The following is a work of fiction. Any similarities are entirely fortuitous. The story may contain profanity and references to gay sex. Any relation to similar events or persons, fiction or real, is completely coincidental. If such content offends you please leave now. The author retains all rights to the story. Do not copy or use without written authority from the author. Write Bobby at with your comments.

Mad World 02

A loud bang echoed into the bedroom waking me from an extraordinary sleep. Jacob cursed audibly at his apparent clumsiness. I reached over to check the time on my phone.

"Four o'clock!" I blurted out, sitting straight up.

The two of us arrived at the condo this morning around ten. Upon entering, I immediately went straight into the bedroom and passed out. Hopefully Jacob got some rest, too.

"Oh, man, did I wake you up?" Jacob asked as I walked out from the bedroom.

"It's all right. I needed to wake up regardless. Did you sleep any?" The post-wake up grogginess hit me like a semi barreling down a steep highway.

"I slept for about an hour, but since then I've just watched TV. I wanna make something to eat."

While he was doting around in the kitchen, I lied on the couch and started watching the movie that was on TV. A classic, for sure, and there's no better way to have a lazy afternoon than watching such a classic.

"Let's just watch TV all weekend, huh? I'm so tired still." I said loud enough for Jacob to hear over the running water and dialogue from the movie.

"I have to go home tonight, Michael." Jacob responded. "Only a few hours left."

Oh, that reminds me. Last night I never asked him to move in with me. Now's a good a time as any.

"Hey, last night I completely forgot to ask you something." He stopped washing dishes and partially stepped out of the kitchen. I sat up so he could hear me clearly. "Since we're engaged it's only appropriate that we live together." Had Jacob's face lit up any brighter I would've had to shield my eyes. "So, what do you say?"

"Yes!" he screamed, running and jumping over the couch. "Oh, my God, I love you so much, Michael!"

Jacob rested next to me, snuggling up closely. He pulled my free arm over him and held onto it tightly. At that moment I felt like my life was complete. I have a great career, a loving family, and the perfect fiancÚ. How else could things become any better? The only thing I can think of that will be a future endeavor is having children.

The closest thing I have to a child is my cousin Brian. He's the greatest fourteen year old ever. The little dude plays baseball and I make sure to go to every single one of his games. His parents, my mom's sister and brother-in-law, go too, but he seems to think he plays best when I'm there. Jacob and him get along so well. Brian often spends the night here and the three of us stay up late watching movies and stuffing our faces with junk food.

"So, we're basically married now." I said with the biggest smile ever.

"It feels great."

"Wait'll you see your grad present."

Jacob craned his neck so that he could just make eye contact with me. I knew it was a mistake telling him that, but I am so bad with surprises. Keeping a car secret for the next couple of months is going to be more difficult than it was to keep the beach a secret. On the contrary, the proposal was easy to keep a secret. I was so nervous about it I actually tried to forget about it.

"What are you getting me?"

"Oh, please," I scolded. "I'm not saying anything."

"Pleeeeease? Graduation is still such a long ways away."

"Keep it up and I'll have to cancel your present."

"No, I'll stop!" He figuratively zipped his lips, locked them, and threw away the key. He's so cute when he does little things like that. It reminds me of just how much I love him.

"So, what happened to you making some food? I haven't eaten anything since dinner last night."

"Well, it's your fault for being so surprising."

I watched the movie in a drained stupor. Jacob was back in the kitchen preparing something to eat. But once I smelt something burning I realized that maybe asking Jacob to cook was the wrong thing to do.

"There are cans of ravioli in the cabinet, Jacob." I called out to him.

He coughed back, "Thanks,"

Sliding off the couch, I went over to open the sliding glass door to the porch in order to air out the condo. A few minutes later, Jacob served a bowl of warm albeit canned ravioli. He smiled crookedly, embarrassed that he messed the real food up. I didn't mind, though. I'm grateful that he tries to cook at all. Making mistakes is all part of learning, and I've made plenty and still make plenty while cooking.

For the remainder of the day, the two of us stayed on the couch watching whatever interesting movies were showing. It's kind of surprising that while having hundreds of thousands of channels, finding something good on was a challenge. Several opportunities presented themselves for us to have a little fun, but I'm not even kidding when I say that my energy levels were low. Instead, Jacob rested on top of me saying he liked the position just as much.


"Yeah, babe?"

"Can you take me home?"

At first I couldn't respond. I was too surprised at his request.

"Are you all right?"

"Yeah, I just wanna spend more time in my room before I no longer have it." He rolled off of me.

He's never asked to go home before much less go home early. I sat up, anxious to find out why he'd want to go home to his retched parents.

"Are you sure? I don't really understand, Jacob. This isn't like you at all."

"I'm perfectly okay, Michael. I won't be living at home for much longer, though. I've lived in that room for eighteen years. It's gonna be hard to say goodbye." Jacob's eyes watered slightly.

