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 young forever.

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2. 2 | "U With Me?"

JASON

September 18th, 2010

"Jason, stop fooling around with that wall! It's practically spotless!" Brent roared from the sofa. They’ve been eye-glued into the football game for the past hour or so.

I could care less about a football game when it comes down to keeping a house clean.

"Shut up, Brent! I still see spots!" I shouted, directing my finger to the few minor areas that were still struck with remaining graffiti paint stains.

"I swear, he's the mom in this house." He muttered.

The television volume increased a second later.

The Demon Knives are going to get what's coming to them. NOBODY spray paints on these walls. This house wasn’t low-priced at all.

I mean, even though we mugged a bank to get the cash to buy this house, but still. You really think it was easy to rob Bank of America?

Derek already screwed up the mission by failing to recall the bombs. If it was demolished, police wouldn't have any video cameras to look at, am I right?

I know I am.

We had to hurry in and shoot all the cameras down before threatening the employees. Man, they were shaking so badly. We all continue to mock them by trembling vigorously out of nowhere, then crack up laughing.

We're like a family, yet we don't say 'I love you'. None of us were comfortable with receiving or giving those words. I felt the love from them all, though. If it wasn't physically, it was mentally. We all knew that.

The increase of my scrubbing was becoming very aggressive at this point. But, leaving any sort of paint was like leaving a newborn in a store alone.

Irritation built inside of me every time my things were damaged, but that’s normal. The guys didn't dare to lay a finger on my belongings. They knew better. They’re like mutts and I'm the owner.

The door bell rung, which triggered Quincy to leap up from the couch and pace over towards the door. I rose from the stairs to see who the unidentified visitor was.

He swung the door open, revealing a wrinkled, and five-foot six-inch-tall man that appeared to look like he was deep in his sixties.

"Quincy, who is that?" I prodding a finger in the man’s direction.

Quincy peeped back at me and informed, "Our new second gang leader."

Rage and frustration erected inside of me while my fists clenched.

Quincy detained the door open as the man roamed inside, consenting his eyes wander around the living room. I jogged back down the stairs to watch him shake hands with all the guys.

"Mark, can I talk to you outside?" I said bluntly, eyeballing the old hag.

Mark nodded quickly. He hoisted from the couch and I directed us to the back door, which was located in the kitchen. I allowed the door to slam behind us. Mark cringed at the abrupt sound.

"Who the heck is that?!" I barked.

Mark cleared his throat. "Our new gang leader to replace you."

"And exactly why do we need some old hag to replace me?" I questioned, tugging out my pack of cigarettes from my back pocket.

Mark cocked his eyebrow, "Well, Jason, you haven't been here for a year."

I shrugged with my flamed cigarette dangling from my lips.

"Okay? So what?"

"We didn't have anyone to lead our team correctly. Quincy believed we need a new second gang leader because... in reality, Jason, you're sixteen years old.”

My cigarette lingered while Mark cleared his throat.

“Look, you’re not eligible to be a gang leader yet. Alex only kept you gang leader because you're his brother and he wanted to make you feel like you were actually part of the gang." Mark replied, watching the clouds skid across the atmosphere.

Flicking off some of the cigarette ashes, I argued, "Hold up, since when eligibility really implied in this gang? If you haven't noticed, Mark, half of this gang is ineligible to even go into the night club. You and Alex are the oldest gang members."

Mark remained quiet, which made my adrenaline boil up with wrath.

I threw my arms up in frustration.

"This is bull! You know it, Mark! I shouldn't have to be dragged away from my position because of Quincy’s absurd opinions!" I barked.

"We all believed it, Jason," Mark stated.

"Bull crap, Mark. It's all good, though. Since I'm not a leader anymore, let's see how Alex feels about this when he returns." I snapped, tossing my dead bud in the ash tray and storming back inside the house.

JADE

"Jade! Get up!"

I shot my eyes open and stared at my mother's soon-to-be wrinkled face. She was dressed in a black sweatshirt, denim jeans, and sketcher sneakers. Her hair was dragged back in a low ponytail.

"What, Mom?" I muttered, drawing up the bed sheet covers.

"Don't what me! Get up! We're going to St. John's University today. All your friends are going with us!" She squealed.

Ugh, I forgot that was today. She had been recalling it to me for the past two weeks.

What was the point of dragging the girls along? I didn't want to their constant nagging blowing out my eardrums all day. I just want to get this over with and happily hide back in my bed-sheets.

