The Journey of Jacob and Kyle
by Andrew Davis

 

Chapter 17: This Cold Heart (Cont.)
Time line: Monday

Kyle was beside himself with emotion. He felt deeply moved by Amanda and the candor in which she easily brushed off his accidental touch and made it appear as if it wasn’t a big deal after all. This was a special moment in Kyle’s mind, a moment of reckoning to all the naysayers who said he would never amount to anything, have any friends, and specifically never have a friend of the female persuasion. This in and of itself was something that profoundly affected him, particularly after spending these many years on God’s green earth and never managing to come across someone as significant as her.

Even after carefully analyzing his thoughts, his mind began to wander towards Amanda and the golden locks that rested firmly upon her head. It was in this moment that he began to see what had made her so special. She was unique in every aspect of the word and filled with a glow that emanated from deep within her skin, which could clearly be seen by a boy who had nothing but the utmost admiration for her.

Even though her beauty was already self-evident by most of her peers. This wasn’t something that was normally seen through one’s naked eye, but with Kyle’s new insights, he managed to see something that was far deeper, far more profound; a beauty that was only seen through one’s own heart.

In that instant, he felt as if a light had gone off in his head, as if he’d been struck by a lightning bolt; an epiphany had entered his mind, and in that second everything about Amanda became even clearer within his brain. She was no longer just a blonde-haired-girl who just happened to enter their lives like some mystical accident, because she was neither an accident nor some whim of fate; she was like a knight of valor who stood freely on guard before them, ready to strike and defend for what was righteous and true. Because of this simple fact, Kyle considered her something of a legend, like a Joan of Arc, and even after everything had been said and done between them, past and present, she ultimately stood for what he perceived as someone special, loyal, and most of all, a true lifelong friend.

Kyle continued to allow his mind to ponder, reason, and confirm what was already present in front of his face. He analyzed every whim of his thoughts and finally, let out a breath and took a fresh huff of air into his lungs. He then smiled towards Amanda. `Maybe there’s more to these Christians than meets the eye,’ he entertained in thought, while reaching for her hand.

Amanda turned her head and glared at Kyle. She didn’t expect this sudden show of affection, let alone her hand being rubbed in this gentle manner, especially without reason or provocation. Nevertheless, she smiled and repaid his kind gesture by firmly squeezing his hand back in return. “So, what was that for?” she whispered, still holding firmly onto Kyle’s hand.

Kyle felt as his emotions took hold and changed from being overjoyed to something that was different; a feeling of unease. Kyle then looked ahead to see where Jacob was, noticing he still had the lead by twenty feet, and quickly allowed his attention to return to Amanda. He couldn’t help but smile as he stared deep into her soul, he didn’t know why she was affecting him like this, but all he could do was rub his fingers against hers and feel every subtle imprint of her hand. “Why are you so special Amanda?” he questioned in a low voice, his smile widening even more across his face. “Are you some sort of angel? Maybe, even possibly, one that’s been sent by God above … to maybe help guide us lost souls?”

Amanda could see in Kyle’s face that he was speaking in the utmost seriousness of tone, but no matter how hard she tried to battle a fit of giggles, she couldn’t hold back the laughter, sending herself into a fit of cackles and snorts. This caused some unwanted attention by Jacob who swiftly stopped dead in his tracks and tried to find out what the huge fuss was about. However, before Jacob had the chance to fully turn around, Kyle had removed his hand from Amanda’s and looked blankly towards Jacob.

“Well, would you care to let me know what this little inside joke is about? Because from where I’m standing, you’re leaving me out of this little loop of yours. So, what could possibly be going on here?” Jacob asked, while staring down Amanda and Kyle.

“It’s nothing my love, we’re just having a conversation and I guess whatever I said made her giggle. I promise.”

“Err, fine. If you say so,” Jacob snidely replied, before turning around and continuing the trek towards Kyle’s place.

Amanda allowed several seconds to pass before she returned her gaze to Kyle. She could see from his facial expression this was of the absolute most seriousness, and as such quickly composed herself and struck an awkward look back. “Oh my God, Kyle, c’mon, you can’t be serious. Don’t be so silly. I’m Amanda and only Amanda.” She stressed this by placing her hand to her hips. “But if you don’t mind me asking, why would you even ask me something like that?”

Amanda’s inquisition made Kyle question his motives, and he stopped walking altogether to gather himself. However, before Amanda had the chance to walk past him, he grabbed her by the wrist and forced her to stop, which made the gap widen between themselves and Jacob. “Well, because you’re just so … beautiful Amanda. How have you not realized this already?”

Amanda was taken aback by this comment, especially when it had come from someone who admitted he was gay, and although Amanda couldn’t find any fault in his words, she was left on her guard. “Oh, you stop that right now you cute little thing, you’re going to make me blush.”

