with his assignments though.

"'Sides it's due tomorrow. If I don't finish this, I'll have less time for myself then now."

Tomorrow was Friday. 
And Fridays along with Saturdays were the days 
where his parents would back off and leave him to himself, 
so long as he got all his homework done that is. 
But at least they wouldn't nag him to start it the moment he got home. 
He was permitted to break for a bit before then.

And he didn't want to jeopardize that any further...
So away he went with his equations 
double-checking them too
No-matter how much it irritated him to do so 
(he didn't want to hear crap from them anymore).

7:30 turned into 8:40,
At last he was on the last two pages.

He stifled a yawn and reached towards his left 
For his calculator,
but then his hand froze.

Instead of the rough feel of buttons, 
Jean's fingers felt something they hadn't felt in sometime... 

Buried underneath some papers, he slowly
Took it out from underneath. 
Knowing full well what it was before he even saw it.

 

Memories Part 1

 

Memories 
Breaking Benjamin...
his old CD that he had gotten four years ago 
at his favorite CD store
on his 11th Birthday...

....It was in May.
the flowers had already 
sprung into full bloom,
dressed in droplets of dew,
and colors shimmering in the rays of the sun. 

the white petals from the non-fruit bearing trees
joined the cool winds in a fluttery dance--
twirling, and twirling,
until the petals came to a halt in the emerald grass.

Ian decided to take Jean to all of his favorite places that day:
an old fashioned restaurant
that served root-bear floats 
and hamburgers made from scratch;

the video-store (where they rented all his favorite VHS movies),
the arcade (where Jean beat Ian in every game they played), 
and even the pet-store (window-shopping).

the CD store was the last stop,
and Ian (Having his wallet lighter then usual)
told his giddy little brother he could only get one CD.

and Jean pointed to this one
leaving Ian to question where he even heard of this band 
in the first place.

Memories Part 2

 

Memories 

Dude was his name--Adam's (Jean's best friend) older brother by seven years. He was the one who had introduced Jean to this band by always playing it in his room loudly enough for the whole neighborhood to hear for miles.

At first it was involuntarily,
but then one day, once Jean got curious about the music,
Adam hatched a plan to sneak into Dude's room to see it for themselves once Dude went out to the convenient store to buy an instant meal for himself (as Adam and Dude's mom was making her infamous casserole that would make a blood-thirsty beast cower with fear).

"Can't we just ask him about it instead?" Jean had questioned him wondering why Adam always wanted to do things the hard way.

Memories Part 3

 

Memories

He remembered how Adams face looked when he asked him that:

His face puffed up;

cheeks tinged pink,

and his thin arms crossed right over

his chest. 

Blue eyes were glaring into green

and Jean knew exactly what that look had always meant:

"Bore! Where's your sense of adventure!?"

Memories Part 4

 

Memories 
And then green had pierced into blue,
setting everything off.

"What adventure?!" Jean had screamed. "Walking down the stairs and into the basement, where his room is, and rummage through it like a bunch of raccoons is not what I call an adventure!"

Adams pout grew. "Adventure is taking risks and exploring new territory, moron! Have you ever been in Dude's room? No! He never lets anyone go in his room! Not even me! He's got something stashed in there he doesn't want no-one to see. And I'll be a rabbit's uncle if I don't see what he's got!" 

It's a monkey's uncle dude. Jean thought irritated that Adam would do this just to--Hey, wait a minute!

"I thought you said we'd just be going down there for the music!"

"I never said that that was all we were going to do." He admitted flashing a huge grin. "Dude's always gone for 40 minutes. No way in heck am I going to sneak in there just for that!" He then put his arm around Jean. "And now that I have some back up, getting in there will be a piece of cake!"

Just what had Jean gotten himself into?

 

Memories Part 5

 

Memories 
When Dude finally left (after a "heated discussion" with his mother about why he would settle for "dog-food" at the convenient store instead of a delicious homemade casserole made lovingly by his own mothers hands), Adam made no hesitation and bolted out of his room, literally dragging a reluctant Jean out with him.

He yanked on Jean's wrist. "Come on, don't be such a wuss! He's probably got a truck load of super cool games stacked in there! If he does, can you imagine how much fun we'll have all throughout the night?"

"What if we get caught?!" Jean whined. Terror reading his face. "Can YOU imagine how much trouble we'll get into?!"

"The question is IF we get caught, my friend! We'll be fine! There's two of us! And besides if we do get caught, I'll just say that you wanted to know what was the name of the music Dude's always playing and curiosity just got the better of you!"

Jean's jaw nearly dropped. "You'll be pinning the blame on me if we get caught?!"

Adam turned to Jean showing a devilish toothy-grin. "We'll it's the truth, iiiiisn't it?"

Memories Part 6

 

Memories 
Jean had to cover his mouth to keep himself from bursting out laughing. 
Back then Adam had always been an elfish goon; always getting anyone he could get his hands on to go along with his absurd schemes and make it so that it would have to go absolutely well or risk betrayal.

Anyway, what happened after was like they really were on a mission:
They quietly tip-toed down the stairs, freezing in their tracks every time a squeak or creak occurred.

Then, stopping at the last step, they peaked around the railings just to make sure no-one was coming their way.

"Coast is clear!" Adam announced rather loudly.

"Shhh!" Jean frantically held a finger to his mouth. "Do you want us to get caught?!"

"You shush!" Adam shot back.

"No, you shush!" Jean retaliated as Adam led him from the stairs.

"You shush!"

"No, you shush!"

"You shush!"

It was amazing they were able to walked past the kitchen without Adam's mother noticing either one of them.

But then, out of no-where, Adam halted in his tracks.

"Mayday! We have an issue! I repeat! We have an issue!"

"What is it?" Jean asked, peaking over Adam's shoulders.

Memories Part 7

 

Memories 
"Huuuh?? This is the issue??"

Right across from the door to Dude's room 
sat a snow-white cat staring intently at it 
with unblinking yellow eyes and slits; the tip of her tail
twitching up and down.
It was Duchess, the family's house-cat.

"Come here Duchess!" Jean cooed, 
gingerly scooping her up in his arms and nuzzling the top of her head. 

For some reason Adam was always terrified of her. 

Jean liked her though, she was sweet.
She returned Jean's affection, and nuzzled him back.

"There! Issue resolved!"

"Just keep her away from me!" Adam ordered as
he walked towards the door and turned the knob.
He then stopped;

"It's locked."

Memories Part 8

 

Memories 

Jean let out a huge sigh;
his breath brushing the tips
of snow-white fur
at the top of Duchess's head.

Finally, they could quit this silly charade.

"Oh well, we tried our best! But I guess it wasn't meant to be!" Jean didn't even bother trying to hide the happiness that sung throughout his sentences. "Anywho, let's go back! If we go now I'm sure we could still sneak pass--

"Luckily I've prepared for this!" Adams voice boomed, cutting Jean off just as he put one foot backward. 

He thrust his fist up in the air,
a card of green and blue within his grasp 
shinning under the fluorescence light.

Jean cringed. "Tell me you didn't steal your moms credit card..." 

If he had thought they could not possibly get into any more trouble than before
He had been grossly mistaken.

Memories Part 9

 

Memories

Adam threw him an "are you stupid" look and said
"You think I have a death wish?"

