A/N: I'm sorry my chapters are crazy long, but I'm actually in love with this story! So much hurt and hearfelt that actually got me teary eyed, I'm just hapy that you guys are even bothering to read it. But I hope I don't bore you or anything. Also, I don't think I edited this chapter so pardon my horrible grammer. Enjoy!
I stood out in the balcony around six in the morning. I couldn't get to sleep, I never could around the anniversary of Cory's death. It always took me back to eleven years ago when I could've done something to prevent Cory's death. I was always filled with self-loathing. I should have told him what he wanted to hear regardless what I felt or not. If I told him he would still be alive today.
"At least I now know why you're always so down around this time of year" Nate said standing beside me.
"Why aren't you in bed?"
"The same to you."
I sighed leaning against the railing. "I needed to cool off."
"Why haven't you ever told me about Cory until today?"
"I don't know, something I wanted to deal with myself, or maybe I wanted to tell you at the right moment. I don't have an answer for that."
"It's not your fault, Jason, you know that right?"
"Yes, I know" I nodded, "but I can't help but think that just maybe, it might've been different if I just said it."
"Yeah, maybe, but also he might've still hung himself even if you did tell him you loved him. Did you ever think about that?"
"No, no I didn't."
Nate wrapped an arm around my waist. "You were only fifteen and he was your first. You didn't know, so quit beating yourself up."
"Yeah, you're right. Thank you babe, you always know what to say." I kissed his lips lightly and Nate held me tightly.
"Let's get back inside. It's freezing."
Later that day the three of us met up with Kenny for breakfast and then we made our way to Ana's house.
"It's good to be back here" I smiled up at the cute yellow dollhouse.
I rang the doorbell and a woman in her mid-forties answered the door.
"Jason!" The woman squealed, she hugged me tightly, "oh my baby boy! You have grown so much! Nate it's so nice to see you again, and this must be the Cassie you mentioned in your letters. Aren't you a darling? Come in, come in!"
We followed Ana into the kitchen where she had a fresh batch of brownies and cookies all ready.
"It's been nine years since I've last seen you Jason" Ana said giving Cassie a glass of milk and plate full of brownies. "Tell me, how've you been?"
"I've been doing amazing, thank you, I've been studying to become a surgeon and I'm almost there."
"Can I ask why you even went to Medical school?" Kenny asked.
"I really liked science and math when I was younger, and I also liked taking care of the younger kids here so why not become a doctor?"
"Me, I'm not into the cutting open business" said Nate, "I'll remain a Paramedic."
"I'm in second grade!" Cassie said, "we went to the zoo last week and I saw a hippomotamus!"
"its hippopotamus, Cassie and you got brownie all over your face" I wiped her mouth with a napkin.
"Aren't you all Fatherly?" Kenny said.
"Yeah, it's called growing up, something you still need to do."
"Nah, nah. Growing up isn't my forte, I'm a six year old at heart."
"You're going to be marrying Josie next year Kenny" said Ana, "you're going to have to grow up."
"I'll grow up then."
"So how are you Jason?" Ana looked at me worriedly, "yesterday was the anniversary."
I shrugged. "It's still hard, even after eleven years I still have that guilty conscious."
"We've been telling you for years it's not your fault."
"I know it's not my fault, it was his decision and he wanted to do it, but I still feel like I could've handled the situation differently. I mean if it wasn't for you I think I would've ended up like those angry foster kids."
"You're going to another foster home Jason" Don said as he sat me down at the dining table, it's still in the area but I think It's best to get out of here."
I didn't retaliate, I could really care less, I don't care about anything. Nothing mattered after Christian killed himself and Kenny got adopted. I was alone, nobody to talk to, nobody to help me get through this awful month. I hated my life, I hated everything about my life. The parent that didn't want me, the people who left me. I hated it! Nobody cares how I feel, nobody cares what I'm going through. Nobody cares about me.
"You better start packing, you're leaving today."
I stood up and walked up to my room. I grabbed my duffle bag that I used for my baseball stuff back in middle school. I didn't care that I was going to another foster home, I didn't like this place anymore. Christian has been here before. I kissed him in here, we had our first argument out on the front porch, and it was the last time I saw him.
I took a deep breath to keep from crying. Stop thinking about him, just stop.
The house also seemed so quiet without Kenny, he doesn't burst in my room anymore and drag me someplace. He doesn't coming running down the stairs screaming for bacon in the morning. I haven't heard anybody crack up from one of his jokes. And I haven't fallen victim from one of his back break hugs. It's really lonely here, I can't wait to leave.
I walked down the stairs with my duffle bag and backpack. "I'm ready."
"Alright, I'm going to take you."