“Well, it’s true, after all. You have to be an angel who’s been sent from heaven to be a glimmer of hope for all to see, you’re absolutely beautiful. I know I said this already, but how can you not see this?” Kyle then relocated his hand and began rubbing his thumb over Amanda’s cheek, pressing gently against her soft skin. Kyle then leaned in and kissed her on the check. “Thank you for being who you are,” he said, before moving further down her cheek for another.

Amanda felt extremely uneasy and was unnerved by this sudden affection. She knew this was something that was inappropriate and was swift in her actions in swatting Kyle away from her. “You just wait a minute mister! Boys’ like you don’t say things like that … nor do they touch a girl who’s … who’s … um, straight! So please don’t play me as some sort of fool. I can’t handle you coming onto me like this. Mind you, I would like it to happen someday, but definitely not by you, particularly since you’re with Jacob! So, with that being said, you really have me confused. Please explain yourself right this second. Tell me who the hell you think you are, some fifty-something or another trying to impress their little friend?” Amanda paused for a moment and reconsidered her words, which gave way to deeper thoughts of dismay. `Whoa! Where did that bitch face come from? Is it possible Thomas’ father has left me feeling uneasy?’ she thought, thinking ever deeper still. `Possibly … that could be it. I’ve never been thought of as a sexual object before, especially from a man who’s got to be at least twenty-to-thirty years older than me. That’s got to be it. I’m just feeling weird. This isn’t…’

Kyle felt awkward in this silence, she was just staring at him, almost through him. He couldn’t bear the feeling and looked ahead to see if Jacob had taken notice or had even heard her sudden outburst, which he came to realize he hadn’t, and thus returned his undivided attention to Amanda.

“Listen, Kyle, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said those things, but I really need you to listen to me for just a second. I believe I may have jumped the gun here a little. But, as it would seem, I really think Thomas’ father has had some affect on me; he’s gotten me really shaken up, even more so than I thought. But regardless of that, where the hell do you come up with this stuff? Are you high on drugs or something?” Amanda giggled, mostly out of nervousness, but she was serious and really wanted an answer.

“No, I don’t do drugs. I –”

“Well, are you coming onto me then?” Amanda quickly interrupted.

Kyle didn’t know what to say. Was he actually coming onto her? He really needed to search deep within himself, because at the present moment, he felt confused with how he felt and wasn’t quite sure of the implications of his words. “Hey, what the hell are you two doing, and why the fuck did I see you touching Amanda’s cheek?” Jacob demanded after realizing they had left him wandering all by his lonesome.

“It’s nothing, Jacob, seriously, we were just talking about something,” Kyle replied quickly, hoping that this wouldn’t escalate into another one of Jacob’s venomous rants.

“You’re bullshitting, right? Because that’s not what it looked like to me. So, tell me what the fuck are you two doing? Are you into her, Kyle? Huh? Does she want you too? I bet she does. You’re a sexy boy, but you’re my boyfriend! So, speak up! I dare you,” Jacob ordered as he walked towards them.

It was too late. Kyle knew that Jacob was pissed from what he had seen, and although Jacob had it all wrong, he knew there was no stopping him now.

“Jacob, no it’s not like that at all, he’s innocent. I’m telling you, he’s done nothing wrong. He was just …” Amanda stopped and glanced at Kyle for some guidance, but none came, and so she chose her next few words with caution. “He was just telling me how much he appreciates our friendship, that’s all, I promise you.”

“Wow, do you seriously expect me to believe what you’re saying? Do you somehow think that I was born yesterday? I clearly saw how you were looking at each other, and let me freaking tell you right now – I’m not one bit impressed – not even slightly. You’re just a little two-timing fuck. So, go fuck yourself. I see how you’ve tried to string me along, treated me like you loved me and now you go around trying to cheat on me, AND WITH A GIRL AT THAT! I can’t believe I let myself fall for you, I knew this was too good to be true, I just knew it. And now my life is ruined; every knows my deepest secret –”

“Holy shit, Jacob! Do you honestly believe what you’re saying? I really think you just need to calm the fuck down. First of all,” Kyle stressed in a stern tone of voice. “I would never think of cheating on you. Second of all, I love you with everything that I am, and I want us to always be together. And if I can be honest for a moment, I just got caught up with her beauty, and before you even say that I’m somehow attracted to her, this just isn’t the case. I just think the inner beauty that lives within her is something that is amazing and beautiful. Please just take a moment and look for yourself, and think of all the things she’s done to help us. I personally don’t think you could simply write that off as mere nothingness. She’s an amazing human being, don’t you agree, baby?”

“Yes, she’s amazing –” Jacob gritted through his teeth while his mind was still spinning uncontrollably before getting interrupted again.