Jean then threw him a look that spoke of "Do you really need to be asking me that?"

Adam slipped the card through the crack of the door, between it and the doorjamb.
He then promptly began to fumble with the bolt. 

"This is a gift-card my Aunt gave to me last Christmas to that new bookstore in town," He explained. "I don't know why she got it for me though. I never read books!" 

"You read comic-books, and those weird Japanese comics." Jean pointed out. 

Duchess's tail began to swish again; 
Back and forth,
Back and forth.

"It's called manga dude! 'Sides, that place doesn't even sell any manga..." He grumbled. "But at least now it can be put to good use!"

Back and forth,
Back and forth.

Jean rolled his eyes. "So, you honestly think that's going work?"

"Uh-huh! I seen it all the time in movies!"

Back and forth,
Back and forth.

Memories Part 10

 

Memories

Jean looked to the side. Really...? He had thought. Movies...?

"That stuff only works in movies BECAUSE it's in movies! Nit-wit! That ain't going to work in real life!"

Of all of Adam's stupidest ideas this one took the cake. BIG TIME!

"Well who the heck are you to say it can't?"

Back and forth,
Back and forth.

"Because it just can't! That's why!"

"You ever tried?"

Back and forth,
Back and forth.

"Well, no...but that doesn't mea--

"All I heard was no. So there you have it!"

Jean pouted. "Why you..."

"Mrrrreow...!" Duchess growled suddenly.

Jean looked down, surprised. Duchess hardly ever growled,
especially not when Jean held her.

Her tail was swinging side to side;
Her pupils back to sharp slits,
and her back slowly arched. 

Something was bothering her,
But what?

She was staring intently at the door though...

Jean looked at the door,
then back to her.

What was in there that was making her act like this?

Memories Part 11

 

Memories
Jean gulped.
Cats had high senses when it came to danger and of certain areas that certain little children
should not be crossing into.
He knew this was a bad idea from square one,
and Duchess confirmed his suspicions!

"Me and my big fat mouth..." He whimpered.

"H-Hey, Adam. I-I REALLY think we should call it quits and go back up! Your mom could come out of the kitchen any minute and catch us! And your brother could be heading back as we speak! Let's try it another time!" He pleaded.

The tips of Duchess's fur on her head had already begun to stick up like needles!
He shuddered. Not a good sign!

"Come on! Let's go! Pleeeaaase?!"

"Stop being such a chicken already! You're going to be thanking me when we find his secret stash of sweets somewhere in that room of his!" Adam snapped, still fumbling with the lock. "Mom never lets me have any candy....! but Dudey-boy can have all the treats he wants! It's not fair! Well then, tables are going to turn tonight, buddy! You won't know what hit ya!"

Jean's spirits sank. 
Adam was in his own little world now.

 

Memories Part 12

 

Memories

'Click!' 

"And there you have it!" Adam gloated as he opened the door (it creaking slightly). "Obviously you were wrong here! Never underestimate Adam the Great! I OBVIOUSLY know better when it comes to--

And that's when it all happened;
it was almost like in slow motion:

A hiss.

A leap from gentle arms.

Paws out stretched with claws protruding,

and another hiss.

Adam had only seconds to register what was happening before his eyes were unwillingly met with the ferocious glare of a little white-furred fiend lunging towards him. It's cruel fangs glinting hauntingly in the light.

Then a scream penetrated from his lips as Duchess latched herself onto Adam's head, 
claws unforgivingly digging deep within his scalp. 
He fell backwards and both cat and boy went tumbling down the stairs behind them,
screaming as they went.

 

Memories Part 13

 

Memories
Jean froze in his spot,
his eyes locked on the room both his friend and feline companion
had unwillingly stumbled downward into.

It was dark, like a never ending abyss,
the wooden stairs could only be seen
and the screaming and tumbling were the only things that could be heard from it.

Then a jolt rang through out Jean's body!
His frozen figure finally thawed
as the white hot feeling of doom 
ran throughout his being.

There was no-way that a racket like this
would go unnoticed by the sharp ears of a certain woman
lurking in the kitchen, laboring lovingly over a casserole she expected to be eaten tonight.

His knees shook;
palms sweating,
teeth chattering, 
as the words 'Deep Trouble'
crashed down on top of him
like a boulder.

"We're so going to get it now..." He feared.

Memories Part 14

 

Memories

He waited,
and waited,
and waited,

Too scared to run from his spot and hide;
His eyes shut tight, waiting for the sound of 
frantic foot steps
followed by the shrill voice
of Adam's mother
Demanding what had been the noise;
Why Dude's door was open,
And why Jean was in front of it?

He would be blamed,
He knew he would.

Just thinking about the punishments
That would soon be upon him
made him wish and wish with all his might
That he would vanish into thin air,
and escape this awful fate encroaching.

And then, after the third minute went by....
NOTHING HAPPEN.

Memories Part 15

 

Memories

Something was off...
Jean thought anxiously swaying his head from side to side,
looking for the blond-haired terror
that should be dangling Jean's fate between her fingers
by now.

She wasn't here. There's wasn't even the slightest cry of concern
anywhere at all.

Jean scratched his head, "This is odd. Those two were loud enough for the whole neighborhood to hear. How come she isn't here."

With delicate foot steps, Jean walked back to the kitchen and tentatively
peered around the corner into the kitchen; the horrific smell of broccoli and tuna 
wafting into his nose

There was Adam's mom, in front of the stove,
merrily cooking away, humming a tune.
Her ears were plugged with a pair of ear-phones,
the cord directly leading down within the pink
apron she wore,
and obviously into the pocket of her pants.

Jean breathed. So she was on her i-Pod the entire time...

"Thank God." He whispered.

Memories Part 16

 

Memories

Now knowing he had nothing to worry about
Jean made a hasty get-away back to the opened door 
and his "wounded" companions.

When he got back, strangely it was quiet down there all except
for the growling's that were most likely coming from 
Duchess. He expected to be hearing Adam 
screaming his lungs out
for being brutally attacked
by the feline, Jean had yet to understand why, he feared the most
but there was nothing. 

Jean peered through the darkness but still didn't see Adam nor Duchess. He then called down softly (one could never be too sure) 

"Hey! You alive down there?!"

All he got back were tiny little whimpers.
Jean signed. At least he got an answer.
He groped the walls looking for a light switch but then decided against it.
If Adam's mom did come out of that kitchen,
the last thing he wanted was for her to wonder why the lights were on in her eldest child's room
when she specifically saw him leave.

So, closing the door behind him, 
he grabbed the railing on the wall and carefully made his way down.

Memories Part 17

 

Memories

Slowly his eyes began to adjust as he made his way down.
By the time his foot touched the carpet he was able to make out everything
thanks to the moonlight cascading from the little window
at the far right of the room:

Empty soda cans,
cardboard boxes of eaten pizza,
and plastic bags
were strewn everywhere.
The simple little bed--also at the far right--was stripped of it's sheets
that laid lazily at the side,
And the dusty little T.V on top of a worn dresser
was covered in clothes that had probably not been washed in days.

The smell was overwhelming.
It was almost as rotten as the stench
that took a hold of the kitchen.

Jean plugged his nose
his regret for mentioning 
his curiosity now deepening even more.