I put my bags in the trunk and sat up front with Don.
"Your new home is still in the area so you'll still be going to the same High School" Don said as he drove through town. "Her name is Ana, your new Foster Mom. And she's a really sweet lady. I'm sure you'll like her."
I stared out the window.
"I told her about the situation so she won't be left in the dark. So go easy on her."
I don't care.
A few minutes we stopped in front of a bright yellow house, it had green grass, and roses along the front of the pure white fence. It was so cute it was almost sickening.
"This is the place" Don said getting my bags.
No freaking dur.
We walked up the front porch and rang the doorbell.
A women with wavy brown hair and a beautiful face answered. "You must be Jason!" She said in a cheerful voice, it's so nice to meet you! Come in! Come in!"
We stepped inside the house and I immediately smelled homemade cookies. My mouth started watering and I looked around for the source of the smell.
"Would you boys like a cookie? It's chocolate chip." Ana led us into the kitchen and handed Don and I a cookie.
I bit into mine and it instantly melted in my mouth, it took so much to keep from drooling. This was the best cookie I have ever had!
"Did you make this from scratch?" Don asked.
"Yes" Ana smiled, "another?" She gestured to the tray.
"Yes please" Don took another cookie.
"So Jason, Don has told me about your tragedy and I want to tell you that I'm extremely sorry for your loss. It must have been traumatizing."
I nodded taking interest in the floor.
"But don't worry, if you ever need to talk I'm here and there are four other kids here. So you're not alone.
No, I'm very much alone.
She showed me to my room and I began to unpack my things. It was until she spoke when I realized she was watching me.
"Jason, can you tell me more about Cory so I can get a better understanding of the matter?"
"He was my boyfriend" I said putting my clothes in my drawer, "my first, he had a horrible home life, and all he wanted was somebody to love him. When he came out to his parents they kicked him out and came to me. He wanted to me to tell him I loved him. But I didn't, I just didn't feel that way about him. And when I didn't say anything I left. The next day the police came and told me he hung himself in the park. It's my fault that he's dead. If I told him I loved him he would still be alive."
Ana walked into my room and held my shoulders so I would stay in one place. "Jason it's not your fault, if there are anybody to blame it would be Cory's parents. It's their fault that they pushed him as far as to do suicide. And from the sound of it he was planning to kill himself whether or not you told if you loved him or not. You couldn't stop him." She cupped my chin and tilted my head so I was looking her in the eye. "It's not your fault, you didn't know." She gave me a warm smile and pulled me into a hug.
She was so warm, and the hug felt so loving, so understanding. She held me like a Mother would do with a crying child. And I couldn't help but wrap my arms around her and start crying. I cried and I cried and I cried. I haven't cried so much in so long. It felt nice.
When I finished crying Ana gave me a glass of milk and some cookies. I took them, she told me to finish unpacking then to rest. I didn't want to rest so I gave myself a tour of my new home. I found a Treehouse out in the backyard. I climbed up the ladder and looked around. It was pretty spacious, it was like a clubhouse, it seemed like it wasn't really in use. I jumped back down to the ground and went into the kitchen hoping there was still some of Ana's amazing cookies left. There wasn't. I figured, they were extremely good. So I went back in my room and finished unpacking the rest of my stuff.
I turned to see a boy around my age standing in my doorway. He had shaggy chestnut colored hair. Light brown eyes with freckles across his nose. He smiled at me and dimples appeared on both his cheeks.
"Hey" I nodded at him.
"I know, Ana told us. She also told us that you had some tragedy happen recently and wanted us to be nice."
"Are you guys usually not nice?"
Alan smirked. "Some of us, like Sarah and Chelsea, those two are real bitches. Don't expect any compassion from those two, especially when they learn that you're gay."
I stared at him. "How do you know that I'm gay?"
"Well, she said that a "special" friend of yours killed himself, and it kind of tipped me off that it might've been a boyfriend. Also from one gay man to another, I can tell when somebody is gay."
"And don't worry, I'm going not to try to move in on you, considering you just lost someone. Or any time in that matter. You're not my type."
"Thanks, I think."
"No prob. You need help unpacking?"
"No, I'm done" I put my duffle bag in my closet. "I'll see you around." I walked past him.
"Where're you going?"
"Meeting up with a friend of mine" I descended the stairs and walked to mine and Kenny's favorite café.
"Hey" I said sitting across from him.
"How're you holding up?" He asked.
I shrugged. "I got moved to another Foster Home today."
"It's not that bad, my new Foster Mom makes the most amazing cookies."
"How are your new parents?"
"They're cool, I have two younger siblings. Mira and Ian, they're twins. I have a double bed and I have a bathroom of my own. It's really cool. You should come over, or stay the night, that way it will be like old times."