“Good, I’m glad you agree with me. So, in that respect, that’s going to be the end of it – that’s it – that’s all, and no more. And do you know why that is, baby? Because I’m not in love with her, as somebody you might know holds a special place in my heart, and that sweet boy’s named Jacob. My precious Jakey, I love you so much. No one else in this world could keep my mind a flutter, keep this heart at hello, and be held in a place deep in my heart where my feelings are safe and guarded. Now, please cut the bullshit because it’s really, and I do mean really, starting to get on my nerves. After all, I know you better than anyone. I know you’re not the type to easily lose his cool, okay let me reword that, you’re not usually this temperamental. So, let’s just try a little harder shall we, and please just know I’m not going to leave you, and Amanda is only here to help us.”

In that moment, Jacob allowed himself to calm down and regain his focus. He then retreated deep into his mind’s eye, and planted himself behind the walls he had once built for self-preservation. He always felt safe here, in a fortress of solid stone and mortar, a place of solitude and safety. No one could hurt him here, or judge him, metaphorically speaking; it was a place of solitude and comfort for a world that meant to do him harm.

“Jacob, are you okay? You look a little glassy-eyed,” Amanda said, placing her left hand on Jacob’s elbow and her free hand around his cheek. But Jacob didn’t move, nor did he acknowledge her concerned gesture of kindness. “Honey? Are you in there somewhere?” Her concern growing more by every second that passed.

“Jacob, wake up!” Kyle demanded snapping his fingers in front of Jacob’s face. “Please stop this charade, you’re really starting to make us worry.”

Jacob growled and returned a blank stare. “What do you want? And why would it even concern you? It’s not like you just didn’t tell me `that’s it, that’s all, and no more’. So, I guess I’m going to be forced to cut you off, cut you out of my heart, out of my l –”

Amanda couldn’t believe her ears and quickly turned Jacob’s head to face her. “Are you being serious right now?” Amanda cut in, getting up into Jacob’s face. “You’re really just going to throw all of this away after everything you’ve worked for?” Amanda paused and waited for any form of response, but before Jacob could even mutter even one syllable, she went back at it. “Actually, have you lost your fucking mind? No, really, have you?”

Jacob narrowed his eyes, as if looking into the sun, and gave Amanda the vilest face he could muster. He was disgusted at her bravery, the gall. How could she talk to him like that? There was no holding back his words now, and Kyle felt the venom was about to pour out. His shoulders rose and his fists began to clench. “And who the hell do you think you are talking to me like that? No, really, who do you think you are? Have I lost my mind? No. Have you lost yours? I’m bigger than you and I could –”

“Who do I think I am? Really? You honestly think I need to answer that? I’m your friend that’s who, and let me tell you right now, I’m not going to stand by and watch as you push the people who love and care about you away – I won’t let it happen – so check the attitude at the door and smarten the hell up!”

“Hmmm. Well, let me ask you something. Did you honestly think you could just get up in my face and get away with it? You’re nothing but a stupid little C#–”

Amanda didn’t allow Jacob to finish his sentence, she couldn’t, and wouldn’t allow her ears to hear that vile word. Cunt of all words. How could he, and without any thought in her mind, she reacted with her arm raised and slapped Jacob clear across the cheek. “DON’T YOU DARE! How could you even say that about me? I can’t believe you right now.” She turned to Kyle. “I’m really sorry, Kyle, but I won’t put up with this abuse, not from him, not from you, not from anyone.” Amanda directed her attention back on Jacob, stared deep into his eyes and lost all of her composure. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she tried to look into Jacob’s soul. She pleaded and almost begged that the God above would give her words of wisdom and words of hope.

“You really need to get ahold of yourself, mister, this is leading down a road of destruction that will not have a good ending. But let me tell you one thing. People who are hurt, hurt people and I can see clearly that you’re hurting. I just wish that you could see that I’m the real deal, and I’m truly genuine to the core. My only desire is to help you, but clearly, you’re not in the right frame of mind, so until then, I wish you all the best. Really, I do mean that with all of my heart,” Amanda stated, while continuing to let the tears rain down her cheeks from being hurt so badly by someone she truly cared about.

Kyle couldn’t believe this was transpiring in front him. He couldn’t possibly allow Amanda to just walk away. He wouldn’t have it. “Amanda, wait, please don’t go. Just wait one second,” Kyle begged, attempting to grab her by the hand once more. “Listen, Jacob, I don’t want you to cut me out of your heart. I would literally kill myself if you did, and I surely can’t allow you to just let Amanda merely walk away like this, so please just say you’re sorry, Jacob, and mean it, PLEASE! It’s the very least you can do considering how you’ve been treating us today and how you’re trying to block us all out. But again, I know you better than she does, and I know that in just a few minutes you’re going to drop those walls of yours and feel sorry for your actions, so until that time comes, we’re just going to stand here looking like idiots.”

“Well guess what, I’m not sorry, not even slightly. She fucking hit me, Kyle!” Jacob gritted through his teeth, all the while forcefully pushing Kyle away.

