Young Forever

Jason McCann,
Everyone observed him as a fierce, cold-blooded criminal.
I'm not exactly like 'Everyone'.
I was told to stay away.
Did I listen? No.
I enjoy discovering the damaged ones,
the ones that need the most healing in their lives.
It's a challenge,
but I was eager to take that challenge no matter what.
Who would ever thought he would actually let me inside his isolated world and his complications.
I could've cared less if 'everyone' thought I was senseless to give in to him.
We were free, a breakaway from all the difficulties, anxiety, and people in our lives.
Did I care that he was on the run from the forces? No.
I was willing to be on the run beside him.
I wasn't just his partner in crime,
I was his girlfriend.
I was His,
something I desired to be from the first time my eyes came across his.
We were convicts together, remaining .

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10. 10 | "Hold On"

JADE

December 4th, 2010

The most wonderful time of the year wasn't wonderful for me one bit. My mother allowed my father to come back and visit me once a week for the past two weeks now. He calls himself trying to make up for the years he was gone, but it's not working. I just won't budge. 

"Jade, can you go get the decorations from the basement?" My mother asked, pushing the Christmas tree in the corner of the living room. 

"Alright," I muttered, swinging open the basement door. 

I flickered on the light switch, hurrying down the staircase. The basement was full of junk and dust. Aren't they all known for that? 

Sighing, I walked over the box that was marked Christmas decorations and picked it up. I rushed back upstairs, slamming the basement door shut with the back of my foot. 

Walking over to the Christmas tree, I dropped the box of decorations, opening it up. There were dusty stockings and ornaments held inside. 

"Here's the box. Have fun," I mumbled, walking away. 

"I thought we could do this together, dear." My mother acknowledged.

"What do you mean ‘together'? You and I together? Or You, my father, and I? Cause if it's the second option, I'm out." I snapped, resting a hand on my hip. 

"You and I, Jade." She rolled her eyes. 

I sighed, pulling out a few decorations and setting them in various spots on the dark green Christmas tree. 

JASON

December 3rd, 2010

"Box of shirts?" Alex questioned, checking his list of things. 

"Check," I responded, placing the box by the door. 

"Shoes?" He asked again. 

"Check." Brent agreed, taping up the box that was marked shoes.

"Utensils?" Alex asked once more.

"Check," Luke mentioned, dropping the last bit of utensils in its named box.

It was the wrong time of the year to start packing, but Alex didn't care. He believed another state and city had something better to offer us. He wanted to get farther away from the Demon Knives, who were still located in this area as we speak. 

Me, on the other hand, wanted to stay close to Jade. I feel as if every time we're around each other, we get closer to know more about the other. I hate that gushy feeling I get when she's around, but at the same time, I love it. I'm living for that feeling and I want more of it. 

"Jason, follow me!" Grace shouted, skipping off past a set of palm trees.

I chuckled, following her footsteps she left in the sand. She stopped not too far away from the crashing waves of the ocean. She sat down, glancing back at me before patting the seat beside her. I smiled, walking over and sitting down.

"What's up, baby girl?" I cooed, pulling her close to me.

She played with her hair as she muttered, "Jason, I want you to promise me something."

I gestured for her to continue. 

She sighed while playing with her chestnut, brown hair, "Promise me that we'll last until eternity. Even when the stars fade from their remarkable shine and the ground crumbles... You won't ever forget me. I won't ever forget you. It's a forever promise, I like to call it." 

I stared down at her, noticing tears were brimming in her eyes. 

"Why are you bringing this up so soon?" I asked. 

She furrowed her eyebrows, "That's not a promise, Jason!" 

"I told you I can't promise anyone anything anymore. My parents betrayed my trust towards them. I don't want someone I love and care about to get that same sort of dishonesty from me." I replied. 

She sighed, "I don't want you focusing on what they did. Focus on the way I love you. Focus on our love and how much it means to you. Keep my promise, forever." 

She leaned in, drawing my lips to hers gently and softly. I smiled, grasping her jaw to create a deeper and more passionate kiss.

Pulling away, I said, "I promise." 

"Jason!" Alex shouted. 

"What?" I snapped back, glancing up at him standing in front of the coffee table. 

"Your appointment is at five-thirty. You better get going." He suggested. 

