Disclaimer: This is a story about gay people...if you can't read it or
Don't like gay people, leave. Go...bye. But if you like it, read it and
"You're getting married in two days." Hannah smiled, "To my brother! This is the best thing...ever! If I had known this, I would have pushed you a long time ago."
"Call me crazy, but I always thought it'd be Davis." Christina smirked, "But Marco has always been hot."
"I wonder what the guys are up to." Kendall said, "Are they having a bachelor party tomorrow?"
I looked at her, "I hadn't thought about it. I mean...I don't know." I said quickly.
"You aren't worried?" Julie asked.
"Should I be?" I asked.
"No! I mean—"
"Julie, shut up." Christina said quickly, "Marco's not going to cheat. I don't think."
"My brother's an idiot sometimes, but he wouldn't do this, not to Adaen." Hannah said.
"I just hope your water doesn't break during my wedding." I smirked, "It's so bound to happen."
"Are you two going on a honeymoon?" Julie asked, "I always imagined going to an island paradise and being surrounded by adoring locals."
"Sometimes I forget you're a pop star." I said quickly.
"Pop? Hell, I can live with that." Julie smiled.
"We're both busy."
"You're busy?" Christina asked.
"I wasn't going to say anything until after the wedding, but the book is almost ready. And then I'll be doing the book thing."
"So, no more kids right away?" Hannah said with disappointment.
"Not right away. But eventually. Besides, having two babies in the house would be borderline terrible." I chuckled, "I'm kind of happy I can't just get pregnant...no offense to you egg-carrying bitches."
"None taken." Hannah chuckled.
"I'm going to miss you guys." I frowned, "You've got to come and see us."
"Duh!" Kendall said, "Me and Jack want to see New York."
"Thanks for all the help." I said, "I couldn't have done it without you guys."
"Blah blah blah," Christina said, "Don't get gushy yet. We're giving you your own bachelor party!"
"This is going to be fun." I smirked.
"Daddy met daddy when he was just a kid. Even then I knew he was the one." Marco said, balancing Noel on his chest. He was lying on the bed, playing with his son. He quickly added, "Daddy is happy that you're in his life. He can't think of anything that can make this better."
I smiled to myself as I stood at the door, "Daddy should really stop talking about himself in the third-person." I chuckled, "It's creepy."
Marco pulled Noel down to him and looked at me, "I was just telling him about us." He said.
"Don't you think he's too young?" I asked.
"Believe me, it won't be the last time I tell this story." Marco said, "I mean, we're going to have more kids, right?"
I stared at him.
Marco sat up, "You do want more kids? I thought you wanted a big family." He smiled.
"I do. Maybe not right away." I said quickly, "It's just that with the book coming soon and Noel and marriage..."
"Oh, come on! We need to start this family." Marco smiled.
"Who's going to watch two kids?" I asked, "Plus our careers are going to take off soon and we don't need—"
"Kids? We're going to be one of those couples?" Marco asked, sitting up, "I don't want to be one of those couples."
I nodded and sat beside him on the bed. I looked at the floor, not really wanting to see his face.
"This isn't about our careers. It's never been about our careers before." Marco said putting an arm around me, "This is about your family."
I looked at him and sighed, "I don't want to be that dad. I don't want to be too busy for kids. I don't wanna bring some kid into my life just to treat him or her like an inconvenience."
"Why do you think you're the same person as your dad?" Marco asked, "He did bad stuff to you and your family, but you're not him. You could never be him."
I chuckled softly, "You're right. Maybe I'm not him. Maybe I'll be worse." I said quickly.
"If you ever cheat on me..."
I looked to him again.
"...I'm not going to leave you. Not the first time." Marco said.
"I wouldn't do that. I mean..."
"I know. That's why I would make a statement like that." Marco smiled, "Me and Noel need you."
I nodded and stood, "Is this the part where I get all misty and say that I need to go make up with my family?" I asked.
"My mom is dead. Noel's mom is gone. Do you really want to miss any more time with yours?" Marco asked.
"It's not that easy." I frowned, "They did more than put the seed in my mind. They intensified the feeling I already had. That moment was supposed to be happy and joyous and Davis ruined it, but they buried it."
"If you don't want to make up with your family, I'm not going to force you. Just be sure of what you're doing." Marco smiled.
"I'm sure that in two days, I'm marrying the man of my dreams." I smiled, "And nothing short of death is going to stop me."
"Hey, are you having a bachelor party?" I asked.
Marco blushed, "The guys were thinking of it. I mean, if you—"
"No. I mean, yes. I mean...I'm fine. Just please do not cheat on me." I said quickly, "I mean, I'd totally dismember you then I'd have to raise Noel from a jail cell."
"That so shouldn't be funny to him." Marco said, staring at him.
"I think I'll make the friend-tour. I mean, in a couple of days we're moving." I frowned, "I'm going to miss this place. I've moved a lot before, but this time it feels so final."
"It is." Marco said walking to me with Noel, "But we can always come back. It's not going anywhere."
I gave a weak smile, "I wasn't ready to smile yet." I said quickly, "You should definitely talk to your brother."
"My brother? The one who is magically okay with us getting married?" Marco said with raised eyebrows.
