"Forget About Letting Go"
Chapter 20
Ari Ryven

    Well guys, You all know it's been a long time since my last update.  I've had people breathing down my neck to continue onward with Josh and Aaron, and finally I found the inspiration to do so.  One of my best friends on the net, author of Bleeding Hearts, is no longer able to keep in contact with me, and since it was because of him (and Alex, who loves ya babe?) that I pressed on with the story for as long as I have,  I decided that I had to finish something for once.  This is NOT the Catharsis of FALG as I had planned, and the story will be extended, leading into at least one more chapter, if not two or three.
     I struggled for a long time with this chapter, because quite frankly I wasn't quite sure how to get everything out that I needed to.  So, this chapter will offer a change of pace, and narration.  I hope you guys enjoy this chapter as much as you have those in the past, and I apologize for the extreme delay in its release.  Please bear with me as I try and bring this story to a final close.  But don't forget.  Forget About Letting Go is not the end of Josh, Aaron, Trevor, Becky, and James.
     "Bleeding For Your Apathy:  Aaron's Story"  Will go into works as soon as FALG reaches its final chapter.  So sit back, relax, and enjoy this next chapter in the Josh, and Aarons' lives.

much luv
Ari Ryven

DISCLAIMER:  This story contains explicit acts of sex between two young males.  If this material is offensive to you (or you just like to say it is), or if it is illegal to read in your area, then you should leave.  Well, just don't get caught anyway!

Chapter 20

        I lay in my bed waiting 7:00 to roll around.  I was so damned nervous about tonight.  I rolled over slowly and looked at the clock.  5:45.  The proverbial moment of truth was just an hour and some odd minutes away.  My stomach was churning, and I was beginning to think the butterflies in my stomach had been on steroids for years.
        "Gawd get yourself together, man."

        I had just the thing to take the edge off too.  If I was gonna go through with this tonight and finally let him know why I'd staved him off for so long, I needed SOMETHING.  I got up and went to my closet.  I always hid my stash in there.  I reached inside my jacket pocket and found my mood tamer.  I smiled bitter sweetly at the present James had given me during my visit today.  I pulled out the dime, and unrolled the cellophane, bringing it to my nose to take a whiff of my sweet Mary Jane.
        I resumed my spot on my bed and reached up under the headboard for my pipe.  James had given it to me as a special gift.  The circumstances under which it was received caused my mind to drift back to that very day, and with wistful remembrance, I sparked it up.  The first drag is always the worst, lemme tell ya.  I coughed and spluttered for a minute or so then hit it again.  The smoke in my lungs went straight to my brain, and instantly I felt relaxed.  I went back to hit again before I realized that I had better go along with relaxed.  No need to get completely brain fried.  I couldn't afford to put tonight's events off any longer.       Tears welled up in my eyes, and I choked back a sob as the words rang through my head.

        "He needs me while he's still breathing."  He needs me, but for how much longer.  Even since we'd drifted apart, I really couldn't think of a life without him in it.  He'd given me so much, and it came from such an unexpected place.  His heart.  Not many knew he had one.  Actually I felt that I was the only one.       The tears were falling freely, and my sobs became wails, as I thought back on times gone by.  We used to love so much.  We used to...  I didn't understand why this had to happen to him.  Sure, he wasn't the greatest person in the world.  But he was the greatest to me.  My screams of agony piqued, and I begged God to tell me why I had to lose him.  He held me up for so long.  No one, not even Becky, though I'd told her of our interest in each other, knew how much he meant to me.  Now, I had to lose him.     And what was I going to say tonight?  I'm a fucking wreck right now as it is, and the ball is just now starting to pick up speed.

        "WHAT THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO DO!" I screamed, clawing at my mattress, trying to find some solace in my isolation.  "I can't do this without him God please!!!!!! I know we're not together, but please I need him so much right now DON'T TAKE HIM AWAY FROM ME!!!!!"  I sobbed harder and harder into my pillow, hoping and praying for some kind of sign that this was just a test, and not something that would be carried out to the very end. His end.

        "Aaron!"  Linda called, in a panic.  "Baby, what's wrong!"  She rushed to my side and instantly I wrapped my arms around her and sobbed into her chest.

        "I love him so much Linda!  Why does he have to go?  WHY!?!?!?!"

