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 03

The casket was surrounded by arrangements of various types of flowers. Jacob's soulless body rested in place atop bright, white sheeting. The pastor was about to begin; I had just arrived. Friends and family filled the chapel to capacity. Grace was sitting a few rows behind the first pew, which sat Jacob's parents along with other people whom I did not recognize. I couldn't see Todd who would normally be right next to Grace. Angie wouldn't necessarily be right with Grace, but she wasn't immediately visible to me. It could be because I sat in the very last pew, though. I wore an all black ensemble with a pair of reflective aviators that allowed no view of my eyes.

The pastor spent ten minutes talking about Jacob's life and how it was tragically cut short. He then stepped down from the pulpit and several people took turns speaking about their time with Jacob. Some stories were serious while others funny. I was surprised when some even made me laugh however small. Janet, his mother, was the last person to speak. Her eulogy was what I expected: sad. She spoke of how she'll no longer be able to cook him breakfast in the mornings or take him out on his birthday for a huge dinner. She talked of his first day in high school and the final days before his departure.

"He loved his friends, talked about them all the time. Jacob was one of those people that you really felt was true about that-lived for his friends." Janet went on. "So, here today I must say goodbye to my son. I know that wherever he is, it is a place where he can be truly happy. I love you, Jacob."

She stepped down from the pulpit allowing the pastor to retake his place.

"Is there anyone else who would like to speak of their time with Jacob?" The room was silent except for the whirling fans hanging from the ceiling.

"I have something to say," I said, standing up suddenly. All eyes were on me as I walked up to the pastor. I took off the sunglasses hiding my eyes as I began talking. "Jacob was one of a kind. Curious, caring, sweet, and extroverted are the four words that immediately come to mind when thinking of him. He was one of those people that you could call day or night and he'd be willing to help out as best he could. Although legally an adult, Jacob was a child at heart. He loved shopping and spending time with his best friends Grace," I made eye contact with her, "and Angie." I searched through the people and saw her sitting just a few rows behind Grace. She flashed a small smile at me.

"Jacob was one of the smartest people I knew. No matter the temptation, he would always finish his homework before going anywhere or doing anything. That was one of his best qualities. He was serious about his education and that's something this world needs. I'm in the real estate business and Jacob once told me he'd like to become a salesperson, too. With his natural charisma and extrovert spirit, selling houses would've been like shopping to him: fun, fast, and easy.

"It deeply saddens me that Jacob chose to take his own life instead of calling me or anyone for that matter. Any one of his friends would have helped him out, especially me. Jacob and I were..." I paused, taking a deep breath to keep from breaking. "The two of us were inseparable. There are a few reasons for that, but before I speak them, I'd like to remind everyone that Jacob is just Jacob.

"A week ago today, last Friday, was mine and Jacob's..." This was so difficult to say. The worry over what everyone would think was not the culprit. The memory of Jacob was to blame. The emptiness I felt in my heart is at fault. "Last Friday was mine and Jacob's two year anniversary."

The once silent chapel was now filled with hushed whispers and low gasps. It felt so relieving to finally have everyone know our little secret. Jacob's probably looking down upon me right now and laughing at the irony of the situation.

"I know this comes as a shock to most of you, and Jacob would've told everyone if possible, but he was terrified of his family finding out because he knew the consequences. Now he no longer needs to have that fear. He can rest in peace with the knowing of his secret being told and there not being any harsh consequences."

I stepped over to the dark cherry colored casket, which was just off to the left. Jacob's normally tanned body was pale. His usual peach colored lips just slightly darker than his pale skin. His face glowed in contrast of the casket and black suit he wore.

"I love you, Jacob."

The final touch I ever had with Jacob was a very, very delicate brushing along his jaw line with two of my fingers. Then, with all the courage and dignity I could muster, I walked with a purpose down the center of the chapel keeping my eyes focused on the doors, ignoring the stares of disbelief. I went to wait in my truck until the funeral ended. I sat on the edge of the cargo area with the liftgate up blocking the sun.