"And your dad." I said, "Both of your dads. And you should probably have a talk with your pregnant sister."
"Dysfunctional family reunion?" Marco asked, "I mean, he hasn't seen the baby."
I nodded, "I'll be back later." I smiled, leaving.
As I entered Rylph's, I found myself staring around. It was possibly the last time I'd ever be in here. It was the last time I'd have a burger and chill with my friends. It was the last time I'd actually be just a single guy without direction. My life had a clear track now. Marriage was scary but it wasn't so scary with Marco. Fatherhood was scary. This career thing is scary. When I got caught looking at a couple of kids that reminded me of myself and Hannah, I quickly moved to see Christina, Hannah, Kendall and Julie. Since she agreed to help me, we'd all become closer. We were still weary of her, but she was helping. It was nice not to have to look over my back. I found myself sitting in the booth and smiling at the girls, who all looked to be smiling at me too.
"You're kind of glowing." Kendall chuckled, "Are you pregnant?"
The table burst out in laughter. And we only spoke when the laughter died.
"I'm just happy." I smiled.
There was a silence.
"What?" I asked.
"This is the last time we'll all be sitting here like this." Christina frowned.
"We're all moving on in some way." Julie said.
Hannah nodded, "You missed the news. Apparently, Kendall's dad is ready to let them back onto their jobs." She announced.
"Wow, really?! That's fantastic! What about Jennifer?" I asked.
"Jennifer will be a non-issue very soon." Christina smiled.
"I'm not the only one glowing." I said quickly.
Kendall and Christina looked between each other.
"Spill." Hannah smiled.
"Me and Jack are moving-in together." Kendall said.
"And I'm dating someone." Christina answered.
We all stared at her.
"Don't look at me like that!" Christina frowned.
I looked to Hannah, who shrugged, and then to Christina again, "Who is it?" I asked.
There was a collective sigh.
"Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later." Hannah shrugged.
I stared at her.
"You honestly didn't see this coming?" Hannah asked.
"Not gonna lie, I didn't." I said quickly.
"How long have you been dating my brother?" Kendall asked.
Christina shrugged, "A while now. We broke up when he went off the rails, but he's all sweet now." She smiled.
"So, there's a wedding in all our futures?" I asked.
Christina and Kendall looked at me with surprise.
"I'm the one with commitment issues, remember?" I chuckled.
"Let's take all this one step at a time." Kendall said, "Next you'll be talking about children."
"Oh god, don't say that." Julie frowned, "I was kind of wondering what I contribute to this wedding thing."
"You've been a big help." I smiled, "I'm pleasantly surprised."
"Well, I've been thinking that I should sing at your wedding." Julie said slowly, "If you want me to."
I chuckled, "I'd be honored. I'm going to have a pop star singing at my wedding. Two days..." I trailed.
"Are you ready to be Mr. Terrance?" Christina asked.
"Yeah," I nodded, "I actually am."
"We should eat. And talk more." Hannah said, "Cause I'm really going to miss this."
There was a pang of sadness around the whole table. There was even some sniffles.
"No. We're not going to do this now." I said sadly, "I'm not dying. I'm moving."
"This is a stupid question, but do you think things will change after this?" Kendall asked.
"I think that's a sure bet." Julie said.
"So, why don't we enjoy the time we have left." Christina smiled.
Marco and Noel made their way up the driveway of the Marchall house. Marco could hear a ball bouncing in the backyard. He quickly made his way to the backyard. Davis was playing basketball with Kerry. He smiled at the scene, though he was a bit envious. He missed his father in both senses of the word. He watched the two men play, noticing little things that he shared with them. He was more like his dad and his brother than he would ever admit. He wondered if Noel would have the same things. He cleared his throat, causing both men to look to him.
"Hey, son!" Kerry said as they stopped. His gaze landed on Noel, "Is that..."
"Noel." Marco said, walking to him, "My son."
"My grandson." Kerry said reaching for him, "Can I?"
Marco nodded and handed him the baby. Kerry looked over the baby quickly, taking in the subtle features the baby had inherited from his side. He felt a sense of pride that he hadn't felt since Davis was born, one that he should have felt with Marco. He regretted it now. He regretted it then, too, but there was no way of changing it.
"Would you mind if I had some time with Noel?" Kerry asked.
"Sure." Marco smiled, "I know he wants to know his granddad."
"I want to get to know him, too." Kerry smiled, "And my son."
Marco smiled. It was what he wanted to hear, sincerity. He sincerely wanted to get to know his grandson and his son. It was his pleasure to let the healing begin. If Adaen was there, he'd be adamant about it. He wanted to be better for him. It was less than a day and he was getting married to this man he loved. He needed to let the hurt go. He saw what hurt was doing to Adaen and his family and he didn't want that. He watched Kerry carry Noel into the house and turned to Davis, who seemed to be thinking something over.
"Want to go for a ride?" Davis asked.
"Why?" Marco asked.
"Come on." Davis said, walking to the truck.
Marco followed him and climbed into the truck. The ride was simply awkward. This was his brother, but it was also the rival for Adaen's affection. He didn't know where to begin.
"I propositioned Adaen." Davis said, not looking at him, "Right after Noel, I asked him to run away with me."