        "Shhhhh, baby.... Just let it out."  I felt her chest began to heave and I knew she too was crying with me.  She never really got to know him either.  But, she loved me so much.  My pain was her pain.  She kissed my forehead and ran her fingers through my hair.  "Aaron, honey, just let it out... I know it's hard, baby... I know." Her voice became heavy and she let out a sob then pulled me closer to her.

        I couldn't stop crying no matter how hard I tried.  I know we weren't together, but I love him so much.

        "WHY!!!!" I screamed, and tried to take in a breath, but my sinuses were so clogged, I just choked and realized I was literally making myself sick with hurt.  I sobbed harder, and got up and ran to the bathroom, making it to the toilet just in time as my sobs turned to heaves, and I vomited.  I vomited until I had nothing left to give, and then still I heaved, and sobbed in between.

        "Aaron baby, please.... Calm down... If you don't calm down you're going to have to go to the hospital..."  Linda pleaded, as she sat down on the edge of the bathtub behind me.

        "It hurts so much though..." I managed to croak out.  I was still crying heavily, but I'd managed to calm down enough to stop the vomiting.  "I- I- I don't want to go through this... I don't want him to go through this!"  I crawled over and laid my head down in her lap and cried, and cried.  She stroked my cheek lovingly and shhh'd me till I passed out, exhausted.


        I woke up, still completely drained. I looked over at the clock... 7:15.  "SHIT!"  I yelled on the inside, while on the outside all I could do was lay there, and hurt.  The tears threatened me with their presence, and as I was reminded of the episode that had just occurred, I smashed my fists into my temples and hoped that would stave off the continuation of my break down.

        "AARON, BECKY'S HERE!"  Linda yelled from the front door.

        "Coming!"  I attempted yelling back, but it came out nothing more than a hoarse jumble.  I forced myself to get up and went to go take care of the next problem.  I just hoped Josh was going to be reasonable and listen hard, because I didn't really know how long I'd last.

        As I rounded the corner, I saw Becky's cheery face, but the instant she looked into my eyes, the smile was gone, and replaced with worry.  She didn't know what I was so torn up about.  Only Linda knew that.  There were some things that I couldn't tell even Becky.

        "Hey..."  I said trying to find some shred of happiness to keep Becky at bay.  I love the girl so much, but I knew the inquisition was coming, and I knew I'd want to kill her.  "Listen, Beck... I uhhh..."

        She walked over to me, and hugged me and for a moment, I felt good again.  Becky could almost always make things better with a hug.  That's all it would take, one hug.  She held on for a moment then grabbed my hand and pulled me back into my bedroom.

        "You got smoke?  How?"  She asked sniffing the air.  I regretted the day Trev turned her on to weed, not because I minded sharing with her... It was because I guess in my heart I knew she just did it to make sure her and Trev had ONE more thing in common.

        "It was a present.  The person that had it couldn't do anything with it, so he gave it to keep from getting caught."  I said, surprisingly calm.  Maybe I would be able to go through with this tonight.

"Aaron babe, you look like shit."

        I surprised myself with a laugh, and picked up my pipe, hitting it then handing it to Becky.  I didn't really want to share the pipe with her, but it wasn't right to smoke and not offer the other people present.  "I haven't been feeling too good today, Beck... But don't worry... I'm not gonna cancel out on you tonight... I'll talk to Josh..."  Somehow.

        Becky was hittin` the pipe pretty hard, and spluttered a bit.  Like I said, first hit is always the worst.  She held the pipe out in front of her, and stopped when she saw the inscribing around the bowl.

        "J...L...A...4...E...."  She read off the letters, and I felt my chest tighten and my heart ached.  Gawd, PLEASE DON'T ASK WHAT THA- "What does that stand for?"  She asked, honestly curious.

        Tears stung at my eyes, and my face began to crumble, and I let out a sob.  DAMMIT AARON GET YOURSELF UNDER CONTROL!  "It uhhh... It's my ...."

        "It used to be mine..."  Linda said, as she came into the room and sat down on my bed, wrapping her arms around me.  I cuddled into her and cried more.  Gawd these tears had to stop... NOW!  I choked my sobs to a halt, and looked up at Linda ruefully mouthing the words "Thank You", she smiled grandly and reached forward as I sat up, and took the pipe from Becky.    "My turn."

        I looked at Linda, not believing my eyes.  She'd given up smoking almost 4 years ago, before I even started.  "Linda...."