"This is why I love you so much. Even though your room is completely inanimate and immaterial you are so attached to it that it hurts you to abandon it." I kissed him gently on the lips. "I'll take you home if you really want, then."

"Thanks, Michael," he sighed with relief. "You don't know how much I appreciate all of this. Can I ask you something?"

"Sure," I smiled reassuringly.

"What do I tell my parents when I move in with you?"

"Think it's time to come out to them? I mean, you'll be living with me in case they don't like the idea of you being gay, plus you're eighteen now. What can they really do?"

"You're right, but it's still scary. I don't think I'm ready for that."

"Well, there's no rush. But I have no idea what you can tell them. I guess if you wait to move in until after graduation it'd be easier."

"Michael, no," Jacob said sadly. "That's like forever away." He dug his face into my neck affectionately.

Jacob is extremely sensitive when it comes to the topic of coming out to his parents. That's how terrified of them he truly is. But now that we're engaged and have decided to move in together, he no longer has to fear them. They, however, still have this unspeakable power over him. When I moved out from my parent's house, I felt like a freed person. They never confined me or even restricted me too severely, but it was just the thrill of being out on my own.

"Listen to me, Jacob," I pushed his head off of me and held his face between my hands. "No matter what happens, I'm here for you, okay? You know that you can call me day or night, anytime, anywhere. Whatever your decision about this, I'll be here. This is your home now, too."

The moment was so tender, and Jacob felt it because he started to cry. The tears weren't violent or in surplus, but they were real. I couldn't tell if they were of fear or happiness or maybe even something else. I held him until he settled down.

"Thank you so much, Michael," His voice was soft, inaudible to someone who wasn't paying close enough attention. "Maybe it's time to tell them, though. I don't know. I'll think about it and tell you."

The next day I spent alone. While Jacob was home saying goodbye to his room, a few things needed to be taken care of before he moved in. For example, I'm going to have to buy a new dresser, one that can accommodate Jacob's excessive line of clothing. And speaking of making room, I also need to clear some space in the closet. For the things that don't fit in my room, I have a bedroom-turned-office that has plenty of space in that closet. Anything else he has that doesn't belong in our room can go upstairs in the open space up there.

I spent all day on the couch watching TV. It was Sunday. What else was I supposed to do? I could've been preparing for my meeting with Gary, but there would be plenty of time for that in the morning. I'm very excited to start working on his house. I'll find out just how much the commish is going to be tomorrow.

Jacob called around eight o'clock and we stayed on the phone until close to midnight, I think. It wasn't a good idea to stay up that late, but for the strangest reason it felt like I wouldn't be able to talk to Jacob again for a very long time. A deep, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach warned me of tragedy. I had no idea what that feeling meant, but I forgot about it when I woke up the next morning.

The unfamiliar ringtone of Jacob's home number boomed through the condo. I ran into the bedroom to answer it. Luckily the iPod on its dock was switching songs otherwise I might not've heard the call. This was unusual in that Jacob has only ever called me from his house one time. He stayed home sick one day from school and called to ask for some soup. The only reason he used his house phone was because he couldn't find his cell phone. And that was the only time I've ever received a phone call from his house. It's even more unusual, too, in that he should be in class right now.

"Hello?" I answered cautiously. For all I knew this could've been his parents.

"Uh, yes, is this Michael?" a woman asked in obvious sorrow. She sounded very shaken up about something. She must be Jacob's mother.

I responded quickly. "Yes, who's calling?"

"I'm Janet, Jacob's mother,"

The heart pumping blood inside of me picked up a furious pace. I was confused about where I was for a moment. I felt lightheaded and uneasy without even knowing the reason for her call. Leave it up to me to overreact for no reason. The hell there isn't a reason, though. His mom doesn't even know I exist. How she even came across my number is a mystery. If there is a higher power in this universe, the reason for her calling me can't be what I fear it is.

"What can I do for you?" I asked warily.

She took a deep breath before speaking. "About an hour ago, I walked into Jacob's room and saw him lying under the covers. I had no reason to think anything other than him being asleep." Janet's voice cracked between sentences. "But then I found an empty package of sleeping pills on the floor." No. No. No. No. No. "There wasn't anything anyone could do."

An empty feeling loomed in the shadows of sorrow.

"But... I don't... We just spoke last night. He sounded so happy."

"Are you a friend from school?"

This was tricky. I can't out Jacob over the phone, but why lie anymore? They can't do shit. Then again, there's a better time than this I'm sure.

"Uh, yeah, we've known each other for years."

"I only ask because he left a letter with your name and number on it. I'm assuming he wanted someone to call you after... Well, after he was found."

He planned this out! The love of my life planned his suicide out! I can't believe this. What could've troubled him so much that he couldn't talk to me about it? There's nothing in this world that he could do to where I wouldn't stand by him.

"He left a letter?"