"St-Stay back..." He heard an all too familiar voice plead.

Jean walked towards his left
and then stopped.
Turning his head towards the squeamish voice,
he found exactly what he suspected.

 

Memories Part 18

 

Memories

There was Adam,
his back pressed against the closet,
with a wooden hockey stick clutched desperately between his shaking hands;
His eyes looked as if they were close to tears.

And there was Duchess,
her fur standing up on all ends,
Standing on the tips of her paws
and hissing like there was no tomorrow.

Jean ran to Adam and took a hold of the hockey-stick.
"What do you think your going to do with this thing?!" He demanded, pulling at the stick. "I know you don't like her, but come on! Beating her is way over the top!"

Adam's death-grip on the hockey-stick would not loosen. "I'm only trying to protect myself! She's evil Jean! EVIL! She attacked me!"

Jean hauled at the stick. "I'm sure she didn't mean to! She's a sweet cat! She never attacked me!" He insisted. 

"Sweet?! You call THAT sweet!" He pointed at the hissing cat. "Look at her! She want's to kill me!"

Jean looked back at her.
True, she looked absolutely feral 
but something told Jean she was pissed for an entirely different 
reason.

Memories Part 19

 

Memories 

But before Jean could even say anything about it,
an all too familiar deep voice
was heard coming from upstairs,
groaning dejectedly. 

It was Dude...

Jean and Adam nearly screamed.

"I-I th-thought y-you said he wouldn't be back for 40 minutes!" Jean stuttered, not knowing whether to feel angry or absolute terror. It hadn't even been twenty minutes and already he was back!?

"H-H-He n-n-never comes back this e-early! S-Something must h-have happened!" The Adam that had been burned up with so much resolve; excited to figure out his older brother's secret, vanished like a
flickering candle flame.

They heard the door rattling.

"Huh? I thought I locked this thing?" They heard Dude say; a chill ran down their spines.

"You didn't lock it?!"

"I-I-I didn't think we had to until after we got out!"

"You idiot! You've doomed us all!"

"Hey! You're the one who thought we should sneak in! I wanted to ask him!

The door slowly opened with a chilling creak. They both shuddered.

"Quick in the closet!" Adam opened the closet as quietly as he could, and jumped in. "Hurry!"

Jean quickly grabbed the hissing Duchess and jetted in after him, closing it behind.

Memories Part 20

 

Memories 
It wasn't easy getting Duchess to quiet down. 
She struggled, growled and hissed in Jean's arms
so much so that she was actually scratching him.
He swallowed down the pain 
and retaliated by holding her down, and shutting her mouth with his hands.

"Sorry Duchess..." He apologized barely whispering. 
Her struggling continued though.

"Why the heck did you bring her in here?! She'll give us away!"

"If I recall, Dude didn't leave Duchess in his room! You want us to get caught, then I'll be happy to let her loose!"

For the first time that day Jean was able to get Adam to shut his mouth.

The sounds of foot-steps creaking down the stairs made the two boys
hitch in their breaths. Adam backed away as far as he could, while Jean still struggled against Duchess.

Sweat poured down his temples, as the lights were turned on, seeping through the cracks of the closet. It shinned on his face, and he tried to move as far as he could away from it. 

It had been pointless though. 
Her growling pursued and soon the steps marched towards the closet.
And Jean knew that it was all over then.

 

Memories Part 21

 

Memories 

.......

The steps

Became closer and closer,

And closer and closer,

AND CLOSER AND CLOSER.

A tall shadow came into view,
blocking the bits of light that had come through.

Crap! Crap! Crap! Crap! Craaaaaap! Jean shut his eyes knowing what was about to be.

"What the hell...Duchess? How did you get in--Oh Shit!"

Then the door flew open, it creaked as it did, as if to laugh
at the boy's failed attempt to hide and what horror would soon be upon them.
And then light streamed in, 
illuminating eveything to see.

And then there was a yell.

 

Memories Part 22

 

Memories 
Actually, Jean thought to himself
It wasn't really like a yell at all.
Loud enough to ring in your ears for days yes, but it was more like--

Memories Part 23

 

Memories 

"PUPPIES!" Adam squealed.

Yes, a squeal....
The highest-pitched squeal
ever to grace the air with its presence.

It was so loud that Duchess tore herself out of Jean's arms.
But he didn't even bother stopping her,
for his attention was now drawn to Adam.

"Puppies?" Jean repeated, barely knowing what had just happened.
He looked closer (forgetting the fact they had been caught) and found to his marvel
a tiny little white canine held up in Adam's hands, yawning with its little eyes blinking tiredly.

Jean's heart fluttered at the sight. "So cute..." He almost thought he was dreaming. 

His ears then perked at the sounds of tiny whimpers (that were not coming from the puppy Adam held) and looked over to find a cardboard-box in front of Adam.
Jean smiled in wondrous awe, knowing what was in that little cardboard box.

What Adam had found was greater than any video-game he could ever imagine;
more sweeter than any candy that had been forbidden.
He had discovered a little square box within the confides of his brother's closet
Filled with little baby puppies. 

For a moment Jean had been so happy that Adam suggested sneaking into Dude's room.

For a moment...

 

Memories Part 24

 

Memories

"HEY! HOW THE HELL DID YOU TWO GET IN HERE?!"

Dude's roaring voice resonated throughout the room, 
Tearing into Jeans eardrums like Duchess's claws tore into his skin.

Realities wave unforgivably enveloped him; 
the grave reminder that they had been caught 
Filled him up,
And drowned the bliss he felt seconds ago.
Fear resurfaced, and he slowly turned his head towards Dude.

His mouth instantly dried when he saw his face:
it was the very picture of Satan's wrathful visage!

Jean's heart stopped,
The hot feeling of doom once again filled his veins,
Sweat pouring through his skin.

NOW they were in for it..! 

Jean looked back at Adam who was surprisingly not disturbed in the least by their predicament,
His eyes were firmly locked, with fascination and affection, on his little find.
Even the puppy did not seem the least bit disturbed by the angry teenager's 
Voice (as it was already disturbed from its sleep by someone else).

Adam brought the puppy closer to his face,

No doubt admiring the innocent sweetness of its own.

Immediately the puppy licked his nose 

And immediately another squeal escaped his lips.

"Aw..He likes me!"

Memories Part 25

 

Memories 

Dude snatched the puppy from
Adam's grip
And placed it back--gently as Jean recalled--into the box with the others.

"Hey!" Adam snapped at him. "That wasn't cool!"

But before he could retaliate any further
Dude grabbed him by the back of his shirt--his collar to be exact,
Hoisting him up and
dangled him above the carpet floor like a cat--
The sneaky little cat that he was.

He then shot him the iciest glare 
That could've put the Arctic to shame.

"I could say the same thing to you about sneaking into my room,
When I remember telling you SPECIFICALLY to NEVER EVER come into without my permission..." He growled

He then turned the glare onto Jean,
Who gulped down a big lump
That welled up into his throat
as those cold eyes pierced into his.
His heart thumped against his chest
Feeling as if it would fly out
At any moment.
His fingers trembled
As he waited for the devil himself
To strike his vengeful wrath down upon
The two little foolish children
That had dared to step into his private domain.