Marco was stunned and didn't talk for a few minutes, "And he told you no right away. He said..."
"I gave him a day." Davis said quickly, "He thought about it."
"He—He thought about it?! What is there to think about?! I don't understand and why are you telling me this?" Marco said angrily.
"You win." Davis sighed, "He chose you."
"He had to think about it!" Marco said, "You're a real bastard and he's..."
"No! Well, I am a bastard." He nodded, "But, brother, he chose you."
Marco's anger reached its peak, but quickly subsided at this comment.
"You had everything against you, the baby, the career thing, the past addiction, but he still chose you." Davis said, "He loves you more."
"He chose me?" Marco asked.
Davis nodded and looked at him, "He always has. He loves you, never forget that. He chose you out of all of us."
"And I'm happy for you guys. At first, I wasn't. I'm a sore loser. But you're my brother and he's one of my best friends. IF it's not me..."
Before either of them could say anything else, the car was hit and swiped of the road, rolling into a ditch!
I walked into the house and stopped when I realized I was the only one in the house. I chuckled and looked around at the house. I hadn't lived there for years upon years, but it was my new family's home. It was where we made our first home. I chuckled to myself. This whole time I was worried if I was going to be like my father, but I never wondered if I'd be any good at the other husband stuff. I can't cook. I barely clean. And how was I supposed to raise a kid? There was a knock on the door as I was walking to the kitchen and I paused. I walked to the door and opened it to a surprise.
"Where is my son?" Quinn asked.
"Quinn?" I asked angrily, "Where in the Hell have you been?!"
Quinn walked past me, looking around, "Don't curse at me! Is he okay?" she asked.
"What? Noel? He's fine." I said shutting the door and walking to her, "You do know you've been gone a few months, right?"
"I don't need your condescension...I really don't." Quinn frowned, "Where's Marco and Noel?"
I smirked, "I thought we'd have a little talk first." I spat.
"Oh really? You going to tell me how bad it is to leave my kid?" Quinn asked, "You can't make me feel any worse than I already do!"
"I'm just going to start with where have you been?"
"I'd rather talk to Marco, my baby's father." Quinn frowned.
I scoffed, "I've been feeding and changing and buying and everything you haven't! So, if there are two of us that are parents, then it's me and Marco."
"Where are they?" Quinn asked.
"His father's." I frowned.
"I'll go there." Quinn said, heading to the door.
"Wait..." but my phone went off. I looked to the door to see Quinn gone. I sighed and answered the phone, "Hannah, hey, what's..."
"He's dead, Adaen. He's dead." Hannah cried through the phone.
I stood, looking at the rubble that was once Davis' car. The life that had been lost in that accident was one of the two loves of my life. I couldn't feel my extremities at first. Not even when I woke up after a night of crying. I kept asking myself how this could happen and why did it have to happen now? After everything we've all been through, why now? The tears began running again and I tried my best to wipe them away, but new ones replaced those.
"Are you ready to go?"
I looked back to Marco before burying my head in his chest, sobbing.
Part 2: A Thousand Years, Teenage Dream
"You sure you want to do this?" Marco asked.
I sniffled, "It's what he'd want." I pulled myself away from him, "You never think this could happen. That...it's stupid because I've been in a car wreck and I...I just can't understand it. What happened?"
"We were talking. About his proposition to you—"
"I'm fine with it. You chose me. I was angry and he took his eyes off the road." Marco frowned, "It was only for a brief second but it mattered."
"No, I don't blame myself." Marco said, "Not wholly."
"Or at all." I said softly, "Our wedding is in six hours...I don't know what we should do."
"I need to talk to my dad." Marco said.
"Is this really happening?" I asked, "Is he really gone?"
Marco nodded and looked away.
I sat in the living room of my house, my head in my hands. This couldn't be happening. It felt like I was dreaming a really bad dream. I should be feeling more in touch with my happiness that my fiancée was alive, but I couldn't get over the fact that one of the two loves of my life had just died. I knew I had two choices. I could cry and moan and miss my wedding, let this moment stop the rest of my life, or I could keep going. There was this odd feeling, like I wanted to throw something or make the room look as in turmoil as I was. This hurt. It hurt worse than me almost dying. It hurt worse than when Marco went to rehab or broke up with me. I tried with all my might to pull myself together. Christina and Kendall would be over in about an hour and a half to help me get ready. They had to ready themselves first. I figured that they weren't just getting ready; they were finding some way to cope, like I was. I was so deep in thought when the door opened that I didn't hear it. I jumped as Ballard stood in front of me. I stood in his presence, trying to ward off all these feelings of turmoil and chaos. I tried to stop them before he could see. It didn't take me long to find the same in him. His eyes and his expression looked so depressed, so filled with emotion. He'd just lost his best friend. Without a word, I hugged him deeply. When we pulled apart, we looked to each other, unsure of what to say.
"How are you?" I asked. I quickly sighed at the question and looked to him again, "Dumb question. I just mean..."
"I know what you mean."
There was a pause.
"You know, he'd want you to get married today. Well, not a first, but later him." Ballard nodded.
