We All Have Our Reasons

Seth was a normal enough kid. He liked to play with his best friend and go along with her crazy ideas. Util one day life changes for the worse. Seth winds up in the underground world of human trafficking over night. He has no idea what he was expecting to happen but it wasn't rescue by the hand of three teenagers slightly older than himself. He is rescued by this group of kid who do this regularly? You've got to be joking right? Seth must now find his place among their ranks, at least until he can get his life sorted out. It's kind of difficult with two guys constantly bickering over every little detail and a very, very pretty girl trying to befriend him. Yeah he's gone a long way from normal alright, will he ever go back to it though? That's the real question.

*WARNING: there is going to be sex and other sexual concepts in this story, most of which is not going to be hetero you have been warned*

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1. The Cliff Side

           Two children stood on the outskirts of a small coastal town looking out at the rocky shore. A tan blond girl stood beside her pale red headed friend, both about ten years old. The girl however, seemed confident for her age and the pair appeared to be fighting about something, she had her arms crossed and he was looking at the ground absent mindedly kicking the sand. She turned to him "Seth you said yesterday that it sounded like fun and now you're going to chicken out on me?" she snapped. Seth turned to her Emma was his best friend, his only friend and he didn't want to fight with her but, "I didn't know the drop was that high Emma, we could get hurt really bad, we could die". His accent sometimes made it hard to understand somethings he was saying but, not today, he didn't sound Irish at all he sounded almost American, partially due to the amount of time he's lived in America, partly because he needed to get his point across now more than ever. She ignored him and pressed though the field between them and the rocky cliff overlooking the ocean. "Emma I'm serious don't do it" he protested trying to block her path but Emma was just a little stronger than him and managed to move him out of her way. "Emma really you're going to hurt yourself" he groaned while trying to drag her back away from the ocean. She shrugged him off and proceeded up the hill. Seth jumped in her path making one final attempt to stop his friend from taking the plunge. She shoved him out of her way, "Seth I'll be fine ok, I promise" and with that she took a few steps towards the edge and peered over, and took a shaky breath. She took a few steps back and leapt head first over the edge. She sailed downwards majestically, like a mighty bird of prey in a pursuit of a mouse. Until something changed for the worse.

       Maybe it was a sudden gust of wind, maybe it was a wrong move mid air but Emma got too close to the cliff and she was growing closer and closer to the jagged rocks that lined the cliff face. Then with a sickening, echoing crack. her skull hit one of the protruding rocks and she tumbled the rest of the way down the cliff crashing into rocks before sinking like a stone into the cold, unforgiving ocean. Time seemed to freeze as Seth watched her sink before his brain unfroze and he screamed "Emma!" he sprinted down the slope, following the path to the ocean and diving in after her. He plunged under water and searched for as long as he could, only to come up empty handed. He climbed out of the surf and ran as fast as he could back into town to get help. He ran to her house and banged on her door sobbing, no answer her parents must have still been out. He then ran home and told his father everything that happened. He then instructed Seth to wait at home and went into town to form a search party. They went down to the ocean and they searched for hours and hours on end, police and volunteers were down on the shore line until well after dark. They didn't have any more luck than Seth did that day and any hope of finder her was dashed at nightfall. A few days after the funeral was arranged, Seth wouldn't remember much of it when he got older, it was a blur to him even as he lived through it, he couldn't cry anymore. It felt like the night she jumped he cried his heart out literally, he couldn't feel the pain anymore, the loss was like a dead weight he carried on his shoulders. He was a zombie weighed down by guilt and loss and he wasn't even a quarter of the way though his life yet. After the funeral many people noticed a change in Seth's behavior and attitude, and it wasn't exactly for the better.