My eyes enlarged.

"Mom, it's a Saturday. You said we would go during the week, not the weekend."

She shook her head. "School is happening during the week. We have the whole university to roam around today!"

I groaned loudly while she paced out of my bedroom waving her arms happily. I jerked off my bed-sheets in frustration, swinging my legs over to jump off the bed.

The cold atmosphere contained in my room hit my body abruptly. I’m being to have full remorse for deciding to sleep in a tank and shorts.

I took my precious time combing through my clothes. I was pleased with an auburn, salmon checkered flannel, dark denim jeans, and chestnut boots.

"Jade, if you don't hurry up! I still have to pick up your talkative friends!" My mother's voice rebounded from downstairs.

She even knows they blabber off too much! I’m sick of my mother’s phony welcoming attitude to my friends. I allow people to be annoyed with my blunt honesty.

I bathed, applied mascara, grasped my shoulder purse, and encountered my mom impatiently waiting at the front door. Her eyes were droopy, but that was normal for her since she has Insomnia.

I pivoted the door knob, yanking the door open and walking out.

I traced her steps while she slid inside the driver's side. I swung the door of her white van open, hopping up into the passenger's side. After allowing the engine roar, my mom backed out of our driveway.

To ignore my friend's gossip and my mother's enthusiasm, I rejected to remove my earbuds the whole ride.

The sound of doors opening and slamming shut aroused me from my slumber. I had to catch up on the three hours of sleep I missed out on last night.

"Let's go to one of their diner's first. I'm starving." Vanessa complained.

Where are my ear-buds?

"That's actually what I was thinking." My mom replied.

"Oh! Here's one right here!" Paige squealed, directing her finger on a section of the map.

"It's only a few feet away. Over there!" She pointed in the western direction to a small building.

I groaned, despising the fact I got stuck with so many infuriating people. At least I was about to stuff my face with food.

Gazing around the university, it didn't appear as big as I thought. I found this a good thing because that means less walking. I will not get lost if I attend here.

Sometimes I'm incapable of comprehending why my mother wastes her time. What if I don't even attend here? The joke would be on her.

"What do you want to eat?" My mom asked, digging her hand into her purse to search for her wallet.

"Two slices of pepperoni pizza." I requested.

She nodded, strolling to the counter after asking the girls what they wanted as well.

Vanessa was entirely specific with her order. She asked for a container of Buffalo wings, a salad on the side with ranch dressing, and well-cooked French fries with barbecue sauce.

We scurried into a small booth. I was constrained by the window with Paige and Kristen settled next to me. Vanessa had a side to herself, where my mom was probably going to sit as well.

"Can you guys give me a little space? I'm being horribly squashed over here while you both are fumbling your fingers against your keyboards." I complained, scowling at both of them.

Kristen dramatically sighed, scooting a little closer to the end. Paige appeared to look entertained at her phone as she scooted over as well.

I blew out in relief, scooting myself from the window, but left enough space for me to not suffocate. Good thing I didn't plan to sit between them.

My mom strolled over carefully with two trays of food. I bet my stomach was smiling right now as the tray reeked of a delicious food aroma.

She placed the trays on the table. One was in front of Vanessa and me. The other was in front of her, Kristen, and Paige. Those phones were quick to disappear.

Kristen immediately started eating and my mother stared at her in astonishment.

"Kristen!" She gasped.

"Yes, Mrs. Taylor?" Kristen mumbled with her mouth full of salted fries, chewing slowly.

"We always bless first." My mom ordered.

"Oh, Mrs. Taylor, I'm an atheist," Kristen replied nonchalantly before continuing to stuff her fries between her lips.

My mom remained astonished while Vanessa, Paige, and I said our grace and ate in silence.

• • •

"Jade, you must attend this college. I mean, they even have decent bathrooms! It smells like a sweet pea in here and they have lotion! What bathroom you know of has that?!" My mom shrieked, directing to the lotion in a basket on the bathroom sink.

I rolled my eyes and walked out the bathroom before she put any additions of anything else she admires at this college. I improvised that I was sick today.

"I know, Mrs. Taylor. It is quite lovely!" Vanessa shouted while she paces out with her purse hanging at her elbow. Her eyes stared around the corridor.

"There's absolutely no attractive boys in this building. I need some more phone numbers to add." Vanessa complained, scrolling through her contact list on her phone.

I swear, her mind is disbursed of only that.