"It's all convoluted." I frowned, "It's not supposed to end like this. It's not supposed to end like this? We're all supposed to go our own ways and be happy?"
"We still have that chance." Ballard said sadly, "With or without him, we can still be happy."
I looked to him with morbid amusement, "You don't believe that." I said with disbelief.
"Whether I believe it or not, it's the truth." Ballard said softly. His face was different than it had been and he looked at me with interest, "Is this what you want to do? You can honestly say you want him forever?"
"There's no shame in wanting someone forever. You don't ever have to get married, but you can meet a person and know..."
"Christina may not be the girl next door but she's one Hell of a woman." I smiled, "But I'm betting you know that."
"No `sorry I didn't tell you"?" I asked.
"Not your business." Ballard smiled.
"Yeah, because I always stay in my business." I said quickly. There was another second where nothing was said, "He loved you like a brother, even when you two lost touch."
"And he just plain loved you, even when he didn't." Ballard said.
I looked away, at the wall, trying not to do or say anything depressing, like crying. I chuckled sadly, "I think I'll name my next male child after him."
Ballard chuckled, "It'll be confusing. How are you going to tell little Davis about big Davis?" he asked.
"We'll manage." I said, flashing a weak smile.
"If he hurts you..."
"What are you, Davis now?" I asked.
"I mean it. He's my friend but you deserve more than hurt." Ballard smiled, hugging me.
"Little advice. Christina's got some issues with intimacy. She'll push you away because she doesn't know how to really love someone who doesn't want something from her." I explained, "She's like you."
Ballard nodded, "Need any help for the wedding?" he asked.
"No, but Marco does. He only has one free arm." I said, "The girls are coming. I'll be fine."
"This is the day you'll remember for the rest of your life...make it fun." He said, walking to the door..
"Thanks." I said quickly.
He nodded from the door and left. I sighed and turned to walk into the kitchen. When I was there, my mind flew to the time he'd made me the hangover tonic. The times when we'd just sit in my room, kissing or staring at each other. The times we'd almost go all the way in his truck. All the times he made me laugh and cry. How was I supposed to move on from him? It was different when he was alive. He'd have a life, just like mine. But now he wouldn't have that life. He wouldn't any life. I thought back to what people usually tell you, that you'll keep them in your heart but you'll forget. I don't want to forget. I don't want to forget any part of them. I heard the door open in the living room and smiled to myself. The girls were here. I walked into the living room, expecting to see the girls with some sort of wine or something, but found myself alone. I was about to move again but I heard a click and something cold against my back.
"You destroyed him." Brad's voice said angrily, "The minute he started things up with you, this was going to be his fate. It was either that, getting bashed to death or AIDS. I guess you know what to look out for."
I was scared. Brad is a psychopath. I'd known psychopaths before and I'd seen death. I didn't want to die, least of all today.
"I tried to inform everybody about your disease, to stop you from infecting anyone else I care for, but you just can't be stopped...not with words." Brad's voice grew more intense.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
Brad chuckled, "What I should have done a long time ago." He said, "How do you live with yourself? Knowing that you destroy everything you touch?"
"I live because I know you're wrong." I frowned, "How do you live knowing that you're nothing more than a bully?"
With a grunt, he pushed me to the floor. I rolled over on my back and looked up at him. He didn't look any different than normal, but I could see the madness in his eyes. I wondered if it had been there from the beginning and I just wrote it off. I knew he was batshit crazy but I never knew that he who do anything like this. I was genuinely scared because he really did hate me. For some reason, he'd always hated me.
"You know the worst part of this whole thing? I don't even hate you." Brad said calmly, "You're a good guy, you're just an abomination."
"Abomination? Like a murderer?"
"Don't you do that! Don't you dare try to make me the villain in all this!" Brad shouted. He composed himself after much confusion, "I loved Davis. He was like a brother and then he met you and he became just another fag. He even got famous and upheld the gay persona and that's not right! That's not what love is. It's not two men!"
"When he was your friend, he was a jerk. He couldn't see past himself." I said angrily, "I helped him. I gave him something to strive for."
"Because you're so much better than us?" He said, amused.
"No, because he knew that he could be just as good. He knew that I wasn't different than him." I said sternly, "He loved me for the same reason I loved him, because we know the truth: Love is what it is and we're always going to be what we are."
"You fags always have an answer for everything." Brad said, "Even in the face of danger. I applaud you for being a strong fag, but underneath, you're still just a fag."
"Maybe. But you need to learn what it took me years to learn: I'm no different from you." I said quickly.
His left eye twitched, as did his lower lip. He moved towards me menacingly and I backed away.
"If you think you or any other faggot is like me then you're as stupid as I've always thought!" Brad shouted, "It makes me sick. All of you breaking rules that weren't meant to be broken—"
"Spare me." I said quickly, "Your problem is that you can't see past your own dick. You want to blame someone for you being stuck in your life, blame yourself! You made the decisions you did and you're making the worst decision you can now."
"What happened to you? What makes you think like this? What makes you think that you're any better than anyone because of who you do or don't sleep with?" I asked.
"I guess that's a question we all want to know. Like the one that asks `why you'." He said, causing my eyes to narrow to him. He quickly continued, "Why are all these guys so attracted to you? Why did my best friend abandon me for you?! What is it about you that no one can resist?"