"Except we're not living together."
"No, we're not, but back to my previous question. Are you okay?"
"I'm depressed, I'm tired, I haven't slept I can't eat and I just want to shrivel up and turn into dust."
"That bad huh?"
"Yeah" I stared out the window glumly, "I feel awful, everything is my fault." I put my head in my arms.
"Nothing is your fault" Kenny squeezed my arm, you could've told him you loved him and continue to lie to him and to yourself for the rest of your life. And when he finds out that you've been lying it still would've went down the same way."
I raised my head. "Yeah, you're right."
"Of course I'm right! When am I not right?"
"All the time."
We both laughed.
"Come over, yeah?"
"Alright" I nodded.
We walked back to Kenny's new home, it was a nice blue two story house, with a beautiful front yard. When we walked in his new Mom greeted us.
"Kenny, you're back! Who's your friend?"
"You met him before, at the open house, this is Jason. It's alright if he hangs out right?"
"No problem, I'll make you boys some snacks."
We climbed the stairs to his room, it's a lot bigger than my room I'll give him that.
"It feels weird not having you pick up after me" he said.
"You're fifteen Kenny, you should pick up after yourself."
"Nah, my Mom does that for me."
"She seems nice, yeah, she's really nice. And the twins are cool too."
"How old are they?"
"Thirteen, they're also adopted, they couldn't have kids of their own."
"Oh, that's sad."
"Yeah, I still wish they adopted you along with me. We would've been brothers."
I smiled. "We're already brothers, we've been together since we were six. We are family, whether by blood or not. We're brothers."
Kenny nodded. "You're right."
"Ana taught me how to channel my feelings through cooking" I said, "she taught me how make eggs the proper way, she taught me how to make the blueberry pancakes that you love so much" I tapped Cassie's nose and she giggled sitting on my lap. "And she taught me how to make these melt-in-your-mouth cookies. But hers were always better."
"Thank you for teaching Jason to be an amazing cook" Nate said taking Ana's hands, "his cooking is amazing!"
"I taught him how to cook with love" Ana smiled.
"It was also Ana who helped you get over Cory" said Kenny, "she made you realize that Cory's death wasn't your fault."
"Yeah, she did."
"Then Christian came around."
"He was the most handsome boy I've ever seen" said Ana, "have you talked to him lately?"
"No, when he moved he didn't give me any of his contact information."
"I heard he's come back to visit."
"Yeah, that's what Kenny told me."
"Are you going to tell me who Christian is?"
"My first love."
"The one that got away" Kenny added.
"But he's another story, one that I really don't want to get into."
"He broke his heart!" Said Ana.
"I wanted to beat the guy senseless."
"He just wanted to live out his dream guys" I said, "I just wasn't part of it, and that's okay. I met Nate and he's the best thing that has ever happened to me." I wrapped and arm around his waist. "I was able to find happiness again."
"You went through so much hardship" said Nate, you were in and out of Foster homes, your first boyfriend killed himself, Kenny got adopted at the worst time and left you alone, your second boyfriend broke your heart, but you still turned out sane."
"I had Ana and I still had Kenny, if it wasn't for them I don't think I would be here."
"Thank God for you two."
We hung with Ana for a few more hours until her Foster kids came home from school. Kenny had to get home and the three of us went back to the hotel.
"Go take your bath Princess" I said giving Cassie her clothes.
"Okay" she ran into the bathroom and closed the door.
I joined Nate on the bed and he snuggled closer to me.
"I like it here" he said.
He nodded. "I'm finding out so much about you that you haven't told me before."
"Some memories I want to keep locked away" I said tangling my fingers with his.
I nodded. Other memories "I'm trying to suppress, like Christian."
"Did you love him?"
"I loved him with all my heart, and he loved me. I really thought we might have a future together, but he had these huge dreams he wanted to fulfill, but that involved no distractions. So after we both graduated we broke, he moved away taking my heart with him. I promised to never fall in love again. But then I met you and you changed everything."
Nate smiled caressing my cheek with the back of his hand. "I love you so much Jason" he said, "I wished we met earlier so I could've been there for you when you were having such a hard time."
I kissed him. "That would've been nice, if we met everything would have been different. I wouldn't have been filled with so much hurt and anger." I kissed him again, I wouldn't have been filled with abandonment and angst. I would have been filled with love, and compassion. Happiness and peace. Like I feel now. I love you so, so much also, Nate. You are my everything and you made my life worth living." I held him close and kissed him passionately.
"Jason" Nate put a hand on my chest to stop me, "Cassie is in the bathroom."
"Mmm, I know" I said into his neck, but I pulled away. "When we get home."
"When we get home."