        "Shut up Aaron... you're not the only one with nerves..."  She said before hitting it.  Becky sat there looking dumbfounded.

        I wiped the tears from my eyes, and looked to Becky.  "Well, are we ready to go get this over with?"  I asked, exhausted.

        "Uhhhh, not exactly, no." NO?


        "Josh wouldn't come....He found out-"

        "He found out what Becky?  You told me he knew about this..."

        "I lied?"  She looked up at me with puppy dog eyes.  Fuck, she thinks that'll solve everything.

        "You TOLD ME HE KNEW!"  I had to call him, I had to talk to Josh, and I had to do it NOW... I needed to know his reaction... I needed to know if he would let go.  I paused in contemplation, before finally picking up the phone.

        I nervously dialed the number hoping he wouldn't be so pissed that he wasn't going to answer the phone.  "That was really fucking brilliant Becky. BRILLIANT!"  Suddenly someone picked up the phone.

        Good.  Now...how do I do this? "Hel-" Breathe, Aaron, start over. "Hi, Josh."

        "Aaron.  What do you want?"  Nothing, no anger, but no desire to be in this conversation.  I guess if I wanna get this done, I'm gonna have
to be curt.

        "Listen, Becky told me what happened.  I'm coming over.... I just wanted to make sure you were there.  Don't go anywhere."  And that was that I hung up, and grabbed my keys from the table, walking past Becky and not acknowledging her presence.

        "Linda I'm gonna go sort things out with Josh, I'll be back!"  I called to the back room.  She giggled a nonsensical reply.  Light weight.

        "Aaron, wait!"  I sighed half in disgust, but mostly in frustration, I'm sure my weariness at this point in the evening showed.

        "Becky, no.  You guys have... you've helped all you can... If we're meant to be together and be happy, we'll work this out, but it's not up to you..."  Then I turned and walked out the door... the time for polite mannerisms and such passed earlier today with that visit to the hospital.  James.  What was I going to do about that issue?  My mind was ablaze as I approached my car.


        I snapped my head around to see who dared to intrude my rueful reverie.  Oh such LUCK!  Trevor, was waving me over to the Explorer.  Didn't see him?  Riiiiiiight.

        I turned and got into my car and sped off to get things set straight with Josh.  As I got closer and closer to his house, apprehension wrapped it's clammy hands round my heart, and squeezed harder and harder.  I thought of all the things I had to tell Josh, and even though I knew better, I tried to gauge his reaction before hand.  He and I hadn't really had one successful conversation in MONTHS.  So I knew that this would be a very emotional thing for HIM, and I myself was feeling quite numb.  I suppose that would serve to aid my purpose, but I didn't want to lose what little I had left with Josh.  I knew that what I had to say would definitely crush him.  I knew that what I was asking was giving him the big FUCK YOU in the end, but he had to know.  He HAD TO.
        I pulled to a stop on the street beside his house and took a deep breath.  The nagging fear that this was all going to come crashing down on me did really bother me.... BUT, if I didn't do this, I'd be hurting one more person than necessary.
    I don't really know why I'd even kept Josh away for so long.  It's not that I DIDN'T love him... I just DIDN'T really know how to ... to deal with ...  I honestly don't know.  I guess I kept him at bay because he wasn't....  I took a deep breath and again forced the rush of tears back into hiding.  I hadn't even
begun this little venture yet and already I was losing what little control I had.
    I sat back in my seat and sighed to myself.  "What are you going to do Aaron?  What are you going to do?"  Josh.  Possibly the sweetest most devoted guy in the world.  He wanted so bad to love me.  WHY COULDN'T I LET HIM?  In the back of my mind, I feared that I had an idea... No it wasn't an idea ... I
knew.  I wanted him to be perfect.  I wanted him to be more perfect than the last relationship...  I wanted someone to take HIS place... Gawd, Josh could make me so happy... I became wistful at that, and sighed aloud again, surprising myself, by saying, "So why don't you let him?"

        "Enough of this shit."  I said to no one other than myself.  "I've put this off long enough."  I undid my seat belt, and reached into my console to grab a cigarette and lighter.  As I lit my smoke, I leaned forward to check my appearance in the mirror.  Just as I suspected, luke warm shit.