Memories Part 26

 

Memories 

Jean had thought up a million ways how this would go down, each more terrifying then the last. He said goodbye to everyone he knew inside his mind
Tragically, without a will for them to leave behind.
He never knew it would end this way;

He was dead.

Deader than dead.

He was going to be....ANNIHILATED.

Dude lifted up his free arm

Positioning it for the kill;

The sweat never ceased,

The terror was about to begin.

And then.....

Memories Part 27

 

Memories 

"OUT."
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

"Huh?"

Dudes finger pointed straight to the door up the stairs.

Jean blinked and looked back at Dude
Still dangling
Adam
Who was just as dumbstruck 
as he was. 

 

"Huh?!" Adam parroted.

"I-I don't get--

Dude's glare then grew colder cutting Jean off,
Piercing into his own eyes,
And traveling down his spine
Sending an icy chill behind.

"Take Duchess, and GET OUT of my room." He growled
Ice and fire dripping from his tongue.

"RIGHT!" Jean bolted
And took a hold of a still screaming Duchess by her scruff before darting towards the door.

"HEY!" Adam screamed after him, still in Dude's clutches. "COME BACK HERE! TRAITOR! YOU DON'T LEAVE A MAN BEHIND!"

"You reap what you sow, dude!" Jean called back as he put his foot down onto the floor of salvation. "I hate to say I told you so but I TOLD YOU SO!"

And with that he closed the door
Leaving his friend to his awful fate.

"I'll visit your grave everyday man." He said quietly, resting his forehead onto the door. "Rest in peace old buddy."

 

Memories Part 28

 

Memories 

He waited by the door,

And waited,

And waited,

And waited....

Jean couldn't remember how much time had passed
(10 minutes? 20? 30?)
since Dude spared him of his wrath. 

Silence was all that awaited him afterwards.

Jean pressed his ear to the door to try and catch a wisp of a sound--or a cry pleading for mercy.
Incoherent low mumbles were all
That greeted him.

He resigned to pacing back-and-fort, 
all he could do to keep himself occupied.

Duchess had long ago disappeared 
Darting off somewhere the moment Jean released her.
But not without "gifting" him with fresh
Cuts across the flesh of his arm:
Deep, lined with blood. 
Burning and then itchy 
(it had been brutal trying to restrain his nails from scratching it).

Memories Part 29

 

Memories 

He honestly couldn't believe she had done that to him.
She never did before! 

But he figured if he too had been thrown down the stairs, and 
shoved into a closet filled with foreign creatures trespassing in his home, he probably wouldn't be all that friendly with anyone either.

Waiting by himself though was agony,
he wished he had her for company.

Alone with that bone-crushing silence from that door had
left him with the one unwillingly option: imaging the terror that was possibly transpiring 
down in that ominously silent room.

He shivered,
the room temperature suddenly became colder.
He silently apologized to Adam 
with every grisly image that wormed 
its way into his brain.

Finally, like a spell had been broken,
with a haunting creak,
the door slowly opened.

Memories Part 30

 

Memories 

A cloud of bright hair,
Followed by a round head with
A wide grin on a rosy little face
Stepped out from the shadowy door.

Jean's jaw dropped.

It was Adam but...he looked perfectly
Intact!
His face,
Limbs,
Everything
Was just how he left him!

And...he was grinning?!

Jean stood up,
About to tackle Adam with the array of
Questions rippling through his mind
But was stopped before he could stutter
Out a single word when Adam held up his hand and simply said:

"It's all good Jean. He says you can come
Down now."

Memories Part 31

 

Memories 

Step by step,
They descended the stairs.
Step by step,
The questions ran amok in Jeans ears.
Step by step, 
The smile on Adams face never ceased.
Step by step,
And it all felt like a dream; The entire view, as he took the last step, opened up to him like a flower:

There was Dude, sitting on his bed 
The cold aura that had once whirled around his being was gone.
Weird yet,
The bed was made,
and the garbage that had infested the area
were now stuffed into the wastebasket next to the T.V. that was free from the array of dirty clothes that attacked it and 
in a laundry basket that had been tossed to the side before,
and all those smelly pizza boxes were stacked neatly on top of one another near the wastebasket.

Everything was clean and organized...
Had he stepped into another dimension?

Amidst all the differences in view,
what truly caught Jeans attention
was that familiar cardboard box
Sitting in the middle of the room
With those oh-so sweet little sounds singing from it.

His heart skipped a beat.
that same warm joy instantly washed over him.

Memories Part 32

 

Memories 

Adam bolted dragging Jean once again by the wrist towards the "treasure box".

"He said we can help take care of them if we keep quiet about them." He explained before planting himself onto the ground.

Jean did as well and peeked into the box
His eyes widened at the sight before him:
Five puppies as big as his boyish palms were snuggled up
Against one another looking up at Jean with blinking eyes, yawning.
Two were white; two were black, and the last, a mixture of both.
He grinned wildly, eyes sparkling with admiration.

"Hi there..." Jean cooed as he pet the white and black one gently 
with the back of his fingers. 

Adam dove his hands into the box and plucked the same white puppy from before; ruining the poor puppy's comfort with its siblings.
The other puppies squeaked in response to Adam's abrupt action.

Jean looked up to Adam, shaking his head.

Like a video playing over,
Adam held the puppy 
to his face--that same blush of adoration 
seeping through his cheeks.

Again, the puppy's rose-pink tongue kissed his nose.
And again, the squealing trumpeted.
"I think I'm going to call you Butterball." 
He crowned affectionately.

 

Memories Part 33

 

Memories 

"Don't get too attached." Dude's voice cut in. "They're not staying here." 

Instantly, Adam's moment was ruined.
It read all over his face. 
He retaliated by shooting a burning glare at his brother,
(What guts! Jean thought) 
flames of aggravation danced within his irises.
"Why the heck not?!"

Jean swore that Adam almost had the exact
same intimidation as Dude's--
the same intimidation that rocked one's insides
to the core when it cut through someone's ear drums. 

It was almost scary.

But then 
That frigid glare appeared once again within Dude's own eyes,
icier then before,
instantly cooling the fire that lit his little brothers eyes. "You know damn well why." he hissed like the tundra's unforgiving wind. 
"I don't have to repeat myself!"

"Touch-y..." Adam grumbled,
his eyes whimpering.

Memories Part 34

 

Memories 

Dude then trained his eyes onto
Jean,
who flinched in response

(Wh-What did I do?!).

He gulped for the second time that day,
the air once again frosting his outsides
as well as his insides.

But then,

Not a moment too soon,

It happened.

Something Jean never thought was possible,
not in his entire life:

Dude's eyes softened, 

(Softened?!)

the coldness
melting away
just like snow;
Just like that!

"So," Dude began.

"Sooo...?"

"You wanted to know about the music I"m always listening to?"

 

Memories Part 35

 

Memories 

A wave of emotions crashed over Jean at that moment--
happy that he was going to finally get what he wanted;
livid that Adam told Dude instead.
Ratting him out to take the blame when he left him behind he supposed.

But when he finally nodded,
On that day, 
Dude had shed his
Cold exterior to reveal 
a much different inner side.

His mouth twitched slightly upward
and then he shut his eyes for a bit,
before inhaling through his nose
As if he was holding something back.
He then got off the bed and went over to the dresser
before sliding open the bottom drawer.