"Yes," Janet exhaled sadly. "If you'd like to come over and retrieve it I'll be home until one. As you can imagine, there're a lot of details to sort through."

"Of course," I said automatically. "I'll be over shortly. Thank you so much for calling. Goodbye."

A flood of emotion surged within me. I felt so alone and depressed it seemed like a piece of my soul had been stolen. Jacob, my fiancÚ, is now gone forever. He took his own life in lieu of finding help. I sank down to the carpet, forcing the tears back.

"There's a better time," I echoed from my own words. I took a very deep breath and grabbed my keys so I could go to his house.

I am now a lost soul in a mad world.

Jacob's house was a nice tract home in a large community. His parents at least had good taste in immaterial items. The only other time I've been here was when I delivered soup to him when he was sick. My nerves were buzzing around inside of me like flies on a dead carcass. Without realizing it, I pressed the doorbell and waited my grim welcoming. While waiting for someone to answer, I looked across the street and saw Tammy Wetherford pulling out of her driveway. She had a grin on her face, not a care in the world. Old witch is probably going to gossip about something.

"Michael?" Janet answered. I recognized her from a picture I saw in their house when I was a delivery boy.

"Yes," I sighed.

"Come in," she said. "I'll grab the letter for you."

I walked inside and took a seat on the first thing possible. Any farther into the house than that and the emotions I was so desperately holding back might've escaped. Janet disappeared, but came back after a few seconds handing me an unopened envelope.

"Have you, uh, made funeral arrangements yet?" I asked solemnly. There was absolutely no life to the voice that came from my mouth.

"There're still a few things to go over, but the funeral itself is on Friday at one o'clock at the memorial chapel on Sandside Boulevard." Janet sounded just as lifeless as I. Her eyes were red with pain, swollen with misery.

"Is there anything I can do? Jacob and I were very close. Please, if there's anything I can do." I begged her.

Janet tried to smile, but the frown was too powerful. "His father and I have everything under control. Thank you, though, that's very thoughtful."

I bowed my head having to force the tears back with more determination.

Not here, not here, I screamed in my mind.

"Well, I'll expect to see you on Friday then." She stood and walked to the door, opening it for me.

"Yes, again thank you so much for calling. Remember, if there's anything I can do..."

In the truck, I rested my head against the steering wheel. My parents still need to be told and Angie, Grace, and Todd, too. But his friends will have to wait since they don't get out of school until after two. Mom is definitely going to have a fit. Luckily dad can help her through this tragic time since I won't be able to. In the privacy of my condo after I've done business, that will be the right time.

I carelessly drove to my parents' house. The numbness that was inside of me wouldn't stop growing. As the seconds ticked by, the misery I felt became more overwhelming. Driving on the freeway, I had to pull over because the tears were clouding my vision greatly.

"Jacob!" I screamed, letting out the tears of pain. It hasn't even been an hour and I already feel soulless. Life just has no meaning right now, not without Jacob. Nothing will ever be the same again.

Mom and dad were outside tinkering with their garden when I pulled up. The brilliant flowers of nearly every color held no special meaning to me right now. I checked my composure in the mirror and found that my eyes had no white in them. Instead, it was crimson colored from the misery. I walked around the truck and up the lawn. Mom looked up and immediately noticed how tore up I appeared.

"Michael, are you all right?" she asked. Dad stopped digging in the dirt and stood up.

"No," I grimly replied. "Something's happened."

She was standing in front of me in a flash. "What's wrong?" I stayed silent, lips quivering. "You're scaring me, Michael. Tell me what's wrong!"

"Jacob killed himself!" I sobbed, rubbing the tears out of my eyes with my palms.

I don't remember much of that moment other than being held by mom who was attempting to console me without breaking down herself. After that is a blank.

"Michael?" mom said softly. I opened my eyes slowly, taking in my surroundings. "How are you feeling?"

"Like shit," I mumbled, turning away from her and dad.

I suddenly remembered that Jacob's letter was still unopened sitting in the passenger seat of the truck. Without thinking of anything else, I ran outside to retrieve it.

Dear Michael,

I know you think I was stupid for doing this, but there was no other choice for me. Please don't blame yourself. I love you so much.

I'm going to miss you like crazy. We were so perfect together. I'm sorry that I ruined it.

You don't owe me anything, but there is a favor I need from you. Do you remember the homeless kid you gave money to the night of our anniversary? His name is Collin and for the past few months I've been seeing him as often as possible.

I never once cheated on you in any way so you get that thought out of your head immediately. I was just a much needed friend to him. Please meet him and help him the way I tried to. He's such an incredible person.

I love you, Michael. I love you so much. You gave me the best two years I've ever had. I'm grateful to you and will forever keep you in my heart. I love you so much...


Thank you to those who wrote me about chapter one. I appreciate the effort. I hope everyone enjoyed chapter two. What was so bad that Jacob felt he had no escape? Vote on the next story I write at my group!

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