Kelsey’s Point of View:
“When Jazzy died…” Justin paused, furrowing his eyebrows as he closed his eyes, straining to remember the distant past. “I lost myself completely.” He murmured his voice so low, you couldn’t possibly make out a syllable of what he spoke but I heard him. I heard him loud and clear.
Running my fingers through his hair, I massaged his scalp, relaxing him as he leaned into my touch, his head laid comfortably on my lap. I let him talk; wanting to hear what it was that he had to say.
“I broke things, I screamed, I yelled, I accused people of doing things they didn’t do… I even had thoughts about killing myself.” He shook his head, pain evident on his face as he relived the memory. “I thought that if she had to die because of me, I might as well do the same for her.”
I held my breath, my chest tightening at what he had just confessed to me. Panning my hand against the side of his face, I inwardly took a deep breath, letting it all sink in.
“I was going through a lot emotionally and I just wanted it all to be over.” He whispered, his teeth digging into the skin of his bottom lip. “I knew what had happened with Jazzy was my fault. I know it wasn’t intentional but it was because of me that she ended up there in the first place and it was because of me that Jason blew up the warehouse.”
“You couldn’t have known he would do that…” I encouraged, trying to ease his pain but deep down, I knew that nothing could erase the mental scars it left behind.
“That doesn’t matter. The point is, my sister died that night when it should have been me.” Tightening his hold on my waist, he dug his head deeper into my stomach. “I fucked up.” He mumbled, “I ruined everything and it took Jazzy’s death for me to finally… snap.”
So many questions swarmed my head all at once and I was itching to find the answers but I knew that if I gave him time, he’d answer them all on his own.
“I was home alone one night when I had trashed the house.” Justin sighed, loosening his grip on me. “I was sitting down on the couch with my head in my hands and it all just kept replaying over and over again… her piercing scream and the explosion… I couldn’t get it out of my head. No matter how much I drank, her voice was still fresh in my mind. It was as if I was still in that warehouse with her just a foot away from me.”
I continued stroking his hair, watching as he relaxed under my touch. “I found my gun on the floor. It must have fallen when I was throwing everything and something triggered inside of me and I picked it up. I don’t know what came over me but before I knew it, I held it to my head. I was frozen, lost in time until John came home and found me.”
Swallowing hard, I laid my head back against the wall, not wanting to think about the what-ifs and what my life would be like if he had actually taken it all a step too far.
How somebody so strong could be so vulnerable inside was mindboggling and it hurt me seeing him like this. All I wanted to do was take the pain away from him, to reassure him that everything was going to be okay. He’s been through enough and the last thing any of us need is for him to go through that all again.
I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if anything ever happened to him.
“He asked me what I was doing and I just… sat there. I didn’t say anything until he walked over and saw the gun for himself. He coaxed me into handing it over while asking me questions and all I could do was stare at him.” Rubbing his forehead with his hand, Justin twisted his body so that he was fully lying on his back with his head facing upwards making it easy for me to look into his glazed eyes. “I knew I couldn’t justify what I had been doing or make up an excuse. He knew… he knew I had cracked.”
“Justin…” I whispered, feeling the need to make sure he knew that, that wasn’t going to happen again as long as I was alive.
I would never let him go back to that dark place.
“No,” Justin mumbled, “let me finish. Please.” Looking up at me through his lashes, I could see the desperation tinted in his hazel irises.
“Okay,” I nodded, tracing his bottom lip with my thumb before caressing his jaw.
“He calmed me down… he hid the gun and made sure I was okay. He took care of me and despite how I felt inside about what happened with Jazzy; he helped me cope with it in the way that I knew best. It took about a month for me to drag myself out of the depression I had fallen into and with the help of the guys, I managed to get right back up on my feet.”
“And now…” Justin closed his eyes, taking a deep breath, “I’m afraid I’m going to fall back into it again. That place I’ve tried so hard to avoid.” Blinking his eyes open, Justin looked at me. “I don’t want to break,” He shook his head, rewording himself, “I can’t break… not with everything that’s going on right now.”
“You won’t.” I urged gently, “As long as I’m still breathing, there is no way in hell I’m letting you drown again. I’m right here and I’m going to take care of you just like you’ve done with me plenty of times before.” I whispered.
“That’s my job though… taking care of you.” Justin cracked a shy smile, staring solemnly into my eyes.
“Yeah, well now it’s my turn to do that for you. You’ve done so much for me… it’s about time I returned the favor.” Sharing a shy smile of my own, I leaned down and pressed my lips to his.
