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"You just going to sit there?" Jonah asked.
Was he really here? Was it the drugs? I got off the bed and started to walk towards him but I wasn't making it. I fell to my knees almost immediately as I noticed how dizzy I was.
Fuck! I didn't want Jonah seeing me like this.
The embarrassment flushed my face in red almost immediately.
"What's wrong with you?"
"He's cool," Mitchell said, "He's just high."
"I got this...you can leave..." Jonah said.
Mitchell was being combative. He stood up off the bed. Idiot...didn't he know who the fuck this was. This was Jonah. He didn't stand a chance...
I was in a blur. I was so fucking high.
"What you want to do sir?" Jonah asked, "You want to get in my face that's fine. You decide how far you are willing to go though because I'm willing to go pretty far for him."
"You must be the boyfriend."
Jonah was on his knees in front of me. He wasn't even facing Mitchell. His hand ran against my face looking at me.
God don't look at me like this Jonah.
I don't want you seeing me like this.
"You want me to leave Quashie?" Mitchell asked.
I tried to nod and ended up making an awkward movement with my head and grunting a soft, "yes." He got the clue though. Mitchell was looking hard at me as he walked out of the room though.
Jonah literally picked me up at that point. He put his hands under my ass and wrapped my legs around his waist. I felt like a kid all of a sudden as he did it. I wrapped my hands around his neck.
"You left me."
"I came back for you."
"But you fucking left me! You said you were going to take me to the mountains. You said we'd he happy. Then you left!"
How was it possible for someone to make another person so dependent on them? Was this love? The idea of him leaving had broken me almost completely. He lifted me and carried me to the bathroom and put me on the basin of the sink.
From between my legs he grabbed a cloth...wet it...and put it on my face.
Jonah looked the same...fucking beautiful sexy. He had on his little tight t-shirt and jeans. His beautiful eyes looked like glass as he looked at me. He was so close between my legs. I loved him so fucking much that I hated him at this moment. None of it made sense. Maybe it was the drugs. I wasn't sure.
"So what you taking drugs now?" he asked me.
"What the fuck is wrong with you? You know that boy is the one who was always with Lauren. What the fuck did he give you?"
"He gave her the same thing."
So! Lauren was high on that shit when
she shot up the school! Didn't you see
it in her fucking eyes!?"
"Relax I'm not going to shoot up a school."
"That's not the point."
"Right the point is that you left me."
He was being gentle with the cloth on my face. The dampness seemed to be helping to bring me back from my high actually. It cooled on my body. Maybe it was more me fighting it.
I didn't want Jonah seeing me like this.
"Were you going to fuck him?" Jonah asked me.
Jonah dropped the cloth at that moment.
He moved back. His lips got real tight at that moment.
I don't know if I am just trying to be truthful or if I am just mad enough not to care if I hurt his feelings. It was clear though that I did end up hurting his feelings.
He shook for a minute and I just watched him silently.
He looked like he was going to contain himself but then all of a sudden he didn't. He let out this groan and punched the wall. His hand we cracked through the wall leaving a hole.
hasn't even been a week."
"How did I know? Last time you disappeared you were gone for 7 years."
He shook his head, "So what you want to be with him or something?"
I can't believe he asked me that.
I shook my head almost immediately, "You know damn well I don't want to be with him. I want to be with you. You were the one who left me remember?"
"So you took drugs because I left? You took the same drugs that my sister was on when she shot up the high school? Really? How smart is that?"
"How smart is it to keep running as soon as you have an issue?"
"I can't deal with this shit right now!"
He started leaving.
"Running away again huh?"
He turned back to me and was about to say something but he didn't.
I couldn't stop thinking about it. That was the first real fight that Jonah and I had. I just kept thinking about his face when I told him I was probably going to have sex with Mitchell.
Jonah had run away again. I didn't know if I could take this anymore.
Before I knew it...it was my birthday...which fell on a Saturday. I saw a few calls on my phone. Most of them were from Ozzie but I ended up not really picking up. I didn't want to talk to him or anyone else It was actually Mitchell that knocked on my door in the morning.
"Happy birthday sexy boy!" Mitchell said.
He gave me a hug but my mind was elsewhere. I just shook my head. The last thing I wanted to think about was my birthday.
"God you look like shit," Mitchell told me.
"I went to sleep after getting into a fight with Jonah yesterday. He ran away again."
he didn't. His ass is right
downstairs. When the butler let me in he
gave me the most evil look. I get the
vibe he doesn't like me."
Jonah wasn't gone. I didn't know how this made me feel. I just felt anxious. He was right downstairs. I started to breathe hard at the thought.