He pulled out a filthy plastic CD case, and handed it over to him--
wiping off the grime as much as he could with his sleeve.

"The band's name is...Breaking Benjamin," Dude explained while Jean looked over it with awe. 
When he looked up, he saw that for a brief moment Dude was...
actually smiling,
his eyes alit with a spark of happiness 
flickering within those hazel seas. 
But he quickly hid it with a normal Dude look:
Feigned grouchiness.
"But you'll probably get sick of it after awhile."

Memories Part 36

 

Memories 

This CD Jean held within his hands
was proof that he never tired
from such emotionally dark
playing of great instruments 
that inter-wound with each somber and woeful lyric flowing from
Such unique vocals. It all seeped so
passionately into his ears each time he 
pressed play on Dude's CD player.

Jean had been surprised he had even let him 
use it just so he could listen to it.

And as many times as he liked.

It was the first time He'd ever seen Dude do
such a sweet thing. Even Adam was wide eyed.

Touched by such a kind act
Jean let him know how to be able. 
Choke down his mother's awful casserole
after the bells tolled when she sang 
that dinner was ready.
(He had explained that the roads had been cluttered and clogged with piles of snow and streams of black ice, which blocked the routes to the convenient stores).

"All you have to do is add lots of salt, lots of pepper and a little steak spice to be safe." He happily said 
to his green-faced new friend.

Memories Part 37

 

Memories 

Ian was the one who taught him that.
He was the one who really deserved the credit
for saving everyone's stomachs that day.

Going back to him,
all the sweetness 
of masks being loosened
and puppy's being discovered 
didn't budge Ian to allow his little brother
to have such a CD a bit.

He....wasn't too fond of musics consisting of dark elements
that could poison the innocent mind of a child
not even thirteen yet.

But after an incident that resulted in
name calling 
("Uptight egghead!"),
stolen car keys,
locking doors,
refusing to come out--
followed by a very angry phone call to 
the very person that got 
Jean hooked on to the band in the first place--
Ian finally gave in
and bought the CD
and was rewarded with 
open arms flying around his neck
followed by a thousand 'thank you's!'

If looks could kill
everybody in that parking lot
would've been dead at the sight
of Ian's face that day.

Tears Part 1

 

Tears 

Jean laughed under his hand
But his fingers couldn't keep his lips closed
any longer.

"Haha-Hahahaha!"
He hadn't laughed like this
in such a long, long time.

Had he really forgotten all those
things from back then?

Things had been so...
out-of-place;
So grey ever since
the accident.
He hardly ever found himself dwelling
on fond memories before tonight.

But, how could he have forgotten? Forgotten
all of those beautiful things?

All those innocent days?

His laughing started to become ragged
his throat suddenly tightened.
Eyes began to burn.
 

'Plop'
 

'Plop'

 

One by one they fell;
the tears streaming down his cheeks

And then he began to sob.

He buried his face into his arms
hitching in one thick breath, 
after another--
Pain spreading with each one.
the tears wouldn't stop
and they dripped down
onto his half-finished homework
and onto the case of his neglected CD,
staining them both.

Why did things become like this?

Tears Part 2

 

Tears 

....What was the reason....?

Why?

Why?

Why?

Where did all that
Happiness go?

Jean knew.

He didn't have to ask.

It flew away...

..When like Ian had....

Not to Tonight

 

Not Tonight 

'Knock',

'Knock',

'Knock'.

Jean startled,
Heart nearly jumping
Out of his rib-cage. 

"Jean," Came his fathers gravelly voice through the wood of the door. "Are you still awake?"

He nearly sprung out of his chair. "Y-Yeah!" Jean answered a little too frantically. "Whats up?!"

"Unlock the door first." 

"Sure! Just a sec!"

Why did he have to come up now?
Why couldn't he just leave him alone for the night?

He honestly didn't want to hear it from him right now.
Unfortunately, he had no choice in the matter.

But he couldn't let his father to see him like this;

or his homework like this.

"Ian never took this long to complete his math problems!"

Not tonight.

Not tonight...

To Hide

 

To Hide 

Quickly, he wiped the tears away with his sleeves
Before he snatched up half of a tissue lying untouched by his lamp
and blew his running nose. 
(The material felt rough against the tender flesh)

Jean then looked at his reflection within the mini-mirror stand--also on his desk--and 
Satisfaction settled into his systems when he saw that there wasn't a splotch of bitter crimson burned into his cheeks or around his nose.

He hadn't been crying for too long though.
His eyes were a little scarlet,
yes, but it wasn't really much of an issue to worry about.

Now, he thought looking at the mass of worksheets, papers, pens, and pencils 
scattered amongst the mahogany wood
with his opened textbook in the middle of it all.

Time for you bastards to disappear...

 

To Hurry

 

To Hurry 

The work sheets were the first to go:
One by one, he seized them all in an anxious hurry and hid them all away within the only folder lying within reach--he didn't care if it was the right one, all that mattered was them disappearing from hawk-eyed view.

Next he gathered every sheet of paper that was scribbled with a myriad of failed answers and solutions and crushed them into the size of pebbles. 
His anger cleansed just a bit as he did.

Ecstasy would swell if only he could have burned them all instead.

But sadly, those delicious flames were not within his reach to torch these all to ashes (nor would it have spared his desk or even his room if he did).

All he had was his hands and time.

But with each second that ticked on by, 

So was his father's patience.

He could feel it from beyond that door

Wearing thinner and thinner.

Why couldn't his fingers work faster?

To Hurt

 

To Hurt 

He flinched when he inadvertently slammed his textbook closed. 
With his father's cat-like hearing he had hoped to do this inconspicuously. But when silence was all that was heard behind that door, 
he breathed out a relief sigh.

Jean felt ashamed, hiding his homework away from his father like this as if he were a child.

But what else could he do?

If he didn't then he would never hear the end of it.

Why couldn't he just go to bed? He questioned within the sanctuary of his mind.

If only he did that, then at least he would have had just a bit of peace tonight.

Just a bit...

But no. 
No...
It had to be like this.

It just had to be like this...

Why though?

Just why?

What did he ever do?

He received no answers, and instead collected his textbook and folder and slipped them both within his backpack before carrying it behind his bed.

Hidden away,
away from those sharp eyes searching for anything out of place.

Yes, Jean was just like a child,

A child hiding his failure...

His eyes began to burn again.

 

Anger (Wishing for Solitude)

 

Anger (Wishing for solitude) 

'Knock,'

'Knock,'

'Knock!'

"Jean!" His father spoke again. This time tinged with that painful sound of his impatience. 

Jean winced, the tears drying instantly.

"Coming!" He was quick to call back. His fists were balled tight, and he sped walk towards the door. He wished he could bang his fists into that wood. His father's face was just behind it. 

Everything within his systems was flaring red hot. 
He hated that his father was making him feel like a scared cat. 
He wanted nothing more then to tell his father to get the hell out of here. But his finger-nails nearly cut into his flesh when he thought about all the things that would happen if he did just that. 

His father was bigger then him, stronger. He would squash him like an ant, 
without breaking a sweat.

And that alone was even more frustrating.
For now though he'd have to douse the flames;
suck it up. 

"Once dad's done with whatever he wants, he'll be gone!" 

He sighed away the burning sensation, and reached for the door-knob, his fingers were still shaking.