Returning the kiss, Justin grasped the side of my neck, deepening it with all the emotions he could muster in the simple embrace we had created. “I love you,” He muttered after pulling away.
“I love you too.” Biting my lip, it was then that all the after effects of what just happened hit me and before I knew it, the back of my eyes pinched with intensity and tears began to fall.
“Shit baby, don’t cry…” Justin murmured softly as he sat up. Brushing his knuckles against the side of my face, he cupped my chin between his curled fingers and thumb. “Look at me.”
Shaking my head, I looked down at my lap, fumbling with my fingers as my shoulders shook from all I kept bottled inside.
“Kelsey,” Justin forced me to look at him as he grabbed my hand with his other one. “I’m sorry, okay? Please don’t cry baby… I hate it when you do.”
“I hate this.” I sighed through my sobbing, “I just want everything to go away.” Looking at him, I scoffed in his courtesy towards me. “You have nothing to be sorry for. This is not your fault, none of this is…” I trailed off, not knowing what else to say.
Rubbing my knee with the palm of his hand, I watched as Justin hunched over in a way that I knew he was deep in thought which only meant one thing: he was overthinking.
“No,” I pointed an accusing finger at him, “Don’t do that. Don’t think. I know what you’re doing and I won’t have it.” Moving up on my knees, I cupped his face into my hands so that he was forced to look me in the eyes. “None of this is your fault. You can’t control how you cope with things and you can’t fight yourself. You have to have trust that everything is going to be okay.”
“In what world do you live in where you think in that pretty little head of yours that all is well and nothing could go wrong by any of this? Because I’d love to move there,” Justin mocked as he firmly held my hips. “There’s no happy ending where I come from Kelsey.”
“Yeah?” I emphasized in sarcasm, cocking my head to the side. “Well, I guess we’re just going to have to make our own happy ending then.” I shrugged.
“You’re way too positive for me.” Justin grumbled teasingly as he ran his hands up and down my sides.
“That sucks for you because you’re going to have to live with it.” I smiled, leaning back on the heels of my feet, letting my hands fall limp on his shoulders.
“Oh really?” He cocked an eyebrow, sliding his hands in mine as he held them, lacing our fingers together.
“Mhm…” I smiled, “Want to know why?”
Grinning, Justin squeezed our palms together. “Why?”
I leaned in close to his face, “Because I’m not going anywhere.” I whispered.
“Good.” Closing the gap between us, Justin brought our locked hands around my waist as he pulled me into him.
Gasping from the sudden movement, I giggled against his lips as I fell down on top of his now lying figure. “You’re mean.”
“Gotta get close to you somehow, don’t I?”
“You can just ask.” I laughed, my hair falling down as it created a curtain around our faces.
“Would you say yes?”
“Now that’s mean.” Justin pointed out as he still held my hands behind my back.
“No, what’s mean is you trapping me against you, now let me go.” I wiggled my body around, trying to find some way I could pull out of his grasp.
“No can do baby,” He shook his head, smiling his all teeth, perfect smile making my stomach swoop in that all too familiar feeling.
It didn’t take long before I found myself smiling too. “I love this side of you.” I murmured out loud before I could stop myself.
Knitting his brows together, Justin scrutinized me, “I have different sides to me?”
Opening my mouth to say something, I thought against it. “Forget I said that.” I gave him a knowing look, “It’s just my usual word vomit. You know how I get in situations like this… I always gotta say something to ruin it.” I sighed.
“You didn’t ruin anything babe, it was just a simple question I asked.” Loosening his grip on my hands, he grazed his thumb against my own. “Tell me.”
“It’s nothing to tell really… I just—” Catching his stoning expression, I knew I was upsetting him and that was the last thing I wanted to do. Sighing, I focused my gaze overhead at a speck on the wall. “Yes, you do.” I referred back to his previous questions. “There’s your protective side, scary side, loving side, angry side, business side and then there’s just… you.”
I nodded. “The Justin I fell for. The one behind that “I don’t give a shit attitude”. The one who showed he cared.”
“What are all the other Justin’s like?” He whispered in curiosity though a pang of guilt and pain tinged behind the chocolate swirls I knew as to be his eyes.
“Justin, I really don’t think we should be doing this right now…” I murmured, not wanting to cause another episode of his again. I have yet to find out what triggers them and the last thing I want to do is hurt him.
“Just tell me.” He urged.