        I nervously stepped out and made my way up the driveway.  I was about to go around the front, when I noticed the flood lights out back were on, and I could see none other than Josh's shadow looming in the night.  I hesitated, and then turned to walk around back.  As I rounded the corner, I caught sight of him, and realized he looked as bad as I did.  His brown hair, normally parted down the middle, hanging at his eyebrows, was a mess of tangles and knots, sticking out every which way but the way it normally did.  He was wearing a rather sad look on his face, and for an instance I'd forgotten what I'd came for.  All I could think of was what could possibly be causing this poor guy, so much pain.  That moment didn't last long though, because I realized in an instant.  The problem was me.

        He was looking out into the field behind his house, seemingly lost deep in thought.  I just stood there, barely outside the shine of the lights, watching.  The look in his eyes was that of someone in severe inner turmoil.  I knew that look.  I'd seen it everyday in the mirror for the past 6 months.  Ever since, HE dumped me.  Again with the tears.  Again with the repression.  Again with the numbness.

    As I regained control of my own emotions, Josh seemingly lost control of his.  His face changed from that of inner contemplation, to the very epitome of a physical manifestation of pain.  His contorted expression birthed tears, and soon he was sobbing softly to himself.  I considered this, and realized how insensitive I was being by just standing there and not voicing my presence.  I felt as though I was violating him in some way, but I was taken aback by this display.  It had been a while since I'd seen Josh in a personal setting, where he wasn't so... So.... Josh.

        I don't know why I did it, but instead of saying hello or anything, I just walked up on the porch quietly, and the closer I got to his crying form, the more my own hurt and anguish resurfaced, and I found that a lump was again forming in my throat.  I sat down carefully, so as not to startle him.  He slowly turned towards me and looked into my eyes.  The hurt I saw there was amazing.  He was hurting, but why?

        "What the hell do you want?"  He said coldly, as he regained his composure. Any of the vulnerability I had just seen in his eyes, disappeared.

        "Josh, we need to-"

        "We need to what Aaron?  I don't want you here.  Go home."  He stood up, and went to go inside.  Not knowing what else to do I jumped to my feet and put my hand on his shoulder.

        "Josh, please."  I pleaded with him.  This couldn't be put off any longer.  I cared too much for him to go on hurting because of me.  It was time for the hurting to stop.

        He stopped, and shrugged my arm off of him, then turned to face me.  Anger raged in his eyes, and somewhere in there, I saw the hurt resurface.  "What the FUCK do we to talk about?  I'm not some pathetic little pity case, that you guys can just sneak around and 'set up" any time you want.  I don't want to play your games."  He stopped and the anger seemed to dissipate, for an instant.


        I didn't really know how to react to this outburst.  So I just stood there, staring in his eyes, hoping that somehow, he'd see I was sincere in my reasons for being there at that moment, and calm down.

        "Josh, I ... They didn't tell me that you weren't- that you didn't...  I didn't know that you were in the dark about tonight.  I promise!"

        "Right, Aaron, look.  Even if you weren't in on it, you couldn't take the two minutes to explain today to tell me what was up with you at the hospital in JAMES' ROOM!  It's bad enough you've put me through hell these past three months, and now here you are..."  He seemed angry when he started out, but the last sentences sort of fell from him.  Like he just realized that he was talking to me.  "Aaron, I hurt so bad." He said mournfully.  "And it's because of you!"  He pushed me back and I fell onto the bench we had just been sitting on.

        That was it.  I snapped.  He turned to close the back door, but I got up and charged at him.  I lost my temper, and I couldn't help it, I wanted to hurt him.  I punched him hard in the small of the back and he fell to the ground, screaming.

        "You little SHIT!  What the fuck do you know about pain?"  I screamed as I rolled him over on his back, and grabbed him by the shirt.  "WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT PAIN?"  I pulled my hand back and slapped him broad across the face.  "You don't know anything you ..."  Then it left me, and I collapsed on top of him, crying.  "You don't know anything about me... You don't know..."  I sobbed into the nape of his neck.

        Josh began to cry too, and he rolled me off of him onto my side. He pulled my head back from over his shoulder and looked me in the eyes.  The sadness before, turned to anger, and that anger now turned into something else.  Something softer, something much more pleasant, and I don't know why, maybe it was just because I was so emotionally strained.  But that look in his eyes, scared the SHIT out of me.
        I tried to push him off of me in panic, and he just held on tighter.  I screamed, clawed, and kicked trying to get away.  "LET ME GO LET ME GO LET ME GO LET ME GO LET ME-"
        Josh silenced me by pulling my head into the crevice of his arm and ribcage, and held me there forcefully.  I continued pushing and kicking as hard as I could.  I had to get away from him now.  He was going to hurt me, I knew he was going to hurt.  PLEASE GOD, HAVEN'T I BEEN HURT ENOUGH ALREADY?!?!?!