Kyle had heard enough of this venom, and it almost broke the camel’s back. “OKAY, THAT’S IT! FIRST OFF, YOU FUCKING DESERVED IT! AND LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING MY LITTLE DEAREST – I HOPE IT STILL STINGS BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT?” Kyle had lost his normal tranquility and laid right into Jacob. “MAYBE THAT’S WHAT YOU NEEDED TO KICK YOU OUT OF THAT FUCKING VENOMOUS STATE YOU’VE BEEN IN TODAY. AND YOU KNOW WHAT? I’M GLAD SHE HIT YOU, I’M GLAD SHE HAD THE GUTS TO FUCKING PUT YOU IN YOUR PLACE. YOU NEEDED IT, SO PLEASE JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP AND SIT YOUR ASS DOWN!”

Jacob felt in his heart that Kyle was right, and he was acting rather irrational, but the irrational part of his mind was reeling and spreading its venom further and calling all their claims as lies and deceit. But even still that didn’t stop the stinging on his cheek. And although he knew he was in the wrong, he let out a growl, and tried to allow himself to relax. “I’m still pissed though, Kyle. I can’t believe you let her hit me, and don’t try and tell me you couldn’t have stopped her.” Jacob now looked towards Amanda and grabbed her wrist. “My only word of advice for you is to never try that again. Ever!”

“Stop it, you’re hurting me.”

Kyle needed no other indication, he could see that Jacob was being rough and was hurting Amanda. It didn’t take long for Kyle to take action; he was quick just like Amanda had been and broke Jacob’s grasp and further laid into him. “WHAT DID I SAY? SIT YOUR FUCKING ASS DOWN ON THE CURB AND DON’T MAKE ME TELL YOU AGAIN! BECAUSE THAT STINGING FEELING YOU FEEL ON CHEEK WILL SOON BE THE VERY LEAST OF YOUR WORRIES!”

“Are you threating me, Kyle?” Jacob said in shock. In spite of everything, and all Kyle had said, he never expected this sort of response from the boy he loved, the true love of his life. Although he wouldn’t freely admit it at present, as he was still firmly behind his walls, he stepped several feet away from Amanda and sat down on the curb to cool off, allowing the chance for his feverish temper to flee from him. Soon his walls started to crumble and his emotional state of mind settled, letting his true set of emotions seep through as he started to relax and gently control his breathing.

***

After Sarah had taken a cold shower, made a sandwich for lunch, and finished reading the final chapter of her book, she sat up from the couch and looked at the coffee table where a DVD rested, entitled `Prayers for Bobby’. She scoffed at the title and pondered the significance of such a title, let alone why Bill would have her to watch it. Somehow though, she felt as if the cover stared back towards her, like a laser-pointer accusing her for all the horrible things she’d done. This made her feel uneasy and she didn’t like that, so she threw it across the room, where it hit the pearl-colored wall and landed on the floor.

“That son of a bitch! He knew this was going to happen. So, why would he even bring it over?” She questioned this mostly to herself, staring where the case landed in the corner. She glared at it even more begrudgingly, almost as if it were a gun pointed at her head. But was it really a weapon to be used against her? She didn’t know for sure, but what was unbeknownst to her conscious mind, a crack had started to form as it penetrated deep within her fortress, which lead to thoughts of actually watching the film just to appease Bill. After all, some of the things Bill had pointed out had been those of absolute facts. She had, at one point and time in her life, promised she would always be there for the boys. She’d meant those words, but things had changed in those respects. But, all that was left was a mind to reason with, a mind to ruffle through old thoughts, and to contemplate her next course of action.

***

Jacob had since fallen silent and found solace within his own walls. His eyes subconsciously stared down at the ground below, looking at the blackened tarmac that was Temples Road. Kyle was off to his right and Amanda to his left, and he was feeling a little cramped by their somewhat close proximity. But, he had nowhere to go, and no place to hide his shame from what he now understood was his inexcusable actions. Deep down he could feel their eyes piercing through him, like a hot poker forcefully burning him through his skin, but he knew he deserved this type of attention. He really disliked this feeling and was quick to respond. “Can you both stop looking at me. You’re making me feel really uncomfortable.” For the most part, he began to realize the rage that had blinded him had since begun to recede and dissipate into the blowing wind, like some pile of freshly raked leaves. He was no longer red-faced, like some warmonger that was ready to strike, his posture had settled almost into a slouch, and his eyes beamed down into the gutter which is what he truly felt like; a drain that merely gathered scum. He was scum, the lowest lifeform on this planet Earth.