I stared at him, trying to understand him. He isn't just some douche...he is a douche, but he's hurt. My relationship with Davis changed everything, not just for us, but for everyone. I looked at him with sympathy and understanding, not knowing that that was the wrong thing to do.
"Don't look at me like that!" Brad bellowed. I stared up at him with a certain fear. His admission had changed something in him, "You are a walking disaster. My friends, my life...my little brother...You just can't stop, can you? And now you're getting married? You get a happy ending and Davis doesn't? You played with his heart for years, you treated him like some dumb jock you could work over and now he's dead and you're getting married basically on his grave."
"Stop it!" I yelled, trying to ignore the fact that he was echoing my own concerns. I rolled my eyes, "You know what I think it is? I think you loved him more than you want to admit!"
His face transformed into one of pure rage, "I'm not a f—I'm not like you, or him! I love girls. I love puss—"
"But you were in love with him." I said slowly, "It scared you and you hated me because I brought it out of him and because he was in love with me! You're just a closeted bi-sexual homophobe."
His gun clicked again and he held it up to me, causing me to shiver with equal parts anger and fear. It took a second before I saw that his hand was shaking and slowly moving the gun to his head. I quickly deduced that he was trying to kill himself and I quickly jumped to my feet and tackled him to the ground, causing the gun to slide away from us! He struggled underneath me and pinned me to the ground.
"Dammit! Stop ruining everything!" He growled.
"I'm not about to watch you kill yourself!" I strained.
He grunted, pinning my arms above my head, "I don't want to be like you! I—I—"
There was rustle and we both looked towards the door to see my Dad standing with the gun pointed at Brad. Eric was at his side and began to move towards us.
"Stop!" I said loudly, "Don't. He's—he's unarmed. He's not going to hurt me."
Brad began huffing, which turned into sobbing. He rolled off me and slid over to the wall, putting his face in his hands. I sighed and sat up, looking back and forth between the three. Eric made his way to me and helped me up, asking me if I was alright. I nodded and looked to Dad, who smiled at me. I flashed a weak smile and looked to Brad, who looked disgusted, but not with me.
I slowly began to walk towards him, "You don't have to be like me." I kneeling in front of him, "Look, I'm not going to tell you that now that you've...did you admit it?" I asked, causing him to look at me angrily, "Doesn't matter! It doesn't get easier because saying something and accepting it are two different things."
"It's not his life." My father said quickly. He looked at me, "If he can't love you through anything, it's not you that's the bad son, it's him that's the bad father."
"I'd say sorry, but any way I say it will sound cheesy and...gay." Brad said sadly. He shook his head, "How'd this happen? When..."
"It didn't just happen and I think you know that." I frowned.
"I ruined your wedding."
"It's not ruined yet." Eric said, checking his watch, "You're late, but the way I drive, we can get there."
I nodded, "We need to get out of here," I said looking around, "Good thing we're moving."
"I'll clean this mess up." Brad said, gaining a disbelieving stare from the three of us, "What? Look, I'm not going to set this place on fire. That'd be stupid."
"Are you going to press charges?" Eric asked, "You should."
I shook my head, "No. And he's not cleaning my house." I said, causing his head to hang, "I think he needs to see how much alike gay marriage is to hetero marriage."
Brad looked up at me, a ghost of a smile on his face, "You'd let me go to your wedding?" He asked.
"I think it's something you need to see." I smiled as I turned to Dad, "I really need to talk to you."
Eric nodded, "Right. Hurry though." He said, picking up Brad and pulling him towards the door. He stopped as I called him.
"Thanks...and I'm sorry." I said softly.
"You dork! I'm your big bro and I'm kinda stuck with you." He said, leaving with Brad.
I turned to Dad, "Not that I'm not tickled black and blue, as it seems, but you're here?" I asked.
"I came to apologize to all of you and when I found out you weren't at the wedding, I knew you had to be in some kind of trouble." We both laughed and he stared at me, "I've always been proud of you. You don't take the easy way a lot. I'm not going to say that the gay thing didn't throw me, but I'd be lying if I said it was a great surprise."
"There's a point coming, right?" I smirked.
He smiled, "I wasn't the role model you needed, not even when I was around. Your mother and I tried our best and we trusted you because you were always the logical one. Your brother's a free-spirit and you're sister's the one who believes the good in everyone, even when there's none there. You're the one I never worried would be able to take care of himself...you're the strongest. I'm not saying that your brother and sister are weak, but you've gone through so much from being homosexual to being depressed, and you came out of it an honorable man. You're more honorable than I've ever been."
"I love your mother. That's how I know that she's a better parent, a better person without me. We always seemed to fit together, but looking back, it was inevitable that we'd end up here. We love each other, but we weren't happy. After the divorce, our lives got better. She's her again. I'm me again." Dad explained, "It hurt you kids, it did, but it help us find our way back to who we are. I married someone else because I'm in love with her. And I had another kid...you were right, to start over."
I looked away.
"I wanted to see if I was there for this kid, the way I wasn't for you, if I could top any of the three of you. I think I know the answer already: Nope." He smiled, causing me to look at him sadly, "Marco's been your friend forever...he treats you right?"