I nodded, rising up from the couch. 

"Where are you going?" Vince asked, folding up a pair of his jeans to put in the box sitting in front of him. 

"Haircut," I muttered. 

• • •

I sat down in the boldest chair there is. I glanced around the room to see there were other young and bold guys like me in this seat. I was ready for this, but then I wasn't at the same time. My barber, Keith Quinn, walked over, putting a mirror in front of me. 

"What exactly do you want, Mr. McCann?" He asked as I studied myself in the mirror. I ruffled my shaggy hair a little bit. 

"I would say just a small trim to the sides and quite a bit off the top," I replied. 

"Alright," Keith replied, picking up the razor. 

I set the mirror down on the counter beside us as he started trimming away my hair. I watched small hairs fall to the ground from above me. 

"How's life been, McCann?" Keith asked, considering to make small talk. 

"It's been better. What about you?" I replied. 

He sighed, "Well, I just got blessed with a little girl." 

I smirked, "Really, man? Congratulations."

He chuckled, "Thanks."

He cut the razor off and shook off all the hair that was in my lap. He used a brush to wipe off the hair on my shoulders. He passed me the mirror to let me take a look at my haircut. 

"This is fresh." I approved, examining the haircut in the mirror. 

It was nicely shaved on the sides. There was a small bang in the front, but not so hectic like before so I don't have to keep flipping my hair out my face. 

I stood up, taking off the cape to protect my clothes. Stuffing my hand into my pocket, I pulled out my wallet and paid Keith the usual amount. 

"Thanks, McCann. Have a good day." He concluded, taking the money. 

"You too, man," I replied, patting him on the back before exiting out the barbershop front door.

JADE

December 22nd, 2010

"Everyone have a wonderful Christmas break." Mr. Jones announced to the class while the bell rung. 

I gathered my things, rising out of my desk seat. I quickly hurried out of the classroom to get to my locker before the corridor could get crowded. 

"Jade!" Paige shouted, racing over to me in her puffy white coat.

I spun my head to see her leaned up against the locker beside me.

"Yeah?" I said, stuffing my books into my book bag.

"Could we go somewhere? I wanted to talk to you." She asked, fiddling her fingers on her touchscreen keyboard. 

I rolled my eyes as I slammed my locker shut. 

"If this is another lecture about being around Jason, I don't want to hear it." 

Paige's eyes widened, "No! I just wanted to talk and it won't involve Jason." 

• • •

I stared out the coffee shop window. Snowflakes lightly hit upon the window frame, melting away a second later. People dressed in puffy snow coats were coming and going. I gazed down at my hot chocolate, watching the steam rise from the cup slowly.

"How's life been treating you?" Paige asked, setting her coffee down.

I shifted in my seat, "Fine, for now, I guess." 

Paige nodded, glancing around the coffee shop. 

"Have you made amends with your father yet?" She questioned, staring back at me. 

I shook my head. "I think it's best if he just gave it time. I mean, he's been gone for four years. I don't know what made him show up now."

"Jade, he could be trying to get to know you better. He wants to repay you after the few years he missed out on. I think you should give him a chance." Paige advised before reaching across the table to lay her hand on top of mine. 

"Maybe," I replied. 

JASON

December 25th, 2010

Stumbling down the staircase, I stared over at the Christmas tree in the far corner of the living room. The guys were all huddled on the couch, waiting patiently to open their gifts.

Surprisingly, we all had enough courtesy to buy each other gifts in this household. Alex started this when he and I were younger because our parents never could afford to give us what we exactly desired. 

"Who's opening first?" Skylar asked, jumping up and down on the single-person couch.

"I really don't care," Alex muttered, rubbing his eyes. 

"I'll go!" Derek squealed like a girl, racing over to the tree and picking up a gift that marked his name on it. 

I sighed, sitting down beside Vince, who was sitting back with his eyes closed and mouth hung open. 

"Xbox three sixty? Sweet! Thanks, Mark!" Brent yelled from the Christmas tree. 

Mark nodded, typing away on his cell phone.

"Which one of y'all dingbats got me girl underwear?" Luke shouted. 

Vince's body flinched as his eyes shot open. The guys glanced at one another. 