        "Shhhhh....Aaaron, calm down.  Shhhh.  Calm down."  Josh said attempting to soothe me.  He began stroking my hair, and I slowly stopped kicking.  I just lay there, exhausted in his arms, eyes brimming with tears.  "Forget about letting go, Aaron.  Forget about it... shhhhhh.  I'm here ok?  I'm sorry I pushed you."  He leaned down and kissed my forehead lovingly.

        Forget about letting go?  Did this mean-  He was going to standby me after all?  I sighed a breath of relief, and looked up into Josh's eyes.  He smiled down at me and rolled me over onto my back on the floor.  He kicked the back door shut, and put his thumbs to my cheeks to wipe away my tears.


        "Shhhhhh..."  Josh put a finger over my lips as he leaned forward, and sealed his lips to mine.  I wanted to fight back, but it felt so good to be back in his arms.  His soft lips felt so good on mine, and I began to respond to the kiss just before he pulled away.

        "I love you Aaron."

        I knew that this was wrong.  But, I needed release, I needed it so bad.  I put my hand on the back of his neck, and drew him back down into a kiss.  I flicked my tongue out, licked his lips, and was met with his tongue and mouth to greet me.  An electric shock ran through my body, and I moaned involuntarily into his mouth.  Josh slipped one of his hands up under my shirt, and began rubbing his thumb over my nipples.  I ran my right hand down and found his crotch and began rubbing him through his pants.  He pushed down into my hand and his cock instantly hardened under my ministrations.
        Our kiss became more desperate, and I was falling deeper and deeper into the throes of passion.  I used both of my hands to undo Josh's pants, as I rolled him over onto his back, and pulled his boxers, and shorts down, exposing his cock.  I broke our kiss long enough to look down as I lovingly wrapped my hand around his seven inch cock which was leaking precum at this point.  He moaned loudly and bucked his hips wildly.  I began rubbing my hand up and down the length of his cock, smearing the precum all over his shaft.

        "Josh I want you so bad right now!"  I whispered into his ear, and began nibbling gently on his lobes.  He moved his hand down to my crotch and began fumbling with the zip to my pants.  I pushed his hand away and kissed him again, our tongues instantly finding each other and maniacally twisting and writhing into each other.  I began stroking his cock full force now and he moaned and whimpered into my mouth.

        I broke our lip lock, and began sliding down his body, kissing and licking the flesh all the way down to his bush.  I paused and raised my head, to look at his cock.

        He was thick, and beautifully cut.  Not one single vein, or ugly scars marred the surface of his hot throbbing shaft.  I wrapped my hand around the base of his cock, and flicked my tongue against the ridge of his head, lapping up the steady flow of precum as I did so.

        I swirled my tongue around Josh's cock, causing him to suddenly buck his hips upward, and his cock surged in my hand, and more precum oozed out of the slit.  I lowered my mouth onto his shaft, and began sucking softly, swirling my tongue around the head several times before taking him in all the way to the base.

        "Ohhhhhhhh GAWD, Aaron!  That feels so FUCKING GOOD!"  Josh hissed through clenched teeth.  I responded, by sucking him harder into my mouth, and bobbing up and down.  On each upstroke I would swirl my tongue then dive back down as far as I could on his engorged dick.  He was spouting pre-cum non-stop, and was constantly bucking his hips up to meet my downward strokes.

        I went all the way down to the base, and nibbled slightly with my teeth.  Josh's body jerked suddenly, he moaned loudly, and his cock surged violently, just before it erupted, and he began firing shot after shot of cum into my mouth. I swallowed the salty hot liquid as fast as I could, not spilling one drop.  I continued softly sucking until his spasming died down, then I released his spent meat from my mouth, crawled up his body and planted a kiss on him.

        He responded wildly, and instantly his tongue was in my mouth probing around, wrestling with my own.  When I stuck my tongue into his mouth, though he repeated the swirling I had done to his cock and sucked on my tongue.  He pushed me over onto my back, and reached his hand down into my pants, and I gasped when he touched my cock.