 

After experiencing fifteen minutes of grueling silence and the occasional car driving past, Kyle reached for Jacob’s hand. “How are you feeling, baby? Are you ready to apologize to Amanda? I know you probably don’t think she deserves one for whatever reason or another, but I think you know that you need to,” Kyle said softly as he slightly tightened his grip around Jacob’s hand. “I love you, and I don’t want anything to ever come between us. But, as I’m sure you know, we won’t be going anywhere until you make a full apology. Plus, you and I both know that boys or men should never intentionally hurt a girl. And I’m sorry to say this, but if that’s a problem then I think you just need to go home.”

Jacob understood and promptly adjusted his posture and faced Amanda, all the while looking between the gutter and her as his eyed filled with a salty liquid that fell down his cheeks. The wall he was hiding behind shattered even further and crumbled, after realizing that he was hurt too and because of such things, was lashing out. “I’m truly sorry, Amanda, I honestly don’t know what’s gotten into me. Can you please find it in your heart to forgive an egotistical jerk like me?” He sniffled a few times with tears still pouring down his face, while wringing his hands in disgust with himself.

Amanda felt touched by such a heartfelt apology, for she could see his emotional distress and quickly wrapped her arms around Jacob’s Neck. “It’s okay, Jacob, I forgive you, but using your words, never do that again. So please don’t cry. I know I can never understand what you’ve gone through, or are going through, but I’ll stand by you with all of my being and I’ll try to guide and help you wherever needed, just please never forget that. I only want you and Kyle to be my friends. Just remember I’m not like most you’ve met; I’m not here to hurt you. You can confide in me your deepest and darkest secrets, and I would take them to the grave. I promise you that, I’ve got your back, always, and forever.”

Jacob began to form a smile as he looked into Amanda’s eyes. He never expected to receive such a compassionate response, nor did he expect it to be so truly loving and earnest. “I know I don’t deserve a real friend like you, but nonetheless, I’m extremely grateful.” Jacob gave a heartfelt hug and embraced her with the love in his heart, just as if she was the sister he never had.

“Good job, Jakey, I’m very proud of you, but now that that’s settled, shall we get going then? After all, I WANT TO SEE YOUR ROOM KYLE!” Amanda proclaimed joyfully as her excitement overflowed from within, feeling overjoyed that this most troublesome event was now clearly behind them.

Kyle gave a nod in reply, got himself up from the curb, and began walking the final two blocks towards his house. As they got closer and closer to Kyle’s house, Amanda became more uneasy, and when Kyle finally walked up the cobblestoned walkway, she froze and looked at Kyle in shock. After all, she’d already questioned the location where they were walking to and now; it was her form of truth.

“Mom, I’m home,” Kyle announced, his hand still resting firmly around the doorknob. With the darkness as their only company, they removed their shoes and stood awkwardly in the hall. Off in the distance, Kyle could hear the clanging of pots and pans and he knew exactly where his mother was and headed towards the kitchen.

“Hey Mom, I’m home, and I brought Jacob and our friend Amanda over for dinner. I hope that’s okay with you. You know being unexpected and all,” he announced, before taking notice that his mother had baked some cookies that were resting on top of the stove. “Oh, you made more cookies? Oh boy!”

“Yes, baby, err … Kyle. That’s fine. And of course, I made cookies, it’s Tuesday after all.”

“Okay, good because we’ve got some plans for tonight.”

“Well, why don’t you all come and get some cookies and you all can just head off to do whatever you have planned for the night, but make sure not to eat too many before dinner,” Michelle said, all the while scanning Kyle and Jacob and stopping on Amanda. She easily noticed that Amanda was a pretty girl and thought she seemed out of place, knowing her son was gay, but nevertheless, she knew Amanda was a thing of beauty, regardless if Kyle was attracted to her or not. “Well, honey, I hope you have fun. I love you.”

Kyle walked up to his mother, gave her a hug and whispered into her ear. “I love you too, Mommy. I’ll always be your little boy, and it’s okay that you use those pet names for me, I don’t really mind most of the time. And I want you to know that no matter what, I’ll always love you. Also, you’re really a sneaky one, you know that? You and I both know you never bake cookies on Tuesdays, but thanks for the gesture.” Kyle smiled, an insightful hint to his mother’s intuition. “You’re the best mother I could have ever asked for.”

Michelle smiled and offered the sheet of cookies to everyone. “Are those oatmeal cookies?” Jacob asked, reaching for the amber circlet.

“They are indeed, there’s also peanut butter, and chocolate chip. Go ahead and take as many as you’d like, darling.”

Jacob smiled, Amanda giggled, and Kyle rolled his eyes. “Mom, you can be such a dork sometimes. But I love you just the same.”

After offering some milk to go along with the cookies and everyone having their fill, Kyle made the suggestion that they head up to his room for their time alone from his watchful mother. “Okay Mom, we’re off for now.”

“Okay, baby, have fun.”

Now with his mother’s affirmation and acceptance, Kyle darted for the stairs with Amanda and Jacob following closely behind. Kyle’s pearly white door swung open, and he jumped onto his bed, posing ever so elegantly over his cotton comforter. He leaned his head against his open hand and waited for everyone to enter. “TADA!” Kyle ever so eloquently screamed when Jacob and Amanda entered.