Not wanting to start an argument, I relaxed against his body. “Your protective side is well, protective. You make sure I’m alright and don’t let anything or anyone hurt me. Your scary side comes out when you’re mad, I don’t know what you’re going to do and it’s a side of you I can’t seem to get away from half the time. Your loving side is this. Here, right now—your laugh and smile, and you tell me how much you love me. Your angry side is one that often comes out after a hard day with the guys or when something’s bothering you. That side of you usually comes out when we get into an argument and your business side is what happened earlier today outside of the house.”
“Those are a lot of Justin’s, huh?”
“Yeah but I wouldn’t trade them in for nothing.”
“You sure about that?” He arched a brow, his eyes dancing between mine.
“Yes. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be you without them. All those different sides to you make you who you are today and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
“Did you fall in love with those sides too or just, what you refer to as, my loving side?” Justin arched a brow.
“I fell in love with all of you.” Kissing him, I laid my head against his chest. “You’re perfect just the way you are.”
“I’m not perfect, Kelsey.” Justin sighed, “I’m far from it actually.”
“How come you don’t see all the good in you?” I shook my head, slightly irritated. “You do everything in your power to make sure those you care about are taken care of yet you still lay here, bringing yourself down for nothing.”
“I’m a monster Kelsey. You see past all the shit I’ve done but I know what I did was fucked up. Everything I do in general is fucked up.”
“You have your reasons for doing what you do Justin. It doesn’t make you a bad person inside.”
“Yeah and I guess every other cold blooded murderer out there is not a bad person either.” Sarcasm dripped from his words.
“That’s different.” I scolded.
“How? How is that any different from what I do? I kill them all just the same way.”
“It’s different because unlike those people you have reasons as to why you go after people. I may not know what goes on when you’re out with the guys doing whatever it is that you do but I know those people that you kill, they did something for you to have killed them.” Hesitating, I decided I might as well let it all out. I was done fighting against myself to stay quiet.
“Everybody else kill for their own pleasure. They go after young, innocent people and murder them for nothing. Those people who decide to get into the things that you do… that’s their decision. They go in knowing the consequences of their actions if they go against you. I’m not trying to justify it because no matter what, in the end, killing is wrong. Everybody knows that but what you do and what other people do… it’s diverse.”
Silence overcame us and before I knew it, Justin released my hands. “Come on, let’s get you to bed.” He tapped my butt, snapping me out of it. “It’s getting late.” Sliding out from underneath me, Justin stood up, running his hands through his hair.
Watching as he walked over to the other side of the room, with his head practically in his hands, my heart fell to my stomach in discomfort. “Don’t be mad at me.” I whispered.
Tearing his hands from his hair, Justin snapped his head over to me, alarmed. “Why would I be mad?”
“For all the things I said… I…” Shrugging, I looked down at my lap. “I don’t know.”
Stepping towards me but thinking against it, Justin kept his ground as he stuffed his hands in the pockets of his jeans. “You didn’t say anything wrong. It’s just been a long day. You should go to sleep.”
Staring at him, I could sense the tension between us and automatically I regretted ever opening my mouth. Looking over at the broken glass on the floor, I was reminded of tonight’s events and all senses told me to make sure he stayed with me tonight. “Only if you join me.” I whispered.
Parting his lips in sudden surprise, he pressed them together in a thin line before thumbing behind him. “I was going to take a shower first.”
“I’ll go with you.”
“That’s alright.” Justin jumped at his chance to cut me off. “I think it’s best if I go alone.”
Giving me one last look, he turned and disappeared behind the bathroom door, leaving me all alone.
Once the water began to run and I knew Justin couldn’t hear me, I stood up from the bed, making my way over to the mess on the floor. Crouching down, I began picking up the pieces and placing them into the palm of my hand, careful not to hurt myself.
Dragging the small pieces into a pile next to my knee, I took each picture that was a part of the frames that broke and placed them each on top of the other in a separate pile.
Placing a hand on the floor to help push myself up to my feet, I winced once I had done so, quickly pulling away only to end up dropping the pieces I held in my other hand to the floor. “Ah!” I hissed, looking down to see that one of the glasses had sliced my palm. Pressing my lips against it, trying hard to stop the blood from coming out, I was startled when I heard another voice.
“What happened?” Justin rushed to my side with nothing but a towel around his hips and hair dripping wet from the shower he had just taken.
“I was just picking up the glass and I tried to stand up but ended up dropping everything.” I sighed.