        I gasped out of shock more than anything.  All these memories instantly flooded back to me, and I remembered the last person that had actually touched my cock.  Then I remembered why I was here, what I'd just done, and I screamed.

        "STOP!"  I yelled, yanking Josh's hand from my pants and shoving him off of me, I rushed to my feet and ran outside onto the back porch to get some fresh air.

        I took a deep breath, and found the tears again, inviting them to spill over my cheeks, and I cried.  Again.  I heard Josh stand and zip up his pants behind me, and I realized that what I had just done would probably kill any chance of holding onto him after tonight.  I'd made myself into the asshole.  Again.

        "Josh, I'm... I'm sorry.  I shouldn't have done that."  I sobbed.  Not only had I completely avoided the topic, I'd come here to discuss.  I took advantage of his vulnerability.

        Josh, came out and sat on the bench.  I could feel his eyes on me.  Studying me.  Trying to figure out what was wrong with me no doubt.

        I managed to calm myself down enough to speak, but I still couldn't look at him.  I sighed aloud, and looked up to the sky, desperately searching for an answer, a solution, an end all to my problems.  No stars.  Overcast.  Cold began to creep through my long sleeve shirt, and I was reminded that it was still January during the dead of winter.

        "Look Josh.  We really really need to talk.  But we need to do it- Look can we go to the park?"  I asked, finally turning to face him.
        His face, resembled that of a child's when they've just been scolded for doing something as natural as trying to hug their parent.  His eyes were filled with uncried tears, and they screamed of hurt.  Maybe I was wrong.  Maybe he did know pain.

        He just sat there, staring into my eyes for a moment.  Then he sighed and stood up, and shut the back door, then walked off around the corner of the house.  I took this as my cue to follow, and we walked directly to my car.  I unlocked my door, slid in and unlocked his, then started the engine.

        The drive to the park was one of silence.  The tension between us was rising, and I was still crying a little.  Not heavy, but I was crying.  Silent tears.  Those of regret.

        Sometime along the ride, Josh reached over and wrapped his hand in mine.  Every now and then he would squeeze tightly, and then sigh to himself.  I didn't respond.  I didn't know how to.  I was sure what I was about to say would break his heart.

        I had to tell him though.  I needed Josh to know.  I needed him to be there for me.  I needed his support.  I needed him.

        Finally, we pulled to a stop at Laughlin park, and I shut off the engine, but left the heater running.  I pulled my hand from Josh's grasp, and undid my belt.  I took a deep breath, and stared forward, watching as the icy winds, lifted dead leaves off the ground and tossed them about in the night.

        "Josh..."  I started, then trailed off.  Where do I start?  How do I begin.  Josh shifted in his seat and shifted his position to face me.  He reached out and turned my chin so that I was facing him.  But I couldn't look him in the eye.  Instead my eyes remained on his bare knee, and as sort of an afterthought, I added "You're psycho.  It's the middle of winter and you're wearing shorts!"  I smiled wistfully to myself, only Josh.  Only Josh.  It was little things like that, that made me like him so much, and it was the little things like that, that made me regret even more what I was about to say.

        "I wasn't planning on going out tonight."  He said flatly.

        I turned in my seat to face him and summoned up all the courage I could.  I took a deep breath and began.  "Listen, I'm really sorry about what happened back there.  I shouldn't have initiated that, and done what I did-"

        "No!"  Josh said forcefully, but without raising his voice.  "No.  What happened back there was the greatest moment of my life.  I loved what you did to me back there.  Yeah, you kinda spoiled the moment by freaking like you did.  But forget it.  Don't you even try to take that away from me.  Why are we really here Aaron?"

        "Josh...  For starters, I'm a little stoned right now okay?  What happened back there-"

        "DAMNIT AARON! DON'T! WHY ARE WE HERE?"  He said, his voice rising.

        "Alright.  I know you've been really depressed lately, and I know that a lot of it has to do with the way I've been treating you.  I'm sorry.  But I've had a LOT on my mind, and I've been really depressed too. I've-"

        "Hmmmph.  What the fuck do you have to be depressed about?"  Josh sneered, bitterly.

        "Josh, you don't know what's been going on in my life ok?  Now just let me speak."  I was starting to get frustrated.  This was hard enough for me, and here he was snapping at me every chance he got.