“Tada? Tada what? That you ran ahead of us and that we needed to find which door you entered through? Using only your light as our guide? How is that tada?” Jacob asked, every so playfully. “I mean, you know, you do look very sexy, and you know I can’t simply dismiss how sexy you look right now, you little sexy boy.”

Amanda gave a tap to Jacob’s shoulder. “Save the mushy stuff for later.” She laughed. “I love it, Kyle, this is almost what I expected. Except … that closet seems out of place. I expected it over there…”

“Over there? Why?” Kyle questioned.

“I don’t know, I just did. I never said I was a visionary. Although, I’d like to be. HA!”

“You’re a funny one you know that?” Jacob said, returning Amanda’s tap. “But don’t worry, this is my first time in his room as well. I think it’s interesting too.” Jacob then sat himself down onto the bed. “So, what shall we do now, baby? Should we make out?”

“Um, no. Amanda’s here, so we’ll save that for later, baby cakes.”

Jacob smiled, knowing Kyle’s word was his bond and instantly let it fall to the wayside to concentrate on more important matters. “So, what are we going to do then?”

“Well, would now be a good time to show you that video I was telling you all about, Kyle?”

“I think it’s the best time as any, Amanda. Just give me a second to log in to my laptop and then it’ll be all yours,” he said with a smile, moving off the bed and towards his desk. He didn’t wait to mince words and quickly logged himself in, and moved towards the closet door, which was currently ajar, and closed it in a panic.

“Everything okay, baby? You look a little off,” Jacob asked, taking full notice of the fear currently emanated from his beloved’s eyes.

“Yeah, everything’s just peachy. Don’t worry.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, fine. Now drop it please.”

“Okay, I found it. It’s a video from a public hearing, I think. The boy that’s speaking is named Graeme, he’s a boy like you, he’s gay and he’s trying to defend a teacher who stood up to a bully, the bully was taunting a gay student of his. It’s amazing if you ask me! Now watch what he has to say.” Amanda was delighted to find what she sought. She knew this was relevant to the recent events in Jacob’s life, at least in some respects when it came to Thomas’ comments. And with a little pizzazz in her fingertips, she quickly hit the play button and watched as the boy spoke from his heart.

Jacob listened with every aspect of his being, listening to every little syllable from this boy whom he quickly came to admire. It was a heartfelt moment for Jacob and for the first time in his life, he knew that what this boy was speaking was the absolute truth. This boy was confident in his words, and it gave Jacob a hope for the future. But as he listened and his legs kicked off from the side of the bed, he inadvertently kicked something off the tip of his toes. His eyes quickly darted down and found a black leather-bound book that rested firmly at his feet. In a moment of looking to the computer and back down again, he quickly picked it up and opened the first page; it was old and faded and it held the thoughts of whom he suspected was Kyle.

It didn’t take Jacob long to realize that this was a holy grail. It was one of Kyle’s own personal thoughts. A journal of sorts, a memoir of times gone past, and within that moment he contemplated closing it. After all, it was something personal, something that shouldn’t be read without being so freely shared. It was as if it were forbidden by a moral compass, something that was not to be persuaded no matter the interest that currently resided within him.

But as he went to close it and return it to its previous place on the floor, his thumb caught a page and he looked it over quickly. The entry was dated the day before they first started talking, and once his eyes had read the first word, he couldn’t pull himself away.

“October 24, 2011

I have to see Jacob one last time before I do it. It’s not like anybody really cares about me anyway, except for maybe my mom. I can’t deal with this pain anymore. So, I will say goodbye to you, cruel world, you’re a cruel son of a bitch. Goodbye to all of the fucking bullies of my past, you self-centered assholes. So, I’ll say goodbye to you Jacob, my love, if only I could have kissed you once. Goodbye Mom, I’m sorry. I’ll miss you, and maybe in this afterlife I’ll see you both once again.”

Jacob glanced up from the pages and looked at the back of Kyle’s head. He was still viewing the screen, with Amanda semi-crouched by his side, watching with a smile upon her face. Jacob returned his gaze to the page and couldn’t help but notice a watermark on it. It was almost as if Kyle had been crying at the time of writing this entry, the mark was so distinct and so apparent.

Even now, Jacob’s eyes welled up with tears and he too added his own watermark to the page. This was disheartening for him to know as he would never have guessed that Kyle’s own scars ran so deep. Kyle was like him, hurt and in pain, but he had no idea what laid behind that genuine smile was one that was almost fake, a desperate plea, a hope for a better life.

Jacob became a mess as he turned page after page reading further and learning more of what made Kyle tick. He figured he would start from the beginning and read from there.