“You cut yourself.” He stated a matter-of-factly as he took my hand in his, examining it. Bringing my hand up to his lips, he kissed it.
I held my breath, watching him with wary eyes.
“Come on, let’s get you bandaged up.” Pulling me up to my feet, he tugged me over to the steamed bathroom. Grabbing me by my hips, he sat me up on the counter of the sink. Crouching down, he opened one of the cabinets, taking out a first aid kit. Digging through the box he grabbed a spray and wrap. Standing up, he held my hand once more. “This is going to sting a bit, okay?”
Opening the cap, he held the spray at an angle before spewing it against my cut.
Grimacing, I held in the pain that sprawled throughout my body, trying to keep still as Justin began wrapping it up.
“You should be okay by tomorrow.” Justin informed as he put everything away.
Not knowing what to say, I just bobbed my head, showing that I at least heard him. Looking all around, I couldn’t help but catch on to the irony of this all.
“What?” Justin asked, catching onto my sudden realization.
“It’s just that… the roles were reversed three years ago when I had first met you. I was the one applying the spray and bandaging you up.”
“Oh,” Justin chuckled a bit, scratching the back of his neck. “That. It’s when I first kissed you, wasn’t it?”
Blushing, I looked at him. “Yeah, how did you remember that?”
“How could I forget? It was the day I had found out you weren’t a granny panties wearing virgin.” He smirked and instantly my face heated up.
“Justin!” I shrieked, slapping my good hand against his shoulder.
“What? It’s true…” He laughed as I slapped him again.
“You’re a jerk.” I mumbled, crossing my arms against my chest.
“I know.” He laughed, grabbing me by the hips again and standing me up on my feet. “Can’t say I’m complaining though… I got to touch your ass.” He winked.
My eyes widened. “Justin!”
“What? Don’t say you didn’t like it. The whole house probably heard you moaning.” Justin’s smirk deepened.
Gaping up at him, I shoved him back. “I can’t believe you just said that.”
“Well you best believe it baby.” Justin grinned, “Come on, let’s get out of here.” Leading me out of the bathroom, he dropped my hand, walking over to his drawer. Taking his towel off, he slid on a pair of boxers before slipping on his sweatpants. “Enjoying the view?”
“Hm? What?” I shook my head, looking up at him.
Laughing, Justin grabbed a t-shirt of his, handing it over to me. “Get dressed, we’re going to bed.”
“We are?” I asked hesitantly.
“Didn’t you want us to?” Justin watched as I messed around with his shirt in my hands.
“Yeah but I thought…” Shaking my head, I licked my lips. “You’re right.” Pulling my shirt over my head, I replaced it with Justin’s before shimming out of my skinny jeans. Grabbing them both, I placed them on top of the drawer. “What about the glass?”
“I’ll clean it up tomorrow, come on.” Pulling the blanket up, he gestured for me to go in first. When I did, I waited as he slid in beside me. Bringing the blanket up over us, Justin wrapped his arms around my waist, pulling me into his chest. Nuzzling my neck, he took a deep breath. “I’m sorry… for everything.”
Tracing the lining of his jaw, I sighed. “I’m sorry too.” Kissing his chest, I rested my head against him, letting my eyes fall closed, allowing the rhythm of his heart beat sing me to sleep.
A sudden bolt of electricity shot through me as I sat up in bed, looking all around me. Noticing the empty space beside me and that Justin was gone, I quickly stood up. Walking around the bed, I looked over to see all the glass had been cleaned up with no sign of Justin anywhere.
Just as I was about to walk out of the room to search for him, I found the balcony doors attached to his room wide open, a silhouette of a shadow outside.
Furrowing my eyebrows, not knowing if that was him or not, I tip-toed over to the open air, to see Justin staring out into the sky, his hair disheveled, a distant look in his eyes.
My stomach fell as I noticed his hand closed around something, a shiny residue slipping from its hold and dripping down into the ground below. “Justin…”
He didn’t flinch nor move. Instead, he stayed still as if I hadn’t have said anything.
“Justin…” Walking over to him, I nearly gasped once I noticed he was bleeding and the first thought that occurred to me was “not again…”. “Look at me,” I urged gently, placing my hand over his.
When he moved his hand away, I knew he wasn’t in the right mind to listen to me which meant I had to go about this in a different way.
“Open your hand for me baby, let me see what you’re hiding okay? I promise, I won’t get mad,” I soothed, placing a gentle hand to his back as I rubbed it up and down.