With hesitation he turned the knob
And with even more reluctance, 

opened it.

Father's Son? Part 1

 

Father's son?

Standing in front of Jean was a shell of the man he had once known:
Dark circles were ringed around
Strained, colorless eyes. 
With a face as dry and brittle as sand; forehead webbed with wrinkles, a tired look glazed over.
His lips were shriveled and cracked
Pursed into a never-changing somber frown.
His shoulders were sagged, his skin was a sickly complexion,
and he reeked of tobacco (He had quit smoking five years ago, but after Ian died, he went right back to it).

Nothing emitted a spark of light or joy from this man before him. 
There might as well had been a living corpse standing there.

But before Jean could utter a word of forced welcome, his nose suddenly caught the whiff of a familiar and delicious scent--
A scent he hadn't smelled in awhile.

 

Mother's son? Part 1

 

Mother's son?

His eyes widen when he found
within his fathers big, gnarled hands a 
bowl of spaghetti toppled
With red sauce and meatballs.
A sliver fork stuck out of it all.
He stared at it as if it were an illusion.
It was his favorite meal, something he hadn't had in a long time.
His stomach rumbled in response.

"Your mom made it. You haven't really eaten anything all day, have you?" and he handed it over to Jean who 
Was still awestruck as he took it into his own hands

"Mom...made this?"

The cloud of steam rose up and caressed Jean face, warming his cold cheeks, kissing the dry tear stains away. 
The invigorating scent teased
His nose. 
She hadn't made him his favorite meals since he got out of the hospital. 
But, instead of feeling happy
He felt something else:

Suspicious.

Mother's son? Part 2

 

Mother's son?

Why would she do this when she hadn't for him in so long--
His favorite meal with no strings attached?

He couldn't believe it,
No, he shouldn't believe it. 
But he wanted to believe it
He wanted to believe that maybe she finally saw...
him.

Did she really though?
Or were there really strings attached?

He could feel his heart longing, 
hoping,
remembering... 

Her soft palms stroking his cheeks, 
her warm smiles towards him, and only him, 
The way she had, the way she truly had.

Before all this.
Before all this...

But he felt the doubt lingering,
strangling the desperate hope...

Wishing

 

Wishing

How was he suppose to feel? 

How?
How?
How?

How...?

He wished he knew.
He wished Ian was there,
Then he would truly know.

Father's Son? Part 2

 

Father's son?

His father's crushing gaze snapped him out of his thoughts and wishes
when he foolishly looked up.

Before, whenever Ian wasn't around to help Jean with anything that stumped his 
rather pea-sized mind, he'd always go to his father because he was, next to Ian the smartest person he knew.

He'd answer all his questions, 
with no biased.
He couldn't even count how many conversations 
they had about bullies, school, and things on the news.

With his dad, he could go to for anything that 
he couldn't figure out.

And because of this meal--this meal that just suddenly appeared
out of no-where--his body reacted from those sweet memories.

Father's Son? Part 3

 

Father's son?

However, his body was foolish to do such a thing.
His heart as well.

Jean and his father no-longer had that relationship anymore.
It was gone.
All those days were gone.
Gone. 
Gone.
Gone...

And now his father's only concern was whether Jean could be 
like the son he was so proud to have had--whom was now buried in a box at a cemetery.

Why can't you ever just see me as me?'
Jean would wonder always. 
Why couldn't they both?

Fear began to swarm his insides.
He knew what would come next.

That gaze said it all.

Father's Son? Part 4

 

Father's son?

But what came next...

Wasn't what he expected at all...

Father's Son? Part 5

 

Father's son?

His father's hand came down on the top of his head.

"Ah!"

His burly fingers stroked his hair and kneaded his skull which pained him with the force and the strength of it all. 

It was a pain that meant something to him though. It was a pain that held certain affection and gentleness to it; a pain that had made Jean recoil from during earlier times. A pain he had lashed out at; a pain he'd pretend he never liked.
 

'Ow! Dad stop, that hurts!'
'Don't treat me like a little kid anymore!'

His father was patting him on the head.

Patting him on the head...?

Jean was now as still as stone.
His breath was caught in his throat...

His father...

His father who was half-dead on the outside,
half-hearted on the inside;

Scowling always and laughing never,
Verbally judging every mistake Jean made that Ian never had

After so many, many icy months

Was patting him on the head...

Their Son? Part 1

 

Their son?

His father only said this:

"Good boy." Low and lovingly.

And then he left. No other words were said nor exchanged. 

Jean was left standing at the doorway, unable to even blink, with a warm meal from his mother
In his stiff hands,
And the top of his skull throbbing tenderly from his father's worn hand.

......

He found his breath again. The stillness dissolved as his face began to burn. 
He grit his teeth. Eyes showing a brilliant glow of anger.

"Is this some kind of joke?" He hissed.

Their Son? Part 2

 

Their Son?

His mother, who would always screech at Jean about his study habits and grades, had just made his favorite meal for him...?

His father, whom he hadn't been able to speak to normally anymore, always glowering at all of Jean's imperfections, had just patted him on the head and spoken a loving word to him...?

This...
This had to be a joke....

There...
There had to be a catch somewhere!

Up until tonight they were acting like their usual shitty selves and now, 
now they turn around and start treating me like their son again?!

This wasn't real...
This couldn't be real...!

He had to be dreaming.
That had to be the reason...

 

Their Son? Part 3

 

Their Son?

There wasn't any special reason for this.

He hadn't done anything phenomenal. 

Ian wasn't back.
He was still dead.
He was dead...
Dead...

So why...
Why were these things happening all of a sudden?
Why...
Why did those two give back those forgotten things to him...?

They shouldn't be acting like this
There had to be something in the middle.
There had to.

There was no reason for this...

He stared through the doorway
The hall black and endless.
The sharp odor of tobacco 
tainted the air.

His father had vanished like a ghost 
But that cigarette smell remained.

Jean looked back down at the bowl
The delicious smell of basil and tomatoes
Still wafting into his nose.

Those scents mixed together 
Made his heart constrict.

"This is just mean..."

Their Son? Part 4

 

Their son?

Jean turned back around quietly
And shut the door,
Carefully balancing the bowl between his palm and chest.
The warmth reverberating through the china and to his heart
And sent a lump down his throat.

He blinked back tears and walked over back to his desk and set it down, right in the middle.

Jean stared at the sight of that robins-egg colored bowl of pasta :
Yellow and red, dimpled with black,
Standing in the sea of polished mahogany wood.
This very image 
reminded him of the day he was finally released from the hospital.

The food served at the hospital had been unkind to him:
(just like the world was for taking his brother away)
Cold, watery, unbearably bland.
Completely devoid of life...

He could hardly stand putting it in his mouth.
It made him want to vomit.

Sometimes he would just throw it to the ground
shattering pieces of porcelain and those ugly excuses for food
down across the floor.

It wouldn't take anyone special to predict how the nurses and
doctors reacted to that.
It got him into a whirlwind of trouble.
So much so that it pained him ever thinking about it.

Their Son? Part 5

 

Their son?

Once he was finally freed of that nauseating
prison and it's infuriating chains
The first thing that happened was almost like the day he woke up
His parents were holding him tightly in their arms,
never wanting to let go.