“October 2, 2007

Dear Diary,

Today I realized some new things. It really makes me very confused, and I don’t know what to do. But there’s this new kid in our class, he’s really cute, and I don’t know why I think that. But am I not supposed to like girls? Boys love girls, right? Maybe one day I will know what this means.”

Simple enough Jacob thought and turned a few more pages over.

“January 12, 2008

Dear Diary,

You’re the only one who knows the truth. I think I like boys, I can’t deny it anymore. But I feel wrong, I feel so dirty. Why do I have to feel this way? Why can’t I just be normal?”

`Oh-my-God! Please don’t feel dirty. There’s nothing wrong with you, baby, you are normal, you’re my normal, my lover, my blessing, don’t feel that this is wrong,’ Jacob thought as he read these words. It was like a knife stabbing him in the heart knowing Kyle felt this way. There was nothing wrong with him, but knowing the date it was written and how many years ago that it had been, helped his mind understand the state Kyle must have been in. He was young.

“February 16, 2008

Dear Diary,

I don’t know what to do. I just wish I could be normal and like girls, like everyone else does. Maybe it would be better if I just swallowed all my mom’s pills.”

Jacob again looked at the back of Kyle’s head, and began to cry more than before. This was a stab to his own heart. He loved Kyle and knowing the shame that was associated with his feelings made it even worse. He started to feel distressed as he turned several more pages and peered deep into Kyle’s inner-most thoughts. Although he knew it was wrong for him to do so he continued. He needed to know everything.”

“May 1, 2008

I’m sorry I haven’t written in you for a long time. Life has gotten harder for me. Mom says Dad left us! Why did he leave us? And today was bad for me because, I was bullied after I was caught looking at a boy in our class. They even spread a rumor about me. Life sucks!”

“June 5, 2008

Mom says we’re leaving, and we’re moving to Naples, FL. I feel sad and happy. I don’t know.”

The next page held an entry that was several years later, and was the previous page that stated that he wanted to take his own life, on Oct 24, 2011. It was poetry in motion, a moment of pure emotion, honest and raw. It was from one week prior to his last entry.

“The pain that I feel makes me hurt inside.

It makes me not want to live this life.

I just want to curl up and die.

It makes me so sad that I just want to cry.

A part of me feels that this is all wrong.

But I feel like I’ve known this all along.

I can’t deny the fact that I’m different.

I don’t fit the culture norm.

I pray that one day,

This could all be taken away

I don’t have the strength to put up a fight

This is my death sentence.

I’m gay.”

There were no words for Jacob, just tears as he realized the most honest thing he’d ever felt. It was as he felt, they had both been abandoned by those they loved. Just like Sarah’s words had scared him, he realized this; it was a dagger to the heart. It was a double whammy. Remembering his mother’s words and now reading Kyle’s words, made him understand they felt the same, they were both hurting inside. But had Kyle’s thoughts changed since then? This was something he wondered even as the tears furiously flowed from his eyes.

“Oh my God, baby? I’m so sorry. I can’t handle this.”

Kyle turned around and found his diary in Jacob’s hands. There were no words, just the motion of lips. But eventually he stammered out the words. “I, why, why would you read my journal?”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to. I, I accidently kicked it, and it caught my attention. I thought of stopping, but then I read something and I needed to know more. You’re last en, en, entry, it…” Jacob began to cry even more. His face became red with emotion. He was afraid of losing Kyle, the words were there, and the thoughts were there. He couldn’t have it, he wouldn’t have it, he wouldn’t lose him to this – he just couldn’t. “I love you so much, I’m sorry I invaded your privacy, but I have to know … were you actually going to do it? Please say you weren’t. Oh-my-God please say you weren’t. I can’t handle knowing that you – that you would. Please…”

Kyle was now crying too. He could see the pain in Jacob’s eyes. But the truth of it all was that what he had written in his journal was nothing but the truth, and he had plans on going through with it, but had it not been for his mother that fateful night coming to tell him that he had gotten a letter, he would’ve gone through with it. The letter contained a short note: “Please don’t go through with it. Listen to this CD and know that there’s a better tomorrow.”

It was a short and simple letter with no signature, it was anonymous. But Kyle now had a feeling whom it was from. After walking up to his house, and Amanda’s comment about living in this house, it made all the sense in the world. But how did she know? There was no time to ask as there were more pressing issues at the moment. “Baby, I don’t know what to say.” Kyle got up from his chair and walked to the closet door which he previously closed without acknowledgement to the reasons why, and with a swift action of opening it, he showed Jacob and Amanda a tie that was made into a noose. “This is the only thing I have left from my father when he walked out on us. This used to be something that was meaningful to me, but at that point in time it was my death sentence. You see my father stopped loving me when he found out I loved boys, he abandoned us and so I was going to use this tie that was left by him as a symbol of what his actions meant to me. He was my death sentence Jacob, and I couldn’t accept that anyone could ever love me. I know that isn’t true now because I have you –”

