"I walked back out to the living room and saw him holding my mom's urn. He was shouting at it. I didn't know what to do. I was scared. So I just slowly walked up to him.
But he saw me and turned to me with a knife in his other hand. He just started shouting random things. None of it really made sense. Then I took a step back. I guess it freaked him out.
He threw the urn across the room. It shattered against the wall. In the moment I... I blacked out. I can't honestly say I know what happened. When I came to I was sitting on top of him. His...
his dead body. My hands were in pain. I had a few cuts on my arms. His face was... it was unrecognizable." I start fidgeting with my hands.
"I sat there. Didn't move an inch. Not until the police showed up. The neighbors called. They took me in. I was in handcuffs and sitting in a blank grey room for hours. Didn't say a word.
Didn't know if it was real. The police seemed to think I had started it all. It didn't help that my dad was friends with half of them. But then this female officer came in. She was very kind.
She even looked a bit like my mom. She gave me some water and just sat there. We sat there for almost an hour before I spoke. I was surprised that she believed everything.
After that, I was uncuffed and just sat there as I waited for my Grams to arrive." I finally take a deep breath, realizing I'm almost done with this.
"Social services gave custody of me to my Grams. And that's when I moved here. I quickly got a job. Something to keep me busy. Something to keep my mind off everything.
It obviously didn't work well. I've been getting angrier and angrier. The smallest things making me snap. And that day. That day I started to see him. I could see my dad in the mirror.
I saw him on the docks. I saw him on the boat. He was just taunting me. That, and all the alcohol, and seeing JJ in that cast. It flipped something in me. It felt so familiar.
And I realized it while I was yelling. I felt the same anger I had felt that day that I killed my dad. So I ran. It's the only thing I could think of. I didn't want o hurt any of you guys.
And I couldn't if I just left." I wipe my nose.
"And that's really it. Oh, and I talked to my Grams about this all yesterday. I saw a therapist this morning. I'm going to be seeing her twice a week. I've obviously got some things to work on.
I understand if any or all of you guys want to run. It's a lot. I can't promise something like what happened the other day won't happen again. I wish I could. But that would probably be a lie.
" I just stop and chug the water down, my throat beginning to feel sore.
I finally look around at everyone. Everyone is forcing a smile, but I can tell Kiara, Taylor, and Pope are holding back tears. Sarah just walks up to me and hugs me.
"I'm not going anywhere." She says before stepping back.
"Me either." John B just hugs Sarah and smiles at me.
Kiara and Pope walk up to me.
"Thanks for sharing that." Kiara chokes up a bit. "If you wanna I can teach you to surf sometime."
"That would be great. Thanks." We hug.
Pope just looks at me and hugs me.
"We good man." He says before stepping back.
I look to Taylor. She is just looking at the floor. I walk up to here. She moves her head up and I can see tears going down her face.
"I can't stop." She starts laughing.
"I get it." I laugh with her.
"I'm so sorry."
"About not helping you. Not knowing you needed help. I would've. I so would've."
"I know. I know. But I didn't even know I needed help. All you can do is what you've always done. Been a good friend."
"Well, I can do that in my sleep." We all laugh.
"Good." I hand her some tissues. "Is that all? I turn to everyone. "Cuz I'm so tired now."
"Drinks? Food? Movie?" Sarah says and everyone starts smiling and nodding.
Quickly everyone starts walking to grab some food and drinks. Some light banter starts happening and I can feel it all slowly returning to normal. But I walk to Sarah knowing something is off.
"Hey." I pull her off to the side.
"Hey. What's up?'
"I really want to hang with you guys right now, but there's someone else I have to talk to first."
"I understand." I can tell she knows who I'm talking about. "I'll let them know."
"JJ!" I walk up to his house, not even trying to ring the doorbell. "JJ!" The front porch light turns on. "I'm not leaving!" I am energized now.
"I will stay here all night! I've got no other plans, an empty bladder, and a shit ton of energy!" I start walking back and forth in front of the stairs.
"I could start singing? Maybe some country? Or what about some Disney?" I start laughing. "Oh wait! I know the perfect song!" I face the house. "Let it go! Let it go!"
"Stop." The front door opens and JJ walks out. "Please." He is trying hard to hold back a smile.
"Sorry. Had to get you out here."
"You suck at singing." It's all he says as he steps out.
"Thanks. I work hard on it." He laughs a little but stops himself from continuing.
"What do you want?" He takes a seat on the steps.
"I gathered everyone and told them everything. I apologized. I'm ready to let it all go. I'm finally starting to move on from all my shit. But for some reason...
I can't move on unless I know you forgive me. Every time I think about you I fill up with regret. With sadness." He's keeping a poker face. "I could tell you my sad story.
I could tell you everything I told the others. But something tells me it doesn't matter. Something tells me you're dealing with your own shit and none of this really has to do with me."
"It hit me earlier. I don't really know why. I just remember seeing you on the boat with the cast and crutch. And I realized I haven't heard you ever mention your dad.
I've never heard anyone mention your dad before. I've been so busy with my drama that I haven't asked you if you were okay. I tried going to the hospital to see you. Trust me. I really did.
But I have a rough history with hospitals and freaked out. Ran away."
"Yeah. And this time I'm not running. I'm here until all is good again."
"Well, what if I just don't talk to you?"
"Well, you already are."
"Well, what if I stop."
"You haven't yet. You're actually talking quite a bit."
"Oh shut the fuck up." He can't help but laugh a little.
"Telling me to 'shut the fuck up' is also still talking."
"Fuck you." He runs down the stairs and up to me, planting a big kiss on my lips.
It's like lightning strikes. Everything I was thinking goes away. My body completely relaxes. For a solid minute, I am in heaven. Then I remember why I'm here.
I don't want to, but I stop kissing him and step back.
"What's wrong? If you didn't get it, that means all is good."
"Oh, I get it." I just want to run my hands through his hair and go into that house all night. "But I can't. Or shouldn't.
I started a new therapist and she suggests that I stay away from new relationships for a while."
"Oh, what does she know?"
"I agree with her." This is so hard to say right now. "I hope we can still be friends though. I really like being friends with you."
"I guess so. You're not too bad a friend either."
"Oh such high praise."
"The highest." We both laugh.
"Now... everyone is on Sarah's boat relaxing and watching a movie. Wanna go and catch the rest of it?"
"Sure. My bike's broken though."
"Then hop on." I get on my bike and JJ jumps on behind me. "You good?" I turn around, his head on my shoulder.
"Great." He puts his hands on my waist.
This is gonna be hard...