Jean could hardly feel anything though.
Because going home with only two members
of his family, without the third waiting at home
had ringed out his heart of any lick of happiness.

When he stepped through that door however,
his mother lead him to the kitchen
and there it was, his favorite meal,
standing alone on the mahogany table
in the same robin's-egg blue bowl.

Their son? (Sweet times) Part 6

 

Their son? (Sweet times)

His mother had always been such a fantastic cook. Her fingers weaved diligently over the stove, pans and food, creating meals that couldn't even compare to gold. Ian and Jean practically lived for her recipes. Eating anything she made was like having a birthday everyday.

Her face would always brighten like the sun whenever Jean and Ian took a bite of her cooked meals; the taste of the spices, and cooked flesh of the meats and vegetables flowing through their tongues had always made them both break out into exuberant and ecstatic cries of joy as if they had just come back after wandering a desert for three weeks without any food. 

Jean always wondered how her delicate manicured hands could ever create such magic whenever she was in the kitchen. Ian once compared her to an angel of food. 

A bubble of laughter rose from Jeans heart and floated out his throat. 

That guy was always such a sappy poet whenever he compared something. 

Their father would also poke fun at Ian whenever he made those remarks.

His family sure was something back then...

It was so much brighter and fun, filled with laughter.

Their son? Part 7

 

Their son?

Her recipe for spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce had won Jean's heart over the thousands of meals she had made before.

It had been sweet to the tongue with the basil leaves opened to full flavor in full bloom and with the pasta being half cooked, neither hard nor too soft.

He would happily gobble it all right down to the last splotch of red sauce even if his belly was full to bursting. The taste would linger on his tongue for hours, begging for more.

Because of his voracious appetite for such a simple meal, she had promised (laughing as he recalled) that she would make it every Thursday for him to compromise his constant insistence of having it every day.

Jean always looked forward to Thursdays after that, eagerly counting down the days on his mental calendar. Ian though was less then elated. There's was only so much pasta a guy like him could take.

Now that Jean thought about it though, that day, when he came home, it was...a Thursday...

A Thursday...

Just like today...

Their son? Part 8

 

Their son?

This meal had made him cry that Thursday day 
It was so sweet and so strong in his mouth.
Sparks of light danced on his tongue,
Tasting memories both bitter and sweet
Love in every little bite
His heart bursting with so many emotions.

It was the one thing his mother made for him
That had brought him out of the lifeless darkness
He was entombed in after hearing that his brother was no longer going to be with him
He had thought that maybe he'd be able to make it through 
with his parents still by his side.

But after a some time passed,
The loving tenderness had disappeared
Completely.
And all that was left was the shattered remains of two parents who would do 
Almost anything to have at least one glimmer of their shinning star, Ian, still illuminating
This house of broken dreams. 

And that meant desperately trying to mold their only remaining son into him.
Even if it was killing him to do so.

But this meal before him...made by his mother...on a Thursday...

The pat on his head...and the loving words spoken by his father....
Was it possible that they were starting to come back...?

Their son? Part 9

 

Their son?

Why tonight? Why? What made tonight so special?

Had...had they talked it out? 
Did...did they finally notice just how unhappy their now only son was? Did they finally get that it wasn't fair to put all those impossible expectations on him?
Something that only Ian could do that Jean never will.

Did they finally accept it? That he was never coming back?
That Jean wasn't him.

Jean raised his hand and gingerly touched his skull
The feeling of his fathers burly palm remained. 
And the smell of the tomatoes and basil overwhelmed his nose.

Tears gathered in his eyes. Maybe....
Maybe they really were....

Their son? Part 10

 

Their son?

Jean sank slowly into his seat. Eyeing the meal with a careful gaze
The sauce was deep crimson; the noodles golden, the basil dotting it all. 
the meatballs, plump and red, giving off such a strong, meaty fragrance.
His mouth began to salivate.
This really was just like old times,
The meal looked exactly like she always made it.

Almost immediately he could taste the sweet red sauce spreading across his mouth, his teeth remembering how the bits of basil, pepper, would crunch between, 
and the meat sticking.

He could see his mother's glowing face, a smile ear to ear as she placed it on the table for the eager, younger him. 

"Dig in, Sweetie!" She'd giggle out, and his eager, younger self would immediately, giggling as well, thanking her with a full mouth. She'd scold him lightly for it, and then immediately giggle again.

He reached for the fork and grasped it. His stomach rumbling, begging him. His heart filling up with all sorts of emotions.

Their Son...

 

Their son...

Jean twirled the fork, winding it up with noodles. The red sauce gently flicking tiny droplets hither and thither. 
He brought it to his face,
his mouth was glued shut though.

He wondered,

Would it disappear before him? Was it just a dream? Just an illusion brought on by his wishes?

Or was it truly real? Was it really? Could it be?

His chest swelled, and swelled
with doubts and what if's.

Until...

Until finally, the sweet laughter of his family over-took him. The wonderful images of them eating this meal together blurred his vision. The scent tickled his soul, enrapturing it with more happy memories. 

How he missed it. How he missed the love.

And here it was, right before him, in the same bowl, twirled around the metal fork, glittering in his eyes. The touch on top his head still fresh and throbbing.

It was all there. Just like before. 
Just like before...

A thread of saliva peaked from his lips, and dripped down his chin. 
His mouth opened wide,
And his teeth longingly sank into the meal
that meant more to him than just it's taste.

No

 

No

His eyes flew open
and then his hands flew to his mouth.

Something was not right;
Something was not right at all!

What he tasted was not basil or the sweetness of the tomato sauce like he expected,
No, he could taste that but....but something else was within the mixture...

Something he would never put in pasta,
But something he knew someone else would.

Ian....

Ian had always loved to put salt, pepper and steak spice into almost every meal he ate. It wasn't just some seasoning to help swallow down a distasteful meal. It was his favorite things to put into anything. Period.

He would always pour a dash of it in his spaghetti as well and swirl it in whether at the dinner table or out in public. 

Those things were in Jean's mouth from the bowl of pasta his mother made for him. 

No...

It wasn't for him...

That's not...

 

That's not...

The tainted sauce ran down his throat
And then bile rose into his mouth.

He fled to the bathroom build in his room
and flung the toilet-lid open.

The un-eaten contents, the vile spices, and a good chunk of his insides
Spilled out of his mouth 
and 
discolored the water.

After finishing he was still.

His breath hoarse and ragged. 
His throat burning. 
His tongue twisting from the putrid taste. 

Yet, even so,
the wretched flavor of those seasonings were seared into the walls of his mouth.
His stomach twisted in tight knots again.
He threw-up again.
Acid,
bile, 
rancid things
assaulted him once more,

But it still wouldn't wash that God-awful taste from his mouth.

He reached over to the sink, heaving himself up,
Muscles fueled by panic. 
He turned it on, water flowing out, and he frantically washed out his mouth, rinsing every inch, every area,
Over, and over, 
Over, and over,
and over.
But those cursed things still haunted his mouth!

He gripped his mouth, feeling as if it had been cut by poisoned blades inside. 
His stomach lurching, his heart pounding. 
His mind swarming,
And swarming like bees

He looked up.

And then he screamed.

Wondering Part 1

 

Wondering
 

[Hey.]
.
.
.
.
.
[Jean?]
.
.
.
.
.
[Hey, you there?]