"And your mother told me what happened. She was wrong to say it but she only said it because she was worried." Dad said quickly, "She was worried that you only loved him, but you're not in love with him."
I understood it now. I wasn't happy that she doubted either of us, but I was aware that she said those things for my own good.
"We'd better go." Dad smiled, walking to the door.
"One problem," I said, causing him to turn to me, "I don't want my father at my wedding." I said, causing his eyes to widen, "Well, my father wasn't...ready to give me away and I need him to give me away. I don't want him at the wedding, I want him in it."
He sighed with relief and chuckled, "Thank God, because that would have destroyed me." He said putting his arm around my shoulder and walking me out.
"What the Hell?!" Marco said angrily, "He can't do this to me! I know Davis died last night, but we agreed..."
"He'll be here." Hannah said speedily, looking to Lillian, "Right?"
"I'll go and look now." Lillian nodded and left.
"He's running late." Michael said sympathetically.
"No! Dad, don't lie to me." Marco scoffed.
"Hey, I know that kid. He's loved you since you were kids." Michael smiled.
Hannah nodded, "Yeah, this is like his wet dream." They both looked at her, "What?! Hormones."
"They're right," Kerry Marchall said, straightening out his tie. His eyes were puffy and red, though he was dressed for the wedding, "The little guy is odd, but he's consistent."
"Uh, Dad?" Marco said, looking between Michael and Kerry, "What are you—"
"Davis wasn't my only son. He'd want to see you and this kid happy." Kerry said, hugging his son.
Hannah and Michael shared a look of disbelief.
They broke apart, "I just have no clue where he is. Maybe it was an extremely bad idea." Marco said.
"He's on the way!" Julie said, running up to them. They looked at her strangely, "He—Eric called and there was a problem—"
`What kind of problem?" Marco asked.
"Does it really matter? It's Adaen." Julie said. They all stared at her, "Brad broke in with a gun—"
"Is he alright?!" Marco panicked.
"Yes! He talked Brad down and Eric and his dad helped him. They're trying to get here as fast as they can." Julie said breathlessly. She paused, "Come on! We've got to get you back up there!" she said, pulling him.
"Thank you, Julie." Marco said nervously, looking back at Hannah as he was pulled to the altar.
"It's a start." She shrugged.
"That kid is a trouble magnet." Kerry joked.
"But he's a good kid." Michael replied.
"I think I'm going to find my seat." Kerry said, moving past them and into the wedding area.
"Are you okay with that?" Hannah asked, putting her arm around her father, "He's—"
"Marco's biological father. He'll always be my son, though. Just like you Hanover." He smiled, pulling her into a better hug.
"You're right." Hannah said gently.
Michael looked at her, "How are you doing? Kids, husband...your friend is moving." He said quickly.
"This time, us parting, is a good thing." Hannah smiled, "Besides, I think I want this life. I missed it. This time, he's not leaving my life, he's just leaving proximity."
Michael smiled and hugged her again, "You've always been mature, but you just blew me away." He chuckled.
"What about you?" Hannah asked, "I mean, there's room in our house."
"Move back here? I don't think so. Too many memories." Michael frowned. He chuckled, "Besides, you'd get tired of me."
Hannah nodded, "Yeah, I would." She chuckled, "The invitation is always open."
Within seconds, Eric, Brad, Dad and I quickly stopped in front of them. Hannah ran over and hugged me while Michael and Dad shook hands. Hannah angrily turned to Brad, but I grabbed her and shook my head.
"You're late." My Mother said, startling us, "I—"
"I know. Me too. We all—Oh balls, anybody mind if I go to my wedding?" I joked.
They laughed and went in, taking their places.
-Four Years into the Future-
"Benjamin, no! I'm not going on a two month tour." I said typing up my new novel titled `Retro Children'.
The novel was about the nineties generation and the change in the millennium babies and the difference of journeys. It was a lot deeper than most of the things I've done. After an entire series about a witch, one about a mutant and another about teenage drama, I was ready to go deeper into the psychological aspects of our culture. I guess that was the psychologist in me. I refused to sit in front of the TV because a marathon of Catfish was coming on followed by Teen Wolf. Now those kids had been in high school since I was in college.
"Listen, Ben, we both have families. I'm pretty sure Michael wouldn't want his husband to go out of town for two months when you just had a baby. Yes. I have two and I don't want to pull myself away for a second, which is why I'm a writer...who works at home. Of course I know that the publishers have a mandatory press tour but—you're insane. Okay, thanks. All I'm asking. Bye." I said quickly with a smile.
I ended the call and sat my thin, white smartphone on the desk next to my laptop, exhaling. I knew Ben was always ready to put my name out there and do his job, but he needed to relax. I was going on a press tour for a book that wouldn't be out for about four months. Thank God he understood family, after marrying Michael and adopting their own child. My thoughts went back to four years ago, when I wasn't married and right after things were so broken. I never thought I'd be this happy, especially after Davis died. I think about him often. I think we all do. Now living in California, my family was...bigger, too. Of course Quinn signed over her rights, citing that she wants to be known as an Aunt, which we agreed. We then had a little girl named Peyton Draya Terrance. We couldn't find a female name to match Davis' name, so we improvised. Draya was only four months, just starting to eat baby food, while Noel was a precocious and troublesome four year-old. He was protective of his little sister, whom was a gift from Hannah. When I say gift, I mean egg. I don't know why, but I expected Marco to be complacent or full-on unhappy but I'd never seen him so happy. He was the best husband ever. His career was going so much better than he imagined but still made time for us. Not sure how he did it.