"Gimme that! Those are for my girlfriend." Quincy shouted, snatching the pack of woman's underwear from Luke's hand. 

Alex walked over to me, handing me a gift wrapped box. 

"This one is for you, bro." He declared.

I took it from him, placing it in my lap and pulling off the wrapping paper. It was a gold badge that engraved, ‘Best & Baddest kid there is: Jason McCann.'

I smirked, "Thanks, Alex." 

He chuckled, ruffling the top of my head, "No problem, little bro." 

"Hey guys, there is a box over here that has no one's name on it," Vince announced, picking it up. 

I furrowed my eyebrows, getting up and gathering around him with everyone else. Vince's hands were shaky as he pulled off the wrapping paper. 

It was a handgun with a yellow sticky note in a box. I pulled off the sticky note, prepared to read it out loud to everyone. 

"It says, ‘You guys might be moving to run away from our battle, but we always think one step ahead. Remember that. Definitely you, McCann.'"

JADE

I threw another piece of caramel chocolate in my mouth. The living room was filled with sweet aroma because my parents were baking cookies in the kitchen. Of course, they offered for me to join them, but I refused. I was stuck watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas by myself. 

The doorbell rang, making me furrow my eyebrows. 

"I'll get it," I shouted, walking over to the door in my Christmas spirited pajamas.

I twisted the door knob after unlocking it, swinging it open. Jason stood there with the biggest grin tugged on his lips. 

"Nice pajamas." Jason joked, staring up and down at me. 

He was dressed in a dark, purple-burgundy coat, gray sweater, and gray-bluish baggy jeans with gray shoes. His hands were covered in black gloves that were cut at the fingers. His hair was nicely trimmed. It was partly shaggy, but not so much anymore. He had a bang, but not on his eyes anymore. 

I smiled, "Nice haircut." 

He chuckled, ruffling his hair, "Thanks." 

I cleared my throat, "So, what are you doing here?" 

"I was wondering if you wanted to go hang out at the festival that's in town for only this evening." He replied, staring down at my welcome mat. 

"Of course she can go." My mother jumped in, popping her head out on my shoulder. 

I rolled my eyes at her before bringing my attention back to Jason. 

"I'll be ready in five minutes," I informed, leaving the doorway and racing upstairs to my bedroom. 

"Come on in, Jason! Sit down! We have some cookies if you want some!" My mother shouted downstairs.

• • •

Snowflakes melted on my lilac coat as Jason and I walked through the festival. There were a few rides for the little kids. Shops covered this place from left to right. Little stands that sold hot chocolate and cookies were positioned in between every few shops you ran into. 

"This isn't my favorite time of the year, but it is quite beautiful," Jason muttered, staring up at the Christmas lights that were hung from trees above us. 
.
"Yeah," I replied, stuffing my hands into my coat pockets. 

Jason strolled over to a photo-booth, pushing back the curtain and dragging me inside with him. I covered us from the inside with the curtain as he pressed several buttons on the machine. 

"Oh, you have to pay first." He addressed. 

I giggled while he pulled out his wallet, stuffing in a five-dollar bill in the slot. He pressed the big green start button. His fingers slithered around my waist as the numbers counted down. 

I grinned widely as the photo-booth snapped the picture. We stuck out our tongues for the next photo. Jason couldn't think of a pose for the next one. 

The numbers were counting down from three seconds. I leaned in, pressing my lips against his cheek. He gasped a little as the photo-booth snapped the pose.  

"Last one," I muttered before leaning my head on his shoulder. 

He grinned widely, staring down at me for the pose. 

I climbed out of the photo-booth after it informed that our pictures were waiting. Jason dug his hand into the slot, picking up our set of photos for the both of us. 

He handed me my own set while he stared down at his. 

I laughed, "These are cute." 

"You really surprised me with that cheeky kiss," Jason whispered, stuffing his photos in his pocket. 

He threw his arm over my shoulder as we strolled past some more shops. I grinned, staring over at a middle-aged couple who were kissing under a mistletoe. 

"I have to tell you something." Jason started, glancing down at me. 

"What is that?" I asked, staring up at him. 

He didn't create eye contact. I watched him chew into his cheek, staring up at the snowflakes that fell. 

"My gang and I are leaving the state in a couple days."

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