Shaking his head, he tightened his grasp on whatever it was he was holding.
I took a sharp intake of air as I held my breath, my stomach tumbling downwards and I could only imagine the damage he was doing to himself. “Justin, open your hand. Let me see what you’re holding.”
When he didn’t say anything, I took that as my cue to try and do so myself. Taking his hand in mine, I gently pried his fingers open to reveal a piece of glass dug into the skin of his hand.
I gasped, placing a hand over my mouth. Tears cornered the brims of my eyes as I took the piece of glass out, discarding it over the balcony. Brushing my fingers against his wound, I watched as a tear slipped and fell on it. “Why did you do this?” I whispered.
“I hurt you.” He mumbled more to himself than me.
“No you didn’t Justin… what are you talking about?” I looked up at him, inwardly begging him to come back to me again.
“I lied to you. I made you mad…” He shook his head, “you’re going to leave me.” He murmured softly, looking down at me.
“I’m not leaving Justin.” I whispered, “I already told you, I’m not going anywhere.”
“That’s what they all say before they go.” Justin’s eyes masked over in a glazed fashion. “Everybody leaves me in the end.”
“I’m not everybody, Justin.” Cupping the side of his face into my hand, I caressed his cheek. “I’m not leaving.”
“You promise?” He lowly whispered, internally begging me with his eyes not to go.
“I promise.” Closing my eyes, I shook my head, reeling myself to stay strong. “Come on, let’s get you all cleaned up.” Dropping my hand down to his, I grabbed it, taking him into the bathroom where I quickly wrapped his hand up the same way he did with me. “There, all better.” Running the padding of my thumb across the bandage, I looked up at him. “Are you okay?”
Nodding, he tugged my hand free of my hold. “Don’t go.” He mumbled.
“I won’t, I won’t…”
“Please don’t go.” He whispered. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything.”
“Don’t do this,” I begged, my lip quivering. “Please, I’m not leaving. I’m staying here with you, okay?”
Without another word, Justin stepped towards me before pulling me into his arms and digging his head into the nape of my neck, holding me tightly.
Returning the hug, I strengthened my grip around his waist, letting him know; I was here and wasn’t going anywhere. “Come on, let’s get you to sleep. You’ll feel better in the morning.”
“Are you coming with me?” A frantic look crossed his eyes making my heart clench.
“Yes, I am.” Taking his other head in mind, I gave it a reassuring squeeze, leading him over to the bed. Slipping in, I brought him in with me before taking him into my arms instead. Running my fingers through his hair, I massaged the back of his neck until he calmed into me. “You’re going to be okay… I’m going to take care of you.” Kissing his forehead, I watched as Justin’s breathing slowed down to an even pace as his face relaxed into a soft expression.
Laying my head back against my pillow, I looked up at the ceiling, all of what has just happened in the past few hours running through my mind like wildfire.
Justin was fighting against it, he beat it and now he fell back into it again. He fell into darkness just when I thought he was going to be okay.
I shook my head, ridding of all thoughts as I now ran my fingers through my hair. There was only one way I knew of that would help get him back on his feet again and it would take talking to Bruce to have this all work out.
Making sure Justin was fast asleep, I maneuvered my way out of his hold on me before grabbing a pair of his sweatpants from nearby and tugging them on. Walking back over to Justin, I pressed a soft kiss to his cheek before taking off out the door and down the stairs where I found John pacing the floors with his head in his hands.
“Hey…” I whispered, careful not to be too loud so that Justin wouldn’t wake up and worry about where I’ve gone.
Snapping his head over to me, a look of relief crossed his face. “Are you alright?”
“Yeah, I’m okay. A bit shaken up but I’ve managed.” I forced a small smile. “I just wanted to come down and let you guys know that we’re okay and to talk to Bruce.”
Swallowing, John swiped his hand across his mouth after he had licked his lips. “He had another one of his episodes, didn’t he?”
Looking down at my hands, I fought back the tears. “Yeah…”
“Shit,” John sighed, pulling at the ends of his hair. “I was going to go up there when I heard the glasses being thrown but I didn’t want to make things worse.” Groaning, he threw his head back, exasperated. “I knew something was going on but… I didn’t think it would have gone that far.” Looking back over at me, sadness overwhelmed his eyes. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay; it’s not your fault… I just wasn’t expecting it, you know?” Pausing, I thought back to it all and managed to speak aloud how I truly felt. “It just scared me… he scared me.” I whispered and before I knew it, I found myself crying again. “He kept saying things like, everything’s broken and telling me not to leave him…”
“He was thinking about Jazzy... He didn’t want you to leave him like she did.” John explained in a hushed tone upon seeing how thrown off I was by all of this.