"Jade, get your mom, please! She will not stop drooling over couture around this campus." Kristen commented, walking out the bathroom with Paige following.

"I can't help her," I said bluntly.

My mom walked out of the bathroom, yanking her ponytail tight.

"You girls ready to go?" She asked.

My eyes widened. Vanessa, Paige, and Kristen nodded their heads fast before my mom alters her fair decisions.

My mom miserably sighed, leading us all back to her car.

She was so amazed by this university. She minds as well just come here herself.

My one dream right now is to escape high school. Going off to college didn't just seem as exhausting, but it seemed nerve-racking. There's always continuous drama, just like high school. People are out partying, having sex, and getting highly intoxicated. Not my thing.

When we arrived at the car, I was the first to hop in and kicked off my boots. The girls slid into the backseat, tapping away in their cellphones. My mom got in, strapping on her seat-belt, and starting the ignition. A lingered sigh escaped her lips.

I realized how much my selfishness was tugging at my skin all day.

My hand rested on my mom’s shoulder. She crooked her head to my direction. I grinned a little.

"Thanks for taking me here today. I appreciate it. I'll think about considering to attend this college." I reassured her.

I decided to eliminate myself in my outward environment by finding my ear-buds in the passenger’s side door. I slid my finger around the skin, traveling to my depression playlist and pressing play.

My soul tends to have that vacancy of feeling desired. It’s not an erratic feeling in our humanity. As the time travels us through years into decades, you begin to realize your reputation in the world. I have yet to realize what the future holds for myself.

JASON

"Brent, you're the pilot you’re flying over the perimeter here. I also decided to have Luke and Derek to accompany you on your part of the mission. Jason-"

I studied Huxbee, who was skimming over his scheduled mission plans for us. He gradually stared back up and cleared his throat.

"You, Mark and Quincy will be watching in the red van, which won't be far this the perimeter." He addressed, directing around an area where a funeral will be occurring.

I cocked my eyebrow at his foolishness.

"Isn't that a little too close? There's always a witness at the scene of a crime."

Huxbee glanced at me, shaking his head.

"People will be too busy mourning." He believed.

The one thing that I learned about doing these missions is that nothing goes disregarded. Even if you shoot cameras, someone could be hidden near the crime scene, and then build up the utter confidence to confess to the cops.

An irritated sigh released my lips as I stood from the couch. Stepping up the staircase, I fixated my eyes on each one.

"Daddy, don't hurt mommy!" I shrieked.

By the time the words released from my lips, my father’s hand pressed against my mother’s back, knocking her down the staircase. Her stomach was the biggest thing her petite body held at the moment. Her body tumbled down the staircase. Her face was in clear contact with the carpeted floor in the living room.

I hurried past my father, who was casually relaxed at the head of the stairs, blowing out smoke from his flared cigarette.

My fingers circled around the end of my mother’s shirt, tugging gently. A groan announced the pain she was receiving. She struggled twirl her body over. I watched in awe while she gazed up at me. A blood slit was sunk into her forehead.

Her hand shook as she raised a hand up to my cheek and caressed it.

"It's okay, baby. Don't cry. Mommy is okay." She assured.

My balled fists rubbed away the tears that swelled in my eyes.

My mother’s hand fell to her stomach as she quietly cried to herself. Gushes of blood leaked slowly out from between her legs. My little five-year-old mind couldn't comprehend what was going on, unlike my father and brother. My father declined to have any concern, while my brother dashed down the staircase at the sound of my mother's cries.

"Jason, stay with Mom! I'll call the ambulance!" My brother's cheeks were soaked with tears.

That was the first day in my life that I had witnessed my brother cry.

"Jason!" Mark bellowed, smacking my arm.

My eyes flickered open and traveled up to see body’s blocking my view. All the eyes of my gang members were staring down at me. I brushed my palm against my cheek, feeling sweat soak up my hand.

"Are you alright? You zoned out pretty badly. You started breathing very quickly, then tears started streaming from your eyes. We've been trying to snap you out of it for the past twenty minutes." James spoke up for the group.

I huffed, rising from the bottom of the staircase.

"I'm fine," I muttered, turning on my heels. I plodded up the staircase, rambled down the hallway to my room, and slammed the door shut behind me.

I walked over to the white desk beside my bed that held personal items of mine. I yanked the drawer open and dragged out my prescription pills. I wrapped my fingers around the top, twisting it off. I popped in two pills and swallowed them down with a chug of water.

 

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