While I waited, I tried not to dwell on the memory of Jacob. Since finding the news of his suicide on Monday, I haven't dealt with the loss properly. But this is how I function. People say it's not healthy to bottle emotions up inside, but for me it works. My parents don't understand. They never once discouraged me from showing emotions. I don't blame them, though. Maybe I'm just that kind of person. The kind who don't need to show their emotions. Besides, just because I don't show how Jacob's suicide is affecting me doesn't mean it hasn't affected me at all. Every night I lie awake and try so hard not to think of him. But who can decide what they dream?

A few people exited the chapel followed soon by Jacob's parents. Janet spotted me sitting in my truck, but turned her attention back towards the funeral goers. Grace and Angie met up afterwards and, like I expected, Grace didn't even take a second look.

"Hey," Angie said, walking up to me slowly.

"Hey," I sighed back.

"How are you holding up?" She sat a few feet away from me.

"I'm doing okay. I don't think it's sunk in yet, you know?"

"I know," She agreed. "What you did in there, that was pretty bold, but I think Jacob would've wanted it. I mean, he's told me so many times that he'd love to be out, but just couldn't be." Angie was wearing a really pretty dress albeit for a funeral. A silky black number with thick shoulders and a length that went down past her knees. I think Jacob got his fashion sense from her. Grace isn't much of a designer wearer unlike Angie.

I didn't reply immediately. Instead, I looked around at the beautiful scenery surrounding us. The sky was dotted with fluffy, white clouds and our mountains, which are usually close to invisible thanks to our wonderfully abundant supply of smog, are in clear view with their bright green brush.

"Are you going to the wake? I don't think I'm invited anymore not that I ever was."

"How'd you know about the wake?"

"The memorial things," I held up the three paged pamphlet giving information of today's service.

"Well, Grace is going and since Todd isn't here I guess I'm taking his place."

"Yeah, why isn't Todd here?" I was very curious to know this. Grace and Todd are normally conjoined at the hip.

"He said that he wouldn't have been able to make it through the funeral. I believe him, too, considering Grace and him are actually split up."

I laughed, "It is incredible,"

"Hey," she muttered under her breath. "Janet's coming over."

Without worrying about being obvious, I looked up and saw her coming towards us. I have absolutely no idea what this could mean, but I have a hunch as to what it could be.

"I'll, um, see you later," Angie said, standing up and walking away.

Janet stopped a little way from the truck. The expression on her face was unreadable, something that is never a good thing.

"Two years?" she spoke softly.

"Two years,"

"I don't know how we were so blind. You and Jacob deserve credit for being so sly."

Janet didn't seem upset about the fact that her son and I were involved for so long. She seemed more upset at the fact that she didn't know about it.

"Would you have accepted him?" I had to find out the answer to this long awaited question. Jacob accepted his sexuality when he turned fifteen. A whole four years living in fear.

"I'm not entirely sure I could have. I was raised in a very strict, religious household. It's just the way I'm wired."

Did she seriously just admit what Jacob always feared? We're outside of the funeral home where Jacob is lying in a casket and she still has the nerve to say she wouldn't accept his sexuality. Never in my life have I encountered such an insane woman, or person for that matter.

"I'm sorry, but is your head up your ass for the warmth?" I harshly said to her.

"Excuse me?" Janet seemed appalled that I would speak to her in such a way, but she was in no way tied to me so there was no reason to fear her.

"Your son killed himself because he had the constant fear of his family's rejection. You have the nerve to blame your upbringings on your moral outlook today? What kind of sick bitch are you!?"

Janet said nothing. She just stared at me with anger, but that dwindled down into sorrow. Her previously tense stance softened into a stance of defeat.