I shook my head at Mitchell, "Maybe it's because I was kissing on his boyfriend...hell..."
"Fuck him," Mitchell stated, "I got you something."
He handed me over a jar. It was full of comforts. I looked at the bottle not really knowing what to think. Jonah was here again. Had Jonah been the reason I was taking these.
"Thanks," I stated, putting the jar down.
"That is 3000 dollar worth of pills. I don't even get a kiss...or anything."
I leaned in to Mitchell to kiss him on the cheek. He turned his face though right when I was about to kiss him on the check and he kissed me on the lilps.
He didn't stop. He grabbed me by my waist pulling me in. He was trying to kiss me more. His mouth was open. He wanted to put his tongue in his mouth. I could tell by the way he was pressed up on me that his dick was semi hard. He was turned on completely.
But my body didn't really react. He kept trying to come onto me until I couldn't help but to push him away.
"What the fuck man," he said.
"I'm Jonah's..." I said, making sure I kept some distance between us.
He looked like a wet dog standing there. It kind of hurt me that he looked so disappointed because of me. His dick was still semi-hard and he was kind of panting.
"Is that what you want?" Mitchell asked.
finish. You want a dude who isn't going
to be there? I would be...I would be there
through it all. Right
next to you."
I looked at Mitchell a little confused. I was hearing this again. I had heard it from Adrian and it was the same situation. He was just like Adrian. Didn't they get it? Didn't they see how I looked at Jonah. No one else stood a chance.
I shook my head, "Listen if I led you on, I'm sorry. It isn't about you. For me, it's always been Jonah. Always..."
"So what am I?" Mitchell asked, "What happens with us?"
Us? What the hell was this guy talking about?
He looked hurt. Had I lead him on this whole time to believe that it was more than that.
I touched his shoulder, "Mitchell, listen. Whatever happened when Jonah interrupted us was because of the drugs. I couldn't control myself. It was completely based on those Comforts. Mitchell I have no feelings for you...at all..."
He looked at me like I had just hit him with a ton of bricks.
I had turned down Adrian before and never got the reaction Mitchell was giving me right now. His face had gone completely white.
"Fuck this shit!"
He stormed out of the room at this point.
He looked pissed.
I started chasing him down trying to get a hold of him. I felt like he was being crazy. I had always told him I just wanted to be friends. Maybe things had gotten carried away because of the drugs but that was all it was.
Mitchell looked fucking hurt.
"Mitchell, stop being like this. I want to stay friends with you."
"That isn't possible. I don't want to be friends with you..."
I got to the bottom of the stairs where he was.
At the bottom of the steps was Jonah.
Jonah was looking at Mitchell and then looked at me. The sight of Jonah seemed to send Mitchell over the edge. He looked heated. He looked like a completely different person than the Mitchell that I had gotten to know.
"Is that what you want! Is that what you want!" he asked me pointing to Jonah.
He just wasn't getting it.
"Yes...calm down..." I stated, "I don't understand what you are tripping over. I told you from the get-go how I felt about Jonah."
"You told me...well no...but you looked at me like...like you loved me," Mitchell stated.
"What the fuck are you talking about?"
Mitchell was making no sense. In just a few minutes he had completely flipped out.
"You know what I'm talking about. We were about to make love if he hadn't barged in," Mitchell stated grabbing me by my arm, "Say it! Say we were about to make love."
"We were about to have sex," I stated, "That would have been it. I'm just trying to be honest with you Mitchell..."
Mitchell's eyes got even wider.
They were a deep red.
"Get your hands off him," Jonah ordered Mitchell.
Mitchell looked back at Jonah and did something that completely shocked me. He took a swing at Jonah! He actually balled his fist up and took a swing at Jonah.
Jonah dodged it in this crazy way and Mitchell tripped over his own feet and ended up on the floor.
"Mitchell, what the fuck is wrong with you?"
"He's high..." Jonah said, "Can't you tell?"
I just noticed it too. Mitchell did have that lost look in his eyes. It was the same lost look that I had in my eyes when I took it. It was the same look Lauryn had when she took the Comforts. He was lost in his thoughts and his emotions had completely taken over his actions.
"Mitchell...you high?" I asked.
He got up off the floor and ran out at that moment. The look in his eyes kind of worried me to be honest.
Jonah grabbed me by my hand and looked me in my eyes. I could tell he was very serious.
"You two are done
right?" he asked me, "Be for real."
"I like Mitchell, he's cool...but there's nothing going on," I told Jonah, "I promise."
"I believe you," Jonah stated, "Still those drugs. I've been asking around about them. They are dangerous. Sometimes they calm you down but sometimes they make you crazy. I think that's what happened with Lauren. I don't want you taking them anymore."