Hearing a scream from Draya's room, I quickly hopped up and headed to the room. When I got there, Draya was quiet and Marco stood there with paint on his smock but clean hands, holding her. Noel was at his heels, dressed in a similar, yet smaller smock. He said he wanted to be like daddy and I thought it was pretty damn cute. I watched he cradled her, bouncing her until he got the pacifier into her mouth and smiling at her. He baby-talked her before bending down and letting Noel talk to her.
"Isn't she beautiful?" Marco smiled.
"As long as you don't have another one, daddy." Noel said with a straight face.
Marco and I laughed at the same time, causing him to look to me.
"Hey, I tried to get here before—"
"No. I needed a break." I smiled.
Marco smiled and looked to Noel, "Hey, buddy, how about you go and wash up for bed." Noel nodded and started to the door before Marco added, "Teeth too...with actual toothpaste." And with a groan, Noel left.
"That kid." I said walking to the kitchen.
"You're his influence, you know." Marco smiled, following me. We stopped and he stared at me, "So, what'd Ben say?"
I chuckled, "Ben was Ben, but more understanding." I explained, "Might need to pack for a few months..."
Marco nodded and began smiled, "I'm up for it. It'll be good to catch up with our friends." He said, "Who would have thought we'd spread out?"
"Yeah, it's up there with Christina marrying and having twins with Ballard. I so didn't see that one coming." I said, still having a feeling of disbelief.
"What about Julie and your brother opening a record label? Your sister actually marrying someone who's not a complete douche? Or Kendall being a stay-at-home, waspy wife?" Marco asked. We both looked at each other and laughed, "Okay, the wasp part was a given, but stay-at-home?"
"Her husband is a higher-up in the CIA now, so I can believe it. She loves him." I said with a thought, "I think love changed us all."
"You thinking about him, too?" Marco asked with a worried expression.
"Don't look at me like that." I said quickly looking away. When I realized he wasn't going to stop staring at me, I looked at his face, "I'm fine. I'm happy. I just feel guilty."
He nodded and walked over, putting his arm around me, "It's okay to miss him; I miss him too." He said softly, "But it's not your fault he's not here. He wouldn't want any of us to feel bad because he's not here."
I raised an eyebrow at him.
"I'd like to think that he grew in his last few months of life."
"He did." I nodded. I straightened up, "You're right. I think we should pop in on Pete and Hope because I just know there's senior year college hijinks."
"And you wonder why they hate you." He smirked.
"And you know Hannah and the kids are going to want to see the baby and Noel again, maybe this time Harry can see him too. He's been all busy sense he's been able to put full strain on his hand again." I chuckled, "You and him and Brad can get together and drink and watch sports."
"Oh, so you and my sister aren't going gossip about the town?" Marco asked.
"Are you saying I'm the girl?" I asked.
Marco sighed, "No?" he chuckled.
"You had better be thankful that I love you." I said quickly.
"Plus, your mom and dad will save their flyer's miles." Marco joked.
"Daddies." Noel said standing by my computer, "I think there's a monster under my bed."
We looked at each other and Marco nodded.
He walked over and kissed me gently before turning with the baby and heading to the back. He stopped and turned to me, saying, "I love you, babe."
"I love you too." I said, watching him walk away.
I walked over and sat back in front of my laptop, re-reading everything I'd just written. The part of the Novel I was working on is the ending. I'd been working on it since before the baby was coming, trying to get the words just right. Nothing had come. My trip back down this surreal and everlasting road I'd taken brought back the memories I'd forgotten; not good or bad memories, just old ones. Old feelings. As a child born in the nineties, I felt differently about a lot of things that happened and the people it created. The words began to flow out of my fingertips with great speed and precision. I didn't have things to say, I had a message. My life made some kind of sense, if possible.
Adaen Lawerence: It took more than twenty-five years to see the reality of my life, of any life. I see now why shows like One Tree Hill, Moesha, Degrassi, and those other teen shows in the nineties through two-thousands appealed so much to us as kids. As children, we were sheltered in theory but when we look back there is so much maturity and in the shows and even in kid's cartoon. This is the generation of Ren & Stimpy, of course. I remember wondering where all the good shows had gone, why Cartoon Network was no longer producing cartoons with substance, let alone cartoons. I questioned why VH1 and MTV no longer played music. As much as I wanted to say it was because of the new generation, it was because of us.
We did not want children to be treated like we used to be treated. We caused revolutions and stood up for ourselves like we'd seen before. Our rebelliousness trickled down and became something worse. It gave generations after us, and some of our own, an excuse to act out. Somehow we changed. Somehow the pain and anger and angst began to change us, then them. Suicides, hate crimes, bullying and a million other things that shouldn't happen. I don't even think some people know what they're fighting for anymore. I remember times when things were good, or better. Maybe they weren't better. Maybe they weren't even better, but it just wasn't obvious. That's the thing I hate most about growing up, I think. You can't ignore things like you could when you were younger. You have to deal with these ugly, horrible yet sometimes beautiful things.