“You have me? Are you serious? You didn’t even know me back then even though I wanted you to be my friend. You only fantasized about me, like I did you. And you were going to leave me before I ever had the chance to show you that I loved you? I don’t know what I would’ve done if you left me. Holy shit, Kyle! I can’t deal with this. I’m …”

Jacob got up from the bed and darted for the door. Kyle tried to follow but Amanda stopped him. “Trust me, honey, he needed to know this. Don’t steal him from his feelings, give him some time to understand your own feelings too. So, stay. Stay here for now and let him process the thoughts in his head. He’s going through this as well, as you did, but this time it’s his mother. I just hope she doesn’t abandon him like your father did.”

“Please, just let me go. I need to talk to him. He needs to understand why, he needs to know the truth.”

“The truth is he needs some time to think about what he’s read and what you had to say. Please just trust me. I know we’re young, but I know what I’m talking about. You think I get my wisdom from my own mind? I’m a Christian, and I believe God gives me the wisdom to help others, and I have this feeling, like nothing I’ve ever felt, that you just need to wait. Please, trust me as if I were your mother. Just give me this once grace.”

“I can’t. I’m sorry. I need to go after him. I just know that I have to.”

“No, baby. You don’t. Like I said, trust me,” Amanda said wrapping her arms even tighter around Kyle, pulling him towards his bed. “I love you Kyle and there’s nothing that will ever change that. You must know that I don’t go by the worlds standards. I don’t care that you’re gay. I love you just the same. I know in my heart that God loves you just as you are. He created you this way and that your thoughts of suicide are not what he wants. I want you to know I’ll always be here for you.”

Kyle started crying more as Amanda held him. He didn’t know what to think, what to believe, but all he knew was that he loved Jacob with all his heart. Through hard times or not, he knew that love was the defining factor, and it was all that could hold him to this earthly plain of existence. “Baby, you know I’m right. You know it by that feeling in your stomach.”

“How do you know I got a feeling? How do you know I shouldn’t run after him? How did you come to writing me that letter and to leave me that CD?”

“I don’t know how I know these things. I just pray, and I feel that God tells me things to do, that’s all. I don’t know how to explain it, but all I know is that you need to stay here. And the answer to your last question, it’s a simple one. I prayed that night and asked God to let me help someone, and so I left my house with that note not knowing what it would mean to somebody and the CD came with me because I felt God tell me to bring it. That’s it. Do you understand?”

“No, I don’t understand how all of that could happen. Like where did you know where to go? And if God loved me why would he let all these bad things happen to me? And why was it, is it, so important for you to help me? I don’t understand. You didn’t know me. And why did you try to become friends with Jacob and me? I’m sure you knew who I was since you dropped that letter off to me. Tell me the truth. Please, I need to know, I think you’re lying and that my mother made you become our friends. If I’m wrong I’m sorry, but I need for you to set the record straight, please, I’m begging you.”

“Kyle, I don’t know where to start, honey,” Amanda said brushing her fingers across Kyle’s face. “So, to answer your first question, I didn’t know where to go. I wandered the streets for a few hours, walking past house after house until I felt this pull in my stomach to drop it off at this address. I swear to you, I’m not lying. I’d never met your mother before today. I promise you. And don’t think that I hold all the answers, but I believe God lets certain things happen to us to build us up, to build character, but I can’t say for sure. I once heard a barber shop owner say that he can’t cut a man’s hair unless he comes to him for one. I believe God is the same way. Sometimes we need to go to him to find what we seek, maybe that’s happiness, maybe it’s hope. I don’t know, honey, I’m sorry I wish I could explain it better. Why is it important? Because you are important, Kyle. Everything about you is of worth, something that is special and worthy of saving. Do you not see my heart?” Amanda started crying now; her heart was bleeding with emotion. The need to help was the deepest desire of her heart. It was difficult for her to explain what laid deep within, but her desires were there. Without condemnation, without judgment; she just loved Jacob and Kyle unconditionally, there was no other way of explaining it. “I also befriended you because I knew you needed me. Don’t ask me how because I don’t know. I just did. I have no regrets. I knew this would be hard, and I’ve been tested as you know, but I’m here to stay. I meant what I said. I’m here for you both always and forever. You just need to open your eyes and see that I’m speaking the truth, and don’t let my words guide you, but let my actions be your guide.”

Kyle hugged Amanda. He understood some of what she was saying, but still struggled to understand the deeper thoughts of her mind. Although he wasn’t quite sure that God existed. But her actions had indeed been a guide. She was the only person other than his mother to show him love without requirement, without conditions, this was special in its own right. And although he knew Jacob loved him, there had indeed been some requirements. Though that didn’t stop him from wanting to run after Jacob, but he took Amanda’s words at face value and sat comfortably in her arms.

 

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