Looking at Mitchell I could kind of see what he meant.
"Ok. I promise."
I was serious too. There was no way I would be taking drugs like that if they had those kind of side effects. Jonah leaned forward to me and kissed me. As usual his kiss was fucking amazing. I felt his soft lips touch me and transport.
"Damn," he said.
"I know. That was hot," I said, "You are the only high I need."
He smiled again, "C`mon...I got something to show you."
He held my hand and led me upstairs. Before I knew it we were headed to a ballroom. I managed to be led through the room to where he opened the door. I recognized it was the smaller ballroom that was in the mansion and not the big one.
As we got there though the doors opened.
It shocked me a little bit as I stepped forward and saw a room packed with people. A lot of the people I recognized from Pristine's parties. Then there were some people from school. Some people I was happy to see like Ozzie but then there was Aaryn and Adrian standing there.
"Wow," I said.
"Did you think I forgot?" Jonah asked, "Happy birthday baby..."
"Did you plan this?"
"Of course, with some help from Pristine. Go talk to everyone. My gift is last."
I went into the crowd immediately and started getting a bunch of happy birthdays from everyone. It was interesting seeing all this love.
Pristine of course stood up on her pedestal, "I would like to make a speech! Excuse me...excuse me! Everyone can I have your attention."
We all turned to her.
Mr. Hill was to Pristine's left and to her right was man and I recognized him almost immediately as Pristine's lawyer.
"I would like to really take the time to say that the Hill family has definitely had it's share of sadness, grief and despair this year. A lot of the things that happen I blame myself and I'm sure my husband does as well. We wanted to take the time though to celebrate a moment of happiness and joy. The happiness that this young man Quashie has brought to our home. His mother and I were good friends and he's become like a son of mine. Wherever they are, I know they are proud of you. I know my own son Jackie is proud of you where he is now. You are a man today. You are a strong, beautiful and loving man. In all the years that I've known my son Jonah, I've never known someone that could anchor him down like Quashie. My son is a gay person and I'm proud of him. And I'm proud that he's in love with someone that I've grown to love as well. Everyone raise their glasses...this is for Quashie."
I couldn't stop smiling as I felt Jonah's hands around my shoulder. After hearing the reason that Jonah had left the first time I knew this talk meant a lot to him. Pristine was standing in front of everyone announcing that her son was gay and in love with another man.
People were applauding and going back to the party when Pristine walked down off her pedestal and came down.
"Thanks Pristine," I said to her.
"You are going to call me Mom one day...whether you like it or not," she said smiling, "Especially if Jonah does what he said..."
"MOM!" Jonah said getting flushed red.
"Um...oh...wait..." Pristine said.
Mr. Hill quickly came in for the same, "Pristine maybe you should just move on to the inheritance."
I gave Jonah a look. He looked so embarrassed but I just smiled. I was a little confused on what Pristine was talking about. Pristine's lawyer came forward with some paperwork.
"At the age of 18, as you know, you inherit your parents estate as well 13 million dollars that they saved up for you before you died," Pristine told me, "It's completely yours. I don't want or will accept anything from you. I want you to take this and find the happiness that I couldn't give any of my children. I do look to you as son Quashie."
That was when Pristine did something I didn't think was possible.
She leaned forward and hugged me. Then she kissed me on my forehead.
In all the years that I've known her she'd never shown any sort of affection to me! Ever! I was more than shocked.
"You just sign on this line," the lawyer said, "And you are a millionaire...a private account has already been set up in your name."
I took the pen. It felt heavy in my hands. Seeing my parents signatures on the paper before me was kind of emotional. The fact that they loved me so much to save so much money for me was amazing. I didn't have a huge memory of them but every memory I did have was a positive one.
I signed it and then there was more clapping.
Mr. Hill and Pristine got together and looked at me. Mr. Hill was the one who handed me an envelope, "Also we got you a ticket to Mount Everest. My son has been trying to take you to the mountains for a while now. He promised you he'd take you. It's a ticket for two. We had people set up a little cottage on the mountain trial. It's in your name. So when you guys disappear...like he did...at least we'll know where you are."
I was shocked. A cottage in the mountains.
Before I knew it was hugging Mr. Hill and Pristine. Like I was really hugging them. It was amazing. Mr. Hill smiled. I turned to show the ticket to Jonah...but I couldn't find him. I looked around the room.
"I'll be right back," I smiled at the Hills.
I made my way through the crowd looking for Jonah. He had disappeared. Again. I couldn't believe what the fuck was going on. A part of me started to panic.
Not fucking again...not again!
"Congratulations millionaire," Ozzie stated, "Don't forget the little people."