Sometimes I felt like I wanted to be in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where I could just fight my metaphorical demons in one episode and move forward. I wanted this life of being on TV and having the world on my shoulders. Seldom do people ever get what want...then you become that minority and it reveals who you are. It reveals what you really wanted in the first place. When I was a teenager, I wished for love. I got outted. I can't help but to think that it wasn't the worse thing in my life. It could have been if I wasn't strong enough or they caught me on an off day or I didn't have people in my life that I could count on. It was like a Soap Opera mixed with my real life...except that it was all my life.
I thought that the day I graduated, I'd be someone else. First rule of any nineties sequel is that you'll be totally different. You're not. You're the same. You've made the same mistakes and the same bad decisions and hopefully some good ones. I've always loved Peyton Sawyer from One Tree Hill because she was always lost and she didn't apologize for it. She knew that she wasn't a cheerleader or the school's hoe. She knew she loved Lucas through it all. She knew the definites about herself, even though she missed what she was on the whole. Some people might say she's whiny and maybe they're right, but those people have never been brave enough to truly be alone. To be in a room full of your peers, or friends even, and feel utterly lonely. She endured so many things and made it through the show with the trauma that no one should handle, that some kids these days face for just being themselves. She taught me something. She taught me that just because you have the soul of a poet doesn't mean you're weak. She once said, "Just because the music eventually ends, does that mean you shouldn't enjoy the music?" and it stuck with me. Life ends for everybody whether it takes fifty years, one hundred years or a thousand...no one lives forever and when it's over, wouldn't you like to have something to remember it by? Besides, her taste in music was kick ass.
Each one of my friends taught me something. Julie taught me to believe that "people leave...but sometimes they come back." Christina taught me that it's okay to live life the way I want because if I don't, I can't go back to yesterday. Hannah...Oh God, she's my best friend. I cannot even begin to explain how many lessons she passed onto me. The big one would have to be that it's okay to change. You don't have to be the wallflower all your life. It's not good to stay the same. Kendall taught me that after everything you've done, you can always go back and try to make it better, even if it scares you to death. There are no lost causes. Ballard taught me sexual positions...I'm just kidding! He taught me that underneath the sex-craved party boy there's a human being. Deep, deep down. Harry taught me that tolerance is key and when you don't treat people like everyone says you should...you learn more about them and you. And Davis...He taught me that opposites attract and that even when you think you belong with someone...you just can't predict life. Brad Williams, despite being a confused antagonist through most of my high school years, still amazes me when he teaches how far someone can come when their prejudices are erased and they're shown real truth. I could go on, but the last friend I want to talk about is the most important: My husband. Marco Terrance is, was and will always be my teenage dream. It seemed like the closer we got to each other, the more obvious it was to other people. I hate to think of the way things would be if we hadn't ended up together, if one of us had chosen someone else. He showed me that I could be and should be loved and that there was someone who would do that for me.
I guess the only thing left to finish off this novel is to have an end note and quote. The last thing I'll say is that the world changed me, the generations changed me, but who I chose to become was me. I taught myself something that no one else could. There's no amount of fictional characters or fictional journeys so much more inspirational than our own. I hope at the end of my journey, because this isn't the end, that I'll look back and smile at the choices I've made and the lives I've touched. It's something I don't think the other generations (maybe starting in my own generation) even want to see their journey and write it off as just another life or statistic. Your life is yours. I've loved and lost, I've seen two towers fall and I've seen minorities become just the opposite. The only thing I've never seen is a useless soul or a waste of space. No life has been or will be a waste. Life always has something to tell you and it's always changing and if you deny your change, you're not being honest. I'll end with this quote because I know it helped me out of a dark place and makes my reflections count for something and I realize now that I'm not the same, I'm all the better.
"The journey lasted eight months. Sometimes I traveled alone. Sometimes there were others who took the wheel... and took my heart. But when the destination was reached, it wasn't me who'd arrived. It wasn't me at all." –Peyton Sawyer
Hello guys! I'd first like to thank everyone who read this story through until the end and/or told me how much they love it. I'm so appreciative of you guys and I decided to hammer this one out because I've been stalling long enough; I'm really emotional about ending this...not because I'm a big girl, but because I feel an enormous amount of pride in this story and it's been a part of me for so long that it feels like a baby who has grown up and went to college and into the world. If you're wondering where I've been, I have graduated college and been working on a few things. The last semester was a ride and a half, hard but worth it and I just needed the summer to recharge. Now, I have been working on `other things' (*cough* novels *cough*). I only need to proofread them before sending them out, so cross your fingers. I hope you enjoyed the ride as much as I did and please let me know what you thought of this chapter, what was your favorite, favorite character, least favorite...Hell, anything you want and I really want to know what you thought of the series in general. Again, thank you! And if you read this, extra brownie points.
Hopefully coming to a book store near you,
Jason Decade/ P.D. Roberts