          Seth changed almost overnight it seemed. Before Emma died Seth was an active outgoing kid, he was slow to anger and quick to forgive. Now he had no respect for anyone, not his parents or his teachers. He was quick to anger and it took him a long time a great deal of energy to let something go. In the year since her death he had been at home on time maybe six or seven times. His parents worried about their son and his future if he couldn't calm down and focus on school and life. He got into several fights a week, sometimes it took a lot more than logic to get Seth to let it be. In the last week of the school yea Seth was in his worst fight yet. The boy was a year older than him and a little bit bigger than himself. He got in Seth's face, insulting him, insulting his family. Until he went too far. "You gonna cry Seth? The biggest punk in middle school and you're gonna cry over that dead girl like when we were little?" That went too far. He grabbed the other boys shit collar and slammed his fist into his face with more anger than he'd ever experienced before. He slammed him against the cinder block wall and his head sent a loud crack echoing down the hallways. He then dropped the kid to the floor with another crack. The older kid was passed out but Seth just kept punching him over and over, unfeeling and uncaring until the adults pried him off. He fought against the hands trying to pull him away trying to get another punch in on the poor boy. When they finally got him off, he was suspended facing expulsion. He didn't care he had it coming as far as Seth was concerned. When he got home he didn't even bother stopping to talk to his parents, he had work to do. It was unfortunate timing really, because today of all days would have been Emma's twelfth birthday. He had a surprise for her that he needed to finish. He went up to his room and retrieved the long cardboard tube and pulled out the portrait of her he was working on. Seth was pretty proud of his drawing abilities, and since it was Emma who had always encouraged him to pursue this skill he figured drawing her would be the perfect way to show just how much he cared and how hard he worked to be a better artist, just for her.

 

        He arrived at the grave site with the cardboard tube slung over his shoulder and a face that screamed in agony. He crouched before her grave fighting back a new surge of tears that threatened to spill down his pale face. "Hey Emma, I drew this for you, I figured you might like this." He took a trembling breath. "I miss you Emma it's hard not being able to talk to you anymore, its hard getting though the days, but I'll stay strong for you Em, happy birthday." He placed the tube diagonal across her grave and dusted off his jeans, it was getting dark he should hurry back into town. He exited the cemetery to the main road, walking with his head down still fighting back his tears. Lost in his sorrow Seth smacked right into an older teen heading the opposite direction. He mumbled a sorry and tried to push past. "Hey wait buddy are you ok?" the older teen asked, light cigarette glowing in his right hand. Seth tried to keep his voice even, "Yeah fine" but it was wavering and weak sounding. "Look I'm Dillon, I'm willing to lend a hand if you need it" He said looking genuinely concerned. Seth shook his head, but Dillon had already passed him the light cylinder, which he tried to refuse. "Take it it'll help trust me" Seth shook his head again. Dillon kept pressing him and eventually ended up tackling him to the ground and forcing the cigarette into his mouth. Seth inhaled and nearly choked to death. "Easy, sit up man its ok" he did as instructed and groaned with pulling himself upright. He tried again just to appease the older teen. It was relaxing, as Dillon had said but it left a disgusting taste in his mouth. "See man what did I tell you?" Dillon beamed and Seth found it hard not to smile with him, it was infectious just like Dillon himself. The older boy walked him home and gave him his number as well as half a pack of his cigarettes to help keep him calm. Seth was feeling good by the time he got up to his room and had crawled into bed. Maybe just maybe he was going to make it through all this after all.

         Three years later and Seth was a fifteen year old senior in high school and had improved his grades from F's to D's and he was getting home at a more reasonable time. He would attribute most of these changes to Dillon and being able to have someone he relied on again. He was even trying to quit smoking but it was much harder than it sounded, he failed twice before Dillon agreed to help and actually try to quit with him. He was actually a big help when it came to home and school issues, he'd been through it all and was always there for Seth to lean on when things got rough. Today was one of those days, "I can't do it man my parents are all over me about a job and collage and grades and chores, it's too much" he ranted whilst digging though his bag for a pack and his lighter. "Hey, hey" Dillon protested yanking them away from the teen. "I know it’s tough man but they want what's best for you, just wait it out and you'll see. You can’t jump back on the horse now you've been clean for what three weeks? Not worth it to quit now" He said tossing the cigarettes and lighter into his own bag. "Fine some friend you are" Seth mock pouted flopping back on Dillon's bed. He closed his eyes, he hadn't been sleeping much recently so much stress was on his shoulders he feared he was becoming an insomniac but, here with Dillon, he felt safe. He felt his eyes begin to droop as his friend flick on the TV and he was half asleep when Dillon's phone rang. Before he could answer Seth was fast asleep. Seth woke up feeling better than he had in a very, very long time, he blinked and looked around but. He had no clue where he was but it sure as hell wasn't where'd he'd fallen asleep.

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