I was kind of happy to see him as he came forward. He leaned forward and gave me a hug. It felt good to see him here. A part of me was still looking behind him though hoping that I spotted Jonah. All I wanted was to see him and know that he didn't disappear again. I was sure he wouldn't have just left at a party like this...unless he LEFT for real.
"Listen Ozzie. I've been...an asshole lately. I was..."
"You were going through it," Ozzie stated, "And I wouldn't be your best friend if I didn't understand it. Here I got something for you as well. Now I'm not rich like everyone else around these parts but I think you'll like it."
Jonah was the one who had an effect on me. I felt so bad at this point for isolating myself from Ozzie. I could blame the Comforts but the Comforts just lead me to behave on emotions that I couldn't control.
I wanted to apologize more but before I did Ozzie pulled out a letter.
"What is this?"
"A letter...," Ozzie
stated, "See... Jonah didn't just leave you.
We kind of had a plan."
"Wait you knew he was leaving."
"Are you mad?" Ozzie asked.
"Why the fuck would he leave and tell you but not told me," I asked.
Ozzie smiled, "Well he had made copies of your art and he showed them to me. We decided to do something about it. So I got in contact with the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in Manhattan. We sent pics but they wanted to see the work in person. I couldn't go of course but Jonah could care less. You know he's the real honeybadger. He took off as soon as he found out. He was in New York...he had copied your art works and he was actually showing them to buyers."
My mouth dropped open.
"No...this whole time you've been upset that Jonah left you he was actually helping you. He was showing your work off."
I punched Ozzie in the arm, "Damn it Ozzie. I was depressed!"
He rubbed on his arm laughing, "Ow! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I promised Jonah I wouldn't say anything. You don't know how hard it was. It was actually because of Adrian that we could do it. His family has contacts in the art world. He paid for Jonah's flight and everything."
I was shocked.
"Yeah..." Ozzie said, "That letter you are holding...they would like to showcase all of your art for fall."
Ozzie laughed, "I figured you'd like it."
That was an understatement. This whole time I had been so selfish. Why had someone who said he loved me the way he said he loved me able to leave me like this. It was because he was trying to showcase work that I was too shy to showcase myself. He had been trying to help me and I had been completely shocked.
I held the letter in my hand. I had not even noticed it was a dream until I was holding this letter. Tears were flowing out of my eyes. Ozzie was looking at me with this sense that he had done something big. He had no idea how big though. Art had been my dream. Him and Jonah had helped me get to that dream.
I could hardly talk, "Ozzie...thank you...you don't know what this means. Ozzie you--- "
"Stop crying and go find your boyfriend," Ozzie stated, "You fucking drama queen..."
He gave me one last hug.
He whispered something in my ear. He told me he loved me. It was rare to find a friend that stuck with you through thick and thin. Him and I were not always on the same page but when it came down to it...Ozzie WAS my best friend. It wasn't about the things that hurt you that they did. He did care too much about fitting in. He was a little man crazy. But he was my best friend and I loved him.
I continued walking through the room being talked to. I really didn't want to talk to anyone though. I wanted to find Jonah. I couldn't find him anywhere though. He had completely disappeared again. As I walked more through the room of faces all I could think about was how I wanted to thank Jonah.
"Where's Jonah?" I asked Pristine.
He had disappeared.
worry. He's right outside on the
balcony. He wanted me to send you out..."
I turned around to see Adrian.
He looked fucking handsome as usual. The kid knew he was damn handsome. He had on a tuxedo and everything. He looked like something off the pages of GQ. I didn't understand why Adrian wasn't a model and was wasting his time in school.
"Ok...it's nice seeing you Adrian."
"It's nice seeing you too," he stated, "You know I still always love you..."
`I know. Jonah was it. He's the better man. I can handle that," Adrian stated, "I got you a necklace though for your birthday. To remember me by..."
"Adrian...you didn't have to do this."
"I know I wanted to. You made me comfortable with myself. The moment I admitted to everyone that I was in love with you is the moment that I realized that I loved myself," Adrian said, "Turn around."
The necklace was manly one that was studded with diamonds. It looked expensive as hell though. I was kind of scared to ask how much he had spent on it.
"Thanks...I heard what you did for Jonah and Ozzie. You flew Jonah to New York."
"Yeah. It was after I confronted you about it though. They were having trouble getting him out there and reached out to me. I think at that point I realized that I didn't stand a chance. The guy wasn't leaving you. I was wrong. He was doing what he was doing for love. At that point I actually started to like him."
I rolled my eyes at Adrian liking Jonah. Adrian HATED Jonah.