        "How can I know Aaron?  You won't let me in far enough, TO KNOW!"  He sounded very matter-of-fact, and that got to me.  That one hurt.  I felt as though I wanted to cry again, but I forced it back.

        "Josh, listen.  This past summer, my boyfriend of over a year and half, broke up with me.  No explanations.  He just said I quit.  Ok?"  I said, thinking back on that exact moment.  There was so much anguish stuffed in that little frame of time, that when I think back on it, I'm surprised I made it through.

        "So?  What does that have to do with me?  With us?  With now."

        "Well, after we broke up..."  I stopped and took in a ragged breath.  The tears surged into my eyes, and my chest tightened.  My throat ran dry.  "After he broke up with me, I ... I kind of went nuts for a while, ya know... Trying to get over him.  I started going to counseling, Linda was forced to keep constant suicide watch over me and I was really depressed."  I paused, and took in a few breaths.  Remembrance has its price.

        "I was completely miserable.  Then when I saw you at work, I noticed you looking at me.  I thought nothing of it at first, but over the next few weeks.  Every time you were there, I always noticed you were looking at me.  I asked Sarah, if you and Trev ever came in on my days off, and she said rarely if ever.  I can put two and two together and make four Josh.  I knew then that you were gay.... And I knew then that I liked you."

        "And?"  Josh asked, sounding incredibly bored.  I ignored him though, and continued.  I had to get this all out.

        "And... I began to forget about the past.  I slowly started letting go. I started to... *gulp*  I started to fall in love with you.  I wasn't as depressed anymore.  And then in November, when I had Becky talk to you and found out it was all true.  *HE* was completely forgotten.  It was all about you.

        "For a few hours at least.  But when we got back to my apartment, and started talking, I realized how similar you were to him.  You were so afraid of your reputation, of your 'friends', of love, that you... That being gay just wasn't something you could be proud enough of to share with someone else.  That's why I got so upset that night.  You reminded me of my old boyfriend.  The entire time we were together we had to be so secretive.  I couldn't be seen with him at school, I couldn't call him or just show up at his door.  Everything was about his needs.

        "When you told me that you couldn't deal with telling Trevor...just telling ONE person... JUST ONE... I flipped.  Since I had broken up with J- Since I had broken up with him, I had become bitter towards the way he treated me.  I hated him for making me hide who I was, and who I was in love with.  I know that a SMALL part of his reasoning, was concern for me, as I was already the 'Poster Boy Faggot' everybody loved to hate.  But mostly it was all about him, and HIS reputation."  I paused to sit back and think of where I was going to go with the conversation next, when Josh reached out and took my hand in his.  He raised it to his lips and kissed me gently on the tips of my fingers.

        "I'm so sorry, Aaron.  I had no idea..."  His voice was husky, like he was about to cry, or had been crying.  I ran my hand over his cheek then returned it to my lap so I could continue.

        "It's ok.  I didn't tell you, and that's why I'm telling you now.  After that night I thought long and hard about what I wanted.  All I had to base it on, though, was a failed relationship with a total closetcase.  SO, I didn't exactly come to the right conclusion.  When we talked again the next day, I told you again.  We couldn't be together.  I couldn't help it, after all the pain and suffering I'd gone through before *BECAUSE* of having to keep our relationship in the closet, I wasn't about to go through it again.  Not for you, not for anyone.  I almost just shut the fuck up when I found out that Trevor knew, but I still wanted more.  I just felt that I deserved MORE, right from the get go.  So I used Trevor as an excuse to push you away again."  I looked down into my lap, embarassed that I had been such an asshole.  I was surprised at how calm I'd remained through most of the conversation.  I reached deep into my mind to find the courage, and words to continue.  Just as I was about to speak again though, Josh intervened.

 "So... why- why are you still pushing me away then Aaron?"  His voice cracked when he said my name and I looked up to see tears streaming down his face.  No words are going to be good enough to save him the pain of what I'm about to say, I thought to myself.

 "Josh... Something came up."

 He let out a tiny sob, then raised his eyes to meet mine?  "Something came up? What-"

 I started the car, and pulled out of the park.  "There's somewhere else we need to go now."  I turned from the parking space and headed for the last stop of my confessional.  The hospital.


Gimme about 2 weeks and I should have the final chapters complete.  FALG 21 can be expected about 2 weeks from now.  As always, please email all comments, criticisms, death threats, phone numbers, and letters of sexual intent to me @


Luv and Hugz to all!