“I could never leave him.” I whispered truthfully. “Despite how many times I had thought about leaving him because of his lies, I can’t. I love him too much.”
“And he loves you which is why you were able to save him in time to hurt himself again.” John encouraged as he walked over to me. “The only people able to get to him was Bruce and I. You have a hold over him that none of us could even manage to pull. You could save him from himself, he knows it too. He’s just too stubborn to act on it.”
“I wouldn’t say that…” I whispered sadly. “I found him outside holding a piece of glass in his hand…”
“Wait, what? When was this?”
“After we went to sleep,” Shuffling on my feet, I pulled at the hem of Justin’s t-shirt. “I woke up and noticed he was gone and I found him out on the balcony. I saw that there was something in his hand and when I told him to show me, he didn’t, but I managed to pry it open myself and I saw one of the glasses that was caused from the things he had thrown dug into his skin…”
Firmly rubbing his fingers into his forehead, John took a deep intimate breath as he began pacing the floors once more. “This is worse than I thought.”
“What does that mean?”
Ignoring my question, John asked one of his own. “What happened before you found him?”
Giving him a quizzical look, I restated what had happened. “He told me about what happened after Jazzy died and how you found him home alone with…” I trailed off, not being able to finish that sentence, “He seemed to be fine after that and then we got into a disagreement over him and then he just seemed… distant. He went to take a shower and I started to clean up the mess on the floor. I ended up cutting myself by accident—”
“Wait, what did you just say?” John questioned, his eyebrows pulled together to meet as one as he listened intently to what I was about to say.
“I said that I cut myself by accident when I was picking up the pieces of the glass on the floor. I dropped them by accident… why?”
“That’s why he did what he did…” John exclaimed, a look of concern flashing in his eyes. “He thought, because he was the one who caused the mess, that you hurt yourself because of him. He blamed himself and did what he did in order to make himself feel better.”
Justin’s earlier words rang in my ears, “I thought that if she had to die because of me, I might as well do the same for her.”
“Just like what happened with Jazzy…” I whispered, realization hitting me like a ton of bricks.
“Okay, then how do we help him?”
“We can’t. There’s nothing we can do. He has to come out of this himself. All we can do isreassure him that everything’s going to be okay and as ridiculous as it sounds, we have to console him in the way we would a child. We have to be patient, gentle and careful with him because we don’t know when he’s going to snap.”
“Okay…” I nodded, taking this information in. “And what about the Snipers?” I whispered.
“What about them?”
“I heard you guys talking… you guys can’t plan anything with Justin like this. It’ll only make things worse. He isn’t in the right mind to be taking care of business right now or making decisions on his own.”
“I’ll take care of that.”
“How?” I exasperated, my stomach bubbling in worry as to how this could all possibly go about without falling.
“Don’t worry about it, we’ll think of something.” John reassured. “Come here,” Holding out his arms, I cracked a small smile before walking into them as they closed in around me. “You know I’d never let anyone hurt him.”
“I know.” I let out a breath of air. “I’m just scared for him, that’s all.”
“We all are.” Pulling away, John held me at arm’s length. “I know this is a side of Justin you’ve never seen before but I promise you that everything will go back to normal. You just have to give him time. With everything that’s going on right now, I’m surprised he didn’t lose it earlier.”
“Me too,” I murmured truthfully, knowing that I would have if I was him. “Thanks John, for everything.”
“What are friends for, right?”
“Right,” I nodded, giving him one last hug before lugging away. “Have you seen Bruce by any chance? I need to talk to him.”
“I think he went into the basement to make a few calls. He should be back any minute now if you want to wait for him.”
“Wait for me, for what?” Bruce asked in time for me to look up and see him making his way into the living room.
“I need to talk to you.” I mumbled, suddenly nervous though I knew I had to let him know what was going on. “It’s important.”
“What’s wrong? Are you okay?” Apprehension evident in his voice, Bruce put his phone away into the back pocket of his jeans.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I have to talk to you about Justin.”
Knowing where I was going with this, John spoke up in my behalf. “You know how we thought Justin was having one of his episodes tonight?”
Bruce’s face fell, suddenly knowing where we were going with this. “Yeah?”
“It turns out he did… and it’s more serious than we thought.”