"Yeah, believe it or not," Adrian said laughing, "He's a good guy to me. That's the reason that Aaryn and I are taking on his idea. When the school opens back up we will be leading the Anti-bully program."
"Aaryn? Yeah right."
Adrian shook his head, "Serious. She's over there. It'll be called the Jackson Hill Anti-Bully Center. Jonah actually came up with the idea. Aaryn would have came over here but you know...she thinks you hate her."
Aaryn was on the other side of the room. She was just staring, shyly. She had been really quiet since the shooting.
I waved at her and she smiled back. It was quaint. I had never thought of myself as forgiving her for pushing Lauren to do what Lauren did. But it was up to Aaryn to forgive herself first. Her being a part of this center for anti-bullying was a step towards redemption. She had a long path but the least that I could do was give her a wave and a smile for now to let her know that it was appreciated.
Jonah had a part in even this. He had managed to help change the monster.
I couldn't believe it, "I guess people change."
"They do...but not you though huh?" he stated.
"What you mean?"
"You won't change. It'll always be Jonah," Adrian stated, "I could talk shit on him, try to get him arrested and try to seduce you but it won't matter. It'll always be him won't it? I can't lie kid...it hurts. Even though I like the boy now, I'd still prefer it to me. I could treat you...so fucking good kid. I know that now. I want to give you what you wanted from me. I want to give you love and a relationship. It made me hate him once because I wanted to be him SO bad. But me promising that to you won't matter now. I'm too late..."
"Yes. It's Jonah. It always has been."
It always will be.
Adrian smiled surprisingly, "C`mon. Let's go get your boyfriend."
He held my hand and led me through the crowd. It was crazy seeing Adrian comfortable enough in his own skin to actually hold another man's hand in public. He was acting a lot like Jonah. I watched him closely as he led me through the crowd. If Adrian had been like this the whole time things would have definitely been different. I wouldn't have fallen in love with Jonah. I knew that now.
But everything happened for a reason and Adrian was right. It was Jonah. It had always been Jonah.
Adrian led me to the patio. It was a beautiful day outside. It was almost though God was smiling on me as I went outside. By far this had been the greatest birthday of my life. I had inherited money, was getting my art showcased at a major art museum and had made amends with everyone who had done wrong in my life. There on the patio was my angel.
My angel Jonah.
Adrian stepped forward and looked at Jonah, "Take care of him man. Because if you don't I will..."
Jonah smiled, "I will always take care of him."
Adrian and Jonah shook hands at that moment. Adrian gave me one look before he went back in. This one last look of longing.
Then it was me and Adrian out there.
I gave Jonah a strong look. He was leaning over the balcony. He looked like some sort of angel leaning over the balcony. He looked like he was just about to take off and start flying. He gave me a smile and even smiled with those beautiful eyes of yours.
"You look happy," he stated, "Nice necklace...did he..."
"Yeah Adrian gave it to me," I stated, "I got a lot of other things too though. Seems like you were involved in all of it...in one way or another..."
"I don't know what you mean," he said laughing.
"Oh you don't," I said going up behind him and grabbing him from the back.
I buried my head in his back and I felt so comfortable there. The smell of cinnamon filled my nose. Damn I was in love with this dude. How the FUCK could you fall for someone so hard?
pack. Our plane for the mountains is
going to come."
I smiled and turned around, "Ok, give me ten minutes."
Just as I turned to walk away he called me back.
"There's one more thing."
I turned around to him but realized he wasn't on my eye level anymore. Jonah was on one knee. He had an open box and in it was a ring. It was beautiful.
"I disappeared so much because I wanted to find myself. What I didn't realize was that I didn't find myself until I met you. I love you. In this box is a promise that I will love you forever. In this box is a promise that I will never leave you alone. Don't you see now I want to go to the mountains with you. I want to reach the horizon with you. I want to go high with you. You already take me to the clouds Quashie."
"Jonah...my heart is beating so fast. I'm not perfect man. Are you sure? I know there's things about me that you want to change. I'm weak. I'm insecure. This whole time I just wanted Comfort but you've been here all along haven't you. "
His eyes looked up at me. We connected.
"The only thing I want to change is your last name," he said, "I want you to be Quashie Hill.
"I'm scared Jonah. I'm scared I don't deserve you..."
"When Cleopatra's Mark Antony was dead her charmain came to him and said be comforted, dear madam. And she stated `No, I will not. All strange and terrible events are welcome, but Comforts We Despise. Do you know what that means? I've lived by it all my life. Let the strange and uncomfortable things take hold off of you. Fall in love Quashie. Fall in love kicking and screaming. That's the only time it means anything."
"Will you marry me Quashie?"