"The guilt of this will haunt me until the day I die. Jacob will be missed so much..." She paused, taking in a few sullen breaths. "We're having a wake after the burial. You can come if you'd like to."

We said nothing else to each other, but she didn't give any chance regardless. She walked away towards the other guests.

Jacob's bedroom walls were midnight blue in color. He had a thing for darker shades, which contrasted against his light soul perfectly. A bed that was disheveled still-I'm assuming-from when he was...found was in a corner with a desk next to it. School papers were scattered on the top surrounded by a few pencils. Dirty boxers were on the floor near his hamper. The pair of shoes he adored was facing the mirrored closet doors, laces undone ready for a new adventure. But there wouldn't be another adventure. I looked inside of the closet and instantly became amused at how Jacob organized his shirts; all by color.

In another corner was a midsized book case with shelves crammed full of what they're for. Some titles I recognized and others not so much. The four that struck a sadness in me was the saga he loved so passionately. I'm still all for Team I Wanna Go Home.

"Damn you, Jacob," I chuckled, smiling at the thought.

There was so much I wanted to do while in his room, but with everyone downstairs my time was limited. One place where I really wanted to check: under his mattress. People are so prone to hiding things under their mattress thinking no one will look there. Unfortunately, that's the place most people check first. Jacob had to have known that, but I guess his parents gave him enough privacy for him not to worry. Sure enough, a little blue journal was pushed far towards the center. I pulled it out and scanned through a few pages.

March 14 2010

I just got back from a date with Michael. He took me to some fancy place. The food wasn't all that great though. I had to lie and say I loved it of course. Even though the food wasn't good I still had a blast with him. He makes me feel so good about myself. It's amazing that we've been together almost a year already. I wonder how long we'll stay together. Hopefully it's for a lot longer.

I remember that night. It's funny, too, because I didn't care much for the food myself. It's very relieving to know that Jacob was planning on a future for us. I flipped back many, many pages.

November 09 2009

Michael and I had a fight today. He was upset because I charged too much on his credit card. I guess the company called him and asked if the card had been stolen. When I got back to his place he was so mad I almost walked back out. But after the lecture he gave me I verbally and physically apologized. Needless to say we never had another argument about money ever again.

I closed the journal unable to read any further. The sadness was beginning to sink into me faster than at the funeral. My first time ever in Jacob's room and it's when I can't enjoy it with him. What a cruel twist of fate. I looked under the mattress again just to see if there was anything else he was hiding, but there was nothing. Feeling exhausted, I rested up against the bedside. When I did that, I heard what sounded like paper crunching. Underneath one of the sheets was an envelope just barely sticking out from inside the mattress.

"Clever boy," I muttered, grabbing the envelope.

For him to slice his bed open and hide such a thing inside, he must've been desperate to keep this a secret. What the hell could be so private or secret that he'd cut a slit in his bed? Apparently underneath it just wasn't good enough. The envelope was opened so I had no hesitations in pulling out the tri-folded piece of paper.

You make me sick

Your parents will find out

go to hell faggot

What the hell is this? You make me sick, I'm going to tell. Was this some kind of sick joke? The handwriting isn't Jacob's so someone else definitely wrote this, but in such poor taste. I don't even know what to say except... No. There's no way this three lined note is the reason Jacob killed himself. It just can't be...

Just then, a set of footsteps coming from down the hallway broke my concentration. I put the letter back in the envelope and stuffed it along with the journal inside of my coat. Luckily, whoever came up here was no longer in sight giving me the perfect opportunity to head back downstairs. I said nothing to anyone on the way out. There was no way I could stay after finding that bastard of a note. In the safety of my truck, I set the journal and envelope on the passenger seat. Something caught my eye, though. The postmark on the envelope was Sunday's date. Jacob got this the day before he died.

What type of person would send such a note? Was it an enemy? Of course. But what kind? An acquaintance? A stranger? Or how about a neighbor that lives a few feet away?*

* by Marc Cherry, 2004

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