Choices

"You have to choose, Emily. Me, or him."

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Luke and I went shopping for christmas gifts the next afternoon.

We both wanted to give our mums something, something which reminded them of us.

We both didn't know what though, we had been looking for gifts all morning.

Luke squeezed my hand. "Let's go in here," he suggested.

He pointed at a small boutique which was selling Christmas gifts. It was rather small but it looked cute.

I agreed, so we walked in and were met by a flow of warmth. 

There was an old favorite playing in the background.

'All I want for Christmas is you.. You-u-u baby' It went.

Luke rubbed his hands against one another, trying to warm them up.

He looked around the shop and spotted something that made his eyes sparkle. 

"Stuffed animals!" He squealed. 

He immediately ran through the small store all the way to the back, towards the stuffed animals who were all already claimed by Luke. 

I rolled my eyes and laughed. The largest kid in the world decided to buy a stuffed animal. I loved that boy.

The shopkeeper was busy behind his desk with carving something in a piece of wood. The man was old, like approximately sixty five years old. 

He was wearing a christmas sweater with a row of moose on it. There was a boy, probably around Luke and I's age, standing on a ladder, putting mini Santa's on their place on the top shelf. 

I could only see his back, since it was facing me. I slowly walked up to him. I wanted to buy one of those Santa's, but I couldn't reach them, and he could. 

I cleared my throat. "Pardon sir, but can you please grab such a Sant-"

"Emily, look at this penguin! It even has a scarf!" Luke yelled running my way. 

He wasn't looking where he was going. "Luke, watch out!" I said but it was already too late.

Luke ran into the ladder, making it vacillate, which caused the boy to fall off the ladder. 

The boy full of mini Santa's was now on the floor, nothing was broken of what I could see. 

"Oh my God, I am so sorry! Are you alright?" Luke worriedly asked the boy, who was groaning while facing the floor. 

Luke rested his hand on the boy's shoulder.

The boy lifted himself up off the round, and looked at the guy who knocked him off the ladder. 

Luke's eyes went wide, and he dropped the penguin out of shock. 

"A-a-asht-ton..." Luke's voice was broke. 

"L-luke? W-what? H-how?" Ashton asked. His voice was full of hurt. 

Luke began tugging his bracelet again. I looked at Ashton's wrists and noticed that he was wearing the exact same bracelet as Luke around his right wrist.

"Ash, I-I'm s-" 

"Don't. It's fine." Ashton cut him off. 

I could both clearly hear the hurt and pain in their voices. That's the worst sound in the world, the sound of someone who's on the verge of crying, that crack you hear in their voice. 

I decided to leave them alone. Well, not completely alone of course but I hid behind a bookcase, but as close as possible to the both of them so that they were still audible for me. 

"Ash, please talk to me." Luke began again.

"Stop calling me 'Ash', it doesn't feel right when you say it."

"B-but I was the only one who ever said that. I have finally found you! And I can't lose you again..." There was the crack in Luke's voice. "I cannot lose my brother twice." 

It was silent for a moment. I moved a few books, which were on an eye-level high shelf, a little bit to the left so that I could see them talk. 

Ashton was sitting on the ground with his back against the wall and his head in his hands. Luke was sitting in front of him and tried to get Ashton to look at him.

Luke sniffled. "Don't you wanna come back to me? Live with me again?" 

Ashton lifted his head and shook no. His eyes were watery, but he was clenching his jaw in order not to cry. 

"I will never, never ever, go back to that hell hole. I am perfectly happy and I like my life the way it is now." 

Luke balled his hands up into fists out of frustration. He was nervous, I could tell. 

"S-so, you don't need me in your life anymore?"

"Luke I didn't say that." 

"Yes you did! You are fine, your life is perfect, I get it, okay?! I would only be a pain in the ass for you! Tell me, Ash, what is really bothering you?" 

Ashton suddenly moved closer to Luke, but raised his voice. 

"You want to know what's bothering me?!" He put his index finger on Luke's chest, making Luke's posture more fragile. "You are! Not a day goes by that I'm not thinking of you! About how you have always been the better son, the one who's better at everything! That shit dragged my self-esteem down the drain, and now I hate myself! That's the truth, it is what you wanted to hear, right?! Well, good fucking job, you made me hate myself!" 

Luke looked down, and several tears escaped his eyes, and sobs came from his mouth. 

"I-I didn't want this to happen, Ash. You know that I love you, right?" 

Ashton fiddled with his bracelet, and looked up at Luke with large eyes. 

"Y-you, you what?" 

Luke laid a hand on his shoulder. "I love you, brother. No matter what comes between us, I'll always find my way back to you Ash." 

Ashton choked on a sob, and they both landed in each other's arms. 

They held each other tightly, as if they let go the other one would disappear. 

"I love you, too." Ashton said barely audible. 

They both let out a chuckle while still in tears. 

They did it.

Ashton and Luke were reunited. 

  

 

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