Wondering Part 2

 

Wondering

[Helloooooooooooooo!??]
.
.
.

[Anyone. Anyone at all???]
.
.
[Don't tell me you're asleep!!]
.
[You can't be asleep now!!]

 

'...Beep...'
 

'...Beep...'
 

'...Beep...'

 

'...Beep...'
 

'...Beep...:
 

'Hi this is Jean. Not here right now. Leave me a message and I'll get back to you.'
 

BEEE—

Wondering Part 3

 

Wondering

He stared down at the screen of his phone, frozen as an ice statue.
 

His thumb was still pressed down near the right corner of the screen,
despite that he had already pressed the 'end call' button minutes ago which had returned him miserably to his contact list.
 

The only contact that he paid any attention to though was his best friend's whom he had let down...
 

...and all because he had to shut his eyes closed once he sat down on the couch when he got home, instead of being a good friend and contacting Jean immediately to help him out with his God-awful algebra homework.
 

A dark-cloud of guilt depressingly hung-over Adam.
 

How in the world was he going to make this up to Jean? How? He let him down. Left him at the mercy of all those parentheses, x's and y's. 
His parents were stressing him out enough, 
the last thing Jean needed was his mind swarming trying to figure out how to show his work for (2x+3)(x-2)=2x(x). 
 

Calculators exist for a God-damn reason... he thought irritably, his phone shaking in his hand.

Wondering Part 4

 

Wondering

Exhaustion be damned.
 

Next time Adam would guzzle down a can of Dr.Pepper when he got home, 
 

Add a Hershey bar too for good measure. 

Wondering Part 5

 

Wondering

Adam fell backwards against the couch,
Head thudding against the overstuffed arm-rest. 
He never resented it more than he did this very moment.
 

"Why does this thing have to be so God-damn comfortable..!" He growled. 
He almost couldn't believe that he did such a stupid thing. Almost. 
He always did bumbling things like this. Was he ever going to learn? Nope. 
Apparently not.
His phone thudded against his forehead, and he groaned,
he almost wished he could slam his face into it.
 

If he did that though, then there would go not only his convenient access to the internet 
but he also wouldn't be able to contact Jean anymore, save for his computer through Skype and e-mail. But not anytime he wanted. Not anytime Jean needed him.
 

That was something he didn't want to risk losing. 
 

Most kid's held onto their phones for dear-life for all the benefits that came with it:
texting, 
writing,
gaming, 
videos,
movies,
and music. 
 

This thing was the way he could speak to Jean almost like they used to...

Wondering Part 6

 

Wondering

...As if they weren't so far away from each-other...

Wondering Part 7

 

Wondering

It felt like forever since he and his family had moved from the quiet suburbs to the bustling urban city.
 

Gone were the peaceful nights of rustling leaves and crickets softly singing him to sleep.
 

Now the nights were filled with angry sirens, beeping horns, and obnoxious cheers from shameful party-goers shouting out from across the neighborhood like madmen. 
Sleep now became a rare occurrence.
 

Gone too were the days where Adam could bike-pedal his way to Jean's house in under seven minutes,
 

And gone were the days where they could go together wherever they wanted to within those peaceful suburbs.
 

Now he was two hours away and hadn't really been with Jean since...
 

...Since Adam rushed into his hospital room and saw lying on a cotton bed with a neck-brace, covered in gauze, stiches...
 

Tears stained his face,
He couldn't even speak (temporary vocal cord paralysis the doctor had said),
 

All Adam could do was hold Jean's hand and cry with him.
 

Once again...
 

His fingers curled around his phone tight
his heart itself felt as if it too had fingers squeezing around it.
Ringing it. 
 

Tighter and tighter...

Wondering Part 8

 

Wondering

...Would it ever end...?

Wondering Part 9

 

Wondering

...Or would it just keep getting worst?

Wondering Part 10

 
 
Wondering
 
"Urgh...this blows." He grumbled miserably. "This TOTALLY fucking blows!"

 

 

"What totally blows, potty mouth?" 
 

His train of thought screeched to a halt when heard that voice: that high, squeaky, and way too cheerful for his taste voice 
 

Ugh, she's here again...
 

When exactly did she get here anyway? After he woke up, he didn't hear her skipping feet slapping across the ground upstairs, or her off-key humming throughout the air. He must have been so concentrated on Jean and his phone that he probably hadn't noticed her coming in. That or she decided to sneak up to him, like she sometimes did.
 

"GO. AWAY." He growled. His blood began to feel slightly hot. He was NOT in the mood for her right now.
 

"Heeeey, that's not nice," She whined. "I need to ask you something."
 

He sighed sharply. "What?"
 

"Can you take your phone off your face first? It's weird, you weirdo." She giggled.
 

He grumbled. Her timing was impeccable. But whatever to make her leave sooner.
Reluctantly, he slid his phone down to his nose, almost dreading seeing that obnoxious grin plastered on her face. 
 

And suddenly a flash of bright light blinded his vision.

Wondering Part 11

 

Wondering

His hands flew to his eyes.
 

"What the hell!?" He shouted, colors dancing around his sight. 
 

"Catch!" 
 

A weight, landed on top his chest...a weight with legs, and...and...
 

c  l  a  w  s.
 

His hands flew from his eyes. Even with blinking colors clouding most of his vision, he could still make out the yellow eyes, wide with slits, the ghostly white fur. 
 

A menacing growl penetrated from that fanged mouth and then he lost it.
 

"GAAAAAHHHHH!" Squirming, his hands flew all over the place. "GETHER OFF ME!! GETHER OFF ME!!"
 

Adam shoved her off with every ounce of his strength. He fell over backwards. The pain from his neck and shoulders didn't bother him and he scurried backwards to the wall, curling up in the corner. 
 

Adam watched with terror as Duchess shook herself. How she was able to stay on the couch even with that shove was beyond Adam, but so long as she wasn't on the floor with him, he was fine with that.
 

Duchess let out a growl and gave Adam a piercing look. She did not appreciate that shove. He quivered from her threatening gaze. What exactly was she thinking now? This mean, evil creature from hell.

Wondering Part 12

 

Wondering

Another flashing sound rang through the air. He could see the instant bright light out of corner of his eyes.
 

Giggling ensued afterward. Wretched giggling. Wretched high-pitched giggling. 
 

"Awesome pose and face, Adam," She grinned twirling around the couch before picking up Duchess and smoothing out her fur. "I'll be losing my mind laughing every time I see it." That toothy-grin plastered on her face made him want to smack it off. 
 

"Y-You little brat, I outta--
 

She held up Duchess right out in front of her. The cat's fluffy white body blocked off the brat's face: yellow eyes glaring into Adam's baby-blues. He flinched, ice running down his spine 
 

"You outta what?" She challenged, poking her head out from behind the white-haired fiend. She grinned again. "So long as I have her, you won't do a thing, ny-aaay, ny-aaaay." She stuck her tongue out, blowing him a raspberry. 
 

Oooooh. That little goblin. That little devil! Who did she think she was!? Just because she was seven didn't mean she could treat him like this! If that fiendish little beast wasn't guarding her right now he would--
 

"Come on honey, don't tease him." 
 

Adams eyes lit up. "Camellia!"